On the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and what is happening –
I have seen WAY too many people freaking out… I’m not talking about being very concerned, I’m very concerned… I mean really freaking out over the problems they are having at that reactor.
No. It’s not. The Fukushima plant is of a different design. It doesn’t have the the built in flaws that caused that event to be so horrific!
“It’s Three Mile Island all over again!!!!”.
OK, it looks like it might be headed in that direction – technically. But, it’s not there yet. And, as I write this, there is still some optimism that that can be avoided.
Here is a question few are asking:
How many people died or got ill due to the radiation leaked from TMI?
The accident at Three Mile Island was in a highly populated area where no one had been evacuated until AFTER the leak of radioactive vapor. The sparsely populated area around Fukushima had been evacuated long before and radiation had escaped.
There are a couple of anti-nuke scientists who claim that there is widespread damage resulting from the TMI accident, but the extensive research and monitoring of people who lived around the Three Mile Island power plant at the time of the accident, and the continued monitoring of those people today, simply does not support their case.
In fact, the only thing that can be proven to have died as a result of the Three Mile Island accident…. was the U. S. nuclear power industry!!!
Here is the map of the epicenter of the quake.
The locations of nuclear power plants in Japan are shown here.
There are several that received the same stressors from the quake as the Fukushima plant, yet came out with no technical problems. Remember, this was an 8.9 quake! For example, the power plant at Onagawa is much closer to the epicenter of yesterdays quake and rode it out without any notable damage**. The Fukushima 1 reactors experiencing problems are among the oldest types in operation in Japan. The structure itself survived the quake just fine as far as anyone can tell. It’s cooling issues that are driving the current crisis. After this is over, new guidelines will be implemented to help avoid a similar occurrence.
On the “dangers” of nuclear power…. Yes, there are dangers to using this kind of technology to produce electricity. Creating solar panels creates some very toxic byproducts that, unlike radioactive waste, does not have a half-life and does not decay over time. Even including the horrors that occurred at Chenyobl, many many more people have died due to conventional fossil fuel power plants than due to accidents at nuclear plants. Google coal death and see what comes up.
If you’re looking at human casualties between fossil fuel power vs nuclear power… nuclear is simply safer.
PS. As bad as Chenyobl was, they are now planning on giving tours of the site.
**UPDATE: Since writing this, there has been some issues at the Oganawa plant, but nothing serious as of now. So far the news of the radiation leak has been sketchy. Will keep an eye out for further developments.