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Learning from Japans nuclear disaster - Amory Lovins

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:07 PM
Original message
Lovins brings clarity and simplicity to the discussion surrounding the use of nuclear energy. His ability to do this has earned him a unique status as chief bogey-man within the nuclear industry. However due to the fact that Lovins is brilliantly correct they are reduced to sleazy attempts at character assassination based on the fact that his knowledge and expertise on energy efficiency is sought out by major corporations around the globe. According to the logic of the nuclear industry, since "dirty" corporations have achieved significant carbon reductions via energy efficiency measures that Lovins' designed for them, he should be condemned for his failure to shun these corporations rather praised for using their profit motive to encourage positive behavior on their part.

But then what else would you expect from the nuclear industry?

Learning from Japans nuclear disaster
Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist Rocky Mountain Institute ( ) 17 March 2011

...Nuclear power is uniquely unforgiving: as Swedish Nobel physicist Hannes Alfvén said, No acts of God can be permitted. Fallible people have created its half-century history of a few calamities, a steady stream of worrying incidents, and many near-misses. America has been lucky so far. Had Three Mile Islands con- tainment dome not been built double-strength because it was under an airport landing path, it may not have withstood the 1979 accidents hydrogen explosion. In 2002, Ohios Davis-Besse reactor was luckily caught just before its massive pressure-vessel lid rusted through.

Regulators havent resolved these or other key safety issues, such as terrorist threats to reactors, lest they disrupt a powerful industry. U.S. regulation is not clearly better than Japanese regulation, nor more transparent: industry-friendly rules bar the American public from meaningful participation. Many presidents nuclear boosterism also discourages inquiry and dissent.

Nuclear power is the only energy source where mishap or malice can kill so many people so far away; the only one whose ingredients can help make and hide nuclear bombs; the only climate solution that substitutes proliferation, accident, and high-level radioactive waste dangers. Indeed, nuclear plants are so slow and costly to build that they reduce and retard climate protection.

Heres how. Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 210 times less carbon savings, 2040 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic: efficient use of electricity, making heat and power together in factories or buildings (cogeneration), and renewable energy. The last two made 18% of the worlds 2009 electricity
(while nuclear made 13%, reversing their 2000 shares)and made over 90% of the 200708 increase in global electricity production.

Those smarter choices are sweeping the global energy market....

posted with authors permission at

You can also download the PDF here:

You may also be interested in other readings on energy by the author:
Physicist Amory Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, consults on energy to business and government leaders worldwide. Hes written 31 books and over 450 papers, and received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, Zayed, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, 11 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood, National Design, and World Technology Awards. Hes an honorary U.S. architect, a Swedish engineering academician, and a former Oxford don, and has taught at nine universities, most recently Stanford. His RMI teams autumn 2011 book Reinventing Fire describes business-led pathways for a vibrant U.S. economy that by 2050 needs no oil, coal, or nuclear power to provide clean and resilient energy with superior economics.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Expecting a nasty hate-filled post against Lovins in 3...2...1...
....compliments of our one and only NN.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 04:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It must have caught them napping.
But don't give up, they're getting nastier with every day the crisis in Japan is still on people's minds.
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