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Old 11-13-2018, 09:39 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
Chernobyl happened. The region is now an animal wildlife refuge of sorts. The radio-activity is below safe levels.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened. Both cities are population centers. The horrific death toll is a fraction of the fire bombings that came before........
Another good post, but know this I am 58 years old and remember a lot of history first hand, and know how to use Google to refresh my memory.

Nuclear power generation failed to go big in the USA because it's use and development was tied to nuclear proliferation of atomic weapons. First under Ford, then Carter.

by A. David Rossin
The Indian explosion caused an agonizing reappraisal of paths to proliferation. The nuclear supplier nations formed a secret group. The U.S. put pressure on proposed French and German nuclear deals that would include enrichment or reprocessing facilities for Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan and Brazil. Congress began work on bills that would tighten the conditions for U. S. nuclear exports. The Ford administration carried out a secret study, and five days before the 1976 election President Ford ordered a hold on startup of the new reprocessing plant until issues involving safeguards and nonproliferation could be resolved.

The basic concern was that separated plutonium would provide the key ingredient for making an atomic bomb. Reprocessing plants do produce separated plutonium. The issue that emerged was whether or not reprocessing should be permitted to proceed in certain countries, or perhaps anywhere.


On April 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would defer indefinitely the reprocessing of spent nuclear reactor fuel. He stated that after extensive examination of the issues, he had reached the conclusion that this action was necessary to reduce the serious threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, and that by setting this example, the U. S. would encourage other nations to follow its lead.

President Carter's Executive Order also announced that the U. S. would sponsor an international examination of alternative fuel cycles, seeking to identify approaches which would allow nuclear power to continue without adding to the risk of nuclear proliferation. More than thirty nations participated over almost three years. But no new magic answer could be found.

Some other nations went ahead with reprocessing and breeder development, but high costs and loss of political support delayed plans in many nuclear projects around the world. The U. S. never regained its technological lead in nuclear energy development, its own nuclear power program had already gone from orders to cancellations, and the dream of long-term future energy security from breeder reactors faded away. The three years of uncertainty about the future had wiped away further prospects for private investments in the nuclear fuel cycle. Today, twenty years later, all U.S. spent fuel remains in storage at each plant where it was used.
Carter was on the way to paying off the national debt (a hardship on us all as interest rates went bonkers), was leading the country towards energy independence (solar panel credits etc....) in the face of OPEC boycotts (another hardship at the gas pump this time), but Americans in overwhelming numbers voted him out in favor of a smash and grab and run up the national debt, spend like crazy, import oil like there is no tomorrow guy named Ronnie.

My point is, based on the electorate's history in this country we will always favor the candidate promising us the most even when it is unsustainable and unrealistic.

The reason this is important is fossil fuels cannot stay on top without continued government support, nuclear cannot take over without government intervention, and renewable energy will die and drown without a government life line.

These are all political considerations, and guess which lobbyist spend the most?

Lobbying / Industry: Oil & Gas

Fossil Fuel Funding to Congress: Industry influence in the U.S.
Fossil Fuel Funding to Congress: Industry influence in the U.S. - Oil Change InternationalOil Change International
For every $1 the industry spends on campaign contributions and lobbying in DC, it gets back $119 in subsidies.
To put it in perspective, big pharma and the military industrial complex are no slouches either.

Lobbying’s top 50: Who’s spending big

As rational logical people we want to think that the best engineering energy solution will be the one our democratic republic will put it's weight behind.

That all the decisions will be made in the public's interest, free and clear of distraction and things that cloud judgment.

We want to think this, but know that isn't the case.
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