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Guest Post: Nuclear Twilight In Europe

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Daly of

Nuclear Twilight in Europe

It is becoming evident to many that the March nuclear catastrophe at
Japan’s six reactor Daichi Fukushima complex has dealt a huge, possibly
fatal, blow to the nuclear industry’s hopes of a revival.

A year ago even global warming enthusiasts reluctantly embraced
nuclear power as a carbon-free energy generating system, and the
industry was ramping up for glory days as a result.

The triple whammy against nuclear power beginning with the 1979
partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, followed by 1986’s Chernobyl 
disaster and now Fukushima, effectively present a “three strikes and
you’re out” call against civilian nuclear energy power generation for
the foreseeable future.

That said, with the trillions of dollars already invested in 436
nuclear power plants (NNP) worldwide, according to the International
Atomic energy Agency (IAEA),  the industry has begun to push back, and
“ground zero” is emerging as Europe, not Japan, with the lawyers

In the wake of Fukushima, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced
on 30 May that Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy and Europe's
biggest, would shut down all of its 17 would abandon nuclear energy
completely between 2015 and 2022, an extraordinary commitment, given
that Germany’s 17 NPPS Germany produce about 28 percent of the country's

If Berlin’s announcement sent nuclear power proponents seating, worse
was to follow, as Switzerland is examining a proposal to phase out the
country's five nuclear plants by 2034.

Finally, if any doubts existed about Europe’s commitment of nuclear
energy, on 12-13 June in a referendum in which 56 percent of Italian
voters participated, an eye-watering 94 percent voted against nuclear
power.  Following the 1987 Chernobyl disaster, Italy decided to shut
down its four NPPs and the last operating plant closed in 1990. Three
years ago Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reversed this decision but
after Fukushima Berlusconi announced a one-year moratorium on his plans
for new nuclear power plants, intending to restart Italy’s nuclear
energy program in 2014. Berlusconi spent the days leading up to the
polls challenging the nuclear power measure in court, declaring he
wouldn't vote and suggesting his fellow Italians stay at home too. They
didn’t, and Berlusconi’s electoral defeat has ended nuclear
possibilities for Italy for the foreseeable future. In 2010, 22.2
percent of Italy’s power came from renewable energy sources. 64.8
percent were from fossil fuels, and 13 percent were imported sources,
including French nuclear power. The stinging defeat at the polls is a
boon for Italy’s nascent renewable energy industry.

The German nuclear industry has begun to fight back, insisting that
its shutdown would cause major damage to the country's industrial base.
Utilities E.ON AG and Vattenfall Europe AG have already announced that
they will seek billions of euros in compensation, and RWE AG and EnBW
Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG are expected to follow soon. Germany's
four nuclear operators have already announced they will stop paying into
a government renewables fund, which was set up in September 2010 as
compensation for longer nuclear life-spans.

In such an environment, the only nuclear energy growth field currently is lawyers’ fees.


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Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:24 | 1375050 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Never mind the Nuclear - some people on this site had better watch out - I've seen many of these phrases being used here by people pretending to know what they're talking about!


From now on - these should be banned on ZH

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:37 | 1375340 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Here are a few more terms that need to be extinguished from ZH:

1) Business Cycle - if there were a cycle then the market would be predictable.

2) Head and Shoulders Pattern - Why not a name for all random curve shapes?

3) Over-exuberant - Meaning: "I missed out."

4) Irrational - Someone's making money.  That's rational.

5) Market forces - An Army forcing mark to market?

6) Nuclear option - Gads.  Trite.  Overused.


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:49 | 1375142 I Got Worms
I Got Worms's picture

I don't believe a word of that report, since I didn't hear it mentioned this morning by Matt Lauer on the Today Show.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:26 | 1375066 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

HOLY!!! BIG JUMP IN RADIATION IN SOUTH KOREA!!! AND NOW THEY SAY A 300sq meter hole is in reatcor 2!!!

AND now and update....... reactor 4 is smoking!!! 



Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:56 | 1375179 redpill
redpill's picture

And as was predicted very early on by many on ZH, they are finally, finally, finally admitting they are totally fucked and will be emtombing the reactors in a sarcophagus.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:21 | 1375270 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Gotta think that radiation is degrading the structural support on leaning #4. I am guessing it will collapse before they King Tut it. Probably politically incorrect to start a pool? (3 months, 10 days)

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:29 | 1375083 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

on Topic, Fukushima "it's much worse than you think"

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

the remainder of the article is worth reading as well at:


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:39 | 1375347 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Any guesses as to what is happening toward the end of this video of Fukushima?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:53 | 1374931 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

The life cycle carbon footprint of a unit of nuclear power is not much better than coal.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374955 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Who cares?  The whole carbon footprint notion is just fodder for the zealots of the global warming myth.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:36 | 1375335 Jasper M
Jasper M's picture

Seconded! +1

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:11 | 1375848 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Not to mention the upcoming global carbon trading market that will make Al Gore even richer.

And as much as I detest sending traffic to Jones' psyop, sometimes you have to go where the info is.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:07 | 1374971 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

The life cycle nuclear footprint of a unit of coal power is WORSE than nuclear.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:31 | 1375074 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:09 | 1375209 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Definitely worse, I was just pointing out that nuclear has significant life cycle carbon costs too.

Of course if they had gone with the thorium cycle and nuclear power was just about energy, we'd all be better off, but nuclear power has aways been about weapons so we went the uranium route. Good luck explaining that to the masses.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:43 | 1375350 Jasper M
Jasper M's picture

Maintaining a chain reaction in thorium is a Lot harder than people seem to think. The physics makes the engineering HARD. Yes, I think we are in spitting distance of solving that now, but don't fault those that have gone before on choosing Uranium. It was prety much the only option. 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 16:04 | 1375671 gerryscat
gerryscat's picture

If they could do it in the 1960's why not today?

Fri, 06/17/2011 - 02:20 | 1376814 MrJoy
MrJoy's picture

Don't you think the need for plutonium and weapons grade uranium was the number one reason uranium reactors were chosen?

Enrico Fermi was a early proponent for developing Thorium reactors instead of Uranium ones, due to 1. No fission without action from the outside 2. No enrichment of fuel needed 3. Greatly reduced amounts of radioactive waste. Also, Thorium reactor design is based on liquid fuel, making fuel management (refueling and cooling are two examples) easier than with solid rods of hot uranium.

In my opinion the need for weapons grade fissile material (easily made using uranium reactors) created a whole infrastructure around uranium reactors, with a now established industry of mining, enrichment and waste management that has no interest in getting replaced by Thorium. How would you argue that this was not the decisive reason why uranium reactors won?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:51 | 1374940 SpiritBlade
SpiritBlade's picture

We are it seems achieving meltdown on all fronts as the establisments Fourth Reich guides us into WWIII.

Please dont get distracted now by silly politics and election rhetoric. There wont be anymore elections for the fallen Republic. We gave it all away. Goodbye America, you were beautiful.

just save your kids folks...


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:05 | 1374978 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

To hell with the kids

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:14 | 1375016 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Kids are treated these days either like a virus(that's why you take pills or put on rubber against them) or like slaves you keep more of them so the government gives you subsidies, it's perverse, and when a TSA agent wants to fondle your daughter the fathers/mothers say "go  right ahead put your dirty hands in my daughers pants"(implicitly)

this world deserves to go down

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:59 | 1375186 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Everybody treats everybody else like they are a virus. It is written in the bylaws of the divide and conquer handbook.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:18 | 1375253 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

Just FYI, for the majority of human history children have been considered as property, and were primarily useful as laborers. The idea of excluding children from the workforce, having universal public education and nurturing children to become fully realized citizens is a fairly novel idea, having only really come into existence over the last couple of hundred years. All things considered, I'm inclined to conclude that we treat children MUCH better today than they have ever been treated in the whole of human history.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:35 | 1375093 Chump
Chump's picture

You first.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:51 | 1374942 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

The plan is to get the Greeks a bunch of hamster wheels to replace Germany's nuclear power loss.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:57 | 1374957 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:03 | 1374973 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

The old Baklava on a stick trick eh?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:57 | 1374946 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"even global warming enthusiasts reluctantly embraced nuclear power as a carbon-free energy generating system..."

Fallacy of False Premise
Nuclear power is not carbon free... The nuclear plant life cycle, from mining to decommissioning it is 90% as carbon intensive as coal...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:55 | 1374949 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

Coal plants also release more radiation into the environment than nuclear power plants.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374963 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

so far...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:04 | 1374966 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Yes but Al Gore didn't make a movie about this yet, so the sheeeple don't know that, and theres no sexy 'hokey stick' diagram to convince them

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:09 | 1374981 Mercury
Mercury's picture

That sexy "hockey stick" turned out to be a little...flacid.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:11 | 1374987 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Actually there probably is a diagram for increasing mercury and radiation releases from coal. But nobody cares about things like that so you won't run into it on the cover of Time magazine.

The CO2 hockey stick is really just a proxy measure for the explosive growth in the consumption of all fossil fuels, which is also just a proxy for the explosive growth in materials consumption, manufacturing and transportation in the last half of the 20th century. The filling of our freeways, growth of cities, global population explosion (2B to 7B in 50 years) and expansion of global trade are also all proxies for the same phenomenon. Man has triumphed, and then teh shit happened.

It's nothing to be afraid of. It's just progress. 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:16 | 1375027 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Hey, all that CO2 may ultimately be holding off the next ice age which we're probably overdue for.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:16 | 1375224 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Government grant money trumps science.

Scientists are majority whores same as everyone else.

The question is why governments want to promote the fraud of AGW.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:19 | 1375261 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

For control, of course.  Spend 4 decades engineering some non-disprovable theory about how industrialization is bad for the planet (Gaia), and then clamp down on it in an attempt to transfer wealth from those that have reaped rewards from risking their capital.

GW is the alpha hoax.  Not only has the supposed "supporting" science been de-bunked, but it's been well documented the high correlation between temperature trends and solar activity.  

It's fun to watch all the drones worship GW, however...particularly the younger crowd that has been taught it out of the crib doesn't see the obvious veiled effort to consolidate power.


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 19:02 | 1376089 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

I have never seen a coal plant have total melt down

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:57 | 1374947 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

It's a good thing France doesn't have any nukes close by. :roll:

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:28 | 1375283 trav7777
trav7777's picture

we're fucked.

The peak oil denier morons spent the past 3 years saying NUKEYALER will save us, no need to worry.

now they talk about stupid shit like algae.

I wonder where the fuck Germany believes they're going to get that 28% deficit from....are they effing STUPID?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 16:55 | 1375802 Arisu
Arisu's picture

It seems you haven't heard of it yet, but there are lots of ways to get energy... from nature!

Generally this includes photovoltaics, energy crop, water power and wind power. Grid energy storage, mostly pumped-storage hydroelectricity, makes it possible to use the energy whenever it is needed, even if it isn't shining or breezy right now.

It's not impossible and I think it's not infeasible either when you consider that there isn't much feasibly recoverable fossile stuff left either and most countries have more or less exhausted their native resources already. Isn't it better to get rid of that dependance earlier so you're more likely to make the switch before it becomes unaffordably expensive? It would also help to stop these unnecessary oil wars...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374962 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

If they don't build them now, they probably won't be built ever. No matter what public sentiment is.

Not that I'm worried. There is a lot of stuff that won't be built, ever.

People think that our ability to build things is self-evident. We just decide and then we build it. Maybe there are political hurdles, maybe there are treaties, maybe the enviro-commies (not my word for them) will get their undies in a bunch (not what I would call it). And maybe for a little while, maybe a generation, we had the luxury of having those kinds of problems and they were the only problems we had.

Not any more.

Peak oil kills every other thing, every other technology, all the time, forever.

Build it now, or gtfo. Because we're not building, supplying, mining, forging or refining fuck all without abundant, cheap oil to make all the other wheels turn.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:17 | 1375007 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

Well, with enough electricity all that stuff can be synthesized, just need abundant, clean, cheap electricity and we should be able to move away from oil.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:25 | 1375044 samsara
samsara's picture

Absolutely Right Cougar.

Peak oil kills every other thing, every other technology, all the time, forever.

Folks don't realize that we are the ONLY generation EVER to see someone land on the Moon.

Peak Oil = End of Growth.

Read the other reply you had(below),  the guy says 'As long as we have abundant Electricity,  we have no problem."

So,  there you have it.  Another well thought out 'Save' for mankind.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:55 | 1375157 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

We already make synthetic petroleum products, it's just not economical versus pumping the ready made precursors out of the ground. The Germans (Nazi's) were replacing natural oil with synthetics back in the 40's. But that was a do or die situation for them, so it was economically viable in that failure was not an option.

Natural gas might actually be a more troublesome natural product to replace if the planet should ever run out of it. I gather it's components are irreplaceable and vital to a wide range of industrial use.

And anyway, the world lived and societies blossomed for thousands of years without petroleum in significant amounts. Would it really be so bad having to use out noggins to figure out how to do things more simply than having cheap easy ways of doing things? Case in point, we still can't figure out exactly how the Egyptians built the great pyrimids, but I bet they didn't use a single barrel of crude oil in their construction.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:21 | 1375252 samsara
samsara's picture

And anyway, the world lived and societies blossomed for thousands of years without petroleum in significant amounts.

Bullpucky.   6.6 BILLION didn't  

You didn't have 300 million in one country that thinks corn comes from cans.

Egyptians, Paramids, 10s of thousands of slaves...


Not this time Jack.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:20 | 1375264 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

I didn't imply 6.6 Billion. But no one really is sure what the world population was back then now are they?

Would there be mass casualties without oil? Ya. Did I imply there wouldn't? Na.

Can we replace crude oil with synthetics? Prolly, at great cost.

There's always a rude bully in every room. Read what I write, not what your imagination interjects.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:54 | 1375636 trav7777
trav7777's picture

so you think that because the number of people can't be fixed down to the person that this means that nobody could know how many people were alive back then?  So it could have been 5.4B or something?

Sure they can, dude.  Just because you can't figure it out doesn't mean that others cannot either.

It wasn't even 1 billion.  Look at the population graph of world population over history...see what happens when oil is discovered. 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:28 | 1375284 Chump
Chump's picture

It's not that the human race can't survive without oil and natural gas, it's that the glut of cheap and efficient energy has allowed an explosive increase in the carrying capacity of the Earth.  Without those sources of energy, a few billion will starve in a matter of months, maybe weeks.

And then the survivors will go back to standards of living from a few hundred years ago, if they're lucky.  I think the shock will produce some pretty epic conflicts, personally.  I mean, consider the average, morbidly obese Joe 6-pack going from a sedentary lifestyle filled with innerwebs and reality TV to the reality that if he does not grow some food or catch it, he will die.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:34 | 1375311 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture


Back to bows, arrows, and working twice as hard for half as much. But just think, no more nuclear weapons either! Sounds like a win win to me, if we can only shut down those fucking 800 nuclear reactors before they make the planet uninhabitable for even cockroaches.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:55 | 1375414 Chump
Chump's picture

Well I likely disagree with you on nuclear technology, but that's neither here nor there at this point.  We no longer have the opportunity to produce all the reactors we'd need to replace our oil infrastructure, and we certainly don't have the political will.  Oh yeah, and we'd need lots of money, too.

Unfortunately, nuclear weapons won't disappear.  In the ensuing chaos, they'll fall into the hands of whoever wants to take them and can assemble the force to do so.  And some percentage will be left to rot.  I don't know if nuclear weapons become unstable as they deteriorate, but both of the above prospects are more than a little terrifying.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:06 | 1375457 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

Well, perhaps the Earth just isn't big enough to handle 10.2 billion people projected to exist by 2050. I think it might be more sustainable under any technology paradigm at around 3 billion.

But my not spelled out point about the reactors is that their apparently isn't any way to turn them off once they start. the spent fuel still needs cooled and it is at least as dangerous, as I understand it, as the reactor.

So when shit hits the proverbial fan, who is going to mind the 800 reactors worldwide? What will stop them from going haywire without the constant TLC they require? My guess is that over time no one will. Just like no one is maintaining the aqueducts of the former Roman Empire, and they crumble. The aqueducts are a marvel to look at but a nuclear reactor would unleash hell on Earth for 100 years.

As far as nuclear weapons, well, if there isn't agriculture I don't see how some band of Mad Max nhilists is going to obtain launch codes for missiles or fly B-52's or B-2's and who could maintain all that? A slave force of captive Airforce military experts? We should collaborate on a novel.

And since they are Thermonucelar now, meaning the real punch is in the hydrogen gas, not the fissile material, the worst I think someone could do is a dirty bomb. Since there will already be 800 of them going off over time in the form of abandonded reactors, I think it to be a tertiary worry.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:47 | 1375623 trav7777
trav7777's picture

who did when the soviet union collapsed?  Same white people who were there the day before, sheesh

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:01 | 1375808 Rhodin
Rhodin's picture

Folks don't realize that we are the ONLY generation EVER to see someone land on the Moon



So the fact that the moon shows the same apparent disk as the sun is just a coincidence?  ie. relative size/distance is the same for both.  Just happened that way i guess :)

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:47 | 1375386 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I made reference to this a few weeks ago.

Imagine life in 1850, the dawn of the hydrocarbon age.

Anyone who's ridden a horse knows that they walk.  You cannot gallop them at full thoroughbred speed for very long.  They are a substitute for walking on your own feet.  And that was the state of transportation technology since their domestication.

Now imagine the coal era...the era of machines.  Suddenly you could take a train at 50mph or faster.  The speed must have been mindblowing.  10x faster than a horse's average speed.

Now you fastforward to the oil have powered flight...10x faster than a train.  We can go halfway around the globe in less than a day, faster if we used the Concorde.  We went to other planetary bodies in person too. 

Take that shit all away, along with our industrial agro.  The world we inhabit is incomprehensible to those even 150 years ago.  The frickin plane was only INVENTED in the first decade of the 1900s, and these things are now used everyday.  The car is less than 150 years old. 

Abundant, cheap electricity...LOL...from WHAT?

Nukeyaler was supposed to be our savior, so said the anti peak oil clowns.  Now where the fuck are they?  Algae?  Ionic liquids?  ROTFLMMFAO

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:15 | 1375487 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

We gotta figure something out, not sure what it will be, but research continues. When I study things I have never studied before I marvel at how much has been learned over the centuries and also how much has been forgotten.

But like you point out, the pace of technological advance has been staggering, so I wouldn't rule the human race out just yet. If we can keep from killing each other long enough to solve the problem.

I have always thought solar holds a lot of promise, but maybe something completely out of left field will come along. Keep your fingers crossed cause if the problems aren't solved we are fucked.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:24 | 1375518 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Only problem is there's not enough time to "figure something out" and get it to market before we experience collapse - even if "something" is there to find - which it may not be. 

Ask the Easter Islander's how their search for more food turned out in spite of their best efforts.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 23:58 | 1376667 IndianDancer
IndianDancer's picture

Simple: nuclear fusion will replace the current nuclear fission.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:33 | 1375082 Chump
Chump's picture

So spot on you should be given a medal.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374967 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Finally, if any doubts existed about Europe’s commitment of nuclear energy, on 12-13 June in a referendum in which 56 percent of Italian voters participated, an eye-watering 94 percent voted against nuclear power. 

They can vote for unicorns and rainbows too but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.  I don't think most of Europe can afford to drop nuclear power.  What are they going to replace that capacity with and at what cost?...on top of their other problems? no way.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374968 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The odd man out is France, whose 80% dependance of electricity by this route makes it a country with all its eggs in one basket. The nuclear lobby side is so strong, it cooled down the french surge towards renewables. France is way behind other europeans in both wind and solar. The price of electricity is totally opaque in France. It does not include "decommissioning" of existing plants now 40 years old, nor sensible re-treatment/removal options of toxic waste hidden in all sorts of deep holes. This in-spite of TMI and TChernobyl, thirty years down the road! A true ecological and economic scandal as this means the price of future electricity will jump quantum levels to include, on an accelerated basis, the past non allocation of these future expenses.

Typical when you have a government monopoly that employs its "best and brightest" technocrats in its ranks, along with oil companies.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:21 | 1375185 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yes but France does not export much money to get electricity, the money stays internal for the most part.

Hence it can be less mercantile then its Teutonic neighbour whose ass will be hanging out big time when it has no nuclear.

I often wonder did Russia leave a few hippies in east Germany after they retreated........ they seems to be carving up central europe nicely for the one Gas exporter to rule them all.

Ps solar does not work too well at 50 degree latitude and peak demand in Germany is in Winter for some strange reason.

Wind does not even work to well in Ireland and believe me we are a windy place so it must be even less effecient on the continent.

No despite the much vaunted engineering skills of the Germans they will not produce much with windmills for power and will freeze to death in Winter.

It seems manufacturing could be migrating to Frogland -

Peugeot Bitches.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:00 | 1374969 Jim in MN
Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:01 | 1374970 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

I heard that a bunch of engineers resigned from GE during the design phase of Fukushima protesting that is was unsafe.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:05 | 1374982 mynhair
mynhair's picture

People are truly stupid.  What are the odds of a big earthquake and tidal wave in Germany?

All the fraus jump up at once?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:13 | 1374998 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Well. They make some big girls over there. Could be a problem if they all moved at once.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:15 | 1375002 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

No problem, just put the big fat Berthas on treadmills and produce all the electricity needed for industry and keeping warm in a northern climate.

I didn't think Germans were this stupid.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:24 | 1375184 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Luckily, stupidity knows no bounds and has grown proportional to global government dependence.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:18 | 1375019 mirac
mirac's picture

The odds are higher than you think when considering earthquakes, but flooding would be the most likely scenario.  Like in Nebraska.  Did you click on the links of the first entry in this thread.  Nuke plants are always on/near water.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 19:57 | 1376195 Element
Element's picture

A little song for you mynhair.

(no offense Cougar)

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:10 | 1374984 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Hope they like whale oil and candle light.

Morons are gonna starve.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:19 | 1375020 Teaser
Teaser's picture

Actually, this time around, no whaile oil.  They're all gone.  And who the heck knows how to sail a whaling ship and fire a harpoon anymore?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:25 | 1375062 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

I smell Japanese and German cooperation starting up again.....

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:32 | 1375080 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Damn Axis nations just never give up, do they?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:45 | 1375131 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

Fukushima accident is simply a coverup to explain all the radiation seeping from their massive nuclear weapons program which is housed in bunkers underneath.

Watch those "reactor silos" as they shed their final skin to reveal rapid launch ICBM silos.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:52 | 1375394 trav7777
trav7777's picture

this is potentially the fucking stupidest thing I have ever heard

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:10 | 1375459 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I'm pretty sure he was making a joke. And around Conspiracy-ville, it is all the more funny.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 22:09 | 1376452 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Good thing you hedged with "potentially!"  Never short stupidity!  :>D

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:16 | 1375488 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Seems that after Fukushima, they somehow managed to find a way to NUKE THE WHALES...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:08 | 1374992 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

The more solar, the fewer years silver will exist on the planet.  Instead of the GSR being 40:1, it will reverse to 1:40.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:47 | 1375383 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Alas, a reason for solar...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:09 | 1374994 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

Coal and natural gas will be the future.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:09 | 1374997 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Seriously, Thorium reactors need to be widespread.

Nuclear vs Thorium reactor analogy: gas engines vs diesel engines

Thorium advantages: Clean energy, Thorium is cheap and plentiful, non-radioactive, can't be made into bombs, and the technology has been there for a long time and being used in India and in a couple of other reactors.

Whatever the technological or efficiency issues are with Thorium vs Nuclear, it needs to be worked out so we can get on with it. 


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:10 | 1375000 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

+1 +1 +1

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:28 | 1375058 knowless
knowless's picture

you see, but that't the whole problem, you can't make it into bombs..

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:26 | 1375067 Chump
Chump's picture

Nope.  You said the word 'reactor.'  Expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth from drooling morons everywhere.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:17 | 1375242 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Thorium is radioactive. From what little I know, it just breaks down into less hazardous waste products.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:10 | 1374999 Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

Are the words 'sandbags' and 'nuclear reactor' in the same paragraph as comically terryfying to me as to anyone else?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:16 | 1375022 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

I gotta tell you...sometimes I feel like I'm living in the fucking Twilight Zone.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:17 | 1375009 mynhair
mynhair's picture

The truly stupid are the Seattle Libtards that pay big bucks to live next to Mt. Rainier.  Like St. Helens never blew.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:41 | 1375113 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Google "YellowStone supervolcano" - the entire U.S. possibly globe is boned when this one pops again. It makes Rainer look like a wet firecracker.

P.S volcanos are not discriminatory and will destroy you irregardless of political belief. Seattle has a mixed political base as does most of the country. The liberal/conservative meme is a deliberate propaganda tool meant to utilize your energies fighting ghosts.

Drop the meme and open your eyes to who your true enemies are.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:49 | 1375393 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Also, since volcanoes are natural, their carbon emissions don't count.


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:18 | 1375012 sabra1
sabra1's picture


China sends patrol ship into disputed South China Sea
June 16, 2011

China has sent one of it largest patrol ships through the South China Sea amid heightened tension over the disputed waters.

The Haixun-31 sailed on Wednesday and will monitor shipping and “protect maritime security” on its way to Singapore, state media said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman described the trip as routine.

Several Asian nations claim territory in the waters that include shipping lanes and may contain oil and gas.



Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:28 | 1375023 mynhair
mynhair's picture

Why is TEVA taking a dump?

edit:  No insider info on the Cephalon deal - never.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:26 | 1375039 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


I mean these fat-bellied dipshit CEOs had 30 years time to prepare for a phasing out of nuclear energy since the Green party's formation in 1980.

From its humble beginnings as a fringe party of ecologists and people who were not willing to accept profits for the corporations at all socialized cost,

it has grown ever stronger in size, gained ever more in political influence and now represents the Zeitgeist, while the old conservative voters, uncritical of the consequences of unfettered belief in technology, and their generation slowly but steadily simply die out.


This clearly shows how strong a factor demographics is in the prediction of the political future of a nation.

Those chair farters in the management are the first to cash in millions and the last to carry the burden and responsibilites of not only possible accidents in and at nuclear power plants, but also the cost and problems of finding a safe storage facility for used fuel rods.


These corporate fascists and nuclear nazis must be stopped !


Can we please dump the rods in their multi-million euro mansions ?

Please, pretty, please.

It's so healthy and your children will glow in the dark, you CEO cocksuckers !


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:28 | 1375055 Chump
Chump's picture

ROFL.  As you sit and whine you continue to reap the benefits of all that dastardly technology!  Go make a computer out of sticks and post to ZH via taut string, fucking luddite.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:33 | 1375304 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Believing nuclear power is a Devil's bargain does not make you a Luddite.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:45 | 1375376 Chump
Chump's picture

Of course not.  But denigrating technology in general while dismissing the only viable alternative to oil and natural gas (and certainly the greentards won't turn to coal) and offering ZERO alternatives certainly qualifies one as a Luddite.

Every time someone decries technology and industrialization through a personal computer linked to the internet I laugh my fucking ass off at their completely hypocritical bullshit.  Go fashion a loin cloth and whittle a spear.  Live the dream!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:07 | 1375447 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

We've been going backwards since Puma Punku Chump.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:27 | 1375902 Rhodin
Rhodin's picture

I happen to like electricity.  I also happen to live downwind of one of the USA's Fuku-like plants that just happens to have 10x the spent fuel on hand of any plant at Fuku.

So yes, i want that plant shut down, or upgraded.  Even if shutdown means i have to get my electric from a generator running on bio-diesel or chicken-shit methane and/or a mini hydro in the stream.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 19:09 | 1376109 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Ok.  Call me a luddite, if you must.  I WILL ride a bicycle, replant my backyard as a garden and give up my big screen HD TV if it means they'll close Diablo Canyon.  Fair trade I'll make today.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:32 | 1375548 trav7777
trav7777's picture

find me a realistic power source that isn't.

That's the problem with these dipshits; they refuse to ACCEPT reality.

There is no easy way out of this.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:24 | 1375056 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Watermelons Unite!!!!

Enjoy the dark. Hope your forests can contribute enough firewood so y'all don't freeze to death in the winter. Heh.

I hope you the Greens Europe.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:53 | 1375412 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Looks like someone's been denied his organic kelp and tofu.  Big, broad-brush but utterly incoherent rant about those envied.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:27 | 1375048 Ag1761
Ag1761's picture

It may be a little late to phase out nuclear

Time to stack a different commodity, get long on hard wood.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:31 | 1375072 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I'm a lumberjack, big and strong....

Hard way to make a living.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:25 | 1375271 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

He's a lumberjack, and he's OK. He sleeps all night and he works all day...

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:01 | 1375826 falak pema
falak pema's picture

A 16 ton man who owns his soul to the company store.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:42 | 1375920 Rhodin
Rhodin's picture

Yup, lotta fun.  Currently cut six cords to heat the house, and 10 to run the maple syrup evaporator. Now looking at mini (household size) wood powered steam generator.  Hard to find and overpriced, But i got 80 acre woodlot!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:29 | 1375084 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Not even a mention of France. Oh well.

So what will replace all this baseload gen? The better argument would have been to say a capital project with a 30-40 year payback based on government enforced monopolistic pricing is dead. But in that same vein, new coal is dead as well. And for you greenies out there, solar and wind are not going to replace 1,000gw of baseload.

The nuke industry greatly by deciding to stop being so reliant on government utility structures. That'll probably mean small reactors with greater safe guards. Hell, why not put one on a ship and hook it up to the grid? If anything goes wrong, send it out to sea and scuttle the boat.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:31 | 1375088 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

 Eastern Europe is omitted from this post. In addition, the Germans are fucking hypocrites because they are buying nuclear generated electricity from France to make up the shortfall: the NIMBY effect (not in my ******* back yard). Wait till this winter when Fritz freezes in the dark. He will have to blow on a wind generator to thaw his toes out. The best joke was in Spain where they were illuminating solar photovoltaic panels at night to collect the subsidies !

PS I am not necessarily a propoponent of nuclear power. But you need coal or nuclear to generate base load electricity.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:21 | 1375250 the_magician
the_magician's picture

Well, Germany, France or Italy might be talking all this crap to calm their sheep, but look elswhere and you see something completely different. Lithuania, Kaliningrad, Belarus (all neighbouring countries) have approved to build three plants in near future. And i didn't even looked if other E.European countries have plans also. 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:34 | 1375556 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Brazil is also building plants.  And they have more rivers than any nation on the planet.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:24 | 1375276 RichardP
RichardP's picture

... you need coal or nuclear to generate base load electricity.

Or water.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:31 | 1375091 majia
majia's picture

I strongly urge everyone to watch this video on the scientifically documented bird die off along the California coast (and other locations) in the months immediately following Chernobyl. The researcher had been studying birds for 10 years prior to the die off.

This 30 minute documentary is the most compelling evidence I've seen as to why low levels of ionizing radiation are devastating for life on earth

Then read this latest update about the status of Fukushima

We are in for a bumpy ride for sure but if we do not eliminate nuclear power plants now we will surely become extinct within several generations. There are simply too many unplanned events--floods, earthquakes, solar flares, etc--and nuclear power plants are too vulnerable to power disruptions.

I don't know enough about thorium plants to comment on their safety...


Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:26 | 1375294 TomGa
TomGa's picture

Here's the interesting blurb from the Al Jazeera article:

"In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35 per cent spike in infant mortality in northwest cities that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.

The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.

"There is and should be concern about younger people being exposed, and the Japanese government will be giving out radiation monitors to children," Dr MV Ramana, a physicist with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University who specialises in issues of nuclear safety, told Al Jazeera."



Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:35 | 1375568 trav7777
trav7777's picture

could have been from paranoid parents stressing the kids out so much with their chicken little shit that they offed themselves.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:56 | 1375116 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I always thought nations die because their populations grow corrupt. Seems they really go down because their populations become insane.

Easy living leads to insanity. Who knew?

And we are in Libya buying these morons access to cheap crude. Seems we are insane too.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:16 | 1375223 jomama
jomama's picture

considering that nuclear energy has always been cost effectively neutral (at best)... when one considers the cost of building, maintaining, decommissioning the plants... not counting spent fuel which no one still has any clue as to how to safely dispose of which...  there are certainly less toxic ways for our fishbowl to boil water.

these isotopes haven't existed on this planet since the last cataclysm... maybe.  they wreak havoc on organic cell life and arguably unnatural... it would seem like a no brainer to abandon this failed technology.

unfortunately, humans have a very short attention span, maybe because of a short life span, and are abhorrently reactionary.  we never deal with anything until it's on our doorstep fucking our shit up.  maybe now is the time for that realization.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:38 | 1375580 trav7777
trav7777's picture

ok, so supposing after the US hit the oil peak in 1970, which turned out to be nearly cataclysmic for our economy and we decided to start remediating against eventual global peak, WTF TECHNOLOGY were we going to use?

The only thing even on the MAP for the past 30 years has been nuclear.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 19:34 | 1376158 jomama
jomama's picture

being the only thing on the MAP doesn't make it a feasible or sustainable technology.  the best the industry could hope for would be 'successful'. 

i'm not going to play into your straw man argument pitfall, that so many other posters fall for.  we're all well aware the low hanging fruit is gone...

there are alternatives that if you matched the investment dollar for dollar would be arguably just as successful, and much safer for the sentient beings on this planet. 

the planet receives over 1000x the energy we use a day from the sun.  a real solution would include a complete energy usage paradigm shift, from production to consumption.  

so in the spirit of nothing viable to ween us off our established, unsustainable production and usage ways, fuck it, just keep using extremely unstable, toxic isotopes to boil water!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:17 | 1375495 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

For baseload generation, any technology that can make use of combined-cycle technology, i.e. gaseous fuels spinning a turbine followed by an exhaust heat recovery system (boiling water as in conventional thermal).  You get nearly twice the efficiency.


So natural gas, biogas, synthetic gas.  Natural gas and wind being the #1 and #2 builds in the US for about 20 years now by the way.  There are reasons....they are the winners in our highly distorted but still important energy markets.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:44 | 1375611 trav7777
trav7777's picture

do yourself a favor and don't look at the production decline rates of gas fields

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:47 | 1375624 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

There are no silver bullets my dear yellow fellow....

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:32 | 1375571 mogul rider
mogul rider's picture

you gotta luv tree huggers

No nuclear

No burning trees

No cutting trees

No eating fish or whales or.......

Solar and Wind rock


They drive their Jap Fits and Priuses 150 miles per hour. Fucking idiots

Counter trade officially on, Cameco boatload buy done.


Nexy week the psychos will say Inflation's back.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 15:55 | 1375649 Fox Moulder
Fox Moulder's picture

It should be a death blow to 60 year old GE-style NPP design.


There are better and safer ways to build nuke plants these days.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 16:35 | 1375728 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

When the price of oil goes to EUR 300 /bbl and Russia extorts Western Europe over gas prices the Europeans will be screaming for new nuclear power plants.  Hopefully they will consider Thorium, fail-safe plants.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 16:50 | 1375783 robobbob
robobbob's picture

when is hyperbole going to get out of the way of progress.

most reactors worldwide are based on outdated designs based on even older concepts.

once again the future is being chained to the past by those who have so much already invested.

Thorium is the future.

Ask why we are allowing progress to be blocked for the sake of present interests?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 17:45 | 1375930 FrankS
FrankS's picture

Here is the unpleasant reality about new nuclear power:


·                     It’s expensive – roughly 22 cents / kilowatt-hour.

·                     Thanks largely to high construction costs and

·                     Lengthy time to build them.

·                     As a result, new reactors are mostly being built in command economies where governments can override investor and citizen reluctance.

·                     The fantasy nuclear alternatives often mentioned (thorium and fusion) are not in commercial production.

·                     Renewable alternatives (wind, solar, and particularly efficiency) are growing far faster than nuclear, thanks to shorter time to implement and better economics.

·                     The U. S uses energy so inefficiently that there is great opportunity at very low cost to cut energy use.

·                     The renewable alternatives have virtually no risk of problems if they fail.

·                     Proponents of claimed better new nuclear reactors have yet to urge repeal of the law limiting damage from nuclear accidents – if they’re so safe, why is the limitation needed, and why won’t the insurance industry cover them?

·                     The most important six words for leaders (and advocates) – “We admit we made a mistake”.  The potential loss of a large land area in a very small and crowded country (Japan) due to nuclear contamination certainly looks like a very bad deal and a mistake.



Frank Stoppenbach



Thu, 06/16/2011 - 20:23 | 1376257 Byronio
Byronio's picture

As Nebraska has already been mentioned, here are two I just came across in reading, who knows how many MORE of these have happened and Dianne Sawyer never mentions this, why is that?
Hey did you know that in April Seattle folks were inhaling TEN HOT PARTICLES a day? Oh yeah, real nice of Obama and the Dems not to alert the lemmings, even though that is one SOLID blue state.

April 22 OH Radiation Release, Plant Evacuation Admitted By NRC

OH Nuke Plant Workers Botch Equip Replacement - Radiation Soars
Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 14:13 [IST]
Cleveland, Apr 27: After the nuclear scare in tsunami-hit Japan's Fukushima Daichi plant, there were global concerns on the disastrous impact of the nuclear leak for years to come. Following the scare, nuclear plants across the world had stepped up their security and safety measures to avoid a catastrophe of fatal proportions.

News has emerged of exceptionally high radiation levels at a nuclear reactor in northeast Ohio that has caused concern to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant in question is the Perry Nuclear Power Plant that was evacuated on Apr 22 after radiation levels rose while the plant was shutting down for a refuelling outage

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 SunHerald Biloxi-Gulfport
April tritium release from nuclear reactor still not measured
Tritium released by Grand Gulf still not measured

Uselding said the NRC does know that at some level tritium was washed into the Mississippi River. Anderson said, “We never took any samples. So we have no idea how much .... What left the plant was never measured.”

Our own George Washington noted:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Storms Knock Out 3 Nuclear Reactors in Alabama

Fri, 06/17/2011 - 02:03 | 1376797 bakken
bakken's picture

I was a nukie for years. By that I mean I was serving with the USN in a boomer(Poseidon sub), deep under water for 6 month stretches. Of course I am well aware that a submarine power plant is not as big as a power station,  but,  one serious F*ck Up and we all of us crew would have been highly compressed corpses to be eaten by weird benthic life forms.

Operators were some of the best sailors I have ever met.  Why not give over emergency nuclear plant operation to the Navy?  12 years or so time frame, and the whole fleet of overage crumbling nukes can be mothballed and entombed.

What???  OMG we can't afford to lose that generating capacity!!!  The sky is falling!!!  Umm, in 1940 Chrysler built a huge tank plant in 11 months and was turning out M3 tanks for lend-lease before there was even a roof on the plant(Warren, MI)  Work was called one day due to heavy snow!!!  Between the factors of rationed consumption and new plant construction, 12 years to shutdown is an eternity.....IF ANYONE CAN FOCUS ON SOLVING A PROBLEM!!!

Fri, 06/17/2011 - 07:42 | 1377008 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

It is better to light a nuke than to curse the new dark age.

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