Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's something about disasters that brings out the stupid...

Japan suffers a massive tsunami with unbelievable destructive power (see the before and after pics at the link and be stunned). Thousands are killed or missing. There's even a volcanic eruption and a release of radioactive material from some nuclear plants.

In short Japan just got hit by everything but Godzilla and the Japanese people are hanging tough and responding impressively well to the disaster.

So of course here in the US, the weak-kneed Greenies use it to immediately attack nuclear power.

The Detroit News: Japan ignites fears about Fermi

Of course, Laura Berman of the Detroit News lines up all the anti-nuclear suspects, and gives them plenty of space in the article to spread fear, with only a tiny space for the operator of Fermi to comment.

The scare tactic is pretty overwrought and overdone:

Like its Japanese counterparts, Fermi 2 requires huge amounts of electricity to pump water to cool its core in an overheating situation. It also needs power to circulate water for the radioactive spent fuel pool that's part of the facility.

But in the event of a disaster (tsunami, bomb-drop, direct tornado hit), power blackouts can occur. Indeed, during a 2003 outage in Michigan, Fermi 2 was down for over six hours, an event complicated by the failure of a backup generator.

Methinks Berman really overexaggerates the risk here.

There have been no reported tsunamis near Fermi 2, nor are any likely, now or ever. You'll note that for all of her hand-wringing over the 2003 power outage, no event occured and it was handled.

Indeed a tornado even touched down inside the plant in 2010 and no disaster occured. I wonder why Berman didn't mention that?

Perhaps because the facts would remove some of the fear her article is trying to generate about the plant and nuclear power in general?

Thankfully, my friends who have family in Japan are reporting they are ok so far.

Given the scope of this disaster and the reality of the safety of the Fermi plant, your time is far better spent making a donation to the American Red Cross for Japanese disaster relief than worrying and fearing a tsunami at the Fermi nuclear plant.


Scott said...

Sounds like she didn't even mention (although Paul W. Smith on WJR found it out somehow - wonder how that happened?) that one of the design features of Fermi II is that they can get cooling water to the reactor vessel without power.

Laura Berman is a piece of crap journalist.

Scott said...

Just to substantiate, Paul W. interviewed Dr. Gary Was, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at University of Michigan, on March 15th, and the podcast is available on their website.

Aaron said...


Goood find.

Too bad reality and science is so at odds with the media's panic-driven approach.