Skip to comments.Fukushima a stake through nuclear industry’s heart
Posted on 05/25/2011 4:38:01 PM PDT by bananaman22
Despite the managed media campaign by Tokyo Electric Company, the Japanese government and nuclear industry flacks worldwide, the 11 March 9.0 on the Richter scale earthquake, followed by a tsunami that off-lined TEPCOs six reactor Daiichi Fukushima nuclear power complex represents a global mortal blow to the nuclear power industry, which had been optimistic of a renaissance following worldwide concerns about global warming. While TEPCOs PR spin doctors along with Japanese government flacks will continue to parsimoniously dribble out information about the real situation at the stricken reactors while blandly assuring the Japanese population and the world that all is well even as nuclear lobbyists bleat it cant happen here, all but the most obtuse are beginning to realize that catastrophes at nuclear power facilities, whether man-made (Chernobyl) or natural (Fukushima) have radioactive pollution consequences of potentially global significance.
It is the long-term consequences of the dispersal of radioactive reactor core fissionable material and, in the case of Fukushima, spent reactor fuel, that no amount of spin doctoring can diminish, and far from being environmental propaganda from eco-terrorists, has been a concern of specialists for decades, but those voices rarely reach the mainstream media, many of which are owned by massive corporations deeply invested in the revival of nuclear power.
Fukushima a stake through the nuclear industrys heart
The Japanese are modern, educated, and capable... Think of the mess if an earthquake damaged some of Iran’s nuclear plants...
Let's hope so. The sooner we get off dependence of nuke power the better. Drill baby drill!
Think of the mess if an earthquake damaged this one...
One person died recently at Fukushima - the same number of people that died in Ted Kennedy’s car...
First, the quake did not damage the Japanese plants. Second, the tsunami caused the havoc. Third, an earthquake is limited by the size of the fault and the tsunami limited by the quake.
San Onofre is my local nuclear plant. What happened in Japan cannot happen here.
Nuclear power plants? I say build more, build now.
I wrote, think of the mess if an earthquake damaged this one...(San Onofre). Can't figure out how you got what you did out of that simple sentence.
Let me ask it more directly. If a quake so damaged the San Onofre Nuke Plant to cause a partial meltdown and radiation leak that spilled across I-5, into Oceanside, Fallbrook and other communities, do you think it would be a mess?
Nuclear power plants? I say build more, build now. San Onofre is my local nuclear plant. What happened in Japan cannot happen here.
I think words similar to yours were uttered before.
In fact, it was not long ago that people on here - perhaps you - were saying the problem at the nuke plant in Japan was not serious.
One last question. I hope you won't take offense but for the record it should be asked. Do you work for Edison?
One word: Thorium.
Obviously, we should never have built another passenger ship after the Titanic sunk.
No, we learned our lesson on that one. Unsinkable became an unthinkable notion, as should the notion that an area surrounding a nuke plant such as San Onofre could never become uninhabitable.
However, you do make a good point and raise the question: Could it ever happen here as it has in Japan. It is a question that needs to be given very serious consideration.
It is clear that wherever a plant can be screwed up by humans, it is possible for a plant to be screwed up, because humans can make mistakes.
It appears that one of the problems at Fukushima was caused by humans doing the wrong thing as a result of misunderstood readings.
To the extent the newer facilities have better control limits and better presentation of information, such errors can be minimized. To the extent we have a better human control structure, such events can also be minimized. Note that human error was also a major factor in the BP oil spill.
Most of our nuclear reactors are self-cooling. So to the extent we don’t let the humans screw THAT up, it is much less likely to have a cooling loss such as the one a the very old Fukishima plant.
In this regard, we are much less safe because of the prohibitive costs of building new reactors, or upgrading old reactors. It is so expensive to make any major renovations that old plants are simply continued, rather than being replaced.
The scaremongers of Fukishima will only make this worse. It is already hard enough to decommission a plant because there is no place to put the reactor fuel because of the Democrats. But anything that discourages new, safe reactors will make us continue to use the old reactors past their original lifetimes.
BTW, I don’t think “unsinkable” became an unthinkable notion. Nobody would get on a Disney Cruise if they had posted warnings that “This ship could sink at any time”. People assume ships will never sink unless there is a catastrophic accident. Just as we assume any particular plane will NEVER crash, even as we know that occasionally one does.
The question is whether there is such a thing as an “unacceptable loss”. People will die because of Fukishima. Lives will be destroyed, land lost, a company will be ruined. Is that an acceptable loss for clean, relatively cheap electric power? We need to compare to the costs of other power, and we will likely find that Fukishima’s losses are much less than for other plants.
For example, even if there is a permanent exclusion zone around fukishima, it will be smaller than the land permanently lost to a hydroelectric plant; it might be less than the land lost to a solar or wind farm as well, depending on how big the exclusion zone is.
Will the negative health consequences of working at the plant outweigh the health damage from coal? The number of people killed running the plant — will it be greater than the number of people who die at traditional electric plants? Will the environmental impact be greater when 40 years of Fukishima is compared to 40 years of an oil-fired plant which belched noxious fumes for decades before it was upgraded?
Unfortunately, humans are notoriously “bad” at assessing risk. We apply a much lower threshold to “spectacular” risks vs ordinary risks. People will avoid going near Fukishima, but they will fly and get higher dosage of radiation. They will be scared of the couple of deaths, while they ignore the tens of thousands who die in car crashes.
That is a great example — people will drive rather than fly, even though driving is much more dangerous than flying. In part that is because people feel they have control over the risk of driving, while the risk of flying is completely out of their control.
Another good example — during the DC sniper incident, kids sports leagues shut down, and schools kept kids inside during the day. This to end a risk that was so small as to be immeasurable — a total of a dozen or so people killed out of 3 milliont.
Meanwhile, those same kids were still required to go to school every day, even though buses crash, parents crash their cars, and kids get hit by cars while walking to school. None of those risks were worth shutting down school. BTW, I’ll admit that I simply didn’t go to the gas stations near the freeways, after he shot someone in my town. It’s not like I drove up there anyway, but I had the same irrational fear.
Chernobyl had a theme part that was within a couple of days of opening.
My daughter is begging me to take a summer trip to Chernobyl. She’s looking at tours and everything. I dont’ know why, but she considers it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope she can find something else to see while she is in the Ukraine, because it’s expensive enough to get there.
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