imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Nuclear Energy Belongs in the Technology Museum

by Hermann Scheer Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 6:25 AM

Nuclear energy is still too expensive and too dangerous. Huge amounts of water are needed in a time of increasing water shor-tage. Uranium supplies are limited. trillion was spent on nuclear research while renewable energy fell by the wayside.


Still Too Expensive and Too Dangerous

By Hermann Scheer

[This article originally published in: DIE ZEIT, 22/2004 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, The SPD delegate Hermann Scheer is the winner of the Alternative Nobel prize and honorary president of Eurosolar. Before his election in the parliament, the SPD politician was a system analyst in the German nuclear research center in Karlsruhe.]

The end of the fossil energy age approaches. Its ecological limit comes nearer as the material reserves are exhausted. The advocates of nuclear energy smell the morning air. Some critics even join in the loud cry for new nuclear power plants. 442 nuclear reactors are now operating worldwide with a total capacity of 300,000 megawatts. Two and a half times as many will be added by 2030 and four times as many by 2050, says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the stronghold of the global nuclear community.

The pro-nuclear argument consists of a twofold repression. Amid adverse facts, the economic advantages are praised. The risks are minimized or declared technically solvable. At the same time renewable energies are denounced as uneconomical and their potential marginalized to maintain the indispensability of nuclear energy.

Trivializing the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl is part of this argument. In ZEIT (Nr 31/2004), Gerd von Randow wrote that there were only 40 deaths and 2000 registered cases of thyroid cancer. These numbers come from interest-bound institutions. Independent studies like the report of the Munich Radiation Institute have identified 70,000 casualties including desperate suicides and expect tens of thousands of additional belated victims.

Offsetting the victims with victims of coal mining and fossil energy emissions is part of minimization. However both mass nuclear and fossil tragedies necessitate mobilizing renewable energy as the only chance for lasting, emission-free, harmless and cheap supplies.

The use of nuclear energy is the result of a gigantic subsidizing- and privileging machine. Up to 1973 the OECD-governments spent over 0 billion (adjusted to current costs) in researching and developing nuclear energy and practically nothing for renewable energy. Between 1974 and 1992, 8 billion was spent on nuclear energy and only billion on renewable energy. The European Union’s extravagant nuclear promotion is not even counted. The French statistics are secret today. The total state promotion is at least a trillion dollars with the mammoth assistance in market opening and incentives to non-OECD countries, above all the former Soviet block. Only billion is spent on renewable energy. Since 1957, the IAEA and Euratom have helped governments in designing nuclear programs. In contrast, no international organizations exist today for renewable energy.

Since the middle of the seventies, nuclear energy was largely burnt out more on account of massive increased costs than growing public resistance. The construction times have become shorter. The uranium reserves estimated at a maximum 60 years refer to the number of currently running plants. With twice the number, the availability time periods are inevitably cut in half. The growth calculated by the IAEA could not be realized without the immediate transition to the Fast Breeders that could extend the uranium reserves!

The history of the breeder reactors is the history of a fiasco. Like the Russian reactor, the British reactor achieved an operating capacity of 15 percent up to its shutdown in 1992. The French Super-Phoenix (1200 megawatts) reached 7 percent and cost 10 billion Euro. The much smaller Japanese breeder (300 megawatts) cost 5 billion Euro and has regular operating problems. Making these reactors fit for work will require incalculably great additional costs. The way would be barred without continued or increased public financial expenditures. The thousand-year nuclear waste question remains an unsolved problem with unforeseeable permanent costs.

Four additional reasons speak against the future viability of nuclear power:

- Their enormous water requirements for steam processes and cooling collides with the spreading water emergencies through climatic changes and the water needs of the growing world population.

- The excess warmth of the nuclear4 power plants is hardly suited for heat-power coupling on account of the mammoth costs for district heating mains for central nuclear power blocks.

- The danger of nuclear terrorism not only through missile attacks on reactors grows with the intensification of “asymmetrical conflicts”.

- The operating capacity of capital-intensive nuclear reactors indispensable for their profitability can only be guaranteed if governments de-liberalize again the electricity markets and block alternatives. The nuclear economy remains a (concealed) state economy.

All this would have to be accepted given the finiteness of fossil resources if there weren’t the possible option of renewable energy whose energy supply for our planet is 15,000 times as great as the annual consumption of nuclear and fossil energy. Scenarios about a full provision possibility with available technologies have been calculated repeatedly, by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the US (1978), the International Institute for Applied System Analysis for Europe (1981) and the Enquete commission of the Bundestag (2002). While none of them has ever been seriously refuted, all are ignored by conventional experts.

An electricity generation capacity of 16,000 megawatts arose in Germany in the last twelve years in the aftermath of the renewable energy law. There were new facilities with 3000 megawatts in 2003 alone. If this introductory rate continues for the next 50 years, a total capacity of 166,000 megawatts and an equivalent to conventional capacities of 55,000 megawatts will result. Nevertheless it is a very widespread error to think in isolated substitution steps and ignore the increased efficiency potential. Renewable energy has undreamt-of advantages. Short energy chains replace long energy chains from the mines to the final consumer with losses of energy at every step of conversion and transformation. A relatively few highly centralized power plants will be superseded by many decentralized power plants. The infrastructure need will decline dramatically.

This way will be opened up by new energy storage technologies that still must be invented. These technologies will remove the supposedly permanent barriers of irregular wind- and solar radiation possibilities through electrostatic storage (super-condensers), electro-mechanical (flywheels, compressed air), electrodynamic (supra-conductor magnets) or thermal storage with the help of metal hydrides. Then energy-self-sufficient settlements and businesses supplied continuously only with photovoltaic current or wind power will not be utopias any more. Hybrid systems with alternating complementary power plants (like wind power and biomass generators) are other variants. The cancellation of ongoing fuel costs (except for bio-energy) and the electricity transmission costs that make up the large part of the current electricity price would be striking. The whole energy system including the present use of renewable energy will be revolutionized.

The fossil and nuclear costs inevitably rise while renewable energy becomes continuously cheaper through serial production and technological optimizations. In the last ten years, wind power costs have fallen 50 percent and photovoltaics around 30 percent. The extra costs of today are the lower costs of tomorrow.

Renewable energy is also the answer to the approaching crude oil and natural gas shortages that affect fuel- and heating needs. Meanwhile it is the official consensus at DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Ford that biosynthetic fuels or bio-ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-gas can be introduced more cheaply and quickly than hydrogen produced with nuclear power for which a costly new infrastructure is necessary. The potential could satisfy the fuel need of the world as explained at the world biomass conference in Rome in May 2004. Energy-efficient solar construction could supply complete houses with heating and cooling energy. In Germany, there are already 3000 houses that do not need foreign energy. The Reichstag in Berlin is supplied with 85 percent renewable energy.

The time has come to overcome the structural-conservative blindness and the faint-hearted technology pessimism toward renewable energy. Renewable energy must be ambitiously explored and promoted in politics, science and technology as nuclear power was once promoted. The technological-economic optimization of renewable energy is easier to realize than nuclear technology and avoids incalculable risks. The future of the nuclear-fossil energy age – sooner than later – belongs in the technology museum.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Un monde de pauvreté J22 12:54AM

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy