Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nuclear Power Plants and Earthquakes Don't Mix

Having much respect for earthquakes, given that Greece tends to be prone to them, I have signed up with the USGS to have them send earthquake alerts to my email box on a daily basis. Although Greece has not been in the earthquake radar recently, unfortunately, Japan has.

With much consternation and dismay, we have been watching the latest news on the earthquake(s) in the Honshu area of Japan. The 8.9 earthquake that blasted the area on early Friday, March 11, 2011 was preceded by several smaller earthquakes and followed by hundreds more (in the 5-6 richter regions). The devastation and loss is horrifying to witness, but even more so, is the long term potential of this terrible event.

What puzzles me greatly to the point of disbelief, is that a country like Japan, with its educated people and cosmopolitan cities, has built 55 nuclear plants in its country. Now what will happen, as the scene unfolds, when these recently affected nuclear power plants melt down and emit all kinds of radiation into the atmosphere? Another Chernobyl, some may ask? You have guessed right. According to the website, the area around the Fukushima reactor site has witnessed around 190 people being treated for radiation poisoning. That is very serious. It is just a matter of time before this radiation seeps into the universe.

My humble advice? An earthquake prone country has no business building nuclear power plants. Because it is just a matter of time before an earthquake will come along and break them apart. It does not require a rocket scientist to figure this one out. It is so distressing to see authorities make these kind of rash decisions of building nuclear power plants without adding earthquakes into the formula.

I suggest that all countries that are prone to earthquakes, to be not allowed to have nuclear power plants built there. It is sad to see how "clean" energy can hurt so many people in such a short term and long term effect. Hiroshima's survivors felt the effect for a long time. It is too bad that Japan has not learned from its history and tried to make its country a safer place to live in.

Now, I understand that it is a matter of days before the radiation from the nuclear reactor in Japan reaches the United States. I will be checking the radiation on a daily basis in my area in Maryland.

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