Journal de bord

mardi 15 mars 2011


Toyoma, Miyagi

Toyoma, Miyagi - 登米町 (Mark Baker/AP Photo).

Natori, Miyagi

Natori, Miyagi - 名取市 (Kyodo News/Reuters).

Higashimatsushima, Miyagi

Higashimatsushima, Miyagi - 東松島市 (Kyodo News/Reuters).

Ōtsuchi, Iwate

Ōtsuchi, Iwate - 大槌町 (Damir Sagolj/Reuters).

Rikuzentakata, Iwate

Rikuzentakata, Iwate - 陸前高田市 (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters).

1. Le 15 mars 2011,

Très belles photos, une amie japonaise est encore en attente de nouvelles de sa famille depuis la france… Angoisse, et sentiment d’inutilité.

2. Le 15 mars 2011,

elles sont très tristes, surtout, je trouve.

Blah ? Touitter !

The Big Nuclear Debate

As any sane person would point out, now certainly isn’t the time to have a wide-scale debate about civil nuclear policies. Decade-long policies should not be decided in the middle of a day-to-day disaster…

Unfortunately, that is not how some people see it: the debate is already happening. I have no particular animosity against those die-hard anti-nuclear types who have seized on the occasion for their own political purpose, as I know they sincerely mean well. I do certainly find it distasteful when any side uses the emotion generated by such a tragedy to advance points of questionable relevance: if anything, it’s also a bit insulting when reports of anti-nuclear demonstrations trump reports on actual earthquake/tsunami-related fatalities on the front page of German newspapers (yes, I am looking in your direction, Spiegel).

Now, since we are having that debate. Allow me to raise one single point, based on very easily verifiable facts:

[…] So far, all serious nuclear accidents in history have involved older containment models. Some of the newer models currently operating all over Japan have been doing fine through numerous earthquakes, including the last one.

OK. Now, the million-becquerel question: if Mark-1 containment models suck so much and if there’s been so many cool new advances in safety ever since, how come any of these antiquated models are still running and haven’t long been replaced?

Part of the answer is of course the universal instinct of governments, the world over, to cut corners and pinch yens on whatever doesn’t have enough immediate populist appeal. Incidentally a very reasonable argument against trusting anybody in such a critical area as commercial atom-tingling.

But a much larger, and equally universal, reason for the lack of a sensible upgrade policy everywhere is, surprisingly enough, anti-nuclear pressure. Provocative as this may sound, it is actually quite obvious: upgrading an outdated reactor model usually means decommissioning it entirely and building a new one next to it.

[…] And there you have it: because there are arguably few other realistic alternatives at the moment (I’ll grant you this is a much wider debate) and because it is just much easier for politicians to appease all sides by relying on old nuclear plants but pledging to abstain from new construction, the world is riddled with highly dangerous, antiquated nuclear power plants, leading to disasters that could probably be avoided in many ways.

Dr Dave’s Blog : “The Big Nuclear Debate”.

1. Le 15 mars 2011,
2. Le 15 mars 2011,
Karl, La Grange

Les nouvelles neuves mais de loin

3. Le 16 mars 2011,

D’ailleurs je me demande quel jeu essaie de jouer la France dans cette histoire. Sans être particulièrement tourné vers la théorie du complot, il me semble que les organes politiques et nucléaires français sont extrêmement vocaux sur le sujet et étonnamment avec un son de cloche particulièrement négatif.

Par exemple NKM qui envisage une situation pire que Tchernobyl. Pourtant au niveau du risque humain la population a déjà été largement évacuée alors que rien de sérieux ne s’est passé alors qu’à Tchernobyl il a fallu attendre quelques jours pour évacuer des villes directement voisines de la centrale…

En attendant le site de l’IAEA a rendu l’âme…

4. Le 16 mars 2011,
Karl, La Grange

Air Canada plus fort que l’agence japonaise pour les tremblements. Nous apprenons qu’il y aura un tremblement de terre le 17 et le 18 mars

Blah ? Touitter !