TEPCO funds chair/professsorship at MIT — Nuclear researcher: “Nuclear researchers have a stake in reassuring the pubic that nothing bad is happening”

Published: August 11th, 2011 at 10:41 am ET
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Nuclear safety: A dangerous veil of secrecy, Aljazeera, August 11, 2011:

[... G]enerally speaking, [M.V. Ramana, a researcher at Princeton University specialising in the nuclear industry] said that nuclear researchers have a stake in reassuring the pubic that nothing bad is happening.

“‘How is this going to affect the future of nuclear power?’That’s the first thought that came into their heads,” said Ramana, adding, “They basically want to ensure that people will keep constructing nuclear power plants.”

For instance, a May report by MIT’s Center For Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (where TEPCO funds a chair) points out that while the Daiichi disaster has resulted in “calls for cancellation of nuclear construction projects and reassessments of plant license extensions” which might “lead to a global slow-down of the nuclear enterprise,” that  “the lessons to be drawn from the Fukushima accident are different.”

Among the report’s closing thoughts are concerns that “Decision-making in the  immediate aftermath of a major crisis is often influenced by emotion,” and whether”an accident like Fukushima, which is so far beyond design basis, really warrant a major overhaul of current nuclear safety regulations and practises?”

“If so,” wonder the authors, “When is safe safe enough? Where do we draw the line?” [...]

Published: August 11th, 2011 at 10:41 am ET
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19 comments to TEPCO funds chair/professsorship at MIT — Nuclear researcher: “Nuclear researchers have a stake in reassuring the pubic that nothing bad is happening”

  • farawayfan farawayfan

    Where a person’s financial interest is directly tied to the concern they study, nothing they say, print or find can be trusted, because even if they are trying to be honest the psychological background they exist in will color their view, even unconsciously in the cases of the most ethical people, to provide answers that secure their futures.

    This really is damaging because even people with otherwise sterling ethical beliefs and history can provide incorrect or misleading results, but their otherwise sterling history provides little ground to attack those results.


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  • Steven Steven

    “Decision-making in the immediate aftermath of a major crisis is often influenced by emotion,”

    Saw a neuroscience documentary recently which demonstrated that people who had injured that part of the brain responsible for emotion had extreme difficulty making decisions. Even simple tasks like choosing socks and shopping cause them extreme difficulty.

    So the suprising result from the data is that even ‘rational’ people rely completely on emotion when making choices.


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  • Toadmac

    The line should be drawn when your assessment finds that when an emergency arises and you can’t control it, it should be considered unsafe! No ifs and no buts!! That puts all nuclear power to date in the unsafe column. Rise up people and let your governments know we have had enough! Stop the nuclear lies and corruption! Its us and only us that can change this world, so let them know!


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  • maaa

    What if an huge comet destroys half of the United States and its nuclear plants. Mankind will be wiped out.


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    • ali-ali-al-qomfri ali-ali-al-qomfri

      How about just and X class solar flare that wipes out all power grids. All circuits will fry then no generator back-ups to keep nukes coolant flowing. Hard thought imagine power grids going at one time…ouch time.


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  • Ariana

    Their first thought should have been: How is this going to effect life on Earth and future generations? NOT How is this going to effect the future of Nuclear Power (aka my wallet thickness) They don’t give a flying fuck about human lives.


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  • lam335 lam335

    Science was once about knowing what we don’t know–seeking certainty, but recognizing the limits to that certainty. Once it became engineering, an “applied” field that could be taken to market, it morphed into an industry with economic interests to advance and protect. Now that industry funnels money to the academic wing of the field and thereby erodes its ability to be objective.

    Nuke engineering programs thus have an interest in training the next generation of people who will get on TV and reassure people that everything is fine–no worse than a banana–the next time a nuclear disaster happens. How many “experts” assured us for days that FUK would be nothing like Chernobyl and was just a minor incident that was under control–since the Japanese were so committed to safety. Somebody should find all those video clips from several of the major news outlets and string them all together into one video, so we can remind people of the smugness, overconfidence, condescension, and dishonesty of the industry mouthpieces the next time a nuclear event happens (sadly, there is sure to be a next time).

    I don’t think TEPCO should be able to afford to fund this TEPCO Chair of Propaganda Management any longer; they owe compensation to the many people whose lives and livelihoods they have ruined, above and beyond the costs of the clean-up itself. The TEPCO management and the government officials who colluded with them deserve to be called “destroyers of worlds” no less than Oppenheimer.


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  • bleep_hits_blades

    I’ve been studying the truth behind the carefully crafted and ‘marketed’ lies (in the MSM, advertising, and so-called ‘schools’) for a long time now.

    I started out naive, like we all do, and it took a lot of time and study to get through my own disbelief and unwillingness to believe that big business and big government are at bottom nothing more than organized crime in fancy suits and driving fancy cars, and the game is ‘bilk the cash cow public.’

    After all, our labor has created and continues to create all wealth. (The world’s natural resources are just potential wealth, without human labor to mine the gold, cut down trees, farm the land, fish, build the factories, etc.)

    So the game is, get control of government with its taxing powers and legal monopoly on the use of force, and use those powers to pry our earnings from us, using a combination of deception and force or the threat of force.

    Just think, for a moment, the prosperity we could be enjoying, individually, if half or more of our earnings were not being confiscated by government. Half of our working lives – forked over to those ‘gangstas in pinstripe suits.’

    And if we wondered if the game they are playing, though crooked as a dog’s hind leg, is at bottom, at least a rational and safe one, or not — well this latest nuclear mishap, and the lying industry behind it, should clear up that question ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt.’

    But the truth hurts and most people don’t want to look it square in the eye. They’d rather watch TV.


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  • Misitu

    When we accept money, we accept it with strings, overt or not.

    An elderly relative of mine was offered a nice house, well above average, from his oldest friend, no conditions.

    He refused. He knew his oldest friend had some deeply dodgy business, not to say black doings indeed.

    I have met the oldest friend. He is just a nice old man now. Meeting him, although my relative passed away a while back, gave rise to many confusions in my standards of judgement.

    But remains the fact that the offer was refused. In this part of the world, a favour always implies a future return of the favour. It is an implicit part of the culture.

    In more “sophisticated” cultures people forget this.

    To return to the headline item, Academia Accepts Gift From Business.


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  • Fall out man!

    Reading the article, I thought the interesting thing was in this case how the Nuke industry rather than funding its army of academics directly, did it through branches of the government it controlled.

    eg, By controlling the DOE in the USA, and by donations to politicians, political parties, and no doubt consulting fees for anyone with influence, they could have the government do their dirty work in funding the academics.

    Just think about what that means for the Global warming scam. An army of Nuke industry funded academics, who take their money from government, rather than the nuke industry directly. “Independent” academics cheering on nuke power, and the one big lie that has most of the public clamoring to keep it as the “carbon free industry that will save the planet from global warming”. Its a brilliant scam. Combine that with the nuke industries startling control of the News Media through ownership of media companies (documented in earlier posts on enenews by other posters. Check out the comments section of these two pages fro some very interesting info on just who owns the media.

    See the comments by Tacoma Groove on media ownership and control here…
    http://enenews.com/reactor-3-temperature-7c-day

    These guys own the media and academia. “Research” from our government funded academics is mostly propaganda.

    And check out the comments here for more info on who owns the media. See comment by “Informed” in the comments section…
    http://enenews.com/april-16-forecast-shows-radioactive-cloud-stretching-texas-canada

    What the article above shows is that supposedly “independent” government scientists are not independent at all if they are government funded. In the case of the nuke industry, the government is just their proxy when it comes to academic funding.

    There is a revolving door between academia, government, and industry. Directorships, lucrative contracts, “research” funding and cushy jobs are all made available to those who will preach the standard corporate line.

    Time to wake up.


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