Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers

Both Erica and I have Japanese friends, so we are very concerned, sad, shocked, etc.. over the events that have taken place over the past few days.  Mother nature continues to show just how powerful she can be, and our hearts go out to everyone affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  The internet is filled with information about what happened and what is happening, so I won't add much more.  

However, from the perspective of this blog, it is interesting that just last week I wrote about alternative energy, and in particular new approaches to nuclear power.  We are now witnessing the third "nuclear meltdown" of my lifetime (Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.)  It's hard not to get nervous when the term "meltdown" is in the news.  There are two excellent articles addressing this current nuclear "crisis" in this morning's Wall Street Journal:

Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

Nuclear Overreactions

The biggest crisis facing Japan is dealing with the death and destruction wrought by this incredible natural disaster, not what is happening at the nuclear facilities.  The likely outcome at the nuclear power plants is that they make it through this epic natural disaster without causing an environmental catastrophe.  The power plants won't produce anymore electricity, which is an economic loss, but they also won't significantly contaminate the atmosphere.

Here is a quote from one of the articles referenced above:

"If a meltdown does occur in Japan, it will be a disaster for the Tokyo Electric Power Company but not for the general public. Whatever steam releases occur will have a negligible impact. Researchers have spent 30 years trying to find health effects from the steam releases at Three Mile Island and have come up with nothing. With all the death, devastation and disease now threatening tens of thousands in Japan, it is trivializing and almost obscene to spend so much time worrying about damage to a nuclear reactor."

Let's all keep the Japanese people in our thoughts and prayers.