The question of the hour is whether or not it is ethical to consider American safety repercussions of using nuclear energy in the aftermath of Japan’s recent disaster. My answer: yes. It may seem a little untimely, but you have to remember that the average American has a short attention span and will only take notice of such a topic once such a dramatic story as Japan’s is still fresh on their mind. If a reform over nuclear energy were to take place, then it will have to take place quickly. According to the CIA World Factbook, Japan has a Gross Domestic Product of just over 5 trillion USD, ranking them third richest (within only a few billion from overtaking China) on the planet. Japan is a very rich country and can handle itself in the rebuild. Their largest loss is that of human lives, with a death toll expected to reach 20,000. Unfortunately, there are no ways to reclaim these lives and focus must shift on preventing another nuclear disaster from occurring. It only follows logically that we must protect our own and research safer ways of harnessing this energy.
There are 104 nuclear energy facilities in the United States and two in Texas. The Texas facilities, each with two reactors, are located in Bay City and Comanche Peak. However, the Comanche Peak plant has plans to add two more reactors onsite. In addition, both A&M and UT possess research reactors for scientific research that pose low threat. However, I have no stiff opinion over nuclear energy. It is a process that I only vaguely understand, but recognize as cleaner than burning coal and dirtier than wind energy. Thus, I am decidedly ambivalent. My main concern is for our health and the health of our young ‘uns. Safety first and all that jazz.
I do not doubt that the media puts fear into the minds of some of the more easily deceived. They made Americans fear that they would be poisoned by Japan and that they need to go out and buy Iodine tablets. In this video, Glenn Beck says that Jesus sent the earthquake to Japan because they made the Prius. Although he is a major news correspondent, it’s an objective opinion that this guy is just batshit insane. However, people listen to him and believe what he says. Him and people like him use fear to pull in viewers and this is the unethical portion of the coverage over Japan.