I’ve said before that it was only a matter of time before another Three Mile Island. What I mean by that is that there would eventually be a major nuclear incident which did not kill anyone, did not put any lives in danger and did not actually show the safety systems on nuclear plants to be inadequate, but which did cause significant damage to the internals of the nuclear power plant itself.
The Three Mile Island incident was like this. Nobody died. Nobody was ever in any real danger. The plant experienced significant internal damage, but the systems held.
Despite this, anti-nukes turned this event into one of their single biggest rallying cry. Indeed, it was a turning point in nuclear power policy. To this day, the events are used as an example of why nuclear power is unsafe, despite the fact that nobody was hurt and no property outside the plant contaminated. Claims are made constantly that the events have lead to huge increases in cancer (they haven’t) and dishonest anti-nukes have claimed everything from candy bars to schools were contaminated.
As one might expect, they are having a field day with the events in Japan.
Pro-nukes can’t take this sitting down. There are some things we should have learned by now:
- Go on the offensive right away. Don’t take this sitting down. Get up in the faces of the anti-nukes and call them on their dishonesty. Shame them for instilling panic on a nation which is already dealing with tragic events. Drive hone the higher ethical authority that honesty brings. Pull no punches in showcasing their disgraceful media-whoring. Be sure not to forget the victims in this are the people of Japan who have endured the earthquake and call the anti-nukes for subjecting them to a campaign of fear.
- Don’t apologize.
- Focus on the fact that the damage is confined to the plant. Remember that this was an enormous earthquake that destroyed nearly every industrial structure and facility. The plant will take a long time to repair, but bear in mind that this is the real concern, that it will take time to repair and that in the meantime, there can be power shortages.
- Don’t forget that there are thousands dead from the quake and tsunami or that there’s an oil refinery burning. This is not a nuclear event. A nuclear plant may have been damaged, but this is not a nuclear disaster, it’s an earthquake.
- Be careful about saying that newer reactors are “safer” or have better systems. While this may be true, it can also imply that the technology is inherently unsafe.
- Don’t be afraid to be critical of the government for overreacting by evacuating the area.
- Avoid talking about a “disaster being averted” as that implies that the situation posed a threat of a disaster. Never acknowledge that any significant risk of a regional event existed, because it didn’t.
- Take on the most ridiculous claims of a global disaster or the possibility of a meltdown causing deaths as far as the United States. Show these claims to be part of a campaign of fear that reaches the level of absurdity.
- Don’t be afraid to call names. A liar is one who lies. If you lie, you’re a liar. When you catch someone lying call them a liar. It’s not an ad-hom attack, it’s a fact. They lied.
- Comment! Comment! Comment! There are a lot of news stories out there (thousands) and most of them online allow readers to comment. It’s critical that the alarmist stories do not go unchallenged and without solid information to back the up. We need as many pro-nukes to make as many comments on as many stories as possible. It’s a lot of work, don’t get me wrong. This is all the more true considering many news organizations require you to register to comment. However, it’s also very important. If you can refute these on a few sites, you’ve done something to really help. If we can get major news stories to contain several pro-nuke comments, we’ve already made a huge impact.
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 13th, 2011 at 11:22 am and is filed under Bad Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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