Nuclear Fear Nevada Style

According to Wikipedia, 2/3 of Nevadans opposed the now canceled Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. I guess that the fear of ionizing radiation (to be vitrified, buried in a mountain, and 100’s of miles away) and the damage people think it will cause is much worse than the actual damage caused by actual legal gambling and prostitution. Whoa, who woulda thought such a thing?

Maybe someday I will have time to research, publish, and connect all the dots that link anti-nuclear Senator Harry Reid (Nev) to the NRC, where he picked two successive NRC chairmen, Greg Jaczko and Allison Macfarlane. It could be a like a spy novel, except true.

As for the repository, it is not needed. There are other ways to deal with the “waste”. Kirk Sorensen at Flibe Energy has some significant and important ideas for the “waste”.



BTW, did I mention that Yucca Mountain is on the Nevada Nuclear Test site where 928 atomic bombs were tested, including 100 above ground?

Here are some pics from Wikipedia and Google Earth:

Nevada Test Range

Yucca mountain

Sedan crater Note: The pockmarks are subsidence craters from underground tests of nuclear weapons.

Just to be clear this is what I am saying. Fear of nuclear is irrational; not based on facts. Why the fear and opposition to nuclear waste from peaceful, commercial, nuclear power, but no fear from the almost 1000 nuclear bombs detonated in the same area, if nuclear waste remains dangerously radioactive for tens of thousands of years?

I am not saying that I want nuclear bombs to be tested again.

The Sierra Club Unmasked

Michael Shellenberger, a pro-nuclear environmentalist, recently gave a TEDx talk about nuclear fear. You can watch it here. In the talk he discusses the origins of nuclear fear and how the Sierra Club created this fear campaign, which was wildly successful at stopping the construction of dozens of nuclear plants in the 1970s.

I will let you decide for yourself if his argument for how nuclear fear will end is persuasive or not, but first, I will show some of the critical statements that reveal the history of the Sierra Club and their anti-human leanings.

Many people are unaware that the Sierra Club was at one time in the 1960s pro-nuclear and believed that it was necessary for conservation of the environment.

sierra1Then, in the early 70s, the Sierra Club, reversed its position and became and remains vehemently anti-nuclear.

To tell the story, let me start with my favorite moral midget, Amory Lovins, the caudillo of the Rocky Mountain Institute, who says we can power civilization with energy efficiency and renewables.

sierra5Amory claims to be a physicist, and thus would have to have known that we did discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy locked inside the nuclei of certain heavy metals. When I say we, I really mean Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn, and Fritz Strassmann, who discovered nuclear fission. Later Glen Seaborg and John Gofman (who later became an anti-nuclear crusader) discovered U233 and its ability to be efficiently bred from thorium. Seaborg called this a 50 quadrillion dollar discovery ($50,000,000,000,000,000). Amory calls this a disaster. That’s why I call him a moral midget.

The following quotes continue Amory’s misanthropy.

sierra4I find it interesting that anti-nuclear types now claim that nuclear was never cost competitive. Curious, then why did the Sierra Club need to embark on their fear campaign in the 1970s, when they explicitly stated that their fear campaign was intended to increase nuclear regulations and costs, if it was already non-competitive?

sierra3Note to Mr. Litton: Every evil tyrant in history has used your exact thinking, that the ends justify the means. I won’t mention names, but a little Austrian comes to mind.

sierra2Brower prefers scenic vistas to human beings. He eventually left the Sierra Club and founded an even more radical misanthropic, anti-nuclear organization, Friends of the Earth (FOE). Amory Lovins was the first employee of the organization, which was started with a $200,000 donation from Robert O Anderson, chairman of ARCO.

I always find it interesting that corporate haters like Brower are more than willing to take corporate money from corporate oil interests. Perhaps it was just a cosmic alignment of the stars. Brower gets his own FOE and Anderson gets a bulldog to take out his nuclear competitors. (This is just a supposition, but maybe Brower agreed to not oppose the Alaskan pipeline in exchange for the money to start FOE.? ARCO was the lead company in building the Alaskan pipeline.)

This post is already getting way too long, but some important characters in the fear campaign still need to be introduced, Jane Fondue and Moonbeam (Moonshine?) Jerry Brown.

(I have just barely scratched the surface of this history that involves many players and many angles. Ten graduate students in history could spend their lifetimes researching this.)

In short, Jane was friends with Jerry, who was governor of California.

sierra7Jerry was anti-nuclear.

sierra6The anti-nukes equated clean, peaceful nuclear power with nuclear weapons. Notice the mushroom cloud in the background.

sierra12Jane made a movie in 1979, The China Syndrome, that played on nuclear fears. It was released 12 days before the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island Nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and was eerily similar. How they were so prescient in making and releasing this film escapes human comprehension, unless it wasn’t an accident.

sierra11At the same time Moonshine, as governor of California, is opposing nuclear power, he is directing his bureaucracies to plan to build coal fired power plants.

sierra8Coal fired power plants lead to the death of many because of air pollution. Nuclear does not. (I prefer coal fired electricity and possible air pollution deaths in the future to freezing to death today. See my previous post about the praises of coal, oil, and gas. I further prefer molten salt reactors to coal fired plants.)

sierra9Moonshine helped close San Onofre nuclear power plant (NPP), which has increased emissions in California.

sierra13If Moonshine and others are successful in closing Diablo Canyon NPP, premature deaths could result from the air pollution caused by fossil fuel burning to replace the electricity produced by Diablo Canyon.

sierra10 I will end now, after briefly showing how the Sierra Club created a fear campaign to foment opposition to nuclear power and to increase regulations and costs on the nuclear industry.

Please comment on the end of the talk. Will love really overcome fear of nuclear?



Ending the ruinous addiction to oil

“Ending the ruinous addiction to oil”

That sounds like something I might say, but those are the words of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. His entire article can be found here.

I will use my regular format to discuss this article; Kennedy’s words are in block quotes, and my comments follow.

The CIA began its active meddling in Syria in 1949 — barely a year after the agency’s creation. Syrian patriots had declared war on the Nazis, expelled their Vichy French colonial rulers and crafted a fragile secularist democracy based on the American model. But in March 1949, Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Quwatli, hesitated to approve the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. In his book, Legacy of Ashes, CIA historian Tim Weiner recounts that in retaliation for Al-Quwatli’s lack of enthusiasm for the U.S. pipeline, the CIA engineered a coup replacing al-Quwatli with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, four and a half months into his regime.

Thus, the US has been meddling in foreign affairs in the Arab world for seven decades and for what? Oil, of course and an oil pipeline, specifically.  The CIA and Big Oil (I know, I am repeating myself) always follow the same playbook: Overthrow the existing ruler, who is not supporting Big Oil with a combination of propaganda, covert and overt force and put in place a stooge who does support Big Oil.

Fast forward to 2009:

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria. It is important to note that this was well before the Arab Spring-engendered uprising against Assad.

Thus, nothing has changed in 70 years. This is the legacy brought to the world by Big Oil and corrupt US foreign policy. What has been the cost of the most recent shenanigans in the Middle East?

The million refugees now flooding into Europe are refugees of a pipeline war and CIA blundering.

Let’s face it; what we call the “war on terror” is really just another oil war. We’ve squandered $6 trillion on three wars abroad and on constructing a national security warfare state at home since oilman Dick Cheney declared the “Long War” in 2001.

Remember, these are not my words, but the words of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

He ends with these words:

It’s time for Americans to turn America away from this new imperialism and back to the path of idealism and democracy. We should let the Arabs govern Arabia and turn our energies to the great endeavor of nation building at home. We need to begin this process, not by invading Syria, but by ending the ruinous addiction to oil that has warped U.S. foreign policy for half a century.

I doubt that I would agree with Kennedy’s ideas of nation building here at home, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the focus of Chain Dickey, but I do agree that we should mind our own business.

Kennedy is incorrect that it has only been half a century of oil intervention. By his own article, it is close to 70 years that the US has been meddling in Syria for oil on behalf of the Dulles Brothers and clients. I submit that it has not warped US foreign policy, but is the very quintessence of US foreign policy.

I promote nuclear energy because there is enough and to spare for the entire world. Since nuclear is a million times more energy dense than fossil fuels, no pipelines are needed, neither are oil tankers and neither is Chain Dickey.

Nuclear cuts to the heart of the global control of people and resources. Thus, it is no wonder that nuclear finds itself slandered from every quarter by those who stand to lose that global control