This is nuclear power: Beneficial yet likewise dangerous. Wonderful yet basically fearful. Praiseworthy yet ultimately untrustworthy. In other words, nuclear power is a good example of the composite of what is good and evil, what is desirable and unadvisable, partly known and mostly unknown. In a way, such a contradictory reality is neither that rare nor that strange – because the same can be said about gasoline that propels transportation and pollutes the environ, about electricity that lights up houses and causes fires, about water that quenches thirst and undoes life. The big difference is that nuclear power is a big matter with big import as well as big consequences. No wonder that there is much doubt and strong reservation about the use of nuclear power.
It might be good then to bring to fore the following empirical truths: Something is broken when it is but partly whole. Something is dirty when it is but only somehow clean. Something is bad when it is but good in a way. No. This is not meant to immediately condemn nuclear power, to once and for all close any and all possibilities of having it used in the Country. This is simply stating an empirical reality: Nuclear power both builds and destroys, produces power that can enrich or impoverish. It is enough to recall the blessing and curse by nuclear power in the Three-Mile Island, in Chernobyl and now in Sendai.
At this junction, the key local question is the both famous and infamous Bataan Nuclear Power Plant which is now – again – before the national consciousness and conscience. It is a safe or unsafe Plant? Is it prudent or imprudent to make it operational? Is its predicted benefits more than the costly havoc it can bring to the Country? One thing is certain: As of even date, with the still hovering nuclear clouds from Japan, public opinion is anything but favorable to the activation of the said Power Plant – precisely on account of its potency towards socio-economic development or distress.
One thing is definite and defined even according to secular Ethics: Man is at the center of world and the world has no option but to serve his interests and to promote his aspiration – foremost of which revolves on his life and health. In so many words, this is merely to say that anything and everything that lead to the destruction of human life or cause impairment to human health, are downright taboo.
“Better safe than sorry.” There is much truth in this often quoted maxim. To take risks is not necessarily bad – when the risk is necessary. It is the Bataan Nuclear Plant necessary? This is the question!
21 MARCH 2011