back to article Rising sea levels? How about the rising risk of someone using a nuke?

Never mind the climate, things are looking decidedly dicey on the nuke front, according to the UK's House of Lords. Its report, titled Rising nuclear risk, disarmament and the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (PDF), paints a bleak picture, citing an end to nearly a quarter-century of "benign circumstances" since the close of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder ....

    if the complete reverse ferret on nuclear power programmes has driven the weaponary push ?

    1. Semtex451
      Holmes

      How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

      Not yet but it will, is my view.

      - Increased reliance on carbon derived energy

      - Massive population growth

      - Failed nuclear power / renewal programmes

      - Increased expense finding scarce fossil fuels

      - All in a flooding world

      Inevitable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

        :Not yet but it will, is my view.

        - Increased reliance on carbon derived energy

        - Massive population growth

        - Failed nuclear power / renewal programmes

        - Increased expense finding scarce fossil fuels

        - All in a flooding world

        Inevitable."

        ???? The only two that MAY happen are:

        - Failed nuclear power / renewal programmes <- this one is pretty clear

        - All in a flooding world <- this is a foregone conclusion even if there were not global warming due to humans. As it is, it will be accelerated and exacerbated by humans.

        The other three "Inevitable" ticket items are already being reversed, or have been reversed. We increasingly will NOT be relying on carbon based energy, It has gotten CHEAPER to get it out of the ground, and the population has already indicted a leveling off point (Whether that point can be termed "massive", is up to the reader)

        Further and at some point, nuclear power will get revisited. So you are real left with only one point that I would call "inevitable", and that is this: "All in a flooding world". But that was going to happen to some extent, anyway.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          "the population has already indicted a leveling off point (Whether that point can be termed "massive", is up to the reader)"

          AFAIK latest UN 'medium' predictions are that global population (currently 7.7bn) will level off at about 10 bn. Given that not that long ago (15-20 years?) the population was around 6bn, I think that can safely be classed as 'massive'.

          "It has gotten CHEAPER to get it out of the ground"

          For carbon sources such as shale / tar sands it costs 9 barrels of oil equivalent energy to get 10 barrels out of the ground. It might be cheaper in dollar terms because raw material is close to / at surface and easy to work with but it's massively wasteful and very costly energy-wise. Other traditional sources are getting more expensive - low-hanging fruit has been already picked.

          Not to mention that externalities (ie cost of all the massive environmental damage + any required cleanups) are not priced in.

          "Failed nuclear power / renewal programmes <- this one is pretty clear"

          Unfortunately the uneducated masses in the West are afraid of the word 'nuclear'. Upgrading plants to new nuclear technology rather than keep running the 60s technology plants built in the 70s should be a no-brainer. But instead of wanting a brand-new shiny cars with ABS and airbags, the western world is intent on banning all cars because 60s rustbuckets were deathtraps.

          "Further and at some point, nuclear power will get revisited"

          I very much hope so!! Maybe China can lead the way in this regard!

          1. Pascal
            Joke

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            > "Unfortunately the uneducated masses in the West are afraid of the word 'nuclear'"

            I disagree. Maybe they're afraid of the word 'nucular', but most don't know 'nuclear'.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              You do understand what is meant by the term "the West" in this context, right?

            2. phuzz Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              Nuclear is the correct spelling, both in English and US English.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Ten in 2010

            "currently 7.7bn"

            Global population predictions have been famously wrong before and will be. It's not as simple as a Game of Life.

          3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            > global population (currently 7.7bn) will level off at about 10 bn

            I'd previously seen the figure of 12bn suggested so things are already getting better!

        2. TheVogon

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          "All in a flooding world <- this is a foregone conclusion even if there were not global warming due to humans."

          Why do you think that? Natural Milankovitch climate cycles should now be slowly cooling the planet down into the next glacial if it was not for us which would mean more ice / decreasing sea levels.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            actually in the northern hemisphere there's a 500 year long cycle that's responsible for warming periods and mini ice ages...

            ~1000 AD - warm [Eric the Red, Leif Ericson, Greenland called that because it was GREEN at the time]

            ~1500 AD - the peak of another warming period, particularly noted in Europe

            ~1750 AD - a 'mini ice age', Valley Forge during U.S. revolution and the Thames froze over

            2000 AD - another peak of another warming period. See the cycle?

            I'm not 100% sure whether 1250 was a mini ice age or not, but all indications I've seen before suggests that this ~500 year cycle had that kind of effect.

            (cycles in southern hemisphere are different, but also exist)

            So we're not going to flood, burn up in a man-made carbon-created disaster, or anything like that. besides, CO2 couldn't be causing it. NOT possible. Why? CO2 isn't the greenhouse gas you think it is, as it lacks any significant IR absorption for temperatures between -50F and ~140F [as I recall]. In other words, for temperatures actually on the planet, CO2 neither 'blankets', 'absorbs' nor 'reflects' IR energy in a way that would prevent normal black body radiation from cooling the planet at night [which is how greenhouse gasses would cause warming]. WATER, on the other hand, does that greenhouse effect VERY, well, effectively, like how cloudy nights are warmer than clear ones... and who's griping about man-made WATER pollution these days? On a flooded planet, complaining about water vapor released into the atmosphere... yeah that'd be a good one...!

            As for nuke use think of it this way: now that the Genii is out of the bottle, how long before the only country on the planet willing to sneakily develop nukes USES them if there aren't a number of countries willing to NUKE THEM BACK if they even THINK about trying it?

            We should all be happy that most members of the "nukular" club are unwilling to actually USE them, at least in a pre-emptive sense, with the exceptions of maybe Pakistan and of course N. Korea [because N. Korea's leaders, and maybe Pakistan's as well, are just bat-guano insane].

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              Bob, to address some of your misconceptios/misinformation.

              "~1000 AD - warm [Eric the Red, Leif Ericson, Greenland called that because it was GREEN at the time]"

              WRONG. Greenland was called so as a bit of propoganda to keep everyone else away from Iceland, which was actually more habitable.

              "~1500 AD - the peak of another warming period, particularly noted in Europe

              ~1750 AD - a 'mini ice age', Valley Forge during U.S. revolution and the Thames froze over"

              Although you are broadly correct in ascribing the Thames freezing in the 18th Century to the 'Lini Ice Age' it actually froze over in the 14th Century, and some experts have put the dates from the 13th Century, thus giving the lie to your 1500AD. Additionally, there is some doubts about the *actual* caus of it anyway.

              "CO2 isn't the greenhouse gas you think it is,"

              Actually, it's exactly the Greenhouse Gas I think it is. It might not be as generally effective as, for instance, Methane, but it's the one Mankind can most influence (and is - negatively) and contributes considerably more to the effects as it is more abundant.

            2. strum

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              What utter bollocks.

              >Greenland called that because it was GREEN at the time]

              Greenland was called 'Greenland' as a marketing strategy - to attract gullible settlers. Most of it was as white as it is now.

              >~1500 AD - the peak of another warming period, particularly noted in Europe

              Only noted in Europe. It was a local anomaly. And the temp change was minimal.

              > the Thames froze over

              The Thames froze over, in part, because it was wider, shallower and slower (not constrained by embankments).

              Climate change deniers keep repeating these lies - even though they've been debunked, over and over again.

              1. Grinning Bandicoot

                Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                Explain the grow of crops by the Norse during their multigenerational settlements large enough to require an arch bishop. Ignore the evidence of ancient deciduous forests in the Scandinavian lands Water vapor has a greater green house effect* than the Carbon cycle products though closely linked through agriculture. Consider irrigation as an alternative to Carbon cause theory.

                *Remember all those steamy descriptions of Venus in the '50s pulps.

            3. Grinning Bandicoot

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              Not only was Greenland supporting Norse settlements large enough to have an archbishop but deciduous trees grew in the Scandinavian. You're one of the few recognizing this historic fact. In the Southwest United States there is found ruins of several irrigation based societies that disappeared with changing rain patterns evidenced in the local dendrochronography. So here's evidence that it is not a simple 'cause and effect'

              The patterns of rain shown by the dendrochronography appear to match the flooding and drying of the Salten Sink so pump out the water and remove all the agriculture from Imperial County and rain will increase in the Southwest. Return the Nile to free flow by removing the Aswan Dam and the aquafiers of the Sahara will start recharging.

              Aircraft flight in the high latitudes Statrosphere has grown at the time of increasing rate of heating. All flights should be held to the Troposphere. However, has it not been claimed that the European winters starting 1943 for about six years were the coldest on record; so maybe no Tropo flight.

              Well you and I know it aint simple like some pontificate. Here's to another down check by those who believe in slavery by edict.

      2. TheVogon

        Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

        "Increased reliance on carbon derived energy"

        Well no we are already drastically reducing reliance on that. Just for example of 50% of the UK's power generation capacity is now from renewables.

        "Failed nuclear power / renewal programmes"

        Well yes, the UK cancelled a planned new nuclear plant because new off shore wind power is about half the cost per KW/h

        "Increased expense finding scarce fossil fuels"

        We wont need those so much except for plastics. Not a problem.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Boffin

          @TheVogon ... Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          Want to see stupidity in action? Look at Germany.

          They dismantled their nuclear generation, and they lack the infrastructure in place to use renewables which are not on all the time. They are therefore reliant on buying natural gas from Russia.

          If you don't understand the geopolitical issue... then you haven't been paying attention...

          Nuclear energy is the cleanest and as others have pointed out... there are ways to build safe latest gen nuclear plants where you can control the amount of fissionable material on site and control the flow of the material such that you don't end up with someone trying to make a bomb.

          But I digress. That's a different argument than the stupidity of some nations who don't take the time to think their decisions through. Even the US has issues because the cost of fighting the legal permitting process and misplaced objections, along with the lack of trained engineers because the US hasn't built a nuclear plant in years. Its abdication of fusion research to the EU... the list goes on...

          1. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            Damit Gumby, when you post sense I can't argue with you! Where's the fun in that?

            This round's on me.

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            If the picture were as simple as that, you would expect to see Germany's fossil fuel use rising as nuclear plants shut down. But that hasn't happened. The slack, plus a bit more, has been taken up by the renewables you disparage.

            Sure, it would be better to combine those with nuclear power. But if there is a strong political will to abolish nuclear in Germany, then it makes no sense to rail against it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              "If the picture were as simple as that, you would expect to see Germany's fossil fuel use rising as nuclear plants shut down. But that hasn't happened. "

              German gas usage has doubled while nuclear has gone down - yes there has been a massive increase in renewables, but cleaner gas replacing dirty coal has been a significant contributor to CO2 reductions. At the expense of making Germany dependent on Russian gas particularly over winter...

              https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_text_image/public/fig1_installed_net_power_generation_capacity_in_germany_2002_2018.png?itok=dpkm8Ja9

              (full article here https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts)

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                Germany import a heck of a lot of electricity from Poland, who burn the coal instead.

                The graphs on that page carefully avoid showing any of Germany's imported and exported energy, and you can't work it out either as they only show totals across a full year which tells you nothing about flows or self-sufficiency.

                1. Denarius Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                  Germany and electricity. Don't the oh so efficient nuclear fearing green Krauts import much electricity from nuclear France ? Or am I out of date with a 28% figure ITIRC? Yes that my green coat. </sarc>

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Gumby - Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            I agree with you, nuclear is clean. However, handling and disposing of nuclear waste from nuclear power plants is a nightmare. Besides that, even if all the safety measures are working, you still have mother nature who might have the last laugh like for instance at Fukushima.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Gumby - @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              Just as a comparison, you have 400,000x as much waste from as coal ash (a figure I've seen documented sine the '70's) and it's radioactive as well let alone heavy metals and the rest. Just ask the Tennessee Valley Authority about that one. It's been going into the rivers that drinking water comes from.

              As for Fukushima, '60's design. An inherently safe design will merrily sit there in a safe condition until someone comes along to tell it to power up again which can be as simple as putting electrical loads back on. That's why it's called "inherently safe." That's a '90's+ design.

              Nuclear engineering is my first professional field. I won't ever work in that field again until we destroy the idiot multinational that still want to plonk down idiot '60's plants simply because that's where the big bucks are to be extracted.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Jack of - Re: @Gumby - @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                But you can still shovel that coal ash while onto the other hand you have to trace and carefully dispose of every tool and piece of material that came in contact with interior of the nuclear reactor. It can be as deadly as the 400000 times more of the waste coming from the coal-based power plants.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Jack of - @Gumby - @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                  You might want to talk to the TVA workers about that one before talking about an issue you seem to know nothing about. And, you missed the part about the ash being in the river water people are drinking from.

                2. Richard 12 Silver badge

                  Re: @Jack of - @Gumby - @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                  And there we have the problem.

                  If we held coal ash to the same standard as that used in nuclear plants, you'd never be allowed near it.

                  Let alone let some fly up a chimney or pile it up outside. It might get rained on!

                  Most "nuclear waste" is less radioactive and less dangerous than a banana. The part that's troublesome is mostly partially "burnt" fuel, which you can reprocess and stick back in to "burn" some more.

                  A more sane power generation scheme would be a few big nuclear plants for the "base" load (cycling from ~80% to ~100% daily) a load of wind (or solar if near equator), pumped storage for peak, and finally gas gennies for both "black start" and peak without wind.

                  A mix, in fact.

            2. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: @Gumby - @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              "disposing of nuclear waste from nuclear power plants is a nightmare"

              not really, as long as you do a few things properly, first:

              a) allow it to decay for a few years so all of the short-lived crap [the technical definition of crap] goes away, along with most of the decay heat and high energy gamma [current practices, as I understand]

              b) process the waste for leftover uranium, plutonium, and other useful materials that have industrial use [currently NOT being done in any significant amount, for NIMBY reasons probably]

              c) store the remainder in places that won't let it into the water table [the USA actually has a lot of places like this], ideally in a way that could utilize the remaining heat like some kind of geothermal energy

              So "difficult", I'd agree with, but not "nightmare". it can be done. If it weren't for the "NIMBY-ites" basically preventing ANY place from storing radioactive material, though... THAT is "the nightmare" if any exists.

              radiation exposure is all about time, distance, and shielding. Transporting properly marked and shielded containers shoudn't pose a problem, really, except for people doing the transport, and they can monitor exposure.

              /me spent 4 years on a nuclear sub, and received LESS RADIATION underway than I would have standing on the surface of the earth [at sea level, even] over the same period of time, because of the iron hull of the boat, the depth of the water, and proper shielding around the constantly operating reactor.

          4. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            " the US hasn't built a nuclear plant in years. Its abdication of fusion research to the EU... the list goes on..."

            Sad, yeah.

          5. TheVogon

            Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            Germany also announced just a month ago that they are phasing out all coal power stations.

            Nuclear is way more expensive per KWh than new solar and wind installations and plants require vast upfront capital investment and take many years to build. This is largely why global renewable generating capacity is already about 4 times that of nuclear at ~ > 2400GW.

          6. strum

            Re: @TheVogon ... How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            >there are ways to build safe latest gen nuclear plants

            There have always been 'ways to build safe nuclear plants'. Problem is - they cost too much, so there will always be shareholders who don't mind cutting safety corners to boost profits.

            Note that UK/US has had no ban on nukes - they haven't built them because they make no economic sense.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          Well no we are already drastically reducing reliance on that. Just for example of 50% of the UK's power generation capacity is now from renewables.

          Sometimes. Like the latest bank holiday proclaimed as a 'coal free' weekend, and carefully ignores gas generation. Which is cheaper than 'renewables', and necessary for those regular occurences when there's too little (or too much) wind, and of course when it's dark.

          Germany's slowly coming to the same conclusion given the cost of subsidising their 'renewables' industry, and they're not really at much risk of tsunamis*

          Well yes, the UK cancelled a planned new nuclear plant because new off shore wind power is about half the cost per KW/h

          Citation needed. Preferably not 'levelised cost' figures, or marketing by the 'renewables' lobby. DECC did a wonderful presentation that assumed FOAK costs for nuclear designs currently under construction, or in operation. And ignored the connection costs for 'renewables', and a requirement to provide back-up generation when the weather changes. But that's 'renewables'. Solar has it's obvious disadvantages, and 'climate change' predicts more (or less) wind, making windmills even more dumb.

          We wont need those so much except for plastics. Not a problem.

          Lots of plastics in EVs. Plus other materials that have a heavy carbon footprint. And my favourite.. Currently a lot of medical and industrial isotopes are produced by production (or research) reactors.. Which gets a lot harder to do if you shut down all nuclear. And then of course there's Drax... Huge 'renewable' subsidies.. I mean energy by burning huge amounts of forests. How Green!

          *Sea levels aren't rising, at least not at any kind of alarming or unusual for being in an interglacial way. As for tsunamis, well, there's Russia and it's announcement of a torpedo-drone packing a multi-megaton warhead that could really spoil a day on the beach. Otherwise, my money would be on India v Pakistan possibly getting hot, or maybe Israel going unilateral on Iran.

          1. TheVogon

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            "Sometimes. "

            No, all the time. Capacity != output.

        3. Nial

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          "Just for example of 50% of the UK's power generation capacity is now from renewables"

          Bollocks.

          http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            Nameplate capacity MAYBE. Greenies keep confusing installed nameplate capacity with actual generated power capacity (Which for Wind turns out to be roughly 1/5th to 1/3rd of nameplate capacity on average, depending on location and type)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              "Which for Wind turns out to be roughly 1/5th to 1/3rd of nameplate capacity on average"

              Capacity factor of conventional power stations is 50%-80%. UK wind farm capacity factor is about 40%. And the cost of new offshore wind is now substantially lower than new nuclear including balancing costs. Hence why we are investing in more wind farms and not nuclear.

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                "UK wind farm capacity factor is about 40%"

                Citation needed.

                Latest numbers I've seen were roughly 20% for on-shore and up-to 33% for off-shore (But highly variable by wind direction as windmills in large parks interfere with each other in difficult to predict ways)

                "Capacity factor of conventional power stations is 50%-80%."

                Yes, but that's 50% for fast spooling single stage gas-turbine plants (Used for peak leveling and compensating for renewables variations) where it is that low because of the nature of peak leveling plants. And (Usually) 80% (but easily above 95%) for multi-stage baseload plants that provide a constant and predictable level of output that renewables will likely never be able to match at that scale (GW output). Baseload plants are getting worse and worse capacity factor as they keep having to shut down because renewables are suddenly providing a lot of output. This is terrible for their longevity and efficiency.

                "And the cost of new offshore wind is now substantially lower than new nuclear including balancing costs."

                Again, citation needed. Offshore (without the subsidies) is hellishly expensive due to the amount of effort and material required. Nuclear is hellishly expensive because of administrative burdens.

                1. TheVogon

                  Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                  "Offshore (without the subsidies) is hellishly expensive due to the amount of effort and material required. "

                  Citation:

                  https://www.ft.com/content/2ce7ac15-ee6e-3f9a-b427-6d34dac99ba2

                  "The price of electricity guaranteed to offshore wind developers in this latest auction has dropped to as low as £57.50 per megawatt hour – a significant fall from the average £117.14/MWh awarded to offshore schemes in the last comparable subsidy round in 2015.The latest “strike price”, which is guaranteed for 15 years and rises with inflation, is also well below the £92.50/MWh controversially promised by the government to the French and Chinese developers of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset. The Hinkley price, which also rises with inflation and is therefore already worth closer to 100/MWh, has been secured for the first 35 years of the plant’s operation.

                  "

                  1. imanidiot Silver badge

                    Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

                    That just proves the government is paying less subsidy to offshore wind than to this particular nuclear plant. Not actually a proof for the actual cost per installed GW capacity. (Which AFAIK is pretty stable as offshore work hasn't gotten cheaper and the cost to install is mostly labour and fuel. At best some advances have been made in construction methods allowing slight cost savings).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            "LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s renewable electricity capacity has overtaken that of fossil fuel generators such as gas and coal for the first time, a report said on Tuesday.

            Available capacity of renewable electricity generation such as wind, solar and biomass hit 42 gigawatts (GW) in Britain this year. "

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            Bollocks indeed. I would expect renewables to be a very unreliable power source, and a figure like "50%" might be an occasional lucky occurrence [but not an every day thing]

            Funny how "those things" are called 'renewable'. They're all based on random luck and Mr. Sun. And in a few billion years, Mr. Sun will run out of fuel, and THEN we'll be TOTALLY fsck'd!!

          4. Hairy Spod

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            I think he means low carbon, which grid watch backs up.

            Just less than 20% each for Nuclear and Wind, just over 10% for solar and 1% hydro at things stood just after 11 am this morning

        4. Julz Silver badge

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          I see the figure of 50% being bandied about a lot.

          As I type this the UK demand is 36GW of which 6.5GW is being generated from wind, 1GW from biomass, solar and hydro together add up to another 3.5GW. So, a total of 10GW derived from renewable out of a total demand of 36GW, hardly 50%. Even if you include the 6.5GW from nuclear as non-carbon but not really renewable in the sense that most people seem to use the word, that is still only 16.5GW. The major generation capability of UKs electricity generation is combined cycle gas turbines which are currently churning out 16GW. If the wind calms down, the CCGT generator will ramp up to fill the gap.

          If you are talking about capability rather than what actually happens. Then on a good windy and sunny day about 18GW could be generated from wind and solar plus the other odds and sods so that is about 50% of the general demand. But I'm not sure that is what most people understand from the headline 50% figure.

          Having a quick furtle in the real data, on average renewables plus nuclear contribute about 30% of demand (during the day) on average and hit a maximum of 43% on a few occasions since 2011. The contribution hasn't noticeably changed over that time period.

          We do receive electricity from outside of the UK as the UK is a net electricity importer, but that shouldn't really be counted in UKs power generation capability.

          1. TheVogon

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            "As I type this the UK demand is"

            As I said generating CAPACITY is over 50% renewables / low carbon.

            But supply has also been over 50% low carbon too:

            https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/22/uk-hits-clean-energy-milestone-50-of-electricity-from-low-carbon-sources

        5. MrXavia

          Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

          "the UK cancelled a planned new nuclear plant because new off shore wind power is about half the cost per KW/h"

          This makes absolutely no sense, nuclear power should be the cheapest available, its certainly the cleanest... IIRC the problem was the international partners pulling out, not the cost...

          We should ban all new gas and coal fired power stations, only solar, nuclear, offshore wind, tidal (I.E. Green) power should be allowed, lets keep the gas and coal for domestic use.

          1. Julz Silver badge

            Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

            Solar, wind and tidal are all periodic energy producers you need something to fulfill the demand when the sun isn't shining, the wind isn't blowing and the tide is slack. Currently we use gas to balance things out. Nuclear isn't good for this role as it takes too long to ramp it's generation up and down. I guess more modern nuclear plants might be more nimble. In general, for every GW of renewable energy generation you also need a GW of something else to back it up. Storage might help but I'm not sure we are up to covering half the country in pumped storage reservoirs. Although that might help the panic about the water supply in the south east...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

              We could always flood Scotland and Wales. There are plenty of hills, so that'd solve the problem for a few decades until they silt up.

              I suppose the natives might get antsy, but do they have a flag?

              Oh, they do? Feck.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: How about both?: Rising sea levels and nuke use

        The trouble with rising sea levels is they swamp your reactors. It does cut the cost of decommissioning bringing the price to not as good as domestic PV.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Is the MAD deterrent still effective today?

    1. Semtex451

      Not according to the author and the report on which it is based, the risk of "misunderstanding and miscalculation" .........trumps the MAD concept. (cough)

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Is there anywhere a war involving two nuclear powers?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Directly ? Of course not.

        By proxy ? Good question, but you can safely say that there's a 50% chance that Russia is facing it off with the US.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Russia has now stopped most of their (somewhat) frustrating activities around Ukraine, but I think the potential still exists for Putin to walk in and take over if he gets even a partial chance of success.

          So ultimately the problem is this: there are STILL some 'bad actors' out there, and some of them ALSO have nukes. And _NOT_ standing up to the saber rattlers, i.e. effectively appeasing them or paying them to go away, thus enabling/encouraging the bad behavior (like N. Korea or Iran), only makes things WORSE.

          So when you see a leader like Trump or Reagan saying the equivalent of "the bombs start falling in 5 minutes" (or calling the leader 'little Rocket Man'), it's NOT warmongering, it's standing up in the face of a bully and EDUCATING him.

          It also means you might have to actually push the button.

          A nice Musashi quote, if I remember correctly: "If you are not willing to cut, do not pick up a sword."

          "Oh, PLEASE don't make me cut you, I'll pay you money or do what you want, just don't hurt me or make me use my weapon on you" - NOT an effective way of defending yourself, even if your weaponry is superior.

          Better: "Prepare to defend or I'll beat you with the flat and shame you like a coward. Or would you rather talk peace?"

      2. Grinning Bandicoot

        India vs Pakistan

        USA vs PDRK

        Russia vs PRC

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      MAD sounds like a resonable tactic

      until the MAD applies to the controllers of the red buttons.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might not be a bad idea from other species point of view. Man lets off a few nukes at each other so CO2 emissions suddenly drop and the resulting radiation will increase the mutation rate in the plant and animal kingdoms resulting in faster speciation and rebuilding diversity as well as knocking those pesky humans down to size.

    1. Blazde

      I know you're joking but we're actually lucky we've 'experimented' in Chernobyl, Fukushima and elsewhere to know just how bad an idea irradiated wildlife parks are:

      Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/forests-around-chernobyl-arent-decaying-properly-180950075/

      "organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil. Issues with such a basic-level process, the authors of the study think, could have compounding effects for the entire ecosystem."

      More generally I suppose evolution should be expected to already have tuned mutation rates in the presence of background radiation to some kind of optimality for speciation?

      1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
        Boffin

        Inhibiting decay is also not actually a bad idea, if it happens on a huge scale. Way back in the early Carboniferous, plants invented a new wonder-substance: lignin. Really great structural material, enabled forests for the first time. Only problem was that fungi took a rather long time to develop lignase enzymes, so in the interim between lignin evolving and a disposal route evolving we had a very weird world indeed.

        The Carboniferous had very high oxygen levels, catastrophic forest fires and lots and lots of plant material that decayed so far, then accumulated and fossilised. This was actually the making of Humanity and also one factor that made the Permian-Triassic extinction event so very deadly: the plant material formed huge coal measures. The Great Dying was that nasty because part of it was a super-volcano in what is now Siberia erupting through huge coal measures, which dumped gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

        Given that we have too much fossil carbon in the atmosphere, sequestering some would be a nice idea.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          "we have too much fossil carbon in the atmosphere"

          says WHO? It's at equilibrium with the oceans due to rain. CO2 has a high affinity for water and forming carbonates when it hits the ocean. Duh.,. [basic chemistry knowledge required to know this]

          [the vast majority of the world's atmospheric CO2 ends up as carbonates in the ocean]

          Also, as temperatures rise, CO2 levels INCREASE, because water holds onto dissolved gasses LESS [including CO2 by the way], just like the way an open can of soda GOES FLAT as it warms up.

          If the carboniferous period had higher CO2 levels, it was due to WARMER TEMPERATURES, FYI. And _NOT_ the other way around! [otherwise the world's atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature would be UNSTABLE, and fall into thermal runaway]. Temperatures and weather vary for many reasons, but it's NOT an unstable system. if it were, it'd go into a 'runaway' condition like "ice age" or "venus", all the time.

          you mentioned higher O2 levels and 'dumping' tons of CO2 [or whatever]. Plants need CO2 to grow and grow better when CO2 levels are higher. Without ANY CO2 in the atmosphere, carboniferous period would NOT have happened. So chicken:egg paradox maybe?

          I'm so surprised that people (in general) who spout all of these "fake news" claims about man-made "climate change" are SO ignorant of basic science that they either refuse to question things, or just accept it like a religion, because REAL SCIENCE [like I mentioned] is SO opposed to this "climate change" nonsense, you'd have to be a TRUE "science denier" to buy into it!!!

          1. Santa from Exeter

            @bob's bullshit

            And there we have yet another pile of unrealistic, untrue crap from Mr Shouty

          2. Blazde

            "it's NOT an unstable system. if it were, it'd go into a 'runaway' condition like "ice age" or "venus", all the time."

            I mean.. that's exactly what does happen, geologically-speaking, all the time. That's why people are so worried dude.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Meh

              no, the world is NOT unstable.

              unstable system: balancing a broom on your nose

              stable system: balancing a chair on the floor (all 4 corners on the floor, that is).

              What makes the chair stable is that if you tilt it in any direction, up to a point it will always revert back to the stable state.

              What makes the broom on the nose unstable is that any random motion will cause it to fall, and it's hard to maintain it in an upright position, lots of constant tweeking etc.

              Climate and weather is NOT unstable.

              Another unstable condition is known as 'thermal runaway', where heating or cooling causes even MORE heating or cooling. This happens with electronic components sometimes, which is why you have to avoid overheating silicon, and why the magic blue smoke sometimes comes out...

              The world is NOT an unstable system. But climate change enthusiasts want you to believe it IS regardless of the facts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well you could always go biological over nuclear to decimate a population.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          How about risking someone creating a zombie virus?

          Nukes are theoretically simple, and physically difficult. Materials are hard to get on short notice (given a century or so, all you need is an electric outlet and a closet. But most people are too impatient to take the long view).

          Biological weapons are more complex to effectively create and deploy, but far far simpler to obtain the raw materials. Every day, the effort to implement decreases, and sometime soon script kiddies will be offing the neighbors-- and probably themselves, so there is a silver lining.

          Nukes, global warming, ... sure, take out a few millions. Big time is biological, take out a few hundred millions. Just look at the conquistadores and the New World, and they were barely trying.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about risking someone creating a zombie virus?

            Only real reason I downvoted is that your knowledge of bio is more that a bit dated. I started tracking that in the '80's. Pretty damned cheap. Kitchen labs are a thing, I kid you not.

      3. Denarius Silver badge

        chernobyl wildlife park

        Even the BBC has mentioned in passing that the no-go area is swarming with wildlife, not that one would want to eat any. As for Japan, aren't they scared of mere tritium watch hand levels of radiation? Which reminds me. ElReg key rings. Any more for sale ? I have a few greenies I want to scare :-)

      4. Grinning Bandicoot

        The article would not have been published if it disagreed with editorial bent. The magazine has a particular way of making statements that at times that are truthful but not honest. q.v. Disraeli quote

    2. harmjschoonhoven
      FAIL

      "Man lets off a few nukes at each other so CO2 emissions suddenly drop"

      On the contrary: Nuclear war will inevitable lead to huge fires and so CO2 emission. At the same time smoke, soot and dust will blockout the Sun.

      Remember The Cold and the Dark, The World after Nuclear War by Paul R. Ehrlich and Carl Sagan?

      1. Semtex451

        Re: "Man lets off a few nukes at each other so CO2 emissions suddenly drop"

        In the short term, try to remember we’re talking about the time it takes for a new, and hopefully this time, intelligent life form to emerge. Geological Time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why are we here? - Plastic

          "the time it takes for a new, and hopefully this time, intelligent life form to emerge. Geological Time"

          I believe it has already begun. I put much hope in the oceanic garbage patches to produce some new kind of life. It doesn't matter in the end where the energy to break down and recombine the hydrocarbons and assorted elements comes from, solar or otherwise.

          Just give it some time. Throw a plastic cup into a river today to show you care. All hail to our new Plastorganic Overlords!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why are we here? - Plastic

            I recall that new forms of bacteria had been found in Japanese rubbish tips with the ability to break down certain plastics?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Man lets off a few nukes at each other so CO2 emissions suddenly drop"

        Pleeeease. TTAPS was a one dimensional model. Later models, with two more spatial and one time dimensions, are much more complex and accurate. Open question as to what really would happen, though. I'd rather not conduct the experiment to find out.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      "knocking those pesky humans down to size"

      you can deprecate yourself and feel smug about it all day long if you want (many religious folk do this all of the time, don't they?). just don't include ME in that...

  4. deive

    No mention of Trumps deal with the Saudis, even though they haven't even signed the non-proliferation treaty? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/04/saudi-arabia-close-building-first-nuclear-reactor-despite-not/

    It is only mentioned once in passing in the referenced report too: "There were “already several countries”, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where nuclear weapons were “being more or less openly discussed”. Were that “trend to materialise then the impact on security, both regional and international, would be very negative.” The NPT consensus “still holds” because of this risk"

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      "There were “already several countries”, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where nuclear weapons were “being more or less openly discussed”.

      See this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-LMwVoQbS4

      There has been a fair amount of speculation that Pakistan could or has supplied the Saudis with nukes for some years.

      On the bright side, WWIII kicking off in the Middle East would vindicate a lot of Nostradamus' fans and put paid to all this worry about Anthropomorphic Global Warming.

      1. Santa from Exeter
        Headmaster

        @Chris G

        "Anthropomorphic Global Warming"

        I do not think that word means what you think it does :-)

        https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/anthropomorphic

  5. Jemma

    Unfortunately

    The minister, a Mr Jim Hacker, was not available for comment.. It appears that he is spending more time with his bunker.

    Seriously, where do they find these idiots. Stop giving nutters ideas. Keep schtum. It's not like we haven't got enough to be dealing with.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The close of Cold War

    Are those guys so gullible ?! Anyone here believing Cold War was closed ?

    Yeah, I know, the Tooth Fairy was able to convince the anti-communists and soviets (now Russia) to put aside differences, hug and kiss each other.

    Now I'm no longer surprised there are people believing the Earth is flat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The close of Cold War

      It did end.

      Cold War II started soon after, but there was a period between them.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: The close of Cold War

      At least it was paused for a while. Long enough for a generation to grow up without the constant fear that the nuclear annihilation of civilization was just one bad day away.

  7. jake Silver badge

    "in the small hours"?

    Shouldn't that be "in the wee hours"? Especially if you're old, senile and have tiny little orange hands.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to me that more of the constant drum beating and enabling for the hate Russia meme is coming from the UK than the US, though all the intelligence agencies in the 5 eyes of course need a nice convenient enemy to justify their paychecks, which of course are primarily used to destroy our civil rights.

    I give you Steele, and his fake dossier, used to illegally get FISA warrants even though those in charge knew that "there was no there there".

    Steele's Russian info, at least the part that wasn't made up, was out of date, according to those same sources. The Skripals perhaps?

    Is that why they had to be silenced in a clown show that was obviously not as reported by the UK government?

    Those are just the most recent, I could go on nearly endlessly. YEah, the US has it's problems and currently has a clown as CIC. It's happened before here and in Britain, without the world ending. But it's this sudden thrash to get everyone to hate everyone (especially those who are untouchable by conventional means) causing the problems.

    Example - Russians indicted by Mueller show up unexpectedly and he has to drop the charges, because no proof, and even tried legal dodges like "we haven't served them properly" to which the judge replied, "well, they're here now, get on with it"....

    So it's all a clown show, and guess what, the people driving this are the "resistance", not the clod in power. And it's obvious no matter how you repeat your crazy crap.

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      There are the small matters of the recent Novichok (sp) attack, and the slightly longer ago assassination of Alexander Litvinenko. The bloke who (allegedly) did the latter is now a Russian MP.

      It is *well* within the UK's ability to respond in kind (perhaps not the polonium), but I put it to you that while escalating things would be a bad idea, doing NOTHING lets the bully get away with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which Bully Though?

        I agree with you that doing nothing lets the bully get away with it. But if we punish the wrong bully, where does that get us?

        On one level, the question is "Do you trust what the government tells us about these things". I would sleep much easier in my bed if I did, but I cannot. Governments have always lied to people, but it does seem that it is becoming more and more barefaced.

        Let's hope we have some luck, many times that's all that has saved us from an apocalypse.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Glen 1 - UK PM Tony Blair lied about WMD in Irak

        so why is it you suddenly believe what the government says now ?

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Coat

          Why did you drag Tony Blair into this ? Put that shit back where you took it from and go wash your hands.

        2. Glen 1 Silver badge

          Re: @Glen 1 - UK PM Tony Blair lied about WMD in Irak

          I would make a distinction between a government dossier being "sexed up" for political ends and a foreign power killing on British soil with apparent impunity (although international sanctions have upped the ante a little)

          "The Government" is a many headed hydra. It's not so much "The Government" I believe, but the news reporting on the government - and I mean actual journalists holding politicians to account, not tweet bots, not disposable domains running click bait headlines over facebook. That would seem to make me (and many others here) different from the huddled masses.

          I mean, I only have the news' word that Vladimir Putin actually exists. I've never met the man - or met anyone who has - but between the video footage, and eyewitness accounts (all coming from the news), I'm prepared to believe that he exists.

          There is *slightly* less evidence about the above attacks. Between the death of Dawn Sturgess and interviews with Yulia Skripal, Charlie Rowley etc there is certainly more than a single primary source. The thoroughly unconvincing interview on Russian media with the suspects only adds fuel to the fire. Not to mention the Russian agents getting caught outside the swiss lab that was testing the Novichok samples.

          However, I view those sources through the filter of the news just like everyone else.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No Cheeto lovers

      Ugh, the ignorant Trumpanzees have infected my beloved forums! The orange shitgibbon and his Toad-sucking fans have no place here. Begone with your ignorance and lies!

  9. Dedobot

    World w/o nukes becomes paradise ?!

    Don't think so. Nukes have an amazing capability- the elites and relativities will no skip the death . Everybody is on the front row . That's why we have not seen a major war post 1945. Be careful what you wish.

  10. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    The world will end not with a bang

    But with a "Yeah we decided not to do anything about climate change, because it was too expensive."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

    As far as I know, we have exactly one example of a major nuclear power giving up its nuclear weapons: Ukraine, which inherited a large chunk of the Soviet nukes after the Soviet Union's breakup, was for a while the third-largest nuclear power by its arsenal's destructive ability. It has agreed to give these weapons and the means of their delivery up. In exchange, it was promised security and territorial integrity, guaranteed by the two largest nuclear powers: Russia and the US.

    Given how that worked out for Ukraine so far, I have a very hard time imagining any other nuclear power giving its weapons up - certainly not for a generation or two.

    1. Jim-234

      Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

      Or the late Libyan despot.

      Gave up all his nuke materials an a PR move president Bush trumpeted loud and long.

      In exchange for you know friendship & safety & coming in out of the cold

      Right up till his rear end was being bombed by the guys he thought he was on good terms with.

      Probably wished he had gone the NK route as the safer course.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

      I think we'll see more countries develop nukes. Maybe Canada has a secret program?

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

      Given how that worked out for Ukraine so far, I have a very hard time imagining any other nuclear power giving its weapons up - certainly not for a generation or two.

      Ukraine's a strange place. Oligarchs with grudges and access to stuff like polonium, which is used in oil & gas exploration. Also inherited other bits of the Soviet CBW programmes, and under the current regime, really hates Russia. And then there we oddities, like the cargo ship hijacked by pirates that was exporting Ukrainian tanks.. They inherited a lot of army surplus to convert into cash.

      And they've just had an election, and elected a former comedian as President.. Who wasn't one of the candidates proposed by the US. Interesting times..

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

      You are probably correct, but there are other examples. South Africa gave up their relatively small nuclear program and had all their weapons and manufacturing facilities dismantled with international oversight, and some countries have chosen to reduce their stockpiles, although not to zero. Not that this proves anything, but the history is interesting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

        Still, those aren't good odds - depending on how we define things, on one side you have South Africa, Belarus, Kazakhstan, (were there any more bits of the USSR that had leftovers?) where events such as significant territory loss, or leaders decorating bayonets/nooses, were avoided. On the other side - Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, no more details required.

        I can't be sure, of course, but if ANY power that currently possesses nuclear weapons voluntarily abandons them within my lifetime (50-ish years optimistically) I'd rank it as the most surprising bit of geopolitics since Fukuyama's "End of History" got rudely rebutted.

        Even Nicola Sturgeon is probably quietly reconsidering the SNP's relevant policies...

    5. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

      To add to the mix the fact that the F35 is planned to be able to deliver the new. B61-12 tactical nuke within the next couple of years, makes battlefield nuke use a lot more likely. I can't find the reference at the moment but the US air force has described it as the ' most usable nuke so far'.

      That outlook combined with the Jaffa allowing commanders in the field greater autonomy regarding tactical nuke use makes for the big hand moving even closer to midnight.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Giving up nuclear weapons? Not likely

        To add to the mix the fact that the F35 is planned to be able to deliver the new. B61-12 tactical nuke within the next couple of years, makes battlefield nuke use a lot more likely.

        Ah, customer demand. Another F-35 operator has gravity bombs developed for their F-4, then F-15 strike aircraft. And according to rumor (or conspiracy theory) came rather close to dropping some. But that's nuclear politics for you.. Libya and Iraq may have bluffed about WMD programmes, and look where they are now. Littered with depleted Uranium. Wars seem a great way to off-shore nuclear waste!

        Then there's Iran.. and the Israel v Iran MADness. Both sides seem to hate each other and both sides have been busily developing longer range delivery systems. Or just burying R&D and production sites ever deeper, which means more challenging to attack, so making the idea of using tactical nukes in a limited 'exchange' seem reasonable.. Unless you're exposed to the fallout, which would be both radiological and a massive human cost dealing with refugees. But lucrative to keep stirring that pot when you have the Atlantic seperating you from those problems.

        Then there's the potential for dirty bombs. So large swathes of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria looted & pillaged by various factions who may have captured potential nastys, like sources from x-ray machines. And due to those conflicts, have radicals who've survived and gained skills in delivering that kind of stuff.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this is what they really mean by global warming

    Oh dear.

    :(

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the history of mankind

    When one tribe wants what someone else has, and they've nothing to lose, they take it by force.

    What makes you thing nuclear armed states won't do exactly the same when their populations are displaced due to environmental conditions that prevent them surviving in their current locations?

    It's as inevitable as mankind not being able to moderate it's human nature.

    This just about sums it up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One of Aesop's all along

      I heard that first in Star Trek Voyager, possibly with another animal carrying the scorpion. Didn't realise it was one of Aesop's.

      Do kids ever hear or read stuff like that these days?

      Upvote, but I hope you're wrong about it applying to humanity incinerating itself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: In the history of mankind

      When that tribe gets immensely powerful (something like being able to participate and win 3 or 4 large scale military confrontations simultaneously - or so they claim) they usually don't wait until they've nothing to lose to take it by force.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC - In the history of mankind

        Germany thought it was in that position 80 years go.

        I don't think anyone has been stupid enough to think that since. Unless you think that destroying the planet counts as a "win".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small Orange Hand?

    Chances are those tiny fingers'll miss that button.

  15. Archtech Silver badge

    But Israel, India and Pakistan do have "deliverable nuclear weapons". (Thermonuclear actually).

    Nobody seems to have remarked on this so far:

    "The fly in the ointment is, of course, North Korea, which is the only non-nuclear signatory to have gone on to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon".

    How is North Korea "the only non-nuclear signatory to have gone on to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon"?

    The article itself said, earlier, that "Three (India, Israel and Pakistan) didn't sign the NPT and one, North Korea, signed up but went ahead with development anyway".

    But India, Israel and Pakistan all have large threatening arsenals of deliverable nuclear weapons.

    How can you take seriously an article that contradicts itself so blatantly and ignorantly - or a comment thread that doesn't mention that contradiction?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: But Israel, India and Pakistan do have "deliverable nuclear weapons". (Thermonuclear actually).

      Re-read it. This time for comprehension.

  16. imanidiot Silver badge

    Large arsenals, big problems

    The thing is, no-one of the "OG nuke owners" has allowed a nuke to go Boom since 1991. The largest arsenals consist of weapons with cores produced roughly 50 years ago. Nobody really knows what the effects of this long term storage are in terms of nuclear decay products. Both the US and Russia are getting twitchy about not being able to just make one go Boom. (It's one of the reasons the US built the Z-machine and the NIF). The US doesn't currently have a production facility for new cores and is only doing refurbishment of existing ones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Large arsenals, big problems

      Didn't France nuke some atolls 5 or 6 times circa 1996?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Large arsenals, big problems

        You are correct. I mainly remembered the dates the US and USSR stopped nuking their own people. (If Japan and modern Japanese culture is proof you should never nuke a country twice, the US must be proof of what happens when you do it over 400 times)

        I forgot about the last series of French tests. Who cares about the French anyway :)

  17. Grinning Bandicoot

    Utimate Weapon

    Way back in the '50s there was a short story filed in the SF category. The was an elder talks of the last war and how Ralph developed this terrible weapon that devastated the enemy' The elder continues adding the possession of the weapon will guarantee peace through all time. This story helped add one more byte to the construction of a cynical mind but the thought that through all wars a victor that military superiority was held in their hands and meanwhile...

    Ex: Stirrup Scythians

    War chariot Assyrians

    Gunpowder Han

    Composite Bow unknown steppe tribe predating Scythians

    When your world is maybe a 100 miles the effect of the victors was catastrophic especially when the losing males above a certain age were removed from the gene pool. Bacterial warfare was practiced back then just as an added bonus for certain objectors. The trouble with the real world is that no matter how many want peace it only takes one that just wants without regard to the costs.

    By the way the stories kicker "the bow and arrow". If someone knows the author please inform.

  18. maxregister

    End the FUD. Next-generation nuclear will be the safest ever.

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