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What You Won't Hear When Gregory Jaczko, Peter Bradford and Arnie Gundersen Take to the Podium in New York and Boston This Week

Tom Kauffman
The following is a guest post written by NEI's Tom Kauffman. Tom works in NEI's media relations shop and spent 23 years working at Three Mile Island, seven of those as a licensed reactor operator.

This week in New York and Boston, anti-nuclear activists have scheduled panel discussions designed to scare the public into pressuring politicians into shuttering local nuclear power plants.

The members of the panel are:
  • former NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko;
  • Peter Bradford, former NRC commissioner; and 
  • anti-nuke extremist Arnie Gundersen, an engineer who never lets science or facts get in his way.
So what can you expect to hear from this trio? We figure it's more or less a combination of the three following assertions: 1) The nuclear accident in Japan can happen here. 2) All U.S. nuclear energy facilities are unsafe. 3) All U.S. reactors should be permanently shut down.

On the other hand, there are some facts they are sure to ignore:
  • After more than a half-century (more than 7,500 reactor-years) of operation, including the accident at Three Mile Island, there is no evidence that any member of the public has been harmed by the radiation from any U.S. nuclear energy facility. 


SteveK9 said…
Scare-mongers do kill people. I wonder if anyone has ever asked Jaczko if his poor judgement and exaggeration lead to additional deaths in Japan.
Dogmug said…
SteveK9 -- In fact, there were several hundred people who died in rushed, panicked evacuations of the area, including old folks who were marched, cold and wet and ill, through debris and dirty water. NHK, the Japanese national broadcasting system, showed clips of the Cosmo Oil Refinery in flames and billed it as one of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Anti-nuke "activists" jumped to pile-on, scaring the population, and causing an even bigger public mental health problem than was anticipated. And there are people in the USA and Europe who are still not aware that there was an earthquake and tsunami.

Gregory Jaczko will not be lonely in that rogues' gallery! However, only TEPCO will be called to account. The company may deserve blame for many things, but not the FUD nor the panic.
Victor said…
Economics, not fearmongering, is the greatest threat to nuclear energy.
Anonymous said…
I agree that "Economics, not fearmongering, is the greatest threat to nuclear energy." The fearmongering is the greatest threat to the public health and safety just as yelling fire in a theatre.

Anonymous said…
When criticizing Gregory Jaczko consider that as Chairman of the NRC Commission, his expressed views and assessments of the Fukushima situation were provided to him by NRC managers and staff as the best information available at the time.

Fukushima merely served to highlight various existing design flaws, shortcomings, and inadequacies at older nuclear plants. Also consider that plants like Vermont Yankee, San Onofre, Keewaunee, are being shut down for economic reasons - when it became too expensive to fix all the compromised systems that are needed to keep the plants operating safely!

It would be a wise decision to shutdown all N-plants that have been in operation prior to the early '80s; both the NRC and the industry knows this as an absolute fact but keep coddling each through self-serving hypocrisy. The next accident will certainly precipitate the demise of the nuclear industry.
Garry said…
Consider this, bashing experienced engineers who do not agree with your deceit does not instill confidence in the NEI.

The Fukushima disaster demonstrates the old adage: "You may fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

The luck ran out for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. The nuclear managers and engineers played craps with the risk of unintended consequences, TEPCO and their nuclear programs leadership crapped out.

There were known engineering short comings which should have been corrected years prior to the disaster. Deceit will not change the failures of TEPCO at Fukushima-Daiichi. We can only hope and pray that the NRC and you folks in the NEI who are nuclear program managers and nuclear engineers will not fall into the same traps.

Learn the lessons and stop with the intentional, irrational propaganda; it serves no purpose except to cause folks who are concerned about human factors reliability to be more concerned and demand that nuclear power be shuddered all across our nation.

I'm not saying you do not have a right to your opinions and a right to express those opinions. I am saying you are being watched closely and there is a valid concern about your judgment. Particularly when engineers attempt to place blame on those who are critical of your deceit.

You might take a few moments and consider the facts above and these facts: 1) The disaster at Fukushima occurred due to a lack of oversight; 2) poor corrective action program implementation; 3) a failure to insure the seawall was the appropriate height and 4) all access points were water tight. 5) Greg Jaczko, Peter Bradford, nor Arnie Gunderson created the failures which led to the disaster.

You are creating a reason to not trust your judgment in your ridiculous bashing. A lack of sound judgment is a demonstrated personal reliability failure.

Garry Morgan
Anonymous said…
Victor said...

Economics, not fearmongering, is the greatest threat to nuclear energy.

Unfortunately, fearmongering is the cause of the economics. Where nuclear power is uneconomical, it is uneconomical due to arbitrary regulatory interference in an industry that when the first plant opened was far safer and environmentally sound than the industry it supplanted.
jimwg said…
Re: Dogmug said... "And there are people in the USA and Europe who are still not aware that there was an earthquake and tsunami.

Worst -- as you can witness -- the media often featured tsunami damage in conjunction with stories on Fukushima, almost(?) insinuating that the reactors somehow caused the havoc!

Re: Victor said..."Unfortunately, fearmongering is the cause of the economics."

Amen Victor. If the chemical and oil and gas industries were subject to regs strict and demanding as those on nuclear power they simply couldn't afford to be business in the U.S. Yet which has historically killed far more people and vaporized whole neighborhoods?

Blogger Garry said...
"The luck ran out for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. The nuclear managers and engineers played craps with the risk of unintended consequences, TEPCO and their nuclear programs leadership crapped out."

Let me tell you something, mister, because this is semi-personal to me. There are hundreds of widows and families in the southern U.S. alone -- not to even mention immediate burnt-out and whacked neighborhoods -- who wish their lost oil/gas/coal worker loved ones worked in an industry whose most major accident was as "deadly" as happened at Fukushima. Leave the FUD at home.

James Greenidge
Queens NY
Engineer-Poet said…
"consider that plants like Vermont Yankee, San Onofre, Keewaunee, are being shut down for economic reasons"

Yes, such as Vermont Yankee being ruthlessly discriminated against for power contracts and shut out of "fuel diversity" payments which were given to OIL-FIRED PLANTS.  If VY got a share of the diversity pot commensurate with its share of the state's total generation, it would be wildly profitable.

Nuclear power is disadvantaged by government policy, and nothing else.

"The luck ran out for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility."

This is true.  But unlike the (relatively small) chemical plant in West, TX or the town of Lac Megantic, nobody outside the plant was killed or even hurt.  Those people were lucky... until government screwed up (again) with its panicked evacuation orders.
Matte said…
I don't think anyone here is disputing you on the fact that TEPCO and in some part the Japanese regulator is partly to blame for the Fukushima meltdowns.

"5)Greg Jaczko, Peter Bradford, nor Arnie Gunderson created the failures which led to the disaster."

True, but they are using it for their own nefarious ends in order to defraud more people of their money, political influence and what not. Jaczko actually made it worse during the events, actions that actually cost lives which he has not been held accountable for.

Now, why did Jaczko have such poor judgement in this situation? It does not matter if he ha advisors feeding him false data or what not, he was still the chairman of the NRC! His actions speaks volumes about his incompetency (or worse!).

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