Nuclear Energy lecture – call for input.



Dear readers.

I’m going to give a lecture/presentation to a group of University academics (scientists amongst them) in a few months time with a title approximating to..

“Nuclear Energy – the case against”

I’m quite lucky in the sense that the regular readers and contributors of this blog (as well as some casual passers by) are intelligent and I usually have a great deal of time for what they have to say. As such, I ask if anyone has any comments/arguements/dilemmas they would like to bring to my attention, either PRO or ANTI nuclear energy, then please do so.

I already have a stack of material {ed}- really, the internet is an beatable resource for a topic such as this (just as it is for computing) and contains far more information on nuclear issues that most libraries.

The breakdown of my lecture is going to look something like this:

A) Condensed guide to nuclear science.

B) Issus:
i. How the pro-lobby put their case
ii. Modern Life & the energy need – turn it on its head?
iii. History of Nuclear Accidents
iv. By-products:
     – Depleted Uranium
     – Radioactive waste (inc. Plutonium) and legacy
v. Cost efficiency of nuclear energy


I’ll leave on this note:

16 March 1979 The China Syndrome (movie)
28 March 1979: “Three Mile Island” Nuclear Accident

Mr Power isn’t the only one with hairs standing on the back of his neck: With reference to the above dates, watch this trailer…

Last few seconds: “Soon, you will know. The China Syndrome” – 12 days later as it turned out!

This report about the THORP plant at Sellafield, and its 2005 high level radioactive leakage discovery also reveals similar problems that occured in The China Syndrome c.f.  the stuck dial.

4 Responses to “Nuclear Energy lecture – call for input.”

  1. 1 paul November 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Leuren Moret
    Helen Caldicott
    Ernest Sternglass

  2. 2 lwtc247 November 22, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Dear Paul.
    I’m familiar with Helen’s work – cheers, but not with Moret and Sternglass. Thanks for the poiners.

  3. 3 Roger Helbig November 23, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Leuren Moret, pretend “nuclear scientist” — she did work in the same place with some, but nuclear science is not something that you learn through osmosis. Not a single one of the three is really an “expert” on nuclear anything, but they have lots of internet disciples. I presume you know nothing about science, let alone nuclear science; if you did, you would go some place like RADSAFE, not look for people who recommend Moret or Sternglass. Moret, by the way, spent less than one year working at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory as a Senior Scientific Technologist in the Center for Applied Scientific computing. Given that scientists at the lab have doctorates and Nobel Prizes, Moret was probably little more than a computer tech. To learn more about Moret, go to the Yahoo Group DUStory and follow the instructions to sign in as a guest and go to the Files Section.

  4. 4 lwtc247 November 23, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for the contribution Roger and the link. I will read it.

    Since Paul passed the unfamiliar names to me, I went to wikipedia as a first stop. Similar doubts about Moret ‘not knowing anything about nuclear science’ are there. It has registered with me. I have since listened to an interview and read some articles about her. Her opinion seems worth spending some time upon.

    I must say, my initial impression of Moret is that there is a number of people expending more than the usual amount of energy in trying to discredit her. There is usually two main reasons why that happens.

    1) The subject in question is a fraud and people take it upon themselves to expose them as such.

    2) the information the person relays is perceived as a threat to powerful interests – usually of the financial sense. the information is usually highly truthful which is why the threat can never be zeroed by factual and rational debate.

    Type 1 is very rare, so I find type 2 usually more likely.

    “I presume you know nothing about science, let alone nuclear science” – You presume incorrectly, twice over. Now, may I ask you what was the basis for that presumption?

    What is it, in your opinion, that qualifies a person to be able to have a respected view on matters in general? I have a number of hobbies, one is electronics (inc. PLC’s) yet I don’t hold a single formal qualification in electronics! Is my evaluation and commentary of electronics meaningless? I read a lot about history and economics – no doubt more than some history and economics graduates, yet I do no practical works on those matters (admittedly, apart from efforts pertaining to a gold based economy). Is my knowledge ‘valueless’?

    But if you are right, and her opinion is not valuable, then what of your opinion of her? What knowledge do you know of her to make your opinion of her meaningful? Are you relaying directly acquired / personally amassed information about her or are you relaying someone elses opinion about her e.g. from what’s written in wikipedia? And even if you were, does that totally negate what you said about her?

    “not look for people who recommend Moret or Sternglass.” – I am not looking for people who recommend Moret or Sternglass. I don’t know what the basis is for you saying that.

    Sternglass seems like a worthy commentator on nuclear issues too. His academic level and experience is in my eyes valuable, interesting and worthy of consideration. That shouldn’t be read that I will accept his/their (e.g. Caldicott, Moret and Sternglass’) work in an unquestioning fashion. I do like to think I can combine my own knowledge of the field with critically analysed opinion and findings from all sides. It’s just that so far my conclusions on the matter put me against the nuclear power industry. Perhaps I should constantly look for information that may defeat that stance, but to be honest, rightly or wrongly, I don’t, and I do look for more information that bolsters my current opinion.

    I won’t go into specifics, but one reason why I am giving the lecture is because recent pro-claims haven’t IMO employed informative critical analysis of the argument.

    Some of the sources I will use in my lecture are from the IAEA, US EPA, UN, Nuclear Engineering International and others, including secondary information sources (their primary sources are already dead). Many primary sources have their wages paid my pro-nuclear interests so you really have to scrutinize such information. I’m slow to get primary of people on the nuclear front line. RADSAFE is new to me. Thanks I’d already had a look at some of their material.

    In the advent I uncover information that shows my opinion on the matter to be wrong, I’d like to think that being a big boy now, I’ll be able to shift any stance accordingly. I must say however, information like that probably doesn’t exist.

    Once more, thanks for the time you spent writing in.

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