Sunday, March 20, 2011

Know Nukes

The nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan is bad enough; the nuclear disaster unfolding in China could be even worse. “What disaster?”, you ask. The decision today by the Chinese government to suspend approval of new atomic power plants. If this suspension were to become permanent, the power those plants would have produced is likely to be replaced by burning coal. While nuclear causes calamities when it goes wrong, coal causes calamities when it goes right, and coal goes right a lot more often than nuclear goes wrong. The only safe coal-fired plant is one which has broken down past the point of repair.
He gets it. The risk of continued use of coal is greater than the risk of nuclear power.
HT veritone Instead of putting the brakes on nuclear plants, should we be building safer ones?

It has haunted me this last week that we arrested our development of nuclear power because of fear. We failed to learn as much as we could have these past 30 years. If we had used the Maddow approach: 'Know Nukes' instead of the one we chose, 'No Nukes' we would have safer plants right now.

But after watching the special on Three Mile Island last night, I think what we really need is more perfect people. That accident,like all nuclear accidents, was made worse by the operators trying to fix things.

And this:

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