A good reason to oppose development of nuclear power in the US

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… is the fact that you can trust the nuclear power industry about as far as you can throw an elephant.

If you can’t trust an entire industry to even look at you and not lie, then why do we trust them to do anything important?

For example, Ohio.

In Ohio, there has been a long term somewhat complicated fight over nuclear energy.

In a nutshell, and possibly oversimplified:

The Ohio nuclear power industry seeks major public funding to extend the lives of existing projects.

A bill is passed, HB6, which affords this bailout. The fight over that bill and similar initiatives fueled the development of a fairly impressive pro-nuclear lobbying effort which has spilled out into other states including Minnesota. The idea is that the nuclear industry wants states to pass bills supporting nuclear energy development, and/or remove restrictions or disincentives.

A citizens group, “Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts” is trying to get together a petition opposing the bill, asking for a statewide referendum abrogating it.

Now, there is a pro nuclear group claiming that the anti-nuclear effort is a Chinese Plot. Here is their over the top ad, showing now in Ohio, which is expected to be the beginning of a long and intense flood of rhetoric Ohio voters can expect between now and … well, whenever.

Just look at those poor frightened Ohioans being all plotted by the Red Chinese and stuff.

For the record, there is zero evidence that the Chinese are involved in any of this.

The actual opposition to HB6 “…includes consumer advocates, environmentalists, free market groups, health experts, and manufacturers”

Oh, the Chinese are involved. They have been funding the pro-nuclear side in this Ohio debate. Ironically.

Lots more detail here.

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5 thoughts on “A good reason to oppose development of nuclear power in the US

  1. You can also look at the long-running issues with “Plant Vogtle” in Georgia. The mismanagement (originally scheduled to come online in 2016-17, now projected for 2020/21) and associated cost overruns (an original $14 billion cost is now over $23 billion and climbing, with a 5% increase in utility bills in Georgia directly blamed on the cost of construction ) are still going on. That’s what comes when there is essentially no oversight of the companies who want to build these things, and no penalty for their misdeeds.

    Those issues don’t even get to the issues with storing waste, or the fact that the promised “cheap energy” from the plants never happened.

    Unless/until there is some accountability relating to these plants there is no good reason to continue to sink money into them.

    On a note completely unrelated to consumer nuclear plants: Greg, have you seen that the latest takes on the explosion at their Nyonoksa testing range released a cloud of strontium-91, barium-139, barium-140, and lanthanum-140 over neighboring regions? The evidence that the explosion was a small nuclear reactor, probably for their latest cruise missile, is starting to look quite solid.

  2. I heard at one point, in what I recall as a quote from Putin himself, that the missile was powered by isotopes — which I took to mean a radioisotope thermal source. Obviously, if that’s what it was, it would have to be a tremendously active isotope, hence very short-lived (and tremendously expensive.) In short, an amazingly stupid design choice.

    Of course the Russians are not that dumb. Therefore it had to be a fission reactor of some type. Figuring out what type might (I speculate) reveal that the Russians made some sort of breakthrough.

    The isotopes you list have half-lives of 9.63 hours, 1.38 hours, 12.75 days, and 1.68 days. I’m not knowledgeable enough to deduce anything from the isotopes or their half-lives. I look forward to more information about this.

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