The Weekend Wonk: BBC – Is Nuclear Power Safe?

September 23, 2011

The BBC produced a documentary broadcast on september 15, examining nuclear safety in light of the Fukushima events.  It’s a generally pro-nuclear piece, but there are certainly images in here, particularly of Japanese exclusion-zone refugees, that would have to give almost anyone pause..

The program presenter is a nuclear physicist who tells us he is completely neutral in the argument.  I’m posting the whole thing here since so many people seem to be angry with me for perceived anti-nuclear bias. ( I think I’m a nuclear realist, actually – but more on that in the future)

Below, a recent, very similarly formatted investigation on Australian “60 Minutes”, had a different perspective – which includes impacts on the rescue workers who responded to the disaster, and illnesses other than thyroid cancer, which BBC focuses on exclusively.

I am posting also a short rebuttal to the BBC piece, by investigator Goddard’s Journal who has been doing some   analysis of the available media and literature post-fukushima.  He does a good job of pointing out some major weaknesses in the BBC piece.  I think there is an argument to be made for some kind of nuclear generation using advanced processes, as BBC mentions – but, to their credit, they make it clear that none of these alternatives currently exist.

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26 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: BBC – Is Nuclear Power Safe?”


  1. The categorization of waste does not rely primarily upon the isotopes present; it is based primarily on the activity density. Thus, the presence of plutonium in waste does not necessarily mean that the waste is high-level waste — it is the amount of plutonium and other very dangerous components that cause waste to be assigned to one category or another. All spent fuel is high-level waste. No spent fuel was put into the Asse II facility.

    Yes, Germany doesn’t have any good sites for high-level rad waste disposal. Germany contains 0.3% of the land area of the planet. You have 99.7% to go. I’ll throw in Poland just to be nice — now you have 99.4%. Good luck.

    • BlueRock Says:

      Your evidence-free proclamations have no credibility. Sorry. Asse II was used for dumping of high level radioisotopes.

      Each country is responsible for disposal of its own waste and must therefore use its own territory. Why would that need explaining to you?! Also, do you know 70% of the planet is covered by water?

      You do have a bizarre ability to always be never quite right.


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