---- Fukushima has lessons for this election
Some time ago you published an exchange of letters about nuclear power upstream from Ottawa-Gatineau. Now is the time to bring this issue into the election campaign. Any candidate supporting the radioactive storage-dump at Chalk River must be rejected -- if we want a future for our children here! It is the Americans, with the world's largest number of nuclear power plants, who promote nuclear power as “safe and clean energy”.
In 2011 the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan, killing more than 18,000 and triggering one of the worst industrial accidents in history: the breakdown of the Fukushima Dai’ichi nuclear power plant. Three of the plant’s six reactors suffered nuclear core meltdowns and hydrogen gas explosions, releasing radionuclides into the air, water, and soil. More than 160,000 people were evacuated – nuclear power refugees.
Not even robots were able to enter the main radioactive fuel-debris areas by 2016. The regional farming and the fishing industries suffered collapse and financial ruin. Permissible levels of radiation for children were raised just to keep schools open.
Three hundred tons per day of groundwater containing large amounts of radioactive cesium, strontium, iodine, and other substances, poured into the Pacific Ocean from 2010 until 2015. Over 1,000 mammoth storage tanks still hold radioactive wastewater.
In September 2015, surges from Typhoon Etau overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps; hundreds of tons of radioactive water leaked ultimately into the ocean. What, then, of more storms, earthquakes, and the reality of flooding ? How will an onsite drainage system survive natural disasters worsened by climate change if they failed in 2015?
On April 13, 2021, the Japanese government announced that TEPCO has the government’s permission to release 1.38 million US tons of its filtered radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, beginning in 2023. The company states that its storage capacity will run out in two years. Is this what you will vote for on September 20?
Ottawa / Luskville