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October 16, 2012

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 126

The Carnival of Space 126 is up at Entrprenuclear

Atomic Insights - Rod Adams covered the discussion about nuclear energy between Theo Simon and George Monbiot.

I have no desire to put words into the mouths of either man, but here is my summary of their current arguments. Both of them start with the perspective that corporate power is often destructive, that concentrated wealth can corrupt government, and that human development is best when people work locally, individually and in cooperation with their immediate communities. Both of them have spent their lives trying to resist over development, destructive technologies, and concentrated power.

However, in the past few years, Monbiot has shifted his position on nuclear energy from strong opposition to reluctant support. He has done a thorough job of explaining that positional shift on his blog and in his columns. Just in case you have not taken the time to read the many words he has written on the topic, I think it would be fair to say that his strongest motivation was a recognition that nuclear energy is an indispensable tool in the battle against global climate change.

He has taken a road similar to that traveled by Mark Lynas, Stewart Brand, James Hansen, Patrick Moore, Gwyneth Cravens and Barry Brook; he has listened carefully, read deeply and “done the math” to realize that we will have a far better chance of reducing CO2 emissions in time to avert catastrophe if we use both nuclear and renewable energy to replace fossil fuel energy. Monbiot has, on several occasions, indicated that he still does not “like” nuclear energy, but he accepts that it provides enough benefits to accept the associated costs.



Nuclear Diner - the Russian Defense Ministry is planning to raise and scrap two sunken nuclear submarines in the northern Barents and Kara seas” (RIAN).

In total, eight nuclear submarines have sunk as a consequence of either accident or extensive damage: 2 from the US Navy, 4 from the Soviet Navy and 2 from the Russian Navy. (wiki). According to RT: The Russian government has recently released archives showing that there are 17,000 containers of radioactive waste, 19 ships contaminated ships, and 14 nuclear reactors in the Kara Sea – and most of these objects have been decaying there since the Soviet era.


Nextbigfuture - China installed the dome of the reactor containment building has been achieved at two more units - Fuqing 3 and Changjiang 2. Construction projects already underway should see China bring online some 27 new reactors by the end of 2015 - in addition to the 15 units currently in operation.




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