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An apple a day, keeps nuclear power away

Last updated on March 1, 2013

It’s easier than you think to prove nuclear power is not safe. The weak point in the arguing for the safety of nuclear power is certain assumptions that are made. All you need to do to prove nuclear power is not safe is to successfully challenge those assumptions. And an apple will do it.

So… here is how you prove that nuclear power is wrong and unsafe:

  1. Get yourself an apple.
  2. Hold it, approximately three feet above the floor.
  3. Let go of it.

If the apple floats in mid air then gravity has ceased to exist and thus it is proven that the laws of nature are not constant. Since nuclear safety relies on laws of nature to be constant and unchanging, when the apple doesn’t fall, not even the most ardent proponent of nuclear power can defend the flaws in their reasoning.

So that’s how you do it. Get yourself the apple, keep it by the side of your bed. And every morning when you wake up, pick it up, let go of it… and when it doesn’t fall, that is the day we can close all nuclear power. It’s that easy.

Yes of course I’m pulling your leg. It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that tomorrow things such as gravity will remain the same as it was today, and I think you will agree with me on that. Still, in the strictest sense of logic and philosophy, this is an incorrect assumption because tomorrow everything could be different. Just because the laws of nature hasn’t changed for all perceivable time as we know it, tomorrow, they could.

Yet every day, during every moment of our lives, we assume that things such as gravity will persist. As the arch-skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi points out in his lectures: if we didn’t make that assumption we’d become catatonic and unable to function. We cannot live our lives unless we as some point cease with the doubt and allow ourselves to be convinced that some assumptions actually are valid.

Strangely enough though, the hope of a floating apple is exactly what many opponents of nuclear power seem to be clinging to. When they are saying “We don’t know for sure. We need more research”, this is equivalent to holding their breath for an apple hanging in mid air. When they are saying “Something unforeseen may happen in 100 000 years” about the spent nuclear fuel, that unforeseen thing is something we hold to be physically impossible.

Now don’t get me wrong: of course we shall always strive improve ourslves and our knowledge. Research and science will never stop. But we are already at a point in history where we know enough to keep going with nuclear power. Anyone that says differently should get an apple, and let go of it.

Published inBad ScienceCommentaryEnglish