[ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Thu Mar 17 14:12:16 UTC 2011

Il 17/03/2011 4.40, spike ha scritto:

>> ... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

> On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> ...  Nuclear power, including safer nuke technology, has been given
>> a death blow.

>> ...Everything happens in cycles.  So we spend a miserable 10-20
>> years winding up really big springs and other such silliness in
>> fear of what might go wrong with more complicated "high tech."
>> Then someone will remember that nuclear provided a considerable
>> amount of inexpensive power ...

> Mike, we don't have 10-20 years.

We don't need them.
The fact that many governments are not moved by the Japan problems with
nuclear power is because these governments are stuck between an hammer
and an hard place.

When the anti-nuclear referendum in Italy happened, the RAI (government
TV) was prevented from airing any debate about the vote. The private TV
were in its infancy and unable to air anything. It was not a surprise
the nuclear option lost at 20% against the 80%.
But it was a different time and the government parties, now, are
pro-nuclear like the centrist opposition of Mr. Casini. Also the
Confindustria (confederation of industrialists) is pro-nuclear. I expect
the FIAT to push for it, also.
This type of referendum need a majority of 50%+1 voters to be valid.
First the next referendum (against the government nuclear renaissance
plan) will be held in June (people will be at the beach), a month after
another vote. Then, a large number of people don't vote in any election
If the debates aired on TV enough people move enough people against the
referendum (30%) and they don't vote, added to the 20% that never vote,
this would have the referendum invalidated and null. Legally it never
happened. They could win 99% but it would have no legal effect. The laws

Anyway, the Parliament is able to make another law different from the
law abrogated. They did it before (when people abrogated the Minister of
Agriculture they created the Minister of Agricultural Resources - the
leftists - and when people voted for the civil responsibility of the
magistrates they made a law mandating the government to pay for them).

> The problem is that the Japanese quake has scared off nuclear power
> investors now.  We will be forced to lower consumption by market
> forces, and that includes lower consumption of food.

Who will lower consumption of food?
The US people? The EU? Japan? China? India?
They can cut and will cut other stuff before they cut on food.
in Italy the price of the bread is 10% floor.
It is the reason food prices skyrocketed and the ME was destabilized.
People in ME and other poor places have to spend 50% of the money in
food. People in the west spend lot less as a share of their income in food.

The biofuel production link the price of oil to the price of food.
So, market forces will force people in the ME to starvation and will
keep the place destabilized for a long time. Higher the price of oil,
higher the quantity of corn and whatever turned in fuel and higher the
price of foods. ME countries can not offset this with more oil income,
because they are food importers from Europe, US, Canada, Australia and
likes. They growing population, also, need more fuel (subsided), so they
have less oil to export.

So, oil exporters will export less or nothing in the future and will
need more food. If they become politically unstable, they will export
much less or nothing. This will drive the oil price high and higher (no,
I don't think 200$/barrel). But high enough (120-150$) for the
governments in the developed countries to be forced to push for building
more nuclear plants or face an economic crisis.

Anyway, small countries like Slovenia have nuclear power plants. They
sell power to their more large neighbors. The Slovenia plant is half
owned by the ENEL (Italy). They have bigger ($$$) reasons), if Italy
don't build nukes, to build or enlarge the existing one. They already
sell us electricity and they will sell us more in the future. There are
plans to build nukes in Albania and connect the grid in Italy with the
grid in Albania; all with money from Italian utilities.
I bet Albania will develop faster if it have cheap and abundant energy
byproduct of Italian stupidity. Energy intensive industries will
relocate where energy is cheaper whatever the protesters say and do.

In the last weeks a referendum of the workers of some plant of FIAT (a
car maker) accepted the new collective contract. The hard-line unions
were defeated even if the "rights" of the workers were reduced. Why?
Because Sergio Marchionne (the CEO of FIAT) say: "Or they accept the
contract or we move in Poland the production and close the plants in the
next few years".

The market is a bitch. :-)

Leggimi su Extropolitica Blog <http://extropolitca.blogspot.com/>

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*Mirco Romanato*


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