Australian news, and some related international items

Big Oil Disaster would be minor compared to Big Nuclear Disaster

Contrary to the nuclear industry’s propaganda, nuclear power is therefore not green and it is certainly not clean” and stands, as it has since the 1950′s as the most environmentally dangerous of all possible energy sources

Big Nuke Power = Big Potential for Disasters, OpEdNews, by mahdi ibn-ziyad, 20 July 2010, Imagine what a nuke facility disaster of like magnitude would do to whole regions of the US. The awful immediate and long term terrorunleashed on the environment, including us humans ,is almost unimaginable. Certainly, an end of the world, apocalyptic scenario would unfound and engulf us all in one way or another

Our energy industry, academic-technical and political decision-makers don’t yet have the technological expertise and/or capacity to make this nuclear power energy source anywhere near “fail-safe”.” Contrary to the nuclear industry’s propaganda, nuclear power is therefore not green and it is certainly not clean” and stands, as it has since the 1950′s as the most environmentally dangerous of all possible energy sources. Bob Herbert is correct. Big Energy and Washington are not ready nor are we.Doc Z

We’re Not Ready The New York Times July 19, 2010


We were told by oil industry executives and their acolytes and enablers in government that deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would not cause the kind of catastrophe that we’ve been watching with an acute and painful sense of helplessness for the past three months. Advances in technology, they said, would ward off the worst-case scenarios. Fail-safe systems like the blowout preventer a mile below the surface at the Deepwater Horizon rig site would keep wildlife and the environment safe.

Americans are not particularly good at learning even the most painful lessons. Denial is our default mode. But at the very least this tragedy in the gulf should push us to look much harder at the systems we need to prevent a catastrophic accident at a nuclear power plant, and for responding to such an event if it occurred.

Nuclear plants are the new hot energy item. The Obama administration is offering federal loan guarantees to encourage the construction of a handful of new plants in the U.S., the first in decades. Not to be outdone, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a certifiable nuke zealot, would like to see 100 new plants built over the next 20 years.

There is no way to overstate how cautiously we need to proceed along this treacherous road. Building nuclear power plants is mind-bogglingly expensive, which is why you need taxpayer money to kick-start the process. But the overriding issues we need to be concerned about, especially in light of our horrendous experience with the oil gushing in the gulf for so long, are safety and security.

We have to be concerned about the very real possibility of a worst-case scenario erupting at one of the many aging nuclear plants already operating (in some cases with safety records that would make your hair stand on end), and at any of the new ones that so many people are calling for…………

“We are way, way behind when it comes to the hard work of preventing accidents and responding to these catastrophes when they happen,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “With the deep-water oil drilling, we allowed the technological advances to drive the process at a rate that was unsafe, and we got really badly burned. The potential of a nuclear catastrophe is a major disaster in waiting.”

There are already plenty of problems on the nuclear power front, but they don’t get a great deal of media attention. David Lochbaum, the director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told me last week that there have been 47 instances since 1979 in which nuclear reactors in the U.S. have had to be shut down for more than a year for safety reasons….

The potential problems with nuclear power abound. No one knows what to do with the dangerous nuclear waste that is building up at the plants. And no one wants to have an extended conversation in polite company about the threat of terrorists who could wreak all manner of mayhem with an attack on a plant.

OpEdNews – Diary: Big Nuke Power = Big Potential for Disasters

July 22, 2010 - Posted by | uranium | , , , , ,

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