The Generation and Distribution of Electricity
No one can deny that electricity has fundamentally changed our way of life. We have not done a survey, but we'll bet that the number of folks that would want to return to the days before the widespread distribution of electricity is none. Sure, there are those that would like to return to a simpler way of life without the stress of today's fast-paced, in-your-face way of living (we would too!), but give up the refrigerators and air conditioning? No way!
So now that we've established that electricity is pretty much a requirement, let's look at the other side of the coin. Generating electricity requires power plants. Distributing that electricity requires power lines, switchyards, and substations. These facilities have to be locate somewhere, and for technical reasons we'll explore later as we develop the page, they need to be located not too far from where the bulk of the power is used. In other words, in somebody's back yard. The folks of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee live very close to a nuclear plant. So do folks in 64 other places in the US. Last count we saw, there were 103 operating nuclear generators at 65 sites. (Those plants produced 20% of the power used in the United States... not bad for a "dead" industry!) There are thousands of other generation facilities, and hundreds of thousands of miles of transmission lines of various types, all necessary to supply the electricity we demand, So the next time you protest a power plant or power transmission lines, think about your refrigerator, and what life would be like without it. If you succeed in stopping power generation from a hydro plant, think about how that lost power will have to be made up. Before you sing the song of conservation, look at the numbers to see what we are up against.
Not that we shouldn't try to conserve. Americans are 5% of the world's population, yet we use 25% of the world's energy production. A lot of it is wasted, but a lot of it supports the United States of America. Are we living the Life of Riley at the expense of the rest of the world? A difficult question that can't be answered flippantly, without studying the facts. We are going to try to present those facts here, but that is a monumental task. This web site is a labor of love, not a vocation, and we have a limited amount of time to devote to it. However, if you are reading this, then you obviously have access to the internet. Use it for your own research, and reach your own conclusions. But do it quickly... we are already starting to pay the price of ignorance and inaction in California. From our preliminary reading, the power crisis there is a combination of too little generation, inadequate distribution, and, yes, good old capitalism. Not to mention the inevitable political interference to "fix" things, with the equally inevitable results.
We are going to start simply, by utilizing someone else's work. Look at TVA's power page. Follow the links there for a very simple explanantion of how power plants work, and some simple facts about their distribution system. Utilize the search option to find documents about individual developments. Look at the various annual reports that have, besides financial information, facts about just how much power was produced by various means. We think you will be surpised at what you find.

Southern Company and Duke Power both offer a little bit of information on their web sites. Take a tour of a power plant or visit one of several vistor's centers that all of the utility companies have scattered about. At least get a feel for how many generation facilities are needed to supply our power requirements.
From Australia, this is an excellent site to learn about nuclear power and the uranium cycle. While nosing around there, we were astounded to learn about a series of naturally occuring fission reactions almost two billion years in west Africa. These events have been studied extensively to prove out the underground storage proposals of the high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
While we are continuing our research, we have started to take some action that we feel is necessary.