Monthly Archives: November 2015

How would advanced aliens size up our reluctance to use nuclear energy?

Guest Post from Robert Rudolph Hasspacher

If aliens came down to earth tomorrow, and we told them how we are having an environmental crisis because we need to find new sources of energy besides fossil fuels, the first thing they would say to us is:

“What about nuclear energy, we’ve already seen you have the technology from the neutrinos you emit. Why not scale it up?”

And then the Sierra Club and Peabody Coal would step forward and say with ignorant sincerity, “NO! It’s too expensive, and it produces waste, and it could release radioactivity, and other countries could make bombs from our waste!”

The aliens would say back, “You mean to tell me that your species is intelligent enough to have gotten materials to within billionths of a degree of absolute zero, put 5 spacecraft beyond the orbit of Pluto, have genetically manufactured crop species to increase food yield, understand quantum mechanics to the point of being on the verge of creating quantum computing, have a worldwide aviation system with 1.2 billion passengers a year that is the safest form of transportation available, and yet you can’t engineer a nuclear reactor that produces negligible amounts of waste, has no risk of releasing appreciable amounts of radiation, is cheaper than blowing up mountains for coal, and avoids the improbable risk that someone makes a bomb from it? That is elementary by comparison! You came up with technology that could do that 50 years ago! Damn it, your planet is TEEMING with nuclear material, you could be in a golden age of energy abundance without carbon!”

And TEA would say back “yeah but enough people are uneducated enough to be fooled by fossil interests into thinking that an obvious solution like atomic energy is a danger to humanity.”


Also by Robert Hasspacher
Synthesizing Jet Fuel from Sea Water

COP21 and what is missing from the table

Have you noticed the number of interested parties that offer no real solutions? Obama falls short. Justin Trudeau falls short. The climate marches are preaching renewables and conservation as their proposed solutions. There are no real solutions discussed. People should not imagine that by simply following politics and voting for what they think is the best party that it will make a difference. Following the science is far more important.

We need to look at what solutions are being proposed and seriously evaluate our best strategies. How many people understand that the biggest problem is coal? Yes energy from coal is cheap and abundant. The western world has depended on coal. Also keep in mind that Ontario would never have been able to replace coal without their nuclear plants replacing that reliable energy we all need to run our cities. Right now the overwhelming majority of the active groups who will show up at the COP21 and try to make their voices heard are short on solutions.

The way we view nuclear is also problematic. We need to stop letting people get away with saying “where do we store the waste?” and “nuclear is too expensive” and “what about Fukushima?” those myths have been proven wrong. We have a number of countries engaged in bringing forth nuclear reactors that will be able to re-use so-called nuclear waste. As for Fukushima, nobody died or will even get sick from the radiation released by the Fukushima accident. As for the the expense of building nuclear plants. It is related to the idea of perceived danger. As soon as the public understands through a little education what makes nuclear expensive we will see the costs come down. The nuclear industry is punished when it should be rewarded. What a backwards world. Getting the NRC and EPA to accept the Hormesis model rather than the “Linear No Threshold” model will also help lower prices since that would allow designs to be built without the above-and-beyond safety requirements being imposed.

I urge everyone to look at the energy sources and be honest in comparing their relative ability to solve how to replace coal. Obama modestly supports nuclear energy but has not added it to his COP21 strategy. Why not? Justin Trudeau will be doing the same. Can anybody explain why?

I know most people will give the usual responses about the so-called expense and danger of nuclear power. Please consider that Germany is adding coal plants because they were also under the influence of the renewable movement.

We have grown up with abundant energy and find it hard to understand that the emerging Eastern countries are not going to stop using coal because we tell them to. They are where we were at 70 years ago. Coal is still the cheapest. We need to figure out how to make nuclear power cheaper than coal. I believe that is totally possible with a focus on changing how people just need to educate themselves about radiation and the unfortunate truth that renewable energy will be impossible to meet the world’s energy demands.

So yes, we need to reduce carbon dioxide, but more than that, eliminate CO2 emissions. We need to be honest about the real outcomes of the very few nuclear accidents that have happened. Also come to terms that much of our misinformation comes from funded sources that are paid for by nuclear power’s competition. Also as James Hansen said recently. Let’s be honest about the harm being done by fossil fuel sources for energy. When it comes to climate change and ocean acidification “greed” is not good.