I am a nuclear reactor and this is what I know
By Christina Consolo
Note: be sure read Christina’s two most recent articles — “a day in the life of a Fukushima researcher” and “BYOG: Bring Your Own Geiger counter and Hazmat gear“
My outside is pretty plain, but inside I have 10,000 parts. As a nuke plant, you are lucky, because you almost always get waterfront property. This is so if my insides ever get too hot, or the power goes out (oops!) it’s easy to scoop up water and dump it on me.
If my emergency diesel generators go out, which happens a lot, they can sometimes use fire hoses to cool me off, too. I’m glad the NRC spokesman brought that up the other day when Hurricane Sandy happened. A lot of people were probably worried about that. This exact same thing happened to some of my friends in Japan! Fire hoses seemed to work OK for them, but I’m not sure, because no one really talks about it. I think there might have been some explosions or something. Man do they have a nice view from there though! And I heard Pacific sushi is really good!
Some us of are right next to big cities too, so we never get lonely. When people see you a lot, it makes you seem like you belong. Sometimes they paint pretty pictures on us, to make us look more friendly! I hope they paint some birds and butterflies on me, I don’t see too many of those around anymore.
Some days I look around me and I see all that wind, water, and sun and I wonder why people haven’t used those things to generate power, too. Maybe they are just lazy. After all, they use it like crazy in third-world countries like Morocco!
I wish I didn’t vent so much steam too, because it really obscures my view. Some days its really bad, especially if we have a hot shutdown. But people have to work inside of me so I can work properly and things don’t “melt down”. Radiation in the steam is pretty small, so unless you go outside a lot, you’re probably OK. I’m not sure why so many kids around here keep getting brain cancer though. Maybe they sit too close to the TV.
Even if we don’t sit by a big city, we still aren’t lonely. There are lots of security guards around, in case a nun tries to throw blood on us or something! Lots of people don’t seem to like us, probably because they think we are dangerous. But that’s silly, there have only been a few big accidents that have happened, like Chernobyl and Fukushima, which killed lots of people, poisoned the environment forever (and made the ones that didn’t die sick!), or caused deformities in their kids. But when you think about how great nuclear power is, it all evens out!
Most of those people that live around nuclear reactors are poor anyway. The people that own me, probably don’t think they really count. And of course, the 99 other nuclear accidents that have happened most people don’t even know about, even though they’re listed on Wikipedia. They don’t like us to talk about it either. And you never ever talk about the spent fuel and nuclear waste! Or how precarious the fuel pools are, especially in the 23 Mark 1 BWR reactors in the US, the same style as Fukushima! That freaks people out a lot!
I hear some people that work inside me getting scared though, because we break down so much. All you have to do is look at the NRC event notification page to see! But it’s not my fault that I’m old! My owners don’t want to spend the money to fix me up right! They just fix stuff when it breaks. Hopefully it won’t be a big break, because then people will talk probably about us even more.
I’m actually not too worried about the election either, because it looks like both Obama and Romney are big fans of nuclear power. All of their friends are the people that own us. Their friends all own the news media too, so since we give them lots of money, they don’t talk bad about us. Now the Green Party, those people are just plain scary. They could possibly “shut us down”. But no one really listens to them. Most people are too busy watching TV I think. I should know, I make all that electricity for them!
The really funny thing is, electricity isn’t even the reason I was made… I was made to be a bomb-making factory! I kick out plutonium like a person craps after a big meal at a dirty taco stand! Then people from the government come along, scoop up this plutonium, and take it to labs all over the country. There, they figure out ways it can be used against other countries we don’t like, or the countries whose oil we want. Too bad our soldiers get sick from it too. I guess my owners must not care about them either.
Even if people got really mad at us, the NRC, who is like the babysitter that lets you get away with stuff your parents won’t, will relicense me endlessly so I can stay here forever. So I’m really not too worried about things. I would really hate to lose this view!
Please help Christina purchase a spectrometer in order to get the most accurate radiation readings and thus get you the most precise information possible by shopping through her Amazon link or donate directly via PayPal to [email protected] Keep in mind, this is expensive equipment and it is the only way that specific isotope readings can be obtained from food items.
Edited by End the Lie
Christina Consolo is a former clinical researcher supervisor with NIH credentialing; a former Member-at-Large for the Board of Directors, Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society; A peer reviewer for the Journal of Ophthalmic Photography; She has written, published, and contributed to numerous scientific research in retinal imaging and ophthalmogy for the past 24 years; She is also an award-winning biomedical photographer and maintains several websites to teach people about radiation, mitigation, and other nuclear issues. She is also the host of “Nuked Radio” Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1:00-2:00 pm EST on UCY.TV.
For more info including mitigation for radiation exposure, please visit FukushimaFacts.com.