Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Graham Allison warns of larger attacks on nuclear power plants, intending to create a "Fukushima"

Graham Allison and William H. Tobey have a particularly sobering piece in the New York Times Tuesday, April 5, 2016, p. A25, “Could there be a terrorist Fukushima?”  I thought of the 21-year old scientist Taylor Wilson monitoring the radiation from Fukushima across the Pacific Ocean (link given with movie review March 25).  But, Allison and Robey resurrect the scenarios of flying planes into nuclear power plants (which Al Qaeda had considered for 9/11) as well as much larger direct attacks by cells, which would be much less likely in the US than Europe.  A dirty bomb could make a square mile of a city uninhabitable, but a nuclear power plant attack might create a Chernobyl for much larger area, conceivably an entire city downwind.
Ironically, Wilson has proposed plans to strengthen the US (and worldwide) power grids (from EMP and solar storm threats) with small underground fission generators, which he and investors like Peter Thiel say could be made much safer from attack than today’s systems.  It sounds like something presidential candidates (most of all Ted Cruz and Donald Trump) ought to be talking about.

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