Musings on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century

The last couple of weeks have given me a Christmas break from the normal routine of work, work, and more work. The mental pause has allowed me to reflect on nuclear power and wonder if I will ever see it flourish? There are many reasons why it is not doing so now and I could list them if I had the time or the inclination, but it mostly boils down to the hot and cold warriors wanting every atom of U235 for bomb making and the entrenched fossil fuel purveyors and their paid stooges in Congress.

Be that as it may, a million eV is still more than one eV and no amount of lying, exaggeration, distortion, obfuscation, fear mongering, etc. can change that, so I still think that nuclear power is the future. But, when?

I don’t expect this website to convert the whole of California to my way of thinking before we have a nuclear renaissance. Actually, I don’t expect to convert any one in California. I’ve pondered about that too. I suspect that there are those in CA that want everything to be more expensive in the CA so that fewer people come and fewer still stay. Getting rid of base load nuclear power is one way to achieve that, while funneling money to those entrenched fossil fuel interests.

I don’t claim to have a crystal ball on what needs to be done to bring about the nuclear renaissance, I only have a few ideas that I believe will help. I feel slightly motivated as I write this in the evening before I go back to work after my two week break. I like lists and so here it goes:

  1. Move your company to Canada where there is legislation that supports licensing of new reactor designs
  2. Move to other off shore locations
  3. Start a massive and expensive lobbying campaign for new US laws that support licensing of new reactor designs. (This reminds me of what Lew Rockwell once said, “Political victories are hard won and easily reversed.” Needless to say, I don’t favor this one.)
  4. Develop your new reactor design under the authority of the US Army, so the NRC doesn’t have a say in what you do. (This is the path chosen by Flibe.)
  5. Pray for the feddle gummint to default on its financial obligations. Then when they aren’t looking, build your new reactor. Give the electrical power at cut rates to some big local cities to get them in your good graces. This should buy their support if Uncle Sam comes calling.
  6. Ask Barrack to sign an executive order stating that licenses are not needed for experimental reactors, but are under the auspices of the DOE and the national labs.
  7. Lobby your congressperson to defund the NRC and turn the regulations of nuclear over to the states.
  8. Have Texas pave the way for the rest of us by trying number 7.
  9. Have a drug cartel in Mexico build a nuclear power plant in Tijuana and sell the power at loan shark rates to the Californians. (Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon take note.)
  10. Vote California out of the union and then stage a legislative takeover of the NRC. (I know, I’m a hater, or so I’m told. I really don’t have anything against CA other than scorn for shutting down a $13 billion asset just because they don’t like nuklear.)
  11. Have Congress pass a simple law (an oxymoron, I know) that says the NRC “must issue” a license after filing out a one page application, similar to concealed carry permits.
  12. Defund the NRC, EPA, and DOE. Heaven knows we could use the money elsewhere.
  13. Do nothing and wait for gasoline to someday hit $20 per gallon. Maybe then, Americans will accept nuclear power at 4 cents per kWh.
  14. Get rid of FERC (defund) and let other political entities (cities, towns, counties, etc. contract with providers of nuclear power directly on their own terms)
  15. Regulatory arbitrage similar to what Elon Musk is doing with his “Gigafactory”.

I know, some of these ideas are a bit tongue in cheek (or outright offensive), but progress is made (sometimes) by thinking outside the box.

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