Here we go again: Twisted girders and crushed vehicles. Lessons to
Exposed rows of steel "rebar," pulled away from the concrete they
A massive, supposedly-sturdy structure in ruins after unexpectedly collapsing.
The Mississippi River impassible: Clogged with structural debris,
vehicles, and bodies.
Few suspect terrorists this time. It may have all started with
simple harmonic vibrations from a minor construction project on the
40-year old I-35W bridge. It could take years to know what really
happened, and thousands of hours of careful study. How soon will the
steel be sold overseas as scrap?
In a sudden cascade of events, vital rail, water, AND road links were
A freight train passing underneath had some of its cars flattened by
the massive weight of the fallen eight-lane bridge.
What if a nuclear reactor core was being transported to Yucca
Mountain in one of the crushed freight cars?
500,000 dead, that's what! Ten or a hundred times that many,
sickened for life. And the realization that every prior estimate of
the possible damage from a transportation accident that the
Department of Energy (DOE) or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
EVER gave to ANYONE when discussing Yucca Mountain transportation
dangers was a LIE.
"Official" estimates of potential damage from a nuke waste transport
accident are INVARIABLY biased, because they are based on a tiny
fractional release of the full contents. They are NOT based on
anything like what we saw today, which would have left the entire
reactor core transport module breached, burning, unreachable, and
spewing radioactive poisonous gas.
There would be no news helicopters flying overhead, because of the
deadly vapors. Everywhere for hundreds of miles downwind would
become an unlivable hell. Every hospital in the country would be
filled up with victims. That's what would have been created TODAY if
the crushed rail cars had been carrying "spent nuclear fuel" instead
of whatever they actually WERE carrying. A roll of the dice
determined the fate, not just of hundreds on the bridge and under it,
but of millions, downwind and around the world.
NO "spent fuel" transportation system ever proposed (or used) is
strong enough to hold up to a bridge collapsing on it. But as YOU
can see, it CAN happen.
Yet some people STILL want a nuclear "Renaissance"!
Some people never learn.
The author has studied and written extensively about nuclear power
and nuclear weapons for more than 35 years. Hoffman is a computer
programmer and resides way too close to San Onofre, in Carlsbad, California.