Last night on TV, Glenn gave an explanation for how a nuclear reactor worked. Using M&M’s and kitchen utensils (seriously) he demonstrated all the lines of defense present in the nuclear reactors in Japan and how safe they really are. It’s taken a once in a thousand lifetime sized earthquake to put the reactor in as bad shape as it is now. But what has happened in Japan since the show ended last night?
“So here's what happened last night, in between the time of the TV show and now, there has been another explosion. And as we explained last night and I showed you the many containers, the outside container which is not really meant for protection of anything, I mean in anything significant, that's what's been blowing off. And so it's not part of the containment system. And I said last night as long as the containment system remains intact, you're okay,” Glenn said.
“The fuel rods can melt down. You're going to have ‑‑ you know, you're going to have leakage in the air, et cetera, et cetera, but you're not talking about a nuclear explosion,” Glenn explained.
“So the design of this nuclear power plant is for the rods, in worst‑case scenario, melt down and then they just burn into this floor which supposedly is not ‑‑ you are not supposed to be able to burn through,” he said, noting that this is based on information he’s heard (you can read some of his sources here)
Glenn continued by explaining that as long as the giant steel and concrete containment units surrounding the rods cracked as a result of an explosion yesterday. “We don't know how bad, we don't know what it is,” Glenn said.
But does the disaster in Japan mean that we should stop investigating the use of nuclear energy here in America? Glenn doesn’t think so.
“Now, if the media wants to do something decent, stop talking to me about how there might be an earthquake in Minot, North Dakota where they're X number of miles away from a nuclear power plant. For the love of Pete, yes. And you know what? Monkeys could fly out of my butt at any moment, too, and that would be a really bad scenario,” Glenn joked.
“Where is the media showing us the hope?” Glenn asked.
“Where is that plan? Why doesn't the United States say, you know what? We're going to ship all the lead over, get it over from wherever,” Glenn asked.
Glenn continued, “And we'll get the lead and hammer it out into the fine sheets that you need. China, you can get, you know, the people over there that can weld it. You know, let's ‑‑ is there anybody working on that plan and take that stress off of Japan? Wouldn't that be helpful to do as the international community that everybody loves so much?”
And, of course, Glenn is the crazy person for telling people to prepare for any possible scenario by stocking up on food? As Pat pointed out, reports are coming out that grocery shelves are starting to go bare in Japan.
And what about the impact on energy?
“Japan now, gets 30%, I think, of all of their energy from nuclear power. When they don't have nuclear power, they are going to have to burn something. They are going to burn more oil,” Glenn continued
“All these oil rigs, we don't know if they're even safe yet. We don't know if they're going to be opened up again or when they're going to be opened up. They are already saying we're going to need to import more oil than we ever have before. Is anybody talking about how Libya, their oil fields are basically shut down at this point? That's 3% of the world's oil. Where are you getting the oil?”