Published on July 13th, 2011 | by Rhonda Winter4
Nuclear Power, Japan and Hope
Japan’s national soccer team has just beaten Sweden, and will face off against the United States team on Sunday for the World Cup. I have never been much of a sports fan, but this women’s international soccer tournament has completely captured me. Regardless of who wins the championship, it promises to be an excellent game.
The United States national soccer team’s dramatic come back in Germany last week against Brazil in the last seconds of the game is the stuff that legends are made of. The performance of the U.S. goalie, the aptly named Hope Solo, was also utterly awe-inspiring. Solo is a working class kid from Richland, Washington; which is also the home of the decommissioned Hanford Nuclear Site, the most contaminated nuclear waste site in the western hemisphere.
I am somewhat obsessed with the Hanford site, and just found out that there are actually public tours of the facility. Tons of spent nuclear fuel rods are stored there, and some entity must pay billions of dollars over time to somehow continue safely maintaining all of that dangerous nuclear waste for thousands of years.
Why are these purely economic costs (to say nothing of the gargantuan environmental expenses) consistently never factored into the price of nuclear energy? Nuclear power has to be the most dangerous, toxic, stupid and deadly method of boiling water that our species has ever devised.
Considering the horrific disasters wrought upon Japan in the last few months, including the various nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, the Japanese team is definitely the emotional favorite to win Sunday’s final game. I don’t really care which team is victorious in the soccer match; it is most satisfying to see both inspired girls, as well as dudes enthusiastically supporting women playing sports.
Nuclear Meltdown vs. Amazing Women Playing Soccer
Mostly I am just grateful and appreciative of the brief respite that these exciting soccer games have provided my brain from fixating upon the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, as well as the billions of tons of poisonous nuclear waste that we have already created. Although, even with the distraction of Hope Solo and the World Cup, I still can not stop thinking about how we will ever be able to possibly keep that much highly radioactive toxic material “safe” for thousands of years to come.