What is your worst nighmare? If it is a commercial jetliner flying into one of Howard's 25 new nuclear facilities, then don't click the following link. :::[Greenpeace: Friday the 13th is here]
But if you are the type to be reassured by Andrew Bolt, who was on the ABC Insiders panel yesterday when the Greenpeace UK ad was aired for discussion, then fine. Click it. He rightly uses a peer-reviewed study (at last!) from 2002 to underline his point that America's nuclear power stations can withstand the 9,500 pound (4,309 kgs) impact of a Boeing 767-400 jetliner flying in at an assumed speed of 350 miles (550 kms) per hour and it "Would Not Breach Structures Housing Reactor Fuel".
The reason? They present a much smaller target than the WTC and the Pentagon so the combined force of the impacts of fueselage and engines is not fully transfered to the power station structure, which remains intact, protecting against radiation release.
If you ask me - well, they said that about the WTC, didn't they? That they would withstand a commercial jetliner impact. And still be standing. I trust that the scenarios modeled were accurate, but what if something outside those assumptions happened? The biggest Aussie back-yard bbq you'll ever see, that's what. I'm certainly not reassured by the capabilities of our government and allies to put the jihad djinni back in the bottle. Quite the opposite, in fact. While they are seemingly doing everything to train the next generation of al qaeda in the Baghad University of Blowback, and doing everthing else to roll-out their terror franchise globally, I just don't think this government should be trusted with building terrorist targets in 25 Australian cities.
Anyway, whether a 4,309 kg engine gets to penetrate the shell structure of a power plant or not, the terrorists achieve their aims by flying into them.
“Clearly an impact of this magnitude would do great damage to a plant’s ability to generate electricity. But the findings show, far more importantly, that public health and safety would be protected.”
Joe F. Colvin, NEI’s president and chief executive officer. :::[NEI]
Apart from the psychological king-hit we will suffer, will every life support system linked into that electric grid have long-term back-up generators? Will anything much at all?
I ask because it makes my point - if we are dependant on centralised non-renewable energy, we make ourselves targets. But I don't see terrorists seeking to take out your solar roof panels one-by-one to disrupt society.
Decentralised, renewable energy, whether off-the-grid, or selling excess capacity back into the grid, is the only way to go for a resilient, secure and safe energy source to take us into the future, for generations.
Other blogs on: Global Warning Climate Change Environment Science Nuclear+Energy Friday the 13th Nuclear Australia Greenpeace Energy