Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Climate N Test

Photos: Courtesy Oceana 2011 (c)

News from  Moscow and St.Petersburg has it that the launch of the first Russian floating nuclear reactor in the Arctic is now approaching. 

Announcements have also now been made in Canada and China that these two countries also want to build and operate floating nuclear reactors, 

And now we know that the main reason to invest in this is to supply the energy needed to drill for oil and other minerals in the Arctic and other deep oceanic regions.

It would be good to know what the conventional nuclear industry thinks of this. We have all seen in the last two decades the nuclear industry putting itself forward as solution to climate change (notwithstanding unresolved issues of nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, non-proliferation, liability and other costs). But of course, using nuclear technology to extract oil from the deep ocean, including the Arctic, fatally undermines all nukes claims of climate-friendly credentials.

So, I think it'd be interesting to ask nuclear power plant operators like Electricité de France, Areva, Tepco (Japan, of Fukushima fame/shame), Electrabel,  Iberdrola, Endesa, or E.On (to only name a few), and nuclear technology suppliers like Siemens, Toshiba, MitsubishiSuez, or Bouygues (to only name a few, again) what they think of that floating reactors business; and to challenge them to say all with one voice: "we don't like that oil drilling and seabed mining business; the global climate system cannot afford Arctic oil drilling; it's a recipe for disaster; the risks are too high; we won't put our fingers in it; we ask our colleagues from the nuclear sector in Russia, Canada and China to drop it".

Paris, the centre of climate policy this year (and also to a large extent the nerve centre of the nuclear industry worldwide -- 80% of the electricity consumed in France comes from nuclear reactors) could be a good place to launch this Climate N Test.