Unfounded fear, especially of invisible or uncontrollable nature, has always been the source of unpleasant phenomena. From witch-hunts to mad cow disease, from asteroid collision with Earth to radioactivity and nuclear power plants. We all tend to fear what we can’t control, even what will always kill us are the things in our control. We die in our bed, from hunger, smoking, killing each other. But that doesn’t really bother people living in relative safety. They worry about getting killed by radioactivity from nuclear power plant, which they won’t, but they will be killed by influenza.
As much as this nonproductive nonsense irritates me, and kills others (by hunger due to meat disposal resulting from fear of BSE, by witch-hunters, by being accused of heresy, and so on) there are humorous moments that come once in a decade or so. Today has been one of them. And so I have to post it.
The following are the contents of original Beyond Beyond Nuclear pamphlet, which is a parody of Beyond Nuclear pamphlet called Ten Reasons to Say No to Nuclear Power.
Hello. This is Beyond Beyond Nuclear (BBN). As the proud workers of BNN (who love apple pie and baseball and oppose child abuse) we loved the message about the evils of nuclear power made by our sister company Beyond Nuclear. However, we feel that it doesn’t say enough. We here at BNN feel that only if all evils of nuclear power are revealed will people finally write to their local congressman, saying NO to nuclear power, just like the people of Egypt said no to their authoritarian leader Mubarak. So without further ado, here are the significantly more detailed Ten reasons to say NO to nuclear power, written by BBN engineers.
- New reactors are too expensive, costing $15+ billion, some of which come from governmental loans that companies must then pay back with interest – it’s taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money that they are temporarily using! This is why we also agree with the recent German nuclear power taxes. We strongly believe that we need more nuclear power taxes, to guarantee that other, cheaper, power sources can compete with it! Only by raising the price of nuclear power can we force profit-driven private companies to move away from the nuclear power.
- From licensing through construction to operation, reactors take many years to come to line – 6-10 years if you count the time from the initial proposition, through geological studies of sites and analysis of the surrounding area, as well as years of delays due caused by vendor’s duty to resolve all complaints against the construction before proceeding, to the eventual connection to the grid. This is too long to address climate change!
- Nuclear corporations violate human rights and environmental justice for whoever happens to be close enough to know about it. By not spending enough time on surveying the general area and the analysis of the geology of the site they potentially might be endangering everyone on this planet maybe! Furthermore by not spending enough time answering people’s rightful genuine concerns, they are probably violating some human rights (at this point we can’t provide an exact reference as to which, but we are sure that it exists somewhere – I mean we read it at the Beyond Nuclear pamphlet, so it must be true, right?), not to mention that telling people that multi-billion dollar investment created to provide power to millions of people will not be adjusted to their complaints unless they are based on evidence makes some people feel kind of sucky and sad, de facto hurting the nearby population.
- The current 1-in-100billion safety guarantee suggests that there is a non-zero chance of a core meltdown. If all other layers of protection, such as multi-layer automated safety system, dozens of trained specialists, passive safety systems, active safety systems and protective (over foot thick reinforced concrete) containment malfunction, the resulting catastrophe can potentially lead to an escape of some rather radioactive materials to the (not very populated) surrounding area and (weather permit) to a city with over 100 people in it. This basically means that nuclear companies are purposefully neglecting safety to make more money and kill your children!
- Security is completely unacceptable! Though the enrichment of the uranium is only slightly above the natural levels, therefore making nuclear explosions impossible, the plants are still vulnerable to explosions caused by charges that terrorists bring on site! That means that any terrorist with a nuclear warhead and a small army, large enough to defeat several dozen professionally trained security guards with assault rifles, gas masks, night vision, Kevlar vests, grenades, with an advantage of familiar terrain and pre-made defensive positions, can simply waltz into any of the nuclear power plants, set up and detonate their warhead before the security reinforcements would arrive, therefore causing a nuclear explosion at this nuclear power plant. We don’t think that’s safe. Do you?
- Civilian nuclear programs provide the knowledge to understand the science behind nuclear weapons. It should be noted though that we fully support mechanical engineering weapons, missiles and armored war-machine courses and internships as well as US Air Force sponsored fighter jet internships and research. We all know that US Army and US Air Force are on our side, they fight the bad guys in all those terrorist countries, and none of the affiliated personnel would ever help out any of the bad guys, while all nuclear scientists and engineers are trained (by American professors) to destroy our beloved America!
- No country has yet successfully deployed a long-term storage for nuclear waste. As a reminder to our readers the waste first cools off in special water pools on site, then is moved to short-term and mid-term storage. After several decades it is moved to the long-term site probably. We’re not sure though, since none of the power plants are old enough to have waste that simply has to go to long-term storage. The nuclear waste is completely unprotected. It’s simply poured into steel cylinders, sealed, vitrified (embedded in very thick molten glass which is then solidified) and placed in a safety container, or sometimes simply placed in a thick reinforced-concrete container. Granted even the most basic transportation casks have been tested for trains hitting them at 120 mph, fighter jets full of jet fuel crashing into them, jet fuel being sprayed all around the cask and allowed to burn for several hours, and in none of these tests was the waste compromised. Even in the hours-long burning scenario the waste remained relatively cool. But as we all know those terrorists are very creative, so they can probably figure it our somehow and make it unsafe, therefore killing us all. We’re not comfortable with that possibility and frankly can’t imagine anyone else being ok with it!
- Nuclear reactors use water as a coolant. That means that if something were to happen to all the water on Earth and it would completely disappear, the nuclear power plants would have no coolant and gradually come to rest, producing no power. Not only is that dangerous maybe (we’re not really sure), but it also means that the electricity from nuclear power is unreliable.
- Nuclear power is not emission-free. Daily it emits non-radioactive water vapor, sometimes with abnormally large content of H2 – a heavier, yet still stable, isotope of hydrogen called deuterium. Also the process of removing of radioactive uranium from the ground and then placing it in shielded casks and repositories after they are done with it might be harmful somehow. On top of that, transportation of the uranium fuel to the power plant releases greenhouse gases!
- Exposure to high levels of radiation can lead to modifications of DNA. And as was proved by Chernobyl, nuclear power plants are a source of a lot of radiation maybe. Some people say that Chernobyl is no longer radioactive, but we obviously don’t trust those people, as they are surely paid for from the nuclear power blood money that all nuclear companies have plenty of (for some reason).
Now, similarly to Beyond Nuclear, BBN would like to offer you ten points of consideration.
Ten Brighter Ideas
- Conservation is key and simply achieved. Start by turning off all your lights and unplugging all your electrical equipment and then researching (of wait… uhm… borrow a book from a library for research, yeah!) what different things are made of. We recommend leaving all your lights off and electronic devices unplugged.
- If every household would stop using all its electrical devices and lights, the national power consumption would go down by 22%, which would displace almost all US reactors.
- Not using heating, lighting, cooling and other electrical devices is the best way to save energy. It can reduce your electricity bill by up to 80%!
- 100% energy efficient devices (such as massless, frictionless pulleys and magic-based devices) are the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions (assuming devices can be obtained for free through the use of magic tricks) and is at least 7 times more cost effective than burning your money for heat.
- Homeowners can choose to pay extra for a piece of paper that confirms that they somehow didn’t contribute to some very specific kind of pollution.
- Filling all US waters with wind turbines would provide more power than is consumed in US. Granted some method of safely transferring electricity through very conductive salty water needs to be found first, but we’ll just assume the costs of that are zero.
- Solar resources on just 1% of the US landmass are three times as large as all US wind energy potential. Assuming no nights, no clouds, no fog, no rain, no snow, no dust covering solar panels, 100% energy transfer efficiency, no need for maintenance and infinite lifetime of solar panels.
- Conversion of just 15% of US homes to parking lots would reduce the household power consumption by up to 15%! It would also boost the US economy.
- Financial support for green jobs provides more opportunities in the very specific fields directly supported (for the length of financial support only). This will lead to larger economy (provided your financial support is big enough to provide salaries that would have such an effect).
- The US can be both nuclear-free and carbon-free. Look at the time before discovery of fire for reference.
Printed on semi-recycled paper transported by human slaves.