Pro-nuclear bloggers off gassing hubris to release pressure build-up

  Even as the Fukushima crisis drops off and on the front pages, several hell-for-leather lets harness the god given power of the atom pro-nuclear bloggers may be showing stress cracks.  

At the top of the list  is Rod Adams AKA atomicrod who at the very start of the fast moving crisis  confidently released a blog titledPerformance of old nuclear plants in Japan demonstrates why much of current regulations are overkill    

I also think it is important to recognize the opportunity to explain to people why there will be no health consequences to the public from challenges at Japanese nuclear plants and why that prediction could confidently be made almost as soon as the earth stopped shaking, long before all of the details of the events began to unfold.  

Writing today atomicrod seems less inclined to predicting the future, saying in part “What this event has taught me is that I need to retreat a bit.”

While still making it clear he is 100% touched  with atoms he ads:

However, I am now certain that not all operating reactors are equally safe, equally well maintained, or equally well sited. I have always known that there are risks associate with nuclear energy – it is such a concentrated source of power that it is impossible to ignore just how quickly it can get out of control.  

…far short of a catastrophe

Another supporter goes wobbly It is clear that LWRs are not 100% safe.  then speedily rallies to the idea that, for him at least Fukushima is only an accident and not a catastrophe.

To date the consequences of the Dai-ichi accident have fallen far short of a catastrophe. But whether the public is aware of the distinction between an accident and a catastrophy is open to question. For the enemies of nuclear power, accident and catastrophe are the same thing.


Hydrogen explosions are bad and should be avoided !  

By far my favorite release is Meredith Angwin’s yesvy blog lessons learned diary.  She primly notes two root causes:    

My two lessons are:

– upgrading emergency preparedness, especially back-up power

– preventing hydrogen explosions.

She discusses the spent fuel pools then ads

Still, if the Japanese reactors had had available back-up power and if they had been able to prevent hydrogen explosions, the fuel pools would have been fine.

Yes, lesson learned : if only they hadn’t had those problems they wouldn’t have had those other problems. Safe clean logic.  

11 thoughts on “Pro-nuclear bloggers off gassing hubris to release pressure build-up

  1. What does it take to be a catastrophe and not merely an accident?  Level 6s don’t count?  Iodine that will mess up your babies for life doesn’t count?  Radioactive sea water doesn’t?  Radiation burns on workers and massive evacuations?

    When I teach BC/DR policy in my infosec class, we talk about ways to deal with risk.  Same concepts apply with nukes, although generally a problem with, say…losing a harddrive doesn’t have the potential to kill tens of thousands.  Of course, that’s the point: even if the odds of a bad thing happening are small, they aren’t 0, and if the impact is large enough perhaps you should consider not taking the risk in the first place.  Especially when there are alternatives.

  2. You dummies, accidents are not catastrophes!

    Chernobyl as NOT a catastrophe because only 55 people died.  The 500,000 people with thyroid cancer today have nothing to do with Chernobyl, and are NOT a catastrophe!

    All nuclear power is inherently safe because Atomic Scrod is on the case, blogging about how everything is perfectly fine and all that iodine in the sea around Fukushima is NOT a catastrophe, it’s an accident.  One report today said they had to go 20 miles out to sea to find iodine normal levels.

    According to Atomic Scrod, NO nuclear power plant can ever, ever be a catastrophe.

    Atomic Scrod is the Bob Ross of nuclear disaster apologists, “There is no such thing as a mistake, only Happy Accidents.”

    Meanwhile, on a previous thread on this blog, I was taken to task for expressing my anger at self-righteous a-holes like Atomic Rod.  I said something to the effect of, ‘I want all these nuclear power lovers to march into the Fukishima reactors and smother the radiation with their bodies.’  My statement still stands.

  3. The point I keep going back to is that engineers design for worst case scenarios so that there will be a layer of safety left – but eventually nature comes up with worst case plus one and blows away that “extra” layer. Read my latest on for the grisly details.

    We need to anticipate complete system failure and ask ourselves two questions:

    1) What will happen when (not if) nature one-ups us and the last layer of safety fails?

    2) Is what we are doing worth those consequences?

    In contrast to nuclear power, if a wind turbine fails utterly and falls over there is a small chance it might land on someone. It will not, however, render the land around it uninhabitable for centuries. If we decide that its location was a bad idea we can take it down, cart it off, and reuse or recycle it without any real danger. When its service life is over it’s mostly just scrap metal.

    Oh, and efficiency – we waste more electricity in this country than we generate with nuclear. Low cost and zero risk.

    Why juggle hand grenades? And why keep telling people that juggling hand grenades is both safe and necessary?

  4. and sockpuppets for nuclear industry live in a world of their own. It is not reality but an alternate reality. Listening & interacting it becomes clear they do not accept or concede anything that negates any aspect of the nuclear industry.

    It is a cult, they have their own calculations & revisionist language. Anything negative is assigned a euphemism to minimalize true hazards or any negative effects, therefore they do not exist. ‘Meltdown’ is not in official industry or NRC language to my knowledge. Unprepared for TMI bc ‘it couldn’t happen’. Though they claim ‘lessons learned’, attitude & ambitions do not reflect this.

    A concerted effort, everyone singing the same song, right on cue. Anyone who questions any of this recieves a litany of well-rehearsed talking points & is told the problem is ‘perception’, ‘fears’ & ‘phobias’ are their own personal problems which those opposed must deal with & which must change for the betterment of the planet.

    The world cannot stand idly by as they fiddle-fuck around, crap-shooting our destiny. Going back to drawing board after each catastrophe, learning lessons as the world picks up the tab & buries the victims, since there is *no* risk on their part, no incentive to change. They do not own it, we all do.

    Mischaracterizing themselves as ‘environmental activists’, claiming that those who do not accept nuclear power as the best alternative are ‘planet killers’ & default to promoters of health consequences & even death due to carbon based fuels. Wind & solar is a joke, hydro is not mentioned unless it is brought up & then the carbon used & negative aspects become the focus. Only accept other forms of energy production if nuclear retains the lions share of the production.  

    Claiming to recognize ‘some’ risks, but explaining them away by moving the goal posts & skewing the numbers to mathmatically level the playing field when in reality what is on paper is theoretical & therefore still represents an unknown.

    I would like to believe that, being a cult, thay believe their own lies, but this is not quite true either. When confronted w/the facts, false information is given. If corrected w/facts, frustration becomes anger & those who do not accept their theories & pseudoscience are dismissed.

  5. So there’s this chart floating around:

    Nukes allegedly are much safer than coal per terawatt-hour.  I haven’t examined all the data yet, so I can’t comment on the veracity–estimates of Chernobyl deaths strike me as low, dunno if this accounts for possible deaths in mining, processing nuke fuel, etc–and maybe our friends the Gundersens have already debunked this or will.

    Still, it makes a seductive argument for safety when we still know that a single coal mine accident, or deaths related to coal pollution, etc, still pale compared to the (fortunately as yet unrealized) potential disaster of a significant nuke accident, let alone what could happen to spent fuel.

    Then there’s the economic question of how much do we need to spend to mitigate disaster per terawatt-hour, and how safe nukes would be without “onerous” regulation.

    Anyway, just musing…

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