Let me be very clear about this:

The environmentalists were NOT the reason #nuclear power stalled in the 1980s.

There is absolutely no support for a theory, popular in some circles, that we could've been fossil free "if not for the Greens." 1/ Age of world's nuclear energy plants, and annual generation
Even accidents such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were more like nails in the coffin.

The main reasons by far were economics and deregulation.

I'm writing a detailed study of the reasons nuclear dreams of the 1970s faltered. Some observations. 2/
Without massive cost overruns, nuclear power may have been cost-competitive with fossil fuels even during the 1980s, when the price of fossil fuels plummeted from its 1970s heights.

With actual costs, no chance. 3/ Average budget overruns in the 1960s-1970s U.S. nuclear buil
Budget overruns were a thing even in the Soviet Union, where even official publications about their extremely ambitious nuclear power program noted that nuclear electricity couldn't compete with coal electricity.

That's one reason why Chernobyl was as bad as it was. 4/
The reactor at Chernobyl was designed to be as economically efficient as possible. It could use cheaper low-grade fuel and didn't need to be shut down for fuel loading, like Western reactors.

But the design needed to do that was incompatible with proper reactor containment. 5/
And even the original Chernobyl RBMK reactor, before post-1986 safety upgrades, still struggled to produce electricity cheaply enough to make nuclear investments rational when coal was cheap.

Remember: Soviet leaders didn't need to give a shit about public opinion. 6/
In the West, especially in the US, the cost overruns in ambitious nuclear projects were a major motivation for electricity market deregulation.

After deregulation, the electricity companies couldn't simply pass cost overruns to customers. Thus, risky projects were shelved. 7/
In the US, the nuclear industry was essentially dead after the passage of the 1978 PURPA act, which began the deregulation process.

Only one construction start happened in 1978, and that was the last one before 2013.

A year before Three Mile Island. 8/
There is no lack of evidence that deregulation killed the nuclear industry everywhere. The International Energy Agency wrote entire briefs about that in the 1990s. In deregulated markets, capital needed for nuclear projects was expensive to obtain. 9/
And there was little need or appetite for risky long-term projects. Fossil fuels were cheap, demand projections didn't materialize.

ONLY thing that could've saved nuclear would've been a hefty price on carbon.

Guess what: the environmentalists were demanding exactly that. 10/
Accidents, less severe incidents and the anti-nuclear movement that rather understandably gained support from these DID matter. But compared to the impact of deregulation, their impact was small.

An oft-cited estimate says that nuclear financing demands a 2-3 % risk premium. 11/
That is a lot of money for a capital-intensive long-term project. But consider that deregulation increased the cost of capital to electricity companies from around 3 % to 10-12 % or even more. Hikes in interest rates were also considerable at the time. 12/
After 15 years of studying energy and nuclear issues, I'm convinced that

1) if nuclear energy had been an economically sound choice in the 1980s, no environmental movement could've stopped it
2) only fossil fuel restrictions could've made nuclear economical. 13/13
PS. We’ve argued that nuclear energy should be among the toolbox now. See this book for a summary:

PS2. I don't believe in any major renaissance of nuclear power in the absence of hefty subsidies or more or less state-owned enterprises stepping in. Preferably to build many standardized reactors to drive down the costs.

Either way, the taxpayer would shoulder the risk.
PS3. A great explanation in one figure: a 1974ish prediction of West German energy use (primary energy), and the actual primary energy use in 1990.

Easy to see why nuclear was a hard sell. West German primary energy use prediction from the mid-1970s

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More from @jmkorhonen

Feb 13
And for the sake of completeness regarding the useful idiots for Russia in Finland: while the far-right provides the majority of examples, no party has been completely free of the taint. Let's take a look. 1/

As mostly a SocDem voter, I must say with great regret that one very useful Finnish promoter of Russian interests has been the former Social Democrat prime minister, Paavo Lipponen. He and some other SocDem politicians greatly helped the Nord Stream gas pipeline project. 2/ Paavo Lipponen worked as a lobbyist and consultant for Nord
The Social Democrats also contain a group of old left-wing comrades whose opinions about modern Russia have been bizarrely muted and accommodating. The former president Tarja Halonen belongs to this group. I definitely don't agree with that bullshit. 3/
Read 24 tweets
Feb 13
A thread about the Finnish far right's pro-Kremlin sympathies.

Here's a December 2016 (!!!) poll asking Finns "Do you trust Vladimir Putin?"

Whopping 44% of the far-right party voters said "yes." (The Greens trusted the least: 95% said "no.")

Of course, this is no accident. 1/ A Finnish poll from December 2016: "Do you trust Vladim
Everyone following the far right in Western countries knows they have a soft spot for Putin and/or are played like a violin by the Kremlin.

Finland's history makes this more muted, but the same sentiment exists.

After all, Putin is on the same side. 2/
For years, Putin has railed against the "decadent" West using language indistinguishable from what the far right in the West spouts. Putin may believe that himself, but it's certainly effective propaganda as well.

Here's just one summary. 3/
ft.com/content/8e8d0f…  	Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at
Read 12 tweets
Feb 9
Sain jokin aika sitten kyselyn, että tiedänkö ketkä olisivat näissä vaaleissa "reilumman kerhon" poliitikkoja, eli niitä joista voisi sanoa "hän on reilusti."

Olen miettinyt, mitä periaatteita Reilummalla kerholla voisi olla.

Mitä mieltä olette seuraavista otsikoista? 1/
1. Demokratiasta ei neuvotella.

Demokratia on ainoa tapa taata kaikkien vapaudet. Yli- ja mielivallan esteenä ei saa koskaan olla vain valtaapitävien moraali tai häveliäisyys, ja ilman reilusti jaettua valtaa, lait ovat vain paperia. 2/
2. Reilun yhteiskunnan tarkoituksena on taata vapaudet takaamalla, ettei kellään ole ylivaltaa eikä alivaltaa.

Kellään ei saa olla niin vähän valtaa että häntä voidaan helposti painostaa, eikä niin paljon valtaa, että hän voisi helposti painostaa toisia. 3/
Read 13 tweets
Feb 7
One more warning from the history of Finland's uneasy alliance with Nazis:

I believe almost every self-styled geopolitical "realist" could today ally with a monster just like Hitler.

It's crucial to understand that the Hitler of 1940 wasn't the Hitler we know. 1/
In 1940, when the Finnish leadership quietly decided to ally with Hitler, the greatest horrors we associate with the Nazis and Hitler hadn't even been decided yet.

Mass murders of Jews began in June 1941, and the Final Solution was formulated only in January 1942. 2/
In wartime, rumors and propaganda abound. Full knowledge of the horrors of the Nazi regime wasn't available until after the war.

In 1940, Hitler was a fascist demagogue who had become a very successful statesman and wartime leader. Dismissing his detractors was very easy. 3/
Read 17 tweets
Feb 7
Everyone who can make themselves believe that Russia, of all countries, is somehow a force for the downtrodden in the world is such a fool as to be a ticking time bomb for the progressive causes.

Don't give such fools your confidence, vote, or money.
Remember what Richard Feynman said: You must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Those who are so easy to fool that they believe Russian propaganda are very easy to fool into believing other things.

Moneyed interests play people like that like violins.
IMO a major reason why leftists have problems convincing the public in many countries are dogmatics who see the world as black and white and then reason themselves into opinions that are very obviously detached from realities.

Like the ones who blame NATO for the war.
Read 9 tweets
Feb 6
A short thread about #Finland in the Second World War with a lesson from history: why solidarity matters, and it's imperative for #democracy that democracies help threatened democracies.

As many people know, Finland was a de facto Nazi ally in the Second World War. But why? 1/
Finland had been a reasonably stable though imperfect democracy before the war. A fascist coup attempt was defeated in 1932, and the fascist-aligned party was outlawed alongside the communist party.

Finland had also been leaning towards Western democracies, not Nazi Germany. 2/ President of Finland P. E. Svinhufvud reading his radio addr
Without doubt, Finnish politics skewed to the right, and many did like Germany and/or fascism. (These weren't entirely the same thing. Some were pro-German but disliked the Nazis. On the other hand, many Germanophiles were at least initially sympathetic to Hitler.) 3/
Read 37 tweets

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