Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the latest Fukushima leak

The latest news out of Fukushima about a new water leak raises the very valid question "Is everything that can be done, being done?"

The Japanese are notoriously proud people.  They are also famously insular and hate outside help or interference.  As this disaster waddles from one mishap to another, I can't help thinking that the problem is too big for TEPCO to handle, and that outside help should be provided, because this could easily escalate to an international crisis.  

Here's an example of what I mean:  
*  The problem started when a tsunami hit a nuclear power station that was built on the coast.
*  The solution so far is to put radioactive water in pools and store them on the exact same site

Now mull this over: 
1. What happens if another tsunami comes in and blows radioactive water across the prefecture?
2. Would the result be worse than the original tsunami?
3. What happens if this water ends up back out at sea.
4. Are these pools earthquake proof?

Personally, I like Japan.  I've been there.  I learned a lot from it.  I also get perplexed sometimes by it.  For instance, they have the foresight to put people in jobs where necessary, and put automated equipment in people are going to dillydally - so you can walk into a fast food restaurant and spend two minutes by a vending machine whilst you hum and ha about what to eat, then you hit the button and take a ticket to the counter where the human gives you your food very promptly.  They also often put people in traffic direction jobs because they can do a better job than traffic lights.  But why on earth are they risking people on a cleanup exercise like Fukushima?

If I was Japan, I'd be on the phone to Australia.  The mining companies there that have remote controlled machines digging up and carting stuff without a human within 100 miles is what Japan needs.  Anyone that has been to Tokyo knows it's surrounded on three sides by mountains and the sea on the forth side.  That means there's mountains between Tokyo and Fukushima.  Go excavate a mountain away from the sea, then remote-controlled machines move all that radioactive water and concrete and bury it there.  

In the current phase of humanity where are rapidly heading into a situation where we need a global concerted effort for some of the amazingly huge accidents we are now capable of producing.  We should not be relying on a local power authority to fix what can easily become a global disaster.  Equally, Japan needs to stop being so proud and get with the plan of actually fixing this….

Everything that can be done has not been done.  Equally, what is being done currently is only putting everyone in further danger.