Saturday, March 12, 2011

Location Location Location, Right? So, How Did Japan End Up W/50 Nuclear Plants?

Japan is one nation I'd never have expected to go with the perpetually-poisonous (toxic waste w/half-lives) and potentially disastrous-beyond-belief route of energy production that is nuclear power.

Boy, was I wrong.

Despite it's geographical location, which is smack in the midst of " The Ring of Fire" and despite being struck, frequently, by sizable Earthquakes which are often followed by Tsunami - the archipelago that is Japan (formed by one tectonic plate moving under another in a process called subduction) has 50 (that's five-0) nuclear power plants.

Fifty nuclear power plants scattered across beautiful islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Hmmm... How is it that, apparently, no national and/or international chorus of scientists. statisticians, people who understand how priceless and fragile ecosystems are... or even just those fortunate ones who possess Common Sense rose up to Protest, declaring for those blinded by greed(?) "This is a Stupid Idea!"? {rhetorical question}

Sigh.  Well, as was - without exception - bound to happen at some point - Yesterday. Friday, Japan was hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

Japan has declared an atomic power emergency. At one of the 50 plants, Daiichi, residents within a 6-mile radius of the plant have been ordered to evacuate.  The neighboring Daini plant is also reporting offline reactors. Members of the world's scientific community are voicing concern that Japanese officials are being less than forthcoming with timely and accurate information.

Initially, Daiichi had reported falling back on back-up power sources to provide the energy required to continue pumping the huge amounts of water through the reactors which is necessary in order to keep the nuclear cores cool. About an hour later - after the tsunami had struck - they had lost that back-up power source.

The worst-case scenario?  A very real possibility: nuclear meltdown.

The last news report I heard said that at least 10 of Japan's reactors were off-line due to the quake and subsequent tsunami.

I sincerely hope that those rocket scientists who promoted the idea that Japan was the perfect location for nuclear power plants also made a point to build some state-of-the-art concrete plants close-by...

Well, not too close-by...

Last night, TRMS offered a clear, concise and to-the-point segment on the ongoing and worrisome situation in Japan with a physicist from The Union Of Concerned Scientists.
Check it out:

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