Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Fed Action Accelerates Boom-Bust Cycle; Not A Virus Crisis - 23rd May 20
Gold Silver Miners and Stocks (after a quick drop) Ready to Explode - 23rd May 20
3 Ways to Prepare Financially for Retirement - 23rd May 20
4 Essential Car Trade-In Tips To Get The Best Value - 23rd May 20
Budgie Heaven at Bird Land - 23rd May 20
China’s ‘Two Sessions’ herald Rebound of Economy - 22nd May 20
Signs Of Long Term Devaluation US Real Estate - 22nd May 20
Reading the Tea Leaves of Gold’s Upcoming Move - 22nd May 20
Gold, Silver, Mining Stocks Teeter On The Brink Of A Breakout - 21st May 20
Another Bank Bailout Under Cover of a Virus - 21st May 20
Do No Credit Check Loans Online Instant Approval Options Actually Exist? - 21st May 20
An Eye-Opening Perspective: Emerging Markets and Epidemics - 21st May 20
US Housing Market Covid-19 Crisis - 21st May 20
The Coronavirus Just Hit the “Fast-Forward” Button on These Three Industries - 21st May 20
AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 9 4950x Intel Destroying 24 core 48 thread Processor? - 21st May 20
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - 20th May 20
The Credit Markets Gave Their Nod to the S&P 500 Upswing - 20th May 20
Where to get proper HGH treatment in USA - 20th May 20
Silver Is Ensured A Prosperous 2020 Thanks To The Fed - 20th May 20
It’s Not Only Palladium That You Better Listen To - 20th May 20
DJIA Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 19th May 20
US Real Estate Showing Signs Of Covid19 Collateral Damage - 19th May 20
Gold Stocks Fundamental Indicators - 19th May 20
Why This Wave is Usually a Market Downturn's Most Wicked - 19th May 20
Gold Mining Stocks Flip from Losses to 5x Leveraged Gains! - 19th May 20
Silver Price Begins To Accelerate Higher Faster Than Gold - 19th May 20
Gold Will Soar Soon; World Now Faces 'Monetary Armageddon' - 19th May 20
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 18th May 20
Why the Largest Cyberattack in History Will Happen Within Six Months - 18th May 20
New AMD Ryzen 4900x and 4950x Zen3 4th Gen Processors Clock Speed and Cores Specs - 18th May 20
Learn How to Play the Violin, Kids Activities and Learning During Lockdown - 18th May 20
The Great Economy Reopening Gamble - 17th May 20
Powell Sends a Message With Love for Gold - 17th May 20
An Economic Renaissance Emerges – Stock Market Look Out Below - 17th May 20
Learn more about the UK Casino Self-exclusion - 17th May 20
Will Stocks Lead the Way Lower for Gold Miners? - 15th May 20
Are Small-Cap Stocks (Russell 2k) Headed For A Double Dip? - 15th May 20
Coronavirus Will Wipe Out These Three Industries for Good - 15th May 20
Gold and Silver: As We Go from Deflation to Hyperinflation - 15th May 20
Silver's Massive Undervaluation Relative to Gold Makes It Irresistible - 14th May 20
Bitcoin Halving Passes with no Fanfare, but Smart Money is Accumulating - 14th May 20
Will Job Market from Hell Support Gold? - 14th May 20
The Tragedy Of Missed Covid-19 Opportunities - 14th May 20
Worst Jobs Report In US Economic History - And The Stock Market Continues To Rally - 14th May 20
NASDAQ Sets Up A Massive Head and Shoulders Pattern - 14th May 20
Perceiving Coronavirus as a Disruptive Technology - 13th May 20
Why Financial Trouble Brews on the "Home" Front - 13th May 20
Stock Market ‘Sentiment Event’ Rally Grinds On - 13th May 20
The Fed Now Owns All Markets - 13th May 20
Fruit Trees Gardening to Beat Coronavirus Blues - , Apple, Cherry, Kiwi, Pears, Plums, Grapes, Bananas May 2020 - 13th May 20
Gold Investors Shouldn’t Be Losing Focus - 12th May 20
S&P 500 Bulls Again At Resistance – Now What - 12th May 20
US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - 12th May 20
Gold in the year of the Coronavirus Pandemic - 12th May 20
Hi Ho Silver : Away! - 11th May 20
The Great Stock Market Disconnect - 11th May 20
The Big Move In Silver May Be Right Now - 11th May 20
Finding Winners in the Wreckage of the Coronavirus Economic Downturn - 11th May 20
Brave New Corona World – A heated Debate between Steven Pinker and Aldous Huxley - 11th May 20
Coronavirus Catastrophe Stock Market Implications - 10th May 20
US Stock Prices are Ignoring the Economic Meltdown, Wait for it… - 10th May 20
Forecasting Crude Oil: This Method Has Been the Undefeated Champion Since 1998 - 10th May 20
Coronapocalypse and Gold - How High Is Too High for the Yellow Metal? - 10th May 20
The Illusion of Owning Gold - 10th May 20 - Nick_Barisheff
The Financial Crisis Will Continue To Lurk Even If the Lockdown Gets Eased - 10th May 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-stocks-bear-market-2020-analysis

The Doomsday Threat Of The "Nuclear Renaissance"

Politics / Energy Resources Aug 11, 2010 - 12:13 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticlePolitical deciders, corporate elites and mainstream media, almost everywhere, have swung to virtually total support for nuclear power. Major agencies and entities promoting nuclear power, such as the OECD's NEA and the WNA announce the industry's 2010-2020 potential for rivalling its previous highwater mark, in the 1975-1985 period, when it averaged one new reactor on line every 17 days, for 10 years.


In a dramatic turnaround from the nuclear industry's "near death experience" of the later 1980s and all through the 1990s, when reactor completions fell to zero some years, dozens of large new power reactors are under construction at this moment, in what industry promoters call "The Nuclear Renaissance". This renaissance however threatens to be as complex, ambiguous and murky as the Medieval renaissance. Intensifying what are nearly open-ended global security implications, environment risks, economic risks and human hazards of today's proliferating reactor numbers, growth is now mainly focused in the Emerging and developing countries.

Industry growth in the Emerging economies, formerly called Low income developing countries of the South often features massive, multi-reactor complexes with multi-billion dollar or euro price tags, that are projected or planned for completion in the shortest possible time. The string of "new nuclear" developing countries with absolutely no previous experience of large-scale nuclear power now include Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, Kazakhstan, the Philippines and others.

In the North and as we know from a recent but receding past, countries with plans to become "environment friendly and nuclear free", notably Germany, have made a 180° turn and are now back in favour of nuclear power. Other countries, which experienced an effective moratorium on nuclear power for nearly 20 years from the late 1980s, especially the USA, have relaxed their regulatory and legislative brakes on nuclear power plant expansion, have dusted off plans for new reactors, or have already started building reactors again. Both in OECD countries and the Emerging economies, governments are now providing huge loans, grants or aid and subsidies to nuclear power.

Underlying the constant threat of "Peak Uranium", or an easily predictable and critical undersupply of fresh-mined uranium, the Obama pro-nuclear policy is both an economic initiative, and an attempt to solve the gap in uranium fuel supplies. This twin thrust to avert "Peak Uranium" and also sell nuclear power drives the Obama call for scrapping nuclear arsenals while stepping up the US-Russian "Megatons to Megawatts" programme for changing arms to ploughshares, by recycling atomic bomb material as reactor fuels.This programme however and at most can cover about 12.5% of the world's current reactor fleet fuel need of around 68 000 tons in 2010, will likely end in 2013, and trends for reactor growth will likely drive up annual uranium fuel demand to 125 000 tons by 2020.

Africa south of the Sahara is the "sweet spot" zone of prediliction for quickly finding new reserves of uranium, to prevent or limit very predictable price explosions such as those of 1976-1978 and 2005-2007 but the outlook is negative: uranium shortage is endemic to nuclear power and a constant weak point since its earliest days. Due to this and from the start of the civil nuclear age, 50 years ago, the unworkable but appealing and dangerous Sorceror's Apprentice solution of plutonium breeding fast reactors is back on the drawing boards of nuclear dreamers, dangling the lure of reactors which "yield more fuel than they consume". Other hazardous concepts for beating fuel shortage include further developing MOX fuel production using civil reactor-source plutonium and high level radioactive wastes to stretch tight supplies of fresh mined uranium.

World stocks of "civil source plutonium" are probably above 850 tons, growing at around 20 - 22.5 tons a year: in plutonium equivalent, the Hiroshima A-bomb needed around 10 kilograms. Environmental risks are effectively unlimited with nuclear power, as major environmental NGOs underline by sometimes dramatic actions, but the security issue, which straddles the uncertain civil-military borderline in nuclear power, presents even more extreme hazards. This has a single word title: Proliferation, noting that the world's worst-possible nuclear disaster to date, causing military-level damage to the Ukrainian economy and massive death tolls in affected regions, Chernobyl in 1986, was purely human error caused.

To be sure, proliferation is no-no word for the nuclear industry. Civil and military nuclear power are each day described by world leaders like President Obama as different and separate, as the day and night and before and after of a global transition from military dominated nuclear power, to a global quick fix technology solution for power shortages thanks to cheap, clean and safe nuclear electricity.

Unfortunately this lyrical vision has no relation to the real world. Nuclear power, today, supplies at most 15% of world electricity (down from 18.5% in the late 1980s) and is far from cheap, clean or safe. Very different energy solutions will be needed for the real and serious Energy Transition that is predicated by declining fossil energy resources, environment issues, and energy infrastructure spending needs. These real alternatives will be needed in a short number of years.

The reality bundle inside which nuclear proliferation hides, but which the nuclear industry and leading politicians tirelessly deny, distort or confuse, especially applies in the Emerging economies. As we have noted above, the developing South is now the prime focus of nuclear industry hopes for ever bigger contracts. In these countries, the civil-to-military route for developing nuclear weapons using supposedly civil-only nuclear technology has however already been resoundingly proven, up to 20 or 25 years ago by India and Pakistan, South Africa and the "special case" of Israel.

In the next decade, at least 12 - 15 "new nuclear" countries, and this total could grow to 18 or more, will have opened the civil-military option, and Pandora's Box for their leaderships. More and more nations could take the known and proven civil-to-military route for building nuclear weapons, acquiring the political clout these weapons are supposed to confer, and equipping themselves with Doomsday Weapons in the event of military invasion by hostile powers. As these leaderships know, the powerful and rich nations of the UN Security Council - the world's earliest atomic weapons powers - owe their Security Council status in major part to nuclear weapons.

Outside the still costly and technologically demanding civil-to-military route to atomic weapons, the "new nuclear South" may be content with cheaper, quicker produced DU (Depleted Uranium) weapons, and of course the almost instant Dirty Bomb potential of large civil reactors in the national territories of their regional rivals and enemies.

The friendly atom can never be friendly. Facing this reality is one of our most urgent tasks. The real world factors and realities that make this conclusion the only one possible must be the basis for urgent but robust, and tough but workable energy policy and programme changes, which we conclude with in this book.

By Andrew McKillop

gsoassociates.com

Project Director, GSO Consulting Associates

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

© 2010 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules