Thingish Things

Nuclear PR

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Mar• 18•11

Politicians are falling all over themselves to order “safety reviews” at U.S. nuclear facilities. Yesterday, President Obama ordered a review of every U.S. nuclear plant; today New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is in on the act with a favorite target of the no-nukes crowd, Indian Point.

As a political consultant, that’s exactly what I would tell a client to do.  But as a cynical citizen, I’ve gotta say I’m thinking puhlease.

Does anyone think safety reviews are not conducted ad nauseum at American NUCLEAR PLANTS?  And does anyone think earthquakes were never factored into their planning?

The real question is risk. Nuclear power is cheap, clean, and efficient.  But a 9.0 earthquake underneath a plant will knock it down every time.  So what are the odds of a 9.0 earthquake happening in this spot?

Instead of scientists performing redundant safety checks on nuclear facilities for PR value, maybe we should be bringing in actuaries and mathematicians to give it to us straight: Nuclear energy will let you power your home cleanly for $x per kilowatt hour, and it won’t pollute the air.  But there is a _________% chance that a massive earthquake will strike, destroy the plant, and kill everyone.  What do you think?




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