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February 24, 2019

A Chicken In Every Pot, And A Reactor On Every Block: That's My Idea Of A "Green New Deal!"

I have a little sympathy for people who are reflexively afraid of nuclear power because they simply don't understand it. I guess at first glance it is sort of scary, because...um...actually I have no idea why. We are surrounded by "nuclear" power in our everyday lives; from the sun, the isotopes that we use to diagnose and cure disease, the plants that power our navy ships, and the commercial power plants that have a rather remarkable safety record (show me the injuries and deaths from Three Mile Island and I will delete that statement). Hell, there are smoke detectors in use all over the world that use Americium-241.

The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don't Need Renewables

Ordinary people tell pollsters they want renewables for the same reason they buy products labeled “natural”: they are in the grip of an unconscious appeal-to-nature fallacy.

The appeal-to-nature fallacy is the mistaken belief that the world can be divided into “natural” and “unnatural” things, and that the former are better, safer, or cleaner than the latter.

In reality, solar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants.

And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

But because of our positive feelings toward sunlight, water and wind, which we view as more natural than uranium, many people unconsciously assume renewables are better for the environment.

I think we should have a "Green New Deal." It should start with the construction of 100 of a standardized nuclear reactor series with specific pre-approval from the federal government and a state of emergency declared that will preempt any state challenges to their construction. The state of emergency would require that for each reactor going on line the most CO2-intensive power plant in the country would be shut down, or the least efficient generation facility in terms of kilowatts/square foot could be dismantled and the land returned to its previous use. In addition, regulations limiting the locations of these reactors could be written to avoid construction on active fault lines, such as the Hayward Fault and the San Andreas Fault.

Any state that chose to prevent construction of these new plants because of fear of earthquake damage will not be able to purchase power generated by any of the new plants.

Let's face it, if we had nuclear power plants spread across the United States, with the expectation that they were there for the long haul, the issue of the small amount of radioactive waste would be less compelling. Store it on site, because that site will be a plant for the foreseeable future. And lest the no-nothings are confuse by the volume of waste produced by even the messiest plants, it is nothing in comparison to the huge waste of space that solar and wind generation creates.

I wonder whether Alexandria Donkey-Chompers will be interested in my plan, since she challenged us to come up with alternatives!

&topic=world_news">digg this posted by CBD at 12:30 PM

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