I wanted to give people an insight to read these days about nuclear power, how clean it is if it works properly and how dirty and “sinful” it is when things like an earthquake and a tsunami both hit the respective power plants at the same time.
Let’s face it, the Japanese are experts in earthquakes, because in their location they happen so often that they don’t even feel many of them. Their buildings are made so they stand up in an earthquake situation… all in all, they’ve been prepared.
I wonder what would have happened if the quake didn’t occur in Japan, but in Europe, including Russia. I guess we would have been dead already in much higher numbers than the Japanese were. I don’t think Europe is prepared for the next big earthquake, and neither are the nuclear power plants.
Now the Swiss may have postponed starting to build some nuclear plants after what happened in Japan, and some conferences on the same theme may have been canceled just to show some respect to the moment, but the thing is we really need different approaches as to how we should build such things in the future and how we should operate them in these circumstances. Just like the Montblanc tunnel has been fixed thoroughly after that horrible incident, all of the world (Japanese included) should take measures after this aftermath is gone.
The Chinese are learning from their neighbors. The Shaw Group, a company building nuclear plants in China, the U.S. and the U.K., has just hit the news with a press release bragging that their technology is far better and more advanced than the one used at the Fukushima plant, so it wouldn’t have been affected by the earthquake, in which case they’ll continue building the next 28 nuclear plants. China has important goals in this business, since they want to escape the coal’s burden.
Meanwhile, a technology that can make spent nuclear fuel deposits safer in on its way. A Bristol University research team have devised a system that can last for at least 100 years and that could power sensors telling future humans how the residues are doing, without going in with cables that may represent a point of failure.
Either way, nuclear power is still a controversial subject and will always be. Japan’s main power source is nuclear, so these people won’t give up on it too soon, because they don’t have other resources. Let’s face it, this is a problem we all have to deal with – and if that means harder work, better testing and engineering geniuses, we already have lots of them. Nuclear is not clean enough by any chance – let’s make it cleaner!