Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monsters under the bed

One of the good things about being a nuclear blogger is that I don't have to refer to any of my colleagues as dumb. We are talking here about a bunch of really smart gals and guys. I am talking about people like Robert Stone, Gwyneth Cravens, Karen Street, Steve Aplin, Robert Hargraves, Rod Adams, Stephen Packard, Brian Wang, Dan Yurman, Jack Gamble, Eugene Preston, Peter Lang, Kirk Sorensen, Robert Steinhaus, David Walters, Ondrej Chvala, David LeBlanc, Cheryl Rofer, Craig Schumacher, David Bradish, Rick Maltese, John Kutsch, Ted Rockwell, Jason Correia, John Wheeler, Meredith Joan Angwin, Ruth Sponsler, and many others. These people should go on Santa's nice list. According to Ms. Becky, I an not always nice, so I don't belong on Santa's nice list. No doubt Amory Lovins, Joe Romm, David Roberts, and many other renewable power advocates belong on Santa's naughty list too. Of course Ms. Becky likes to tease me, and maybe when she says that I am being naughty, she is not trying to suggest that I have been acting like Roberts, Lovins and Romm.

Easily the smartest people writing about energy anywhere in the world wrute about their support for nuclear power on the internet. And Barry Bro0k comes somewhere ar the top of my list as far as intelligence is concerned. Barry and I have had our arguments, and probably still do. Barry is a devote of an over priced, over hyped and inefficient reactor project called the Integral Fast Reactor. Don't ask me why, I can only tell you that Barry has a few screws loose in an otherwise well functioning brain.

My complaints about the the IFR are that it has more safety issues than the LFTR, although I think that in absolute terms the IFR is safe. It is very likely that the IFR will cost a lot more to build than the LFTR. It is certain that the IFR will require up too 10 times as much fissionable material per unit of energy output than the LFTR will. From a political viewpoint, the proliferation prevention features of the LFTR will probably be more attractive than the IFR. The very fact that the IFR produces plutonium rather than U-233, will, I suspect, be regarded as a liability by nuclear critics.

At any rate, a topic in Barry's latest Brave New Climate post, OzEA – The second story, caught my eye. The topic title was,
The monster under the bed – how much will it cost?
The cost of post carbon energy is, of course, the monster under the bed, and while renewable advocates keep telling people that the monster is hiding under the bed marked nuclear power, it is clear that they have not looked under the bed called renewable energy, where they most assuredly will find a bigger and more frightening monster. At any rate, when I started looking at post carbon energy costs, in 2007 David Roberts assured me that the cost of nuclear power would be much higher than the the cost of renewable energy, while the cost of nuclear was rapidly getting worse, while the cost of renewables was getting better just as fast. When I looked for proof that what Roberts said was true, I found none. In short, Roberts was contradicted by a lot of credible sources, although he found support among anti-nuclear, pro-renewable propagandists, such as Mark Cooper, and Amory Lovins.

Barry Brook would encourage us to be aware of the monsters under the bed of energy costs. Those monsters appear to be labeled, "renewable energy costs." Renewable energy advocates try to distract us, by telling us the monster is called, "nuclear energy costs. But the nuclear energy "monster underneath the bed," is s not really scary when you take a good look at it.


Barry Brook said...

ALL my screws are tight, Charles!

Charles Barton said...

Barry, we all make mistakes. I am sure, in all modesty that I have, although I don't remember them.

donb said...

Charles, do naughty nuclear bloggers get a lump of thorium (or uranium) in their sock for Christmas? ;-)

Charles Barton said...

Donb, naughty nuclear bloggers get lumps of coal for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

who's the artist that painted "
Monster Under The Bed"?


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