Nuclear Power: Their Profits; Our Risks

Nuclear engineer – and former nuclear company senior vice president – Arnie Gundersen – talks about Fukushima:

Background here, here, here, here, here and here.

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  • james

    I’ve been pretty critical of Arnie over the past couple years with his frustrating insistence on downplaying – especially what happened at reactor #3.

    However, giving credit when due: he lays it all out accurately in this video. He didn’t downplay it, didn’t obfuscate.

    Thanks

    • jadan

      I think he’s still downplaying the situation. In keeping with his soothing avuncular persona, he doesn’t extrapolate from the one million estimated Chernobyl deaths and predict say 10 million deaths or more from Fukushima. The destruction of the Pacific ecosystem is an outcome that is reasonable to assume. He doesn’t mention that most of the island of Japan should be evacuated because it is as contaminated as Chernobyl exclusion zones. Bad as it is, it is just Arnie’s nature to make it seem less so….

      • james

        My opinion is that it’s just as incorrect to project 10 million deaths without any data to support it as it is to say there have been none.

        At Chernobyl last time I looked, Wikipedia says there was something like 56 deaths. We all know that is ludicrous, but the 1 million number can’t be substantiated either.

        What we do know – factually – is that they have lost control of about 100 times as much nuclear fuel at Fukushima as was lost control of at Chernobyl. So is it 100 times as bad? Possibly. The problem is nobody knows where all the fuel is – at least if they do know they aren’t telling.

        The range of deaths from Fukushima could be in the millions or the billions – and that’s just in the next generation or so. Fukushima MOX plutonium could kill people for the next 100,000 generations or so. A single particle could be ingested over and over for the next couple million years and kill thousands of people in succession.

        The truth of Fukushima will emerge eventually. It might take 20 years or 100, but the truth will emerge, and man will know how heinous the crimes have been.

        Earth also will survive. Notice I said earth – not life on earth, or mankind – but earth will be fine. Even in the dreaded domino meltdown, which wipes out mankind and life on earth, then all things will be back to normal in a few million years or so. That’s a minor blip on the Billions of years that earth has left to exist.

        • jadan

          The 1 million number is substantiated, in fact, by Russian Chernobyl researchers over the years. Google: Yablokov, principal author, in a study published by the NY Academy of Sciences here in the US. “Chernobyl, Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.” The book is available as a PDF, free. The 1 million figure grows as deaths directly related to Chernobyl exposure accumulate. Many deaths with Chernobyl as the prime cause go unrecognized. The 1 million figure is very conservative. So is the 10 million figure for Fukushima, that I pulled out of my hat. My estimate for one generation’s worth. A million here, a million there, pretty soon we’re talking real genocide!

          • james

            Yes, the 1 million number was published in 2010. But it is hardly an agreed up on number.

            If you read the report, they used a combination of known facts and some educated guessing to come up with it. They used increasing cancer rates in the areas affected and attributed them to Chernobyl.

            In the long run, the death rate for humans is 100% – we all die of something. The trick with a study like this is to figure out how many died earlier than they would have if Chernobyl hadn’t occurred.

            This is why it is so difficult to pin down radiation danger. There is no way to directly link a case of cancer to an event.

            After studying nuke plants the past three years, I’ve found many of them release radiation with startling frequency.

            I tend to think the 1 million number might even be low and your 10 million number for Fuku is going to be way low, but I don’t have facts to back that up.

  • IMO man has no business building something they cannot control in a disaster. Fukushima has been such a big problem because they cannot get to the core due to the radiation, etc.

  • Acca

    There is a tested and proven solution to treat such a contaminted water without generating
    any additional sludge. It has been already tested @ nuclear certified laboratory.
    Test results are now disclosed..

    See the
    following CCN iReport about it:

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1045751