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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Nuclear Question

March 21st, 2011
Please give to Japanese Relief HEREHERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

By F. Grey Parker
I have received hundreds of e-mails over the last several days from readers wondering "where" I had gone and, more pointedly, why I had "stopped covering" the events at TEPCO's Fukishima Dai-Ichi and Dai-Ni facilities. I have been right here.

Let me start by saying this: I believe the concepts of nuclear power make perfect sense. Surprised? Don't be. We're dealing with provable physics. It's not subject to whim or ideology. Science does what it does.

Science is verifiable, it is repeatable and it is consistently obedient to elemental laws. What I don't believe in is man. The limits of each cannot achieve parity. Bottom line.

I oppose nuclear energy as an option more fervently now than ever before. My long-time, two-fold argument against it not only remains unchanged but has been utterly affirmed by the events in Japan. The question of workable spent fuel storage and the limits of human discipline render the pursuit of this thing we can do extremely unwise. The profit motive as we tend to demonstrate it also renders our species nearly unworthy of the knowledge itself.

The atom doesn't lie. Industrialists seeking the shortest path to the largest treasure do.

Akio Komori Director of TEPCO in Japan
TEPCO did. For decades, they institutionalized a predictable culture of venal greed that mars most huge industrial energy initiatives. Reports were altered. Corners were cut. Decisions were made to enhance profit over sustainability.

At times, immediate safety was secondary to the steady flow of favorable quips about "growth" by the CEO. These are the obvious risks when unbridled greed is improperly regulated in capital driven systems. We have dealt with this flaw in our nature in arguably every endeavor where a few sought to enhance their wealth by enticing the many.

Sometimes, though, the stakes really are just too high.

Meet "the spent fuel rod":

There is no question that the energy demands of world society are at the breaking point. But know this. The disaster of failing to meet the future has already happened. What I have described before in this space as "Hoover Dam Thinking" is no longer possible as the global economy is presently defined.

There's no easy money in it.

San Onofre Nuclear Plant, West Coast U.S.A
More to come...

Sleep tight...

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