Short Story: The Whistle Blew #BlogShorts

The Whistle Blew
by Tom B. Taker

I spoke the truth. The company fired and blacklisted me. There was a coverup.

Then it happened.

Random people will die. That’s part of the cost. People demand cheap energy.

This post is part of the BlogShorts challenge. June 2011 – 30 stories – 30 words – 30 days.

7 responses

  1. Whoa…all this for cheap energy. What kind of energy is it? Windmills? And what…people are jumping off them?


    1. I’ll bet there’s someone out there who can use numbers to prove that windmills are more dangerous than nuclear.


  2. “random people will die”



    1. Please see my explanation below. I’m not saying I’m the one who’ll be doing the killing. 🙂


  3. I normally don’t deign to explain my “work.” (Hahahah! Good one. Sometimes I crack myself up.)

    But I knew going in that this one would be dicey. And I’m fine with that.

    This story is based on the recent nuclear power crisis in Japan. It’s based on bits and pieces of apocryphal information regarding the incident. I could probably put my nose to the grindstone and source most of this stuff, but I’m not feeling that energetic.

    It goes a little like this:

    Approx. a decade ago, there was a guy who raised safety concerns about the very nuclear power plants that fried after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company’s response was to fire the guy and make sure he would never again work in his chosen field, nuclear power. Blacklisted, he would never work in the industry again – anywhere. Then, rather than addressing the issues raised, the company ignored and covered up the findings.

    “In 2001, a nuclear inspector reported serious safety problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to government regulators. The government regulators revealed his name to the plant’s operators, resulting in his being blackballed from the Japanese nuclear industry.” (Source.)

    Then, of course, something bad did happen.

    Some argue that nuclear power is safe. They make arguments that it is even safer than solar power. This is based on data like deaths per terawatt hour of power produced. So, if a dude falls off his roof and dies while installing solar panels, they argue that per terawatt hour of energy produced that solar power is more “dangerous” than nuclear power. (One solution to this alleged problem is to reduce falling deaths by installing panels on the ground.)

    Using this sort of logic they stand firm that nuclear power is “safe.” Even though more people may have died from nuclear accidents than have ever died from rooftop solar, the rate of deaths vs. power produced for nuclear is lower than rooftop solar.

    I find this sort of logic to be disingenuous and spurious. Technically it may have some validity but I find it patently ludicrous to compare someone falling from their rooftop to a nuclear accident that has already created the enforcement of a 20-kilometer “no-go zone” around the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    My story is saying that a decision to rely on nuclear power is a tacit agreement to the fact that random people will die when the next nuclear accident rolls around. Most people aren’t ready or willing to die, but giving up electricity isn’t on their agenda, either. The risk of death to themselves is so far removed that they’re basically willing to take that chance. They are willing to say, “Sure, some people may die if we have an accident like that here, but that’s acceptable risk. Even if it does happen it probably won’t be me.”

    At least that’s how I interpret the story. 🙂

    Who wants to be a part of the next great “science experiment?”


  4. Oohoohoo. Liked this.


    1. Thank you very much. I think it’s one of my favorites.


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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

%d bloggers like this: