Lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl

                        A.Voin                                                           26.3.11

    We are accustomed to believe that man, his life and well-being is the main value. Objection to this is blasphemy, and we brush aside such objections from the doorway, not looking. I wrote already that this belief is wrong, but the events at nuclear power plants of Fukushima forced me to return to this subject.
     Shamelessly brazen statements
of scientists and politicians in the early days of the tragedy, that nothing terrible has happened and can not happen ("It is not Chernobyl, there was a one-off error, which is now fixed forever," etc.), smeared with a thick layer of words of the same scientists and politicians, that, of course, anything can happen, but we took into account the previous errors, we will strengthen control, but we will continue to build new nuclear power stations. We have not any alternative. For hydrocarbon energy leads to climate change and "green" energy sources can not provide the right amount of it. But such alternative, as just to stop increasing of energy production, not even mentioned and it did not spend the extra words to refute. Why to deny, if to everyone it is clear (supposedly), that then the growth of human well-being will stop (say, although not necessarily), and this is not humane, high value ... etc.
     But the highest value is not human life and even more so his material wealth (though both are certainly not negligible). The highest value is the survival of humanity. Atom for Peace, no less than military atom, poses a potential threat to survival. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was not a single case of use of nuclear weapons, but the Chernobyl, Fukushima and many more minor incidents at nuclear power plants have happened. Never mind that these incidents have killed fewer people than at Hiroshima alone (although according some data from Chernobyl have died 100 thousand people, and the official data is underestimated sake of pressure of the global nuclear lobby). What is important that the Chernobyl was all over, so it ran out, just by luck and could end in total disaster. And no matter how small was such probability, it is sufficient to prohibit the worldwide construction of nuclear power stations, just as the spread of nuclear weapons is prohibited. We can afford to risk the lives of individuals, but not the survival of humanity. This is the first lesson of Fukushima and Chernobyl. But there is another.
       The neglect of scientists, politicians and many others of risk the destruction of mankind testifies to the intellectual and moral defect of modern humanity. Intellectual defect is in the wrong understanding of the relationship between scientific knowledge and reality and the consequent failure to understand the difference between theory and hypothesis, between science and pseudoscience, misunderstanding of the limits applicability of scientific theory and the what science can prove and what can not. This lack of understanding manifests itself not only in the assurances of the scientists in nuclear plant construction safety before the Chernobyl, then in assurances, that Chernobyl could not happen again, etc. It manifests itself in the inability of academic science to deal with pseudoscience. This is despite the fact that much of academia, especially humanitarian, itself turned to pseudoscience, while many genuine researches and theories can not break through the academic officialdom. It manifests itself
also in the inability of scientists economists foresee the economic crisis and prevent it or at least to undertake preventive measures to reduce the drama of its consequences. (What is strikingly evident during the recent global financial - economic crisis). And so on.
     The reason for this deficiency lies in the rule of wrong-theoretical cognitive models in philosophy and related methodological ideas in science itself. My theory of cognition and based on it the unified method of justification of scientific theories give the way to overcome this defect. In particular they provide the criteria for separating science from non-science, theory from a hypothesis, give limits of applicability of the theory and much more. I will not list the names of my works relating to the subject, showing where what is published and what specific question in which one of them covered. Instead I refer the interested to the website of my institute (www.philprob.narod.ru), where they all are.
     It is possible to talk a lot on the moral defect of modern humanity and many have already written a lot about it. (Certainly, there are many differences in opinions about the essence of this defect, its reasons and what are the ways to correct it, not to mention the fact that a lot of people simply deny the existence of such a defect). I also wrote on this subject and even developed a theory of optimal morality, but, again, I will not repeat it here, referring wanting to the same site. I note only that seen in the context of the history of Fukushima.
     It is difficult to explain by a misunderstanding of the essence of scientific knowledge and its relation to reality a statement of the former director of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Shterenberg immediately after the tragedy at Fukushima (he was interviewed by the BBC) that nothing bad can be here. After all, he certainly gave similar assurances before and after the explosion on Chernobyl. Here obviously is problem with his conscience. And this applies not only to Shterenberg, but to many scientists of nuclear industry along with the scientists geneticists, assured us in complete safety of genetic modified food and to many other scientists in other fields too.
     But above all this moral defect is manifested in the fact that speaking more than 25 years with my philosophy, and of them 15 years with a unified method of justification, I can not get a normal discussion, neither one nor the other. This is despite the fact that although the resistance, but still, I published several articles on a unified method in philosophy journals and I have positive feedback on it from some venerable philosophers, and I turned with a proposal to consider this method to a large number of individuals and authorities, explaining his importance (for example, to the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of Russia and Ukraine). Here is just one example illustrating the situation and also relevant to the nuclear industry and its apologists.
    I have repeatedly talked with the chief lobbyist for the Ukrainian nuclear power academician Bar'yakhtar. I know him through the so-called "Interdisciplinary Seminar", one of the leaders of which he is (other - Rector of Kiev Polytechnic Institute academician Zgurovsky). I have a number of years systematically attended the seminar and participated in discussions. At the seminar was ever-present problem, common to all such seminars and conferences - lack of a common language between representatives of different disciplines. I offered to make at a seminar a presentation on a unified method of justification of scientific theories, which just gives this common language. And my report has already been appointed by secretary of seminar Ryzhkova at the next meeting, and even the announcement of this hanging in the House of Scientists. But when I came to the seminar, it became clear that this time there will be another report, and I was moved a month. Then I was transferred for another month and another, and my report did not take place for today. Despite the fact that the very Zgurovsky, to whom I spoke, promised that me. With regard to Bar'yakhtar, then to him I too turned and he wished to get acquainted with the method previously. I gave him a couple of articles and after he read them, he said he did not object to the report. Why then with the full consent of the leadership of seminar the report still has not taken place?
    An additional story on the same seminar and with the same Bar'yakhtar sheds light on that. He himself has repeatedly made reports on seminar, lobbying building of new nuclear plants in Ukraine and proving guarantee their complete safety. I debated with him, arguing, going from a unified method of justification, that he fundamentally can not guarantee that. To argue with me he could not. But as a result, we can see, my report on the unified method did not take place, construction of nuclear power stations in Ukraine and the world continued, and Mr. Bar'yakhtar continued to receive his dividends from this. So can Bar'yakhtar refer to misunderstanding of the unified method of justification or is there problem with conscience of a man, who for the sake of his dividends is ready to risk the fate of mankind?
    And such examples I could give many more.

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