Monday, March 11, 2013

Fukushima Nuclear Lessons

2 years ago, Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left more than 18,000 people dead or missing. I was at work when news first came in on the earthquake and tsunami. However it wasn’t till lunch break, when I saw video images on the television, that I truly realized just how bad the situation was.

As services are being held in Japan today to mark the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, it seems the lessons that should be learnt from the disaster had been lost. The earthquake and tsunami caused the Fukushima nuclear reactor to go into meltdown, prompting the Fukushima nuclear crisis, arguably the worst nuclear crisis the world had ever seen.

Since the disaster, most of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have remained off but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, under pressure from the business sector, has indicated he wants to restart the reactors after safety checks have been met. As I'm not from Japan, I have no idea how pressing their power needs are, but no matter how badly it is, I fail to see how restarting the nuclear reactors is the right thing to do.

If there is one lesson we can learn from the Fukushima nuclear crisis is that no matter how well the safety features are at the nuclear plant (and Japan have some of the highest in the world), things only need to go wrong ONCE. One big mistake, another big earthquake, and we will have another the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Like I said earlier; I have no idea how pressing Japan's power needs are, but is it truly worth that risk? 

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