Sunday, August 28, 2011

Honesty and the Green Case against Nuclear Power

Greens accounts of nuclear power and nuclear power safety and proliferation related issues are riddled with quite obvious mistakes and misrepresentations of well documented facts. Many of those deliberate misrepresentations and errors are intended to creat doubts and fear in the minds of the readers and listeners.

In December 2006 by the Canadian Pembina Institute published a report (titled Nuclear Power in Canada: an Examination of Risks, Impacts and Sustainability), that was harshly critical of nuclear power. The Report Summary stated:
Any life-cycle analysis of an energy source is likely to identify previously unrecognized or un-quantified impacts. However, the range and scale of impacts and risks associated with nuclear power production make it unique among energy sources.

While the greenhouse gas emissions associated with nuclear power are less than those that would be associated with conventional fossil fuel energy use, no other energy source combines the generation of a range of conventional pollutants and waste streams – including heavy metals, smog and acid rain precursors, and water contaminants – with the generation of extremely large volumes of radioactive wastes that will require care and management over hundreds of thousands of years. The combination of these envi- ronmental challenges, along with security, accident and weapons proliferation risks that are simply not shared by any other energy source, place nuclear energy in a unique category relative to all other energy supply options. In essence, reliance on nuclear power as a response to climate change would involve trading one problem – greenhouse gas emissions – for which a wide range of other solutions exist, for a series of other complex and difficult problems for which solutions are generally more costly and difficult and for which the outcomes are much less certain.
This report is still available online today at the Pembina Institute web site. It has not been altered from its 2006 form, despite the numous errors in the report that have been pointed out by its critics. Pembina Institute has not undertaken a response to its critics, even though they= Institute and its board of directors must be aware of the criticisms.

The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) prepared a response to Nuclear Power in Canada, titled Nuclear Power in Canada: A Review of a Critique. The Introduction to that Review states,
The Pembina Institute released a report in December 2006, entitled Nuclear Power in Canada: an Examination of Risks, Impacts and Sustainability (hereafter referred to as the Pembina report). The report addressed the suitability of nuclear power as an energy source in modern society. It focused on six major issues that surround nuclear power: safety, reliability, cleanliness, greenhouse gases, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. The Institute found nuclear wanting on all of these counts.
The purpose of this study is to review and assess the Pembina report and its relevance to the application by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund (name subsequently changed to Ecojustice) for a complaint filed with the Competition Bureau. The current work reviews the Pembina report with the normal standards of scientific inquiry in mind. These standards are discussed in a limited fashion, although adequately for the purpose at hand, in Appendix 1. The Appendix essentially states that when providing commentary such as that in the Pembina report, a measure of objectivity must be adopted in order to avoid the kind of bias associated with extreme political views — views that may unfairly influence the obvious conclusions and lead to faulty advice with respect to policy. We do not address everything in the report, but we do identify numerous cases where the conclusions seemed unsupported by evidence or where other analytical deficiencies were identified. Our review concludes that the Pembina report exhibits a bias against the nuclear sector that a critical analysis would suggest is not warranted. The report, in our view, is of very limited use as a means to understanding the role and place of nuclear energy in the modern world and the appropriate policies that should condition that use.

The strength of the conclusion warrants some comment. We recognize the authors of this work may not represent the views of the Pembina Institute as a corporate entity. It is not our intent to criticize the Institute itself, rather the specific study under review. Pembina acknowledges some bias in favour of protecting the environment, and CERI accepts that there is a range of views on the broader subject of environmental policy that can be supported by legitimate scientific enquiry. Therefore, in the spirit of candid discourse, it is reasonable to provide diverse views on subjects of academic and policy interest. That was the spirit in which we undertook the study. However, when our work was completed, it was the unanimous conclusion of all our review team that there appears to be an unusually strong bias against nuclear energy in the Pembina report; in our judgment, that bias cannot be supported by the facts or the arguments presented.

We note that Sierra Legal, in an application to the Competition Bureau dated 18 December 2006, used the Pembina report to support a charge that the nuclear industry, through its high-level advertising, misrepresents the economic and environmental implications of using nuclear power. While those charges are not the subject of this review, we are obligated to note that, to the extent that they rely on the report at issue, the charges are likely unwarranted.

The Pembina report provides a significant amount of information on the nuclear industry, its operation and history. That information, much of which provides accurate descriptive background, is then interspersed with comments or conclusions that we found questionable; either because they are susceptible to further analysis which would lead to different conclusions, or because they are limited to Canada, when relevant information from other countries should have been incorporated. It was somewhat surprising to find that all of the authors’ interpretations tended to result in negative conclusions. That led our review to focus on those negative conclusions to see whether or not they are reliable.
The CERI response is extremeky well thought out, and engages in considered reflection on the employment of objective research method in research on energy issues. The CERI response points to the role of biase in the Pembina Selection of data:
The Pembina report contains extensive descriptions of the various phases of the nuclear cycle and underscores the negative aspects of nuclear power in Canada. However, as the emphasis on painting a negative picture is apparent, the report initiates inevitable questions as to the reasonableness of its own statements and conclusions.

The Pembina report is, according to its authors, “intended to inform public debate over the future role of nuclear energy in Canada and to facilitate comparisons of nuclear energy with other potential energy sources” (p. 3.) The study falls short of this objective for a number of reasons that will be addressed in detail in the remainder of this review. . . .
Major flaws are identified
Perhaps the most important limitation stems from the failure to compare the results to other alternatives. However, other concerns include the fact that although the report covers several time periods, it does not properly identify trends. Rather it presents a snapshot-like picture of nuclear power instead of acknowledging the dynamic aspect of past developments and likely future evolution. The snapshot neglects comparisons with alternatives, positive aspects of nuclear energy, the need for diversification of energy supplies, and the increasingly important uses for nuclear technology in medicine and other fields.

Moreover, the report does not feature appropriate comparisons because it does not identify emissions that can be legitimately tied to domestic electricity generation rather than exports or non-electric uses. The occasional exclusion of some emissions as being not relevant to domestic generation, as in Tables 3.3 and 4.18, tend to disguise this problem, raising suspicions about possible bias.

It is unfortunate that the report does not provide quantitative analysis that supports its conclusions. While the nuclear life cycle is discussed in great scientific detail (VOCs, Tritium Oxides, Iodine-131 etc.), there is little analysis. The report is essentially a literature review, relaying data and information regarding the risks and impacts of nuclear power through its entire life cycle, often relying on outdated stereotypes and perceptions of nuclear energy. It appears, on occasion, to be selective in the research it cites. In Chapter 6, for example, it provides little empirical evidence, simply noting cost overruns related to certain nuclear facilities and increasing prices of uranium. Notwithstanding the lack of evidence, the report’s conclusions that nuclear is neither cost-effective nor sustainable are emphatic.

The literature review the authors rely on is itself limited. While the report examines risks and impacts in Canada, it would be useful to compare and review the experience of other nations with regard to nuclear power operation and spent fuel management. This is especially true for the second phase, in which the Pembina report begins by stating that “available information on the impacts of uranium refining, conversion and fuel fabrication is limited” (p. 43). The authors do not cite the nuclear experiences of nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France, whose experiences could have enhanced the scope of the report, yet were ignored. Despite the lack of thorough review, the authors are willing to conclude that, “the environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling are severe” (p. 23). This is inconsistent with effective scientific inquiry.

The Pembina report offers a menu of policy conclusions that address the emotional rather than the logical consciousness of decision makers and the public. Advice for policy making should be based on concrete evidence that leads to confidence in findings and conclusions.

Because both evidence and credible presumption stemming from reasoned argument are lacking, the report is of limited usefulness.
As a scholarly assessment of the work of other scholars, this is utterly damming. Yet it is clear that Pembina does not care. It still posts the unaltered" Nuclear Power in Canada" on the PI web page. Nor does it appear that Penbina has not posted a defense of the shoddy practices which the CERI critique pointed out. Such practices dare to say the least, all too characteristic of the Green Industry.

The Problem is illustrated by Review of the Greenpeace report:“Tritium Hazard Report: Pollution and Radiation Risk from Canadian Nuclear Facilities” by R.V. Osborne. Osborne finds that,
The report has been written in two main parts. Part 1 discusses the basic properties of tritium and the levels of tritium in the Canadian environment. It is based largely on the data in a document prepared for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in 2002. In that document, the exposures to tritium of individual members of the public were estimated for three environments; one representative of the tritium levels distant (~ 40 km or more) from nuclear facilities, another representative of the area around a nuclear facility where tritium is produced or handled and the diet is of locally produced foods, and a third area, very close to a nuclear facility with a diet that includes some fruit and vegetables from a garden adjacent to the facility. Although it is clear from the text that some of the aspects of behavior of tritium in the environment and of the biokinetics of tritium are misunderstood by the author of the Greenpeace report, the analysis yields similar values for the exposures except for the environment with the highest levels. Here, the quite unrealistic assumption was made that the complete diet could be provided by the local garden; an assumption that more than doubled the estimated exposure. Nevertheless, the Greenpeace report notes that based on the current understanding of the dosimetric implications of these levels of tritium, even with the unrealistically high value calculated in this report, the doses to the general public “are miniscule”, and are not a health concern. However, the report claims that the current understanding of the dosimetry and biological effects of tritium is wrong, that the doses from tritium are much more significant than currently acknowledged (by a factor of ten at least, which is supposedly shown in Part 2 of the report and its appendices), and that there are real implications for health. The analysis in Part 2 and the appendices does not support this contention. There are misinterpretations and misunderstandings of the scientific literature and no new points are made. The text is largely based on a paper prepared by a European NGO for a review by a UK committee in 2003; a review that found the analysis unpersuasive. The additional material presented in this Greenpeace version is a review of Canadian epidemiological studies but it has misinterpretations of the various studies and provides no evidence for the observation of any effects on health from tritium.
Osborne noted unwarranted recommendations growing out of the Greenpeace misrepresentation of the environmental hazards posed by tritium from Canadian reactors,
Based on the claimed hazard from tritium near nuclear facilities in Canada, Greenpeace make six recommendations. Two in particular are completely unjustified; namely that pregnant women and young children should not live near nuclear facilities and that food from gardens near nuclear facilities should not be consumed. This is unwarranted fear-mongering. Even if the doses from tritium were to be ten times those that could conceivably be the maximum, such recommendations would be unnecessary.
Osborne reports a number of misrepresentations and/or mistakes in the Greenpeace report. For example,
There is a suggestion in the Greenpeace report that “few tritium emissions” from nuclear facilities in Canada are by way of a stack or chimney and that “tritiated water vapour literally oozes out of practically every surface, nook and cranny of the reactor building”. No reference is cited. The suggestion is plain nonsense. For a start, reactor buildings are operated at negative pressure with respect to the ambient atmospheric pressure and have to meet stringent leakage tests. Further, any tritiated water in the liquid phase that does escape from reactor systems within the reactor buildings is collected in tanks and is monitored and handled as liquid waste.
There is also the implication by Greenpeace that increasing concentrations of tritium (in the moderator and coolant of CANDU reactors) have caused radiation degeneration of seals, resins and filters, without any reference being cited. Again, this claim is wrong.
Osborne points to evidence that the Greenpeace report simply invents facts,
in commenting on the processing of heavy water moderator and coolant from the nuclear power plants at Pickering and Bruce, the author refers to the “problem of the estimated 4,000 truckloads per year” estimated to be needed to transport the heavy water to the Darlington facility. There are not 4000 truckloads per year. The estimate is high by at least an order of magnitude even if all the heavy water going to the Darlington facility had to be trucked there, but of course it does not since the Darlington reactors are on the same site.
In addition the Greenpeace text uses vague language to create impressions that may not be factually true,
Throughout the text the qualifiers “large”, “very large”, “extremely large” and “surprisingly large” are applied to tritium releases without any indication of the criterion on which this characterization is based. Indeed the whole chapter and the recommendation at the end to reduce tritium emissions are written without any indication of the dosimetric implications of the releases. As will be seen in subsequent chapters, these doses are low, even for the most highly exposed, relative to regulatory standards and to the magnitude of fluctuations experienced by the public from natural sources of radioactivity.
The Greenpeace report substitutes games with words, for fact based characterizations of real problems.
The Greenpeace author notes that the emissions from CANDU NPPs are way below the release limits that are derived from the Canadian regulatory limit of one mSv/a to a member of the public. The author then argues that the regulatory agency (the CNSC) therefore does not “restrict” the amounts of radioactive materials that are being released, as is claimed by that agency. This argument by Greenpeace is just playing with words and, in effect, completely ignores the application of the well-established ALARA1 principle, reflected in the conditions in site licences and the imposition of action levels.
The Greenpeace report is either confused or is deliberately attempting to introduce confusion.
The limits on tritium in drinking water are discussed. In the discussion there is confusion between the different approaches taken to setting drinking water guides for chemicals and for radionuclides. There is even the implication that detection limits would be appropriate for setting the guides. Given the sensitivity with which radionuclides can be detected, and in particular that for tritium in water (~one part per million million million), such a criterion would lead to an absurd standard that corresponded to a dose rate less than 2 nSv/a from continuous ingestion of water with this concentration; the dose rate is less than one millionth of the dose rate from the natural radiation background. Even the level of naturally-produced tritium in drinking water is greater than this.
Osborn points out that the Greenpeace report claims an increase in tritium concentration in the Great Lakes, when in fact just the opposite was the case. From the 1960's until the time of the Greenpeace report, the concentration of tritium in the Great Lakes had actually dropped.
Tritium concentrations measured during 1997/1998 in the Great Lakes are summarized. The values given are the same as those quoted in Osborne [2002]—the reference papers are the same—but the Greenpeace report does not include the values for earlier years. These show that the concentrations in the Great Lakes have been decreasing since the mid-sixties when fallout from nuclear weapons tests was at a maximum—even those in Lake Huron and Lake Ontario— despite the emissions from the nuclear facilities. For example, the value measured in Lake Ontario in 1965 was 43 Bq/L; by 1997 it was 7 Bq/L [King and Workman 1997].

Despite these clear data, the Greenpeace author contends that there is a “continued rise in tritium levels in most Great Lakes” and add that they are a “matter of concern”. Greenpeace also list incidents in which there have been transient tritium releases and contends that these too are matters of concern.
Osborne points out many other examples of mistakes or deliberate misrepresentations of facts If we assume mistakes we must assume that the Greenpeace authors are deliberately careless to the point of making up facts without checking. Thus the claim to represent truthful knowledge is in fact a misrepresentation.

In addition to the erroneous representations of fact, Osborn notes,
Tritium concentrations measured during 1997/1998 in the Great Lakes are summarized. The values given are the same as those quoted in Osborne [2002]—the reference papers are the same—but the Greenpeace report does not include the values for earlier years. These show that the concentrations in the Great Lakes have been decreasing since the mid-sixties when fallout from nuclear weapons tests was at a maximum—even those in Lake Huron and Lake Ontario— despite the emissions from the nuclear facilities. For example, the value measured in Lake Ontario in 1965 was 43 Bq/L; by 1997 it was 7 Bq/L [King and Workman 1997].
Despite these clear data, the Greenpeace author contends that there is a “continued rise in tritium levels in most Great Lakes” and add that they are a “matter of concern”. Greenpeace also list incidents in which there have been transient tritium releases and contends that these too are matters of concern.
There is plenty of reason for concern about the honesty and altruism of Greenpeace.
Greenpeace is a wealthy and powerful business. Greenpeace does not make anything, and despite its commitment to "green" values, does not cultivate any environmentally friendly plants, non genetically modified plants. Instead, when Greenpeace wishes to make money, it raises hell. This never ceases to impress the mainstream media, which can peddle the titillating story of Greanpeace's latest hell raising campaign to sensation hungry readers and viewers.

Some of Greenpeace's escapades seem to be motivated by a sort of legal blackmail. Greenpeace, is at the very least, guilty of fear mongeringg and pushing the limits of truth in many of its publicity campaigns. Among Greenpeace claims:
* that it is dangerous to drink Budweiser beer because of the use of a small amount of genetically modified rice in the brewing process.

* That food grown by American farmers should be boycotted, because it is legal to grow genetically modified crops in the United States.

* That Genetically modified crops are a disaster waiting to happen

* That animals fed genetically modified foods show serious side effects.

* Thar bromine detected in the Apple iPhone were environmentally harmful, even though none of the bromine compounds detected were seen as harmful by European Union environmental standards covering toxic substances in electronics. ,
Needless to say, Greenpeace lacks scientific evidence to back up these absurd claims. Greenpeace makes money by telling lies that misrepresent facts.

A Greenpeace media story began with the headline,
Cracks in nuclear power plant.
But were the cracks flaws in the power plant's structure? No! The Greenpeace story tells us,
Thirty Greenpeace activists entered the Borssele nuclear power plant in Zeeland, Netherlands. On top of the nuclear reactor, a crack has been painted to demonstrate the fact that the power plant is old and not safe and should be closed by 2013, as agreed previously. The Dutch government is reconsidering to keep the nuclear plant open after 2013.
Greenpeace always lies. There were no structural cracks in the Zeeland power plant, rather cracks painted by Greenpeace, and there were no serious indicators that the Zeeland plant was actually not safe due to its age.

The Greenpeace story pulls out all the stops as it tells us about the Nuclear Bogeyman, that oh so dangerous and oh so evil enemy of human well being.
The reality of nuclear power is no different now than it was in the 20th Century - it is inherently dangerous.

Time and time again the industry has demonstrated that safety and nuclear power is a contradiction in terms.

Safe reactors are a myth. An accident can occur in any nuclear reactor, causing the release of large quantities of deadly radiation into the environment. Even during normal operations radioactive materials are regularly discharged into the air and water. The policy of secrecy,which surrounded the development of the bomb, was transferred to civil nuclear power projects after World War II and lives on today. . . .

Aging of nuclear reactors, in particular the effect of prolonged operation on materials and large components, is endemic throughout the world's nuclear industry. At the same time nuclear operators are continually trying to reduce costs due to both greater competition in the electricity market and the need to meet shareholder expectations.
Are civilian power reactors as "inherently dangerous" as Greenpeace claims?

Cyril a regulat contributor to the Energy from Thorium Discussion commented:
I don't get the whole quest for inherently safe reactors. LWRs have negative reactivity due to the coolant also being the moderator that keeps the chain reaction going. If something drastic happens the coolant will be lost and the chain reaction will stop. In fact the chain reaction will stop even without breaking primary circuit, the negative feedback is very powerful.

This is an inherent safety mechanism. It means LWRs cannot go Chernobyl. They can still damage themselves from fission product afterheat. This damage is limited to the plant. It is the difference between having 7% heat load or 10000% (the latter caused Chernobyl). The negative feedback prevents Chernobyl completely. It is physics.

I don't like it when people talk about gen4 as inherently safe because it suggests there is no inherent safety with current designs. As we can see above this is not correct. If we define inherently safe as being completely safe to the general public, then LWRs already do this.
Cyril is quite correct that the LWR has some inherent safety features, and in particular a negative coefficient of reactivity in the event of coolant loss. The Three Mile Island accident established a LWR core meltdown would not trigger a China syndrome situation. That is the reactor pressure vessel would contain the molten core at least in most situations. in the TMI accident the core actually only partly melted, and the TMI accident was the worst loss of coolant accident that could reasonably be expected. The TMI accident left two significant containment barriers intact, demonstrating that even in the worst nuclear accident, the public would be safe. Nuclear power plants proven by TMI to not just be safe "by the skin of our teeth," but to be safe by a wide margin.

Radioactive gasses did escape from the TMI reactor during the incident, but they did not pose biological dangers, and were quickly dispersed. No one died as a consequence of escaping gasses at TMI, and no one got sick. And TMI was the worst accident that can reasonably be expected. Far from being inherently dangerous, the LIght Water Reactor was proven to be quite safe, not safe in the sense that LWRs will never have accidents or mishaps, but that accidents or mishaps involving the reactor core will not kill or injure people. Nuclear power plants turn out to be safer than gas fired power plants, far safer than coal fired power plants, far safer than wind turbines, and far safer than solar photovoltaic generating systems, when it comes to human safety. The one thing you will never find Greenpeace doing is publishing objective accounts of renewable energy related accidents or publishing objective data on deaths and injuries tied to renewable energy related accidents. On the other hand Greenpeace unceasingly exaggerates the death total from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The Greenpeace account of Chernobyl casualties keeps rising. Ten years after the accident Greenpeace claimed that it had produced 2500 casualties. Radiations exposures from the Chernobyl accident as well as their effect have been wildly exagerated by the Greenpeace influenced media. A recent Greenpeace report, which Greenpeace conned the New York Academy of Sciences into publishing claimed that the Chernobyl death total was approaching one million people. What of Reports of respected agencies like the world Health Agency which pegged the Chernobyl death toll at 4000. According to Greenpeace the WHO is lying. Well someone is probably lying, but do you really believe that it is the WHO?

I have a long standing interest in the sociology and social psychology of public issues. Why do people put up with this crap? Modernity is marked by the use of political and social issues to define personal identity and the identity of social groups. Although disinterested individuals may come to see certain issues as being of great importance to society and chose to devote time and energy to those issues out of purely altruistic concerns, this is far from always the case. Some of the leading critics of nuclear power have tied their hostility to nuclear power to personal business interests. This would include figures like Ralph Nader, Amory Lovins, and organizations like Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace.

It is often assumed that non-profit status, implies a lack of financial motivation, but such beliefs would not be held by people who have worked in the non=profit economic sector. Often non-profits are set up in such a way that great economic benefits may flow to a single manager or to a small numbers of managers, while most of the agencies employees may be underpaid. I't is not unusual for agencies to violate their own rules, by denying fair compensation to some employees, while overcompensating others. Boards of directors may turn out to be the personal friends of the executive director, or alternatively the board may never meet, and decisions are reached by phone calls between the chairman of the board and the executive director. The income from the agency may come in the form of grants and contracts that are subtly at variance with the public purposes of the organization. Thus an environmental organization known for its anti-nuclear stance may be taking money from a foundation to promote the idea of clean coal. The foundation may in turn receive funding from coal mining interests. The organizations leadership may understand all of this, but the reality may not be appreciated by the organizations rank and file or a large numbers of people who identify with the cause and support it by making small or even large contributions to what they regard as a good cause.

Leaders in popular, issues related social movements may be more conceerned about managing followers social identities than in the accuracy of information they offer the public, Thus leaders and other individuals who have tied themselves to the anti-nuclear movement may spend a great deal of time motivating followers to oppose nuclear power without concern about the truthfulness of statements made to increase the motivation of followers.

Even those who are aware of the inconsistency between high minded purpose and cynical manipulative and dishonest means are loath to publicly point to the conflict. I would by no means confine the scope of these remarks to the anti-nuclear movement. The leadership of many allegedly high minded organizations conduct their business in dishonest fashion. And even with organizations whose overall commitment to high minded goals is unquestionable, lying and deception still may be an informal part of the organizations method of doing business.

I am not suggestion that all or even most cause oriented organizations are corrupt, only that the high minded should not ignore evidence of deception on the part of their leadership. Those who do so are enablers of wrong doing, either by playing the role of mark or chump, or by cynically becoming a party to the deception. We should not assume that Harvey Wasserman, Amory Lovins, Helen Caldicott, or Ralph Nader are unaware of the extent to which they engage in deception while promoting their anti-nuclear cause, or the compromises that figures like journalist Ellen Goodman make while facilitating the communication of these deception.
It is my contention then that anti-nuclear leaders and organizations knowingly repeat false or inaccurate information as part of their anti-nuclear campaigns, and that among their motivations for doing so, are financial rewards. I further maintain that there is an anti-nuclear business, and that among the services it provides, is the manipulation of adherents identities. The motivation of adherents has been explored by Eric Hoffer, who wrote in The Ordeal of Change

"Faith, enthusiasm, and passionate intensity in general are substitutes for the self-confidence born of experience and the possession of skill. ... The substitute for self-confidence is faith ... the substitute for self-esteem is pride; and the substitute for individual balance is fusion with others in a compact group. ... In the chemistry of the soul, a substitute is almost always explosive if for no other reason than that we can never have enough of it. We can never have enough of that which we really do not want. What we want is justified self-confidence and self-esteem. .... We can be satisfied with moderate confidence in ourselves and with a moderately good opinion of ourselves, but the faith we have in a holy cause has to be extravagant and uncompromising, and the pride we derive form an identification with a nation, race, leader, or party [religion] is extreme and overbearing."

Nuclear supporters may at present be protected from corruption, not by any moral superiority that might fall to us because of the rightness and justice of our cause, but by the lack of motive for corruption. Despite the charge by our critics that we are shills for the nuclear industry, in fact the nuclear industry for the most part a distant reality from which we receive no benefits, nor do we expect too. But were bribes available would we be incorruptable?


Anon said...

Of course if it were to get to the point at which the pro-nuclear movement became as corrupt as the anti-nuclear movement we'd probably have beaten them (we still have the advantage of the truth supporting our position).

Though a bigger point is that a pressure group should aim to render itself irrelevant by having their goals get achieved but that also means that those running the group wouldn't be able to continue making money off it so a lot of them just engage in tokenism which doesn't do anything (and often actively prevents real action) to prevent what they are meant to be trying to achieve from actually happening.

Anonymous said...

There is no "green case" against nuclear power, just as there is no logical "green case" for or against anything else either. Greenism is an arbitrary and illogical blind faith. It is a religious experience- nothing more than that.

There are two interesting things about religion and the experience of such in society. They are, firstly, that religion is personal. There is no proper place for it in the public space- in politics or in economics, for instance. Hence, those who choose not to believe must be left alone- never forced or coerced into submitting to the strictures and rules of the religious believer. Of course, individuals may voluntarily choose to believe and/or behave according to a religious system, but not one other person need do so or be expected to. There is no valid requirement or real authority available to destroy the sovereignty of any person, including a non-believer, to force them to act in a specific manner, (or not to act, as the case may be).

Secondly, in the USA the Constitution specifically prohibits state promotion or institution of religion. Neither the States, nor a federation thereof is permitted to promote or require subservience by any person to religious ruling, edict or belief. This is the much discussed (and often ignored) separation of Church and State. It applies to the green religion just as surely as it does to all the others.

There is nothing wrong with Greenpeace or any other sect or cult attempting to convince others to accept their dogma. The trouble occurs when they employ coercion or force or fraud to make people obey. Unfortunately Greenpeace is well known for use of force (and even violence), coercion and fraud. Worse is that they have co-opted the apparatus of state to so do. The costs upon individuals and society as a whole is immense. The lack of morality more so.

In the end, the case FOR nuclear power is best made by persuasion, possession of known fact and, most importantly, individuals who are prepared to risk their own capital and property and wealth to erect machines, plants, systems and the like to exploit nuclear technology. That in turn all relies upon an absence of coercive govt authority erecting arbitrary barriers- barriers inspiried and demanded by the worshippers of the "green case"...


Anon said...

It would be better to call the green movement a quasi-religion as whilst it has as much faith as a religion it doesn't have much of the supernatural baggage (the same holds from communism as well).

Whilst it is true that religion or quasi-religion should remain private, it just isn't in the nature of successful belief systems to stay that way (if you look at which religions have the most followers you'll note that the two largest both have a long history of atrocities and forced conversions).

The fact that nuclear can't be done on a very small scale (say by hobbyists) means you'll need large companies to be involved with it along with needing to do politics.

Anonymous said...


A system of religious belief is not and can't ever be "successful" in that it requires contradictions to be ignored or evaded- in particular it requires contradictions between it and reality to be ignored and it also requires its own internal contradictions to be ignored. The belief exists to prohibit a consistent understanding of reality as it is and in order to provide the emotional comfort of easy answers and self-justifications. The long list of atrocities, crimes, impoverishments, wars, violence, destruction of wealth and welfare by the two largest religions are excellent examples of the application. Note how quickly the religious will state things like, "that was that OTHER religion" and "that was back then, we are better now" etc. The whole edifice is parasitic and destructive. It has been a terrrible hindrance to civilisation and the individual. Neverthless there are plenty who continue with their criminality and immorality safe in the belief that God, Gaia, Umbunto, Allah, Ra etc "is on our side."




The fact that something is expensive means that it requires capital accumulation and a significant concentration of capital to achieve it. The effect of religion is to consume capital and to disperse it. Same goes for govt. Govt creates no wealth. It is a parasite which relies for its existence on consuming what it can take from those who do create.


Anon said...

When a religion (or quasi-religion) is called successful it is usually referring to that religion gaining a large number of adherents (which often comes along with political power) and not how well it describes reality.

Anonymous said...


Ah, the appeal to social metaphysics- an invalid method.

Applying such an approach to the term "success" one may readily conclude that national socialism is successful, communism is successful, indeed socialism in its various popular forms is successful.

The reality is that none of those can be regarded as a success, no matter how many people are ensnared. Reality demonstrates that such are disasterously unsuccessful. Always better to make the effort to understand reality in the first instance, not to adopt the easy fictions that some attempt to substitute.

In conclusion, an ideology or philosophy (which may or may not be religious in nature) is a set of ideas that is employed to live within and to deal with reality. To the extent that it contradicts aspects of reality it will lead to resulting failures, defeats, destruction of wealth, violence, loss of wellfare/wellbeing, impoverishment, decline of living standard, loss of civility, decline of civilisation, retardation of innovation and tragic disaster. Adherents fail to achieve success to the extent such systems of thought fail to correspond with reality.



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