Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: earthquake


After Japan, U.S. nuclear plants need a hard look

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

This is not a good week to be the nuclear industry.

Multiple nuclear power plants have exploded and leaked radiation in Japan in a horror show that matches some Hollywood disaster movies.

The visceral fear of radioactivity is such that the spectacle of burning reactor complexes has sometimes overshadowed the vastly greater devastation and loss of life wrought directly by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.

Many Americans are now understandably nervous about this country’s 104 nuclear plants – including the Columbia Generating Station at Hanford, which is very similar in design to the stricken Japanese reactors.

The crisis is good reason to step back and look at the way America is re-licensing its oldest reactors, some of which have been operating for 40 years. It’s not a good reason to fly into a panic about nuclear energy in general.
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Windstorms? Power outages? Bring it on!

When it hit, I’d just woken from the strangest dream: George W. Bush was on a book tour, I was in the middle of Walmart during a blowout sale, and a lady in a spiffy red blazer was running for president, shrieking “for the greater good!” in an octave only small dogs can hear.

It had been a tough night here in the Pacific Northwest. La Nina had introduced us to winter with 50-mile-an-hour winds and a power outage that turned all the conveniences of life into useless nicknacks.

After years of living on the outer limits of the Capitol

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Haiti’s suffering beyond belief

Barely able to function in the best of times, Haiti is now seeing the worst of times. And it needs massive injections of aid to even begin coping with an unimaginably immense human disaster.

Already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is reeling from the destruction of a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday afternoon.

The reports out of the Caribbean nation are grim beyond belief: The United Nations peacekeeping mission all but wiped out. The archbishop of Port-au-Prince dead. Hospitals, churches, schools, homes, public buildings and even the presidential palace and Parliament in ruins. Bodies everywhere, and many people trapped in pancaked structures. Read more »