When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

Fukushima Meltdown Hysteria

In Can You Hear Me Now?, Harvard Math, Meanwhile, back in the hot house on 15/03/2011 at 06:09

UPDATE: Many of these blogs are literally hammered out within hours of an event or headline publication.  Several of you have questioned the validity of this particular post.  Clearly there is an ongoing nuclear event in Japan and lives are in danger.  However, the risks from radioactive poisoning are not nearly as great as the media are reporting. The greatest risks are from direct contact with radioactive material, and the consumption of contaminated food.  Irradiation is far rarer and not nearly as lethal as previously believed.

Ann Coulter has a good article on this here.

The same hysterical Earthers who have convinced half the population that mankind can control the world’s climate if we will only drive hybrid Hondas or replace our light bulbs, are about to go on a marathon world tour. They will make every primetime news broadcast and magazine, telling us that we must discontinue development of nuclear power plants now if we are to avert another Fukushima.

They have apparently already gotten to Joe Lieberman and it won’t be long until a few sellout RINOs will be onboard the “No Nukes Gospel Express,” choo-chooing the U.S. on to further dependence on foreign oil. And we will listen to them and wonder if we should do more to recycle our aluminum foil.

Mind you, more people will die of exposure in Japan, due to this week’s cataclysmic quake and tsunami, than of radiation poisoning, and the media are giving it virtually no coverage. Millions are without power, tens of thousands more are homeless without food and water, and these guys are busily instilling fear in the population that a nuclear meltdown that will not occur.

This is the kind of propaganda that has kept us in the dark ages of energy development and propelled second-rate powers like France ahead for 40 years. It doesn’t work in Europe or Asia but the United States government buys into it every time.

Thanks to Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda’s “The China Syndrome,” Three Mile Island became the benchmark for nuclear disasters in the 1970s, until the word leaked out that the containment structure worked perfectly there. Then of course came Chernobyl, an embarrassment for the No Nukes progressives, because it happened in their beloved USSR worker’s paradise. Meltdowns are exclusive to capitalistic societies, you know.

While the nuclear disaster on Honshu is alarming it was not an unforeseen event; Japanese physicists and engineers have been preparing for such an event for 40 years. The reactors in Japan were built in their present locations to provide seawater as a last resort in the event that the cooling systems failed. The cooling is working.

Not to diminish the severity of any nuclear event. Anytime a reactor malfunctions, much less suffers damage from a natural disaster, there is cause for serious concern. But the rods are slowly cooling in those plants and every indication is that quality assurance at the plants was exemplary.

Fukushima is not Chernobyl or anything close to it. Chernobyl was destined for failure. The Russians were not only careless in maintaining the facility but their design was flawed on the drawing board, providing for virtually no containment structure. There has never been a nuclear facility designed as poorly in the U.S., Europe or Japan.

Yes, a meltdown can occur in Japan, but in all likelihood it will not. The Japanese are some of the most fastidious engineers and scientists in the world. Every design—and this is true in all modern manufacturing—has a built-in margin of safety that takes into consideration the worst-case scenario. Engineering errors happen every day, but we have not seen one at Fukushima thus far.

The fact is, there is never a way to eliminate risk, whether in manufacturing or travel, or simply going to the Super Wal-Mart. Risk is something we live with everyday. But consider the alternative of living for the next 20 years dependant on nonexistent green energy.

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