Friends Don’t Let Friends Misunderstand Nuclear

Radiohead was one of the bands when I left my teens. I had OK Computer to rely on during some of my most emotionally isolated years. Paranoid Android is exactly my sort of song, full of awesome guitar, theme-shifts and evocative lyrics. Thom Yorke formed a supergroup a couple of years ago, called it “Atoms For Peace“, and made it clear that he was anti-nuclear.
I now feel strongly enough about the staggering potential benefits of modern nuclear technology that I maintain a blog and network with many other advocates from various countries (in the approximate minute I have spare each day). And that it’s become difficult to enjoy listening to Radiohead now. And I know that’s kind of silly. But for forty-odd years there have been rock concerts opposing nuclear energy. Not specifically nuclear weapons (you’ll find many advocates will admit losing sleep over thoughts of international instability culminating in catastrophic war), but civilian energy generation.
This seems forgivable in the 70s, 80s, maybe the 90s. But if you’re in a band, you have internet access, and it takes a mouse click and 15 minutes reading for a nuclear professional to clearly inform you that nuclear fuel cannot be used for weapons and that reactors can’t explode. I understand committed activists denying any and all nuclear energy benefits when they’re being paid to do nothing else; I can also understand middle-aged folks for whom reassessing nuclear would not just be a considerable effort, but would be to admit a grievous, decades-long error of judgement and assumption on their part. But if one is a public figure or person of influence, music-related or not, ill-informed opinions regarding modern nuclear, radiation, spent fuel or the realistic consequences of accidents like Fukushima Daiichi invariably bolster anti-nuclear sentiment at a time when sober consideration of how this technology can abate anthropogenic climate change is years overdue.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s