March 14, 2011

JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE CAUSING antinuclear folks to get frisky. I’d say that members of Congress should take a time-out — and maybe, you know, pass a budget — before they start trying to pass new laws on nukes. They should also explain where the energy is going to come from if we can’t drill for oil, can’t burn coal, can’t dam streams, can’t put windmills where they might spoil a Kennedy’s view, and can’t build nukes. Vague allusions to “green power” don’t count.

UPDATE: Reader Arthur Sorkin writes: “Another argument for liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which are inherently self-regulating and fail-safe.”

And reader James White comments: “There’s no question the conventional wisdom is this will probably kill nuclear power off for the foreseeable future. The question is, is that true? If we can build containment vessels that hold despite an 8.9 quake, tsunamis, and multiple hydrogen explosions, maybe nukes are the way to go after all.”

Well, as I said in my earlier post, we don’t really know what’s going on. But this is a good argument for the several newer, inherently-safe nuclear designs. The good news: General Electric, which is joined at the hip to the Obama Administration, is big in the nuclear business. So corruption and interest may do the work that should be done by sound policy here . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Andrew Medina says we’re lucky to face nuclear-plant problems, because if the tsunami had hit a solar farm instead, “10,000’s of Lbs of lead and cadmium telluride would have been swept into the Sea of Japan poisoning just about everything.”

Plus, reader Charles Alley writes: “Rather than not building nuclear plants, maybe we should just not build them in major (9.0 Richter Scale) quake zones. The Japanese don’t have that option. We do. Even with the problems in Japan, I will stake the safety record of nukes against coal for example any time. Coal death and damage just tends to happen to poor people who don’t generally get coverage on CNN. Imagine what would happen in a coal mine district if a 9.0 earthquake hit.”

Meanwhile, I see that Drudge is linking an item on Alex Jones’ PrisonPlanet site about fallout reaching the West Coast I can’t tell what it says because the Drudge link has killed the server, but I’d approach anything from that conspiracist site with skepticism, and I’m disappointed to see Drudge linking it.

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