People who have been following Japan's reaction to its nuclear crisis have had many moments of dumbfounded, slack-jawed amazement as they hear of plans to move people back into the disaster zone, clean up the enormous levels of radioactive fallout and restore life as it was before – all while three nuclear reactor fuel cores lie in a melted heap and tons more of spent fuel lies in a precarious, exposed state.
This situation has started to remind me of the characters in the long-running television drama LOST. They wandered dazed and confused in a surreal paradise for six seasons before they figured out that their lives were over, as they obviously must have been after their airplane crash. Several times over the seasons the lead character, Jack, was knocked unconscious and had to awaken each time and make sense of his surroundings while befuddled by trauma and brain injury. In fact, this was the defining aspect of his character. He was always slow to figure things out, always striving to deny reality, and thus knocking himself out for a lost cause. He would have fit right in during the nuclear disaster aftermath on “the island” that is Honshu.
It’s over, Jack. When is someone going to call it?
* “This city has to survive. It’s beautiful. People have to come back. They’ll come back one day. They have to. It’s a beautiful city. I was just at the stadium. There needs to be children here. There is no life without risks.” Words spoken by an senior citizen of Pripyat, USSR, during the evacuation of the area around Chernobyl. No one ever came back. Source: The True Battle of Chernobyl. Dir. Thomas Johnson, Produced by Play Films for Discovery Networks, 16:00 ~.