After the storm: Japan recovery sparks nuclear power discussion
The natural disasters in Japan have left the nation struggling to recover and have posed new discussions on the risks of nuclear power.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 23:28
IN RECOVERY: Could the disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant be a model for discouraging other nations from using nuclear energy? (Photo: Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan/WikiCommons)
The natural disasters in Japan have caused an aftermath affecting many Japanese citizens and even entire towns. There has been news of radioactive water that is pouring into the sea from Japanese nuclear plants. Officials in Japan have reported that it will take several months to resolve the after-effects of the crisis and conditions seem to be worse with time.
Currently, officials are most concerned about radiation levels surrounding the nuclear plants that were damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The disaster has killed about 25,000 people and has also knocked out key cooling systems that kept the Fukushima Daiichi plant from overheating. The plant is still leaking radioactivity. Residents within 12 miles of the plant have been forced to leave their homes.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman, Hidehiko Nishiyama, stated that it will be a few months until things are more under control yet there is still much work for Japan to do in order to recover. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency stated that the first step to recovery from the natural disasters is to continue pumping radioactive water into tanks and to restore cooling systems within a few weeks or months.
There are constantly problems for the clean-up at the Fukushima Daiichi plant where employees working on repair efforts are being forced to retreat due to high radiation levels and other problem. In the midst of recovery, tens of thousands of people are still living in shelters, 200,000 households do not have water and 170,000 households do not have electricity. Clean running water is still a problem in many areas due to the radioactive waters near nuclear power plants. Recently, more areas are receiving running water, such as in the port city of Kesennuma where on Sunday, April 3, the running water was restored.
Though Japan is moving closer to recovery, it still has a long way to go in mending the nation from the troubles Mother Nature has wrought. The distraction and dangers resulting from the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on the Japanese power plants has sparked an interesting conversation about nuclear energy. These events will surely help us all consider and think more carefully about nuclear energy and how risky nuclear power may be for the well-being of civilians worldwide.