Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mother Nature and Nuclear Power

by David Krieger, CommonDreams.org, March 15, 2011

Our hearts go out to the people of Japan, who are suffering the horrendous effects of a massive earthquake and devastating tsunami.  Watching the news clips of the natural disasters in Japan makes us realize yet again the enormous power of nature and the limits of our capacities to control such power.  Large buildings, roadways and bridges buckled before the shockwaves of the earthquake.  Cars and trucks, even houses, seemed like small toys when they were swept away by the tsunami wave hitting the Japanese coastline.

“Nuclear power plant failures in Japan are a final wake-up call to replace nuclear power with safe, sustainable and renewable forms of energy”

In Japan, electric power has been knocked out for millions of people.  But the dangers are far greater than those associated with the temporary loss of power.  Some of Japan’s 55 nuclear reactors lost primary and backup power, which in turn led to core cooling problems, partial meltdowns and radiation releases within the reactor control rooms and into the atmosphere, with possibly far worse radiation releases still ahead.  Three of Japan’s 55 nuclear power reactors have reportedly experienced explosions.  Over 200,000 people have been evacuated from around the damaged nuclear power plants.

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