Phoronix 2011 Chernobyl Nuclear Tour
Phoronix: Phoronix 2011 Chernobyl Nuclear Tour
Last April I toured the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site and areas like the Red Forest and Pripyat within Chernobyl's Zone of Alienation. It was an incredibly fascinating trip and ever since returning I've still wanted to go back to spend more days around Chernobyl. All of the recent nuclear coverage and mentions of Chernobyl in the news due to the unfortunate events taking place in Japan (and US / European news media and politicians now over-reacting about nuclear energy concerns), has only made me want to go back sooner. Judging by traffic in recent days to last year's Chernobyl photographs, there's lots of other people interested too. So it may be time to revisit this interesting travel destination...
Media over reacting??
I am sorry, but have to react on this. What do you mean by the media is over reacting on this? Together with Chernobyl this incident clearly shows that nuclear power is NOT a sustainable option. What I do not understand about all this pro nuclear lobby is how you can minimize the nuclear risk? What else has to happen to proof otherwises? Remember that risk equals the chance of something going wrong multiplied with the consequence. Well, the chance of something might be lower than a plane crashing (which actually might be wrong, but just for the sake of the argument), but the consequences are...well you witnessed that first hand.
The media is overreacting. And since sensationalism is the favorite subject of the media these days, well, we can all see it now. What happened in Japan is an unfortunate event, but it is not the rule. Nuclear power is viable option for power solutions. It´s just that, as they say, shit happens.
I guess you meant that. In case I missed some irony, ignore me.
Originally Posted by Melcar
Of course media is taking sensations as welcome events since they earn money with them. But, how many times have you heard nuclear power is save. Or "only old reactors are problematic - not the ones build state of the art.".
If ANY OTHER powerplant suffers from "unforeseen circumstances" it explodes and perhaps some people die. In Tschernobyl the Ukraine spends 5% of its GDP just because of the catastrophe. Many thousands of people died and 800 000 hectares (= 1 976 843.05 acres) are still not usable for agricultural use. 30km around the reactor are restricted area. But people living today "near" the area still suffer from multiple diseases.
This IS a catastrophe in Japan and if not every country thinks about changing their future plans for power plants... Well who cares about our children anyways...
I agree that the media are passionate about sensationalism. But honestly, how can you say this is an unfortunate event? Do you even realise how serious the situation is? Can you even begin to imagine what the consequences already are? Or what could happen if it keeps going bad? Mind you, things are far from being under control! Shit happens yes, but there are viable alternatives to nuclear despite what the nuclear lobby would likes you to believe. And of course, for things to change you need investments. Do you know how much was invested in the nuclear roll out? So the nuclear is cheap is a false argument. Can you tell me what nuclear costs if you include Chernobyl and now Japan? What's the value of a few thousand of lives?
Japan is not the only country with nuclear power plants on earth quake territory. Further, what will happen in, lets say, 10-20 years with all those power plants very close at sea? With the sea level rising each year considerably, there might be some serious problems coming up. You know how cheap nuclear will turn out to be when we need to secure those sites?
What if the government is not able to secure nuclear waste any more in 300 years? Sure, not my problem. Etc etc etc....
the media isn't overreacting. Maybe some, but overall it's a rather rational viewpoint (but I read not much US media about the event, rather Spiegel Online, bbc, reuters...). And some conservative politicians only tell their electors that they will shutdown old reactors for a while until they are sure that they are safe (e.g. German government). After the elections are over they could easily change their mind, because the atom lobby is much stronger than the interests of the people.
The situation can still get considerably worse. At least for Japan.
The risk with nuclear power plants will surely not decrease in the next few decades. More nuclear power plants, more cyber war activities like stuxnet, maybe terrorism (old nuclear power plants would not withstand airliners), more nuclear waste etc. But I would agree that on terrorism media is often overreacting. Things like terrorism are very trivial if we look to Japan now with it's earthquake+tsunami+situation at Fukushima I. The worst case scenario didn't happen yet with Fukushima I. All the best to the Japanes! The situation is very serious.
Yes, of course. The current consequences: costly cleanup near the of the power plant site, probably a small restricted area around the plant and basically that's all. Well, maybe some residential buildings will require cleanup.
Originally Posted by Davidovitch
Considering that this has happened with old reactors (older than Chernobyl) and after the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, I'd say nuclear power so far looks OK.
It looks like things are getting calmer now (as reactors are cooling down) and probably the extent of damage won't grow.
And certainly, cutting its use completely is NOT a good decision "for the people".
I also feel compelled to comment on this: I find it just plain revolting to see someone using the disaster which struck Japan as an opportunity to advertise the "it blew up real good tour to chernobyl" and talk about the "media and politicians overreacting" as if it was a fact as plain as the sky being blue! To me, this is the cynical statement of someone who, despite obviously having seen at least a small part of the consequences of chernobyl first hand has failed to realize the consquences of such an "unfortunate event".
I am a physicist and wasn't a strict opponent of nuclear power before (at least not as a transitional technology until alternative power sources like solar, wind or nuclear fusion are able to satisfy our needs), but I am completely horrified by the way this disaster is steadily growing out of control in the hands of one of the most technically advanced nations on this planet --- probably like most people, I always thought the remaining risk was essentially fully under control and a damaged reactor could still be shut down for good. Now, I am starting to feel convinced that we must let go of this technology immediately, no matter how high the economic costs of switching to alternative sources and saving power are --- no matter how small the risk of an accident is, the risk of thousands slowly dying over decades from the consequences of radioactive fallout is not worth it. Oh, by the way, Michael, the fact that you could visit this site at all without fatal consequences is the result of the work of hundreds of thousands of workers who risked their life cleaning up the mess after the "accident", many of them which are dead or dying by now (google for "liquidators" if you didn't already know about them).
My deepest condolences go out to the people who have lost their homes and relatives in Japan, and I hope that there isn't another nuclear disaster like chernobyl still coming on top of the already disastrous events.
And this IS overreacting we're talking about.
Originally Posted by DirtyHairy
By the same logic, we must give up ALL the technology. Cars kill literally a million of people each year while injuring more than fifty millions. So we must get rid of cars RIGHT NOW!
I presume that you're volunteering in joining the workers who have to clean up the site, right? And you'll surely be willing to switch places with someone living in the fallout area, after all, it's only cancer, right?
Originally Posted by Cyberax
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