Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Cost Of Going Nuclear Free

In my blog post Germany wants nuclear exit by 2022 last year, I suggested that Germany would find it hard to achieve a nuclear-free economy, In a recent article, the Washington Post reports how Japan and Germany are trying to go nuclear free and the negative effect this is having on their greenhouse gas emissions.

This exposes the fallacy that an advanced society can function in a low pollution energy environment. If fossil carbon is not to be burnt, then fossil radiation becomes the only current source of energy which can meet the demand for base-load electricity.

Our technology has brought us to where we are, but has not yet solved the vexed question of where we are going. The much-discussed hydrogen economy is years away from coming into existence, despite the best efforts of cutting edge research and development programs. Fast breeder reactors, which promise to operate on fuel which is discarded from existing nuclear power plants, have not been developed. Fusion reactors are at least a generation away from successful operation. The tin-foil hat brigade would have us believe in magical energy sources ranging from gravity waves to cosmic rays.

Nobody, anywhere, has demonstrated a source of energy which will be the silver bullet to end our emissions of CO2. Nobody, anywhere, has demonstrated a cheap power source with the energy density of fossil carbon, to drive our complex transport systems.

Nobody, anywhere, has demonstrated a get-out-of-jail-free card that will solve the problem of an unsupportable human population.

As for me, I'm going to ramp up the growing of my own food, to support my family when the cost of participating in our high-tech society becomes unbearable.

The future is not looking like the past.

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