May 15, 2014

Ask Not What a Meltdown Can Do For You

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space.”

-President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961

The parallels between a nuke control room and one from the space race-era makes for an impressive mixture of scientific and political metaphors. If her father was revered for concentrating America on the moon, cultivating a national optimism out of a technological and patriotic savvy, what a long fall we’ve had. Seeing our Ambassador to Japan, Ms. Kennedy, in a radiation suit looking forward and upward at the nerve center of one of the world’s most serious and still all-to-quietly raging nuclear accidents, I can only imagine what the “best and brightest” team would have said about balancing the Kennedy brand with the likes of TEPCO.

(photo: Toru Yamanaka, Pool/AP. caption: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy wearing a yellow helmet, a protective suit and a mask, inspects the central control room for the Unit One and Unit Two reactors of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, operated by Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Kennedy toured the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for about three hours Wednesday.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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