Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fukushima by Union of Concern Scientists ****

The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
Fukushima by Union of Concerned Scientists is an hour-by-hour recap of the 2011 disaster at the Daiichi nuclear power installation in Japan. This disaster joins Three Mile Island (1978) in Pennsylvania and  Chernobyl (1986) in Russia as one the three largest nuclear disasters.

The Chernobyl and Fukushima were particularly disastrous in that the area around the power plants will be uninhabitable for years to come.

The Union of Concerned Scientists have a strong bias against the nuclear power industry and their regulators, but they do identify the key questions: How safe is safe enough? Even though the book implies that nuclear power plants are not safe enough over and over again, the reader is still left to look at the data and decide for themselves.

I felt they completely ignored the most important trade-off with nuclear power. The choice is not nuclear power or long, happy lives free from risk and radiation. The real choice is nuclear power or climate change. One big accident every twenty years sounds better to me than the implications of climate change.

The book has a lot of good information, if you can wade through the repetitive whining.

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