|The Light of Hope|
Yes, we are contemplating human folly yet again, as we read more about the ongoing disaster at Fukushima, Japan. Why? Because as global citizens we are obliged to make ourselves aware what is happening, and not allow ourselves to be misled or distracted by less than honest propaganda, red herrings, elections and politics, or manufactured war.
We have been reading that scientifically, carefully-measured radiation levels around the damaged nuclear reactors continue to rise in spite of best efforts of our "world-class nuclear community" and others to contain the problem. Radiation levels from the four seriously damaged nuclear reactors, it turns out, are already more than a bit disconcerting.
At over 4300 times the maximum allowable limit, local sea water is unimaginably contaminated, but will optimistically be "diluted", --or so advises the informed nuclear establishment. Yet another "out of sight, out of mind" solution is the temptation; dilution, the engineer's dream. Is everyone deluded enough to imagine sea life wouldn't mind a little radiation after all, --is that the message we shall pass to our grandchildren ?
Well, all right. Let's stop it quickly and clean it up instead.... A traditional mop and pail isn't exactly going to do the trick. How about some wishful thinking, a bucket list ? All human beings need a bucket list of wonderful plans and objectives to be completed and achieved prior to heading into the Great Beyond.
Now "jumpers", brave souls -- volunteers from around the globe, Europe and North America, dedicated, serious men seemingly with a death wish to save humanity itself -- are volunteering to work on the reactors to attempt to stem the flow of radiation and clean up. Reportedly, water in the tunnels under the reactor is far too dangerous to step into. Brave men struggled in Chernobyl, valiantly trying to do the same thing. They died trying, too.
In this tragedy, which does humanity need worse, a bucket list or a very large high-tech mop and pail? It seems both, but perhaps a miracle would be more appropriate. I wonder; since scientists and technology created the problem, are creationists obligated to solve it ? There will be plenty of opportunity to hope and much reason to pray.
Over in Europe, wild boars harvested in the forests of Germany-- over 1500 kilometers (950 miles) from Chernobyl are now found to be contaminated with Cesium-137, a radioactive isotope originating from the disaster at Chernobyl that still remains a serious problem after a "mere" 25 years . The mushrooms and plant life eaten by the wild boars are highly contaminated. Radiation levels in the meat of the animals and the plants are reportedly thousands of times higher than normal. What does that tell us? Should we close our eyes to that statistic? Play ostrich? Radiation from Fukushima has already been detected in Canada and the United States. Should we believe our "officials" that say, "nothing to worry about". Should we allow "officials", unknown to us, to silently raise "allowed radiation levels" in consumable products, protecting the nuclear industry using a blank cheque written on the health of all of humanity? At Incoming Bytes we think not. The time for truth has come.
The sad fact of the matter is, if Chernobyl is any example, neither "bucket list" or high-tech mop & pail treatment, no matter how well applied, will offer a quick fix for the growing problem in Japan.
Let us jest and contemplate briefly the commandeering of a fix, a solution, smiling, brave jumpers, a couple of garden hoses, sprinklers, a few helicopter water drops --and a few more brilliant-devised systems to pump ever more water into the reactors to keep things cool. Water IS required for cooling so the damaged reactor cores won't overheat, melt down further, releasing ever more radiation in the process of melting and burning. Burning releases radiation into the atmosphere rapidly as the nuclear fuel burns merrily away, hot enough to melt holes in zirconium fuel tubes, casings and steel containment.
Pumping more water obviously introduces more water into the reactor, which ultimately becomes contaminated. More contaminated cooling water. We don't have to ask where the water will go, do we ? If it does not evaporate into atmosphere as contaminated steam boiled off from the extreme heat, it will leak out into the sea, and contaminate an even larger volume of seawater, spreading ever further.
An engineered disaster with catastrophic results. Nature may not forgive. Salmon and killer-whales, mollusks and seals, sea-cucumber and starfish alike may be easy to see, glowing in the dark as they mutate to the last individual, for many years.
"The deadliest catch" is already being harvested. The "knowledgeable, educated, wise and informed global nuclear community is harvesting precisely the crop they cultivated. Out-of-control radiation. Water or not, at best, it is a catch-22, and a deadly one.
What ultimately may be a far darker harbinger of things to come than mere sea-water, radioactive numbers and glowing sea-cucumbers --is the stark, cold, right-now, in-your face reality rescuers are dealing with in the contaminated zone ; radiation levels in the exclusion zone are so high that rescuers, in protective gear and equipped with radiation alarms, cannot remain in the area for long enough to be efficient, even to do the necessary and grisly job of recovering now-contaminated bodies of the victims from the endless rubble of that horrific earthquake and tsunami. Cremation of such bodies releases further radiation into the atmosphere.
The area may ultimately be so contaminated with radiation that it could be a "no man's land" for a very long time to come. The beautiful lands will longer produce milk, agricultural products or any food fit for human consumption as they have done for centuries. Fish and seafood from the area will no longer be fit for human consumption.
Tokyo is only a couple of hundred kilometers from Fukushima. Let us not even contemplate that potential future health risk and disaster. Ultimately, humanity must pay the piper for arrogance.
There is ONE genuine solution for the problem of damaged nuclear reactors and the inevitable nuclear crises that develop from them, but globally, humanity must have the resolve and ingenuity to change direction, and become hopeful and clever enough to adapt change universally --and immediately.
The correct solution is to actually learn from the disasters at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima--and NEVER build another one.
--Not in Japan, not in Darlington, Ontario, and nowhere else on the globe either. The price is too high in terms of potential danger, terms of health, and in terms of cost to humanity.
The truth always comes out. Nuclear reactors are NO LONGER an option under ANY TERMS OF REFERENCE. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.