Japan still suffering from consequences of Fukushima catastrophe

PUTNEY — March 11, 2018 was the seventh anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that started the terrible meltdowns of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, in northern Japan. The consequences of this disaster have been many: tens of thousands of citizens have been forced to leave their ancestral homes, some forever.

After seven years, the reactors are still highly radioactive, and at this time, the technology does not exist to clean up this site. The owners have tried to create specialized robots to enter the most radioactive areas of the reactor core, and each time these devices have failed because of the high level of radiation.

There have been numerous attempts to build an “ice wall” to stop leakage of toxic water from the Pacific Ocean, and none of those efforts have worked.

Tragically, the food and economy of this part of Japan have always relied heavily on the sea. We are fortunate that Vermont Yankee was shut down without a nuclear catastrophe, but the people of Japan have not been so lucky.

As with unregulated release of carbon into our environment, leading to climate change, industrial capitalism is creating problems that we have no idea how to solve. The technology to create power using clean and sustainable methods is improving every day.

The more we learn about the situation in Fukushima, the more it is crystal clear that nuclear reactors have no place on our Earth. We all deserve a safe, green and planet-friendly future.

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