Diary

There is No Alternative to Nuclear Power

There is hysteria over the Japan nuclear problems. It will fade. The crisis is not nearly as bad as the enviro-friendly world media are portraying it.

 

There is definitely some leaking radiation and some people may be affected. But ultimately once the accident is cleaned up, we need to get back to the serious issue of how to meet our growing world electricity demand.

 

In the late 19th century, people actually used to drink radioactive fluids to feel more energetic. Of course they were outlawed because it is not a good idea to ingest radiation just as it is not a good idea to drink gasoline. But that does not mean that we should stop using gasoline or that we should stop using nuclear power. Because there is no alternative to nuclear power. None. We must use it.

 

To get a perspective, look at the four big enviro catastrophes of the last 32 years – the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989; the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of Spring/Summer 2010; the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania in 1979; and the Chernobyl nuclear reactor fire of 1986 in Ukraine. The long-term effects of these accidents has been minimal.

 

Yet the world reaction at the time of the crises was over-the-top panic just like the Japan nuclear problem has been since March 11. You could not escape the media frenzy. It was in every newspaper, and on every radio and TV station for weeks and weeks.

 

Yet nobody died at Three Mile Island; Prince William Sound has rebounded well from the Exxon Valdez spill; the Gulf of Mexico seems to be largely back to normal; and the area around Chernobyl – which the fearmongers said would be “dead” for 10,000 years – has sprung back to life.

 

Certainly there has been some environmental damage in all the cases. But then again, man does not live a pristine life. If we did we would not have to mine coal or extract oil or natural gas or build nuclear power plants, each of which is an affront to unspoiled nature.

 

This whole Japan nuclear crisis is, of course, a result of the wrath of nature in the form of one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded. Yet the media seem to have ignored the thousands dead and the hundreds of billions in damage from nature’s wrath in order to focus on the man-made nuclear plants.

 

Yet if nature were not so cruel to begin with (earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, floods, heat, cold, blizzards etc.), we would not need so much protection again it.  And so mankind always has sought to rise above nature with things like nuclear power and oil and coal and natural gas.

 

And there no longer is an alternative to nuclear power. None. Compare the tiny amount of harm that nuclear radiation has done over the last 50 years to the gigantic amount of energy these plants have put out, and you have the equation. There is much more danger coming from extracting and burning non-renewable coal or natural gas, or damming up rivers for hydro power.

 

Natural gas is very dangerous. There are natural gas explosions across the world every day like the huge blast at the gas power plant in Connecticut last year. Yet there does not seem to be a big enviro outcry against gas.

 

Coal mining causes big environmental damage. Coal pollutes the air with mercury and other chemicals – even radioactivity! – and requires large amounts of energy to mine it and move it. Which is why we should shut down our coal-fired plants and convert them to nuclear power.

 

Windmills do not work. The labor costs alone for maintaining thousands of windmills instead of one big nuclear reactor to produce the same amount of electricity kills the economics of windmills. The same for solar panels installed on individual houses to heat hot water.

 

Today a nuclear plant requires very little labor or fuel. The advantages are enormous. But when there is a problem, it is blown way out of proportion like all the Americans driven into a tumult over the radiation cloud from Japan which was essentially nil.

 

The world’s modern economy is increasingly reliant on electricity and the fact is that we cannot continue to build coal-fired power plants or put up inefficient windmills. Windmills even are being found to cause health problems for people who live near them, as was reported in Falmouth, Massachusetts where residents are seeking to shut down their recently-constructed 1.65 megawatt windmill. It is causing them sleeplessness and headaches because of its low-frequency vibrations.

 

If we had been frightened off by the accidents related to oil in the 19th and 20th centuries – the blowouts, the oil rig explosions, the gushers, the well fires, the shipping spills, the pipeline breaks – and decided we would never use oil, the world would be in pretty sorry shape today.

 

We need to build a new generation of safe nuclear power plants worldwide. The Japan crisis was caused by one of the worst earthquakes in history. This is part of nature’s brutal cycle. Nuclear power is mankind’s answer.

 

Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.