Monday, March 14, 2011

Will The China Syndrome In Japan Affect The US?

Will The China Syndrome In Japan Affect The US?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I reside about thirty air miles (as the crow flies) from a huge east coast nuclear power plant.

I was here when the plant was built and when it was put online.

A few decades ago, I did a commentary, which I thought raised some reasonable questions concerning the safety of the plant.

It got the attention of the big wigs at company headquarters and their representative paid me a visit. The result was -- I granted them equal time to rebut my commentary – AND -- I got a private tour of the plant from the front gate to a point as close to the rector as a human being (without protective clothing, etc.) is allowed to go.

I remember as we were entering the plant proper we were in what I thought was a tunnel. I inquired as to where the tunnel led. The company rep enlightened me: It was not a tunnel we were walking in – IT WAS THE WALL WE WERE PASSING THROUGH!!

I thought about that experience today as I watched the scenes from Japan on Fox News Channel.

It really got my attention when I remembered that between my home and the aforementioned nuclear power plant there is a well-known earthquake fault. The fault, itself, is closer to the plant than my home, but it is there -- and frankly, it makes me nervous.

Now – I have been in that plant a couple of times, actually, and I am, today, a bit uneasy about its location.

The question is: If I am troubled by its proximity to my home – what about all the folks who have never seen a nuclear power plant, and certainly have never been inside one or seen movies and sat through lectures on how the things work, etc.?

Remember the movie: “The China Syndrome?” I saw it soon after its release. It was a 1979 thriller film that tells the story of a reporter and cameraman who discover safety cover-ups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady, James Hampton, Peter Donat, Richard Herd, and Wilford Brimley. The title refers to the concept that, if an American nuclear plant melts down, the core will melt through the Earth until it reaches China. (READ MORE HERE.)

That won’t happen. It can’t happen.

“The China syndrome becomes fictional in the hypothesis of it boring a hole from the United States to China, or any other part of the world. Most obviously it is impossible because the Earth's gravity would only pull it towards the core of the planet and no further. Furthermore, were the molten reactor fuel to reach the planetary mantle, the actual environmental effect would likely be low; the radioactive material would disperse by convection throughout the mantle, which is in any case kept hot by natural nuclear decay. However, it is likely that the uranium core would not exceed more than 10 meters of 'boring' due to natural passive safety. The surrounding ground beneath the reactor would absorb the heat and transfer its conductivity to the surrounding area, thus preventing the ground directly beneath the core from 'melting'. This manner of spreading heat convectively through the ground is proposed for use in General Atomics' Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor for regular operation and passive safety, which aims to eliminate the possibility of a meltdown.” (SOURCE)

In 2009 only about 20 percent of the electric energy used by the US was provided by nuclear power. We need more than that – a lot more than that.

However, after the world has seen the burning nuclear plants in Japan and the evacuations of people for miles around those burning plants, that alone will stop the building of more nuclear power plants, no matter how desperately they are needed, in America.

Humans are naturally afraid of things they do not understand. It is the nature of the beast. It is not a BAD thing. It has kept us alive since we first showed up on this planet. But it is also true that man’s natural fear of the unknown will be exploited by some of his fellow humans to assist in moving forward their agenda, whatever that agenda may be.

As I watched those pictures from Japan, I could not help but think of the environmentalists for whom nuclear power has been the biggest of all the “bogymen” since it first came on the scene. To think they will not exploit the Japanese misfortune to make it even more difficult to get a permit to build another nuclear power plant in America would be to deny reality.

These are the people who want to sell America on those ugly, UGLY, HUGE windmills and those pathetically poor solar panels.

Look. Unless you plan to use most of the land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains to set up miles, and miles, and miles, of 300 to 500 feet high towers with blades that span some 300 feet across -- and make a terrible (nearly incessant) noise- as far as the eye can see toward the horizon, and plop miles and miles of solar panels, maybe between the wind mills, you are wasting your time. The amount of energy America uses would wear those pitiful machines out in short order.

Remember; when the wind doesn’t blow the windmills produce no energy. When the sun doesn’t shine the solar panels produce no energy. Guest what DOES produce energy -- as a back up to those infernal machines when they go limp. Power plants fired by fossil fuels.

Without plentiful electrical energy America will slowly grind to a halt. Our standard of living in America is already declining as the American ruling class is forcing Americans to do less, produce less, and live with less than their parents – and soon -- even less than their grandparents.

The acolytes of the environmentalist religion have infiltrated our government and they intend to bring America to her knees. Unless they are stopped there is no question they will be successful in dragging American down to a Third World Country status in fairly short order.

I have no doubt they will use the unhappy misfortune of the people of Japan to aid them in what, in my opinion, is their nefarious work.

J. D. Longstreet

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