Conventional Nuclear Engineering Won’t Solve Fukushima But There Are Other Methods That Can. Take Action here, http://TinyURL.com/FukushimaHope
Actions have consequences. Inaction has consequences, too. Bad nuclear actions/inaction have consequences that can end life on this planet. Think Fukushima.
It’s been five years since the massive accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, and yet there seems to be no end in sight to discoveries of radioactive material in the oceans–and along the West Coast of North America. According to some scientists, this is going to be the new reality for a long, long time to come.
Elevated levels of radioactivity found off the coast of Japan show that the high level radioactive water leaking is still not yet under control, and that the facility, with its 6 acknowledged reactors and one secret nuclear weapons facility (illegal under the Japanese Constitution is still, and increasingly, in dire straits.
On March 11, 2011 an earthquake triggered a tsunami that made landfall along 700 miles of Japan’s coastline triggering a disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant–the worst such disaster since the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Russia in 1986. In fact, many feel that the magnitude of the disaster far exceeds the single reactor explosion at Chernobyl since that reactor’s highly radioactive “corium” has been contained and entombed. In contrast, the multiple cores of 4, possibly 4 or even 5 nuclear reactors have been lost, having burned through the containment vessels into the huge fresh water aquafer below the site, leaking into the ocean and causing unprecedented nuclear consequences for years decades generations millennia and beyond.
With much of Japan’s coastline under water, at least temporarily, an unknown amount of radiation from the nuclear plant bled out into the ocean, stoking fears around the world that the radioactive toxins would poison marine ecosystems and fisheries, perhaps in large enough concentrations to cause cancer or other health problems for humans.
In fact, that is precisely what has happened. The amount of intentional and unintentional radiation release into the Pacific Ocean is without any parallel in human history on this planet.
Today, five years down the road, the levels of radiation observed near the United States is reassuringly supposedly far below those set as “health and safety standards”, they are also far higher than the radiation that occurs naturally. Further, those levels set as “health and safety standards” have been raised, raised again, raised again and yet again as the actual levels exceeded previous allowable standards for health and safety which were, according to most radiation safety experts NOT on government payrolls, already set politically high, not scientifically low.
Five years ago, as the disaster unfolded on television screens around the globe, people were rightly concerned. There were massive die-offs of marine animals, especially sea lions, and many people were afraid it meant the worst in terms of how much radiation was present in the oceans. People questioned whether it was still safe–or indeed whether it would ever be safe again–to eat Pacific seafood.
Shortly after the disaster, an oceanographer named Ken Buesseler noted a gap in the ways the government studies ocean radiation, and secured a grant to study the problem himself. By looking at a radioactive isotope called cesium-134, which has a half-life of just a couple of years, Buesseler and his team were able to pinpoint rather accurately areas where Fukushima radiation had dispersed at that time.
And while the fact that cesium-134 is water-soluble and easily dispersed by water currents, thus reducing the concentrations and therefore the danger of its inherent radiation, the bad news is of course that it has spread – everywhere.
As recently as last December Buesseler and his team found a spike in cesium-134 off the coast of California and Hawaii, around twice as much as they had previously noted in those areas.
Five years after Fukushima, and we are still seeing the consequences of our nuclear folly show up on US shores–and we are likely to continue to see them as the radiation continues to leak for thousands of years to come unless non-conventional methods to solve the problem are employed.
Those non-conventional methods do, in fact, exist. Take Action here, http://TinyURL.com/FukushimaHope to demand that the Japanese and other governments of the world look at, and use, those methods.