Bollocks

Fukushima: Tokyo was on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, admits former prime minister

No, it wasn’t.

This story tells us that the former Prime Minister thinks it was but that’s not quite the same thing.

Fukushima got as bad as it could already. One containment ruptured, several cores melt down, not really much else that can happen. The reactors didn’t have a graphite core, so a Chernobyl style fire wasn’t possible. We had the hydrogen explosion which was the only sort we could conceivably get (no, the cores would not, could not, go off like an atomic bomb). Those idiots mithering about a zirconium fire were just that, idiots.

As even George Monbiot has agreed, this whole Fukushima episode shows how damn safe nuclear power is. A truly massive earthquake followed by a tsunami that killed tens of thousands leads to the direct deaths from nuclear power stations falling over in the worst possible manner being, erm, zero.

The truth is that it’s all an expensive problem but not a dangerous one.

10 thoughts on “Bollocks”

  1. they do realise Fukushima’s 150 miles from Tokyo? Megaton range thermonuke airburst wouldn’t have mussed it either.

  2. Its criminal when you think about how far ahead of the game the UK nuclear industry was up until recently. Harwell, The Radiochemical centre at Amersham.etc. And now we go cap in hand to the French for a substandard design fission plant providing the most expensive electricity in the UK thanks to the CCA rigged market. Absolute madness.

  3. I machined some Zirconium a while back, horrendously expensive stuff and tried to burn the swarf, thinking it would go like Magnesium.
    It will burn when bushy (like a brillo pad) but as solid ….nope, and I used a blow lamp.

  4. Fukushima was a marvel of engineering, the pinnical of what humans can do in the face of nature. It took everything nature thew at it over and above what it was designed for, ALL AT THE SAME TIME /plus/ human incompetence (wrong emergency gennies, crappy emergency service responses), and *STILL* didn’t turn into a nuclear bomb and killed ***NOBODY***.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    We had the hydrogen explosion which was the only sort we could conceivably get (no, the cores would not, could not, go off like an atomic bomb).

    I don’t disagree with any of this, except this. It is possible to imagine worse than what did happen. The cores could have been exposed, got hot and then water reintroduced. Steam does explode nicely.

    The cores may have melted but only gas seems to have escaped. It would have been bad if the cores had got out of the containment. Not likely but possible.

    But otherwise, nuclear is the only sane policy on the table.

  6. When it comes to nuclear, it’s politically expedient for the politician to be just as ignorant as the electorate.

  7. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The actual death toll from the tsunami was about one and a half tens of thousands. An interesting thing that came out of the aftermath was how many people ignored the tsunami warning. Many others mistakenly thought they were on higher ground than proved to be the case. If everyone who could had immediately gone pell mell away from the coast, the death toll would have been a lot lower (not zero, obviously, since a large fraction of fatalities occurred among older people who were presumably less mobile.)

    This was the fourth most powerful earthquake in modern history. The fact that any of the nuclear plants survived is a testament to how damn hard it is to kill one.

  8. The 2 lessons from Fukushima are that passive cooling needs to be a part of any nuclear design and that other generation sources need to be built to higher standards. The first is a relatively simple engineering problem.

    Other sources are where things get interesting. We know for a fact that gas generators were not designed properly. We never hear about solar panel damage that has released “toxic” metals into the environment although I am 99.9% sure that happened as well. Wind I discount as it is only effective as long as politicians are blowing hot air, subsidies, in it’s direction.

    I hereby call for all energy generation sources be built to a minimum of 90% of the strength. designed for a magnitude 8 earthquake, of the Fukushima plant using technologically appropriate regulations. We simply can’t afford the countless deaths that were caused by all forms of power generation in Japan.

  9. 3 molten cores. Out of containment, just above an aquifer, 300 tons of contaminated water per day flowing into the Pacific (according to Tepco, God knows what the reality is). They will need “technology that has not yet been invented” to do a clean-up.

    They need to locate the coriums before they can start to plan a clean up.

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