Thursday, July 07, 2011

Why Going Nuclear Is A Bad Idea

Instapundit has a bit up by a nuclear "expert" who says that Going Nuclear Is Safe and Right: Michigan Professor. If you follow the link to the original article, you will find video and text.

In the video the "expert" says that shutting down the nuclear industry in Germany, Italy and Switzerland is a very bad idea. On this point he is probably correct. I think closing the plants after their useful life is a good way to go. But he says one other thing that really got my goat. Something to the effect of "if people really knew what was going on they would feel better about nukes." I don't think so. So it is time for a Fukushima update. Let us see how things are going and how they have gone.

At the link are excerpts from an Arnie Gundersen Interview. I'm going to excerpt a few choice bits myself.

"I have said it's worse than Chernobyl and I’ll stand by that. There was an enormous amount of radiation given out in the first two to three weeks of the event. And add the wind and blowing in-land. It could very well have brought the nation of Japan to its knees. I mean, there is so much contamination that luckily wound up in the Pacific Ocean as compared to across the nation of Japan - it could have cut Japan in half. But now the winds have turned, so they are heading to the south toward Tokyo and now my concern and my advice to friends that if there is a severe aftershock and the Unit 4 building collapses, leave. We are well beyond where any science has ever gone at that point and nuclear fuel lying on the ground and getting hot is not a condition that anyone has ever analyzed."
Got that? Fukushima was a "lucky" accident. What happens if we have an "unlucky" accident. And it wouldn't be hard. A reactor inland close to a populated area would do just fine. Know any? I live in an area that has a population of around 300,000 or maybe a half million within 30 km of the Byron nuke plant. Not to mention the agriculture. Or all the plants at the edge of the Great Lakes. A great heat sink there but not enough dilution in case of an accident. Which the industry assures us is unlikely (Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were just aberrations). And I used to believe them. Events have overtaken faith. And I assure you it is a bitch.

A few little tasties from a while back:

70,000 more people need to get out of Dodge.

TEPCO management…just keeps looking worse and worse.

Radioactive material detected in grass in Miyagi

France detects cesium in Japanese tea imports

And then there are the baseless rumors.
A group of fishing boats left the Onahama Port for katsuo fishing last month, but they've given up on hauling to the Onahama Port due to the "baseless rumor" of radiation contamination, according to Tokyo Shinbun.

The authorities seem to want to keep it "baseless rumor" by not testing. At this point, even if they start to test, no consumer will readily believe the official numbers.
One way to avoid unpleasantness is to "don't look". I thought we were supposed to outgrow that at least by age 18 if not sooner. Of course under stress people regress.

And how about the people of Japan? Losing their faith in the nuclear industry? That will be a blow.

The shills are out. i.e. why the Japanese are losing their faith in nuclear. As are The Germans and The Italians and even the quite sober and calculating Swiss.

It is stories like this that give nuclear power a bad name. 17,020 Becquerels/Kg Cesium in Dirt Cleaned Out from Elementary School Swimming Pool in Ibaraki Prefecture
And who did the cleaning? Children.

And for those of you into water sports. Just great - High levels of radioactivity found in Fukushima resident's pee. Be careful out there. I think a few licks might be OK. But if not there will be some serious fall out from the accident. "Nuclear power screwed up my sex life" is not a phrase we would care to hear very often.

Until we get nukes designed to weather total loss of power accidents for a week or more we don't have the nukes we need. And until the industry gets serious I'm not going to be a supporter.

Enough gloom and doom for today. No doubt we will have more tomorrow. In the mean time things will be getting better. Mostly.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Infinate Information said...

Interesting post. I read also about how the Japanese are opposing Nuclear power but there is contradictory information such as voting a "governor" to power to a province next to Fukishima who is a supporter of Nucleasr and the main opposition party in Japan is going to keep nuclear power if it gains power which is likely as the government at the moment is very unpopular and an election must be held by 2013 for memory.