George Monbiot: Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power

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    Mar 22, 2011 3:47 PM GMT
    (Read the whole thing if it's your cup of tea)

    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2011-03-22-why-fukushima-made-me-stop-worrying-and-love-nuclear-power

    You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.

    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.

    Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. For a clearer view, look at the graphic published by xkcd.com. It shows that the average total dose from the Three Mile Island disaster for someone living within 10 miles of the plant was one 625th of the maximum yearly amount permitted for US radiation workers. This, in turn, is half of the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to an increased cancer risk, which, in its turn, is one 80th of an invariably fatal exposure. I'm not proposing complacency here. I am proposing perspective.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Mar 23, 2011 5:59 AM GMT
    I agree. The reactors in Japan were an old version of nuclear technology (as was Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl). There is a newer design that does not allow meltdown. And these issues cannot happen with these designs.

    However, the new designs have not been tested by a major disaster yet icon_smile.gif

    I believe safe nuclear is necessary for our energy future. Check out the Adams Atomic Engine, which is a safer version of a pebble bed reactor. This is a technology that is very safe, and can be made on a small scale too.

    http://www.atomicengines.com/QNA_AAE.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor