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View Diary: Breaking: Japanese Government takes over Fukushima cleanup (116 comments)

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  •  Unviable Nukes (17+ / 0-)

    How does running it as a public utility make nukes viable? Only by spreading its vast costs and risks across the entire public, hiding them and consuming other public resources then unavailable for something else.

    Chernobyl was a public utility.

    Nukes are unviable. Only complex corporate socialism that hides their full costs gives them the illusion of viability.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:11:14 AM PDT

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    •  Here is why I have changed my mind about nukes. (11+ / 0-)

      I used to think that, given the need for energy and the fact they there were not contributing to climate change by releasing CO2, that nuclear should at least be considered in an overall plan for energy production, at least until renewables get to the point that they can meet the need.

      The Fukushima disaster changed my mind. Completely.

      Not the tsunami, or its immediate after-effects. They were horrific, but one could make the case that this was a once-in-a-generation event, or perhaps more rare than that. It was not the apparent lack of thought in the design of what to do if the power completely failed. You can learn from your mistakes and design better in the future.

      No, it was the stunning realization that once a meltdown gets to a certain point, YOU CAN'T STOP IT.

      I read an article recently (on here, I think) that talked about using technology to figure out the current location of the reactors. If I understood the story correctly, the reactors had burned through the base of their containment building, and were proceeding to move gradually down through the earth, toward the local water table. There was nothing that could be done to reverse the process; the only thing we poor humans could do was monitor it. WTF?!?

      THAT changed my mind, completely.

      Now, if someone reading this is a nuclear plant designer or engineer, and can disabuse me of my understanding of the situation, then I might reconsider my position. But if it is true that there are nuclear disasters that result in processes that cannot be stopped, then my position is that nuclear is off the table, completely.

      Bruce in Louisville
      Visit me at,, or
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      by bmaples on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:37:29 AM PDT

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      •  No one can make you feel better (11+ / 0-)

        on that score. Greg Jaczko, who headed the NRC during the original Fukushima disaster, recently came out against the technology itself with the most basic of indictments - it cannot ever be considered 'safe' because once you've turned it on it cannot be turned off.

        Semi-amazing to me how people can spend decades in and around the nuclear industry and not understand this most basic of issues. Probably because if they were to admit this fatal flaw, there would be no excuse for nuclear power at all.

      •  There's why people have opposed (6+ / 0-)

        nukes. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong forever. Nukes' advocates would always point to "there's only x% chance it could go wrong."

        When that x% comes up on the wheel, though, everything's completely and thoroughly screwed, through our five- and six-times great-grandchildren's lives.

        When you realize the assumptions behind "x%" are arbitrary (no earthquake worse than the last 500 years will happen, etc.), you realize that the numbers are a kind of Russian roulette where nobody knows how many bullets are in the chamber.

        It's an insane risk, based on hubris, vanity, and delusion.

        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:04:03 AM PDT

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      •  I have known that for a long time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As  many have, it's just been buried by the pro-nuke people who wanted to make lots of money off it.

        Women create the entire labor force.
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 02:26:16 PM PDT

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    •  Say what you want about the Soviets (9+ / 0-)

      when Chernobyl melted down they threw everything including the kitchen sink at it, immediately.  Even to suicide missions.  TEPCO has spent two years looking for the cheapest way out.

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