Monday, March 14, 2011

Nuclear reactors are dangerous!

It turns out that 40 year old nuclear reactor designs weren't up to the impact of a once in a thousand year earthquake. So we shouldn't build any new nuclear reactors with designs reflecting 40 years of development in safety design.

Oh, wait. Nobody's doing that.

OK, so let's not build any new nuclear reactors at all. The three Japanese ones hammered by the quake may winding up shortening the lives of several dozen people, after all.

Of course that leave the little matter of the 10,000-odd people killed by the earthquake's tsunami.

So if we turn off all the reactors, by that logic we must evacuate all low-lying coastal areas on both coasts, from San Diego to Barrow, from Key West to Bar Harbor, as well as most of the Virgin Islands. That means emptying LA, San Diego, Miami, Oahu, San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Boston, Savannah, and more.

And by the same token, all cities built atop dangerous earthquake faults must be evacuated. Oakland, California.

We must also evacuate all areas subject to tornadoes.

And change the national speed limit to 25 mph.

And require parents to let their kids get vaccinated.

And make people walk around wearing protective gear and construction site-type helmets.

If you look at actual number of lived endangered in all these ways, actually shutting down nuclear plants provides by far the mallest improvement in overall human safety.

And actually, thus far I'm impressed that the three Japanese powerplants have done as well as they have, considering the force of that earthquake--which I heard actually moved the entire main island of Japan (Honshu) eight feet.

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