Japan is a unique country. It’s the only one in the world to have suffered from the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities, with terrible consequences. It’s also one of the few countries in the world to have had meltdown in one of its nuclear plants. Right now they’re doing what they can to prevent radioactive water from seeping into the sea. Steam has been seen rising from the plant in recent days, which shouldn’t be the case since they thought they’d cooled it down long ago. The fact is, as one commentator remarked on radio this morning, they’re making it up as the go along, for the good reason that they’ve never faced anything like this. But they do know that it’ll take f40 or 50 years to dismantle the plant and it’ll cost around $50 billion at today’s prices.
Meanwhile in Britain, the government is telling its people that it’s absolutely essential for them to have a nuclear strike force. Although a nuclear submarine isn’t a problem, it’s notable that they keep theirs as far away from London as they can - up in Scotland in fact. In fact, Scottish moves towards independence is giving the English a headache: where are they going to put their nice totally-necessary nuclear submarines if an independent Scotland were to kick them out?
We hear more and more experts tell us that nuclear power is the only option to save the planet, since it provides ‘clean’ energy compared to oil or coal. On the other hand, when something goes wrong as it has in Japan, nobody really knows what to do. And they know that the effects of relying on nuclear energy has long-term consequences. Relying on nuclear weapons, of course, means that you believe it’s totally legitimate to reduce to dust millions of people in the name of liberty.
I’ve a suggestion. Any party that enters an election with a programme that includes either nuclear energy or nuclear weapons should be boycotted, regardless of what other goodies they may promise. And I remain to be convinced that somebody, somehow, isn’t making big money at the expense of a poisoned planet.