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: Japan is not a western nation
7/17/2007 4:52:15 PM
Energy production is always 'potentially' dangerous.
Just to add some numbers to that, there have been 31 people known to have been killed from wind power. Mostly these have been people installing or doing maintenance on the turbines, however they also include a skydiver that landed on a turbine and a crop-duster pilot that was killed when his aircraft hit a guy-wire for a wind farm meteorological station.
Depending on what estimate for number of deaths from the Chernobyl accident (which range from the 41 known deaths to as much as 200,000 if you take Greenpeace's figures), the numbers may be quite close in terms of deaths/TWh. ie if wind power was as widespread as nuclear we could expect about as many people to be killed by wind power as by nuke power INCLUDING Russian-style reactors with the Chernobyl accident.
Hydro power and coal power both come out
then nukes or wind power in this regard. Hydro power has by far the highest number of deaths/TWh from accidents (the bulk of which have happened in China) while pollution coal power is known to be killing many tens of thousands every year just through regular use. A recent report gave a very rough estimate of over 400,000 deaths/year in China for coal power plant pollution, while North American numbers are usually in the 5,000-30,000 deaths/year.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information