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.

Do You Think Nuclear Power Reactors Are Safe

  • Yes They Are (54%, 599 Votes)
  • No They Are Not (31%, 349 Votes)
  • Right Now I Don't Know What To Think... (15%, 165 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,113

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


  1. 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.


  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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:

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

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.”

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

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

    • 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.

  11. 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? ( 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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,
        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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…….


    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)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

      • Glock27,

        You don’t see a lot about “political survival” on 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,


            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 ~

  21. Dmitry Orlov at ClubOrlov encapsulates what to me are the main issues about nuclear power: An excellent read, even if you are disposed not to agree with him.

  22. 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 : )

  23. 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 . 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.


  26. 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.

  27. OhioPrepper says:

    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.