Friday, June 30, 2017

The Complications Of Requiring Very Dangerous Processes

Complications made even more difficult when you think you can pay others to do them for you. Especially when the dangerous process has become an essential part of national security; no matter that you would rather not have to think about it at all, or not.

The first part of the complication, of course, comes in when concerns for profit weigh heavier than the concerns for safety. No small thing when we're talking about the safety of not only those close at hand, just trying to make a living, but of the rest of us as well because, with radiation, whether you are downwind or not, you are likely to eventually be put at risk anyway; usually in direct proportion to the seriousness of the radiation source; remembering that no dose is really safe if it might persist for a while.

I think we'd be at least safe in saying that the source described in the Science Magazine article linked below would have been quite serious.

But to get back to our other complications, we also have to acknowledge another aspect at work in this case: The fact that, concerns for safety aside, when you decide to let some commercial entity do a nasty, difficult task, and under which the work would necessarily be highly regimented, bureaucratic, and strict on what would have to be a bewildering array of rules, and regulations, concerning the work; difficulties quite separate from the also quite challenging technical knowledge that one would need to have command of. When you decide to have this kind commercial entity do all of this for you, you also have to understand that it might not attract the most gifted scientific, or engineering talent available; unless, of course, you're willing to pay obscene amounts of wage premiums to get the best.

In any case, though, what you might end up with might look very close to what we have, in fact, ended up with here. A production facility, critical in our nation's need for weapons grade plutonium (arguing the pros and cons of having these kinds weapons in the first place, though a worthy debate to have, is not relevant at all in this context. We made the choice to have them be a part of our deterrent structure so now we must stand by that choice until we can figure out how to make another choice, which is the proper context for the debate) that not only have come within (what, what may have been only a few human appendages of a chain full blown chain reaction?); but a facility that also seems incapable to implement the new safety measures to keep this sort of thing from happening again.

And so now, four years or so down the line and we are still not doing what we need to be doing with this very dangerous process we'd all like not to think about. And most of us probably won't think about it. The problem is, Congress isn't very likely to be thinking about it either, let alone the very fact of our having a de facto ex president as a supposed "Commander and Chief."

In case you haven't been paying attention this is a classic double whammy for the rest of us working people. We get it both from the inherent deficiencies of a "for profit" system, and from our supposed "representational" form of government; because representation in the context of electrified facade is absurd to the point of the very insanity you now see masquerading itself as government.

There is a lot on the line here. It is way past time you started taking action. And all you have to do is make talking about an alternative to Capitalism the main point of discussion wherever you interact on the web.

A near-disaster at a federal nuclear weapons
laboratory takes a hidden toll on
America’s arsenal