Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, June 19, 2008

  Mccain proposes 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030

As reported in the NYT, McCain just proposed that the US build 45 new nuclear power plants before 2030.

The article - and apparently McCain - failed to note that nearly all of the existing 109 nuclear power plants in the US will be past their design life by then. So - if we were a sane country and actually paid attention to what engineers and mechanics told us about hardware - we'd actually retire those 109, leaving us with a net deficit from where we stand today of 64 plants, which (stay with me here, I know that basic addition and subtraction are hard for the average politician or reporter) leaves us with more oil and coal dependence than what we have today.

I anticipate that we will run the existing plants past obsolescence until another accident inevitably occurs.

This reminds me of something of something McCain said during the debates earlier in this electoral season. he said:

"We have got to achieve energy independence, oil independence in this nation. I will make it a Manhattan Project, and we will in five years become oil independent."

This statement is not only absurd on its face, but the Manhattan project is the wrong metaphor. The Manhattan project spent billions of dollars, and labored for 5 years to produce two - count 'em - two bombs - that ultimately capped world war II. The aftermath and spin-offs from that research and development led to the first commercial nuclear power plants, but it took a very long time to ramp up, with the peak of construction in the late 60s.

I'd prefer a politician propose something more like the Liberty ship construction project, where, by constant refinement of the production techniques, Henry Kaiser and teams of engineers throughout the country cut the manufacturing time from 230 to only 42 days, over less than 3 years. That was just the time from start to finish - as ships were being laid down in parallel, by 1943 we rolled 3 new ships off the quay every day.

We need to get away from custom designs and into mass production.

Mass production used to be an American virtue. Perhaps it isn't anymore. Perhaps all we are capable of anymore is massive, wasteful, one-shot projects, full of sound and fury, accomplishing nothing. A few hundred handmade fighters here, a few dozen bombers there...

A mere 45 new nuclear power plants won't help.

About my only hope for this energy "debate" would be for Obama to propose a reasonable number of nuclear power plants, like, 1000... and to truly retain the American lifestyle, one with a high performance electric car in every garage, 10,000 might be the right number.

Some level of realism regarding our energy requirements is called for. I'm not expecting any until we are reduced to watching television by candlelight.

There are alternatives - like solar and wind - that would benefit also from a "Liberty Ship" approach. Right now, solar cell production is being impacted by chip manufacturing more than anything else. Although the silicon shortage is easing - demand outstrips supply. If the cost of supply were to drop from its present level, solar power would become far more competitive.

I note that any nation could (theoretically) get into the silicon manufacturing business. I wish more would try - after manufacturing, the biggest expense is transport - every nation, particularly those located near the equator, should have sufficient supplies of sand to start with. Creating solar cell grade silicon is less demanding than chip quality...

I do wish we could invent a machine that could be powered by a politician's promises, but more, I wish Americans still understood the advantages of mass manufacturing.

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It's the same mentality that leads politicians to advocate off-shore and Alaska drilling as a reaction to the current high gas and oil prices. Sounds good, never mind that (a) the amount of oil is a drop in the bucket compared to demand, and (b) it'll take 10 years before we start seeing significant amounts of oil.

The time to do all this was ... well ... quite some time ago.
I basically agree with Brian. However, not completely.

It's like this, if growth=sustenance=survival, then it's game over. Period.

Do the math.
McCain got it right proposing a free market based Cap and Trade for carbon emissions. If you simply cap utility emissions, the utilities will work out the most cost-effective means to meet the mandate.

If nuclear power can prove it is more cost-competitive than other options such as conservation and renewable sources, then it will win some of those contracts.

The nuclear industry is not content to compete on a level playing field, however. It has convinced McCain to throw special favors to nuclear power far exceeding all Federal help for all other energy sources combined.

Sounds a lot like the corn ethanol lobby, Round Two -- Nuclear Lobby.

Lets cut the pork, stick with Cap and Trade, and let everyone compete on the same basis.

Craig Severance, CPA, is co-author of "The Economics of Nuclear and Coal Power" (Praeger 1976)
Nuclear power is mostly a waste of money. Its primary use these days is ginning up political support among the sort of conservative yahoo voters who decide to be for whatever liberals are against and vice versa, which is what McCain's doing.

Nukes aren't profitable even with lavish government subsidies. Without those subsidies they're completely ludicrous--50 cents per kWh or more. Think about it: If they were actually profitable, do you think it would've been 25 years since the last plant was built in the US? Sure, GE and Westinghouse and Bechtel and Fluor would love the contracts to build the things, and they've directed their lobbying money accordingly--but the utilities aren't interested in buying them anymore and haven't been for decades.

Meanwhile, Nanosolar is now printing 15%-efficient solar cells at a rate of a gigawatt of generating capacity per year, with a target price point of $2 per peak watt installed. Now there's a liberty-ship program that would be worth some attention.
You guys are going to make me work and try to dig up some projected statistics for energy use in 2030. Here are some excellent stats regarding current energy use, courtesy of wikipedia.

First, I want to stress that my major point was in criticizing the "Manhattan Project" idea. It was not my intent to promote one technology over another but to stress that mass manufacturing *something* inline with our *real energy needs* was the solution. Liberty ships - not Manhattan projects.

All of you kind of glossed over that in your comments. Was I not sarcastic enough? Should I have eliminated the words "nuclear" and "solar" and talked about frabble-energy-widgets?

Brian: It doesn't matter that it will take 10 years for some benefit to result from drilling offshore or in Alaska. In 10 years we'll need the oil just as bad or worse than we need it now.

Craig: I will look at your book (particularly since I love reading books inside of their historical context) - but A) cap and trade has nothing to do with my main point, and B) I completely agree with you that McCain's plan feeds lobbyists not the people, but for a different reason than you. It's too pathetic a plan to matter.

Embed this in your head. We need 3.5TW of power - today - in order to operate America. 3.35 trillion watts. For purposes of this discussion I'm going to ignore the 2% compound growth rate, for now.

Evan: I follow nanosolar's escapades with great interest, but I have multiple criticisms of your comment.

0) Nanosolar, like many an ambitious startup before them, is making big promises. Thus far, they are barely backed up by reality. I *STRONGLY AGREE* with you that if they live up to their promises that their technology is potentially world-saving - but even you are using phrases like "target price point" rather than "actual cost". So far as I know, with over 100 million dollars invested - they've only built *3* actual panels so far. (they claim to be sold out for the next 12 months) I have seen no independent reviews of their product, nor have I seen any estimates of their product lifetime, nor do I know of any side effects of their process, or other resource limitations (for example, do they need cadmium?) That's a hell of a thing to bet your children's future on.

As they ramp up to (hopefully) achieve mass manufacturing capabilities, I hope very much that they will expand world wide and the costs of the hardware they use to make their stuff drops through the floor. 1.6 million for each "printer" is a bit much. Perhaps they will license the technology. I sure could use some solar here, San Juan Del Sur was without power for 3 days last week. Getting the panels shipped here accounts for well over half their cost, and an ill-advised tariff counts for another 18%. (I think, it might be 30%)

1) Nuclear is not profitable in the US in part because it takes too long to get a plant approved and built. (Other large scale plant designs for coal and gas have similar problems). You can argue that scale is the problem, or NIMBYism is. It is both. We'd rather kill people in someone else's backyard than run a minor risk in our own.

Personally my take on plant safety is merely to require that those in power that voted for it live downwind.

2) Nuclear is also not profitable due to lack of volume (e.g. - mass manufacturing) on critical components and designs. How much would the 200th nuclear power plant cost if we standardized on one or even several designs and pushed them out like cookie cutters?

3) Using "Peak watts" as a measurement of the adequacy of solar is like treating the energy expended by a human during orgasm as an average. Can google have its server farms ramp their cpu speeds up or down in response to weather? Regardless as to the success of solar, there will remain a significant need for steady power generation, something that only a fixed fuel source (such as oil, gas, or nuclear) can provide.

Oh, I wouldn't mind going to bed at dusk and rising at dawn, and an endless series of candlelight dinners... singing songs around the campfire...

4) Lastly nanosolar promises - with their current investment and mass production plans - to deliver enough solar cells annually to generate 430 megawatts. That's a really, really impressive - world saving - number. Still, the world energy consumption is presently 15TW. You do the math on how long it would take to make a dent in that, even with that plan.

Still, I know that if nanosolar can scale up, they can make a difference, and I am rooting for them with all my heart.

Lastly, the reason why I dragged Obama into the piece was that I don't believe a Republican can address our energy problems. Only Nixon could go to China, and only a Democrat can face down the green lobby.

Not that I have much hope for that, either. Orson Scott Card succeeded in scaring the hell out of me.

Lastly, and again - I don't care (much) what technology is used - but I care that *mass manufacturing* is used to bring the costs down, and that the people at the top understand that without maximum dispersion of the core technologies and energy creation only the very rich few will be able to get a hot shower in 40 years.

Pass the patcholi, will ya?
Nanosolar announced this week that they'd finished building the first gigawatt-per-year factory, printing cells at 100 feet per minute, which is why I mentioned them.

I wasn't disagreeing with your liberty-ship metaphor at all; I wholeheartedly agree with the prescription for mass manufacturing. (It'd create jobs, too--some of them not in Indonesia.)

The part I was quibbling with was where you seemed to be buying into the fundamental brokenness of McCain's idea by suggesting that the only problem with it was that he hadn't proposed enough nuclear plants.

Seriously, nukes are a waste of time. Yes, obviously they're much, much better than coal environmentally and I'd far rather live across the street from one, but coal generates power at less than ten cents per kWh and nuclear is twice that even with subsidies, so nobody wants one. Somehow, oddly, a vast number of people have convinced themselves that we stopped building nukes 25 years ago because of the iron-fisted tyranny of Jackson Browne, but in fact it's because there isn't any market; they're too expensive. Meanwhile wind is coming online right now at 3-5 cents per kWh, and solar gets cheaper each year.

I'm tired of these ostensibly hard-nosed fiscal conservatives, who so passionately believe in the power of the free market when it comes to the question of whether to subsidize nascent technologies with enormous promise, immediately thereafter
concluding that the only way to solve our energy problems is to lavishly subsidize a mature technology that's proven it can't compete.

I wish I could go here, but I gotta go somewhere else instead.

But basically, Mike, brother, you can take a hot shower without any electricity at all, pretty much anywhere, with a properly designed system, making use of, and storing direct solar. That really isn't rocket science. That's just common sense ingenuity. no nano, no nuke, no whatever.

As to power requirement projections, that's kinda at the heart of what I was trying to say. the projected use had better be down, not up. There's going to hell to pay, there is hell to pay right now. Ask anyone sitting on top of an 'energy resource' right now. Better yet, look what happens to the life that isn't 'anyone' that sits on it. This cannot continue, even at current levels, much less at expanded levels.

Don't think so? Well, time will tell, won't it?

This is me, not posting anonymously, because this blog doesn't allow anonymous postings.

"This blog does not allow anonymous comments."

don't blame you either. No worries.

I have not seen any studies that take into account the benefits of the mass production of nuclear power plants on the scale I describe - a scale that would be required were we to try for a level of nuclear power generation on the same scale as France's

70% of a current nuclear power plant's cost is in the debt occurred in construction. GE - in its building program in China, is trying to deliver a plant - start to finish - in three years. If plants could regularly be built in timeframes as short as that - or shorter - using common components - I daresay costs would drop significantly. Competitively? I don't know.

You can also view my statement(s) about the investment in nuclear mass manufacturing required to get to that level as Reducto ad absurdum for McCain's plan and the real future of nuclear power.

You are right about the hot shower metaphor I made at the end of that last comment being weak. I had hit such a home run with the liberty ship counter-meme that I was in full rhetorical flourish for this entire series of comments.

That said, to sort of backfill that comment with retroactive logic:

In Nicaragua, the only way you can get a hot shower in most places is via an electric heating element attached to the head. It may sound stupid to use electricity in a wet place (and I've been shocked many times by mine) but this method is the side effect of the combination of three problems here:

No gas infrastructure or delivery system
Common electricity infrastructure

Getting a hot shower via other methods does require ingenuity and investment and materials that are in short supply. Imagine a future world with filthy base water supplies, a lack of plastics for piping or filters filtration and you end up without that hot shower again.

On a similar, sad note. On my favorite surfing beach, Madaras, there is a smoothie stand. A year ago, the manager made smoothies via a hand cranked blender. It mounted to the table and had a BIG lever, so it took about 3 minutes of human power to make a (pretty darn good) smoothie.

When he sold the stand he took his blender with him, and the new owners could not find a hand cranked blender to use, so they brought in a small generator generator, which they only fire up to make smoothies... the result: much struggle to keep the generator going (and not stolen) a cloud of diesel fumes for every drink, and 3 minutes of noise.

Distribution of the core technologies is a key problem in any future world we may project. It may well be the most key problem, after mass manufacturing.

I've been looking for a hand cranked blender down here for months now. No luck.
Two more points on the nuke thing:

1) there's an upper limit on the size of the market for gigawatt-scale nuclear plants--probably on the close order of 300 units in the US. I'm not sure that's enough to realize much economic benefit from mass production. But, maybe it is. However:

2) Right now there are about 50 coal plants under construction in the US, and 100 more at various stages of planning. Why is french-style mass production a big win for nuclear plants but not for coal?


The hand-cranked blender is a good story. What I'm wondering is if the owner has a car. 'Cause if you only need electricity to run a blender, hell, you can do that all day on what's in a car battery, then idle the engine for a little while to recharge it.

Probably not that hard to make a hand-cranked one, though.
Oops, "french-style mass-production" should have read "french-style standardization".

I don't think even France is mass-producing the things.
A few years ago Steven Den Beste wrote a series of articles about the North American power grid and energy production, and unless you can produce about 10GWh of power consistently (I think that's the figure) it's not really worth it (sorry the links aren't in any particular order, but I please do read all of them, as they're all interrelated).

Energy Dependence

Carbon Emissions

More on Energy Dependence

More pratical problems

Obscure energy sources

Sean: Good links, thank you. I would love for a political candidate to quote from that with a flip chart handy - it doesn't seem to be any harder (to me) to communicate these facts than global warming.

I note that I'm a bit more interested in finding technologies that will work in the 3rd world than that author is. Every country has their unique problems and solutions. Coal is probably America's best long term answer for fixed power generation.

Evan: Somehow we've got from boiling water to blenders, although, that too works as an analogy. A human powered blender is just about the most efficient and compact device for converting energy into food and food into energy I've ever witnessed.

I laughed (sadly) when you suggested that they replace one large capital investment (a generator), with another, much larger one (a car), when the right answer was to somehow - find or make another hand cranked blender.

No, they don't have a car. They hitch a ride into the site with everyone else on a truck that has other things to do, later. They pile the generator (and fuel) in the back (where as many people as can pile in also stand), and head out over 30 minutes of bumpy dirt roads. (tires get blown out regularly)

On the way to work they pick up fruit from local farmers and the market.

As for making a hand cranked blender... well I've been thinking about that, I'll write more on it later.

While you and I know what "close order of" means, few others do. (For those still bearing with this discussion, it means - within one order of magnitude plus or minus). So when you say we (may) need somewhere between 30 and 3000 plants to meet our multi-trillion watt demand, it is a bit more clear.

(I've been bitten by trying to use "close order of" in ordinary conversation many times)

I think your statement proves itself - it IS easier to build 50-150 coal fired plants than it is to build one, and the same economies of scale and mass production applies to other forms of power generation.
You've mixed up the meanings of "order" and "close order", I'm afraid. "On the order of 300" would have meant 30-3000. "Close order" means "really, 300, plus or minus a small margin".

Which means that if you start churning them out mass-production style, you're going to run out of customers after a while, unless you start selling them to other countries (and there's quite a lot of countries I don't trust with the things).

My point about the 150 coal plants is that nobody is mass-producing them. They're being designed and built as one-offs just like nuclear plants were back when they were being built. And this leads to the question of why no one's applying these ideas of standardization and mass-production to coal plants? Is it possible there's a reason? That it's not as good an idea as it seems to be? (I'm not asserting this to be so, but I know some Bechtel and Fluor engineers and they're not idiots.)

It seems to me that most of the people I've read who argue for standardization and economies of scale in the nuclear industry are grasping at straws for something, anything, they can say to sell the idea that nuclear power could be competitive if only ______ (fill in the blank). I'm just not buying it anymore.

Re: close order - See what I mean? I don't even get it right, even after all these years of debating with you. Better to drop the phrase entirely - I swear there's a formal definition of close order of out there... log of 2?

As for my misinterpreting your statement... to operate America, today, we need over 3.5 TW of power. 3000+ gigawatt plants lined up nicely with that. It has to come from somewhere, from some combination of something.

Shall we come up with some estimate for growth til 2030 other than 2% and work backwards from that? I started rolling a spreadsheet because I wanted to understand a problem of this magnitude better. I'd like it if a politician started with that number, too.

As for my mass manufacturing point...

Is the software to design and run a coal plant custom in every case? Are the machines that make the machines custom in every case? The materials used to make the boilers, piping, delivery system, etc, custom in every case?

I doubt it.

Now, there's mass manufacturing - 100s of something - and MASS manufacturing - millions - and this is why, like you, I hold great hope for solar power in a variety of forms.

Perhaps a more productive way to continue this discussion would be to theoretically spend 450 billion (rough estimate 45 * 10 billion) on nanosolar's product instead of nuclear and see what we get.
On on more practical note, there is the Vortex blender, and the Lehman's hand powered blender, that I can think of off the top of my head. Google will tell more.

Your anecdote of the blender on the beach is beautiful. It basically illustrates what I consider the root of the problem. We are killing ourselves and our neighbors, not because we need to, but because we don't think about the consequences of our actions.

I want to start into a saliva spattering rant right about now, I'm trying not to do that.

Who says we have to generate x.5 twh + 2% per annum projected? Why? for more street lights? For more traffic lights that serve to stop traffic, rather than make it go, which in turn increases fuel consumption rather than lowers it? -sorry,, that's rant-logic creeping in-.

Lemme try again;

A whole lot of what's being discussed takes for granted that what is, must remain and grow. As I stated earlier, this doesn't scale, won't work, over the long run. I don't care how you shift the inputs around. Exchange nukes for coal, coal for hydro, hydro for diesel, etc. The simple truth is that here in the US, we pay for our power with debt. Not just financial debt, but with resource debt. We are in an over-shoot phase right now. Pushing for more overshoot isn't the answer.

I'm halfway though 'The Sheep Look Up' right now. I guess this about the point where you gave up Mike. Interestingly enough, at the same time, the Mrs is reading 'When Smoke Ran Like Water'. We were lounging about on the domestically made futon, after spending the morning hours working on the irrigation system for the vegetable garden, and taking the mid-day heat hours off to read;. I'd say, "Oh, this is interesting" and read her a passage from Brunner's book, and she'd reply with; "Oh, well check this out;" and respond with a passage from Davis's book. Now, Brunner's book came out in '72. And it's kinda obvious that he had done he research. Now, since 'Limits to Growth' was published the same year, It's unlikely -in my opinion- that he based his work on Limits to Growth, but rather just did good research. What I found stunning, is that -based on my reading of his book- is that 'Crap! We've *known* all of this for nearly 40 years, if not longer!'. Little things, like the consequences/interactions of subcritical 'normal' infections, and the antibiotics in the food supply, and such. His characterization of the President of the US, and the character of our President of the US, is just stunning. It's like our president studied his president. They use the same language.

Mike you spoke of NIMBY, and a lot of the issues Davis brings up in 'Smoke', folks think have been addressed, but no, they haven't. Rather, the issues have been just moved. From the now rustbelt of the US, to the 'emerging' economies of the so-called '3rd world'. So, again, now the poor can die horribly from the consequences of working in zinc plants. But since they aren't doing it in Pennsylvania anymore, , , well. There you go.

Interesting tidbits from 'Smoke' are the same arguments being made against the 'enemies of coal' were being made back in the 1600s, literally. Burning coal destroys life. Folks have known this for hundreds of years. Burning coal also allows for a standard of living, on the one hand, the lifestyles of the rich and famous, on the other hand, for folks to be tidy and warm during the miserable winter rains, and now, comfortably air-conditioned during the muggy and more and more lethal summers. And the cost? the Real Cost? the cancers, the diseases, the loss of the food chain base, those aren't quantified. But coal isn't reall the culprit here.

What is the culprit, by analogy, is exchanging a hand powered blender for an electric one, on a generator.

and THAT, by analogy, is why we need x.x twh +2% per annum. Not because we couldn't do better, but because historical record strongly implies that we cannot or will not change.

Yeah, like you stated above, try investing a significant percentage of the subsidies expended on 'power' over the last hundred years, into solar/wind over the next 10 years and see where we are then.

Got a buddy of mine, who is in the solar biz, on a scale that makes a lot of sense. Who recently put up a very modest array, 8 panels, (none of this nano stuff either) on his house. On a very steep angle, optimized for winter collection. Much to his surprise, he generated 5kwh the first day he turned it up. About 20% more than he normally used on average. This was a few weeks ago, and granted, this is pretty much peak solar season, but his array is optimized for peak winter collection, so his output is down about 22% from what it could be. Okay, these are brand new panels, and the output will drop as they 'burn in' about 20% over the next 15 years or so. But still, that's one person, for about the cost of a down payment + 6 months of note + insurance on a 'new' car (on average).

This approach will make a difference. This was done because an individual saw the sense of doing it. Not because there were armies of lobbyists backed by hundreds of years on interbreeding with the political families, the plutocracy of the US leadership pushing for it, like they are pushing for more coal, more nukes, etc.

Generate what you can, use it as if your life depended on not wasting it, and ding, watch those 'growth' projections drop like stock in an mortgage company.

Where did you get your numbers for "-50 cents per kWh or more." ?

Got a citation?


The length of this thread is making me miss usenet. If I ever get around to finishing my own blogging system I think I will use netnews as my backing comment system - it would make the ebb and flow of conversation all the more feasible, and might answer some of your need for anonymity and mine for redundant storage.

alt.blogs.the-edge has a nice ring to it.
cpm wrote: on a more practical note, there is the Vortex blender, and the Lehman's hand powered blender, that I can think of off the top of my head. Google will tell more.

Neither of those look to be "commercial grade" - that could stand the pounding of hundreds of smoothies a day... but thanks for the suggestion.

Your anecdote of the blender on the beach is beautiful. It basically illustrates what I consider the root of the problem. We are killing ourselves and our neighbors, not because we need to, but because we don't think about the consequences of our actions.

To me it just illustrates problems in manufacturing and distribution of appropriate technology for the end user's actual circumstances.

I have been on a series of rants on that lately - my blog post on portrait mode for example.

The problem is possibly more one of distribution than manufacture anyway - it would likely cost a hundred bucks or more to get one shipped here. (It is generally cheaper to fly to miami, get two pieces of luggage filled with supplies, and fly back, than it is to use DHL).

It could also be one of communication - somewhere in Nicaragua, is some shop full of blenders like this, gathering dust...
Doc Searls suggested that we get what we frame. I dont think a discussion on which power stations reframes the problem.

The problem is that we cannot see the impact of our actions on our context. Any answer to power or any other question related to the kind of impacts of our current scale and mode of operation need to respond to custodianship as the first priority.
If we can all see what custodianship looks like in a local sense then I think this would mean something to us individually.

We have developed abstractions which are responsive to the money which sponsors them, but which is therefore optimised for a central understanding of profit and loss and which is not optimised for a local understanding of fidelity and consequence.

We could use approaches like the bloom clock or dnetc or etc to make apparent all the real data about our local context. Kids in schools collecting real data about their local context for real purpose. We could be custodians of that flow; of the shift in diversity, water quality, use and development of power capacity.

The primary problem with this suggestion is that at the moment we do not have the skills to navigate that kind of mesh of data in a custodian flavoured way. We are more likely to use it as a method to be more mobile and exploitative.

We have to make a choice between the finite and the infinite game.

The people who are likely to make those choices are possibly going to be different people from those who currently win in the finite game.
Not many people stop a game which they are winning at even if they can see that the long term outcome is destructive.

We are out of practice at playing the infinite game. We have tools and language optimised for functioning at scale with simple data, rather than locally with fidelity and local responsiveness. We find it difficult to value biodiversity for its own sake, or cultural diversity or variant perspectives. We are mistrustful of contexts where there is not a clear winner. Being able to develop this kind of thinking and skill and capacity to keep 'life in play' is imho the reframing which we need to make different outcomes.
Chip: I was taking a figure of 40+ cents I got from Amory Lovins about 10 years ago and factored in inflation since then.

That's debt service, plus market value estimates for stuff the government provides below cost (insurance, waste disposal, etc). The actual cost of operation (uranium, labor) is probably still less than a nickel per kWh.

(That may not last, though; Peak Uranium could be closer than people think. It's a bullet you can theoretically dodge with breeder reactors--but that has its own set of problems to be overcome--or with CANDU, but that means building all new reactors again... At some point we're going to have to deal with this, though, because at some point we're going to run low on economically recoverable U235.)
I sat on this thread for this long mostly because I was missing usenet, and wanted to be able to respond in detail to several comments in a coherent fashion.

Just to note a weirdness - I published this piece on the same day that the Economist published a whole boatload of well written articles like this, this .

I read the Economist religiously for about 30 years and for some reason I remain sync with it. I didn't notice their take on all this until the recent slashdot discussion on the BLM stopping solar panel applications.

anyway, I am going to try and respond to the last series of posts to this piece shortly...
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.

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08/12/2012 / 08/11/2013 - 08/18/2013 / 03/01/2015 - 03/08/2015 / 10/04/2015 - 10/11/2015 / 11/08/2015 - 11/15/2015 / 12/22/2019 - 12/29/2019 /

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