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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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French anti-nuclear movement allies with austerity drive

French anti-nuclear movement allies with austerity drive
A team of energy experts, engineers and architects wants to free the French of their nuclear dependence by 2050. In an election year, the appeal to energy austerity is attracting attention from left to right.

...Since last autumn, the French organization negaWatt has been staging its own Tour de France to gather support for its vision of how the country should power its economy in the future.

The idea comes from American environmentalist Amory Lovins, who coined the term negawatt in 1989. It describes a unit of energy saved through conservation or efficiency.

In France, which gets more than three quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, the appeal to efficiency has been winning approval ever since Japan's Fukushima disaster of March 2011.

"Ours is not an anti-nuclear religion," says Thierry Salomon, vice president of negaWatt. "But nuclear energy does not represent a sustainable form of energy production."...


Why are you hearing so much about thorium?

According to MIT's review of technologies it is no better overall than what is now in place. Perhaps in 30 years new as yet undeveloped designs can change the dynamics, but current conditions and currently available technologies do NOT provide a set of problems that thorium can magically solve.

So what is behind all the hype? Nothing more than a PR blitz by a small group of technophiles tryiing to keep the nuclear dream alive...

The End of the Nuclear Renaissance
John Quiggin | January 3, 2012

...Meanwhile, after an initial rush of enthusiasm proposals for new nuclear plants ran into economic reality. When the deadline set under the Nuclear Power 2010 program expired, twenty-six proposals had been received by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But by the beginning of 2011, more than half of these had been abandoned, and ground had been broken on only two sites, with a total of four reactors.

The nuclear renaissance was already tottering, but the disaster of Fukushima was the coup de grâce. It’s true, as nuclear advocates have argued, that the plants at Fukushima were old and that a disaster as big as the March tsunami was hard to plan for. No doubt the failures in cooling and containment systems that gave rise to the present crisis can be overcome and reactor designs modified to improve safety.

But safety doesn’t come cheap, and redesigns mean delays. With no prospect of any further increases in subsidies and loan guarantees, it seems likely that most of the proposals for new nuclear-power plants in the United States will be abandoned. And, if only for reasons of diversification and speed of construction, the lost Japanese reactors will probably be replaced by gas-fired plants, with some renewables. Meanwhile the Europeans, who were reconsidering nuclear power, have moved decisively in the other direction. Even China has scaled back its targets for nuclear construction and extended the timescale, effectively halving the proposed rate of construction. Such a modest program will not produce the scale economies and operating experience needed to generate a substantial reduction in the cost of nuclear power over the next two decades.

Meanwhile, the cost of PV has already fallen well below that of nuclear and is set to fall further. The average retail price of solar cells as monitored by the Solarbuzz group fell from $3.50/watt to $2.43/watt over the course of the year, and a decline to prices below $2.00/watt seems inevitable. For large-scale installations, prices below $1.00/watt are now common. In some locations, PV has reached grid parity, the cost at which it is competitive with coal or gas-fired generation. More generally, it is now evident that, given a carbon price of $50/ton, which would raise the price of coal-fired power by 5c/kWh, solar PV will be cost-competitive in most locations.

The declining price of PV has ...


Solyndra And The Real Risk To American Taxpayers

Solyndra And The Real Risk To American Taxpayers

The bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar company that received a federal loan guarantee, has made the front page because of charges of cronyism. But among the biggest risks to taxpayers, who underwrite federal loan guarantees, isn’t renewable energy. It is nuclear power.

The Department of Energy declared its intent to conditionally issue a loan guarantee of $8.33 billion to Georgia Power and its utility partners in February 2010. Why should taxpayers be concerned? Congress and the DOE are ignoring the sordid history of nuclear power plant construction and bailouts, recent developments in nuclear plant construction, and the low-balled cost of Georgia Power’s proposed additions.

The initial wave of nuclear plant construction cost ratepayers $200 billion in cost overruns. Abandoned plants cost the public $50 billion. Because the finished plants were not the least cost resource, it is estimated that by the mid-2000s, ratepayers had paid $225 billion in excess charges. The deregulation scam in the late 1990s saw the public picking up $40 billion in stranded costs for the nuclear industry. The bailout came in the wake of industry whining about not being able to compete in deregulated markets. Since 2003, various cost estimates for nuclear power rose from about $2,000 per kilowatt to $6,000 or $7,000 per kilowatt.

Forbes magazine in 1985 called nuclear power the “worst managerial disaster in history.” The Economist in 2001 declared nuclear power “too expensive to matter.” Moody’s in 2009 viewed “nuclear generation plants as a ‘bet the farm’ endeavor for most companies … .” After multiple cancellations and delays of nuclear plants, an analyst for the Institute for Energy and Environment said, “2009 was the seventh year of the so-called ‘Nuclear Renaissance,’ but it looks a lot like the U.S. nuclear industry of the 1980s, a decade of no new orders, multiple delays and cancellations, hefty defaults and emerging cheaper alternatives.”

Government warned us too. In 2003, the Congressional Budget Office ...


What to do when the science, skepticism and pseudoscience group decides to rewrite history?


Please review this thread and consider why I was banned from the group.

As a specific example of the trend in the discussion, compare the "interpretation" of the information in post 21 to this summary of events by the BBC:
One parses diplomatic legalese searching to validate a revisionist view of the events under discussion, the other presents the accepted view based on reading the legalese in the context of events.

I'm not sure what is behind the beliefs revealed in the OP, but it appears to have something to do with the Holocaust and a perception that FDR, in some sense, shares blame for not doing more to prevent that tragedy. Since there are no clear sources or specific claims identified, the entire discussion initiated by the OP is apparently based on this perception on the part of the host. Whether true or not is a subject for a different discussion, however, since the historical record leaves absolutely no doubt that 1) FDR wanted to enter the war to help Britain and 2) that he behaved in a manner that clearly was meant to provoke an incident that would lead to public support for US involvement.

Simply put the world was confronting a great evil, FDR knew it, and he wanted to do something about it besides stand on the sidelines and cheer for his side. He was a man of action and he used his power to pursue actions he felt were morally justified.

Trying to muddy the fundamental dynamic this created is a great disservice to the man and his legacy.

Three appeals were made to the primary host but substantial basis for the claims in the OP were ever presented and the ban was not lifted. Since I am not normally a contributor to that group, I'm not that concerned about the ban frankly, but, the thread reveals a real problem with the way we are doing things.
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