The many non arguments of the anti-nuke

The Dallas Morning News cover the potential American nuclear renaissance. (Remember the present real nuclear renaissance is taking place in Asia whether Gunter likes it or not!) There's some nice positive stuff, particularly the bit about reliability improving moving capacity factors to above 90%, but then there's the negative...
Some industry critics say the regulatory changes have lowered safety standards,
increasing the risk to the public.
Since emperically, the risk to the American public from nuclear power has been 0, nil, negligible, nadda, zip, even before the 70s and 80s regulatory ratchetting and despite the relatively limited knowledge and experience, this statement amounts to pure FUD.

Lessons from past accidents and near-misses, they say, are being written off.
Well the worst past accident has been Three Mile Island, which would be included in that zero risk bit. The lessons of TMI and other incidents have already been learnt and incorporated into the new, sophisticated Generation III+ designs.

Critics of nuclear power warn that the bullish environment could end with a
single accident.
That could be true, but only because those critics will exploit any accident to the full power of the propoganda machine.

They cite one of the most recent close calls, in 2002, when workers at the
Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio found a football-size hole in the nuclear
reactor vessel head caused by a boric acid leak. If the hole had opened up, it
could've caused a meltdown.
A simple statement masks a huge complexity of implication. In order for their to be a meltdown if- that's if- the hole had opened up, all the emergency safety systems would have to fail as well. NIRS is washing over that little detail with a double coat of FUD.

But what if a meltdown had happened? That's the operator's problem, not the public's. The public is only to be concerned if they are threatened by it and before they would be threatened, the radioactive material would have to get past the infamous containment structure. It's a MacGuffin for a reason. It's all part of failsafe engineering.
At the time, 72 out of the nation's 113 licensed reactors were found to have
parts such as fasteners, valves and circuit breakers that did not conform to
their safety specifications. Some were provided by counterfeit suppliers that
later faced criminal charges.
And yet nothing happened. It is of course right for those who breach regulations to face the consequences, but the whole point about the NRC reforms is that those regulations are not necessarily boosting safety.

Coming soon to Freedom For Fission... Browns Ferry and Davis-Besse.

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