Knowledge is a weapon. So please consider contributing to build our arsenal. We accept no corporate or foundation funding whatsoever. Please make a donation.
Nuking the Future
by Jay Taber
August 4, 2015
“Tiger Direct’s getting ready to release the Kube X15, the world’s first home mini-nuclear generator (and a pretty good-looking one, too). Even the starter pack’s plutonium will keep you going for 50 years!” (Users that inquired about the Kube X15 Mini Nuke were sent the following email from Tiger Direct. April Fools’! This is not a real product and it is not pending approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”)
The best estimates I’ve seen for projected energy production in the US all say it would be a significant achievement if sustainable electrical generation comprised 10% of the mix. With hydro-power dropping in the Western US, due to drought conditions, coal is picking up the slack; if coal plants are closed as part of the clean energy revival, that leaves us with nuclear.
Nuclear power — as part of an energy investment portfolio that includes coal, oil and gas — is attractive to Wall Street investors because it is taxpayer-insured, guaranteeing a profit, even as mining reclamation and waste disposal remain disasters with no solution in sight.
The greatest challenge to energy efficiency in the US is long distance transmission power loss; roughly half of the electricity generated in the country is lost between the power plants and the ultimate consumer. Dispersing production might help, but that isn’t possible with coal.
One solution recently proposed is to install mini-nukes all over the country, using technology derived from nuclear-powered submarines. Disturbing as this sounds, it is the logical consequence of shutting down coal.
As climate catastrophe beckons us to back bold energy initiatives, we want to be careful we don’t jump ‘out of the pan and into the fire’.
[Jay Thomas Taber (O’Neal) derives from the most prominent tribe in Irish history, nEoghan Ua Niall, the chief family in Northern Ireland between the 4th and the 17th centuries. Jay’s ancestors were some of the last great leaders of Gaelic Ireland. His grandmother’s grandfather’s grandfather emigrated from Belfast to South Carolina in 1768. Jay is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website: www.jaytaber.com]