From the Department of Bad PR

From the Washington Post;

“Obviously, any time you have an incident at a nuclear plant that involves any kind of damage or an explosion, it’s not good,” said Mitch Singer, spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s lobbying arm. “But in the scheme of things, is it a disaster? We don’t think so.”

It would be fair to argue that future nuclear policy should be not be determined by events at an aging plant faced with an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami. But it’s unconvincing to claim that the situation in Japan isn’t serious, and if anything it sends the message that the industry doesn’t really take safety seriously. Saying there’s been a radioactive release but it’s not really harmful just isn’t going to work even if it’s true.  If the industry continues along this path, it will he heading for the same PR nightmare that BP had.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “From the Department of Bad PR”

  1. “It would be fair to argue that future nuclear policy should be not be determined by events at an aging plant faced with an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami.”

    I’m not sure this is right. Nuclear policy should entail decisions about whether aging or defunct sites (particularly disposal sites) can withstand the kinds of natural forces some of them are likely to encounter over many millenia. Given that you write so much about Black Swan events, I think you’d agree.

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Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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