Let’s Talk About It…Fukushima

Fukushima

fukushima

Ocean Beach SF

According to The Guardian, “Extremely high radiation levels have been recorded inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown.”

nuclear meltdown

With atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour having been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor number 2; which is one of three reactors that experienced a meltdown in March 2011, is it any wonder the sea and everything in it is out of sync!? A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks. 

nuclear fallout

Even with a 30-percent margin of error being taken into account, the recent reading, described by some experts as “unimaginable”, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour detected by sensors in 2012.

And to make matters worse, Tepco also said image analysis had revealed a hole in metal grating beneath the same reactor’s pressure vessel. “It (the one meter hole) may have been caused by nuclear fuel that would have melted and made a hole in the vessel, but it is only a hypothesis at this stage,” Tepco’s spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi told AFP. Excuse me…but WHAT THE BLEEP!

Maybe I’m just cynical, but I scoff at the statement: “We believe the captured images offer very useful information, but we still need to investigate given that it is very difficult to assume the actual condition inside.” Get real…the radiation levels will make it nearly if not totally impossible to even get close to repair it! And before you say they can use remote applications, robots etc. the remote-controlled robot that they intend to send in is designed to withstand exposure to a total of 1,000 sieverts, meaning it would survive for less than two hours before malfunctioning. Besides which they still need to identify the location and condition of melted fuel in the three most seriously damaged reactors. Removing it safely represents a challenge unprecedented in the history of nuclear power.

nuclear disasters

5 years later

With a predicted 150 billion pound cost to decommission the plant, I wonder when this will and whether it will be safely done. It’s just another reminder of the destruction the human race has perpetrated upon the earth, and as a result, messed with the natural order of things, the proof of which we are faced with every day in Simons Town, Cape Town. Is this the reason we have experienced an uncharacteristically slow season this year? Is this the reason our sharks disappeared for 11 weeks and 1 day during our peak season last year? Is this the reason we see diminished numbers?

dead dishmutant flowers

It is my hope and prayer, and I am sure mine is just one of many millions, that nature will be able to repair itself and live and grow beyond this tragedy.

Until we meet again, keep that toothy grin. 

By Nadine Bentley

grinning shark