Until I got to watching Star Trek, I was really looking forward to space travel. What could be greater than wandering among the stars at speeds greater than c, testing relativity and coming back to Earth after the blink of an eye to find that weird math teacher who tortured you in highschool is dead and his family already extinct for generations … allowing you to say “eat relativity, byatch!”
What happened then? Well, I learned about the wonders of matter-antimatter reaction environments … aka Enterprise’s warp core. The first thought that came to mind was: damn, this is cool. Three TNG episodes later, I said: shit … as the warp core was ejected. I figured that was really an accident, after all we all heard of Chernobyl and the Three Miles Island. Another four episodes later … same thing happes again: all failsafes fail (pun!), saucer section separates, poor warp core gets ejected and so on.
So let’s see, we have one warp core being the most badass invention that makes 5 nuclear reactors from today look like scented candles, we have a few thousand people living literally next door to said badass energy source. One would think that this situation demands some badass security measures that actually work instead of ejecting the damn thing each and every time.
After all, human race learned from Chernobyl and build layer upon layer of security, starting from the cooling rods and ending with some think concrete walls. Even the Al-Qaeda didn’t ram a damn Boeing 747 into a nuclear power plant because they knew what the result would be: absolutely nothing. We designed the crap out of nuclear reactors to make sure they don’t explode. This goes double when you have people living across the street from one.
A starship’s warp core is laughably exposed and tends to blow at the slightest flop to the point where the best Romulan strategy against the Federation would be to lurk around waiting for each startship’s core to fail, be ejected, rendering the ship dead in space and the blow it up. Since in the series it happened every 5 episodes or so, it is statistically probable that within a week’s stalking a failure would occur. Did I mention there are people living in those starships? If I’d learn that in the middle of my building there was a power source able to turn the building into a supernova if I dropped a pin in the room, I would say it’s time to send the whole thing back to the drawing board!
And don’t come back until I can fire my phaser in the same room for my birthday!