Nuclear Nightmare

by craig on March 19, 2013 2:48 pm in Uncategorized

A “Lib Dem” minister just told Sky News he was approving new nuclear power stations to promote green jobs. If anybody ever votes for these lying bastards again I shall be disconsolate.

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  1. The nuclear industry is nothing more than an establishment cult, no good can come of it & it’s promoted by crooked politician plutonium addict front men who are past caring

  2. And Labour will abstain on a bill designed to ensure that “workfare” forced labour in Poundland stores do not get paid retroactively for their work.
    Meanwhile those on the “left” obsess over Galloway’s bluntly accurate language and lament that Julian Assange is not being tortured like Brad Manning.
    If Labour, the Liberals and the left were actually led and directed by salaried and uniformed agents of the ruling class would they behave any differently?

  3. In the recent cold spells the UK was struggling to maintain electricity supplies because of increased demand. The current plan is to phase out natural gas for heating by 2050. The idea before fracking came along was for us all to run our heating with electric heat pumps and the cheapest price of buying in a basic air to water heat pump is currently 1000 pounds.

    This statement means simply that this was the plan all along as developed by Chris Huhne. Germany has reacted swiftly to the catastrophic nuclear melt near meltdown in Japan and reversed its nuclear power station programme. The UK hasn’t even got its act together to start insulating all homes. I know, the only heat in my house this winter has been from a small air conditioning unit I put in because my boiler has gone wrong.

    Looks like we are all going to be installing log stoves very soon.

  4. Michael Stephenson

    19 Mar, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Given the global catastrophe looming due to climate change Nuclear power shouldn’t be so casually dismissed.

  5. Chris, what do you mean, “if”?

    Craig, go back to your constituency and prepare for disconsolation.

  6. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Japan’s politics are trading one disaster for another. Nukes or methane hydrate? Imagine a BP type blowout with those effervescent bubbles rising to the surface.

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/telliottmbamsc/blog/2013/03/fukushima-energy-nimrods-want-trigger-ocean-release-its-methane-hy

  7. “If Labour, the Liberals and the left were actually led and directed by salaried and uniformed agents of the ruling class would they behave any differently?”

    I dont understand this statement at all. It seems purposefully blinkered to what is actually going on, as if the writer really prefers to babble some all-encompassing comfort-zone conspiracy. Let’s start with Labour – the Miliband group are essentially the fagend of Blairism, tempered by the realisation that the Great Charlatan cocked up spectacularly on several issues, not least of which was allowing himself (and Brown was just as to blame later) to be hoodwinked by advisors drawn from commerce and the City. That whole rancid crowd, the likes of McKinsey, PWC, and KPMG etc, were the ones behind much of the pro-business agenda relentlessy pushed by New Labour. And now that the Tories are in, guess who’s smugly whispering in Gideon’s ear and steering us all in the Coalition Handcart To Hell. But even now, Labour cannot shrug off that whole 3rd-wayist snakeoil, somehow convinced that any policy moves in a genuinely social democrat direction, along with real passion and anger, would attract the furies of the corporate-owned/cheerleading press. They are hamstrung by their doctrinal weakness, and by fear of the media.

  8. You can “approve” nuclear power stations all you bloody like – nobody’s going to pay to actually build the damn things without price guarantees for at least the next 20 years, and they’re probably not getting those. There’s a reason why the only people who build nuclear power stations are state-controlled utilities… The economics of new build nuclear power stations are not attractive in a competitive market.

  9. As for the ‘Liberals’, or Liberal Democrats (although going by the party’s dwindling cheerleaders they clearly see themselves as the Liberal Party redux in all but name), they are currently going through the same hollowing-out that afflicted Labour towards the end of Blair’s regime. The Clegg leadership has shown such a negligent, offhand attitude to the party’s previous expressions of principle (and a masked contempt towards conference motions) that a certain mixture of resolve and despair holds sway within the party in the country. Clegg is our Blair – he has nailed his old-school Liberal colours to the mast with such unwavering purpose that everyone now knows that nothing can be done or changed until he is gone. For him to start opposing things like the benefit changes, the economic policies or the NHS demolition would be to admit total defeat since he has so willingly and definitively committed himself to staying in the Coalition come what may.

    Truly, the matter of Clegg is a modern day political tragedy. If he and the negotiating team had decided to go for a limited coalition for limited aims over a limited period, say 2 years maximum, how different things would have turned out. But, coulda, woulda, shoulda. All that remains now is how much of a fight is still left in him when it comes to the tussle for the party leadership in the wake of the next GElection.

  10. We are all bombing around using up resources; think how much wood to burn would ne required next time you slap the kettle on for just one more cuppa.

    Sadly options for energy are limited and our need for energy is rising.
    The next time economic growth is mentioned we know equal energy will be required.

    Please remind me what is the problem with “new clear” energy.

    Oh the waste. Us Brits are the world leaders in waste disposal.

    The age old tradition ” dig a hole and bury it.”

    Spend now spent later!

    Do not worry folk the government is there to protect us and our interests. Democracy is working.

  11. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    Out on this limb, as it were. If I had to choose between the unknowns of reckless exploration (fracking in the US creating a lot of issues, and it’s just natural gas) which seeks the cheapest means of extraction for MH, and nukes, I would have to choose nukes, within that limited context.

    Although nuclear is a high-tech means of controlling a low-tech mechanism (boiling water with fission), it is much better understood than undersea geology. Stress fractures extant, which cannot be seen or anticipated makes it a rather hairy gambit. Mistakes and deadlines make a deadly combo.

    As much as I dislike nukes for the complex network and pitfalls associated, I prefer it as a lesser weevil.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/why-japans-methane-hydrate-exploitation-is-game-over-for-climate

    , “For 150,000 years, a period known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, that carbon [from methane hydrates released from the seafloor] blanketed the Earth and pushed global temperatures to radical highs. While extinction events caused by the PETM weren’t on the scale of the dinosaur extinctions from nine million years prior, it did result in an explosion of diversification that permanently altered the makeup of the planet’s species.”

    Apart from burning gas from methane hydrates releasing gigatons of carbon, another issue with methane, the seafloor, and climate change to keep on the radar is that methane hydrates can melt all on their own. Though the methane seeps that have made headlines over the past couple of summers—which were up to 1000 times background levels in spots—don’t yet appear to be occurring due to human-induced climate change, it remains a distinct possibility that this could happen. Not to mention, permafrost melting reaching a tipping point and releasing stored carbon.”

  12. A discussion about some problems with nuclear power generation.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/ockham27s-razor-15-january-2012/3732664

    It’s a pity we are burning this amazing, unique type of fuel, born in the stars, to drive an aimless, consumerist society.

  13. Problems at Fukushima cooling pools today, but the MSM reassuring us that its nothing to worry about. Aye righty oh then! Thanks to Craig for coming to sleety Edinburgh on Saturday and making my weekend with his appearance and talk at Islamophobia.

  14. Error 808 Wrong Link

    This is the one I wanted to post first, the above audio is a follow-up counter argument.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/nuclear-energy-a-panacea-for-climate-change/3049300

  15. With respect to the ‘what will we replace nuclear with/ where will we get the energy from’ arguement. Firstly: We should be thinking about an economic system where expansion isn’t a basic pre-requisite for prosperity since, unless I’m mistaken, the planet is finite and so cannot accommodate eternal expansion.
    Secondly: It’s a little known fact that hemp has a higher calorific content than coal (that is, it releases more energy per weight than coal when burned) and the CO2 released when it is burned does not represent a net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels since the CO2 released represents (less than) the total CO2 sequestered during growing. Not to mention the myriad other uses of hemp.

  16. Thorium is the future… or may be. A safer nuclear cycle that could be the bridge between carbon fuels and fusion which might solve the world’s evergy needs essentially forever. Unfortunately the UK gave up on developing such things and its left to India and China.

    I don’t understand the ‘green’ objection to nuclear technology – particulary developments like fusion – when the other ‘green’ solutions like solar and wind, are a nonsense. Just a subsidy from the people who can’t afford winter heating to rich landowners (wind) or affluent homeowners (solar).

  17. So who do we vote for? There is no decent option. They’re all rubbish. Might go green but even then they’re not strong enough. My vote will be lost. And one vote every four years is all the say we seem to have.

  18. And just for good measure, Mr Ed Davey is a LD Friend of Israel so he is doubly damned!

    Huhne is in this link too but cannot spot him in the photo. Featherstone, Beith and Julia Neuberger are familiar names.

    Lib Dems Meet Cross Party Delegation from Israel

    In December 2009, Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians met five visiting Members of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). The visiting politicians each represented a different political party in Israel.

    Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians: LDFI President, Sir Alan Beith MP together with MPs Ed Davey, Chris Huhne, Lynne Featherstone and Willie Rennie and Lib Dem Peers Lord Wallace, Lord Dholakia and Baroness Neuberger.

    Israeli Members of Knesset (Parliament): Yitzhak Vaknin MK – Shas, Tzipi Hotovely MK – Likud, Anastassia Michaeli MK – Yisrael Beiteinu, Majalli Whbee MK and Nachman Shai MK – Kadima.

    http://ldfi.org.uk/events/previous-events/

    ~~~

    The link to Hinkley Point which I left on the previous thread and the info about radioactive discharges into the Severn Estuary is here.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/03/of-this-i-am-proud/comment-page-2/#comment-399955

    There was a tsunami in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary in 1607 which, if it was repeated, we would have another Fukushima type disaster.

    http://profsimonhaslett.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/earthquakes-tsunami-and-nuclear-power.html

  19. All this snow, slush, heavy rain is a good time to dump water-borne nuclear contaminated waste into our rivers, streams, ground and seas. By design or accidental overflows and run-offs, a mere taster of the inevitable result when marginal sea level rises seas engulf these coastal disasters-in-waiting entirely.

    The consequences of nuclear war itself it turns out were unnecessary to extinguish human life, most of North America is so heavily contaminated from their own weapons testing, power-generation, mining and processing of dangerous enough uranium into even more lethal products, that we can soon enough consider the US to be ‘spent’ as either as a miltary superpower thankfully, also as a significant economic actor, or regretably, mostly for the Native Americans particularly even a place that could healthily remain inhabitable. Nuclear power and weapons states the ultimate practioners of the own goal, self-exterminating their entire populations without in the end without a shot fired in anger at them.

    Much of the cancer deaths from tobacco too result not from the tobacco itself but from the heavy contamination of the crops themselves and perpetually of the ground they are grown in, the anti-tobacco craze and passive smoking hysteria the subterfuge by which excess radiation deaths are being superficially explained. The same goes for US food production and (un)potable water which are as contaminated and heavy killers in their own right, with every spoonful or drop. Not even the extensive contamination within what was the former Soviet Union comes close to the doses the whole of North America has received by their own had and will continue to accumulate and suffer from till eventual mass die off occurs. In terms of mere population the US, when weighted for its disproportianal consumption of planetary resources, consumes more than over-populous India or China, the US accounting despite its lesser population for the same resource usage of as many as 10 billion human beings, an impact which will decline in like proportion as they expire in ever greater numbers. Future extra mouths to feed may not be in the customary location on our faces. The US reaction to its fate might be to fire all its guns at once in spite at having their ghastly empire self-destruct whilst their sick dreams of world domination are unfulfilled and justly mocked.

    The same goes for us in the disintegrating UK, the elites have calculated that as we are all as good as dead, including themselves inescapably, they might as well feather their nests with well-stuffed brown envelopes and accelerate the process. With their orgy of capitalist gluttony at an end, the trickle-down deception and free-market globalist nightmare unsustainable by its own destructiveness, inconsistencies, contradictions and demonstrable instability, its immutable trajectory -crash and burn, self-evident, humanity’s continued existence itself no longer something which can be menaced to compel other’s fealty, as it’s already a foregone conclusion and lost, they reckon on having nothing more to lose.

    If never prepared to build nuclear power stations on the Thames, in central London where the power demands are largest, then they aren’t safe to have anywhere else either; existing plants should be more rapidly shutdown and decontamination started as new infinitely renewable sources of power, new means of power storage infrastructure, from hydro to wave and wind are raced on before further atomic disaster assails us. The French nuclear industry, predominant on the channel coast, should be as rapidly shutdown too, if necessary by force and compulsion for the sake of this islands inhabitants as the planet.

    It is the duty of the people of these islands to oppose any new nuclear power projects, to prevent by sheer number of their bodies as much as the first shovelful of earth disturbed for such death machines to be assembled and fired up again amidst our fragile green land.

  20. s/be…which, if it was repeated, would mean that we would have another Fukushima type disaster.

    This is Ed Davey today on video.

    New nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C is approved
    Ed Davey said the new nuclear power station was a milestone on the road to decarbonisation

    The first of a planned new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK has been given approval.

    Energy Secretary Ed Davey told MPs in the Commons that he was granting planning consent for French energy giant EDF to construct Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

    The proposed £14bn power plant would be capable of powering five million homes.

    Mr Davey said the project was “of crucial national importance” but environmental groups reacted angrily.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21839684#

    There are over 700 comments.

  21. I’d rather nuclear and being warm in winter than not. ‘Renewable’ energy sources are not viable for the near term.

    Unfortunately recent developments in nuclear power which leave less, and less dangerous waste probably won’t become commercially available until after decisions on what to build are made.

    Of course, in an ideal world we’d have a decentralised energy system with small self contained, low risk, low waste, reactors if they’re economically viable, but that world isn’t here now.

    As for safety – new designs will be learning from past failures, be they Chernobyl (no UK reactor is susceptable to that sequence of failures), Three Mile Island, Windscale or Fukushima (we’re unlikely to have an earthquake and tsunami of that scale in the UK anyway).

    Anti-nuclear power hysteria seems to be bound up with nuclear weapons (which we should be doing away with, and are an incredible evil) and early stations being used to make weapons grade materials (now the military have their own reactors for that I believe).

  22. Five of the UK’s existing coal fired power stations must close before 2015. Others already have. This is not because they’re necessarily worn out but because of an EU directive. Worldwide though another 1,000 are either planned or already under construction mainly in China and India where coal is often of poor quality.

    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/energy-industry/coal-power.html

    Nuclear power may have its problems and its critics (unless it’s in Iran) but if the lights start going out in a few years time you may change your mind about it.

  23. Presently what is preventing us from building and creating the Utopian society that we all dream of.

    For some they would spend their time in Boutiques and shopping malls.

    For others they would spend their time walking the paths of our beautiful countryside, peevaying the everchanging landscapes and its impressing beauty.

    We can have both we can fight multiple wars and reach the moon why can’t we enhance our living space and environment.

    I suggest it is simply hard work in the right areas.

    Our planet and all our subservient species should be put on a pedestal and we should admire their beauty and uniqueness.

    We should bow down to the whoever who jinxed us and pit humanity back where it belongs; and that is just “out there.”

    Science will and science won’t

  24. I am perpetually surprised by the wilful ignorance and scaremongering about nuclear power that goes on in most liberal and anti-establishment fora.

    Nuclear power is, in itself, fairly safe and very convenient. Unfortunately everything in this life is spoiled by those lying, cheating, exploiting bastards – human beings. However it’s important to understand that ANY means of supplying tens of millions of 21st century people with the amounts of energy the have come to expect is going to be potentially very dangerous. Gigawatts of power are scary and hazardous, regardless of how they are generated.

    If you have an open mind, check this out: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/14/nuclear_reactor_salt/

    I strongly recommend watching the video too, although you can safely skip over the elderly professor doing his measured introduction. It’s the two young postgards who crackle with creative energy and technical optimism. I’d almost forgotten what that feels like!

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    MARY, taking her Main Obsessions for their daily outing :

    “And just for good measure, Mr Ed Davey is a LD Friend of Israel so he is doubly damned!”

    and

    “Lib Dems Meet Cross Party Delegation from Israel”

    Naturrally on a blog which is supposed to be about the LinDems and nuclear power.

    Troll?

    **********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (help Mary un-obsess)

  26. Tristan.

    Technical and engineering breakdown and failure are intrinsic in all such highly risky ventures, there is no such thing as a safe design, they are all inherently dangerous. Even the ‘safe’ contaminate the environment and kill wholesale, starting from the mining of raw materials and ending with the waste, which we ultimately end up eating. Human-error can never be accounted for or anticopated, will always throw up the unpredictable, “could never happen” chain of events with alarming regularity and in truth after-the-fact, the catastrophic extinction event, were so obvious and entirely predictable. The more that excruciating term fail-safe is bandied about, the more automation, computerisation, instrumentation, the less comprehension and control, ‘controllers’ have and even imperfect understanding of the processes involved is taken out of self-adjudged expert hands – for no experts exist who for 24-hour 7 days a week, and so on till eternity – can second guess the forces unleashed. Humanity’s dabbling and blind irrational wishful-thinking, will – though it seems it may already – have destro the viability of the entire planet for future human life. You’d think to avoid that you might consider putting on a vest or cardy, than saunter round your ill-designed house half-naked as it suits you, with your fingers in your ears, not listening, and shrug at the certain risk of extinguishing all of life, for your selfish and brief ‘comfort’.

    Nuclear fission, controlled or in uncontrolled explosions, will rather obviously kill and will forever keep killing, until till we’re all dead, it is an inevitabilty, doubtfully now preventable. Your whinge is a sad marker of your immaturity or indictment of your education, that no-one has taken the trouble to put aside your toys, sit you down and explain this simple matter to you that you never forget it.

  27. Habba must be having a bad day. The spelling is up the creek here and on the previous thread.

    Q When is the Vita e bella thing going to be taken off? Repetition is very boring.

  28. http://live.webcasts.unique-media.tv/tbl019

    Tonight British Live webcast starting 18:30 to 20:00 Tuesday 19th Noam Chomsky in conversation with Jonathan Freedland subject ‘Propaganda’.

  29. People who don’t believe wind power is useful, just dont understand it and perhaps never will. Also the people who put renewable in quotes — Also power generation technology will always be mysterious to those inclined to scare quote renewables.

    I would keep nuclear power limited as a research and emergency option.
    Import solar power from sunnier climes, fund and lead its developement now.

    Reduce production of disposable stuff. Decrease the glamour and necessity of car use, improve transport and housing.

    We have plenty of technology and resources for safe fulfilling life and value creation without resorting to dangerous and polluting industries, we are just misdirected.

  30. Davey is a stooge. He approves of the extra cruelty being proposed by Gideon.

    Budget 2013: Osborne to unveil extra £2.5bn in cuts

    George Osborne is coming under pressure to increase spending on infrastructure
    The government is to announce further spending cuts in Wednesday’s Budget, with the savings going to large-scale infrastructure projects designed to boost economic growth.

    [..]
    Energy Secretary Ed Davey, whose department will have to find extra savings, denied ministers had been taken by surprise by the chancellor’s announcement, saying they had been given “more notice” of it than expected.

    “What was really noticeable around the cabinet table was people supporting the overall approach not only of the chancellor but the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander,” he told the BBC.

    “We have to get to grips with this (the deficit). In countries where they don’t they’re paying a very heavy price.”
    [..]

    Is he bidding to be the new LD leader and are his loyalties to this country or to Israel, or both, one asks?

    And what about the high tech hub that Gould has set up in Tel Aviv? For whose benefit? What’s is all about?
    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/102264/how-pariah-state%E2%80%99-conquered-hi-tech-world

    btw
    EDF who are bidding to build Hinkley Point are building solar farms in Israel.
    http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000690890&fid=1725

    1,000 more days, or sooner one hopes, for this coalition and then they’re out on their ears The massive damaging changes to the NHS will have become obvious by 2015 too.

  31. BrianFujisan

    19 Mar, 2013 - 6:34 pm

    Its a VERY Dangerous game, I wonder what kinds of creatures all the contamination will spawn – Long after humans are gone

    Japan’s long war to “shut down Fukushima” will never end in near human lifetimes. The damage it has done, the waste it has created, the radiation released and still releasing, will travel around the world, leak into the ground and water, contaminate Japan, in human terms, forever.The fact that some of this contamination will be called “low” or “slow” will not lessen the pain and extent of this damage one bit.

    The tanks from the cold war are leaking, the legacy of cancer from atomic testing is ongoing. Underneath its cracked sarcophagus Chernobyl is still happening. No nuclear accident ever really ends except, perhaps, in geological time frames. The waste and multigenerational mutagenic harm remain the legacy of the greed and hubris of the human race.
    Dr. Helen Caldicott

    http://nuclearfreeplanet.org/

    We Need a new Tesla…They suppress everything (except HARP of course )

  32. Guano – yes wood burning stoves and I also recommend burning peat.

    Sadly my bid for a croft in Achnasheen was beaten by a venison vendor.

  33. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 6:56 pm

    Never mind the spelling/typos, Mary – just tell us why you’ve dragged Israeli into this thread. Obsessional?

    ********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (support freedom and justice)

  34. If there is a nuclear scientist on this blog, then could you please explain to the rest of us ( mere mortals):-
    1. The nature of nuclear reactors relative to radioactive dangers?
    2. The pros and cons of reliance on nuclear energy?
    3. And – your personal choice relative to your scientific knowledge and the
    options that are available?

    If we are to be serious about the serious issues being canvassed – I think that thesss the three foregoing questions are a sensible and reasonable starting point.

  35. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 7:08 pm

    Mary asks the following about Ed Davey :

    “Is he bidding to be the new LD leader and are his loyalties to this country or to Israel, or both, one asks?”

    What a curious second question. What (and what mindset) could be behind it, one asks?

  36. The Lib Dem 2010 manifesto on energy summarised:

    Key environmental policies include:

    Insulating all homes to a good standard within 10 years
    Setting a target for 40 per cent of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020 rising to 100 per cent by 2050
    Investing up to £400 million in refurbishing shipyards so they can manufacture offshore wind turbines
    Transforming electricity networks
    Launching a one-year Eco Cash-Back scheme
    Setting aside money for schools that want to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings
    Investing £140 million in a bus scrappage scheme to replace old, polluting buses
    Blocking any new coal-fired power stations
    Rejecting a new generation of nuclear power stations

    Now I understand in a coalition they can’t get everything. Other than blocking new coal-fired power stations (an EU treaty obligation anyway) have they kept a single one of those?

  37. Why should there be any FoI in the cabinet when there is not a single Friend of Europe in it?

    Why this excruciating, overwhelming influence into British foreign policy by a country that is war mongering at the fringes of Europe?

    Are Israeli influences into our/British foreign policy the real reasons for the LibCons retraction from Europe?
    All portfolios will get their budgets cut, says Osborne.
    Well I bet if BAE or BA or Vickers went insolvent tomorrow, he would still bail them out, without asking us.

    Osborne has failed to tackle off shore havens, even if these are subject of the Crown and agreed to British jurisdiction. He failed to stop 1/3rd of the QE cash disappearing into these havens, mainly put there by banks, money that is useless because it does nothing but guarantee further fat bonuses and pay off.

    Our politicians are still in bed with Murdoch, Nigel Farrage has shown that nothing has changed at all in three years.

    If there was any other nation, even within the Commonwealth, with as much access to our politicians in power as the Zionist lobby has, perpetuating the traditional weak points of this so called democracy and exploiting them for the aims of Israels foreign policy goals, this country would go into lock down.

    If Russia’s GRU had this much influence in this country, or the Hanoverians, or any other clan of Oligarchs and establishment folks, talk of treason and betrayal would emerge instantly, opposition would form.

    But Israel can’t do no harm, not a whimper of alarm at their chequebook diplomacy and gerrymandering of consent, poor persecuted Jews have soooo much to cope with and they need our politicians to be their friends, because the public would not possibly agree with their massive influence.

    Thanks for the posts

  38. Of course, in an ideal world we’d have a decentralised energy system with small self contained, low risk, low waste, reactors if they’re economically viable, but that world isn’t here now.

    There exists already such a little reactor. Toshiba delivers installs it and then at the end of its life cycle decommissions it and takes it away.

  39. HaddockUK continues to obsess about Mary mentioning Israel.

    The title of this thread is ‘Nuclear Nightmare’. That seems to be a perfectly appropriate description of Israel. Where are it’s nukes? Is it time for it to be brought under the inspection regime of the IAEA?

  40. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 8:39 pm

    “The title of this thread is ‘Nuclear Nightmare’. That seems to be a perfectly appropriate description of Israel”

    Don’t be silly-clever, Yonatan. You know that this thread’s not about Israel’s nuclear capacity.

    Are you pitching to become an associate member of the Egregiousness of Excellences?

    ********

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  41. I wish we had a nuclear power plant here on the Isle of Wight, it would shoo off all the pinkos back to the mainland. Plus, I’d probably get a job: doubleplusgood!!!

    Oooh nooo! my prostates going critical…. BEEP BEEP BEEP…!!!

  42. “The Lib Dem 2010 manifesto on energy summarised”

    Have we or anybody else come to that ever had a government that fulfilled it’s promises? One of the first things the Blair government diid was to privatise ATC after Tony himself swore that “our airspace is not for sale” and Harold Wilson once elected on a promise to rid Britain of it’s nuclear weapons bought Polaris.

  43. Of things Nuclear, and things bliar –

    According to sources inside the administration, George W. Bush was planning to invade Iraq and remove its government well before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Such an invasion violates the UN Charter, which the United States signed in 1945 after the bloodiest conflict in history. The Charter permits countries to use military force against another country only in self-defense or with Security Council permission. But the evidence indicates that the U.S.-led invasion satisfied neither condition and is therefore a war of aggression, which constitutes a Crime Against Peace – exactly the kind of war the Charter was meant to prevent.

    Shock and Awe—and the Consequences

    Despite the absence of Security Council authorization, a quarter million troops from the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq in March 2003. Delivering on their promise to “shock and awe,” the “coalition forces” dropped several 2,000-pound bombs on Baghdad in rapid succession, in what the New York Times dubbed “almost biblical power.”

    Since then, the use of cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous gas by U.S. forces in Iraq has been documented. These are weapons of mass destruction. Cluster bomb cannisters contain tiny bomblets which can spread over a vast area. Unexploded cluster bombs are frequently picked up by children and explode, resulting in serious injury or death. Depleted uranium weapons spread high levels of radiation over vast areas of land. White phosphorous gas melts the skin and burns to the bone. The Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War (Geneva IV) classifies “willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health” as a grave breach. The US War Crimes Act punishes grave breaches of Geneva as war crimes. The Bush administration is committing war crimes with its use of these weapons.

    “Operation Iraqi Freedom” unleashed a tragedy of immense proportion. More than 3,000 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. Close to 7,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in July and August 2006 alone. In October 2006, the British medical journal the Lancet published a study conducted by Iraqi physicians with oversight by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study estimated that 655,000 Iraqi civilians had died since Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003.

  44. Clegg and Cameron go back to nursery school. Hardly a good use of their time.

    On the meaninglessness of politicians and their photo ops.

    ‘What struck me about the Cameron and Clegg pictures was how extraordinary it is that the Prime Minister is taking his deputy anywhere, considering that he has just stitched him up on the question of press regulation in alliance with the leader of the opposition.

    As Chris Mullin memorably put it, Clegg is easily “the biggest charlatan of the lot”. Yet somehow this ridiculous figure, the poor man’s Colin Firth, is now the most powerful man in British politics. The Prime Minister has got himself into a position where he needs Clegg to stick around, must run everything past him and is not really in control of the Government. Yet he must also watch as Clegg and Miliband spend the next two years playing footsie and openly forming the next coalition. Who knows what the Labour and Lib Dem leaders will cooperate on next? They have Cameron by the balls.’

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/iainmartin1/100207947/clegg-and-miliband-have-cameron-by-the-short-and-curlies/

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/3/19/1363692970698/Cameron-and-Clegg-on-smal-008.jpg

  45. Chinese solar power firm defaults on debts
    Suntech, once lauded by the Chinese government for its renewable energy leadership, runs short of cash following heavy losses over the past year

    Suntech, one of the world’s biggest solar panel manufacturers, has defaulted on a $541m (£358m) bond payment in the latest sign of the financial squeeze on the struggling global solar industry.

    Suntech Power Holdings’ announcement was a severe setback for a company lauded by China’s Communist government as a leader of efforts to make the country a centre of the renewable energy industry. Its founder, Shi Zhengrong, became one of the industry’s most prominent entrepreneurs and a billionaire, only to see most of his fortune evaporate as the company’s share price plummeted.
    [..]
    China’s solar producers have been battered by a glut of supply in the market brought on by their own government’s efforts to promote the industry.

    Lured by tax breaks and subsidies, hundreds of small Chinese producers piled into the industry and new arrivals were springing up as late as 2011, when weak demand and a supply glut forced producers to slash prices.

    Other major Chinese producers including Yingli Green Energy, LDK Solar and Trina Solar have reported heavy losses. That has prompted expectations that the government will intervene and force companies to merge or shut down.
    [..]

    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/19/suntech-china-solar-power-default

  46. And then there are
    plenty of wind farms operated by the establishment and related Norwegian royal hang abouts, good ol blighty does not know who they are subsidising
    Solar farms by the hectare, quick quick before the April deadline when Osborne halves the subsidies.
    Waveny MP Peter Aldous, for example, who is egging his parents on to develop hectares of good farmland into solar tax dole money.

    These dole recipients are not hard up usually but they are expedient as any good Tory is. Get as much as you can from the taxman, before the subsidies half.
    North Norfolk has got a spectacular new development, some 48 hectares of tax subsidised and inefficient solar madness.

    Roll up, roll up, anybody else from the hoity poloite who want to earn themselves a golden nose before the bargain basement offer is halved?

    Nuclear power is the cowards way out, the trick of over consumption is covered up with nuclear power, there’s plenty and it will make us bombs, that is why we do it, we would not except any other moral reasoning as we apply to Iran now would we, its just to make bombs, tiny teenie weenie one’s that fit into suitcases and look like cotton wool.

    If we wanted power and were desperate to watch a MI5/6 buggered BBC, we would be able to generate it from any of the rivers flowing and the estuaries ebbing and flooding and the currents scouring up and down the east coast, and the waves rolling, up and down and up and down, the British isles have kinetic energy coming out of just about every orifice, the largest capacity of all in the EU and…. we….. are….. building…. nuclear power stations…… with French expertise?
    Oh nutty madness, take me away and kill all my children…

    jobs for the boys, same as it ever was…..

  47. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 11:29 pm

    Mary; Photovoltaics is only part of the equation. We are still in the Industrial age when it comes to storage. Battery tech needs a Manhattan project in order to bring the maintenance and cost of huge battery banks to an efficient level. The grid needs continuous feed except for off-peak hours when consumption is lower, but the slack can be picked up by traditional sources. It’s never easy for politicians to look down the road with a long-term strategy because they must go to the taxpayer for huge funds (infrastructure) at a time when there is no public perception of an emergency. And, when the emergency hits, of course it’s too late.

  48. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 11:48 pm

    Another massive project is desalination. Water is the new oil. The time is coming when we will need to harness the vast oceans, and that is a HUGE energy expenditure. Just another chink in the energy armor.

  49. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 11:51 pm

    The Saudis are way ahead of our curve…….http://hir.harvard.edu/pressing-change/saudi-arabia-and-desalination-0

    “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which already produces 24 million cubic meters of water per day from desalination, about half the world’s total, is building the largest solar-powered water desalination plant in the world in the city of Al-Khafji on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The recent initiative in Saudi Arabia to enlarge its water desalination capacity using high-tech green technology is a smart move, multi-dimensionally strategic and future-oriented.”

  50. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Mar, 2013 - 11:57 pm

    I once participated in a panel of local politicos in San Luis Obispo, a true progressive community. Although it was long ago (1990) it still resonates in real time. All they could talk about was building more reservoirs , which capture rainfall.

    I asked “Does it make a lot of sense to spend resources on projects which depend upon rainfall, when we live in a Coastal desert?”

    After suggesting solar-powered desalination, the response was: “People don’t want our beautiful scenery marred by ugly solar panels”

    This relates to my comment to Mary @ 11:29

  51. Please look at the figures. Nuclear power isn’t “the last option”, it should be the first one. Overall, nuclear is the safest form of energy generation the world has ever seen (and the statistics since 1950 bear this out).

    Just to take one counter example, more deaths have occured in the UK due to Wind turbines than nuclear.

    I am not arguing for complacency, or lack of rigorous standards, but let’s be honest: if we don’t have nuclear, we’ll fall back on coal… and the number of Chinese coal miners that die every year because of our failure to get on with new nuclear build is shocking.

  52. Kempe,

    “Nuclear power may have its problems and its critics (unless it’s in Iran)”
    ****

    What a silly doctrinaire comment but i guess you had to try and get it in.

    Most people worry about nuclear power regardless of where its from.

  53. “If we are to be serious about the serious issues being canvassed – I think that thesss the three foregoing questions are a sensible and reasonable starting point.”

    I’m not a scientist but I lived a long time, I remember the dangers of coal, I remember the dangers of pit disasters, I remember Aberfvan. I remember the dangers of oil and gas, the pollution when oil tankers went aground, Piper Alfa, the helicopter crashes taking oil workers to work.

    I don’t remember reports of people being killed in Britain because of nuclear, there may have been some but if there were I don’t remember.

  54. Habbabkuk,

    Stop being a silly spoilt child.

    This thread is about nuclear power.

    Israel is one country where the issue of nuclear power is well worthy and valid of discussion herein.

    Honestly,you’re quite the desperate embarrassment here.

  55. “We are all bombing around using up resources; think how much wood to burn would ne required next time you slap the kettle on for just one more cuppa.”

    It takes very little wood to boil a kettle, a few ounces that’s all. I made a little stove burns wood chips produced by a chain saw. Forced secondary air fed from a little computer fan means it’s very efficient and it doesn’t smoke, the flame burns blue.

    Apart from that I have a stove I burn wood on, recycled when I can get it, burning old pallets at the moment. Hot plates, oven, back boiler to heat the water. The kettle is always hot.

    I use very little resources, very little indeed.

  56. Fred ^

    Nice dude,nice…:.)

  57. BrianFujisan

    20 Mar, 2013 - 1:07 am

    Mary @ 6:01 pm

    – Yes it’s Boring, But We / i Can put up with Boring. But it’s the Evil of it that hurts…it has said it’self it is a deliberate term to annoy certain Souls.

    Now, annoying people is not an act of evil of course, Even the ignoring of repeated Pleas to stop using L is G, is Down right nasty but not evil.

    But to keep using the offending term after Clark’s heartfelt plea to drop it
    ( Clark 17th mar @ 9 ;01, Habbabkuk, my life isn’t good, and I feel like you’re rubbing my face in the probable fact that your life is a lot better every time you post that. You stated that you put it there to annoy people. Well, it does more than just annoy me, it hurts me.

    Life is not a spectacle or a feast;
    it is a predicament

    Clark 17th mar @ 11 : 55pm. Clark thanks it for dropping L is G for a short time

    Clark 18th mar @ 12 :05. Habbabkuk, our comments crossed. I score quite low on your list of what makes life good. I expect that there are other readers here who score considerably lower. Life is not good for a large proportion of people, that proportion is increasing, and quality of life is falling for the majority. International events are inextricable from the future prospects of our species, and not caring about that seems incomprehensibly callous to me; it’s the fact that too few of the critical people care that is degrading so many lives and the world we live in. In conscience, I would rather die than stop caring.

    How could it go back to using L is G, after such heartfelt impassioned request to stop, uncaring fucking evil.

    My life is shit half the time, struggling against hearing Loss, often bad athsma, Despair at whats going on at the Global leval,
    it Trolls through the information provided by so many genuine commenter’s And still rubbs our faces in it… LisG It’s even Funny Eh…Woof Woof, Sickening

  58. Brian Fujisan ^

    Indeed Brian,indeed.

    Actually it’s beyond sickening.

    It’s pathetic really.

  59. BrianFujisan, 19 Mar, 10:48 pm

    Sorry Brian, but I feel that I should point out the following so you that you can avoid discrediting your own arguments in future.

    “Depleted uranium weapons spread high levels of radiation over vast areas of land.”

    Depleted uranium (DU) has very low radioactivity; that’s what’s depleted about it. It’s what’s inevitably left when they make enriched uranium. Calling DU “weapons of mass destruction” weakens the argument against real weapons of mass destruction.

    Uranium dust, vapour and compounds are produced when DU projectiles hit whatever is in their way, and they’re all very nasty stuff, but radiation is a very minor concern; uranium’s chemically toxicity is about one million times worse than its radiotoxicity. But modern weapons produce a whole host of toxic chemicals; focusing on DU will just let the warmongers get away with other stuff, and focusing on its radiation hazard is plays directly into their hands.

  60. Hello my name is Shams. I am eight years old and live in Iraq. I am blind. My family were victim of car bomb in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq
    .
    Her mother was killed in the attack. My life is still sad because our families are both Sunni and Shia. They must hate each other and I have no Shia friends. I am told the Americans divided our society.
    .
    Why can’t people just love each other? Please.

  61. Life might not be good (mine certainly doesn’t seem to be), but it is glorious. What were the chances of you being born and gifted with a mind that is self aware? It’s a terrible waste of that mind’s potential to dwell on how the world doesn’t conform with our preferred arrangement. If you are free from the horrors of war, crime and disease, life can be good .. if you try.

    Monty Python’s Universe Song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYSXBsGOVuc

  62. Jemand,

    ” If you are free from the horrors of war, crime and disease,”

    And just how many on this delicate planet really are though?

    You also forgot poverty and loneliness-amongst other blights-in your list.

  63. I know that this will be unpopular with some people, but I think that activists should get their facts right. If we make erroneous claims, it leaves us open to being discredited, looking stupid and losing important arguments. Such error has already disadvantaged the campaign against nuclear power.

    Cryptonym, radioactive stuff is not going to wipe out all life on Earth. The whole planet, all the way to the core, is radioactive. Whenever fossil fuel is extracted, radioactive material is brought to the surface, where it is burnt and released into the atmosphere. Much soil contains radioactive thorium. Granite releases radioactive radon gas. Radioactivity is natural on this planet. Life has continually evolved and diversified in the presence of radioactivity, as shown by the fact that life has evolved cellular DNA repair which protects against radiation damage.

    Before you start thinking that I’m lobbying for the nuclear industry, Nevermind can confirm that I’m reading his copy of Chris Busby’s Wings of Death, the iconic anti-nuclear book. So far, I find Busby’s “Second Event Theory” reasonably convincing (though Busby’s style is disjointed and confusing). But even if Busby is 100% right, radioactivity from human sources has maybe doubled or tripled certain cancer rates that are way below 0.1% of the population in any case. Any increase in cancer is bad, but really, human-produced radioactivity was never anything like a mass-extinction event, even when H-bombs were being tested every few weeks.

    Cryptonym, I suggest that you learn a bit about nuclear physics, shine some light to banish irrational* fears. Then start criticising from a position of strength, and there’s plenty to criticise; stockpiles of “spent” nuclear fuel for a start.

    *”Irrational” is not an insult; its meaning is “not in proportion”, i.e. the fear is out of proportion to the threat.

  64. From what I can tell, there is so much misinformation written about nuclear its untrue. The word alone is enough to instil fear in much of the population. But such fear, it seems to me, is largely unfounded.

    The impacts of climate change represent arguably the greatest challenges faced by mankind since the emergence of industrial capitalism over a century and a half ago.

    So we need to add to the mix, in my view, radical alternatives in an attempt to counter this threat. The nuclear option ought to be a very big part of that radical alternative. George Monbiot has written some brilliant articles on this subject.

  65. Good to have you back in your inimitable groove Clark.

    :.)

  66. Hey Jemand, I learned that song off by heart years ago. It’s good to sing it occasionally, but it’s also a brilliant memory aid, as all the figures are roughly correct. “We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point, we go round every two hundred million years…”

  67. OT,

    Craig,

    Saw this article, comments are also worth a read.

    http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2013/03/cyprus-versus-the-eustapo-a-mischievious-idea/

  68. Jives said – “And just how many on this delicate planet really are though? You also forgot poverty and loneliness-amongst other blights-in your list.”
    . . .

    The horrors of war, crime and disease are nothing more than what other animals face in their own jungles. Every being will face a lonley, often horrific, death. Why should human animals be any different?

    If you dwell on what you have not got instead of what you do, then you will never find happiness nor contentedness. The consumerist society is based on perpetual discontent with one’s life. We are told that we are ugly, fat, bored, old-fashioned, ignorant, poor, lonely, … etc. All of which is the opening sales pitch to sell us makeup, dieting books, gadgets, hobby education, financial products, dating services .. You see how it matches up?

    So much unhappiness is caused by internal conflict where unfulfilled expectations produce disappointment which leads to frustration, anger, low self-esteem and all of the other stuff that keeps therapists and psychiatrists driving BMWs. The consumerist society exploits this weakness and so do politicians and social agitators.

    I think if you can see, touch and hear yourself count every one of five digits on each of four limbs, then you might have enough material being to start the journey to happiness/contentedness. Life wasn’t meant to be easy, and if it were, you’d be unhappy for it.

  69. Hi Clark

    Yes, it’s a great song. It puts our trivial worries into perspective. And as a memory aid, good idea.  Although I would prefer to learn the following, less edifying, speech by Dr Evil delivered in a therapy session with his son Scott.

    Dr Evil, speaking to a group therapy session –

    Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really. At the age of 12 I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it’s breathtaking, I suggest you try it.

  70. Daniel, I loathe the current power reactors. They’re ridiculously expensive. If they spring a leak, the coolant water flashes to steam and the core starts to melt down. In normal use, you put your fuel rods in, start the reaction and the rods immediately begin to decay. They crack, warp, and the nuclear reaction causes contaminants to form within their solid structure. So a year or three later, you have to pull them out again. What proportion of the nuclear energy do you think has been extracted by then? About 1.5%. The rest is our 100,000 year “disposal” problem.

    Back in the late ’60s the US built this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_Salt_Reactor_Experiment

    It’s the second of only two Molten Salt Reactors ever built. It’s the most versatile fission reactor ever designed. They ran it on U233, U235 and plutonium. It was an unusually stable, predictable, controlable reactor. With so little prototyping it’s difficult to say, but simulations suggest that MSRs can burn 98% of the fuel you put in, and they can burn spent fuel. My back of an envelope calculation suggests that we’ve enough nuclear fuel for all the worlds electricity for a thousand years, in the form of plutonium no one knows how to get rid of, “spent” fuel from nuclear power stations, and depleted uranium. All three of these are essentially waste; no mining required.

    Unlike typical reactors which run best at constant power output, MSRs self-regulate to load by thermal expansion of the fuel. And it looks much safer; if it gets too hot it shuts itself down with no active control involved. Really; no computers, electrical power or human intervention required.

    The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was terminated in the early ’70s; a political rather than a technical decision. Its proponent, Alvin Weinberg, also designed the PWR, the design used in typical power stations, but he said that PWRs weren’t safe enough for civilian use and MSRs should be used instead. Shortly thereafter, Weinberg was sacked with the words “Alvin, if you’re so concerned about reactor safety, maybe you should leave nuclear power”.

    Recently, people have been getting interested in the MSR design, and I see that the following link was posted earlier in this thread:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/14/nuclear_reactor_salt/

  71. He lied.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_77_bomb

    Written Answers to Questions
    Tuesday 11 January 2005
    DEFENCE

    Firebombs/Napalm
    Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Mark 77 firebombs have been used by Coalition forces (a) in Iraq and (b) in or near areas in Iraq where civilians lived; whether this weapon is equivalent to napalm; whether (i) the UK and (ii) the US has signed the UN convention banning the use of napalm against civilian targets; and if he will make a statement. [207246]

    Mr. Ingram: The United States have confirmed to us that they have not used Mark 77 firebombs, which are essentially napalm canisters, in Iraq at any time. No other Coalition member has Mark 77 firebombs in their inventory.

    The United Kingdom is bound under Protocol III to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) not to use incendiary weapons (which would include napalm) against military targets located within concentrations of civilians.

    US policy in relation to international conventions is a matter for the US Government, but all of our allies are aware of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
    .
    13 June 2005
    Letter from the same Adam Ingram notifying that the US used 30 of these bombs in March and April 2003.

    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchiesta/foto/documento_ministero.jpg

    Where is the liar/warmonger now?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Ingram_(Labour_politician)

    In 2010, the Daily Telegraph reported:

    Adam Ingram, the former Armed Forces minister, and Richard Caborn, the former trade minister, met a fake lobbying company to discuss work they could do after they stand down as MPs at the general election, it has emerged.

    Mr Ingram, the MP for East Kilbride, is understood to have cited work he does for a defence firm in Libya as evidence of his experience in the field of business. He already makes up to £170,000 a year from consultancy work and non-executive directorships while also drawing his MP’s salary of £63,291.

    One of his five outside jobs includes providing consultancy services to Argus Libya UK LLP, a firm that explores commercial opportunities in Colonel Gaddafi’s country. Mr Ingram also makes up to £55,000 advising Electronic Data Services Ltd, a Ministry of Defence contractor; about £50,000 from SignPoint Secure Ltd, and up to £25,000 from Argus Scotland Ltd.

    Vile. Another one to rot in his own hell.

  72. We ain’t got barrels of money but boy, have we got piles of nuclear waste!

    24 February 2013
    UK’s plutonium stockpile dilemma
    By Rob Broomby

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21505271

    Our legacy to the future generations.

  73. Here is a candidate solution to JimmyGiro’s multifacetted problems of power, pinkos and employment. Clark might even approve the model.

    Toshiba’s MSR –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_4S

    Bill Gates seems to like it –
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1594671/bill-gates-goes-nuclear-toshibas-4s-reactor

    Hopefully Bill’s involvement won’t result in a Blue Cloud of Death.

  74. Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) (Green): There are much faster, cheaper and more affordable ways to tackle climate change than nuclear, but my question to the Secretary of State is about the only two nuclear power stations under construction in Europe today. They are billions of pounds over budget and delayed by an ever increasing number of years. Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Denmark are all rejecting new nuclear. Even France is aiming to reduce its reliance by 25%. What do all those countries know that we do not? Why is the Secretary of State locking UK consumers into artificially high energy prices for years to come—to the benefit of the French Government, not the UK taxpayer?

    Mr Davey: The hon. Lady has pushed her views for some time, and I have respect for them, but tackling climate change means that we need every form of low-carbon generation possible. The risk and the challenge are so great that it is wrong for people who are worried about climate change to turn their back on the issue. She points to other countries, but around the world many countries are looking again at new nuclear. She is right that the two new nuclear power stations that are being built are over budget and out of their original time schedule. That is why we are being extremely careful in our approach to those negotiations and to the new nuclear programme, learning the lessons of the past and from other countries so that we do not repeat those mistakes.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130319/debtext/130319-0002.htm#13031966001868
    Hinkley Point 19 March 2013

  75. Jives:-

    This is what I was referring to:-

    http://www.cnduk.org/information/briefings/global-abolition-briefings/item/482-cnd-briefing-iran

    Scroll down to the last section, CND’s Position, read the third paragraph and then compare that with CND’s position regarding the UK’s civil nuclear programme.

  76. Uranium is just another mineral:- there is only so much of it down there and when it’s gone, it’s gone. By that time we will have accumulated a mountain of radio-active waste which will be obscenely toxic for millennia (over geological time, actually) and we will find ourselves in roughly the same position that we are in now with regard to energy supply.

    Ultimately there will be no alternative to waving goodbye to our wasteful lifestyle. The question is, do we do it now, gradually, using whatever hydrocarbon resources we have left to effect as painless a transition as possible, or do we do it abruptly at the point of a post-nuclear future by which time we will have buggered the planet.

    Politicians – of any party, by the way – have to get elected. At that point they run into the hypocrisy of the rest of us as well as their own. We all want to go to heaven, but none of us want to die.

  77. Did you know that today is International Happiness Day? No irony. I expect the people in Palestine, Iraq and elsewhere under the heel of the USUKIsNATO jackboots are really happy today. Obama arrives in Israel on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war to plan more war against Syria and Iran at the Zionists’ bidding.

    PS Did you hear the German finance minister saying to the Cypriots ‘Your banks may never open again’! Coming to us and other European countries in the not too distant future??

    Late on Tuesday, Mr Schaeuble said that he “regretted” the vote.

    “The ECB (European Central Bank) has made it clear that without a reform programme for Cyprus the aid can’t continue. Someone has to explain this to the Cypriots and I think there’s a danger that they won’t be able to open the banks again at all,“ he said.

    ”Two big Cypriot banks are insolvent if there are no emergency funds from the European Central Bank,” Mr Schauble added.

  78. Norman Nicholson is one of my favourite poets. He summed the nuclear industry up after the Windscale ‘accident’.

    The toadstool towers infest the shore,
    Stink-horns that propagate and spore
    Wherever the wind blows,
    Scafell looks down from the bracken band
    And sees Hell in a grain of sand
    And feels the canker itch between his toes.

    This is a land where dirt is clean,
    And poison pasture, quick and green,
    And storm sky, bright and bare;
    Where sewers flow with milk, and meat
    Is carved up for the fire to eat,
    And children suffocate in God’s fresh air.
    From A Local Habitation

    Windscale was renamed Sellafield in the hope that people would forget. This is why people like Tristan annoy me. The Sellafield area has one of the highest rates of childhood leukemia in the country. All other areas around nuclear plants have similar medical anomalies. When disasters occur, as with Chernobyl and Fukushima, the populace quickly forgets.

    What is most disturbing about the latest proposed nuclear power plant is that it is going, if it goes ahead, be in the hands of the private sector, whose main motivation is profit. The private sector can’t even find and fix leaks in the various boards’ water systems, and has no incentive to try. The private sector knows that it can keep reaping the profits until something goes badly wrong. Then the public sector can pick up the bill. And if a few thousand people have their lives disrupted what do they care?

  79. A sutainable energy supply is essential for human survival – even insulation for houses can only be made by using energy. To cope with global warming we need to stop burning carbon whether from coal, oil or gas.
    The best book on the subject is ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’ by David MacKay. The book presents an unbiased assessment of what is possible and what is impossible. Before ruling out nuclear energy please read it.

  80. Nuclear is expensive, so should we not look at every other option first? Because the legacy already left in highly active waste, by the sound of our elected speed daters, will only grow in size.

    What of the precautionary principle when benign latent energy is coming out of every pore of this island, whether its the wave lift, wind, sea currents.

    Who has ever asked why no progress had been made with these alternative energy sources? why they have come to nothing?

    Well the 1950’s innovative car firm called Borgward gives us a hint. Then the first manufacturer who used zink to coat its chassis, with the foresight to put grease nipples on moving parts, some 69 of them, to increase the cars longevity, they went bust.

    Why? because the other large manufacturers in Germany went to the banks and threatened to pull their business out if they provided any further development loans to this manufacturer.

    So if the fossil fuel merchants and nuclear bullies have acted in such competitive manner as to undermine the emerging technologies, what chance that we will ever see their full potential?

    BTW I would not regard Chris Busby’s work as a bible, but he points to low level radiation as being as dangerous to our cell structure as high radiation, whether this is correct I can’t say, not my field of expertise.

  81. Let us not forget Mordechai

    18 years in prison, some of those in a windowless cell in solitary confinement, and and still trapped 8 years after ‘release’.

    http://www.vanunu.com/

    and in several parts

    Dimona Nuclear Power Plant Part 1 (The Hidden Israeli Truth) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAhfefKQ_3w

  82. It’s the starry-eyed nuclear advocates who’re being over-emotional, almost immediately terms such as irrational and hysterical were hurled around with abandon at anyone looking at the nuclear issue, without the rose-tint lenses and who’ve been resistant to endless ‘atoms for peace’ professional PR advocacy directed at the public for decades. Global warming cannot be arrested by what we do hereafter, the damage is done, 200-300 years of near zero carbon emissions -an impossibility, would be required before any improvement could begin, too little, too late. Human life on this planet so far has just been the instant of crossing the finishing line at the end of a geological marathon. Human life in some form in many parts of the world could survive the extreme climate effects expected, but will not, cannot survive any further addition to our cumulative radioactive dose. This little island is tiny and shrinking, there is just no possibility of survival here if existing nuclear facilities, waste pools and more are not shutdown and made safe while we still have the resources, skills and ability to start the clean up. Failure to make safe now,the burgeoning legacy we’ve had dumped literally on us by past short-term escapism of the nuclear nightmare – an example being Sellafield, no mere plant, the site covers 74 square miles of forever uninhabitable once beautiful and pure Cumbrian and Lake District coast – and hundreds more sites are indeed disaster areas, but also crime scenes, the crime is the genocide of Britain and the British people, by past and present corrupt politicians, seeking easy answers, personal gain and vainglorious fleeting militaristic power.

    Think only of yourselves, is the pro-nuclear mantra.

  83. Cryptonym, “irrational” means “out of proportion”. These, from you, are way out of proportion:

    “Human life in some form in many parts of the world could survive the extreme climate effects expected, but will not, cannot survive any further addition to our cumulative radioactive dose.”
    […]
    “…the crime is the genocide of Britain and the British people…”

    If you don’t want to be referred to as irrational, don’t publish things that are way out of proportion.

  84. resident dissident

    20 Mar, 2013 - 10:54 am

    @Habba

    ““Is he bidding to be the new LD leader and are his loyalties to this country or to Israel, or both, one asks?”

    What a curious second question. What (and what mindset) could be behind it, one asks?”

    In my experience this is usually code for suggesting that someone is Jewish or has Jewish relatives.

  85. These, from John Goss and Nevermind, are good comments:

    “The private sector knows that it can keep reaping the profits until something goes badly wrong. Then the public sector can pick up the bill. And if a few thousand people have their lives disrupted what do they care?”

    Yes, the principle of operation of fake free markets: privatise the profits, and displace costs onto the public. Public subsidy of nuclear power includes provision of security, management of nuclear “waste”, insurance, and undertaking the responsibility of cleaning up after disasters such as Fukushima.

    “So if the fossil fuel merchants and nuclear bullies have acted in such competitive manner as to undermine the emerging technologies, what chance that we will ever see their full potential?”

    Yes, funding for development of renewable energy generation should have started decades earlier, in which case we wouldn’t be in the mess that we are. But “nuclear bullies” also act against sectors within the nuclear industry itself; just look at what happened to Weinberg (my comment at 3:12 am).

    A large proportion of the public have been opposing nuclear power for decades, and I don’t blame them. Nuclear power was tightly bound to plutonium productions for weapons (less so now that there’s such a huge stock of unwanted plutonium), shrouded in the same secrecy, immersed in the same security, and the public have been subject to draconian government abuses of the process of obtaining planning permission. The public were right to object:

    http://www.monbiot.com/2012/10/09/the-heart-of-the-matter/

    Public opposition increases the cost of nuclear power stations. The nuclear industry is probably delighted about this. Power station planning and construction repeatedly go way over budget, so the companies, including their legal departments, end up getting much of that extra money. Failing to build most of the proposed nuclear power stations has probably proven far more profitable than actually building them and selling electricity.

    What if Molten Salt Reactor development had received similar funding to solid uranium / water cooled reactor designs, as a strictly civilian application with proper transparent accountability? If MSRs had been built and tested, and lived up to Weinberg’s expectations of efficiency, simplicity and safety, the public would now have a genuine choice between various ways of running a nuclear power industry.

  86. Cryptonym, 10:21 am:

    “This little island is tiny and shrinking, there is just no possibility of survival here if existing nuclear facilities, waste pools and more are not shut down and made safe while we still have the resources, skills and ability to start the clean up.”

    I disagree that there is “just no possibility of survival here”; you grossly exaggerate the dangers from nuclear contamination, and life is far more robust than you seem to think.

    However, I entirely agree that climate change puts human civilisation at risk, and best efforts should be made as soon as possible to clean up existing nuclear sites, as you say, “while we still have the resources, skills and ability”.

    But one big thing is missing from our abilities; we have no way of destroying the “waste” that comes from “spent” nuclear fuel. Burying it seems utterly irresponsible, because if it doesn’t prove safe and the toxins start getting back into the environment, the source has been placed beyond our reach.

    It has become our moral duty to destroy the nuclear “waste” that has already been produced, and the only method known at present is to put it in a reactor and let it cook until it really has yielded up all its energy rather than just 1.5% of it. Molten salt reactors seem to be capable of this task, but since no one has built one for nearly half a century, no one really knows.

  87. Mary, thanks for your link:

    2http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21505271

    The article suggests turning plutonium into Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel rods, to be used in solid-fuelled reactors. This approach suffers from a “law of diminishing returns”. The MOX rods suffer from the same problem as rods from freshly enriched uranium, that only a small proportion of the energy can be extracted. Then the rods must be withdrawn from the reactor and sent for reprocessing. I don’t know how much of the U238 in those rods will have been converted into yet more plutonium while the rods were in the reactor, but it seems inevitable that there will be quite a lot.

    The problem with doing nuclear reactions using solid fuel is that the reaction products are formed already trapped in the solid structure. They have to be removed because they degrade the nuclear reaction, so to remove them, the rods must be withdrawn and the fuel reprocessed. Reprocessing involves converting the fuel into fluoride salts, but fluoride salts, when melted, are exactly what you need to fuel (you guessed it) a molten salt reactor.

    This is why I think that liquid fuel is a much better approach. Why bother repeatedly converting between solid uranium oxide fuel and uranium fluoride for reprocessing, when melted uranium fluoride is the fuel for a safer, more efficient type of reactor than those currently in use? I may be over-cynical here, but it seems like the nuclear industry is behaving like a dishonest taxi driver, taking ignorant tourists by routes three times as long as necessary on quiet nights just to increase the fare.

  88. Resident Dissident. No I do not think Davey is Jewish and nor was I suggesting it nor care. Stop your slurs. The Friends of Israel have split loyalties and allegiance.

    btw Have you looked at that film about Dimona made in 2003 by Olenka Frankiel? Brilliant investigative journalism. See the chilling and cold eyed Peres dismissing her like trash when she asks some penetrating questions. Hear that neutron bombs and other weapons are/were made at Dimona. Hear about the cover up of accidents at Dimona and the dumping of waste and the lack of concern for those who worked there who were sick. They are probably dead by now. Open your eyes and ears to see and hear.

  89. I should not worry about the Nuclear power stations ,they are redundant and will not see the light of day.
    The new energy revolution has been under way for some time now,it is being crowd funded and is open source.
    LENR is the way to go, it runs on Nichol powder and Hydrogen .It means people can have stand alone energy systems
    which will be independent from the monopoly of the energy companies ,and will in the end cease to exist.
    Here is a example of one such crowd funded LENR research .http://www.quantumheat.org/

  90. The Earth isnt much of reactor, only a few watts per square meter are theorised to come from beneath the ground compared to a 150 or so from the sun (average day&night). And the core is slowly cooling, so the million tons of earth for every square meter of surface, actually makes a remarkably low amount of heat.

    That image of a naturally radioactive earth is a PR fairytale, it is hardly radioactive at all, radioactivity is anyway as natural as cancer, in the realest sense.

    As human potential is almost unlimited, it is possible to dream of safe nuclear power, as it is possible to dream of peaceful supportive economics. But safe nuclear is never going to come first, its not on the books to be built.

    We might convince an idea of safe nuclear power, faithful that it is possible, spread the likelyhood of contamination thinly enough across the world to appear as insignificant in assessment charts…

    Even on the measure of non-radioactive toxic chemistry, nuclear power plants are no doubt some of the most worst or most difficult to build and maintain without causing the nastiest kinds of pollution.

    And the reaching arguments for safe nuclear power, just talk over the cleanest most straightforward possibilities. Wind, Tide and Solar.

    Wind, Tide and Solar. No high security requirement, no leaps of faith, no intentional and unintentional uninhabitable zones, no nearby curious childhood leukemia rates to shrug off, etc.. Just known and plentiful self renewing clean reserves, all around us, to get on with harnessing and keeping fertile and clean.

    Build majestic reservoirs, green the deserts, decorate the hills, develope estuaries and oceans. The only threat from these things are of clumsy aesthetics and the possibly of some unnecessary incompetent damage along the way. But better that happen (as it will) with a few wrong windmills and planes of mirrors, than more and more Chernobyls and Fukushimas.

  91. Thanks Clark for that and for all your valued info. Good to see you back.

    I heard a radio programme in which some old chap was talking about his longstanding campaign for the reuse of plutonium and he seemed convinced it was a viable process. I cannot now remember his name. The programme was either in the Material World or Costing the Earth series.

    This is an item from Material World on nuclear waste storage following Cumbria CC’s decision to reject a £12bn!! underground store. I believe Romney Marshes was another suggestion. The Mad Men cometh!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-21253673

    More on MOX http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/03/sellafield-mox-plant-close

    ~~~

    Caroline Lucas has just said her piece on Hinkley Point again in a question to Cameron who replied…right decision…no worries…everything in the garden is rosy..etc etc/

    Now Gideon is on his feet announcing his further austerity measures. He is shouting. Useless. Should have stuck to towel folding at Selfridges.

  92. Nuke processing also demands lots and lots of security and authorities to protect it doesnt it. Ideal for power freaks.

  93. I linked to Adam Ingram earlier and Mk 77 weaponry. I could not sleep. Last night I had watched a film about what happened in Fallujah.

    This is more on him. Tags – P Andrew, Lord Trefgarne, Thatcher’s defence procurement minister, BP and BAE and of course Bliar gets a mention.

    Bomber release ‘will lead to contracts’
    24 August 2009

    Now that the convicted Lockerbie bomber, Libyan Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, has been freed, new defence contracts should begin to come into the UK, according to some observers.

    Following years of sanctions, Libya’s defence equipment is said to be out of date and in need of major upgrades. One company being named as a potential beneficiary of this is BAE Systems, who Robin Cook once famously said had “the key to the garden door at Number 10”.

    Some reports are claiming that MBDA Missile Systems, partly owned by BAE, recently signed a contract to supply Libya with anti-tank missiles. The former chief operating officer of MBDA Guy Griffiths went to Libya with Tony Blair in 2007.

    We asked BAE to comment on this story but they didn’t come back to us.

    Other recent developments include Prince Andrew co-hosting an event with the chairman of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio in June at St James’ Palace, and a delegation to Tripoli in May led by The Libyan British Business Council, whose chairman is Lord Trefgarne, Margaret Thatcher’s former defence procurement minister.

    It has also been revealed that Adam Ingram, who stepped down from his post of armed forces minister in 2007, is paid up to £25,000 a year from Argus Libya UK LLP, a company that specialises in seeking out commercial opportunities in Libya. Back In 2006, the Defence Export Services Organisation, which deals with arms exports at the Ministry of Defence, opened an office in Libya.

    Another company being named among potential beneficiaries of the improved relations between Libya and the UK is BP, which recently won a £900m contract to drill wells in the Gulf of Sirte and Ghadames basins.

    http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=10487

  94. Dr Adam Lucas from the University of Wollongong –

    “Doubling the current nuclear capacity across the world by 2035 would mean building more than 600 new plants, but would only result in a 6.5% reduction in CO2 emissions on 1990 rates by that date. Tripling the current worldwide capacity by 2050 means building more than a thousand new plants, and would only reduce atmospheric CO2 loads by 12% to 20% on 1990 levels.”

    “France is often held up as a model for nuclear energy development, as almost 80% of its electricity is generated from 59 nuclear power plants. But the reliability of its large-scale nuclear program has come under pressure from climate change. In the summer of 2003, French nuclear plants were unable to operate at design capacity due to a lack of cooling water, which contributed to major blackouts in continental Europe.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/nuclear-energy-a-panacea-for-climate-change/3049300#transcript

    . . . .

    Provided that they don’t consume water, there still might be a strong case for micro MSR type plants owned and operated by a government energy utility. At least they could be deployed faster than those ridiculously large behemoths that run over budget and time.

  95. Water and energy supplies should be considered together. This is a link that comes from a site posted some time ago by Clark.

    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/10/the-energy-water-nexus/#more-1242

  96. Crab, I’m in favour of developing renewable energy generation, but what do we do with the existing “spent” nuclear fuel, and the 112 tonnes (in just the UK) of existing plutonium? For decades, the establishment has recommended burying it, but despite tens of billions spent, has not found a single suitable site. I wouldn’t trust any site to safely retain these radiotoxic materials for hundreds of thousands of years in any case.

    The only way of getting rid of these actinides is to put them in a reactor and fission them. Since we really should do that anyway, we may as well have electricity as a by-product.

  97. Hi Clark,
    I dont disagree with he logic, but i think it is best described as “easier said than done”

    I recommend encasing/burying it for a few hundred years at least, and that can be done a hell of a lot easier than Egyptians building a pyramid.
    Choose a site and build a large structure, store it in the center. Eventually we will have the technology, and more importantly the integrity to put it to safe use.

    We are really really short on integrity at the moment, getting on with some clean honest industry is part of recovering some. Spinning and selling the next great hazardous klondike is what a certain kind of industrialists do, the kind who i least trust process hazardous waste.

    Campaign for safe sensible futuristic nuclear and we’ll get more industrial nuclear. There is no real doubt. Maybe after a revolution of sorts, some safe distance afterward. We cant lead a clean energy revolution with a nextgen on the science and culture of nuclear power. Nuclear power should never have developed been beyond limited scientific experiments. But we know why it was. The cultural conditions have not improved. Everyone campaign for safe, least exclusive, technologies. Radioactive processing and power generation is for better days and ways than these. Put it away i say.

  98. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    20 Mar, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    @ Mary, who wrote :

    “Resident Dissident. No I do not think Davey is Jewish and nor was I suggesting it nor care. Stop your slurs.”.

    OK, now we’be established that you’re not anti-Jewish could you please give us a concrete example or two of policies put forward by Ed Davey which could indicate that his loyalties lie with Israel rather with the UK as you suggested might be the case (cf. your post at 18h27 yesterday).

    Thank you very much, Mary.

  99. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    20 Mar, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    @ Mary at 09h31, who opines :

    “Obama arrives in Israel on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war to plan more war against Syria and Iran at the Zionists’ bidding.”

    The bit about “to plan more war” has aroused my curiosity. What is the basis for that rather serious charge?

    Thank you.

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