What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 12, 2011

Clean! Safe! Nuclear Energy!

Explosion Destroys Walls of Japanese Nuclear Reactor Building, NHK Reports

Japan Orders Evacuation Near 2nd Nuclear Plant

Radiation leaks from Japan's quake-hit nuclear plant

Looking for livestreaming news from Japan in English? Check out YokosNews.

(h/t to Spork for the above video.)



rich10e said...


Maria said...



artybecca said...

Nuclear energy works great until it doesn't, and the consequences of what happens when it malfunctions are too catastrophic.

Maria said...


Bram Reichbaum said...

Those plants might have been far away from very many people.

The fallout may not have resembled a weaponized blast in any way. It will take a little time to learn that.

The workers would be a huge concern. Of course they are a concern on oil rigs and on windmills, in natural disasters.

Conservation is the #1 thing. Right now, I'm pretty far away from eliminating nuclear from the second tier of energy solutions because of this.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

The pro-windmill crowd is having an orgasmic reaction. As expected.

Let's see, other than this (potential) problem, how many major incidents have occurred? 2? Three Mile Island and Chernobyl?

As I understand it, France generates a significant part of it spower using nuclear. No problems there.. and they're having to work within the European environment where the whackos abound.

BFD. I'll take my chances with nuclear any day. Cheaper than any other power generation and cleaner too. Liberals such as Maria want us to rely on windpower and solar (in Pittsburgh? Are you efffin kidding me?). Lotsa luck having power 24/7.

Vannevar said...

I can't be as sanguine about nuclear power. When it's good it's great. When it's bad it's devastating, in a very long term way.

Flying is dangerous, but we've made it safer and safer, and the max downside in a bad year is probably 400 deaths. Cars kill 50,000 a year in US and we find that acceptable.

I suppose it's a question of subjectively acceptable risk. But this event is certainly a game-changer for the nuke power industry.

Blue Number 2 said...

Wow I hate to agree with CM. But how can you use such a uniquely disastrous situation and extrapolate that to abandoning nuclear power completely? Hhe US military and plenty of other countries around the world use nuclear power very safely.

Yes there are risks. And yes the risks with nuclear power are bigger than with other forms. But risks are inherent with living. The technology has gotten better and more safe. Maybe it would have so even more if the US hadn't stopped the building of plants for the last 30 years.

And yes the externalities present an entirely unique situation. What do you do with the spent uranium? Safety and disposal of the rods are major issues. But there have been only two large incidents in the history of nuclear power. Jumping to the conclusion that thousands of people will be killed by nuclear power is a bit irresponsible.

Oh and for the record, I grew up 25 miles from TMI. I was in 5th grade and remember the principal's announcement that we couldn't go out for recess because something was happening with a nuclear plant near Harrisburg.

We need to utilize many firms of energy to reduce our dependence of foreign oil and nuclear power needs to be a significant factor in our energy policy.

Maria said...

At the very least, probably not a good idea to have them in earthquake zones.

Blue Number 2 said...

Definitely agree with that Maria.

EdHeath said...

When CM requests a nuclear waste storage facility be put in his backyard, then I will wholeheartedly support nuclear power.

Maria said...

Perhaps, in a perfect world -- one without earthquakes and tsunamis -- nuclear power plants makes sense. But, this world is not perfect -- it's not just full of natural disasters -- it's full of people who make disastrous decisions.

We now know that the regulators and plant operators made wrong assumptions about just how much seismic activity the plants needed to be able to withstand (only designed to withstand 7.9).

We also know that Japanese ministers ignored warnings about plant vulnerabilities.

I know what you're thinking. "Do I trust governments and businesses to do the right thing?" You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Conservative Mountaineer said...

@Ed.. They can put nuclear waste in my backyard anytime.

Now, will you allow a nuclear plant to be built? Or, even a coal-powered plant?

Didn't think so.

I'm somewhat serious about allowing storage of nuclear waste in my backyard. The rules and regulations surrounding storage of nuclear waste, while overly bureacratic and stifling, would more likely than not ensure a relatively harmless outcome.

EdHeath said...

Sure, CM, I will allow a nuclear or even a coal plant to be built. Not that anyone cares what I think.

So the rules and regulations surrounding storage of nuclear waste are overly stifling and bureaucratic? Meaning you would push to have your storage facility deregulated? You would let us all become irradiated so that you could smooth the way for business to operate?

Apparently people are not convinced transporting waste to Yucca Mountain and storing it there is not a good idea. I suspect someone in your neighborhood would say "Why can't we store the waste in Garfield?" and sue the government to move it elsewhere.

I'll bet no one would object to transporting solar panels and wind turbines around.