Japan Foreign Minister Calls for Another Nuclear Plant Shutdown

Emblem of the Prime Minister of Japan

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The Japanese Prime Minister has asked for inspections and protections against another nuclear disaster and in doing so, told the electric company they should shut another nuclear plant down. 

The Hamaoka nuclear plant should be shut down according to CNN, until earthquake and tsunami protections can be built.

The plant — on the Pacific coast in Omaezaki, southwest of Tokyo — is vulnerable and could produce “grave damage to Japan” similar to the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was damaged in the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, according to CNN this morning.

Yea, someone has learned that we need to take steps of caution and protect Japan and its neighbors, which means the world because of the recent problems.  We all must be rethinking our positions on this method to provide electricity.

For years scientists have looked at geothermal producing electricity, wind, solar, and other methods under consideration as well.  Japan has suffered from the ineptitude of some of the inspectors at the Fukushima Daiichi  plant, and the whole island country that has paid the price.  We can not overlook anything this serious in the future.

Our rain water in the U.S., our milk in California and Washington state have tested with higher levels of radiation since the disaster.  Is the U.S. watching and learning from Japan?

Celebrating a Nuclear Disaster 25 Years Later

Never forget Chernobyl

Image by freestylee via Flickr

We are marking 25 years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  What have we learned?  I remember the announcement the Nuclear disaster had happened in Russia 25 years ago.  No one knew exactly how bad it would be, but that it was the worst disaster at a nuclear power plant.

Marking this disaster yesterday, we have Japan going through a similar crisis and their water, milk and food supply tainted. Farmers protested yesterday in Japan demanding that they be compensated for their loss. 

 While in Chernobyl, we saw people giving prayers for the dead.  I think, we will see prayers for the dead in Japan after the clearing of the bodies from the area around the plant, but it will be awhile until everyone is accounted for and the missing presumed dead.

Chernobyl showed us that it isn’t safe to live around a nuclear power plant, and yet we have the same issue happening in Japan.  People having to leave their homes because of the nuclear contamination.  Radiation in rain water has been detected throughout the U.S., but will we know the extent of the danger?

What will happen in 10 years, more cases of cancer will begin to show up and clusters will develop around the nuclear power plant area, and then we will know the true toll of this crisis.  It is estimated by some experts that almost one million people may have died from radiation exposure to Chernobyl over the years.  How do they really know?

I remember my paper in college on nuclear safety and how my instructor told me it was a safe method to generate power, and yet while I was doing my research, I could not find experts that agreed on that topic.  Then just a few years later, we had the Chernobyl accident.  I think my paper’s thesis was correct.  You don’t have any control over nuclear power, and it isn’t safe.

The life around the Chernobyl plant was portrayed in an article in the Los Angeles Times in  this past weekend’s edition, and it spoke about villagers committing suicide because they have no way out.  They are dying around the plant and they see no way to escape its death grip so they take their own lives.  What a sad day in our humanity to not have a solution except suicide.

The beautiful island of Japan may become similar if steps are not taken to solve this crisis now and international think tanks must look at solutions for these problems. Solar, wind and geothermal power must be considered more now than ever before.  Utilizing those resources of Mother Nature that are not harmful, but that we can actually use to sustain ourselves in a better environment.

We must learn from these disasters before we all become part of the disaster itself.

Japan Army Going In to Recover Victims – Fundraisers Going on For The People!

Internationally recognized symbol.

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Wearing special hazard suits, the Japanese Army is now going into the area surrounding the Nuclear Power Plant to retrieve victims from the Earthquake and tsunami. 

 I can’t imagine this task, looking for bodies under all the debris.  There is danger just going into the area for any length of time, due to possible radiation and disease from what is there in the wreckage.

With all the sharp debris around, these suits could be damaged easily and then the man inside is exposed to whatever has bred in the area.  After the tsunami in Southeast Asia, doctors reported that many people died from infections from the exposure to the sea water to wounds and the bacteria in the water.

Of course this job must be done, but it is not one that doesn’t have risks for anyone doing it.  The family members who could leave Japan have done so and gone to be with relatives in other countries.

Let us all hope that Japan can recover after this terrible crisis.  The nuclear accident not withstanding the other tragedies, Japan has had enough and it is time for their recovery.

People all over Los Angeles are doing fund-raisers for the Japanese people.  I think the human spirit of giving back to each other is one of the finest examples of humanity. 

One of the local Hispanic groups is having a mixer at a hotel and the entrance fee is being donated to the fundraiser.  How clever is that?  A local Cuban bakery which has three locations donated profits of over $12,000 to  help the Japanese people.

We might not be able to help the Japanese Army find the victims, but we can help them rebuild their lives and new housing for their people.  “There but for the Grace of God, go I”, that was one of my mother’s favorite sayings when she wanted to remind us that each of us could be walking in their shoes but it was the Grace of God that put us in a different place on that day.

By joining together and thinking of ways to raise money for the Japanese people, we might lessen our own burdens for a little while.

Japan Nuclear Crisis Level Rises to 7- Same As Chernobyl

Nuclear power plant.

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Late last night, CNN reported that Japan had announced the new level of the nuclear crisis to level 7 the same as Chernobyl 25 years ago in Russia where 32 people died.  This morning many are saying it is too little too late, but with what Japan had to put up with in this crisis, they are being defended. 

The question is what does this mean to all of us?  Chernobyl ultimately killed almost a million people according to some statistics over the long-term with the incidence of cancer around the site.  What will the death toll be with the Japanese crisis?  We have heard this week that radiation is now three times what it should be in the United States, but the EPA is still saying that it is safe.  How safe is three times what is normal?

When you get down to the long-term, it is the Japanese people who are in the closest vicinity that have the most to lose.  They have just expanded the evacuation area around the nuclear plant.  People are having to leave their homes.  Where will they go?  Japan doesn’t have a lot of extra housing for its people.  This on top of the continued earth quakes that continue to hamper the operations at the nuclear plant, it makes you wonder if this will be solved any time soon.

The aftershocks in recent days have taken lives in Japan.  The structures in Japan can only take so much and with the continued delay on what they need to do at the nuclear plant, what will be the real outcome?  It is no wonder that everyone around the world is rethinking their place on nuclear power.  We have no control over earthquakes.  There is no way to stop one or predict one. It would seem only reasonable to have an energy source that would not be as deadly as nuclear to give electricity.

The Toyota dealers in the United States are now predicting a possible shortage in the coming months with the disaster in Japan.  This might actually be a strange way to boost American car sales.  Not that anyone would have wanted it this way, but it does show us that we need to bring manufacturing back to our country and to make ourselves less dependent on others.

Japan Apologizes for Dumping Radiation Into Ocean!!

Greater Tokyo Area is the world's most populou...

Image via Wikipedia Greater Tokyo Area

After dumping a million times what is safe into the ocean, Japanese authorities apologized on Tuesday for their part in putting radiation into the ocean.  So what does an apology do to clean up the ocean?

Now, Japan is issuing guidelines on what is safe to eat in fish and vegetable with radiation.  Gosh, aren’t you about two weeks too late?

I mean don’t you think the health of the world and your people was at stake here a little sooner?  I can’t believe that now you are issuing guidelines on what is safe.  But then, you are only now saying the ocean will break up the radiation too!  Really?  You want us to believe that as well?

Trusting the Japanese government and the Tokyo electrical people is not exactly something I expect to do anytime soon.  This is like trusting the Fox in the hen house.   Only in this case the hens are already loose and the Fox jumped over the cliff with the hens.  No one can get any of them back in and no one knows how.

Radiation is not something you can catch and let it go again, it is deadly and it stays in food sources and in ground water.  No really knows what it does in the ocean!

Tons of Radiation Leaking into Sea in Japan

Internationally recognized symbol.

Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend, the news was worse than we had thought from the nuclear reactors.  It seems the radiation leaking into the sea is 10 times the rate originally thought and measured in tons of waste leaking into the ocean water.

What is this doing to the ocean water?  How far does this radiation go?  The inspectors in Los Angeles are inspecting fish that comes from Japan for radiation, but are they inspecting every fish?

I am not sure that any fish coming from Japan is safe to eat with what we are hearing now.  They have a crack in the cement housing the reactor somewhere and the iodine radiation is leaking into the ocean water.

This reminds me of a bad Science Fiction movie of the 1950′s where large sea creatures rose from the ocean and took over the world. Remember those? We all watched them growing up and we knew they were not true, but now with this leaking, you wonder how safe our oceans will be?

Mutations of fish is not my worry but cancer among humans is a worry and knowing how to handle our exposure to these fish is another quandary.

The First Day of Spring Brings a Whopper of a Storm to Southern California!

Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plants 1 & 2 (BWRs wit...

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Yesterday, I thought I was in a Hurricane in Houston all over again as I watched the rain coming down an inch an hour.  The wind was between 30 and 50 miles an hour at times and the rain sometimes was parallel  to my car hood.

Trees were toppled onto homes and cars. Power lines were taken out by trees falling down.  Accidents were everywhere as people tried to drive in the driving rain unable to see but a few feet in front of them.

As we went through our storm, I couldn’t help but think of the people of Japan still coping with their tragedy and fighting off snow and cold as they look for shelter.

I at least had a warm home to go to and food to eat, which might be more than some of the people of Japan now. Some of the food crops around the Nuclear Power Plants has been contaminated by the radioactive waste spewing from the plant.

Yes our storm is over, but the people of Japan are still coping with their storm.  I pray for them every day and hope that they will soon be done with their storm.

Nuclear Disaster on the Same Level as Three Mile Island!

Ikata Nuclear Power Plant

Image via Wikipedia Ikata Nuclear Power Plant

Each day the news from Japan gets worse.  Even the directors from the Plant Operators broke down in tears yesterday when he met with reporters after apologizing for the disaster.

The Japanese do not show emotions easily, so this is serious when they break down in tears.  This means they know that it is the worst that it can be.

Experts have upgraded it to Three Mile Island disaster in Pennsylvania many years ago.  They have upgraded it from a 4 to a 5 which is very high and serious to your health if you live close to the plant.

Last night as I watching the news, I was moved that a whole  hospital had been abandoned with patients by the plant.  This is not like the Japanese people who always take care of their own.

When you start seeing the eroding of what people would never do because they are afraid for their lives, then things are serious.

We saw this in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans when people who were taking care of the elderly left an elder care facility to save themselves and the old people died who were left there all alone.

Basic needs take over and the survival of one’s self wins out over the survival of others which is not the best of humanity.

I salute those Japanese workers who are staying at the nuclear plant and trying to save the lives of the nation, because they are truly showing the rest of us what devotion is in this cruel world.

Nuclear Crisis In Japan, Rethinking Nuclear?

The CANDU Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is ...

Image via WikipediaThe CANDU Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is ... the largest in the world

It is Wednesday and the reactors in Japan are in critical shape. Headed for a meltdown and many throughout the world are re checking their nuclear power plants.  Isn’t it time to review Nuclear?

I remember doing a paper on this very topic when I was in College and it was a hotly debated topic then, about building these plants and if they could be safe in an earthquake.  Well now we know, they are not safe!!

Residents surrounding one plant in California swarmed the city hall last night demanding answers and wanting it shut down immediately.  These are not sleeping giants in their back yard, they are sleeping monsters with the ability to kill everything in their path.  They have a right to be upset with what we are watching in Japan.

People are buying up the iodized pills on the West Coast after the Surgeon General said it doesn’t hurt to be ready. “Oh great, I didn’t get mine, and last night on the news, they said the store shelfs were bare”, thanks Surgeon General.

If it is my time to go, it will be my time to go I guess, but seriously, I think we should look for alternative power means, besides nuclear: Wind, geothermal, natural gas, solar? Now is the time to look for ways to provide electricity that won’t melt down and become radioactive in an earthquake.