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.


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 14 – What’s up Doc? Tremors from Fukushima – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 6 Part 2

Operation Tomodachi View on USS Reagan

Japan responded [to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake] by closing its nuclear plants – a foolish move that has required the country to spend USD 40 billion per year on liquefied natural gas plus billions more for coal, which has created huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Another USD 11 billion per year has been spent to maintain their perfectly functional-but-idle reactors.

Nuclear power has been tarred by the Fukushima Daichi disaster, but the failure was NOT the fault of nuclear power. It was caused by repeated corporate lying, record falsifying and penny-pinching, by the lack of government enforcement of seawall height, by building too low to the ocean, and by installing backup generators in easily flooded basements.

Blaming nuclear power for Fukushima is like blaming the train when an engineer derails it by taking a turn at 70 mph that is posted for 30. (The Japanese Diet has stated that the Fukushima accident was not the fault of “nuclear power.”)

Blaming nuclear power for Fukushima is like blaming the train when an engineer derails it by taking a turn at 70 mph that is posted for 30. (The Japanese Diet has stated that the Fukushima accident was not the fault of “nuclear power.”)

In 2015, the usually reliable Amy Goodman [Democracy Now!] reported that a class action suit had been filed by several sailors who had served on the USS REAGAN. In her article, she described their symptoms, which they blamed on being exposed to radiation, but she failed to provide any depth.

Warning – A Rubbish Introduction: Fukushima “Death Cloud” Kills hundreds on US Warship

A few days later, Goodman’s article was read by Captain Reid Tanaka, a United States Navy professional with considerable expertise in nuclear matters who had been intimately involved during the meltdown – and Captain Tanaka presented a very different view:

“I was in Japan, in the Navy, when the tsunami struck and because of my nuclear training, I was called to assist in the reactor accident response and served as a key adviser to the US military forces commander and the US Ambassador to Japan. I spent a year in Tokyo with the US NRC-led team to assist TEPCO and the Japanese Government in battling through the casualty.

“My command (CTF 70) was the direct reporting command for the REAGAN (where we had control over REAGAN’S assignments and missions) and were in direct decision-making with REAGAN’S Commanding Officer and team. I don’t qualify to be called an “expert” in reactor accidents…, but I am well informed enough to know where my limits are and to see through much of the distortions on this issue….

“A Google search will tend to drive people to alarmist websites and non-technical news reports, but you could also find the dull, technical (yet truthful) places such as the IAEA or DOE…

“Numerous bodies of experts have weighed in and provided assessments and reports. A couple are quite critical of TEPCO and the Japanese nuclear industry and regulators.

Operation Tomodachi On Reagan

“… the biggest problem the public has is … being able to distinguish the science-based, objective reports from the alarmist and emotionally charged positions that get the attention of the press, some of whom are self- proclaimed experts in some fields but NOT nuclear power: Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Michio Kaku. Neither understand spent fuel, nor the condition of spent fuel pools….

“Dr. Suzuki is an award-winning scientist and a champion for the environment, but he is lacking any real understanding of spent fuel or radioactivity. “Bye-bye Japan?’ A headline grabbing sound-bite, but the math just doesn’t work…

“[Sometimes] the true experts cannot give a simple answer because there isn’t one, while those who have no science to back their claims have no compunction in saying the sky is falling and everyone else is lying.

“For the Navy, the contamination caused by Fukushima created a huge amount of extra work and costs for decontaminating the ships and our aircraft to ‘zero’, but [there was] no risk to the health of our people.

“REAGAN was about 100 miles from Fukushima when the radiation alarms first alerted us to the Fukushima accident. Navy nuclear ships have low-level radiation alarms to alert us of a potential problem with our onboard reactors. So, when the airborne alarms were received, we were quite surprised and concerned. The levels of contamination were small, but they caused a great deal of additional evaluation and work. REAGAN’s movements were planned and made to avoid additional fallout. Sailors who believe they were within five miles or so, were misinformed. Japanese ships were close; the REAGAN was not….

“There are former sailors who are engaged in a class-action suit against TEPCO for radiation sickness they are suffering for the exposure they received from Operation Tomodachi. The lead plaintiffs were originally sailors from REAGAN but now have expanded to a few other sailors from other ships. Looking at the claims, I have no doubt some of the SAILORS have some ailments, but without any real supporting information (I haven’t seen ANY credible information to that end), I do not believe any of their ailments can be attributable to radiation—fear and stress related, perhaps, but not radiation directly. Radiation sickness occurs within a ‘minutes/hours’ time frame of exposure and cancer occurs in a ‘years’ time frame. These sailors were not sick in either of these windows. I believe that many of them believe it, but I also believe most are being misled.”

Why Operation Tomodachi worked like clockwork

May, 2020, – U S Court Rejects Sailors’ Lawsuit

The closure of Japan’s nuclear plants and its increased use of imported liquefied natural gas put an end to Japan’s long-standing trade surplus. But in 2015, bowing to financial realities and because of diminishing fear, Japan restarted the second of its reactors. As of May, 2018, seven reactors had been restarted, with many scheduled to follow.

Shortly thereafter, the U. S. media and many of the “Green” organizations began to report that a Fukushima worker had been “awarded compensation and official acknowledgment that his cancer [leukemia] was caused by working in the reactor disaster zone.” That’s wrong, and competent journalists who do adequate research should know it. Here are the facts:

The worker received a workman’s comp benefit package because he satisfied the statutory criteria stipulated in the 1976 Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act, which says that workers who are injured or become ill while working or while commuting to and from work, can receive financial aid and medical coverage. The worker spent 14 months at F. Daiichi. (October, 2012 to December 2013.)

In late December 2013, the worker felt too ill to work, so he went to a doctor, and was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in January, 2014. No link was made between his occupational exposure and his cancer. In addition, because the latency period between radiation exposure and the onset of leukaemia is 5 to 7 years, the worker did not get cancer from working at Fukushima. It was, in fact, a pre-existing condition that was exploited by opponents of nuclear power who routinely repeat convenient-but-wrong stories because being honest and accurate takes time, knowledge and integrity.

In 2016, anti-nuclear zealots began to fear-monger about the effects of Cesium-134 on fish while ignoring reports from NOAA and the Japanese government that stated, “Radioactive Cesium in fish caught near Fukushima Daiichi continues to dwindle. Of the more than 70 specimens taken in October, only five showed any Caesium isotope 134, the ‘fingerprint’ for Fukushima Daiichi contamination. The highest Cs-134 concentration was [associated] with a Banded Dogfish, at 8.3 Becquerels per kilogram. Half of the sampled fish had detectable levels of Cs-137, but all were well below Japan’s limit of 100 Bq/kg….”

These amounts are tiny, and the particles emitted from the Potassium-40, which we all contain, are more potent than the Caesium-137 emissions that many greens apparently fear.

There is 500,000 times more natural radiation in the ocean than the amount added by Fukushima.

Regarding the risk from remaining reactor material that many greens agonize over, Dr. Alex Cannara subsequently wrote,

“As of late 2013, the spent fuel at Fukushima was 30 months old. That means that the rods and the fuel pellets within them are able to be stored in air. If any rods had never been in a reactor core, they have no fission products in them and are perfectly safe to take apart by hand.

“So, what do we have at Fukushima? We have some melted core materials (corium), which can be entombed. We have water containing a small amount of fission products like Cesium. And, we have a bunch of fuel assemblies that are very radioactive because of their internal creation of fission products when they were in their reactor cores. (No fission products are created when rods are out of cores, in pools or dry air storage.)

“Since the rods are at least 30 months out of fission-product production [2013], one can see how quickly they’ve lost the need for cooling and the reduction in their radioactivity.

“Nuclear power has for its entire life, been the safest form of power generation. The EPA estimates that we lose more than 12,000 Americans every year to coal emissions. The Chinese lose 700,000, and the Indians, 100,000. To delay building nuclear power plants will cause diseases and deaths that could easily be avoided.”

Nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity.

World Health Organisation

“A nuclear power plant that melts down is less dangerous than a fossil fuel plant that is working correctly. [Because of their toxic ashes and emissions.] Fukushima illustrates that even a meltdown that penetrates containment is very little danger to the public when a few basic precautions are taken.” Andrew Daniels, author, “After Fukushima What We Now Know”.

Titans of Nuclear – Andrew Daniels, Author, After Fukushima Sep 27, 2018

A nuclear power plant that melts down is less dangerous than a fossil fuel plant that is working correctly.

Andrew Daniels

How Fukushima Made Me a Nukie, Eric Schmitz on March 28th, 2017

Colin Megson on Future Nuclear Energy & The Madness Of Renewables

“Not 1 in 10,000 people have any concept of the huge amount of 24/7, low-carbon electricity a nuclear power plant can deliver compared to the intermittent dribble provided by the renewables.”

Colin Megson

Every year, U.S., nuclear-generated electricity prevents more than 500 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere – Wall Street Journal

Only Nuclear Energy Can Save the Planet, Wall Street Journal, Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist Jan. 11, 2019

Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?, High Country News, about Emma Redfoot by Jonathan Thompson

Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System, IEA, Fuel Report, May 2019

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Nuclear, David de Caires Watson, Dec 11, 2019

Coming up next week, Episode 15 – Clean Air and Water? Not with Fossil Fuels Around – Death by Fossil

Links and References

1. Next Episode 15 – Clean Air and Water? Not With Fossil Fuels Around – Death by Fossil
2. Previous Episode – Episode 13 – What’s so Great about Nuclear Power?
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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_T%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake_and_tsunami
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Goodman
9. https://www.democracynow.org/
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ronald_Reagan
11. https://thebreakthrough.org/issues/energy/uss-reagan-sailors-lawsuit-found-lacking
12. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2020/05/28/american-sailors-lawsuit-against-japanese-over-fukushima-radiation-rejected-by-us-appeals-court/
13. https://www.linkedin.com/in/reid-tanaka-b212751b/
14. https://www.nvcfoundation.org/newsletter/2008/3/captain-tanaka–first-japanese-american-commander-of-a-navy-submarine-base/
15. https://www.vice.com/en/article/gq8gbm/these-nuclear-physicists-think-david-suzuki-is-exaggerating-about-fukushima
16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Suzuki
17. https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00967/
18. http://www.noaa.gov/
19. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-cannara-6a1b7a3/
20. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14245903
21. https://twitter.com/After_Fukushima
22. https://www.instagram.com/andrewsdaniels/
23. https://www.amazon.com/After-Fukushima-History-Nuclear-Radiation-ebook/dp/B01LC8489M
24. https://nuclearprogress.org/how-fukushima-made-me-a-nukie/
25. https://mobile.twitter.com/moonbatnukie
26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocBGxMnpQ9g
27. https://www.facebook.com/cwm66
28. https://www.wsj.com/articles/only-nuclear-energy-can-save-the-planet-11547225861
29. https://www.hcn.org/issues/50.21/nuclear-energy-a-new-generation-of-environmentalists-is-learning-to-stop-worrying-and-love-nuclear-power
30. https://www.iea.org/reports/nuclear-power-in-a-clean-energy-system
31. https://medium.com/generation-atomic/5-things-everyone-should-know-about-nuclear-64e73ff27c98
32. https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-goldstein-0ab013204/
33. https://www.linkedin.com/in/staffanq/
34. https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-redfoot-4121685b/
35. https://twitter.com/EmmaRedfoot
36. https://www.titansofnuclear.com/experts/EmmaRedfoot
37. https://www.hcn.org/voices/jonathan-thompson
38. https://twitter.com/jonnypeace
39. https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidjohnwatson/
40. https://twitter.com/ecopragmatist
41. http://www.sarahcraigmedia.com/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #Fukushima #airpollution #USSReagan #OperationTomodachi

China leading the way in Thorium Molten Salt Technology Development

China Thorium Molten Salt 26 July 2021

More than 50 years since the MSRE ended in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, another starts up. This time in China. Whilst Oak Ridge’s machine was 8 MWt, China’s is 2MWt. This article by Gernot Kramper was published in the German Star online magazine on September 20, 2021. Well done China.