Monday, February 10, 2014

EXPLODING NUCLEAR PLANT AND EFFECTS (A)

There are two subjects that Mekkar has great difficulty talking about in relation to all others in his life and this is one of them. Normally he tries to block out of his mind these negative experiences and painful events such as this. So, this was an arduous process getting Mekkar to recall and speak about it. It was a laborious task to extract a few of the details that affected him during this time. There were a wide range of emotions that went through his intellect while writing this chapter and it was excruciating to watch. Anger swells up, even to this day, regarding the rough treatment of him and those around him affected by this tragedy. By the way, the whole situation came about, by no fault of their own actions.  

What is not common knowledge by most are the wind patterns and air currents that circulate in the upper cirrus clouds. These can blow around manufacturing pollution anywhere. Ash, from numerous volcanic eruptions around the world, has been found far away from the original source. The old tall smoke stacks rising from plants during the early part of the twenty-first century are examples of this. Tainted air also spewed out from heavy industry areas in the former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe. Mekkar believes that the atmosphere traps pollution and forces it to spread to other parts of the world. Otherwise, that foul air would continue on into outer space and away from the planet. Liabilities in the air can strike anything that breathes because it can travel worldwide. Thus, it is surely able to affect Mekkar’s home area also.

Of course, the young man from the arctic is not a weather expert but he has his own theories about the subject. On occasion, Mekkar’s region might receive acid rain due to emanations from the old industrial cities of Europe and elsewhere. Growing up Mekkar saw the effects first hand of the residue as a result of using these old methods of production. Soot and dinginess are extensive in areas nearby this type of activity. A look at industrial centers such as Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, or West Virginia coal mining towns in the United States shows this plainly.

On previous occasions officials arrived from the national government with news to supposedly deliver help to his family, as well as, other inhabitants of the area. For example, they would tell them that they will put certain substances in the lakes, but excluded the larger faster moving rivers. The white coats, as Mekkar described them, would inform the locals that this method would keep the fish and more alive. They also claimed the action taken would preserve wildlife for a specific amount of time. Mekkar knew this was untrue because this was not the first time he heard these promises. The same exact hallow echoes were repeated over and over. He figured it wouldn’t be the last time either.

The assertions of powerful lasting effects of neutralizing the negative aspects of the acid rain for long periods of time were false as usual. Mekkar read about other places that had used the same approach and the results were relatively short term or not effective at all. The young man also remembered the last time when the local aquatic life began to die much earlier than predicted. No real statistical evidence or acknowledgement by those in charge was published the last time this scenario was carried out. It was not in the official best interest and they did not care what the natives thought, is how Mekkar perceived it. Mekkar had a theory that this is just another example of another dominant culture attempting to destroy a much smaller native population. In this instance, forcing them to suffer from the cause and effect fallout due to grossly mismanaged errors of modern society. What was worse is these were not mistakes due to native ways and not by their own hand.

Mekkar read a story of the uniformed workers involved in the combat and cleanup process of the nuclear power plant accident. A food vendor on streets of a big city, which was nearby, made a reference to the falling nuclear fallout rain he saw around him at the time. It gave the impression to Mekkar that the kiosk operator felt that it was no big deal. This was part of an interview given to a journalist during the May Day military parade in the surrounding town. Unfortunately, there was a follow up story a few weeks later and it was revealed that the journalist along with the vendor both died excruciating deaths. Both had radiation burns all over their skin according to those close to them. So, much for trusting your government to protect their citizens, huh? Mekkar has a belief that governments will do everything, in their power, to hide their secret activities. Aspects such as incompetence, mistakes, and intentional actions against their own populations will be hidden as well.

When the explosion happened at the nuclear power plant, it transmitted the poison fallout in many directions quickly in all directions. Radioactive waste also travelled through the atmosphere. First, it traveled to nearby cities and nations and beyond. The harmful wind then directed itself due north into places no one could have guessed. Even some areas as far as 1,000 miles (1,609.34 kilometers) away were affected much more than anyone was told.  

Mekkar heard that it was originally thought to have begun at a nuclear plant in a nation in the north. The guess was that since radiation was detected there and that nation has a few nuclear power reactors of their own. They later discovered that it came from somewhere else. There was a claim that a phrase out of reliance on this type of energy would be completed by a certain period of time. However Mekkar stated, “You know how governments are.” Plus he added, “I will believe it when I see it’. He knew the lies were just beginning.

The native from the Arctic thought to himself that it is just another way the modern world behaves in a discriminatory fashion. He is convinced that those in charge desire to wipe out his native land and culture to gain domination over everything. Mekkar felt that it is ironic, that peoples that are frequently affected by pollution issues and this accident are the ones who cause little damage to the environment in comparison. Many native cultures see the earth as its relative with the idea of taking care of it. That is, if you want to enjoy its benefits. It is the total opposite of the “civilized” view of destroying the planet to gain resources with little effort toward replenishment for future resource usage. 

Part of his maturing process was following the lead of his parents. Mekkar refused to accept limited reports from only one source. His distrust of potential censorship pushed him to probe further for more information from a different perspective. In one aspect, it was good that Alf was not in the area, but Mekkar could have used his younger brother’s language skills right then. Even though this event occurred before the World Wide Web available to the general public there were other ways to find out information, if one were creative. Other reports on his monster sized shortwave radio poured in regarding the effects of this incident. Some the news was in languages Mekkar didn’t understand. He turned the knob constantly looking for sources he could comprehend. Eventually bulletins and detailed discussions about the resulting fallout were found. Mekkar listened to reports about radioactivity moving and descending in Alaska, Siberia, as well as other places far from the epicenter. He thought it was like the aftermath from the Mount Saint Helens volcanic eruption leaving remnants in many places.

A couple of Mekkar’s acquaintances from the large city in the vicinity were directly involved in the operational crews. These were brothers around his own age whom he played hockey against and went to the same high school with during an international exchange program. He heard that part of the duties included having to directly remove radioactive material. Furthermore, without the proper clothing or equipment. Both soon died from the catastrophic after effects. Mekkar directly received the news, via telephone, that they both lost their lives about a week later. Their relatives described the physical agony of their condition in gruesome detail. Recounting the severe radiation skin lesions and the internal poisoning was difficult for Mekkar to listen to. Sadly, one of the end results was the two brothers basically coughed up their lungs.

It was not officially disclosed what exactly each of them were involved in or whether they were thrust into action immediately after the fact to fight further damage. This made Mekkar extremely sad for his friends. He became skeptical and wondered if the whole thing was poorly handled by the authorities on purpose. His suspiciousness was heightened by his growing belief of population control through direct elimination. His opinion is there will be more fear created episodes such as this in the future. Plus, Mekkar was already familiar with the story of the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.

Mekkar was soon listening from various sources and even saw some pictures regarding this tragedy. Alf, who was not there, translated underground news about the activity to his older brother. He related information over the telephone about the efforts to put out a fire in one of the reactors. There was talk about some of the firefighters were also sent into that risky environment without any hazmat suits. Proper gear was lacking and items to fight a regular fire were used, which was ineffective at best.

The native from the north was outdoors tending to his reindeer during portions of the radiation fallout blanketed his area. Janne mentioned to him that national government officials would be paying them a visit soon afterward. He described to Mekkar that they would help them with things related to the effects caused by the cloud. Mekkar thought that he knew what was coming, however, he was sorely mistaken. The first of the officials came about an hour or so after Janne brought the subject up to him. Mekkar assumed correctly that more white clothed people from the health department were on their way. One of the first doctor’s and his nurse began to round up some the people. Mekkar was now imagining that he might be like one of his animals’ in this scenario.

Before long, Mekkar with some others were being transported by truck to a hospice type building set up away from his village. The architecture appeared to Mekkar as if it were formerly some type of old folks home. It irritated Mekkar when the health workers kept spraying everyone in the group with a liquid based substance at regular intervals. He wanted to punch some of them to make them stop. No one told the herd of people what that particular compound was, even when Mekkar asked. His inquiries were readily dismissed. Mekkar growled a couple of times at the health officials. He nicknamed them the white rats. However, Mekkar concluded that his reality at the moment was that he was actually a rat in a cage instead.

When the group arrived at their destination, they escorted Mekkar along with ten other males to a shower area. Females were separated at this point. He was required to remove his clothing prior to the body washing. Commands were given to the assistants to make sure all of them were thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. They were given this rough gritty soap that looked like lava rock and brushes with hard bristles. It was painful to the skin and created red blotches all over his body. Mekkar was unaware that the government representatives had taken and destroyed the clothes he was wearing beforehand. What Mekkar didn’t know was that this would be the last time he would don his distinctive native clothing. Mekkar now especially disliked these authoritative robbers as he described them. He also wondered why they stole all of the personal belongings he had on his person.

The agent of the state claimed that they would compensate him for everything lost or destroyed during this process. But, Mekkar didn’t believe them. He had heard adults in his village tell many stories about how his native people had been ripped off repeatedly. The northerner had also read articles regarding many times where the state took from his people. On the few occasions when the authorities did give back something it was never close to fair value in return. Mekkar felt that this was dehumanizing treatment on their behalf and there was no need for it. Yet, he and fellow villagers were in for further surprises to come.

So, Mekkar at this point had no quality clothes or at least some that weren’t cheaply made along with no other items on his person. He told another person in the group, “Look at the cheap generic and common everyday clothing the white rats gave us”. Following the cleaning procedure Mekkar got dressed in a lackadaisical manner. He hated the helpless feeling and the continual turn of events that were happening around him. The white ghosts (health officials) as Mekkar thought of them now directed his group to a larger room. Here each one of them had face to face sit down contact with a government representative. Mekkar was ready with questions and wanted some absolute answers and he intended to get them. Despite the fact he distrusted them.