Should we be concerned about all the bequerels leaking out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan?
The blogosphere has been full of scary stories. The Pacific Ocean has been poisoned. Nuclear fuel has burned through the floor of at least one reactor. 1300+ spent fuel rods have to be removed from pools upstairs in earthquake-damaged buildings. If one rod gets too close to another an uncontainable nuclear chain reaction will engulf the entire spent fuel stock, poisoning our planet with 85x as much radioactive caesium as Chernobyl.
I took comfort from the absence of news in mainstream media, but Japan struggles with Fukushima water leaks (August 7th) changed that. A couple of weeks later BBC News posted Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’. You should read this stuff. The International Atomic Energy Agency says it could take 40 years just to deal with the fuel rods.
The United States has a checkered history regarding radiation in Japan, and Fukushima is 6,600 miles from the eastern seaboard. So why should we worry? Heck, we had a leak at Salem 1 just a few days ago in New Jersey! But as the National Geographic arcticle of August 21st explains, Fukushima is different. Two and a half years after the disaster, the plant still emits huge quantities of radionuclides. The situation is not under control, and they don’t know how to fix it.
One of my favorite food indulgences is canned wild Alaska salmon. Maybe I should buy a case or two.
Learn more here: At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over