Fukushima is 5
I hate anniversaries. They are another thing I need to remember and in some cases respond to and I would prefer a blissful, timeless ignorance of history. But as the saying goes, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history …”
The triple meltdown following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has left us a huge mess.
- Most of the 160K people displaced still can’t return home
- The half billion dollar ice wall to protect the reactors has failed
- Fukushima owner TEPCO continues to hide radiation leaks
- Over 150 million gallons of radioactive water has been captured but has no permanent home
- Over 2000 people have died prematurely because of the evacuation.
- Children from Fukushima have 20 to 50 times the thyroid cancer rate
- It will be decades before they get to the worst contamination, because so far all the robots which have tried to look at the cores have fried.
- Fukushima is the biggest civil liability case in world history.
But there are some good things which have come from the Fukushima accident as well.
- Mexico, Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands have all decided against building any more reactors.
- The Nuclear Renaissance is basically dead
- Radiation around Fukushima has dropped by about half.
- TEPCO senior executives face criminal charges, though they likely won’t go to jail.
- The normally passive Japanese grew a popular resistance movement.
- Almost all the reactors in Japan are shut down and the courts just closed two more.
- The Japanese breeder reactor program is dead.
- The biggest nuclear deal ever may get stopped because of financial risk.
- Germany and Japan are proving nukes can be phased out by renewables
- Far more investment is going into new renewables than new nuclear
- Consciousness shift: Fukushima was a tragedy, but not an accident.
There are still many lessons to be learned from Fukushima, but perhaps the biggest is that despite the tremendous damage of this technology and the totally failed economics, we need to keep fighting it.