Charles Perrow, Sociologist and Organisation Theorist, USA

“Nuclear power plants should be banned.”

Charles B. Perrow is an organisation theorist and sociologist. In his book Normal Accidents. Living with High-Risk Technologies, published in 1985 just shortly before the disaster in Chernobyl, Perrow warned of the inevitability of catastrophic accidents in closely linked and complex systems. These accidents can be explained as the interaction of a whole series of bad decisions, and such mistakes can appear for various and, above all else, unpredictable reasons.

“Some experts claim that the effect of low doses of radiation are too low to even measure. I vociferously disagree. It’s of course extremely difficult to estimate how many people around the world will die as a result of Chernobyl or Fukushima. There are many other causes that would lead someone to die an early death. And because of the low number of cases, it’s also very difficult to prove whether low doses of radiation are responsible for a significant proportion of prenatal deaths. But despite these methodological difficulties, no one can seriously doubt that the entire world is affected by the radioactive fallout. This cannot simply be explained away with such arguments. But the nuclear industry and the International Atomic Energy Agency are doing everything possible to play down these risks.


In the United States, coal-fired power plants are responsible for thousands of deaths – each year. The number of deaths could be reduced significantly with stricter limits and better technologies to reduce pollutant emissions. But the deaths caused by coal-fired power plants are almost negligible in light of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. It’s not possible to reduce radiation when it comes to nuclear energy. It’s not possible to reduce the risk of a meltdown. As bad as the massive nuclear disaster in Fukushima was, it could have been much worse. And it’s still not over. Additional radionuclides could still be released from the damaged reactors 2 and 3. And f the reactor site can no longer be entered due to the radiation, then it will no longer be possible to keep cooling the 6,000 fuel elements. This could mean evacuating the northern hemisphere. The worst might still await us. The risks that we take with nuclear energy are too high. Nuclear power plants should therefore be banned.”

 

 

 

Who we are

Founded in 2012, the Association for Sustainable Journalism on the Internet is committed to high-quality, independent on-line journalism that stands the test of time. The association promotes and runs journalistic websites dedicated to topics that are hardly covered any more in conventional media. Its members include journalists, photographers, designers and web designers.

Pressbüro Seegrund, which was founded in 1989, is firmly established in the media landscape. Its focus is on feature reports, reportage and non-fiction books. It has launched a number of online magazines in recent years including www.alpenmagazin.org, www.mangel-und-moral.org, and the latest creation: www.mensch-und-atom.org.

About

Publisher:
Association for Sustainable Journalism in Internet,
Neugasse 30,
CH-9000 St. Gallen

 

Editor:
Pressebüro Seegrund,
Neugasse 30, PO Box 445,
CH-9004 St. Gallen,
Tel. +41(0)71 671 10 73,
www.seegrund.ch,

 

Website design and programming:
Eveline Arnold Ukaegbu, Proclamation,
Zypressenstrasse 138,
CH-8004 Zürich,
www.proclamation.ch

 

English translation:
Elana Summers

 

Russian translation:
Alexej Scherbakov

 

Local interpretors: Galina Kovalch (Belarus),
Irina Gasanova (Ukraine), Chikako Yamamoto (Japan)

 

Authors:
Martin Arnold, freelance journalist, author and media entrepreneur for the past 30 years
Urs Fitze, freelance journalist, reportage on politics, the economy, science, travel and the environment" target="_blank">www.seegrund.ch,

 

 

Our Aim

Without provoking or causing a scandal, www.society-and-the-atom.org wants to shake things up a bit by encouraging society to reflect on a subject that affects all of us: nuclear power. It is a subject that polarises, turning opponents and supporters into ideologues. And it is a subject that divides the informed and the uninformed in a way that creates intentional and unintentional dependencies. Against the background of the current debates on the 'energy transition', we want to contribute a critical discussion for all those who want to more know about nuclear power. And we want to do our bit to overcome the deep ideological divide that separates supporters and opponents. When it comes to this subject, the truth very quickly becomes relative – or is made relative. You move around in an area where experts, opinion makers, ideologues, affected persons, victims, lobbyists, politicians and world saviours jostle against each other. Everyone should be able to have their say, to tell their truth. The truth of the radiation victims as well as that of the power plant operators, the supporters and the opponents. The second objective of the book is to explore the many facets of truth – and remain receptive to all those who want to make it comfortable for us.

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