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

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…