Safe to go nuclear
There was a CNA programme last night on how safe to go nuclear in Southeast Asia. After an hour, the panel over came initial reservations and seemed quite agreeable to the idea that nuclear power is safe and necessary. Fossil fuel will just run out and countries wanting growth and growth and growth just have to rely on nuclear. All the concerns about radioactive fallouts were summarily dismissed. No 911 on any power plant is possible. You would need a nuclear bomb to blow up a nuclear power plant to really cause damage and widespread radiation.
In the Three Mile Island no one died. In Chernobyl, just about a hundred. In Fukushima no one died too, or maybe a handful. Nuclear power stations are safe. There are more people being killed on the road than by a nuclear accident.
The Chairman did try diplomatically to raise the concerns of expertise and discipline of the people manning the plant and also the inconsistency of governance with regular regime changes and change of leadership personalities. These were discussed but should not be an issue. The system of operating a nuclear power plant is so carefully and meticulously designed to take care of everything. Nothing will be allowed to go wrong.
Our SMRT was running perfectly for at least 20 years under the best governance and best trained personnel with all the safety and maintenance procedures observed. We know the story. Equipment ages, people slack, management oversight, over confidence and getting into a routine, could all contribute in their small little ways to build into a crisis.
All it needs is a confluence of little events. A poor quality cable, a technician having a bad day, a computer or system glitch, management having a hangover after a party, no one is assumed to be able to break into a highly secured installation.
When things want to go wrong, it will go wrong according to Murphy. Don’t believe in Murphy. Can a senior technician in the plant be converted by a cause, bought over or blackmailed? I think all eventualities have been thought through and taken care of. Even if Nature wants to take a pee or a fart would have gone into the equation to build a 100% safe plant.
The no choice option is the main thrust for nations going nuclear. They need the growth, and the power, not today, maybe tomorrow. The world’s population must grow for growth’s sake. It is 6 billion today and could go to 10 billion or 20 billion, for whatever reason, I dunno. But grow it must, for economic growth and prosperity. And consumption of all things, resources and energy must go on and on and on. Why there is a need to keep changing mobile phones and add new little games is a complex issue. Once whatever is consumed, next frontier, Mars.
Human beings will just grow and consume for the sake of growing and growing. There is no other option but to grow. And nuclear is the next alternative to support the growth that is needed, for what?