Japan Nuclear Meltdown Will Seriously Affect World Environment

japan nuclear meltdown radiation Checking for radiation in Japan. Wouldn’t happen if a solar power plant is damaged.

Japan’s situation involving its damaged nuclear reactors is heading into “critical mass”  following more reactor failures from last week’s mega earthquake and subsequent tsunami tidal waves. Worries about this kind nightmarish scenario happening elsewhere, especially in the Middle East has been expressed in many media sources, including an article in the English version of Egypt’s Al Masry.

The environmental dangers of the radiation leakage from the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear plant following the explosion of one of its reactors could be very harmful to the world’s environment. The article quoted Greenpeace as saying that “Japan is in the middle of a nuclear crises with potentially devastating consequences.” But this you’d already know if you have been reading the news. American aid troops in the region are moving away from the nuclear plant after a plume of radiation was detected 100 miles from the reactor core.

Jan Berenek, International head of the NGO’s anti nuclear campaign was quoted as saying:

“The fact that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking, or has been forced to deliberately release, contaminated gases from the reactor into the atmosphere means that all of the physical protection that was supposed to isolate radioactivity from the environment has failed. How many more warnings do people need to get before they understand that nuclear reactors are inherently hazardous?”

Nearly 200 people have been tested for exposure to radiation so far, and at least 3 have been diagnosed as having radiation sickness. Japan has been handing out iodine pills to counter radiation exposure.

The Fukushima Diiachi plant explosion may cause a complete melt down, similar to that which occurred in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. Besides large scale evacuations from the area near the site of the damaged Japanese plants, doses of stable potassium iodine have been given to persons exposed to potentially deadly radiation. Stable Potassium Iodine helps protect the body from radioactive exposure by blocking the intake of radioactive material in the thyroid gland.

The fact that a Middle East news site is giving this event attention must mean something, especially with Egypt’s planning to build a nuclear power facility. These  plans  could now be put on hold following the ouster of President Mubarek. The nightmare of the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown, in which more than 6,000 cases of thyroid and other cancers were diagnosed in children afterwords only stresses the potential dangers of these plants, according to Dr. Manny Alveraz, a physician who has medical consultation programs on the American Fox News Channel.

Chernobyl, 25 years later -still hot

The dangers of nuclear power plant radiation leakage in the event of earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as nuclear “dirty bomb” terrorism has resulted in the desire to perfect an antidote to radiation sickness, such as being worked on in a number of places, including Israel’s Weizmann Institute.

The lessons learned from Chernobyl clearly show a need for such medications to protect cell tissue from breaking down or “self-destructing” when exposed to radiation.

Following the Chernobyl incident large sections of the Ukraine, where the plant was located, had to be evacuated. And even now, more than 25 years later, some areas still have radiation levels too high for human habitation. Meanwhile the site is in need of a new protective shield.

A similar tragedy occurring in a large area surrounding the damaged Japanese nuclear facilities could cause governmental authorities there to seriously reconsider nuclear energy for making electricity.

As to building a nuclear power plant on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt; or at the Red Sea port of Aqaba, as Jordan has under consideration, on a major earthquake fault zone  is mind-boggling, to say the least. Maybe the outcome of Japan’s nuclear plant crisis will result in a major “reassessment” of using nuclear energy to create power. Other MENA countries, including those in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are considering “going nuclear”.

Surely solar and other forms of renewable energy, including wind and wave energy, are much less damaging to the environment.

Photo:  Fox News

Read more on nuclear plants and the dangers of nuclear radiation:

Egypt’s Long Path to Nuclear Power

Will Radiation Sickness Vaccine Transform the Hazards of Nuclear Energy into Nuclear Innovation?

Earthquake Damage to Japanese Nuclear Power Plants Should be Warning to Mid East Nuclear Planners

19 thoughts on “Japan Nuclear Meltdown Will Seriously Affect World Environment

  1. Doug J

    Of course we have to pity the Niger conditions just as we should recall the autrocities our natives faces at the old Eldorado mine in Radium City on Great Bear Lake who were not given adequate protection equipment as other workers were. Much of this has little to do with product and more about taking advantage of the impoverished. Canada still being the largest producer is generally happy with it’s mine sites. While these situations are products of human greed. The fact remains that this is the greenest option but needs stricter guidelines. Wind power is anything but green or renewable but it’s promtion satisfies politicians and their friends subsidies,

    Reply
  2. Jacqui

    To Doug J
    Why does everyone pity the coal miners and not a peep about the horrendous conditions at uranium mines. Do a small search into conditions in the Niger, Africa, where France gets its uranium to see another side to that story.
    In Johannesburg, South Africa, the water running into the dam supplying the city is radioactive and toxic from current uranium mining and old gold mines (gold and uranium are commonly found together. A very small percent of uranium can be extracted from uranium rich rock – the rest “tailings”- finely ground uranium rich sand- is left in unrehabilitated dumps and sludge dams to poison watercourses and surrounding communities forever.
    It all depends how desperate you are to turn on those lights I guess. But the clean and green alternative that it has been promoted as – nuclear- surely is not.

    Reply
  3. Christopher Lee

    “American aid troops in the region are moving away from the nuclear plant after a plume of radiation was detected 100 miles from the reactor core.[sic]” Please source your claims and provide links to back them up. This is claim is spurious and scientifically false.

    I am a proponent of clean energy, including the eventual decommissioning of Nuclear Plants should a better, cheaper, and more reliable energy source become available, but this article amounts to fear mongering, and from the facts presented, suggests that the author did little research into the Chernobyl disaster and the Science of Nuclear energy. Its hard to fault the author though, since Prophets are notorious liars and often just make stuff up.

    Some helpful links for those trying to understand the current issues facing Japanese reactors:
    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/17/130915882/tracking-the-latest-at-the-fukushima-nuclear-plant?ps=rs
    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/03/understanding-japans-nuclear-crisis.ars
    http://www.iaea.org/
    http://eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/intro.html

    For more on the Chernobyl disaster
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

    As a final thought, has the author considered that without Nuclear Energy this website would not exist?

    Reply
  4. Luke

    I for one think this meltdown will fully occur. day to day situations have got worse at the plant. day 1 was a level 1 (on the nuclear accident scale or w,e) quickly reached a level 3. by mondays explosion its now a level 6 ( out of 7) and very little news over the past 2 days and not once has anyone speculated that these “containment vessles” can actually prevent radioactive material. i also read that these Reactors are much larger then the 1986 explosion.

    Reply
  5. Justin Alexander

    To Maurice,

    The current world electrical demand is 16TW, that’s never going to be safe, even if it’s produced by wind farms, solar panels, geothermal, hydroelectric, or people on treadmills.

    Even reduced to fractions of that by efficiency and (please no) population control, we are talking about huge sums of energy. And this is before we bring on-line the worlds poor in India and Africa, who need energy to lift them out of poverty.

    Billions are starving. And this can be prevented by bringing them electricity and safe clean industry. The only technology on tap NOW that can do that is nuclear.

    Scaring people away from nuclear costs lives. Real lives, not theoretical ones.

    Do the honest research.

    Reply
  6. Maurice

    Hi Doug,

    Nothing is entirely safe, but when it comes to nuclear energy, a lot of people do remember those movies like Silkwood or The China Syndrome – aswell as the cartoon character Homer Simpson coming home from the Nuke Plant with a piece of radioactive material in his pants pocket.

    Just too many bid vibes about nuclear energy I guess. After the “Japan Syndrome” I suppose there will be even more bad vibes.

    Reply
  7. Doug J

    Thank you Justin for attempting to calm the alarmists.
    Nuclear power is needed to sustain our needs.
    Wind farms are anything but green. The amount of concrete required to anchor each of these is huge. They are great investments for entrepeneurs especially with our taxpayer subsidies. Engineers are excited to ply their trade.
    Zero died at Three Mile Island and even at Chernobyl life loss was minimal compared to the amount of coal miners that have died mining fossil fuel for power.England receives 1/3 of its power from France’s reactors.

    Reply
  8. Tom Blasco

    In addition to Justin’s comment above, it should be pointed out that Chernobyl was not a meltdown, but a steam explosion. It was brought on by a poorly conceived and executed test of plant systems, where the emergency cooling systems were disabled. An example of an actual meltdown would be Three Mile Island in 1979, where there was little to no impact anywhere but within the containment vessel, and the only consequencce was the loss of that particular reactor. The other TMI reactor continues to safely produce electricity today.

    Reply
  9. mrSilkie

    You can’t just use solar energy for anything and everything, nor can you use turbines. Space in japan is very limited, using half of japan for wind farms and solar would be the worst idea ever and we all know how bad coal is for the environment.

    Reply
  10. Maurice

    Hi Justin,

    Though not as outspoken as Greenpeace, we at Green Prophet are not keen on nuclear reactors, no matter how safe their builders claim them to be. Radioactive material is a dangerous and unstable fuel, and surely there must be other ways to power generators for producing electricity.

    I for one am amazed a country like Japan, after feeling the brunt of nuclear energy’s force first hand, would now be depending so much on it to light their way.

    Reply
  11. Justin Alexander

    This is not Chernobyl… it’s not even remotely close to Chernobyl..

    1) Chernobyl was a NEWLY built, reactor… WITH NO REAL SAFETY FEATURES!! It was built without backups or containment… THAT is why Chernobyl became the worse nuclear “accident” in history. Because it was designed by cheap bureaucrats instead of nuclear engineers following long established safety protocols.

    2) The little bit of steam contained a few short lived nuclear isotopes. The comparative effect is equivalent to a life long cigarette habit, if you were directly exposed (and no one was). Currently ALL of the vented stream has returned to normal background levels of radiation, and are of no greater concern.

    3) Despite being in operation well past it’s engineered life span, and enduring an earth quake 7 times the magnitude of it’s design spec. The facility survived, and was able to contain a disaster worse than any predicted in the craziest nightmares of it’s builders. In the midst of the mass human tragedy in Japan, the nuclear story is one of relief and success. The facility was pushed well beyond it’s limits and under expert operation of well trained staff it was contained and brought down safely.

    4) This thing was built 4 years ago. Understandably newer reactors take different approaches, including subcriticality; and don’t suffer from most of the design flaws that brought this situation to a head.

    5) This knee jerk reaction to everything nuclear has got to end. Yes, nuclear power if mismanaged is dangerous.. on epic scales. But so are wind-farms. And currently were doing a better job with the former than the latter. Nuclear power, like it or not, is going to be a part of ANY sustainable future; if there is going to be one at all. But it is a complex field and requires time and effort for journalists to understand it. Let’s take that time before we needlessly scare people, and forever condemn this planet to strip mining and fossil fuels.

    Reply
  12. Elli Davis

    No doubt it will have an enormous impact on the environment. I am not sorry just for people who survived there but also for biodiversity, there will be none afterwards. The recovery takes far more time than we can expect. We hardly could expect something like that.

    Reply
  13. Karani Mutonga

    We surely didn’t learn anything from Chernobyl 25 years on…My condolences goes out to japan people. We can not predict natural disasters but man made ones like nuclear power we surely can…there is a very thin line between military nuclear and domestic nuclear…they are both dangerous.Period. Whether it is with the USA, Iran, Al Qaeda or even Japan as we have seen the bottom line is that it is dangerous. We have enough solar, wind, tidal to support the whole world…

    Reply

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