The Unanswered Call for a “Technical Fix” against core Melt Down by a Chair of the AEC

Irving Spiewak and Alvin M. Weinberg, Institute for Energy Analysis, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Quote: “The AEC chairman calls for a technical fix – which never came: “David Lilienthal, the first Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, in his most recent book, Atomic Energy, a New Start, published in 1980, recognized the precariousness of the nuclear option. He called on nuclear engineers to come up with a technical fix: A reactor that both friends and foes of nuclear energy would agree could not under any circumstances suffer the fate of the Three Mile Island 2 reactor – in short a reactor that was transparently and patently immune from a core melt. This he regarded as the key to a rebirth of nuclear. ” End auote

The call for a technical fix which has not come. The realization of the inherent risks within every reactor on the planet. The industry ever since has popped up with futurist visions of reactor designs which it claims fit its bill. The latest being peddled in Australia is that of a sodium cooled normally molten core reactor. Shades of Monju and Fermi, those sodium cooled disasters, is the best they can do? The need for a technical fix was known prior to the time Fukushima Diiachi was ordered and built. The reactors which performed to expectations in March 2011 were built against the backdrop of a raging debate in the USA regarding the reactors’ inherent dangers. Nuclear industry in Japan had dream run, opponents crushed and isolated from top down. The US plan to ring that nation with reactors for the strategic purposes of the USA, implemented in the 1950s, apparently in order to secure a backup supply of plutonium for the USA, came unstuck. The meltdowns of March 2011 were long feared by intelligent people, particularly those with access to AEC documents which prove the inherent dangers. The Japan – Iran relationship meanwhile casts doubts upon the security of Japanese plutonium. Nuclear material has gone missing in Japan and belatedly the IAEA acted and reported this fact.

Reactor design impacts only one segment of the nuclear fuel cycle. Japan cannot cope with the waste it now has. It is burning it in previously uncontaminated areas. When the broken reactors are finally, in 4 decades time, cut up and shipped away, what will Japan do with the pieces and other crap? Sell it to BHP, Roxby Downs?

IN the 1940s and 1950s, Australia sold uranium to Britain. It came back to us in the form of 12 atomic bombs and numerous plutonium explosive trials.

We sold uranium to Japan. Will the Fukushima Diiachi reactors rest in peace in the Australian desert, along with the still present residue of the 12 British bombs?

I will not forget that for weeks after the meltdowns, the entire world population of nuclear movers and shakers denied meltdowns were in fact occurring. And at the time the reactors were breached and emitting heavily, Japanese authorities sent nuclear evacuees on path of travel and destination that coincided with the path and deposition of the plume. The with holding of the SPEEDI data was an act of a government and an industry against the people of Japan.

At the time, world nuclear movers and shakers, including the British Chief Scientist, were claiming the situation was perfectly safe, that the Japanese industry was the best in the world, that Japanese reactors were run according to world best practice and Australian experts claimed the explosion of the reactors was “normal”.