Positive Energy

Friday, May 25, 2007

11. Environmental Issues

Do you agree or disagree with the Government's views on environmental issues? What are your reasons? Are there any significant considerations that you believe are missing? If so, what are they?

Disagree. The Government has wrongly assessed the impact of nuclear power stations. New stations can be built underground, leaving the surface intact, undisturbed. Moreover, this can be done in the middle of towns and cities, eliminating power transmission lines. Technically, the impact of new stations could be zero, or even less than zero by improving the current situation with fewer stations and transmission lines on the surface.

Building zero impact nuclear plants would be more expensive. I think it would be worth it.

I realize that this fact is not politically convenient. The howling of the enviro-alarmists will probably force us to adopt environmentally destructive approaches such as building plants above ground and far away from cities. I find it curious that those who claim to care about the environment are the ones causing us to damage it.

Building new plants underground eliminates the bogus airplane attack threat.

Nuclear power does not kill animals as do wind turbines and hydro dams. It does not kill people as do coal mines. It does not occupy huge expanses of land, and it does not create noisy, dizzying distractions in our view of the landscape. It does not have to be big and centralized in a manner that destroys local features. It does not leave ash piles behind, nor oil spills. It eliminates other other infrastructure such as pipelines, railways for coal, oil wells, and electricity transmission lines since reactors can be placed close to their users. The UK government has really underestimated the environmental benefits of nuclear power, to an alarming degree.

The most significant factor missing in the UK governments assessment of the environmental impacts of nuclear power is the revolutionary simplification in technology that it makes possible. With the abundant electricity that nuclear power provides it becomes feasible to heat and cool buildings or even cities, to power all forms of transport, to extend automation, and to enhance communication using electricity. There are all sorts of advantages in this approach - electric motors are easier to maintain making transportation less work than it is today. Electric cars are cleaner and quieter. The story goes on and on. The UK government has shown a serious failure of optimism and vision in this area.

Consider cooling as another point. Heat can be moved from a reactor and used for less intensive purposes before being released into the air. Entire cities could be kept warm in this way, reducing all kinds of pollutants. Heat from a reactor could be used to create very white clouds that could protect a city from excessive sun light, keeping it cooler. This kind of use is just not possible with low intensity technologies such as wind turbines and hydro dams. The UK government seems determined to drive its population right passed the open doors to Paradise, and down into the pit of low energy poverty.


  • Good work on these vigorous responses.

    Your positive and consistent attitude slips a little with promotion of underground reactors. In particular, your reason seems to be: "Building new plants underground eliminates the bogus airplane attack threat." Why should we want to eliminate a bogus threat?

    Overall though a very robust set of answers. I wish I had done as much.

    By Blogger Joffan, at 09 January, 2008 12:17  

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