Steve Kirsch invented and owns a patent on an early version of the optical mouse. After bringing multiple successful startup companies through IPO and corporate buy-out, he set up a $75M charitable fund and became a philanthropist. In 2003, Hillary Clinton presented Kirsch with a National Caring Award from the Caring Institute in Washington DC.
Mr. Kirsch founded Mouse Systems Corporation in 1982. After he left the company, he co-founded Frame Technology Corp. in 1986 to market the FrameMaker publishing software. After Frame was acquired by Adobe Systems, he founded a Web portal company, Infoseek Corporation, in 1994. After Infoseek was acquired by Disney, he founded Propel Software Corporation in 1999. As of 2007, he was leading Abaca Technology Corp., which makes a spam filter that is reported to achieve very high levels of accuracy.
Steve has written much about the Integral Fast Reactor and its ability to solve the world's dire problems.
Steve's Article on the IFR
Google spent $250M to research whether aggressive adoption of renewable energy would be sufficient to halt global warming.
Their conclusion was simple: Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK'
"Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach," wrote Google's Ross Koningstein and David Fork in a piece published yesterday in IEEE's Spectrum.
This means we need a power technology that can produce carbon free power on a reliable basis (24x7) that is not "renewable." There is only one option left on the table: nuclear energy.
Advanced nuclear designs such as the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) are passively safe and use our existing nuclear waste for fuel. The small amount of waste product produced from these reactors is easily sequestered.
Unfortunately, after 30 years of flawless operation, President Clinton pulled the plug on these reactors telling Congress that the clean power from these reactors was no longer needed.
The fact remains that nuclear power is the safest form of power ever created (least number of deaths per kwH for any power technology). In the US for example, coal kills 20,000 people per year while there have been no deaths attributed to nuclear power in its entire history in the US.
So why aren't we spending billions of dollars to perfect and cost reduce these advanced reactors and supplying them to China and other emerging economies?
We have no other option left on the table. If there is a better option, what is it?
Steve Kirsch of SCGI is like the Energizer Bunny — he never runs out of energy in trying to get something meaningful done on the carbon emission mitigation problem. Below is his open letter to the U.S. President’s energy and climate policy staffer. His aim: to get Chuck Till an invitation to the White House!
The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a fourth-generation fast nuclear reactor design that offers more efficiency and safety, while generating 1,000 times less waste than current light-water reactors, the predominant designs used in the US. It uses existing nuclear waste for fuel. The energy needs of the US can be supplied for over 1,000 years just using the existing nuclear waste now in storage.
Near the end of 2010, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a summary of a report titled The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle as part of its MIT Energy Initiative. The complete report was released a few months ago. The conclusions published that report initiated a virtual firestorm of reaction among the members of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) Study group who strongly disagreed with the authors.
Dear Secretary Chu:
We strongly agree with President Obama that the US needs to be the leader in clean energy technology. Unless we can quickly develop an economically attractive alternative to fossil fuel as the main source of our energy, our fossil reserves will continue to be depleted, and emissions of noxious pollutants will continue to grow.
Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that “nuclear energy is the best option to curb carbon emissions.”
Realistically, the only candidate source of the bulk of the energy that will be needed in the future is nuclear fission. Sadly, the United States is no longer a leading force in the safe evolution of that technology.
by Steve Kirsch
"In the decade from 1984 to 1994, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory developed an advanced technology that promised safe nuclear power unlimited by fuel supplies, with a waste product sharply reduced both in radioactive lifetime and amount. The program, called the IFR, was cancelled suddenly in 1994, before the technology could be perfected in every detail. Its story is not widely known, nor are its implications widely appreciated. It is a story well worth telling, and this series of articles does precisely that."
--- excerpt from Plentiful Energy and the IFR story by Charles Till
Why it matters
To prevent a climate disaster, we must eliminate virtually all coal plant emissions worldwide in 25 years. The best way and, for all practical purposes, the only way to get all countries off of coal is not with coercion; it is to make them want to replace their coal burners by giving them a plug-compatible technology that is less expensive. The IFR can do this. It is plug-compatible with the burners in a coal plant (see Nuclear Power: Going Fast). No other technology can upgrade a coal plant so it is greenhouse gas free while reducing operating costs at the same time.
Huffington Post, August 26, 2009
Yesterday, on August 25, 2009, the UN's top climate scientist has, for the first time, backed ambitious goals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions that many climate negotiators say are beyond reach.
Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, said clearly and unequivocally that 350 is the number.
You'd think that after all the press coverage that global warming has received that the public would be pretty well educated on exactly how fast we need to install clean power to avert an irreversible climate disaster. But the public has no clue.
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