Monday, 10 March 2014

Bad News Keeps Coming From Fukushima

The problem with nuclear energy is when it goes wrong, it goes horrifically wrong and three years on from the Fukushima nuclear accident, the news is still not good.
Thyroid cancer normally affects one to two people per million among under 18s in Japan. Last month the number of confirmed and suspected cases of thyroid cancer among people aged 18 and below in Fukushima at the time of the accident stood at 75 of the 254,000 children and adolescents tested.
Following the 1986 disaster in Chernobyl the UN Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation reported more than 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer among exposed children and adolescents living in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
In the case of Chernobyl, it took five years before cancers started showing up in the general population but with Fukushima, cancers started showing up after only two years which means either the inhabitants of Fukishima received a much higher dose of radiation or the amounts of cancers discovered is going to soar in the coming years.
Understandably, nuclear power stations have gone a bit of a rethink since the accident, Germany are planning to close all their nuclear establishments by 2022 while the UK are planning on building more.
As i said at the top of the post, when nuclear power goes wrong, it goes horrifically wrong and leaving aside the threat of leaks and meltdowns, we have a system for generating power that creates tonnes of toxic waste that we don't know how to dispose of and which remains a danger to humans for hundreds of thousands of years.
And the most amazing thing is that we keep producing more and more of it and store it in concrete containers while we look for an answer.
It does make you wonder just why, when the consequences are so disastrous, we don't make a massive push for renewables because to my knowledge, nobody has got cancer from a wind turbine and nowhere has been declared contaminated for a thousand years by a solar panel.

5 comments:

Nog said...

Nuclear power is still the safest form of energy around.

Lucy said...

I would be willing to bet Bill Gates that solar power, wind turbines and tidal power has killed less people and given people less cancer than nuclear.

Anonymous said...

except those energy sources combined can't provide enough energy for the UK, much less the rest of the world...

q

Keep Life Simple said...

I heard yesterday that solar power is fastest growing energy source in America. in fact, they said if the growth maintains this fast pace, solar will be able to power 25% of California in 2050.

not very encouraging...

q

Lucy said...

I read something today about they have found a cheaper and more efficient material to make the solar panels from which will reduce the cost considerably. They did call it a possible watershed moment for solar