Still newsy: not so powerful plants

May.18.2011 (started this post then, finishing it now)

Regardless of what I perceived as a waning interest in the Fukushima Daiichi March metldown, I admit, in these past weeks I've observed a variety of Fukushima-focused articles, editorials and news reports all pertaining to nuclear technology and its future potential.

Nuclear-centric news and media attention has been a long time coming. Considering how energy resources and the future of energy production -ranging from topics debating oil vs coal- are now consistently on the media radar, active nuclear power plants, as well as planned nuclear power plants should have been part of this energy discussion the whole time.

It is sad that Japan's tragedy was the source of renewed nuclear discussions (pros and cons), but it means so much that we are now engaging discourse. Yes, I am part of this new hype as well-- I rarely discussed nuclear power in any of my newspaper articles, blog entries or even in discussion among friends. In my mind, it has never been a viable, sensible, economical or environmental energy solution. However, to deny that nuclear power is part of our society is foolish-- hence the importance of renewed talks.


Had I spoken to soon? Upon a quick search on Fukushima updates, the only reccurrent information I found was on the state of Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) stock and the debilitating state of the company. Yes- relevant, but what about Tokyo's energy future? How is the health of the Japanese population in the Fukushima disaster area? What about the ecological effects? I suppose it makes sense as the people poking and probing Japan are the ones at risk of losing their investments in Japan's economy...

Digging hard enough though, today I managed to find one solemn update on TEPCO's water decontamination system. The Daily Yomiuru (Japan's second-largest English-language newspaper) reports that the water decontamination system has not been functioning while rainy season has officially arrived in the region. The decontamination system is part of TEPCO's efforts to reduce the amount of radioactive water being generated at its tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant. So what does this mean?

According to the article, if decontamination is not completed, the radioactive water could overflow soon. Unfortunately the article does not mention where the water will flow to (groundwater? the ocean? my guess- both).

When will the repercussions of the crippled nuclear power plants come to a close? Monetarily, ecologically, socially? Good questions. It's important to keep following reports and observe how others are learning from this experience-- not just Japan but the U.S. and Europe as well. In fact, check out this story.

Germany: Nuclear power plants to close by 2022

Your thoughts? Impulsive? Foolish? Wise? Visionary?


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