Sunday, November 9, 2008

So When Is Finrod Going To Start Talking About Nuclear Power?

I have received some criticism concerning the content of this site. To wit, there isn’t really all that much stuff here yet that is actually about nuclear power. It is a valid criticism. This results from my history of being a commenter on other pro-nuclear blogs for a couple of years now. During that time I have become quite familiar with many dimensions of the subject of nuclear power, its risks, costs, advantages, challenges, history, paths taken and not taken, potential fuel sources and so on. It is abundantly clear to me that there is a huge pool of talented pro-nuclear people out there, both within and outside the professional nuclear community who are far more qualified than I to present these matters to the public. So why am I doing this at all?

I am doing this because:

A) In my view, the advantages of nuclear power are so obvious that even an unqualified outsider should (with a little research) be able to defeat the anti-nuclear case in a logical discussion of the issue with even the most expert of anti-nuclear activists.

B) I tend to have my own take on certain matters which are not always illuminated to my satisfaction by other pro-nuclear advocates.

C) I have at whiles observed that one or two fairly basic, homely observations of mine have ended up in the pro-nuclear meme pool, without attribution to myself. This is quite OK by me. If some small observation of mine helps the cause I don’t mind not being credited with it, but it does point to the possibility for valid contributions to the debate which are original to me, so I should avail myself of every opportunity to make them.

So getting back to the original point, I started this blog very much in the context of my previous 2-3 years worth of commentary on other blogs, and set out initially to supplement the excellent body of work already in existence, rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel at the outset. Hence my first posts were on topics which I felt had been neglected by their obscurity, or directly related to some topical discussion on a side aspect of the field.

It is clear, however, that some of my readers are not very familiar with the basics of the pro-nuclear case and have looked to my blog in vain to be filled in. I shall therefore post a few articles outlining that case in very basic form, and provide links to other sites with more detailed expositions, to give people something to go on with.

I am also considering doing a few articles on power generation issues in my local area, namely the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding districts in New South Wales, as well as some articles on energy issues currently concerning Australia.


DV8 2XL said...

Hi Finrod,

May I suggest that you link to Jeremy Whitlock's Canadian Nuclear FAQ. Particularly as it shows how a successful independent nuclear program can be operated by a country that is similar in many ways to Australia.

You should note that our program was created without weapons production in mind, if that is a concern down there with some.

CANDU's can also be built with locally available technology, and fueled with natural uranium, thus not making you dependent on whims of other countries, or the cost of an enrichment plant.

I'm not plugging CANDU's here,(well maybe a little) but just trying to point out that you guys are just as capable of running an independent program as we are.

Finrod said...

Hi DV8 2XL. Thanks for the tip. I've added that site to the links section, and shall use it as a research tool for my forthcoming essay on the topic of Australia's nuclear history (such as it has been). It looks to be a very good resource, and in fact seems to answer a particular question I needed answered, namely the potential for the CANDU to produce weapons-grade plutonium (I had been informed a couple of years ago that back in 1968 the then Prime Minister John Gorton selected the CANDU design for primary consideration as Australia's first nuclear power reactor precisely because of its supposed ability to supply plutonium for the nuclear weapons he envisioned producing).

Joffan said...

It's interesting how that happens, isn't it - that an observation, analogy or argument somehow gets to be fairly common currency. I guess there is a continuous need for convenient and graspable responses to the changing variety of anti-nuclear arguments out there. No doubt there is a process where the snappy response of today gets a snappy counter from the other side in a few months time, leading to another search for a comeback.