Friday, April 21, 2006

The Legacy of Chernobyl

German Greens have successfully misrepresented the Chernobyl disaster (20 year anniversary next week) to turn Germans off nuclear power. That leaves Germany either an extension of Russia, or de-industrialized - either way the old USSR will have won.

Michale Miersch, a columnist for Die Welt explains how German Greens
use and abuse the legacy of Chernobyl (WSJ ($)):

Activists from the German branch of Friends of the Earth have been marching since March through 12 German cities, carrying with them giant models of nuclear reactors and the concrete sarcophagus built around the Chernobyl reactor to contain radioactive debris.

Greenpeace Germany is organizing Chernobyl exhibitions in several cities and a demonstration next week in Munich. On Sunday, a memorial service will be held in a church in Frankfurt. Movie theaters are showing "The Cloud," an apocalyptic fantasy about a fictional nuclear disaster in Germany.

Germans are good engineers, so you'd expect them to know the difference between awful Soviet reactor design and safe Western practice, and to have read this (my emphasis):

...major study by the World Health Organization, the International Atomic
Energy Agency and other U.N. agencies.

(The) head of the U.N.'s Chernobyl Forum, summarizes it as follows: "This was a very serious accident with major health consequences, especially for thousands of workers exposed in the early days who received very high radiation doses, and for the thousands more stricken with thyroid cancer.

By and large, however, we have not found profound negative health impacts to the rest of the population in surrounding areas, nor have we found widespread contamination that would continue to pose a substantial threat to human health, with a few exceptional, restricted areas."

According to the report, fewer than 50 deaths can so far be attributed directly to radiation. In addition, nine children have died of thyroid cancer. Several thousand became sick with it, but the survival rate for thyroid cancer
is now 99%.

The scientists predict that over the next 70 years a total of around 4,000 people will eventually contract cancer and die earlier than they would have if the accident hadn't happened.

Sadly, it seems likely that the Germans have been permanently manipulated on this issue.

So they have two options to avoid those pesky CO2 emissions - de-industrialize or become dependent on gas from the emerging fear state of Russia.

Either way, the USSR achieves its major war aim, 16 years after its apparent dissolution.