THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

As mankind marches on towards the future,i hope it does so with an occasional glance at the past in order to learn from history so that much of the evils we have seen in the previous years are not replicated in the future.

It has been three weeks since the tsunami and earthquake that rocked Japan and the tiny island country is still grappling with the devastation long after international media moved on to cover the ongoing fight for Libya.The most heart breaking reality has to be the fact that about 28,000 people may have lost their lives though this cannot be ascertained yet till the recovery efforts are complete.By today morning 11,000 had been confirmed dead and 17,000 were still missing.In addition to the current recovery efforts to cater for almost 300,000 homeless people is the crisis they are having at the nuclear plant in Fukushima.While the rest of the world watches Japan handle its crisis we need to be asking ourselves whether we have enough knowledge,skills and capacity to be able to control any eventualities that may occur if Kenya ever thinks of going nuclear.This is because sometime back the university of Nairobi announced it was looking into the grandiose idea of venturing into this risky business.

Kenya has a dismal record of handling calamities and more often than not we rely on foreign aid to cater for even the most preventable of disasters like drought.Now think of what would have happened if Japan had our current crop of leaders,one word-disaster.While the government in Japan has been criticized for the handling of the crisis we need to accept that they already have their hands full and with the unprecedented turn of events the fumbling the government is going through is forgivable.

The lesson from Japan should make all global producers of nuclear energy sit up and rethink the safety measures that they have in place.Just a few decades back we had the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine ,the three mile island accident and now Fukushima that should serve as lessons to humanity on the challenges it faces as it searches for energy sources and the need to put human lives and environmental safety first in its quench to fill the widening energy gap.

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