Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Diabetes and Nuclear Power Plants

Writing in a bulletin for priests a medical school professor compares nuclear power plants with diabetes, a common  disease with a long history. With the advance of civilization and prosperity, there has been an increase of the disease, which is marked by a large reservoir of bodily energy, wasted energy, and when not properly regulated cannot be used and thus is thrown away in our urine. We have poverty in plenty.

The professor sees our nuclear power plants as beset with the same problem our bodies have in dealing with a poorly regulated supply of energy. The energy is there to be used but just as we have a problem with distribution in a diabetically diseased body, the same is true of nuclear power plants, which are, the professor asserts, a disease of modern society.

Briefly summing up what occurs in a nuclear plant, he points out that the nuclear reaction gives us heat energy which heats the water, and the steam produced turns the electrical turbines. It is the same principle as the thermal power plant: heat energy turned into electrical energy. When we have a change in the shape of  energy, there is a great loss of energy. Much of the electrical energy we use for heating purposes, he believes, is wasted.

As is well known, it takes a few days to start a nuclear power plant and a few days to shut it down, so it is not operated to match the needs of the average citizen.  The plants are continually in operation, and at night, when there is a surfeit of electricity, there is a cheaper rate for the electricity, which benefits mostly, not the homeowner, but the big industries which often operate around the clock. In the homes, the electricity (estimated to be about 24 percent of the total generated) is most often used for heating purposes, which makes for a lot of waste.

There are other uses for this excess energy, the professor says, but they are all a great waste of energy as presently used. The comparison of diabetes to nuclear power plants is meant, he says, to point out this great waste of energy and its poor distribution. (He does not consider the nuclear waste matter which is the result of the nuclear operation.) It's not too far-fetched to compare as some have done, the nuclear power plant operation to killing a fly with a canon. Getting rid of this societal disease, the professor insists, must be done as soon as possible.

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