Nuclear energy in Europe

Poland is starting to build a fleet of large reactors TODAY, immediately after signing contracts. They have this one great chance to bury Germany economically.

Germany’s economy was based on large and middle-sized industrial companies running on cheap energy. Where did that energy come from? It came from three places: brown coal under German soil; insecure Russian pipeline natural gas; and its outstanding nuclear reactors, the world’s most prolific. Germany urged Europe to tax its own brown coal so severely that it multiplies the cost by more than four times. So its own coal isn’t cheap any more.

Russia always meant its gas to be a weapon of control. They simply turned off the flow at a time of their choosing in order to assist with launching a war. Only after the flow was stopped did the Nord Stream pipelines get blown up, locking the loss into place. Now Germany has to buy liquefied gas from ships, including from Russia. It’s much more expensive than the Russian pipeline gas used to be. So the cheap gas is gone.

That left only nuclear for cheap energy. Germany just months ago in late 2021 had enough ultra-cheap clean nuclear electricity to power a third of its industrial sector at extremely competitive rates. Those plants would last for 50 more years at least. But Germany shut down nuclear anyway.

Now there is nowhere for German companies to turn to get cheap industrial (read: steady, long-term contract) electricity. German factories can’t buy cheap power just from wind and solar because those energy sources can’t guarantee they’ll be available. And once you stabilize their power not with cheap nuclear but with expensive coal and gas, it’s not cheap enough to be competitive.

Meanwhile Poland opened a new natural gas pipeline from Norway and is launching their nuclear program construction today. This means if you’re a German industrial manager looking to locate the next multi-billion investment that must purchase power for the next few decades, you can’t justify placing it in Germany. But you might justify placing it in Poland to coincide with the arrival of its nuclear power. And if you’re a German small business owner, you can’t get the cheap electricity that your French competitors get from their giant nuclear fleet. Might as well move over the river to France if possible, or close down if not.

Germany can still turn its nuclear fleet back on within a few years but may destroy it instead at the behest of a tiny number of ideology-poisoned politicians. I predict that this colossal energy system shift will reverberate through the rest of this century.

Comment: These comments come from Mark Nelson, a holder of degrees in nuclear energy, mechanical and aerospace engineering and a degree in Russian language and literature. He is the managing director of the Radiant Energy Group and works around the world to help create a sustainable pronuclear movement. The news that Poland is now on the road to nuclear power is what brought me to Mark Nelson. The Polish reactors won’t be on line until 2033, but I guess that’s fast for reactors. The design work started the day after the contract was signed and site work is to commence 18 months from now.

Reading further on Nelson’s Twitter feed, I see the CDU pledges to restart most of the German reactors if they gain power in Berlin. Eight of the shuttered reactors have been kept in decent shape and can be restarted quickly. I would think that point alone could alter the next elections. Other European countries are considering or planning on opening nuclear power stations. China has four of the Westinghouse designed AP1000 large modular reactors planned for Poland already on line and six more under construction. In addition to the Polish and Chinese reactors, this is the same design that recently came on line in Georgia… the state.

So the world is finally getting serious about moving away from fossil fuels. And this time we’re not falling for the nuclear is nothing but bad trope. Even a lot of environmental groups have now seen the error of their ways. If you want to swear off oil and coal, you better have something to replace it reliably. That is unless you all plan on living on roots and berries and living in hollowed out trees.


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33 Responses to Nuclear energy in Europe

  1. Kim Sky says:

    U.S. STILL imports uranium from Russia. What if sanctions end that?

    uranium… i’d say that nuclear is pretty scary, the devastation to communities that mine the stuff and then there is the scramble for west africa etc…

    on and on…

    hey if we stopped war, there would be plenty of fossil fuels to go around?

    • walrus says:

      “Devastation to communities that mine uranium”?? I don’t know what you are talking about.

      I regularly visit Arkaroola wilderness resort that sits on top of roughly 30% of the worlds uranium reserves and we still can’t even find the edges of the deposits. General Atomics extracts uranium oxide by in situ leaching with hydrogen/ peroxide at Beverley and Honeymoon bore mines and BHP mines uranium along with gold and copper at Olympic dam mine. No environmental damage whatsoever. i go there regularly as do tens of thousands of tourists.

      Are you one of these green party lunatics with your genocidal fantasies of Net zero carbon dioxide production?

  2. Yeah, Right says:

    “Russia always meant its gas to be a weapon of control. They simply turned off the flow at a time of their choosing in order to assist with launching a war.”

    The chronology of that statement seems more than a little dubious to me.

    “Only after the flow was stopped did the Nord Stream pipelines get blown up, locking the loss into place.”

    Hmmmm. The causality that is implied by that statement is even more dubious to me, to the point of being deliberately misleading.

    I mean, honestly, what does the phrase “locking the loss into place” even mean?

    Does he imply that the Russians were afraid that their hand on the lever might, you know, slip or something? Or that the Germans might sneak into Gazprom HQ and turn the pipeline back on when nobody was paying attention?

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      It’s pretty simple. The pipelines weren’t blown up until Russian gas was no longer flowing to Germany through the pipelines.

      The phrase “locking the loss into place” means the pipelines were no more. They were bereft of life. They joined the choir invisible. Get it?

    • English Outsider says:

      Yeah, Right.

      There were four pipelines to North Stream. 2 for NS1, 2 for NS2. From memory, NS1 used Western pumps, NS2 Russian.

      Certification for NS2 was being slow walked before 2022. The Americans didn’t want NS2 in use so the Euros were playing pass the parcel with the certification for final approval. The Germans were passing the parcel to Brussels who were then going to pass it back. Meantime the Russians were testing NS2 with “technical gas”, whatever that is, in preparation for the start of supplying. All this was when “Project Ukraine” was just a gleam in the neocons’ eye so it was more or less business as usual. Not that business for Brussels ever means what ordinary mortals regard as business.

      Business as usual was overtaken by the recognition of the self-declared Republics on the 21st February 2022. On the 22nd, before the SMO, Scholz called a halt and stated NS2 would not be certified. So that was that one out.

      NS1 continued operating and was expected to do so. (“Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Germany’s gas supply was secured even without Nord Stream 2.”) Then there was some real mischief. Everyone having fun and games with the sanctions.

      The Germans were getting an ample supply of gas via NS1. On long term contracts and below current market price. That was what their industry relied on. Dirt cheap piped gas, reliable supply, that gave them a competitive advantage against much of Asian industry that used LNG. That German piped gas supply was carefully exempted from the sanctions. Borrell explained at the time that the sanctions were tailored to hit Russia without damaging the EU. Speaking from his padded cell, no doubt.

      But the Poles got too enthusiastic. They refused to take Russian piped gas on principle. They still ended up taking it though. They got it reverse flow from Germany via NS1, paying a high spot price for gas the Germans were getting more cheaply on their long term contract. Big spenders, the Poles. Open hearted. And dumb. I don’t suppose they ever managed to work out they were still using Russian gas.

      The whole set-up hit problems when the pumps for NS1 had to be repaired in Canada. The Canadians would not release the pumps – sanctions – and when they finally did the Russians wouldn’t use them. Because to use them would have infringed the EU sanctions! More fun and games.

      To be fair, there was more to it than that. The pumps were like jet engines and had to be handled with the same level of care. That meant they had to come sealed from the Canadian factory repairing them and sent straight to the user. Air delivery direct, avoiding risk of sabotage or accidental damage. But the pumps repaired for NS1 were put on open exhibition in Germany before sending on to Russia. Scholz and the press and anyone else who cared to come along having full access to the exposed mechanism. So not the flawless chain of custody from repairer to end user that engineers like to be sure of.

      I still reckon the Russians were messing around, though the letter of the law was certainly with them. Anyway the Germans were still getting their gas cheaply, reduced flow apparently. And to make sure they had enough in storage for the coming winter they bought big on the spot market, causing howls of protest from their fellow Europeans who hadn’t been so quick, and driving spot prices up through the roof.

      It was the most hilarious episode of the whole sanctions shambles. Topped by Habeck desperately cruising the Gulf States begging for LNG and not getting much of it.

      Much of the problem was not sanctions related. It was caused by the fact that the EU had been going for spot price purchasing and not wanting to give the Russians fixed price contracts.

      The problem for the Russians was that they didn’t want to invest in natural gas infrastructure at their end unless they had fixed term contracts that would cover the cost of it long term. A further problem was that the Europeans wanted to go for Net Zero and phase out fossil fuels eventually. So not much incentive for the Russians to focus on the European market and they were intending to shift supplies from Germany to elsewhere anyway.

      So buying spot meant the EU got gas cheap at times of over-supply, which they did for a while, but were left high and dry when the market got tight. Brussels doesn’t seem to have heard of hedging. Only the Hungarians, seeing what was coming well before, had arranged cheap long term contracts with the Russians and stuck to them, Orban explaining that politics was one thing but keeping his country warm was quite another.

      Then someone mysteriously blew up the pipelines. But please don’t talk about that in Germany. It’s just not done. Still repairable, apparently, those pipes, but getting less so as time goes on. Poor old Scholz. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer neocon. If he gets the pipes repaired the Greens will murder him. If he doesn’t he’ll murder German industry. His Barbarossa II has turned round and bit him. Hello Scholz’s DIY Morgenthau plan.

      There is very little funny about the Ukrainian war but the whole sanctions circus was hilarious. Now all are buying Russian oil – not directly of course, that wouldn’t do – but through India or via under the radar ship to ship transfers of “Latvian Oil” on the high seas. At the appropriate mark-up. The fun and games has to be paid for somehow.


      I was insulated from all this. We use propane gas for cooking. I’d laid in several cylinders early on during Covid, just in case. We started to run out just when the European spot price hit the roof as a result of the Europeans having their fun. We expected to have to pay two or three times as much.

      To our surprise we paid only a little more than before. Whoever supplies our supplier had obviously heard of hedging.

    • Gordon Reed says:

      Have you read Seymour Hirschs account of the destruction of Nordstream? This is about US energy dominance and weakening Russia and eventuality the overthrow of Putin.

  3. babelthuap says:

    Reality is a hard pill to swallow for the western herd of feeble mindedness. The world does not work on solar and wind. It takes a village with a nuclear powerplant. If you don’t have one better get oil, gas and coal in the meantime unless you want to suffer and die. Obama has the largest gas tank in town for a reason:

    I have a couple of gas generators, stored fuel and lots of firewood. Do not follow the herd.

  4. Whitewall says:

    Decades ago I remember seeing proponents of nuclear energy standing along airport concourses holding signs saying something like ‘more people have died in Ted Kennedy’s car than have died from nuclear power’. Something similar anyway. Nuclear power generation today is far different in construction than the behemoths of two or three generations ago.

    For supposedly smart people, Germany sure fell into stupid fast. Go Green, go broke I guess.

    • TTG says:


      The memories of Three mile Island and Chernobyl are fading and nuclear power technology has improved a hell of a lot since those days. But I arrived in Germany in 1990 and Chernobyl still loomed over the German consciousness. My neighbors would point out all the material removed due to radiation around town. For several years, I lived in the shadow of a working reactor near the Rhine. There were no problems, but it was still ominous. To be honest, though, I found the Turkey Point coal-fired power plant on the Potomac more troubling. It has since converted to oil or gas.

      • Billy Roche says:

        TTG: to be honest, I find the idea of a world lit only by fire most troubling. Like you, I am frightened by the idea of living in a cave or hollowed out tree facing nature effectively naked. I’ve spent a little bit of time in the woods. There is nothing romantic about a cold, rainy week in the ‘dacks. I don’t think most “nature lovers” have ever had a good long dose of “mother”. I am mostly a libertarian. Yet I accept it is no longer 1796. Too bad for me but that’s reality. I also tend to be a nature lover. But nature must be exploited, so I don’t live in that tree or cave. The whole idea is management of extremes (all in moderation). In my neighborhood the Indian Point Nuclear reactor built on the Hudson R. has been SAFELY providing electrical energy for much of Manhattan and Westchester County for over 40 years. Every three or four years there is a big “todo” about tearing it down. It’s still there and will, I suspect, be there for another 10 or so years. The modern world exists b/c of electrical energy and today there is no practical alternative to oil and coal. Can anyone seriously conceive of life, economically, scientifically, medically, culturally, intellectually w/o electricity. Modernity demands power.

      • Fred says:


        TMI killed no one. Chernobyl was a graphite moderated reactor without a containment structure and different operational standards. Turkey Point shouldn’t have worried you at all.

        • TTG says:


          TMI scared the crap out of everybody. That’s all it took to sour a generation on nuclear power. Chernobyl in Europe is the same way. I don’t think any European died from it, but they were all scared shitless. The Possum Point ash ponds and ash piles were within feet of the Potomac River and Quantico Creek. I sail and paddle in those waters. I made a mistake in calling it Turkey Point. I don’t know how I forgot a name like Possum Point.

          • Fred says:


            Turkey Point is actually in Florida, but hey… BTW Dutch politicians think cow flatulence is causing climate change, and the Irish government is joining in too. It does wonders for concentrating political power. The CTSO is in worse condition than NATO was three years ago.

          • TTG says:


            Yeah. I had a SMU exercise that involved Turkey Point. All the gaters were congregating around the warm water outlets. I glad that was before the freaken’ snakes. They might have a point about cow flatulence, but what are they going to do? Force everybody to eat tofu? Supposedly changing the cattle’s diet diet alleviates a lot of the farting and burping. Hell of a platform to run on, though.

      • LeaNder says:

        TTG, the decision was not in the least related to Chernobyl but to the much later Fukushima accident. … And it was, curiously enough, a Merkel decision. She had been very, very pro nuclear energy before and had led the respective ministry. Minister for the Environment and Nuclear Safety. Merkel got the ministry because the industry did not like the minister in charge of matters. Her first move in office was to fire his adviser too.

        In the case of Chernobyl, everyone, including you, would have considered lax maintenance and security to be the reason why. No? Even your expert above, maybe?

        But yes, La Hague got a lot cleaner, it seems. And more secure. But who would love to have a Sellafield, a nuclear plant, or a repository for nuclear waste next door? Not many it feels over here:

        UK research.

  5. elkern says:

    Interesting OP, though it glosses over some side-issues in a rather glaring way (the passive voice used for the destruction of the NS pipes; focusing on Russian LNG leaking into Germany while ignoring the boon to US/Texan oil/gas Corps).

    Safe nuclear power is achievable, but not easy. It requires a combination of Corporate ethics and effective Governmental regulation & oversight. I find it hard to have much faith in either these days, here in the USA; I hope Poland can get it right.

  6. leith says:

    Washington State has just one nuke plant. It’s 40 years old and some claim it can last another 40. But we mostly depend on hydroelectric, which produces over 70% of energy needs, more than 20 times as much than that nuke plant. Even wind produces more energy here than nuclear. Twice as much reportedly, there are 22 wind farms in the state. There’d be even more if we could ever get serious about offshore wind farms here along the Pacific Coast; they ain’t going to obliterate the whales no matter what Trump claims.

    All these modern Nuke plants seem safe to me. I’m not concerned with a meltdown. But spent fuel does put a kink in my thought process about nuclear reactors. Yucca Mountain is a pipe dream, Nevadans ain’t gonna let it happen in their state. Cooling ponds are filling up with spent fuel. And it’s my understanding they are risky and were designed for short term use. So some questions to the committee:
    How much longer can we depend on cooling ponds?
    How safe are these above ground dry cask systems that some plants are storing fuel rods in?
    What are they doing in Europe to safely store spent fuel and/or other radioactive waste?

    • TTG says:


      I just read yesterday that Tajikistan gets 100% of her electric power from hydroelectric and even exports some of that power. I think wind and especially solar is better suited for regional and local energy. Even the SMRs lend themselves to regional and local applications. I think the massive electrical grids dependent on distant power sources is an accident waiting to happen. Plus, I’m not inclined towards such centralization and monopolization.

      I think radioactive waste will become less of a problem with reprocessing. You’re right about the cooling ponds. That problem has to be addressed either by reprocessing or finally making a decision on long term storage. It can’t be stored just anywhere, but there are plenty of geologically suitable places within Europe for safe storage. The same goes for North America. The biggest impediment is NIMBY. The stuff we put in the ground for fracking will end up hurting us a lot more than buried nuclear waste.

  7. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Thanks very much to EO for a detailed and eminently plausible account of details regarding the NS pipelines.
    Meanwhile, Sy Hersh has provided (2023-09-26) assertions about American decision-making regarding the pipeline destruction:

    The Biden administration blew up the pipelines
    but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine.
    It resulted from fears in the White House that
    Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russia gas—
    and that Germany and then NATO, for economic reasons,
    would fall under the sway of Russia and its extensive and inexpensive natural resources.

    I note that that totally jibes with what TTG said above.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      The reasoning for the US blowing up the pipelines is definitely there. It makes sense, but I don’t see any proof for the US doing it either from Hersh’s suppositions or anyone else’s.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – if all that material didn’t have the legendary name “Hersh” on it, would anyone be paying it any heed? Some of the assertions look a little free and easy to me. This bit in the link struck me:-

        “But it (NS1) was shut down by Putin by the end of August 2022, as the Ukraine war was, at best, in a stalemate.”

        Contemporaneous quotes on the subject:-

        But Hersh states “Shut down.” Maybe. Or the Russians were having genuine difficulties with maintenance, given the sanctions. Or they were dropping a hint. Or they were intending to go back to full flow after maintenance. Or they were limping along with such resources as they had – they did have other pumps. Or, my own unsubstantiated supposition and I’m not going to the stake for it, they were being pernickety. Or…

        That’s a lot of “Or’s” to cover with the flat “shut down by Putin.” And a lot of “Or’s” to hang any conclusions on.

        Was there any official statement from Moscow “We are shutting down NS1”? I saw none. Nor any indication that’s what they were up to. On the contrary, the reason they’re still supplying a hostile Europe with fuel and raw materials is that they want to keep their reputation for holding to contracts no matter what.

        That reputation is important to them. Their big selling point to the countries in the alternative trading bloc now forming is precisely that they don’t intend to use the energy weapon. No one’s going to go to the trouble of putting in a pipeline, or enter into supply contracts, if they think the Russians will turn the taps off any time there’s a dispute. That’s why Putin said at the start of the SMO that they’d honour existing contracts with the Europeans but would decide whether to continue supplies when those contracts came up for renewal.

        This is a reason, though only one of the reasons, why the Russians are keeping Europe on life support even as the Europeans are supplying shells and missiles to kill Russian soldiers. They’re going to often ludicrous seeming lengths to keep that reputation for honouring contracts.

        Hersh, as so many American journalists, is blithely unaware of the wider European background against which this conflict is being played out. Against that background Hersh’s casual statement “it (NS1) was shut down by Putin” accords neither with the facts nor the reality of the situation in Europe.

        So too – “… as the Ukraine war was, at best, in a stalemate.” Is that Hersh’s view or is it a view he’s attributing to the Russians. If the latter, how do we know the Russian administration was thinking that? It does not accord with their actions or statements. It accords with what some bloggers and journalists were saying at the time but that is scarcely evidence for what the Russians were thinking.

        So too when Hersh is dealing with the American scene itself even though that, in contrast, is a scene with which he is intimately familiar. He’s surely building too much on this famous quote – “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”, even with all the qualifications he scrupulously details. That’s not proof the Biden administration was up to no good. More like proof it wasn’t, if you look at it another way.

        I don’t care for the baleful Mrs Nuland. A one woman WMD for any country she takes her cookies to. But she’s got her wits about her. It there’s an operation afoot to destroy infrastructure she’s not going to be dropping hints about it. I’d have thought all those remarks, and the press conference with Scholz as well, were more proof there was no such operation planned than that there was.

        So many assertions you can argue any way you please, Hersh’s story. He might be a journalist who’s struck gold. Or he might be building castles in the air. No way of telling.

        And though I’m sure he has the sources he says he has, were those sources giving him the real inside story? Or were they feeding him a line or had they been fed a line themselves? We’re really no closer to knowing who sabotaged NS1.

        My own speculation earlier was that Hersh had put a ferret down the rabbit hole and was waiting to see what came out. Not much so far. I read that link as him putting a few more ferrets in.

        • leith says:

          The Scandinavians continued an investigation long after Hersh pointed his finger at the US. Six months ago the Danish Defence Command confirmed that on 22 September 2022 submersible support ship Kaftan class SS-750 was one of six Russian Navy ships operating in the area where four days later the 2022 Nord Stream pipeline sabotage occurred. They were all ‘ghost’ ships with their AIS transceivers turned off, but the Danish Navy has photos. It made the news everywhere. Has Hersh recanted or is he claiming fake?

        • Keith Harbaugh says:

          Two more references (from Wikipedia) on why NS1 was shut down on 2022-08-31:

          LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom said on Friday that natural gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would remain shut off after the main gas turbine at the Portovaya compressor station near St Petersburg was found to have an engine oil leak during a joint inspection with Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE), which maintains the turbine.

          It said the turbine could not operate safely until the leak was repaired, and gave no timeframe for the resumption of gas supplies via the pipeline, which had been due to return to operation early on Saturday after a three-day maintenance break.

          Gazprom has said European Union sanctions have resulted in technical problems preventing it being able to provide the full volume of contracted gas through the pipeline.

          Siemens Energy rejects this and says there are no legal obstacles to its provision of maintenance for the pipeline.

          [CNN] In recent months, Gazprom has slashed flows through Nord Stream 1 to just 20% of capacity, citing maintenance issues and blaming Western sanctions on exports of technology imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

          • TTG says:

            Keith Harbaugh,

            I’m sure the Kremlin preferred to have oil and gas continue to flow to Europe over the infrastructure built over decades and the money to continue to flow from Europe for that oil and gas. the last thing they wanted was a stop to that two way flow. They wanted their invasion to occur without any Western repercussions. They chose poorly and everyone suffered.

          • English Outsider says:

            Keith Harbaugh – your details are more accurate than mine. I was writing from memory. Yes, there was more to the maintenance problem.

            More to all of it. In the wave of proxy war fever that swept Europe in 2022 – how would you say that in German? Stellvertreterkriegsrausch? Sounds suitably formidable anyway – none looked at the fiddly details. But details matter. While we were getting our vicarious thrills there were all sorts of fiddly details that got glossed over.

            One fiddly detail. I said above that Berlin had spooked the market by spending big on storage. But their gas storage wasn’t like the massive ready to go fuel reserves the Americans had. It was more top-up storage to tide them over price spikes or supply hold-ups.

            It’s pumped into a damn great cave, as I remember. Then you have to get it out of the cave. Apparently you can’t just turn on the tap. The drop in temperature as the gas expands can freeze the valves. So piped gas, which is warmer, has to be mixed in to stop that. So they still need a fresh supply – Oh my God! Don’t tell me we have to get that from the Russians! – to use the old. Or they could heat the valves, I suppose, which itself would require energy.

            When I was using propane gas for commercial purposes we had the same problem. Ice rings would form on the outside of the cylinder and the pressure would drop. Or the flow would stop altogether. The lads used to put a blowtorch to the cylinder to get the gas out. This was not a practice I encouraged.

            No doubt the Germans, who are genuine aces at technology and engineering when the clown show in Berlin isn’t screwing them up, found less primitive solutions.

            Then there was the Russian insistence on paying for the gas in roubles. That got sorted out with a somewhat dubious fix but it hinted at a wider problem. A problem few care to talk about, even the hotshot financial experts. Really fiddly details.

            Europe needs stuff from outside. Raw materials, fossil fuels, all sorts of stuff. Plus all the things we used to make for ourselves but now increasingly buy in. Play what games you like with currency exchange there has to be something real going to the outside to pay for it. Stuff like tractors or elevators or BMW’s or whatever. Or services if, like us Brits, you happen to be good at those. Until very recently we pretty well reinsured the world.

            But, and it’s a hellish but, if you refuse to supply stuff to outside why should outside keep supplying stuff to you? And sanctions were a step towards refusing to supply stuff to outside.

            Borrell, the padded cell merchant applauded in my previous comment, had a moment of sanity and put it all very concisely: European industry survived on two supports. The supply of cheap fossil fuels that gave them a competitive advantage over the Asians. And full access to the global market.

            Those were our twin supports and since Germany is the industrial colossus of Europe – or was – Borrell was describing what kept Germany prosperous.

            Having had that moment of sanity Borrell and his mates retired to their padded cell and set about merrily demolishing those twin supports. Deutschland unter allem might as well have been their motto. And Europa über alles the Golden Prize. Didn’t come off.

            So damned irritating. I really liked the old Germany. And they threw it all away. Just so that Scholz and his pals, all hat and no cattle Johnson among them, could cheer on a bunch of neo-Nazis going for the old old Herrenvolk act.

            More fiddly details, examining the Bandera phenomenon, and a whole lot of time spent in Europe avoiding that examination. Tell an Englishman or a German there are real live Nazis still surviving in the wild and they’ll stuff their fingers in the ears, close their eyes, and howl back “Russian propaganda!” Solves a lot of problems, stuffing fingers in the ears, closing the eyes, and howling that. Solves all problems, really. Until it doesn’t.

            So many details. A real job taking them all in. Too much like hard work. Easier to howl with the neocons and revert to the Cold War default setting. Easier and for most more fun. What else can one call those times of happy howling but Crazy Time? The old White Tiger come again, that Europe of 2022 and, economically speaking, courting the same fate. Chumps.

            And funny as all hell, watching the all singing all dancing Great European Sanctions Circus. Until you find out what we pushed the Ukrainian PBI into. No fiddly details there. Nor any fun. Just the most wanton sacrifice of our proxies yet seen.

            Still can’t quite believe it all really happened. I’d have been happier, I suppose, if, like most Brits, I’d spent my time pretending it hadn’t.

          • leith says:

            English O –

            In many cases it’s the regulator freezing, not the tank itself. Pour some warm water on it. And in the future insulate it. But don’t let anyone near that tank with a flame if you value their life.

  8. Fred says:

    LOL consultant advertising pitch heard around the world. A decade from now Poland may have an operational nuclear reactor? Better call Mark so he can sell you some more consultancy work.

    Where will Poland get experienced nuclear plant operators and maintenance staff – a decade from now? Tsk tsk, let’s not ask. Better not ask if Germany was using that natural gas solely for electricity generation (they weren’t). Nor ask why France exports so much of their own electricity rather than lower rates for their own citizens. Don’t ask why the German people can’t possibly elect other politicians who would change the utility regulations on coal to allow “climate friendly ” coal plant operations.

    Don’t think Niger either. ‘Cause unlike France, Poland will get all their uranium from elsewhere. Nor should one ask if there are any other financial incentives for anyone to damage both the Russian and German economies by regulations and NS pipeline destruction. If sure following the money will only get you trouble, not answers.

    • TTG says:


      This guy is definitely tooting the nuclear power horn. That’s his shtick.

      Where will Poland get trained operators or training for operators? How about the Czech Republic, Finland, Ukraine, Sweden, Slovakia. Those countries all have multiple reactors. If Germany doesn’t start hers back up, there’s another talent pool. Where will they get fuel? Perhaps Kazakhstan. They’re the leading producer in the world.

      • Fred says:

        Kazakhstan is in the CSTO. I don’t think Poland will like the price.

        • TTG says:


          You missed the leader of Kazakhstan’s message the other day about supporting the sanctions against Russia. Sure the border will continue to leak smugglers, but that was quite a statement.

  9. different clue says:

    I remember a couple of years ago skim-reading the book Storms Of My Grandchildren by the NASA atmospheric scientist James Hansen who worked out the relationship between atmospheric carbon-load increasing and earth surfacespheric heat-load buildup.

    In the middle of that book were two and a half pages on nuclear power. Hansen begins those two and a half pages by disclaimerising them in advance to the effect that he is not a nuclear engineer, just a reasonably well educated layman doing his best to understand these things.

    He then goes on to describe work done at Argonne National Lab and elsewhere on approaches to nuclear power which made possible using every fissile stairstep down the destabilization and decay ladder to extract heat to make steam to drive the generators. He claimed that the Argonne NatLab researchers had found a way to use all the fissile products within the nuclear fuel rods? pellets? chunks? all the way down to only 3% of possible theoretically possible radionuclides remaining in existence in that fuel, and all at a strictly low-level of radio-breakdown intensity. And that remainder could be baked into glassy spheres ( “vitrified”) for safe storage.

    I don’t know what name he gave to this nuclear fuel use process, but I would think of it as “full fast breeder reactor” fuel use. The so-called “fast breeder reactor” was in fact a flimsy techno-coverup for the real purpose of generating plutonium for extracting through “reprocessing” to make plutonium bomb cores with. It would be better to call the so-called “fast breeder reactor” by a more truthful name such as ” half-fast breeder reactor”. When interest was lost in mass-extraction of plutonium for mass-making of atom bombs, combined with concerns that lots of countries could set up their own half-fast breeder reactors in order to extract their own plutonium for their own bombs, the half-fast breeder reactor process was abandoned out of proliferation concerns.

    And the abandoned half-fast breeder reactor concept was used to discredit the full-fast breeder reactor concept by misleading association. And the full-fast breeder reaction experiments, data, plans, etc. were aggressively and belligerently shut all the way down. That’s the way I understand Hansen writing about it.

    Hansen would like to open the full-fast breeder reactor plans, knowledge, etc. all the way back up and have us build as many full-fast breeder reactors as we need in order to be able to shut all the coal plants down without any loss of any electricity at all.

    Hansen and other climate-scientists for nuclear power were featured in a Scientific American article called Nuclear Power Must Make a Comeback For Climate’s Sake. Here is the link.

    And very recently I read this article about “another” young Swedish eco-activist not much older that Greta Tunberg who has criticised Greenpeace for opposing nuclear power and who is , I believe, trying to sue all the relevant people to get nuclear power put back on EUrope’s list of “sustainable energy sources deserving gover-subsidy and support”). Here is the title of the article . . . “Young climate activist tells Greenpeace to drop ‘old-fashioned’ anti-nuclear stance
    Swedish teenager Ia Anstoot says group’s ‘unscientific’ opposition to EU nuclear power serves fossil fuel interests” And here is the link.

    • leith says:

      different clue –

      They are using that vitrification-to-glass process to encase 80-year old nuclear waste at the Hanford Site here in WA. That’s the place that produced plutonium for the first test at Trinity and for Nagasaki’s Fat Man. But the process is extremely slow, there have been several radioactive leaks during the procedure, plus costs are an order of magnitude higher than the contracted price. Does the process work for full-sized fuel rods? They can probably figure that out at another huge leap in cost. I wonder if they are doing it in Europe, or China.

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