Get real and focus on substance

Yamagata

There have been two worrying letter responses to what many would term the “pro-nuclear” Dec. 25 letter by Andreas Kolb, “Ridiculous antinuclear claims.” In Nancy Foust’s Dec. 29 letter (“Gross nuclear misrepresentations“), we get an insinuation that Kolb may be linked to the nuclear industry, and in Jens Nicolay’s letter the same day (“Spare us the propaganda routine“), we get a conspiracy theory presented: that Kolb’s letter might have been manipulated by a Japanese power company.

Kolb also is castigated by Foust for using the term “Yellow Peril.” But his use of this phrase does not seem derogatory to me. Perhaps this is just being used as a convenient way to attack Kolb without engaging his comments on the problems facing Japan’s power grid.

Kolb is attacked again for a previous letter that, Foust suggests, says that lowering the elevation of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had no effect on the impact of the tsunami. A reading of this letter, “Throw out the ‘what if’ scenarios” (July 17) shows two proposals. The first, which I find weak, is that the tsunami could have still affected the plant, as 43-meter-high waves are said to have been experienced in the Sendai area. His second point — that the nuclear plant, if built on the original hill, could have suffered from devastating ground liquefaction — is very strong in my estimation. So, Kolb has one poor suggestion and one solid one.

Cherry-picking the poor one does not advance Foust’s implied point that lowering the elevation of the nuclear plant was the cause of the disaster. Even if the power plant could have been built on the hill, we could be looking at a broken and mangled mix of concrete and nuclear fuel being dumped onto the seashore by ground liquefaction — a much worse scenario than what we actually face.

Let’s stop making insinuations of industry links and, instead, focus on the meat of letters, which has to be more illuminating than pecking around the edges and throwing mud.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

eamon watters