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The Canadian Nuclear FAQ  

by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock


Published in the July 2011 issue of the Canadian Nuclear Society Bulletin, Vol.32, No.2.

Rock Me Fukushima

by Jeremy Whitlock

It rose from the depths of the ocean, thirty kilometres towards Hell. Without warning or remorse it silently overtook the coast and laid waste to reason in its path. A world stopped for weeks, gripped in fear.

This dark evil was Fukushima. A monster created of Mankind's ignorance and neglect. Powerful enough to divert a planet's sympathy from the fate of thousands killed by a nearby earthquake and tsunami. Or the millions of others whose lives changed forever in an instant.

Fukushima stalked those most vulnerable: the minds seeking to understand but receiving nothing intelligible from the trusted sources. Without sleep it rampaged through the media, the political leadership, the NGO observers, the scientific community, and the general population.

It grew stronger with each Facebook flash and terror Tweet. It fed on social media and reached further, faster than any monster before it. Godzilla was a weekend nuisance by comparison, constrained to a mere movie medium. Mothra, Anguirus, Rodan, Gamera, and King Ghidorah fared no better.

Its tendrils, tipped with venomous dread, grew and multiplied through the fertile soil of CNN, inciting an army of morons to do its bidding. Even the greatest of all avengers, Uncle Sam, fell victim to its wiles. Marching before Fukushima, swinging its oversized American flag before it like a giant scimitar, the Samster chased logic into the hills, softening the ground ahead of its new master and lord.

"Run, Americans in Japan, run!", Samster cried, "Run or die!"

Too late and too few, a militia of educators stood their ground against the onslaught. Mercilessly they were cut down, their Powerpoint slides on radiation effects still gripped in their hands.

"Please!", their dwindling numbers called to all that would listen, "this creature is feeding on your fear! There is no deadly radiation!"

"Run or die", came Samster's dire cry, "Run or die! There is no water left in Unit 4's spent fuel pool!"

"Uh, but actually that's not true", warbled the rebels of reason, "as far as we know there is still water in..."

"LIES!", croaked the Samster, snapping off a handful of self-effacing heads with one swing of his great flag, "Who dares counter the word of Uncle Sam!" With a sickening crunch the Samster then disappeared under the mighty foot of Fukushima, lurching from behind, ten times larger than before and no longer in need of the minion's petty favours.

A roar reached around the world from Fukushima's insatiable belly. People on all continents cowered in fear.

"What the heck is a milli-Sievert!", they screamed with consuming insanity, "Grays! Rems! Rads! Why do you torment us, Fukushima?!"

"The iodine is higher than allowable levels!", yelled the Administrators, their minds rent with confusion under Fukushima's spell, "The iodine, oh Lord, the iodine! But you're all safe! You see, the allowable levels are defined as..." Another resonant crunch and the wretched Adminstrators were bothered no more by the trials of scientific explanation. Fukushima roared with delight and disappeared over the horizon.

"The radiation cometh!" came the call to arms on Canada's west coast, heralded by the first nanobecquerels of advanced poison.

"Fear not! You are safe!", soothed the master protector Health Canada, even as it rushed a load of new radiation detectors to the shore. "There is no danger! And we can prove it with our machines!"

Crunch. Health Canada disappeared in a cloud of hysteria, and Fukushima landed on the west coast.

"Potassium Iodide! Potassium Iodide!", chanted the natives of the New World, embracing new gods to save their souls, delirious with CNN fever and the toxins of Facebook coursing through their veins.

Scientists danced on TV talk shows, politicians ran in circles, the great Green machine arose and lead its new lord Fukushima into the feeding grounds of weak hearts and minds. Germany collapsed and disappeared like a week-old puffball, as did Switzerland and Italy, while France rubbed its hands in glee and started drafting new cross-border electricity contracts. Everywhere the anti-nuke cultists bowed before the coming evil.

"The end is nigh!", they squeaked as they dusted off intervener-status application forms, ready to reap the coming spoils of Fukushima's terror.

And meanwhile, even as chaos reigned worldwide, back in a dark corner of the devastated electricity plant where Fukushima first made landfall, spent fuel pools sat full of water and reactors sat holding their fuel, though three cores had long ago melted, cooled and now sat in the dark, safely awaiting the return of reason.

Discussion welcome.

©2011 Jeremy Whitlock

CANDU, nuclear, reactor, FAQ, radiation, AECL, NRU, NRX, Chalk River, Port Hope, FARE, Cameco, Bruce, steam generators, Sierra Club, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
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