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George Monbiot: Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power [View All]

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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:59 PM
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George Monbiot: Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power
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Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. For a clearer view, look at the graphic published by It shows that the average total dose from the Three Mile Island disaster for someone living within 10 miles of the plant was one 625th of the maximum yearly amount permitted for US radiation workers. This, in turn, is half of the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to an increased cancer risk, which, in its turn, is one 80th of an invariably fatal exposure. I'm not proposing complacency here. I am proposing perspective.

If other forms of energy production caused no damage, these impacts would weigh more heavily. But energy is like medicine: if there are no side-effects, the chances are that it doesn't work.


But the energy source to which most economies will revert if they shut down their nuclear plants is not wood, water, wind or sun, but fossil fuel. On every measure (climate change, mining impact, local pollution, industrial injury and death, even radioactive discharges) coal is 100 times worse than nuclear power. Thanks to the expansion of shale gas production, the impacts of natural gas are catching up fast.

Yes, I still loathe the liars who run the nuclear industry. Yes, I would prefer to see the entire sector shut down, if there were harmless alternatives. But there are no ideal solutions. Every energy technology carries a cost; so does the absence of energy technologies. Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power.

Full article:

The above was from a few days ago (March 21st). Mobiot has a follow-up now:
The double standards of green anti-nuclear opponents
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  -George Monbiot: Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power salvorhardin  Apr-04-11 02:59 PM   #0 
  - i'll take fossil fuels over radiation any day of the week  spanone   Apr-04-11 03:02 PM   #1 
  - Far more people are going to suffer due to climate change caused by burning fossil fuels...  LAGC   Apr-04-11 08:01 PM   #16 
  - Why are those the *only* choices? Why is it that we see green energy dismissed out of hand as crazy  Hestia   Apr-04-11 03:04 PM   #2 
  - Because green energy is unable  SnakeEyes   Apr-04-11 03:15 PM   #6 
     - I'm not convinced by that assumption.  leveymg   Apr-04-11 03:19 PM   #8 
     - Bullshit!  Thunderstruck   Apr-04-11 03:24 PM   #11 
     - Your argument is misleading.  bigmonkey   Apr-04-11 04:50 PM   #13 
  - BS  Zoeisright   Apr-04-11 03:06 PM   #3 
  - I generally agree with Monbiot, but not in this instance. However,  ixion   Apr-04-11 03:07 PM   #4 
  - +1,ending suburban sprawl is a key,people will have to learn that a gas car is not a right, nor is  stockholmer   Apr-04-11 03:33 PM   #12 
  - Will the area around Fukushima be closed to human habitation for millenia, or just centuries?  damntexdem   Apr-04-11 03:15 PM   #5 
  - Orwell once said, "Only an 'intellectual' could say something so utterly stupid."  leveymg   Apr-04-11 03:16 PM   #7 
  - Good article. n/t  bbinacan   Apr-04-11 03:21 PM   #9 
  - Sure, some people will die from increased radiation levels, but *probably* not you  gratuitous   Apr-04-11 03:24 PM   #10 
  - Relative number of deaths per watt of electricity produced by energy type.  salvorhardin   Apr-04-11 05:18 PM   #14 
     - By way of explanation...  salvorhardin   Apr-04-11 07:31 PM   #15 

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