The Tohoku tsunami, also known as 3-11 earthquake tsunami, was a natural disaster but why was the real tragedy of the 19,000 missing or dead in northern Japan not covered by the news media. It was the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that stole the hearts and minds of the public away. The public’s hunger for “news that is more frightening” is insatiable. When it comes to persuading people to act like sheep you only need one ingredient and that is fear. It is just human nature to want to believe the worst about what many consider dangerous – especially man made. There is a never ending line of people who are willing to be led astray on topics like nuclear. The list of paired words with “nuclear” are mostly intimidating concepts. There is also a long list of so-called experts that claim to know about nuclear radiation and in reality have no first hand knowledge about radiation. So the lack of coverage is easily understood if you take into account what we already know about human nature.
The LNT theory is an outdated and narrow interpretation on how to view the threat of radiation that was designed to accommodate the worst case scenario. Unfortunately it was never proven true and yet it is used by the regulatory and scientific community as fact. It’s called the linear no threshold (LNT) theory. This is perhaps the theory that has done most of the damage to the reputation of nuclear energy. It is based on the idea that any amount of radiation will cause harm to those exposed.But it is common knowledge to scientists and engineers that we all face nuclear radiation daily. Radiation that has been there since the birth of our planet. Just because it is very easy to detect radiation, does not mean that it is dangerous. We need to understand that it is everywhere in varying strengths and flavors. James Conca in a Forbes article discusses in detail the relative risks of radiation and other dangers we live with all the time. See Nuclear Scientist Responds To Critics Of His Belief That Fukushima Refugees Are Victims Of Fear, Not Radiation
I am not saying that a nuclear accident like what happened in Fukushima is trivial. But I am saying that there are far worse tragedies being forgotten about that occur much more frequently than nuclear accidents and they actually do kill people like gas explosions and coal mine disasters to name just a couple. (citation needed)
It is also important to be aware that data has been compiled which indicates that communities that receive higher amounts of radiation actually have lower incidence of cancer. See my article on Hormesis for more details.
These facts are not discussed in places like Germany who have committed to shutting down their reactors in this decade.
That is the real tragedy. Allowing fear to cripple the one technology that can actually rescue the planet from devastating pollution and poverty stricken countries that need to join the modern age and achieve affluence. Countries that have a constant, reliable energy source are the ones that grow economically and eventually become educated. This has the added benefit as Robert Hargraves has pointed out in his Aim High talks of controlling population acceleration. He shows that countries that are the poorest have the fastest growing populations. And we know burning coal is the most widely used form of creating electricity and that it is not only ruining our atmosphere but our oceans too.
I know by this point that the anti nuclear crowd will start to grow impatient since I have not mentioned clean alternative energy sources. The reality is that the benefits of dense energy are too big to live without. Nuclear energy is extremely dense. You need very little fuel to produce long lasting and reliable energy. In fact trying to compare the output to any alternative is like comparing a car to a horse and buggy. They are both useful but one is clearly superior.
The other factors that make nuclear energy an easy target for those who are motivated by fear are the concerns that nuclear energy leads to nuclear weapons. We all know history well enough to know that the last time a nuclear bomb was used was for testing reasons only. In actual warfare it ended the World War Two and proved that it was too powerful to use but proved to be a powerful deterrent against aggressive imperialist countries from invading and attempting to dominate other countries. Again the weapon is so powerful that it has become a question of tampering with civilization. Any country realizes that it is suicidal to be a nuclear aggressor. Besides being extremely difficult to build a nuclear bomb the fact remains that it is easier to get nuclear fuel for bombs from other sources than from nuclear power plants.
Some of you might also wonder why I have not mentioned climate change. It is a subject like nuclear that has too many people with preconceived notions about it and is the one conclusion that became discredited by so many who are happy with the way things are. So I will only say that if you are happy with the way things are then you don’t need to read this article. You have made up your mind.
Last but not least is the issue of nuclear waste which by any other name might smell as foul but in fact what we are accustomed to calling waste it almost totally reusable with all kinds of useful elements mixed in. I know people like Kirk Sorensen have written about it Is Nuclear Waste Really Waste