On this episode energy systems expert James Fleay joins Nate to talk about the current state of nuclear energy and its potential applications in the future.
Everything comes to an end except our modern technical civilization. Or so a lot of people believe. It’s a dangerous thought for those who arrive after our civilization is gone.
Overspending on the military will only dig humanity deeper into a hole that will be ever more difficult to get out of in the relatively short time available to us.
The obsession with mining the Moon strikes me as the kind of fantasy that enters into civilizations when they are faced with huge, seemingly insurmountable problems—climate change and resource depletion come to mind—and they want magical solutions that allow them to forego having actually to face those problems.
The case of molten salt reactors should make us wary of those promising quick, easy solutions to future energy needs and climate change.
Despite the hype, nuclear energy of any kind may remain forever a marginal source of energy.
That the nuclear industry was to fail was written on the wall of the reactors because of a series of factual circumstances, surely not because a bunch of long-haired Greens were protesting in the streets.
Countries which are heavily invested in nuclear energy remain higher CO2 emitters, on average, than countries which have invested at the same level in renewable energy. This is the main finding of a study recently published in the journal Nature Energy.
Downwind manages the triple feat of being at once a rigorous piece of scholarship, a moving account of a dark and ongoing period in human history and an exquisitely accomplished first book.
The phrase “Precautionary Principle” is not even included in the index of Energy, much less discussed. Rhodes’ approach suggests a “Throw-caution-to-the-wind Principle.”
At the most foundational level, however, there are just two sources of energy. Two sources provide more than 99 percent of the power for our civilization: solar and nuclear. Every other significant energy source is a form of one of these two. Most are forms of solar.
Declining uranium production will make it impossible to obtain a significant increase in electrical power from nuclear plants in the coming decades.