The Legacy of Nuclear Power
Last night my oldest daughter told me that when she graduates college she wants to relocate to the Hawaiian Islands and set up her medical practice. I hated to be the one to tell her that Hawaii is so contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster that it would be a very poor choice of places to set up shop. Indeed, I would be reluctant to now live anywhere along the entire west coast of the U.S. or Canada for that matter. What a tragic shame, these are the most beautiful regions of our once great country.
August 21st 2013 Reuters reported that “Japan has dramatically raised its warning about the severity of a toxic water leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant; its most serious action since the plant was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
“The deepening crisis at the Fukushima plant will be upgraded from a level 1 to a level three on an international scale for radiological releases”, a spokesman for Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said. This in a response to Fukushima Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announcement that about 300 tons of highly contaminated ground water is leaking- and purposefully dumped, from a storage tank designed to hold overflows, every day into the sea, to make room for more radioactive water storage.
That will mark the first time Japan has issued a warning on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) since three reactor meltdowns after the massive quake in March 2011. Consensus is that the problem at the Fukushima plant is growing, the fuel pools are now spent and the uranium rods are hundreds of feet melted into the ground.
In light of these developments, on August 25th 2013, Japan finally bowed to pressure from neighboring countries South Korea and China and agreed to accept international help to sort out the mess by allowing the French to help decommission and dismantle the crippled nuclear plant; this after 29 months of trying to contain radiation from Fukushima’s molten atomic cores on its own. The water leaks have so far sent more than 100 times the annual norms of radioactive elements into the ocean.
Well, it’s about time they dug their heads out of the sand, swallowed their “pride” and allowed for some international aid. Up until now they have refused all offers from other countries including Russia who offered to help back in 2011 but Japan refused their offer. The Russians have long contended that using water to cool the melted reactors was just going to make the problem worse by creating more radioactive water that needs to be disposed of. Duh, makes perfect sense to me.
Russia’s state-owned Rosatom recommended that Japan use air cooling methods to and sent Japan a 5 kilogram (11 pound) sample of thermoxide -a special absorbent to help clean up contaminated water almost three years ago, but TEPCO declined to use it.
Rosatom also formed working groups ready to help Japan on health effect assessment, decontamination, and fuel management, among others. The assistance was never used despite Russia’s qualified experience in nuclear cleanup after the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. We live on a very small planet, and we now know that there’s no such thing as a national nuclear accident. They are all international accidents. And after Chernobyl, the Russians would know.
There are not only neighboring countries for Japan to deal with, but also mounting pressure to contain the problem before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That’s just over six years away. Gee too bad caesium-137 has a half-life of 30.17 and plutonium has a half-life of 88 years- not quite enough time to get it all cleaned up.
Over all I must say, we have been VERY blessed that it was only caesium-137, Iodine 131, Tellurium 129, Strontium 90 and plutonium that was released. Other radioactive isotopes that could have been discharged such as carbon 14 have a half-life of 5,730 years, and are deadly for tens of thousands of years. Aren’t we citizens of the world so lucky?
Furthermore, if the radioactive rods in Fukushima were to come within contact of each other, an open air fusion reaction could result resulting in the entire northern hemisphere being evacuated and the whole of Japan being deemed uninhabitable. And that’s just one nuclear power site, Fukushima is just a miniscule fraction compared to the amount of uranium being used worldwide.
In other interesting news, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck Fukushima Prefecture in Japan early morning on Friday September 19th 2013, states the Japan Meteorological Agency. No tsunami warnings were issued, the news agency said. – How nice.
The focus of the quake was around 12 miles underground in the prefecture, which hosts Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station but there was no damage to the nuclear plant itself, Japanese media quoted Tokyo Electric as saying.
That’s still just a little too close for my comfort, thank you very much.
Ok I’m going to state the obvious here– WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!– Nuclear power is beyond obsolete and far more deadly than we should ever consider tinkering with. The main purpose of introducing nuclear power, and all the nuclear reactors that now proliferate our planet, was to stockpile bombs. WELL GUESS WHAT? We have enough bombs now!!
In light of the fact that earthquakes are increasing on this planet at an unprecedented rate, even simple solutions, such as harnessing the hydro power of the tides, wind and solar power are far preferable to the ever present danger and potential looming disaster that nuclear power represents. Not to mention all the suppressed Tesla technologies that we discovered over 100 years ago, and technologies designed to harness the energy of the earth’s magnetic field –all of these are preferable to horrific nukes.
Here in the U.S., there are two nuclear power plants in Ohio – Davis-Bessie & North Perry, Hello? BOTH are “LEAKING”!!! And… Davis-Bessie is right next to Cedar Pont Amusement Park. That’s so brilliant. Oh and by the way, Japan built their reactors on a fault line. Wow! How intelligent can you get??
Just how many worldwide reactors are built on fault lines? The World Nuclear Association estimates that 20 percent of nuclear reactors worldwide operate in areas vulnerable to earthquakes.
Here in the United States, several nuclear reactors in California and New York are located on or near known faults. Two reactors at Diablo Canyon are 3 miles from the Hosgri Fault line and about half a mile from an offshore fault line.
Two reactors at San Onofre (next to Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Diego, CA) are located just 5 miles from the Newport-Inglewood-Rose Canyon fault.
Two reactors at the Indian Point, NY nuclear power plant are one mile from a recently-discovered intersection of two active fault lines. Close to 10 million people live within 25 miles of the Indian Point facility.
Comforting isn’t it?
When are the people of this world going to speak up and demand an end to nuclear proliferation? What’s it going to take, total annihilation!??
I never thought that I would see the day where I felt safer eating a conventionally grown piece of fruit from South America – known for heavily spraying pesticides that are banned in the United States, than I would an organically grown piece of California produce. Sad but true.
Recommended reading: Take a look at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) or Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and see what they have to say about Japan. “They” and by default “us” are truly screwed.