Friday, March 18, 2011

Unsustainable Environmental Costs of Fukushima Daiichi Disaster

Heavily subsidized by governments (tax payers), the nuclear industry does not clean up after itself when a 'disaster' hits. When reactors melt down it is the collective financial resources of the tax paying people who pay for every aspect of radiation poisoning. In other words, the tax money resources of the local people - who may also have been killed by the subsequent radioactive fallout of a nuclear reactor meltdown - pay for the disaster.

This is an industry who know that when anything goes wrong they don't have to pay for it. The collective society, through the government (taxes), will pay for the nuclear disaster, reactor meltdown and the following costs of radioactive contamination.

The costs of a core meltdown and radioactive contamination of an area are not only 'financial', although loss of land, farmland, housing, natural resources can translate to financial loss for a region and a country.

The loss of productive farmland as a result of radiation contamination is more devastating than anything you can add up in terms of health costs, money, taxes, exports or imports. Farmland is FOOD. This is not only farmland .. what man produces for his own welfare .. it is also nature.

Radiation contamination of an area from a reactor core meltdown (including stored fuel rods) affects the trees, insects, herbs, mushrooms, grass and all the non-farmed areas where nature provides a multitude of local resources. Even if the fruit trees blossom and produce fruit - you cannot eat the fruit. Even if the goats, chickens, fish and cows survive the disaster - you cannot eat them.

Towns and cities within the highest contamination areas have to be evacuated. Rivers cannot be fished, contaminated streams and ponds cannot be used for carp. Even worse, what do you do with the coastal area contaminated with the radioactive sea water from the nuclear plant?

As sea water is poured onto the reactors in an attempt to cool them, the water is either pumped or seeps out and back into the natural environment. The contaminated sea water is carried on ocean currents up and down the coast. It may eventually reach the Russian and Chinese coast, as well as seeping into fish and all creatures in the ocean's food chain, including seabirds. The nuclear industry are not going to pay for or compensate those levels of environmental contamination.

On many levels human and non-human there is a very high price to pay for nuclear disasters from core reactor meltdown of nuclear power plants. In my view environmental contamination is the worst price we all pay for this kind of disaster. It is the ugly inheritance we leave for future generations as technology now cannot cope with this radioactive force once it has been released from its 'containment'. The 60 year old 'skeleton in the closet'.

Let's bury that skeleton now rather than leave it for our grandchildren...

RT asks Paul Gunter, Director of Reactor Oversight @ Beyond Nuclear:
What does a full core meltdown actually mean?

"Nuclear power represents more of a liability than it does an asset in a time of national crisis or natural disaster. It has proven to be a failure financially and it will prove to be an increasing environmental threat unless we can move towards a 21st Century energy policy with renewable energy and energy efficiency." RT - Danger of Meltdown