Sunday, 25 August 2013
Fukushima in the News Again!
“People have an irrational fear of radiation.”
“No one died (from exposure to radiation).”
“... in terms of a nuclear accident it showed what people can do in very trying circumstances ...”
“All the press focused on ... was a reactor puffing steam.”
“the material that has been emitted from
Fukushima is not going to create long-term
“... there is nothing that happened there which should stop us having a nuclear ambition in
"The Chinese are fortunate in having an authoritarian government—they can just build their reactors without having to be concerned about opposition."
decision (to phase-out nuclear energy) was influenced by public opinion ...
(not evidence and facts).”
Fukushima) was not another Chernobyl.”
“Our reactors are different …we have designed in features which means we would not be able to have the same event as happened in
“Ratings of nuclear disasters that place
on a par with Chernobyl
Welcome to the lunatic asylum that is the modern world of science, technology and engineering! But why the collective denial of actual events? Why the attempt to downplay what was, without doubt, one of the most important events for the future of society in the 21st century? Why do scientists and engineers want people to believe that the
Fukushima disaster was not really a
significant event? Why the contempt for democratic process and public opinion?
Why this authoritarian, experts
know best approach?
Why the … it can’t happen here mindset? Does the answer
lie in an alignment of science and engineering with powerful economic vested
interests? Is this evidence of lack of fitness for purpose? These matters are
explored further in my short story, Encounter with a Wise Man and in my forthcoming first major novel
called Moments in Time.
Readers should note that
Fukushima was only the second civilian
nuclear accident to warrant the highest possible rating of 7 on the
International Nuclear Event Scale. The scale judges the severity of nuclear
events by their impact on people and the environment. The only other accident
to be given this rating was Chernobyl
(so much for reactors puffing stream!). For an explanation of what happened at Fukushima, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, read the IEEE's blow-by-blow account: 24 Hours at Fukushima.
The question is not whether there will be another accident on the scale of Chernobly or
but when and where it will occur. If you can reach an understanding of the
reasons underlying this statement then you will have taken the first steps
towards gaining insights into the core of what is wrong with modern science and
The overriding message is that, here in the
UK, there is a
need to for an ethical transformation among scientists and engineers. Self-evidently
at a global level, we also now need to start to develop a different approach to
science, engineering and technology, founded on different values to those that
currently shape the behaviour of people in these occupations. This is something
that I am beginning to explore in my writings, so there will be more about this
in future books, on my web site and in this blog. And if you think that a
different approach is not possible, that there is only one best way to
undertake science, engineering, and technology development – then you may have
fallen into the mental trap of social Darwinism.