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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nuclear Journal - June 24th

I notice today on the wires that Vietnam has announced intent to place online a fleet of nuclear power plants by the year 2030; this follows the equally slightly improbable announcement by Nigeria that it intends to have nuclear energy by the year 2019. The reasons for both to develop nuclear energy are obvious, in terms of oil independence, but one wonders about the complete lack of technological base in each nation.

What neither lacks, apparently, is initiative. We used to have initiative here, before the environmentalists got involved in the 70's. Atomic power was the way to the future, it was envisioned, and would allow many labor and time saving conveniences which would naturally require a massive electric generating base. The fact that our base is inadequate without the fleets of electric trains and artificial biospheres and such that were envisioned is all too easily proven by the constant power interruptions in major cities and even small ones, for various reasons. That says nothing about the 'Great Blackout' a few years back. In reality the need for nuclear energy didn't go away; our perspective changed, weighted as it was by a decidedly biased and vocal minority, and that led to a loss of intiative.

The initiative has been lost to the point that where once the United States led the world in atomic energy, it now cannot entirely build any plants with all-US companies and materials. For many of us, this is a shame.

What will happen in Nigeria and Vietnam? Well, if history is an indicator we might figure that we'll lose out on those prospects too. After all, the UAE contracts went to South Korea. South Korea, using French designs developed originally from US-based Westinghouse plants, but South Korea nonetheless.

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