Environmentalists' hysteria over Fukushima

The way ahead for Australia

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The Japanese earthquake, one of the worst in recorded history, and the subsequent tsunami, caused extensive damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant, but its resilience is testament to the design of the reactors and the safety of their design. That, however, doesn’t stop hysterical eco-moonbats from jumping on the bandwagon and using Fukushima as an excuse to abandon nuclear power, despite the fact it is cheap, clean and safe, and the only realistic alternative to coal.

Ian Lowe is just such a person, with frequent appearances on these pages (see here and here). Lowe is the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation (which promotes Al Gore’s Climate Project, the aim of which is to disseminate misinformation on climate to the public) and writes in the Fairfax press under the headline “No nukes now, or ever”:

There are five good [?] reasons for Australia to heed the lesson of Fukushima. [The “lesson” of Fukushima is precisely the opposite of the one you’re about to give – Ed]

THE damage to the Fukushima reactors may have ended the risk of Australia going down the nuclear path. [Translation: “ended the dream of cheap, low emissions electricity” – Ed]

In fact, despite some uninformed commentary, there has been no renaissance of nuclear energy, only a resurgence of pro-nuclear talk.

In 2008 and 2009, the world retired 3000 megawatts of old nuclear capacity and only 1000 megawatts was brought on line. In the same two years, about 60,000 megawatts of new wind power was commissioned. [60,000 megawatts of unreliable wind generators probably generates less than the 1000 megawatts of reliable nuclear, and at many times the price – Ed]

While some enthusiasts claim new nuclear reactors would not have the technical limitations of Chernobyl or be built as dangerously as Fukushima, there will always be some risk of accidents. I was calmly sitting in a Christchurch coffee shop at lunchtime on February 22. We can be glad New Zealand does not have nuclear reactors.

We simply don’t know enough about Earth to be totally confident that any specific location is safe. An accident in a nuclear power station is a much more serious risk than a problem with any form of renewable energy supply.

Where do you start? Fukushima was built on an active fault, and was designed expressly for that purpose. When a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, there was no breach of the reactor cores, no significant radiation leaks, in fact it behaved exactly what it was supposed to. Contrast this with Australia, which has very little significant earthquake activity and massive reserves of uranium – the ideal location for nuclear generation. And to seriously compare nuclear power with expensive, hopeless, unreliable, inefficient wind is nothing more than a joke. Lowe is a climate alarmist, yet still cannot bring himself to admit that if you genuinely believe the AGW scaremongering, then nuclear is the only option for electricity generation.

The idiocy of his position is summed up in the final paragraph:

The nuclear debate should be a no-brainer for Australia. There is no case for us to commit to a dangerous, slow and expensive energy option when we have such plentiful sources of safe, clean renewable energy. (source)

Delusional doesn’t come close. He genuinely and honestly believes that solar and wind can replace baseload coal and gas! Solar, that doesn’t work at night, and wind that only works when the wind blows. Words. Fail. Me.

Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph, skewers all this hysteria:

The scaremongers were certainly out in force last week, with talk of “meltdown” and claims that the Japanese nuclear power plant emergency threatened a disaster “worse than Chernobyl”. There is, of course, no parallel with Chernobyl at all. The problem at Fukushima was not the explosion of a working nuclear reactor (all its reactors had been automatically shut down). The main problem was the lack of water to cool spent fuel rods. Even if the overheating rods caught fire, the worst-case scenario was never more than that some radioactive particles, given an unfavourable wind, might reach as far as Tokyo. There was never any chance that this could compare with Chernobyl, although even the long-term effects of that 1986 disaster, as it turned out, were very much less serious than scaremongers at the time predicted.

Read it all.


  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    He genuinely and honestly believes that solar and wind can replace baseload coal and gas!

    And he does believe in fairies…he does…he does…

    really truly……

    • “wind can replace baseload…” ??
      ROTFLMAO – check this out:

      • The Loaded Dog says:

        One of the best examples I’ve seen of blind ideology.

        Could the founding fathers believe, in their wildest dreams, the UTTER lunacy of this?

        Their stupid STUPID descendants reducing the power supply of their once great and mighty empire to…..

        fans on a hill…

        • Tragic.
          This is why the Chinese will take over and the Americans will be reduced to the poor white trailer trash of North America.

  2. “Memo to self … must join Tim Flannery’s basket weaving sessions in Balmain. Remember to bring tea cosy for my head.” Ian Lowe

  3. Greens doing their bit for the environment. Not!
    Saw this image of Bob donating his farm in Tasmania to the “Green Cause” and couldn’t help seeing the hypocrisy here.


    The elephant in the room! Old growth timber cut down, big woodheap for highly inefficient carbon producing dirty wood-fired heater. And is that smoke in the distance coming from the farm itself?

    Bob’s doing his bit for the environment- obviously his wood heap is coming from sustainable logging? No doubt the greenies who take up residence where will continue the traditions.

    Where are the renewable energy sources like solar cells, windmills and geo-thermal on this property? Perhaps there is a dam on the property which is used to power a turbine for electricity? Oh – No DAMS!

    Luckily Bob’s farm is miles away from the poor freezing Japanese folk reliant on dirty nuclear energy.

    The Greens have all the policy answers it seems.

    PS- Sorry if this post is in the wrong place Simon, but I couldn’t see where to start a new post?? Keep up the good work.

  4. Hayden Thring says:

    Hi, i just read this really interesting article about thorium powered nuclear stations. you should check it out. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45178.html

    Thorium has so many advantages for Australia you’d wonder why we hadn’t heard about it earlier…

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