Friday, January 18, 2013

Hopefully the Prime Minister takes my advice

The Japan Times this week has published my letter to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where I invite him to consider reason and common sense when it comes to the nuclear issue in Japan.

My little letter was sandwiched between two rabidly anti-nuclear opinion pieces. One is an emotionally-charged use of the 'nuclear waste is bad' argument. One could, of course, use 90% of it and just change the topic to 'not using nuclear power'. At least that way the charge of generational betrayal would be appropriate. Regarding the issue of waste, suffice it to say that 95% of nuclear waste can be recycled, and the disposal of the remainder is not so much a safety or technical issue as a political one.

The second piece is a somewhat random scare piece about the accumulation of strontium-90 in childrens' teeth. It's notable for its complete lack of claimed health effects - leading the reader nonplused as to what it was written for. I suspect the editor demanded scientific references for the supposed ill-effects of the reported strontium-90, and the authors were unable to come up with any.

One thing for sure. Now that I have read many, many anti-nuclear articles I am no longer afraid of trying to get my own stuff published. These writers may or may not be professional journalists, but if they are, they are professionals who are either deliberately deceitful or have an extraordinarily poor understanding of the scientific method.