[ RadSafe ] Rational Thought

James Salsman jsalsman at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 13:05:33 CDT 2011

Franz Schoenhofer wrote:

> What has "nuclear" and "rational thought" to do with each other?
> In my home country Austria, there is legislation underway to forbid
> import of "nuclear electricity" and even more, electricity generation
> from non-renewable sources should be abandoned at the latest until 2050.
> I am not joking, this is the idea of our parliament, initiated by the very
> small minority of greens.

Could this be because wind power has become two cents per kilowatt
hour less expensive than coal-fired generation over the past year?  Also
Fischer-Tropsch carbon neutral methane and other fuel synthesis has
become far more efficient in the past three or four years due to a new
ruthenium iron alloy which can be plated on to electrolysis anodes.
Given that sufficient wind to address daytime needs produces a huge
nighttime surplus, the effective cost of fuel synthesis for transportation
and storage (for intermittent wind leveling) is lower than fossil cost, too.

At least in the US, this year wind turbine production and orders have
exceeded the extrapolation of its exponential curve, which would now
predict that virtually 100% of US power will be from wind before 2030.
Even without any subsidies, it is foolish for any farm in even low wind
regions to forgo installing turbines, banks are on board, and in windy
regions they pay for themselves in eight months without subsidies.

But I agree with the sentiment:  When the pendulum swings, it often
swings too far.  Most everyone is going to be as surprised as I am to
find me on the other side of the debate as we struggle to hold on to
enough research reactors to produce medical isotopes and plutonium
for the space program.

James Salsman

More information about the RadSafe mailing list