30 December 2009

Is Nuclear Power Appropriate for the Tribal World?

The population of Earth is diverse, in terms of competence to deal with complex technology. The concept of "appropriate technology" is important to keep in mind when considering the expansion of complex technologies, such as nuclear power, to the third world.  Maintenance of nuclear and other technologies is critically important -- and complex beyond the ability of people with very low IQ.

How intelligent should a nation's population be before it considers relying upon complex and potentially dangerous technologies for essential functions such as electrical power, pumping and purifying water, etc?

The map above displays world nations by IQ.  The darker the lavender, the higher the mean intelligence of the population.  A lighter lavender indicates a lower average intelligence.   For example, the average intelligence of populations in China, North America, Oceania, Europe, Japan, and Korea is close to 100.  The average intelligence of populations in subsaharan Africa is 75 at the most.  The colour differences reflect differences in capacity to develop and maintain high technology infrastructures without significant outside help.  A high IQ market-dominant minority can allow a nation to "perform above its weight class" in technology infrastructure, but such minorities tend to create a high degree of resentment among lower IQ majority populations.


Namibia, one of three countries in Africa besides Niger and South Africa producing uranium, plans to build a nuclear plant to supply the domestic market and the region.

"We are determined to build a nuclear plant both for Namibia and to trade power via the Southern African Power Pool," Namibia's deputy energy minister, Bernhardt Esau, said in February.

The south-west African country faces a shortfall of power and imports electricity from neighbouring South Africa, which has its own electricity supply problems. The Namibian government is setting up a regulatory system with the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide the legal framework to build a nuclear plant.

Esau said the country had general talks with Areva but would launch a tender process to select a company to build the plant. [ID:nLC243082]


Niger, one of the world's top uranium producers, plans to build a nuclear power station to help solve an energy shortage in the region, an advisor to the minister of energy said in February.

The country planned to ask South Africa, the only country on the continent with a nuclear plant so far, to help. [ID:nLB439868]


Initial Qatari interest in nuclear power plants has waned with the fall in international oil and gas prices, a Qatari official said in November 2008.

"It is less economically viable now, and less attractive. The potential costs are changing with the turmoil in financial markets, the economic slowdown and development of alternative fuels," Yousuf Janahi, manager of business development at Qatar's state-owned power company Kahramaa, said.

If Qatar decided to go ahead with building a nuclear plant, feasibility studies showed it would be unlikely to bring a reactor into operation before 2018.

French power giant EDF (EDF.PA) signed a memorandum with Qatar in early 2008 for cooperation on development of a peaceful civilian nuclear power program.


The South African government expects the country's next nuclear power plant to be up and running by 2020 [ID:nLK595679].

State-owned power utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL] operates Africa's sole nuclear powered plant with a total capacity of 1,800 MW.

Nuclear is a major part of South Africa's energy diversification plan to reduce its heavy reliance on coal, which now supplies most of its electricity. 


Several nations of North Africa and the Middle East also have plans to build nuclear plants, as well.  More information about specific national plans at the links above.  The oil rich nations of MENA -- although having population IQs of around 80 to 85 -- have been able to hire outside help to maintain their technological infrastructure, using profits from energy exports.    Several African nations likewise possess enough oil and mineral wealth to attract outside expertise -- but in subsaharan Africa, the average IQ is ten points lower than the already low IQ of MENA countries.

The bloody instability of the tribal nations of Africa and Asia combined with the general low IQ of populations there, suggests that exporting dangerous and complex technologies to those regions is anything but appropriate.   Al Fin nuclear engineers suggest that current nuclear fission designs should be limited to nations whose average IQs exceed 90 -- in the absence of a significant (10%)  high IQ market dominant minority.

The above chart illustrates the correspondence between IQ and the ability to learn different skills, trades, and occupations.  Keep in mind that for some countries in Africa, the above curve would shift two standard deviations to the left -- to a mean of roughly 70 instead of 100.  In other words, for several African countries a capable mechanic will be as difficult to find as a competent chemist or executive in the advanced world.  Competent engineers are virtually non-existent in the tribal nations. 

When the oil resources of a tribal nation are developed by outside enterprises from China, Europe, North America, Japan, Russia, etc. western critics are quick to yell "colonialism!"  The same is true when western religious charities build hospitals and schools in the third world.  But an clear grasp of the content of the above chart makes it obvious that a nation with an average IQ of 75 or 80 will never be able to field a large enough team of competent engineers, surgeons, scientists, technicians, managers, and other skilled professionals to develop or maintain complex enterprises.

The additional danger of nuclear technology -- if not carefully operated and maintained -- reveals the absurdity of plans for building such industrial plants in low IQ countries that are basically unstable, politically.

Nuclear technology will progress in the next 20 or 30 years to the point where it may be safe enough for very low IQ tribal peoples.   It is a terrible idea for 2010.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Sojka's Call said...

Some people believe the "fourth generation" nuclear plants which uses nuclear fuel embedded in graphite balls about the size of your fist are much less risky to operate. Apparently you still believe these are too technical for the low IQ nations to utilize? I am curious because that is the spin being put out to justify building nuclear plants at this time.

Wednesday, 30 December, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting that you ask that, since some of the preliminary work on pebble bed reactors was done in South Africa by the government utility Eskom. But the demo plant has been cancelled due to unforeseen problems. S. Africa is facing another cold winter with insufficient electrical power. (but lots of corrupt, wealthy kleptocrats in the ANC)

Idaho National Labs has developed an improved version of a layered pebble-like fuel that looks safer than previous versions. Eventually, reactor designs and safter fuels will make nuclear power safe enough for the tribal third world. ? 20 - 30 years ?

But corruption, constant warfare, instability, a lack of skilled and trained technologists and professionals etc. etc. are touger problems to solve.

Wednesday, 30 December, 2009  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts