Monday, March 14, 2011

Yay Go Nuclear Power Go!

Before I get to the guts of this post, let's keep this in perspective.  The danger at the three nuclear reactors in Japan are a small part of the story of utter devastation that has hit Japan in the wake of one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded.  Today's news told of millions of people without food, water or heat (with temperatures cold enough for snow), news that the quake moved the main island of Japan eight feet (that deserves a holy shit by itself), and news reports of thousands of bodies washing up on shore.  The Japanese people need our thoughts, prayers, and donations.  My choice of links for this would be to the Red Cross.

Now onto the nuclear crises in Japan.  News is still coming in, so I won't quote many specifics.  But there has been some radiation leaks, hydrogen explosions, and the potential for meltdown.  This is mainly because the backups for earthquakes were also hit by a tsunami.  And remember, this is one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded (today it was upgraded to a magnitude 9! (yes, another holy shit would be warranted)).  And yet, despite the amount of damage, there has been no report up to this point that a Chernobyl-style explosion has occurred, and the people who are in the know have downplayed the probability of this.

So here's the lesson to take away.  Building nuclear reactors near major fault lines on the Ring of Fire is not a great idea.  We have 46 states that are NOT on the ring of fire, and even at that, there are places even in those states that are not that unsafe.  Building next to the San Andreas fault, not a good idea.  And putting it a little distance away from large populations is not bad either.  But there's lots of farmland across much of this country and it wouldn't take a lot to build nuclear plants across it if we were actually determined to embrace a relatively safe (AND GREEN!) technology.

Furthermore, we learn constantly how to better safeguard reactors from dangers.  Even our worst nuclear accident at Three Mile Island caused no real problem.  We learned from Chernobyl what could happen if you don't use proper safeguards.  And with Japan, we're learning how much damage and failure it takes to create problems, and how hard it is to cause a nuclear disaster.

And based on how little has happened concerning the nuclear plants in Japan in the wake of such horrendous devastation (despite the 24/7 news channel speculation), there is no damned reason for us not to press forward and build some damned nuclear plants!


soapster said...

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."

Infidel753 said...

What about vulnerability to terrorism? Imagine what would have happened if the planners of 9/11 had thought to crash a hijacked plane into a nuclear power plant.

Solar power is a better way to go. That technology is more easily built in the form of many small dispersed power plants instead of one big one, making it more resilient -- and solar power plants don't present the same dangers if they somehow get wrecked.

dmarks said...

Coal is fine, too. just make sure it clean (without sulphur and other actual problem elements).