Why are you sure? Are you a nuclear engineer or a radiation scientist? I mean, who knows, it could be worse, but it doesn't seem that way right now.


According to NISA (the Japanese nuclear agency) the total radiation released into the atmosphere so far is 10% of Chernobyl estimates.

Now that will certainly rise, but the lack of an explosion means the situation is much different from the standpoint that there isn't radioactive debris over a large area that has to be dealt with. A lot depends on the speed at which current radiation leakage at Fukushima is dealt with - it has only been a month since the tsunami/earthquake that caused the event. In comparison, it was almost eight months from the Chernobyl accident until the completion of the "sarcophogas" cover, and even then a large area was permanently made into an exclusion zone. It's not clear at all how large an area will be off limits when Fukushima is contained.

Which is why I think it's premature to make Fukushima/Chernobyl comparisons. We just don't know right now what the long-term consequences will be and the international event scale is pretty vaguely defined when a release 10% of Chernobyl is considered an "equal" event.


Chernobyl didn't seem that bad in the beginning either. The Japanese media plays an outmost important role as they have to prevent a panic in Tokio, actually the worst thing which might happen and worse than a complete meltdown.

They've succeeded so far. Congratulations.

Well, the IAEA still only attributes a couple of deaths to Chernobyl.

The main consquences will be cancer, lies and more cancer and more lies. Belittlements included of course but what should we expect from a country massively dependent upon nuclear energy.

Just like the US.


Except the US isn't "massively dependent" upon nuclear energy. Nuclear provides a smaller part of US needs then in Germany, for example. So why is the US media more suspect then that in Germany?

This "holier then thou" approach you (and Newbrof) continue to take on nuclear energy completely ignores the reality of the situation in your own country. Pie in the sky belief in renewables fails to deal with your own reliance on imports from other countries. And the lack of nuclear power plants in Germany means nothing if there is an accident in France, Russia, Hungary, or the Ukraine - just a few of the nearby countries far more reliant on nuclear energy then the US or even Germany is. Even if you convince them (or pay them) to shut down their nuclear power plants, all that will mean is more competition for the imported natural gas Europe is so reliant on.

Germany is going to have to build a ton of expensive off shore wind turbines to make their energy budget balance. A ton. You already pay really high prices for electricity and German manufacturing isn't going to remain competitive if they have to eat those costs, meaning it will shifted to the average citizen instead. Your energy costs are only going to keep going up. Just how high a price are Germans willing to pay when they are already paying three times what the US pays and five times what Canada pays?

Here are a few of the immediate consequences:

In an interview on public radio, Rainer Bruederle, the economics minister, estimated the annual bill for the conversion at 1 billion to 2 billion euros, depending on the pace. The investment would be needed to build gas-powered plants, wind turbines and new high-voltage supply lines.

Closing all German nuclear power stations built prior to 1980 for three months could see around eight million tonnes of carbon pumped into the atmosphere if fossil fuel stations are used to fill the resulting energy gap, according to analyst firm Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.

SPIEGEL: Whenever power plants are to be shut down, the electric utilities warn of the dangers of supply shortages. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Teyssen: We don’t play around with dangerous situations. We have informed the Economics Ministry that there may be problems with grid stability following the planned shutdown of the nuclear power plants.

SPIEGEL: Why, exactly?

Teyssen: The grids are not designed to handle such a serious redistribution of loads. Major capacities will be eliminated in the south (of Germany) as a result of the power plant shutdowns. We lack the necessary power lines to transmit wind-generated electricity from the north. This could lead to massive problems in the grid, even power outages.

Have fun!

I'm all for the move towards more renewable energy sources, but it has to be done in a realistic way.


But think of the trees they're saving!


A >20% share is a massive dependency, no? Also I have no idea why the US media is more suspect but it is clear from reading this thread, that US citizens don't get the same amount of quality information regarding Fukushima, at least compared to European coverage. Maybe it has to do with good lobby work and the prestige the nuclear energy sector is still possessing in the US.

I'd rather pay the prognosticated EUR 0.05 on top of each kilowatt-hour than having a nuclear plant only a couple of miles from my home to be honest.

300 miles distance is certainly better than 30.

Well, the US is ruining its nature with all that cheap energy, just have a look at the Hover project and the consequences for the eco-system. I've also to pay a lot more for fuel for instance. Am I jealous? No, I'm not. At least we are more accustomed to realistic energy prices earlier.


Germans love trees. It is deeply anchored in our genes. That is why most of us hate Christianity. Before this idiocy we were worshipping trees. Early Christians cut them down. Just imagine the fascination of a millenia old tree!

Makes a lot more sense compared to worshipping useless, imaginary idols.


The US is at 20%, sure, but Germany is at 26%. Again, the "massive dependency" is more in your case then the US.

Well, the US is ruining its nature with all that cheap energy, just have a look at the Hover project and the consequences for the eco-system. I've also to pay a lot more for fuel for instance. Am I jealous? No, I'm not. At least we are more accustomed to realistic energy prices earlier.

I assume you mean Hoover Dam, and hydro is a renewable, no? As things go Hoover is considered a relatively low impact dam, considering all it did was a dam up a river flowing through a desert. And how is that more damaging to nature then hundreds or thousands of wind turbines off your coast, each of which will have be anchored into the seabed with cables running back towards land? I'm sure the environment will equally impacted at the very least.

And again, you ignore the imported energy dependency you are worsening by shutting down your nuclear plants. Somehow all the burning coal and natural gas means nothing as long as Fukushima doesn't happen in Germany. Not that it would, what with the lack of earthquake and tsunami risk, though that doesn't get factored into your thinking I guess. And somehow you are convinced that German engineering will solve the renewables problems while being unwilling to trust German engineering in your nuclear plants.

Oh, and by the way, the US is installing wind power turbines at a faster rate then Germany is at this point. And it will be cheaper because we have the open spaces to do it and will not have to rely heavily on expensive offshore turbine schemes.


when glaciers perish...will the river be renewable?


Depends on whether or not those rivers were fed by glacial melt (rather than just say, snow melt).

--- Alan


Hoover Dam for instance...fed by glacial melt?


Since a glacier is just a place where the snow never melts, the difference between glacial melt and snow melt is pretty irrelevant when it comes to a river. And its not like snow melt is the only source of the water that ends up in rivers.


It's not only about current percentages. Let's talk again about nuclear dependency in 2025.

Renewable, yes. At no ecological cost, no.

The Colorado seldom reaches the sea, the last time in 1993 if I'm not mistaken and water reserves are getting lower and lower. This isn't only a desert, this desert inhabits one of the most ridiculous cities mankind has ever built. You gonna have to love it nonetheless of course.

The sea is vast and can take a lot. Look how we're already harming her, tens of thousands of wind turbines are of her least concern for sure. When talking about Colorado it's about the loss of drinkable water, reserves are getting thin you know, especially in some desert megacity.

You still don't seem to get it, Sarkus. We have the oldest yet globally most save nuclear reactors here in Germany. If it is not an earthquake or tsunami, it might be a flood, a crashing plane and most certainly human error which could lead to a catastrophe over here. There aren't infinite uranium reserves available either, so we're only getting out earlier and solving the issues of the future already. If this means that we have to import nuclear energy until we have full independence so be it. We've to think farther. Someday and I think this day has already begun, the world will lust for our advanced technology.

They always do.



There was just a 4.8 on the SF Penninsula, which I interpret as the San Andreas fault just reminding everyone that it's been 105 years today since it was last very angry.


I think it was 3.8, which is confirmed by the USGS data.


Bah, I hadn't actually looked it up yet, only heard it secondhand. A 3.8 is like a truck driving past your house.


Yeah we felt it in the city; was extremely brief and yeah, felt like a rumble real quick and that was it. Aside from the fact that there weren't any trucks driving by (that lasted really short), you could easily mistake it for that. Second one of ones just like this since I've been here.

It's an interesting way of breaking up what's going on in the day. Usually it's like... you feel something, than was like... uh... what was that? Then people in your social networks start wondering if there was an earthquake. Then you think, yeah that was an earthquake! Then you start talking about it. Eventually someone quicklinks the USGS map and voila, a 3.8 right near Pacifica.

--- Alan


The whole "dogs = earthquake detectors" thing is a load of bull, though. Our office is full of dogs and they slept through the whole thing.

--- Alan


Even earthquakes know that you should let sleeping dogs lie.

Why is your office full of dogs?


Because it's a dog sanctuary?


Nah really, it's because we have a dog policy. So in our particular team/suite, we have maybe... 80 people and 6-9 dogs in this space normally on any given day.

--- Alan