Monday, March 28, 2011

Fukushima Fear

Such headlines on these pages — Sea near Fukushima contaminated. Radiation 1,250 times over safety limit — have prompted an esteemed reader to counter with this article by Lewis Page — Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate — to which Hirose Takashi might respond by asking, "[I]f you are so sure that they're safe, why not build [nuke plants] in the center of the city, instead of hundreds of miles away where you lose half the electricity in the wires?" — What They're Covering Up at Fukushima.

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Blogger Francis Xavier said...

Are nuclear plants really built hundreds of miles away from their markets?

Not near me, or anywhere I know of.

And even if that were the case, where such plants are sited is a matter of politics, of having access to plentiful water for cooling, and of having a community willing to live under a constant steam plume.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Lucille said...

This is a map of nuclear plants in the United States, and they are overwhelmingly not built in the most sparsely populated parts of the country. There are almost none located in the Rockies.

Likewise, here's a map of nuclear plants in Japan:

As is the case in the U.S., they are quite close to the more populous areas of the country. The vast majority are in southern Honshu; only one is located in Hokkaido.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Lucille said...

Also, re: building plants in city centers? There are a variey of other factors that come into play, including the potential commercial value of land and NIMBYism (which can be either rational or irrational, depending on the topic in question), that may come to play when it comes to deciding where to build facilities like power plants.

12:06 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Valid criticisms of Mr. Takashi's argument, but my opposition to nuclear power is economic as well as ecological. There's no way it could exist in a free market, as private insurance would never cover it.

Let markets decide energy costs, and let consumers adjust accordingly. People will waste less if energy costs more. The devolved ecotopia many lefties dream of might only be possible by getting the State out of the economy.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Francis Xavier said...

One could also argue that in an absolutely free market, there would be no state obligation to purchase private insurance.

At that point, however, my Libertarianism has stopped.

Perhaps the Japanese are soft Libertarians, as insurance is obligatory, but safety checks upon which reasonable people would insist, are not. ;)

The shame is that, here too, those who play by the rules must see their reputations suffer grievously because of those imbued with the Kamikaze spirit, who didn't.

9:37 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

"Perhaps the Japanese are soft Libertarians..." Quite funny!

2:54 PM  

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