There is a direct correlation between the amount of energy a person has access to and their quality of life. For example, compared to the average person in Kilifi, the people “teaching” the villagers of at the coast the “dangers of nuclear,” have really done well for themselves. They get to traverse vast distances consuming equally vast amounts of fossil fuels on fuel guzzling SUV which combined probably have the carbon footprint of the whole of Uyombo. The clothes the #sitakiNuclear wear don’t grow on trees. They are the end result of an energy intensive supply chain that ropes in everything from fertilizers manufactured in factories to tractors and trailers ferrying the finished products to the high-end shops. Those funded by external agents in countries that themselves have vast networks of nuclear plants sail on yachts & live in palatial homes stocked with all the modern appliances – all of which were manufactured using energy and consume the same.

Left: – A senator and an activist take a break a top a yatch that runs on fossil fuels after “teaching locals” about the dangers of nuclear power.Right: – A mother and her kid condemn themselves to respiratory illnesses later in life probably after being taught the dangers of nuclear power

Should any of the #sitakiNuclear activists who do not understand nuclear energy yet are somehow capable of “teaching” the villagers of Uyombo “the dangers of nuclear power” fall sick right now, they will be hosted in energy draining ICUs full of life support machines. Granted these might be solar or wind powered but unless those “educating” people about “the dangers of nuclear” are going to invent science fiction level batteries that will defy the known laws of power density, those machines will definitely have diesel powered generators as back up. Flying to Sweden, a country that gets 40% of their electricity from the 6 Boiling Water Reactors at the Oskarshamn, Righals and Forsmark nuclear sites, to receive funding to wage a pseudo-scientific anti-nuclear crusade is the dream of every kid at the coast as they do their homework under streetlights after a day of their parents being “taught the dangers of nuclear power.”

A Grade 6 pupil photographed in Shanzu, Mtwapa, reading outside at night under a streetlight.

The challenge that every species in the known universe faces is to guarantee prosperity to its population by supplying as much easily dispatchable energy as possible in an ethical and sustainable way. Around 1.7 to 2.0 million years ago when homo erectus made the first significant step towards this by domesticating fire I can imagine that there were very violent disagreements about this – in particular that it was unsafe. Fortunately for civilization it was adopted, nonetheless. From wood to fossil fuels, the history of civilization i.e the increased access to food, shelter, clothing, education, life expectancy etc. has been a result of the steady adoption of better mediums we burn to unlock the few megajoules per kilogram of energy trapped inside chemical bonds. The average Form 2 Chemistry exam tests this knowledge.

Around 100 years ago however, an explanation by Albert Einstein to some of the inconsistencies that had been observed over 500 years of physics basically gave birth to the nuclear age. The equation that correlated mass and energy made it possible for the energy trapped in the nucleus of an atom to be harnessed. While chemical bonds in fossil fuels is in the range of a few electron volts, the so called “strong force” between the nucleons is 6 orders of magnitude greater i.e if a chemical bond is one-unit, nuclear force is around 3 million units. Both chemical energy (including fire) and nuclear energy were first explained in very simple terms that are easily recognizable by anyone who did any science course in secondary school.

But nuclear energy is nothing new. The sun is a literal nuclear reactor. Wind itself results from the uneven heating of the earth’s atmosphere by that same nuclear reactor. Geothermal, which Boniface Mwangi invokes without telling us what that “rotten egg” smell around Ol Karia is all about, is literally from radioactive decay of heavy elements in the earth’s mantle. Fission, the process that is harnessed in the 413 man-made nuclear power reactors around the world, is a form of radioactive decay. All of these, including the ones in Africa (One operational in South Africa and 4 under construction in Egypt) are run by a vast team of highly skilled engineers and scientists all enabled by a regulatory framework that is based on reality and common sense.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s 10 biggest nuclear power plants. It has six VVER-1000 Pressurized Water reactors all of which were built during Soviet times. In the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, it has been targeted by artillery and even missile fire but despite all this has been steadily and safely been brought to a safe shutdown.

Reinforced concrete used as containment of nuclear power plants is strong. To test that fact, engineers once crashed a F4 Phantom jet into it at 804.6 km/h.

Unless Al Shabab militants are more potent as the literal armies of Ukraine and nuclear armed Russia, the opposition to a nuclear power plant at the coast based on hypothetical terror attacks violates logic, and betrays a remarkable lack of understanding of the system design and engineering of modern nuclear power plants.

The way to alleviate the crippling poverty that makes the residents of Kilifi and Lamu susceptible to the likes of that Pastor Mackenzie and the Al Shabaab militants is not to parrot debunked anti-nuclear tropes that the average person can simply google to discover their inaccuracies. It is not to position oneself as an environmental messiah so as to receive vast amounts of donor funding from organizations that have engaged in eugenics in the past and that would rather pour millions of dollars trying to dictate to African women how many kids they should have rather than empowering them to make those decisions for themselves. It is not to generate generic word salads from Large Language Models like Chat GPT and delivering the same on the senate floor about the dangers of “Uranium.” It is not to pose with Greta Thunberg under the hashtag #sitakiNuclear completely ignorant and oblivious of the fact that Greta supports nuclear power 100%!

Kenyan #sitakiNuclear Activist, Phyllis Omidoh, who unlike the late Prof Wangari Maathai, has zero background in anything that qualifies as a science, poses with Greta Thurnberg while in Sweden, which has 6 nuclear reactors.

 Forbes Magazine reports of Greta’s support for Nuclear Power

The path to prosperity for the residents of Uyombo, Kilifi, the Coast and Africans is exactly as it has been the case in every single society that has existed on this planet – most recently in South Korea where the adoption of a domestic nuclear power program availed to the locals the vast amounts of clean, safe and sustainable energy they needed to lift themselves out of poverty.

A local fisherman near the 4 CANDU Reactors at Wolsong,Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. After visiting the nearby UNESCO Heritage site of the Tomb of King Munmu, you can walk to any restaurant on the beach and eat fresh raw fish with soy source and garlic.

Any “Daktari kutoka Tanga” who opposes the use of surgery to treat medical ailments because “they are cutting people open,” is ignorant and will always be laughed out of the room.

Let us #StigmatizeArrogantIgnorance and Make Uyombo Great For Once (MUGFO).

Omondi Agar is a science fiction fan, member of The Thorium Network and works in the design of Advanced reactors/SMRs


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