When you look at images of the monstrous, billowing mushroom clouds that arise from the explosion of a nuclear bomb, they’re almost serene.
Destruction of that magnitude is so jaw dropping that you’d be forgiven for assuming the bomb was silent. Something with the power to obliterate everything in its path, faster than you can blink, must be too severe for our ears to handle. Particularly when it leaves the landscape, and all of the lives housed within it, barren and deathly quiet.
We often see aerial images of the horror that took place, like the nuclear bomb that destroyed Nagasaki pictured below. But video recordings of the explosions are almost non-existent.
They’re far from silent, however. Tomiko Morimoto, who was a 13-year-old school girl at the time of the 1945 nuclear explosion, recalls the all-consuming power of the blast.
‘You know how you see the bright sun that’s going down on a very hot day? Bright red — orange red. That’s what it was like.’
‘After we heard a big noise like a “BOONG!” “BOONG!” Like that. That was the sound.’
Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion 1945 — Source: The National Archives
After all of the mindless violence we have experienced in the last century, the hard truth is that the word ‘nuclear’ is bloodstained.
For one, it has the deaths of nearly 150,000 people in Hiroshima, and 80,000 from Nagasaki, on its hands. It’s associated with the nightmarish images of mushroom clouds and melting skin that are seared onto collective human memory. And it’s a universal reminder of what happens when we use our scientific curiosity and military skill for evil.
The negative image of nuclear technology doesn’t end at bombs either.
When it comes to nuclear power, the world has had its fair share of disasters. Because when nuclear plants malfunction, it’s far from a simple OHSA issue.
In fact, it’s so bad that the place becomes forever associated with the disaster that wrought havoc there — no matter how many decades ago it was.
Chernobyl and Fukushima are not only places of nuclear catastrophe, but they are cause for the mass concern and hesitation towards nuclear power adoption worldwide.
This hesitation is, of course, reasonable. It’s natural to be wary of a technology that, if exposed to the wrong hands (whether they be incompetent or evil), could literally kill us all.
However, it’s important to remember that when nuclear energy is harnessed and used responsibly, it’s one of the safest and most environmentally friendly (aside from when the reactors explode, that is) power sources known to man.
And if we could all shift our mindsets, nuclear could be the answer to all of our energy needs.
Moving backwards out of fear?
While most of us are familiar with the cons of nuclear technology, the pros are scarcely brought up.
For one, nuclear doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases — like methane or carbon dioxide — which are the main sources of air pollution. Nor does nuclear energy have any negative impact on the landscape or water supply like coal plants do.
Moreover, nuclear power has extremely low operating costs. Uranium is cheap, and aside from the initial building costs, nuclear plants are very inexpensive to run. Combined with the fact that nuclear reactors can run for 40–60 years, and nuclear power isn’t dependant on external factors like wind and solar are, this makes it one of the most reliable energy sources available.
Another pro is nuclear energy’s efficiency. When you compare coal to uranium, there’s no competition. One kilogram of uranium produces the same amount of energy as three million kilograms of coal.
Best of all, the low cost of uranium and nuclear technology means the cost of power for the consumer is lowered — reducing our energy bills considerably. As the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss envisioned in 1954: ‘It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their home electrical energy too cheap to meter.’
So far however, that dream remains elusive.
Really, we’re dealing with two problems here. High energy costs and climate change. And after reviewing all of the energy sources, it’s impossible to deny the appeal and viability of nuclear power.
And yet, despite the fact that Australia has 23% of the world’s uranium deposits, we’ve never had a nuclear power plant.
If the Australian government put more energy into developing nuclear technology and a safe and reliable method of storing radioactive waste, we could stop all of this talk about high energy bills tomorrow. And with all of Australia’s vast, open desert spaces, there’s really no excuse for not utilising the natural advantage we have for nuclear energy.
Even if Australia fails to wake up to the advantages of nuclear energy, investors could still potentially profit from the incredible, neglected opportunities in this space.
In his newly released report, Greg hones in on this untapped market. He outlines exactly why he believes uranium is the mineral that will power our future, and provides a handful of virtually-unknown stocks that are set to boom off the coming nuclear revolution.
To get in on the action before it starts and access the full report, click here.
This week in Markets & Money:
Because of high rates of unemployment, and large amounts of tourists, short-term rentals are all the rage for property owners in Spain. In Malaga, a touristy area, there are 30,000 short-term rentals listed on AirBnb, while there aren’t even 5,000 long-term rentals. This has sent rental prices into a bubble. Could this be a glimpse into the future for Australia?
To read Monday’s article, click here.
With property prices in Australia having fallen steadily for the past 11 months, it seems we’re really beginning to feel the effects of credit tightening. And as more properties are coming onto the market, prices are likely to drop even more.
To find out what this could mean for your property plans, click here.
Then on Wednesday, Selva looked at a tropical storm threatening the Gulf of Mexico, and the impact it could have on crude oil prices. Aside from natural disasters, there’s a lot of factors threatening the energy market. Not only is global unrest rising, but the Saudis are diversifying out of oil. Could this be an indication of a change to come?
Click here to find out.
You’d be surprised at how many buildings have been erected illegally. Because, as Selva wrote on Thursday, when buying at the height of a property frenzy, there are a lot of dodgy deals going on.
To learn how to protect yourself, click here.
As the peso continues to tumble, Argentina is falling deeper and deeper into trouble. The IMF has come to their rescue with a US$50 billion credit plan, the largest amount ever given by the fund. Yet this large amount hasn´t given the markets much confidence, and the peso has kept falling. Also, this amount is 9% of Argentina´s GDP, which makes Selva question how they will manage to pay interest charges.
To read the full story, click here.
Until next week,
Editor, Markets & Money