I’ve stopped watching the news.
Was about this time last week I got up to make a drink and found my son - who was in the process of planning a trip to Japan - glued to the TV.
So I sat and watched with him.
I feel for those people.
And now I fear for them. And the whole fucking planet.
When I was a kid we had a coal turbine power station in our town - my dad worked there and when they decided to close it the employees were offered jobs elsewhere in the industry.
I remember the discussions - I was maybe 11 or 12, and my sister and I were included in them. Dad had a few options and the one that paid the most money was Sellafield.
I told the parents that if they said we had to move there I would leave home.
Where I was gonna go I don’t know.
Fortunately Dad found a new job here instead.
I’d heard stuff about higher cancer rates and other illnesses amongst the people who lived near the place.
We had items about nuclear deterrents and images of Russia having military parades where it displayed its missiles on the news. In England we had the USA storing missiles at Greenham Common because from here they could hit Russia before it hit them.
And we had TV documentaries and dramas about the post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear attack.
Duck and cover.
I know about fallout and nuclear winters and radiation.
But even though I didn’t agree with having it, the nuclear deterrent worked.
Who is going to push the button knowing that their enemy would do the same ? Every country that has nuclear capability knows the destruction it would cause and that it’s only going to bring the same back on itself.
I’ve always said that everyone was worried about atomic bombs when really it’s the nuclear generators we should be sweating over. A power station could have a fault or an accident, something that man cannot control - nobody needs to be pushing a button for that to happen.
Its always been the one thing that really, truly scares me.
Chernobyl is over 2000 km from England and they reported higher radiation levels in rain over Wales after the accident there. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, if it was raining I didn’t go out. That might seem extreme but I didn’t care, I was worried.
The land around the site is still not safe, 24 years later.
Children are born with deformities and people are dying of cancer.
Want to have nightmares ? Look it up on Youtube.
One reactor went into meltdown and caused so much destruction.
Fukushima has four.
What the fuck kind of damage can that do the whole fucking planet if the worst happens ?
If it isn’t happening already.
The first the rest of the world knew about Chernobyl was sensory equipment in another country detecting raised levels of radiation. The fucking roof blew off but they didn’t evacuate the nearby town until 40 hours later.
I hope the Japanese will/ are being totally honest with the rest of the world and their own people about the situation there. Thankfully their country is not like post-communist Russia and I’m sure they are.
As a nation they remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Son is keeping an eye on the news and I know he’ll tell me if anything major happens but I’m not watching it. I’ve been sat there fucking speechless (which is really not like me) every time I have.
And there’s nothing I can do about it.
Those poor people, as if getting the worst earthquake and a tsunami aren’t enough they now have to worry about radiation.
Think about that when you’re moaning about the traffic or the spot on your nose.
The one thing that has pleased me is what I’ve seen about other countries realising that they need to seriously look at the safety of their power plants, even suspending plans to build new ones.There was a time when people protested if their government planned to build one on their doorstep, that hasn’t happened for a long time - hopefully those days will return.
I actually saw some spokesman on the TV saying nuclear energy was the safest form of power.
Like fuck it is.
If a turbine power station caught fire or blew up or just stopped working you might have immediate casualties and damage. But you can deal with that, and you can get close enough to the building to be able to do so and make it safe.
Even if a nuclear plant never had an accident there is still the issue of waste. There might be less immediate pollution into the atmosphere, but the used product has to be encased in thick containers and buried underground in what are referred to as deep geological sites.
Apparently it is safe after 1000 years, although of course they clearly can’t be sure - it’s not like they had some to bury 1000 years ago that they’ve since dug up and guess what the Geiger counter didn’t beep once.
There are other options.
And what about hydro energy, if there was any doubt about the power the ocean is capable of then the events of last Friday disprove that.
I fail to believe that scientists can not come up with viable alternatives.
I do have another theory, about the planet.
It’s been here far longer then we have, and I’ve always wondered if we really fucked it up enough would mother nature just decide to wipe it clean.
And if that was going to happen, given that 70% of the surface is water might that be the medium it used to do that.
Makes me wonder.
Have no fear for atomic energy ’cause none of them can stop the times.