[ RadSafe ] What's Killing The Nuclear Industry?

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Wed May 15 15:47:29 CDT 2013

      Health Physicists are pretty Mathematical  (right brained/left 
brained, whichever???).  Many Anti-Nukes are not  mathematical.  They are 
terrified at the prospect of heating/boiling water  in a reactor.  Nuclear power is 
not really that big of a deal.  Fusion  is not a very complex process 
either.  Still, after 50+ years, we are  unable to come up with a working Fusion 
Energy system...Perhaps we should try  firing deuterium and/or tritium ions 
at Methane molecules, or some other  molecule that doesn't become ionized 
     Everytime I see a Health Physicist arguing against  some Anti-Nuke on 
Radsafe or elsewhere, I eventually see the Health Physicist  circling the 
wagons against an improperly educated person.  It begins to  dawn on me that 
we cannot debate all these anti-nuclear persons.   Most faculty in college 
are probably profoundly anti-Nuke.  Ouch.  I  really wonder if there will be a 
next generation of new Nuclear plants in the  USA.  Seems like some other 
countries are building new nuclear  plants.  Hope we continue to have a 
Nuclear Navy.
    The US government is not installing an express lane for  nuclear power. 
 Guess we're stuck with coal, oil, natural gas, methane for  another 100 
years.  The HP Society could use one or more paid  Lobbyists...
     Have a safe day....Let's Be Careful Out there  (Hill Street Blues)...
     Joe Preisig
In a message dated 5/15/2013 2:55:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
ANDREW.KARAM at nypd.org writes:

Unfortunately, as science/engineering/technical folks we are trying  to
use intellectual tools that are comfortable to us - rationality  and
logic - while we are largely competing against arguments based  on
emotion and (in some cases) the rejection of the tools we hold dear.  We
can't use logical arguments to win an emotional argument.

I would  strongly recommend reading "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen
for some  insights into this sort of thing. Westen is a neuroscientist
who examines  how our brains work and why it is that logical arguments
almost always lose  against emotional ones. He points out that, to a
person wedded to logic and  rationality, it seems like cheating to use
emotional arguments. On the  other hand, if we stick entirely to what
seems fair to us (letting an idea  triumph by sheer force of
rationality), we're bound to lose almost every  time. Dick Toohey spoke
about this book during his President-Elect tour and  persuaded me to buy
the book - it's a real eye-opener. 

The bottom  line - it doesn't matter how correct we are or how
beautifully we have  assembled our side of the debate unless we can get
the attention of those  we are trying to convince.


-----Original  Message-----
From:  radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu]  On Behalf Of Clayton J
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:54  PM
To: pottert at erols.com; radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [  RadSafe ] What's Killing The Nuclear Industry?

The economic  arguments in Thomas Potter's post are compelling,  and
correct(what do I know about economics?). However, the  nuclear industry
subject to federal regulation to a far greater  degree than the fossil
extraction sector. But even if all the  economic signals are favorable
new plants to be built, a license is  still required and the potential
political forces to intervene in  that process is very real. Unless the
current trust deficit is mitigated  somehow, it will be nigh on
to garner public support for  licensing new plants. That being the case,
plants will only come on  line if the federal government is prepared to
ignore the will of the  majority of citizens. Fortunately for the nuclear
power industry, present  indications are that the government does not
the thwarting of the  people's will as much of an obstacle.

Clayton Bradt
Principal  Radiophysicist
NYS Dept. of Health

*******Original  Message*******************************
Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 23:28:16  -0400 (EDT)
From: THOMAS POTTER <pottert at erols.com>
Subject: Re: [  RadSafe ] What's Killing The Nuclear Industry?
To:  radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu

<3854357.48409884.1368588496614.JavaMail.root at md03.rcn.cmh.synacor.com>

Content-Type:  text/plain; charset=utf-8

I am also a supporter of nuclear power  and am mostly retired after a
health physics career. I share Bill  Lipton's frustrations about many of
posts on RADSAFE. However, I do  not agree with Bill's sense that the
( or even the most important)  question the public cares about is, "Can
nuclear industry be trusted  to manage the technology?" ?

The collapse of the rapid expansion phase  of the nuclear power industry
development predated both Chernobyl and TMI  and had everything to do
economic fallout from the Arab oil embargo  and nothing to do with loss
trust. Resulting reduced power demand,  high inflation, and high interest
rates?drove new ?nuclear power out of the  market.

Uncertainty about need for power was also important in this  collapse. A
significant part of? nuclear's economic problem, shared with  renewables,
that a large fraction of the ultimate cost of its  production of
power comes up front when the plant is built. A  significant part of
fuel plants' ultimate cost of production is  deferred as fuel costs,
can be avoided later in the event of  investment misjudgment.

Fukushima is not the most imp ortant recent  development ?influencing the
future of nuclear power.?Cheap natural gas is.  Cheap n atural gas?is
rapidly replacing even coal for electric power  production, while
simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.? In the  continuing absence of
substantial price for carbon emission, it is  virtually certain to be the
option of choice over new nuclear or renewables  for electric power

Fukushima was certainly a substantial  blow to public trust. We may see
important public trust? is to  nuclear power in the near term by watching
what happens to currently  operating plants. Sweden is not even
pretending a
new phase-out,  probably chastened ?after its earlier phase-out resulted
the closure  of only a single unit. Germany is planning a phase-out by
but only  three units are scheduled for closure prior to 2021. Japan is
already  considering reopening at least some currently shut down  plants.?
course all of these nations are looking for cheap gas  .

The focus on trust is misplaced. If it was all about trust,?how does  BP
survive ? ? It has little to do with? trust. It's all about  need.

Thomas E.  Potter?
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