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

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Mar 25 14:33:33 PDT 2011

On 3/25/11 12:42 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> ...
> In simple terms, if someone doesn't use the lock correctly, you can design another iteration (and another, and another) to reduce 
> forgetting.   Thus all products in the world incorporate some type of risk tradeoff.   Fukushima argued that the circumstances 
> following the tsunami were 1-in-1000 year faults.  Obviously they were wrong.

A "1-in-1000 year fault" is a probability estimate.  They may not have been wrong, just unlucky.  We'll have the first complete 
sample in the set of Z trials in another 1000-n years...  Clearly, they should have designed for a multiple of the expected worse 
case instead of a few percent above.  I think I heard that they built a 30-ft wall to contain waves expected up to 20-25 ft.  They 
should have been at 60 or 90 feet, or had failsafes that could survive that level.

> You can't use the term "perfect" in your definition; that makes it circular.  Perfect would imply there are no further design 
> changes to reduce failures by stupidity.
> Again, I'm not arguing *all* possible, just that it can be incrementally changed.  I'm arguing induction, you are arguing limits.
> Greg 


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