Posted tagged ‘earthquake’

Still no answers at Fukushima

April 18, 2011

We all remember the day they finally got the damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico capped and we could start the recovery from one of the world’s most devastating environmental disasters.

We can only wonder when that turning point will come — if ever — in the Japanese nuclear crisis at Fukushima.

More than a month and a half after a calamitous earthquake and tsunami that knocked out the cooling systems for the six reactors, we seem no closer to getting the disaster that supposedly couldn’t happen under control.

The utility that owns the plant yesterday released a plan it claims will get the site cooled and decontaminated by the end of the year, but there seems to be little public confidence it’ll actually happen as radiation levels soar, contaminated material leaks into the ocean and trace amounts of cesium and iodide are detected as far away as Hawai‘i and the West Coast.

It’s been a story of setbacks more than progress, with the tens of thousands of people evacuated from a 12-mile radius left in excruciating limbo. A similar area around the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine remains mostly uninhabited 25 years after the disaster there.

It’s a situation where you cross your fingers and hope for the best, but have a bad feeling that the worst may be yet to come.

And you ponder the folly of trying to harness powerful natural forces that may be inherently beyond the control of man.


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