- Green Technology
Japan- Should Nuclear Energy be the guided choice?
Predicting earthquakes is neither human nor scientifc mastery as of date.
Japan is situated along the world's most active earthquake belt, the Pacific Ring of Fire, where rigid plates in the Earth's crust collide along the rim of the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Plate, the plate beneath the Pacific Ocean, moves almost west and is pushed down into the Earth's interior along a trench off Japan's East coast. When one plate is pushed beneath another it is called subduction. Subduction occurs all along the Ring of Fire, producing earthquakes of 7.7 magnitude. A Tsunami hit Japan after a massive 8.9 magnitude quake. The earthquake caused the seafloor at the fault to suddenly shift vertically and this motion, in turn, shifted the water column above it. This motion then spawned a series of massive waves known as a tsunami. The highest of the waves reached 9.1 meters. Predicting earthquakes is still not a scientific mastery.
Lure of cheap power -
Japan in order to keep inflation down as well as its imports down uses the most nuclear power energy in the world. Even though nuclear power is one of the most dangerous in the world today the rise in the cost of oil makes nuclear power very lucrative. Japan has fault lines absolutely everywhere with records of more than one 9 mag earthquake! In the last century, there have been several 8-9 mag earthquakes! And Japan knows that major quakes can happen anywhere, any time. The whole place is one big earthquake zone! Despite this, they have 55 nuclear power stations.
Abiding by the norms of building nuclear reactors all of the reactors are build to combat an earthquake of maximum magnitude of 7.8 magnitude.
Japan has witnessed a string of accidents, safety lapses and cover-ups which have led to a collapse of public confidence in nuclear power. Humans are prone to making errors, it is our innate nature. However, due thought must be given to permitting systems that destroy life and environment is insane.
Existing regulations require nuclear power plants to be able to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 6.5, although the government now wants to raise that to 6.9. After the 8.9 mag earthquake followed by a tsunami, all the plants in Japan should be terminated. They are all vulnerable to failure. There are many volcanoes in the Japanese archipelago. From the 1,500 active volcanoes in the world a total of 108 are in Japan. Per square mile, Japan is, next to Indonesia equating as the most densely populated land and when it comes to volcanoes that can turn into calderas! On the basis of human life and conservation of planet earth , perhaps it is time for the world powers to intervene and seek that Japan, stop their nuclear power programs.