want to take a trip to Chernobyl? It’s hot, even in the Ukranian winter!
it’s sobering to see what damage mistakes can do. 60 years ago, nuclear energy appeared to be the future-no smoke, a lot of energy from a small amount of mass … we’ll deal with the waste later. Over the years, accidents occured (windscale I, Chelybinsk 65 [some estimates state that accident released more radiation than Chernobyl], Three Mile Island) and the US and the USSR dumped radioactive waste and reactors into the oceans. And the waste piled up, with no idea how to store it until it half-lifes into stable substances. To say "you should have thought of this before you started" is an understatement.
In risk analysis, risk is quantified by taking into account probability of accident and severity. Unfortunately, in the long run, the probability of serious accident becomes ~1.0, and the severity is undefined. It is known that radiation poisoning from doses >100 rem can be fatal in the short term and elevate cancer risk. It is unknown what damage can be wrought by low doses-can chromosomal damage from exposure impact future generations?
Now people are thinking about starting to build more reactors-"we need greenhouse-gas free energy" they claim. Build solar, wind, and geothermal plants; and increase the efficiency of the demand side. It’s a bad idea to rub the genie’s bottle when you’re sure to get burned, and there are safer alternatives.