Nuclear Power – No Thanks

Until recently I was beginning to come round to the idea that nuclear power was the way forward with the looming fossil fuel crisis due to global warming and the fact that we are running out of oil.

But how stupid I was.

Nuclear power is not safe, we have no idea what natural or intended catastrophe will be inflicted on any of the 442 nuclear plants world wide and the 65 or so that are currently being built. There are plants built in earthquake areas, tornado prone areas and most plants are by the ocean with the possibility of tidal wave flooding. There is a long history of bad management at nuclear plants. In the US alone there are 108 contaminated sites with no hope of cleaning them up in the foreseeable future. The US produces 3,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste each year from its 100 reactors. The best we can hope for at this time is that the waste will be safe in 10,000 to 1,000,000 years. Where do you keep so much hazardous material for so long a period, where will it be safe from earthquakes, flooding, etc.

The current crisis in Japan at the Fukushima plant, which has been hit by a tsunami on Friday 11th March 2011 after the most powerful earthquake in Japanese history, is in a critical condition. After several explosions at 3 of the reactors and a fire at a fourth due to the cooling system failure we are now being told that the reactors may be melting down. Also the ponds that hold up to 600,000 spent fuel rods are boiling dry and becoming exposed to the air, which results in the rods heating up and giving off more radiation. As I write this the army are trying to douse the reactors and ponds with seawater from helicopters like they do with forest fires. This is a desperate move, and even this has been called off due to the high levels of radiation. They are also trying to get a new electric cable into the plant to hopefully restart the cooling system if it has not been totally destroyed by the earlier explosions. The other thing I’ve been wondering about is that the massive explosions could have destroyed the cooling ponds and scattered rods over a wide area. If the dry rods get too hot and give off too much radiation then all is lost as nobody will be able to get anywhere near the plant. I can see the possibility of a huge area of Japan being abandoned for the next 10,000 years plus. On the International Nuclear Event Scale this event has been put at 6, second only to Chernobyl, which is set at 7. I think that it will not stay at 6 for long as the days pass. I just hope this terrible event can be reduced in the coming days.

Fukushima nuclear plant.

Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 21:24  Leave a Comment  

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