Dramatic Footage of Fatal Refinery Explosion and Spewing Toxics in Venezuela

One of the frequently repeated comments about the way that the ad supported media choses its coverage is that the media tends to focus on “if it bleeds it leads” and on telling dramatic stories. If that was true, why are stories about deadly, dramatic fossil fuel accidents told once and then forgotten while brief hydrogen pops at nuclear plants that did not kill anyone played thousand of times on major world wide networks over a sustained period?

I believe that the difference is that the nuclear industry does not buy enough advertising on a regular basis to be able to influence the editorial directors to lay off and move on. Instead, there is no one in the nuclear industry who can pick up a phone and get the network business people to find other focus areas if there is anything at all happening at a nuclear energy facility. At nuclear plants, even a leak of 99.99999% pure water where the remainder happens to be a minuscule amount of tritium, cesium or other radioactive material becomes a major news item.

About Rod Adams

17 Responses to “Dramatic Footage of Fatal Refinery Explosion and Spewing Toxics in Venezuela”

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  1. Robert Hargraves says:

    I worked as a consultant at the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA for a while, pre-Chavez. The managers were skilled people, with engineering and MBAs from Stanford and other US universities, and good experience. Chavez removed the competent professionals and replaced them with political allies. Oil production is down.

  2. Daniel says:


    A little reminder of the dynamics. When a major accident happens at a gas, oil, coal or hydro plant well, you are gone.

    When a major accident occurs at a civilian nuclear plant, you have days to evacuate. Calmly and safely.

    This is why nuclear plants MUST have evacuation plans. (being sarcastic here)

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Daniel – what about all of the “stuff” that is pouring out as black smoke? Where does it go? Whose lungs end up filling with it? What is the long term effect on their health?

  3. DV82XL says:

    We need to start and keep a list somewhere of these events that can be quickly linked to when defending nuclear energy’s safety record.

  4. Robert Hargraves says:

    Here’s a nice accident compilation for 2010 from the Atlantic..


  5. Jon says:

    Yet what do I find on forbes.com one day after Conca’s article was posted?

    A fear-mongering article about Hanford, WA that hasn’t hurt anybody. Go fig.

  6. Mark Ramsay says:

    Hi Rod, do you have another link to the resource (initial vid) – says not available in the UK.


  7. Daniel says:

    Well what do you know …

    After France’s Hollande has won the election with the backing of the greens and promising to cut nuclear, two of his top ministers say:

    On Monday, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls was openly supportive of Montebourg’s position, telling Europe 1 that nuclear energy was “definitely” France’s industry of the future.

    Montebourg is minister of industrial renewal.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Daniel – when will people learn that politicians often say one thing to get elected and do something totally different once in office?

      France has a strong enough nuclear energy program – and plenty of people employed in it – that I was not terribly worried that Hollande was going to follow through. After all, nuclear energy is really quite supportive of most Socialist goals. If you have ever worked in the industry you will realize that it is one of the least hierarchical industries around and one in which nearly every employee feels empowered to do the right thing rather than the one that someone orders her to do.

      • Daniel says:

        I know. But remember how a while ago you had a series of videos and articles that showed all the kooks and marginal morons were ending up leading green movements all over the world?

        Well France is not immuned to those extremists. Many of them have done time in jail and are leading those movements.

        Like you said it is tolerated so that you know where the activists are. Better have in them environmental causes that on real, more important social issues.

      • Daniel says:

        And mark the words of the minister of industrial renewal:

        He wants to attract manufacturing jobs with low cost energy. DAH !

        • jmdesp says:

          However Montebourg is such an expert of nonsensical strategy, like spending huge money to keep the lowest paying job at home, instead of thinking it’s much smarter to spend the same money to create new, well-paying one (and getting a ROI on the investment because with the amount of money he’s ready to spend on the low paying jobs, we’d really be paying people to dig and refill hole).
          So I wonder if it’s really a positive thing to have him support nuclear.

  8. John Englert says:

    Very difficult to compete with an extraction industry that can afford adds such as this Chevron add on the Huffington Post

    • Rod Adams says:

      @John Englert

      There is a way to compete with money – refuse to accept the logic and keep on pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

      That is especially true in the United States with its constitutionally protected right of free speech and on the internet where words can be reproduced and amplified quite cheaply. It takes patience, and some understanding of the nature of inertia, but facts will win out.

      I would not be quite so confident if it were not for the huge margin between the capability of nuclear fission and hydrocarbon combustion. Remember the pellet – a ton of coal between your fingertips.
      Fuel pellet with a smile

  9. James Greenidge says:


    Wasn’t even a reactor related incident yet even anti-nuke editors way over here will grab it and warp it into a nuke fear syndrome. That the media sees no differenence in non-nuclear and nuclear incidents occuring in nuclear plants, turning a kicked over bucket of mildly irradiated water into a RADIOACTIVE SPILL seems a corruption in accuracy in reporting to me.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY