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Nuclear Power Is Not a Viable Solution for Green New Deal

Nuclear Power Is Not a Viable Solution for Green New Deal

Damon Moglen

The Green New Deal resolution is a bold and necessary path forward to tackle the climate crisis. To be successful, it must leave nuclear power behind.


And thank goodness, really, that something so intrinsically centralized and opaque fails otherwise.

It is really time and past time to learn to live differently. It needn’t be a vow of poverty; it’s just not the bargain offered by empire.


Hi bardamu, and weren’t Hiroshima, Nagasaki, 3 Mile Island. Chernobyl and Fukushima enough??? Oh yes, and not to forget America and Israel’s use of depleted uranium in Iraq? Of course all those South Sea Islands took lots of nuke testing too, as the deaths and deformities of the native population will show. I also heard that nuke testing in the Nevada Desert killed lots of movie stars who made movies in that location. Of course too, it seems that some of America’s nuke storage places are leaking , possibly into the ground water too. I wonder if or when America will ever be charged with crimes against humanity?


Like everything that has failed in the past… Improvements if allowed eventually make it viable. I’m not saying that Boiling Water or High Pressure Reactors are viable. They are intrinsically dangerous and their byproducts last thousands of years AND as a byproduct they create Plutonium. Hence the reason the military and our government deployed them. But I am saying that not every pill that is white is bad. Liquid Fluoride Salt Thorium Reactors (LFTR) are the exception. People need to realize that although the LFTR version of nuclear power is not perfect neither is solar or wind. 20% of our power comes from dangerous nuclear reactors. As old reactors get decommissioned the main alternative being considered is natural gas. NOT good, it extends our carbon footprint. We need to push for licensing of LFTR reactors as replacement. People, please do some research. LFTR’s can NOT, by design, go critical like 3 mile island, Chernobyl or Fukushima. The LFTR’s Thorium fuel cycle does produce U233/232. This is bomb grade material. BUT it is not viable in making bombs because it produces during it’s natural decay GAMMA rays. GAMMA rays can easily trigger the bombs detonation circuit because they can NOT be easily shielded. AND because they can not be shielded against, the U233/232 can be easily detected. LFTR tech is a viable safe nuclear energy source.

No, it isn’t. A resolution is always an empty statement that does NOTHING.

A real Green New Deal bill that was specific instead of vague is bold and necessary. The resolution is not that.

As to the issue of nuclear power? It is a monstrous thing and not a good idea.


Some research indicates significant challenges with LFTR’s. From years of work in the field of sustainable energy, its clear to me that a lot can be achieved through lifestyle changes that result in lowering energy consumption. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in economies dominated by energy corporations with concentrated wealth.

=============== Some info ===========================

“Thorium is being touted as a potential wonder fuel. Proponents believe that this element could be used in a new generation of nuclear-power plants to produce relatively safe, low-carbon energy with more resistance against potential nuclearweapons proliferation than uranium. Although thorium offers some benefits, we contend that the public debate is too onesided: small-scale chemical reprocessing of irradiated thorium can create an isotope of uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons, raising proliferation concerns.” - Source: Ashley, S. F. (2012). Thorium fuel has risks. Nature, 492 (7427), 31-33.

“Although they may be better than today’s reactors, LFTRs still produce radioactive and corrosive materials, they can be used to produce weapons and we don’t know enough about the impacts of using fluoride salts. Fluoride will contain a nuclear reaction, but it can be highly toxic, and deadly as fluorine gas. And though the technology’s been around since the 1950s, it hasn’t been proven on a commercial scale. Countries including the U.S., China, France and Russia are pursuing it, but in 2010 the U.K.'s National Nuclear Laboratory reported that thorium claims are “overstated”.” - Source: Suzuki, D. (2014, Feb 14). Will thorium save us from climate change?.The Tribune

"NNL believes that the thorium fuel cycle does not currently
have a role to play in the UK context, other than its potential
application for plutonium management in the medium to long
term and depending on the indigenous thorium reserves, is
likely to have only a limited role internationally for some years
ahead. The technology is innovative, although technically
immature and currently not of interest to the utilities,
representing significant financial investment and risk without
notable benefits. In many cases, the benefits of the thorium
fuel cycle have been over-stated. " - Source: The Thorium Fuel Cycle, An independent assessment by the UK National Nuclear Laboratory, Position Paper, National Nuclear Laboratory, Aug. 2010,

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Not true. Just look at what the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution produced.

That was a joint resolution and all it did was state that Congress was behind LBJ’s war efforts- which meant LBJ could go on and do what he wanted in Vietnam and know the Congress was behind him.

The Green New Deal, even if it became a joint resolution, has no specific action. It’s all vague general goals. There isn’t a president in office right now who would use it as an approval for him to do what he wants in combating climate change. That’s why we need an actual law that is has specific, measurable actions.

If the deal gets support a plan will emerge.
The basic outline is

  1. control carbon.
  2. create green and other jobs, and provide adequate funding.
  3. take care of the people losing fossil fuel jobs
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But there already is a plan and we should be working for it instead of wasting time setting us up for a future plan. I don’t get why this isn’t obvious.

You wrote that the GND had no specific plan.
When you are offered an outline you claim there already is a plan. Sounds a bit scrambled.

How? The GND is vague with general goals- what you call an outline.

But the OFF Act has specific, measurable actions and a time table.

So how is it scrambled to say we already have a plan that we should be promoting instead of promoting the idea of someday coming up with a plan?

One more try. We already have a plan. The GND has listed goals. Let it happen.

How do you get to those goals? What specific actions do you mandate and how do you measure if they’ve been achieved and what is the time table? That’s all stuff that comes next after the GND is agreed on.

But there already is a proposed law that has done all that work, it already has dealt with the how.

So, again, why waste time promoting the idea that we need to come up with specifics someday when we could instead be promoting the law that has the specifics?

I don’t get it.

Have you checked out the OFF Act? Why is there so much publicity over the GND and AOC is made into a heroine for championing it but the OFF Act is ignored by the media, even the so called progressive media, and the woman championing it is demonized for not championing the GND instead?

Wait a second, I guess it does make sense after all, doesn’t it? Get the people who should be working to actually DO something putting all their energy into TALKING about someday doing something instead of DOING it now.

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We have mentally passed one another here. As to why not the OFF Act. Politics.
That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Why not Bernie instead of media praise for others? Why not Jill instead of Bernie?
It’s politics. Which means it likely won’t make sense to most of us.

The example of France proves this article incorrect
France gets about 78 percent of it electricity from nuclear and some of the lowest costs in the eu

This little WTF news item from antiwar.com caught my eye this afternoon. Can anyone trust Trumps bullshit or is Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams and Netanyahu on their way to give Trump a bit of ass stomping for suggesting the Fourth Reich reduce their socialized war machine? We can only hope.

Perhaps so. But my point is that we who are progressive and know that we need to act on Climate Change might want to switch our support from primarily touting the GND to OFF.

I, for one, will always point out that OFF is the real deal when ever the GND is brought up.

Careful Common dreams, your luddites are showing!

That’s the only real hope, and not one that is seriously proposed as a policy initiative. Pity.