Sunday, March 27, 2011

More on Nuclear Energy

Today it was revealed that the Japanese are afraid that the one of the containment buildings may have been damaged by the earth quake. They are at a loss to explains where all the very radioactive water in the basement of the building except for it to be from the core.

Now this seems to make some of the questions that were asked the Congressional hearings a couple of weeks ago a little ridiculous. One question was why do everyone keep coming back with questions about safety? The short answer to that is that we keep finding new things that need to be considered. Nothing is ever completely known. It is part of the human condition.

Another question that arose out of these hearings was the subsidising of the other alternative energy sources. It was pointed out that they have been subsidised since the Jimmy Carter administration. Nuclear power has been subsidised since the Harry Trueman administration. (The Nuclear Regulator Administration is as much an advocacy group as it is a regulatory one. One of reason for being is to show that nuclear energy is safe. The problem is that the Commission has always operated from the point that it is safe,and the public only needs to be informed of this. It is not proactive in its actions to be checking that their might be issues that have arisen.) So when the cost of the methods of production, the expense of the various safety issues must be addressed. (When a wind-mill goes bad and explodes, how may square miles of land around the mill are not usable for year? go in with a bulldozer, and pull down the wreckage, and the land is ready again. This is not the case with a nuclear power plant.)

So just because things seemed to be complete some time ago, does not mean that new questions can arise, and when they do they need to be addressed.

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