Fukushima’s Radiation-3 Months & Still Counting

"Solar Impulse" Soaring Innovation with Renewable Energy

If you continue to read about the dark reality of the situation of Fukushima, at least make it to the end of the post to focus on something positive, that gives hope, like the solar airplane; Solar Impulse in flight.  Who would have ever thought it was possible?

Fukushima still continues to spew radiation; this is projected to be ongoing for at least another year before the water temperatures drop below boiling since it is now confirmed that at three of the reactors had “meltdowns”. More about the situation continues to be revealed. TEPCO has re-calculated the amount of initial radiation released in the first week of Fukushima.  As a result there is serious concern about the effect of “Hot particles,” also known as “Fuel fleas” to human health. Hot particles when ingested through food we eat, breathed in, or drank through water/milk, or on skin; cause cancer. Watch Fairwinds Arnie Gunderson’s video on “Hot Particles” to better understand what hot particles are, and how they may affect us. Click here to see the interview by CNN’s John King about the re-calculation of radiation released.   Parents are concerned the amount of radiation their children are receiving as far away as Tokyo. Evidence of the Fukushima radiation (which may include hot particles) is found predominantly throughout Japan, but also around the world including Hawaii, along the West Coast  in 13 cities in the USA, and  Ireland.

Remains of building #4 reactor and radioactive storage pool that holds spent nuclear fuel photo released by TEPCO

There is the question of the #4 fuel pool’s storage instability, this is a critical situation with the looming threat of the pool’s structural integrity in addition to keeping the rods from overheating without a cooling system. Work was done to re-enforce the troubled fuel pool which is elevated several floors above the ground level in what remains of the building (see video from a month ago).  Plutonium discovered outside Fukushima does not ease the severity of the situation. The radiation from Fukushima continues to stream at high levels into the air, water, and earth.  Disposal of radioactive water will continue to be an issue, and radioactive sewage is now a reality too. Not only are the lungs of people in danger but also radiation is affecting the lungs of our planet flora and fauna.

It is out of the ordinary in the Japanese culture to protest, but this past weekend was the three months from the date it all began, March 11th and people had enough, so they took to the streets in protest of nuclear power. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-I3Sz49j0U&feature=player_detailpage]Fukushima protests have gone as far as Germany too.   People shouted “Fukushima Warned”—pull the plug on all nuclear power plants,” and they also yelled “Fukushima, Chernobyl, too much is too much!”  German’s protests where the largest anti-nuclear protest in history with tens of thousands of people. Riot control is now in force for the upcoming annual TEPCO board meeting, June 28th .

TEPCO’s situation remains a challenge (see daily status). Fukushima did not happen without warning.  Japan’s rolling blackouts does affect the economy. Decisions made during the crisis created suspicion and mistrust within the Japanese Government itself and between the USA and Japan and remains precarious on all fronts. Adult suicide rates have grown and nearby school children will begin to wear a dosimeter at all times to accurately measure the amount of radiation they receive. Dosimeters will be for children 4-15 yrs. old and under 3yrs. at the parents’ request to help measure monthly radiation exposure.  But the program will not begin until September, and cannot measure hot particles ingested.

It has been suggested that Fukushima be a repository for nuclear waste, even though it is on the “ring of fire”—a study is being done now to consider making this site a permanent graveyard a nuclear repository.

Governments from 30 nuclear countries called for stress tests after Fukushima and international nuclear policy is being discussed. Japan admits to being unprepared for a nuclear disaster even though they were warned—whether that is even possible to prepare for a nuclear disaster, when there is so many potentially fatal factors, is now being rightfully questioned.  Many countries are willing to learn from Japan’s experience as people all around the world are standing up to their governments and saying “no more nukes”.  Italy’s funny and creative video campaign “Freedom of Choice” brought people out to vote on nuclear power. Italy now joins Switzerland, Germany, and voted in a referendum on Monday against the use of nuclear power.

As nuclear power becomes less of an option it affects the controversial uranium minihttp://resourcetelevision.tumblr.com/post/6249855066/remember-fukushima-3-months-ago-a-disaster-likeng in Australia and the USA’s Grand Canyon where companies have applied for a license to begin mining, as well as in other parts of the world where uranium mining exists now.

France who has been the global leader in nuclear energy is now being pressured by the people to reconsider this source of energy too. The big question remains with USA and China, as both continue to hold up the issues of global importance now, as they are doing in Bonn, Germany on the road to Rio+20.

Right now, in the USA,  the decision to extend a nuclear power plant’s license lives at the Federal Government level and each state government, like it or not, now has to accept the federal decision made on their behalf—but that may soon change. State vs. federal is going at it, for example, in Vermont and Massachusetts where they have started to fight this battle in court to take back their power. As a result, Vermont Yankee may have their recent nuclear plant operation renewal revoked, as it is highly controversial that it was even extended.   It is one of the oldest reactors and has the same reactor model as Fukushima, and has been cited for safety failures numerous times. The operating company, Entergy (a large contributor to President Obama’s campaign), is now in a lawsuit with the state of Vermont; this may get more interesting. Massachusetts is filling suit too, and brings to question whether California and New York will take action next and what the USA & China will do regarding this so-called “nuclear renaissance”. There is concern that no entity will be able to prepare for the terrorist threat involving nuclear plants .

We need an international framework and policy structured for nuclear as well as other environmental catastrophes, and mechanisms to approach them when they affect the entire world. This is idealistic but in times like this, we need a little idealism.

Embracing the reality of this entire nuclear situation is not easy.   A reminder to consider the bigger perspective—read “Energy and the Future of our Earth” here.

"Liquid Solar Robot" on mission to collect data

Let’s focus on hope by trying to find something positive like this new helpful technology “Liquid Robots” that may help monitor the oceans’ with their solar powered ocean robots that could accurately measure contaminates.  Or remember the Solar Eagle aerial art we made last year as to raise awareness of the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancun.  Let’s think about the Solar Impulse that actually took flight again and landed yesterday in Paris! World Team Now is focused on renewable energy,  and finding  innovative solutions. It takes a team and we need all the help we can get, so please join us!  We appreciate the support and welcome your comments.

One response to “Fukushima’s Radiation-3 Months & Still Counting

  1. Pingback: Fukushima: Year #1 and Counting… | World Team Now!

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