Thursday, March 17, 2011

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste

The above title is from a quote by Rahm Emanuel, former White House staff member under Barack Obama. The full quote is from an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn’t think you could do before.

Why am I bringing this up? Well all the environmentalist nut jobs are popping out of the wood work with the whole situation in Japan and the Fukushima reactors. There's been panic, fear mongering, and misinformation being spread all over the place. Most of the misinformation being spread is due to the scientific illiteracy of the media when it comes to most science. Of course the media trying to find every single local tie in to spread their story doesn't help matters either.

Example one of the media tie in was a story yesterday about a pharmacy in Pickering that hands out iodide pills for free to anyone that lives close to the Pickering nuclear power plant. This is a measure paid for by the federal government as a standard precaution. One thing was that the amount of free iodide pills being handed out was more then in the past year in the past few days. All four bottles of them.

Anyway back to not letting the crisis go to waste. Greenpeace is lobbying the provincial government about freezing the construction of a new nuclear power station at Darlington.

Halt urged for nuclear hearings:

by Terry Davidson
Greenpeace and Ontario’s nurses paired up on Wednesday to call for the province to halt hearings on new nuclear reactors for Ontario.

The hearings on development at the Darlington nuke plant slotted for next week should be postponed, said the environmental group and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

“There has been no assessment of the cost-effectiveness of new reactors and the environmental and safety reviews ignore the potential for accidents like we’re seeing in Japan,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst with Greenpeace.

“The need, cost-effectiveness and safety of the reactors is in doubt ... a rethink is required,” he said.

The nurses’ association said there are lessons in the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan.

“What happened in Japan is capable of happening anywhere there are nuclear reactors,” said Doris Grinspun, executive director of the nurses’ association.

“No doubt the nuclear experts and government leaders in Japan were confident that the sheer magnitude of this week’s disaster could never happen there,” Grinspun said.

“But of course ... it did. Nuclear power is an unforgiving technology (and) Japan reminds us that all nuclear reactors are vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster.”

Keith Stewart, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, said the fact that Ontario’s Nuclear Liability Act protects those in the industry from serious repercussions if people are harmed indicates there could be serious problems.

“We know that the safety concerns remain,” said Stewart, adding Japan’s recent nuclear problems are a deadly example of what can go wrong.

“Those things can happen (here). They are unlikely, but it can happen.”

Right, a bunch of fear mongers trying to instill their beliefs and will on us. Using Japan as an example of went wrong is laughable. The Fukushima reactors were not only hit with a 8.9 - 9.0 earthquake, but also a 10m(maybe smaller?) tsunami. If things went horribly wrong the engineers and powerplant workers wouldn't be still there trying to keep things under the amount of control that they have. That the reactors survived is a testament to their construction.

Now saying the same thing can happen here is the worst case of projection I have ever heard. All of the reactors in Ontario are built on seismically stable area. Earthquakes are still possible, remember the one we felt here in Toronto last summer? A monster earthquake though isn't possible. Wrong geology for that. Now as to a tsunami wiping away power lines, support structure, and what have you, flat out impossible. Well, not flat out. There's a chance of a meteorite hitting the center of Lake Ontario causing one, and I won't quote you the odds on that one.

These idiots are trying to use a national disaster on the other side of the world to force policy on us here. The problem is that we need more electrical power generation that is reliable and stable. Is nuclear power the answer? Well right now it's the best one we have available that can produce constantly when needed.

As well Canadian CANDU reactors are one of the safest designs in the world that use uranium as a fuel. Too many people have been confused and baffled by people that think anything high tech is bad for the world. I could go into that but I will save it for when I am feeling more verbose.

A side note about radiation exposure that the Japanese workers are facing. Their standards are a lot higher then some American standards. One person I heard said that when he was working with radioactive material the max level per day was 2 millirems. The Japanese standard is 0.17 millirems. Think about that when you here news reports about the dangerous exposure they are receiving. Not to say that any over exposure is good.


  1. Hey Paladin Phil, another GREAT essay or blog or whatever!
    Fear mongering at it's worst. And the MSM loves it.
    The ONLY benefit I see to this incredibly uniformed "reporting" and "punditry" is that at least it chased Charlie Sheen off the front page.