There Ought to Be a Law: Criminal Nuclear Recklessness

Every nuclear power plant on earth ought to be designated as a crime scene of nuclear recklessness based upon the very threat of catastrophic consequences and upon the nuclear industry’s woeful lack of readiness to handle the most predictable mishaps.

There is a solution so simple and elegant of design. Bring the politicians and the businessmen who profit from the nuclear power industry before an International Criminal Court. Strip them of their recklessly acquired wealth. Allow them to subsist on entitlement programs alone – subsidized housing, food stamps and a modest stipend. Require them to ‘volunteer’ for Disaster Response Teams where they would be trained in all the state-of-the-art protocols of first responders for any nuclear crisis anywhere in the world. Be sent into the plant spewing radioactive poison and do what must be done and be involved in the wide-ranging clean-up. With such a consequence hanging over the heads of those who are profiting from this madness we would see swift reform.

This would never happen, of course, because the very people charged with overseeing the nuclear industry for safety are the ones who like it the way it is and profit from it handsomely.

It has been said of Tokyo that it is a city waiting to die because of Japan’s location atop volatile tectonic plate activity. So it has been common knowledge. We knew. Books have been written about the insanity of building nuclear power plants in this active earthquake zone. And now the nightmare unfolds before our eyes.

Where is the international body of wise, far-sighted men and women empowered to say “No! There will be no nuclear power plants here! Too dangerous!” Why do we proceed in such dangerous terrain from recklessness and not from the highest standards of human enlightenment?

We have given over the leadership of this world, Starship Earth, to slick con-artists, addicted to gambling for high stakes. They work together, make the rules, build the structures, make off with the profits and let the people pay the terrible price when the containment walls burst.

Is there an echo? It sounds so familiar.

The crux of the matter is this: Our leaders look out for themselves. They’ll shovel the pretty rhetoric at us about freedom, equality and the sacredness of human life. But their words lie. Only their actions tell the truth. And the truth is that all of our leaders are in it only for the money and the people be damned. One cannot make it to the highest levels of government/corporate structures without a willingness to play this money-game.

Our leaders ought to be made to wear patches on their clothing, like race-car drivers, revealing the names of the organizations that are bank-rolling all of their initiatives. The masses of human beings upon this earth are the fodder of the rich to be manipulated and exploited in the work place and in the market place and to pay with their flesh and blood, their homes and their families, their loves and their dreams when the debts come due.

What folly!

Ralph J. Dolan is a retired family therapist living in western Massachusetts. He can be reached at bodhibananaman@aol.com Read other articles by Ralph J..

7 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. diane said on March 28th, 2011 at 3:20pm #

    I think the whole world would benefit from reading Doris Lessing’s fable “the Cleft” as it shows so clearly the diametrical differences between the male way, and the female way.
    As a woman,I am constantly amazed at the way in which men are absorbed in either chasing rocks (space exploration) or smashing rocks together (haldron), women are just not interested.
    I am also constantly amazed at the male species disinclination to ask questions, like why do the powers that be begrudge spending money on childrens health, but are happy to finance in the Zillions, on rock chasing and rock smashing hhhmm.
    I have been quite amazed over the last two weeks, reading on different web sites, the rather commonly held opinion of many men, that Nuclear Power is good, this is just a glitch, the technology out there, can address and fix all the problems, look how the oil well was plugged, no real damage done.
    I can say no more
    Diane

  2. marklar said on March 28th, 2011 at 5:41pm #

    Clueless sexist reader rants aside, I think this article may have benefited from a little more analysis and a bit less ranting of it’s own however much I might agree with the sentiments it presents.

  3. Vic Anderson said on March 28th, 2011 at 7:01pm #

    Rather, Radiation BADGES on their blue collared shirts as they man the frontline force pouring the concrete sarcophagus over Fukushima! Just So, THEY KNOW.

  4. hayate said on March 28th, 2011 at 10:43pm #

    “Bring the politicians and the businessmen who profit from the nuclear power industry before an International Criminal Court. Strip them of their recklessly acquired wealth. Allow them to subsist on entitlement programs alone – subsidized housing, food stamps and a modest stipend.”

    You mean subsidise the disgusting things? Give then a sackcloth and a toilet brush. They should do fine.

  5. Don Hawkins said on March 29th, 2011 at 1:22am #

    {http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/japan_radiation_spikes}

    Months or years yes probably safely say years alright.

    Plutonium ( /pluːˈtoʊniəm/ ploo-TOH-nee-əm) is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the chemical symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is an actinide metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. The element normally exhibits six allotropes and four oxidation states. It reacts with carbon, halogens, nitrogen and silicon. When exposed to moist air, it forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. It is also a radioactive poison that accumulates in bone marrow. These and Plutonium ( /pluːˈtoʊniəm/ ploo-TOH-nee-əm) is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the chemical symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is an actinide metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. The element normally exhibits six allotropes and four oxidation states. It reacts with carbon, halogens, nitrogen and silicon. When exposed to moist air, it forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. It is also a radioactive poison that accumulates in bone marrow. These and other properties make the handling of plutonium dangerous.

    Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element, by virtue of its most stable isotope, plutonium-244, whose half-life of about 80 million years is just long enough for the element to be found in trace quantities in nature.[3] The most important isotope of plutonium is plutonium-239, with a half-life of 24,100 years. Plutonium-239 is the isotope most useful for nuclear weapons. Plutonium-239 and 241 are fissile, meaning the nuclei of their atoms can break apart by being bombarded by slow moving thermal neutrons, releasing energy, gamma radiation and more neutrons. These can therefore sustain a nuclear chain reaction, leading to applications in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.

    Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 88 years and emits alpha particles. It is a heat source in radioisotope thermoelectric generators, which are used to power some spacecraft. Plutonium-240 has a high rate of spontaneous fission, raising the neutron flux of any sample it is in. The presence of plutonium-240 limits a sample’s usability for weapons or reactor fuel, and determines its grade. Plutonium isotopes are expensive and inconvenient to separate, so particular isotopes are usually manufactured in specialized reactors.
    thermoelectric generators, which are used to power some spacecraft. Plutonium-240 has a high rate of spontaneous fission, raising the neutron flux of any sample it is in. The presence of plutonium-240 limits a sample’s usability for weapons or reactor fuel, and determines its grade. Plutonium isotopes are expensive and inconvenient to separate, so particular isotopes are usually manufactured in specialized reactors.

    Americium-241, the decay product of plutonium-241, has half-life of 430 years, 1.2 spontaneous fissions per gram per second, and decay heat of 114 watts per kilogram. As its decay produces highly penetrative gamma rays, its presence in plutonium, determined by the original concentration of plutonium-241 and the sample age, increases the radiation exposure of surrounding structures and personnel.

  6. Maien said on March 29th, 2011 at 8:22am #

    clueless, sexist reader rant? Diane has a real observation to report. The observation has been made by others as well.
    I do agree with the “sentiments” expressed and the call for respsonsibility residing where it should be residing.

  7. hayate said on March 29th, 2011 at 11:01pm #

    diane said on March 28th, 2011 at 3:20pm

    Ah, yes, the evil men vs the virtuous women argument.

    Made in israel (or by zionists – same thing), like most recent divide and conquer divisive strategies. Given what israel is, naturally, the things only want their suckers in the “western democracies” taking any of that manure seriously.