Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power

Found this an interesting read. Nuclear propaganda or good reporting?

Japan's nuclear powerplants have performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than they were designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Fukushima story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nations – including Japan – to build more nuclear powerplants, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems.

my worry is, some AA okie will be sitting behind the controls of our very own nukulur reactor, fall asleep/have his girlfriend over/watch the soccer… and things will go pear-shaped from there. i dont have a huge amount of confidence in the workforce we have available in south africa, since the decent and able guys are all in the UK and Aus. and inevitably, some politics will come into play, and some oke who doesnt know shite will get pushes into a position of importance, and not have a koekin clue how not to blow us all to mars.

objection your honour

You referring to the bolt (spanner) in the works issue in 2006? Aside from the fact that we had a major amount of loadshedding since then, I dont really think (call me an optimist) that anything major would go wrong.

We might be a 3rd world country, but if you stand back (well, make that WAY back), we’re actually still running many things on par with the first world.

It is not physically possible for a nuclear power plant to detonate in a nuclear fission- or fusion-type explosion, à la Da Bomb. The concentration and purity of fissionable isotopes in the reactor’s core is far too low. The situation is a bit like petrol being diluted with a strong emulsifier and water beyond the point where the dilution can sustain combustion without special help.

Also, there are so many safeguard, fallback, failsafe, monitoring and redundant check systems at work in a nuclear power plant that a single individual would have to go to extraordinary lengths to work any serious kind of sabotage or neglectful damage.

The Register article about Fukushima is fact-based but tongue-in-cheek with great clumps of caustic sarcasm thrown in. That’s what they and their grinning vulture do.


i know diddly about nuclear stuffie stuffs. so i have a simple, animal fear of dying horribly from nuclear fall-out. if there are people who can keep that from happening, then go for it.

Remember when robbers got into the Pelindaba control room? They killed a man IIRC.

Mefiante is right. Nuclear reactors can’t morph into A-bombs.

The real threat is rupture of the nuclear reactor vessel, exposure of fuel rods to the environment and subsequent contamination. In the case of Chernobyl, the graphite moderator ignited resulting in a plume of radioactive debris/fallout.

However, nuclear powerstations have come a long way since Chernobyl. For instance, Koeberg is an example of a pressurised water reactor (PWR) which uses water as the moderator rather than combustible graphite. PWRs are inherently safer than the Chernobyl variety.

Not sure what type of reactor is under threat in Japan. I’m hoping it is of the PWR type.

If you want just the facts without the pro/anti nuclear propaganda then go to the IAEA

MIT has an up-to-date commentaryon what’s going on, too. complete with diagrams that even a doofus like me can understand.

Thanks St0nes! Very good link from MIT.