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The risks of nuclear power for many are money for a few

Stories and News No. 1247

I was nineteen years old when for the first time I was called to speak loud on nuclear power in an official way, that's it. The tool for every citizen of a democratic nation to directly affect the direction that the country intends to take in terms of present and above all future. I refer in particular to the third and fourth questions of the 1987 abrogation referendum, which then obtained the majority and imposed a temporary halt on atom fans in Italy. It was said that the strength of the referendum was the understandable agitation of the people in the face of the Chernobyl disaster of the previous year. I repeat and emphasize, agitation more understandable than ever. Fear can be a kind of intelligence, when its raison d'etre is concrete. Quite the opposite in the opposite situation, see the phobia towards migrants and every other imaginary danger created. The very first to consider atoms as energy sources was Albert Einstein in the early 1900s, but the one who began to give tangible form to this discovery was a fellow citizen of ours. I'm obviously talking about Enrico Fermi, who presented his reactor model in the US in December '42. Nothing is accidental in the universe, except the universe itself, says writer Joyce Carol Oates. However, I believe that when we speak of humanity as a species, never as single individuals, unique and unpredictable, I am inclined to think that there is little chance in our common path. For example, I do not think it is a coincidence if since its advent, although it may have been described, told and sold over the years as an extremely clean and very useful, even indispensable product, the history of nuclear energy for civil uses cannot be separated from that for war purposes, as well as from the dramatic parallel history of the various accidents in the power plants up to now. In fact, only three years after Fermi's announcement, the Americans gave the world proof of the effectiveness of the atomic weapon with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was not a coincidence either. Another occasion to reaffirm my position – obviously I had voted against the nuclear in 1987 – happened in June 2011, the year of the Fukushima disaster. I was forty-three years old and this site had been surfing for a while. At the head of the government was Silvio Berlusconi, for a little while longer, and unsurprisingly he declared himself in favor of nuclear power. "It is the energy of the future", he said in April of that year. In other words, to confirm that nothing is accidental in the human universe, except the accidents themselves, we might add. Yes, because where you have the concern to go and review the long list of accidents for each country or even those due to radiation in the world, since the first power plant in December 1951, you cannot help but wonder how people can persist. in arguing that nuclear power generation is safe and clean. Well, I don't think this is a coincidence either. I'm talking about the timing of Matteo Salvini thought to follow the french leader on the subject: "To guarantee France's energy independence and achieve our goals, in particular carbon neutrality in 2050, we will relaunch the construction of nuclear reactors for the first time in decades,” President Macron said Tuesday. "Wind turbines deface the landscape" and "solar panels make us eat miles of farmland," Salvini said the next day, trying to argue his atomic dream. Since I was nineteen to today, water has passed under the bridges, in my life as much as in this country, and for this reason I believe that the discussion, after everything that has happened in the world from '51 to today, is not simply among the pros and cons of the nuclear industry. Mine will perhaps be a provocation, but taking into account who are the actors who try again in every age with this joke of energy independence and proven security, I begin to think that the real reason that pushes them to come back every time is that the risks and any unpleasant consequences of nuclear power for them and their friends are not risks at all. Far from it. They are advantages, in the medium and long term. Does it sounds absurd? I repeat, take it as a provocation, but let's reflect together following the ever-current Latin motto “cui prodest”: Does the waste generated by nuclear reactors remain radioactive for tens to hundreds of thousands of years? Are there no indefinite storage solutions for radioactive waste and most of it is stored in temporary surface facilities? The actual structures i are running out of storage space, so is the nuclear industry turning to other types of storage that are more expensive and potentially less safe? That’s why the storage industry was born, which survives at the expense of citizens and results in large profits for the few. Does the development of nuclear energy programs increase the likelihood of nuclear weapons proliferation? As nuclear fuel and technologies become available globally, is the danger of them falling into the wrong hands more and more present? The weapons industry can only benefit from this and as far as the wrong hands are concerned, well, war, even the final one - or the fear of the latter - is a colossal business. For the few, always for the few. Are nuclear power plants a potential target for terrorist operations? Could an attack cause serious explosions, putting population centers at risk, as well as expelling dangerous radioactive material into the atmosphere and surrounding region? And here it is the multinational counter-terrorism that profits from it, including weapons sellers, again them, coalitions and nationalist and warmongering organizations, builders of walls and borders, and so on hating. Can human error and natural disasters lead to dangerous and costly accidents? Do you think that there is not someone who, without coming up with phantom and obtuse conspiracy theories, profits from such disastrous events? I recommend seeing the chapter on 9/11 and the revenues of the brokers of the American stock exchange in the laudable film The Corporation. Does going down the nuclear path mean that poor countries, which do not have the financial resources to invest and develop nuclear energy, further become dependent on rich and technologically advanced nations? Do I need to indicate who benefits from this modern form of neo or post-colonialism? Finally, after what you have read so far, does it still seem accidental that guys like Berlusconi and Salvini are the ones who push us into the arms of nuclear power?

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My last novel: A morte i razzisti (Death to racists)