Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

“Nuclear Future” an oxymoron?

Nuclear reactors are not evil: they produce the power that runs the modern world. They are present on every continent, often near urban and industrial megacomplexes. This is prima facie good……But nuclear reactors are the devil, because in our critically unstable world we cannot be sure of remaining in a position to control them.Is it reasonable to stake our future on a devilishly uncontrollable, potentially lethal technology?….Could it be that “our nuclear future” is an oxymoron?

Pact With the Devil — Thoughts on Our Nuclear Future , HUFFINGTON POST, Ervin Laszlo, 25 March 11,
“………. staking our future on nuclear power is a pact with the devil. Spokesmen for the nuclear lobby claim nuclear reactors are safe.By safe they mean we can master them under all circumstances. This would be essential, as a reactor requires constant control to remain operational. If an essential part of the control system breaks down, the reactor core heats up, and if the problem is not remedied in time, the core melts. The radioactive radiation released by a meltdown sooner or later proves lethal for people, the same as for all forms of life higher than insects and grass. Failing to control other technologies creates local problems — the breakdown of navigation systems, power-shortages, unsafe drinking water, poisonous air — and while these are bad enough, they do not kill hundreds of thousands of people. A major nuclear breakdown does.

The present near-meltdown of the super-technology installation in Japan has made it clear that perfect and reliable control is not possible. There are too many eventualities that cannot be foreseen. We live in a complex world where myriad processes unfold, and one way or another they all interact one with the other.

The disaster in Japan occurred because the combination of factors that triggered it was not foreseen: it was ipso facto implausible….
Nuclear breakdowns are not caused only by natural catastrophes, they can also be precipitated by terrorism, war, and violence by desperate masses. And despite international safeguards, unscrupulous leaders can still convert the reactors to the production of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear reactors are not evil: they produce the power that runs the modern world. They are present on every continent, often near urban and industrial megacomplexes. This is prima facie good……But nuclear reactors are the devil, because in our critically unstable world we cannot be sure of remaining in a position to control them.Is it reasonable to stake our future on a devilishly uncontrollable, potentially lethal technology? If we did not have other options, perhaps it would be. But we do have other options — a vast range of alternative energy technologies is coming online, and they are just as clean but far less dangerous than the nuclear. Shouldn’t we see if we could make good use of them now, while we still have a chance? Or are we already irrevocably committed to a pact with the devil?…….

Could it be that “our nuclear future” is an oxymoron? If it is, we should see about changing course: decommissioning aging reactors, stopping the construction of new ones, and investing in safe alternative technologies. The time is late, but perhaps not too late. We had better wake up and start assessing our options.

Ervin Laszlo: Pact With the Devil — Thoughts on Our Nuclear Future

March 25, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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