Why Fukushima isn’t a new Chernobyl

To Time magazine : “Japanese officials announced on Tuesday morning that they were planning to raise the event level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from 5 to the maximum level of 7 “

That’s right, now Fukushima is just alongside Chernobyl in the IAEA INES scale. Yet, the catastrophe that is shaking Japan unleashed just a tenth of the radiation Chernobyl unleashed.

At Chernobyl, the whole reactor was destroyed, thus releasing massive radiations, over a large part of Europe. This wasn’t the case at all in Fukushima.

Yet, the situation there could last weeks, months and even years…

I just hope that after this huge catastrophe the IAEA will seriously upgrade safety and transparency measures. This is what they seem to plan to do…

Only at this price will people grow confident again in this energy source.

Many around  the world were demanding nuclear power to be stopped before, now they are gaining more and more voices.

But this would be preposterous as climate change is more and more a problem and as, to me, coal remains the enemy number 1 because of its massive air and soil pollution and huge carbon dioxide emissions.

3 thoughts on “Why Fukushima isn’t a new Chernobyl”

  1. indeed coal is a problem; air and water pollution, nefarious extraction, not a viable energy source–same for natural gas from fracking shale–same for nuclear fission; which has no secure form of waste storage on this unstable earth crust…

    so why not invest in solar-wind-geothermal…AND insulation/passive design–these resources are truly renewable and harm the least when incidents occur?? that is where new funds could be placed –instead of continuing to build/repair and endanger what is left of the energy infrastructure?

    still on the renewable path to sanity…

  2. I agree with you on the general terms, BUT, we don’t have the time.

    This is a critical issue as we have to slash our emissions today, not tomorrow or by 2020. Electricity consumption keeps rising all around the world and energy sobriety and efficiency are nowhere near the right trends.

    Nuclear isn’t perfect as you point, but nor are solar, wind and geothermal. This is a black and white fallacy some people have been willing to put in our minds.

    Example : Denmark is a champion of wind energy (around 17 percent of their mix if my memory doesn’t fail me) but it is also one of the countries that emit the most per kWh (ten times France…).

    Indeed, wind need backup generation, and a lot of it. So to me, wind is no solution in absolute for the time being.

    Where I agree is that YES, we have to invest massively and in that order :
    – efficiency (doing more with less ) ;
    – sobriety (educating people) ;
    – renewables ;
    – nuclear.

  3. thanks for bouncing the debate into feasible court:
    no single bullet will cure the energy needs of power thirsty development.
    no single area will require same solutions.
    so diversity must be seen as adaptation to rising demand.
    efficiency–education–existing technologies–and funding renewables.

    by comparison; solar and wind can be built faster-safer than nuclear.

    by cost of raw material..extraction/transport.again far cheaper than.

    by maintenance and safety standards naturals far outweigh nuclear.

    coal and radioactive materials emit tons of gases..or require dangerous transport and capting measures. natural gas is obtained by water intensive and highly polluting means..neither is a reasonable investment in the present and surely not good for future..

    Spain would be a country to study..as well as Brazil..though their forestry and ethanol habits are deplorable. China had resolved some green issues, but the population numbers work against any great improvement on emissions. Crete is indeed a small scale model of energy management.

    this would not be a viable comment without paying some attention to the long term environmental impact on humans and all other creatures living near central Japan–it is not about the number of deaths, but the quality of the living for the not so clear damage around man-made disasters–everywhere.

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