Terrible news: Japan has restarted its first nuclear reactor since the Fukushima disaster. Here’s an excerpt from Thom Hartmann’s article in EcoWatch titled, Japan Restarts First Nuclear Reactor Since Fukushima Disaster, Protests Erupt, in which he explains why the decision is so wrong.
Remember what happened in 2013? Why Japan closed all of its reactors abruptly and why we’re still tracing the spread of radioactive material across our Pacific Coast and into the atmosphere?
First there was an earthquake that did significant damage to that island country—and then a tsunami quickly followed. And what happened next was the largest nuclear meltdown in the history of the world and the evacuation of 160,000 locals who lived in the area of the Fukushima power plant. We know now that Tepco—the owner of the Fukushima plant—had been warned years earlier about the dangers of an earthquake and a tsunami hitting the plant. No one did anything about it then—but even if they had—do we have any reason to believe it would have been enough? Because that’s the gamble that the Japanese nuclear industry is making with all of our futures right now. The simple fact about nuclear power generation—is that the risks and the costs dramatically outweigh any benefit. We’ve seen some of the risks—in Chernobyl we saw how human error can cause a meltdown. In the Three Mile Island incident we saw how the private corporations aren’t afraid to cut corners to pad their bottom line—even if that risks a partial nuclear meltdown. And in Fukushima we saw what happens when corporate negligence meets a natural disaster.
The meltdown at Fukushima is ongoing. They are attempting to contain it by pumping vast amounts of seawater into the reactor core. Exposure to the reactor core contaminates the seawater, which has to go somewhere. Since the volume of seawater that is needed to control the temperature in the damaged reactor exceeds the storage capacity of the on-site pools, the excess is pumped into the sea. That is bad news for every life form on the planet.
The decision to restart a nuclear reactor has to be one of the most idiotic decisions ever made.