A ridiculous and short-lived US military requirement to build a “nuclear powered bomber” resulted in the most astoundingly safe and innovative nuclear power source ever invented. So why has this revolutionary design been almost entirely forgotten by history? What happened to the Molten Salt Reactor and the people who spearheaded this radical tangent in nuclear research? Kirk Sorenson and associates continue to peel back the layers of time from this gem in the history of atomic energy that was buried so long ago…
Iran has put out a call to Hackers everywhere to join in combat with the “Iranian Revolutionary Guard” and has amassed the second-largest online army to counter the ‘Stuxnet’ attack that has crippled their nuclear program. This malware is now freely available online, and has laid the foundation for creating industrial-grade cyber weapons that can infiltrate the systems of energy producers, utilities, and even traffic control systems and factories the world over. This malicious software is highly sophisticated and can even generate false instrument readings to mask destructive processes that would go undetected by hapless operators until it’s too late. This is just the tip of an ice-berg….
There’s rampant speculation that this malware was developed and unleashed by U.S and Isreali operatives as a weapon against Iranian nuclear infrastructure and enrichment capabilities. However the real twist in this story is how this technology has now become widely available to anyone with an agenda for infiltrating and manipulating industrial systems.
It’s become obvious to everyone in the general public that the future of cyber-warfare has now arrived, and we’re sure to see the environment taken as it’s first hostage.
In his last State Of The Union address, Barack Obama repeatedly emphasized the critical need for America to do what it does best and inspire the world with bold ideas and innovations. Not only to invigorate existing industries and the domestic economy, but also to lead the rest of the world into new phases of growth and prosperity. Meanwhile here in Canada, we’ve long claimed to no longer be just a source of primary resources, but rather a knowledge and technology based economy that can claim leadership in such progressive fields as communications, aerospace, and biotech. Yet these claims of leadership need to be supported in order to remain true. Take for example the leadership demonstrated by Canada in supplying medical isotopes to the world, and providing the planet’s safest nuclear powerplants with the world famous CANDU reactors. This isn’t just some historical reference though or a legacy technology, but rather one that is poised to lead an entire industry into the future as well…If it can first survive the short-sighted dangers of politics.
In a rare demonstration of a nearly non-Leftists bias, the Toronto Star printed an article that shows that it’s still capable of presenting slightly balanced views of contentious issues. In this case, it offered some visibility for a realistic presentation from the Organization of CANDU Industries (OCI) which offered clear insights into the effects of replacing two proposed nuclear reactors with the equivalent in renewable sources. In particular, the OCI demonstrates the physical scale of both the solar and wind turbine installations that would be required to match the energy production available from a nuclear site measuring 1.6 square-kilometers. In the end, the Star’s article simply took this issue as another opportunity to discredit nuclear energy, by (indirectly) claiming that the facts aren’t complete.
So in an attempt to right the scales abit, we’ll off our own slant on the subject as well…
Everyone knows that great power demands great responsibility. Nothing demonstrates the truth of that saying more than the enormous risks behind nuclear energy. Consider that even less than a century ago it would have seemed like pure fantasy for mere humans to manipulate matter at the atomic level, much less release the awesome power of those nuclear bonds.
It’s no wonder then that the exact nature of this science would still baffle even the most tech-savvy among us. Even less surprising that it seems like a frightening and destructive threat to anyone who is unable (or perhaps just unwilling) to see past the complexities that surrounds nuclear science. For those with an anti-nuclear agenda to advance, therein lies the great power to confound and deceive, rather then grow and develop. It’s the manipulative fear that remains the greatest point of leverage in the nuclear debate.
Of course, the public image of nuclear energy has been forever tainted by one of it’s most infamous applications. As the terrible force behind the most devastating weapons ever devised by Mankind, nuclear power has to live down its military upbringing through an uphill PR battle to present safe, civilian nuclear energy. A source of power that offers a clean alternative to the toxic destruction of fossil-fueled energy that goes on all around us every moment of every day…Seemingly with a full and acceptable sanction of both the Press and the Public as somehow less dangerous than the potential risks and imagined dangers of nuclear energy.
As a world supplier of primary resources like lumber and oil, Canadians were once stereotyped a “hewers of wood” working in a pristine green wilderness of fresh water and never-ending forests. Nowadays, thanks to the Eco-PR efforts of organizations like Greenpeace, Canada has gained more notoriety for oilsands that are widely regarded as a filthy and enormously wasteful source of fossil-fuel energy. A source of fuel who’s extraction is made economically feasible only by high price of crude oil yet without factoring in the environmental impact and future cleanup costs down the line. So much for “Green” stereotypes.
Forestry and Agriculture, on the other hand, are still a clearly green and renewable resources that are poised to turn into major sources of power production via the alluring prospects of widespread BioMass generation methods. No longer will we simply see crops and trees as a source of food for cities, construction materials and wooden poles for transmitting power along roadways, but rather as sources of feedstock for secondary green industries that can use otherwise wasted bio-mass to actually generate power for those very same hydro lines.
The question is, what stands in the way of displacing coal and natural gas from our current power supply, and how will bio-mass be different than burning any other fuel for electricity?
Nuclear energy is still one of those loaded topics that is driven more out of fear than facts. Even when simply weighing the environmental risks and benefits of this supposedly ‘Green’ energy source, people’s defense mechanisms still lock themselves into rigid and even fearful frames of mind that invariably leave no room for rationale debate. Even while we continue to burn coal and oil at an ever-accelerating rate of global destruction, the subject of atomic energy remains mired in taboo, and dogmatic diatribe that has stunted it’s development in North America for decades now. This confounding ecological paradox leaves one tempted to consider the possibility that Big Oil would indeed be willing be support the propaganda efforts required to maintain the negative Public profile that has dogged ‘nuclear’ for this long!
As things go, the clearly polarized and often narrow views held by so many on the subject of nuclear power might very well decide the future fate of Humanity…Depending on how we collectively decide to see things here in the Present.
Unfortunately it seems that between the Mainstream Media’s thirst for scandal and disaster stories continues to play directly into the hands of the Public Relations experts behind certain ‘Eco Groups’. Self appointed stewards of our environmental issues who often seem more suited to advancing their own agendas through PR spin, rather than in tabling suggestive solutions that would work now, rather than make vague allusions to an unrealized Future.