Thursday, March 17, 2011

Expert Dispels Nuclear Power Fears, Encourages Following Japan in Reactor Development and Whaling as Clean Energy Sources

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Gregory Jaczko, the top nuclear regulator for the United States, gave a dire assessment of the burgeoning crisis at Japan’s nuclear reactors yesterday, saying that lethal radiation from exposed spent fuel rods could force emergency workers to abandon their efforts to prevent meltdowns of damaged reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Several members of the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists have begun issuing tentative warnings to states off the western coast that dangerous levels of radiation could make their way to the nation’s shores if the situation worsens. The exigency has fueled outrage from environmental groups about the perils of continuing the Obama administration’s pledge to build new reactors on U.S. soil. GOP and Tea Party politicians, however, scoffed at the “hyperbolic” nature of the concerns, and cited nuclear fuel as one of the cleanest and most efficient energy sources available, next to whaling.

Reliability of Information in Question
If Jaczko’s assessments and testimony before Congress were correct, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the owner of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, may have withheld information about the gravity of the crisis. And although Japanese authorities didn’t dispute Jaczko’s assertions, several area politicians did.

Stanley Kotex, a senior nuclear engineer at San Narciso-based Yoyodyne and former Tea Party candidate for Congress, addressed the City Council this morning to assuage fears over a nuclear winter in California.

Kotex has been working abroad in a joint venture between the Japanese government and Yoyodyne for the last eight months.

“I apologize in advance for my appearance,” Kotex began, responding to comments that he appeared bloated, balding, and under the weather. “I’ve clearly put on a few pounds in the last couple of weeks, my hair seems to be thinning -- probably from stress -- and I’ve come down with some sort of stomach virus, so I’m a bit nauseous. But nothing to worry about.”

Kotex has been heavily engaged in nuclear partnership programs across the globe and believes that the emergency response crews in Japan have the situation well in hand.

“This will not be another Chernobyl,” Kotex explained. “For one thing, this is happening in Japan, not Russia. So, already there’s a difference. I think it’s also important to understand that the Japanese people have a built-in immunity to radiation. We destroyed two of their islands with nuclear bombs some years back, and what’s been the fall out? Nothing. Tokyo was just fine, and it’s a lot closer to Hiroshima than we are to Japan. The culture is thriving. They can contain this before any harmful levels of radiation float our way. And frankly, the threat is overblown. We are exposed to radioactive particles everyday. We rely on cell phones, we get x-rays at the doctors, we sit in front of computer screens, and we live beneath a star that’s constantly pummeling us with gamma rays -- with ultraviolet radiation. And yet, our life expectancy continues to increase. There’s simply no scientific evidence to suggest that we aren’t equally resistant to the effects of radiation, or that a little steam from some decades-old, used-up uranium rods will pose any more of a health risk than microwaving popcorn.”

Kotex also noted that Marie Curie, a pioneer in the study of radioactive materials, was exposed to their effects for years without suffering adverse symptoms.

“She lived until the ripe old age of 67, which in 1934 was like being in one’s late 80s,” Kotex said. “She died of aplastic anemia -- a rare blood disorder, not radiation poisoning. I think we’ll all be fine. We should be more concerned about the activity surrounding the yen and suppressing the ridiculous calls to end nuclear power. These hippies keep complaining about clean alternative energy -- about getting over our dependence on fossil fuels -- but once we provide it to them, they start with their ‘end of all life on earth’ scenarios. It’s a political tactic, not a reality.”

The Future of Nuclear Power as Alternative Energy
Kotex praised Japan as a paragon of environmental excellence, and said that despite this incident, the United States should continue to follow a similar path toward energy independence.

“Let’s not become another Germany,” Kotex cautioned. “They’re shutting down their reactors. So, I guess it’s back to the coal mines for them. But does it surprise anyone? Germany is a socialist nightmare. Remember Hitler? And if it wasn’t for Germany dragging us into World War II, Japan may have been spared the damage we were forced to inflict upon it.”

Kotex also said that while he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with President Obama, he agrees that nuclear power must be pursued.

“It emits no carbon. It produces over 20 percent of the nation’s power at a fraction of the cost of other sources. We can’t ignore its potential. Oil and gas are not renewable resources; they will dry up one day, and we must be prepared. But wind and solar are equally non-renewable. Look at it logically. You can’t predict when the wind will blow, if it will at all, and scientists keep telling us the sun will burn out one day. More than the rarefied instance of a reactor melt down, the sun’s inevitable demise poses the greatest threat to ending all life on the planet.”

In addition to continuing development on nuclear plants, Kotex also said the United States would do well to emulate the Japanese whaling industry.

“I know that PETA fanatics have their small opinions and limited world view,” Kotex opined, “but whaling is our heritage. Ever read Melville? We saved the whales in the 70s, and now they’re everywhere. But this is truly a renewable resource. Kill a couple of whales, heat a hundred homes. They’ll reproduce. Circle of life, people. Not to mention all that clean burning whale oil to power our stoves and cars and perfumeries. Seriously, Obama’s spent too much money on measures to weather proof homes. Won’t work. And once we pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ll have a glut of unemployed naval personnel and decommissioned ships just rotting in dry dock. Let’s use those resources intelligently to revitalize a dead industry, which will create new jobs and drive exploration initiatives for one of the country’s most historically efficient and cleanest energy sources. Nothing will go to waste. After extracting the ambergris from the fish [sic], the carcases can be processed as a new culinary delicacy. So now we’re feeding people. That should help justify the proposed budget cuts to wasteful food stamp and meal programs.”