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Doublespeak

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					Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the home of a large, efficient, and
threatening
nuclear power plant, Three Mile Island. Nuclear power plants have the
awesome
ability to create large amounts of power with very little fuel, yet they
carry the
frightening reality of a meltdown with very little warning. Suppose you
live in
Harrisburg and you here that the nearby nuclear plant had a partial
meltdown, how
would you react? When most people here the word meltdown, they
automatically think
radiation, cancer, and death. Now suppose your living in Harrisburg and
you here the
nearby power plant experienced a "normal aberration", you would probably
react
differently.
      Even with the highly proven safety of nuclear power, there is
still fear from
citizens and the chance of an accident. The nuclear power industry uses
misleading
language, and words understood by nuclear employees only, or euphemisms
and jargon,
to mislead the public and make them believe that there is nothing to be
afraid of and
that there is no possibility of a major accident. They take the public's
biggest fears,
meltdowns and contaminations, and make them into "events" and
"infiltrations." This
use of doublespeak is misleading to the public and may make them believe
that a major
accident hasn't happened, or the accident was a normal event or minor
incident.
      In 1979 a valve in the Three Mile Island stuck open, allowing
coolant, an
important part of the plant, to escape from the reactor. An installed
emergency system
did its job and supplied the reactor with necessary coolant, but the
system was shot off
for a few hours due to employee error. Corrective action was eventually
taken, and only
a partial meltdown occurred. The plant's containment building was able to
hold most of
the radioactive products from entering the local environment. Only a
small amount of
activity escaped, that activity was carried by coolant water that had
overflowed into an
auxiliary building and then to the environment. Though the event didn't
pose any
extreme harm to citizens, this one billion dollar incident wasn't an
everyday event or
normal occurrence, as the industry's doublespeak makes you believe.
      In 1986 a similar but more serious event occurred in the USSR. A
nuclear
power plant at Chernobyl exploded and burned. The explosion was caused by
an
unauthorized testing of the reactor by its operators. Radiation spread
rapidly forcing
135,000 evacuations within a 1000 mile radius, and more then 30 immediate
deaths.
This event was more severe then an "energetic disassembly" with "rapid
oxidation", it
was a severe incidence.
      The nuclear power industry is opposed by many groups,
organizations, and
congregations. The industry recognizes the fears of people and they
realize the danger
of an accident. Instead of comforting and calming their fears with
straight facts, they
choose to deceive and mislead them with doublespeak. This may settle the
concerns of
the public, but it hides from them the possibility of danger, and the
reality of what a
meltdown can cause. This is dangerous for the citizens, and dishonest of
the industry.