Our Nuclear Future
Both Teller and Titterton wrote pieces in the 1950s dealing with Our Nuclear Future. The wonders of atomic powered cars, electricity too cheap to meter and a new age of human advancement.
The purpose for these nuclear musings was, in both cases, to “education” an allegedly ignorant public of the benefits of the programs these two men were engaged in at the time.
Teller was involved in the US nuclear weapons test program and Titterton the British nuclear bomb test program in Australia.
I must confess that the idea of a VW Superbug powered by 60 kilograms of strontium thermal batteries under its nose and an electric motor in its tail is a technically sweet one.
Apart from the fact that it would handle like a dumbbell and entire suburbs would have to be evacuated every time one hit a stobie pole or minced up in a collision.
Such a car would only be fuelled once in its life, when the STBs were fitted at the factory. When it ran out of motive power, the RAA would tow it to Volkwreck on South Rd. There, the owner would lead his team in recycling the machine of auto dismantlers and nuclear engineers.
The first problem the owner would face in the dismantling of a STB powered Superbug would be the safe removal and storage of the Strontium battery pack. Would any nuclear engineer be prepared to work at Volkwreck, happy to drive a forklift, lay under a car and remove rusty nuts and bolts in order to remove bits to sell at the front counter?
Including second hand STBs. “This one here is only 12 months old, the car it came from rear ended by a semi last week. The STB shield is totally intact. Guarantee 3 months. $15,000, 1/10th the price of a new one.” “OK, deal” says the buyer . Who then throws it in the back of a ute and takes it home. Where he uses it to power his home theatre system and air conditioner.
When Titterton and Teller wrote their pieces postulating on the wonders of nuclear power for the ordinary person they did so from self interest. The funding for their enterprises depended upon the public acceptance of the nuclear pollution their activities of the time produced.
Were their propaganda pieces meant to be believed automatically without thought by a dutiful and loyal public? Did disagreement imply disloyalty and dereliction?
The exact means of applying nuclear power to cars, as both men spoke of, were not exactly explained, but I conclude STBs are more practical than small fission reactors as power plants in the automobile.
If I were to actually believe Titterton and Teller. Which I don’t.
The Soviet Union was not the only nation to use and deploy Strontium Thermal Batteries very widely. They were used for many things, powering lighthouses and all sorts of things in remote areas.
With the demise of the USSR, the problem of decaying rusting STBs, thousands of them, became, and still is, an issue of public and individual health concern.
What today is a wonder in the lab, tomorrow becomes a mass produced item in a consumer society burdened with disposal problems. Let alone the issue of hazards inherent in everyday use. Accidents happen.
In the 1ate 1960s the Atomic Energy Commission saw a problem with the scaling up of nuclear power plants – reactors – which up to that time had been relatively small, with small cores, and with not much electrical generating capacity.
The fear was that a large, multi mega watt nuclear power plant might suffer various failure modes when various events occurred. And the primary danger was failure of containment.
In the nuclear world, the failure to keep a radio active substance sealed and shielded used to be a serious sin.
Apparently, in the modern world, it no longer is. Most of the words uttered and printed since March 2011 by nuclear industry has been an attempt to minimize the seriousness of its failure to maintain the seal on its industrial scale sized sealed sources. Maximizing its dictatorial powers and trivializing public concern via the abuse of psychology. Diagnosing as panic stricken the people who ask it questions and “demand their lives back”. Their farms back, their homes back, their jobs back, the certainty back, the control of their children’s well being back.
The response has been one akin to “BP on steroids” in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster. At that time BP bemoaned that it was under so much stress that it “wanted it’s life back.”
When the unsealing of a sealed source, at the industrial scale, today happens the first propaganda responders invariably utter diatribes that convey one concept: “No immediate danger, perfectly safe. We know all about this. Trust us.”
When people start to muse on these utterances, as people in democracies are allowed to do, authorities fear that the public debate is extremist.
In response to the extreme denial inherent in the initial statements issued by authorities in response to the initial event.
“One in two Australians will die of cancer”.
It was on the TV tonight, a Cancer Council advert shown during prime time.
When I was younger, the figure was 1 in 4. There are been remarkable progress in preventing deaths from heart disease, infectious disease, and so on.
We have to die of something and cancer is a common cause which claims many Australians. When one dies of old age, cancer is often the mode of passing.
Cancer can be lived with, according to the type one is afflicted with. My time will come.
Cancer is not the only health risk associated with exposure to radioactive substances. Years of chronic ill health can follow. One of the risks is metabolic disease and heart disease.
In 2011 Japanese authorities issued the statement that nuclear testing never hurt anyone. At the time British and Australian nuclear veterans and Aboriginal Australians were pursuing justice for harms suffered due to nuclear bomb testing.
I saw red. And still do at this utterly callous interference by Japan in the legal process.
In relation to nuclear events which expose people to nuclear pollution, there is no doubt that those exposed are at greater risk of specific cancers than those who are not. This has been repeatedly proven around the world by surveys of reactor workers and nuclear veterans.
Nuclear veterans in Britain and Australia are still of fighting for justice for the cancers and other health effects they suffered due to their deliberate exposure to 1. The detonation of atomic bombs. 2. Their service in areas of immediate fallout post blast. 3. Their service in areas deliberately contaminated with radio chemicals resultant from “safety tests” – the deliberate demolition of nuclear warheads to make sure, for instance, that a bomb would no explode if destroyed, eg, in a plane crash. Vulcan bombers were pretty good, but not totally immune from falling from the sky or from being shot down, or crash landing.
These men and their families, the veterans in Australia and Britain and New Zealand as well, and Canada, for at 1,500 Canadians were present at Maralinga, have had to fight for decades for justice.
At every turn, obstacles and denials have been placed in their way, their evidence refused and confirming evidence held by authorities have been suppressed. In Australia, Titterton himself helped suppress such information at the very same time he was ranting in public about the wonders of “Our Nuclear Future”. The future for nuclear veterans, Aboriginal people and others in Australia in fact turned out to be pretty bleak, pretty harsh and very cruel.
Modern statements about our nuclear future have recently been made in South Australia. Those who disagreed with the vision were labeled ignorant radiophobes by the promoters of the vision. Such people as Titterton and Teller probably never believed themselves in the atomic powered car. It would mean the spread of access, control and upkeep of sealed sources to ordinary people. Titterton and Teller in fact believed most strongly that the hermetic knowledge of nuclear knowledge, power and control should reside forever in the hands of a superior elite.
This is why Titterton censored and suppressed Hedley Marston, and ensured the exclusion of Sir Mark Oliphant from any participation in the Safety Committee. Titterton and Teller labeled their opponents “Communists”. Today, exclusion from participation in the debate, the blunting of opposition is based upon other false claims of crimes. Climate change denial, ignorance and fear are the charges of choice made by the nuclear elites.
1 in 2 Australians will die of cancer.
Does it matter at what age this occurs?
When the Manhattan Project was formed, it was designed as a series of hermetic compartments of knowledge, each separated from the others and controlled in a hierarchy of knowledge which was circular. At the centre were the civilians under Presidential control, who ordered the military. Groves was at the centre, also, but of course, he himself was subordinate to the Commander in Chief. Who communicated to Groves via the Presidential chain of command. Comprised of civilians.
When academics study the Manhattan Project, they tend to do so from within the spheres of their specific qualification and expertise. And so it is that the history books obey the very same compartments and ring of awareness with which nuclear industry was designed to have from the start.
Accurate over views are very important
Never again, if I can help it, will there be another Morning of the Magicians.
The Manhattan Project was charged to produced a bomb and a reactor. Everything else followed from that.
These musings, I maintain, apply to the people of Japan today.
Flinders and Adelaide Universities and their DOE funders would say “But nuclear can give you cheap hydrogen”
So can solar power. It could be done tomorrow.
The same stock exchanges that benefit from the sale of petroleum benefit from the nuclear industry. The charge by nuclear industry against it’s opponents is a phony one.
Neither industry represent the highpoint of science and possible energy technologies.
The militaristic culture of national nuclear programs in the electricity sector is a puppet show by organizations who mistakenly think they are above the will of the people. At least, this is the impression I have gained since March 2011. The dudes at the top acting like an out of control Groves, who was actually just following orders. The whole time. The structure of the TEPCO headquarters, down in Tokyo, was the tail wagging the dog of the Japanese Diet. And had been for decades.
When the military is not civilian controlled, it becomes a junta.
Nuclear industry will continue to exist. Fact. Should it be a Junta?
This is not a human made disaster unique to Japan. It is manifest in England and Australia most clearly and is the main impediment to the resolution of just cause of nuclear veterans. Being Australian, I do not have an American centric view. American can do what it likes, obviously.
Not all Nuclear Veterans are anti nuclear power. The resolution of the just cause of nuclear veterans and their families does not mean the dismantling of the British and Australian nuclear industries.
However, there is no way in hell civil nuclear power can afford to justly compensate its civilian victims. But don’t believe me, just ask TEPCO. They now have not 2 Yen to rub together. It is the taxes of the victims which must pay for the losses incurred by monumental organizational, procedural and design incompetence of long standing. And it has been known to be thus for just as long. This is negligence in the legal sense, regardless of act of nature. For the consequences were not only foreseeable, but were foreseen as early as the publications of the AEC of the 1960s.
The problem of nuclear plumbing, of cooling, of danger requiring the placement of reactors at sufficient distance from major cities to ensure some hope of national viability if a pipe broke and the power went out. Sill, on the authority of the former head of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, it is officially considered that, to quote “The Japanese reactors are among the best in the world” : Ziggy, 2012 . Thanks for damping down world wide concern Ziggy. Wonderful.
A solar – Hydrogen hybrid power station is far more technically sweet than any NPP as a source of high energy density power.
If Ziggy insists, a transitional technology, zirconium/water, heated by geothermal, could produce the hydrogen.
As we clearly saw in March 2011.
Steam is created at 212 degrees F. A uranium or MOx nuclear core can melt steel.
A bit excessive isn’t it? Like using an arc welder to boil a coffee pot.
In the late 1960s a huge potential problem was seen to exist in large nuclear power plants. There was a call for a technical fix from the US Atomic Energy Commission.
The proposed designs which resulted were held to be inadequate by independent scientist.
At the same time, the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear plant complex was in the process of design in the US and construction in Japan.
The only fix implemented by nuclear industry was one not based upon physical engineering.
Rather, it was one based upon social engineering. Entire nations inculcated but untrained. An entire nation trained in the realistic response to earthquake, but utterly unrehearsed in the means and methods of emergency response to reactor containment failure. Why? It would under the chosen fix.
In 1985 a former AEC Commissioner again called for a technical fix. Again, it did not happen. Again the response was more of the same.
Hormesis, the unproven theory, the concept of the beneficial dose, is part of the social engineering which passes for the needed technical fix.
It is part of the legal formula which denies nuclear veterans and other victims justice. It presupposes, even if it were true, an ability to control dose outside of the lab. In the real world. The theory implies an ability to dictate and prescribe to the healthy doses of radio chemical which would result in imprisonment for any doctor who so dosed a healthy person with the same substances in a hospital setting.
For these are controlled substances. A control from which nuclear industry is placed above.
The radio chemicals released by reactors are not like CT scans as claimed by the Japanese government and TEPCO. There is no off switch for their radio emissions.
In the case of the seriously, there is a beneficial dose of some of these substances. It is called the treatment dose.
Where there is no basis for treatment, there is no medically beneficial dose.
If there is no medical need, if there is no patient, if there is no informed consent, it is not medicine, but either experiment or social engineering aimed at limiting liability.
I do not foresee a day when the nuclear industry claim that people get sick due to a lack of exposure to radio active substances will ever be proven in the marketplace by the re emergence of radium water on the shelves at the supermarket or by the establishment of clinics in which the healthy can visit for an injection of Sr89 Cl. To stave off the condition known as “radiation deficiency.”
Hormesis is schema aimed at imbuing the pollution of nuclear industry with a benefit it does not contain.
The whole concept pre supposes the dose is singular and totally ignores the allowable life time dose.
It all adds up, and nuclear industry is not allowed a deduction for its contribution to the individual burden inevitably borne by us all.
Hormesis is a cult.
Adaptive response may be a basis by which the harms of high treatment dose radio therapy may be mitigated for the patient by the use of an additional dose of feeble low dose, low LET soft x ray.
This has absolutely nothing to do with any alleged harm reduction in the situation of nuclear emergency related to containment failure and radio nuclide emission resultant from reactor plant failure.
A failing nuclear power plant is not a cure for cancer. “not enough radiation is bad for you”: Flinders University, July 2011, in the wake of Fukushima. The failed NPP as a dispensary of medical accuracy. Quite a concept. Even in the course of ordinary life, the idea of a of prescribed dose for ionizing radiation deficiency disorder is beyond the pale and is logically implied by the statement. That and bigger uranium mines and the dust from it. It is a self serving statement, akin to Philip Morris promoting tobacco as an to digestion.