Monday, April 4, 2011
Spring of 2011. That was when we all learned what a millisievert is. When we learned how many it takes to make you sick...and how soon. When everybody took a crash course in nuclear chemistry by way of the internet or friends who used to be science majors because suddenly there was iodine 131 in the gentle rain and it would be nice to know if we ought to give the baby canned milk or if we were just being silly.
Suddenly Rem isn't just a band from the 90s anymore.
Suddenly we are afraid.
The old cold fear from the old cold war has returned. No one has yet uttered the word "Strontium" on the news at eleven but those among us who are old enough whisper it to each other and wonder if the containment will completely fail and bring that too upon the wind.
There is probably nothing to worry about. After all, the government exploded a lot of nuclear bombs in the Nevada desert and most of us were just fine. Sure, a few dairies in Utah had to throw away a few thousand gallons of milk, but nobody got sick or anything.
When this tragedy finally passes and the reactors are sealed, each in their own concrete sarcophagus, what then? Can we go back to the way we were before? Sure, the 9.0 earthquake and huge tsunami were extraordinary events. Still, a system that turns into molten death if the water ever stops pumping for a few hours strikes me as being in need of a serious design modification, to say the least.
Be seeing you