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Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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China has unveiled a new type of super-efficient nuclear reactor technology. The Thorium Molten Salt Reactor is the closest thing to a nuclear perpetual motion machine you've ever seen. Seed it with U-233, and then it chugs along on pure Thorium.
The Chinese also recognize that a thorium-fueled MSR is best run with uranium-233 fuel, which inevitably contains impurities (uranium-232 and its decay products) that preclude its use in nuclear weapons. Operating an MSR on the "pure" fuel cycle of thorium and uranium-233 means that a breakeven conversion ratio can be achieved, and after being started on uranium-233, only thorium is required for indefinite operation and power generation.
Are we working on something (anything) similar? Nope.
But we're creating millions of green jobs! Really, we are!
Any serious economist will tell you that subsidizing green energy is simply a modern version of Frederic Bastiat's classic "broken window" economic model. Rather than breaking our own window, replacing and it calling this economic activity we are spending vast sums of money replacing existing reliable, functioning and cost effective energy generating capacity with so-called "green energy" (that is less reliable and more expensive). How does this make any sense?
Just ask Spain, where "green jobs" have been all the rage for almost a decade now. Heavily subsidized, the green sector florishes. But for every green job they created, 2.2 productive private sector jobs were lost. They now have the highest unemployment level in the industrialized world.
But on the plus side, there are all those nice shiny windmills to tilt at.
So let me ask you? Can we afford to lose 2.2 American jobs every time a new wind or solar project staffs up? Or would we perhaps be much better off if we developed an inexpensive, reliable source of electricity. One that pumps out those electrons even if the wind isn't blowing? How about one that works at night too? (There ain't a whole lotta solar power entering the grid at 3 AM, now is there?)
Thorium is a compact and relatively inexpensive fuel. A Molten Salt Reactor operates at atmospheric pressure and only requires a simplified safety system. Ergo, they are mass-producible, for shipment to locations far and wide via truck or train.
Unfortunately, until we are willing to confront our Luddites and Cassandras head-on, nuclear power will remain an also-ran in America. No matter how many times we prove otherwise there are still far too many know-nothings who are firmly convinced that The China Syndrome was a documentary. So we end up spinning our wheels tweaking the twin failed chimeras of wind and solar power. They'll never be as efficient as nuclear (or for that matter, come close to the energy density obtainable from the cumbustion of fossil fuels).
But, windmills and solar arrays do give well-heeled liberals and their
tree-hugger brethren that unique sense of smugness and superiority which
so successfully sells ad space in The New York Times. And really,
isn't that what matters most to them anyway? Nobody ever accused the
environmental movement of caring if we all freeze in the dark.
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