Skip to main content

Editorial Round Up

Nicholas Kristof over at the New York Times offers a tribute to the Fukushima workers:

The selflessness, stoicism and discipline in Japan these days are epitomized by those workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, uncomplainingly and anonymously risking dangerous doses of radiation as they struggle to prevent a complete meltdown that would endanger their fellow citizens.

[…]

I hope that some day Japan will erect another symbol of loyalty and dedication to duty: a statue of those nuclear plant workers.

I do too. There have been many, many heroic deeds performed throughout Japan over the last week – perhaps the Fukushima workers can stand as a symbol of the “selflessness, stoicism and discipline” displayed by so many.

Kristof has a larger point to make about what Americans could learn from the Japanese, but I found that part less interesting – the ideal combination of human qualities has yet to settle on one culture. But making it a personal project to adopt qualities one admires is never a bad idea. Read the whole thing for Kristof’s whole argument.

---

More, from the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat:

While many within 50 miles of the facility have fled the area, an estimated 180 workers were still at the site late last week. Wearing protective gear, they have been pumping seawater into the heated reactors, trying to run new power lines, dumping water from helicopters and doing whatever is possible to try to prevent fuel rods from overheating. They’ve been working in short shifts inside the plant to limit their exposure to radiation. Japanese authorities had to raise the maximum radiation exposure limits to allow them to do so.

Dreadful cartoon illustrating it though.

---

The Knoxville News weighs in:

Nuclear power is essential to the future energy needs of the country. Safety is essential to the future well-being of area residents. The Obama administration has a responsibility to review and, where necessary, improve the safety of the nuclear power plants in our midst.

This seems to be the prevailing theme in many editorials. Nothing to disagree with here. Var897Here’s another example, from the Greensboro News-Record:

But over-reacting now could jeopardize steady progress the nation has made toward reducing unhealthy air pollution linked to dated coal-fired power plants. Environmentalists blame thousands of deaths on emissions from their smokestacks. The timing couldn’t be worse for the Obama administration, which seeks congressional funding for a low-emission nuclear system to replace the dominant coal-stoked facilities.

You could call this the somewhat pessimistic version of the theme. The concern and interest is more than appreciated and a lot of editorials, however they come at, all focus on the qualities that nuclear energy brings to the energy conversation.

Comments

Fred Z said…
What I find ironic about the Kristof comment is that this sort of selfless heroism is actually far more commonplace than we routinely acknowledge. Every day across the globe millions or tens of millions of people do necessary jobs that involve daily risk to life. People rock.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…