Movements against nuclear power

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2 Responses

  1. jeffdowd says:

    Last year I showed a film in my class called “Poisoned Waters”. The film documented water pollution in the US. The film also touched on the politics surrounding water pollution. One point the film made was that in the 1960s and early 1970s there were several high profile environmental disasters – a large oil spill off Santa Barbara, Lake Cuyahoga catching on fire etc. The film suggested that perhaps there has been no mass movement against water pollution because today it is simply not as visible to most Americans. This seemed a reasonable explanation but I think the writers for this documentary would rethink this assumption after the BP oil spill and the nuclear disaster.

    The political opportunity structure in the United States seems highly unlikely to produce a viable environmental movement that would restrict offshore drilling, nuclear power, or natural gas exploration despite an academy award nominated film on the subject. Perhaps the filmmakers for “poisoned waters” (still a great documentary by the way) would have benefited from reading some of the literature you cited.

  2. Brian Fraser says:

    Here are two things to keep in mind about nuclear power and nuclear waste:

    1.) Simple and inexpensive processes for destroying the radioactivity in nuclear waste have been known for decades:

    “Radioactive isotope decay rate or half-life can be increased or decreased as needed to deactivate radioactivity or to increase shelf life of radioactive isotopes. Currently many investigators/experimenters have reported half-life anomalies and have demonstrated repeatability of the various processes. The deactivation/neutralization of radioactivity in isotopes by the several demonstrated processes clearly suggest the possibility of full scale processing of radioactive nuclear materials to deactivate radioactive nuclear materials. ”

    “In 1964 we thought and believed that radioactivity in nuclear waste would soon be history on planet earth. As history has proven us wrong, we now know and understand that there is a fortune, billions yearly, to be made by saving every scrap of radioactive nuclear waste and trying to bury it in Yucca Mountain and in cleaning up spills, leaks, and escaping radioactive particles from decaying containment schemes. We were just looking at the wrong goal post. No one receiving the funds has any interest in eliminating radioactivity in nuclear waste. Nuclear Half-Life Modification Technology could reduce the cost to a fraction of the cost that is experienced today.” ( “Radioactivity Deactivation at High Temperature in an Applied DC Voltage Field Demonstrated in 1964”. Larry Geer & Cecil Baumgartner, )

    Destroying radioactive waste on site obviates concerns about reprocessing, packaging, transportation, storage, and worries about terrorism and off-site accidents.

    There are more details, and other processes, described in my article “Adventures in Energy Destruction” at

    2.) I am told that about 96% of high level nuclear waste can be reprocessed and reused as fuel. So why would we want to destroy it permanently? There is certainly one good reason (among others): the nuclear power industry is headed for the junk yard. It will be going the way of the Linotype machine, the mechanical typewriter, the landline telephone, and the incandescent light bulb. Already consumers are becoming able to sell power back to the utility companies from their homes. Eventually, even the Grid will disappear. There are political developments too: Germany is trying to shut down its nuclear power industry. And Japan, Italy and Switzerland are having second thoughts.

    But the thing that will destroy the nuclear power industry is economics and lack of investors. Rapid advances in other energy fields will make nuclear power obsolete. Here is one example from solar power:

    RSi’s ChemArc Process has greatly reduced the cost of photovoltaic silicon.

    And relevant advances are being made in storage of electrical power:
    “Utilization of poly(ethylene terephthalate) plastic and composition-modified barium titanate powders in a matrix that allows polarization and the use of integrated-circuit technologies for the production of lightweight ultrahigh electrical energy storage units (EESU)” ,

    “This paper reports the successful creation of a new ultracapacitor structure that offers a capacitance density on the order of 100 to 200 Farads per cubic centimeter; versus the current state of the art capacitance density of 1 F/cm3. ” (“New mega-farad ultracapacitors”, Bakhoum, E., 2009,

    “We report the observation of extremely high dielectric permittivity exceeding 10^9 and magnetocapacitance of the order of 10^4% in La0.875Sr0.125MnO3 single crystal.” (“Giant dielectric permittivity and magnetocapacitance in La0.875Sr0.125MnO3 single crystals”, R. F. Mamin, T. Egami, Z. Marton, and S. A. Migachev, 29 March 2007; DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.75.115129 ; PACS numbers: 77.22.d,

    In the last citation, a dielectric permitivity of over a BILLION (one thousand million) is simply astounding, and would also be useful in antigravity research. ( )

    Old battery charging technology is being pulled out of the closet too. One implementation uses an AC electropolishing technique to increase the charge/discharge cycling life times of ordinary batterys by a factor of 20 to 30 times the usual.

    This is just ONE example in ONE industry. There are many others, and some are astonishing–real “poop-a-brick” developments!

    The nuclear power industry has only a short, limited future. This is NOT a good time to build new nuclear plants. But it is a good time to DESTROY radioactive waste ( or “spent fuel”) permanently by simple, safe, inexpensive processes that have been known for decades. Some additional research will be needed to convert this knowhow into an industrial process, but that will still be MUCH cheaper than digging more 100 billion dollar holes in the ground. The nuclear power industry would have quickly solved these problems if it had been required to dispose of its own nuclear waste on-site at the power plant WITHOUT help (subsidies) from the federal government!

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