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Author: rorschach
Time: 01/19/04 05:51 PST
This is a reply to message no. 13033 by b1ueshift
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only bad attitude causes economic loss in peaceful use of atomic power plants
I believe the big issue is one of fear. Mostly unfounded ones. After all there have only been two major nuclear accidents in the US. The first was an Army research reactor in Idaho back in the 50's. a control rod got stuck and the operator entered the reactor room to manually pull it to start the reactor. The rod came unstuck unexpectedly and the operator inadvertently pulled it out too far. he quickly tried to re-insert it to the proper position, but the reactor had already started to run away. the water in the control rod bore flashed to steam and shot the control rod out of the reactor impaling the operator and pinning him to the roof or the reactor room. This failure didn't get much press needless to say. the other failure was of course 3 mile island. The first failure killed the 3 man team that was running the reactor, and exposed several responders to very high doses of radiation. the second killed no one, and exposed a small number of people to low doses of radiation. so obviously safety systems have improved immensely.  Chernobyl, which had NONE of the safety features required for western reactor designs, killed hundreds and made the surrounding area unlivable, and exposed thousands to varying levels of radiation. then there was the movie "The China Syndrome".  all of this made the great unwashed masses extremely fearful. The association with Nuclear Bombs just made things worse. At this point, we are fighting irrational fear. and since it is irrarional, logical rational thought has very little effect. it is like coming to a gunfight armed with a pocket knife, and a dull one at that.
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