Nuclear Fantasies

17 05 2023

ERoEI, or rather lack of it, is what will determine our future. So when a video explaining it really well comes along I like to watch. I’d never heard of Leigh Goering before. Initially he certainly sounds like an intelligent person with a great grasp of the subject of ERoEI and its history and the history of the deployment of modern energy systems like fossil fuels and renewables. I even learned quite a lot from this video. But then, he inexplicably starts waxing lyrical about nuclear power as if it wasn’t subject to all the limits of the other energy sources he obviously thinks have no future…

Over the past few years I have come across a lot of this nuclear fantasy. It’s where Simon Michaux shines methinks, no vested interest in any BS!

Leigh Goehring believes nuclear power has astonishingly high ERoEI while he correctly pulls non renewable renewable energy harvesting technologies down to realistic levels. A quick search on work by Charlie Hall who invented the idea of ERoEI reveals nuclear power has an actual ERoEI of 5~15…. This is what always happens when you include everything and don’t cherry pick stuff to make your favourite saviour look good.

Digging a bit further, I found that the literature is very divided on the EROI of nuclear, listing it at anywhere from 1:1 (i.e., uneconomical at any price) to 90:1 (i.e., the most bountiful energy source in history). Limits to growth will be nuclear’s last nail in the coffin. We’re already in a surplus energy crisis and there’s nowhere near enough left to save complex civilisation…. I think it’s ironic this video is titled “shortage of everything”, except, obviously, nuclear power…



7 responses

17 05 2023
les online

Karen Silkwood…The security protectors of the nuclear reactors had powers invested in them that state police forces envied…They didnt need warrents to enter your home, search through even your most intimate possessions, or to detain you – indefinitely.They needed merely to suspect you…The nuclear-energy reliant state is a police state…
As we’ve seen, the State exploits the idea of “terrorists” to provide justification to curtail civil rights…Nuclear power plants will need police-state protections from “terrorists”…
The Nuclear Energy Question isnt simply about economic

17 05 2023
Etyere Petyere

What !? 😮

17 05 2023

Hi All, I’ve always been under the impression that you need 10 to 20 years of energy being used to power down old nuclear plants, and that was what reduced their EROI.
Also they’ve got a PR problem, a waste problem, another environmental problem in mining, location of plant and water needs.
Plus all the energy used in said mining and waste removal.
I also don’t think the “technology will save us” mantra has ever been able to be believed in the same sentence with nuclear. It didn’t save anyone 60 years ago, so I don’t think it’s going to save us now or in another 60 years.

17 05 2023
Rob Mielcarski

I’m also a big fan of Michaux but he is optimist that liquid sodium reactors for power and hemp for plastics will be part of the “solution”. It seems even the best minds have blind spots.

18 05 2023
Etyere Petyere

Nuclear is only electric energy . And it is useless for powering machinery for mining or transportation trucks airplanes etc

17 05 2023
Daniel Koeppel

Dear Mike,

Have you heard or seen the new documentary from Oliver Stoner (Platoon) on Nuclear Energie. It`s his latest project. I have not seen it, as it has just been released (US only?) a couple of weeks ago.

Once i see it i will certainly watch for coverage of the ol`EROEI

Best wishes from Europe

Daniel Köppel

17 05 2023

No, first I’ve heard of it. I’ll keep my ears to the ground…

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