As we know, a nuclear power plant is probably not the most spectacular terrorist target, in terms of physical damage, but we also know that in terms of public terror -- the commodity that terrorists trade in -- nuclear power plants are probably near the top of the list (as reported in this and other news items since 9/11).
Terrorist groups likely recognize that little effort is needed to instil this terror, since the work has been done for them -- by agencies spreading misinformation about nuclear technology over four decades in the public realm, capitalizing on a memetic seed sown by Hiroshima and subsequent cold-war dread, and creating a widespread irrational fear of even the very word "radiation" and all things associated.
In my view, the threat to nuclear stations is very real -- not because of any physical risk but because of this social sensitivity. Many more people would be killed in the mass panic following a terrorist attack, for instance (or by the substitution of fossil fuels for nuclear generation), than what could be directly attributed to the damage at the plant itself.
If this happens, the anti-nuclear agencies that have contributed to this mass terror over the years will have acted in indirect collaboration with the terrorists, and must be held responsible. Most reprehensible are the groups that derive income from the nurturing of this mass terror, who therefore feed off the very fear they create. Most reprehensible of these are the higher profile groups with direct access to the mass media, who can probably draw a direct correlation between a given missive nurturing nuclearphobia, and a subsequent increment in donation income.
At this point, we begin to enter the very definition of "terrorism" itself.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Adams [mailto:TomAdams@nextcity.com]
> Sent: Thursday January 31, 2002 11:27 AM
> To: CNS listserv
> Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] Nuclear plants targeted