We Must Expand Our Nuclear Power Program If We're To Realize Our Dream Of Superhero MutantsCommentary • Science & Technology • Opinion • ISSUE 45•01 ISSUE 44•27 ISSUE 42•10 • Mar 6, 2006 By T.J. Prima As the search for alternative energy sources continues, many decry nuclear energy as an unsafe and irresponsible option. Admittedly, dangers exist, but innovation always involves risk, for the best ideas often result from happy accidents. Indeed, perhaps a catastrophic meltdown would be the best thing that could happen. To abandon nuclear energy is to risk something far greater than another Chernobyl. It is to risk the loss of future superpowered, costumed heroes.If we fail to encourage our scientists to get trapped in a malfunctioning reactor as warning klaxons ring across the facility, and menacing numbers on a nearby wall-screen count down to zero, their frail human physiologies will never receive the massive doses of radiation necessary to transform them into glowing metallic-chrome beings with nuclei-and-electron symbols emblazoned on their muscular chests. As our country takes on the innumerable challenges of the 21st century, we neednow more than evercosmic, glowing superbeings capable of harnessing the power of the atom to fight crime.While we possess the technology to irradiate common household insects in educational experiments gone awry, we inexplicably have not yet done so. Not one high-school student has been exposed to the bite of such a radioactive insect and developed spider-like powers.Without swift, even reckless expansion of our domestic nuclear-energy program, scientists will never be exposed to the new and unique radiation poisonings from which the most powerful superheroes are generated. We need to see radioactive canisters spilled from the backs of trucks, hitting small boys in the eyes, blinding them, and giving them the heightened senses and radar-like superpowers of rooftop-jumping gymnastic avengers.Without research into Gamma Bombs, how will an idealistic young scientist be forced to run out onto the test site at the last minute to save a reckless teen, only to be mutated into a giant, green, rampaging force for justice?These are not easy questions, but they are questions we must face.We say we are committed to science, but where are the halls of justice, filled with governing councils of serum-created superpatriots, part-android teenagers, and scantily clad femaliens sworn to protect us? We say we are committed to providing our youth with the best in education, but where are the schools for gifted youngsters, children of the next wave of evolution, training new Homo superior mutants to protect humanity? Where is the holographic-room technology needed to sharpen their battle skills?For all the lip service paid to the ongoing struggle against terrorism, I certainly see no international espionage organization run from nuclear-powered flying aircraft carriers. Those of every political stripe can agree that we desperately need a gruff, eye-patched, cigar-chomping superagent to coordinate our response to all threats, foreign or domesticbe they ninja, cyborg, or psionic.Among all the federal, state, and local authorities in place today to protect the public, there is not one individual who is undersea-adapted, animal-bred, or high-tech-archery-themed. Not one agency devoted to the public interest is staffed by a genetic mutant. Even the utility belts we equip our police officers with lack bat-radio-transceiver technology.We can no longer deny the facts: We need code-named heroes to fight the super-villains of tomorrow. Unless our government prioritizes scientific research and its resulting freak accidents, we have no one but ourselves to blame when we are unable to protect ourselves from robot executioners, giant creatures from the Earth's core, or invasions from the Skrull Empire.