Nuclear Power, Both Sides: The Best Arguments for and Against the Most Controversial Technology

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Michio Kaku, Jennifer Trainer
W. W. Norton & Company, 1983 - History - 279 pages
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With over half the American public living near a reactor, nuclear power is one of the most urgent issues of contemporary life. If you read one book about nuclear energy, this should be the one. In twenty-one provocative essays, those who have shaped the course of nuclear power substantiate their views and set forth refutations of their opponents' views.

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In light of the Fukushima nuclear accident / disaster, the contributors are remarkably prescient in predictions of what could happen. With the exception of significant numbers of direct radiation deaths, almost everything else came true,and all the assurances of the nuclear proponents are shown to be faulty, all this back in 1983
Michio Kaku became one of he most quoted scientists on news television on the event in 2011.
86: Safe enough
in 1957 the AEC thought that a core meltdown and major release of radioactivity were so improbable once in a million reactor years that the average risk was virtually zero
Second Thoughts Jan Beyea, National Audobon Society
should just ONE major accident occur over the next thirty years - an accident where millions of curies of cs-137... are released a vapor into the atmosphere - then the total damage .. would make nuclear a questionable bargain
If such an accident occurs, then all assurances of the .. will turn out to have been lies.. resulting contaimination would remain for at least a century as a historical monument to technological hubris...
defence in depth.. but is it enough to prevent all catastropic accidents?
100: dangerous radioactive elements boil off into a vapor. human error these vapors could escape through values (like a deliberate venting??) in such a case the four-foot thick walls would prove useless.. (Fukushima reactors were deliberately vented AFTER fuel had melted down)
another scenario migh be that the pressure of steam and other gases .. ruptures the containment building.. breaking seals or forcing a crack (or blowing the walls and roof sky high - Ian Goddard theorizes massive unit 3 explosion was a steam explosion. Suppression pool was no longer effective)
boiling water reactors are able to handle even less pressure than BWRs and are EXPECTED TO FAIL IN 90 PERCENT OF ALL MELTDONWS .. Rasmussen report (3 out of 4 buildings blew up, including unit 4 which was not even officially operating)
..buidup of hot gases may take several hours, which might allow operators enough time to find ways to reduce the gas pressure, but a steam explosion could breach containment with little warning..large quantifies of steam bearing radioactive particles would rise high in the sky.. triangular plume.. perhaps some gray smoke would be visible (exactly what happened unit 1 hydrodgen explosion, unit 3 steam explosion)
early deaths from radiation exposure could be kept to a minimum. My best guess is that only a few hundred people would be exposed to doses above 500 rems which would kill them in a month. (official estimates at Fukushima is zero, possible that 2 or 3 deaths worker deaths, Chernobyl offical count was something like 30 in first month) Beyond ten miles .. no plans esxist to evacuate.. at least amillion could be exposed (100,000 evacuated, millions living in areas with significant contamination)
.. materials released.. far beyond evacuation radius.. eventually contaminating land perhpas hundreds if not thousands of miles from the reactor.. many people within thousands of square miles of the accident site would evacuate the area (that's situation at Fukushima)
months after.. restrictions would have be placed on consumption of food from contaminated food.. milk 1000 miles from site.. water supplies polluted.. (water supplies so far ok, but much food and tea all the way down to Tokyo cannot be sold or consumed)
large meltdown ... property claims up to $17 billion (Fukushima estimates are much higher)
design goal 1/1Million per reactor year.. probabiliy of meltdown was actually one in 20,000 reactor years..
the fact that the rasmussen report showed
that the original one in a million reactor years
figures was too high, combined with the
fact that the report itself is ten times
too optimistic leads me to believe that a serious accident is 500 times more likely than was originally predicted by the industry. As a result I conclude that a meltdown in the next decade or two is highly likely. (Fukushima happened about two


A Brief History
Underestimating the Risks Karl Z Morgan
Protecting the Public Allen Brodsky
George Orwell Understated the Case
Exaggerating the Risks Bernard L Cohen
Reactor Safety
The Industrys Worst Enemy Ralph Nader
On the Road to Recovery Tony Vetoed Jr
Living Without Nuclear Energy Vince Taylor
Beyond LightWater Reactors
A Golden Decade for Solar Energy?
Closing in on Fusion Stephen O Dean
The Next Generation
Where Do We Go From Here?

Second Thoughts Jan Beyea
Nuclear Waste Disposal
No Technical Barriers FredA Donath
Will It Stay Put? Robert O Pohl
Denuclearization Richard Folk
The Antinuclear Movement David Dellinger

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About the author (1983)

Michio Kaku was born January 24, 1947 in San Jose California. Kaku attended Cubberley High School in Palo Alto in the early 1960s and played first board on their chess team. At the National Science Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he attracted the attention of physicist Edward Teller, who took Kaku as a protégé, awarding him the Hertz Engineering Scholarship. Kaku graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a B.S. degree in 1968 and was first in his physics class. He attended the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in 1972 and held a lectureship at Princeton University in 1973. During the Vietnam War, Kaku completed his U.S. Army basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and his advanced infantry training at Fort Lewis, Washington. Kaku currently holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics and a joint appointment at City College of New York, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he has lectured for more than 30 years. He is engaged in defining the "Theory of Everything", which seeks to unify the four fundamental forces of the universe: the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, gravity and electromagnetism. He was a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and New York University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and American Men and Women of Science. He has published research articles on string theory from 1969 to 2000. In 1974, along with Prof. K. Kikkawa, he wrote the first paper on string field theory, now a major branch of string theory, which summarizes each of the five string theories into a single equation. In addition to his work on string field theory, he also authored some of the first papers on multi-loop amplitudes in string theory. Kaku is the author of several doctoral textbooks on string theory and quantum field theory and has published 170 articles in journals covering topics such as superstring theory, supergravity, supersymmetry, and hadronic physics. He is also author of the popular science books: Visions, Hyperspace, Einstein's Cosmos, Parallel Worlds, and The Future of the Mind.

Jennifer Trainer is a writer and editor.

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