First there was Fukushima. That catastrophe set the stage, showing how vulnerable a nuclear plants can be in the face of natural disaster. Now there are the two nuclear plants in Nebraska that are experiencing problems with flooding. Fort Calhoun has even had a protective berm fail. It’s offline (planned) and company and government officials are saying that everything’s under control. I’m going to take them at their word and hope that’s not a mistake.
Meanwhile, in New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory has been evacuated due to wildfires. There’s no reactor at LANL, but there are some nuclear materials stored above ground while awaiting transport to permanent storage. Officials say that the containers are built to tolerate heat greater than that which could be generated by a wildfire. Again, I’ll take their word for it.
Still, given the events we’ve witnessed this year, isn’t it time to go in a direction that does not rely on nuclear power? Shouldn’t we at least think about it? Even if everything is going to be okay this time, what happens the time that it’s not?