Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Defense Of Atomic Energy

The letter below was sent to Milwaukee's "alternative", weekly and far left newspaper in response to a column opposing atomic energy plants.
2321 South 82 Street
West Allis, WI 53219


Being an honest conservative I do read the columns in your paper with the intent of balancing out input from other, much more "right wing", sources. Who knows? Someday, I might find myself or my sources in error and change my views and resultant actions (eg Voting).

Yet, Mr. Joel McNally's ongoing parade of ignorance as to almost any subject he discusses has done nothing to encourage my ongoing efforts to view the world and its people in a fair way.

In your most recent (August 14-20, 2008) issue Mr. McNally's "Croaking Canaries" presents his considerable (Paraphrased quote) "subtraction from the sum-total of human knowledge" in the areas of terrorism and of nuclear-power engineering.

Your readers, editors and (Most specially) Mr. McNally should remember the following.
1. The movie "The China Syndrome" was fiction and should not be put up as an example
for discussion of scientific or engineering topics any more than the radical and
unqualified exponents of the "twin towers as USA sponsored sabotage" fools should
override the best engineering minds of this and other nations.
2. The Chernobyl (The Ukraine) nuclear disaster was an almost classic example of
SOCIALIST engineering, design, lack-of-proper-controls and bureaucratic stupidity
considered inferior even at that time.
3. The Three Mile Island incident probably released less radiation than too many the coal powered power plants do today.
4. I have not read Mr. John Fuller's "We Almost Lost Detroit"; But, that author's prior
dedication to the supernatural and space-aliens (And lack of apparent engineering
background) leads me to wonder why anyone would use that as a base-line for a
reasoned discussion of nuclear power plants. {We still have Detroit--Damm it!]
5. The engineering of modern nuclear power plants (In such places as Japan and France) do allow of minor fires and, perhaps, very minor radiation leaks----Which have all been quickly and safely contained.
6. The nature of such plants' reactor vessels are now such that I doubt that even a "9/11"style Islamic terrorist attack would crack them and cause a melt-down.
7. The real and acknowledged great terrorist attack targets are oil refineries and, mostof all, those ships which move Liquid Petroleum Gas on the seas and into our ports.
8. As a practical matter, the real terrorist threats are: The level of violent Black-on-Black crimes in most urban settings; The growth in power of largely Latino gangs flowing out of Latin-America, through California and into the rest of the USA; And, the instant jihads of such Muslims who suddenly decide to attack "the unbelievers" as Mohammed Taheri-Azar who has been convicted of attempted murder by his driving a sports-utility vehicle into a crowd at the UNC campus OR the highly educated and well paid Muslim doctors who attempted to blow up the Glasgow (Scotland)
air port.

I do look forward for your many well written (If far "to the left") columns; But, find Mr. McNally's deviation from reality well beyond even my tolerance.

Sincerely yours,
James Pawlak

PS---As usual, please do forward this note to Mr. McNally, along with a book on
engineering principles and instructions for self first aid in case of stroke.


Hermione said...

Are you aware of the new multimegawatt size nuclear reactors being built and/or designed now and planned to come online within the next 40 years. Basic idea is a sealed box about the size of a semi producing enough power for a small city and good for about 30 years. At which time it's disposed of and a new one brought online. Safe, nonproliferant and cheap (relatively). Some of the ones being built right now aren't all that safe or nonproliferant but that will change within the next few years. Good article on it in New Scientist of August 2nd.

James Pawlak said...

Thank you Hermione! I saw a small version of this on TV in use in Alaska OR the Canadian far North where the People were well beyond any possible power line access.

I am curious as to why this is not better known.

Shepherd Express said...
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