Hello, my name is Sherwood Martinelli, and I am a anti-nuclear activist...not all in jest. I introduce myself as if I need to be someone in a 12 step program to cure my stinking thinking, and recover from my own bias against an industry and Energy, that is going to save us from ourselves, and Global Warming. Nuclear is the safe, secure vital Green Energy for our future! IT’S TRUE, I read it in the news, and in various assorted documents found on the DOE and other government web sites.
According to the NERAC/GNEP game plan for Bush’s Nuclear 2010 Initiative, one of the key components of selling the Nuclear Renaissance to the masses, is that the new generation of nuclear reactors slated to start coming online by 2015-2020 will play the part of the great Birth Mother of the Hydrogen Economy!
Those who control the energy control the world, and big oil and the utility industry will do whatever it takes to remain in power. That’s no surprise to those in the EV community, as they have watched our government, big oil and Detroit suppress battery technology for years as they maximized their own profits from an economy built on fossil fuels. Anything and anyone with a better idea had to be silenced, and if the likes of Ford or Chevron could not buy that better idea and shelve it, too often the other option saw a bright soul die an inconvenient death.
Though I have an interest in automobiles and the progression of the EV industry, at best I would consider myself a layman admiring the machines from the sidelines, talking occasionally with a friend about the Tesla Roadster, or the odd design lines of the Tango. I’m not an engineer, and not one for having grease under my fingernails... BUT, need a driver, count me in. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in and around the Motor Raceways in Louisville, Kentucky, as my mother was the secretary to the president of the track. My older brother spent most of his time in the pits peeking under the hoods of cars, while I wanted to be out on the track itself, attracted to the speed and grace of the machines, and the drivers that moved them so gracefully around the oval before a throng of screaming fans.
It was during this early stage of my life that I learned certain basic building blocks of fuel/energy consumption. Five years old, cheering my driver and his gallant steed down the home stretch only to see him suddenly begin to slow as two, three or more cars passed him as his great beast ran out of gas. Back then, all I knew was the unfairness of it all, my only thought being that my driver should have won. However, as I grew older I realized that fuel had a finite quality to it, and with that reality came a broader understanding of our earth, and her finite supply of certain natural resources, including fossil fuels. That awakening gave birth to my own interest in, and hope for the electric vehicle industry. Even back in the 60’s we all knew there were limited stockpiles of oil, and most of us over 45 remember the gas lines in the 70’s and the birth of the environmental movement.
My first automobile was a 1966 Plymouth Fury III Convertible with a
bored out 440 under the hood. It was a Mopar screamer that I bought off a friend
for $350.00. I
Who doesn’t love the classic lines of a vintage Pierce-Arrow. And
back in 1931, if
Nikola Tesla had not successfully demonstrated that this great
American Car could
perform quite well with an 80 horse power alternating current
electric motor with
no batteries, no one would have thought it was possible. Pity that
the secret of his
There were/are other promising anecdotal examples of great
inventions falling by
the wayside or simply disappearing, for those willing to search to
keep the dream
of EV’s alive. Joseph R. Zubris’s 1961 Mercury had installed an
There are other stories and other inventors, such as H.R. Johnson
who in 1979
was granted patent 4,151.431 for an electric motor that required no
As mentioned, I am a layman when it comes to the EV industry, my own interests over the years focused in on the environmental and health issues that are synonymous with the nuclear industry and their 103 aging, brittling reactors here in America. If you want to know about the Gaseous Diffusion Plants and the under ground radioactive plumbs threatening the Sciota and Ohio Rivers, I can involve you in a great conversation on the issue. Information on depleted Uranium, the creation of USEC in the 92 Energy Policy Act or the sad record of NRC’S dismal policing of their licensees, and you are in my ballpark. I’d not really paid attention to how often I would find references to the EV industry and battery technology on the DOE’s web site over the years until recently when a chance search on Google led me to an article on the Atlanta 7 and a new Energy Consortium going by the name of NuStart. As my fingers began working the keyboard of my laptop, one search leading into another, I realized I’d stumbled upon the key to Pandora’s box for DOE’s plan to revive the dying American nuclear industry through a devious scheme. The Nuclear Renaissance began to unfold before my eyes.
The meeting of the Atlanta 7 where NuStart basically came into being
with the full
blessing, and promised financial support of the DOE-to the tune of
tens of billions
What a brilliant deception, one that even “Slick Willy” would be
proud to call his
own, and in some ways he can, since the seeds for this Nuclear
1. The radioactive waste streams from the entire cycle of producing Nuclear Energy. Fifty years into the reign of the peaceful atom, and America’s best minds have not been able to come up with a safe means of disposal and long term storage of the nuclear wastes. As much as the NRC, DOE and the Nuclear Industry have tried to convince the public that the answer was/is Yucca Mountain, they have now all but admitted privately that Yucca Mountain does not work, and will not solve the waste issues.
There is an old adage that says, “If you cannot solve a problem,
enlarge it.” NERAC
has proposed this very suggestion with GNEP (Global Nuclear Energy
2. Contrary to NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) propaganda, nuclear is not an affordable energy source, and is unattractive to investors without significant government subsidies and protections from liability (see the 20 year renewal of the Price-Anderson Act as one example). Our taxes support the research and build costs of these reactors, host communities are forced to accept without question all the risks related to human health, environmental and financial costs, should a major incident occur (think Chernobyl), while a handful of investors own the reactor in a LLC and reap all the profits...great work if you can get it. But would we not be much closer to solving Global Warming if this money was being invested into truly Green and Renewable technology and energy?
3. Being realistic, DOE, NRC and NEI realized it would be at least
2030 before the
nuclear industry could start rolling out a new generation of nuclear
2050 before they had enough reactors to begin replacing the old,
that are failing across America. The key players on Wall Street
would not buy into
In short, the road to the nuclear future meant keeping America’s 103 aging reactors up and running 20-40 years beyond their original 40 year life spans. With the help of Congress, the NRC changed the game on reactor host communities, and the rubber stamping of these ancient relics began (currently, 50 licenses renewed, none declined). Despite known spent pool leaks, ignoring strontium-90 and tritium that are leaking into our tributaries rivers, associated risks with a terrorist attack on these reactors, the decision was made to keep them up and running through 2050 regardless of how much and how often host communities cried foul. To drown out the voices of dissent, Peter Moore (formally of Greenpeace fame) and Christine Todd Whitman former head of the US EPA were bought by the nuclear industry’s lobbying arm (NEI) and CASEnergy was created as a non-profit to sell the concept of Green Nuclear to the masses, and as long as a reactor is not being built in their own backyards, the citizens seem to be foolishly jumping onto the nuclear bandwagon in the name of ending Global Warming.
4. There still remained one last hurdle. Getting the big guns in the energy, oil and automobile industry on board for the ride. Most of the big utility companies bought all the coal rights decades ago, and the big oil and gas companies control both the oil and gas supplies in the same fashion. If you look at the big picture, a Nuclear Renaissance could cut into these industry titans profits. Faced with this reality, they would use their own influence to maintain the fossil fuel status quo in the automobile manufacturing arena. Enter the plan to have the Nuclear Industry act as the Great Birth Mother of the Hydrogen Economy. Reactors are used to produce Hydrogen that is sold to, and then marketed to the public by the big oil and energy companies... they get to sell down more of their oil/gas reserves in the 40 year transition period. DOE continues its decades long suppression of battery technology, and uses tax breaks and billions of dollars in federal grants to encourage Detroit to make the change over to Hydrogen fueled cars, ...and the deal with the devil is done.
Perhaps the ultimate cruel irony (or one of them) of this budding
is the Nuclear Industry’s carrot and the stick attempt to co-op the
EV industry into
supporting this Nuclear Renaissance. With unrestricted access to the
and the license to mass produce it, the EV industry is home free,
like the Phoenix SUV, Tango, Tesla Roadster, and Plug-In hybrids show us that
beautiful future reality... the Nuclear Industry is offering the EV
A cursory examination of nuclear’s past, coupled with its inability
to deal with
its radioactive waste streams is enough to reject their plans for a
Relicensing of aging brittle reactors that are already leaking
strontium-90 and tritium