[Homestead] Tilting at oil derricks

Clansgian at wmconnect.com Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Thu Nov 15 20:56:53 EST 2007

.. France is 100% nuclear plus 15% hydro, so it exports the excess  
carbon-free power to Spain, and makes a good profit. Other EU  
countries complain that French nuclear power is too competitive.

If France also switched to biofuels, like Brazil, it would be the  
first Western affluent country on the planet with zero anthropogenic  
greenhouse gas emissions.

France is NOT 100% nuclear.  It only gets 77% of its own elecricity from 
nuclear, the rest is from hydro, coal, oil, and natural gas.  France's per capita 
use of electricity is just about half of that of the US (about 7,000 kWH per 
person to our 14,000 kWH per person).   Also France got into the the nuclear 
energy game because of its abundance of uranium production of which peaked in 
1990 until today it is just about nil.  All that electricity is from IMPORTED 
uranium, they no longer have any significant domestic sources.  In 1988 France 
produced 3300 tons of uranium which only met HALF of its domestic needs.  Last 
year the domestic production was under 200 tons.  So much for 6000 years of 

By the bye, the reference to Brazil .... Brazil meets only 40% of its motor 
fuel needs with ethanol.  The rest is from petroleum.  And even at that, Brazil 
uses only 12% of the motor fuel per capita that is used in the US.

So the no carbon myth of nuclear electicity like France and ethanol motor 
fuel like Brazil is a myth.  To even begin to compare ourselves with those 
countries, we'd have to cut our electricity use in half and our motor fuel used to 
one eighth.

I'd heard the figure of 6000 years of uranium before and dug a bit to find 
the source of it.  It comes from extimating all the uranium there is in the 
earth's crust and imagining that is being used as nuclear fuel.  First only 0.6% 
of the naturally occuring urnaium is fissionable and even at that most of it is 
not recoverable.  A source has to have at least 20ppm in order to not spend 
more energy recovering the uranium than one would get by using it as fuel.

It's similar to this:  here in east Tennessee there are millions upon 
millions of yellow pine trees and they produce an abundance of small cones with tiny 
seeds.  The seeds are delicious and a good food source for oil and proteins.  
Just do the math and you see there is no reason at all for world hunger, just 
come here and get all the pine nuts.  All you'd have to do is crawl out on 
every rattlesnake infested snag and outcrop, climb scraggy trees all day long for 
a small handful of nuts.  Simple.

The supposed abundance of uranium is like that.

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