I won’t be intending to post further about Fukushima, but I think it’s important to draw attention in a single place to resources and reporting which stick to the facts and resist spin. The Daiichi plant (an antiquated array of boiling water reactors from the 60s which had suffered safety scandals and consistently postponed repairs and upgrades) was hit by the world’s fifth most powerful earthquake in modern times, then a pair of constructively interfering tsunamis probably totalling 15 metres tall; 4 out of 6 reactors suffered loss of coolant and damage, and human intervention was very delayed. And yet, over 2 years on and no one has died or suffered injuries due to what is still reported as the Fukushima disaster, a terribly overblown description when viewed with the perspective of the magnitude of death and displacement caused by the natural disasters, as well as potentially by Japan’s rapidly bloating reliance on imported fossil fuels, which is all set to expand even faster, at the sort of expense which could cover many gigawatts of brand new, CO2-mitigating Generation-III+ nuclear capacity. The environmental impacts, such as they are, I view very seriously, but as a one-word argument against nuclear energy, as one will invariably find it used within media sites’ comments sections (see “Pete Path”‘s contribution) it is woeful. If I ever get tired of patiently and verbosely arguing the facts, maybe one day I’ll have to respond in kind with “Onagawa“.
Sensible consideration of the aftermath: http://www.nature.com/news/japan-s-post-fukushima-earthquake-health-woes-go-beyond-radiation-effects-1.10179
Actual ocean contamination, measurements by professionals and everthing: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83397&tid=3622&cid=94989
Japanese children get their thyroids checked more thoroughly now: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303090076
Iitate rice tests far below Japanese limit: http://tinyurl.com/lzzpwnb and more is to be grown http://fukushima-is-still-news.over-blog.com/article-rice-cultivation-expanded-121764762.html
Japanese officials aren’t afraid of radiation: http://rt.com/news/japan-government-fukushima-rice-015/
Authoritative and concise, debunking the FUD around F. Daiichi: http://radiationeffects.org/2014/01/20/fukushima-fear-and-fallout/
And more to come…
Make sure to check The Hiroshima Syndrome for analysis of the latest news from a nuclear professional.