Political Reform

Energy Page 2


 4  Pure electric cars.  This is not really an energy source, nor a solution.

An electric car is only as clean as the generator that created the electricity it uses.  Electric cars may be a great addition to our energy policy, but it depends on having a good source of electricity.

    5  Cap and trade.  Again, this is not an energy source, this is just a regulatory change.

There are several problems with this policy.  First it doesn't really reduce pollution, it only puts a charge on it.  Basically you just tax your heavy industry out of your country, costing you jobs and damaging your economy.  The pollution isn't prevented, it is only moved to a third world country with lax environmental laws.  This policy fails the exportability test since it is only a local solution, and depends on shifting pollution somewhere else.  If you were to try it world wide where would you shift your pollution to?  This policy also makes no effort to actually solve any of our pollution or energy problems, it just puts an extra tax on those problems in the hopes that someone else will come up with a solution.  Rather than waste time and money trying to persuade someone else to solve our problems for us we could use our time and money better by trying to solve those problems ourselves.

Now On to the Solution

    The first stage to my plan is to switch to Nuclear power.  Nuclear power is 100% clean energy.

Noted environmentalists, including a founder and former president of Greenpeace have concluded that nuclear power is the best option.  The traditional downsides are the risk of meltdown (look at articles on japan) and what to do with nuclear waste.
I will address those by demonstrating that all of the traditional problems with nuclear power have been solved.

    The first problem is the danger.  This problem has been corrected in modern reactor designs using several combined technologies.  First you can alloy the fuel rods with metals that expand a lot with heat.  This causes the rod to get too large at high temperatures and thus the reaction slows down on its own without the need to insert control rods.  This thermal expansion design puts an absolute limit on the temperature of the reactor, and will prevent any breach of containment.

    The second design solution is to design the cooling system to work on gravity, so that all the pumps can fail, and the system will continue cooling properly without any human intervention.

    The second problem is the nuclear waste.

    The solution here is that a spent nuclear fuel rod has only had about 2% of its fuel consumed.  All you have to do is melt it down, reprocess it and make a new fuel rod, adding the missing 2%.  Reprocessing not only solves the problem of storing nuclear waste, it also reduces our need to mine new uranium.

    The third problem is exportability.  Can we export this technology to everyone?  Due to worries about Iran and other similarly aggressive countries trying to obtain nuclear weapons our current nuclear reactor technology is not exportable to 100% of the world.  However we can invest in developing reactors based on Thorium instead of Uranium.  Thorium reactors would be 100% exportable because they do not produce Plutonium.