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There’s quite a lot going on from Rare Earths mining and processing, Fluorination of fuels, to Molten Salt Modelling Technology, to regulations and new laws from around the world.

The Secret to Success in this Sector is to Be Passionate

Flag of Türkiye

Featuring Başkani Gül GOKTEPE, Nutek Inc, Türkiye.

NÜKAD BAŞKANI GÜL GÖKTEPE:
“BU SEKTÖRDE BAŞARININ SIRRI, TUTKULU OLMAK”

NÜKAD CHAIRMAN GÜL GÖKTEPE:
“THE SECRET TO SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY IS TO BE PASSIONATE”

President / Başkani Gül GÖKTEPE, Nutek Inc, and Chapter President, Women in Nuclear, Türkiye

Tarih boyunca devrim niteliğinde buluşlarıyla çok sayıda kadın insanlığın gelişimine katkı sağlayan sayısız başarıya imza atarken, bu başarıların çoğu gölgede kaldı. Bilim, teknoloji, mühendislik ve matematik alanlarında çalışan kadınlara yönelik asırlardır var olan ve Einstein’ın “atom çekirdeğini parçalamaktan daha zordur” dediği ön yargıların da bunda etkisi büyük oldu.  Yaşadıkları dönemin önüne geçmeyi başaran bilim kadınları ise halen günümüze ışık olmaya devam ediyorlar. Radyolojiden kanser tedavilerinde kullanılan radyoterapiye kadar çok sayıda alanın temelini oluşturan, iki Nobel ödüllü Polonya asıllı Kimyager ve Fizikçi Marie Curie, nükleer füzyon konusundaki buluşları ile tarihe geçmeyi başaran Avusturyalı Fizikçi Lise Meitner, nükleer endüstriye kazandırdığı teknolojilerle ‘elementlere hükmeden kadın’ diye tanımlanan Rus nükleer fizikçi Zinaida Yerşova nükleer alanda ‘ilham kaynağı’ olan önemli isimler.

While many women have achieved countless successes that have contributed to the development of humanity with their revolutionary inventions throughout history, most of these successes have been overshadowed. The prejudices against women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which have existed for centuries and that Einstein said “it is harder than splitting the atomic nucleus”, had a great effect on this. The women of science who managed to get ahead of the period they lived in still continue to be the light of today. Two Nobel laureates, Polish-born Chemist and Physicist Marie Curie, which forms the basis of many fields from radiology to radiotherapy used in cancer treatments, Austrian Physicist Lise Meitner, who managed to go down in history with her discoveries on nuclear fusion, Russian nuclear physicist who is defined as “the woman who rules the elements” with the technologies she brought to the nuclear industry. Zinaida Yerşova is an important name in the nuclear field who is an ‘inspiration’.

ROL MODELLERİN ROLÜ

Zorlu koşullara göğüs gererek, inandığı şeyden vazgeçmeyen cesur ve güçlü kadınların ‘yaşanabilir bir dünya için’ mücadeleleri bugün de devam ediyor. Ancak, hem ortaöğretim hem de yükseköğretimde kadın sayısındaki artışlara rağmen, halen “STEM” adı verilen bilim, teknoloji, mühendislik ve matematik alanlarında yeterince temsil edilmiyorlar.  Uluslararası Atom Enerjisi Ajansı’na (IAEA) göre gençler meslek seçimi yaparken, toplumun bir bilim insanının neye benzediğine dair klişe bakış açılarından ve önyargılarından çok etkileniyorlar. Özellikle nükleer alanda rol modellerin, gençlerin tercihinde önemli rol oynadığına dikkat çekiliyor. Türkiye’de de son yıllarda başarılı bilim kadınları, ilham veren hikâyeleri ve yürüttükleri projelerle pek çok gence ilham kaynağı oluyorlar. Radyolojiden çevreye, sağlıktan tarıma, güvenlikten iklim değişikliğine kadar farklı alanlarındaki örnek çalışmalarıyla nükleere yönelik mitlerin ve ön yargıların önüne geçmeyi de başarıyorlar.

THE ROLE OF ROLE MODELS

The struggle of brave and strong women, who do not give up on what they believe in by enduring difficult conditions, continues today for a livable world. However, despite the increases in the number of women in both secondary and higher education, they are still underrepresented in the so-called “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when choosing a career, young people are influenced by society’s stereotypical viewpoints and prejudices about what a scientist looks like. It is noted that role models, especially in the nuclear field, play an important role in the choice of young people. In recent years, successful women scientists in Turkey have been a source of inspiration for many young people with their inspiring stories and projects. With their exemplary work in different fields from radiology to the environment, from health to agriculture, from security to climate change, they also succeed in preventing myths and prejudices about nuclear.

SORUNLAR İÇİN ORTAK MÜCADELE

Avrupa Nükleer Araştırma Merkezi CERN’de önemli çalışmalara imza atan, uzay radyasyonu ve uzay fiziği konularında uluslararası başarılara sahip, “Dünyanın bilime, bilimin kadınlara ihtiyacı var” mottosu ile verilen ‘Uluslararası UNESCO Yükselen Yetenek Ödülü’nü 2017 yılında alan Prof. Dr. Bilge Demirköz, önemli rol modellerden biri. Türkiye’nin ilk ‘Parçacık Radyasyonu Test Altyapısı Projesi’ şu anda onun liderliğinde sürdürülüyor.  Demirköz, bir yandan da gençleri bilim dünyasına teşvik edecek projelere katılıyor, konferanslar veriyor, sergiler düzenliyor.  Demirköz,  kadınları bilime teşvik etmenin önemini şöyle anlatıyor: “Dünyanın yükleri ve problemleri artıyor. Bu problemleri çözmek için güce ihtiyacımız var. Bu gücün yüzde 50’sini kadınlar oluşturuyor. Küreselleşen dünyada ise kadının geride kaldığı toplumlar gelişemez. Bu nedenle hem problemleri hep birlikte çözmek hem de kadınların gelişimini desteklemek için kadınları bilime daha çok teşvik etmeliyiz.”

COMMON FIGHTING FOR PROBLEMS

Having carried out important studies at the European Nuclear Research Center, CERN, having international achievements in space radiation and space physics, and receiving the “International UNESCO Emerging Talent Award” in 2017, given with the motto “The world needs science and science needs women”, Prof. Dr. Bilge Demirköz is one of the important role models. Turkey’s first ‘Particle Radiation Test Infrastructure Project’ is currently under his leadership. Demirkoz also participates in projects that will encourage young people to the world of science, gives conferences and organizes exhibitions. Demirköz explains the importance of encouraging women to science as follows: “The burdens and problems of the world are increasing. We need power to solve these problems. Women make up 50 percent of this power. In the globalizing world, societies where women are left behind cannot develop. For this reason, we should encourage women to science more, both to solve problems together and to support the development of women.”

“The world needs science and science needs women.”

Prof. Dr. Bilge Demirköz, Ankara, Turkey
“The world needs science and science needs women” – Prof. Dr. Bilge Demirköz,, Ankara, Turkey

TÜM DÜNYADA BİTKİLERDE VERİM ARTIŞI

Türkiye’de yürüttüğü sayısız başarılı tarım projesinin ardından IAEA’da Nükleer Bilimler ve Uygulamalar Bölümü’nde ‘Bitki Islahçısı ve Genetikçi’ olarak çalışan Türk bilim insanı Ziraat Mühendisi Fatma Sarsu, ‘rol model’ kadınlardan biri.  Sarsu, IAEA’nın sitesinde çok sayıda gence ilham verecek hikâyesini şöyle anlatıyor: “Babamın çiftliğinde büyüdüm. Onun ekinlerine duyduğu sevgiyi, onlara nasıl baktığını izlemek beni tarımda çalışmaya ikna etti. Ürün ve mutasyon ıslahını incelemek, mahsul verimliliğini nasıl artıracağımızı öğrenmenin en hızlı yolu olarak ortaya çıktı. IAEA’da bitki ıslahı ve genetiği üzerinde çalışmak, tüm dünyada tarım ürünleri verimliliğini artırmak gibi daha da büyük bir çiftlik verdi bana.  Her gün profesyonel bir tarım bilimcisi olarak insanlığın yararına çalıştığımı bilmek bana büyük mutluluk veriyor.”

INCREASED PRODUCTION OF PLANTS ALL OVER THE WORLD

Agricultural Engineer Fatma Sarsu, a Turkish scientist working as a ‘Plant Breeder and Geneticist’ in the Nuclear Sciences and Applications Department of the IAEA, after numerous successful agricultural projects she carried out in Turkey, is one of the ‘role model’ women. Sarsu tells his story that will inspire many young people on the IAEA website: “I grew up on my father’s farm. Watching his love for his crops and how he looked after them convinced me to work in agriculture. Studying crop and mutation breeding has emerged as the fastest way to learn how to increase crop productivity. Working on plant breeding and genetics at the IAEA has given me an even bigger farm to increase crop productivity around the world. It gives me great pleasure to know that every day I work for the benefit of humanity as a professional agronomist.”

YAŞAMI İYİLEŞTİRME SORUMLULUĞU

Türkiye’nin çeşitli dönemlerdeki nükleer teknoloji transferi ve nükleer santral kurma hazırlık süreçlerine yakından tanıklık eden Türkiye’de “Nükleer Alanda Kadınlar” (NÜKAD) olarak bilinen, “WIN (Women in Nuclear) Global Turkey” Grubu’nun kurucusu ve Başkanı olan B. Gül Göktepe de nükleer alanın öncü isimlerinden. Çekmece Nükleer Araştırma Merkezi için geliştirdiği Göl Projesi, Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) ve Uluslararası Atom Enerjisi Ajansı’nın (IAEA)  en başarılı teknik işbirliği projeleri arasında gösterilen “Karadeniz’in Çevresel Yönetimi” gibi dikkat çeken çevre projelerine imza attı. BM Viyana Daimi Temsilciliği’nde Türkiye’nin ilk kadın Nükleer Ataşesi olarak görev yaptı. “Nükleer alanda çalışmak büyüleyici olduğu kadar zordur da” ifadelerini kullanan Göktepe, “Yaşamı iyileştirmek ve gezegeni korumak gibi büyük sorumluluk taşıyoruz. Ve bu sektörde başarılı olmanın sırrı, tutkulu olmak! Nükleerde kadın sayımız gün geçtikçe artacak, buna inanıyorum. Yapacak çok işimiz var ve dünyanın bize ihtiyacı var!” diyor.

LIFE IMPROVEMENT RESPONSIBILITY

Witnessing Turkey’s nuclear technology transfer and nuclear power plant preparation processes in various periods, Gül Göktepe., the founder and President of the “WIN (Women in Nuclear) Global Turkey” Group, known as “Women in the Nuclear Field” (NÜKAD) in Turkey. Gül Göktepe is one of the leading names in the nuclear field. She undersigned remarkable environmental projects such as the Lake Project she developed for the Çekmece Nuclear Research Center and the “Environmental Management of the Black Sea”, which is shown as one of the most successful technical cooperation projects of the United Nations (UN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She served as Turkey’s first female Nuclear Attaché at the UN Vienna Permanent Mission. Göktepe said, “Working in the nuclear field is as challenging as it is fascinating” and said, “We have a great responsibility to improve life and protect the planet. And the secret to success in this industry is to be passionate! I believe that the number of women in nuclear will increase day by day. We have a lot of work to do and the world needs us!” she says.

AKKUYU GİBİ UZUN İNCE BİR YOL

Hayat hikâyesini “Türkiye’nin Akkuyu hikâyesi gibi zorluklarla dolu, çok uzun ve ince bir yol” olarak tanımlayan Göktepe, İngiltere’de atom mühendisliği okuduğunu, ülkeye dönüşünde katıldığı enerji kongresinde, dönemin Enerji ve Tabii Kaynaklar Bakanının ‘600 MW gücündeki ilk nükleer santralin Akkuyu’da kurulacağı ve 1986 yılında işletmeye alınacağı müjdesi’ ile sektöre umutla adım attığını söylüyor.  “O kongreden bu yana nerdeyse 44 yıl geçmiş. Düşünüyorum da o zamandan bu yana nükleerde dünya nerede, biz neredeyiz” diyen Göktepe, Türkiye’nin nükleer santral hikâyesini ise şu sözlerle özetliyor: “Türkiye’nin ilk nükleer santrali Akkuyu Nükleer Santrali projesinde geçmişte öngörülemeyen zorluklar, ertelemeler yaşandı. Şimdi, ne mutlu ki inşaatı tüm hızıyla sürüyor. Kafamda bunca yıllık zorlu mücadeleden sonra değişmeyen bir tek olgu var. O da nükleer teknolojinin dünyanın ve Türkiye’nin geleceği için vazgeçilemez olduğu. Şu anda dünyanın geleceğini tehdit eden en büyük tehlike; iklim değişikliği. Sera gazı emisyonlarını azaltmak için karbonsuz elektrik üretimine ihtiyaç var. O da yenilenebilir enerji, nükleer santraller ve karbon yakalama ve depolamalı fosil yakıtlar (carbon capture and storage-CCS)  olmak üzere sadece üç yoldan elde edilebiliyor.”

A LONG THIN ROAD LIKE AKKUYU

Defining her life story as “a very long and narrow road full of difficulties, like Turkey’s Akkuyu story”, Göktepe said that she studied atomic engineering in England, and that she attended the energy congress on her return to the country, and that the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the time said that the first nuclear power plant with 600 MW power was Akkuyu. She says that she stepped into the sector with hope with the good news that it will be established in ‘Turkey and will be put into operation in 1986’. “It has been almost 44 years since that congress. Goktepe, who says, “Where are we and where are we in the nuclear field since then,” said, and summarizes Turkey’s nuclear power plant story with these words: “In the past, unforeseen difficulties and delays were experienced in the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. Now, fortunately, its construction is in full swing. There is only one fact in my mind that has not changed after all these years of hard struggle. That nuclear technology is indispensable for the future of the world and Turkey. The biggest danger threatening the future of the world right now; climate change. Carbon-free electricity generation is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It can be obtained in only three ways: renewable energy, nuclear power plants and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

President of Nutek inc, and Women in Nuclear, Turkey, Gül Göktepe of Istanbul, Turkey was the first women representing Turkey at the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, having also spent time on numerous international nuclear missions, including the Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents. She has published over one hundred and thirty scientific papers and authored many articles related to nuclear power stations, and the Black Sea. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including an international medal, the Black Sea Medal, awarded for outstanding services to protect the Black Sea environment, by UNDP GEF, BSC and BSERP.

BAŞARILARI DİKKAT ÇEKİCİ

Hacettepe Üniversitesi Radyasyon Onkolojisi Ana Bilimdalı Radyoterapi Fiziği Programı’ndaki doktora çalışması kapsamında geliştirdiği ‘radyoterapide her hastaya ve bölgeye (meme, tiroid vb.) uyabilecek zırh ve karşı memeyi tedavi alanından uzaklaştıracak sütyen tasarımıyla Hacettepe Üniversitesi ve Hacettepe Teknokent Teknoloji Transfer Merkezi işbirliği ile düzenlenen “Hacettepe Hamle İnovasyon Yarışması”nda 2018 yılında Sağlık Teknolojileri alanında birinci olan Nükleer Enerji Mühendisi Nur Kodaloğlu, alanın genç ve başarılı isimlerinden biri. 2019 yılında Teknofest kapsamında Türk Patent Enstitüsü’nün düzenlediği ISIF 2019- Uluslararası Buluş Fuarı’nda “İkincil Kanser Riskini Azaltan Bir Sütyen” patenti ile ‘bronz madalya’ ile ödüllendirilen ve yeni buluşlar üzerinde çalışan Kodaloğlu kadınların bilime katkısını şu sözlerle vurguluyor: “Farklı meslek gruplarındaki kadınlar toplumun çeşitliliğini yansıtmaktadır. Bugün hem nükleer mühendislik alanında, hem de hastanelerin radyoterapi bölümlerindeki kadın medikal fizikçi ve kadın hekimler ile nükleer tıp, radyoloji bölümlerindeki kadın hekimlerin sayısı azımsanmayacak kadar çok. Yaptıkları yayınlar göz önünde bulundurulduğunda bilime yaptıkları katkının da bir o kadar fazla olduğu görülecektir. Kadınların toplumun nükleer teknolojilere olan güvenini arttırmada da önemli rolleri var.”

SUCCESSFUL ACHIEVEMENTS

Organized in cooperation with Hacettepe University and Hacettepe Teknokent Technology Transfer Center, with the armor design that can fit each patient and region (breast, thyroid, etc.) and the bra that will move the opposite breast away from the treatment area, she developed within the scope of her doctoral study in the Radiation Oncology Department of Hacettepe University, Radiotherapy Physics Program. Nuclear Energy Engineer Nur Kodaloğlu, who won the first place in the field of Health Technologies in the Hacettepe Move Innovation Competition in 2018, is one of the young and successful names in the field. Kodaloğlu, who was awarded the ‘bronze medal’ with the patent “A Bra that Reduces the Risk of Secondary Cancer” at the ISIF 2019-International Inventions Fair organized by the Turkish Patent Institute within the scope of Teknofest in 2019 and working on new inventions, emphasizes the contribution of women to science with the following words: “Different professions Today, the number of female medical physicists and female physicians in both nuclear engineering and radiotherapy departments of hospitals, and female physicians in nuclear medicine and radiology departments is substantial. “Women also play an important role in increasing society’s confidence in nuclear technologies.”

POZİTİF KATKI SAĞLIYORUZ

“Teknolojik gelişmeyle paralel nükleer enerjinin kullanıldığı her alanda Türkiye’yi ileriye taşıyacağına inanıyorum” diyen Feride Kutbay, nükleer reaktör güvenliği alanında yaptığı çalışmalarla dikkat çeken başarılı genç bilim insanlarından biri. İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi (İTÜ) Enerji Enstitüsü’nde Nükleer Araştırmalar Ana Bilim Dalı’nda Araştırma Görevlisi olarak görev yapan Kutbay, Türkiye’de bu alanda yeni iş fırsatlarının da artmaya başladığına dikkat çekerek, şunları ifade ediyor: “Nükleer güç santralini barındıran bir ülke olarak, nükleer reaktörlerin işletilmesi için yetiştirilen uzmanların dışında IAEA standartlarının ülkemizde uygulanmasında görev alacak uzmanlara da ihtiyaç var. Şu anda Rusya’da eğitim gören öğrencilerimizin dışında Türkiye, son birkaç yıldır Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı’na bağlı yurt dışı yüksek lisans bursu ile nükleer alanda yetiştirilmek üzere farklı ülkelere öğrenci gönderiyor. Geleceğe yönelik insan kaynağımızı güçlendiriyoruz. Kadın istihdam oranının artırılması ve kadın profesyonellerin yetiştirilmesine yönelik adımların Türkiye’de gelişmekte olan nükleer sektöre pozitif yönde etki edeceğini düşünüyorum. Kadınlar bu mesleğe enerji ve güç veriyor.”

WE PROVIDE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION

Feride Kutbay, who said, “I believe that it will carry Turkey forward in every field in which nuclear energy is used in parallel with technological development,” is one of the successful young scientists who draw attention with her studies in the field of nuclear reactor safety. Kutbay, who works as a Research Assistant in the Department of Nuclear Research at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Energy Institute, draws attention to the fact that new job opportunities have started to increase in this field in Turkey, and says: “As a country that hosts a nuclear power plant, In addition to the experts trained for the operation of nuclear reactors, there is also a need for experts who will take part in the implementation of IAEA standards in our country. Apart from our students currently studying in Russia, Turkey has been sending students to different countries to be trained in the nuclear field for the last few years, with a graduate scholarship from the Ministry of National Education. We are strengthening our human resources for the future. I think that steps towards increasing the rate of female employment and training female professionals will have a positive impact on the developing nuclear sector in Turkey. Women give energy and strength to this profession.”

“I believe that it will carry Turkey forward in every field in which nuclear energy is used in parallel with technological development.”

Feride KUTBAY, Istanbul Institute of Technology. Türkiye

First published in Gulnar City 8 July 2020. Reproduced here in English and Turkish.


Links and References

  1. https://www.gulnarcity.com/m-haber-6082.html?islem=haber&id=6852
  2. http://nutekinc.biz/en/gul-goktepe
  3. https://www.enerjigunlugu.net/goktepe-hem-cevreci-hem-nukleer-karsiti-olamazsiniz-37611h.htm
  4. https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/turkey.aspx
  5. https://nonproliferation.org/the-black-sea-women-in-nuclear-network/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey
  7. https://www.linkedin.com/in/b-g%C3%BCl-g%C3%B6ktepe-71420888/
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lise_Meitner
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinaida_Yershova
  11. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bilgedemirkoz/
  12. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/multimedia/photoessays/women-in-nuclear-science
  13. https://www.linkedin.com/in/fatma-sarsu-71733361/
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akkuyu_Nuclear_Power_Plant
  15. https://rosatom.ru/en/
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nur-kodaloglu-62582574
  17. https://www.linkedin.com/in/feride-kutbay-2b0943155

#Turkey #Türkiye #NuclearEnergy #Fission #WomenInNuclear

How U.S. Policy Shifted Energy & Technology Hegemony to China

Plant Vogtle

By James Kennedy, President of ThREEConsulting.com and John Kutsch, Executive Director of Thorium Energy Alliance, October 3, 2022.

Ordinally appearing in LinkedIn Pulse. Reproduced for educational purposes and with permission.

The Pentagon recently halted the delivery of F-35 fighter jets when it was discovered that they contained Chinese rare earth components. If the Pentagon would look a little more closely, they would find that Chinese rare earth derived components are ubiquitously distributed throughout all U.S. / NATO weapon systems.

It isn’t only U.S. weapon systems, China controls global access to rare earth metals and magnets (and other downstream critical materials) for EVs, wind turbines, and most other green- technology.

However, China’s vision is much more ambitious than controlling the supply-chain for high-tech commodities, they are leveraging their dominance into the clean energy sector. Last month Chinese authorities authorized the startup of what should be considered the world’s only Generation-5 nuclear reactor: a reactor that is inherently safe, non-proliferating, and can consume nuclear waste.

The goal of Net-Zero, and any potential economic benefits, are entirely under China’s control.

China’s leadership position in both of these areas can be traced back to irrational policies and legacy prejudices specific to thorium, a mildly radioactive element that is commonly found in heavy rare earth minerals.

The words that follow, detail the history of how China surpassed the U.S. with its own nuclear technology and displaced its historic leadership position in rare earths.

A Short History on U.S. Nuclear Development

In 1962 Nobel Prize Winning scientist Glenn Seaborg responded to President John F. Kennedy’s request for a Sustainable U.S. Energy Plan. The report titled “Civilian Nuclear Power” called for the development and deployment of Thorium Molten Salt Breeder Reactors.

Abstract
This overarching report on the role of nuclear power in the U.S. economy was requested by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in March, 1962. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was charged with producing the report, gaining input from individuals inside and outside government, including the Department of Interior, the Federal Power Commission, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Natural Resources. The study was to identify the objectives, scope, and content of a nuclear power development program in light of prospective energy needs and resources. It should recommend appropriate steps to assure the proper timing of development and construction of nuclear power projects, including the construction of necessary prototypes and continued cooperation between government and industry. There should also be an evaluation of the extent to which the U.S. nuclear power program will further international objectives in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

Civilian Nuclear Power, a Report to the President by Glenn T Seaborg, Atomic Energy Commission, U.S.A. 1962

These ultra-safe reactors are nothing like the legacy reactors that make up today’s Light Water fleet (LWR). When deployed globally, many believe they will be the primary backbone of Green Energy – replacing the existing natural gas dispatchable power that makes up over 70% of the ‘balance-of-power’ in renewable systems.

Unfortunately, Seaborg’s plan died with Kennedy. The cold-war preference for uranium and plutonium over thorium in the 1960s and 70s, coupled with the 1980s modification to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations that also impacted how thorium is classified and processed, led to the termination of the U.S. Thorium Molten Salt Reactor program and, effectively, the U.S. (French and Japanese) rare earth industry.

Today, China controls the downstream production of rare earth metals and magnets (used in EVs, Wind Turbines and U.S. / NATO weapon systems) and is boldly pursuing Glenn Seaborg’s plan for clean, safe energy. China’s nuclear regulatory authorities have cleared the 2MWt TMSR-LF1, China’s first Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (Th-MSR), for startup. There is no U.S. equivalent program on the horizon.

Considering that the U.S. initially developed this reactor, it begs the question of why China is leading with its commercial development. That requires a bit of a history lesson.

The goal of harnessing nuclear energy began shortly after World War II. At that time, a number of Manhattan Project scientists were tasked with quickly developing civilian nuclear power. One of the mission goals was to distribute the ongoing cost of producing bomb-making materials across our secretive Manhattan Project campuses onto a ‘civilian’ nuclear energy program. That program eventually morphed into the Atomic Energy Commission and then to the Department of Energy.

From an accounting standpoint, the DOE’s primary purpose was to divert the balance- sheet cost of our nuclear weapons programs off the military’s books.

For its entire history, 70% or more of the Department of Energy’s budget has been directed towards nuclear weapons development, maintenance, and research programs (and cleanup funding of legacy Manhattan Project sites). As the budget priorities demonstrate, solving America’s energy needs was never the first priority of the DoE. Accept that reality, and the long history of DoE mal-investment begins to make sense.

James Kennedy

Results came quickly. The first reactor designs, still in use today, are essentially ‘first concept reactors’: something more than a Ford Model T, but possibly less than a Model A, as economies of standardization were purposely never attempted in the USA, and therefore the USA never achieved the economies of scale that comes from making only 1 type of reactor model like the French and Japanese do.

The rollout of Thorium MSRs will be the equivalent of a modern-day automobile (with standardization of parts and licensing, automated assembly-line production and centralized operation permitting).

Every U.S. Light Water Reactor (LWR) facility is uniquely engineered from the ground up— maximizing its cost. Every permit application is unique. Permit requirements, timelines and outcomes are fluid. The timeline from initial funding for permitting to buildout can take decades. This equates to tying up tens of billions of dollars in financial commitments over a very long time for an uncertain outcome (a number of reactor projects were terminated during the buildout phase, with some near completion). There is an incentive to drag projects out because the EPC builders of the plan are not the operators, so they have to make all their money in the build. For example, the most recent U.S. nuclear buildout is 8 years behind schedule and at twice the estimated cost. This is a recipe for failure.

The original LWR designs, largely developed by Alvin Weinberg, boiled water under immense pressure to turn a shaft, similar to the turbines of a coal fired power plant. The use of water as a coolant is one of the largest contributors to LWR system complexity, risk and costs.

Water’s liquid phase range at normal pressure is 1 to 99°C. Water’s natural boiling temperature does not generate sufficient pressure to economically operate traditional steam turbines so all LWR type reactors use high pressure to force water to remain liquid at higher temperatures. The need to contain coolant failures in such a high-pressure operating environment greatly effects the safety and cost of the entire system. All water-cooled reactors have an inherent design risk, no matter how small, built in.

Weinberg knew there must be a better design, but government and military support rushed in to prop up the development of the Light Water Reactor design. Admiral Hyman Rickover was the leading advocate, quickly developing the first nuclear-powered submarine. The U.S. Army also got in the game, developing a prototype mobile field reactor. The Air Force, feeling left out, looked to Alvin Weinberg to develop a nuclear-powered aircraft.

The Air Force Reactor project required that he develop something entirely new; keeping in mind that this reactor would operate inside an airplane with a crew and live ordinance. These are truly remarkable constraints in terms of weight, size, safety, and power output. Weinberg’s insight led to a reactor that used a liquid fuel instead of solid fuel rods. It was simply known as Alvin’s 3P reactor, all he needed was a Pot, a Pipe and a Pump to build his new reactor design.

Elegant in its simplicity, its safety was based on physics and geometry – not pumps, values, backup generators and emergency protocols.

The Air Force Reactor program was able to prove out all requirements of the program. It was / is possible to build a nuclear-powered bomber aircraft and keep the crew ‘reasonably safe’. However, the development of nuclear-launch capable submarines and the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile supplanted the need for a nuclear bomber.

The original Air Force Reactor Experiment evolved into the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) developed at Oak Ridge National Lab. This moderated reactor operated for 19,000 hours over 5 years. The reactor was designed to run on a Thorium-uranium mixed fuel. Prior to termination of the project, all operational, safety, material science, and corrosion issues were resolved.

More importantly, the MSRE project proved that you could build a revolutionary nuclear reactor that eliminated all of the inherent safety concerns of the LWR while minimizing the spent fuel issue (what some people call nuclear waste).

The new reactor, commonly known as a Molten Salt Reactor (MSR), used heated salt with a liquid-to-boil temperature range that can exceed 1000°C (a function of chemistry), to act both as coolant and fuel. The recirculation of the liquid fuel/coolant allowed for the fuller utilization (burn up) of the actinides and fission products. The salt’s higher temperature operation that did not need water for cooling, eliminated the need to operate under extreme pressures.

The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment

This salt coolant cannot overheat, and meets the definition of having inherent safety – MSR’s are inherently safe reactors that eliminate scores of redundant systems, significantly increasing the simplicity of the overall system while lowering risks and cost and increasing its safety profile.

Another advantage is that MSR’s higher operating temperatures allow it to utilize liquid CO2 (or other high compression gases), thus eliminating H2O steam from the system. Moving away from the Rankine turbine system to much smaller and more efficient Brayton turbines delivers a much higher energy conversion at lower costs. The real promise of the MSR was that it produced process heat directly, for hydrogen, desalination, fertilizer, steel production – avoiding inefficient electricity production all while utilizing 100% of the heat energy directly.

Another beneficial feature is the reduced quantity and timeframe of storage requirements for spent fuel (aka: nuclear waste). Inherent to their design, MSRs use-up nuclear fuel far more efficiently than LWRs, less than 1% of the original fuel load can end up as spent fuel, and due to acceleration of decay under the recirculation of the fuel/coolant load the residual spent fuel decays to background (radiation levels equal to the natural environment) in as little as 300 years.

LWRs utilize about 3% of the available energy in solid fuels and the spent fuel does not decay to background levels for tens of thousands of years.

The most promising MSR design feature was found to be that fission criticality (a sustained chain reaction) is self-regulating due to the reactor’s geometry and self-purging features that dumped the fuel/coolant into holding tanks and regulated fission rates (again, based on geometry) if the reactor exceeded design operating temperatures. These features made a reactor “meltdown” impossible and “walk-away safe”.

Because the salt coolant has such a high liquid phase the system can be air cooled (in any atmosphere: the artic, the desert , even versions for space). The elimination of water from the system eliminates the primary failure-point of all conventional nuclear reactors, including explosive events that can occur with water cooled reactors.

NOTE: LWR reactor explosions are due to disassociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen when exposed to Zirconium at high temperatures during coolant system failure. The zirconium fuel casings act as a catalyst, causing a massive rapid atmospheric expansion. This atmospheric expansion was the cause of the explosive event associated with the Fukushima disaster.

The elimination of any high-pressure hydrogen event excludes the potential for widespread radiation release and thus, the need for a massive containment vessel.

Alvin Weinberg’s reactor design also solved another challenge of that time. Prior to the mid- 1970s the U.S. government believed that global uranium resources were very scarce. This new reactor, fueled with a small amount of fissile material added to the Thorium salt, could breed new fuel. In fact, it turned out that the reactor could also be used to dispose of weapons grade plutonium or even spent fuel (stockpiled nuclear waste).

ABSTRACT
The Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) option for burning fissile fuel from dismantled weapons is examined. It is concluded that MSRs are very suitable for beneficial utilization of the dismantled fuel. The MSRs can utilize any fissile fuel in continuous operation with no special modifications, as demonstrated in the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment. Thus MSRs are flexible while maintaining their economy. MSRs further require a minimum of special fuel preparation and can tolerate denaturing and dilution of the fuel. Fuel shipments can be arbitrarily small, all of which supports nonproliferation and averts diversion. MSRs have inherent safety features which make them acceptable and attractive. They can burn a fuel type completely and convert it to other fuels. MSRs also have the potential for burning the actinides and delivering the waste in an optimal form, thus contributing to the solution of one of the major remaining problems for deployment of nuclear power.

ORNL – Thorium MSRs From Using Dismantled Weapons, 1991

Unlike natural mined Uranium, which needed intensive processing to concentrate the fissile U235, Thorium is widely abundant and a byproduct of phosphate, titanium, zircon and rare earth ores. Thorium can be used in a nuclear reactor after minimal processing, all benefits that were unheeded in the 60s and 70s.

Since MSRs run at a much higher temperature than LWRs, the greatest benefit would be the direct utilization of thermal energy for industrial processes requiring thermal loads (allowing for the carbon free production of steel, cement and chemicals that make up nearly 25% of all CO2 emissions). Possibilities seemed endless.

Glenn Seaborg’s 1962 report to President Kennedy devised a national plan for sustainable civilian nuclear power. Evaluating the relative safety, efficiency, and economy of the Th-MSR vs. the LWR, Seaborg recommended that the U.S. phase out LWRs in favor of Alvin Weinberg’s Th- MSR Thorium “breeder reactor”.

So why didn’t this reactor design prevail? Considering its economic advantages, the Th-MSR would cause the phase out of the existing nuclear fleet and would be more cost competitive than coal or natural gas (and could replace petroleum via a nuclear-powered Fischer Tropes process), it is no wonder that the reactor was rejected by the prevailing political-economy of cold-war industrialism and what was primarily a hydro-carbon based economy.

The production cost for these reactors was a key concern. The relative cost of assembly line built MSRs reactor would be a fraction of traditional LWRs (these are small modular reactors). As such, MSRs could bring installed cost per megawatt in line with coal fired power plants.

The construction cost advantages are numerous: inherent safety based on geometry (translates into simplicity of design and construction), small, modular, assembly-line built, roll-off permitting, air cooled (eliminating the primary critical failure risk of LWRs and, thus the possibility for a wide-spread radiation event), no need for a massive containment vessel, and small Bryton turbines.

The Thorium fuel would be a byproduct of rare earths (no enrichment is necessary). Rare earths would be a byproduct of some other mined commodity.

Regardless of the economic opposition, there was also a geopolitical conflict. Fueled with Thorium, the MSR did not produce plutonium (fissile bomb making materials) or anything else that was practically usable for the production of nuclear weapons. The reactor was highly proliferation resistant—and who would not like that?

The Nixon Administration, for one. American politics in 1968 were largely influenced by the U.S.’s relative status in the nuclear weapons arms race with Russia. Nixon, a nuclear hawk, killed the MSR program and committed the country to the development of fast spectrum breeder reactors (the program was a total failure), circa 1972.

As early as 1970 a new, safe, clean, cost-efficient, and self-generating energy economy was technically possible but was sacrificed to the objectives of the cold war and preservation of the existing LWR fleet.

If the U.S. had followed Seaborg’s advice the entire world could be pulling up to the curb of Net-Zero today and U.S. energy hegemony would be preserved long into the future.

Instead, today, China is leading the world in the development of Thorium fueled reactors and Thorium based critical materials. They intend to use it as a geopolitical tool: the Chinese version of “Atoms for Peace”. This would end U.S. energy hegemony.

Sadly, most Americans can’t fathom how that would impact their standard of living and create a domestic energy source that would cement their position in the world.

But the story of how Thorium politics and policy derailed U.S. energy and national security interests does not end there.

The Story of Rare Earths

A decade later, the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons material became an international matter of concern. In 1980 the NRC and IAEA collaborated on regulations to ratchet down on the production and transportation of uranium. The regulatory mechanism 10 CFR 40, 75 applied the rules and definitions specific to the uranium mining industry to all mining activity, using the 1954 Atomic Energy Act terminology of nuclear “source material” to define the materials to be controlled.

Uranium, plutonium and Thorium are all classified as nuclear fuel: source material. However, Thorium cannot be used for nuclear weapons (Thorium is fertile, not fissile).

James Kennedy

This caused a new and unintended problem. At the time, nearly 100 percent of the world’s supply of heavy rare earths contained Thorium in their mineralization and were the byproduct of some other mined commodity. Consequently, when these commodity producers extracted their target ores (titanium, zirconium, iron, phosphates, etc.) they triggered the new regulatory definition of ‘processed or refined ore (under 10 CFR 40)’ for these historical rare earth byproducts, causing the Thorium-bearing rare earth mineralization to be classified as “source material”.

In order to avoid the onerous costs, regulations, and liabilities associated with being a source material producer these commodity producers disposed of these Thorium-bearing resources along with their other mining waste and continue to do so today.

Currently, in the U.S. alone, the annual quantity of rare earths disposed of to avoid the NRC source material regulations exceeds the non-Chinese world’s demand by a factor of two or more. The amount of Thorium that is also disposed of with these rare earths could power the entire western hemisphere if utilized in MSRs.

The scale of this potential energy waste dwarfs the collective efforts of every environmentalist on a global basis (including all of the World Economic Forum programs being forced on farmers and consumers across the globe).

As a result, all downstream rare earth value chain companies in the U.S. and IAEA compliant countries lost access to reliable supplies for these rare earth resources.

Capitalizing on these regulatory changes, China quickly became the world’s RE producer.

World Rare Earth Production

During the 1980s, China increased its leverage by initiating tax incentives and creating economically favorable manufacturing zones for companies that moved rare earth technology inside China.

U.S., French and Japanese companies were happy to off-shore their technology and environmental risks (mostly related to Thorium regulations). The 1980 regulatory change and China’s aggressive investment policies allowed China to quickly acquire a foothold in metallurgical and magnet capabilities.

For example: China signed rare earth supply contracts with Japan that required Japan to transfer rare earth machinery and process technology to mainland China while establishing state-sponsored acquisition strategies for targeted U.S. metallurgical and magnetic manufacturing technologies.

By 1995 the U.S. had sold its only NdFeB magnet producer, and all of its IP, to what turned out to be Deng Xiaoping’s family.

In just two decades China moved from a low value resource producer to having monopoly control over global production and access to rare earth technology metals.

By 2002 the U.S. became 100% dependent on China for all post-oxide rare earth materials. Today, China’s monopoly is concentrated on downstream metallics and magnets. In 2018, Japan, the only country that continued to produce rare earth metals outside of China, informed the U.S. government that they no longer make “new” rare earth metals.

Japan stated the reason for terminating all new rare earth metal production is “China controls price”.

Thorium policy was the leading culprit in America’s failure to lead the world in the evolution of the rare earth dependent technologies. From its powerful vantage point, China was able to force technology companies to move operations inside China. From a practical standpoint all past and future breakthroughs in rare earth based material science and technology migrate to China.

Cumulative Patent Deficit USD vs China
Cumulative Patent Deficit USD vs China

The best example of this is Apple. Because the iPhone is highly rare earth dependent, Apple was forced to manufacture it in China. In January 2007 Apple introduced its revolutionary iPhone. By August of the same year high quality Chinese knockoffs were being produced by a largely unknown company named Huawei. By 2017 Huawei was outselling Apple on a worldwide basis.

This story is not uncommon. It is typical of what happens to Western companies who move manufacturing inside China. Apple knew this but had no choice: developing a domestic rare earth value chain was impossible for any single company, industry, or even country by this point in the game.

Today China’s monopoly power allows them to control the supply chain of the U.S. military and NATO defense contractors.

From its diminished vantage point, the Pentagon is somehow unable to understand that China’s monopoly is a National Program of Industrial and Defense Policy.

Instead, the Pentagon pretends that this is a problem that can be solved by ‘the free market’, naively betting U.S. national security on a hodgepodge of junior rare earth mining ventures with economically questionable deposits, no downstream metal refining capabilities and no access to the critical heavy rare earths.

The Pentagon twice bet our national security on a geochemically incompatible deposit in California. The first time was in 2010. The Pentagon was forewarned that the deposit controlled by Molycorp, was incompatible with U.S. technology and defense needs, due to its lack of heavy rare earths, and that its business plan was “unworkable”. The company was bankrupt in just 5 years.

In 2020, despite the same deposit’s intractable deficiencies, Chinese ownership and a commitment to supply China, the Pentagon backed a venture capital group ‘developing’ the deposit under the name MP Materials. The new company has made the same unfulfillable promises as its predecessor but further domestic downstream capability into metallics is unlikely.

MP may remain profitable as long as it continues to sell concentrate and oxides into China, but profitable downstream refining into metallics / magnets is not possible when accounting for China’s internal cost, scale and subsidy advantages (and control over price).

The Pentagon, like so many other investors, fails to accept the reality of China’s monopoly.

It is both an economic monopoly, and a geopolitical monopoly.

Consequently, there have been over 400 bankruptcies in rare earth projects since 2010. Only two western controlled rare earth mines went into production: Molycorp, mentioned above, and Lynas, the Australian company Lynas. Lynas’s success is mostly due the current environment of higher prices (ultimately under China’s control) and a modestly superior rare earth chemistry when compared with the Molycorp Mt. Pass deposit. Lynas survived the 2015 downturn through direct subsidies form the Japanese government, price supports and debt forgiveness from its customers and investors.

Today the U.S. and all western governments find themselves outmaneuvered in rare earths (and other critical materials), the green economy and Thorium nuclear energy.

China is leading the world in the development of Thorium MSRs. Their first two-megawatt prototype reactors was recently cleared for startup (August, 2022). China’s MSR program was built on massive direct investment by the Chinese government and the direct transfer of technology and technical support by the U.S. Department of Energy.

China’s first to market strategy can be expected to conform to their tendency to vertically and horizontally monopolize industries, like rare earths. As such, China is poised to control the global roll out of this technology—displacing the U.S. as the global energy hegemon.

Because the U.S. failed to rationalize Thorium policy it has lost control of its destiny in rare earths and the future of safe, clean, affordable, and sustainable nuclear energy.

Unchallenged, China will be the global champion of net-zero energy.

What are the domestic obstacle to achieving Thorium MSR?

Opposition is directly linked to the cold war policies of the past and the intersection of legacy energy producers (LWR nuclear, coal, natural gas and petroleum) and renewable energy producers. These energy sectors individually and collectively are the political constituents of the DoE. So, despite the opposing interests between each of these energy sectors, the threat of Th-MSR expresses itself as DoE opposition (that is beginning to change).

The other problem with Th-MSR development is the regulatory environment. Regulations are more about protecting legacy interests than public safety. In nuclear regulation it is all about protecting the legacy fleet from new entrants.

For example, the company Nuscale spent over $600 million, over a decade, to certify a new nuclear reactor design. This expense was not to build a reactor. It was the regulatory cost of permitting a new reactor design that (highly conforms to existing LWR designs).

What people overlook is that the real cost and risk in new reactor design is a function of time, money and investor expectations.

In the case of Nuscale, the regulatory and construction cost of a new reactor will be in the multi-billion-dollar range, with over a decade of investor money tied up in the highly speculative investment (speculative in regulatory outcomes and customer orders against existing and alternative technologies) makes this the highest investment risk imaginable.

Accounting for the magnitude of these risks and return expectations, this type of investment is at the outer bounds of what is achievable — in the absence of a monopoly. That is why public investment was always necessary in the nuclear industry. China understands this and has acted accordingly.

What are the domestic obstacles to a domestic rare earth value chain?

The current rare earth issue has not been a mining issue but rather a regulatory issue. The U.S. continues to mine enough rare earths, as the byproduct of some other commodity, to exceed the entire non-Chinese world demand. These resources would quickly become available if the U.S. rationalized its Thorium policy.

The larger downstream problems resulting from China’s massive overinvestment and negligible return requirements in its rare earth industry have yet to express themselves, as the U.S. government blindly funds non-compatible, non-viable, non-economic downstream projects.

Without a production tax credit to off-set Chinese subsides, all of these projects will fail.

Balancing the comparative cost of capital and investor return expectation also must be answered.

Solutions

There are potential solutions. For rare earths there is a production tax credit bill that could off- set China’s generous subsidies, zero-cost capital and production cost advantages (comparative labor & environmental costs). There may also soon be proposed legislation to solve the Thorium problem. This same proposal would also provide a funding and development platform for a U.S. based Thorium MSR reactor industry.

There are solutions, but time is running out.


To learn more about advancing U.S. interests in the development of MSRs and ending China’s rare earth monopoly please visit the ThoriumEnergyAlliance.com or ThREEConsulting.com.


Authors

James Kennedy is an internationally recognized expert, consultant, author, and policy adviser on rare earths and Thorium energy.

John Kutsch is the executive director of Thorium Energy Alliance, an organization dedicated to the advancement of Thorium for power and critical materials applications.


References and Links

  1. http://threeconsulting.com/
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-kennedy-5622bb50/
  3. https://thoriumenergyalliance.com/
  4. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kutschenergy/
  5. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-us-policy-shifted-energy-technology-hegemony-china-james-kennedy/
  6. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/07/pentagon-suspends-f-35-deliveries-china-00055202
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_T._Seaborg
  8. https://pastdaily.com/2018/10/29/october-29-1961-dr-glenn-seaborg-has-a-word-or-two-about-nuclear-energy-meet-the-press-past-daily-reference-room/
  9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1212086
  10. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Chinese-molten-salt-reactor-cleared-for-start-up
  11. https://www.augustachronicle.com/story/news/2021/11/04/georgia-power-nuclear-reactors-plant-vogtle-cost-doubles-energy-costs/6286729001/
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyman_G._Rickover
  13. https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Aircraft_reactor_experiment
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Salt_Reactor_Experiment
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyDbq5HRs0o
  16. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-engineering/thermodynamics/thermodynamic-cycles/rankine-cycle-steam-turbine-cycle/
  17. https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/sandia-researchers-deliver-power-grid-new-brayton-cycle-technology
  18. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/th_msrs_heufrom_dismantled_weapons.pdf
  19. https://web.archive.org/web/20151107033818/https:/inldigitallibrary.inl.gov/sti/2664750.pdf
  20. https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part075/index.html
  21. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/chiarepatent.pdf
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deng_Xiaoping
  23. https://www.congress.gov/115/crpt/hrpt676/CRPT-115hrpt676.pdf
  24. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/sme-rareearthsdeceptionwebv.pdf
  25. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Chinese-molten-salt-reactor-cleared-for-start-up
  26. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2022/08/chinas-2-megawatt-molten-salt-thorium-nuclear-reactor-has-start-up-approval.html
  27. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/casdoetech.pdf
  28. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5033/text?r=164&s=1

#rareearths #nuclearenergy #nationalsecurity #nationaldefense #china #criticalminerals #departmentofenergy #departmentofdefense #EV #netzero #netzerocarbon #greentech #geopolitics #renewableenergy #cobalt #nickel #graphite #lithium #weapons #defensetechnology #mining #miningindustry #miningnews #greensteel #neodymium #terbium #pentagon #hegemony #monopoly #intellectualproperty #windenergy #solarenergy #hydrogen #thorium #thoriumenergyallianc #energy #scienceandtechnology #aviationindustry #aviationnews #airforce

Confidence in Nuclear Energy – The acceptance of evidence should replace traditional caution

By Wade Allison, professor of physics at Oxford University. Written 20 September 2022

Wade Allison is emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University and author of Radiation and Reason, and Nuclear is for Life.

Though an ideal energy source, nuclear made an unfortunate entry into world affairs. Accompanied by frightening tales of destruction it failed early on to gain the confidence required of a leading contributor to future human prosperity. Is radioactivity and nuclear radiation particularly dangerous? It has been wielded as a political weapon for 70 years. But does the myth of a possible radiation holocaust have objective substance? The inhibition that surrounds nuclear radiation obstructs the optimum solution to real dangers today – climate change, the supply of water, food and energy, and socio-economic stability.

Is radioactivity and nuclear radiation particularly dangerous? It has been wielded as a political weapon for 70 years. But does the myth of a possible radiation holocaust have objective substance?

Professor Wade Allison

Primary Energy Sources

By studying the natural world, humans have succeeded where other creatures failed. Satisfying our needs depends on understanding the benefits that nature offers. In particular, the study of energy and the acceptance by society of improved sources have been critical to prospects for the human race several times in the past. The first occasion was pre-historic, perhaps 600,000 years ago, when fire was domesticated. Confidence and good practice spread through the use of speech and education. Then came the harnessing of sunshine and the weather, delivered by windmills, watermills and the growth of food and vegetation. Nevertheless, these energy supplies were weak and notoriously unreliable. Additional energy was routinely provided by slave labour and teams of animals. Generally though, life was short and miserable.

The use of fossil fuels and their reliable engines began in the 18th Century and displaced the use of intermittent sources. Life was transformed for those who had the fuels. Health, sport, holidays, leisure and human rights flourished, all previously unavailable. Political affairs were largely concerned with which people had access to fossil fuels. Though fossil fuels were never safe or environmental, their combustion probably triggered, if not caused, changes to the climate. Consequently, the decision was taken in Paris in 2015 to discontinue their use. What should replace them? And how may we live in a climate that is never likely ever to revert to the way it was?

Fortunately, natural science today has a firm and complete account of energy – that is apart from one or two intriguing cosmological goings-on such as “dark matter”. Secondary sources, such as hydrogen, ammonia, batteries, electricity and biofuels, are beside the point, because they need to be generated from some primary source, and it’s the latter we need to secure. The weak, unreliable and weather-dependent primary sources that failed previously continue to be inadequate. Without fossil fuels, that leaves only one widely available source, sufficient to support the continuation of society as we know it, namely nuclear energy[1]. It ticks every box, except that many know little about it and are wary of it.

One who learnt early was Winston Churchill. In 1931 he wrote prophetically in the Strand Magazine that nuclear energy is a million times that of the fuel that powered the Industrial Revolution[2].

One who learnt early was Winston Churchill. In 1931 he wrote prophetically in the Strand Magazine that nuclear energy is a million times that of the fuel that powered the Industrial Revolution[2]

Professor Wade Allison

Both chemical and nuclear energy can be released explosively. Unfortunately, it was as a weapon that many in society first heard about nuclear energy. Released in anger at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the combination of blast and fire produced was fatal to the majority of inhabitants within a mile or two. Those much further away were not affected, nor were those who came to the site weeks afterwards. The result of the nuclear bombs was similar to the destruction by conventional explosives and fire storm in WWII of Tokyo, Hamburg and Dresden – or by explosives in recent years of Chechnya, Aleppo and Mariupol – except that it may come from a single device.

It comes as a surprise to many people that nuclear radiation makes no major contribution to the mortality of a nuclear explosion, even in later years[3]. That is not what they have been told. What is the truth and why has it remained hidden?

Wade Allison: “The Fukushima nuclear accident and the unwarranted fear of low-dose radiation”

Is Radiation a Danger to Life?

A great deal has been learnt about the effect of radiation on life in the past 120 years. When nuclear radiation was discovered by Marie Curie[4] and others in the last years of the 19th Century, they took great care to study its effect on life. Shortly thereafter, high doses were used successfully to cure patients of cancer, as they still are today. Millions of people have reason to be thankful as a result.

As with any new technology, much was learnt from accidents and mistakes in the early days. But by 1934 international agreement[5] had been reached on the scale of a safe radiation dose, 0.2 roentgen per day – in modern units, 2 milli-gray (or milli-Sievert) per day. In 1980 Lauriston Taylor (1902-2004), the doyen of radiation health physicists, affirmed[6] that “nobody has been identifiably injured by a lesser dose”– a statement that remains true today.

At first sight it is strange that ionising radiation, with its energy easily sufficient to break the critical molecules of life, should be harmless in low and moderate doses. And it does indeed break such molecules indiscriminately, but living tissue fights back because it has evolved the ability to do so. In early epochs the natural radiation environment on Earth was more intense than today. Life would have died out long ago, if it had not developed multiple layers of defence. These act within hours or days by repairing and replacing molecules and whole cells, too. Control of these mechanisms was devolved to the cellular level long ago, and it is a mistake for human regulations to try to micromanage the protection already provided by nature. So, although the details of natural protection and its workings are still being discovered today, the effectiveness of the safety it provides were known and agreed already in 1934.

But then in the mid-1950s, in spite of initiatives like “Atoms for Peace” by President Eisenhower, human society lost its nerve about nuclear energy and its radiation. What went wrong?

But then in the mid-1950s, in spite of initiatives like “Atoms for Peace” by President Eisenhower, human society lost its nerve about nuclear energy and its radiation. What went wrong?

Professor Wade Allison
Atoms For Peace Speech – Eisenhower 1953

When fear hid the benefits of nuclear and its radiation

Few today are old enough to remember those days, as I do. The 1950s was an unpleasant time with military threats abroad, spying, secrecy and mistrust at home. In the USA it was the era of Senator Joseph McCarthy[7] when all manner of innocent people were accused of being communist sympathisers or Soviet agents. Suspicion was everywhere. Already following the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowledge of nuclear radiation was seen as a “no-go” area, supposedly too difficult to understand and beyond the educational paygrade of normal people. After the War a vast employment structure, the industrial military complex, continued to develop, test and stockpile nuclear weapons to the horror of large sections of the populace, worldwide. They were supported in their concern by many scientists, including Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Andre Sakharov and many Nobel Laureates. Whether they were knowledgeable in radiobiology or not – and few were – they did not trust the judgement of the military and political authorities with this new energy and its million-fold increase. Everybody was frightened that the power might fall into foreign hands or be used irresponsibly by allies. This fear increased after 1949 when the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear device[8]. As the years went by, ever larger popular marches and political demonstrations attempted to halt the nuclear Arms Race with the USSR, frequently alarming civil authorities with their threats to law and order.

This civil disturbance had more success in stopping the Arms Race when it focused on the biological effects of nuclear radiation. Few in the industrial military complex knew much about this – they were mostly engineers, physical and mathematical scientists. In truth, few other scientists did either and in the absence of data were easily alarmed. The concern was that irreparable radiation damage incurred by the human genome might be transmitted to subsequent generations. Such a prediction was made by Hermann Muller, a Nobel Prize winning geneticist – without any evidence. A ghoulish spectre of deformed descendants was eagerly adopted by the media as real. The popular magazine Life, dated May 1955 page 37, explicitly quoted Muller, saying “atomic war may cause” such hereditary damage (emphasis added). The qualification of the possibility was lost on the media and general public – the horror was seen as just too awful. It was widely taken as likely to be true by academic opinion, too, as there was no evidence to deny it.

Herman Muller
Herman Muller, LIFE Magazine, 1957

Significantly, it is not difficult to detect levels of radiation exposure many thousand times lower than the level accepted as safe in 1934[5]. Anxious to quell popular pressure, regulatory authorities acceded to a regime in which life should be spared any radiation exposure above a level As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). For the public, the advice was set at 1 milli-Sievert per year, a modest fraction of the typical natural background received from rocks and space. National regulatory authorities, concerned to protect themselves from liability, readily adopted the advice of the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) under the auspices of the United Nations.

These regulations are based, not on evidence, but on a philosophy of caution, namely that any exposure to radiation is harmful and that all such damage accumulates throughout life – in denial of the natural protection provided by evolution. A discredited ad hoc theory of risk, the Linear No Threshold model (LNT)[9,10], supplanted the Threshold Model of 1934 at the behest of the BEAR Committee of the US Natural Academy of Sciences in 1956.

A discredited ad hoc theory of risk, the Linear No Threshold model (LNT) [9,10], supplanted the Threshold Model of 1934 at the behest of the BEAR Committee of the US Natural Academy of Sciences in 1956.

Professor Wade Allison

Such excessive caution incurs huge extra costs. Worse, adherence to ALARA/LNT regulations has caused serious social and environmental damage – for instance, in the response to the accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi. International bodies and committees, unlike individuals, stick rigidly to their terms of reference. So, the ICRP still supports ALARA/LNT today[11] and advocates protection which is not necessary – except in extreme cases.

What about these extreme cases? Muller supposed that an exposure to radiation can alter a person’s genetic code and that this error can then be passed onto off-spring. But the medical records of the survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their children and grandchildren[12] never supported this. As a result, nobody today maintains that there is any evidence for such inheritable genetic changes. This is confirmed in animal experiments, and was accepted even by the ICRP in 2007[11] – to be precise they lowered their estimated genetic risk factor by an order of magnitude. So Muller was wrong[10]. Incidentally, he was also wrong about the evidence for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1946.

So Muller was wrong [10]. Incidentally, he was also wrong about the evidence for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1946.

Professor Wade Allison

Dedicated to protect people against radiological damage, the ICRP focused on the induction of cancer by radiation instead of inheritable genetic defects. The medical history of 87,000 survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, along with their children, have been followed since 1950. Data on solid cancers and leukaemia in 50 years and their correlation with individually estimated exposures have been published by DL Preston et al ([13], Tables 3 and 7). Inevitably, some survivors died from these diseases anyway, but their numbers are allowed for by comparing with distant residents who received no dose, being too far away. Some 68,000 survivors received a dose less than 100 milli-Sievert and these showed no evidence of extra cancers. Altogether, between 1950 and 2000 there were 10,127 deaths from solid cancers and 296 from leukaemia – 480 and 93, respectively, more than expected on the basis of data for those not irradiated. This number of extra deaths, 573, is significant, but less than half a percent of those who died from the blast and fire. Furthermore, it is only a third of the number of deaths reported as caused by the unnecessary and ill-judged evacuation at Fukushima Daiichi[14], an accident in which nobody died from radiation, or is likely to. Evidently, the fear of radiation can be far more life-threatening than its actual effect, even as recorded in the bombing of two large cities. This conclusion in no way belittles the enormous loss of life from the blast and fire of a nuclear explosion with its localised range and limited duration.

The medical history of 87,000 survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, along with their children, have been followed since 1950.

Professor Wade Allison

But it is important to check that all available evidence corroborates this conclusion. How are other biological risks checked? A new vaccine is checked with blind tests in which patients are unaware of whether they have been treated or been given a placebo. In similar studies with radiation on groups of animals[15], one is irradiated every day throughout life and the other not. Those irradiated daily show a threshold of about 2 milli-Sievert per day for additional cancer death or other life shortening disease, similar to the threshold set in 1934. In fact doses below threshold increase life expectancy and the same is found for humans[16].

At Chernobyl 28 fire fighters died of acute radiation syndrome in a short time[17], 27 from doses above 4000 milli-Sievert and 1 from a dose between 2000 and 4000 milli-Sievert. There were 15 deaths from thyroid cancer (but opinion is divided on these). Other cases of ill health were related to severe social and mental disturbance. Being told “you have been irradiated and are being evacuated immediately” is disorientating. Like Voodoo or a mediaeval curse, it can be life-threatening. Notably, the wild animals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are thriving, as seen on wildlife programmes[19, 20] – but then they have not been shown videos on the horrors of radiation!

An important question is how human society has persisted with such a gross misperception for seventy years. Entertainment, courage and excitement are important emotional exercises that prepare us to face real dangers, although there is a need to distinguish fact from fiction. The Placebo Effect describes the genuine health benefits found by patients who think they have been treated when they have not. The Nocebo Effect is its inverse[21], that is where people who have not been harmed, suffer real symptoms as if they had. In the aftermath of the Fukushima accident families endured terrible suffering including family break up and alcoholism – as a direct consequence of regulations based on ALARA and LNT. If the regulations had been based on the 1934 threshold, no evacuation longer than a week would have been justified[22].

The nuclear option for generations to come

Evidently, committees that advocate regulation based on ALARA/LNT are harmful and should be disbanded. Future generations should be free to make informed decisions involving nuclear energy, in peace or war, unencumbered by the erroneous legacy of the 1950s.

Evidently, committees that advocate regulation based on ALARA/LNT are harmful and should be disbanded.

Professor Wade Allison

In years to come, when reference is made to the “nuclear option” in other contexts, we may hope that it will be shorthand for “the best solution”. In medicine this is nearly true now. During a course of radiotherapy the healthy tissue close to a tumour receives a high dose – about 1000 milli-Gray, every weekday for several weeks. By spreading the treatment over many days, this healthy tissue just recovers, and radiologists ensure that this huge dose seldom causes a secondary cancer. This would be disastrous strategy according to LNT – in six weeks or so the equivalent of about 30,000 years at the precautionary dose limit of 1 milli-Sievert per year!

Future generations should be free to make informed decisions involving nuclear energy, in peace or war, unencumbered by the erroneous legacy of the 1950s.

Professor Wade Allison

In future we should not allow ourselves to be blackmailed by fear of the radiation from a nuclear weapon. That may have terrified our parents, but we should ensure that our children understand that radiation is dangerous only in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear detonation where death is caused by the blast and fire. At school all teenagers should study natural science and understand how nuclear energy compares with other sources, for safety, availability, reliability, security and preservation of the environment[1]. Then they should go home and reassure their parents.

In future we should not allow ourselves to be blackmailed by fear of the radiation from a nuclear weapon.

Professor Wade Allison

Professor Wade Allison, Oxford, United Kingdom, 20 September 2022


Links and References

  1. Allison, W. Nature, Energy and Society (2020) https://www.mdpi.com/1784714 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339629356_Nature_Energy_and_Society_A_scientific_study_of_the_options_facing_civilisation_today
  2. https://www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org/fifty-years-hence.html
  3. Allison, W. Radiation and Reason, The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear ISBN 978-0-9563756-1-5 (2009), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234037551_Radiation_and_Reason_The_Impact_of_Science_on_a_Culture_of_Fear
  4. Grammatikos PC, Pioneers of nuclear medicine, Madame Curie https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16868638/
  5. International Recommendations (1934) International Commission for Radiological Protection. https://www.icrp.org/images/1934.JPG
  6. Taylor LS, The Sievert Lecture 1980, health physics (1980) 39 851 https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=health+physics+1980+39+851&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  7. McCarthyism and the Red Scare https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/educational-resources/age-of-eisenhower/mcarthyism-red-scare
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_atomic_bomb_project
  9. Meyerson G, Siegel JA Epidemiology without Biology (2016) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13752-016-0244-4
  10. The History of the Linear No-Threshold Model, Health Physics Society (2022) http://hps.org/hpspublications/historylnt/index.html
  11. The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication 103. Ann. ICRP 37 (2-4). https://www.icrp.org/publication.asp?id=ICRP%20Publication%20103
  12. National Research Council (1956). Effect of Exposure to the Atomic Bombs on Pregnancy Termination in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/18776 .
  13. Preston DL et al. Effect of recent changes in atomic bomb survivor dosimetry on cancer mortality risk estimates (2004) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15447045/
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster_casualties#UNSCEAR_Report
  15. Olipitz W et al, Integrated Molecular Analysis Indicates Undetectable Change in DNA Damage in Mice after Continuous Irradiation at ~ 400-fold Natural Background Radiation (2012) https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp.1104294
  16. David E et al, Background radiation impacts human longevity and cancer mortality: reconsidering the linear no-threshold paradigm (2021) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10522-020-09909-4
  17. Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum Expert Group “Health”, Health effects of the Chernobyl accident and special health care programmes, World Health Organisation (2006) https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9241594179
  18. BBC News, Science and Environment, Cameras reveal the secret lives of Chernobyl’s wildlife (2015) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32452085
  19. Discovery Channel, Chernobyl Life in the Dead Zone (2012) http://t.co/puM2rwyBMH
  20. Pincher, H. New Scientist (2009) https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227081-100-the-science-of-voodoo-when-mind-attacks-body/
  21. Allison, W. BBC Viewpoint: We should stop running away from radiation (26 March 2011) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12860842
  22. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/find-an-expert/professor-wade-allison
  23. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atoms_for_Peace
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxGSfOd1Dpc
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2syXBL8xG0
  26. https://amzn.to/3rGmgSG
  27. https://amzn.to/3EudS0h

#Radiation #WadeAllison #ALARA #LinearNoThreshold #AtomsForPeace

Nuclear is the Only Answer to Our Energy Transition

By Wade Allison, professor of physics at Oxford University.

This was first published in the New Statesman special supplement on Energy and Climate Change on 27 May 2022. Reproduced with permission from the author.

Wade Allison
Wade Allison is emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University and author of Radiation and Reason, and Nuclear is for Life.

Finding sufficient energy is essential to all life. Humans have excelled at this, notably when they studied and overcame their innate fear of fire some 600,000 years ago. Until the Industrial Revolution they made do with energy derived, directly or indirectly, from the daily sunshine that drives waterpower, the wind and other manifestations including the production of vegetation and food. But, although better than for other creatures, human life was short and miserable for the population at large. The causes were the anemic strength of the Sun’s rays, averaging 340 watts per square meter, and its random interruption by unpredicted weather.

With fossil fuels, available energy increased, anywhere at any time. Life expectancy doubled and the world population quadrupled. For 200 years whoever had access to fossil fuels had world power. However, at the 2015 Paris Conference nations agreed that the emission of carbon posed an existential threat and that, sooner rather than later, this should cease.

“The coal a man can get in a day can easily do 500 times as much work as the man himself. Nuclear energy is at least one million times more powerful still…”

Sir Winston Churchill, 1931

Technology may be challenging and exciting, but it cannot deliver energy where none exists, today as in pre-industrial times. Writing in 1867, Karl Marx dismissed wind power as “too inconstant and uncontrollable”. He saw waterpower as better, but “as the predominant power [it] was beset with difficulties”. Today, the vast size of hydro, wind and solar plants comparative to their power reflects their weakness and destructive impact on flora and fauna – a point often curiously ignored by environmentalists.

If renewables are simply inadequate and fossil fuel emissions only accelerate climate change further, what abundant primary energy source might permit political and economic stability for the next 200 years? Natural science can say without doubt, the only answer is nuclear.

In 1931, Winston Churchill wrote: “The coal a man can get in a day can easily do 500 times as much work as the man himself. Nuclear energy is at least one million times more powerful still… There is no question among scientists that this gigantic source of energy exists. What is lacking is the match to set the bonfire alight… The discovery and control of such sources of power would cause changes in human affairs incomparably greater than those produced by the steam-engine four generations ago.”

The History of the Linear No-Threshold Model

He was right, but this transition requires adequate public education. In recovering from World War Two and its aftermath, the world lost confidence and demonised nuclear energy. This denial of an exceptional benefit to society has persisted for 70 years supported by bogus scientific claims around radiation and oil interests. But, aside from the blast of a nuclear explosion, nuclear energy and its radiation are safer than the combustion of fossil fuels, as confirmed by evidence from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Furthermore, nuclear applications in medicine pioneered by Marie Curie (such as the use of radiation to treat cancerous tumours) have been widely appreciated for 120 years.

Abstract
Among those who have made important discoveries in the field of radioactivity and thus helped in the development of nuclear medicine as an identical entity are: Heinrich Hertz who in 1886 demonstrated the existence of radiowaves. In 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-rays. In 1896 H. Becquerel described the phenomenon of radioactivity. He showed that a radioactive uranium salt was emitting radioactivity which passing through a metal foil darkened a photographic plate. An analogous experiment performed by S.Thomson in London was announced to the president of the Royal Society of London before the time H.Becquerel announced his discovery but Thomson never claimed priority for his discovery. Muarie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934) was undoubtedly the most important person to attribute to the discovery of radioactivity. In 1898 she discovered radium as a natural radioactive element. This is how she describes the hard time she had, working with her husband Pierre Curie (1859-1906) for the discovery of radium and polonium: “During the first year we did not go to the theater or to a concert or visited friends. I miss my relatives, my father and my daughter that I see every morning and only for a little while. But I do not complain…”. In presenting her discovery of radium, Madame Curie said: ” …in the hands of a criminal, radium is very dangerous. So we must often ask ourselves: will humanity earn or lose from this discovery? I, myself belong to those who believe the former…”. The notebooks that Madame Curie had when she was working with radium and other radioactive elements like polonium, thorium and uranium are now kept in Paris. They are contaminated with radioactive materials having very long half-lives and for this reason anyone who wishes to have access to these notes should sign that he takes full responsibility. There are some more interesting points in Madame Curie’s life which may not be widely known like: Although her full name is Maria Sklodowska-Curie, she is not known neither by that full name nor as Maria Sklodowska but as Marie Curie. Madame Curie was the second of five children. At the age of 24 she went to Sorbonne-Paris after being invited by her sister Bronja to study for about 2-3 years; instead she stayed in Paris for her whole life. Her doctorate was on the subject: “Research on radioactive substances” which she completed in six years under the supervision of H. Becquerel. Pierre Curie was Director of the Physics Laboratory of the Ecole Municipale of Physics and Industrial Chemistry when he married M. Curie in 1895. Pierre Curie left his other research projects and worked full time with his wife. In this laboratory M. Curie and her husband Pierre discovered radium and polonium. In 1901 Pierre Curie induced a radiation burn on his forearm by applying on his skin radiferous barium chloride for 10 hours. During World War I, M.Curie organized for the Red Cross a fleet of radiological ambulances each with X-ray apparates which were called “Little Curies”. The X-ray tubes of these apparates were unshielded and so M.Curie was exposed to high doses of radiation. Once an ambulance fell into a ditch and M.Curie who was inside the ambulance was badly bruised and stayed at home for 3 days. M. Curie with her daughters, Irene and Eve, was invited and visited America in 1921. She led a successful campaign to collect radium for her experiments. Before leaving America, President Harding donated through her to the Radium Institute of Paris 1 g of radium for research purposes. At that time the process to obtain 0.5 g of pure radium bromide required 1 ton of ore and 5 tons of chemicals. No measures of radiation protection were taken back then. In 1929 Madame Curie visited the United States for a second time. She met with President Hoover and with the help of the Polish women’s association in America collected funds for another gram of radium. Madame Curie died of leukemia on July 4, 1934. Sixty years after her death her remnants were laid to rest under the dome of the Pantheon. Thus she became the first woman under her own merit, to rest in the Pantheon. In 1934 at the Institute of Radiology in Paris, Frederique Joliot and Irene Curie-Joliot discovered artificial radiation. They studied alpha particles and beta;-radiation.

Pioneers of nuclear medicine, Madame Curie, Hell J Nuclear Medicine, 2004 Jan-Apr; 7(1):30-1

Regulation around nuclear needs to be commensurate with actual risk, and it should be financed appropriately, with richer nations covering the costs for developing countries.

Fully informed, everybody should welcome the security of small, mass-produced, cheap, local nuclear energy plants dedicated to serving modest-sized communities for 80 years with on-demand electricity, off-peak hydrogen, fertiliser, industrial heat, and seasonless farming.

The only real challenges are in building a new generation with the relevant scientific knowledge and skills, and instilling public confidence.

Professor Wade Allison, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Professor Wade Allison is author of Radiation and Reason, and Nuclear is for Life.


Links and References

  1. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/find-an-expert/professor-wade-allison
  2. https://www.newstatesman.com/
  3. https://www.newstatesman.com/spotlight/energy/2022/05/debate-nuclear-only-answer-energy-transition
  4. https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/use-fire-peking-man-goes-back-600000-years-chinese-scientists-020450
  5. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy
  6. https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth-past-future
  7. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch15.htm#S4
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339629356_Nature_Energy_and_Society_A_scientific_study_of_the_options_facing_civilisation_today
  9. https://www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org/fifty-years-hence.html
  10. https://hps.org/hpspublications/historylnt/index.html
  11. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-12860842
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16868638/
  13. https://amzn.to/3rGmgSG
  14. https://amzn.to/3EudS0h

Safeguards for the Lithium Fluoride Thorium Reactor: A Preliminary Nuclear Material Control and Accounting Assessment – by Oak Ridge National Laboratories – Publication ORNL/TM/2022/2394

Oak Ridge National Labs Entrance

The most modern reproduction and replication of the work of the 1960’s undertaken by Flibe Energy Inc. is reviewed by Oak Ridge National Laboratories in a private public partnership. (ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle).

Today we spotlight the most recent production from Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, USA, (ORNL). The report is all about Molten Salt Fission Technology Powered by Thorium. This concise 54 page report is akin to the ORNL report produced 44 years ago in August 1978, entitled Molten-Salt Reactors Efficient Nuclear Fuel Utilization without Plutonium Separation and further extends the ORNL work reported in The Development Status of Molten Salt Breeder Reactors from August 1972. (It appears that August is the month of important reports by ORNL). This later behemoth 434 page report is the mother lode of information for all work done at ONRL regarding Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology powered by Thorium. Anyone looking at investing into this technology must make it a priority read – all of the work has been done before. The report can be found further below in this post.

This most recent report on this technology has been produced by the authors, Dr. Richard L. Reed, Dr. Louise G. Evans and Donald N. Kovacic, B.Sc. All are senior scientists involved with Molten Salt Technology at ORNL.

Before we discuss the report, first we’ll discuss why it’s important to define new terminology for nuclear energy sector.

For generations massive amounts of negative press and target funding has branded the word nuclear as simply bad. And let’s face it. Nuclear Physics is complicated, and so conversations get complicated pretty quickly too. Let’s just look at the elements we can play with.

Out of 118 elements in the Periodic Table, 80 are stable having 339 isotopes, leaving 38 elements – those heavier than lead – as unstable. These 38 elements have over 3,000 possible isotope existent states. Hence thousands of unstable isotopes, lead to 10’s of thousands of combinations of decay, neutron absorption, and possible fission events, from neutrons both fast – high energy particles, and thermal – low energy particles, and then hundreds of other non responsive isotopes of non responsive elements that exhibit different behaviours over time and distance. For example water is better for absorbing fast neutrons and lead is better for thermal neutrons. Boron-10 absorbs neutrons, whilst boron-11 does not. Neutrons bounce off, are reflected by graphite, beryllium, steel, tungsten carbide, and gold (There are more too). OK, so the picture is clear – fission energy gets complicated very quickly.

DOE Explains…Isotopes

Remember too, that this all started in a race to build nuclear weapons – not to make energy. Weapons should all be dismantled and destroyed. USA and UK should follow in the footsteps of South Africa who dismantled their last bomb in 1989. Today the USA and UK combined have enough firepower to destroy humanity entirely 150 times over. We are thankful that Molten Salt technology was pursued with such vigor precisely because it cannot make weapons. It only makes energy.

The Thorium fuel cycle is “intrinsically proliferation-resistant”

The International Atomic Energy Agency, 2005

Thorium fuel cycle — Potential benefits and challenges IAEA, May 2005


Hans Blix, former head of IAEA explaining why Thorium, and Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology doesn’t even need to be addressed by the IAEA.

Former head of IAEA, Hans Blix, discussing why Thorium is superior

Why South Africa Dismantled Its Nuclear Weapons

by Evelyn Andrespok, March 2010

We are also thankful that nuclear weapons are now illegal (why did THAT take so long?)

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


So back to the nomenclature.

We call it Fission, not nuclear.

We call them Machines, not reactors. (By the way, there’s no reactions going on, and indeed in the core region fuel is “burned” according to the physics text books. In Fission, atoms are split, so “splitter” is the correct term!)

We say Molten Salt Fission Energy TechnologyMSFT. Not anything else. Calling it LFTR ties the technology to a specific fluid-fuel type. Even the company FLIBE are considering changing the Beryllium metal to Sodium metal (the BE means Beryllium in their company’s name).

And Fission – Nuclear Energy – is effectively Carbon Free. Even Bill Gates knows this.

Bill Gates getting into Molten Salt


The latest ORNL report is excellent at defining the challenges already identified 50 years ago. The net result is that ORNL have made recommendations to modify the Flibe design thus eliminating any chance of weapons production from Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology powered by Thorium.

Some of these recommendations are:

  • Use multiple, smaller decay vessels for salt distribution for emergency shutdown events.
  • Install stringent material monitoring systems with tamper evident features for fuel processing.
  • Use batch fuel processing and not continuous for better inventory controls.
  • Recombine fuel elements to increase gamma activity of the fuel processing cycle.
  • Allow U232 production to increase hence increasing the self protection mechanism.
  • Eliminate the decay fluorinator entirely by allowing protactinium to decay in the fuel salt.
  • Remove physical access to the UF6 stream by have vessels immediately adjacent to each other.

These, and other recommendations, effectively define Molten Salt Fission Technology powered by Thorium as proliferation proof.

You can see the full report here:



The latest ORNL report must be read in conjunction with a 1978 report, also by ORNL staff – and also released in the month of August – where proliferation concerns of the earlier designs where addressed. In that report the authors J. R. Engel, W. R. Grimes, W. A. Rhoades and J. F. Dearing allowed the build up of U232 to create self protection whilst still maintaining machine performance – “denatured”, as they called it.

Here is that report, Technical Memorandum TM 6413, from August 1978:

ORNL TM 6413 August 1978 Molten-Salt Reactors for Efficient Nuclear Fuel Utilization Without Plutonium Separation


Here’s one of the authors of that report – John Richard “Dick” Engel – shortly before his passing in 2017.

Dick Engel & Syd Ball – ORNL Molten Salt Reactor Engineer Interview shot for THORIUM REMIX

The following documents should also be read together with ORNL report 2022/2394 to ensure full understanding:

ORNL TM 3708 1964 Molten Salt Reactor Program Semiannual Progress Report for Period Ending July 31, 1964

This report summarized the work leading up to the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, that ran from 1965 to 1969 – the “most boring experiment ever. It did everything we expected it to do.”, said by Dr. Sydney Ball.

The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment

ORNL TM 4658 1972 Chemical Aspects of MSRE Operations

This report debunks corrosion myths surrounding Molten Salt Technology.

ORNL TM 4812 August 1972 Development Status of Molten-Salt Breeder Reactors

This is the report that ended in the program being shut down. The USD 1 billion funding request was too obvious to ignore and many people realised what impact this would have on existing business interests in energy.

Why MSRS Abandoned ORNL Weinberg’s Firing by Bruce Hoglund

A concise summary of the facts behind the closure of the Molten Salt Program at Oak Ridge.

Here is the 2015 assessment report referenced in ORNL report 2022/2394.

Electric Power Research Institute – Program on Technology Innovation: Technology Assessment of a Molten Salt Reactor Design – The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR)

Electric Power Research Institute Report Abstract

EPRI collaborated with Southern Company on an independent technology assessment of an innovative molten salt reactor (MSR) design—the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR)—as a potentially transformational technology for meeting future energy needs in the face of uncertain market, policy, and regulatory constraints. The LFTR is a liquid-fueled, graphite-moderated thermal spectrum breeder reactor optimized for operation on a Th-233U fuel cycle. The LFTR design considered in this work draws heavily from the 1960s-era Molten Salt Reactor Experiment and subsequent design work on a similar two-fluid molten salt breeder reactor design. Enhanced safety characteristics, increased natural resource utilization, and high operating temperatures, among other features, offer utilities and other potential owners/operators access to new products, markets, applications, and modes of operation. The LFTR represents a dramatic departure from today’s dominant and proven commercial light water reactor technology. Accordingly, the innovative and commercially unproven nature of MSRs, as with many other advanced reactor concepts, presents significant challenges and risks in terms of financing, licensing, construction, operation, and maintenance.

This technology assessment comprises three principal activities based on adaptation of standardized methods and guidelines: 1) rendering of preliminary LFTR design information into a standardized system design description format; 2) performance of a preliminary process hazards analysis; and 3) determination of technology readiness levels for key systems and components. The results of the assessment provide value for a number of stakeholders. For utility or other technology customers, the study presents structured information on the LFTR design status that can directly inform a broader technology feasibility assessment in terms of safety and technology maturity. For the developer, the assessment can focus and drive further design development and documentation and establish a baseline for the technological maturity of key MSR systems and components. For EPRI, the study offers an opportunity to exercise and further develop advanced nuclear technology assessment tools and expertise through application to a specific reactor design.

The early design stage of the LFTR concept indicates the need for significant investment in further development and demonstration of novel systems and components. The application of technology assessment tools early in reactor system design can provide real value and facilitate advancement by identifying important knowledge and design performance gaps at a stage when changes can be incorporated with the least impact to cost, schedule, and licensing.


Thorium Reactor Graphic by PopSci

Finally, a reminder. Why all the fuss about Thorium Molten Salt anyway? What did those giants of nuclear energy see starting way back in 1947 that we don’t see today? It’s because of this chart by ANSTO of Australia. It’s a little known – public – secret, that Australia, part of the Generation IV Forum, but ironically staunchly anti nuclear, is also one of the strongest countries in technology development for Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium.

ANSTO Energy Density
ANSTO Energy Density (LWR = Solid Fission; MSR = Molten Salt Fission)

We hoped you enjoyed this article, produced free for all advocates and students of Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium. If you like this work and want to see more, please support this work by going to our contributions page, where you can then find our Patreon account.


Links and References

  1. https://www.ornl.gov/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UT%E2%80%93Battelle
  3. https://flibe-energy.com/
  4. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-elements-are-there.html
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotope
  6. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5289038-molten-salt-reactors-efficient-nuclear-fuel-utilization-without-plutonium-separation
  7. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5688579-molten-salt-reactors-efficient-nuclear-fuel-utilization-without-plutonium-separation
  8. https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1033578/
  9. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/4099994-status-us-program-development-molten-salt-breeder-reactor
  10. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-reed-98769430/
  11. https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisegevans/
  12. https://www.linkedin.com/in/donald-kovacic-7b468a6/
  13. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-power/reactor-physics/atomic-nuclear-physics/fundamental-particles/neutron/shielding-neutron-radiation/
  14. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-elements-are-there.html
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Prohibition_of_Nuclear_Weapons
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction
  17. https://wp.towson.edu/iajournal/articles/2010-2019/fall-2010-issue/why-south-africa-dismantled-its-nuclear-weapons/
  18. https://www-pub.iaea.org/mtcd/publications/pdf/te_1450_web.pdf
  19. https://splash247.com/bill-gates-joins-nuclear-powered-shipping-push/
  20. https://www.epri.com/
  21. https://www.southerncompany.com/
  22. https://www.epri.com/research/products/000000003002005460
  23. https://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2011/11/04/thorium-fueled-nuclear-plant-to-be-built/
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyDbq5HRs0o
  25. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/knoxnews/name/john-engel-obituary?id=16904544
  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yO0Qk-_Gms
  27. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-hoglund-52194814/
  28. https://www.ansto.gov.au/our-science/nuclear-technologies/reactor-systems/advanced-reactors/evolution-of-molten-salt
  29. https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-08/thorium-reactors-could-wean-world-oil-just-five-years/
  30. https://www.gen-4.org/

#FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GotThorium #ORNL #OakRidge #MSRE #MoltenSaltFissionEnergy #Thorium

Episode 30 – Longevity and Reliability – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 9 Part 7

Toxic Waste from Rare Earths

Number 5 – Longevity and Reliability

Because 33% efficient windmills only have 20-year lifespans, they must be rebuilt two times after initial construction to match the 60-year lifespan of 90% efficient nuclear power plants.

Here’s what an anonymous wind technician from North Dakota said about the usefulness of windmills:”Yeah, we all want to think we’re making a difference, but we know it’s bullshit. If it’s too windy,  they run like sh , if it’s too hot, they run like sh , too cold, they run like sh . I just checked the forecast, and it’s supposed to be calm this weekend so hopefully not very many will break down, but hell man, they break even when they aren’t running. I’ve given up on the idea that what I’m doing makes a difference in the big picture. Wind just isn’t good enough.”

If it’s too windy,  they run like sh , if it’s too hot, they run like sh , too cold, they run like sh .

Wind Technician, North Dakota
Former London banker Alexander Pohl worked for years for one of the world’s greenest banks. Idealistically driven he financed big wind and solar farms genuinely convinced he was making the world a better place. Together with film maker Marijn Poels created this mind blowing documentary, Headwind “21

Number 6 – Resources and Materials

Organizations like the Sierra Club wear blinders that exclude wind’s defects, and when I or my associates offer presentations on the safety records and costs of the various forms of power generation, including nuclear, we rarely get a reply, and my Minnesota chapter provides a case in point.

Because of those blinders, they apparently don’t know that It will take 9,500 1-MW windmills running their entire life spans to equal the life-cycle output of just one average nuclear plant. Perhaps they don’t realize that those windmills, which last just 20 years, require far more steel and concrete than just one nuclear plant with a lifespan of at least 60 years.

As a result, the carbon footprint of inefficient windmills is much larger than that of a 90% efficient nuclear power plant.

Offshore Wind Requires 63,000lbs Of Copper Per Turbine, by Irina Slav 17 May 2021

For videos of storm-fragile windmills that were stripped of their blades by Caribbean hurricanes in 2017, please see these

22 September 2017 – Puerto Rico – Wind – Solar – Cellular Structures Destroyed

The German electric power company Energieerzeugungswerke Helgoland GmbH shut down and dismantled their Helgoland Island wind power plant after being denied insurance against further lightning losses. They had been in operation three years and suffered more than $540,000 (USD) in lightning-related damage.

Nick Gromicko

“The material in five, 2 MW windmills (10 MW total) could build a complete 1 GW nuclear power plant that will generate ~100x the power, on 1/1000 the acreage, with no threat to species or climate.”

Dr. Alex Cannara

Wind Turbines and Lightning, by Nick Gromicko

Wind Power: Our Least Sustainable Resource? By Craig Rucker 25 October 2016

Furthermore, the wind industry doesn’t know what to do with these 170-foot, 22,000-pound, fiberglass blades that last just 20 years and are so difficult to recycle that many facilities won’t take them.

Wind energy’s big disposal problem

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy

Germany has more than 28,000 wind turbines — but many are old and by 2023 more than a third must be decommissioned. Disposing of them is a huge environmental problem.

DW.com

A 1-GW windfarm needs 1300 tons of new blades per year, and because they cost USD100k each, that’s USD200 million every 18 years, or USD33.6 million per year per gigawatt created just for the blades – all this for a fraud that primarily relies on carbon-burning generators to supply the majority of their rated power that they don’t supply.

Those who guide the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, etc., should know that windmills require magnets made from neodymium, which comes primarily from China, where mining and refining the ore has created immense toxic dumps and lakes that are causing skin and respiratory diseases, cancer and osteoporosis. If they know this, why are they silent? If they don’t, they should.

A visit to the artificial lake in Baotou in Inner Mongolia – the dumping ground for radioactive, toxic waste from the city’s rare earth mineral refineries. The byproduct of creating materials used to do everything from make magnets for wind turbines to polishing iPhones to make them nice and shiny.

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust, By Tim Maughan 2 April 2015

Please research “Lake Baotou, China”.

Baotou Lake, Mongolia: The Toxic side of Cleantech, by Brendan Palmer 21 September 2015

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, “a two- megawatt windmill contains about 800 pounds [360 kg] of neodymium and 130 pounds [60 kg] of dysprosium.”

The myth of renewable energy, by Dawn Stover 22 November 2011

Unlike windmill generators, ground-based generators use electromagnets, which are much heavier than permanent magnets, but do not contain rare-earth elements.

Here’s the problem: Accessing just those two elements produces tons of arsenic and other dangerous chemicals. And because the U.S. added about 13,000 MW of wind generating capacity in 2012, that means that some 5.5 million pounds [2.5 million kg] of rare earths were refined just for windmills, which created 2,800 tons of toxic waste, and it’s worse now.

For perspective, our nuclear industry, which creates 20% of our electricity, produces only about 2.35 tons of spent nuclear fuel (commonly called “waste”), per year, which they strictly contain, but the wind industry, while creating just 3.5% of our electricity, is making much more radioactive waste where rare- earths are being mined and processed – and its disposal is virtually unrestricted.

Windmills also use 80 gallons [300 litres] of synthetic oil per year, and because there are at least 60,000 US windmills, this means that the windmill industry requires 500,000 gallons [1.9 million litres] per year plus even more crude oil from which synthetics are derived.

Get me a mask!

Wind Turbines Generate Mountains of Waste, by Carol Miller, 3 October 2020

We know that it takes several thousand windmills to equal the output of one run-of-the-mill nuclear reactor, but to be more precise, let’s tally up all of the materials that will be needed to replace the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant with renewables.

Dr. Tim Maloney has done just that, writing, “Here are numbers for wind and solar replacement of Vermont Yankee.

Let’s assume a 50/50 split between wind and solar, and for the solar a 50/50 split of photovoltaic (PV) and CSP concentrated solar power, which uses mirrors.

  1. Amount of steel required to build wind and solar;
  2. Concrete requirement;
  3. CO2 emitted in making the steel and concrete;
  4. Money spent;
  5. Land taken out of crop production or habitat.

To replace Vermont Yankee’s 620 MW, we will need 310 MW (average) for wind, 155 MW (average) for PV solar, and 155 MW (average) for CSP… Using solar and wind would require:

  • Steel: 450,000 tons. That’s 0.6% of our U.S. total annual production, just to replace one smallish plant.
  • Concrete: 1.4 million tons; 0.2% of our production/yr.
  • CO2 emitted: 2.5 million tons
  • Cost: about 12 Billion dollars
  • Land: 73 square miles, which is larger than Washington DC, just to replace one small nuclear plant with solar/wind….

Offshore windmills use up to 8 tons of copper per mW.

The Nuclear Alternative

a.) Replace Vermont Yankee with a Westinghouse /Toshiba model AP1000 that produces 1070 MW baseload, about 2 x the output of Yankee.

Normalizing 1070 MW to Vermont Yankee’s 620 MW, the AP1000 uses:

  • Steel: 5800 tons – 1 % as much as wind and solar.
  • Concrete: 93,000 tons – about 7% as much.
  • CO2 emitted: 115,000 tons [from making the concrete and steel] – about 5% as much.
  • Cost: We won’t know until the Chinese finish their units. But it should be less than our “levelized” cost. [Perhaps $4-5 billion]
  • Land: The AP1000 reactor needs less than ¼ square mile for the plant site. Smaller than CSP by a factor of 2000. Smaller than PV by a factor of 4,000. Smaller than wind by 13,000.

b.) Better yet, we could get on the Thorium energy bandwagon. Thorium units will beat even the new AP1000 by wide margins in all 5 aspects – steel, concrete, CO2, dollar cost, and land.“

Ten, 3 MW wind generators’ use as much raw material as a 1-Gigawatt nuclear plant (Think of their carbon footprints.)

PV electricity generation requires 10,000 pounds of copper per megawatt. Wind needs 6,000, but highly efficient, CO2-free nuclear power needs only 175, which provides a huge financial saving and the smallest impact on the environment.


This was the last episode in our series Unintended Consequences. It’s been a wonderful experience and thanks to everyone in our team. Everyone has done a tremendous effort to put it all together. 30 weeks has gone by too fast.

A special warm thanks goes out to Dr. George Erickson for creating all of this wonderful material in the first place.

Thank you Dr. Erickson.

Stay tuned for the next series where we promote key, factual information relevant to a world focused on producing clean, green, safe energy from Molten Salt Fission Technology powered by Thorium.


Links and References

  1. Previous Episode – Episode 29 – Methane Blows Up Wind’s Gains
  2. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  3. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  4. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  5. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RgyLDVlAg4
  7. https://www.marijnpoels.com/headwind
  8. https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Offshore-Wind-Requires-63000lbs-Of-Copper-Per-Turbine.html
  9. https://www.linkedin.com/in/irina-slav-a2569293/
  10. https://www.nachi.org/wind-turbines-lightning.htm
  11. https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/wind-power-least-sustainable-resource/
  12. https://www.dw.com/en/wind-energys-big-disposal-problem/a-44665439
  13. Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy
  14. Baotou toxic lake
  15. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150402-the-worst-place-on-earth
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/britishjournalistjapan/
  17. The myth of renewable energy
  18. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/baotou-lake-mongolia-toxic-side-cleantech-palmer-mba-ba-law-mciwm/
  19. https://www.citizensjournal.us/wind-turbines-generate-mountains-of-waste/
  20. https://thegreenmarketoracle.com/2022/07/20/nuclear-power-versus-renewable-energy/
  21. https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(07)61253-7/fulltext
  22. https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-nuclear-sell-why-one-swedish-town-welcomes-a-waste-dump-a-763081.html

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #WindTurbines #Solar #RareEarthWastes

Episode 29 – Methane Blows Up Winds Gains – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 9 Part 6

Methane Levels Increasing

In their excellent Wind and Solar’s Achilles Heel: The Methane Meltdown at Porter Ranch, Mike Conley and Tim Maloney reported:

“Even a tiny methane leak can make a gas-backed wind or solar farm just as bad – or worse – than a coal plant when it comes to global warming. And the leaks don’t just come from operating wells. They can happen anywhere in the infrastructure… In the U.S., these fugitive methane leaks can range up to 9%.

“If the fugitive methane rate of the infrastructure… exceeds 3.8 %, then you might as well burn coal for all the “good” it’ll do you. All in all, the numbers are pathetic – some of the most recent measurements of fugitive methane in the U.S. are up to 10%. But the gas industry predictably reports a low 1.6%.”

Emissions from the latest natural gas-fired turbine technologies. Tests include PM2.5, wet chemical tests for SO2/SO3 & NH3, and ultrafine PM. Strong presence of high concentrations of nanoparticles. Two orders of magnitude higher turbine particle emissions than background.

PM2.5 and ultrafine particulate matter emissions from natural gas-fired turbine for power generation

Eli Brewera Yang Lia Bob Finkenb Greg Quartucyc Lawrence Muzioc Al Baezd Mike Garibayd Heejung S. Junga


a University of California Riverside (UCR), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
b Delta Air Quality Services, Inc., 1845 North Case Street, Orange, CA 92865, USA
c Fossil Energy Research Corporation (FERCo), 23342-C South Pointe Dr., Laguna Hills, CA 92653, USA
d South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), 21865 Copley Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, USA

The sediments in many of the world’s shallow oceans and lakes also release vast amounts of methane from frozen organic matter as it thaws and decomposes. When a Russian scientist searched the Arctic shores for methane, he found hundreds of yard-wide craters, but when he returned a few years later, they were 100 yards in diameter.

Massive Craters From Methane Explosions Discovered in Arctic Ocean Where Ice Melted

In 2014, N. Nadir, of the Energy Collective wrote, “The   most   serious   environmental   problem  that renewable energy has is that even if it reached 50% capacity somewhere, this huge waste of money and resources would still be dependent on natural gas, which any serious environmentalist with a long-term view sees as disastrous.

“Natural gas is not safe – even if we ignore the frequent news when a gas line blows up, killing people. It is not clean, since there is no place to dump its CO2; it is not sustainable; and the practice of mining it – fracking – is a crime against all future generations who will need to live with shattered, metal-leaching rock beneath their feet, and huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Britain to impose immediate moratorium on fracking

“If politicos impose a carbon-tax, a methane-leakage tax, etc., utilities will build nuclear plants as fast as they can.”

Dr. Alex Cannara

Burning just 1 gallon of gasoline creates about 170 cubic feet of CO2.

Tim Maloney of the Thorium Energy Alliance argues that we should be conserving natural gas because methane is the primary feed stock for ammonia, and ammonia is used to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers, a shortage of which could cause starvation. In addition, closing nuclear plants and expanding “renewables” that require natural gas will substantially increase CO2 and methane emissions.

From THINKPROGRESS, Nov. 2017, “A shocking new study concludes that the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.”

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse. Methane leaks in New Mexico’s oil and gas industry equal 12 coal-fired power plants.

Joe Romm 13 November 2017


Who will clean up the ‘billion-dollar mess’ of abandoned US oil wells?

Heather Hansman 25 February 2021

As oil companies go bankrupt, who will clean up the ‘billion-dollar mess’ of abandoned, methane-leaking oil wells?


Coming up next week, Episode 30 – Longevity and Reliability


Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 30 – Longevity and Reliability
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 28 – Cow Farts – Methane is a Natural Gas
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-conley-5529b3/
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-maloney-40833844/
  9. https://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-craters-methane-explosions-seafloor-arctic-norway-russia-619068
  10. https://thehill.com/policy/international/468662-britain-to-impose-immediate-moratorium-on-fracking/
  11. https://thinkprogress.org/natural-gas-no-climate-benefit-b9118a087875/
  12. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/25/us-abandoned-oil-wells-leak-methane-climate-crisis
  13. https://twitter.com/LeoHickman/status/1512082172491943953

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #Methane #NaturalGas #Fracking

A Crib Sheet for Journalists and Students of Thorium

Thorium Periodic Table

Are you a journalist – or a student – looking for the inside on Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium? Well this page is for you.

We’ve been asked many times for a summary of resources or key people to speak with.

Are we biased? Of course we are. Read on and you’ll know why. You’ll probably want to Join Us too.


A Future Powered by Thorium is our objective. We are leveraging the billions of USD in today’s value and millions of hours invested over 50 years ago in a technology that is demonstrably superior to anything else we have today.

Here’s a summary of that work from Oak Ridge National Laboratories:

The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment

We have this YouTube and other useful 3rd party links on our website here:

The Thorium Knowledge Base

See this chart of energy density from an Australian government website. Everything else pales into insignificance when compared to MSR (Molten Salt Reactors)

Here’s a recent article from Germany we translated into Japanese. It contains a lot of information on China’s progress also. China is replicating the 1960’s USA program, publicly announcing 2011 investing USD 3,3 billion and 700 engineers for the work. This is not about reinventing the wheel, it’s just remembering what we’ve done before. Remember also China and Australia worked together to create a replacement for the super alloy metal “Hastelloy”. This super metal was created in the 1950’s in the USA for their advanced nuclear programs and is only made today by two companies in the world – one in the USA and Mitsubishi. Now China has an alternative.

The article also includes information on Japan’s molten salt project –  FUJI.

Here’s a list of must-do-interviews for background on Thorium Molten Salt Fission Energy or subjects related, such as radiation safety, the effects of Chernobyl and Linear No Threshold theory.

Professor Geraldine Thomas
Director of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, the world’s preeminent knowledge base for all things related to the real effects of that industrial accident. Prof. Thomas is became staunchly pro-nuclear due to her directorship. George Monbiot – a former Greenpeace anti-nuc activist, and now no longer in Greenpeace and strongly pro nuclear – after an interview he also had with Prof Thomas he had as a writer for the UK’s Guardian. 

George Monbiot on Wikipedia

Geraldine Thomas on Wikipedia

Chernobyl Tissue Bank

Mr. Daniel Roderick
Former President and CEO of Westinghouse and then Toshiba Energy Systems. Danny steered the sale of  Westinghouse for Toshiba, securing a positive, multi billion USD outcome for Japan. Danny was also the leader of negotiations to secure USD 50 billion in funding for a new nuclear build in Turkey (derailed by the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey). Mitsubishi subsequently submitted (and withdrew)  a nuclear build in Northern Turkey (Sinop). Rosatom (Russia) is now building a nuclear power station in the south of Turkey (Akkuyu).

Dr. Adi Paterson
Dr. Paterson is the former head of ANSTO and an advocate of Molten Salt Technology. During his 9 year tenure at ANSTO, Dr. Paterson steered Australia to membership of the Generation IV forum, kind of the United Nationals for advanced reactor designs. This is no mean feat given Australia’s lack of much to do with nuclear energy. 

Generation IV Forum

Dr. Resat Uzman
Director of nuclear energy systems at Figes AS, of Turkey. Dr. Uzman has more than 40 years experience in all things nuclear, Turkey and rare earths – the materials where Thorium is often found bound with.

Professor Berrin Erbay
Senior lecturer and former dean of mechanical engineering at Osmangazi University, Turkey Prof. Erbay has been liaising with the professors in Japan for several decades. You can see one of her presentations on the status of molten salt technology in Japan here on Youtube: 

4. Nesil Nükleer Reaktör Teknolojileri Toplantısı

Mr. Phumzile Tshelane
Mr. Tshelane is a former CEO of NECSA South Africa, now holds various directorships across a wide range of industrial sectors. His position as head of a state owned nuclear technology development company gives him a particular view point on commercialisation of nuclear energy technologies.

S3E6 Africa4Nuclear: The Story of Thorium

Ms. Rana Önem
President of the Thorium Student Guild. You should hear from someone who is dedicating their life to Thorium Molten Salt and who is just starting out in their career. You can see Rana interviewing Dr. Uzman here. Follow the links at the end of the article to see her role as president of the Guild: 


An important subject to cover is linear no threshold theory – a fraudulent model of radiation management that, unfortunately, has spawned an industry of radiation protection and radiation safety keen on maintaining its own survival. This results in massive, unnecessary overspending on nuclear builds. Professor Edward Calabrese is a leading expert on this subject and you can watch a series of interviews with Ed here: 

The History of the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Model Episode Guide

Together with Professor Jerry Cuttler, Ed presents clearly, laying out how LNT has demonstrably been proven false. (And consequently those that died at Fukushima died unnecessarily, as a direct result of inappropriately applying that theory).

What would become of nuclear risk if governments changed their regulations to recognize the evidence of radiation’s beneficial health effects for exposures that are below the thresholds for detrimental effects?

Here’s the background on the Turkey Japan University (TJU). Our CEOs meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Turkey in 2021 confirmed Japanese support for technology development of Molten Salt is easier should such work be included in the curriculum of the TJU.  Early planning stages of the TJU can be seen here below. The vice president of TJU is a senior professor at the Tokyo University responsible for nuclear engineering.

The “only” obstacle to adoption of Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium is the incumbent energy industries. It’s a significant obstacle, and it would be naive to think otherwise. Operating much like the tobacco industry has done in the past, lobbyists and funding at all levels occurs to stymie any potential competitors.

It is predicted that the 7 Trillion USD per year fossil fuel energy market would shrink to only 1 Trillion per year with a society powered by Thorium. This is an obvious disincentive for incumbents to do anything but to obfuscate and delay.

You can see that obfuscation at work here with both Wired and the Bulletin in 2019 on USA presidential candidate Andrew Yang:

Fact-check: Five claims about thorium made by Andrew Yang – Bulletin


Andrew Yang Wants a Thorium Reactor by 2027. Good Luck, Buddy – Wired

The half truths and lies are difficult, if not impossible, for the layperson to identify. We contacted one of Andrew’s advisory team members and confirmed Andrew supports Thorium Molten Salt, and was committing several billion USD to have USA’s energy footprint 100% on the technology by 2030. Technically very doable. Politically, not.

It is important to recognise the ecological and economic footprint of energy from Thorium (a substance as common as lead) as being much smaller than even Uranium. In the article link above (the Japanese translation one) there are three slides that demonstrate the significant benefits Thorium has over Uranium.  These slides are repeated below.

Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 1 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 1 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 2 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 2 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 3 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 3 of 3

The IAEA report TE1450 from 2005 is an excellent read. It says Thorium is not an issue and is a good prospect for energy – back in 2005. Once the physics is proven it doesn’t need to be “upgraded” every 6 months like an iPhone.

And yes, Thorium doesn’t explode. “Walk away safe” is a suitable term for Molten Salt Technology.

Here’s the former head of IAEA, Hans Blix, stating that “Thorium shouldn’t be treated like uranium”. 

Thorium Nuclear Power and non Proliferation Hans Blix IAEA ThEC13

See more Hans Blix on Thorium Molten Salt Fission Energy

Attached below is a brief summary of “Why Thorium didn’t take off” by Bruce Hoglund, 5 November 2010. It’s an excellent starting point for data gathering and research – and not “Wikipedia”. Wikipedia was used as partial evidence why the United Kingdom should’t use Thorium for energy. Some 10 years ago in a UK government 1.5m GBP funded “study”, rubbished Thorium and directly contradicted the advice of the IAEA’s TE1450 report.


The information here is but the tip of the iceberg, however it gives an excellent starting point. There are of course, many, many others who can contribute considerably for a balanced and objective article or articles on Thorium for our energy future. And with today’s communications technology, such conversations are only but a few key strokes away.

Burning stuff is old tech. Star Trek technology is where we have to be now. Fission does that, especially Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium.

Uncle Martin would be proud. Nanu, nanu!


Links and References

  1. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/join-us/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyDbq5HRs0o
  3. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/about-thorium/thorium-knowledge-base/
  4. https://www.ansto.gov.au/our-science/nuclear-technologies/reactor-systems/advanced-reactors/evolution-of-molten-salt
  5. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/05/03/%e3%83%91%e3%83%bc%e3%83%95%e3%82%a7%e3%82%af%e3%83%88%e3%83%86%e3%82%af%e3%83%8e%e3%83%ad%e3%82%b8%e3%83%bc-%e3%83%90%e3%82%a4%e3%83%aa%e3%83%b3%e3%82%ac%e3%83%ab%e8%a8%98%e4%ba%8b-%e6%97%a5%e6%9c%ac/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Thomas
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot
  8. https://www.chernobyltissuebank.com/contact-us
  9. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielroderick/
  10. https://www.linkedin.com/in/adi-paterson/
  11. https://www.gen-4.org/
  12. https://figes.com.tr/en/home
  13. https://www.linkedin.com/in/resat-uzmen-051a824/
  14. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/05/17/interview-3-dr-resat-uzmen-nuclear-technology-director-of-figes-part-of-the-thorium-student-guild-interview-series-leading-to-nuclear/
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEDK_MAWQD0
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-berrin-erbay-61b04745/
  17. https://www.linkedin.com/in/phumzile-tshelane-3014945a/
  18. https://www.necsa.co.za/
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MsgDx8K-t4
  20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rana-%C3%B6nem-57a14718b/
  21. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/join-us/student-guild/
  22. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ed-calabrese-697a1119/
  23. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/02/12/the-big-deceit-episode-6-unintended-consequences-chapter-2/
  24. https://hps.org/hpspublications/historylnt/episodeguide.html
  25. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerry-cuttler-26106763/
  26. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jerry-cuttler-26106763_what-would-become-of-nuclear-risk-if-governments-activity-6870517584475824128-qr3W
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJSeQIW-X44
  28. https://thebulletin.org/2019/12/fact-check-five-claims-about-thorium-made-by-andrew-yang/
  29. https://www.wired.com/story/andrew-yang-wants-a-thorium-reactor-by-2027-good-luck-buddy/
  30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4m10Y0rWBY
  31. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hans+blix+thorium
  32. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-hoglund-52194814/

#Journalist #CribSheet #Thorium #Interviews #MoltenSaltFissionEnergy #Rosatom #Japan #Turkey #China #LNT

Episode 28 – Cow Farts – Methane is a Natural Gas – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 9 part 5

Methane is a Natural gas

Number 4 – Methane [aka “Natural Gas”]

Because windmills generate just 1/3 of their rated capacity, the rest is supplied by plants that primarily burn coal or natural gas – which is 90% methane, which makes more CO2. I repeat: methane, over its lifetime, is 20 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but during its youth, it is 80 times worse – and the next ten to twenty years are years of deep concern. Gas companies love “renewables”.

“…methane, over its lifetime, is 20 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas…”

Dr. George Erickson

Methane, explained, By Alejandra Borunda, 24 January 2019


Cows and bogs release methane into the atmosphere, but it’s by far mostly human activity that’s driving up levels of this destructive greenhouse gas.

Alejandra Borunda

Fossil fuel firms accused of renewable lobby takeover to push gas, Arthur Neslen, Brussels, 22 January 2015


Gas Explosions Not Uncommon, Pia Malbran, 10 September 2010


Ground and satellite surveys reveal that huge volumes of “fugitive” methane are leaking from our wells and distribution system. According to WSJ and the pre-Trump EPA, “Natural gas explosions cause death and/or property damage every other day, and U S ”leakage” is equivalent to the emissions from 70 million cars.” (CNN 9-13-18: “1 dead, 24 injured in 30 natural gas explosions in three Boston area towns.”)

Deadly Gas Explosions in 3 Mass. Towns Leave 1 Dead: ‘It Looked Like Armageddon’, 13 September 2018, NBC Boston

In Boston, ground-based measurements reveal profuse methane leaks.

The Surprising Root of the Massachusetts Fight Against Natural Gas, by Jenessa Duncombe 21 May 2021

Tree lovers are hunting down the cause of arboreal deaths—and may remake the regional energy system in the process.

Jenessa Duncombe
Boston Common Autumn Trees Boston MA is a photograph by Toby McGuire which was uploaded on November 11th, 2016.

A survey of oil and gas facilities in Texas and New Mexico revealed 30 so-called “super-emitters,” which are leaking as much heat-trapping pollution as roughly half a million cars.

New Report Carbon Mapper and the Environmental Defense Fund

Large Permian Basin Methane Leaks Are Causing As Much Climate Pollution as 500,000 Cars, 24 January 2022


The US natural gas industry is leaking way more methane than previously thought. Here’s why that matters, by Anthony J. Marchese and Dan Zimmerle, 6 July 2018

While we pollute our aquifers by fracking for methane in Texas and elsewhere to assist inefficient wind and solar farms, we are simultaneously flaring (burning) huge volumes of natural gas across much of the Bakken “field” in North Dakota because it’s “too costly” to pipe it to market.

Sarah Feldman
Sarah Feldman

Study Finds EPA Underestimates Methane Emissions, by Sarah Feldman, 3 August 2018

Climate crisis: ‘Fracking is over’ in UK, energy minister says, by Harry Cockburn, 19 June 2020

“The Bakken field is flaring enough gas to power Chicago AND Washington, DC.”

London Daily Mail

What a waste! Picture from space reveals how new U.S. oil field is burning off enough gas to power Chicago AND Washington – because it’s cheaper than selling it, by Simon Tomlinson, 28 January 2018

“Women living within 0.6 miles [1,000 meters] of active oil and gas wells were 40% more likely to have babies with low birth weight than those not near active wells.”

California Air Resource Board April 2020

Windmills are, in effect, glorified, heavily subsidized carbon-burners that needlessly create more of the carbon dioxide that we seek to avoid. Were it not for our misguided passion for inefficient renewables, we’d have less need for fracking and less of the environmental damage they cause.

Satellite images of oil and gas basins reveal staggering 9-10% leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. Because of these leaks, fracking accelerates climate change even before the methane it extracts is turned into CO2.

The fatal consequences of high atmospheric methane levels in Climate Change, by Dr Andrew Glikson, 22 January 2021

“In the Permian Basin, operators are wasting enough gas to heat 2 million homes a year.”

EDF, 2021

In 2015, thanks to a “discovered” email message from Lenny Bernstein, a thirty-year oil industry veteran and ExxonMobil’s former in-house climate expert, we learned that Exxon accepted the reality of climate change in 1981, long before it became a public issue – but then, Exxon spent at least $30 million on decades of Climate Change denial.

Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years, by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent 8 July 2015


Climate Files Hard to Find Documents All in One Place. Top Ten Documents Every Reporter Covering ExxonMobil Should Know by Kert Davies 23 May 2016

In addition, despite studies from Johns Hopkins that reveal an associate fracking and premature births and asthma, Pennsylvania health workers were told by their Department of Health to ignore inquiries that used fracking “buzzwords.”

Johns Hopkins study links fracking to premature births, high-risk pregnancies


Study: Fracking Industry Wells Associated With Increased Risk of Asthma Attacks


Where Has the Waste Gone? Fracking Results in Illegal Dumping of Radioactive Toxins


Atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, are spiking, scientists report

And according to a 2014 UN report, atmospheric methane levels have never exceeded 700 parts per billion in the last 400,000 years, but they reached 1850 ppb by 2013.

In 2015, a Duke University study reported: “Thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination by radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk.”

Duke Study: Rivers Contaminated With Radium and Lead From Thousands of Fracking Wastewater Spills


Twenty-One Bad Things About Wind Energy — and Three Reasons Why, By John Droz, Jr. — March 22, 2018

John Droz, Jr, Founder of AWED

Coming up next week, Episode 29 – Methane Blows Up Winds Gains


Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 29 – Methane Blows Up Winds Gains
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 27 – Fake and Vulgar – The Truth Paid Bare
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/methane
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alejandra-borunda-2269b817/
  9. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/22/fossil-fuel-firms-accused-renewable-lobby-takeover-push-gas
  10. https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-neslen-a4937712/
  11. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gas-explosions-not-uncommon/
  12. https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/multiple-fires-reported-in-lawrence-mass/135732/
  13. https://eos.org/features/the-surprising-root-of-the-massachusetts-fight-against-natural-gas
  14. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenessaduncombe/
  15. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/boston-common-autumn-trees-boston-ma-toby-mcguire.html
  16. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-57678-4
  17. https://www.edf.org/media/dozens-super-emitting-oil-and-gas-facilities-leaked-methane-pollution-permian-basin-years-end
  18. https://www.yahoo.com/news/large-permian-basin-methane-leaks-171600620.html
  19. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/06/the-us-natural-gas-industry-leaking-way-more-methane-than-ever-before.html
  20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthony-j-marchese-897b024/
  21. https://geology.com/articles/oil-fields-from-space/
  22. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/fracking-ban-uk-kwasi-kwarteng-climate-change-methane-shale-gas-a9575906.html
  23. https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-cockburn-46893182/
  24. https://www.inforum.com/business/bakken-midstream-seeks-fundamental-change-for-north-dakota-natural-gas-industry
  25. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2269517/The-picture-space-shows-U-S-oil-field-burning-gas-power-Chicago-AND-Washington-cheaper-selling-it.html#ixzz5GLKhkvNK
  26. https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-tomlinson-6a926144/
  27. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/people-risk
  28. https://countercurrents.org/2021/01/the-fatal-consequences-of-high-atmospheric-methane-levels/?
  29. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-glikson-736716111/
  30. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/08/exxon-climate-change-1981-climate-denier-funding
  31. https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-goldenberg-68944b1/
  32. https://climateinvestigations.org/top-ten-documents-every-reporter-covering-exxon-should-know/
  33. https://www.climatefiles.com/page/2/
  34. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kert-davies-5523a32/
  35. https://hub.jhu.edu/2015/10/12/fracking-pregnancy-risks/
  36. https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2016/study-fracking-industry-wells-associated-with-increased-risk-of-asthma-attacks
  37. https://truthout.org/articles/where-has-the-waste-gone-fracking-results-in-illegal-dumping-of-radioactive-toxins/
  38. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/11/atmospheric-levels-of-methane-a-powerful-greenhouse-gas-are-spiking-scientists-report/
  39. https://www.unep.org/
  40. https://www.masterresource.org/droz-john-awed/21-bad-things-wind-power-3-reasons-why/
  41. https://www.linkedin.com/in/johndroz/
  42. http://wiseenergy.org/
  43. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032114005395

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #Methane #NaturalGas #Flaring #Fracking #Bakken

Episode 27 – Fake and Vulgar – The Truth Paid Bare – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 9 Part 4

Size Comparison of Wind Turbines

Number 3 – Misrepresentation and Inefficiency

When wind advocates promote the glories of wind power, they use numbers based on the windmill’s nameplate rating, its maximum capacity – as in a February 20, 2015 Earth Watch article, which said, “…the total amount of wind power available… has grown to 318,137 megawatts in 2013.”

They Don't Last Long
They Don’t Last Long
Susceptible to Weather Storms
Susceptible to Weather Storms

But because wind power is intermittent, windfarms usually generate an average output of about 33% of their capacity, which is why 318,137 megawatts is very misleading, and 95,000 would be more accurate, perhaps even generous. Thus, when they say that windmills can supply xxxxxxx homes, they are usually talking about the cumulative plate ratings on the generators – the output under ideal conditions, not the average amount of electricity they really produce.

US EIA Table 6.07.B. Capacity Factors for Utility Scale Generators Primarily Using Non-Fossil Fuels

Neither solar nor wind can deliver the 24/7 “baseload” power that is provided by nuclear plants plus hydropower, natural gas, oil and coal. Of those five, only nuclear power plants (despite Chernobyl, a plant deemed to be “illegal” everywhere else in the world), have been safely delivering carbon dioxide-free power for more than fifty years. (Wind also can’t handle cold weather.)

Chicago Loses Wind Power During a Polar Vortex, by Chris Martin, Bloomberg, 31 January 2019

Great Britain, faced with building 12 nuclear plants or the 30,000 1-MW windmills needed to provide an equal amount of power, chose nuclear. And Japan, which closed its nuclear plants due to post-Fukushima panic, has begun to reactivate them, which will reduce the thousands of tons of CO2 they’ve been dumping into our atmosphere by burning methane [‘Natural’ Gas].

Nuclear Plants and Facilities in East Asia and Japan (Maps current as at January 2015) -Nuke Info Tokyo No. 165

Germany, which over-reacted by closing nuclear plants in favour of wind and solar, is paying almost four times more for electricity than nuclear France. And with its industries hurting, the Merkel government has begun to rethink nuclear power. While they debate, they are creating more CO2 by burning lignite, the dirtiest member of the coal family.

“Fake and Vulgar”, climate news from Germany

“…Germany’s wind turbines as a whole ran at between 0 to 10% of their rated capacity 45.5% of the time…! The turbines, which the German government says will become The “workhorse” of the German power industry, ran at over 50% of their rated capacity only… 5.2% of the time.”

Pierre L. Gosselin, 2014

Germany 2014 Report Card Is In! Its 25,000 Wind Turbines Get An “F-“…Averaged Only 14.8% Of Rated Capacity! by Pierre L. Gosselin,  7 February 2015

Adjusted “Unadjusted” Data: NASA Uses The “Magic Wand Of Fudging”, Produces Warming Where There Never Was, by Pierre L. Gosselin,  25 June 2019

Weather Adjustments? Fear Driving the Wrong Solutions for our Energy Needs

Merkel: Nuclear phase-out is wrong 10 June 2008

German onshore wind power – output, business and perspectives, by Benjamin Wehrmann 12 Apr 2022

Germany “paid” for the top line of the following graph, but only got the dark blue spikes. The light blue area is primarily supplied by burning carbon, which worsens Climate Change. (Every megawatt of wind generation capacity requires at least another MW of natural gas or coal generation for backup.)

Germany Faces Huge Cost of Wind Farm Decommissioning by Franz Hubik, 15 September 2017, Handelsblatt

In Germany, more and more wind turbines are being dismantled. The reason: subsidies are running out, the material is worn out… dismantling is extremely complex and expensive.

How much is wind power really costing Ontario? 31 cents per kWh, by Parker Gallant, 6 December 2016

Wind Projects Across Canada, 23 February 2022

Germany’s Wind & Solar Power FAIL: Top Economist Declares Energiewende “Delusional”, 27 January 2018, StopTheseThings


Coming up next week, Episode 28 – Cow Farts


Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 28 – Cow Farts
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 26 – Tilting at Windmills
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_6_07_b
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor
  9. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-30/when-does-the-windy-city-lose-wind-power-during-a-polar-vortex
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex
  11. https://www.nationalworld.com/news/environment/nuclear-power-stations-plants-uk-new-built-safe-3643530
  12. https://cnic.jp/english/?p=3042
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_phase-out
  14. https://notrickszone.com/2015/02/07/germany-2014-report-card-is-in-its-25000-wind-turbines-get-an-f-averaged-only-14-8-of-rated-capacity/
  15. https://notrickszone.com/about-pierre-gosselin/
  16. https://notrickszone.com/2019/06/25/adjusted-unadjusted-data-nasa-uses-the-magic-wand-of-fudging-produces-warming-where-there-never-was/
  17. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Merkel_Nuclear_phase_out_is_wrong_1006081.html
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Merkel
  19. https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/german-onshore-wind-power-output-business-and-perspectives
  20. https://parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/how-much-is-wind-power-really-costing-ontario/
  21. https://www.linkedin.com/in/parker-gallant-8919215a/
  22. https://www.netzerowatch.com/germany-faced-huge-cost-of-wind-farm-decommissioning/
  23. https://www.linkedin.com/in/fhubik/
  24. https://stopthesethings.com/2018/01/27/germanys-wind-solar-power-fail-top-economist-declares-energiewende-delusional/
  25. https://stopthesethings.com/author/stopthesethings/
  26. https://stopthesethings.com/2014/10/18/parker-gallant-uncovers-the-hidden-costs-of-ontarios-insane-wind-power-policy/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #NuclearEconomics #CostofElectricity #Utilisation #EnergyProduction #Germany #Japan #UnitedKingdom #Canada