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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gundersen Does Japan

Arnie Gundersen at a Japanese press conference last week:


The first 20 minutes go like this...TEPCO and NISA (analogue of the U.S. NRC) shouldn't be managing the Fukushima cleanup, pick a different project management firm.  A board of independent experts (not IAEA) should oversee the firm.  Why?  Because something like this (the Fukushima cleanup) has never been done before.

Next he doesn't think that government energy cost estimates are accurate, but provides no evidence as to why they're not.

He promotes wind and solar power in combination with a smart grid.  He says this will be a challenge and an opportunity for the Japanese because.....it's never been done before.  He knows that with "Japanese engineering skills and manufacturing competence" that Japan can integrate the technology.  (Of course, integration is one issue, energy density is another.)

It's worry and concern when something nuclear has never been done before, but it's optimism and hope when promoting a non-nuclear endeavor which has never been done before.  Why couldn't TEPCO subcontract or hire others with the engineering skills and manufacturing competence assuming they didn't have it?  Would the folks work better together that way, as compared to if TEPCO was forced aside but also had to provide information to the p-m firm?  I'm just asking.

Then Arnie cherry-picks nuclear power as being subsidized, but doesn't account for the subsidies that go to other energy sources (I don't know how it plays out in Japan, but in the U.S. they are all subsidized or given special tax breaks).

I can agree with him that the Fukushima accident wasn't a unique result of the Japanese culture.  It wasn't so much the culture as the history (no recorded earthquakes that large previously in that region).

He doesn't want nuclear plants running unless we understand why some of the Fukushima explosions occurred in detail.  We may never know in detail.

Poor guy, if what he claims is true, much of what he told reporters in the past never made it to the press.

He calls it "censorship", yet probably no single person has gotten more press than him.  The irony.

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