At the end of April, former Department of Energy official Robert Alvarez sounded the alarm about the safety of the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit #4 (click here for his piece from the Huffington Post). Here at NEI, we've long been familiar with Alvarez's position on the disposition of used nuclear fuel, and it's safe to say that not only do we disagree with his assessment, we also believe that it is needlessly alarmist.
We're not the only ones who have said that, something that's become abundantly clear in recent weeks as independent bloggers have decided to take on Alvarez on their own initiative. The first to step to the plate was Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat:
One of his (Alvarez's) favorite rhetorical strategies is to total up the mass of material at a nuclear site and then make the assumption that all of it will blow up through some mysterious and unspecified mechanism spewing its contents far and wide. This is a great stuff for a B- movie on the SciFi channel, like an imaginative idea for a script of Mega-Shark meets Atomic Octopus, but it doesn't match reality.Yurman was quickly followed by Rod Adams over at Atomic Insights. Rod even went so far as to record his own video rebuttal:
These articles are highly deceptive. The occurrence of a cataclysmic release of radioactive material as surmised is hinged upon the occurrence of so many statistically impossible events that it is certain to be a practical impossibility. Since the assertions continue to gain a wider audience, however, it is necessary to examine them and make a realistic assessment of their likelihood.Please take the time to read the rest right now. Once you finish that, be sure to stop by The Neutron Economy for a great followup piece.