Friday, April 15, 2011

Japan’s nuclear problem and long term prospects of sustainable nuclear energy.

We’ve spent our early efforts towards nuclear research and development on making nuclear bombs, perfecting it’s long range delivery, and maximizing payload.

Why can’t we shift focus now and really look at the feasibility of utilizing nuclear energy safely and sustainably to solve some of the world’s energy problems? Is it sustainable or green to consider nuclear energy as a viable option even in the wildest of hopes and dreams for the human capacity to do good things?

I see a lot of anger and panic towards nuclear energy these days because of Japan's disasters. You can’t blame the masses of the Green movement to join the panic since most of our leading organizations have been long invested in the cause.

“Major anti-nuclear groups include Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. The initial objective of the movement was nuclear disarmament, though the focus has shifted to include opposition to the use of nuclear power.
I had to stop and ask myself, being an obsessed Trekkie most of my adult life, do I really want to join the masses on the dissent of nuclear energy only because I align with these organizations otherwise? If my instinct should hold true to ask such a question, should I challenge my own blindness? Do I not imagine one day my grandkids will call from the far reaches of space and say that they had a hard day managing the safety level of their warp core and how they wished for the days of predicable nuclear engines?

I hesitated. After working for the Legion, I learned that many well established mission driven organizations may have good intentions, but they do deviate from their philosophies by the lure of short term market share or temporary operational gains. This is committed by both side of the political spectrum and all sorts of “neutral” organizations.

(I know of some rather senseless lawsuits initiated by a very reputable civil rights organization against a long standing cross on mountain top built by an old army medic, for his fellow service members injured or killed in war. This is the same problem I had with people who can’t agree to have a Christmas tree in their work place or schools. Coming from a different culture, I welcomed the tree and the cross. One because I am curious, two because I hope others would also allow me to bring my special ways of celebrating Chinese holidays to the public. It’s a shared experience for learning. Maybe I am partial to the old medic, making me partial to opinionate; but I don’t want to deviate too far.)

I have a lot of respect for organizations such as Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. But I have to ask myself if I can picket sign to ban all nuclear energy development in responsible ways.
I searched the web and there is a wealth of information about nuclear energy; its efficiency, safety, real costs, and a host of other relevant information. Some alarmed me, some made me think about the serious possibilities of scientific progress only if we can keep our minds off the weapon’s game. It looks to be a very tough choice: I’d have to give up my Trekkie status and be really “pro green” with the rest of the masses "feeling" for what green energy looks like? Or I can still dream about space and foolish things beyond the galaxy and hold my ground that it’s not the knowledge and science that kills, it’s irrational people who kills.

My condolences for the Japanese People. May you survive your challenges and emerge as a stronger and more sensible nation focused on Sustainability. May your future stand on the pursuit of reason and knowledge, not fear and ignorance. 

No comments:

Post a Comment