« I'd rather praise God | Gene Expression Front Page | Interviews.... »
October 15, 2004

Now we're talking revolution, comrade

Another interesting entry for all of you, although not related in any fashion to the subjects of this blog, but since we're discussing Derrida I thought I'd bring up a topic a bit more fun: nuclear energy.

Wired has a great article, titled Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom, discussing China's interest in the latest and greatest of nuclear technologies: modular pebble-bed reactors. I've been interested in the subject of pebble-bed reactors for quite a while now after reading an article about them in The Economist. The greatest thing about pebble-bed reactors, other than that they are meltdown-proof and are environmentally safe (even though, unfortunately, it appears from the article that China has an extremely active environmental lobby like the West), is that they are far cheaper than larger, custom-designed reactors.

But the one excellent point made by the article is not only that China plans to build 30+ nuclear reactors over the next 15 years, and as many as 200 over the next 45 to produce 300+ gigawatts of output, but that all of this nuclear power could help China to jumpstart the growth of a hydrogen-based economy far ahead of the time it will take the West. Maybe it'll force the West (with the exception of France, who has many, many nuclear power plants) to reconsider our absurd policies regarding nuclear energy.

Let the revolution begin!

Addendum from Razib: Nuclear energy consumption top 10:

1. Sweden 7.74 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
2. France 7.26 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
3. Finland 4.31 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
4. Lithuania 3.92 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
5. Switzerland 3.71 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
6. Slovakia 3.33 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
7. United States 2.82 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
8. Bulgaria 2.67 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
9. Japan 2.47 terawatt-hours per 1 million people
10. Korea, South 2.46 terawatt-hours per 1 million people

So, if you want to get into it with a greenie-Left friend, and you are American, just tell them, "...but in France and Sweden...."

Posted by Arcane at 12:12 AM