Nuclear Power: Foe
Nuclear power isn't the savior for the oncoming power crisis
What is Nuclear Power?
"Nuclear power will never live up to industry promises. As a whole it is ultimately unsafe, an accident waiting to happen, and far more expensive than proponents admit." -Paul Josephson
"For fifty years, engineers have promised "too cheap to meter" energy, the construction of inherently safe reactors, and solution to waste disposal. Instead, a typical reactor, based on the experience of the advanced French industry, now costs a minimum of $6 billion." -Paul Josephson
The Chernobyl nuclear plant near the Ukrainian city of Pripyat blew on April 26, 1986 due to operator error and faulty design. The plant's personnel ran tests after intentionally shutting down safety systems. The tests didn't go according to plan and the plant's fuel exploded. The reactor's sealing cap was blown off and the fuel completely melted. A fire burned for nine days, keeping people from being able to deal with the reactor. More radiation was released in the accident than in the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. 30 people died in the following couple weeks of Acute Radiation Syndrome and the rates of thyroid cancer and birth defects grew in the areas that fallout had been spread to.
While Chernobyl was mainly due to human error, Fukushima was purely nature's way of proving it's dominance against mankind. On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit with an earthquake. 3 of the reactors were shut off automatically as a safety precaution. No damage was done to the reactors, but 6 power generators were damaged so they turned on the diesel generators. About 45 minutes later, the first of many tsunami waves hit the coast. 8 minutes later, a second hit. The waves drowned the diesel generators causing a blackout. Since there was no longer any power, no more safety measures could be deployed. Thousands of people in a 20km radius had to evacuated and Japan is still hesitant to allow resettlement of the area.
RED FOREST OF CHERNOBYL
Radiation altered the DNA of the plants near the accident, turning them a deep red.
Winds and ocean currents helped spread the leaked radiation following Fukushima's accident.
effects of exposure to high levels of radiation
Acute Radiation Syndrome
Also called Acute Radiation Poisoning, ARS only occurs when someone is exposed to high levels of radiation in a very short period of time and the majority of the body was affected. Symptoms include:
- Red/Itchy Skin
- Temporary hair loss
Cancer rates are elevated in people that have been exposed to higher amounts of radiation.
"Dozens of people were killed, thousands more from cancer. Among them, soldiers ordered to the front line of the clean up." -Daniel Sandford on Chernobyl, BBC News
Prenatal Radiation Exposure
Fetuses are more susceptible to the effects of radiation because their cells are rapidly reproducing. A dose of radiation that is too low to greatly affect the mother very well may affect the developing child. Effects may include:
- Abnormal brain function
- Stunted growth
- Elevated cancer rates
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[p. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.
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Radiation Damage. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
Red Forest. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
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