China Syndrome Debunked By Man Down Under

Tim Blair waits until halfway through an essay on the glowing, err, growing demand for nuclear reactors, and writes:

Hey, we’re 400 words gone here and still no mention of Chernobyl.

For nuclear energy opponents, the Chernobyl meltdown is an argument ender – who could possibly argue that nuclear energy is safe following the radiation-caused deaths of so many people?

(Not so many as you’d think, by the way – according to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, only 50 deaths can be directly attributed to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.)

Of course, Chernobyl was more an example of Soviet blundering than of nuclear dangers.

If we relied on Soviet-era data as a general safety guide, we’d probably be forced to outlaw flight.

Aeroflot wasn’t exactly a typical example of a modern airline. Between 1953 and 1994 the Soviet national carrier managed to kill 6895 people in 127 accidents.

If you’ve got the risk-taking gene, you won’t get off on living next door to a Western nuclear reactor; you’ll get off by getting on an Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-154, scheduled to arrive nose-first in the frozen dirt outside Moscow.

Please enjoy the terrified screams of your fellow passengers.

Never mind nuclear power – communism turns even simple construction work into a festival of blood.

When Australian racing driver Glenn Seton visited the new Formula One track built a few years ago in Shanghai, he was alarmed by the stories he kept hearing of how many workers had been killed during its construction.

Many more, it goes without saying, than were killed at Chernobyl. If Chernobyl is a warning regarding nuclear energy, why isn’t Shanghai a warning not to build grandstands and chicanes?


Well, it probably is, for someone like former Vice President Gore, who view the internal combustion engine as merely one cog in a new Final Solution, after having spent the bulk of the 1990s riding behind a fleet of black Secret Service Suburbans inside his own White House limo.

As for the rest of us who aren’t immediately horrified by the thought of nuclear power’s increasingly viable future, don’t miss this recent Popular Mechanics article on the topic.

Update: Steven Den Beste emails:

Admiral Rickover was given a tour of a Soviet nuclear submarine. He happened to be carrying a film dosimeter. Later when it was developed it showed that he’d been exposed to more radiation during that brief tour than he had been in all the years he led the American nuclear submarine program.

Meanwhile, Jim Geraghty writes that the more things change in Russia, the more they stay the same.


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