Saturday, May 19, 2012

NUCLEAR ENERGY SAFETY- A FALSE PROMISE

The developed world polity , nuclear energy cartels and technocrats' lobbies have a big motivation to fool the world because they want to earn from their huge investments in nuclear power and technology researches, nuclear power plant manufacturing techniques, nuclear fuel facilities and lastly to retain their blackmailing right to deny the fuel or spares at any time they feel like.There is no nation on this globe which does not have one or more viable alternate available for its energy security. Everyday the polity and experts of nuclear power technology sellers as well as buyers come out with statements regarding the safety of nuclear plants by killing their conscience and conveniently ignoring all facts
Ever since the  nuclear energy route for energy security has been professed and taken up, a large no of accidents have occurred in these plants but the ten major ones require special mention and deliberations. From the first day of the first nuclear power plant way back in 1956 at Windscale, England, the polity and technocrats kept on assuring the whole world that everything has been taken care of for ensuring 100% safety of nuclear power plants particularly when the extent of holocaust which could be wrought on humanity by nuclear fission were fresh in public minds after Nagasaki and Hiroshima atom bomb attacks. 

The risks of catastrophic accidents at Nuclear Power Plants

Potential Accident Consequences

The potential harmful consequences of a reactor plant eruption are truly catastrophic in magnitude. From a near full release of fission products and plutonium from just one reactor, about 200,000 square kilometers of land could have to be abandoned, due to high Gamma-radiation levels from the ground fallout, according to my analysis. (The size of West Germany is about 250,000 square kilometers, and Spain, 490,000 sq. kilometers. A like size area could have to be abandoned due alone to man-made plutonium fallout dust (Alpha-radiation) - a lung cancer hazard - following a PWR or BWR eruption, and up to one million square kilometers in the case of a nuclear explosion accident in a plutonium-fuelled fast breeder reactor, which contains much more plutonium. Several hundred thousand square kilometers could be ruined agriculturally for food growing due to long-lasting Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 fallout. There are many other forms of radiation exposure, such as radiation damage to the thyroid gland (cancer) from radioactive Iodine, and exposure of the skin to Beta-radiation, and inhalation of radioactive fission products besides plutonium dust. The combined effects are incalculable in terms of injury and impaired health to humans (and animals). The possibility of fifty million or more cancer deaths cannot be excluded.



The Irony of 100% safety
  • How hollow and wrong were these claims on safety, came to light after the Three Mile Island, USA, 1979 accident and once again every body was assured of 100% safety with new revised stringent controls
  • The same wrong full  assertions were repeated after The Chernobyl Disaster, USSR, 1986 and once again the humanity was fooled into believing that 100 % safety has been assured now with new , revised and stringent controls at all stages of manufacture and plant functioning.
  • Nature once again reminded these touts of nuclear energy of the inadequacies in their knowledge and understanding of complex behaviour through Tsunami and earthquake damage to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan 2012.
In spite of all such warnings why the polity, technocrats and industrial cartels are refusing to accept the simplest of the reality that human knowledge of science and technology is a follower of natural phenomenon. In safety engineering, human knowledge follows calamities,  complex behaviour of material response, component failure and accident occurrences. New chinks in our knowledge of plant safety, design criterion and failure analysis will keep on emerging with each new accident which will again be plugged with revised stringent measures. This process of evolution of safety concepts is acceptable in all walks of life and in all technologies but no body or no nation on this globe has the right to make large populations sit on a catastrophic bomb for their lure of power, money and looking after the interests of cartel they represent.

The Irony of Probability

Many a times general public is fed on probability figures of a catastrophic accident in a nuclear power plant.The accidental release of radioactivity as a result of reactor accident, terrorist attack or as a consequence of some natural disaster can be catastrophic. The scientists and technocrats would like to say that chances of such an occurrence are 1 in a billion or a trillion but can they deny that such an occurrence could as well be the 1st one and the balance of (1 trillion - 1) occurrences can be catastrophe free. 

Some glowing examples of this probability meaning out of known occurrences are given below.

  • The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003. When the flight was Okayed the probability of accident was similar to one described above but the accident and occurrence is there before the world.
  • Heard from one of the top nuclear engineering expert of India that the probability of a full blown nuclear accident is as low as somebody getting killed in a road accident.
Such accidents involve one or a few persons at a time whereas nuclear blow out is affecting millions of people, land areas as big as mid sized countries are destroyed for ever as brought out in  Potential Accident Consequences above.
Those selling and buying nuclear energy should understand that their criminal motivation shall not be pardoned by future generations.