Friday, March 18, 2011

The Other Danger From Nuclear Power

Earthquakes (Japan) are one risk; bad maintenance and human error (Tchernobyl) are another. But the third risk from nuclear power could prove even more lethal.

Interviewed in April last year, Charles Ebinger, Director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution commented on the,  “global nuclear renaissance”, here.


“The Chinese have 24 reactors under construction and another 100 planned. The Indians have very vigorous programs for the future; the Russians, there’s growing interest in the Middle East in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.”

“As we have more of these sensitive facilities potentially for what we call uranium enrichment and reprocessing, which are part of the fuel cycle, what you need for atomic civilian power, but once you have one or both of those technologies, you de facto have the capability of making a weapon. And I don’t think most of us are going to worry if developed countries that are considered highly stable, expand nuclear power, but as we start moving nuclear reactors in to the Middle East and other politically volatile regions of the world, we certainly want to make sure that all the vendors that sell this equipment are as vigilant as possible to make sure that somehow under a dual use item, that’s said to be used for one thing, that it can’t be used for another. And it’s a very, very serious problem.”

And as insurers know, as a matter of statistics, a risk is always going to happen, eventually, someday. 

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