I live near a nuclear reactor that is set to triple in size, thanks to the wisdom of the government. After the terrible disaster at Fukushima I wonder how anyone can even contemplate building another reactor let alone two. It’s not that I’m anti-technology, I don’t think I am. I just don’t think the benefits outweigh the cost. Nuclear power is kept at an artificially low price, aided and abetted by every government, regardless of its political hue. The possibility of something going wrong is great, either through human error or natural occurrence. Then there is the question of what to do with the waste products.
I know we need energy, especially now that, as a country, we have wasted the benefits of North Sea oil and gas. Now that we have realised that oil is a finite resource. Using nuclear power though is not the answer. I am reminded of Gil Scott Heron’s We Almost Lost Detroit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b54rB64fXY4 ), a song about the first commercial breeder reactor in America and its near meltdown in 1966. The trouble with nuclear power is that we cannot afford even one mistake, the consequences are too awful to contemplate and the trouble with us humans is that we make mistakes.
The reason I am writing about this today is that every time I walk to the local post office I pass a huge billboard that tells me there will be jobs because of the new reactors. It says something like it is generating employment. It reads like we should be grateful, doff our communal forelock and cry “God bless you governor, you are so kind.” I think people deserve better. I looked at that billboard today and I knew that people deserve better.
Every week since just before Christmas the local paper has carried adverts for the reactor, with photographs of attractive people, men in blue overalls, women seated behind desks. We are being sold a nice clean, responsible industry. The advertising campaign is so transparent it is laughable, save this is not a laughing matter. On Wednesday night a friend told me she is preparing to put her house up for sale because of the new reactors. She does not want to be so close; I cannot say I blame her.
What is the answer then? We cannot stop the reactors from being built. If the government wants to build them then they will and all sane arguments will be ignored, all criticism will be derided and tame experts will be paraded to tell us of all the benefits. Let’s just hope the advertising campaign is more subtle.
I want to end this week on a lighter note with a poem that has nothing to do with nuclear power or government machinations. A poem that will hopefully make you smile. Last year a friend of my wife was telling us about her daily bus journey on the 256 and how there is never any good looking men on board (apologies to all those readers who may commute on a bus numbered 256, I am sure she was not referring to you). Anyway I wrote the following based on her complaint.
Everyday, everyday I ride the 256,
I’m going to work but looking for kicks.
The people on this bus they go from A-B,
I want to go all the way, ride from A-Z.
Say, you look buff boy, you’ll fit my bill,
Uncomplicated sex, now that is my thrill.
So listen Jack, leave your baggage in the luggage rack,
Let’s get down and dirty for the last bus leaves at 6.30.
I feel that life is passing me by,
So board my bus, give this girl a try,
Cause I’m looking for quality sex
Everyday on the 256.
I hope you have a good week.