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Killing Me Softly

May 13, 2013

The biggest story on the planet is still the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown that took place in March of 2011. After the earthquake and tsunami that followed produced failures in the reactor’s cooling systems, this plant experienced a severe meltdown. The video states that there has been no traces of radiation detected in the groundwater but that’s hard to believe considering the track record of TEPCO. This company put our entire world at risk when it decided to operate this outdated facility after numerous indications that it was not in “good health.” In one of the spent fuel rod pools, located on the upper floor of one of the exploded buildings lie one of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the globe.

The roof of this building was blown off and for a time it is believed that the spent fuel rods were exposed to the open atmosphere. These spent fuel rods are continually submerged in cool water in order to allow the reaction that heats the steam and turns the turbine to slow and degrade slowly. Under normal circumstances this takes years to happen, than they are sealed in “containment vessels,” that are brought to who knows where for “disposal.” Exposing these rods to the air allows for a super heated exothermic reaction that produces enough energy that once it gets going a tipping point is reached and the fire literally cannot be put out. Apparently, the pool of spent fuel rods never reached this point. If it had I’m not sure it is something that could have been covered up.

Videos shot from a helicopter surveying the damage in the days after the reactors blew showed the pool in plain sight, exposed! From what I gather the massive hoses sent up by large cranes spewed water directly on this pool in order to keep the water level high enough to maintain submergence. There were probably cracks in the spent fuel rod pool, and during this period there were massive plumes of steam vapor that carried radioactivity into the atmosphere. We’ve all been exposed, we’re just not hearing about it due to the media black out of this story.

Also during this time frame large amounts of radioactive water were discharged directly into the sea as TEPCO enacted a last line of defense to meltdown. They were forced to circulate salt water amongst the cooling system, inevitable causing corrosion that will eventually debilitate the system. So far, things have been relatively quiet since the initial disaster. They’ve had time to strategize and tinker, more or less using the equivalent of band aids on gun shot wounds. THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY!

The ultimate containment solution that TEPCO and the Japanese government has formed involves building an larger building over each the reactor buildings. Basically a large, solid walled tent, that will supposedly allow for the problems to be fixed. What the nuclear energy industry as a whole does not want you or I to know is that they have no real solutions to this or any other disaster that pops up. What if there’s another earthquake? What if there’s another Tsunami? All they can do is keep their fingers crossed and hope that nature doesn’t decide our time is up.


Japan_Nuclear_Reactor_Meltdown_fallout (Photo credit: drewzhrodague)








Even after the disaster at Fukishima we have regulatory bodies giving the nod to plants that have serious design flaws. Here in the U.S. it takes a disaster to get anything done, and it has almost happened a few times. The Fort Calhoun Reactor on the Missouri River almost flooded from the massive spring thaw that took place in the spring of 2011. It was closed for a scheduled refueling at the time, and concerns of safety and violations have kept this plant closed for the last two years. Of course the beast will fight before it dies, and there have been closed door meetings about trying to get this plant back up and running between the utility company and government officials.

English: Aerial view of Fort Calhoun Nuclear R...

English: Aerial view of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Reactor during 2011 Missouri River Flood on June 16, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)










The latest nuclear concerns are coming out of San Diego.  The San Onofre Nuclear Generating System know as SONGS, has been the subject of controversy.  The similarities between this plant and others that have failed or nearly failed are alarming to say the least.  Aging, degraded equipment that is just good enough to pass the operating standards have been talked about.  Insiders have come forward to expose that there are numerous concerns regarding the operating system’s integrity.  As one of the sources stated, “this is nuclear, everything should be tip top not bottom of the barrel.”  I couldn’t agree more, and with one nuclear power plant on the globe already in crisis condition we have to ask ourselves if this type of power generation is worth it.  Are we going to sacrifice the future of our planet and all it has created in order for our utility bills to be slightly cheaper?  Doesn’t sound like a good trade off, but than again I’m not part of this greedy selfish industry that has already failed us.  If we are going to have a future, and that’s debatable at this point, these things need to be shut down.  Wind has a 25:1 return rate once the infrastructure is set up.  Add the fact that it can’t go uncontrollably wrong and kill us all and I’m sold on it.

  1. I agree, but many other things need to be done to lighten the load on mother earth. Lowering the population might help!

    • I’ve always wanted to say that but look at China. They tried, and now have too many men in their society and the social outcomes from their one child experiment have had a lot of unforeseen negative consequences. I wish there was a simple solution our species could come up with, I just don’t think we’ll do it until it’s far too late. The earth will take care of wiping a lot of us out sooner or later. I don’t think it will even have to try that hard. One or two bad drought years, a $100 spike in oil prices and we’re finished. If not, situations like Fukishima will be our ultimate undoing as they only exist to keep the energy flowing to our out of control population growth. Nuclear energy is not good for anything on earth other than those humans that are willing take the infinite growth paradigm to suicidal outcomes in order to preserve their accumulated wealth. In the process of producing this energy we’ve forgotten the inherent risk that it poses not just to us, but to everything we would need to fix our broken planet. It’s kind of appropriate though, we’re going to be killed by our own brilliance! Looking back on us I’m pretty sure future generations will be amazed at how we’ve squandered so much for the gain of so few.

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