Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beyond Thunderdome, Bring On Nuclear Power

I have been attempting to show how British Columbia`s BC Liberal Government forecast of riches beyond our dreams coming from fraccing and exports to Asia is but a fantasy tale being told by false prophets...

And I believe that case was made.....So far The Straight Goods has avoided the Environmental arguments against fraccing, and they are well documented and compelling....That story needs to be told

Let`s start with this..part 1

part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V


I have talked recently about Japan restarting their nuclear facilities, and as much as that troubles me....Through scientific researching and my own soul searching I have concluded nuclear power is better than the other options available, nuclear emits no greenhouse gas emissions...Homes and businesses do need electrical power to operate, the move to producing this electrical power by burning the world`s supply of earth-trapped gas is foolish, we don`t understand the processes involved, we can`t risk ground water supplies, ground waters that migrate and never stop moving..

I do know cement, cement casings fail, all cement casings fail, look at any concrete built structure and you will see cracks, seepage of fluids, deep well cement casing are both thin and have no re-bar reinforcing, without a shadow of a doubt every deep well casing will fail over time, thus releasing fugitives gas into the atmosphere and chemicals into water supplies and that includes methane gases into the atmosphere..

Methane is lethal, methane is like a hundred times more of a heat trapping gas than Co2, more corrosive to our ozone blanket 

By shifting electrical generation worldwide to natural gas is literally locking the world into a one way path that depends on fossil fuels, transportation is a little more tricky to convert entirely to electric, that will take a little longer, however..

However Audi and other automobile manufacturers are moving to very sophistigated electric vehicles...Cars with a 300 mile range and the ability to be charged through solar cells or in about 3 hours with high speed chargers..More on this aspect of the future in later posts..

Clearly nuclear power generation is the way forward, nuclear power with an increasing mix of solar, wind, hydro electric, tidal power and other renewables, add in conservation and new found efficiencies and it can be done..nuclear power can supply tons of cheap electricity, with no greenhouse emissions, and new nuclear facilities are virtually waste free, they do need to be built where tsunamis and mountain landslides can`t pummel them....We just need to cross all our T`s and dot the I`s

At first glance natural gas appears much cleaner than coal but when one adds up all the activity, pipelines, drill holes, liquefication and transportation, add in all the fugitive emissions and it appears that one is no better than the other....My biggest concern is pumping millions of tonnes of chemical cocktails into the ground...

LNG in British Columbia, if we have 10 LNG plants operating, after temporary construction jobs 10 LNG plants will employee a mere 2500 people with about 2500 spinoff jobs...5000 permanent jobs all toll, and yet to keep that many LNG plants operating 1000`s of new leaking wells will have to be drilled every couple of years, endless amounts of chemicals injected into the ground and billions of gallons of water put in the ground, yes Rich Colman talks about brown water being used for this process, but that is but a tiny portion of the water used, billions of gallons siphoned from rivers and lakes, and who believes pumping brown-water underground can be a good thing, not quite clean water with added chemicals pumped at pressure into the ground to blow up natural formations..Yikes.

There are 7 billion people on earth, about 2 billion are mobile, there is talk about bringing India and China and other third world countries to middle-class status, meaning a car, vacations, trips, cruises and flights...

It isn`t going to happen, we are not able to support 7 billion getting on a jet, taking an ocean cruise, driving an RV to the countryside, we can supply the world electricity to run their abodes, but not on fossil fuels, at least not for long, even the vast quantities of earth gases are finite, the change will eventually come away from fossil fuels

Is this the last great battle mankind will see, energy companies flailing away in one last gasp to take it all, to fully tie the world to their unsustainable wares, to have bankers, investors and the public spend $30 trillion dollars on a ground gas society knowing full-well the futility of that folly with an environmental cost so heavy, is this their revenge, a scorched earth plan to wreak as much havoc and destroy watersheds around the world?....And when the gas bubble bursts, when water supplies are tainted, when nuclear and renewables are the last option, with the public broke, sickly and desperate..When drinking water being derived from ocean desalination plants is the new normal, will Exxon and Shell come to our rescue then?...

 I don`t think so but maybe, just maybe by then the sleeping giant within us all will awake to hang the lawyers, lawmakers, energy company executives and a corrupted media by their balls.

Those leery of nuclear power need to read this, the new generation of nuclear power, Thorium reactors.

And like I said in earlier posts, Japan as an export market for BC LNG has ended before it even began.

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


G.W. Andrew said...

Hit it out of the park on this turn at bats for sure.

Lots of important points, well worth reading about, especially when few others know or dare to write it out.

Appreciate your efforts to keep the light on somewhere in the growing darkness descending on this province.

Also noted the stand taken on nuclear power. Personally find it difficult to come out and actually favour going nuclear; although the candour and courage to write it out here makes it clear for the record that you are willing to make the tough call.


paisley said...

As Fukushima continues to release poison(radio-isotopes)into the Pacific I don't know how anyone can seriously think nuclear is even worth consideration. Frankly, I am surprised you would even suggest that it is the way forward considering you know how those in charge always take short cuts for the almighty dollar. You can be sure that safeguards designed into nuclear plants will be the bare minimum which is exactly why the Fukushima disaster is a disaster. Ten months it took for Tepco to even admit "three core meltdown" and you would trust these guys to build more? Cheap electricity all right when you don't have exemplary safety standards and back up contingencies. Three core meltdowns fizzing away as I write, spewing more and more toxins with half lives numbering in the tens of thousands of years. Fuel pool #4 teetering 50ft above the ground awaiting another major earthquake that could cause it to topple and drain, resulting in a nuclear fuel fire that would cause the entire Northern Hemisphere to become uninhabitable for humans because of radioactive particles thrown into the atmosphere. We are on the brink of a inconceivable poisoning event and we don't even recognize it. Oh yeah nuclear is the way to go. Another Fukushima can happen anywhere at anytime and all it takes is for the water intakes at any of the nuclear plants to become inoperable for a couple days via an earthquake or terrorist activity and bingo more core meltdowns. It's actually quite sad that the Oyster Creek facility didn't have the water raised another 6 inches during Katrina( who can spell Fukushima 2, this time in a heavy populated North American jurisdiction) because obviously Fukushima hasn't woke anybody up.

Grant G said...

Well Paisley...It`s going to happen, Japan is restarting their nuclear facilities..

" Last week in Japan new safety regulations for nuclear reactors went into effect, as the government tries to ensure that the nation will never again be rocked by nuclear catastrophe. These regulations provide a path for nuclear power plants to resume operations, and five power companies promptly submitted applications for the restart of 12 reactors, with more applications expected in the coming months.

More than two turbulent years have passed since a tsunami smashed into the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. During those years, shifting political administrations have offered dramatically different visions of Japan’s energy future. Now, with the pronuclear Liberal Democratic Party expected to consolidate its hold on the government in parliamentary elections next week, Japan seems poised to embrace nuclear power once again.

Currently only two of Japan’s 50 functional reactors are in operation; the rest are shut down for safety checks. Utilities have been forced to run coal-, gas-, and oil-fired plants at high capacity to keep Japan’s production lines running and the lights of Tokyo burning bright. The nuclear restarts have been championed by Japan’s business and industrial groups, which fear the economic impact of continuing to rely on expensive imported fossil fuels.

Before the Fukushima accident, nuclear power supplied 30 percent of Japan’s electricity, and the government’s energy plan called for an increase to 50 percent. Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, says that pre-Fukushima goal must shift. “We don’t have to have 50 percent, but 20 or 25 percent might be necessary,” he says. “I think that we cannot survive without nuclear.”

Grant G said...

Part II


It was a tsunami that took out the plant, not shortcuts..

There will be new generation thorium reactors, they create no nuclear waste..Read this and be prepared to open your eyes..

"At a test site in Norway, Thor Energy has successfully created a thorium nuclear reactor — but not in the sense that most people think of when they hear the word thorium. The Norwegians haven’t solved the energy crisis and global warming in one fell swoop — they haven’t created a cold fusion thorium reactor. What they have done, though, which is still very cool, is use thorium instead of uranium in a conventional nuclear reactor. In one fell swoop, thorium fuel, which is safer, less messy to clean up, and not prone to nuclear weapons proliferation, could quench the complaints of nuclear power critics everywhere.

In a conventional nuclear reactor, enriched uranium fuel is converted into plutonium and small amounts of other transuranic compounds. There are ways to recycle plutonium, but for many countries, such as the USA, it is simply a waste product of nuclear power — a waste product that will be dangerously radioactive for thousands of years. While the safety of nuclear power plants is hotly contested, no one is arguing the nastiness of plutonium. Any technological development that could reduce the production of plutonium, or consume our massive stocks of plutonium waste, would be a huge boon for the Earth’s (and humanity’s) continued well-being. (See: Nuclear power is our only hope, or, the greatest environmentalist hypocrisy of all time.)

Enter thorium. Natural thorium, which is fairly cheap and abundant (more so than uranium), doesn’t contain enough fissile material (thorium-231) to sustain a nuclear chain reaction. By mixing thorium oxide with 10% plutonium oxide, however, criticality is achieved. This fuel, which is called thorium-MOX (mixed-oxide), can then be formed into rods and used in conventional nuclear reactors. Not only does this mean that we can do away with uranium, which is expensive to enrich, dangerous, and leads to nuclear proliferation, but it also means that we finally have an easy way of recycling plutonium. Furthermore, the thorium-MOX fuel cycle produces no new plutonium; it actually reduces the world’s stock of plutonium. Oh, thorium-MOX makes for safer nuclear reactors, too, due to a higher melting point and thermal conductivity."


China has 30 nuclear plants under construction with plans for another 40 nuclear plants..Thorium reactors are looking really good..


paisley said...

Yes I know Grant that Tepco said the Tsunami knocked out the back up generators at Fuku but other experts disagree and say that the earthquake itself knocked out the backup generators, though this is all semantics, no matter the cause it was under-engineered. Thorium is not quite as poisonous(measured by whose life time?) as uranium, quote:
The radioactivity of the resulting waste also drops down to safe levels after just a few hundred years, compared to tens of thousands of years needed for current nuclear waste to cool. off.[21]

People tend to think that when plutonium(the most toxic substance known to man)is tossed into a nuclear reactor is gets used up and disappears somewhere, where in actual fact it hasn't been used up or gone's still there. The reason they change fuel rods in a reactor is because the casings holding the pellets have become brittle and are actually disintegrating. The whole mess is so radioactive at this point that the pellets can't be recycled and this is why the dry cask it and drop it into a hole(this guy you quote who talks about recycling plutonium is out to lunch). So you perhaps think it is a good thing that they can use plutonium in with the Thorium... but it does NOT reduce the amount of plutonium in existence and I would surmise that the waste from the thorium reactor will be just as voluminous and hazardous as any uranium reactor. Nuclear reactors do not produce cheaper electricity for the simple fact it costs 1 Billion dollars to decommission them. It will be just another case of taxpayers paying to clean up the mess just like any old mine or industrial site. If we want to solve the energy problems what we need to do is stop breeding like rats. This planet(or rather us humans) can not sustain our current population as it is. Continuing on our current path is simply a recipe for extinction

Anonymous said...


I have to agree with you on the population expansion, that will decimate any species population. I think of the shrub that certain hares feed on, when the population of hares overwhelms the shrubs the shrubs will begin to produce a toxin that will kill off the hares, end of problem.

Part of the problem is, with the economy operated under the ever present "growth" concept and the undeniable greed that permeates some human minds you are going to be fighting the most deceitful of the human species. Those who hold the balance of power are consumed by their lust for control and wealth. A very long history of human occupation on this planet will demonstrate we have been manipulated by the wealthy and politicians for hundreds if not thousands of years, the root cause of so many issues. This will be a challenge that will not be won by talk.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later, in any foolproof system the fools are going to exceed the proofs!

A quote by Arnie Gunderson

To turn to nuclear energy is jumping from the pan into the fire. There’s so much information out there on the folly of nuclear energy.

Lets start with these. The Fukushima plant used the faulty GE Mark 1 design. There’s hundreds of these Mark 1’s around. Why are they still around – big money. Sound familiar.

Here’s some links.

There’s so much more if you look. Also if the Fukushima fuel pool collapses it’s an extinction event for the Northern Hemisphere.