Three Mile Island: Before
Here is the second part of a continuing email conversation with my Swedish friend, Absinthia. To see the earlier posts, start with Do the Right Thing.
When I was a kid in the US in the 1960s, I had weeks and weeks of lying in bed awake, terrified of nuclear war. After it went away, months would go by, and something would remind me of it, and the fear would return. This went on for years. Now that I’m older, I’m not afraid of death, so it’s not as bad, but I still think about the possibility of nuclear detonation.
I didn’t know anything about nuclear power plants back then. Actually there probably weren’t any that long ago.
Now I started to think again, about the fears of my childhood. The cold war was a reality when I was a child. I am now past 40 and I remember the iron curtain and the low murmur of the east and west leaders threatening each other as a continous background. I also remember the very first time a nuclear plant broke down, the Harrisburg incident [Three Mile Island]. Do you remember when and how that happened? I was a young girl child and the USA was very far away from where I lived then…across the ocean… All I remember then was my mother crying and very stern voices and faces on the adults.
Don´t you worry, lots of people agree with you, at least here in Europe. In a very recent election in Germany, not a national but a big local/semi national, the green party won very big! That means in reality that a big majority of the political power, in one of the most powerful countries in Europe is with the anti-nukes group. This had led to a national discussion about a moratorium, temporary closing, on the nuclear plants in Germany, which hopefully might lead to a permanent closure.
Here in Sweden, political parties with a pro-nukes agenda have run the country for more than 5 years now. But the Fukushima incident has shaken the political leaders quite a bit. The Green Party, which is one of the biggest right now and therefore having a lot of people listening to them, has started a very heated discussion about why the pro-nukes attitudes is treated like some kind of religious truth. The Green Party’s spokesperson pointed to the fact that Sweden makes much more energy than we need oursleves via water, air, and sun power, but still everyone says we need more more, more, and that fact is never doubted! And the nuclear plants are run for double the effect than they were originally designed just because of the “we need more-more-more” cult’s shouting!! “Why is that,” the Green Party’s spokesperson asked?
And I agree, that is a very good question, indeed. Why has no one doubted this, even though we have so many rivers with water power plants? And there are so many wind turbines built, almost no house is built today without sun power roofs, and everywhere we are working to reduce the need for energy and fossile fuel! Why is the idea that we need more energy just as strong and established as if it were a scientific fact?
So, you are not alone!
Even the politicians have started to realise things! …;-)
(This conversation is continued here: A Conversation with Absinthia, Part 3.)
Three Mile Island: After