A Critical View of Nuclear Energy and Radiation
Posted: March 31st, 2011 by: h2
As pro-nuclear energy spin and PR damage control go into high gear as Fukushima continues to unravel and expose the type of lies and deceptions that have misled even well intentioned commentators, like George Monbiot, into accepting the negatives of nuclear energy for some (deluded) idea that it is a lesser of evils (this concept is itself a notion created by the nuclear spin industry, I am virtually certain) certain parts of this project become increasingly well defined. The thing I find most revealing is the notion, put forward by pro-nuclear apologists, innocently, or less so, that normal people are suffering from an irrational fear of radiation.
These types of falsehoods and misrepresentations of what is actually going on form the essence of all modern public relations, especially for heavy industrial consumers of non-renewables of all types, constitute a steady chipping away at a very accurate human response towards radiation, one that I would suggest is in fact highly rational. It is especially discouraging to find such things repeated by those who might otherwise pride themselves on being somewhat critical in their view of modern society.
What I find totally and utterly irrational is that when faced with the total inability to handle a process that was never meant to exist on earth, people continue to pretend that it’s a rational decision to create it. This is simply false. It was a refusal to start winding down power consumption, coupled with a military requirement to obtain nuclear materials for nuclear weapons, that was directly responsible for humanity entering this lunatic course of action in the first place.
The entire nuclear project has always been totally irrational, on so many levels it’s really hard to pick just a few, but here’s some: assumption, despite ALL history as positive proof against this faith, that societies will. continue to be able to handle these toxic systems as they change in fundamental ways. Poster child for this? Ukraine, today, requiring about 2 billion euros to create a new sarcophagus for Chernobyl.
Assumption that current, present, financial situation, will enable states all around the planet to keep funding such toxins, and to then have the capital and resources required to do so into the future. This is almost beyond absurd, and seems to involve a willful decision to ignore the economic chaos that those who have followed the unwinding socially, economically, and politically, have been noting for years as an almost inevitable outcome of global production maximums being reached in key raw materials, especially oil. In other words, current US debt levels are about 65 trillion, probably more now. Assuming this economic system will remain viable and able to cope with large scale and long lasting radiation releases from failed plants or improperly disposed of, or, as we have learned, not at all disposed of, radioactive materials, of all types, is totally irrational.
Next: the assumption, again despite all empirical evidence to the contrary, that financial / political corruption will not work steadfastly and consistently to minimize disaster preparedness and to lower expected danger levels to fit required finance and cost compromises that constitute the essence of especially private industry, but also corrupt government/private connections like we find in China and France. Case studies: Bush group dismantles ability of FEMA to properly function, then Katrina exposes the non-existent privatized fraud that created almost no required response means. Case 2: Diablo Canyon (yes, diablo means devil in Spanish…) reactors in California, sue, successfully, to avoid proper disaster preparedness. That’s in the San Andreas fault zone. Case study: Chinese freeway collapses due to contractors cheating; Chinese high rises collapse due to contractors cheating.
Again, a clear and explicit case of irrationality and magical thinking ignoring reality on the parts of apologists. See the political/tepco ties in Japan that created lax regulations and enforcements as real-world examples of this.
There are so many others, for example: in case engineers and other such alleged ‘experts’ we are supposed to have some faith in re nuclear energy were asleep in their required liberal arts classes, history in particular, several major regions of the globe were bombed heavily from 1938 to 1945, these regions today contain hundreds of reactors. They include China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, etc. This war was not an aberration, these regions have been engaged in a near constant state of warfare since nation states came into existence. Thus, it is massively irrational to assume a precarious peace will last. Case studies, that are more recent than WWII: the former Yugoslavia blows up into violent warfare, that lasts for years, and features brutal and totally ruthless attacks on whatever was there to attack. Georgia, invaded by Russian backed troops, if I remember right.
Other regions subjected to basically indiscriminate bombing campaigns post WWII: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Honduras, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia/Croatia.
It is irrational to believe that what has always happened among a set of people will not happen because that makes the ideology that one is attempting to justify impossible to justify rationally. We have not entered into a magic golden age of peace and tranquility. The USA is currently involved in two occupying wars, a situation that makes the people who are occupied very grouchy. Pakistan is highly unstable. It is irrational to assume that when these states fail or collapse further that the world can fix the reactors as they begin to fail there.
Key and absolutely core: the ongoing failure to engage in proper long term storage of nuclear core wastes as they are created. This is ongoing. Ignoring this fact nullifies all other positives. Pretending this stuff is going to go away when it has not gone away is profoundly irrational, since it ignores a reality that is clear and present for more than 40 years now. A corollary of this irrationality is saying certain wastes with half lives of say, 10,000 years will be safe in 10,000 years. This is of course beyond absurd, Fukushima has I believe 200 tons of this material. This means that in 40,000 years, the storage, should it even happen, will still contain 12 tons of highly radioactive materials. Ignoring this simple arithmetic is another example of the fundamentally irrational quality of the pro nuclear position. France, with their systems, cut this amount to 1/20th, but they do not eliminate it. I don’t know the negatives of their methods, but I assume they are significant, since I now assume all propositions put forth by apologists are based on lies and deception.
I could go on, but I believe it is totally pointless, because the level of irrationality and near willful self-delusion among proponents of this horrifying technology, which resembles in my opinion more than anything else an attempt to make material the notion of ‘hell’ that has always plagued Christian Western man (not anyone else, by the way, Hell is a fairly unique notion, not found really in the form we see it in Christian dogmas in other non-semitic religions.). One is tempted to note, following Soros, that nuclear bombs / reactors, are nothing more than a reflexive effort to make real the core Christian bias of a thing so evil that it defies all human attempts to control it. Sort of like a nuclear reaction, that is. I think people understand this at some core level, and it is this that makes them have the utterly rational reaction of abhorrence that apologists strive to minimize.
But I also do not believe that such decisions were ever made rationally, nor do I believe that proponents of these long lasting toxin generators are proponents for rational reasons. This has grown very obvious to me reading these threads. I am heartened however by the fact that normal people continue to have a rational reaction, which PR and spin and self-interested deception and misdirection, internalized by some, propagated by others, constantly is trying to fight and suppress.
Now, to get back to the overall rational reasons to abhore radiation, let’s look at a few places: long term genetic damage caused by radiation releases. See Chernobyl and Hiroshima and Nagasaki for examples of this, always whitewashed by pro-nuclear apologists to minimize this fact. Normal strategy used: point only to direct deaths, filtering out every possible indirect or long term death, illness, mutant babies, or whatever. Increased cancer rates.
Note the restricted zone around Chernobyl, note the 15 to 30 years required to shut down and in a nuclear power plant. Note the types of injuries being experienced by Chernobyl and Fukushima plant workers, who are basically sacrificing themselves to save the greater social body.
Note the fact of how little plutonium is required to generate cancers. Note the fact that plutonium is a totally 100% unnatural element. Note that each major failure basically removes between 500 and 2500, or more, in a future worst case scenario, possibly coming to a Fukushima reactor near you if today’s news reports about massive radiation spikes prove to be correct.
I find, in fact, when we note all the realities around this perverse, and I would suggest, fundamentally evil technology of nuclear power and weaponry, that the reaction of rational abhorrence is about the most rational possible reaction anyone could possibly have.