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I love it when the easy options go away

The EU is bleating as people go cold due to Russian gas being shut off due to its disputes with the Ukraine. And the ever dependable Russian polity, moonbats to a man, blame the USA for the crisis.

The pragmatic Slovak government has made the very sensible decision to possibly restart Soviet era nuclear power plants that they were decommissioning as part of their accession to the EU, if the crisis drags on… and in doing so, they show the simple and ‘carbon footprint’ friendly (as if I care) solution to this and oh so many problems… nuclear power. How can a solution that dooms both the Kremlin and Middle East to long term strategic insignificance not be a Truly Many Splendored Thing?

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12 comments to I love it when the easy options go away

  • Kevin B

    The only problem with restarting the Soviet era nukes is if one of them goes Chernobyl. That could set the cause of nuclear power back another thirty years.

    There might be another problem in ramping up the nuclear industry. I was reading somewhere round the ‘sphere that there would be an acute shortage of engineers to build the things. In the US, the ones who built the first tranche are now safely retired in Florida playing golf, and given the current state of engineering, and engineers, they would be hard pushed to build a reasonable number of power plants.

    In other words, the nuclear industry in America is largely moribund, and I imagine the same is true in Britain. Might be a good time to be a French nuclear technician.

  • Bod

    Maybe we can encourage some North Koreans or Iranians to help us.

  • @Bod: If we did that we’d be begging for a Chernobyl style ‘accident’. They wouldn’t even have to pay for missiles.

  • Kevin

    Actually the US Navy (and the Royal Navy too for that matter) have been training loads of nuclear engineers for decades. The safety record of the nuclear navy is excellent thanks to Hyman Rickover and his successors.

  • JerryM

    Also, the Chernobyl incident is WAY overblown. A recent UN report I say shows that only 50 – most emergency workers -people have died due to Chernobyl to date. See the UN report quote that follows. What a surprise, the Media get’s it wrong.


    By 2005, according to the report, about 50 people – most of them emergency workers – are known to have died of either Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) or cancer as a direct consequence of the accident. A considerable increase in thyroid cancer has been observed especially among local children, though the survival rate has been high. In the long term, is the report estimates that the accident might lead to about 4000 cancer deaths among the 600 000 most exposed people. However, estimations are difficult because those who have been exposed to radiation often die from the same causes as unexposed people

  • Kevin B

    Taylor. I agree that the Navy will help but the guy I was reading was an old-time nukular engineer who was forecasting a huge shortage of ‘the right stuff’ if we wanted to build new nukes quickly.

    JerryM, Sure Chernobyl was much less lethal than the average mine disaster, but Three Mile Island wasn’t lethal at all and look what that did to the US nuclear power industry.

  • I agree: the Ukraine should ask France to build a dozen shiny new nuclear power stations, and while they’re at it a large sculpture of an extended middle finger facing East.

  • Fout. I have a doctorate in nuclear physics, and wouldn’t go back into the field for anything. The continual scapegoating from the Greens is enough of a reason.

  • Sunfish

    Dr. Ellen:

    Fout. I have a doctorate in nuclear physics, and wouldn’t go back into the field for anything. The continual scapegoating from the Greens is enough of a reason.

    Oh, come on, you know being demonized puts zest into life! It’s FUN!

  • chuck

    The only problem with restarting the Soviet era nukes is if one of them goes Chernobyl.

    Well, that would also require Soviet operators. IIRC, the making of Chernobyl involved a series of safety overrides during a test, culminating in the the warping of the damper rods due to heat, making it impossible to reinsert them. But I read about that a while ago and perhaps my memory is faulty.

  • I agree: the Ukraine should ask France to build a dozen shiny new nuclear power stations, and while they’re at it a large sculpture of an extended middle finger facing East.

    Where do they get the scratch, the potatoes, for that ? The French don’t work for free. The Russian gas is for free – that is – nominally they owe, but actually they don’t pay.

  • Daveon

    Making Chernobyl go off did indeed take some pretty impressively stupid activities on the part of the team in charge, however, that said, the design itself was inherently flawed, and that needs to be taken into account when thinking about restarting any of that era of soviet reactors.

    The really clever thing the Czechs did was making sure that they had gas supplies from other sources by building an expensive pipeline.