Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nuclear Power: Hysteria on Steroids

By Sandy Prisant

(Editor's Note: the Author is a former manager at American Electric Power Co. and has helped build a safe Nuclear Power Plant)
How long must this irrational hysteria about everything nuclear paralyze us and our societies?  Whom would have heeded Peter and the Wolf for 65 years, when virtually no threats materialize?
But that doesn't stop perfectly experienced reporters from knee-jerk movement of any discussion about Japan now to to the most extreme, unlikely outcomes--making that the centerpiece of their alleged "news analysis".
Do you or those reporters know the first thing about building nuclear plants to exacting specifications?  Do you know that for all the hysteria about Three Mile Island, no one there even broke an ankle?  Do you know that almost every flood, tornado or major car pile up kills more than virtually all nuclear plants, ever?

Do you know that Times' articles claiming Japan paid too little attention to future earthquakes before nuclear plant construction are flat out wrong?  Do you know that the very first bar for any plant in a developed nation is a reactor design that can withstand an earthquake epicenter smack underneath while a 747 is crashing into the containment structure above?

Do you know that for 40 Years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has required this as the minimum safety thresh hold they call MCD--Maximum Credible Disaster?

Do you think Chernobyl in a collapsing nation is any more representative of nuclear safety than the victory of Adolph Hitler in 1933 was of free and fair elections?

Finally, if these plants were unsafe, have you wondered why terrorists haven't crashed a plane into one of them--anywhere in the world?  Wouldn't it be much worse than hitting a building, you say?

No it wouldn't, because Al Qaeda knows more than you do about the strength of these vessels and why they're pretty much impregnable.

Do you appreciate that nations like France and Japan have been getting the majority of their
energy from nuclear power with NO accidents for decades, but you never hear about it?

Finally, do you realize that we could have had safe nuclear power with far less foreign oil for the past 40 years, avoiding the War in Iraq; instead we've stuck with coal, directly giving our grandchildren the highest rates of asthma mankind has ever seen?

That is the real effect of the freedom you've been given to be hysterical for two generations.

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