The Safety Design Ethos of Nuclear Industry

“In his excellent book “The First Nuclear Era”, Weinberg relates a discussion he in 1972 with Rep. Chet Holifield, which left him “speechless” after Holifield warned him “Alvin, if you are concerned about the safety of reactors, then I think it may be time for you to leave nuclear energy”. Weinberg succinctly states “I had never been fired before.” (Source: Morgan, “The Angry Genie”, pp 72.

A bit less dramatic than Holifield’s threat (chair of the Congressional Nuclear something or other bullshit sessions in Washington) to John Gofman. Holifield threatened “to get Golfman.

Later, Gofman survived the threat, though he lost his funding. He, along with Carl Morgan, took part in the legal case resultant from Karen Silkwood being run off the road in her Honda enroute to giving key documents to her union. The documents related to proof of faulty plutonium fuel rods.

Today, nuclear authorities continue the Holifield tradition, especially in Japan at the present time, refusing to properly protect children living in not zones.

Reminds me of how the Big Three deliberately bankrupted Preston Tucker for daring to put seat belts, crumble zones, pop out windscreens etc in the Tucker Torpedo in the 1950s. But that’s another story. Years later the Ford Pinto, claiming to be safe, became known as the “ting, ker-boom” car.

This is merely my opinion. Would you buy a Pinto? A nuclear reactor? I wouldn’t. From the foregoing posts, I think things have gotten worse, not better over the years.

After leaving nuclear industry service in government, Holifield returned to his trade training – making and selling men’s clothes. Tailor, Tinker, bullshit artist bully. The US must want as much plutonium as possible, very badly. As the written record shows, Japan was chosen by the USA as an alternate place to produce a nuclear industry for strategic reasons. (FAS). The only strategic reason for surrounding Japan with reactors and enough plutonium to sink the USSR is plutonium production, imo.

The Pinto has long gone to Ting Kerr-boom hell. Reactors, as we know, especially since March 2011, are still with us. I will never forget the Australian nuclear expert from Canberra voice over as each reactor went Ting Kerr boom. “This is perfectly normal”. He is an honest man.

2 Responses to “The Safety Design Ethos of Nuclear Industry”

  1. CaptD Says:

    Nuclear Denial* says it all for me, and is THE reason that each reactor (along with its spent fuel rod pools) are a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster waiting to happen…

    * http://is.gd/XPjMd0

    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  2. Limulus Says:

    Here’s a link to Weinberg’s book, some of which is available to read online, including the safety quote: http://books.google.com/books?id=otQDyt9PeswC&pg=PA199#v=onepage&q&f=false

    If you don’t already know about it, look into Weinberg’s “Molten Salt Reactor Experiment” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Salt_Reactor_Experiment

    The original idea was to turn that into a thorium breeder reactor; nowadays it’s called “LFTR” (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor). The goal is higher efficiency, atmospheric pressure operation, greatly reduced waste, inherent safety features, etc.

    *That’s* the kind of reactor I’d buy (if I had the money 😉 Versions are being worked on right now by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a Czech group (funded by Australians), and Flibe Energy in the US (Kirk Sorensen, whose website http://energyfromthorium.com/ has all sorts of nifty info).

    You may also like this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4

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