[LINK] Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Sat Mar 26 16:52:10 AEDT 2011

> Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate
> Dead horse long ago flogged down to a mere red stain
> By Lewis Page
> Posted in Physics, 25th March 2011 16:22 GMT
> The Register
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/fukushima_scaremongering_debunk/
> . . .
> This is beyond ignorance now.

So if leaking and overheated reactors, with broken down fuel rods, are
of so little concern, why does anyone bother with secondary containment
buildings?  Why is the fuel sealed in helium inside zirconium alloy
tubes?  Why is the water which touches the outside of these tubes
normally prevented from being released to the atmosphere by the reactor
vessel and the secondary containment building?

Because ionising radiation is DANGEROUS, including being carcinogenic -
and because reactors contain 50 to 100 tonnes of fuel, which contains or
can release large amounts of short to moderate half-life radioactive
isotopes which are extremely damaging to all living things.

Considering how out of control the situation has been, and to a lesser
extent still is - with huge explosions and now evidence that the reactor
vessel of unit 3 is leaking liquid water - its a wonder that there
hasn't been wider contamination of Japanese land and people.  This has
been largely due to the wind generally blowing the contaminated air out
to sea.  Also, it would not have been at all surprising if the cores had
melted down in one or more of the three reactors which went for a day or
several days without even evaporative cooling - after the initial
withdrawal of workers last week.

I think most of the concern about nuclear power is perfectly reasonable
- the risk of accidents, including meltdowns or other releases of
radioactive steam and gas etc. from the reactor vessel, and the
long-term costs and dangers of storing the waste.  This doesn't include
people freaking out right now in California because tiny amounts of
radioactive iodine have reached there, or downing large amounts of
iodine based on over-estimating the low levels of radiation most people
have suffered so far.

What I find most extraordinary is the extremes some pro-nuclear folks
are going to to present this reasonable concern and alarm (reactor
buildings exploding is *not* good . . . ) as "scaremongering".

There are even some pro-nuclear people who indicate black and white
choices, as if nuclear power firstly could save us from CO2 caused
climate change (which it obviously can't) and as if it is the only or
the best way of tackling CO2 emissions.  For instance, from Barry Brook
in Adelaide:

  It’s nuclear power or it’s climate change

My best guess is that these people have some inordinate affection or
love of big, shiny, expensive, complex, power generation systems, which
involve exotic physics and lots of money.

  - Robin    http://www.firstpr.com.au/jncrisis/

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