Fukushima and nuclear power.

Just some thoughts on the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown in March 2011.

There are two Fukushima power stations. 1 melted down, one didn't.

Fukushima 1, which suffered a meltdown, was built between 1967 and 1976. The reactors operated for around 40 years without major incident until monstered by a magnitude 9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami.

Fukushima 2 didn't melt down because the emergency generators and switchgear were housed in watertight compartments. The switchgear in Fukushima 1 was not in watertight compartments and failed when flooded. This meant that the essential cooling water wasn't able to be pumped. So it seems to me that good design is going to be an important part of safe nuclear power generation.

The Fukushima reactors were second generation reactors. Current reactors are fourth generation reactors and are much safer.

In a world that needs vast amounts of electricity, especially in the developing nations, nuclear energy is the only source of clean baseload energy available. So called renewables cannot provide large amounts of reliable baseload energy.

The only other option for large amounts of reliable baseload energy is coal. Coal has significant health and pollution issues. Nuclear also has issues, but its worth noting that there have been far more deaths in the coal industry than in the nuclear industry.