Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is nuclear energy a viable solution?

The pain and fear for people in Japan is truly horrible.  The government has lost credibility in what it is saying about the partial meltdown of the now infamous reactor 2 at Fukushima.  But what is the real data?

I am currently in Canada, having spent some time in the US where Americans have been buying iodine to such a degree that there were TV ads running in the USA informing people about scams around radiation treatments.

And when they said on the news that a pool of water had one million times the safe dose of radiation - what did that actually mean?  No wonder people - even across the Pacific - are worried with statements like that.

This superb graphic puts into perspective in a very easy way. Whilst the graphic makes you realise things aren't that bad (at this point in time) it doesn't take into account indirect effects of the nuclear industry - weapons and waste in particular.

I am still torn on nuclear energy as part of a solution for energy needs.  Just because it is not as bad as coal* does not necessarily make it a good thing.  Especially when weapons and waste are taken into account. But what, real alternatives are we going to actually take up?

* In terms of anticipated deaths, environmental impact etc - even including a Chernobyl size disaster every couple of decades, coal power appears to be worse than nuclear.  This blog has useful links to other relevant data sources.


Atlanta Roofing said...

So the best thing to do is to filter the water which is typically done in power plants with an ion resin filter. The filter itself becomes extremely radioactive but it is contained. When a core is typically shut down, it is the ion filter that is the most active site.

Elli Davis said...

If you think about the world demand for the electricity and the actual costs of green energy, the result speaks about itself. People are not willing to pay more for the electricity just because something bad happened in Japan. They support them, give them money, but they think nothing can happen to them. Just take the example of the UK for instance.

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