Sunday, March 20, 2011


They are in the middle of a voluntary evacuation of hundreds of military families from Japan's mainland. Some of them are coming from the base we would have been at if we'd gotten our wish and headed to Japan 18 months ago. I'm a little weirded out by it. I mean, on the one hand, I'm grateful we aren't in the middle of that mess, and I know it's easy to say, hey, we were blessed or whatever. But are we really any more important than anyone else who was there? I dunno - I suspect this is the foundation of survivor's guilt, although obviously my own situation isn't quite that...

Anyway, I am praying for this nuclear situation to find a resolution. As horrible as the tsunami was, it's this problem that has me most on edge. Japan isn't exactly a backwards, newbie-on-the-tech-scene kind of country. Clearly, no matter how safe you make it, nuclear power has some very real risks that come with the benefits.

I've read articles calling, once again, for countries to ban it. I think it's far too late for that sort of thing, and nuclear power is here to stay. I wonder, though, where the next meltdown will occur. Who will pay the highest price for this revolutionary, yet horribly unsafe energy source?

And, yes, this is coming from a military wife whose husband spent over six years hiding nuclear warheads in the pacific ocean. Which is why I understand this isn't so simplistic as just banning it. No one's giving it up now. I am proud of my husband for doing his job; I feel very strongly that it's necessary to hopefully keep the balance of power so no one feels confident enough to shoot off their nukes.

But will we learn from this mess in Japan? Will we think long and hard about nuclear power and the risks it entails? Will we work harder to ensure that anyone living near a reactor is properly evacuated, given iodine, kept informed, etc. in case of disaster? Will we put enough money into developing worst case scenarios and resources? Will we work on building better back up generators? Or will everyone in the world just think, hey, wasn't in my backyard - the Japanese must be doing something wrong.

All I have to say to that is, think about Katrina. Consider what would have happened if there'd been a reactor in the path of that storm.

Don't even get me started on Libya...

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