Thursday, March 31, 2011

japan battles to save reactors -- not people

perhaps something was lost in the translation, but the lede paragraph of this story in the guardian presents the situation at fukushima in a foul light:
"Japanese officials have conceded that the battle to salvage four crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been lost."
oh, big daddy, we've lost our nuclear plant!

how many government schmucks does it take to write a press release? and what if they lack any sense of proportion -- or humanity?

when the engineers poured salt water into the reactors in an desperate effort cool them and prevent a worst-case scenario, the game was already up for the reactors themselves. pouring all that corrosive stuff into the guts of the reactors is not a decision taken lightly. at that point you've already decided to write the facility off as a complete loss...

dunno what's the agenda here. perhaps to minimize the apparent seriousness of the situation -- as if to say, aww, it wasn't that bad. i don't get it.

what's really galling is the complete dismissal of any concerns about the continued viability of the nuclear solution to our energy woes. frantic efforts to save the reactors makes a mockery of the enormous human toll that this event promises to exact. just because scores of people haven't yet died, and a 40km exclusion zone hasn't been declared in effect for the next couple of centuries, doesn't mean we've seen the light at the end of the tunnel here yet.

while the japanese government may want to play footsie with industry and the powerful constituency behind nuclear power, they're forgetting something:
Tens of thousands of people living near the plants have been evacuated or ordered to stay indoors, while radioactive materials have leaked in to the sea, soil and air.
On Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggested widening the 30-km exclusion zone around the plant after finding that radiation levels at a village 40km from the plant exceeded the criteria for evacuation.
until there's a proper reckoning of the real costs and consequences of this catastrophe in human terms, we may as well say the world's governments aren't really taking human lives seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment