In the middle of a piece in yesterday’s New York Times, I ran across this:
“We can never say that that could never happen here,” said Anthony R. Pietrangelo, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main trade association. “It doesn’t matter how you get there, whether it’s a hurricane, whether it’s a tsunami, whether it’s a seismic event, whether it’s a terrorist attack, whether it’s a cyberattack, whether it’s operator error, or some other failure in the plant — it doesn’t matter. We have to be prepared to deal with those events.”
Reminds me of a story I heard about the press conference Edmund Hillary held after climbing Mt. Everest. Famously, he answered the question about why he wanted to climb the mountain with: “Because it was there.” The possibly apocryphal part is that one reporter whispered to another: “That’s why most people go around the damned things.”
Pietrangelo’s laundry list of what can go wrong with a reactor seems like a reason not to build anymore of them….
Here’s a link to the NYT story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/science/29threat.html?_r=1