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Nuclear Crisis in Japan: What Next?

Posted by April Avant on March 30, 2011

 “Nuclear Meltdown”  -The words displayed on almost every American newspaper front page, television screen and computer homepage alike in recent days. An earthquake and tsunami descended on Japan causing worry and strife across a nation. Complied with the explosions and fires that began at several of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern  Japan, radiation poison can now be added to that list. Is this the wake up that the world needed to work toward developing a new more sustainable energy source?

Nations around the world have begun to reconsider nuclear power as a main energy source for their countries. Germany has recently passed legislation that all nuclear power plants will shut down by 2036. Britain and Finland are halting all nuclear power plants until a plant safety review has been completed.

What is the U.S. doing? Nothing.

There has been no hesitation about proposing almost 8 billion dollars toward an energy program that would produce new a fleet of nuclear power plants in the United States.  

 Does the Obama Administration have their heads in the sand?

 This writer’s response to that question would be a loud “yes”.

 Nuclear power, depending on your standpoint, has been lauded as the carbon- emission free energy. While on the other side of the coin a dirty word, more specifically, a dirty bomb. That is the cause of health effects ranging from cancer and death.

In an effort to cut down on oil dependence, nuclear power has been praised as an excellent alternative.  Japan currently has 55 active power plants and recently approved the building of two more.  Japan’s nuclear conglomerate Tepco, which owns Fukushima, has a history of “cutting corners,” that isn’t surprising considering that they make up 1/3 of the energy used in Japan.  In 1999, there were reports of power plant workers mixing uranium in stainless steel buckets resulting in the deaths of two workers.  In 1997, 37 workers were exposed to low levels of radiation after an explosion and subsequent fire. Tepco at first refused to acknowledged this event, later when confronted they admitted that they had tried to keep it under wraps.

After the fingers have been pointed and after the last evacuee has been relocated it leaves this simple question “ What next?”  Will the world see from these tragic events what can happen in their neck of the woods? 

 

 What do you think?

Weigh in and comment below.

 

Sources:

 Japan has a history of Scandals http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/japan-nuclear-power-scandals_n_836970.html

Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: Where Things Stand  http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110316/ts_yblog_thelookout/japans-nuclear-crisis-where-things-stand

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