Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nuclear energy

cooling towers at Limerick, Pa. nuclear power plant
The cooling towers at the Limerick, Pa. nuclear power plant give off an odd steam cloud.
The Complete and Total Loser is old enough to remember a time when nuclear energy held great promise. "Energy too cheap to meter," they said. "A safe way to provide power to everyone," they said. Then came Three Mile Island in 1979, the partial meltdown thanks to a stuck valve and badly trained operators. Coolant was released, along with some radioactive material. Not helping things was the release of the popular movie, The China Syndrome, twelve days before the accident. No one was hurt, but the industry was badly shaken, and growth in the industry slowed markedly. 
jane fonda and jack lemmon in the china syndrome
Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome.

And this was years before Chernobyl disaster of 1986 which killed 31 people outright. The ultimate number of those whose lives were or will be greatly shortened by it is hard to estimate, but the accident released four hundred times more radioactive material than the nuclear bomb detonated over Hiroshima.
The Loser once heard an expert say a basic flaw with nuclear energy is that technology of the late 1950s is being used to harness a mid-21st century form of power. 
Global warming is making many rethink nuclear energy because of it's lack of carbon emissions. Ultimately, however, the problem of what to do with the waste remains an insurmountable problem.

1 comment:

  1. Atomic power does have its pros and cons then, eh, what?