A nuclear engineering professor at Virginia Tech says even after explosions at some damaged Japanese nuclear power plants, the risk of radiation exposure remains small, even in Japan. And as News/Talk 960’s Evan Jones reports, Mark Pierson believes events there should bolster public confidence in the nuclear industry, not diminish it.
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Associate Professor Mark Pierson knows a lot about nuclear reactors — he used to be responsible for their operation and maintenance aboard many U.S. Navy nuclear-powered craft. He says video of those explosions in Japan may look troubling, but to him, the integrity of those plants becomes apparent even under incredible circumstances.
Pierson thinks events there should serve to counter any concerns that nuclear power should be considered unsafe. He says what is happening at those Japanese nuclear plants is already has important instructional value in his classes and is likely to keep doing so for years to come. Virginia Tech scuttled its nuclear power program in the early 1980’s because there were no longer any jobs available in the industry. It was resurrected in 2007 as demand started to return, and Pierson says it’s still growing.