Fukushima Matters in Utah Nuclear Debate, Says Expert

Journalist and Author Jonathan Schell

(KCPW News) The debate over nuclear power is not just a theoretical one in Utah, with a former state lawmaker trying to build a nuclear plant along the state’s Green River and a radioactive waste storage facility located not far from Salt Lake City. That makes it a fitting place for journalist and nuclear expert Jonathan Schell, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book The Fate of the Earth, who’s speaking Wednesday morning at a breakfast fundraiser for HEAL Utah. Schell recently wrote on how President Dwight D. Eisenhower helped pave the way for nuclear power. KCPW’s Jeff Robinson asked him how Eisenhower’s efforts led to nuclear plants being built in the 1950s.

  1. John Farmer

    Jonathan Schell anti-nuclear statements are at best factually selective and at worst outright lies. In a debate that is as important as our future energy policy I find it morally unacceptable to allow Mr. Schell to cherry pick the facts in order to promote a fear mongering anti-nuclear agenda. A good example of Mr. Schell cherry picking of the facts is scene in his claim that nuclear power has become less safe since its inception. He then goes on to cite the Fukushima incident to prove his point why Utah should not build a nuclear reactor. The fact that Mr. Schell so ‘conveniently’ forgot was that the GE Mark-I design of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima was a product of 1950’s engineering. The plant that is proposed to be built at Green River will be a Generation III reactor. This design is built around passive safety systems that make it far safer than the old Mark-I design. Note if an event like Japans could happen at the Green River site, “…experts note that a third-generation facility would not have led to the current problem even if it had been hit by a tsunami.” 5/18/11Asia News.

    I also find it revealing that Jonathan Schell who promotes himself as a ‘nuclear expert’ states that he wants people to distrust legitimate nuclear experts. Instead he wants people to rely a guttural fear of nuclear power regardless of how safe generation-III and IV reactors have and will become. I think it is obvious that Mr. Schell is afraid to debate nuclear power based on facts and science. He like many anti nuclear activist must conjure up fear as their only form of persuasion, for legitimate peer-reviewed science does not back up their anti nuclear positions.

    Viva the nuclear renaissance,


  2. The Dude

    So, Mr. Farmer, you’re in favor of shutting down the 23 Mark 1 reactors currently operating in the U.S.? That’s great news!

    It’s so reassuring when the nuclear industry over and over again tells us that new designs are safe — it’s just the old ones that are flawed. I don’t recall the industry saying such bad things about Mark 1s prior to March 11.

    Personally, I’m with Mr. Schell: People are too screwed up to handle nuclear power. We’re bumbling fools, prone to coverups and bribery and ass-kissing and a general inability to do our jobs without flaws. I love that about us — and it’s no big deal when it comes to running a restaurant. But this nuclear stuff is to scary to leave to humans. We’ll screw it up, fancy new designs or not.