On Sunday, December 30, 2012, I gathered a group of atomic advocates to talk about their favorite nuclear energy stories from 2012. Participants in the discussion included:
Gwyneth Cravens, author of Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy
Will Davis from Atomic Power Review, ANS Nuclear Cafe and Fuel Cycle Week
Meredith Angwin from Yes Vermont Yankee and the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute
Ben Heard from Decarbonize SA and the author of the recently issued report titled Zero Carbon Options: Seeking An Economic Mix For An Environmental Outcome.
We talked about Jaczko’s departure from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the approval of COLAs for Vogtle 3 & 4 and VC Summer 2 & 3, the landslide election of a pro-nuclear party in Japan, Vermont Yankee winning in court, and the fact that the sky continues to remain in place despite all predictions to the contrary from the anti nuclear fear mongers.
There are still no instances of negative health effects from exposure to radiation or radioactive materials as a result of the small quantity of material released from three melted reactors at Fukushima Dai-ich in March and April of 2011. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that fear of radiation has caused a great deal of harm. Perhaps a thousand people experienced early deaths related to the stress of evacuating their homes or hospitals and there is a continuing contribution to ill health from lack of outdoor exercise in “contaminated” areas where dose rates are well below naturally occurring radiation levels in other areas of the world.
Ben Heard mentioned one of the best news stories that received little coverage – a man has opened a restaurant that specializes in selling food grown or raised in the Fukushima prefecture.
Finally, we mentioned what Meredith often refers to as the “brownie gap”. That is her shorthand for discussing the fact that pro nuclear advocates do not spend enough time socializing with each other and supporting each other in our mutual effort to make the world a better place by taking advantage of the energy density found in uranium and thorium. Those materials are marvelous gifts to humanity; we need to use them more often as tools to make our world a better place.
Happy New Year!