[FoRK] Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Mar 24 00:42:14 PDT 2011

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 03:09:05PM -0700, Stephen Williams wrote:

> Yes, 60 year old Russian technology, government, and practices were 
> horrible.  And Fukushima's mostly-40 year old technology isn't up to 

I'm hearing the same stories from France, Germany, Russia and now
also Japan. This isn't a technology problem, this is a humanity
problem. You cannot operate complex technology with severe
failure modes and no feedback when you're optimizing away the
safety and the competence due to business pressure.

This is completely predictable, so I wonder why people are still
believing into something which contradicts both experience and
basic facts of business and human nature.

> modern standards either.  What is your point exactly?  Perhaps you'd be 
> just as likely to take Soyuz 1, which the astronauts themselves helped 
> find 203 structural problems with, than the Space Shuttle?  I doubt it.
> http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/03/23/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed-into-earth-crying-in-rage?print=1
> Cautionary tales?  Yes.  Demonstration of how things are likely to fail in future designs?  Hardly.

We're running on 15 TW. A typical reactor is 1 GW. That's 
15000 reactors, arguably 20000 reactors by the time you're
done. These need to be breeders, which are a much more difficult
control space.

Are you seriously suggesting that this planet can tolerate
20000 reactors without the equivalent of Chernobyl going off
about every month or so, and making the bad old days of
athmospheric nuclear tests looking like cakewalk?

Sorry, Dr. Strangelove, I'll be in my bunker.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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