‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Is Nuclear Power Safe?

A fierce debate has started over on the Guardian blogs concerning the safety of nuclear power. Helen Caldicott responds to George Monbiot's claim that nuclear power is safe.

Caldicott writes that nuclear apologists, such as George Monbiot, have misled and misinformed us over the risks of radiation, and 'at worst distort evidence of the dangers of atomic energy.' (11/4/2011).

Monbiot has asserted that the Fukushima emergency enabled him to 'stop worrying' and come to 'love nuclear power'. He believes that the fallout from the Japanese disaster needs to be set in the context of other harmful alternatives to energy production, and that atomic power must remain 'part of the mix.'

One of the main problems with nuclear power is that when it goes wrong it does so much harm to organic life and disrupts agriculture and fisheries over decades, or longer. Carbon based fuels, even though they may cause serious problems for human communities around the world, at least run with the grain of creation in that carbon dioxide is a natural part of the eco-system. I don't think nuclear is really the sustainable solution to a low carbon energy mix. 

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