German Physicist: Let Science Determine Nuclear Future, Not Media Fear Mongering….

From WattsUpWithThat comes an open letter from a German physicist asking that science, not fear determine the future of nuclear power.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/20/a-plea-for-a-return-to-science-on-the-nuclear-power-issue/

I think this quote from Dr. Peter Heller’s Open Letter is eloquent:

“The media suggests a nuclear catastrophe, a mega-meltdown, and that the apocalypse has already begun. It is almost as if the 10,000 deaths in Japan were actually victims of nuclear energy, and not the earthquake or the tsunami. Here again one has to remind us that Fukushima was first hit by an unimaginable 9.0 earthquake and then by a massive 10-meter wave of water just an hour later. As a result, the facility no longer found itself in a highly technological area, but surrounded by a desert of rubble. All around the power plant the infrastructure, residential areas, traffic routes, energy and communication networks are simply no longer there. They were wiped out. Yet, after an entire week, the apocalypse still has not come to pass. Only relatively small amounts of radioactive materials have leaked out and have had only a local impact. If one considers the pure facts exclusively, i.e. only the things we really know, then it exposes the unfounded interpretations of scientific illiterates in the media. One can only arrive to one conclusion: This sorrowful state will remain so.”

Dr. Heller is quite correct about the ignorance the media shows. It is frequently stunning. We have at our fingertips the experience of 100 years, or a little more, of work with radiation. The years since 1905 have seen constant revolution in our understanding of nuclear power. Today, we have the golden opportunity to develop safer nuclear power, especially that based on thorium,  and move forward into a future of nearly limitless safe and clean energy. Or we can be guided by fears and once again allow the media and uninformed to convince us of the destructiveness of a disaster that hasn’t happened. Looked at objectively the Japanese reactors were hit by two enormous natural disasters, and yet, as of this writing, containment appears to be entirely possible. If not already accomplished. This is a stunning technological achievemtn  and should be seen as such. We should be justly confident of the safety of nuclear power and working to make it even safer by the use of new, proven and ultra safe technologies.

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This entry was posted in Emergencies, Energy, Thorium, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to German Physicist: Let Science Determine Nuclear Future, Not Media Fear Mongering….

  1. Joe says:

    I agree the media are rediculous and stunningly ignorant. The quality of media has been reduced to tabloid mentality. That being said anyone who has had a close look at the explosion of reactor 3 and still believes that “mininimal radioactivity” has been releast into the invironment is just kidding themselfs.

    The claim is that the contaiment of the reactor is still holding… Thats all fine if you ignore the spent fuel. Anyone that thinks the spent fuel pond survide that explosion is just living in some kind of nuclear fantassy land.

    As for the excuses that all was fine till the tsnami hit. That is just pathetic. If nuclear plants are not robust to stand up to a flood then the idea of nuclear safty is a joke. There are some 480 commercial reactors in the world. In 30 years 6 have been destroyed in so called accidents.

    That is a poor record for an industry that claims they can keep nuclear waste out of the environment for a quarter million years. If you reduced that time to a day you would see that in less the the first second of the day 6 failures have occured.

    • Thanks for the comment.
      This was posted before the complete extent of the problem was known. I am not sure how bad it actually was, lacking technical expertise and caught between doomsaying and downplaying.
      There are two important points, however.
      First, it is important to note that the reactor was hit by the worst double whammy possible. An almost unimaginable earthquake followed by a tsunami. Which is not just a flood. It is a tremendous event of stupendous power. Reactors can be built better and can be built in safer places and more foresight can be used. This would go a long way toward preventing problems.

      The second point is more important: If we use safer thorium based technologies the evidence seems pretty clear these kinds of disasters are unlikely. Thorium cools passively and shuts down in an emergency, there can be no meltdown in a thorium plant, hence the danger should be far less if not non-existent. I admit I am not an expert on it but all the technical infor I have read indicates thorium is a far, far safer alternative to current technologies and should be used.

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