Monday, August 6, 2007

The Past is Just a Good Bye

Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. In 1986, I was in Japan interviewing survivors of the bombing for a series of photos and articles. I also interviewed was Graham Nash, who bought me a piece of pecan pie. Despite the rock star lifestyle -- he breezed into the hotel with an entourage in tow, including a gorgeous woman he had taken shopping -- he was a nice chap. He was 44 at the time, and I was 26.

He explained that he had formed his anti-nuclear views during a stay-aboard visit to the Calypso, where Jacques Cousteau had explained to him that the waste product of the nuclear power generation cycle is weapons-grade plutonium. All nuclear power plants produce plutonium, and originally the government was going to buy back all of this stuff to make bombs with. But that plan was scrapped for fear of plutonium proliferation, and in the early 1980s the plants were ordered to keep all this stuff in cooling ponds on site until a secure storage facility could be built. Now, it's 2007 and that storage facility -- now being built a Yucca Mountain, Arizona -- still has not come on line. The night of the interview, I heard Graham sing "Teach You Children" at a peace rally.