Do the math


I have never been a fan of nuclear power.  Why would I care?  Well, if you innocently start asking questions about  it…how it’s built, where to you get the fuel, why is it so complicated, how long does a power plant last…you start to see it is a really dangerous way to provide power.  If you know anybody who has died of cancer, you know it is unpleasant.

Funny thing (not really), we Americans are so scientifically illiterate. Our leaders have known we are  scientifically illiterate since the 1950’s.  Educators have been writing about our general rate of scientific illiterate (as compared to other countries) since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.  Most of  the graduate students in the hard sciences (physics, engineering, mathematics) are foreign  nationals or first generation Americans.  i did my Master’s Project on this in 1992.

Clearly, the  only way—THE ONLY WAY —-to  increase our general knowledge of real science is to pay  primary school science teachers who love science and  love teaching…more than other teachers, and make their working conditions exceptional. Then we would not have to import technology and knowledge from other parts of the world.  We spend so much money  teaching  our youth about Shakespeare, and European  history, and we  spend not a tenth of that on science education.

There are reasons we don’t do this.  Teachers unions are one reason, but they are not totally to blame.  It’s really our political leadership. They really have a vested interest in keeping Americans ignorant.  When Americans don’t get their panties on a bunch over  dangerous practices (like war, or nuclear power) it’s much easier to tax us into paying for stuff that really does not benefit us—in the long run, or the short run.

We know who  are on our sports teams. We know who the Khardashian sisters are, & Charlie Sheen, and so many  celebrities…but if you were to ask the average American what the benefit is..to war…to nuclear power (over  less expensive alternatives that would benefit more people) we are clueless.

Of course, what got me thinking about this (not that I am cynical or anything) was the earthquake in Japan, and the meltdown of   the nuclear reactors.  Not exactly melted down?  Well, according to the press, you are right.  Just not usable.  They will have to be decommissioned, covered in concrete, and be the monument to man’s stupidity.

The Japanese, as a country, are much better educated than we Americans.  Ask the ones who are left, and they never liked the idea of nuclear power for all the reasons we all know.  Dangerous, expensive, not as good an idea as renewable energy sources.

That’s why they keep developing energy efficient electrical  stuff.

I live in Illinois, and I am an electricity hog.  I know it, I admit it.  I  groom dogs and  in the general scheme of things, the dog grooming industry uses a lot of electricity and clean water.  But, that said, is there a way to  get the energy I need without befouling the earth and making it uninhabitable?

I did a google search to find out what it costs to build a nuclear power plant, and the short answer is…$6—7 billion.  According to  several sources, this  cost of buildout and delivery —and decommissioning after 40 years, costs  25—30c a Kilowatt hour.

According to the natural Resources Defense Council  (www.nrdc.org), solar electricity averages 10—14c per kilowatt hour (the panels costing $1000–5000 per panel installed).  If you do the math, you can see that virtually every building in a nuclear power plant’s catchment area can be retrofitted with solar panels.

I am sure you are wondering …if the solar panels can meet your energy needs.  Do a little more  research. Your electricity is not  fed from the panels to your electrical outlets—it is fed into batteries—and those batteries  feed your outlets. Your biggest problems? The refridgerator, the washing machine, your vacuum cleaner, and maybe your dishwasher.  Everything else?   These days, they don’t draw much more than a 100 watt bulb.  You can have an energy audit done of your house and check it out!

So…why are we still even considering nuclear power…or any fossil fuel?  As they say:  follow the money trail. The   power companies…mostly run by  white men & the people they employ,  have a huge lobby, and they pay our politicians to be and remain stupid. Ok, maybe not stupid. Poorly informed and scientifically illiterate.  Imagine, they are turning corn—food!!  into fuel.  Net energy loss right there.  Makes no sense.

This is not a some day thing.  Maybe in the 1950’s it was.  It is no longer.  Well, what can I say? The politicians have convinced  a vast majority of people it is worth dying for ‘democracy’ in the Middle East as the soldiers and their families are losing their homes in the USA.

They do not know more about this stuff than you do.  Check it out.

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2 Responses to “Do the math”

  1. Jolie Says:

    Perfectly composed articles , regards for selective information .

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