Ralph Lapp – Thoughts on Nuclear Plumbing, 1971. Where would you put ‘em now, Ralph?

Ralph Lapp was a nuclear scientist who worked for the AEC. Ralph spoke against nuclear fallout from the bomb tests and he spoke about the dangers of large core reactors. While many Americans who spoke about things were subject to sanctions from the AEC and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (eg Linus Pauling), Ralph sailed through with apparently little damage to his career and no attack upon his personal integrity. Unlike, for example, Gofman and Tamplin, as discussed earlier.

Perhaps the AEC wanted to conform to the American normal of debate to project a democratic air. Who knows. In any event, when the Core Melt problem hit the public awareness, Ralph wrote the following piece in the New York Times:

Ralp Lapp – Unsafe core cooling systems in Reactors, 1971
NEW YORK TIMES 12 DECEMBER 1971 (Unit 1 at Fukushima Diiachi was in its first year in operation when the piece was written, stuck out in the farmland at Fukushima, apparently away from Tokyo to be safe. Too bad, I guess they thought, about Japan’s food basket.)


Of course, not many Japanese people had access to the New York Times back then.

As a result of the concern in the community, and as a result of the overwhelming fear of the sight of people in big cities suffering the fate imposed by a core melt in a nearby reactor, one reactor was shut down by the AEC. Too close to a major centre.

Any farmer on the planet, any rural community on the planet has had cause to know since 1971 what nuclear industry thinks of agricultural land. A nice place to fling core melt fallout into.

Where would you put them now, Ralph?


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