How not to respond to the Japanese disaster - 3)

By jumping to premature or downright false conclusions about the relevance of the accident to Nuclear power in Britain.

The earthquake which has just hit Japan was the fifth-worst ever recorded. It was 130,000 times more severe than the worst quake ever recorded in Britain.

We do not know, and will never know precisely how many people have died in this terrible disaster, but it appears likely to be over ten thousand.

And among those thousands of deaths, how many are directly attibutable to release of radioactivity from the nuclear power stations affected by the earthquake?

So far, none.

By all means let us review the vulnerability of all our installations - not just nuclear ones - to every natural threat they might realistically face. (And in the UK, that doesn't include Richter 8 plus earthquakes.)


Tim said…
But it does include possible terrorist attack.
Chris Whiteside said…
I could quibble about whether terrorist attack is a "natural" threat but there is an issue here.

Obviously we do need to have protection in place against that possibility and must not get complacent about it - though the same could be said of any other major facility - it would be far easier for terrorists to cause a disaster by attacking an oil refinery, for instance.

We've had nuclear power in this country for more than fifty years without a successful terrorist attack on a nuclear facility. That's mainly thanks to the work of the CNC (Civil nuclear constabulary), the special nuclear police force which protects the industry.

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