Talking Point Fail

The nuclear industry lost another talking point, ‘not as bad as Chernobyl’ has been run over and flattened by events.

Looking at the whole picture made it clear early on that the disaster is worse than Chernobyl. Every passing day of radioactive discharge is a problem for the future. Japan doesn’t have vast areas of land like the Ukraine. They don’t have room to build new cities. And their resources are already strained by the awful damage from the earthquake and Tsunami.

Dumping of radioactive water into the ocean was scheduled to end yesterday. There was a terrible episode of mercury poisoning of seafood in Japan during the 1970’s. The Japanese people have recent experience with deadly pollution and the consequences. Can they trust the industry that failed to protect against a natural disaster that historically affects Japan, that understated the effects, that has had nothing but setbacks for a month?

When the Chernobyl disaster occured, there was a general opinion that things were different in Russia, that we have more accountability and safeguards here. It’s hard to say that about Japan.

In fact, there’s a kind of entropy built into all human enterprises. Over time we get careless, in every aspect of life. There is no form of energy that is likely to be used soon on a large scale that is without a down side. However, creating a pollutant that is deadly for thousands of years is a kind of hubris and irresponsibility we have no right to pass on to our children.


4 thoughts on “Talking Point Fail

  1. This now worse than Chernobyl,but there is a difference.
    A level 9 earthquake is not something any government or industrial entity can totally prepare-you of all people,who worships nature(not a bad thing,BTW)should get this.The forces within and about this planet are beyond our comprehension.
    Now,why am I saying this?
    Because Chernobyl was the result of absolutely irresponsible design and management.
    Three Mile Island was the result of human error,not a design fault.
    This is just a cataclysmic event beyond the capabilities of designers,builders,and operators.
    I don’t think it’s justification to scrap nuclear power.
    There is at this time no free lunch in the energy field.
    You seem to hope “clean”energy will supply our needs.
    Hope and 50 cents will buy you the Projo.
    We just aren’t at the point(and probably not within either of our lifetimes)where we can get energy we need without a downside.
    Remember the principle of physics that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.Virtually all forms of energy production except hydroelectric involve some form of dynamic reaction
    Even geothermal involves unleashing lots of steam(water vapor) and that has to have some effect on the evironment.
    Hydroelectric in operation seems pretty benign,but the infrastructure associated with it has impact on the physical environment.
    It’s for smarter people than us to figure out,but no reason we can’t discuss it rationally-not saying we aren’t.
    Think of disease-antibiotics are becoming less effective than ever due to improper use leading to resistance.
    We still are at the mercy of a farmyard mishap thousands of miles away triggering a pandemic.
    The belief that we are “in control”is illusory.
    The progress of technology lulls us into a loss of humility in evaluating our real place in the world.
    It’s more like “Dover Beach” and “The Second Coming” every day.

  2. Even the article you link says that this isn’t anywhere as severe as Chernobyl, but it does fall into the same -category- of ‘widespread effects’.

    It’s like saying ‘Hurricane Bertha was just as bad as Katrina, because both were category 3s’.

    Japan is handling this well, pretty much everything is contained, what’s out has been low-enough level that the effects for the region will likely be hard to measure. Chernobyl was a disaster, they were feeding kids milk and produce from a radioactive debris field that was the result of a totally uncontained reactor.

    1. The communist regime,like all communist regimes regards all outside the inner circle as expendable chaff.
      One needn’t leave RI to see that attitude.

  3. Thank you for continuing to call attention to this issue. As Senator Bernie Sanders said about all the reassurances we hear that nuclear/oil/energy accidents “can’t happen here”: “Impossible, impossible, impossible…..until the day after it happens.”

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