Nuclear Safety: listen up!

Yes. The phrase "nuclear safety" is an oxymoron; I know, I know, I know. That being said

What have we learned about nuclear safety?


I mean, besides the fact that it does NOT exist.

Any nuclear reactor can go rogue for one reason or another

(nuclear accidents list)

& it's always going to be the thing you did NOT expect or predict that goes awry

(Isn't that what "accident" implies? The unexpected??)

 N.B.: Canadians take note: 2 accidents at Chalk River in the 1950s not even included on the list above! Oops. Big oops.


Really, my main message right now is this:

There's this thing I've noticed.

Some former nuclear industry personnel seem to REALLY lose their taste for the biz.


It always seems to be because of ... safety.

& its lack thereof, in the nuclear world.

But only AFTER their nuclear career. You can't find anyone talking openly & honestly & credibly about safety while still in the biz (or, um, they are very soon not in the biz, as in ... fired).


Linda Keen, former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), was fired because she started to have concerns about nuclear safety. Simply not done, you see. Not acceptable.

Gregory Jaczko, former head of the NRC (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission), wound up resigning. He now advocates a world-wide nuclear phaseout. (He was essentially drummed out of his role when, after the Fukushima accident, he began having, & articulating, serious concerns about nuclear safety.) Lots about him in the recent 'Indian Point' documentary; highly recommended!

Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear industry engineer & executive, was fired for bringing up safety issues at ... I believe it was Vermont-Yankee ('though I could be wrong about which plant it was). He's become an incredibly articulate anti-nuclear ex-industry critic since the Fukushima disaster began (March 11/11). Simply gobs of great material on the Fairewinds Web site & a great, very recent 18-minute video that succinctly lists the common issues/problems demonstrated by the TMI (Three Mile Island), Chernobyl & Fukushima accidents.

Dr. John Gofman, M.D./Ph.D., helped isolate the first gram of plutonium for the Manhattan Project, but later become a passionate, vocal dissenter. Gofman wrote a brilliant, scathing book called '"Irrevy" An Irreverent, Illustrated View of Nuclear Power.'  A Gofman/"Irrevy" posting on this blog here gives you an idea of the book's brilliance, & then there is also a page of his brilliant quotations.

Dave Freeman used to head up the Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA. Originally pro-nuke, he came to see the economics make nukes a non-starter. Simply too expensive. But it was after a visit to Chernobyl in the early 90's that he became passionately anti-nuke. A simply must-see Dave Freeman YouTube here! (23 minutes) He really covers all the bases here. Don't miss it! (Freeman says: "Kill nukes before they kill us!")


There are no doubt more. Some former NRC (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission) staffers seem to wind up working for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who have plenty to say about nuclear safety.

This event (June 4, 2013) had as speakers Arnie Gundersen; Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan; Dr. Gregory Jaczko, former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Peter Bradford, former commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979.

There is a pattern here, people, & it doesn't require rocket science to put 2 & 2 together.

Nuclear energy is not safe, & cannot be made so. Ex-nuclear industry people get it, & they are speaking out. We need to listen!

And then act.



'Quote of the day' with this post: “I deeply regret believing in the security myth of nuclear power.” – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the 2011 Hiroshima Day commemorations

Another highly relevant quote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair   :)

* tons of great quotes about nukes here

* tons of nuke-related postings on this blog! Hover over the 'No More Nukes' heading up top to see a list of categories/postings

* yet more quotes relevant to nuclear emergency planning/nuke accidents here

* much longer collection of nuclear accidents here! (be sure to check out ALL the decades, not just the 1940s one...)