Will South Africa and the world face a Nuclear Nuremberg.

2016-02-15 10:30

The more I reflect on my past 18 years experience in the Nuclear industry, the more I realise that the world wide nuclear industry might one day face the same fate as the German officers found guilty of war crimes and prosecuted at the trials in Nuremberg post World War 2.

The events at Nuremberg during 1945 to 1946 had two sides with opposing views both adamant that they were correct and justified in their actions.

There are unfortunately striking similarities between the German officers tried at Nuremberg and many Engineers and serious proponents of Nuclear power. They had a strong conviction that their cause was just and necessary for the better of the world at large. These convictions did not change during the trials for the men that were prosecuted. The German officers all saw anyone with an opposing view to theirs as the enemy. This made reconciliation and mediation almost impossible.

These similarities are a recipe for a serious blame game in the not too distant future. I can already see the younger generation show a marked resistance to Nuclear Energy. Whether this resistance is justified or not is irrelevant to this article as it is the future actions of the younger generation that are relevant. Can we predict how they will react to the proponents of Nuclear energy when they are in political power. What will the younger generation do when they have to sit with the decommissioning period rapidly approaching hundreds of nuclear power stations across the world. Most of these stations were conceptualised post World War 2 and their designers have long left this world. Will they feel the same as the men that engineered and approved these power stations to be built and still are proposing that we build Nuclear? The current trend says no.

I am not sure that the German officers ever thought that they would be sitting in a court room being sentenced, for values and actions they fervently believed in, when they started their campaign.

I believe Nuclear energy is a good clean source of energy that can greatly benefit the planet if we can guarantee its safe operation and make good on promises for solutions to the Nuclear high level waste problems. What the Nuclear industry consider to be safe solutions might be what the future leaders believe to have been reckless and inconsiderate and even prosecutable.

The articles I have seen of late in the media has once again shown the overlying lack of humility in many Nuclear professionals. The down right lies to the public at times as well as the undermining of diverse thought is a dangerous game that can lead to a disaster in the not too distant future. I predict a Nuclear Nuremberg if the world wide and South African Nuclear industry do not take a strong dose of humility and consider the fact that people have a right to disagree.

It is important to consider that a younger generation that do not agree with Nuclear energy could one day hold the political power and feel a need to prosecute those that they consider to be the cause of their Nuclear nightmare.

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