Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Nucleated Mind

Yesterday we launched our beer, Nuclear Sunset. It occurs to me that my blog post was a little ill-thought out, and perhaps some other things I've written. I've been working on this for a couple of weeks, on and off, so yesterday I was somewhat blasé about the subject. Besides, we were bottling and sending out some samples, so I was also quite busy.

Not surprisingly there has been a view from some that using the subject of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a way to sell beer is "grotesque". Yes, I'd like to sell more beer, of course I would, but I genuinely care about the issues I'm trying to raise. This piece will become a personal expression of my feelings. From my heart. It might well end up being too honest. I'd like to write now about my own personal feelings surrounding this. Explain where I am, where I come from and detail my own thoughts about the subject.

I am fairly completely the result of an atomic age. My parents met when they both worked at Windscale1. When they got married my father decided to return for a short while to teaching. They settled in Kendal and I was born. However, perhaps due to the draw of the good salary and conditions at Windscale, or perhaps he just didn't like teaching, whatever, we moved to Seascale, where I spent the next 14 or so years growing up. Some days I wonder how my life would be had they stayed in Kendal.

Seascale is less than two miles from the perimeter fence of Sellafield. Most of the people who live there work at Sellafield. Indeed, many have been born there and their parents, and perhaps even grandparents worked at the plant. I still know many people who live there and I care about these people a lot.

During the 70s and 80s there was significant media attention, not unreasonably, as a result of various problems at the plant. Back in 1957 there was a fire. That was fairly heavy shit, to be fair. It should never have happened and was mainly due to the drive to produce our own UK nuclear deterrent. During the 60s and 70s and beyond the public became more and more concerned about the safety of nuclear power. In the 70s a program called Not The Nine O'Clock News did a spoof of the Ready Brek advert. For a kid living close to the plant, we didn't really find it that funny. In the 80s there was also the regrettable incident of the beach contamination and various other events. The press surrounding the events sometimes made us feel like we were in a microcosm very different to the rest of the world. When on holiday it was genuinely scary to mention where we lived.

In 1981 I was lucky enough to start an apprenticeship at the plant. The company subsequently funded my Open University degree. I ended up doing a fairly interesting job for a while, and the salary was very good indeed. Leave, pension, heath care and working hours all very favourable. Why on earth did I leave? It was a job for life, very probably, had I just stuck in and played the game.

But I'm not like that. I get frustrated easily. I like to get things done, and progress a job. I'm quite individual and in reality felt a lot like a square peg in a round hole. Having to do a written justification for nearly every move eventually drove me to near breakdown2. In 2003, after being there over 22 years, I left and bought a pub. There are days when I wonder why, but I did, and I am now doing what I do, dreaming that one day I'll make a sufficient success out of it to be able to retire.

During my time there I learnt about various things to do with potential accidents called "criticality"3 - I worked closely on systems that were designed to prevent such events. In brief, a criticality incident is where an uncontrolled fission chain reaction occurs giving out intense bursts of radiation. It is quite different to a nuclear explosion,  keeping fissionable material together long enough to explode is in fact, incredibly difficult to achieve.

Prevention of criticality events is probably one of the most rigorous and carefully thought through combinations of science and engineering I can imagine. Indeed, the complexity of the whole technology was the part of the job that thoroughly fascinated me4. But what captured my imagination more than anything was the very need for such layers of safety.

The intense radiation that is given off without warning when an accident like this happens will give personnel a lethal dose of a combination of gamma and neutron radiation in microseconds. The last time I know that this happened was in Japan at the Tokaimura plant. Two people died. Death from radiation is very, very slow and protracted. Closer to home we are all familiar with the death of Alexander Litvinenko from polonium poisoning. A different cause, but the effect is similar.

I have had an interest, not a macabre fascination, but a sympathetic empathy for anyone who has been exposed to such lethal doses of radiation. In our training, we were given advice as to what to do in the event of the very specific alarm should such a criticality event occur. On the flip chart, the lecturer would write, "RUN LIKE F....."5 and leave the last bit unwritten. The very obvious intent of the word might have offended, in a formal and large company environment was unusual, but the effect of implying the very real dangers of such an incident justified the potential offence. Just to pacify sensitive course attendees, he would then complete the sentence "RUN LIKE FURY" but we'd already got the point.

The difference between these criticality accidents and an atomic bomb is the fact that it is only when assembled in a bomb, and detonated with an implosion shock-wave6, do we get anything that might approach a nuclear explosion. I know very little about this part of nuclear technology. I'm really quite thankful that I don't know more. This part of nuclear warhead production does not and never has occurred in West Cumbria. If you want to know more, go and find out for yourself.

So, nuclear warheads. Frankly, they terrify me. Nuclear technology doesn't, beyond the criticality scenario I explain above. But the effect of nuclear detonation, deliberately to cause the biggest bang that is humanly achievable, really does scare the living shit out of me.

The suffering of the casualties in Hiroshima and Nagasaki genuinely moves me. Having undergone training over many years to drive home to me the dangers of the materials present on nuclear sites, it is difficult to not feel affected thinking about the utter devastation. The question of whether in fact the Americans had to drop those bombs to end the war is still unanswered in many war historians minds. We simply cannot know the answers to the questions. Even so, if they had not dropped the bombs then, might some other world conflict have precipitated something similar? Pandoras box is open, and we cannot get that genie back in that bottle.

We now know what the effects are. Subsequent American occupying troops documented details of the effects of the radiation on the sufferers. The troops did nothing to help the victims, just monitor, document, for the record, the technical biological effects. We know what happens now, we do not need to repeat that experiment. Indeed, it is difficult not to think that the real need of the Americans was to prove the bomb. After all, they had spent a colossal amount of money on the project, they might never, ever have the justification to drop a bomb again. We can't deny it proved the point.

The problem with the whole question of nuclear is the conflation of the aggressive use of military nuclear technology with peaceful power generation. It is true that the technologies do have some unfortunate cross-overs. It is possible for a state that has a peaceful nuclear program to divert into military use. However, we can say the same for conventional explosives, and for that matter chemical and biological technology.

Additionally, set between Sellefield, and BAE in Barrow where nuclear submarines are made, I cannot ignore the very great economic impact on my part of the world should we eradicate nuclear. The whole of the economy in my area depends very heavily on these industries. Should we abolish completely nuclear technology we'd have to think very carefully about how we manage thousands of people that have no other skill-sets outside the industry. They can't all go off and brew beer.

Something that is very close to my heart is the consideration of energy generation. It seems to be generally considered that global warming is real. There are not very many people who deny7 that at least in part global warming is increased by man's industry. I've recently been to Chamonix in the French Alps. There are a number of glaciers there that have retreated significantly over the time I've been visiting. One railway that connects the town to the most famous glacier, Mer de Glace, is now in completely the wrong place resulting in a significant climb down to get to the surface.

Renewables are a solution. Personally I love wind turbines, which isn't an entirely universal thought in our part of the world. Solar in the UK I think might be dubious, but I'm hoping that the technology will improve.

Covering the Sahara Dessert in solar panels might be helpful. I know enough about electrical transmission to at least question how efficient the movement of this energy would be. Hydro might help, but how many valleys might we need to dam, and how popular will that be? Biomass, anaerobic digestion and wind do have a part to play, and absolutely we should explore all of these, but I doubt they'll solve the problem in time.

Since I was born in 1965 world population has more than doubled. In the same time global energy usage has more than tripled. Most of the increase in energy usage has come from fossil fuels. Whatever your belief is about global warming, oil will become more difficult to find and more expensive to extract. We may have to accept fracking, for instance, if we cannot find ways of reducing fossil fuel dependancy.

Although it might not be something that gets general public agreement, especially after major disasters like Fukushima and Chernobyl, but I believe we have to keep nuclear energy as a tool in our kit of things to help us into the future. Yes, we have to learn how to do it right, and my ex-colleagues are working very hard to help do that.

But back to my original intent to attach the question of nuclear to the beer we have just released. I have read extensively about nuclear weapons and their direct and indirect impact on populations. I personally feel that the questions in the minds of the general public have subsided over the years since the peak of questions back in the 60s and 70s. I do not think it is wrong to reignite that whole question.

Perhaps my intent is "naff" I don't know. Perhaps it is just the actual application of my intent that isn't quite right. Maybe as a businessman I should have just got on with the job of selling my beer and leave these issues for someone else to address.

That perhaps is true. Perhaps I should have just left this particular dog to sleep. I expect that at some point in time this issue would have surfaced and what I'd hope is that what I've written here makes it clear that the issues are genuinely important to me.

Sellafield, formally Windscale is there as a direct result of The Manhattan Project. I was conceived because my parents met at Windscale. I am truly a product of the nuclear age. I cannot undo that.

So, when I think about the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about the suffering of the people. About the people who didn't even know what happened because they were vaporised instantly. Or about the people who suffered for many days, weeks or even months afterwards only to die a painful and distressing death as a result of what was argued a necessary action to end the war with Japan. When I think about the people that survived, and rebuilt the cities, rebuilt their lives and still remained scarred both physically and mentally, I remember that my life and theirs are inextricably linked.

And so is my beer. I am my beer and my beer is me. I don't make a huge amount of money out of beer. Hardknott is still a frighteningly small and vulnerable business. Yes, we'd like to sell more beer. I'd like everyone to like what I do.

I am who I am and I do what I do because I care about what I do. I want to make good beer, and I would like to get it out to more people. I also care about the future of mankind, how we make the world a better place for us all to live in. Is it my place to raise awareness of a terrible event that occurred 70 years ago? Perhaps not, but I've done it now. I expect I'll have got people to talk little more than they would have otherwise done. I expect in reality it'll not make much difference to my business.


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1Windscale was the name then given to the place we all know as Sellafield. Back in the late 70s the people in charge changed the name as Windscale had got itself a bad name. There were all sorts of excuses given back then, but we all know it was a PR thing.

2I would not even want to try and suggest that anything should change in the way that safety is conducted on the site. I do not think it is wrong to have the inevitable heavy layers of safety systems that exist. Some people revel in that environment and many of my friends work there and continue to keep our nuclear industry safe. It's just not for me.

3Life after Sellafield is an interesting thing. There are things I know, mostly things that are available for people to look-up in Wikipedia, that I am unsure how sensible it is for me to discuss. I am of the view that mentioning criticality incidents is reasonably safe a thing to discuss. It is all very well documented on the internet and something that concerns a fair few people who work at the plant.

4It might be worth pointing out that nuclear safety is something that is totally necessary. I might have already given the wrong impression by suggesting that it is this that drove me away. Not at all. I was genuinely very much enthralled with the necessity to ensure safety of nuclear material. Having multiple layers of safety mechanisms so that the risk is kept as small as humanly achievable is paramount. It was the stuff like "hold on to that handrail when walking up stairs" was what drove me mad. FFS, I'm a climber in my spare time, I'm not having some jumped-up manager tell me I can't walk up and down stairs without holding the handrail, that's just daft.

5Conventional evacuation of a building, in the event of fire for instance, advises that people should simply walk in a calm manner. Panic in such cases might cause bigger issues than the danger actually presented. We were left in no doubt that panic was indeed the thing you should do in the event of a criticality. The technical reasons for this are that fissionable material, when in solution, may well boil the solution in the event of a criticality and the resultant foam be sufficiently sub-critical to halt the event. However, once the foam died down, it might go critical again, and so cause pulses of radiation. The first pulse might not be enough to kill you, so run like fuck whilst you have the chance and are still able. The inverse square law may yet save you.

6Holding together a fissioning chain reaction is incredibly difficult. The energy involved in these events is so incredible that even the thickest vessel would be torn apart in microseconds creating a nuclear "fizzle"

7I actually have a cousin who is highly active as a sceptic of global warming science. I'm not sure I understand what he gets up to, but I admire his approach. What is important is to question, and to keep questioning our rational. There is danger of group think. I like the fact that we can discuss issues in our society. The fact we can question various outputs of human learning, opinion and scientific research is part of what makes us human. It is important in a democratic society that we can do this. I do not expect the reader to agree with my points in this piece, or for that matter anything else I write. But it is important to be able to rationally, intelligently and constructively debate.

17 comments:

Rob said...

All this explains why this is something you care about. But I'm struggling to understand how a beer does anything about it. If you were donating money from the sales to the CND or charities for survivors of the bombs then I guess that would be something. At the moment though it just looks a bottle with a mushroom cloud on which comes across as rather crass I'm afraid.

Dave Bailey said...

Rob,

We discussed the question of donations. We wouldn't send money to CND I'm afraid as they conflate nuclear power and nuclear weapons. They are not the same thing at all. Equally. living so close to BAE at Barrow, where I have friends who work, would be supporting something that seeks to bring down the economy in West Cumbria.

I think that there are very few survivors of the bombs left alive. Although I don't want to suggest that this wouldn't be a worthy cause, I do feel that there are other things to focus on.

For me, the bast way we can approach this topic is to focus on what we can do for the future, whilst at the same time not forgetting what has gone in the past. Indeed, learning from the past and questioning what we should do about the future.

I did think on many occasions about mentioning CND. I would be unable to do so without pointing out where I think they are wrong. For that reason it was probably best to leave them out. You see, back when I did work at the plant there was, and probably still is, significant dislike of the organisation. Them and Greenpeace. But they do something that is necessary; a balance of society's conscience.

We are in a society where we can discuss and challenge what it done by government. I like that fact that we can.

Meanwhile, to close, and a rebuff I've thought about, if I wrote a book about my time at Sellafield, and sold it, and it happened to have a mushroom cloud on the front, would I be wrong? Sellafield is there as a result of the UK's need to make a bomb.

I'd probably make more money if I did. As it is, I earn significantly less than I did when I did work at Sellafield, nearly a charity ourselves.

Rob said...

CND was just an example, and I understand why you wouldn't donate to them (how about http://www.nucleareducationtrust.org/ instead? They seem to be more what you are talking about). A book about Sellafield is actually about nuclear power, whereas a beer is just a beer. I just don't understand what message you are trying to convey with it, or how you hope to foster any debate about nuclear weapons or power.

Dave Bailey said...

NET is interesting, and not an organisation I know enough about to comment on here. Thanks for pointing them out though.

I don't write books. Perhaps I should. As it is my life consists of beer, but other things too. I write stuff about things that concern me. I've transgressed off the subject of beer into an area that is emotive, and rightly so. What do I expect to achieve? Well, we're having a discussion. One that seems to me to be constructive. It is getting off the topic of beer, and in someways perhaps that is a dangerous thing to do. But i do not think we can do enough to rationally discuss the future, and what we should do about all sorts of things.

As a business person I am concerned with how we should proceed in all manner of things. I am truly concerned about how we develop the future when considering various issues. Some are well beyond the scope of my control, and that includes our country's military strategy. But how we generate power is something that can be considered. More and more we are moving to biomass and other sorts of local micro-generation schemes. I consider how my business can move forward, how it should move forward, and how the country should also consider power. As a business person I have to consider these things.

What do I expect to achieve? People talking about the issues. I've managed that. Ahead of the anniversaries people are talking about what, at the moment, is not being mentioned in the press. I forecast that I'll be disappointed at how little coverage is given. But we'll see.

A book about Sellafield would not just about nuclear power, that would really be missing the point about much of what has gone on on that site. I probably shouldn't even say that. Much of the legacy on the site is the legacy that in my view actually inhibits the progress of nuclear power. I think that there is still much to do to separate out the unfortunate connection there is between our nuclear weapon legacy and current practical, economic and political applications of nuclear energy. A book about Sellafiled would be something that would have to focus on that much more than most people realise.

Anne Wallis said...

I am very impressed by this blog article - both in content, idea, and style. I love the idea of brewing for a cause and I like your explication. This topic hits home to me in particular because I grew up - rather like you it seems - as the child (albeit daughter) of a nuclear engineer. I was brought up to understand very clearly the differences between nuclear energy and nuclear bombs and the public attitudes resulting from conflation of the two. My father passed his understanding of physics, chemistry, and mathematics on to me, along with an understanding of terms like criticality and ultimately, probability and risk. I am now an all-grown-up professor of epidemiology and understanding risk is essentially what i do for a job, although in a different milieu. My father's career essentially ended when the breeder reactor they were developing at Oak Ridge died due to Federal funding cuts and fears about what we now call the weaponizing of nuclear ingredients. It is very correct to be worried - terrified, even - of the use of atomic weapons and horrified that we were forced to use such extremes in Japan. I certainly cannot call it the right decision and no one can defend the military observing but not helping people. We have simply got to descale weapons programs worldwide - and, while we're at it, stop fighting altogether. Peace and I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I should mention that just now I am enjoying your devastatingly good red ale while on holiday in Kent. Anne Wallis

Anne Wallis said...

p.s. My blog, which is far less interesting than yours is: https://abwallis.wordpress.com.

marianne birkby said...

If the aim was to question the role of Trident and nuclear weapons that would make sense. But it seems that BOTH new nuclear and new weapons are being endorsed here. If the intent behind the beer is to aim to divorce nuclear power from nuclear weapons in the minds of the public then that looks a tad fishy and like soft propaganda for the nuclear industry. Nuclear weapons are absolutely dependent on the continuation of nuclear power, for a ready supply of substances such as tritium and to hide, for example, research projects and the mega bucks of public money spent on 'defence' . I'm with CND on this ... there are huge opportunities for other more benign industries that Barrow shipyard could progress to than nuclear weapons...and whatever it was would cost the public purse far far less! Barrovians would also be safer and not routinely exposed to nuclear emissions (although the authorities kindly tell us that the emissions are masked by the greater emissions from Sellafield) Look forward to the beermat!

Dave Bailey said...

Marianne,

Thanks for taking part. Just to be clear, the intent is to raise the question in the first place. As I've written elsewhere, there are various celebrations of the anniversaries of the end of the Second World War occurring around this time. VJ day will be celebrated a week on Saturday. I can see that welcoming the end of a war that killed possibly 50 million people or more is important.

However, continued aggression has occurred in the world since that time and continues today. I think this is inevitable as the population continues to grow and the world becomes more crowded, resources get scarcer and people continue to have aspirations to have better lives.

How do we solve these problems? How do we prevent the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from being repeated? Can we ever totally rid the earth of nuclear weapons now that the technology is known about? If we do, how do we create these benign industries that Barrow and West Cumbria would need to prevent total and utter economic ruin?

I think too much money is spent on defence, if you want my personal view. On the other hand, the museum next to our bar happened to have a stick of dynamite that was found on Friday. A couple of jolly blokes came and made it safe on Saturday. Their robotic machine cost over £1m, so they tell me. When they are not in the UK, doing roughly one explosive job per day, they are in places like Afghanistan etc making IEDs safe.

You are correct of course that nuclear power does make it easier to hide nuclear weapons, to an extent. Although, mostly states who have nuclear weapons really don't want to hide them at all. This is the slightly bizarre thing. With the exception of Israel, all the nuclear states happily declare the fact that they have weapons, because they want to be known to be part of the club. I do not believe the UK would ever drop that unless we actually as a nation wanted to be rid of them.

There are 31 states that have nuclear power, to the best of our knowledge only 9 have nuclear weapons. It might be possible that states like Iran are only a screwdriver turn away from having the capability, but I am confident that the IAEA are monitoring that situation well. I am confident because I have worked on systems designed to monitor the misdirection of nuclear material. It's actually very clever and if I returned to the nuclear industry it would be the area I would be most interested in taking part in.

I do think it is possible to divorce nuclear weapons and nuclear power. You don't agree with me and I'm happy for you to have your views.

You have a dream of a nuclear free environment. What I think is most important is that the world needs people to have dreams and goals. People to believe in a better future. To be able to think about the consequences of man's actions, of an ever increasing population that inevitably cannot go on for ever.

Where will it all end? How long before mankind does finally expand so far that there is no longer enough room to support us all? I don't know, but what I think is that there are not enough people thinking about that ultimate problem. You are,and so am I. I hope we can agree on that.

marianne birkby said...

Man needs water....not least for beer. The reasons for opposing continued expansion of nuclear power and nuclear weapons are entirely sensible. It makes no sense to routinely poison our land and our water. I guess to have worked in the industry so long you believe the myth of infallible safety systems. Recent History tells a different story with intermediate wastes "accidently" going to landfill because of faulty monitoring equipment. Nuclear power is an ongoing weapon (even without bombs) against which the public have no protection. . This article sets out very clearly the bond between military and civilian nuclear power and how that bond is unseverable. Good luck to us all. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2530828/bombs_ahoy_why_the_uk_is_desperate_for_nuclear_power.html

marianne birkby said...

"But why is a civil nuclear programme so important to having a nuclear WMD programme? Here are some reasons:

to maintain nuclear WMD we need a substantial pool of nuclear physicists, engineers, University departments, professors, graduates, technicians, etc;
it would be very expensive to sustain this whole nuclear establishment purely for the sake of a WMD programme - far better to spread out the costs with a civil nuclear programme which ends up bearing most of the costs;
nuclear science and engineering would offer unattractive and insecure career prospects if tied exclusively to employment on nuclear WMD;
it's important to be able to spread out the costs of the entire nuclear fuel cycle from uranium sourcing and enrichment through to disposal of wastes so that a nuclear WMD programme can piggy-back at low cost on a much larger civil nuclear programme."
Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist

Dave Bailey said...

Just because a civil nuclear program might help a nuclear weapon program is not a reason to ditch a perfectly capable means of producing peaceful energy. If you suggested that nuclear energy could not exist without nuclear weapons then I'd agree, but around 20 plus countries prove this is not the case.

You also seem to be over exaggerating the impact of nuclear on the environment. I think there are many much more pressing environmental issues such as deforestation and regular landfill issues to deal with.

No power generation is without problems. Flooding valleys for hydro, covering the landscape with windmills, putting a tidle barrage across every estuary in the country, and so destroying habitats for many species.

Is nuclear completely safe? No, but then very few industries are. We could eliminate all industry and go back to the dark ages, and then we'd not have power for hospitals or schools and we'd all be back in the fields tilling the land by hand. What we should be doing, in my view, is working to make the world as safe as we can.

For me, the conflation of the issues of peaceful use of nuclear technology for energy generation and the very real problem of the world's nuclear arsenal by the anti-nuclear lobby are part of the reason there is not more support for the concept of eradication of nuclear weapons globally.

It needs rational and balanced discussion, which is what I'm trying to generate. A view that "everything nuclear is bad" is unlikely, in my view, to gain much general public support.

marianne birkby said...

From the mining of uranium in Kazakhstan (this is where NuGen have shares) to the dispersal of wastes to the environment = "peaceful" ?

marianne birkby said...

I guess we can choose not to drink Nuclear Sunset...but we have no choice over Sellafield . All we can do is argue for safe containment and to stop the wastes continuing to arrive here for reprocessing (which makes the volume of waste 180 times larger) . The nuclear lobby are aggressively portraying Moorside as a fait accompli. . At the public consultation recently people were told that "nothing will stop the construction". Hardly reasoned debate! The only sane option is to Resist. Over 8000 people have signed the Stop Moorside petition.... Maybe what is needed is a Ban Nuclear brew. Re countries which have nuclear power but admit to no weapons ...the prerequisite for nuclear weapons is.......nuclear power.

Stanley Blenksinsop said...

Forget about all this nuclear nonsense and just answer the question - is this beer an orange alco-pop ? It certainly sounds like it.

Dave Bailey said...

Stanley,

Excellent question.

Is a Belgian fruit beer just an alco-pop? We don't think so. Neither do we believe this beer is an alco-pop.

An alco-pop is generally some sort of dead processed spirit-based alcohol mixed with fruit juice or sweetened flavoured water. The idea is to make an alcoholic drink that is sweet and appeal to youngsters who have not developed a pallet for more sophisticated grown-up alcoholic drinks.

In our case the orange juice is added before fermentation and becomes part of the overall beer. It makes the beer crisp, refreshing and much more beer-like than an alco-pop.

Ultimately though, it perhaps is up to the drinker to decide. We're still getting the beer out there. Hopefully in a few days we'll find the response.

Wishbone Brewery said...

I've really not read all this... but somewhere I have a minidisc recording I made while in Japan when we went to a talk from a survivor of Hiroshima.
Its something I should dig out and put online when I have the time.

Dave Bailey said...

Wishbone, yes, I think it is important that as many records of the experiences of the survivors are published as possible. I think it would be great if you were to put the recording you have up online.

For the UK, and the others in the Nuclear Club, there is an incredible responsibility that is attached to having the capability to wipe out millions of lives in next to no time. With the passage of time it seems to me that more and more the general public are forgetting the terrible events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This of course is compounded by the fact that the general view of our big cousins across the pond that it was necessary to end the war, and actually, wasn't all that bad really. Most of the victims were vaporised in an instant, don't you know?

So, as survivors are less and less with the passage of time, and the record of the war remains mainly in post war films that only further strengthen the over simplistic view that UK and USA were only fighting evil aggressors, we must save the experiences of those people who survived. Moreover, that minidisc recording may also fail with time. Getting it up online will help to preserve that data for future generations to ponder, wonder and hopefully help them to keep the world a better place.