Earthquake Strikes Nuclear Power Plant -- Plant Strikes Back
July 16, 2007 12:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
The world's largest nuclear power plant demonstrates inherent safety
Those opposed to nuclear power have long raised doubts over its safety. Often raised is the question, "what would happen if major earthquake struck one?" Would a radioactivity release endanger millions?
This morning, we got a chance to find out. A 6.8 earthquake struck northern Japan, almost directly underneath the massive
, responsible for a third of the Japanese residential electricity supply. The quake leveled hundreds of homes, left fissures 3 feet wide in the ground, and swayed buildings in Tokyo, 300 km away.
What happened at the plant itself? An electrical transformer caught fire and was quickly extinguished. And a tiny amount of mildly radioactive water was released -- one billionth of the safe amount allowed under under Japanese law, or 1/1,000,000 of what is generated from a single dental x-ray. Not even the workers actually inside the reactor were exposed to a dangerous dose, much less the general public. All reactors were shut down for inspection purposes, and initial reports indicate no damage or safety issues.
And that's it. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
The western world's nuclear safety record remains unbroken. Over five decades and thousands of reactor-years later, not one person has ever been harmed by commercial power generation. Nuclear power generates no greenhouse gases, and operating costs continue to drop, reaching a level of
1.66 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2006
-- one twentieth the cost of solar power. Despite all this, the U.S. and most of Europe continue to shy away from nuclear power, and pursue pie-in-the-sky energy approaches that, even if they eventually become feasible, will remain forever more expensive to operate.
The West may be ignoring nuclear power, but others are not. Last year, China
to build 30 new reactors, in a bid to reduce air pollution and provide cheap power for its burgeoning economy.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I'm in favor of nuclear power...
7/16/2007 6:22:59 PM
To start, I'd just say that if a massive quake struck directly beneath or near a massive nuclear plant that, assuming the containment building wasn't breached (I'm not sure why it would be as strong as they're built, even if the reactors within them were shaken to pieces), the local area would be so devastated a mild radiation leak would be the least of their (immediate) problems.
Not further than I can throw their CEO.
I dont care to make it a huge argument, but that's the wrong attitude to have -- at least, the blame is being directed at the wrong place. While government shouldn't manipulate markets it's perfectly reasonable for them to be powerful advocates of public safety and to therefore have rigorous inspection in places deemed important to said safety. If regulatory capture took place of one kind or another it's not the CEO's fault, whose purpose in life is profit maximization, but the governments who should have eternal vigilance for corruption. Perhaps there was none and inspection standards were too weak,I'm not familiar with the case, but in any event, that sounds very much like it was a government failure and less a corporate one. Not to entirely shift the blame, but if a food inspector see's suspicious sudden activity (supposedly to hide violations) and doesn't investigate and prosecute any safety issues then the inspector is to blame every bit as much as the resteraunt itself.
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
Nuclear Power Sets New Record
February 28, 2007, 6:39 AM
Latest By Michael Asher
EU President to Speak at Climate Skeptics Conference
February 18, 2009, 7:53 AM
Chinese Man Killed By Exploding Cell Phone
February 3, 2009, 11:29 AM
UPDATE: Biodiesel Idles Minnesota Schools
January 23, 2009, 3:40 AM
Will the Real Antarctica Please Stand Up?
January 22, 2009, 6:08 AM
Global Warming May Decrease Hurricanes, Research Suggests
January 14, 2009, 10:24 AM
Japanese Report Disputes Human Cause for Global Warming
January 14, 2009, 8:43 AM
Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979
January 1, 2009, 11:31 AM
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the (Climate) Forum
December 30, 2008, 3:06 PM
Climate Report Downgrades Ice Loss; Media Reports Opposite
December 29, 2008, 3:30 AM
Princeton Physicist Calls Global Warming Science "Mistaken"
December 23, 2008, 2:37 PM
NASA Introduces Asteroid Grand Challenge to Protect Earth
June 18, 2013, 8:48 PM
NSA Leaker May be Killed in Drone Strike Says Ron Paul
June 17, 2013, 11:18 AM
Airbus A350 XWB "MSN1" Has Successful First Flight
June 17, 2013, 11:02 AM
Study: Gamers Have Better Visual, Decision-Making Skills Than Non-Gamers
June 12, 2013, 11:26 AM
Airbus A350 XWB to Take First Flight Friday, Looks to Challenge Boeing Dreamliner
June 11, 2013, 8:20 PM
Berkeley Lab Tests Artificial Photosynthesis with New Microfluidic Test-Bed
June 11, 2013, 11:41 AM
Most Popular Articles
Source: Don't Worry, NSA Spies on "99 Percent" of Americans' Locations, Call Records
June 14, 2013, 3:57 PM
Xbox Chief: If You Can't Get Online, Don't Buy an Xbox One
June 12, 2013, 9:57 AM
GigaHertz Wars 2.0? AMD Releases World's First 5.0 GHz FX Processor
June 11, 2013, 3:16 PM
Former Palm CEO: Selling Palm to HP was a Waste
June 12, 2013, 10:19 AM
Report: Apple to Release Larger iPhone Screens, Cheaper iPhone for $99
June 13, 2013, 9:41 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information