Have you ever tried to recruit concert pianists? Rather a difficult job, wouldn't you say? Now, suppose you had to tell them right away that concert pianos sometimes explode, and that when they do some part of the audience, there to listen to a bit of Liszt, is burned to death on the spot, while most of the rest suffer a horrible death from radiation poisoning a while later? Oh, and the concert hall then becomes an off-limits radioactive crater, and anyone who was ever your fan would then look forward to bearing children who die of childhood leukemia or any number of birth defects. Lovely!
The nuclear power supporters might still be able to recruit some knuckle-draggers to do their bidding, but what good would that do? They might very well detonate the old grand piano just by playing “Chopsticks” or “Three Blind Mice” during their very first recital. Supposing that the grand piano was actually a water-cooled uranium or recycled plutonium-fueled reactor, and that you were a knuckle-dragger, you'd certainly summon a fire engine or two, and ask them to pump seawater into your grand piano, to cool it down. Not that the Japanese had any choice at that point, but, speaking strictly as a lay plumber, I find seawater to be ever so slightly problematic when pumped through an overheated boiler, never mind a nuclear reactor that's about to blow. I think I would rather moonlight as a lay electrician than listen to a nuclear engineer expound on the benefits of seawater in a nuclear reactor. Declare your incompetence forthwith and fade away now, please, thank you!
|Paging Mickey Mouse!
Three years ago I wrote this into the Collapse Party Platform:
I am particularly concerned about all the radioactive and toxic installations, stockpiles and dumps. Future generations are unlikely to be able to control them, especially if global warming puts them underwater. There is enough of this muck sitting around to kill off most of us. There are abandoned mine sites at which, soon after the bulldozers and the excavators stop running, toxic tailings and the contents of settling ponds will flow into and poison the waters of major rivers, making their flood plains and estuaries uninhabitable for many centuries. Many nuclear power plants have been built near coastlines, for access to ocean water for cooling. These will be at risk of inundation due to extreme weather events and rising sea levels caused by global warming. At many nuclear power stations, spent fuel rods are stored in a pool right at the reactor site, because the search for a more permanent storage place has been mired in politics. There are surely better places to store them than next to population centers and bodies of water. Nuclear reservations — sites that have been permanently contaminated in the process of manufacturing nuclear weapons — should be marked with sufficiently large, durable and frightening obelisks to warn off travelers long after all memory of their builders has faded away.
And now I will say it again: Shut it all down. All of it. Now. Please.