Thursday, March 24, 2005

New Nuclear Power Bid

David Bear
News Flash from Paris - Only by building more nuclear power stations can the world meet its soaring energy needs while averting environmental disaster, experts at an international conference said Monday.
Paris - We think we can cram the nukes down the throats of the public once again.
Energy ministers and officials from 74 countries were in Paris for the two-day meeting on the future of nuclear energy, as concerns about global warming and fossil fuel supplies renew governments' interest in atomic power.
The same old white guys in suits have decided to hand out some contracts.
"It's clear that nuclear energy is regaining stature as a serious option," said Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency - the U.N. nuclear watchdog - which organized the conference.
They're sure they can cram some nukes down their throats.
ElBaradei said the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, which commits governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was focusing minds.
ElBaradei (also known as El KaBong!) is totally snowed under, and hasn't a clue.  This has caused his mind to numb out, rendering it myopic, i.e., intensely focused.
Power plants fired by oil, coal and gas are major sources of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause global warming. The Kyoto accord will force plant operators to pay for their pollution, making nuclear power facilities more competitive by comparison.
The white guys in suits will cram the nukes down the throats of any country that doesn't voluntarily go along.
"In the past, the virtual absence of restrictions or taxes on greenhouse gas emissions has meant that nuclear power's advantage, low emissions, has had no tangible economic value," ElBaradei said. But the Kyoto Protocol "will likely change that over the longer term."
"In the past, white guys in suits have pocketed literally trillions of dollars by not trying to cram nukes down everyone's throats."
Fossil-Fuel Costs Worrisome
The Faked Out War in the Middle East, aka the Great Terrorism Scam, Seems To Be Working Just Fine, Thank You.
Soaring fossil fuel costs, including the historic highs charted by oil prices during the past year, are a more immediate worry for governments - and a reminder of the petroleum shocks of the 1970s that persuaded countries, including France, to intensify nuclear production.
The Faked Out War in the Middle East, aka the Great Terrorism Scam, Seems To Be Working Just Fine, Thank You.
But accidents at the Three Mile Island facility in Pennsylvania in 1979 and at Chernobyl, Ukraine, seven years later undermined public confidence in nuclear power.
Nothing actually happened at Three Mile Island, but it was a good scare tactic.  Chernobyl never happened either, but it was an excellent opportunity to test out Bill Gates' new computer-generated graphics program.  "Virtual Unreality," I think it was called.
Although there is still deep public concern about the risk of accidents and transportation and storage of radioactive waste, nuclear advocates say there also is a new awareness that relying on fossil fuels could lead to an even greater environmental catastrophe.
Those few individuals who still have enough neurons left to even contemplate the topic of long-term storage have been easily diverted by offers of month-long vacations in Las Vegas (close enough to the Nevada dump site to make it look like they actually inspected the facility, but far enough away for them to hit it big at the roulette tables).
 "The climate will probably change no matter what we now do, but we should, at the very least, make every effort to slow it down," Donald Johnston, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said in a video statement. "We ignore its importance at our peril."
Even the white guys in suits admit we're basically toast.
When Finland begins construction of a new reactor later this year, it will become the first Western European country to do so since 1991. France plans to start building a new-generation reactor in 2007.
Finlanders will be getting hosed before the year is out.  France, a perennial hosee, will get it stuck to them again in the near future.
Nuclear plants produce one-third of Europe's electricity, saving greenhouse emissions "equivalent to those of all of Europe's cars," French Industry Minister Patrick Devedjian said.
The white guys in suits have figured out that the best way to cram a nuke down a throat is to give the body to which the throat is attached a nifty, shiny, fast, new car!  Zoom Zoom.
In a message to the conference, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman cited a University of Chicago study that showed nuclear power "can become competitive with electricity produced by plants fueled by coal or gas" because of new technologies delivering more efficient reactors.
The white guys in suits figure it will be easy to cram nukes down the throats of everybody in the whole world!
 'Time to Start Building Again'
Let's Shut Off Them Alpha Scanners
Echoing recent comments by President Bush, Bodman said: "America hasn't ordered a new nuclear power plant since the 1970s, and it's time to start building again."
Bodman said, " It's time to shut off the Alpha Scanners."
Even in some countries that have been fiercely opposed to nuclear power, the mood is shifting. For example, Italians voted against the use of atomic energy in a referendum the year after Chernobyl, and the government began gradually decommissioning plants.
"Buono, buono, mia feddicci.  We don'ta need any stinkin' Alpha Scanners!"
"Regarding nuclear power, we perceive a clear change in public opinion, notably by the young generations," Italian Industry Minister Antonio Marzano said.
"Hey dudes, like we don't even know what a freakin' Alpha Scanner is.  And what's more, we don't wanna freakin' know.  So buzz off.  I gotta go shopping at the Mall."
Asia May Lead the Way
The Far Eastern Pinball Wizard -- Deaf, Dumb and Blind
The real boom in nuclear power is expected to focus on developing countries, particularly in Asia.
It's more fun than making won-ton.
China is expected to increase its nuclear production capacity from the current 6.5 gigawatts to 36 gigawatts by 2020, according to IAEA figures, while India plans to multiply its production capacity tenfold and Russia is expected to double its capacity to about 45 gigawatts. A gigawatt equals 1 billion watts.
Way more fun than making won-ton.
U.S. nuclear plant builder Westinghouse Electric Co. is among contenders for an $8 billion contract for four new Chinese reactors to be awarded by year's end.
Westinghouse?  Hey!  What about Kerr-McGee?  And Bechtel? And all the other white guys in suits?"


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