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Nuclear: have things moved on since Chernobyl disaster?

The potential consequences of a disaster at a nuclear power station are so huge that no level of risk could ever be acceptable.
We engineers realise that, as with bridges and dams or any complex system, the risk of catastrophic failure can be minimised but can never be totally eliminated.

This being so, it is dishonest of us to give unqualified support to the notion that nuclear power is safe – it is only safe until it fails.

Aircraft manufacturers will tell you that their products are safe and indeed they are – right up to the point where one falls out of the sky.

Bearing in mind that the death toll in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster may be measured in millions or even billions this is not a risk we can justify.


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