[Marxism] Fukushima hasn't gone away

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Mon Feb 13 11:11:10 MST 2017


On 2017-02-13 18:20, Dennis Brasky via Marxism wrote:
> 
> Thanks for your thoughtful contribution Les

Well I guess I missed something, but maybe Dennis or someone could 
explain Les' point. What I gather is that the clean-up operation is 
daunting due to the radiation level at or near the reactor core, and 
that even so-called radiation-hardened robots are killed in just 2 
hours. That makes me happy that I don't have the job of figuring out how 
to deal with it.

But regardless of where the radioactive material is (fortunately most of 
it remains inside the containment area), it can only be moved, not 
destroyed. Unlike any chemical fuel, there is no way of making a 
radioactive isotope non-radioactive any faster than is given by its 
half-life. This goes also for the waste routinely created by a reactor 
running normally (but at least that waste is easier to handle).

Even if a reactor accident never affected a person, the incredible cost 
associated with an accident (cleanup, evacuation of the area, 
containment of the material for centuries) is a good reason that nuclear 
reactors for power should be avoided. But of course, for a given 
capitalist or government agency, the chance of THAT reactor having an 
accident is small, justifying their enterprise in terms of expected 
profit (especially where  liability for a nuclear accident is limited by 
special laws). In the same short-sighted way that those involved in 
fossil fuel energy can ignore their role in climate change.

I can't say for sure that the Japanese authorities have effectively kept 
people out of danger. But the original article posted didn't even 
address that, but rather made (fallacious) arguments of the sort:

    In Carmel, California, local residents
    are finding that tide pools, once
    vibrant with life, are now dead. They
    blame Fukushima.

Oh. And every one of them that does blame Fukushima is wrong. Period.

- Jeff





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