Blackhumouristpress's Blog

June 28, 2010

The Chinese Syndrome

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 7:46 pm
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 If you base human success off of one’s ability to accumulate more wealth than many nations of the world, Elmer Powell was the most successful man to have ever lived.  To date that is. A sixty year old man by Elmer Powell became the Elvis Presley of entrepreneurs.  Elmer Powell inherited the deed to land in Arizona from an uncle who had no other relatives but his sister’s son. Elmer discovered that his large tract of barren land was rich in Uranium.  Eureka!  If you’re keeping score, its atomic number is 92.  All you really need to know is that the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is identical to the charge number. Um…  A=Z+N.  So if the atomic number is Z, A is the total number of protons and neutron in the nucleus of an atom.  What it all boils down to is that A is the atomic mass.  Okay?

  This Uranium was the rare variety which accounts for .7711% of all Uranium in the world; Uranium-235.  In case you were wondering, the half life of Uranium-235 is 704 million years.  Half life is the amount of time it takes a substance to decrease by half.  Sadly now that I’m in my forties, I may have reached my half life already.  My life might have exponential decayed and I don’t even know it.  Sad really.

            At any rate, Elmer was able to get the backing of really rich men to help him build his first private nuclear power plant for a group of countries in the West Indies.  There it was on the island of Montserrat, this monster of a complex with steam coming up from the cooling towers where their clouds could be seen for miles and miles away in airplanes and other small Caribbean islands.  It may have cost several billion to get the first one up off the ground but the cost for the fuel was next to nothing.

            Elmer and company had the foresight to purchase the island that I have been told where it is somewhere in the Pacific but cannot tell you for fear that terrorists might learn the location and use the highly radioactive waste for dirty bombs.  They put 55 gallon drums of waste inside a stainless steel tomb that is eight feet in diameter and ten feet high that is leak proof or so I’ve been told.  These containers of containers are then put on a ship and shipped 8,000 or so miles away to an island that used to have inhabitants before the American military did tests there in the 1950’s.  Now picture men in space suits, moving mega containers onto a small island that looks like paradise, nothing but beautiful water for as far as the eye can see and mind could imagine.  In each direction, you could see the bend in the world and clearly understand why those previous to the great European explorers felt that somewhere off in the distance, the world was like a magnificent waterfall to hell or China or something.  Nobody really cares of all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into this sort of thing.  Okay some people do but most don’t.  And so the ones who never give the entire thing a good thinking over and just go with the thought that nuclear electricity is cheaper than natural gas or coal in the long run, opt to go with what is cheapest.   

Elmer and his investors operated under the premise that we are all going to die one day and maybe we will all drown from global warming or a third world nation will blow up the planet after acquiring nuclear technology and that worrying about the future is really sort of silly.  These things tend to work themselves out anyway. These men were all on the same page and this is how Elmer made his killing. 

            Over time, country after country that did not have federal regulations on private nuclear energy, allowed American Energy to come into their land and establish cheap electricity.  The richest man in the world, hands down was Elmer Powell.  The thing that bothered people too was that he drove a Dodge truck and lived in a four bedroom bi-level in the middle of nowhere Texas and dressed like a cowboy and quoted the bible frequently.  As the saying went, Elmer had more money than Jesus and when you take into consideration that Jesus asked people to give away their money and possessions and walk with him that took Jesus out of the running against Elmer.

            Lest you think that Elmer was a money grubbing, capitalist slob with no empathy for others less fortunate than himself and being the richest man in the world, this made everyone other than he and his immediate family less fortunate than him.  Elmer went to Namibia and built schools, hospitals, living quarters for homeless children, took pictures with the natives and left.  People asked why Namibia and Elmer replied; “It’s where my finger landed when I spun the globe.”

            The Tories in the United Kingdom had grown impatient with British Energy who had come to the government for a bail out.   British Energy had been supplying electricity to the United Kingdom without any competition. Wholesale prices of energy slumped and the Tories who were in power, voted to sell off operations to American Energy.  It was for the most part, unceremonious.  There were no black outs or brown outs and nobody wondered where their power was coming from when they flipped on a switch.  It just went on and that’s all we really care about anyway.

            The Tories gave American Energy the right to build a brand spanking new facility in Peterhead, Scotland.  Peterhead drew chuckles across the English speaking world due to the fact that it was a double entendre.  Things were coming to a head in Scotland where the people did not want nuclear energy and then there were the dickheads that were imposing this sort of thing on the people of Scotland.  Things were coming to a head in Peterhead.

            Now everything was going as it had gone at every other reactor built in every other country around the world and the money flowed like wine at a drunken party until one sunny summer day in Peterhead.  Nobody had suspected a meltdown.

            Despite the assurances that risk management was paramount to American Energy, corners were cut and money was saved at the expense of safety.  The prized Uranium heated up to temperature of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or about 40,000 kilometers or whatever the Metric conversion is that the rest of the world uses.  Men on fishing boats heard a rumble as if the Armageddon was taking place, the apocalypse, the rapture and all.  Plumes of smoke disappeared as the cooling towers sunk into the ground.  There had been a sudden output of energy and when those eating sandwiches and texting messages to loved ones while working at the plant realized that something bad was about to take place, they tried to shut down the whole operation.  Unexpected ruptures occurred while the cooling towers et al sunk into the ground like it was quick sand.  Picture a whole complex falling into a massive hole and then filling up with water.  The water in this massive hole bubbled angrily for months.  The British government moved everyone from Peterhead and American Energy set all the inhabitants of Peterhead up in new homes anywhere they wanted in Great Britain away from Peterhead.  Some opted to move to Nova Scotia and that was okay too. 

            American Energy built a massive sarcophagus around the reactor complex after more than ninety days of exposed radiation filled the water table and sky.  The British Government accepted partial responsibility for the disaster since it was determined that underground water had been responsible for the weakening of the land that created a sink hole.  What the government did not know or would not admit to knowing was that the power at the nuclear power plant that was designed to make power lost all power.  At the same time that they ground gave way, the power plant lost power.  The loss of power led to poisoning of the nuclear core by accumulating Xenon-135, an unstable isotope which is a product of Uranium.  In laymen’s terms; natural and unnatural causes teamed up at the same time to make a disaster.  The British Government and American Energy put a good face on the debacle.  People were relocated, compensated and a new reactor was built off of one of the remote Shetland Islands that never even got a name.  Everything was great again for a while.

            Now people started to die of natural causes, unnatural causes and cancer which is natural if you’ve been exposed to radiation.  Others began to get thyroid cancer and then one sheep farmer developed a wild deformity that landed him on television.

            P.T. Barnum would have loved to have this man at his circus.  Picture a thin man from the waist up with enormous legs and toes that looked to fit a man twenty feet tall.  An American talk show that usually hosted cheating boyfriends, wives, husbands and paternity suits, decided to take on American Energy with the help of an old sheep farmer; a can of worms had been opened.  The face of the man was covered so that all that was visible was the torso and legs of the affected man Taran Mac Kay.  A video accompanied the horrific images with bagpipe music.

            “In a small Scottish town by the name of Peterhead, a nuclear reactor was built to provide inexpensive electric energy for the inhabitants of the United Kingdom…  A small number of people paid the price for all who benefited…”


            “Taran Mac Kay can no longer walk due to being exposed to the nuclear fall out from the Peterhead Reactor that occurred ten years ago today.  Mr. Mac Kay was relocated to tiny plot of land in Nova Scotia, Canada and now has to tend his flock with the help of his Border collie named Dorrie on a motorized scooter…”


            “Who asks the questions for those who lived in Peterhead?  We ask the questions and we demand answers…”

            Elmer used his remote control to turn off the television as he sat in a cold room with florescent lighting and pictures of many nuclear reactors built by American Energy from around the world.  A half dozen men sat somber faced after watching as much of the interview as Elmer could stomach.  Elmer took a deep breath and exhaled as he looked up at the florescent lights and tapped his index finger before speaking. 

            “I have an island big enough to hold several thousand people in the Pacific… Enough to support all those that lived near that dang gawn Peterhead…  Now I wont you people to find the most persuasive people you cain find to sell every dang one them people who we relocated round Great Britain and that section of Canada and talk them into moving them all to this island… It’s a fabulous island…  Fact I was planning on retiring thar soon and live out mah days in peace.  Ah think this would be a better plan.  You git the dog gonnest best salesmen you kin find and sell all them Scots on moving to a place like Tahiti.  We pick up the bill an this whole thing goes way…  Watch y’all thank bout thaat?”

            All the men thought it was a great idea.  Move all the people affected by nuclear waste to a warm Pacific island and pick up the tab until they die.  One pensive member of the board posed a logistical question as others sighed a sense of relief and began to smile again.

            “So the heirs would not inherit any benefits after death?  Is that how we’d structure the contracts on this whole thing?”

            “That is correct, sir…” said Elmer.

            A smile broke out across the man’s face finally too.  He put his hands together and his body ceased to be tense any longer too.

            “We get the all these people to this Leper type island, feed them, take care of them and one day, a Tsunami destroys all the inhabitants after say a strong quake somewhere off the coast of Japan or something…  Is that the plan?”

            Elmer looked at the man with a furrowed brow and then a smile.

            “I think we just set it all up…  And leave it in God’s hands,” said Elmer.

            A few men jokingly said amen.

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