Zero Hour: Disaster at Chernobyl  

Posted by Big Gav

Given the vigourous renewed push for nuclear power this year, I thought tonight's program on the Chernobyl accident quite appropriate.

As I watched the (reenacted) disaster unfold, the combination of construction problems, design flaws and operator mistakes reminded of the old Usenet comp.risks newsgroup and many of Bruce Schneier's columns - the more complex a system becomes, the more likely it is to go wrong at some point. Once a system becomes sufficiently complex it is basically impossible to test all possible scenarios - and you can guarantee that some scenario will result in system failure and that one day you'll encounter this scenario.

Still - there can be some unexpected positive side effects of these disasters (such as involuntary parks), but on the whole I think a massively expanded nuclear power industry is bound to result in some entirely predictable failures at some point in the coming decades.

1 comments

I'm most concerned about the existing infrastructure. Especially in the United States, it is a ridiculous hodge podge of different soltutions, some quite clumsy.

We'll see how many new reactors get built in the next twenty years. I am expecting the squeeze on commodities to be severe - it won't matter how much money gets printed.

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