The nuclear industry lost another talking point, ‘not as bad as Chernobyl’ has been run over and flattened by events.
Looking at the whole picture made it clear early on that the disaster is worse than Chernobyl. Every passing day of radioactive discharge is a problem for the future. Japan doesn’t have vast areas of land like the Ukraine. They don’t have room to build new cities. And their resources are already strained by the awful damage from the earthquake and Tsunami.
Dumping of radioactive water into the ocean was scheduled to end yesterday. There was a terrible episode of mercury poisoning of seafood in Japan during the 1970’s. The Japanese people have recent experience with deadly pollution and the consequences. Can they trust the industry that failed to protect against a natural disaster that historically affects Japan, that understated the effects, that has had nothing but setbacks for a month?
When the Chernobyl disaster occured, there was a general opinion that things were different in Russia, that we have more accountability and safeguards here. It’s hard to say that about Japan.
In fact, there’s a kind of entropy built into all human enterprises. Over time we get careless, in every aspect of life. There is no form of energy that is likely to be used soon on a large scale that is without a down side. However, creating a pollutant that is deadly for thousands of years is a kind of hubris and irresponsibility we have no right to pass on to our children.