I like nuclear power. That may not be politically correct, but nuclear power has almost always been pretty good to me. I joined the Navy a bit too late to gain the manly experience of being a diesel boat sailor. I really respect those guys. But our experiences were unique and directly related to that glowing ball of energy someplace behind my scrubber room. Being young I never really thought much about radiation from the reactor. They tell me I was pretty well shielded. And I hardly glow at all at night.
What did irritate me though was when we had to practice cleaning up a spill. That is probably why I say I almost always liked it.
I am not sure what the Nuc MM’s were up to back there, but it seemed like every few weeks we would have to practice cleaning up after a spill of some kind or another. Now don’t get me wrong, in over twenty years, I never actually had to deal with an actual spill aftermath. But with all that practice I think we would have done just fine.
Some things I remember about “spill stuff”. It was potentially radioactive and that apparently wasn’t good for you. You really didn’t want to drink it, use it for your laundry, and in some cases you didn’t want to breathe it. We actually went to some pretty good heights to make sure that none of that happened. During a spill drill, people would dress up in these yellow suits, breathing gear, gloves, taped up gloves and boots. Every inch of skin was covered. And what about the poor volunteer who initiated the spill? Scrub a dub dub. You strip, you shower, you shower some more and some other guy uses a monitor over every inch of your body. Ears and nose and throats and toes.
The whole point is that radiation moves pretty easily in some forms and once it gets on you, its tough to get off.
You are pretty much stuck with the aftermath and it is hardly ever a pleasant procedure. It invades every corner, goes through normal stuff and stays with you. Plus, it moves around with you. Its like dust I suppose. Once you walk through it, it sticks to your shoes. Your clothes. Apparently it is pretty near impossible to just brush off. Any of the tools you use, any of the cleaning equipment, towels, and associated stuff has to be bagged and tagged for proper disposal.
I suppose it’s a good thing we never really had to react to an “event”. I can hardly imagine what it has been like in Fukushima where the earthquake and tsunami came through. It will probably take years to get back to anything resembling normal.
It occurred to me today that the same can be said
about Penn State.
It seems like everybody who has touched anything around the Sandusky mess has become hopelessly contaminated. Icons have fallen. Careers are over. Politicians are scrambling. The whole state is grieving the crimes against our children. The University itself has become completely radioactive. A foundation meant to help kids has suddenly turned into a nightmare scenario. And its far from over. Now Mr. Sandusky is trying to convince the rest of us that showering with boys isn’t such a bad thing? Really? On what planet?