Monday, April 25, 2016

Cutting the Utility Power Cord

In the text of the book, I opined, "As far as I know, a low-power, inherently safe reactor has not been designed for community or home use" because of the risk to investors for such a project. That is no longer true. Toshiba calls its design the "4S reactor" for "super-safe, small and simple." It would be installed underground, and in case of a cooling-system failure, heat would be dissipated through the Earth. There are no complicated control rods to move through the core to control the flow of neutrons that sustain the chain reaction. If the reflective panels are removed, the density of neutrons becomes too low to sustain the chain reaction.

Toshiba has offered to provide a complete nuclear power plant if the residents of the ice-bound 7,000-person town of Galena, Alaska, will but pay the operating costs - far less than the cost of barging diesel fuel in for the town generator. Will the anti-nuclear, primitivist-environmentalists be joyful because the townspeople won't be spilling diesel fuel during its arduous journey and will pay only a fraction of what they would pay for petroleum power? And because they won't be creating any of that pesky carbon dioxide that the environmentalists claim is warming the earth? Will they be grateful for the lack of long electrical transmission lines that somehow are sterilizing the caribou and ruining the vista for the six people that visit each year?

Certainly not. If nuclear power is shown to be as safe as it really is, then the anti-industrializers lose the only weapon they have to prevent a dynamically progressing civilization: their lies about an environmental apocalypse. Let us work to bring out the truth and have nuclear power in this remote village by 2010.