Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Are We Too Cautious about Everything Nuclear?

According to an article in The Washington Post, we are:

I was recently invited to observe and offer advice during a revealing drill, spearheaded by the National Academy of Engineering, that tested how well information might be communicated to the public if a "dirty bomb" exploded in Washington. As I watched the interaction of real-life government officials and media decision-makers, I was struck by a glaring discrepancy: The rules for radiological emergencies are wholly inappropriate for such an event. They can change a relatively harmless incident into a life-threatening emergency. These rules apply not only to dirty bombs but also to any casualties involving nuclear power plants or their fuel.
Were the standards for radiological safety written by Arabists intent on removing competition for OPEC? They make nuclear reactors far more expensive and make cut-rate terrorism practical by turning a harmless release of radioactivity into an excuse to evacuate a city.

Besides, radioactivity might even be helpful.


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