Nuclear crisis: Nobody panic … until it’s too late

Nothing to see here, folks.

Ignorance is bliss. Green-glowing, radioactive, face-melting bliss.

Really, we shouldn’t get too worked up. The fact that the public is being coddled, misled and misinformed by government spokespeople and media figureheads regarding the severity of the nuclear crisis in Japan is a good thing, I say. We wouldn’t want to cause a …

PANIC! Seriously, everybody panic right now.

Because according to the latest little dollop of sunshine out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, water near the hopelessly fucked reactors tested a whopping 10 million times above normal for radiation.

10 million? That sounds pretty bad …

“Certainly, we have to be concerned about the fact that the level of radiation is increasing … . But at this point, we do not … envisage negative health impacts,” an official with Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency told CNN. Within hours, NPR was reporting the spike to be an error caused by inaccurate readings. No need to worry, humanity.

There seems to be a pattern developing here: reported increases in radiation followed by soft, soothing announcements from the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric. More radiation, more and more pillow talk, etc. If they’re not concerned, then why should we be, right?

Well, according to Michio Kaku, one of the nation’s leading physicists and epic white-haired wizards, things could start to get, um, a little hairy.

The three most feared words in the lexicon of a nuclear scientist is “breach of containment,” i.e. an uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment. It appears that we may be seeing this dreaded event unfolding in Japan.

This will create a nightmare beyond Chernobyl. … I have suggested on TV that the leadership of the crisis management be replaced. … Only the mililtary, guided by an international team of top scientists and engineers, can tame this monster. [Emphasis in original.]

Ouch. I think it’s time we started listening to the good doctor, who more than three weeks ago suggested using what he calls the “Chernobyl Option,” a strategy that includes pouring thousands of tons of sand, concrete and boric acid on the reactors, essentially sealing them forever and averting the largest nuclear catastrophe mankind has ever witnessed.

Now that sounds like a smart idea. Especially the part about us not being dissolved into radioactive goo. What do you think, Japanese officials?

We have somewhat prevented the situation from turning worse.

I  feel better already.

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