The article currently contains the statement "All reactors built outside the former Soviet Union have had negative void coefficients, a passively safe design." This is untrue--the conventional CANDU reactor design has a small but positive void coefficient; see http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/ for details.The safety issue behind the term negative void coefficient is not explained, one of many information gapes in the "Nuclear Safety" article, yet according to the same article there is a conspiracy involving the government and the nuclear industry to withhold information from the public:
According to Stephanie Cooke, it is difficult to know what really goes on inside nuclear power plants because the industry is shrouded in secrecy. Corporations and governments control what information is made available to the public. When information is released, it is often couched in jargon and incomprehensible prose, which makes it difficult to understand.and,
Kennette Benedict has said that nuclear technology and plant operations continue to lack transparency and to be relatively closed to public view:In short the new "wickedpedia" article on nuclear safety runs a close second to the famous Onion satire, Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence. The most significant difference is that the Onion's humor was deliberate.
Monbiot's entire essay is a tour de force, and rather than quoting it, i will suggest that my pronuclear readers read it with pleasure, and that my anti-nuclear readers, read it as a call for repentence before it is too late.
I will mention Monbiot's subheadings as a hint of the treat my readers have in store. They are:
Double standard one: deaths and injuries
Double standard two: the science
Double standard three: radioactive pollution
Double standard four: mining impact
Double standard five: costs
Double standard six: research
Double standard seven: timing
Double standard six is a gem:
Last week I argued about these issues with Caroline Lucas. She is one of my heroes, and the best thing to have happened to parliament since time immemorial. But this doesn't mean that she can't be wildly illogical when she chooses. When I raised the issue of the feed-in tariff, she pointed out that the difference between subsidising nuclear power and subsidising solar power is that nuclear is a mature technology and solar is not. In that case, I asked, would she support research into thorium reactors, which could provide a much safer and cheaper means of producing nuclear power? No, she told me, because thorium reactors are not a proven technology. Words fail me.Aussie Green, Jim Green is appropriately appalled. As are, no doubt, many others of the faithful.