Worst Idea Ever: Tiny Nuke Reactor in Your Back Yard (video)


These are not good days to be in the nuclear reactor business. The reactors at Japan’s earthquake-battered Fukushima plant continue to pump incalculable amounts of radiation into the air and ocean, causing radioactive rain to fall on North American soil.  The member nations of the European Union are acting to distance their people from nuclear power, and many Americans are starting to realize the potential (non-Godzilla-related) dangers of nuclear power, as well.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I ran across this Energy NOW! video on vimeo, which seems to have been posted just.  Two.  Weeks.  ago. I’ll give you a few minutes to check it out (pay special attention about 0:30 seconds into the video).

Did you catch that? That part, just 0:30 into the video where they’re planting nuclear reactors a few yards away from the high school football field? What about the part where they say the modular nuclear reactor “is deceptively simple – just a reactor inside of a stainless steel thermos bottle, underwater, underground.”

I’ll give you a moment to reflect on those words.

The rest of the video is definitely worth watching (in what is sure to be pant-s***ting terror) if only for the interview (about 6:00 in) where Mike Navetta of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions predicts that there could be as many as 300 of these little Hiroshima bombs power plants deployed globally by 2030 (sweet Jeebus!).

No word yet on whether or not the reactors will still run Windows XP (as shown 2:20-2:25 in the video), or get bumped up to Windows 7 Professional before being planted under your kids’ daycare.

NOTE: there is literally zero (0) mention of Fukushima, the EU ban on new nuclear reactors, or seemingly anything else to indicate this video wasn’t made 4 or 5 years ago. The only thing “dating” it at all is the fact that it was posted to vimeo 15 days ago (as of this writing) on the official Energy NOW page.

Source:  Energy NOW!.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • Jo,

    Thanks for commenting on our show. I wanted to let you know the reason this segment does not mention Fukushima is because it originally aired on 2/27/11, well before the Japanese earthquake and subsequent meltdown.

    The full episode, which also featured a debate on nuclear safety with a representative of NRDC, is available here: http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/02/26/nuclear-inside-new-plant-getting-small-state-industry-02272011

    With regard to Fukushima, we devoted two entire shows to the question of nuclear power and safety concerns the disaster reminded the world of, in the weeks immediately after the meltdown.

    The 3/20/11 episode is here: http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/03/18/japans-nuclear-crisis-and-us-safety-03202011

    The 3/27/11 episode is here: http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/03/25/nuclear-safety-3272011

    We strive to report on all energy issues fairly and in an unbiased manner. I’d ask you to take a look at the full context of our coverage of nuclear power and hope you think we achieve our goal.

    Thanks for your consideration,

    Silvio Marcacci
    Director of Outreach and Public Relations, energyNOW!

    • Thanks for commenting, Silvio. As I mentioned, there was no indication that this was a recent video, other than the posting date on vimeo. By now, hopefully, everyone at EnegryNOW! realizes what a horrible (horrrible!) idea this would be.

  • Hi Jo

    What EU Ban on nuclear power station? 8 new nuclear power stations are planned in the UK to replace old facilities, France is dependant on nuclear for the majority of it’s power.

    I think you are confusing Germany with the EU as a whole, as they had a knee jerk reaction to stop their nuclear plans. Which has since proved a political hot potatoe for chancellor Merkal.

    Never mistake Germany for the EU as a whole (although sometimes people do joke about it !!)

    • You shouldn’t confuse the issue by pointing out that France is currently dependent on nuclear power. The statement made in the article was that “The member nations of the European Union are acting to distance their people from nuclear power”, which acknowledges that they are currently using it, but want to move away from it in the future. In the case of France, recent polls show 77% want to back away from nuclear power, while only 22% supported nuclear expansion. You can check that out here: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/08/05/french-thumb-nose-at-nuclear-power/

      Regarding the ban on reactors, you are correct: it is not (yet) a consolidated EU policy to ban reactors, but that’s not confusing Germany with the EU, and it’s hardly a symptom of “knee-jerk” reactionaries. Sweden, for example, has held a ban on nuclear reactor construction for 30 years, lifted it in 2010, then reinstated it.

      As for the UK, that country’s government just shut down the reactor at Stellafield because it was a massive money-pit. The new projects you mention are stalled in controversy, as are (back to France) the French projects at Flamanville.

      Your portrayal of an EU, or even a UK, which embraces nuclear power seems very strongly at odds with world events, as they’re being reported by outlets like Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/nuclear-power-reaches-another-dead-end-uk-clo/blog/36241/) and the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/8658298/EDFs-reputation-faces-risk-of-meltdown.html). Maybe it’s time you re-think your position on this?

  • Jo, love it, the troll face is a gem 😀