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In Praise of George Monbiot

Yes, you read that right.

For those not familiar with the name, Monbiot is an English watermelon (there are no Greens, those who claim the mantle are only Green on the outside, whilst remaining a deep Marxist Red on the Inside) and columnist for the Mail and Guardian.  He is also the prime inspiration for the all too appropriate "Moonbat" appellation.

But being an honest man, I am compelled to take note when my enemies admit of error and conform their new opinions to verifiable facts.

Mr. Monbiot looked around him at the reporting on the Fukushima incident, and found the reporting appalling.  More importantly, he let the facts of the matter sway his long held "neutrality" towards nuclear power.

How is that, you ask?

Fukushima is a 40 year old design.  Among it's design factors were survival when faced with an 8.0 earthquake and a 5.7m tsunami with the electrical switching yards located between 10m and 13m above sea level.  What they got was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake (which did NOT damage the key systems of the plant) and a 14m tsunami, which not only topped the protective wall (at 5.7m) but was higher than the elevation of the switching yards.


Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power

GEORGE MONBIOT Mar 22 2011 06:17

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.
Nor any other life threatening injuries.

The plant is a write off.  It will require prolonged and expensive effort to clean and dismantle.  The plant did indeed fail; it failed in a predictable and controllable manner, despite being hit with threats it was not designed to withstand.

The absence of the plant's power from the grid is far more likely to result in death or serious illness and injury than the radiological and other effects of its failure.

Mr. Monbiot concludes:

Yes, I still loathe the liars who run the nuclear industry. Yes, I would prefer to see the entire sector shut down, if there were harmless alternatives. But there are no ideal solutions. Every energy technology carries a cost; so does the absence of energy technologies. Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power.


Will the wonders never cease?

Hat Tip:Charlie Martin at the PJTattler

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Comments (49)

Good points. I agree with t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Good points. I agree with this Monbiot dude, at least as far as my limited knowledge allows. I sure hope he's right - I, and my family, live less than 20 miles from the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in NC.

"The reactors began to expl... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The reactors began to explode...."

No, they didn't.

But he does sound like a 'reformed liberal'. That a liberal who's been mugged.

Bruce,I used to sp... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Bruce,

I used to spend months at a time no more than 400 feet from an operating nuclear reactor, and spent my work time much closer than that.

I'd much rather live close to a Nuclear Power Plant than a Coal fired power plant, or an oil distillation facility.

Garand Fan @ 2I wo... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Garand Fan @ 2

I wouldn't say he was happy about his change of view, nor has he abandoned his prejudices. He has however admitted error and reached a new opinion based on what actually happened at Fukushima, for which he deserves praise.

Eventually there is going t... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Eventually there is going to be another world war. During previous world wars powerplants were always high valued targets of bombing raids. Eventually a nuclear power plant will be hit with bombs. Far more radioactive material would be released if a nuclear powerplant was hit by bomb than by an earthquake/tsunami . Imagine a country trying to prevent a meltdown and managing the cleanup at the same time a country is fighting a war. It is inevitable that this will evenutally happen.

Tina S @ 5,Acts of... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Tina S @ 5,

Acts of war are what they are.

It would require a deep penetrating weapon to breach containment for a nuclear power plant (one of the design criteria), thus a very deliberate act. Far easier to take out the Turbine Houses and Electrical Switching Yards with far less downside.

But if some capable entity chose to mount such an attack, it would be very nasty.

Personally I think we're much more likely to see the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Tina S.,So your al... (Below threshold)
howcome:

Tina S.,

So your all for expanded drilling? Or are you another liberal who is not realistic when it comes to energy policy?

But there are no i... (Below threshold)
But there are no ideal solutions. Every energy technology carries a cost; so does the absence of energy technologies

This is a shockingly conservative statement, especially coming from such a big-ass progressive as Monbiot. I wonder if he realizes it?

Stopped clocks are perfectl... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Stopped clocks are perfectly correct 2x per day.

Also, even Moonbat leftists have moments of clarity from time to time. Not often enough for them not to be morons, but occasionally.

OregonMuse, I fully expect ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

OregonMuse, I fully expect that, now he's been mugged by reality and examined one of his opinions, he'll be blasted as an all-along closet conservative and drummed out of the leftist corps.

(First they rip off his biodegradable paper epaulets. Then, his organic cotton rank insignia. Then, his sustainable rainforest-harvested wooden buttons, and natural wool jacket. Finally, they break his steel sword and throw it in the recycling bin, then throw him out the door. All for daring to question the orthodoxy.)

Tina S - you didn't specify what TYPE of bomb. If a nuke is dropped on a nuclear plant, what will likely happen is 6-12 inches of concrete over the containment dome will be cracked off and burned up, unless it's one heck of a bomb (up in the megaton range). An air burst will likely do less damage, possibly just knocking off the outer couple of inches. (Ablation spalling - the heat would cause the concrete to, essentially, burn - forming a protective vapor barrier for the rest. Same principle was tested for the Orion nuclear pulse drive - spray oil on steel and the steel is protected from the initial heat pulse.) (Doesn't mean it won't get one heck of a physical jolt - but that's what shock absorbers were for. ("Project Orion" by George Dyson is a fascinating read. The only problem is - whether you launch or land it's a bloody catastrophe.)

The buildings and equipment surrounding such will be wrecked - but the containment vessel will very likely survive pretty much intact.

And for a picture of containment construction and more info, check here...

http://bbs.monolithic.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1036

looks like containments are usually 3-4 feet in thickness, with a LOT of rebar. That doesn't include the structures inside, which could add another 5-8 feet of shielding.

And this diagram... http://www.nei.org/filefolder/safety_cutway.jpg

Shows roughly 8-9 feet of heavily reinforced concrete, a steel liner, and a reactor vessel that's 4-8 inches thick of high tensile steel.

Might not stand up to a 10 megaton ground hit - (primarily because the blast would excavate a crater that'd be probably 100 feet deep, depending on geology of the site), but at least it would fall to the bottom of the crater pretty much intact.

Air burst? It should survive. A penetrating weapon? It'd go through the shell(s) - but as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - the radioactive stuff would be entrapped by the remnants of the containment structure.

Reality bites! ... (Below threshold)
914:

Reality bites!

Relax Tina. The Luftwaffe w... (Below threshold)
914:

Relax Tina. The Luftwaffe will never make a bombing raid again.

I am compelled to take n... (Below threshold)
john:

I am compelled to take note when my enemies admit of error

Wasn't it just a few months ago that you guys were throwing a fit about referring to political opponents as "enemies"? Guess that was just for show.

The USA should be going nuk... (Below threshold)
Chico:

The USA should be going nuke big-time. Now there are reactor designs far more advanced and safer than Fukushima. Of course, government subsidy, research, and investment protection may be required, so the Tea Party would revolt.

"Of course, government subs... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Of course, government subsidy, research, and investment protection may be required, so the Tea Party would revolt."

Tell me, chico - did you gladly self-identify with the 'reality-based' folk a few years back? The reason I ask is that, like them, you seem to have this strange idea that actual reality just doesn't matter. That ideology is the ONLY thing that's at all important, and the results (or lack thereof) aren't important at all. Come out with the proper line, and who cares what actually happens because of it, right?

What the tea party's against, as you well know - or should, if you've paid any attention to, y'know, actual REALITY instead of the rather warped construct in your brain, is irresponsible spending. Now, you and I might disagree on what's 'responsible' - but I think you'll agree that we need electricity.

Solar and wind can't ramp up to provide more than a tiny fraction of what we need. There's simply no way. Even the wind farms out there now are maintenance nightmares, and more often than not sucking more power than they make.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-reality-of-wind-turbines-in-california-video/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/23/energy-sucking-illuminated-windmill-may-be-torn-down-to-make-way-for-a-coal-loader/#more-36527


(I am, however, thinking solar shingles are a way to provide supplemental power on a very small scale (2-4 kw/hr of daylight for a house below about St. Louis in the summer....) but for a city? No way it'll be practical.)

And the research has been ongoing on various reactor designs. Want a reactor that'll work essentially untended for 20 years? It's out there. Want one that'll shut itself down if cooling is lost? It's out there. Want one that's melt-down proof? It's out there. The work's been done - pull it out of the file and start building.

Our economy needs power to keep the electricity going, just as it needs oil to keep transport going. And it's not just the US - it's world-wide.

Would the Tea Party revolt if Obama announced that we were going to be building a shitload of nuclear reactors? Not hardly - because the risks would fall on private companies. There'd be some government guarantees, but I'll tell you what - let's drop Obamacare completely, and put the money collected so far to nuclear power. I don't think anyone in the Tea Party would object to that!

(The committed enviro-left would friggin' explode though...)

THe type of bomb needed to ... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

THe type of bomb needed to cause a disaster from a nuke plant would do more damage ITSELF than the nuke plant going down.

So your all for expanded... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

So your all for expanded drilling? Or are you another liberal who is not realistic when it comes to energy policy?

The reality is there are currently no good alternatives. I consider nuclear energy to be the worst option because it pose the most risks.

Another TIna S opinion base... (Below threshold)
epador:

Another TIna S opinion based on feelings rather than facts.

John @ 13,Do feel ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

John @ 13,

Do feel free to link to where I made such a statement (one to the effect of ..."throwing a fit about referring to political opponents as 'enemies'?"), or follow Monbiot's example and retract.

I consider nuclear energ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I consider nuclear energy to be the worst option because it pose the most risks.

Let's see... many more people die each year mining coal as opposed to uranium.

Are you thinking of Chernobyl? A '50s design Soviet reactor that was badly managed? Yes, it killed people. How many? That's debatable - lower boundary of about 50-100, to...? Did the radiation it spewed across Europe cause any 2-headed babies? Lobster-clawed mutants? Zombies? Festering pustules, glow-in-the-dark cats? (We've had three cats which were treated with radio-iodine, all three lived to be about 13.)

Tell you what - take a look at this...

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/xkcd_radiation.png

Then this...

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/dec/23/fly-ash-flood-covers-acres/

And remember EVERY coal plant emits fly ash. That's radioactive, has heavy metals in it, and generally isn't something you'd want to have nearby.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

Tina S, it might seem like I don't really respect your opinion - but you didn't back stuff like this up. That makes it seem like you really don't know what the heck you're talking about. Every energy source has risks. The wastes from constructing magnets for wind turbines and creating solar panels is way toxic stuff - and THAT toxicity will NOT lessen over time.

Nuclear waste can be handled - they've solved the engineering problems on that a long time ago. (Normal waste, that is, not a black swan event like the Tsunami or Chernobyl.) Radiation isn't magically deadly, mysterious and uncontrollable stuff. It's when the political gets mixed in that things get weird, and what seemed a good idea (something like Yucca Mountain) gets scratched because it's not 'perfect' enough.

I live near the Seabrook, N... (Below threshold)
John S:

I live near the Seabrook, NH, nuclear power plant. When it was built, nearby Pease Airforce base was a nuclear bomber facility. Due to constant treehugger agitation, Seabrook was built to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. Such pointless redesigns are why the $800 million facility cost almost $4 billion to build, why the utility went bankrupt, and why we currently have the most expensive electricity on Earth.

JLawson @ 20,Chern... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

JLawson @ 20,

Chernobyl deaths were 30.

At most another 2,000 cases of non-fatal, early detected and treated Thyroid cancer (not clear how many of those are attributable, so all for worst case).

I strongly suspect more than 30 were killed when the refinery on Tokyo Bay blew up after the Tsunami hit it.

Rodney - you can find varyi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Rodney - you can find varying claims for it, depending on the axes they want to grind. The Wiki's got the 30 to 31, based on Russian reporting. But - knowing how they tended to underreport stuff back in the day... it seemed like 50 was a good starting point.

But those guys who got deadly doses while trying to get things under control - those were heroes, no mistaking that, no matter how many there were.

And you're right about the refinery - I've seen 18 - but they say the numbers aren't complete yet. And those numbers will be tiny compared to the general death toll.

There is no form of energy - whether nuclear, coal, oil, solar, wind, geothermal, natural gas, biomatter - that doesn't have drawbacks and deaths associated with it.

But unless you want to go all the way back to a hunter-gatherer no-fire lifestyle, we need something.

Tina S - you didn't spec... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Tina S - you didn't specify what TYPE of bomb.

Nuclear powerplants last 50 years or more. So lets say a nuclear powerplant is hit with the most powerful non-nuclear bomb that exists 40 years from now. Can you tell me that a nuclear powerplant could sustain such a hit?

Can anybody guess who made ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Can anybody guess who made the following statement?

The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month...was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later. Indeed, the Chernobyl catastrophe was an historic turning point: there was the era before the disaster, and there is the very different era that has followed.
Tina S - You're really not ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tina S - You're really not up on this stuff, are you? (Not that it's meant as a slam, but... have you no curiosity beyond talking points? Don't you ever research any of your suppositions yourself? Don't you ever go - What if... - and then try to find the results in Google?)

I outlined what would likely happen if hit with a nuke - and you think a chemical explosive would do WORSE?

For what it's worth, the size of conventional bombs has been going down. Accuracy goes up, the explosive required to do damage goes down. The largest thing in the inventory right now - the MOAB (GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb) weighs a bit over 10 tons, 8.5 tons of which are H6, a combination of TNT, RDX, and aluminum.

From the Wiki...

"Although its effect has often been compared to that of a nuclear weapon, it is only about one thousandth the power of Little Boy, the atomic bomb used against Hiroshima. The MOAB's blast is equivalent to around 11 tons of TNT, whereas the Hiroshima blast was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT; modern nuclear missiles are far more powerful than the atomic bomb used against Hiroshima."

All things considered, I don't think you even read my reply beyond 'what sort of bomb?'

Do feel free to link to ... (Below threshold)
john:

Do feel free to link to where I made such a statement

I didn't say "you", I said "you guys", which means Wizbangers and the right, which means... hey, don't you have Google over there? http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=obama+enemies

Tina S. @ 25 - Tel... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tina S. @ 25 -

Tell ya what - why don't YOU tell us what Gorbachev meant by that.

And compare the Chernobyl design to the reactors in Japan at the same time.

First two off that, John...... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

First two off that, John...

-----------------

#
Obama Calls His Critics "Enemies"
Oct 26, 2010 ... President Obama is encouraging Hispanic voters to remain inspired by stalled immigration reform to vote against Republicans on Election Day ...
www.thenewamerican.com/.../4993-obama-calls-his-critics-qenemiesq - Cached
#
Not Presidential? Ingraham Blasts Obama for 'Enemies' Comment ...
Oct 27, 2010 ... Laura Ingraham said Obama's comments about "punishing our enemies" was not something the man occupying the Oval Office should say and called ...
blogs.abcnews.com/.../not-presidential-ingraham-blasts-obama-for-enemies-comment.html - Cached

--------------

Whatever. Thread drift! Look over there, something shiny!

john @ 27,Well, if... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

john @ 27,

Well, if you want to play it that way...

Looks like you (as in your side) need to apologize for accusing the right of violence which has been the purview of the left, for death threats to politicians in Wisconsin, and for being hypocritical bastards on the whole war and use of force issue.

<a href="http://sethgodin.t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/the-triumph-of-coal-marketing.html

For every person killed by nuclear power generation, 4,000 die due to coal, adjusted for the same amount of power produced... You might very well have excellent reasons to argue for one form over another. Not the point of this post. The question is: did you know about this chart? How does it resonate with you?

Vivid is not the same as true. It's far easier to amplify sudden and horrible outcomes than it is to talk about the slow, grinding reality of day to day strife. That's just human nature. Not included in this chart are deaths due to global political instability involving oil fields, deaths from coastal flooding and deaths due to environmental impacts yet unmeasured, all of which skew it even more if you think about it.

This chart unsettles a lot of people, because there must be something wrong with it. Further proof of how easy it is to fear the unknown and accept what we've got.

I think that any time reality doesn't match your expectations, it means that marketing was involved. Perhaps it was advertising, or perhaps deliberate story telling by an industry. Or perhaps it was just the stories we tell one another in our daily lives. It's sort of amazing, even to me, how much marketing colors the way we see the world--our reaction (either way) to this chart is proof of it.
Links to the stats used -

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

There is no energy without risk. Or reward - don't know about you, but an agrarian lifestyle where you might hit 50 if you're lucky doesn't appeal. My father was born to such a life - I think it instilled in him a lifelong love of electricity, central heating and air, gas-powered conveyances and hot water that didn't need to be warmed on a stove.

He lasted 91 years.

First two off that, John... (Below threshold)
john:

First two off that, John...

So I provide a link that shows you guys getting upset about Obama calling political opponents "enemies", and you follow that link and pull out two that show you guys getting upset about Obama calling political opponents "enemies". Uh, OK, thanks for the assist, I guess. But I believe (most) people here can read Google results on their own.

Didn't have to 'pull them o... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

Didn't have to 'pull them out'- they were the first two at the time, and there were no Wizbang references showing. Did you bother to even look at what you linked to?

Man, the trolls are getting sloppy any more...

I'm not sure what you're re... (Below threshold)
john:

I'm not sure what you're reading into "pull out" that gets you so upset. Once again, I noted that the right got upset about Obama calling political opponents "enemies", and I provided a link that lists several instances of that, and you followed that link and highlighted (is that better?) two of those instances.

Thank you, but why did you stop at two? Seems more efficient to me to just read them on Google, which is why I posted the helpful link. But if you want to spend your time copying and pasting my supportive citations, whatever floats your boat.

Wow.Our "john" is ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Wow.

Our "john" is more of a moonbat than the fellow from whose name the sobriquet was derived.

Everyone needs a hobby, Rod... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Everyone needs a hobby, Rodney - and apparently John's is making connections that aren't there.

Poor sap.

John?

"So I provide a link that shows you guys getting upset about Obama calling political opponents "enemies""...

You seem to have a hard time telling people apart. I'm sure you'd object if we said "Everyone on the left believes..." or "You guys think...", right? After all, you're all individuals, correct? No groupthink among YOU guys at all! LOL...

So, let's look at the individual cases -

When the President tells Latinos to 'Punish their enemies' - that carries just a trifle more weight than some blogger going (in reference to reality severely bitch-slapping a well-known leftist environmentalist)...

"But being an honest man, I am compelled to take note when my enemies admit of error and conform their new opinions to verifiable facts."

In the first, it's a person of great stature urging violence against the horrible people who don't really appreciate the virtues and sanctified status of 'illegal aliens'.

In the second, it's someone going "I don't like this guy, but I respect that he looked at the issue with an open mind and changed his opinion."

My take? Obama doesn't respect anyone but the person/group he's pandering to right at that moment. Rodney Graves can respect intellectual honesty when he sees it.

Your mileage, of course, may vary - and probably does.

I realize that you're just here to have an argument - so... that's your ration for the month. Hope you enjoyed it!

(Try Vegemite next time. Just remember to spread it thinly, otherwise it's like biting into a soy sauce sandwich...)

Tina: THose reactors are m... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Tina: THose reactors are made to be able to take a fully loaded 747 going at 500 MPH crashing into them, so, yes. by the time you get a bomb strong enough to do that, the bomb itself would do more damage than the nuke plant.

Heck, in Japan the plant it... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Heck, in Japan the plant itself took the 9.0 Earthquake head on just fine, what went wrong was not protecting the backup diesel generator from a 30 foot Tsunami.

YOu know how a 9.0 earthqua... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

YOu know how a 9.0 earthquake compares in energy release to the largest bomb ever made? That earthquake released energy equivalent to ten percent of the entire world's nuclear arsenal.

Ryan,There you go ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Ryan,

There you go spreading pearls of wisdom before a moonbat...

I'm sure you'd object if... (Below threshold)
john:

I'm sure you'd object if we said "Everyone on the left believes..."

LOL! If I did, I'd be commenting in just about every post! Go look up jim m, who manages to work some generalization about "leftists" into his every comment.

apparently John's is making connections that aren't there.

Let's see. I said the right had a fit about calling political opponents "enemies". I posted links demonstrating same. As someone else recently said... Simple. Direct. Damning.

John -OMG your so ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

John -

OMG your so RITE! We r PWNED! OMG! WTF! OMG!

(Shrug.)

It's when the political ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

It's when the political gets mixed in that things get weird, and what seemed a good idea (something like Yucca Mountain) gets scratched because it's not 'perfect' enough.

JLawson, google:

yucca mountain fault lines

then tell me if you still think Yucca Mountain was a good idea.

JLawson, the Scientific Ame... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

JLawson, the Scientific American article you linked to was interesting but the title of the article was false and the article was misleading. The title of the article is "Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste". "The title should have been "More Radiation Escapes During Normal Operation of Coal Plant than Escapes During Normal Opearation of a Nuclear Plant."

The article is implying that if an accident occured at a Nuclear Plant and radiation esacped, than that radiation would be no more harmful to the environment than Coal Ash. That is not the case.

The editor posted the following correction to the story. You may also want to read some of the comments at the end of the story.

*Editor's Note (posted 12/30/08): In response to some concerns raised by readers, a change has been made to this story. The sentence marked with an asterisk was changed from "In fact, fly ash—a by-product from burning coal for power—and other coal waste contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste" to "In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy." Our source for this statistic is Dana Christensen, an associate lab director for energy and engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as well as 1978 paper in Science authored by J.P. McBride and colleagues, also of ORNL.
You read the article, Tina ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

You read the article, Tina - good for you!

What I'm trying to point out to you is that there's NO perfect solution. You worry about radiation from nuclear plants - but you ignore more radiation commonly coming from coal plants - and those are in operation 24/7, ALWAYS emitting.

Re Yucca - I've been watching that mess for years. There is no perfect solution, you can always find faults pretty much anywhere in the US. Active faults? You define how 'active' they can be. Up to about a 5 would be tolerable, I think. (Seriously, solid glass blocks in an underground tunnel through solid rock? They wouldn't even wiggle.)

Oddly, the first link you google up when you search as you suggested is an anti-Yucca site.

Active fault lines! Volcanos! Geothermal activity! OMG!

They started with a premise -

IT IS OUR JOB TO INSURE THIS CATASTROPHIC MISTAKE IS NOT MADE!!!!!

Wow. Capitals AND 5 exclamation marks. They're serious, aren't they? Looking over their site, I see an awful lot of hysteria and buzzwords designed to elicit an emotional reaction - "Irradiated trains", "Mobile Chernobyl" - heh. It'd be laughable, if it weren't so ... misleading.

Like this...

"These shipping containers are vulnerable to severe accidents. Even a fraction of a single shipping container’s radioactive cargo escaping into the environment could prove catastrophic for an entire area downwind and downstream. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not even require them to undergo full-scale physical safety testing! The containers are also vulnerable to terrorist attack, making them massive “dirty bombs on wheels.”

Yet somehow we manage to transport hazardous stuff around the US with few problems. I'd be much more worried about a train with tank cars full of chlorine gas going through a city than a train full of hazardous waste - looking at the containers used.

So watch this and tell me - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as3VQeYfd2c - are they lying about the testing? Misrepresenting? Shading the truth?

If they're doing that about the transports - what else are they 'misrepresenting'? Why are they so dependent on emotion instead of reason?

Let's look at their other 'projects'.

Alternatives to Nuclear
Environmental Justice (Of course...)
No New Nukes!
Nuclear Economics
Nukes and Climate Change (love that one...)
Radiation
Radioactive Waste
Reactor Watchdog
Uranium
NIRS Southeast

Alternatives to nuclear? Solar. Wind. Ethanol. All with problems. In the case of solar, environmentalists block it in the Mojave. Wind? Check out the links in #15. Ethanol? No, that won't work - at least not as we're doing it, and likely never here in the US. The costs are way too high.

Congratulations. You've found anti-nuclear power Luddites.

I'm trying to decide if you're serious about this stuff, or if you know it's garbage but you're just bored.

I use to live in San Clemen... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I use to live in San Clemente which is about 5 miles from the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I learned to surf directly in front of the powerplant. The power plant is surronded by state parks with very delicate habitats and home to rare and endangered species. So I don't disagree with you that a properly run nuclear power plant has very little impact on the environment.

Heh.Empirically it... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Heh.

Empirically it's safer to work in a nuclear power plant in the United States than it is go to concerts by The Who, just as it is empirically safer to go hunting with Dick Cheney than it is go for an automobile ride with Teddy Kennedy.

If a nuke is dropped on ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

If a nuke is dropped on a nuclear plant, what will likely happen is 6-12 inches of concrete over the containment dome will be cracked off and burned up, unless it's one heck of a bomb (up in the megaton range).

I serously doubt your analysis that a nuclear powerplant can withstand a nuke. Most of the nuclear powerplants in the U.S. can not withstand a 747 flying into it.

What I'm trying to point... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

What I'm trying to point out to you is that there's NO perfect solution. You worry about radiation from nuclear plants - but you ignore more radiation commonly coming from coal plants - and those are in operation 24/7, ALWAYS emitting.

You do not have to point out something to me that I already acknoweldged in comment 17.At least with coal plants you don't have to guard the emitted waste from terrorists. Terrorists are constantly trying to get there hands on nuclear waste. Plus the nuclear waste needs to be guarded from terrorsist for hundred if not housands of years after a nuclear plant shut downs. Soon as a coal plant shut's down it stops emitting radiation.




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