Monday, August 26, 2013

Another outside of our regular scheduled programming

I always thought that I would not mind a nuclear power plant in my back yard. After what I saw happen and is still happening in poor Japan during that horrific tsunami, I have changed my mind. I think now nuclear power plants should be built near the Grand Coulee Dam where there is already a power grid to hook into and minimal threat of earthquakes. The Rocky Mountains were created by uplift, not volcanism. We who live amongst a multitude of volcanoes know volcanoes are not to be trusted.
There is this about volcanoes, though: they give you lots of warning before they explode so you have a fair chance to get out of the way.
Not so with earthquakes. The first Vancouver, a city across the Columbia from Keep Portland Weird, is far enough inland that tsunami damage from a sea bed earthquake would be relatively minor. So that's not my concern about local nuclear power plants.
My concern is this: we are overdue for a Richter 8 or 9 earthquake. We all know that within a few seconds to a few centuries from now the Big One will hit.We're fairly well engineered to handle a 6 or below. 7 and above, a lot of things are going to break, including the concrete parts of a nuclear power plant.
My brother worked in a nuclear power plant for many years. They are generally safe. I wish a hundred nuclear power plants had been built ten years ago so we could all be zipping around in electric cars (and yes, I realize the real problem with electric cars are their batteries), instead of being held hostage by people who hate us, US. But we ought not site the plants in fault zones.

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