Dreams vs. reality

Written by  Urs Fitze

According to the emergency scenarios of the Swiss Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI, a nuclear disaster at a Swiss nuclear power plant could be dealt with by and large. People would be evacuated in a 20-kilometre radius, and the nightmare would be over in a reasonable period since only the rapidly decaying iodine-131 would be released. Given that neither the disaster in Chernobyl nor that in Fukushima even remotely corresponded to this fictitious scenario, serious doubts are raised. The probability of an accident of the highest category 7 on the INES scale is acknowledged by two truths: one is based on theoretical considerations, the other on past experience. In theory, a nuclear disaster can be expected around once every 500 years worldwide. In reality, two such accidents occurred with Chernobyl and Fukushima. When you take into account the number of operating years of all reactors in the world, then you would expect a nuclear disaster roughly every two decades. These very different scenarios challenge science's monopoly over interpretation, which is not even close to being able to assess the risk of accidents with a single voice. Today, science is as credible or uncredible as politics, which unfailingly bases its decisions on the seemingly near-sovereign truth of science. The risk sociologist Charles Perrow speaks of "a new breed of shamans, called risk assessors. As with the shamans and the physicians of old, it might be more dangerous to go to them for advice than to suffer unattended."

Charles Perrow, Sociologist and Organisation Theorist, USA: “Nuclear power plants should be banned.”

Sebastian Pflugbeil, German Society for Radiation Protection: “It’s downplayed over and over again”

The Magic of the Atom (1955)

  • Documentary (1955), supported by the US Atomic Energy Commission and the Atomic Energy Project: The Life close to Nuclear Power Plants is modern and future oriented, there isn't any danger, as everything is under control https://archive.org/details/MagicOfTheAtomPowerUnlimited1955

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