Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nuclear power plants- yes or not again

What happened on friday in Japan, the devastating power of the earthquake first and then the one of the tsunami after was terrible, scary, an immense disaster and I couldn't avoid thinking to all the people of Japan, scattered around, trying to know if their relatives and friends were ok. To all the people who lost someone, who lost their houses. To all the kids who will grow up with this experience impressed in their minds. My thoughts are for all of them.

Earthquake scares me. I fear them strongly. Maybe because the majority of Italy, including Tuscany, lies on a "hot" place in terms of tectonic activities. Maybe because I experienced earthquakes since an early age (and yet in Italy we are not nearly as well prepared as the Japanese). It terrifies me. Scientifically, it is an amazing phenomenon. In terms of effects that could have on human lives, it is terrifying.

Beside the earthquake and the tsunami, now there is the fear of a radioactive emergency in Japan. Like if they didn't have enough problems already, without this additional thing. I have always being against to re-entering the nuclear energy era and even if I fully understand many of the reasons supporting the need of the nuclear power plant, I am still on the side on investing more money into alternative energy research than to build nuclear power plant. There was the proposal to have them in Italy, to avoid to buy expensive energy from France (that fully relies on nuclear energy). Again, Italy lies on the meeting point between two tectonic plates. So, would it be smart? considering that we are not as nearly diligent and well organized as the people of Japan.

I already wrote about this issue in a previous post last year, as I have very strong feelings about this subject. Which basically are: nuclear energy is great till the moment everything goes well. When something happens, it is a disaster. And a massive disaster. A massive disaster with long-lasting effects on the human health and on the environment. And to me it doesn't matter if there is an accident every 10-15 years. When there is one, it represent a natural disaster of huge proportion. Plus, on a daily base, my major reason to be against nuclear power plants is where we are going to dump all the produced radioactive by-products.

So, now that we are waiting to see how the situation develops at the nuclear power station(s) in Japan, I enjoyed reading this article from the BBC environmental correspondent on this topic.

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