copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert
"America is one of three." Some might say the United States is one in a million. Surely, the superiority of this western nation is rarely questioned. The "land of milk and honey" is frequently referred to as a Superpower. Most think America might be considered truly supreme. Politically, economically, and militaristically the United States excels. This democratic nation has clout. America is able to control a situation, or a strategy. Citizens here consistently prove they are strong. This is the "home of the brave." It is well known, Americans are courageous enough to take a stand, and they have. The United States is one of three nations that, regardless of outcry, refuses to support a United Nations resolution which would abolish the manufacture and use of all nuclear weapons.
|Cries from citizens in Hiroshima do nothing to change the minds of Americans. The 63rd anniversary of the atomic blast that annihilated the Japanese city does not move residents of the United States. People who inhabit this Superpower do not recall the intensity of a moment that instantaneously killed 140,000 people. Perhaps, that is why here, in the States, few think it essential that we all remember that power, nuclear, or absolute destroys.|
On a bright and beautiful August morning, on the 6th, in 1945, America with the assistance of its allies, dropped an enormously powerful explosive on an entire community. Innocent inhabitants of Hiroshima did not awaken. The sound, while deafening, did not cause those still asleep to stir. People, out and about, did not dare run for shelter. There was no time. Immediately after the blast, bodies flew through the air aimlessly. The blameless could not scurry. There was no escape from the explosion the one of three initiated. Ultimately . . .
An estimated 140,000 people were killed instantly or died within a few months after the bombing. Japan's official death toll of nearly 260,000 includes injured who have died in the decades since.
The scars still linger. Today, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba announced a two-year study would commence. Researchers would estimate the psychological toll of the August 6, 1945, attack. It is obvious to the Mayor and to all who reside amongst the survivors, invisible, invasive thoughts have been difficult to calculate, although for too many these are palpable.
Much discovery, and documentation of the physical toll the atomic ammo took, is available. However, the horrendous effects from an explosive too brutal to speak of sadly, remain hidden in the recesses of many a mind. Pronounced affects, early on, were perhaps more apparent then they are now. Nevertheless, what occurred in the final days of World War II continues to have an effect, evident and precarious.
Perchance that is why at 8:15 Ante Meridian, three-score, and three years later, an assembly of 45,000 people gathered beneath the spot where the one in three detonated an atomic bomb. Modern-day mourners recall too vividly the lives lost, the family's devastated, the history that could haunt all people planet wide if only everyone chose to be aware of it. Most, at least in America, prefer to forget, and perhaps have. History for those in the States does not endure in the present. In this nation far removed from a reality so grim, few recall, in that fateful month of August 1945, those drunk with absolutism pounded again and again.
Three days later, another U.S. airplane dropped a plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing about 80,000 people.
The total number of deaths in a single week was staggering. The effect on generations of Japanese citizens is no less stunning. Yet, here in the United States, the ability to ignore, or excuse what was, and is, endures. Perchance, the capacity to remove an event from consciousness enables the luxury of repudiation. Thus, the United States continues to reject the United Nations resolution to eliminate nuclear weaponry.
People in the States rationalize. Some say these brutal bombs ended the war. Indeed, the nuclear explosives did nothing to bring peace to the people in Japan, or elsewhere for that matter. Today, the same nation that aggressively assaulted Far Eastern enclaves continues to threaten the sanctity of life everywhere.
American leaders intent on dominion, arrogantly demand that all other countries relinquish nuclear weaponry. Nuclear energy endeavors also must be eliminated if they exist on foreign territory. After all, the capability to crush an enemy is a concern. The one of three, or one in a million superpower maintains only the United States need have this command. Might we inquire; is conquest the manifest destiny of a democratic nation?
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It seems the answer is yes. For decades, each Administration demands only allies can make use of fission. Foes must cease, and desist. Development of nuclear power could lead to another atomic attack, and not by the world's most dominant force. That, in the mind of many Americans must not occur.
Therefore, any research in the realm of nuclear energy must be restricted, that is except if the Americans do the investigation. Development that might advance an ability to build such a dangerous arsenal need be forbidden, outside the United States. The risks, say American officials are too great. We must stop potential enemies at any cost, just as we did in 1945. Money spent at home is not a problem. Funds for fission is essential if we are to remain safe. Nuclear power is our protection. Hence, cost is no object and currently, in this country, the stockpile of explosives is vast.
The list of facts and figures continues. Perhaps, the numbers that might cause Americans ample concern, were they not so emotionally removed from events in the Far East, and from the effects of nuclear explosives are these.
There are bombs in most every backyard. From Alabama to Wyoming, Americans face potential hazards. Nuclear waste, nuclear weaponry, and or navel nuclear propulsion fills our fields and oceans. This inventory is thought to be safely stored. Yet, in truth, it is not and biologically cannot be. Still, leaders of the one of three, tell citizens of this country not to worry. All will be well.
Administrations in this one in a million Superpower surmise and then suggest to civilians, we must consider the priorities. Americans need energy to support the economic system. Nuclear explosives will ensure our nation's safety. What is not said to inhabitants in the one of three is the use of nuclear energy or explosives are a crisis waiting to happen. With either, there is waste. The destruction from a detonated bomb is bad. What is worse is the damage, discarded rods can cause.
"The spent [depleted] fuel rods from a nuclear reactor are the most radioactive of all nuclear wastes." Ninety-nine percent of the toxic atomic emissions come from radioactive rods. Currently, there are no permanent storage sites, internationally, for spent fuel rods. Not even a Superpower can construct what may never be viable, physically or psychologically.
While the public is reassured, temporary storage facilities are being used until a stable site is searched for and secured, indeed, that truth may never be. Certainly, in the lifetime of any citizen worldwide the hot rods will not expire. Only people will perish, people in the Far East, the West, and throughout the planet. Time is not on the side of man, no matter how super his power might be.
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High-level radioactive wastes are the highly radioactive materials produced as a byproduct of the reactions that occur inside nuclear reactors. High-level wastes take one of two forms:
However, hundreds of thousands of years is longer than most of us can fathom. To date, humans from Hiroshima and Washington District of Columbia have not been able to produce a product that lasts that long. People seem only able to destroy what was created that long ago. Perchance, Americans do this best.
Nevertheless, politicians and pundits in this, the one of three, tell the citizens, who are intent on creature comforts, nuclear energy will provide us with power. Nuclear weaponry will secure American shores. Indeed, leaders in this prosperous nation say, if Americans continue to invest in fission, the economy will flourish. Citizens in United States will retain the claim, World Superpower. In the most power-full nation on the planet, we are one in a million, and we can take people out, or we can take on more nuclear power As evidence, we remain one of three unwilling to relinquish our atomic strength.
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