One of my favorite participants in the energy conversation is NNadir, who intermittently blogs at Daily Kos. (I have always wondered about the etymology of that handle – it turns out that it is derived from “Not Nader” as in not Ralph.) His most recent post, titled Were the Japanese Engineers Who Built Fukushima Incompetent? is a classic. It is full of his usual heavy dose of science, engineering and frontal attacks on critics. I highly recommend that you pay a visit, read the post and engage in the fray that is always a part of his comment threads.a
If you want to read NNadir’s post but do not want to be tempted to get involved in the sometimes “passionate” discussion thread at Daily Kos, you can visit Charles Barton’s version on Nuclear Green.
Steve Aplin, who blogs at Canadian Energy Issues, has taken note of the fact that another Hiroshima anniversary will be upon us in a little over a week. Like others who strongly favor the use of nuclear energy as a replacement for fossil fuel combustion, Steve is pretty sure that the antinuclear opposition is spooling up to try to link Hiroshima with Fukushima. As he notes, however, it has been 137 days since Fukushima meltdown, and there are still zero casualties from radiation exposure.
There is little relationship between a bomb dropped during a war that ended more than 65 years ago and a casualty that happened at a power station rattled by a very large earthquake, struck by a 14-meter tsunami and hit a complete power outage that lasted for several days. However, that will not stop the people who are professionally engaged in actions to halt nuclear energy development from trying to tie the two together in the public consciousness.
In my opinion, there is some benefit to allowing antinuclear activists to make a link between the long term effects of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and the accident at Fukushima that has not killed anyone. After all, despite all of the dire warnings about the long term effects of the radioactive material that was purposely spread around Hiroshima, the city is a thriving metropolis. It recovered from the bomb’s catastrophic effects many decades ago. Hiroshima is certainly not a wasteland that needed long term evacuation of its citizens.
Interestingly enough, Steve’s post was picked up by “Crisis Jones”, a guy who claims to serve “the most educated audience on the web.” “Crisis” declared Steve’s post to be more nuclear industry propaganda. Within two comments on the thread in response to the post introduced the idea that the main victims of the Fukushima Daiichi events were the children whose thyroids were determined to have detectable levels of radioactive iodine. “Crisis” is striving to spread and sustain fear among his readers by reminding them that the Fukushima reactors are still releasing “one billion becquerels” of cesium every day. I had to point out that, if true, the scary sounding amount is just 0.3 milligrams of material. You can find the math in the comment thread on Crisis’s site – if it makes it through his moderation queue.
Jack Gamble, who blogs at Nuclear Fissionary, has also taken note of the coming Hiroshima anniversary and guesses that Antinuclear Activists Will Try to Equate Hiroshima with Fukushima. Interestingly enough, it looks like Jack has also found Crisis Jones and has engaged in the discussion to help his readers see a different point of view. Some bloggers are reluctant to link to sites like Crisis Jones for fear of helping them to gain greater Google Juice with more incoming links, but as far as I am concerned, increasing their visibility is good for our side.
It is easier to allow them to expose their own prejudices and ignorance than to have to work hard at digging out their life stories. Speaking of which, one of Arnie Gundersen’s fans has been making long winded comments in his defense on my post titled Arnie Gundersen Going International. You might want to check out some of the comments I have allowed him to publish – I find them quite amusing, but then I have a strange sense of humor.
Have an atomic day!
PS – Soon, I am going to start asking you to support a really cool project. Here is an appetizer.