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Wednesday
Apr272016

TRT World's The Newsmakers: 30 Years Since Chernobyl

As featured on TRT World's "The Newsmakers": Thirty years since the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, The Newsmakers asks Kevin Kamps [of Beyond Nuclear in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.] and Jonathan Cobb [of the World Nuclear Association in London, U.K.] what lessons have been learnt from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster. [Watch the segment, from the beginning of the recording to the 14 minute 12 second mark.]

Kevin cited Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education's clever line, as reported at Forbes:

“We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day,” he said, “but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can’t figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn’t make sense.”

Trying to downplay nuclear power risks, as compared to other electricity generation risks, Cobb cited a hydro-dam break in China that killed a large number of people by drowning, and then disease.

But Cobb failed to mention the risks of a dam breach at the Oconee nuclear power plant in Seneca, SC. As reported by Tom Zeller, Jr., in the Huffington Post, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission whistleblowers have revealed, if the upstream dam fails, whether due to an earthquake, terrorist attack, etc., three reactors could be submerged under 16 feet of water, plunging Oconee into a Fukushima-like catastrophe.

Gundersen warned about such "inland tsunami" risks at Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, during historic flooding on the Missouri River in 2011.