Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Worsens: Fukushima Goes Chernobyl
All along we’ve known that we’re not getting the full story. Whether it’s been excused as corporate and industrial protectionism, or cultural relativism, the lack of integrity and transparency is being melted away by the force of the nuclear contamination itself. In the same way that they have been unable to stem the leak of radiation that is slowly destroying the environment, they are unable, despite their best efforts, to stem the constant leak of frightening information that forces authorities into admitting to the seriousness of the situation… a little at a time, and never with full disclosure.
Radiation 10,000 times normal has been measured outside of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor #3. Workers that stepped in a pool of water, that seeped into their boots and compromised their protective gear, are now facing the ultimate cost for our irresponsible choices, and will likely be only the first of many to come. The levels of radiation detected ensure that the damage to the reactors has definitely progressed to the point of breach of either the critical plumbing system of the reactor, or the reactor itself. Either way, the result is the same as a core breach. The radiation is not contained.
This is no longer a regional event. This is a global challenge. The radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors is now a part of our global ecosystem. This is not reversible. This is not avoidable; no matter where you live. In the same way that radioactive material from Chernobyl has become a constant in our food and water supply globally, radiation from Fukushima will be, literally, a part of all of us, and our children and grandchildren, far beyond even the foreseeable future. We have, once again, and in addition to our daily and ongoing offenses, poisoned our planet.
Is it a level 5 nuclear crisis? Is it a level 7 nuclear crisis? What’s the difference? People are being poisoned, and we are learning, belatedly, that it is happening at a greater rate, and with a greater intensity, than any one of us have been led to believe. The food supply is being severely corrupted with radioactive fallout and the water supply has been affected beyond what boiling and filtering can repair. At what point do we accept the reality of what our lust for power has led us to do to ourselves?
Is a shut-down and reassessment over-reacting, or is it the only responsible action at this point? There are currently 442 nuclear plants operating around the globe with an additional 65 under construction. Many, like the Indian Point nuclear facility in New York, are in highly populated areas. How many can we suffer such accidents at? We seem to have decided that our very survival is worth putting in jeopardy in order to satisfy our greed for more energy. It’s an all or nothing mentality that is quickly leaning towards the ‘nothing’ as the most likely outcome.
That is not alarmist, it’s simply mathematical. The potential for leakage which Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Fukushima, has proven to exist, coupled with the catastrophic and permanent effects of any such leakage, can only result in the eventual elimination of a major part, if not all, of the human population. We cannot survive if we consume food with these levels of radiation. We cannot survive if we consume water with these levels of radiation. We cannot coexist at all with these dangerous levels of radiation. You would think this is a no-brainer, yet we insist on continuing down this path regardless.
What is reasonable risk as we search for a solution to our ongoing energy needs? With ‘nothing’ being the more likely result of the all-or-nothing risk we are taking, any such risk seems to be less than advisable, and most likely suicidal. Coal is not the answer, nor is natural gas considering the number of cases of flammable tap water caused by fracking. Conservation and the development of truly clean renewable energy sources are our only responsible, reasonable, and intellectually defensible courses of action.
Nuclear energy will not solve our energy problems by providing enough power. It is becoming apparent that it is much more likely to solve our energy needs by simply culling the herd of humanity until we need much less, if any at all.