written by reader Having Our Yellowcake and Eating it Too: Paladin Energy

By lscherrer, December 28, 2011

Fukushima Daini proved that nuclear power is very safe.

That wasn’t a typo–Daini, not Daichi.

Fukushima Number One (Daichi) is the infamous reactor complex. Fukushima Number Two (Daini) is seven miles down the coast and was also hit by the earthquake and tsunami. (Please see this striking images of the tsunami at Daini: http://depletedcranium.com/dainipics.jpg )

Fukushima Daini is in cold shutdown with all reactors intact. The cooling systems were badly damaged by the tsunami but the backups worked. The biggest difference between the two complexes was the safer (and 10-year newer, Gen II) reactor and safety system designs at Daini.

The message from Fukushima Daichi is that older, poorly designed nuclear power plants may be unsafe around earthquakes and tsunamis. Newer designs are very safe when sited and designed properly, even under the extreme conditions of earthquake and tsunami.

That said, the fallout from Fukushima, both nuclear and political, has been staggering. As of December 2011 Japan has only 14% of its nuclear capacity online (although much of that is due to scheduled, albeit extended maintenance). Germany and Switzerland have renounced nuclear power and plan to phase it out completely.