Elon Musk's Twitter handle is an absolute roller coaster.
At times, he speaks the truth to the power and be right about a host of things. On other occasions, ha makes us question if the same individual is handling the account. A recent tweet about eating food from a high radiation zone on TV is a prime example of the latter.
The call to stay with nuclear power
In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the West's dependence on Russia for energy, Musk urged European nations to reconsider nuclear power. We have also reported in the past that countries such as Germany are shutting down nuclear power plants as they shift to more renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.
While these plans were drawn over the longer horizon of decades enabling a smooth transition, the recent conflict has thrown spanner in the works, and the world fears that energy prices will shoot through the roof, the longer the conflict ensues.
Musk, therefore, called it a national and international security risk and urged European countries to retain nuclear power for their energy needs a little while longer and where needed, even restart dormant plants.
Fears of radiation
Musk also took it upon himself to address the risks of radiation leaks as we have seen with nuclear disasters in the past. Musk went a step too far when he tweeted this
For those who (mistakenly) think this is a radiation risk, pick what you think is the worst location. I will travel there & eat locally grown food on TV.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2022
I did this in Japan many years ago, shortly after Fukushima. Radiation risk is much, much lower than most people believe.
It is true that Musk traveled to the Fukushima region back in 2011. According to a press release, Musk went to Soma, about 37 miles (60 km) north of the disaster site, to set up a solar power system in the area. It is likely Musk ate some Japanese food as well, while he was there and radiation levels had been contained by then.
However, it is the immediate exposure to radiation, in case of an accident, that is the real fear with nuclear power. The Chernobyl disaster saw six million people being exposed to the radiation immediately and the effects of the radiation are seen even today.
Maybe Musk forgot those bits about nuclear power for a while and also the recent Russian attacks on nuclear power plants in Ukraine.