Mitchell Beer
Sometimes, all you want is a toaster. Photo: Trusted Reviews

Apr. 28, 2024

It’s been 38 years since the Chornobyl nuclear plant exploded in Ukraine. Now we’re coping with an explosion of hype and exaggeration about new nuclear technologies that still aren’t ready to deliver.

To cope with the routine spin and exaggeration we keep seeing from the nuclear energy lobby, it helps to take an over-sized, over-priced, over-hyped technology and bring it down to something more…everyday.

So imagine that you’re setting out to buy a new toaster, and your online sleuthing brings you to an offer that looks too good to be true.

Nick King

Mitigate Crises Now--Future Societies Might Be Less Capable

Mar. 11, 2024

Background to ‘Pre-Polycrisis’ Hazard Mitigation

Andrew Nikiforuk
BC Hydro’s Revelstoke hydroelectric dam spans the Columbia River. Drought forced the utility to import expensive power from Alberta and the US in 2023. Photo via Shutterstock.

Mar. 4, 2024

Hydro Power’s Conundrum: Rising Demand in a Drier Climate

Central to low-carbon economic plans is an electricity source threatened by drought.

Paul Street
illustration - wave from smoke stack

Dec. 20, 2023

Followers of my writing have I hope noticed me repeatedly arguing that capitalism produces four mutually reinforcing and multiplying apocalyptic horsemen: ecocide, pandemicide, potentially terminal nuclear war, and fascism.

Capitalism at the Dark Taproot

I want to dig into this formulation here, explaining how capitalism generates each of these apocalyptic menaces and how the “four horsemen” reinforce and indeed multiply each other.

John Woodside
Illustration by Ata Ojani/Canada's National Observer

Nov. 3, 2023

Nuclear proliferation experts are warning that 50 years of policy designed to limit the spread of nuclear weapons is unravelling as governments invest in certain small modular reactors that could be misused to build bombs.

The concerns are aimed at Moltex, a Saint John, N.B., nuclear startup building small modular reactors (SMRs) that will be powered with spent fuel from CANDU reactors. To make the fuel, Moltex plans to separate plutonium from uranium in CANDU waste and use the extracted plutonium to power new SMRs.

Tom Murphy, originally published by Do the Math
Teaser photo credit: By Lawrence Livermore National Security – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Aug. 16. 2023

Great. The fusion hype is bad enough already. Now its resurgence is going to interrupt the series of posts I’m in the middle of publishing in order for this post to be “timely.”

The first (and much bigger) round of breathless excitement came in December 2022 when the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) announced a (legitimate) breakthrough in achieving fusion: more energy came out of the target than laser energy injected.

Paul Hockenos
Left: Mockup of a the top third of a small module reactor made by NuScale, the only SMR developer with a design approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Visual: Courtesy of NuScale/Oregon State University/Flickr

"Even if the unlikely rollout of SMRs eventually happens, it will unfold too late to curb the climate crisis. . . . . .  Meanwhile, the siren song of nuclear energy is diverting critical resources from the urgent task of building out clean technologies."

Jul 20, 2023


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