There have been occasions where those I admire have said positive things about my work. Each time, I feel humbled. Professor Barry Brook has been one of the most influential figures in my nuclear journey. As the author of one of the world’s premier sites for nuclear news, information and discussion, Barry (both as an individual and through BraveNewClimate) has maintained a crucial and powerful independent voice and fostered amazing discussions. He has given much, and asked for nothing.
As you will read, for the first time he is asking for something, and he has done it on behalf of the Zero Carbon Options report. Please read on to this cross-post from BNC (originally published here) for Barry’s request, and an original article from me.
I went to Brisbane to join a panel discussing the which of the “Big Five” Energy Options that could replace fossil fuels. It was very, very interesting. Read the review from an audience member.
What is the risk from a nuclear power plant melt-down?
If you reach for the well known formula of Risk being the product of Likelihood and Consequence…then you are missing something big. That formula is going to give you some idea of hazard, as in the potential harm that can be estimated by science. Risk needs to capture so much more. You need to work out the hazard, then add the outrage.
Outrage is the overall negative human response to an event. How angry are people? How afraid? How upset? How emotionally charged? How suddenly and unusually ready to blockade, write letters, make signs etc? How prepared to change behaviour, take precautions (make no mistake, outrage has its place)?
The major outcomes of Fukushima have little to do with hazard and everything to do with outrage. Consider: