[LINK] Nuclear power stations.

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun Mar 20 09:05:05 AEDT 2011

Kim Holburn wrote:
> It seems astonishing that they relied on their own power to pull the
> fuel rods in an emergency ... No diesel generator ...

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was designed for an 8.2 magnitude
earthquake and resulting 2.5 m tsunami. The plant survived the larger 
than expect earthquake, but the 3m wall around the facility was then 
over-topped by the much larger than expected tsunami, which damaged the 
emergency power supply.

The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum has detailed reports on the situation
at the reactors: <http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/>.

As discussed in "Earthquake of the Week" at the Australian National 
University Research School of Earth Sciences in Canberra last Friday, 
this earthquake did not match the computer models previously used by 
seismologists. This may require the location of settlements and 
industrial facilities along coasts to be rethought: 

While I am not a supporter of nuclear power, the engineers appear to 
have done a reasonable job designing the reactor to survive the expected 
earthquake. Ultimately it is not for engineers to decide what is an 
acceptable risk: if the community wants cheap power, then they have to 
live with the consequences of that decision. A similar choice now faces 
the Australian community: continue with cheap coal and petrol and face 
the consequences of global warning, or accept the price of energy will 

The brains behind the Australian government's carbon pricing proposals 
(who are mostly from ANU) suggest most of the carbon tax money be given 
back as tax cuts and pension increases. Some funding would be used on 
projects for energy saving and renewable energy. The cost of petrol and 
electricity will go up proportional to the carbon emissions they 
produce. This will lower consumption and encourage investment in energy 
saving and renewable production. Professor Garnaut favours a gradual 
price increase: 

My suggestion would be a high initial carbon price allowing a large tax 
cut and welfare increases, under the slogan: "Great Big Carbon Tax Cuts 
for Everyone": 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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