By Pascal Chevrier
The use of nuclear power is neither a political nor an ideological issue; it is the most powerful scientific-economic breakthrough that happened during the 20th Century. The scientific and physical economic aspects of nuclear power have not been acknowledged by any of Québec’s political leadership; the political parties have shown no understanding of these attributes whatsoever. Our concern is that they are not alone; this is why we submit the present article to the scrutiny of all our fellow citizens.
As humanity is confronted with the biggest financial-economic crisis it has ever lived through and a set-up for potential world war in the Middle-East cockpit, we citizens, must choose to either sink with it into a new global dark age or affect an evolutionary change that is lawfully crafted on the anti-entropic behaviour of our universe. The latter would assure our common survival, but meanwhile, contradictory decisions are being made by our political leaders…
Case Study: The Shutdown of Gentilly-2
The recent statement by Parti Québécois (PQ) leaders calling for closing the Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor comes as no real surprise as it was already a known intention of the party, specified in their latest electoral platform. The declaration was made two weeks after the September 4th election of a PQ-minority government, without a rational explanation of the decision other than the green ideological fad of so-called “renewable” energies and some tax money-saving rhetoric. In fact, the majority (3 out of 5) of Quebec’s political parties running for the last provincial elections had already written nuclear energy out of Quebec’s future. While both the Liberals and the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) were advocating the refurbishment of the nuclear plant; they were doing so for the wrong small-minded reasons. Obviously, distrust and anger has been growing especially from the families of the 800 specialized employees that will be losing their jobs due to the shutting down of the power plant.
With the intention of panicking the public into agreeing to the shut down of Gentilly-2, a documentary was shown on September 17th on the Télé-Québec television channel titled Gentilly or not to be in the wake of the announcement. Nothing grandiose has to be said about the documentary, which began with footage of nuclear bomb explosions, but the intent is clear: who could trust an energy source of that type? Then paranoia sets in with a barrage of frightening reports on the dangers of radiation, possible catastrophes that could happen in the future, the complications of waste disposal, environmental contamination, stillbirths, etc…
Once upon a time, Québec could have been a leader in nuclear technology. Hydro-Québec’s plan in the 1970s was to build about 30 nuclear reactors along the St Lawrence River- an opportunity missed when the PQ government of the time voted to indefinitely halt the construction of new nuclear plants. Both succumbing to, and encouraging the hysterical fear promoted by the environmentalist lobby surrounding the dangers of nuclear technology, it was arranged that dams were to be built in James Bay and Manicouagan region instead. Quebec then became a world leader in hydro-powered systems. . The dream of having a nuclear powered Quebec was dropped and forgotten.
It is important to note that the arguments for exiting nuclear, and replacing it with lower grade energy sources such as wind and solar are founded upon the unscientific fallacy that energy must only meet household “electricity” needs. But Nuclear technology is not only about providing electricity. It has many other purposes. Carbon-14 is used to date archaeological findings; medical isotopes are used for either imaging and/or therapy. Shortages occurred when our ChalkRiver reactor which produced more than 50% of the world’s medical isotope needs had to be shutdown for over a year. Nuclear is a denser form of power that can be used to desalinate water, to procure new isotopes, and power heavy industries which could never exist under lower “renewable” energy sources.
The Empire: making a bloodless killing
Since the end of World War II, many organizations have been founded by individuals formerly associated with the eugenics society’s leadership, many of them crown-bearing. They decided that their Empire would prevail through new ways of making population reduction acceptable to their dumb subjects. They chose wildlife conservation or if you prefer, environmentalism. After years of propaganda that has shaped popular opinion into believing that mankind is the environment’s top enemy, this ideology is now becoming a new “Malthusian” dogma whose mantra has become “don’t feed the poor/ save the environment”! The pro-development and anti-war policies of two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King Jr were sabotaged and turned into an anti-human religion and the world economic system was transformed with the 1971 destruction of the Bretton Woods System into a clash of two mutually contradictory polarities. Short-term financial profits under a monetarist logic were set up on one side and an anti-science population reduction ideology on the other. These assassinations, of the political and moral leadership of the 1960s, were meant to usher in this new paradigm of cultural pessimism.
The Club of Rome and other think tanks have published books like “The Population Bomb” and “Limits to Growth” to warn of impending doom if the world’s population is not culled rapidly. Today, in 2012, Prince Philip, the Queen’s consort, and his financiers’ acolytes still promote a maximum “carrying capacity” of the Earth of less then 2 billion people. The most important tool this oligarchy has, is our uneducated fear. This ignorant fear can lead not only to the denial of the necessary technologies for third world countries to develop, but also a denial of those similar advanced technologies so necessary to our own survival. Since the shift into “post-industrial consumerism” that followed the counterculture revolt of 1968, western culture has almost entirely lost the idea of producing for the needs of the future, choosing instead the immoral path to hell founded on the baby boomer motto of “live for today”.
The insane fear of radiation
The illustrious physicist Edward Teller used to joke that a man would get more radiation from sleeping with two women than living next to a nuclear plant. Though you may or may not find this image offensive, it is still nonetheless true. Radioactivity permeates every inch of our universe. It is in the food we eat, in the soil we step on, it is emitted from the Sun that shines upon us and even originates from the cells in our own body! The doses of radiations we receive from artificial sources –such as nuclear plants- are infinitesimal in comparison. For example: “Every year, Canadians are exposed on average of about 1.8 millisieverts (mSv) from natural background radiation. This means that in one year, residents living in Trois-Rivières and Bécancour get 900 times more radiation from natural background radiation than from the man-made radiation of Gentilly-2.” Some might ask the question “What is the dose of radiation that’s normal for a human being?” There is no satisfying answer that anyone can give beyond a certain minimum and maximum bracket. Some argue, supporting their statement with LNT, that any exposure to radiation is harmful, regardless of what the doses may be, and therefore such people will develop a sophistry that will conclude that, “half the dose of radiation will cause half the amount of cancers”. These are clearly simplistic views that reflect a profound ignorance on the part of the interlocutors. Not only is a certain amount of radiation necessary for life, but low dose radiation within certain bandwidths has been proven to both extend longevity and combat cancer!
Don’t buy gold… Increase energy-flux density!
An elementary question that must be asked is: What gives value to anything? Whether it may it be gold, wood or, even uranium, from where and to what end does its value arise? Think of our old relative, the caveman. What did he value? What was useful to his survival? Some tools, yes, but what is the principle permitting for the power of tool-making? What is behind the bronze and iron ages, what made them possible? It is important to get this question right, since these new tools were more valuable to our ancestors and to human civilization than any precious mineral or metal. What is the underlying principle that carried out these discoveries? Creativity is our human gift, and the concepts applied and enhanced every time a fundamental discovery is made is what we call the concept of energy flux density, or otherwise the principle of fire developed at length by Lyndon LaRouche in many of his economic papers.
Energy flux density is the standard by which energy production must be studied and must define which form of energy among a given spectrum of choices is chosen by society. Physical economics, the modern science founded by Gottfried Leibniz, was developed around the concept of steam-powered machines applied to enhance the work of mankind while alleviating the need for capital intensive human or animal labour. The per capita and per square kilometre output of energy is the valid measure to understand which energy production will be able to power cities of two thousand or two million citizens. The readers should look at a very good study on the subject for more extended data. Using this criteria defines that nuclear fission power is an unbeatable option in today’s world, as it is orders of magnitude higher in output than wind, solar and fossil fuels-powered plants. Modern society necessitates a shift towards an atomic renaissance.
A fuel bundle of 500 mm long, 100 mm in diameter and weighing 22 kg could be carried in an overnight bag. When put in a CANDU reactor, it can produce as much energy as burning about 400 t of coal or 2000 barrels of oil. … wind and solar energy are not calculable under these metrics, but in terms of power potential, are orders of magnitude less. Quebec’s energy makeup is Hydro: 94.8 %, fossil fuel: 2.6 %, nuclear: 2.1 %, wind: 0.3 %, biomass/wastes: 0.2 %. That is to say, that 1 nuclear power plant (Gentilly-2) generates almost ten times more power then 393 windmills! How much land is wasted on a technology that will only fuel a new dark age?
Speeding up the Renaissance
While this article is being written, Japan has announced that it is not only reopening closed nuclear plants (40% capacity was shut down in the wake of the Fukishima hysteria in 2011), but is also launching the construction of new ones. The nuclear renaissance is also on its way in Russia, China and India as their governments have declared war on the short-term thinking so popular in the west. Advances in new technologies such as thorium-based fission reactors, fourth generation fission reactors and advances on nuclear fusion is being made by nations which possess an intention to assure stable sources of energy production, and durable growth for the coming centuries. Every society, in order to prosper, needs to increase its energy input/output without any limit in order to survive durably. That is not an ideological statement. It is simply the science of development and a fact proven by the experience of human history.
We, in the west, have to decide if we shall partake in this Renaissance and help it ignite faster or throw sand on the embers. Already some promising projects are underway such as Belgium’s Myrrha, which could eliminate the term “nuclear waste” by transmuting the radioactive elements into new non radioactive material. Canada’s CANDU reactor technology is already found in 6 other countries around the world. We were among the first to advance the science of the atom, and we need to save this legacy. The new isotope economy lies before us.
Any questions? Let’s do it !
 Agir en toute liberté, Programme Parti Québécois, p. 23, (# 5.3 g).
 to set the record straight the Canadian Nuclear Security Commission (CNSC) wrote the short report on every falsehood in the documentary.
 The linear no-threshold model (LNT) is a model used in radiation protection to estimate the long term, biological damage caused by ionizing radiation. It assumes that this damage is directly proportional to the dose at all dose levels.
 Enquête sur la densité de flux d’énergie – par Benoît Chalifoux, http://www.solidariteetprogres.org/Enquete-sur-la-densite-de-flux-d-energie_06942
 Prometheus And Europe by Lyndon LaRouche: http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_97-01/001_lar_prometheus.html
 Ibid, Chalifoux.
 Ibid, Chalifoux.