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Nuclear Disagreements

There is this vibe among the Swedish mainstream rightwing politicians that climate change is real, but, “isn’t gonna be a problem once we have enough nuclear plants”.

As with all optimism, I sure hope they’re right, but it’s scary because I don’t see it as that credible since it’s such a slow and expensive solution compared to faster tracks like sun and wind. The recency bias of market capitalism put us in this mess but might benefit us if it steers us away from nukes.

A lot of the same battery and motor tech that’s useful for nuclear in the distant future is useful for sun and wind now, so people should really get off the “lol, we’ll just wait for nuclear, and burn gasoline until then” crazy train and start switching to electric (and frugality) right now. Whether as a stepping stone or as the be-all, end-all.

It’s also based on a misconception. It’s easy to get the idea that “that’s a problem for those 250000 years from now, not us”, but they have it backwards. It’s gonna be a problem for everyone up until then.

That said, my biggest prio is the most imminent destructions, with a special focus on climate change, and right now, it seems to me that fossils are worse than nuclear. A lot of people from the left are like “lol, no, sun and wind is fine” and I’m like… I hope you’re right, but, I’m glad the eggheads are considering all options here!

Generation III and IV reactors have not been panning out in practice so far.

That’s something to keep in mind in two respects.

On one hand, if you find yourself in a “debate” with some dude who bought into the LFTR hype on Slashdot ten years ago, don’t get flimflammed. There are some kinks left to sort out in this vaporware. On the other hand—if some of these ideas do pan out, that might be a good thing and might cause me to soften my stance on nuclear a bit.

One thing both sides of this issue need to keep in mind is the Jevons paradox. “Nuclear is enough” and “sun/wind is enough” and “we need nuclear and sun/wind” all have it wrong since there’s no limit to the hunger of Galactus and Sinistar. In addition to greener sources of power, we (as a planet) need to figure out a way to use it efficiently and frugally, and endless-race-to-the-bottom tech like Proof of Work needs to die. It should go without saying that a mindless “put in power for money” faux Sampo like Bitcoin is the dumbesr idea of all time, but here we are.