Nuclear Called a Lesser Evil than Fossil Fuels

Nov 4, 2013 Read more: Inter Press Service 7

The warning comes just ahead of a new round of international climate negotiations, slated to start next week in Poland, aimed at arriving at an international consensus on action to mitigate climate change beyond 2015.

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LessHypeMoreFact

Toronto, Canada

#1 Nov 6, 2013
Properly done, nuclear is a viable option. But capitalism (lowest price wins with no regard for public safety that isn't accounted for) and fascism (the corporations control the political arena) argues against it until we get some trustworthy business and political leaders. Don't hold your breath.
BDV

Atlanta, GA

#2 Nov 7, 2013
The only thing worse than the current energy sources is no energy sources.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#3 Nov 7, 2013
BDV wrote:
The only thing worse than the current energy sources is no energy sources.
True. It's a sad situation to be driven to a nuclear "unsolved" solution.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#4 Nov 8, 2013
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In this file photo, Fukushima Governor,

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Graphic showing Japan's Fukushima

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Fukushima Daiichi (Japan)(AFP)- Nuclear engineers in Japan are preparing to move uranium and plutonium fuel rods at Fukushima, their most difficult and dangerous task since the plant's runaway reactors were brought under control two years ago.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is expected this month to begin removing fuel rods from a pool inside a reactor building at the tsunami-hit plant, in a technically challenging operation that will test the utility's expertise after months of setbacks and glitches.

Experts say the operation is a tricky but essential step in the decades-long decommissioning and recovery after the worst atomic accident in a generation.

But, they add, it pales in comparison with the much more complex task that awaits engineers in the future. They will have to remove the misshapen cores of three reactors that went into meltdown, probably relying on technology that has not yet been invented.

More than 1,500 nuclear fuel assemblies -- bundles of rods -- must be pulled out of the storage pool where they were being kept when a tsunami smashed into Fukushima in March 2011.

The reactor which the pool serves -- No. 4 -- was not in operation at the time. But hydrogen from Reactor No. 3 escaped into the building and exploded, tearing the roof off and leaving it at the mercy of natural hazards like earthquakes, storms or another tsunami.

Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute in Kyoto, said success was far from guaranteed.

"It is not easy work," he said.

The comments reflect an increasingly widespread view that the giant utility is not capable of dealing with the mess its nuclear plant has created.

Months of setbacks have included multiple leaks from tanks storing the water used to keep reactors cool, and a power outage caused when a rat electrocuted itself on a circuit board.

TEPCO's management of the problems has been criticised as haphazard and uncoordinated, with one government minister saying it was like watching someone playing "whack-a-mole".

The full decommissioning of Fukushima is likely to take decades and include tasks that have never been attempted anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, villages and towns nearby remain largely empty, their residents unable or unwilling to return to live in the shadow of the leaking plant because of the fear of radiation.
BDV

Atlanta, GA

#5 Nov 8, 2013
Well, given what transpired in the past decade in the US and Canada (British Petroleum's oil platform and refinery mega-explosions and enormous civilian death toll of the oil explosion at Lac Megantic), one would be hard pressed to argue with the title of the article.
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Oil disasters may be less sexy than nuclear ones (raydee-ayshun! Bequerels! Strontiums! Tritiums! Fukusaki! Chernoshima!) but they sure are deadly.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#6 Nov 8, 2013
Nuclear disasters are "forever" long. Read about the past.
BDV

Atlanta, GA

#7 Nov 8, 2013
And those torched alive at Lac Megantic are forever dead.

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