Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power

Quoting George Monbiot:

A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami.  The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system.  The reactors began to explode and melt down.  The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting.  Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.

My favorite response from the anti-nuclear enviro-wackos is the statement that this is "worse than Three Mile Island."  It’s hard not to be worse than Three Mile Island considering that there were virtually no ill effects whatsoever from that incident.

These plants have survived operator errors and the worst natural disasters because they were designed well -- fifty years ago.  Just imagine how much better off America would be if we could actually build some new nuclear plants, using the newer and much-improved designs, instead of relying on dirty fossil fuels and foreign nations for so much of our energy.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply


01. Mar 11, 2013 at 09:50pm by Anthony:

Two years on, despite all the idiotic fearmongering from clueless media and politicians, the facts are much the same:

Quoting Bloomberg:

And what of the lasting threat from radiation?  Remarkably, outside the immediate area of Fukushima, this is hardly a problem at all.  Although the crippled nuclear reactors themselves still pose a danger, no one, including personnel who worked in the buildings, died from radiation exposure.  Most experts agree that future health risks from the released radiation, notably radioactive iodine-131 and cesiums-134 and -137, are extremely small and likely to be undetectable. [...]

Even in the most contaminated areas, any increase in cancer risk will be small.  For example, a male exposed at age 1 has his lifetime cancer risk increase from 43 percent to 44 percent.  Those exposed at 10 or 20 face even smaller increases in risk -- similar to what comes from having a whole-body computer tomography scan or living for 12 to 25 years in Denver amid background radiation in the Rocky Mountains.  (There is no discernible difference in the cancer rates between people who live in Denver and those in Los Angeles or New York.)

The Linear No-Threshold Dose hypothesis is still false.  Nuclear is still among the safest forms of energy we have.  Our media and our political class are still the worst we’ve ever had.

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