Fukushima a new Chernobyl
WE are all fearful of exposure to the dread horrors of radiation, and the Japanese understandably more than most, so the reactor crisis there is truly frightening for them
The news that comes out of Japan just seems to be darker and less hopeful with each new dawn. How on earth a country that had, firsthand, twice experienced the nameless horror of atomic bombs, could look to nuclear power for 0% of the energy it needs as a country is a real mystery. It seems inevitable that such power plants will be sited in coastal regions, because the quantities of water needed for cooling are truly enormous, only the ocean behaving enough real capacity to meet those needs.
Yet in a country where earthquakes, large and small, are so common that anti-earthquake education is provided from primary school age, they still elect to construct vastly destructive nuclear reactors close by the sea. Even if you allow for the necessity of water by the thousands of tons, surely it must, or at least should have been foreseen that a tsunami might, at some stage, strike land where the reactors were sited, and greater defensive measures been prepared, for just that eventuality?
It has been stated today that the disaster unfolding is already worse than three-mile island was, back in the late 70's, and the escaping radiation has reached dangerous levels on more than one occasion. It is very difficult to understand, without first-hand experience, how utterly appalling radiation poisoning is, but ask any Japanese person about it, and the horrifying tales they can tell, of the aftermaths of both Hiroshima ans Nagasaki would leave you gasping.
The authorities can try as hard as they might to give reassurance that this time it cannot possibly come to anything like that, but memories of these people are long, the 55 year old horrors still very fresh in their minds, especially now. Any dose of radiation beyond that a cat scan would inflict is simply too high, death by radiation too awful to contemplate, unless it were mercifully instantaneous. I think that those who are electing to flee the scene are being very wise.
Even today, Chernobyl is a no-go area for the public, and bizarre mutant life-forms have been seen there by authorized researchers, all as a direct result of contamination by radioactive fallout, something that no Japanese citizen wants to see happening again in their country. Yes, I would say they have every right to be worried, because as technologically advanced as we might be, we are still infants when it comes to dealing successfully with radiation, and can only hope that Fukushima does not prove to be a test too far of our capabilities.