Animal Planet’s Bogus Account of Chernobyl Wildlife

Fission for Scare Tactics

{photo_credit}

In an episode of Animal Planet’s River Monsters, host Jeremy Wade travels to Chernobyl in search of the giant mutant fish – dubbed “atomic assassins” – that were the supposed result of the 1986 reactor meltdown. Enviable production values, dramatic editing, pulse pounding music, and ominous narration leads the viewer to believe Wade is putting his life in radioactive peril to bring us a glimpse of this monster, but what viewers ought to know is that he simply finds an otherwise healthy, bigger-than-average catfish who has “survived” in an area with the same background radiation as much of the globe. Had Wade pulled his dosimeter out on the plane ride back to London, he would have discovered that he was receiving more than 4 times what he received fishing in the shadow of Chernobyl. Sadly, Animal Planet is starting to look a lot more like The Simpsons.

January 16, 2014 | Robert Stone,

As someone who has spent the past four years making and distributing a documentary film about nuclear energy, Pandora’s Promise, it’s nice once in a while to spend a relaxing weekend at home with my kids thinking of more pedestrian things, like doing the laundry. But the battle over nuclear energy refuses to leave me alone despite my best efforts.

Recently, my 10-year old son, Luc, has become enamored with a highly popular fishing show on Animal Planet called River Monsters. To those of you unfamiliar with it, River Monsters is a British reality show that follows a dashing expert fisherman named Jeremy Wade around the world in search of dangerous freshwater predators. Last weekend, my son and his best friend were hanging out on a rainy day watching their favorite show when suddenly I hear shrieks from the TV room, “Dad, you gotta come and see this!”

I reluctantly saunter in to be confronted with an episode of River Monsters called "Atomic Assassin," in which Jeremy Wade goes to Chernobyl in search of giant mutant fish swimming in the cooling pond of the doomed reactor. Enviable production values, dramatic editing, pulse pounding music, and ominous narration leads the viewer to believe Wade is putting his life in radioactive peril to bring us a glimpse of this monster, mutant, never-before-seen fish. It’s all quite dramatic, no single shot lasting more than a few seconds and a musical score reminiscent of Jaws! There’s no escape. I’m hooked. 

I spent three days filming in the same exact locations two years ago, and seeing Wade misrepresent and overhype just about every possible aspect of the experience is starting to make my blood boil. The kids are fixated. Luc is busy debunking the whole thing for his friend, a chip off the old block, but they’re both sitting there wide-eyed.  

Our intrepid fisherman sports a dosimeter on his belt (similar to the one I used that features prominently in my film), but we’re never shown the readings he’s getting, though he frets all the time about the alarm going off (which happens at 0.3uSv/hr). It should be noted that I got the alarm to go off on my dosimeter at the top of Mount Lafayette in New Hampshire. It doesn’t take much, but in the right setting (Chernobyl or Fukushima) that alarm provides an acoustically haunting effect that’s easily exploited by journalists the world over.  

Fishing in the shadow of the Chernobyl reactor, Wade lands fish after fish, though not the giant mutant monster he’s looking for – at least not before the last commercial break. He pulls out these creatures from the black lagoon one after another, astonished at how “normal” they look. He then speculates that their radiological mutations must be happening “on the cellular level” – presumably meaning that they may look healthy on the outside, but deep inside they’re really monsters.

At one point he interviews an American scientist from a nearby forest who informs him (and us) that the animal population is declining due to the lingering radiation, and that horrible mutations abound, albeit unseen. That’s strange. Didn’t we just watch an episode of NOVA that said exactly the opposite? One of the bizarre ironies about Chernobyl is that because there are far fewer humans in the area, the animal population is thriving to the point that the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is now actually Europe’s largest game reserve. No matter. 

At the dramatic conclusion of the show, Wade, having thus far failed to land the giant mutant we’re all desperately waiting to see, finally decides to try his luck fishing in the canal near the reactor, saying that he could only stay there for a few hours due to the enormous radiation he is receiving. I was able pause the video to read his dosimeter on one of the lighting quick edits. It reads 0.39uSv/hr, which is within the range of normal background radiation in many parts of the world. Hmm…

At last, a monster fish is on the line. He reels it in. It turns out to be a rather large catfish.  This too looks perfectly normal. His narration tells us that the fish is later examined and deemed to be “16 times more radioactive than normal.”  I’d say that’s not too bad, given that it’s lived in the Chernobyl cooling pond its entire life! Had Wade pulled his dosimeter out on the plane ride back to London, he would have discovered that he was receiving more than 20 times the radiation he normally receives at home, and more than 4 times what he received fishing in the shadow of Chernobyl. But to show that would be to defeat the entire purpose of the show, which is to scare the crap out of its young and impressionable audience. Which just goes to show you: never let facts get in the way of a good story, particularly when there are ratings to be had.

When this kind of irresponsible fear mongering enters the realm of children's television, you know we're in trouble. Not every kid is going to have son like mine to set him straight. This ain't The Simpsons.

 

Robert Stone is a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated, and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker whose most recent film, Pandora's Promise, documents how lifelong environmentalists have reversed their opposition to nuclear power.


Comments

  • Good “catch” Robert!

    The Godzilla meme is so deeply embedded we need some nuclear powered Super Hero to kill it.

    By chrispydog on 2014 01 16

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • What episode of NOVA are you referring to? I can’t find any results for NOVA Chernobyl that are newer than 1989. Are you referring to the documentary, radioactive wolves? That was Nature, not Nova.

    By Jeff S on 2014 01 17

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • The vast majority of energy users are not the least bit interested where their energy comes from, as long as it’s there 24/7. “Macabre Indifference” prevails - Google it.

    Hoping for a way of persuading them that they’re only hearing scare stories from the anti-nuke brigade is a lost cause. We can only do it by persuading politicians and organisations capable of moulding opinions.

    Robert Stone might consider putting time and effort into publicising a way of getting pro-nuclear experts into positions of influence with the IPCC. The IPCC’s answer to their influential climate change problem is the idiocy of renewables. Ergo, there are plenty of tree-huggers in place where it matters, but very few pro-nuclear advocates.

    Get breeder reactor enthusiasts in place in the IPCC, Robert. Make this your next crusade!

    By Colin Megson on 2014 01 17

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • “...the idiocy of renewables.”

      I see you use renewables and tree huggers as pejoratives indicating an uninformed political agenda as opposed to a solutions-based opinion.

      In fact, the IPCC suggests wide and deep mitigation strategies including nuclear power.  Please read AR4 at the link below. The IPCC will likely continue to promote a multi-pronged approach in AR5 WGIII to be released this year.
      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms4.html
      http://ipcc.ch/

      By Terrell Holder on 2014 01 23

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


      • There’s no mention of renewables in my blog so I don’t know where you’re pulling this quote or what you’re referring too.  I have no problem with renewables and I certainly don’t think they’re idiotic.  They’re just not enough to power the entire planet.  But that’s not the subject I wrote about here.

        By Robert Stone on 2014 01 23

        Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


        • I think Terrell was commenting upon Colin’s comment.  The magnitude of the problem is illustrated by Thomson et al in RCP4.5: a pathway for stabilization of radiative forcing by 2100 figures 4c, 4d, and 5. (Ms. Thomson is an IPCC contributor; one hopes to see more such in the reports of WGIII and IV in the coming months.)

          By Ed Leaver on 2014 01 23

          Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


        • There’s no mention of renewables in my blog so I don’t know where you’re pulling this quote or what you’re referring too.  I have no problem with renewables and I certainly don’t think they’re idiotic.  They’re just not enough to power the entire planet.  But that’s not the subject I wrote about here.

          Renewables are idiotic, in policy terms, if the IPCC persuade national governments to go above a single % figure for power generation. We both know that the option for unavoidable back-up, to overcome intermittency, is fossil fuel or nuclear.

          You blog on the effects of anti-nuke propaganda, on a (probably) energy-indifferent, prime-time TV presenter - what chance do we have of countering this? Pandoras Promise is as good as it gets - but it’s certainly not made prime-time TV over here in the UK.

          Investigative journalism into the balance of renewables versus nuclear enthusiasts authoring IPCC reports and a campaign to ensure an equitable mix, would not go amiss..

          By Colin Megson on 2014 01 25

          Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


          • Throwing around insults like “idiotic” only undermines your credibility. Why make yourself look like a know-nothing? Scientists and policy makers do not waste time trying to slur or intimidate each other. Instead, they present cogent, documented information and arguments in favor of policies and research programs they support.

            By Ralph on 2014 05 26

            Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


      • Wearied by pejoratives from the paranoid ant-nuke brigade, I feel justified in using a fairly mild term.

        A brand spanking new report: Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. In the video on this link - http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/ -  at 03:20, “...renewable energy policies have a huge potential in the future…”  The report is the work of more than 130 authors.

        Are you in a position to tell me when the report: ‘Nuclear Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation’ is due out?

        By Colin Megson on 2014 01 25

        Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Bravo, Robert Stone!

    Bad enough that the hoax photo of the gigantic squid on a California beach continues to persuade West Coasters that radiation from Fukushima is threatening lives.  Now this Animal Planet episode.  The PBS “Wolves of Chernobyl” was barely correct, with the voice-over moderator claiming that while animal life was proliferating in the forest, it was still dangerously radioactive to humans.

    By Gwyneth Cravens on 2014 01 17

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • Most animals living in natural settings probably die from other causes before they get old enough to have much risk of cancer. Besides, whether an animal dies from starvation, predation or even radiation poisoning, the animal is equally dead. What do wolves care about their life expectancy? They are not spending their time poring over mortality tables or consulting actuaries.

      Our lives, by contrast, are now being prolonged by medical care to such an extent that cancer becomes the executioner of last resort. I am not courting a visit from Death, but I can perceive that our human lifespans have become too long, at the expense of our own young people as well as generations of other animals.

      By Ralph on 2014 05 26

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Some background background. 0.4 uSv/hr * 8760 hr/y = 3.5 mSv/y. Average background in U.S. is 3.1 mSv/y but ymmv: ANS provides a handy background estimator from which I learn clean green living in Denver still nets me about 3.8 mSv/y. Karen Street has posted a European background chart that illustrates the hazard inherent in building one’s civilization upon solid foundation (e.g. granite).

    By Ed Leaver on 2014 01 17

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • You have a small typo “...is going to have son like mine…”

    “River Monsters” is a show for adults who still think professional wrestling is real.

    I wrote an article on that Nature documentary, which contains a link to it as well:

    http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2012/08/last-week-i-stumbled-upon-this-recent.html

    By Russ Finley on 2014 01 23

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • In the early twentieth century, in his series of lectures entitled Pragmatism, the philosopher and psychologist William James advanced the thesis that, broadly speaking, people can be separated into two general categories of personality – tough minded and tender minded.
    http://postmoderndeconstructionmadhouse.blogspot.com/2013/11/bellow-deans-december.html#.Up9uETYo6M8

    By Robertstone on 2014 02 11

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • If your all so keen for nuclear energy, go there to Chernobyl or Fukushima with your children and make sure you all drink the Kool-Aid without filtering the water you use to make it. Within 5 years your children will have thyroid anomalies’ nobody will admit come from the Radiation.  Then you will have personal experience with the stigma of a Chernobyl neck tie.  It only takes on cell, to have one gene to take on one mutation to create a cancer. Your body treats Cesium like it would Potassium.  make sure when you go to have a potassium deficiency when you all arrive. Tell everyone there about the emperors new clothes. There are chromosomes that are ONLY create from exposure to ionizing radiation…..you can find them in people who live it these polluted areas, (40% of Europe). Now, the Pacific coast in the US. Dr. Jay Gould proved the mortality rate bumped ~1Million on the Northeast after 3MI.

    By Lowell on 2014 03 21

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • By chrispydog on 2014 03 21

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • And while you’re getting some facts, here’s some about Fukushima you won’t read in the hysterical press: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/02/19/1315684111

    By chrispydog on 2014 03 21

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • “unlikely to be epidemiologically detectable. “. Couple of things: 1.) Da Gumit backs Fission Power. Your citation comes from a “distinguished” group that get 83% of their funding from Da Gumit and the rest from ultimately wealthy philanthropic types.
      2.) Chernobyl exposed children didn’t show thyroid anomalys until 5yrs post Pop, Fukushima exposed children (50%) already show thyroid anomalys after only 2.5yrs. You believe who and what you want.
      Simon Greenleaf’s Treatise on the Law of Evidence will show you’re looking only at what supports your preconceived outcome.

      By Lowell on 2014 03 22

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


      • Indeed, and such bias is something you might consider as well. More at The Guardian.

        By Ed Leaver on 2014 03 23

        Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


        • That’s almost funny.  50% of the kids show evidence for thyroid cancer…..because someone’s looking?  The tree makes noise when it falls because the rules of this world don’t change because someone’s looking or nit.  Belarus has proven the exposure took thyroid cancer rates from 2 in 20 yrs prior to Chernobyl’s pop, to 250% increase within 1st 5yrs after pop…..evidence refused by those who want to not see.  If the looking-glass explanation ever could have held “water” there would have been as buch of dead children that went undiagnosed previously…but that’s not the case.

          your looking-glass explanation is more Emperors clothes like than you seem ready to see

          By Lowell on 2014 03 23

          Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


          • You’re welcome. I thought you might be amused. In the same spirit, would it be possible for you to provide credible links to support your contentions
            <ul>
            <li> There was any biologically significant radiation increase outside Japan (or even Fukushima prefecture itself) from the reactor meltdowns of March 2011?
            <li> That there is continuing radiation release from Three Mile Island, and that there ever was any release of biological consequence?
            <li> That low-level ionizing radiation can cause hereditary chromosomal damage in mammals? (Low level is less than 100mSv. Higher levels would also be of interest.)
            </ul>
            Please give it a whirl. That the Chernobyl accident resulted in locally increased incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is not controversial. However, extrapolating from that particular accident to anywhere else, is. Of most pressing relevance is Fukushima. In a 2012 report RERF’s Views on Residual Radiation the Radiation Effects Research Foundation noted

            ...(R)esidual radiation has been attracting considerable attention, and above all, interest in “internal exposure” has markedly increased recently. The reason why internal exposure has become such a highly publicized issue is thought to be due to the high frequency of thyroid cancer development among children in Chernobyl. In the former Soviet Union era, the fact that the public was not informed of the radioactive contamination was the main reason behind the spread of radiation damage, because people drank milk for a long period without knowledge of the milk’s high radioactive concentrations of iodine-131 from cows eating radioactive iodine-contaminated grass.
            Moreover, there was a lack of nonradioactive iodine preparations for use as a blocking agent to prevent ingested radioactive iodine from being taken up and retained in the thyroid.

            Fortunately, since the time of that accident, no example of large levels of internal exposure through a similar pathway has been reported in any part of the world…

            The last holds in particular for Japan, where RERF is headquartered.
            <ul>
            <li> The radiation released at Fukushima, though certainly of some consequence, was much less than at Chernobyl. The reactors are of radically different design.
            <li> Likewise, the Japanese government response was radically different from Soviet-era Belarus. There is thought to be no elevated internal radiation exposure (e.g. due to contaminated food ingestion) in Japan.
            <li> At the time of Chernobyl there was widespread Iodine deficiency in eastern Europe, which compounded the thyroid uptake problem. 
            </ul>
            Fortunately, thyroid cancer is usually treatable. Still, “According to the Chernobyl Forum, some 4000 cases of thyroid cancers have occurred in about 18 million individuals who were exposed as children or adolescents during the Chernobyl accident.” This is certainly tragic for those involved, and like all cancers mustn’t be minimized. But thus far there have been fewer than ten thyroid cancer deaths attributable to Chernobyl. In comparison, in the U.S. alone skin cancer claims about 9,000 lives annually, mostly from over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Yet no one advocates abandoning solar power for that reason. Nor complete abstinence from sunshine—vitamin D deficiencies alone would be a huge problem.

            By Ed Leaver on 2014 03 24

            Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Yuri Maltsev took a photo for Reuters on March 16th, 2011 in Vladivostok. A woman walking past the fire station. Were they have and electronic display for….Time; Temperature; and ......Radiation.  The sign had obviously been there longer than five day.  So the Rad monitor wasn’t about the worlds 15th largest reactor melts 3 + at least one SFP ~580metric tons))). Vladivostok is 4500mi from Chernobyl’s single reactor melt <180 metric tons))).  Every forest fire, every drought, every farm field freshly plowed re-liberates the fallout debris..
    do people want to stay in their home despite the dangers?  Sure.  The guy near Fukushima still tends his cattle. Fishermen still catch, farmers still grow rice in contaminated areas.
    you think external radiation exposure is bad, wait to see what jts like.  California had a 28% spike in congenital birth defects. That sulfer35 will collect in testis….yeah go ahead. Creat fuel rods that are only good for short while and more dangerous when spent.  4.5 Billion year half life for U-Ranium….

    By Lowell on 2014 03 21

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Revealed in the 1991&1996; Horizon(Nova) documentary of Chernobyl’s status, half the 137tons of fuel was bound into a glassivation after combining with reactor building sand…..but the other half…~75tons is in a molten state of fissioning .....just glowing, producing heat and millions of variation of radionuclides…...Do you really think the sarcophagus with holes big enough the drive a UkrAVTO Matiz through would ever contain these nuclides?  Not to mention, its just steal.  The release of radioactive contamination hasn’t stopped there. Any more than at 3MI.  Chromasomes are altered, which are passed genetically….forever changing human race… You’re for it. I’m not

    By Lowell on 2014 03 23

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  •   Where the crap is Gojira when you need him!?
    Giant mutant catfish? More like giant mutant piece of crap.

    By Evan Warren. on 2014 04 06

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Children’s television? Not sure about you guys but over here we have “pg” perental guidence recommended - secondly isn’t better your child is watching that sort of dramatisation rather than hyped up cartoons with drugs sex and just general disrespecting behaviour?
    Of course there is selective camera shots, dramatic music and manipulation of conversations - it sells television - still a good show with done merit in my book!

    By Kate Thompson on 2014 04 29

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • I have no objection to my kids watching this show.  They love it.  I’m just pointing out that it fits a pattern in the media of hyping fear (in this case scientifically unfounded fear) in the pursuit of ratings.  The producers consider this effort to be entirely harmless - just good TV.  But if you travel to Fukushima, as I have, you’ll see how these kind of ratings driven scare tactics can have a horribly detrimental effect of the lives of real people who believe that they’re all going to die of cancer when in fact they’re not anymore likely to than anyone else.  Like it or not, this fear is based on the myths propagated world wide by shows like River Monsters and countless others.

      By Robert Stone on 2014 04 30

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Robert Stone….traveling to Fukushima is quite different than live, eatin drinking the ground waters.there.
    You so quickly dismiss the effects of ionizing radiation.  Dr. John Gofman belives you to be denying the evidence like so many propagandists. His credentials are a little more than a casual visitor. Cheif in the discovery of Uranium238, John William Gofman (September 21, 1918 – August 15, 2007) was an American scientist and advocate. He was Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California at Berkeley. Some of his early work was on the Manhattan Project, and he shares patents on the fissionability of uranium-233 as well as on early processes for separating plutonium from fission products. Dr. Gofman later worked in medicine and led the team that discovered and characterized lipoproteins in the causation of heart disease. In 1963, he established the Biomedical Research Division for the Livermore National Laboratory, where he was on the cutting edge of research into the connection between ionizing Radiation that creates chromosomal abnormalities and cancer.
    Psalms 118:8; John 3:16-18

    By Lowell on 2014 05 26

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Lowell: It’s not certain Mr. Stone dismisses the effects of ionizing radiation. It can certainly be carcinogenic in sufficient and acute quantities. However, Dr. Gofman’s are not the only efforts investigating this problem. In particular, Dr. Gofman was a proponent of the Linear No-Threshold theory, which appears to have little or no supporting epidemiological evidence at the 10 - 100 mSv long-term exposure level at issue at Fukushima, TMI, and indeed for much of the territory affected by Chernobyl. The United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) specifically warns against misapplication of LNT in a May 2012 report:

    (f) In general, increases in the incidence of health effects in populations cannot be attributed reliably to chronic exposure to radiation at levels that are typical of the global average background levels of radiation. This is because of the uncertainties associated with the assessment of risks at low doses, the current absence of radiation-specific biomarkers for health effects and the insufficient statistical power of epidemiological studies. Therefore, the Scientific Committee does not recommend multiplying very low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or lower than natural background levels;

    See UNDOC/V1255385 page 10. Also Chernobyl, the Fear of the Unknown? by former UNSCEAR chairman Dr. Zbigniew Jaworoski.

    By Ed Leaver on 2014 05 26

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • I have watched that episode and the dramatic effects added to the filming does have in its intent the purpose of influencing the unknowing viewer who has more than likely adopted the false assumptions about radioactivity. For one who knows better,and you do not have to sport a PhD.,can detect the effort to play on fabricated fears. Thanks for your article.

    By wtbaker on 2015 03 15

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Thanks for the article. I can fulfill my life long dream of strolling around in an abandoned nuclear reactor now that you’ve opened my eyes to the fact that it’s not that radioactive anyway. I will also pass this knowledge on to my children and their friends so that they can act like a know it all to other people, like your child is.

    By Laki Titi on 2015 05 06

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • You will not be strolling through any abandoned nuclear facilities. Instead, you will be able to take tours of the many nuclear power plants being constructed and those to be built. Also, all children of today will witness the first fusion powered spacevehicle in their lifetime. So you don’t have to be so defensive anymore when it comes to radiation as the future is to be a wonderful time for the human race.

      By wtbaker on 2015 05 06

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • Nice article.  Fear sells better than the truth. I guess you can’t blame the media too much for they need to make sure they increase the corporate stock value or they get fired.  I know of many intelligent and hard working adults that would gladly accept the equal danger of driving to the airport, fly in a jet plane and live within the Chernobyl exclusion zone if they knew they could get a good steady job.

    By Joe Schiewe on 2015 05 28

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


  • So, all you pro-nuke loonies on here, what do you think of this scenario for the future of our civilisation and the planet? Climate change goes into an abrupt phase due to massive methane emissions from under the Arctic and from the melting Siberian permafrost. The so-called safe temperature of 2C above baseline heads rapidly towards 6C, massive forest fires, agriculture failure, droughts and mass starvation results. Civilisation breaks down due to pressures of food insecurity, water shortages and huge numbers of displaced climate refugees. The basic services such as maintaining power supply cannot be maintained and the 440 odd nuclear reactors around the globe begin to go into meltdown as their cooling systems malfunction. The ionizing radiation emitted is 440 times that of Fukushima, and this adds to the problems caused by the rising temperatures. It seems highly likely that all life on earth would go extinct with the possible exception of cockroaches and other small bacterial or invertebrate lifeforms. It is estimated that the planet would take 2 million years to recover conditions for life, and 10 million years to attain the biodiversity we know today. Yes, a wonderful future indeed. The only rational thing to do in the face of climate change is to decommission all nuclear reactors starting now. A nuclear reactor takes 60 years to decommission. We may be lucky to have 30 or 40 years before abrupt climate change occurs.

    By Paul Judge on 2015 09 13

    Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • Well, first of all, by definition nuclear advocates are not defeatists.

      Second of all, nuclear power plants, as you surmise, do not operate in isolation. There are always at least several on a given grid, or none at all.

      Third of all, the doom and gloom scenario you propose, should it transpire, will not do so overnight. There will be plenty of time to safely shutdown any nuclear plants that need to be shutdown, and arrange for reliable standby power for those plants that for, whatever reason, the societies they serve wish to maintain reliable base load electric power in face of the calamity to propose.

      Fourth of all, after Fukushima, IAEA and all nuclear operators have ensured that backup generation already exits to insure safe shutdown of the globes nuclear plants for any reason.

      Fifth of all, after safe shutdown, it doesn’t really matter whether a plant is fully decommissioned or not. Remove the slightly used fuel and place it in storage pools. After a few months place it in dry casks. Done. Under your scenario full decommissioning of four hundred, or eight hundred, or a few thousand, nuclear power plants will be the very least of society’s problems. Seriously. 

      Fifth of all: Never, ever, stop trying. Which is essentially what anti-nuclear activists. knowingly or not, have done for the past fifty-five years. Perhaps you think otherwise. But the reality is that humankind has an absolutely insatiable demand for reliable electric power.  Absolutely. The impending climate disaster will only increase the demand, not decrease it.

      Sixth of all, it bears repeating humanity’s best-ever five-word speech:

      “Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill

      By Ed Leaver on 2015 09 13

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


    • It is no surprise that anti nuke rants ooze from “mother earth” and her eco terrorist offspring. The days if denying mankind’s rightful place in this galaxy cannot be suppressed for much longer. Say good bye to limits to growth and scarce resources, nuclear fusion is our future not depopulation.

      By wtbaker on 2015 09 13

      Reply to this comment / Quote and reply


      • It is no surprise that anti nuke rants ooze from “mother earth” and her eco terrorist offspring. The days if denying mankind’s rightful place in this galaxy cannot be suppressed for much longer. Say good bye to limits to growth and scarce resources, nuclear fusion is our future not depopulation.

        “Eco terrorists” won’t “suppress” us from exploring the galaxy. It’s a physics problem. If you want to blame anyone, blame God for making the universe and even our own galaxy so large. Your narcissistic predilection towards grandiose verbiage leaves you naive to the reality of your futile position.

         

        By Wait. What? on 2016 11 04

        Reply to this comment / Quote and reply

Submit a comment