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Red Storm Rising, Expanded?

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  • Red Storm Rising, Expanded?

    I'm currently re-reading Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising for most likely the four or fifth time. Started reading again during jury duty about two weeks ago and I'm about half way through. But I been wondering if anyone would be interested in expanding the work Clancy did into book to a full fleshed out TL that goes past the end of the NATO-Soviet War. After all there is a lot left unwritten by the end of the book. Dealing with the Greeks bailing out of NATO and the Turks not having the balls to go after the Southern Soviet Flank comes to mind, through the latter I understand. There still is the whole mess that the bombing of the Kremlin caused. Or how the Soviet economy is really about to tank as the war comes to an end. Sergetov's raise to General Secretary in a fairly bloody coup. The peace talks. How would the People's Republic of China and North Korea react to all of this. NATO is tired and the Soviet's best units are a shell of their former selves. God only knows how many nuc boats are on the ocean floor now. Or the effect on the energy markets or how the lack of oil that forced the Soviets to go to war will effect the efforts at green energy. Then there is the Soviets finally figuring out how to feed their people without the need to import western gain.

    I mean a lot there is left to answered. Honestly I understand why Clancy ended it as it would be moving into political drama from his stick of techno-thrillers/war. Well it could move back to his stick in time but that's another matter all together. Anyways, thoughts.

  • #2
    The story likely takes place in 1990 and the first major climate change conferences were held in the late 1980s, so any kind of green energy boost could benefit from the greater strength of the nuclear energy sector at the time. Not only did it have a stronger socio-technical base, but competing sources of energy such as renewable energy and natural gas were far less competitive than they are now. Combined cycle natural gas plants were a new technology, and the natural gas to run them was still scarce and expensive without the development of hydraulic fracturing technology and various pipeline and liquefied natural gas projects. Petroleum power plants were being phased out of service anyways.

    Mothballed reactors could be modernized, suspended reactors could see construction resume, and canceled projects could be expedited for completion. The reactors could even be fueled by downblended uranium and mixed oxide plutonium fuel from warheads decommissioned after the end of the Cold War, as in the historical Megatons to Megawatts Program.

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    • #3
      I can't see standard nuclear power experiencing a renaissance after the world came to the edge of a nuclear weapons exchange even with the Greens most likely nosediving in popularity given how interlinked they were with the Soviet apologists . But between that and the need for some alternative that's not pie-in-the-sky like wind and solar, perhaps there might be a serious push for developing thorium reactors.
      In the more near term, hydroelectric is probably what we'll go for.

      The political fallout in Europe is probably the most interesting, but also most complicated aspect. Is Germany going to decide it's now done enough penance and get over it's self-flagellating attitude? Or double-down on hysterical pacifism? Or do what seems to be it's default response for screwups: Overcorrect and become paranoid about national security ?
      Linked to that is how the EEC will respond. Greece will most likely be tossed out, but the more bigger question is how to deal with the damage. The nation whom it was unofficially understood was to be a massive net payer bankrolling it, just has been trashed and is going to want aid rather than pay it. Is EEC solidarity actually going to come through or not for them?
      If not, but the US helps out with a new Marshal plan, then you could end up with a nightmare for the French a generation down the line: A rebuilt Germany, that's a lot more assertive and willing to play hardball with the EU, pro-US internationally and whom the newly independent nations in Eastern Europe (can't see the Warsaw Pact not falling earlier than OTL in TTL) will be looking toward to as a parter and link to the US.

      The PRC profits by default, but might be more weary of propping up the DPRK as the spectre of being dragged by it, into a war with a NATO that just demonstrated it's not as weak and decadent as assumed will be looming. Unless the DPRK doesn't go for nukes in TTL, I'd see them being thrown to the wolves by the PRC in exchange for a treaty prohibiting the stationing of non-ROK troops north of what was the DMZ.
      Turkey and Greece might very well be it's clients by TTLs 2017 given that those two nations will be finding themselves friendless in the near term.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Neroon View Post
        I can't see standard nuclear power experiencing a renaissance after the world came to the edge of a nuclear weapons exchange even with the Greens most likely nosediving in popularity given how interlinked they were with the Soviet apologists . But between that and the need for some alternative that's not pie-in-the-sky like wind and solar, perhaps there might be a serious push for developing thorium reactors.
        Thorium reactors are a type of breeder reactor, specifically the thermal breeder reactor type. Thermal breeder reactors do not run directly on thorium, which is a fertile material, but instead they transmute it into fissile uranium 233. Uranium 233 is not as suitable for nuclear weapons use as other types of uranium, and nuclear tests have produced mixed results, but in theory it can be used to make a nuclear weapon. The fast breeder reactor type reactors do produce plutonium suitable for nuclear weapons though.

        Breeder reactors were originally conceived of during the Manhattan Project as a way to maximize the number of nuclear weapons that could be produced from nuclear fuel, which was thought to be quite limited at the time. They are also ideal for stretching fuel reserves to maximize the amount of power and this drove their commercial development after the late 1960s, but their origins in a weapons program and their development for military uses made the technology controversial. They are also just not economically feasible at this point in time and are not likely to be for several decades. It is already less expensive to simply mine new uranium and produce new fuel rods, it will take a few more decades for reprocessing to become competitive with acquiring new fuel and a few more decades after that for breeder reactors to become competitive with conventional power reactors.

        With all the surplus enriched uranium and plutonium from the nuclear weapon programs the case for breeder reactors will be at least as weak as in the 1990s. There was a glut of unprocessed uranium and enrichment capacity too, also due to the end of the Cold War and the reduced military demand.

        However, if there is a strong global disarmament effort after the end of the war a breeder reactor could be promoted as a means of significantly reducing nuclear materials because they change plutonium and even dangerous nuclear waste into material that has less long lived radioactivity.

        In the more near term, hydroelectric is probably what we'll go for.
        There isn't that much unbuilt capacity in the West though, except for in Canada.

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