Monday, 25 April 2011


Sorry, folks. Things have been a bit quiet lately, one way or another. There's still news coming in, of course. Those out there who blindly support nuclear power, arguing that it is the sensible alternative to renewables, might like to know that even before its horrendous accident, the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan was considerably less reliable that the German wind power industry. It's true: for years, Germany's burgeoning wind power industry was achieving solid and rising outputs while Fukushima was all over the place. And then came the tsunami.

This is the real problem with all those dupes of the nuclear industry who claim endlessly, boringly and woefully inaccurately that a) wind power is just too unreliable, what with the variability of wind and all, and b) nuclear isn't unreliable (or hazardous, or anything like that) and is obviously so much cheaper than wind, and so we should just go nuclear and forget about renewables altogether (be especially wary of all those 'experts' out there who try to make out that nuclear is 'renewable' - it isn't!).

The simple fact (or, as bogus groups of anti-everything frauds like VVASP would put it, FACT) is that nuclear is amazingly unreliable, massively expensive, and when it goes wrong ... well, what more do we need to say? Interesting that, while the Fukushima nuclear plant was knocked out of service, none of Japan's wind turbines went wrong. So which is the safer, greener, more reliable option?

At the top of this post you'll see an image - basically, a work-in-progress - for a car sticker which one of our regular contributors is creating. If anyone is interested in ordering one (or more) for themselves, please contact us at the usual email address ( It currently looks like these stickers will be in colour and will retail at about £2.50 each.

Keep reminding those anti-wind hoodlums and numbskulls out there that the option they'd prefer (as long as they don't have to live anywhere near it) - nuclear - is more than dangerous, less than reliable, and, like, well stupid compared with lovely clean, green wind.

Happy Easter, everybody!

1 comment:

  1. Great to see you posting again. I agree with most of your anti-nuclear points, as well as your pro-wind ones, including your castigating of NIMBYs. However I don’t really think the nuclear/renewables thing is an either/or situation. Renewables are needed for their lack of emissions, and benefits they can provide in terms of energy security and decentralisation. However given the sheer amount of power we need, I think we need some kind of thermal generation for base load that we can crank up or down as required. Ideologically I’m against nuclear, and there are some very convincing arguments against it, however I think the technical reality is that we need it and/or gas with CCS (or other alternative fuels), as well as renewables and energy efficiency measures as our future energy mix. Ironically when I see some anti-nuclear arguments, loaded with puerile and misleading exaggerations, (or sometimes just outright lies), I’m reminded of your blog and the arguments anti-wind NIMBYs make. I think wind and nuclear have a fair amount of commonality and similar obstacles and misconceptions they need to overcome, although I do think the anti-nuclear case is stronger than the anti-wind one as implied above.

    Very good point you’ve made about reliability and load factors – it seems fairly common for people to believe that wind is only 30% ‘efficient’ (not that we’re talking about efficiency, but I think it’s fair to say most people won’t really understand the difference between that and load factor), while other conventional thermal generation is up near 100% load factor. I’ve done some analytical work on gas power and some of those engines spent a lot of time part-loaded or just out of action entirely, so I’d be surprised if they had a load factor of greater than 50% for the year I was working on them. Better than wind you may say, but wind farms don’t need to have £500 million per year spent on fuel.

    Keep up the good work!