backtop


Print 104 comment(s) - last by mkrech.. on Mar 18 at 12:23 PM


Today's MSNBC report on U.S. nuclear risks misinterpreted government data and overstated realistic risks by as much as two orders of magnitude. For example the site stated that the Indian Point 3 reactor (pictured) had a 1 in 10,000 chance of core damage from an earthquake. The actual estimate is one in 670,000.  (Source: Mike Segar / Reuters)

Misinformed by the media, many in the public are stocking up on radiation pills and suggesting banning nuclear power.  (Source: FOE Europe)

The Japanese government is also releasing contradictory and alarming information. According to its latest statement no cores have been breached, so there's no immediate danger to the population, even in this "worst case" scenario.  (Source: The Times)
Fear, uncertainty, disinformation -- news sites offer misinformation, speculation on nuclear power for profit

The nuclear crisis in Japan is bringing international attention.  And there's plenty of misinformation based on current media reports.  We wanted to examine a couple of the top reports circulating, including a report on the risk of a similar disaster occurring in the United States.

I.  Is the U.S. at Risk?  Do You Want the Truth?

Are you at risk of a quake breaking a nuclear plant's core containment vessel and exposing you to potentially cancer-causing levels of radiation?  Yes. 

You are also at risk of dying from lightning, getting mauled by a pig, killed by falling coconut, and all myriad of other unforeseen, unlikely events.

But according to a joint U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and U.S. Geological Survey(USGS) report (PDF), the odds of that happening are extraordinarily low.  Risk, after all, is an assessment of uncertainty -- not a prediction that something will happen.  There's plenty of catastrophic but incredibly unlikely risks we face on a daily basis -- the chance of plant damage in the U.S. is one of them.

The report, which is gaining a great deal of attention in the wake of the Japanese incident, should be considered reassuring, if anything.

According to the report, the greatest risk any plant in the U.S. faces is 1 in 10,000 risk of core damage per year at the perfect frequency.  Note this is the probability of core damage, not "large early release" (LER) -- a completed release of radiation into the environment.

MSNBC.com did an excellent job digging up the document.  Unfortunately, from they made numerous factual mistakes in interpreting it.

First, their report offers the hyperbole:

It turns out that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has calculated the odds of an earthquake causing catastrophic failure to a nuclear plant here. Each year, at the typical nuclear reactor in the U.S., there's a 1 in 74,176 chance that the core could be damaged by an earthquake, exposing the public to radiation. No tsunami required. That's 10 times more likely than you winning $10,000 by buying a ticket in the Powerball multistate lottery, where the chance is 1 in 723,145.

First, all statistic chances are not created equally.  There are 104 commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. (69 pressurized water reactors and 35 boiling water reactors).  That means there's roughly 1 in 742 chance per year of core damage -- or roughly 1 in 7.4 chance per century of such an incident at a single plant.  

By contrast there are dozens of $10,000 "Powerball multi-state lottery" winners every year and will likely be thousands of winners per century.  Thus the comparison itself is a bit puzzling.

But the error runs far deeper.

Note, the report says that the risk is of "the core being damaged by an earthquake, exposing the public to radiation".  But as we mentioned earlier, that's not what the report says.  The report references the risk of core damage, which does not estimate the actual probability of a "large early release" of radiation at all.  As the report says, in the case of core damage, such a release would be a "possibility", but given additional containment measures, would likely be a far lower probability than the cored damage frequency (CDF) estimate.

In other words, the report does not predict the risk of the public being exposed to radiation directly at all.

And the errors continue.  The MSNBC report offers a list of plant yearly risks, compiled in handy text format online and in the form of an Excel document.  These risks were taken from the report, but they were the risks at a specific earthquake frequency.  

For example the most "at risk" plant -- New York's Indian Point 3 plant -- has a 1 in 10,000 annual risk of core damage if an ultra-powerful 10 hz earthquake were to strike (thus this is dubbed the "maximum risk" or "weakest link" model).  The actual risk is far lower.  The report gives what is likely the most accurate estimate in the form of a weighted average.  For example for Indian Point 3, the risk is 1 in 670,000 per year.

Now consider the difference between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 670,000.  We've now gone from 1 in 100 chance of quake core damage per century to 1 in 6,700.  

Looking at the actual numbers, this means that the conclusions goes from there would be likely one core damage at a single plant in the U.S. over the next millennia, to that there would likely be none.

II.  So Reports are Sensationalized -- Why Should I Care?

Now it would be far too easy to cast a blind eye to this kind of misinformation.  All news sites and networks make errors.  But the problem is that in the wake of the earthquake the media has seized on this topic with particular sensationalist fervor and offered much speculation and hyperbole.

The net result is that the U.S. public is becoming mistrusting and fearful of nuclear power.  Anecdotal evidence of that is given by the run on radiation pills in the U.S.

This could have a tremendous deleterious effect on the energy future and security of the U.S.  Nuclear power in the U.S. is arguably the cheapest and most tested form of alternative energy.  The U.S. contains many rich deposits of uranium and other fissile isotopes -- enough to drastically reduce the reliance of the U.S. on fossil fuels from volatile foreign sources.

But public fear can and does have a number of direct effects that may sink that effort.  First, past efforts to build plants in the 1970s and 1980s led to massive lawsuits that raised costs of construction so high that no new U.S. plants were even seriously considered until a year or two ago.

Finally, the U.S. has its first new plant application in three decades and is preparing to embark on a new era of nuclear energy.

It is important to also consider that fission power is widely viewed by the scientific community as only a stopgap solution that at most will be used for power generation for a couple more centuries before being replaced by fusion power.  Nature shows us that fusion is a far more abundant and lucrative source of energy in our universe, so if we can't harness fusion power within 300 years we've done something wrong, given how close we seemingly are.

In other words, nuclear power is a short-term solution and thus risk should only be considered in the short term (as discussed above).

Further, the risks on these new plants will be orders of magnitude less and that they will produce less nuclear waste and more energy.

And last, but not least any discussion of risks should put things in perspective by providing information on equivalent dangers of fossil fuel power generation -- something virtually none have done.  As underscored by the recent coal mining disasters in Chile and West Virginia, fossil fuel power is hardly safe and human friendly.  Every energy source has a cost.  For some alternative energy sources like solar and wind, that cost is high production costs.  For fossil fuels, it's loss of life.  In total 6,400 people died between 1970 and 1992 during coal mining operations, and 1,200 died extracting natural gas [source].

The importance of the truth and accuracy in this situation cannot be overstated.  It is of the utmost importance that the media offers accurate information to the public in countries with nuclear interests, particularly in the wake of the Japanese incident.

III.  Confusion in Japan

MSNBC.com and other news organizations are not solely responsible for the confusion and misinformation that's permeating all news outlets.  Some of it is coming from those who should be reassuring, not speculating -- the government of Japan.

Japan's Fukushima nuclear plants still face a precarious situation in the wake of the record-setting 9.0 magnitude Sendai earthquake.  Smoke has been billowing up from southern Fukushima I's reactor three -- steam from a damaged roof.  Now that smoke is steam from broken water pipes in the cooling system of the reactor building.

Japanese officials on earlier today in a report [PDF] suggested that the reactor core may have been released and that radiation could be carried in the steam into the environment endangering the public.  But then later in the day, they said that the core was not compromised.

Of course by then a score of outlets had already reported that it was compromised.

Similarly, many reports stated that the reactor rods had "melted down" -- a serious problem.  These reports are based on statements made by Japanese officials that the rods may have melted.  There is some evidence of this conclusion -- water was observed to have boiled off of some of the rods, leaving them uncooled.  But officials don't know or haven't released to what extent the rods have melted.

The levels inside the most radioactive plant reached approximately 6.4 millisieverts per hour, before dropping.  To put this in context, a full chest CT scan gives you 7 millisieverts [source] of radiation.  In other words, you could work in the most damaged plant with no protective gear and only receive the amount of radiation of a common medical procedure.  Now that's absolutely not to say that there aren't more serious risks if certain possibilities play out, but the risk of loss of life from the nuclear accident just isn't there yet.


Ultimately, the fault for these confusing and contradictory reports rest largely on the shoulders of Japan's government and international regulators. They have cooperated to publish contradicting and overly speculative reports.

IV. Conclusions

The situation in Japan is ongoing.  Officials are using helicopters and fire-trucks to spray water, and possibly boric acid to cool the smoldering cores.  We won't have the final picture of what -- if any -- significant long-term radiation release the reactors will create for some time now.

If the media wants a sensational story, they can get some great coverage of the efforts to contain the overheating rods.  But in the interest of accuracy they should beware or offer disclaimers on the statements of government officials, given their contradictory track record.  And they should most definitely avoid going out of their way to create more misleading statements themselves by misinterpreting obscure U.S. government reports.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

MSNBC.....
By seeker353 on 3/16/2011 2:39:31 PM , Rating: 4
So a MSNBC report severely misrepresents facts and misleads their audience. Not really a surprise, but horrible nonetheless.




RE: MSNBC.....
By ClownPuncher on 3/16/2011 2:43:59 PM , Rating: 4
News outlets have been doing that for decades. They got bored of the tsunami and earthquake, now the "imminent meltdown" is todays "Joe the Plumber". Facts be damned, it's about the ratings.

And we wonder why so many children are afflicted with ADHD :O


RE: MSNBC.....
By sprockkets on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By tng on 3/16/2011 3:06:05 PM , Rating: 5
I just don't understand how people will look at Fox and see the slant in allot of the programing and then not see the slant at other news outlets.

I would expect this type of thing from MSNBC, but not from Fox. I would expect that Fox would underplay this, while MSNBC would be quite the opposite.


RE: MSNBC.....
By sprockkets on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By nafhan on 3/16/2011 5:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
Do you understand what the point of a news agency is? Apparently not... I'll let you in on the secret: it's to make money by entertaining the consumers who pay for it (or watch the advertising). So, getting people to consume more news is generally at the top of any news agency's priority list. Fear and misunderstanding works pretty well in that regard.

The best you can do is pick the degree and the direction of the slant you get, and honestly, that can be very difficult to determine. If you are interested in "the truth", checking multiple news agencies from multiple countries and applying a teensy bit of common sense and subject matter knowledge will go a long way. That's more than you can expect from most people, though.


RE: MSNBC.....
By sprockkets on 3/16/2011 10:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you understand what the point of a news agency is? Apparently not... I'll let you in on the secret: it's to make money by entertaining the consumers who pay for it (or watch the advertising).


You are confusing a news agency with a 24hrs news channel that features more than just the news, but editorials and other guests to discuss their opinion. Of course again The Daily Show called BS on Fox News again that their time devoted to news was also overly skewed.

What I'm obviously pointing out earlier that the left leaning MSNBC has the environmentalists as their demographic and thus aired what they aired.

But if I watch world news on the 3 major networks, I expect journalism with very little bias, or equal coverage of both sides. In their case, they are not going to win people over with "entertainment" as you put it.


RE: MSNBC.....
By nafhan on 3/17/2011 10:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying that to diminish the importance of keeping abreast of world events, and I wasn't meaning that it's impossible for a news agency to be impartial. I'm merely saying "follow the money", and look at how and where news agencies get their cash.

You are right in that the major bureaus can't afford to appear as biased as the networks that deliver the content. Same principles still apply, though.

As a side note, even though the events in the news are often serious, for many people, the news is nothing more than entertainment. They don't do anything with the info (i.e. "Earthquake in Japan. Sad. What's on next?").


RE: MSNBC.....
By nafhan on 3/17/2011 10:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
Also, when I said "That's more than you can expect from most people", that wasn't specifically directed at you. Sorry if it came off that way!


RE: MSNBC.....
By merc14 on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By AssBall on 3/16/2011 3:02:24 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, not a real shocker, but it still sucks because a lot of people just eat that crap right up and regurgitate it. No wonder it is so hard to de-regulate nuclear energy when there is such horrible media misinformation.


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 3:16:56 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Yeah, not a real shocker, but it still sucks because a lot of people just eat that crap right up and regurgitate it. No wonder it is so hard to de-regulate nuclear energy when there is such horrible media misinformation.


To offer some more anecdotal evidence of the effects of this kind of tripe, after writing this piece I went and had lunch with my brother. He told me that a close relative of mine warned him not to move to California because he might get radiation poisoning when one of the plants gets hit by the next quake.

Now I don't blame my relative -- they are no scientist and are only trying to stay informed listening to the news. I blame the people who are doing a hack job reporting, who are professionals and should know better.

Sadly, it appears that a large percentage of Americans are buying into this fear -- as evidenced by the drop in stock prices today on "nuclear concerns".

As I said, don't just single MSNBC out here, though. Despite their report being particularly egregious, the Japanese government itself has been doing a great disservice by releasing alarming and incorrect statements, subsequently contradicted. And of course the news networks are eating it up.


RE: MSNBC.....
By quiksilvr on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 3:31:59 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Yes people are going to keep spouting their BS about anti-nuclear power but if anything, this earthquake in Japan should be a learning experience: DON'T PUT NUCLEAR POWER NEAR NATURAL DISASTER ZONES.


No, that is NOT the lesson here. If that were true nuclear power wouldn't be possible in New York, the west coast or most of Japan.

There are multiple lessons here, none of which you directly mentioned. Among them are:

1. Beware sensationalist fear mongering in the media.
2. Even in a "worst case" scenario of a record earthquake, a directly affected plant is unlikely to release significant radiation if the authorities perform a responsible effort of containment.
3. Legacy plants at disaster sites should have sealed (waterproof), shock-resistant backup power supplies. Sufficient lengths of cabling should be provided for quick connection, should the primary line be broken. In this case the cooling pumps would have done their job and there'd be zero accident so to speak.
4. The world should move to modern nuclear designs like advanced CANDU HWRs or, less optimally thorium. These designs would be far safer and carry much less meltdown risk.

I trust your comment was well intentioned, but beware spreading misinformation yourself, in your effort to discredit alarmism and misinfo from "antinuclear" groups.


RE: MSNBC.....
By 3DoubleD on 3/16/2011 4:46:02 PM , Rating: 3
It is interesting to me that of all the next generation reactors, you specifically chose to mention the advanced CANDU reactor (ACR). I worked at AECL years ago, and since they have had some trouble (partially at the fault of our ill-advised government). A large reason for government intervention at AECL was the lack of profit because no one would buy an ACR because it represented too much of a financial risk (not a safety risk, it is supposed to be a very safe reactor) as one had never been built before.

Mostly to blame is to Canadian Federal and Ontario Provincial governments as it is generally seen as their responsibility to shoulder the financial responsibility (and risk) of building the first ACR. I know US customers have expressed interest in the ACR, but when it comes down to it they won't take the financial risk of being the first to build it.

So you see I find it interesting you bring it up. What about the ACR causes you to mention it?


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 4:54:06 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
So you see I find it interesting you bring it up. What about the ACR causes you to mention it?


From my research on the topic, its design:

1. Is remarkably safe.
2. Is super efficient.
3. Can use a variety of fuel, including repurposed plutonium.

Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.

quote:
Mostly to blame is to Canadian Federal and Ontario Provincial governments as it is generally seen as their responsibility to shoulder the financial responsibility (and risk) of building the first ACR.


Not surprising. Why do you think no one in the U.S. built a plant for THREE DECADES? It was because of the inordinately high cost of lawsuits, government red tape, and other brainlessness from the misguided public and government.

Ultimately fossil fuel providers profited greatly off of nuclear power being discredited. I would be amazed if oil interests in the U.S. and Middle East weren't in part secretly financing these efforts. (They at least have the advantage in that the media is perfectly willing to play along for free as sensationalism == profit...)

We could cheaply remove virtually all of our dependence on foreign oil if we switched to nuclear.

If there's anything this incident has shown us, it would be that the switch would be almost completely safe -- arguably safer than fossil fuels at least. Unfortunately media is so busy misinforming the public for profit, that the majority of people in the U.S. probably believe the opposite -- that it's horribly dangerous.

They should consider -- how many people died in oil and coal mining accidents in the last year. Have there been ANY deaths in Japan's worst case scenario? Use logic.


RE: MSNBC.....
By 3DoubleD on 3/16/2011 5:50:22 PM , Rating: 5
I'm happy to hear news about the ACR's potential is getting out. While all three points are great, I've always loved the third one. It is somewhat ironic that people would protest the building of these reactors when they simultaneously reduce stockpiled plutonium while providing emission-free power. Especially ironic when one considers how many order of magnitude more dangerous nuclear weapons are than power plants.

Unfortunately, for nuclear to make a comeback in any country there needs to be political will. Powerful lobbyist groups will be required to gain this political will, as we all know that's where the real power sits in our countries (US, Canada, ect.). Unfortunately, I cannot think of who would lead these groups. There are few non-nationalized players in the nuclear industry and obviously none of them in the past 20 years have significantly relied on building new reactors as a source of revenue. Even in the case where sitting idle costs the government more money, even the Canadian government can't find the inspiration to take a step forward. Hell, if the US government had invested a fraction of the $700B bailout and War on Terror/ Iraq war on energy infrastructure, education, and health care - the US would currently look completely different right now - for the better.

Then there is the impossible task of dealing with public opinion. People are especially afraid of things they a) don't understand and b) can't see. Radiation, like terrorism, will always scare the uninformed. Unfortunately, I retain little hope anymore that the uninformed skeptics in Canada will become educated. I have even less (approaching zero) hope for uninformed Americans skeptics due to their shear numbers. This is especially sad since the US moving from coal/gas to nuclear would make ~10x the difference than if Canada did so.

But, solar and wind cannot replace baseload power, and fossil fuels will eventually run out way before we master fusion as a power source. To make matters worse, energy use is increasing rapidly and many reactors built in the 60s, 70s, and 80s will be decommissioned soon.

Where do people think they are going to get their electricity from? How will they drive their shiny new EVs or surf the web on their iPads in their air conditioned homes? Rainbows, fairies, and pixie dust don't burn so well!

Why are people delaying the inevitable? We will have to build new nuclear reactors! We should have started years ago!


RE: MSNBC.....
By MrTeal on 3/16/2011 6:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could rate this up, but I've already posted.

The sad fact is that the one great saviour of the nuclear industry might have been the even greater fear of global warming. If the events at Fukushima delay the introduction of new facilities for 10 or more years, the industry could be in for real problems in North America as existing plants (and personnel) are retired and none are built to replace them. The political will to restart the industry might not be there in a decade if and when the attention of politicians moves from AGW to whatever else is the hot topic of the day.

It's shocking the number of people who really believe that all of the world's energy could easily be provided by "green" energy, if it wasn't for Big Oil and Big Nuclear holding them back. These "environmentalists" loath coal, but block new hydro and nuclear efforts because of potential damage. It is like Solandri posted in the comments on the other Japan article; people are willing to accept the guaranteed consequences of using coal over the remote possibility of severe consequences from a meltdown. Even then, the consequences are mostly in people's imagination. I'm really starting to believe that more people than not actually believe that
1) A meltdown is bound to occur
2) When a meltdown occurs, the plant will blow up, bomb-style

So, nothing happens. New coal/NG plants get built because you can't approval for any other baseline capacity. Green's whine that there isn't enough investment in solar or wind to bring costs down, while ignoring the huge problems that prevent them from being used exclusively. If you think we have electricity issues now, just wait our lack of investment collides with huge increases in demand in a couple years.


RE: MSNBC.....
By Spoelie on 3/17/2011 7:40:13 AM , Rating: 3
Funny that you mention this.

Try finding news reports on the rampaging oil refinery fires happening in Japan for the past few days. Almost none. And they are doing some real environmental damage...

http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/b402/NathanSco...

http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/b402/NathanSco...

http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/b402/NathanSco...


RE: MSNBC.....
By bah12 on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 6:52:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You do realize that the majority of power used in the US is coal/gas not oil. Oil is primarily used to power our cars and heat. So NO switching to Nuclear would not remove our dependence. Now if you said switching to Nuclear, and mandating a switch to EV's could remove our dependence that would be a truer statement. But simply using Nuclear alone would not accomplish that goal. Arguably the shifting of the US consumer mindset to drive EV's instead of oil powered cars, is a MUCH harder change than using Nuclear power. Unless you propose we force them to via fuel tax or legislation, and I just know you would not want that riiiighhht.


EVs are rapidly becoming a feasible replacement for gasoline vehicles. An EV/nuclear economy WOULD eliminate dependence on foreign fossil fuels. THAT is what I was referring to.

Of course that change can't happen overnight, but neither will building nuclear plants, even if the public was properly informed.

As for coal, interesting you bring that up because coal mining is quite dangerous. The U.S. would be saving lives by switching from coal electric power to nuclear.

It's a win-win situation on virtually all fronts.


RE: MSNBC.....
By Keeir on 3/16/2011 11:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for coal, interesting you bring that up because coal mining is quite dangerous.


Coal power generation, and even Natural Gas power generation also produce significant amounts of real air pollution. PM, NOx, etc.

Switching to EV/ER-EV and Nuclear Power would significant increase air quality in ALL US Cities as well as most of the country. This would lead to an increase in both lifespan and quality of life.


RE: MSNBC.....
By piroroadkill on 3/17/2011 5:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've read about CANDU reactors for a while, and I have a hard on for them over and above other types of reactor. The ACR type would be my favourite future choice.


RE: MSNBC.....
By kattanna on 3/16/11, Rating: 0
RE: MSNBC.....
By Solandri on 3/16/2011 5:21:53 PM , Rating: 3
Sadly, that is the way most people think. They are very bad at appraising the risks or benefits of very unlikely events.

I pointed out that coal plant emissions kill as many people as 250 Chernobyls every year, while nuclear Chernobyls seem to happen about once every 25 years. But that's not how they see it. They see a guaranteed chance to lose maybe a month off their lives from coal, vs. a tiny chance to die early from a nuclear accident. In their minds, the larger consequences of the nuclear accident far outweigh the tiny chance of it happening, and so they choose coal.

It's the exact same reason people buy lottery tickets. They see a guaranteed loss of $1, vs. a tiny chance to win millions of dollars. In their minds, the larger consequences of winning millions far outweigh the tiny chance of it happening, and so they choose to buy the lottery ticket even though on average it's a money loser.


RE: MSNBC.....
By 3DoubleD on 3/16/2011 9:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
while nuclear Chernobyls seem to happen about once every 25 years


I wouldn't even say that. You drawing a trend from 2 data points. To make things worse, Chernobyl was a terrible design coupled with terrible management and disaster response. This current incident is another outlier case since it took one of the largest earthquakes recorded plus a tsunami to cripple it. Also, no one has died from this incident, and unless there is some unlikely , catastrophic turn of event, no one will.

So I would say your point is even more valid.

You are totally correct about people's perception of odds. There is an entire gambling industry devoted to preying on the human mind's weak perception of odds. I think it gets even worse when the odds are extreme (chance of a fatal nuclear indicent or winning the lottery) and what hangs in the balance is huge (illness/death, millions of dollars).


RE: MSNBC.....
By rcc on 3/17/2011 3:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Clean the gene pool? Unfortunately, modern society does a great job of filtering natural selection. There was a time when stupid was definitely a non-survival trait


RE: MSNBC.....
By walk2k on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By tng on 3/16/2011 3:10:43 PM , Rating: 5
Face it, probably more people get killed by pig accidents every year than nuke power.

We know for sure that cars kill more people, as does AIDS, heart conditions, etc...

If that is really a worry for you, just how do you get out of bed in the morning to face the face that there is a small chance that you may be electrocuted in your shouwer?


RE: MSNBC.....
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/16/2011 3:35:18 PM , Rating: 4
Let's cool it with the "pig mauling" all we need is for MSNBC to give that story legs and we'll all be forced to switch to turkey bacon.


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: MSNBC.....
By Dorkyman on 3/16/2011 5:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

And by the way, Jason, I take back all the negative thoughts I have about you. This is an excellent article and mirrors my frustrations at seeing the sensationalist, illiterate nonsense being spewed on the news networks about the horrors of nuclear power.


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/16/2011 10:54:56 PM , Rating: 1
I don't take all mine back, but this article was definitely a nice refresher.


RE: MSNBC.....
By kattanna on 3/16/2011 4:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Face it, more people have been killed by wind power than nuke power


fixed it to be accurate and true

no BS


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 3:19:55 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
oh good lord. a pig will not kill hundreds of thousands of people instantly and potentially MILLIONS later on with fatal cancer.


So where are these thousands of dead people from the accident?

You stated that as if it were a fact. You don't happen to have a source for that bold statement do you?

quote:
face it nuclear power is DEAD.


Perhaps, if the public is incapable of distinguishing fact from sensational fantasy and if the media is happy to spready disinformation for profit and prestige.

I sure hope not though, for my country's sake.


RE: MSNBC.....
By Omega215D on 3/17/2011 3:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
In the NY Daily News there was an article lauding the people behind the take down of several planned and 1 already in place nuclear power plants. They are known as heroes and made nuclear power to be the next Big Oil. One of them is a professor for state university, the only problem is that he is not one of science. The others are activists and congressman who use Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island as examples of how dangerous nuclear power can be.

The plants in NY are said to be using the same design as the plant in Japan as if it had anything relevant to add to the piece or drivel written by an ignorant ass of a reporter.

Nuclear power is pretty much dead in the Eastern US.


RE: MSNBC.....
By MrTeal on 3/16/2011 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 3
Kill hundreds of thousands instantly? Millions later on?

Jesus, do you get all your news from Alex Jones? You're describing an order of magnitude more dead and irradiate than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. For comparison, 200,000 people were evacuated from the 20km zone around Fukushima. Getting a nuclear blast to do even first degree burns from the thermal damage from an air-detonated nuclear bomb would require a yield of 1MT, 50 times more powerful than the Fat Man bomb.

You're describing the effects of a nuclear bomb going off, not any kind of plant accident. Even if the entire core melted, the boron inhibited somehow failed and there was a recriticality, the effect you describe just couldn't happen. If it could, every 2 bit country and militia group (and most boy scouts) would have access to nuclear weapons.


RE: MSNBC.....
By someguy123 on 3/16/2011 3:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
You know, even the worst nuclear disaster in history only had a direct death toll of about 60.


RE: MSNBC.....
By theapparition on 3/16/2011 3:42:41 PM , Rating: 5
Even the worst nuclear accident in history didn't kill thousands instantly, nor millions later.

In fact, adverse affects from Chernobyl were actually quite benign, considering the signifigance of the accident. More people get killed yearly from lung problems related to burning coal, but that is a silent killer, not as sensational, so your feeble mind won't accept that.

The biggest single problem with nuclear power right now is the old designs, that can have malfunctions on a day where everything goes wrong. Unfortunately, it is absent minded activists like yourself who have stood in the way of progress and blocked advancement of nuclear power. Newer designs are signifigantly safer and have almost no chance to melt down. If we continued to build them, and take old reactors off-line, then we wouldn't be stuck trying to extend legacy hardware past it's decommision date.


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/16/2011 4:33:01 PM , Rating: 1
Why can't tragedy strike just morons like you instead of the Japanese people.


RE: MSNBC.....
By Iaiken on 3/16/2011 3:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
That's OK! The audience is already misinformed on the subject anyway so no harm done... right?

If anything, news sites have taught me how grossly incompetent the public at large are when it comes to forming an opinion on nuclear power.

It's easy to understand why when you have schmucks over at MSNBC and FOX feeding them spoonful after spoonful of bullsh*t.


RE: MSNBC.....
By maven81 on 3/16/2011 4:01:01 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know why Jason decided to single out MSNBC when other networks reporting on this has been significantly worse and more sensationalist. Take CNN with their "could it happen here?" and "are we at risk?" headlines for example. Along with their usual "some say" refrain which could make any issue look controversial even when it's not!

Of all the coverage I've seen, the coverage by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has been excellent, as she went into the technical details of how these reactors worked and what fuel rods are, why the word meltdown has been overhyped, and actually invited you know, real experts and asked them to correct her. Show me another network that has invited experts to correct them and you might have a case Jason.


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 4:11:05 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I don't know why Jason decided to single out MSNBC when other networks reporting on this has been significantly worse and more sensationalist. Take CNN with their "could it happen here?" and "are we at risk?" headlines for example. Along with their usual "some say" refrain which could make any issue look controversial even when it's not!

Of all the coverage I've seen, the coverage by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has been excellent, as she went into the technical details of how these reactors worked and what fuel rods are, why the word meltdown has been overhyped, and actually invited you know, real experts and asked them to correct her. Show me another network that has invited experts to correct them and you might have a case Jason.


Maven, I wasn't offering GENERAL criticism of MSNBC. I was offering criticism on a SINGLE high profile report they authored which was a top story on their homepage and Google news -- and was highly sensational.

MSNBC is huge so obviously they're going to be doing a ton of coverage on the story. And of course other news networks are offering similar hyperbole -- I admit seeing some of those CNN headlines myself and shaking my head.

But this was a case of particularly egregious misinformation so I felt the need to debunk it.

If you don't think that was a valid endeavor I apologize for wasting your time.

As for the rest of the readers, while millions may have been mislead by this particular story, I do agree with maven to an extent and would advise you not to single out MSNBC as your whipping boy. CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Fox -- they all have been running some sensational coverage on the story.

There are probably hundreds of articles from top sites, unfortunately I don't have time to personally debunk every one of them. I hope by taking this one particularly offensive piece and clarifying factually, that it might encourage people to do the same with the multitude of other coverage out there.

Do you think that's valid?


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/16/2011 4:25:15 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. A liberal news agency that is against nuclear power because it doesn't mesh well with their liberal and/or environmental drones reporting falsehoods? Say it ain't so.

Even Fox is doing a poor job of reporting on this. Of course I haven't heard anyone from there try to convince people its dangerous. They've had guests though who've tried to do that and rebuffed them at times.


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 4:46:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
liberal news agency that is against nuclear power because it doesn't mesh well with their liberal and/or environmental drones reporting falsehoods?


Regardless of your personal leanings, I would urge you Fit, not to cheapen this issue by making it a liberal v. conservative debate. There's plenty of issues where that applies, but I think the media as a whole is making a lot of off the wall statements.

For example Fox News' (which I would consider at least slightly conservative leaning) homepage offers:

"YOU DECIDE: Worried About Radiation Reaching U.S.?"
(we're experts?)

"OPINION: Ex-Rad, the U.S. Military's Radiation Wonder Drug"

"Chernobyl Survivor on Japan" ... next to "Desperate Situation" .

Tell me again that the big bad conservatives aren't fear mongering just as much as the liberal-leaning news.

Big news networks are selling their integrity spreading blatant misinformation and sensationalizing the story for the sake of profits and page views. It's about profits, not politics, bud.


RE: MSNBC.....
By mkrech on 3/16/2011 5:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Great story mick. But Fit is not cheapening it.

It is even more important to understand why this misinformation is being sensationalized. It would be naive to think this is merely an oversight driven by the desire to sensationalize the story for ratings.

Don't be afraid to research these issues further. It appears that you have the intelligence, integrity and wisdom to overcome the fear of discovering things that won't fit your preconceived ideas.


RE: MSNBC.....
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/16/2011 5:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is even more important to understand why this misinformation is being sensationalized. It would be naive to think this is merely an oversight driven by the desire to sensationalize the story for ratings.


Why not? Profit is the greatest motivator.

Do you think news networks cover Charlie Sheen out of personal concern for him?

Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc. by and large don't care as much about the environment or politics as they do selling a story.

That's the bottom line here.

My point is that by trying to make this a political statement, we miss the fact that BOTH supposedly Republican and Democratic-leaning news orgs are spreading FUD.

I think that is absolutely an important point.

I meant no insult to Fit, I appreciate his opinion, but I just was politely asking him to reserve his political shots for a better opportunity, and offering evidence that supported that request.


RE: MSNBC.....
By mkrech on 3/18/2011 12:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent point. Profit is the universal motive.

Is it really a matter of the news organizations generating this "FUD" in response to viewer demand? Or, could this story be intentionally hyped beyond other equally sensational stories for some purpose?

quote:
Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc. by and large don't care as much about the environment or politics as they do selling a story.

These issues are intrinsic to these organizations. Their revenue does not come directly from the viewers. Corporations have vested political interests. ie: GE - wind turbines

This leads to the new profit source. Large corporations have evolved beyond the old capitalist equalizer, competitive advantage. Now large corporations succeed using political advantage... aka 'crony capitalism'.

I meant no impunity on your professionalism. I have never known you to be insulting.

However, my point is that this is indeed political. The fact that it is occurring from even conservative leaning media sources is even more concerning.


RE: MSNBC.....
By tng on 3/16/2011 5:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Great story mick. But Fit is not cheapening it.
It would be naive to think this is merely an oversight driven by the desire to sensationalize the story for ratings.

I agree, the story was worth it Mick.

Mkrech is right, there are plenty of reasons to hype the story that does not involve ratings, although I think that most of what we are seeing is just that.

MSNBC may have run the particular story you commented on due to some left leaning agenda, but it strikes me that the people who did the research for it just did not know anything about statistics and should have vetted the material with someone who did before running with it.


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/16/2011 10:55:44 PM , Rating: 1
I even say Fox isn't doing a good job...


RE: MSNBC.....
By torpor on 3/16/2011 4:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
Can we just start calling them Faux News?

'Cause the moniker doesn't work nearly as well the way it's typically used....


RE: MSNBC.....
By tng on 3/16/2011 5:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think that some of the news babes at Fox are just that.....

Maybe the name is right after all, they just need to hire a couple of more news babes....


RE: MSNBC.....
By FITCamaro on 3/17/2011 7:23:20 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know can we just start calling CNN the Commi News Network? Or rename MSNBC to MSLSD?

Fox News actually has balanced debate. Or are you someone who thinks Juan Williams is a conservative(you know that guy the liberal NPR fired for expressing his opinion)? On almost every issue he swings to the left.

They don't spin things to the right any more than every other news organization spins it to the left. Except I've never seen Fox reporters yelling at people and calling them racists or terrorists for expressing their opinion. Look at all the violent speech coming out of Wisconsin at the Republicans there. Hell they're getting death threats. Where's all the liberal media outlets talking about said "violent rhetoric"? Fox News is reporting on it. But that didn't stop the liberal media outlets from immediately blaming conservatives and Sarah Palin for the shooting in Arizona.


RE: MSNBC.....
By torpor on 3/17/2011 6:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
The subject of my post is MSNBC.

As in, maybe we should call MSNBC "Faux News" because the name works well for them.

The opinion shows on Fox are opinionated. Duh, winning!

The news shows on Fox, though, are pretty good - and certainly more balanced than your average Matt Lauer diatribe. Just note the difference between how Al Sharpton is treated on Fox (where he appears regularly) and how Ann Coulter is treated on the Today Show (where she appears whenever she has a new book out which is...pretty regularly).

Al gets respect. Ann gets sneered at. And I think Katie Couric got her CBS job by rolling around on the floor with Coulter in a vintage Batman-TV-Show-style catfight.


RE: MSNBC.....
By mkrech on 3/18/2011 12:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And I think Katie Couric got her CBS job by rolling around on the floor with Coulter in a vintage Batman-TV-Show-style catfight.

video please!


RE: MSNBC.....
By bhmInOhio on 3/17/2011 6:33:15 AM , Rating: 1
I agree that the articles are inflamatory - but I find it ironic that the author of this article in DT is the one bringing up inflamatory journalism :-)


RE: MSNBC.....
By Pitbull0669 on 3/17/2011 9:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
I agree! .. But my question with all the news orgs out there why Quote MSNBC?...lol.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki