Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bruce Nuclear and the Three Hour Tour


Bruce Power says it is ready to answer questions in Ottawa next week at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearing into its plan to ship radioactive waste on the Great Lakes. Two days have been set aside to hear questions and arguments about the plan to ship 16 decommissioned steam generators to Sweden for recycling. Bruce Power spokesman John Peevers says the proposal has to be put into perspective. He says there are about four grams of radioactive material in each of the 16 generators. He urges residents to listen to the experts, and not be swayed by opponents of nuclear power. The hearing is set for September 28th and 29th. A number of opponents also plan on attending the hearing.

So, I think of Gilligan, when I'm reading all this.  Ok class, time for another project in critical thinking.  This seems like a minor matter, the amount of radioactivity being shipped is less than a standard nuclear hospital cobalt device, which are always flung into metal scrap heaps.  And this bit of radioactivity is buried in tons of sealed steel, and is so tightly bound, and couldn't get you even if you were a Transformer and ate metal!

As well, no ocean-going vessel can possibly sink in the Great Lakes, where these huge lake freighters travel, which wouldn't last 5 minutes in the open ocean without cracking in two!

So why the big deal?  As the note says, nobody listens to the experts anymore.  What has happened?  This is true throughout the connected world.  When is the last time an expert hit you with some message?  Did you believe them?  Can you list political forces that might sway expert opinion?  What has happened in Canada with government expert advisors?  Is this a good thing?

I hope you come up with a very good report on this tendency.  :)

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