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NEIS Director Takes on NPR Straw-Man Report on Enviros Being Split on Nuclear Power

CHICAGO— Much hay was made today about a story running on NPR about California environmentalists being “split” on whether nuclear power is needed to meet both energy needs, and climate crisis targets:

Environmentalists Split Over Need For Nuclear Power
by RICHARD HARRIS
December 17, 2013 3:04 AM

NEIS Director left the following comment in reply to another comment calling for Gen-IV and thorium reactors:

"James Crissman — please do the math. By the time the FIRST of the 17,000 needed to power the planet (read the article) can come on line, it will be 2033 — yes, about 20 years from now. This time frame includes further needed R&D, pilot testing, licensing, required infrastructure buildouts (e.g., reactor vessels don’t grow on trees), personnel training, and finally construction. That gives us about 17 years to build the other 16,999 to make the 2050 "tipping point" deadline that James Hanson and others are concerned about. During that time period, how many wind turbines and solar panel installations do you think will take place? Finally, Moody’s currently has the current Gen-III reactors coming in at about $5-6 BILLION each, just for construction alone. It’s not clear that Gen-IV can do any better.

"What never gets brought up in these discussions — and is the REAL key to both the climate crisis issue and our survival — is WHAT FOR? What are these (bogus, IMO) estimated, projected power levels going to be used for? If it’s to "raise" the world to the West’s standard of living (I wish there were an emoticon for cynicism or sarcasm), the power needed will become irrelevant, because you will need SIX ADDITIONAL EARTHS WORTH OF RESOURCES just to manufacture all that stuff. That’s a death wish, if ever there was one. ADDICTIVE CONSUMPTION is the problem, not new, large sources of energy. Nuclear power remains the "methadon approach" to dealing with the climate crisis. It’s purpose is simply to continue the current addictive consumptive status quo."
—Dave Kraft, Director, NEIS, Chicago—