Are Nuclear Power Plants Safe?

I recently posted this post “The Preppers’ Problem with Nuclear Power” the article generated a lot of comments and many differing opinions regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of nuclear power plants in the America.

Now only two months later we are watching the continuing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant unfold and I thought it would be a good idea to pay the subject of nuclear power safety another visit to see if your opinions have changed.

(Interesting note) According to this post four nuclear power plants that are currently in operation in Illinois are same Mark I design as the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor that is currently on the brink of meltdown.

[poll id="4"]

Let us know why you chose your answer in the comments below…

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Comments

  1. What alternatives for energy do we have? Accessible oil will run out in 30-40 years. Events leading up to this will be catastrophic. There will be continual fighting over resources.

    Solar & wind couldn’t keep a lamp lit in everyone’s home for the long term & for a reasonable price. Nuclear power is the only way if we expect our current way of life to continue.

    Just don’t put the nuclear plants in a major fault zone. Those folks might be stuck with wind & solar.

    • Actually we have enough proven reserves to last close to 200 years not the 30-40 years you claim. The problem is that the Feds are tying up that land so we can’t get at it.

      • You should read the book The Long Emergency (very boring & detailed but essential knowledge). The 200 year claim is not true. Most of that oil is not going to be accessible – it will take more than 1 barrel of oil to extract 1 barrel so it is not worth the effort.

        To use an analogy. Why spend $20 in gas to get to work only to earn $15? You wouldn’t. The same applies with this oil.

      • Normally I would never give the feds much credit. But here, I think they might just be brilliant (they probably didn’t mean to be). We have been buying everyone else’s oil for decades at prices that will be considered bargain basement 5 years from now. Then when peak has come and gone we will have a strategic reserve of oil gas and coal in the ground under our feet. And maybe by then we will wise up enough to not consider it illegal… just a pipedream I have every so often that the US might be as strategic and forward thinking as China.

        • Yea, I agree. When I hear the word Fed. Brilliant is not a word that comes to mind. The choice words that come to mind would probably not allow my comment to be approved here.

  2. OhioPrepper says:

    I find it very interesting that with thousands of people missing, homeless and surviving with little food and water, and poor to non-existent sanitation, we are all in such fear of the power plants. The quake and tsunami have already killed more people in less than an hour, than all nuclear plant accidents in history. We all tend to fear, what we don’t understand, so we can either continue to fear, or try to understand. Preppers should IMO be doing the latter.
    As for the Illinois plants, if they are hit by a tsunami, then Illinois will be in such bad shape that a little nuke plant won’t hurt that much more.
    I’m an engineer with a physics background and although I don’t pretend to know as much as some of the operators in this forum, I am appalled by the ignorance I see on the major media outlets as they report on this incident. Ignorance mixed with a camera and microphone is a bad thing.
    Please look at the two articles below, take a deep breath, and try to relax a little.

    I posted this earlier on the “What Did You Do To Prep This Week?” thread:
    http://morgsatlarge.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors/
    And this link was posted this morning by Joshua on the “The Preppers’ Problem with Nuclear Power” thread.
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/
    The first is the source material for the second extremely well done layman’s presentation.

    • As the son of a nuclear engineer, worrying about nuke plants and/or radiation from Japan is near, if not at, the bottom of my prepper concerns. Prepping for this gets covered by many other scenarios.
      As to the poll, you might as well ask “Is crossing the street safe?”

    • “As for the Illinois plants, if they are hit by a tsunami, then Illinois will be in such bad shape that a little nuke plant won’t hurt that much more.”

      OP – What a wonderful way to put it into perspective! Even in a fault zone, it took an extreme earthquake to cause problems – and they still haven’t gone into meltdown.

      Nuclear energy has been used in Europe for years with no problems – except Chernobyl. It was a total mess, yet affected only a relatively small area.

      Over the past 35 years I’ve gone from a “no nukes” position to realizing that nuclear energy is the only way we’ll be able to continue our standard of living. We’ll actually do better, because it is cleaner than coal or oil & doesn’t cause the ongoing environmental problems that oil drilling, coal mining, & dam building do.

      I’m much more concerned about the welfare of the Japanese people than I am about a wee bit of radiation coming to this country.

      God bless,
      Bonnie
      Opportunity Farm
      NE WA

    • Iowa Oscar says:

      You’re right OP, everyone needs to slow down and relax.
      I don’t have your credentials, I’m just a country boy in the transportation bidness, but it seems to me we’re once again suffering the effects of the Main Stream Media gone wild.
      From what I’ve heard, these nuke plants were designed to withstand an 8.2 mag. quake, and got hit with a 9 and they came through that better than expected. Without the tsunami knocking out the power it would be even harder for the MSM to get everybody panicked although I have no doubt they’d be trying.
      Personally I’m perfectly comfortable with the risks, which I think are extremely small. We’ve got plenty of plants around us too, the closest within about 15 miles as the crow flies.
      I’d still like to see us drill baby drill, and use some of the 500 years worth of coal we have, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. I’m a chemical engineer and studied nuclear engineering in grad school, so I have a pretty good idea of what is going on. The fear the media is creating is to sell news, but has no basis in reality. There has never been a loss of life in the US due to a problem with a nuke reactor – this is in sharp contrast to the thousands of lives lost in mining accidents. In addition, coal plants emit radioactive waste. People are have been brainwashed by the China Syndrome movie to think that a nuke plant will kill them. Eating a banana a day exposes you to more radiation then living near a nuke plant.

  4. I was surprised to see (at this point in time) that 67% of respondents agreed with me that the plants are safe.

    Safe is relative. Totally safe from all possible mishaps? No. But safe from a practical point? Yes.

    Even the reactors in trouble are being dealt with and kept from total breakdown – so far.

    Japanese technology built those structures so that they withstood the 8.9 earthquake. Automatic systems started the shutdown procedure. What went wrong was that the tsunami destroyed the electrical grid that powered the shutdown process. It is probable that a backup generation system will be installed in all units in the future – world wide. Learn from this.

    Seismic experts think that the largest earthquake possible along the San Andreas (California) fault would be 5.9 which is many, many magnitudes below that 8.9 in Northern Japan.

    Even with an “event” like Three Mile Island, the danger to human life in the United States would be less than that of an intentionally detonated dirty bomb.

    On the other hand, cleanup and containment of materials at the Japanese sites will be extensive and expensive. Disposal? Many years before replacement installations will be designed, approved and built. If ever.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      TNBob,
      A couple of updates. The plant was designed to survive an 8.2
      After re evaluating the data, the quake was upgraded to a 9.0
      All in all pretty impressive engineering.

      • The plant was designed to survive an 8.2 underneath it. The epicenter of the 9.0 was 200 miles away. The main problem occurred with a 30 m tsunami that wiped out the backup power systems. They had planned for a 20 m tsunami

    • templar knight says:

      TNBob,

      These plants had backup diesel generators, but they were taken out and rendered useless by the tsunami. It would be a good idea to place the generators in tsunami resistant bunkers. Many new nuclear power plants are designed with gravity fed water cooling systems, but I don’t know how much water these systems contain, or whether they could withstand a 9.0 earthquake. I think it’s still too soon to draw conclusions from this accident.

      Suffice it to say that a 9.0 earthquake is going to do tremendous damage, and I imagine any reactor, or any other power generating station, will have problems.

  5. They are safe until an earthquake happens.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Actually the plant survived the earthquake and performed as designed. The problems being dealt with are from the tsunami.

    • Box Trap says:

      When a plant intended to withstand an 8.2 quake survives a 9.0 I’d say that the nuke plants a a practical, safe, source of renewable energy. The reactor hasn’t gone critical and I doubt it will. The Japanese have the situation well in hand and the the U.S. support they have more resourses than they need. Besides, with our quickly depleteing supply of fossil fules, what other options do we have? The sun and the wind can only do so much and sind power is unpredictable at best.

  6. I am struck by the lack of actual information that could be critical in a decision to keep up with this avenue. Yes, we need it. But at what cost? I feel that all the actual information and how bad this is in Japan has not been told. And I don’t think Japan has an area that could not be hit with an earthquake. And seems that the same thing is happening in the US. Earthquakes likely just about anywhere here.
    I did hear on the news this morning over everyone running scared and buying Potassium Iodine up. The only logical thing said was that here in California they would hand it out on a 10 mile radius if something happened at one of ours, so why was everyone so scared over something 7000 miles away?
    Well I guess man’s progress is going to be his undoing.

    • Nick in Washington says:

      Japan doesn’t exactly have the resourses to be able to rely on fossil fuels and they could only be able to afford to import them for so long. Nuclear energy is their only practical option. Also if the reactor does go critical and explode than the jet stream will carry nuclear ash as far as Texas…

      Dureing WW2 the Japanese were able to fire bomb the U.S
      useing explosives attached to balloons and releasing them into the jet stream. Some of these “balloon bombs” made it as far as Montana. If the jet stream can carry a heavy balloon bomb across the Pacific and into Montana than I have no doubt that the lighter than air particals of nuclear fallout will have no trouble at all.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Actually you have this backwards. The balloon bombs were lighter than air, and the jet stream merely provided the propulsion. The particles are however not lighter than air, and will eventually fall from the air, most on the way here over the pacific.

  7. Nuclear power plants are as safe as they can be with the current technologies and tools in use, and they will keep getting safer as those things advance and as we learn from the Fukushima disaster. The most important thing to remember is that this power plant had safety measures in place that survived a magnitude 9 earthquake, and that is 16 TIMES what it was built to withstand. The only reason it is in trouble right now is because the tsunami destroyed the backup generators and filled the coolant water supply with debris. If those two things had been shielded from the tsunami then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, and so we will learn from this.

    I agree with GA Mom in that natural disasters need to be fully considered when constructing nuclear power plants, not necessarily fault lines (the earthquake didn’t cause this disaster, after all) but in general we need to be aware of what could happen in the areas we build. Obviously they should not be built near oceans (and near is a relative term), and it would be preferable to not build them on fault lines, but we have to think of other problems. Tornadoes could wreck the cooling towers and more in a nuclear power plant and cause problems that way. Floods and mudslides could cause problems similar to what the tsunami in Japan did.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yes, nuclear power plants are safe, but we can make them safer.

    • Dean in Michigan says:

      I agree Noah……..

      The whole country is surrounded by fault lines. However, it would seem more reasonable to put a Japanese nuke plant on the western shore of the country, where it would be relatively protected from a tsunami.

  8. Dean in Michigan says:

    Yes they are safe. Fukushima took everything mother nature could throw at it, you could probably call what happened to it a worst case scenario. And, as bad as their situation is, it could be a lot worse.

    The Japanese are a proud people, and I’m sure they feel quite humbled by this. Lets just hope that things don’t get worse, and that new precautions can be developed.

    I live within an hour of a nuke plant, and it doesn’t even cross my mind.

  9. Agree with TNBob — all things considered, nuke plants are safe. Remember, the one in Japan is 40+ years old. It would be safer if we brought new modern plants online. However, that seems unlikely in the current climate of fear. Of course, since this administration won’t allow us to dig for oil or coal, we should all be prepared to go back to the stone age.

  10. No, they are not completely safe.

    That said, neither is coal emissions, yet we still burn coal because the benefits of industrialization outweigh the risks of said emissions. We have to carefully weigh the consequences and put these plants in low-risk areas.

    With the low-hanging fruit already plucked, we must look at alternatives. I don’t see how we can have anything resembling a comfortable way of life without a way of generating power on demand, and we can control nuclear plants far better than we can the sun or the wind.

  11. They are safe as long as people are still running them, when people leave because of the high radation levels and don’t want to risk their lives to stopping pandora’s box or died trying, expect all hell to break loose like chernobyl.

    Radation stays around for a long time and if a bunch of plants go up expect to move far away!

    • Tom the Tinker says:

      Joe: With all due respect! Google Chernoble again and surf around till you find out just how many good men and women responded to what they knew…. was going to kill them. Read the accounts in thier own words. They stuck to their task and it killed nearly all….. of them. With out them, Chernobly would have an even darker meaning.
      If that kind of man and women are missing… then you are correct… all hell.

      Google the… Fukushima 50! The damage control crew there right now. Lets see how many of them make it another 60 days. At Chernobly….. many were dead in under 2 weeks.

  12. jqfrederick says:

    I voted “not safe”, based on the nuclear industries stance on liability. Why does the industry insist on no liability when a plant is built? Why was Obama in India urging their government to pass legislation giving the industry a total pass on any liability? If the industry doesn’t think its safe, then I don’t think its safe–they’re the experts, right?

    • Safety & liability are not mutually exclusive. I think it has more to do with lawyers wanting someone to sue than with actual safety issues. The media is the lawyer’s willing accomplice. Case in point; DOW got slammed with the law suit over silicon breast implants and lost, when there was no real safety issue there. The statistical & scientiffic evidence NEVER supported liability by DOW… but it didn’t stop the lawyers.

    • The nuclear industry just wants to lower costs. They have insurance, but without legal liability their insurance cost will be lower. It is the same as them crying that nuclear plants cannot be built without government loan guarantees. They just want lower cost loans.

  13. Nuclear power is more then reasonably safe. The Fukushima is a Mark I design, that’s version 1, Generation IV is the current design. It’s also 41 years old. It was also hit with an earthquake much larger then it was designed to deal with and then a tsunami also much bigger then they expected.

    That they are still able to work on it and that it didn’t just fall over and spill radioisotopes all over the landscape shows just what a triumph of engineering this is.

    Yes, this is a failure, but it is a graceful failure, like the World Trade Towers. The design gave the people time to get away. That is important and significant.

    Whenever you are working with high energies there is always the potential for disaster. I guess we could always go back to huddling around fires but then remember the Great Chicago Fire and all the other fires that occurred that week. So that won’t save you.

    Yes, it could be better, but ask yourself why in 40 years the plant hadn’t been upgraded? Was it money or legal reasons?

  14. The nuclear situation in Japan is certainly problematic. but it isn’t as critical as fear mongers would lead you to believe. Here is a little more ‘factual’ information: http://www.businessinsider.com/japan-reactors-pose-no-risk-2011-3#ixzz1GcxzKiyx

    It’s always pleasant to see facts rather than agendas…

    Speaking of agendas, we are not left with many other options besides nuclear unless we see a dramatic shift in general perspectives. Key points are as follows:
    1. Oil production has peaked. It will only start to slow down in production from this point. If there was so many more fields to be found, don’t you think that the oil companies which have been having record profits the last number of years would build more refineries in cheap third-world countries? Permits for building their are effortless and cheap, and the cost of the new refineries would be a pittance compared to potential increased revenues, IF they oil existed. But the oil companies know that it doesn’t, so they leverage what they have for as long as they have.
    2. Coal. Ughhhh, Enough said.
    3. Everybody talks about the benefits of solar and wind power (I use it extensively myself on my homestead). But ask those same people if you can put up a solar or wind farm near their town and suddenly it’s “not in my backyard” syndrome. So they want the power, but only if it doesn’t detract from their charming little town. (Speaking for myself, I think those farms are awesome and would welcome one near me.)
    4. Become more energy efficient. Not some petty little compact fluorescents but significant investment in revamping their homes to be more energy efficient, as well as making a CONSCIOUS effort to use less. Of course, this has been said for years, and nobody actually does it, so that leaves one other option:
    5. Nuclear.

    Actually, there is one more scenario, more likely: TEOTWAWKI, whether it be economic, water, asteroids, the singularity, peak oil, or whatever.

    Viva la zombies!

    Bret in Austin

  15. Tomthetinker says:

    Historical note: Enrico Fermi Nuc. power generating station unit #1 Monroe, Mich. ‘was’ a prototype reactor of the same design as the 4 Fukyshima units. The Operative word I used is…. “was”.

    EF unit #1 suffered a ‘failure’ early on. ( see the book “We almost lost Detroit”) Coolent failure and failure of ‘core dump’.

    Enrico Fermi Nuc. power generating station unit # 2 is in operation next door to the entombed unit #1.

    EF Units #1 and #2 share the same design as Units #1>4 at Fukushima.

    Earth quake or tsunami were not the cause of the ‘failure’ at Fermi #1. Human error and design flaws / equipment failures did however enter into the issue.

    The new Unit went on line in the early 80s. So far………. so good. In the end It appears that…… S – – t still happens even with the … best?.. designs and intentions of men.

  16. Tomthetinker says:

    …………. Oh my bad. Must have been something in my eye… Fuky is Fuku

  17. I agree with TNBob – safety is relative. Gas and coal powered plants cost many lives in gathering up the fuel (coal more, of course) and both emit pollutants (coal more, again). The cumulative effect on human life on the planet of these 2 power sources dwarfs that of nuclear power, though anytime the word “nuclear” (or “nucular” or “nukear” depending on how f’ing ignorant the President of the time happens to be) is mentioned, rationality gets tossed out the window.

    Nuclear CAN be incredibly safe in more modern designs, like the pebble bed reactor, or by using the cheaper, more plentiful and almost-impossible-to-proliferate Thorium as a fuel. We CANNOT do without nuclear power, the only question is whether we will continue with old plants of antiquated design, located poorly (come on, right on the f’ing ocean in Japan, which invented the word “tsunami” – what were they thinking?), or whether we’ll move on to better technology and over-engineer them (like, for instance, make all plants have to withstand a 9.0, and then design triply-redundant and independent back-up systems). I vote for the latter; otherwise, we’re in for a long, slow slide back into the Dark Ages, with no way out for our descendants.

  18. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    First of all, nuclear power is not the same as a nuclear or atomic bomb. A bomb is made to disperse radiation, a nuclear reactor is not.

    Nuclear power has inherent danger, just as ALL sources of power and energy have. The very nature of stored power, whether stored water (dam) or stored electricity (battery) or nuclear power (reactor) can be dangerous. You can’t have something that provides power that doesn’t produce some risk. More people have died due to broken dams than due to nuclear power plants. The Johnstown Flood of 1889 in Pennsylvania killed 2,200 people. How many died from Chernobyl? Not anywhere near that many and the radiation levels around Chernobyl are fading faster than expected.

    The radiation left behind by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII was supposed to cause birth defects and sterile soil for hundreds of years, yet those two cities were rebuilt and the horrible predictions never materialized – thank God. The panic and hysteria about nuclear power is unjustified and exaggerated. Why? Because it makes fascinating news stories, which in turn sell advertising, and advertising makes a fatter paycheck for the “news” media.

    I ordered some potassium iodide (KI – haven’t received it yet), but after reading about and thinking about the Japanese nuclear power plants and how hard the Japanese are working to secure the sites, and realizing the great distance between Japan and my home near the California coast, plus watching the real-time radiation levels in this country which are available online, I realized I wasted my money on the KI. Even if radiation finds its way here, I’m not worried about the levels. The earth has a very good way of dealing with poisons – it absorbs, flushes, and/or neutralizes them. Dentists receive greater doses of radiation than just about anybody else, but there is no shortage of dentists. So let’s not buy into the hype, may cooler heads prevail.

    Nuclear power isn’t the problem, the fear-mongers in Washington, DC are. They are always the biggest problems.

    And I echo what OhioPrepper said, there are thousands of dead Japanese from the earthquake and tsunami, and so far nobody is dead from the radiation. I expect it will remain that way.

    TNBob, I don’t know where you got your figures for the magnitude of earthquakes on the San Andreas fault, but I can attest to the fact that it’s not the only faultline in this state, and the San Francisco quake of 1906 was on the San Andreas fault and it was estimated to be 8.1. I have personally experienced tremors here that were 7.1 and southern California has had some of similar strength. Both Diablo Canyon Power Plant (on the coast) and Rancho Seco (on the coast) have experienced major earthquakes and withstood them without trouble. The nuclear power plants here have very high tsunami barricades in place and the plant structures are different shapes than those in Japan, and therefore better able to withstand quakes and massive waves.

    I’m embarrassed when I realize I became a sheeple for a moment, when I ordered the KI. The news media creates sheeple, so keep that in mind the next time the media wants to fatten its bottom line at our expense. Think, question, use reason, don’t fall for the hype as I did.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Lint,
      Interesting you should mention the Johnstown, PA flood. I now live in Ohio, but Johnstown was my hometown, and although the 1889 flood gets all the hype, there were floods in 1936, after which the Army Corp of Engineers came in and made the town “flood proof”, right up until 1977 when it all flooded out again. Each time there was less death and property loss, but every time something like this happens, we learn from it, prepare a little better, and move on. It’s the nature of life with technology and natural disasters.

      • the biggest mistake is yet to come, the reports out as of 1020 am est is that there is a radioactive plume crossing the pacific, i’m not challenging this. what i am concerned about is the iodine poisoning that will occur when the frightened masses decide to take their iodine pills, this morning, these pills are only to used when you have a confirmed fallout situation, and then they only protect against the body’s absorption of radioactive iodine. it is the panic that will hurt more people than the radiation will

        • mountain lady says:

          It should be remembered not to take iodine meds without first checking with your physician. I have spent too many hours reading the last week and I did read that after age 40 not to take it. Also it is very damaging to the kidneys and for those of us who already have problems with that area it just hasten our end. Be very careful about what you consume.

          Lint: They will still be useful if you know any younger people who were not able to get any of the pills. They, too, should check with their doctor before taking them.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Yeah, I’ll put the pills into the back of my first aid supplies stash and forget about them. Then, when the Martians start dropping A-bombs on us in 2012, I’ll be ready. (That’s a joke, people, there are no Martians. But if there were, they’d use neutron bombs on us instead.)

  19. You know, I am getting more than a little fed up with all this “is it safe”. Have we come this far down the ladder that we are now a bunch of rabbits wondering if the big bad wolf is just around the corner? To be honest…nothing is totally “safe”. I don’t care if it is the common table fork or the space shuttle….things happen….forget it! If it isn’t some health nut worried about 2nd hand smoke affecting the earthworms it is about air pollution, if not about that then it is about having germs on your kitchen cutting board. Sheesh!!!!!!! I am 72 years old…never ever did I worry about germs…getting a yearly physical…..and so forth. Last time I saw a doctor was over 25 years ago. And I sure have no intention of seeing one now. Makes me really wonder if anyone is left on this planet that has any guts.

    • Rick3Freedom says:

      Curt
      I totaly agree!
      There are many things that are dangerous, that can mame or kill. But if everyone looks at how many people have been killed by nuclear plant explosions and/or problems, they may be less worried. Compair them to how many Doctors kill patients (by wrong meds, operations fouled, wrong body parts) and then what should we do, get rid of doctors? No, we just need to take precautions in life, the best we can. We need power an for now Nuclear power is the way until someone comes up with something better. The thing I can not get a grip on is: all the green nuts that think battery cars is the answer. I have a question; you don’t want oil, coal, or nuclear, explain to me how do we power these batteries? We better use whatever resource we (have)can, until we come up with something better. We are getting pounded by cost that are driven by other countries for energy. How secure does that make you feel? I feel safer with nuclear power.

  20. Tom the Tinker says:

    Thank you LintPicker!!!! good honest perspective. When you think about it the ‘Earth moved’ and they kept on tickin till human engineering was found at fault. Whoda thought a megaton of trashed humanity would have clogged up the water inlets and quench systems. Was anybody thinking a Tsunami was anything but water? Never crossed my mind till I saw the aftermath. We build and we learn to build better.

  21. No.
    2 reasons. Murphy’s Law and The Peter Principle.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Judith, if I remember correctly, Murphy’s Law states something like “if it can go wrong, it will.” And The Peter Principle states something like “people are promoted beyond their abilities.” Close enough? OK.

      But I hold to God’s Law – when your time is up, it’s up. When the time comes to die, any of us could die from something as simple as an infected ingrown toenail or from something as gigantic as a tsunami – it’s not our choice, and the Lord determines who goes and when. Of course I prefer not to go in a painful or frightening way, but that’s not up to me. All I can do is enjoy each day, prepare for the worst case scenario, and try to have as much fun and do as much good as possible.

      Relax, dear Judith, your time isn’t up yet.

  22. American-designed nuclear power plants have never been safe. They are pressure-vessel designs based on old Navy requirements. Who the hell puts a pressure vessel on land? Oh, we do!

    There are much safer and resilient alternatives.

    • blindshooter says:

      Bill, please fill us in on the alternatives.

      Not trying to snark, I personally think if politics had not interfered after TMI we would have newer designs and more old plants decommissioned now.

      Tomorrow I am going to work in one of the “old” plants of the same design as the troubled ones in Japan. On the way there I will drive by a coal plant that a worker died in last Tuesday. As others have said the dangers are relative.

      OhioPrepper nailed it when he pointed out the natural disasters have killed more people in just one instance than all of nuclear power added together. Just think about how many have died in car accidents…do we panic and stop building cars? No, we use the data from the accidents and build better vehicles.

      Again, I for one am impressed the Japanese plants have held up as well as they have under the exceptional conditions they were subjected to.

  23. MotherEarth says:

    My daughter is a nuclear engineer at San Onofre and she is not worried, andbut fed up with all the radiation hype. When she gets worried, I’ll get worried.

    • One of my best friends was one of the original nuclear engineer who worked at San Onofre and I asked him about the potential radiation reaching America. He said, almost before I finished sentence, “Oh hell no, are you F-ing kidding me??!! It’s a bunch of sensationalized bullshit.”

      Nuclear power is far safer than driving, flying or walking on a city street.

      Nuclear power is here and here to stay in our lifetime unless some outer space alien intelligence gives us another way to energize the planet.

      Now let’s dispense with all of this stupidity and discuss preparation for more realistic things like a zombie invasion.

  24. For some perspective:

    A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY&feature=player_embedded

  25. MOPrepper says:

    People existed for thousands of years without electricity.
    More recent times have us used to such a luxury to the point that we think life would be unlivable.

    My life would change without it, but I’d adapt. I sure would get tired of hearing people complain, however.

    • MoPrepper. I’m sure most of us here could survive however, the population of the earth right now is about 7 billion. In 1800 when electricity was still in its infancy, it was about 1 billion.

      It would be impossible for 7 billion people to survive without electricity & oil. All the trees would be cut down in the first year for cooking & firewood. No tractors to grow the food. I think 70% of the population would die off. The violence would be quite ugly.

      We need nuclear power or some new fantastic energy source. I’m sick of being beholden to the arabs plus I know that oil is finite.

      • MOPrepper says:

        Yeah, I never stated that everyone would survive, only that I would survive.

        You are correct, there are a lot of people here, and mostly that is because we live in a safety net where we’ve tried to rule out all methods for getting killed (seatbelts, etc.).

        Seems that we’ve all but eliminated natural selection, so a large majority of those 7 million people are probably idiots that would have died long ago.

        I agree with your second paragraph, however, that is short term. In the long run, life would have evolved and changed and a new set of rules for what is considered “normal” would be in place.

        We no longer live in harmony with this planet. In fact, we’ve become quite a surface dwelling virus.

        Well, I’m not as negative as all this sounds, but sometimes things just need to be said. I bash the very groups to which I belong.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      People also died from simple infections and childbirth. Hurricanes hit the coastline without warning, killing thousands. Malnutrition was commonplace throughout the world. You are right when you say “People existed”, but I for one prefer living to mere existence.

      • MOPrepper says:

        Well, ok, but is it much better now?

        We pay people to do everything for us, how much less connected are we to “life” today than we were back then?

        What is the value of “living” today if it is nothing more than a shallow existence?

        Do you know what I mean?

        We’re not much more than consumers, and when we have free time, it is consumed by consuming more stuff.

        We don’t birth our own babies, we pay someone else to do it.
        When our relatives die, we pay someone else to bury them.

        We go through the rituals, but we’ve lost the connection.

  26. Sad thing is that you only hear about this stuff when something goes wrong. I mean come on people this place was half washed away by a tsunami and an earthquake. I am surprised that they were mainly still intact after all that. Sure they are safe. And the newer ones are even more safe. I do think that this particular power plant could have been put a bit farther inland from where it is now.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      They are put on the coast so that sea water can be used to flood them should a cooling problem occur. Cooling problems did occur in Japan, so it’s good they were on the coast so the water was right there. Unfortunately, the water has apparently burned off or drained off or ??? because the rods are supposedly heating up again.

      Diablo Canyon Power Plant is down the coast quite a ways from me, but I remember when it was built and all the things that were explained to Californians regarding the location, the design, the seawall, the depth of the hole, etc. It is all done for specific reasons and everything is very deliberate – for safety and security.

      You’re right, the Japanese plants have actually withstood much more than anybody could have imagined, and still they didn’t fail immediately. That is remarkable.

  27. I would like to see thorium reactors come online. Thorium is a radioactive element, found in massive abundance throughout the world, can (fairly) cheaply be extracted from coal ash, the reactors don’t require as much shielding causing plant costs to be cheaper and the reactors (based on current designs) cannot create temperatures to melt down a reactor. The core can be literally split in case of overheating, and the reaction stops instantly, without having to eat the cost of forever entombing a melted down reactor. In case of an EMP, these reactors wouldn’t require the diesels to stay running on backup generators for cooling ponds. These reactors also don’t accumulate waste like a plutonium or uranium reactors, which is a big plus.

  28. Nothing is 100% safe, that’s reality plain and simple. I get so tired of whiners and politicians who operate with knee-jerk reactions to everything. You and I are going to get hurt from time to time and someday we will die, perhaps in a bed surrounded by our family or maybe suddenly caused by an outside influence. All the best of intentions and political intervention will not prevent it. Nuclear power is as safe a form of energy as we have available, you know even a wood stove will burn down your house, maybe with you in it. I guess we better have a congressional hearing about wood stoves, and spend some more money we don’t have to establish committee and investigate.

  29. Dan in Oklahoma says:

    About 15 years ago people didn’t have cell phones, what would happen to people today because a technology came forward, and we forgot the past? Time to think a little harder people…. What if.. we only had a Mud hut,a lantern, and a flintlock rifle… welcome back to the 1700s.

  30. Doctor 111 Trillion says:

    The U.S. sits on top of some of the largest fossil fuel deposits in the world. If we were to base our energy grid off of nuclear power and other renewable energy resourses instead of said fossil fuels than we’d make enough money exporting coal, oil, and naturall gas to match OPECs prices and double them.

    Nuclear power is as safe as it can be with the current technology available. There were times when radioactive material was packed into warheads with the intention of spilling out and causeing harm. Practically no safty measures other than the gaurding of the warheads were taken and there aren’t many reports of citys near nuclear silos being effected

  31. An average of 100 people or so die in car accidents every day in the US alone….because it isn’t one big event, no one notices. If it were one big event, they would be looking for a way to shut down the roads and stop people from driving…

  32. Nuclear Reactor Boy’s Tummy Ache

    “This is genius. Watch this…. This was made by some Japanese to help small children to relax and not to worry…”

    http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.com/2011/03/nuclear-reactor-boys-tummy-ache.html

    • SHTF Clark, you are 2 for 2 with these videos!

      The Japanese are brilliant how they handle problems & and keep the emotions & the sensationalism in check.

      If this event happened here in the US, the media circus would be making the problems bigger instead of addressing them in a straightforward, long term manner.

      Then the likes of Sean Penn, Ellen DeGenerate & Charlie Sheen would be on the broadcasts giving their sage advice.

      It is so interesting how the Japanese are not brandishing weapons, looting and remaining relatively orderly in a very densely populated area – take note America.

  33. Lake Lili says:

    I have a cousin who was the former director of security at the Darlington Nuclear Power Station in southern Ontario. So I am well aware of length to which employees go to promote and maintain a secure plant. Given the choice between the effects of more coal plants or nuclear energy… I’d vote for nuclear.

  34. ChrisInGa says:

    I made mention of the spent fuel pools in the comments of your last posting. Seems a lot of your posters disagreed at the time. I think you all should pay note to what is happening in building #4 as it relates to that spent fuel pond that keeps catching on fire and for which the NRC has stated is empty..

    When this whole thing is done and over with it will have been the spent fuel not the reactor that creates the most problems.

  35. The main issue for me is the thousands of years in which we and our descendants must protect the nuclear waste material. Realistically, will that knowledge and the needed protections endure, whether or not an earthquake, sabotage, or other destructive act occurs?

  36. Sue Martin-Smith says:

    Speaking purely from a New Zealand perspective, I am very glad our Government has a strict “No Nukes” policy. We are as much on the Pacific Ring of Fire as Japan – just look at our recent earthquake disaster in Christchurch. Since no part of our country is safe from earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, we cannot safely have nuclear power.

    Luckily for us, we have ample mountains and rainwater, so the vast majority of our electricity needs are met by hydro dams – apart from local environmental damage caused when they are constructed, hydro-electric power stations are using non-damaging, renewable resources. We have recently started putting in wind farms, and are currently installing a tidal system in Cook Strait (between the North and South Islands). We even have geothermal systems in place, as well as the odd gas and coal fired stations.

    New Zealand has a wide range of electricity generating systems, all based on our particular resources, which gives us a certain resiliance against shortages. And all this means we have absolutely no need for nuclear power, and I can’t see that ever changing.

    I voted NO on this poll, but purely for New Zealand. Nuclear power may be safe for places like Europe, which are much more geologically stable, but certainly has no place in places well known for their natural hazards. This unfortunately includes Japan, and the entire Pacific coast.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Sue, someday the radical environmentalists in your country will want to remove the dams that provide hydropower because the fish in the rivers are dying off. Dam removal is happening in California now.

      Wind farms always sound great, but they are extremely inefficient and birds are killed by them, especially raptors.

      When your country has the same size population as Japan (127 million), your nation will be forced to use sources of electricity that it had never needed previously. The alternative is to lower your standard of living, which isn’t going to be fun either.

  37. Reading back through the comments, I see that many of us are answering additional questions, such as can we find a way to maintain our current way of life, growing population, etc. I think we are headed for huge transitions in many areas (following crashes in many dimensions), and simply won’t be in the market for nuclear or any other exotic energy solutions.

  38. Jarhead03 says:

    A sad truth to ease the minds of those concerned with safety of facilities. After a tragic event where something goes wrong there is a safety stand down where the experts, involved agencies and employees look at what happened, what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. This happens in the military and with the FAA when things go bad.

    I live within 150 miles of San Onofre power plant and used to live less than 5 miles from it when stationed at Camp Pendleton. We had it in the back of our head but didn’t worry about it. We would talk to the people that worked there on base or even surfing next to the plant and they would tell us if they felt it was that dangerous they wouldn’t work there. This plant exceeds federal requirements because its on the coast and in earthquake country.

    Like others have said, you are more likely to die crossing the street or getting in a car accident. Just remember that we prepare for something that may or may not happen in our lifetime but its that mind set that keeps us above and ahead of others when something does happen.

    Don’t live in fear! Happy prepping!

  39. Nothing on this planet that man has ever made was 100% safe. There is always a risk of failure involved. Now, with the current technology level that risk has become smaller and smaller but it still exists. The problem with nuclear power is not the likeliness of an accident but rather the damage that will occur when something happens. That is why I belive that nuclear power plants are a risk that is too big, not becuase it is very likely to happen, but IF it happens it has catastrophic consequenses that NO one is able to cope with.

  40. Overall, I say yes they are safe. The best way Ive ever heard it said is that”govts plan for whats normal and disasters are not normal” and that is the case here. While I take issue with some of the design issues of that particular reactor, the plants were built to a very high standard. They built to be earthquake proof. Thing is they have never measured a quake that big there before. For all intensive purposes it was “the big one” so the failures are what they are and they have to live with them. Truth is that coal is safer, cleaner and has less dangerous waste than nuclear. I know people in these industries and if you look at the left overs and by products of each, coal is much safer and easier to come by. The nukes are relitively safe, until you have “the big one” under your nuke [plant and then you have what we have in Japan right now. Personally, if I could afford it, I would be off the grid with solar and wind and lead acid batteries with a BU Genny and screw the grid. I would rather be self sufficiant and owe no one than to deal with crap that comes with the service.

  41. AZ rookie prepper says:

    I voted “no” because nothing is “totally” safe. However, I am not against nuke power plants. Having said that, I am reminded of the movie “Jurassic Park”. No matter that “we spared no expense”, tragedy WILL happen. The question now is, do we want to continue taking that risk? If there was an immediate fix to the issue of power, than I would say get rid of nuke power plants, but there isnt. So, for now, keep the power plants, but “spare no expense” at making them as safe as possible. Did the Japanese do this? Not sure, hope so. Have we done this? Somehow I doubt it. Technology is wonderful, we’ve come a long ways in making it safer, but at no time would I say the U.S. has done all it could to ensure safety. How many years did the various govt agencies know New Orleans was in danger? Remember the bridge in Minnesota? How about the Japanese school ship that was sunk accidently by a US naval submarine a few years ago? Do you want to be on the receiving end of a nuclear accident?

  42. The nuke plants in question were always on the epicenter of controversy. Poorly designed and even more poorly implemented by the Japanese. The G. E. plants were the Yugos of the nuke world, budget crap without a full containment system. Mankind has been way too smug when it comes to mother nature. We think we have seen it all and are on the cusp of controlling nature. When it comes to energy and energy production, our first task is to remove the constraints this piss poor government has imposed on free enterprise and start producing oil. coal and natural gas, all of which we have a huge amount of. Nuclear also has its place in energy production and is a safe and viable alternative when IMPLEMENTED properly. Until America regains self sufficiency, we will continue to slide into the abyss of third world mediocrity. Keep buyin that Chink crap America, and Arab oil and continue to watch the slide into anarchy.

  43. The power plants are relatively safe given the number of safety measures incorporated into the designs and the properly trained and available staff to man them.

    My concern is only when there is a “perfect storm” of circumstances like what happened to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The entire system cannot go inert as a failsafe. Yes, the fuel rods are not going to eat through the earth like the acid blood from Alien, but if it stops working you run into many problems that may not be solvable before they become safety hazards.

  44. templar knight says:

    cane,

    Quite succinct comments, and right on target. The United States has the largest reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas in the World. IN THE WORLD. We don’t even need to worry about nuclear energy, but I think it’s in our national interest to invest some money in nuclear, as the future will demand that we have choices. This silliness about wind and solar is just that, neither are available on demand, and until we can find a way to store massive amounts of energy, they are toys when it comes to supplying power for a national grid. That’s not to say they aren’t useful, especially for the prepper, but continuously running air conditioning, refrigeration and other high output devices are beyond the ability of wind and solar. Not to even mention factories that use massive amounts of energy.

    Of course the major problems we face here in the US are complete lack of any leadership, and a corrupt government and media. Until Obama is ousted, and global warming hysteria ends, we will continue to experience budget and energy problems that will soon bring us to our knees. And that’s why most of us are here, isn’t it? We see where these insane policies are leading.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Amen, brotha.

    • Templar,
      They are policies so counter to any modicum of common sense that it really truly amazes me why these people elected this current bunch who as a hole have little job experience between them. Yes we prep because our optimism is sliding faster than the dollar. The world laughs at us for we have let the inmates run the asylum.

      • templar knight says:

        I don’t think the World is laughing any longer. The idiot-in-chief has shown the World what it would be like without the United States. The World has taken note.

        One of the survivors of the tsunami asked yesterday, “Where are the Americans?” Where, indeed!

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          The Muslim-in-Chief is busy playing golf, picking basketball teams, and planning his vacation to Brazil. He acts as if he’s Qaddafi, but with better clothes.

        • Where are the Americans? They are in Iraq & Afghanistan and soon to be in Iran, protecting our oil interests.

          Excuse me, Japan … ah, do you have any oil?

          • templar knight says:

            Steve,

            Afghanistan has no oil the last time I checked. We were in Iraq and Afghanistan when we responded to the earthquake in Haiti, and we were in Afghanistan when we responded to the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.

            As for Iran, they very well may attack Saudi Arabia soon. They are sabre-rattling as we speak over the situation in Bahrain, and have now refered to it as a colony of Iran. What would you do if you were in charge and Iran attacked Saudi Arabia?

            • TK,

              Afghanistan value:

              Oil:
              http://www.businessinsider.com/afghanistan-may-have-disco-2010-8

              Minerals:
              http://themarketoracle.biz/Article20369.html
              “the Saudi Arabia of lithium” among other minerals.

              If Iran attacked Saudi, it will be a major shit storm because they are Persians – some of the toughest people the planet has ever known, even the mighty 300 Spartans didn’t dissuade them. Persians are far different then Iraqis (Medes). Even tougher than Creekmore.

              If I were in charge and they attacked Saudi Arabia?

              For me as a leader, it wouldn’t be about the oil – if you stand by and do nothing, it’s a foregone conclusion that Ahmadinejad will use WMD – without question. He has no fear, cast iron balls and is far stronger with resolve than Saddam could have ever dreamed of.

              Therefore, I’d order the immediate elimination of Ahmadinejad, his top staff & military leaders – it’s the only message the Iranians would understand. Quick & decisive while using less than 300 military personnel.

              What would you do?

  45. I’m a big supporter of Nuclear Power but I think the events in Japan should server as a wake-up call the we need to insure that all Nuclear Plants have a grid independent ability to sufficiently safe both the reactor core and whatever spent fuel they have on site.

    Ideally the cooling system is passive and requires nothing but physics in order to circulate a sufficient amount of water in order to remove the residual heat. Any backup plan based on the delivery of off site fuel or power will simply not work after an EMP or related event.

    • blindshooter says:

      I have seen the NRC force shut down of a reactor because the backup gensets did not start fast enough. They test them regular and the oil is sent to independent labs to be analyzed for contamination/metal etc. If a plant has persistent problems the NRC will put their people in oversight positions until they get things right. The cost to the operating company is huge when they have to shut down. Its to the company’s advantage to have the plant running and running clean. They do lots of testing and upgrades when the plant shuts down for refueling. I don’t know but I’ll bet the nuclear power generating industry is the most heavily regulated and has the most oversight of any business in the US. Even the machines I take care of have to be operational 24/7 and have operating backups and even then they are all basically backups for another system.

      I’ll bet the things learned from this disaster will cause upgrades in some plant backup systems here soon.

  46. Funny that a group of folks like the readers of survivalist blog would rate nukes as safe. You guys think the world and all organization will come to a halt with inflation a little too high, or a good solar flare, or an EMP attack, yet somehow nukes will continue to cruise along just fine? If infrastructure and employees are not in place these things will be very dangerous. If you expect infrastructure to be working and employees all coming to work why the heck do all of you constantly fret about TEOTW? It’s not adding up for me.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Well, I’ll take a stab at answering your questions.

      How many depressions, recessions, inflationary times, stagnationary times, and revolutions has the world experienced? Now compare that to the number of nuke meltdowns. You can see that the political-economic problems we face are more frequent, more wide-ranging, and more deadly (literally) for people than all the nuke events rolled into one. Dictators, politicians, royal families, and terrorists have killed, starved, sickened, and left homeless far more people throughout history than any power or energy source has, including God. Man is truly his own worst enemy.

      • But in your reply there is an important and rarely considered unstated fact – through all of the economic woes, dictators, terrorist acts, and revolutions – the infrastructure stays partly intact and the good people of the world still go to their jobs and act responsibly. Otherwise each of these events would be followed by nuclear meltdowns. And that doesn’t happen.

        So for all of you malcontent misanthropic survivalists like MoPrepper who are willing for (sometimes sound like you look forward to the day) 6/7 of the population die of starvation – realize it won’t be happening anytime soon, because all those folks who you dehumanize as the masses or sheeple actually hold the world together even in tough times.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          So why are you here? Just to flame and ridicule? Well aren’t you the apex of hypocrisy!!!! LOL, another critic who has no clue.

        • MOPrepper says:

          I don’t “look forward to the day”. I’m just not afraid of the day like you are.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Mike,
      “You guys think” like we are one monolithic herd?
      “You constantly fret about TEOTW” – really?
      Do you have insurance in case your house is robbed, or burns down? If you drive a vehicle, do you carry comprehensive and liability insurance on it? Are there smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home? If so, then I suspect you are fretting about a fire or an auto accident, or possibly you’re just playing it safe and covering your bets, because sometimes life throws us curve balls, or fast balls we can’t hit. I keep a BOB packed relevant to weather conditions, in case some night the local emergency folks knock on my door and tell me I need to leave due to a cloud of toxic gas from a wrecked tanker truck, or something similar. I don’t generally think about it, and never fret about it, and quite honestly hope that life goes one pretty much normally. If however, that knock does come on my door, or I smell smoke and call 911 on the way out the door, I have a plan. Do you?
      If I lose my job I have enough savings to cover basic utilities and taxes for 6 months or more and enough food to sustain my family for at least a year. Do you?
      Along with most of the community I’ve come to know on this forum I don’t fret, I just plan for alternatives when life throws me in a direction I didn’t plan. How about you?

      • AZ rookie prepper says:

        OhioPrepper, well said. I get curious and more than a little frustrated with “naysayers” like Mike. We’re not bothering him, just what does he gain by flaming us? Your thoughtful and reasoned explanation of prepping is a great answer, undoubtedly completely wasted on a person like Mike. Still, I thank you for your response.

      • So are you saying that most of you find civilization a self correcting robust system? Have I misread the mindset here?

        Or do most of you think that civilization is fragile and easily broken?

        I can’t tell anymore. Half of the discussions run along the lines of arming up to protect your preps from your neighbors or bugging out because of economic collapse.

        Then a poll says the majority of people don’t find nukes dangerous.

        I for one think civilizations are mostly self correcting, and thats why I don’t fear nuclear power – the one idea comes from the other. Without workers, civilization, and a grid-up-world those things will kill lots of people. Because many of you here seem to think that a grid down world is a foreseeable future I argue that you should fear nuclear power – the one idea should lead to the other.

        So yes I think civilization will self correct, and my preps follow that mindset. So I only have about 6 months of food for my family and myself, and I have not purchased any of the firearms I might get someday. I don’t plan on bugging out – then again I’m in a pretty good spot – North Dakota. I think a collapse of the society around me won’t happen even pushed hard like the people in Japan are experiencing. And no, I no longer have a 6 month emergency fund (did for 3 years though), because I spent it on lower my housing costs (I think some good inflation is coming and didn’t want all of my meagre money in a savings account).

        I’m not against prepping. I wanted to call out specifically the “malcontent misanthropic survivalists” go ahead and read MoPrepper’s description of humanity as a virus on this earth. Do you really want to back that sort of life-view and say I am the flamer, the critic with no clue.

        Fretting was probably a poor choice of words – I was being confrontational. But hell, someone here had just called my species a virus. And if TEOTW is not that big a deal and not really on our minds then we sure are all talking about it a lot.

        • “And if TEOTW is not that big a deal and not really on our minds then we sure are all talking about it a lot.”

          I think the difficulty you’re having understanding prepping is the difference between TEOTW (the end of the world) & TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world AS WE KNOW IT).

          TEOTWAWKI can be very personal – death of a spouse, parent, or child, major injury or accident, job less, home fire, etc. Or it can be very big – hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, droughts, etc. And then there is everything in between.

          No one can prepare for the end of the world – that means either the sun goes nova or Jesus returns – or ones own death.

          Some people may go a bit overboard, but it’s all to the good. We can always learn something from them. You don’t seem to realize that we are all individuals & can’t be “lumped.” We have different ideas of what could go wrong & what probably won’t . We also live in different areas, so our environmental problems are different. I worry in winter about being snowed in, & in early spring (mud season) about the roads becoming impassable.

          So, Mike, take a deep breath, relax, & enjoy the different views. Take what you can use & ignore the rest. If you can’t do that, you might be better off reading other blogs.

          God bless,
          Bonnie
          Opportunity Farm
          NE WA

          • Jarhead03 says:

            I agree with you Bonnie and couldn’t have said it better. S happens, things will happen, we prepare for it and hope for the best and plan for the worst.

        • Mike,

          I am in agreement with you, I believe civilizations self correct. I believe people are far more resilient than given credit for and when push comes to shove, I believe they rise up, not cave in.

          It seems to me in times of crisis people move towards each other, not fragment & disperse into a deep protectionist state & mentality. Look at all of the classics – 9/11, Y2K, 3 Mile Island, all of the natural disasters that occur, the Great Depression, Japan – the vast majority of people all moved towards each other, which seems to be the more natural order.

          The whole Hollywood idea of sandbagging the perimeter of my property & installing a gun turret on my roof to protect my 12 cans of beans & 5 gallons of water chafes my butt.

          Do I prep? No, not by the same definition & end times motivations described here. I have a bug out bag specific to natural disasters here and enough to get me away from the dangers to my home – it’s basic, inexpensive & simple. Food wise I rotate a 3 month supply & that’s plenty & prudent planning I believe.

          Sure, I own several guns but I hunt & have a firearm in the house in case my house gets broken into while I am sleeping. I’m no fool, live in a city & will protect my family but if some hungry family or individual comes to my house in need, I’ll feed them.

          I have pitched the question here – why is it that far less that 1% of the population (blog specific survivalists) are so certain TEOTW is imminent within the next 2-4 years yet, the remaining 99% – with the exact same information available, are oblivious?

          I live in San Diego & won’t bug out unless it’s a health risk (nuclear meltdown) mainly because I know it will be gridlocked & that is far more dangerous. I feel perfectly safe here but lived in the city my whole life (L.A. for my first 35 years then SD).

          Ohio Prepper has a valid point in that he is specific to possibilities to him & not expanded upon the greater speculations of the world’s fuse burning up it’s final centimeter.

          AZ Rookie has difficulty thinking outside the box and that’s understandable & normal because there is a certain comfort zone & belief that some do not want disturbed or challenged.

          I will probably get lambasted – again, because sometimes questioning a position gets viewed as an attack or inflammatory rather than an opportunity to explore opposing points of view with the possibility of having (some) value or, more importantly, solidify personal beliefs – all, in a more level headed discourse.

          Anything less can only be fear driven in my opinion.

          Lastly, why am I here? To learn how to be self-sufficient because I believe it would be fun to become independent from our consumer based & wasteful society.

          • AZ rookie prepper says:

            Steve, Please tell us, do you have insurance? Why? Are you “fear driven”? That reasonable preparation for multiple possible problems is why most of us prepare. Not necessarily “TEOTW”, but “TEOTWAWKI”, big difference.
            Just what do you think we here on this blog are doing…maybe “moving towards each other” is a possible answer to that rhetorical question.
            I dont see a huge amount of “sandbagging the perimeter”, so any “chaffing” is perhaps self induced.
            And finally, I am curious just which “box” you see me not thinking outside of? Be specific please. Just because I am not thinking inside YOUR “box” doesnt mean I’m not thinking…..maybe its you that needs to think outside some self defined “box”….

            • See Mike, now it starts. First some read & see what they want to see then attack …..

              AZ –

              1. Sandbagging & chafing (one F, btw) was a metaphor with laced humor illustrating & over exaggerating what I consider pure silliness.

              2. If you carefully & fairly analyze things you will see the general consensus is to prepare, hunker, hide and arm yourself for end times << that motivation, be it "as we know it" or more of the focused economic, nuclear, middle east, terrorist, zombie invasion fed information.

              Sure there is a community & obvious commonality here but, as stated, when push comes to shove, the encouraged path is to barricade or run, Forest run to the hills – hence my point of being incongruent with human nature.

              So, Japan blows up, what did people by in large, do? Moved towards the resolution and the problem – even Lint donated money which I stand & applauded that gesture & it was not the amount, it was the thought & expression of such.

              That, in a microcosm is what I believe people inherently want to do and truly Lint, that was great what you did and encouraged me to do the same, thank you.

              3. I stated what I am doing here but guess I need to be clearer. My original goal was to come here and learn to be self-sufficient because I thought & still do think it is the ultimate engineering feat to be completely off grid and that excites me to no end – especially if I can do it while living in the city.

              However, the message seemed to be getting skewed – in my opinion, and the focus was becoming more fear based reasoning for "prepping". I find that to be weak and undermines one of the foundational points of survivalism – mental acuity.

              Is the world going to fall apart? Nobody knows and I don't focus on such because I've lived through times relatively as bad and we are still here.

              Did you know that prime interest rates hit 21% in 1980 & we had gas lines and hour long to get 10 gallons – every other day? The world – as we knew it, should have ended back then.

              How about the millions across the US protesting Vietnam, burning flags, buildings, draft cards & police vehicles plus protest camping in DC by the hundreds of thousands – the world – as we knew it, should have ended back then too. So ten thousand + teachers strike in Wisconsin so what, that's the end of the world as we know it? Please spare me the myopia.

              4. Your "box" you just illustrated by reacting to, instead of simply considering a point of view and responded accordingly. Did it not don upon you that I have already considered your "box" by my statement that I am prepared or did you just conveniently miss that point to do the ever so poplar, attack those who, seem to pick on survivalists?

              • Steve,
                Why do we always have to argue about everything? Why can’t we just read and use what we think is useful and move on… Things would be much better for all of us.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      We’re preppers, Judith, and preppers aren’t supposed to panic. We’re supposed to be prepared for anything (as feasible as that may be for mere humans) and then sit back and relax. So, please, sit back, relax, and don’t panic. Even if radiation blows this way, what can be done about it? Not a dang thing. Not really. We are bombarded with radiation everyday, and nobody thinks anything about it. This is very little different.

      I’m having some green beer on this overcast St. Patrick’s Day and I’m eating some corned beef and I’m not worried about anything. Well, except… how do they make that beer green? I heard they sqeeze leprechauns into it. Dunno if that’s true.

      • I think you have me mixed up with Judy.

        Judith

        Just in case not, I am not panicked. I am prepared. But i am still terrified of radiation . I will undo years of organic gardening and maybe harm my cats.

  47. Operator error is my fear.

    The Zion Nuclear Power Station, near Chicago, has not been in operation since February, 1997

    “The…incident occurred February 21 (1997) when a reactor operator improperly inserted control rods into the Unit 1 reactor core during a plant shutdown. Then, without conferring with plant supervisors, he began to withdraw the control rods to return the reactor to a very low power level.

    NRC Regional Administrator A. Bill Beach said the violations in the February 21 incident “reflect a breakdown in management oversight and control of operational activities.”
    September 3, 1997, NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: RIII-97-79, U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION, OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

  48. Of topic a little, but I have a lot of Japanese friends. I’ve managed to get hold of them and all are OK. One family lived near Fukushima Daichi and has been evacuated.

    What struck me is that none of the people I know had any idea of prepping – the the worst earthquake zone on earth (never mind the nuclear accidents). None of them had heard of a bug out bag. None had any canned or dried food emergency stocks, same with water.
    Further, none went and stocked up on food or water the day of or the day after the earthquake (we’re talking Tokyo, Saitama, Yokohama, Kawasaki and Osaka here). The attitude has seemed to be “whatever occurs, the government will take care of us.”

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      John, maybe now the Japanese will begin prepping, and ultimately become the leaders in the field. Unfortunately, it usually takes a major event for people to get on the bandwagon. In a couple of years, I would not be surprised to see Japanese companies in the forefront of survival gear and storage foods.

      • Japanese government advice was in place:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12759840

        Click on the “long list of items” link – it’s pretty cool. Also, the fireproof bag is brilliant.

        Didn’t see a gun in the bag or on the list … sadly, it must be an American thing.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          After WWII, I don’t think the Japanese can own guns. It was only in the 1970s or so that they were allowed to arm their National Defense Forces.

  49. Alex (Canada) says:

    They could be safe if built with quality in mind but sadly that is not the case for a lot of them.

  50. It looks currently like there will either be a partial or complete meltdown of some of the nuclear material at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. I guess I am encouraged it has been almost a week and there still is a slight chance the meltdown may be averted. That nuclear plant sustained an earthquake that can only be described as cataclysmic. I do not think anything is designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake. A quake of that magnitude is unprecedented, it is the fourth most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Here is a list of most powerful earthquakes ever according to the USGS.

    Location Year Magnitude
    #1 Chile 1960 9.5
    #2 Alaska 1964 9.2
    #3 Sumatra 2004 9.1
    #4 Kamchatka 1952 9.0
    #5 Japan 2011 9.0

    From what I have heard and I could be wrong the reactors survived the earthquake, more or less intact. It was the tsunami that knocked out the power to the cooling pumps that caused the problems they are now having. I realize the nuclear plant would not have been undamaged but if they had not lost power and cooling we would not be facing the ongoing disaster currently.

    I hope they can look at what failed and what worked then retrofit current plants to cure the shortcomings. Unlike Chernobyl the design of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant seems to be robust in the face of a disaster. I just hope they do not have the typical knee-jerk reaction to nuclear power after the disaster in Japan.

    Badger

  51. mountain lady says:

    Well, I voted no for a lot of different reasons. If I was sure they were built with safety in mind instead of just making more money, maybe. As it is, our country is already bankrupt and really connot afford to build them and the power companies will not use their own money. If they were maintained properly I would say yes, build them, but we do not have a very good record when it comes to maintenance of the infrastructure.

  52. PATTON**** says:

    Lots of good perspectives and opiions here. My two cents. If we look at the situation as it played out in Japan, the Earthquake did not cause the problems with the nuke plant, the post-quake tsunami did. The tsunami knocked out the power. Even if the plant had a back-up generator source, it too was probably destroyed by the tsunami.

    While I believe that building nuke plants on fault lines or on the shores of areas that have a tsunami hazard potential is a dumb idea, we should not discount nuclear energy as a source our total energy needs.

  53. I understand how tight this country and the world is for energy sources right now. But if you objectively weigh the risks and benefits, with nuclear power plants the long-term storage problems and potential harm when there’s an accident well outweigh the benefits. Truth is, we built these things knowing the dire consequences of a failure, but those experimenting with nuclear power honestly believed they had considered every possible scenario and designed to prevent disaster. That just isn’t humanly possible. That mindset has been proven wrong several times just in my lifetime; what are we leaving to our grandchildren?

    Generations from now our children’s chidren will be dealing with the consequences of our attempt to harness a power source we can’t fully control. I know alternatives such as coal and petroleum have their drawbacks too, but not on such a widespread and deadly scale.

    Maybe we should start looking at the root of the problem, which is our demanding an easy source of energy at a time when all non-renewable energy sources seem to be dwindling. Buiding nuclear power plants is yet another stopgap measure, a potentially deadly one.

  54. richard Muszynski says:

    greetings. We do know, do we not? that our president lies about everything. How do you know he is lying? He is speaking. He is for more nuclear reactors to be built with our tax money. by corporations that will be exempt from any liability for bad performance or total disaster that can wipe out whole sections of our nation. Our nation is broke and they are spending every dime they can gyp us out of on the totally unnecessary wars in the gulf in the middle east. They are even talking about stealing our client paid for social security retirement funds, that we were forced to contribute to for our retirement. And yet Obama and the other thiefs in our government want to spend billions of dollars of our money. “Not theirs.” to build plants that there is so little confidence in that the builders are demanding that they not be held liable for them at all, but instead we the public would have to pay if their designs, that cannot fail, do. If the builders have that little faith in the product they will build and the government agrees with them that they should not be responsible as all contractors of federal facilities are for damages caused by their building. Then I think we should listen to reality and shy away from the whole shady mess. Obama wants it. he has not wanted to impliment anything that would benefit the people since he got into office. Why should he suddenly be right now? I say the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in Japan at present is not a very tasty dish for us to lust for.

    • Richard,
      You have stolen my heart. However, I do not believe O. Hussain is running the show, I believe that George Soros is secretly running him, 80 games of golf, hoops, date nights, March Maddness picks. He spends more time on this stuff than he does being a president. I have mentioned earlier that part of our preperation plans must also include political action by staying in frequent contact with our legislators.

  55. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    While we’re all being Monday Morning Quarterbacks, the people of Japan are suffering in many ways. It occurred to me that I spent $20.00 on KI pills that I will never use and bought them out of a purely selfish act – -to save my own old butt.

    So, I decided the right thing for me to do at this time is to send some money to the people of Japan as a small assistance (very small) in the hope that it will help someone over there. Their situation is unimaginable. They need some help.

  56. Clevelandrez says:

    Before I read anymore, let me attempt the rest of you from going off the reservation. The government does not build nukes, private power companies do. The government regulates nukes, that’s it. Nukes, if you put all the hype aside, are the MOST environmentally friendly source of energy available. Anyone, that tells you different is a hysteric. The movie “China Syndrome” had more lies than space here allows to enumerate. The government does not maintain the infrastructure of Nukes. ALL, energy solutions have an environmental down side. You Green wienies really need to do some independent reading instead of repeating the BS you hear from college professors or activist. The old maxim still hold true. Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Clevelandrez,
      You forgot the rest of the maxim,
      “Those that can’t teach, legislate”
      LOL

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Clevelandrez, if nukes are so environmentally freindly, how about a camping trip to Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant right now? You could set up your tent right next door, no problem right? I dont feel hysteric, nor am I running around with a “sky is falling” attitude. As someone else said, NO power source is “environmentally safe”. The question is, do we want to risk hundreds or thousands of years of deadly contamination from the 1 in a million accident (thats happened 3 times in my lifetime)?

      • MOPrepper says:

        Careful there brother. It’s a terrible trap, and you may fall.

        All power sources are either dangerous, polluting, or both.

        If we push really hard for “green and safe” someday a government might grant our wish and shutdown all power generating equipment. If you didn’t already have solar in place, then it would hurt. Of course, once the batteries give out a few years later, then even those solar people would join the remaining ranks of the “powerless” society.

        Yes, I know that you weren’t saying exactly that, but given that we all live on a moving rock, there’s never going to be a perfect solution.

        • AZ rookie prepper says:

          MOPrepper, interesting points. You are correct in that all power sources are problems. “Green and safe” actually dont really exist either…making solar panels involves some chemical processes that arent exactly nice, wind turbines arent exactly “green” too. I’m not an energy expert, do like my lights and computer and refridge/freezer. OTOH, the consequences of a nuke accident are so awful. I get really concerned when the “govt” tells me “all is well”…..I think you said somewhat the same thing in another posting? Maybe not. I was just somewhat concerned when Clevelandrez made the “hysteric” comment, just because someone doesnt agree, does not make that person “hysteric”.

    • Nice point.

  57. SrvivlSally says:

    Having nuclear power plants is no different than setting a hot cup of coffee on the dashboard of your truck’s dash and driving down the road. There is no guarantee that the cup is not going to slide around, drop right into your lap or throw burning hot drops of liquid on you. The first bump you hit may be your last. We all know that earthquakes can be big and strong (10 on the Richter) and they have the power to knock down and also destroy things such as buildings. Reactors are quite high and not even they are quake-proof. We ought not fool ourselves into thinking that something cannot happen and that if it does that someone will be there to take care of it “before” it’s too late. Have we forgotten about Chernobyl? Accidents and destruction happen. I do not live too far from a few reactors that do not harbor nuke power and I am glad that the people had voted them down some years ago. The worst quake is yet to come and that is when Jesus puts his feet down somewhere in Israel which will split the earth down the middle. When that happens, a lot of land is going to shake and affect everything on the face of the earth. When is “Man” going to learn that he should not play with things that he really does not have any true control over.

  58. Honestly, I’m no more concerned with nuclear reactors than I am with the moon falling on me.
    I think.
    Honestly, I’m not sure.
    What I am concerned with is how the MSM and others are using fear to control and bend us (Americans) to their green weenie mindset. So, I really am not concerned with nuclear reactors. They’ve been around many more years than wind power or solar cells, and they work- TMI is the only problem the US ever had and Russia… well, they were fools building for fools… and Japan’s were built well beyond specs defined by the NRC and still the media and our uncle dark lord wants to instill fear in us so we don’t build any more on our soil.
    Then he wants to control coal. Instead if letting fear rule our lives, let’s all gather as many wheat bundles and some whale blubber and pine pitch so we can make torches, cuz that’s where the green weenies want to lead us.
    Seriously, folks- if we’re going to be scared because of something that could happen, we should probably just quit prepping and… well, enuff about canoe trips.
    Shy III

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you, Shy III. Green weenies – I think I saw some of those today, along with green beer. :)

    • ShyWolf,
      Great. As I have mentioned lower down, I believe part of our preperation must also include political involvement, we must stay in frequent contact with our legislators. I do several times a week. We have a serious 2nd amendment right that is at hand. The McDonald v. D.C. was brought back up by Judge Heller in an effort to overturn the previous supreme court ruling. Fortunately it failed ev en with Sotamayor and Kagen. Judges making law from the bench is not what the founding fathers had intended. Anyway, great point.

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Radiation at the plant is at approx. 40 rems. 10 hours of exposure at this level will kill you.

  59. AZ rookie prepper says:

    At the risk of being flamed, I have a question for those that believe nuclear power plants are safe. Would you be willing to go camping right next to Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant right now? Somehow I dont think so.
    Having asked that question, I do feel that nuclear power has a place (for now) in a grid up situation. When the grid goes down, I ask (as someone else did earlier) would you feel safe living near a nuclear power plant when the employees are not showing up for work?
    I dont know what the alternative is….but we ought to be looking for it.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      AZ rookie prepper,
      This is not meant as a flame, but the question is kind of a non-sequitur. No one in their right mind would want to go camping right next to the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility right now. Likewise, even the most avid backpacker would not want to be hiking in a forest during a wildfire, but this does not inherently make a forest unsafe, except under specific conditions.
      And no, I would not feel safe living near a nuclear power plant when the employees are not showing up for work. The same however can be said of oil refineries, chemical processing and storage facilities, and a host of other industries that have a potential danger associated with them. The accidental release of methyl isocyanate gas from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India in 1984 killed somewhere between 2000 and 15000 from a plant where employees did show up for work, and plants like these would be equally as dangerous if not more so, if no one showed up.
      Life is inherently risky, and we all must do a cost benefit analysis on everything we do. I prep because the benefit seems to me to outweigh the cost. I would bet that those who are against efficient forms of energy production from coal to nuclear for the most part will not be pulling their meters and going dark anytime soon, and until that happens in mass, there are only a few viable options available.

    • AZ rookie prepper, Who the heck goes camping in the city?

      But to answer your question, no, and for the same reason I wouldn’t go camping in a grassy area next to a wildfire caused by a spark from some solar energy panels, or in the woods next to a pile of firewood in a forrest fire caused by static electricity.

      To increase safety even more I think maybe we will see a reduction in power plant size:

      “Not many know, but Russian engineers have constructed the mobile nuclear power plants that were successfully used in distant parts of Russia. Those were small sized self moving fully functional atomic power plants with a small reactor inside. Just imagine, small nuclear power plants that could reach the destination points by themselves. There were two basic models—tracked and on regular wheels.”

      http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2009/03/17/russian-mobile-nuclear-power-plants/

      “Less Is More for Designers of “Right-Sized” Nuclear Reactors

      Are smaller nuclear reactors a better choice for future power generation?”

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=small-nuclear-power-plant-station-mini-reactor

    • LOL, AZ- good question, and of course the answer is ‘no’. Now I have a question for you- would you like to camp under a wind turbine at any time? (and plan on getting some sleep?)
      I’m not sure nuke plants are the answer, but I am certain wind generation isn’t, nor is solar. Of the two, solar is the more desireable, but hours of sunlight don’t allow much production, especially in winter. I think wind is practical on a small scale, such as individual homes, certainly not for mass production as it’s being touted.
      My preference: water generation as we’ve had long before the others were thought up.
      Shy III

      • AZ rookie prepper says:

        OP, clark, JSW, all good points. I agree, camping under a wind turbine, camping near a chem plant, camping in the city isnt my idea of a good time too. I dont have the answers either, just putting my thoughts out there. I just feel that the benefits of a nuclear power plant do not outweigh the potential negatives. Having said that, I also feel that for now (and the foreseeable future), nuclear energy DOES have a place, but we need to be really really really careful with this stuff due to the awful consequences of failure. Same goes for lots of other man made potential hazards. I read that the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had tsunami walls made for 6.5 meter tsunami’s…the tsunami was 8 meters tall. We can plan, we can train, we can reinforce, we can do all in our imagination to make these things “safe”…..and mother nature pulls a fast one on us and “whoops”….with some terrible consequences. I certainly respect and admire those in the industry, those folks make Dr Strangelove’s bomb ride look pretty tame in some ways. I just strongly feel we should be doing all in our power to find safer, better, more economical ways to produce our insatiable demand for energy. JSW, I completely agree with your assessment that solar/wind just dont cut it, too many shortfalls (cloudy days, windless days). Clark, interesting thoughts on the size of plants. Not sure that is the solution either, but all ideas ought to be out there in this debate. OhioPrepper, you are correct, I dont plan on pulling my meter anytime soon, and I’m not against “efficient” energy production at all. I even think nuclear energy has a place in that production…..with a BIG caveat of “did you think of Murphy?” thrown in there.

    • AZ, Maybe it’s time to get a little perspective here. How many people were killed in Arizona auto accidents in 2010? Now, how many people have been killed in nuclear accidents in the last 50 years, in ALL of America?

      Still gonna’ drive your car today?

      All the nuclear alarmists are spewing fear over a problem that hasn’t, doesn’t and is not likely to ever exist.

      The MSM reporters in Japan should be ashamed of themselves.

  60. calidreamer says:

    It’s not so much how safe nuc. power plants are, it’s more the consequences if they do go wrong. Your local coal fired plant has an explosion, you breath dirty air for a day or two. Some of the radioactive waste products are dangerous for a long time. As we saw at Chernoble, brave people are putting there health and lives on the line battling the Genie that’s out of the bottle.

    • Calidreamer, that is exactly how I feel.

    • Luddite Jean says:

      If you live near a coal-fired plant, the air is not good quality anytime. The waste heaps are dangerous – remember Aberfan? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan_disaster). That was a waste heap from coal mining. The plant itself produces waste heaps. When coal is burnt, especially in dust form, nuclear radiation is released – more than you get from a nuclear power plant. Finally, if those coal stocks catch fire, you won’t get near the place for weeks, not 2 days.

      I used to live near a coal-fired power station, locally health was poor and there was a leukaemia hotspot. The noise was constant and emergency sirens would go off 2-3 times a month, deaths were not uncommon (but unreported).

      I now live near a nuclear power station. I don’t see it, I don’t smell it. They’re about to build another on the site., and I’m not concerned at all.

  61. Right on, Survivl. I am with you!

    I voted no because we are certainly going to continue to have earthquakes and disasters in these last days, the Bible says so.

    When the plants blew up in Japan and all the stuff on top they had stored on them it made a real mess out into the air. Supposed to reach our west coast tomorrow. You cannot depend on the regular media, you have to get the real news out side of them. Man has made such a mess it will take God to clean it up. The Bible says by fire.

  62. I love how people are freaking out that they might have the same plant in their backyard – all of the sudden they are unsafe. This plant had thrown at it a massive earthquake, a massive tsunami, and so far it has contained the bulk of the radioactive material. What more can you ask?

    Truth of the matter is we face an energy crisis – the only viable option is nuclear. The Dems’s energy policy is not viable – coal is too dirty, nuclear is unsafe, can’t drill for oil, shouldn’t drill for natural gas – what’s left? solar and wind can’t cut it, and the metal used in hybrid and EV batteries are somewhat rare and largely mined in Africa – so that’s much better than relying on the middle east right? Stop drinking the kool aid the media and obama are serving you, unless you want rolling blackouts a part of your everyday life.

    And for those of you who don’t know – Chernobyl? A poorly designed system whose meltdown was caused by human error. Three Mile Island? – how many people were killed in this incident? Oh right – zero. More are killed mining coal in this country than have died as a result of fallout from a nuclear power plant.

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Zack, I agree energy policy in this country is abysmal. We need energy and it cannot come from wind/solar alone. Not a personal attack, but….you ask what else could we ask for. The issue is the “contained the bulk of the radioactive material”. It only takes a little tiny bit to kill someone. I dont want even one percent of it to escape, as the half life of many of those materials is extremely long, making them very dangerous for hundreds if not thousands of years. That is the difference between fossil fuel plants and nuke plants. A rhetorical question, but think about this carefully, would you go camping right next to Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant right now? Still think its safe?

  63. Nuclear power is safe as long as everything goes to plan. When an unplanned event, or one that was statistically improbable occurs, that’s when it all goes down the drain. The biggest thing that I have always thought made them unsafe is the spent fuel. It is still radioactive and will be for so long as to be forever. That should in and of itself make them impractical. Heck, they got rid of DDT and it was no where near as dangerous as nuclear fuel. Fire up some more coal plants, I’m tired of shoveling gorebal warming all winter long.

    • Hmmm… as a corrollary… “life is safe as long as everything goes to plan”.
      The trouble comes when those damn little gremlins get in the door and throw monkey wrenches at the best laid plans of mice and men.
      Coal would be desireable, especially with the scrubbers now available to clean up the waste.
      Shy III

      • If only there was a clean way to get the coal. Traditional mining is dangerous to the miners & mountaintop removal is dangerous for everyone in the area. It destroys mountains, valleys, wildlife habitat, rivers & streams – not to mention the beauty of the place.

        That is why I vote (as if it were up to a vote!) for nuclear power. Except in extreme scenarios – which haven’t yet happened – it causes less disruption of the environment.

        God bless,
        Bonnie
        Opportunity Farm
        NE WA

      • Had to step back and take a look at something interesting… when it comes to power plants, several of the cities in this area have their own generators- power plants- that used to be run on coal. Then there came a coal slump during the Clinton era and cost of coal- and therefore individual homeowner costs- rose tremendouly, so the cities had to do something or face taxpayer revolt.
        Their solution. Wood. Now the plants are running on wood burned in the old coal-fired furnaces. No problems (unless you consider arson of the woodpile a problem) and they’re using a fuel supply that’s grown locally, providing local jobs and- ugh! keeping the money in the local area. Dang- how bad is THAT for an economy?
        Also, a side benefit of the wood/coal fired furnaces is hot water heat- steam heat for residents of the city. (One city- Virginia- has the largest community owned steam system in the world. OK- confession time: they’re phasing it out because the system is more than a hundred years old and residents voted against rebuilding the steam system since it doesn’t serve the entire community.)
        In short, I guess I’d have to say that wood or coal are really the most likely viable methods for keeping the lights on.
        Shy III

  64. DaveNV/AZ says:

    The only safe Nuke plant, is the one that Never was built.

    • …as a corrollary… the ‘only safe life is the one that never was born…
      Don’t get me wrong: I see nothing wrong with being safe, but there are limits to what we should allow in ‘things that keep us safe’. Especially in the area of legislation that forces businesses or individuals to expend large amounts of money just because one person of 300 million was injured because they weren’t smart enough to know hot coffee is hot and were still foolish enough to spill it on their lap (as one example of ‘legislating ‘ safe”).
      Shy III

      • DaveNV/AZ says:

        Sorry Jim but you your self have no control over being born. You do have some control over a nuke plant being Built. Some People are worried about global warming (real or not) but those same people would store spent nuke fuel rods for hundreds of years, just so they can have power NOW. They have no control how they are cared for in the future. One problem causing another. If its not built it can do know harm.

  65. ssssnake says:

    My First Time Post to this or any other Prepper Blog..Yep I am a Noobie, but I feel like I need to chime in here…….

    1. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5174391/ns/us_news-environment/

    Coal Power plants affect (Shorten) lives of 24000 people per year

    2. Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

    Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal – China 278
    Coal – USA 15
    Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
    Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
    Biofuel/Biomass 12
    Peat 12
    Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
    Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
    Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    Hydro – world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

    I could list dozens if not hundreds of other sources that will clearly show that Nuclear Power is statisticly (and literally) the safest form of Energy Production that currently exists.

    Admittedly I am somewhat biased in favor of Nuclear Energy as I spent 8 years in the Navy on Nuclear Submarines operating the Propulsion plant, I know how safe those reactors are first hand, and I would camp right next to a Nuclear Submarine any day of the week…..Yep..Would I camp next to a Nuclear Sub that was suffering from a Fire in the Reactor plant?? No.

    I wouldn’t want to camp next to a Skyscraper in an Earthquake either….We aren’t going to stop building Skyscrapers are we????

    Anybody remember how many people died when the Twin Towers Collapsed?? Tall Buildings are Dangerous

    I wouldn’t camp in the Florida Keys during a hurricane either….but I am not doing to stop going to the Keys.

    The links above (are easily obtainable examples that) show the facts–Over the last 50 years the positive impact of Nuclear Power seem (at least to me) to far outweigh the risks.

    The Risks to our health on a daily basis are much higher from the Output of Coal (Fossil Fuel Plants) than a Nuclear Plant. Frankly the risks to our health from 2nd hand cigarette smoke are higher than those associated with Nuke Plants.

    By the way, the death statistics do not include the deaths associated with removing the Coal/Oil from the ground to get it to the power plants. The Sago Mine tragendy in Virginia killed more in one event than any Nuclear accident on U.S. Soil.(Ever)..If those figures were included it would make an even stronger case for Nuclear Power, IMO.

    I don’t know what the answer is to spent nuclear fuel….Not sure why we don’t just load them onto rockets and shoot them into space….but I can’t say I ever gave it that much thought..(Maybe thats a really stupid idea)

    But me, I want to learn more about disaster preparedness related to hurricanes, earthquakes, Tsunami’s, EMP…and probably most likely the rapid and catastrophic collapse of our economic engine….Believe me, we all have a lot more to be concerned about…A Lot more imperative things to be focusing on and spending our time and energy worrying about than the impact of Nuclear Power Plants on our lives.

    Have you taken a look at the National Debt Clock Lately??

    Me, I am more concerned about the lives of the Japanese people that have either been killed or completely wiped out by the earthquake and Tsunami……thousands of times more impact than these reactor plants are going to have. Anybody wonder why we aren’t seeing entire newsbroadcasts focused in this???..

    There are going to be deaths associated with these plants…Those Hero’s that are working feverishly to contain the Reactor Disasters and the losses their families are suffering and are going to continue to suffer……….

    My challenge to all of us, is to do what we CAN do to make a difference in those lives. If nothing else, remember them and all of the people suffering in Japan (from whatever cause) in our prayers….and learn from their tragedy.

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Interesting points, your thoughtful comments make me think again about what is happenin. Good research too.

    • sssnake your are bright and I believe right on target.
      Why we have not seen more news broadcasts is that there exist a very biased and controled media NBC< CBS< ABC<MSNBC<CNN, and etc. We have a big eared little boy in the big house playing golf, matching out March Maddness, shooting hoops, date nights and everything else except doing the job he was elected to do. He is merely following George Soros edicts. We have no president, he makes poor choices and makes them weeks and months after an event that has happened. As prepers everyone on this blog should be adding contacting their representatives frequently. I have come to consider this as an essential part of preperation. As I have said further down, the event horizon is upon us.

  66. blindshooter says:

    May as well embrace nuclear now. Down the road it will be the only alternative to darkness. It takes oil to make everything we have including solar and wind. Oil is feeding us now and will into the near future. One day the easy oil will be gone if its not already at that point. Other than a huge die off over time we can not continue to use fossil fuels. As bad as the Japan incident is it will be pretty much a local event even if they have a total failure.

    And for AZ’s question on whether or not I would camp next to fukushima, no I would not. I would ask you, would you camp in or near a live volcano? Guess what, we will have volcanic events as far as we can see into the future and people live next to them all over the world. Risk is relative. Your chances of dieing in a car crash is way higher than a nuclear plant killing you. No flame just the way I see it.

    Another thing on this disaster unfolding in Japan, the news media lives on fear mongering and complains the Japanese authorities don’t keep them updated fast enough. I don’t remember for sure but I wonder how long it took for the Russians to fess up the failure at Chernobyl? I seem to remember they even denied any incident for days after.

    I work in a plant of the same design as the ones in trouble in Japan and if they built alike the containment for spent fuel is located inside the containment building that’s built on a huge pad that should cup the molten fuel as a last resort. I am not an engineer and my job is not even near the reactors but I see how the plant is operated and all the redundant safety systems in place. They are not complacent either, every refuel cycle the system is tested and upgraded as needed. I am an unapologetic proponent of nuclear power. As some say…I have no more words:^)

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Blindshooter, thanks for your insight and well thought out response. Many folks have given me new insight to what is happening at Fukushima. I am not against nuclear energy…just strongly feel that if a govt is involved, and a commercial enterprise is involved, are we being truly “careful”? Blindshooter, you work around these things and beleive that the plant is safe, you probably know much more than I about those things, so I’ll take your word for it. Question…is there anything ELSE that could be done to make them even safer?

      • blindshooter says:

        I would like to see the US allow more permits for newer reactors so we could safely decommission more of the older plants. More efficient and safer designs are available that have already been approved. I like the idea of designs that will almost take care of themselves in a “event”. Convection loop cooling etc, I admit I don’t know enough about them to say they work or not but the more inherently safe the design the less chance human error can come into play. And of course we see the new ones(and maybe some old plants) will have to be built to withstand stronger blows from nature.
        I have since read that the Japanese had their diesels in underground bunkers, don’t know if that’s a good idea in areas where a flood or tidal wave is a possibility.
        Another thread in the same discussion, would we not be better off with more localized production of power? Less dependence on long distance transmission lines, and more local input on the means or type of power production. I’m thinking about setting up a solar/battery/propane system with grid backup when or if I ever get my screwed up financial situation under control.
        I like reading input from so many different viewpoints without the rancor you see on other sites. That’s one reason MD has such a great following.

        • GardenMom says:

          Yes – more local power. Wind power in the Dakotas, Minnesota, etc. Solar in the southern states.
          Yes – new nuclear plants would have better, safer designs. And, hopefully they will be smart and not put them on fault lines.
          Use a wide variety of sources so that we aren’t so dependent on one source.

  67. Hydroelectric. You pump water in a closed system uphill You let gravity do its work, through a smaller gauge circumference. Hydroelectric power. What haven’t you heard of it before? Of the 42,000 lobbyists registered in Washington, DC, how many belong to Big Oil? How many belong to Big Nukes and GE?

    • On the bayou says:

      It takes more energy to pump the water up the hill than you get back when it flows down and generates electricity. There are plans to do this using excess energy produced: an energy storage device, not an energy producing device.

      But if you can create a system to render the fat from the lobbyists and use that fat to fire an electricity generating plant… renewable energy source! LOL Two problems solved for the price of one!

    • MOPrepper says:

      Among the main problems that have been demonstrated by hydroelectric power is significant change in water quality. Because of the nature of hydroelectric systems, the water often takes on a higher temperature, loses oxygen content, experiences siltation, and gains in phosphorus and nitrogen content.

      Dams are frequently located upstream from major population centers:

      * 1918–1958: 33 Major dam failures resulting in 1680 documented fatalities
      * 1959–1965: 9 major dams failed throughout the world
      * 1976: Teton Dam failure in Idaho

      Adverse effects of dams on salmon:

      * migratory barrier
      * killed in turbines (especially young ones swimming downstream)
      * supersaturation of air in water (high pressure of water falling down forces air into the solution)
      * reduced oxygen content if river flow is reduced (summer) due to separation of warm and cold water; cold water doesn’t mix to be aerated (this is mostly a problem in the Tennesee Valley)

      Again, there’s not ever going to be a “silver bullet” solution to our luxurious energy desires.

  68. I voted no, because nothing is ‘safe’. That said, I have had a real issue with the storage of spent fuel for years. If you cannot safely ‘dispose’ of it then you have a problem.

    I was not aware that there are fuels out there that are safer than the current fuels. Which leads to the question, why are we not replacing the current reactors with the safer ones? And to whom do I complain?

  69. Tomthetinker says:

    I’d like to think of this as something other than a rant on the issue in general…. but crappolla… you guys decide as you see fit.

    Lots of good and bad ideas. Lots of well thought out opinion. More than a few of us don’t know what they are talking about. Some of you guys and girls have an obvious deep understanding of the subjects you discuss. Some, nice biblical hype! Nice tree hugging things going on. A little ‘mis & dis’- information. Save for the biblical tree huggys, I suppose I’ll admit to falling in with the rest…. ‘which’… well you guys decide. To many ‘sides’ for consensus.

    Waddayathink…. is humanity worth the trouble? I mean hell folks its all dirty. Wind power…. do 10% of americans understand the smelly crappy greasy heavy industry it takes to construct and mount (one).. 1 megawatt wind mill… hum? A natural gas fired ‘peaker’ that turns out 1/2 a megawatt. To stand there next to one in operation is both a thrill a wonder and obscene. You have not heard the ‘Giant Sucking Sound’ of an 8 inch natural gas main at a ‘peaker’ plant. Coal… my my.. coal. Monroe Power House, Monroe, Mich. Third largest coal fired facility on the planet. It takes 3, mile long coal trains each and everyday 365 days a year to keep that puppy running. It’s right there on the east side of I-75 on your way to Detroit. Take the exit and drive up to the gate and you will gain a reality based preception of ‘large’. There is a reserve mixed high/low sulfer coal pile of around 1/4 mile wide by 3/4 of a mile long just in case one of the trains dosen’t make it up there.

    I love this place. I love this forum. And now I shall wax Phil-e-sopical…. The last two days I have gone back in time and taken a good look at all the filthy, coal dusted, lightly radioactive, H2S soaked garden spots I have helped build.

    Nucs…. I kinda see them the same as oil and chem refineries… they work fine nearly 100% of the time. If you work in one of em (and I do now.. Brit Petrol, Oregon Ohio…. oh Joy) you know that when they don’t work fine…. the results are always…. always.. instant.. and ever so costly!

    Solar… yeah fine… when you can put a system that J. Q. Public can afford into a place that turns out enough ac or dc amps to run alllll..the toys we all ‘want’ and demand lemme know…

    So what is it we want? I know what I need but damn…. I.. WANT.. to maintain my current life style thank you very much… I’m being to emotional here…… argggg. Which one of you guys works in a Nuc? We used to use the term “crapped up” when talking about any… thing that got contaminated. What part of ‘energy’ generation does not ‘crap’ up.. something or somebodies… back yard? Thanks for letting me ramble on MD!

    From my 37 years in the ‘Energy Industry’ I hold this truth to be self evident…. the cleaner the energy… the more refined and toxic the residue. Pick one……. they all have a lil dirt & danger somewhere. As to giving offence….fense… eh.. I hope I have given little but fear I have given some. Lets hash over Silver ETFs next!

    And so ends Tinkers sermon on the keyboard. RSVP

    • AZ rookie prepper says:

      Tomthetinker, I enjoy your philosophy. Keep on sermonizing.

    • Guess I have absolutely no F*@#ing idea what yoou are talking about. Do you or don’t you have a prefernce for power supply? Personally I don’t see that I have been affected by any of the sources, only the terrified weasels running around crying the sky is falling. What upsets me most is our political survival. We can set around jabbering about what we do each week in preping for the last days and I hear nothing from anyone on the sight about going after legislators. We have a serious 2nd amendment issue that persists. If O Hussain gets his way our guns will wind up like England and Austrailia and Poland and other countries. TEOTWAWKI I believe is the take over of our nation. Once that happens who cares about what you do to prep. All your preping will be confiscated by the Gov. I cannot recall, but I was discussing stuff with an elderly gentelman here that at one point in Michigan history his dad raised pigs, (during the depression) and the county came along and took his pigs to give to other families who had nothing. This scares the crap out of me, loosing our liberty and freedom.
      On our very horizon we are eminantly faced with the very real possibility and truth about our preperations. It has been said that over the next 6 months or less food prices are going to jump by 32%. I am buying jars and meat to can as the price of this stuff is going to get stupid, along with flour, sugar, salt and etc. I believe we are headed for a collapse of this nation. Ergo. I am begging all the members of this blog to start communicating with their legislators. I am assuming many of you are. I write several times a week to my senators (both more stupid than a box of rocks/Democrats) and one House Rep (Repub). I know two have lied to me and the other I am not really sure about, but they respond legislatively the way they want unless you flood them with letters and phone calls. I believe this is another aspect of preperation. If you are a serious and honest survival preperationist this must also be a part of your preperation.
      Enough

      • Glock27,

        You don’t see a lot about “political survival” on TheSurvivalistBlog.net because this is not a political type blog which is the way we like it. In my opinion the whole system is corrupt and “they” have already taken over and making this blog into a political diccussion group would be a waste of time.

        As for our prepps being confiscated by the Government it could happen. But the way I see it my preps are mine, I’ve worked hard for what I have and I’m not going to just hand it over, I will treated them the same as I will any other looter.

        • In the extremely unlikely event the government comes knocking on your door for your preps, you won’t last 2 minutes resisting & pull a gun or weapon, reduce that to 2 seconds.

          I was involved with a LOT of marshall eviction lockouts back in the 90’s (in excess of 150 cases) & those who were foolish enough to brandish any weapon, paid dearly. I vividly remember one guy opened the door, being a tough guy with a machete in his hand and nearly crapped himself when a pair of .45’s were pointed at his chest. If he did not drop it they would have emptied their clips.

          I’ve seen them shoot dogs that attacked them as well. First they pepper spray the mutt but if the dog still comes at them, lights out. The courts do not value animals in that type of situation.

          Best bet, if you know that type of action is going down, remotely locate your stuff – including your weapons and roll over when they arrive – it’s simple and easy & best to be low key and NOT be a future target. Swallow the pride & fight the winnable battles & relocating your stuff is a winner.

          A client of mine who has a substantial net worth (excess of 600 million) told me that in WW II his family had a factory in France & knew the Nazi’s were coming. They virtually dismantled the factory and hid the parts throughout western France. When the Nazi occupation was finally crushed they reassembled the factory. He said those who were not smart enough to do that lost everything & could not rebuild.

          Trust me – it’s a fact, you will never win and that personal stuff ain’t worth dying for – at least for me.

          • Steve,

            Steve,
            “Steve”

            Does not matter – sometimes you have to take a stand – that is what is wrong in America now everyone just takes whatever as they roll over with their butt cheeks spread wide. When they come to take your preps and life your support systems don’t you think it is time to resist. Where do we take a stand and say stop, enough is enough…

            “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759″

            What would it take before you would resist?

            • My response was not meant to be confrontational, it was purely based upon long, hard, personal experience.

              I did the protests in the late 60’s and early 70’s and ended up thrown in jail multiple times, beaten by the police, had a gun stuck in my face more than once and been in the middle of violent protest riots where Molotov Cocktails are thrown . Since I have gotten older, I realized what battles are worth fighting and which were worth letting go.

              While standing up to “the man” is noble and do agree with Ben Franklin’s quote, there is a time and place to make a more strategic stand. I don’t think Ben Franklin was referring to an individual making stand which does not make a difference in the overall scheme of things, rather it was directed at a united GROUP of colonists as words of encouragement and to reinforce the commitment to divorce England for ruling this country. That should be our model – unity.

              As stated & inferred to by my client example, keeping a finger on the pulse & mitigating a problem is a better solution in my opinion. Personally, I do not take shit from anyone but, am wise or experienced enough to know when the odds are against me, to walk away and regroup – which takes far more strength than to fight and go down with the row boat.

              I’ve had the rare experience of nearly dying and it was in that space where I began to see what was valuable to me. Also, to me a survivalist can make do under any circumstance and life is priority #1 & nearly irrespective of the things acquired to “support life” in your example.

              You start from ground zero, assemble those support things & someone comes in and takes it all away, what makes you think you cannot put it all back together? Does life really become worth $10,000 +- of those things? Not for me, call me weak or a pussy, I don’t care – I’d rather be a live chicken than a dead duck.

              What’s wrong with America is we’ve become fragmented and our voice has become reduced to a bunch of meaningless chatter instead of a great, united front.

              I read a great many blogs and it seems that fear driven information has become the motivating factor and that drives individuals away from unity & gives strength to and feeds the possible government take over agenda. Remember what Julius Caesar said – DIVIDE then conquer.

              So what would it take for me to resist? A lot more than most. My “roll over” is only a strategy to stay alive & honestly, I think you’d think twice before raising an automatic weapon at a superior force while hiding behind paper thin walls. If not, wait until you’re shot at – that lead is hot, travels very fast & without impunity and will change your mind unless you have a death wish which only belongs to the insane.

              Thanks for listening ~

  70. Dmitry Orlov at ClubOrlov encapsulates what to me are the main issues about nuclear power: http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2011/03/nuclear-meltdowns-101.html. An excellent read, even if you are disposed not to agree with him.

  71. Semtex-Jes says:

    What a world huh , almost like we predicted this would happen , I remember the line about how safe thing’s were now compared to 1986 lmao , We try to harness the power of the sun and get burned time and time again , and then we get to listen to the other yahoo’s still preaching how ” SAFE ” this energy is .
    The only thing that has been proven is that they cannot control these thing’s once a problem DOES arrive , and by that time we are to late . they say OOPS and create a stone coffin to harbor death , for generations to come , and say the NEXT one will be the safe one : )
    There are currently 8 to 10 of these death stations sitting in Il and Mi , dead center of our great country, on lake Michigan one of greatest supplies of fresh water on earth… What happen’s when the shortcuts we took to build our Nuke sites become apperant ? When our electric co says OOPS ?
    I’ll tell you what happen’s , Our president goes on national TV and tells everyone how safe thing’s still are and not to panic , go to work ect keep things normal, don’t worry we have thing’s under control . And when it’s all done and covered up you get thousands of people with cancers and sores, entire cities gone off the map , food useless , waters useless , earth around site useless for hundreds of years , and thats a guess a best , The area around Cherynobl is a waste land of toxic death , the area the size of a small country made useless overnight , Also the place where the accident happened was not even the worst hit area , it was everything around cherynobl that got screwed the most , so remeber it’s not only our faulty engineering you have to worry here it’s our neibors as well . I’m for coal : )

  72. Bought 2 Conibear 220 traps to enhance my collection of spring traps and four 110 conibear traps. Made a sling to practice with, making a bola for the capture of game birds, working on an Atlatal. The sling and atlatal are back ups should I run out of ammunitions. Bought extra canning salt and regular salt and another box of .22lr ammunition. Currently I have around 6 to 7 thousand rounds of .22, 9mm, .40 cal, .357, 20ga and 12 ga ammunition. Bought Slipstream lubricant from http://www.crusaderweaponry.com . This is a specalized lubricant that is unlike the standard lubs on the market. Hope it lives up to its name. That’s about it.

  73. Eric Seberg says:

    Yes they’re safe or as safe as anything can be. I wish everyone could have had the experience I have learning about these things. They are in essesnce living organisms that will protect themselves if man doesn’t interfere (the problem at 3 mile). It is pretty clear now that the problem wasn’t the plant but the back up power source. I haven’t heard or seen what the Japanese system was other than they lost power and the tsunami took out the generators. US plants have to have 2 independent power sources with each backed up by generator. A plant near me has 4! The lesson learned is that any nuke, not just this design, in an area where there could be a tsunami, need to protect their power sources and generators. Don’t think we’ll worry about that in NE. Even with that yes there is still a threat but I think we’ve determined there is with almost any source.

    Though not a threat a growing complaint here on the plains is the noise that large windfarms put out. Oh well. We need wind and hydro for their “black start” capability if nothing else.

  74. I will confess that I am currently employed in the nuclear power industry. The vast majority of nuclear reactors in the U.S. are very robust and well engineered. Also, the vast majority of the fuel assembly’s and adjunct pumps/valves are several feet underground. Nuclear safety features in most U.S. sites are built with multiple redundant safety systems that are serviced/checked/tested on a weekly basis. I can vouch for these statements.

    But here’s where the real concerns come in.

    1. A real problem would occur if there were a complete loss of all power to a site. There are diesel generators on all U.S. sites as an emergency back-up. However, an EMP type incident or a vast, large scale natural event would stifle these redundant back up systems. Consider the ramifications of an EMP/scaler event or an earthquake that shatters roads and airstrips. The diesel trucks will not make fuel deliveries, etc.

    2. Many U.S. sites store spent fuel rods on site as opposed the storing them in very expensive isolated storage facilities. These still hot fuel rods are stored simply. A powerful hurricane or tornado would be a real problem as to the storage containers structural integrity.

    3.Simple mechanical and equipment failures are an issue. Pumps and valves and breakers fail weekly. These sites require constant maintenance. Consider any number of man made or natural incidents/operations that would stop these skilled workers from their jobs.

    As an aside, I will say that U.S. nuclear workers are the best trained in the world. These people know their jobs.

    Food for thought.

    Excellent website and info.

    T.

  75. design is not at fault for what is happening in Japan. this plant was designed to withstand an earthquake 7x less than what they had. it was the tsunami that caused damage to the pump system electrical supply, and it’s backup. the design itself has stood up admirably.
    if you want to point a finger, then point it at design engineers that didn’t foresee a 9.0 quake, followed by a tsunami, followed by hundreds of powerful aftershocks, many measuring over 6.0, – enough to trigger a volcanic eruption. it’s called a catastrophic failure scenario. and they are possible all over the world in hundreds of situations. the most brilliant of engineers can not possibly ever account for the sheer unstopable power of mother nature.

    take a natural gas booster station, or a chemical plant, what the heck do you think would happen if even half of all that happened? I happen to know that both of the aforementioned types of locations do have catastrophic failure scenarios in place, and they ALL amount to mass death, epic levels of toxic leakages, and crater causing explosions.
    my husband works in such a facility. their CF scenario plan isn’t nearly as involved as one for a nuke plant. they don’t need such devastation from mother earth, they can manage one scary easy, and each CF scenario ends in the certain deaths of every single person within 12 miles just from the explosion alone. that doesn’t factor in the chemical cloud that will kill or violently sicken every single living creature downwind for MILES!!! (he will continue to work there, because of the very high wages, until we are settled to make our big move off grid.)

    Can you look at nuke plants as scary? absolutely. they can be. however, reality is that in the industrialized world we are surrounded by possible sources of catastrophe. Nuke plants are designed stronger and safer than the plant explosion that will probably kill you.

  76. OhioPrepper says:

    Jane,
    You state: “most brilliant of engineers cannot possibly ever account for the sheer unstoppable power of mother nature” & as an engineer I respectfully disagree. Engineers often come up with scenarios like this one, and then must perform the ROI calculation. If I design a piece of equipment, say a nuke plant with an estimated cost of say $2.5 Billion, and as an engineer I tell the management, owners, and investors that I can design a plant to guarantee survival of a 9.5 quake and a 200 meter tsunami and have power backup for 1 year, they would have a single question for me. What does it cost?
    So I tell them it will only raise the cost of the plant from $2.5B to $13B and that their customers will only have to pay $.60 per KWH instead of $0.12 per KWH, which would pretty much end the conversation.
    Engineers can make anything inherently safer, but most people would not want to pay the cost, for the just in case, 1 in a thousand year scenario. In part we are all at fault for many of the safety problems in our lives, because we don’t want the cost or the inconvenience that being safer would bring. I’m not saying its all bad, just the truth.

    • I totally agree with you 10000% on the cost factor. I didn’t mean any disrespect to engineers but most of the CE’s I used to work with already knew what the cost bubble was before they began to design. That limits how far they push the envelope.
      Especially in the scope of nuke plants, people have an understanding of danger when it comes to anything labeled nuclear and are therefore more willing to loosen their purse strings.
      My husband’s facility was designed in the late 50’s. Since it was built the only major changes/upgrades to the plant have occurred AFTER explosions. Heck, they run 24/7, 365 and only shut down for plant wide maintenance for 6 wks every 2 years. WHY? Because it costs something like 90k an hour when they aren’t running. What do you think John Q Public around here would do if they knew that? The reality is that most people that live within their CF blast area don’t even know what they do or that there is any danger involved at all.