Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Solar vs. Nuclear - mom BEWARE!

This month, for whatever reason, a song from "way back when" has been popping into my head quite frequently. It is titled "Hiroshima" and if by any chance you remember the Beatles then you might remember this one too. It was recorded by a band called "Wishful Thinking" in 1969 in rememberance of the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War. It's not the bomb though that I have been pondering about, it is "nuclear" things in general. Especially nuclear plants.

Nuclear plants are only one type of many different kind of power plants in the world and I would like to take a closer look at nuclear and solar plants with you. Why? Because I have been both! I used to be a "nuclear plant" and recently migrated my energy source to "solar" and perhaps you might be able to relate to what I have been pondering about.

A nuclear plant, as you might know, works from "within". I don't want to go into too many technical details, so for the purpose of my blog it will hopefully suffice to say that a nuclear plant is fueled by its uranium core. The uranium atoms are split and since the process is very delicate it needs a very reliable cooling system and constant monitoring and balancing. Nuclear power plants, if not controlled stringently, are prone to get out of control. 

Chernobyl sarcophagus (right, cracked) and new dome (left)
In 1986, in a nuclear plant in Chernobyl, a systems test got out of control and the result was a massive and widely spread "fallout" with long lasting effects in the Soviet Union and Europe. Experts later found that there were deficiencies in the operating instructions and the design of the plant. After the fires had been put out, their only solution to contain the smouldering radiating core was to enclose it in a sarcophagus made out of concrete. They covered it up. But the sarcophagus subsequently started to rust and is now showing a massive crack. Almost all people must have been evacuated from the area by now, but the plant is still radiating today and there is a new project underway to completely enclose the plant with a protective dome. Chernobyl, sadly, is not the only disaster we have had in the world. Fukushima, a nuclear plant in Japan was severely affected by a massive tsunami which caused various equipment failures and a disastrous loss of coolant in 2011 and their fallout might have lasting consequences for many years too. Now, I know that nuclear power stations are meant to be rather safe and are producing a massive amount of energy around the world, but they scare me, despite their benefits.

Solar plants, on the other hand, don't scare me at all. They seem so peaceful and I have never heard of a fallout created by a solar plant. That's because they don't have an unstable core. In simple terms and very much as a summary, they soak up the sun, store up the energy received and then give it back in the form of electricity. Much safer! There is no risk of toxic radiation and no delicate cooling system required either. On cloudy days, they still work, just on a slightly smaller energy output and in places where there is not enough other energy to go around, solar paneling is the new up and coming thing!

You might rightfully ask by now...what is she talking about?? Nuclear? Solar? On a mother's blog? Here is my point: I don't know what drives you in life and where you are getting your energy from, but I used to be somewhat of a nuclear plant. I too was driven by my own inner core, which I perceived to be rather safe at the time. But using my own energy to make everything happen as a mom often felt as if I had to split myself into too many pieces and my cooling system was just not adequate to cope with this. It might work, if you have granny and a series of friends nearby to take over once in a while and let you rest. That's what I would call a good cooling system! But in my case there was no granny at hand and I did not want to trouble my friends. Perhaps that was my mistake. I drove myself to a point of "fallout", I lost my cool more than once or twice and sometimes I wonder about long lasting effects on the family vibe. You could say that my family management plan at the time was flawed. I needed help. Fortunately, like in Fukushima, my personal "fallout" was fairly soon contained, but I have learnt a thing or two about power moms.

If driven by our own inner core, which more often than not is aggravated by insecurities, we can become dangerously unstable quite easily unless...we decide to swap the power source! It took a major incident in my life for me to allow God to turn me from Nuclear to Solar and I am so glad that he did! I used to be a perfectionist, always trying to run at 120% power and occasionally, I still try to be a "nuclear plant" (working from within my own strength, desperately trying to balance things) and that's when, fortunately now in a much smaller way, I usually still blow. But on most days, either in the morning or throughout the day, I sit for a moment and soak in God's love. Like the solar plant in the picture above, I just sit there and do nothing at all other than soaking up the sun. I soak up the peace and quietness of the moment into my heart and then and only then do I have enough "safe" energy to give off all day. You could say that much like the solar paneling on our roof, I first fill up my batteries and then use the "overflow" to energize the appliances respectively the people in the house. No more struggling and no more instability! All it takes is...a good quiet time!

So, now you know why I have been thinking about nuclear plants and the question from me to you is - what kind of a power plant are you? You are most welcome to leave me a comment below and share your own thoughts on what might be "safe energy". I would love to hear your ideas! For now...

 I wish you a GREAT and energized week!

(Photo is my own.)


  1. Well thought out piece, Sue. I can relate to both, though now in my latter years it is far less of the nuclear than before. Soaking up the Son each morning helps me throughout the day. Blessings - and happy writing!

    1. Thank you so much Ann and I love the "twist"...we are indeed soaking up the Son! Be blessed!

  2. Very helpful, Sue! I can certainly relate to trying to run as a "nuclear" power source! It is definitely wiser and safer to be energized by the power of God than trying to find it all in oneself! Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Thank you Chiara! I am glad you liked it!


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