RE: Kyoto

From: Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 09:05:15 EDT

  • Next message: Jonathan Clarke: "Re: Kyoto"

    That Chornobyl was a disaster of enormous magnitude is an understatement.
    Yet to tar all nuclear power plants with the same brush is not warranted,
    IMHO. The fire at Chornobyl was caused by human error, compounded by the
    fact that, like the UK Magnox reactors, the moderator was graphite, not
    heavy water, like the CANDU reactors in Canada or light water in US
    reactors. To compound the problem even more, the RBMK reactors (the ones at
    Chornobyl) did not even have a proper concrete containment "dome" around
    them. Just as we don't equate all chemical plants with the one in Bhopal,
    India, we should not put all nuclear reactors in the same category.
    As to "cancers and deformities," as far as I am aware, it is not at all
    clear that these are due to the Chornobyl accident which only claimed very
    lives, not the thousands that the media trot out at the slightest mention of
    nuclear power. Yes, there was an increase in thyroid cancer, but that is
    one of the easier cancers to treat. Much of the health problems in Belarus
    and Ukraine are due to poor living conditions and poor health care. Trouble
    is, we have no baseline data that tells us what the incidence of "cancers
    and deformities" were before the accident. If your daughter has any hard
    evidence that these cancers and deformities were caused by increased
    radiation and not as a results of poor diet and poor health care, I'd like
    to see that. In fact, many organizations would be interested to see these
    These issues are not nearly as complex as one would think. Nobody in his or
    her right mind would want to build a RBMK-type reactor anywhere (even the
    Romanians have chosen the CANDU reactor) and, therefore, any comparison is
    To me, the choice is quite simple and quite clear: if we are going to go
    along with the Kyoto Protocol, we can either make do with much less, or go
    the nuclear energy route, or have a combination of both. I doubt very much
    that windmills will be able to take up the slack (even though I grew up in
    the land of windmills ;-) )

    -----Original Message-----
    From: M.B.Roberts []
    Sent: Saturday April 21, 2001 7:32 AM
    To: george murphy; Vandergraaf, Chuck
    Cc: acg;
    Subject: Re: Kyoto

    I dont think those in Belarus and around Chernobyl would agree with all
    their cancers and deformities.
    My daughter visited Belarus las t october and was horrified that deformed
    babies were so common due to Chernobyl and were then given to orphanages.
    However these issues are so complex that I dont think one can come out with
    quick answers

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: george murphy <>
    To: Vandergraaf, <> Chuck
    Cc: 'M.B.Roberts' <> ; acg
    <> ; <>
    Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2001 12:41 PM
    Subject: Re: Kyoto


    "Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:

    No, Michael, IMHO, you are not too green. Kermit the frog said "It's hard
    being green." I would say that it difficult to be too green!

            But it is easy to be ignorantly green. Note, e.g., the opposition
    of many self-described greens to any form of nuclear power which (as Jon
    points out) could make a big dent in greenhouse emissions.

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