and the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident happened because of human errors.
(Uh... A M.9.0 earthquake and over 30 feet tsunami hitting the nuclear power plant right on the coast, didn't they have something to do with the accident?)
Italian nuclear physicist Antonino Zichichi was interviewed by Jiji Tsushin in February at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
From Jiji Tsushin in the series on the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 disaster (3/3/2013):
Two years since the disaster: Italian nuclear physicist says anti-nuclear movement is "meaningless", focus on safety measures and eliminate human errors.
Dr. Antonino Zichichi (age 83), one of the most prominent particle and nuclear physicists in Italy and professor emeritus at University of Bologna, spoke with Jiji Tsushin. Dr. Zichichi said the nuclear technology was "the safest human invention", and declared anti-nuclear movement was "totally meaningless". According to his understanding, the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident was caused by human errors, and safety measures developed by knowledgeable experts would be indispensable.
On nuclear energy, Dr. Zichichi said, "Suppose we could buy one sandwich with one euro, using the conventional technology. (Using nuclear energy,) we could buy one million sandwiches [with one euro]", emphasizing the utility value of nuclear energy as an efficient source of energy while renewable energy hasn't been established as superior energy.
He asserted that "it is because of contribution of nuclear energy that the world population of 7 billion can live the way they live now". He said it would be "impossible" to maintain the current standard of living without relying on nuclear energy, and was critical of the movement away from nuclear energy in Germany and Switzerland and other parts of Europe after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.
As to the safety measures for nuclear power plants, nuclear accidents such as the US Three Mile Island accident were caused by mistakes of workers who did not possess knowledge, he said. He emphasized that it would be possible to enhance safety infinitely but that we should recognize where human error could occur. Nuclear technology, he said, "needs to be managed by scientists with high levels of special knowledge".
I wonder if Jiji's reporter dared (or bothered) to ask him about nuclear waste management and disaster cleanup cost. I suppose not. His strange calculation of 1 euro one sandwich doesn't make any sense to me. And to have him say that the nuclear accidents are caused by lowly workers not scientists.
If anything, lowly workers are the ones who intimately know how a plant works and has technical knowledge and expertise, and that was the case in Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. A renowned nuclear scientist who happened to be the chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission at the time of the accident panicked, and admitted nearly one year later that he couldn't sleep and didn't even remember what was going on in the first week of the nuclear accident.
I don't believe there is any technology that is immune to human errors, but to a nuclear physicist like him, errors are for mere mortals. If only people like him were in charge, there would be no accident.
Mere mortal Italians showed infinite wisdom, in the eyes of many in the world, when they rejected the restart of nuclear projects in Italy in the national referendum in June 2011.
They also showed wisdom as they booted out the unelected Goldman Sachs technocrat from their government.