Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

How can you say it was safe with a straight face when it clearly wasn't? That's like saying your car is fine when it's smashed upside-down in a ditch on the side of the highway.

If some standards claimed it was safe, then those standards were simply wrong. By other standards (including, most importantly, reality), it definitely wasn't safe.




>That's like saying your car is fine when it's smashed upside-down in a ditch on the side of the highway.

I'd argue it's more like saying your car is safe when it's smashed upside-down in a ditch on the side of the highway.

It is safe. The safest minivan is fantastically safe. Then it smashes into a semi truck at 80 mph and everyone dies. It was still a safe car, when compared to other cars.


Indeed, some people would therefore conclude we'd all be better off focusing on ways to get around that don't involve driving...


That's a perfectly valid and logical conclusion, and indeed there are many big companies you've heard of (including Waymo, Tesla, Uber, and many conventional auto manufacturers) who are working on precisely that.

Nuclear can similarly be phased out like human-driven vehicles will be.


"Nuclear can similarly be phased out like human-driven vehicles will be."

You have it exactly backwards. Manually operated nuclear plants will evolve into fully automated, completely safe designs. A very similar approach to self-driving cars.


Lets take your car that is smashed, upside-down in a ditch.

When you bought the car, did you think it was safe? Did it pass the government tests, even ones you think might be a bit ridiculous? Were you under the impression it was designed to withstand being upside-down in a ditch?

In all reality, the car was safe when it was new. It simply wasn't designed to withstand such an accident because such a thing is pretty rare in everyday vehicles, although it happens. Some vehicles have such safety precautions, but only when the situation seems to warrant it (a Jeep, for example).

The nuclear plant was the same. It was safe when it was built, only it wasn't designed to handle that magnitude of earthquake because that strength is rare, especially for that area. This is despite designing it to withstand stronger than ever recorded earthquakes. Sure, afterwards the plant was unsafe, but so are many cars after accidents.


> In all reality, the car was safe when it was new. It simply wasn't designed to withstand such an accident because such a thing is pretty rare in everyday vehicles, although it happens.

Except that cars now days do undergo rollover tests and are required to support 3x their weight when upside down.

> Were you under the impression it was designed to withstand being upside-down in a ditch?

I just read that some experts believe the standard should be increased to 4x. My previous assumption about my safety was a bit off, I am safe, but I could be safer.

Sadly enough, the increased rollover standards have created huge A pillars that impede visibility. Citation: http://wardsauto.com/news-analysis/new-pillars-enhance-safet...

So in this case, illogical worry about rollovers causes an actual measurable increase in pedestrian accidents.

Kinda like our worries about nuclear safety ended up causing even more radioactive pollution from burning coal.


What this car comparison is missing is that people accept cars getting crushed into flat metal sheets.

Agree or not, as a society we have accepted that traffic accident is a problem we don't want to pay the price to solve.

A "safe" car is just a mildly safer death trap.

In comparison, people haven't accepted that reactors would go shit and somewhat kill hundreds of people and trash whole regions for hundreds of years.

That's a risk that developpers have included in their plans to some point, but that the general public has not fundamentaly accepted.


You have your facts wrong.

Fukushima didn't kill even ten people, let alone hundreds. The region got so small radiation dose it is already basically harmless ... Decontamination efforts will make it pass even irrational radiation safety levels within 10-20 years. "hundreds" of years is therefore stupid hyperbole.

Public has not accepted nuclear risks because it is ridiculously misinformed. Don't spread pointless fearmongering, please.


> Fukushima didn't kill even ten people, let alone hundreds.

By official counts, 34 killed directly in the evacuation, 573 total, including indirectly, due to the disaster,and estimates are even with the evacuation, additional long-term cancer deaths due to the release could be in the 100+ range as well.


Why design robots to work in the wrecked reactors, when there are people without this irrational fear of radiation?


Well, I guess it's because I would consider my car extremely safe, with something stupid like 12 airbags, active brake assist, active collision prevention, it will even call for help automatically after an accident, without any input from me. Yet obviously it's not safe if it gets hit by a truck going 80mph, and it's not an impossible scenario. If they made fukishima stronger to withstand larger tsunamis, it could still be destroyed by an even larger one. It was "safe" within certain parameters. We can argue that those parameters were wrong, but that's a different discussion.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: