Thursday, February 16, 2012


"The Japanese crews will slough their skin and muscles, and bleed out internally under the full glare of the world’s media."

A year ago, the Fukushima nuclear power plant was massively damaged by a powerful earthquake then a huge tidal wave. At the time rumors and speculation flew around and the Japanese Government tried to keep panic down by minimizing reports and information while the press repeated whatever they heard just to have content. And the anti-nuke people went nuts screaming about how the world was going to end.

Now, a year later, we have a more complete picture, and its not what many people think. So far no one has died from radiation leaks as a result of the plant's damage. No one has even been reported as becoming sick. In fact, no one has required decontamination except plant workers. In other words, the leak was minimal and not problematic. There wasn't a huge meltdown, there wasn't a Chernobyl style disaster.

In fact, as Andrew Bolt links, even Chernobyl wasn't as bad as people thought:
As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.

The new numbers are presented in a landmark digest report, “Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts,” just released by the Chernobyl Forum. The digest, based on a three-volume, 600-page report and incorporating the work of hundreds of scientists, economists and health experts, assesses the 20-year impact of the largest nuclear accident in history.
There are people living within a few miles of the plant to this day. The truth is, the radiation and damage of nuclear power plants isn't as bad as people feared.

Dam breaks, for example, have caused more than 2,500 deaths in the history of the United States alone. When you add in around the world, the number pushes over 200,000, most of these in China. Dams are dangerous, but much less so these days as they are more carefully built and better understood.

And so it is with nuclear power. Plants are better built now, better understood, and safer. If a massive quake and tsunami did so little damage to a plant, shouldn't we be a little more willing to give these clean, abundant power sources a chance?


Bilejones said...

And yet, only today, TEPCO announces how it plans to concrete the bottom of the harbor because "According to past sampling, we detected relatively high concentrated radioactive
materials from marine soil sampled at inside of the port. Since the marine soil will be
spread by ocean wave, we plan to prevent spreading of marine pollution to outside of
the port by covering marine soil with solidified soil.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Yeah precautionary measure. The radioactivity detected isn't dangerous, just more than they prefer to leave untended.