Kyodo News has reported that nearly a year before the March 11 earthquake of 9.0 on the Richter scale, and consequent 45 foot tall tsunami that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Nobuaki Terasaka, the director of the Japanese government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), admitted that ‘‘It is logically possible for a reactor core to melt down if all outer electricity sources were lost, leading the plant’s cooling functions to be lost for many hours.’’ He was responding to a question from Japanese Communist Party legislator Hidekatsu Yoshii on May 26, 2010 in the Japan House of Representatives. Terasaka assured, however, that operators of Japan's atomic reactors ‘‘have ensured safety’’ by equipping the plants with multiple backup electricity sources. But the earthquake destroyed the electricity grid and the tsunami the emergency diesel generators, leaving only 8 hours of backup battery power, which was depleted on the first day of this still unfolding and worsening, nearlly month-old radioactive catastrophe.
"The Japan Atomic Energy Commission said Tuesday it will suspend its work to revise the country's nuclear power platform in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station triggered by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan.
Commission chairman Shunsuke Kondo said the current crisis contradicts the conventional argument that nuclear power generation is safe. 'We have to admit that there has been an error in the criteria of judgment in promoting the country's nuclear power policy,' he said." Kyodo News
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, and medical doctor Helen Caldicott (founding president of Beyond Nuclear) give their latest analyses of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan on the lastest weekly episode of Caldicott's Australian radio show, "If You Love This Planet."
Dahr Jamail reports at Al Jazeera that "Experts warn that any detectable level of radiation is 'too much,'" and that “It’s only a matter of days before [Fukushima's radioactive fallout] disperses in the entire northern hemisphere.”
Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous, and expensive – a point made clear by the tragedy unfolding at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The heavily damaged nuclear reactors are spreading radioactive waste into the environment. Contamination released in Japan will likely travel all over the world.
Nuclear power is the only source of energy that poses the risk of an accident that could contaminate the lands we leave our children for hundreds of thousands of years.
Nuclear reactors in the U.S. are just as vulnerable to natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and loss of critical electric power supplies. More than 108 million Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor in the United States. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation.
With Japan’s nuclear tragedy fresh in our collective conscience, now is the time for President Obama to make the bold and necessary move away from dangerous nuclear energy.
President Obama has stood up for renewable energy. First Lady, Michelle Obama, has made children’s health her signature cause. Let’s urge them, as both leaders and parents, to help ensure a healthier future for kids by advocating for energy from clean, renewable sources.
Our children -- and grandchildren – could look back on our generation as the one that started a real Renaissance in renewable energy that could meet much of the nation's energy needs. Renewable and energy efficient technologies can help restore political and economic stability, create jobs and save money…and the planet.