Record summer heat is bringing fire danger to nuclear stations in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s bad enough, and already is placing pressure on precious water supplies, as near Chernobyl, and in California, fire-fighting goes on.
Shortage of water means that uranium and nuclear facilities are taking much needed water away from agriculture and town supplies. In South Australia, BHP’s massive Olympic Dam uranium mine is the biggest water guzzler in the State.
Extremely hot weather means that rivers and marine areas risk heat pollution from nuclear cooling water. When this happens, nuclear reactors must close down.
China, for example, with its plan for inland nuclear reactors, is faced with this problem.
But China also shares with other nuclear countries,the climate change problem of its many reactors located on the coast. That’s the threatening problem of rising sea levels, storm surges, typhoons, even tsunamis.
We must admire the gall, and the duplicity, of the nuclear lobby
On the one hand, just recently – they’re making a big fuss about how serious climate change is – because hey presto! – they claim (falsely) that nuclear power can solve the problem of climate change – and save the world!
On the other hand – not a peep out of the nuclear lobby, about how badly climate change already is, and will, more and more, do damage to nuclear facilities, and make them ever more expensive.
It’s no surprise that the nuclear lobby is going all out at the moment to convince the world that ionising radiation is not dangerous – indeed , that it is good for human heath.
Because – when there’s a climate disaster – wildfire, flooding, storm surges – affected nuclear facilities might release ionising radiation into the air, the water, the food chain.
No other technology carries that particular threat. So – despite the evidence from Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the nuclear lobby pretends that the risk of ionising radiation into the ecosphere is nothing special. But it is. Only nuclear fission and its waste products carry that danger.
The nuclear power lobby and the fossil fuel lobby spend $billions in publicising their industries and in combatting established information on nuclear dangers and on global warming. This is done through “front groups” such as (for pro nuclear) the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition., (for climate denial) American Enterprise Institute.
It’s getting more difficult to spot these propagandists, because increasingly, they are using sophisticated Internet techniques. These have been beautifully explained in How to spot an astroturfer or an online fake -some of the organisations and techniques are summarised in the sidebar at right.
However, the words alone can help you to spot a fake. Look out for these two types of language:
BIG WORDS – in long complicated sentences – guaranteed to confuse the ordinary reader. The aim is to make you think that the writer is much smarter than you, and his opinion must be right. Amongst the big words, some quack science ones – like hormesis, adaptive radiation, and radiophobia Also,you are referred, by links, to obscure articles in even more complicated language.
SMALL WORDS and CLICHES – short positive ones, with no backup information, e.g. “clean -green-safe-cheap nuclear power”. Or negative cliches e.g. “hysterical- paranoid- emotional – irrational – delusional – extremists –alarmist – scare mongerer” applied to anti nuclear people, or those who want action on climate change.
- They say nuclear cycle – when it’s really a nuclear chain (around the global neck)
- They talk generally of “radiation” – as relatively harmless stuff. They don’t distinguish between visible light waves, radio waves, ultraviolet radiation, electromagnetic radiation, and ionising radiation. Ionising radiation is the bad stuff – from nuclear activities.
- They don’t say “radioactive trash“, even avoid saying “wastes”. They want us to see it as a “resource”.
They also use normal words as pejoratives, for example – labelling critics as “emotional”. Yet on reflection, doesn’t it seem reasonable to be emotional about the effects of ionising radiation on people – cancers, birth defects – and on the environment – toxic lakes, polluted water supplies…?
And they coin words that insult health experts who warn on the risks of ionising radiation. They say have “radiophobia”. (Nuclear critic Brett Stokes has replied with a word to describe the condition that the nuclear lobby has “radophilia“)
Pro thorium nuclear shills tweet endlessly about bananas, making them out to be more hazardous than the radioactive products of nuclear fission, such as Cesium 137. But the potassium-40 in our bodies remains constant, no matter how many bananas we eat. The body’s process of homeostasis simply gets rid of any excess. Not so with the far more radioactive cesium 137, and other nuclear fission isotopes, that build up in our bodies.
Even the environmental movement becomes unconsciously seduced into using the terms that the nuclear industry finds convenient for greenwashing and whitewashing its toxic product.
For example, they talk of : the nuclear fuel cycle.
It’s not a cycle – it’s a chain, and a chain around the global neck, the nuclear fuel chain.
This terminology is part of their whole strategy to resuscitate their industry . They would have us believe that the nuclear fuel chain ends with a resource – not with a waste , which it really is – radioactive trash .
- Their favourite is, of course, jargon designed to make the ordinary pedestrian decide that it’s all too hard to have an opinion.
- Then there are all the words used to confuse people.
- And still, even in 2015, the lobby finds it effective to use words to belittle their critics -the good old “emotional” and “hysterical”
The global nuclear lobby is in a panic. They know what they don’t want you to know – that, based on the historical record, it’s likely that a serious nuclear accident will occur within the next 25 years. It could be tomorrow.
So – the captains of the nuclear industry conclude – “We must LOCK IN contracts to sell new reactors – ASAP“
The strategy is not working. The countries with experience in nuclear power now know that – never mind the dangers – it’s UNAFFORDABLE. USA, France, UK all in a tizzy because of that. No-one will invest in this financially toxic industry. And the new gee-whiz reactors don’t actually exist.
Even Russia, China, Japan – all locked in to some degree to tax-payer funded nukes – are still having trouble – due also to public opposition, and to the annoying success of those darned solar panels and wind turbines.
The battle for nuclear industry survival continues, as the nuclear countries squabble amongst themselves, to sell reactors:
- appealing to countries that just might like to have nuclear weapons later on,
- appealing to anxiety about climate change, (with nuclear as its mythical cure),
- appealing to greed – promising ignoramuses like some South Australians that they can make $squillions from new nuclear reactors (that mythically eat up all the wastes)
- appealing to those worried about wastes – (we can pass this problem , and its costs, over to our grandchildren)
The “front end”, the “central” and the “back end” The nuclear lobby has successfully confined discussion of nuclear power costs to the “central” cost of building nuclear reactors. Even anti-nuclear activists concentrate on this.
But – what about the Hidden Costs? – at the “Front end” and the “Back end”
THE VERY SECRET COSTS OF NUCLEAR POWER
Well it is impossible for anyone to estimate the real costs of nuclear power, as only a narrow range of costs are discussed, even where the nuclear industry is supposedly privately owned.
Forget health, environment, safety, future generations, weapons proliferation – today’s killer of the nuclear industry is that good old reliable thing – the exorbitant MONEY that is required
Are “developing” countries really buying the nuclear lobby’s advertising drivel? Is China really on a nuclear build spree? Is Australia really going to “embrace” the nuclear fuel chain and become the planet’s nuclear toilet?
The nuclear lobby , like everyone else, knows that the game is over as soon as the next radioactive catastrophe occurs. That’s predicted as 50% probability before 2050. It could be this week. That’s a big reason why the nuclear lobby is in such a panic to lock in contracts to buy its toxic products – while the going’s good.
Only tax-payers will fund nuclear facilities, despite the drivel from democracies about private enterprise. Russia, China are more honest about it – the State owns the nuclear companies. And they’re all so keen to export the technology to other countries. Heck! Russia even pays for them to buy the stuff.
The nuke industry is in trouble – In USA the nuclear industry is a thing of the past. Investors flee Nordic nuclear company Vattenfall. Finland pulls out of building Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor. AREVA teeters on bankruptcy.
The world is still in the grip of the philosophy of endless growth, endless consumption of material “goods” and energy. Along with that goes the “throwaway mentality.
The result – not just the disappearance of precious resources – water, land , biodiversity – but also the dirty pollution of the ecosphere with wastes. One of the worst is radioactive wastes. (Don’t be caught by the nuclear lobby lie about the’nuclear fuel cycle’ – which is really a chain leading to toxic wastes needing burial)
However, environmentalists must wake up to the fact that nearly all of our advanced technology requires “rare earths” – cerium, 15 lanthanoid elements and one or both of the elements yttrium and scandium. Thorium is often classed with them. Mining these elements results in highly toxic radioactive tailings.
If we’re serious about not creating radioactive wastes disasters, such as the notorious ones in Malaysia and China then the answer must be – DESIGN – designing wind turbines, cell phones, lap-tops etc – in a such a way that the rare metals can be easily retrieved and used again.
“The situation clearly calls for international policy initiatives to minimize the seemingly bizarre situation of spending large amounts of technology, time, energy and money to acquire scarce metals from the mines and then throwing them away after a single use.”
Take heart – all who seek clean energy – the nuclear industry is in a right mess!
Apart from the chaotic state of nuclear economics, and of security, weapons proliferation, public opposition, desperate marketing, frantic agonising over waste disposal , as well as the drive for public amnesia about Chernobyl and Fukushima – apart from all that – the nuclear lobby are all wrangling among themselves.
There’s an unseemly public frenzy from all the different reactor corporations to market their respective products. This includes marketing the existing old reactors – to continue running them for many decades, despite their deterioration,- because this is much more profitable than getting new ones. And – also – postpones for future generations the massive costs of dealing with the reactors’ radioactive corpses.
Then there’s the drive to sell little reactors, and Thorium reactors – an absolute nightmare of security concerns in these. And of course, the uranium industry won’t like this.
It’s quite likely that in trying to outdo each other, the nuclear industry will kill off itself faster than any anti nuclear campaigns. AREVA is already offering reactors for sale below their cost price.
1. Gloom overlies the nuclear lobby, fear of this question: the next nuclear catastrophe. Not IF it will happen, but WHEN and WHERE?
2. Aging, dangerous nuclear reactors that are too costly to make safe. .
3. “New nuclear” is a joke. The nuclear lobby will boast of so many “planned”, “proposed” reactors. But new ones actually being built? – just two and a half duds.
4 Discord and dissension in the nuclear camp. Nuclear countries cannot afford new reactors, so desperately compete to sell them to other countries.
Meanwhile nuclear companies battle it out to market their particular new gee-whiz nuclear reactor version.
5. Climate change affects nuclear reactors.
6. Nuclear weapons now out-dated. 21st Century conflict is all about smaller, targeted
weapons, like the USA’s assassination drones. Pride and status are now the only motives for having nuclear weapons.
7. Decline in electricity use
8 Renewable energy, both centralised and small scale, is fast being developed, and widely popular (unlike nuclear).
9. Danger – whatever kind of nuclear facility – there is always the danger of accident or terrorism – they are a target for terrorists.
10 Public opinion. Worldwide – people just don’t like nuclear power.
The decline of the nuclear industry poses huge challenges – nuclear experts need not fear unemployment.
RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL. If all nuclear reactors stopped today, and all nuclear weapons were “turned off”, the world would still be left with a massive unsolved problem of disposing of the wastes.
BURYING THE CORPSES of nuclear reactors – (they prefer that nice word “decommissioning”) – a huge part of the unsolved waste problem.
Renewable energy is taking over – it is supposed to be “clean and green”. And digital communications are also taking over the world.
But at present, both of these require “rare earths”
RARE EARTHS On the one hand, these play a part in the renewable energy future, for example in making wind turbines, and in electric car batteries. Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements ( yttrium and the 15 lanthanide elements (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium) Rare earth metals and alloys that contain them are used in many devices that people use every day such as: computer memory, DVD’s, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, car catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting and much more. http://geology.com/articles/rare-earth-elements/
On the other hand, – the downside of rare earths – in the mining and processing of these rare earth minerals, radioactive wastes are produced.
The nuclear lobby is telling one of its finest whoppers – that there really is a “nuclear fuel cycle” – that toxic radioactive wastes can be turned into lucrative nuclear fuel – for a never ending glorious “cycle”
Not true. It is truly a Nuclear Fuel Chain – that the lobby hopes to put around Australians’ necks. The new geewhiz (not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), including the Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) – all produce highly toxic wastes that have to be buried. Reprocessing is NOT a “cycle”
SECOND – Rare Earths involve highly radioactive wastes – and require a big switch in DESIGN – so that they can be recycled.
Environmentalists must wake up to this. There must be a paradigm shift from the thinking, ) – from “dig it up – use it – throw it away” – to DESIGN.
The modern technologies that we value – from wind turbines to mobile phones must be redesigned, so that their rare earths can be easily retrieved and re-used.
Otherwise the planet will be further plagued by radioactive wastes from rare earths.
We need an energy system that can fight climate change, based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Nuclear power already delivers less energy globally than renewable energy, and the share will continue to decrease in the coming years.
Despite what the nuclear industry tells us, building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade. Perhaps most significantly, it will squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions. (Briefing: Climate change – Nuclear not the answer.)……
there is nothing “peaceful” about all things nuclear. More than half a century after Eisenhower’s speech the planet is left with the legacy of nuclear waste. This legacy is beginning to be recognised for what it truly is.
Things are moving slowly in the right direction. In November 2000 the world recognised nuclear power as a dirty, dangerous and unnecessary technology by refusing to give it greenhouse gas credits during the UN Climate Change talks in The Hague. Nuclear power was dealt a further blow when a UN Sustainable Development Conference refused to label nuclear a sustainable technology in April 2001….http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/nuclear/
The worldwide nuclear mafia now faces the rising economic success of 21st Century renewable energy technologies, alongside the plummeting economic failure of nuclear energy.
The corporate power system that dominates the world economy, and world politics still promotes nuclear power and nuclear weapons – but they know they are up against the unaffordable financial costs. Money is what matters to them.
But money is not the whole story. The nuclear lobby consists of relatively few individuals – middle aged (mainly white) men, in business suits, in love with their own careers and monetary gain.
They don’t know who they’re up against – people in their millions who oppose the nuclear industry- people who “don’t matter” – women, young people, poor people, indigenous people
These millions include the poorly educated, and the highly educated, people of all colours, languages and religions -but all having respect for their precious land and water, and for the future of the world’s children. They matter, and they will prevail.
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual