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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gundersen Does Japan P2

I didn't expect to be doing a second part, but I guess Arnie was busy while in Japan.  I'm not sure what this latest venue was, here's my post on an earlier press conference.

It's very long and slow due to the need for translations, so watch it at your own risk.

He comes on at about 11:00, and what a hero!  It's him against all the governments of the world who have conspired to hide nuclear accidents!:

It's pretty much his same old material and I think he deserves credit for his good points.  The first 30 minutes after he comes on is primarily about the diesel generator cooling pumps being the root cause of the meltdowns.  He notes there could have been up to 10 meltdowns.  He repeatedly praises the "brave heroes" of the plants, setting up the dichotomy of the individuals against the group (TEPCO & government, which are made up of individuals).

He criticizes the Mark 1 design and claims he predicted the next nuclear accident would involve that design.

At about the one hour mark (ha!), he stirs fears about a Unit 4 spent fuel fire and says there would have been hundreds of thousands of cancers if the fuel had burned, depending on the population density...yes, an important caveat.

He says the fuel is still in jeopardy of catching fire, but that's not true, the fuel has cooled over the last year and a half.

15 minutes later he shifts to the Unit 3 explosion, which he claims no containment could have contained.

His conclusion (surprise!) is that nuclear power is inherently unsafe.  "Unsafe" is a relative term, and he doesn't define it relative to anything else.  He says he knows that TEPCO knew a 4 meter tsunami wave could hit the plants but they didn't want to spend the money on improving the wall.  Does that make sense?  If money is what's driving decisions, how much would a wall improvement cost compared to a few meltdowns?  Clearly TEPCO didn't "know" that a such a wave would hit the plant with any certainty.  We all make financial decisions based on perceived risk.

He plays some games with statistics over the likelihood of plant meltdowns and this is something the pro-nukes do too.  The likelihood of a particular plant melting down is different than the likelihood of a meltdown anywhere.  The likelihood of a meltdown anywhere increases as the number of plants on the planet increases.

He does some more Q&A and then the video abruptly ends.

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