Here follows some news and comments on the energy front that I consider interesting:
There are currently 71 nuclear reactors being built around the world: 29 in China, 11 in Russia, seven in India, five in the United States, and one or two each in several other countries. This means that the accident at Fukushima two years ago evidently has had no major impact on the construction of new reactors, which should be a great disappointment to our anti-nukers, who keep predicting the imminent end of nuclear power. Almost 20,000 people died from the tsunami but nobody from the radiation release, and probably never will either, as a WHO report has stated. Some of the new reactors are quite powerful, notably one each in Finland and France, producing 1,600 megawatts each. Compare this to Vermont Yankee’s puny 600 MW. And this our anti-nukers and politicians want to close at any cost, spending taxpayer money on endless litigation.
The favorite argument is that one cannot trust Entergy. But aren’t their nuclear operations constantly being monitored by the NRC? Who checks on the former? Nobody, as far as I know, I may be old and old-fashioned, but I prefer technical expertise over ideological convictions. It is thus clear that nuclear power is here to stay. In contrast to Vermont, many countries are thus seriously doing something to combat global warming, and at the same time bring the benefits of electrification to their peoples. In country after country this has been shown to be of particular importance for women’s education and liberation. This has in turn led to dramatically lowered birthrates.
May I suggest that the demonstrators at the gates of Vermont Yankee move their activities to some Chinese nuclear construction site. Nowadays I don’t believe they have to fear being deported to a re-education camp among the rice paddies in some faraway province.
So we seem to be stuck with the dead-end technologies of wind and solar, which are not only terribly inefficient but also quite dirty compared to hydro and nuclear. And this at a time when several exciting developments are taking place, like the mini-nuke, the barge-mounted small plant, and not to forget Bill Gates’ latest project, the reactor that burns spent nuclear fuel, thus helping to solve the waste problem.
Wouldn’t it have been nice, if the hundreds of millions he is investing had gone to Vermont instead of China. After all, thanks to VY, there is a lot of technical expertise here, which could form the basis for a research facility.
Maybe this could also help stem the continuing exodus of young people from our state.