Dirty, dangerous... nuclear power

Posted by: Jennifer Scarlott on


Ah the communal joys of citizen action, organized to block the transport of highly radioactive materials through sleepy German towns...

Sorry, I don't seem to know how to insert links into my blog posts as yet (technically challenged!), but please do copy and paste this link into your own browser, and check out these remarkable photos of thousands of German citizens peacefully blocking a nuclear transport train: 

http://picasaweb.google.com/Rashid.Alimov/gorleben#slideshow/5268501820469874450 

Are such events in India's future? My government and yours continue to promote nuclear power as a "clean" energy source, and part of the solution to global warming. It is neither. As a recent paper by the U.S.-based Nuclear Information Research Service (NIRS-www.nirs.org) explains:

"Nuclear power is responsible for about six times the carbon emissions of wind power, and 2-3 times the carbon emissions of various types of solar power technologies."

To read the full paper, copy and paste this link:

http://www.nirs.org/nukerelapse/obama/nuclearenergyisdirtyenergy.pdf 

In addition to fueling climate change and generating material for nuclear weapons, the waste generated by nuclear power plants is so dangerous and so long-lasting, there is nowhere on earth to put it. Director Michael Madsen has created a dcoumentary "Into Eternity," which takes viewers into the eerie underworld of Finland's efforts to make its nuclear waste disappear. Finland began a massive construction project in 2003, which will be completed in the 22nd century, called Onkalo, "hiding place" in Finnish. A series of concrete-reinforced underground tunnels are being dug 500 feet under a Finnish forest to store the country's nuclear waste until it is harmless -- 100,000 years from now.

http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-09-how-to-bury-nuclear-waste-for-the-next-100000-years 

Scientists say they aren't all that worried about future human intrusion into the vault. They question whether future generations will understand the purpose of Onkalo or have advanced enough technology to penetrate it!

Ignorance is bliss?

Madsen: "I think what is most significant about the project is that these experts, the people building it, are more inclined to talk about the technical aspects rather than the actual problem, which is the time span and should we warn the future or not. It is possible to understand the argument that it should be forgotten, which the Finnish engineers tend to advocate. But how do you create forgetting? And if you go for that one, you have to be overly confident in what you're building -- 'We're giving a 100,000-year warranty on this building' -- and that is hubris."

Colonizing our children's, children's, children's, children's, children's, children's children's children's.... future...