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UPDATE:  As a result of the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant, it was reported in 2014 the FDA was sampling fish in the North Pacific and Alaska waters to detect radioactive iodine or cesium from the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant.  In July, 2015, it was reported that small amounts of radioactivity from the Japanese disaster were detected in the air on the California coast.


Original Post

Published March 30, 2014

Sometimes, my paranoia runs almost out of control.

Ever since Three Mile Island’s partial meltdown, Love Canal  and the 1979 movie, The China Syndrome,  (A great performance by Jack Lemmon with  Jane Fonda playing the young reporter with a pet turtle…hum), I have been an opponent of nuclear power.

I mean, I am opposed, but I forget about it most of the time.

Then comes Fukushima, the Japan nuclear meltdown in 2011.  The Japanese are probably the world’s most fearful of nuclear power  ever since we dropped the atom bomb on them. For years after the war, they adamantly refused to allow any of our nuclear subs into Tokoyo Harbor.  And, then there’s the Japanese national persona: careful people, efficient and systematic,  knowledgeable, science loving people.  Fukushima was supposed to be one of the world’s safest plants with the most modern technology.

And then their fail proof, modern,  system failed, and the resulting disaster is yet to be capped and contained.  Not that you read much about that in our media.  Again, 3 years later, yet to be capped and contained!

This book: Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster” by David Lochbaum and others, characterizes the containment process as,

“Heroric workers MacGyvefring solultions to never-imagined problems”

and the reactors still not stabilized.  Elderly workers, retired from the plant, volunteering to make the sacrifice and go inside the plant to work ..oh my!

I read somewhere that the US is going to try to reopen some reactors and begin to build new ones.  Of course, we are told, these would be technologically advanced and be totally safe.

I am now paranoid again.  Let’s think Chernovyl – can’t occupy that part of Russia for a 100 years or is it a 1000?.  Let’s think terrorism, when a small group of individuals could create a holocaust.

Let’s do it the old fashioned way. Yes, of course, there are many  problems with “drill baby, drill!”, but let’s challenge our best technicians to mitigate these issues.  At least our failures will not be the nuclear devastation kind.  That’s an environmental challenge with no acceptable compromise.

And, wouldn’t it be interesting to be the world’s leading producer and exporter of oil?  I can think of some equally interesting foreign policy implications there…



Ben was probably the first American environmentalist, and he relentlessly promoted the necessity of keeping Philadelphia’s environment clean.


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I am an observer of our interesting world , sharing my passions and my outrages, and thinking of Incredible Ben, his amazing blending of a social and civic life with superb common sense.

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