coastal nuclear plant
We have always known that tsunamis wreck lives and infrastructure. They devastate crops and economy but generally it was considered that the areas recovered, they rebuilt and moved on.
Then, on March 11th 2011 all that changed. A massive earthquake and tsunami overtopped sea defenses leading to the flooding of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
A group of scientists have published a study in Natural Hazards Journal that identifies the areas of the world most at risk from a major tsunami. Based on that data it has been possible to identify 23 nuclear power plants in high tsunami risk areas. In total these 23 plants have 74 reactors. Four of the plants are currently expanding to house a total of nine more reactors.
Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Llanes, co-author of the study, and a researcher at the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) said:
“We are dealing with the first vision of the global distribution of civil nuclear power plants situated on the coast and exposed to tsunamis”
The geographical risk factors mean that almost the entire west coast of the USA, the Spanish/Portuguese Atlantic coast, the Eastern Mediterranean area, the southern part of Oceania and Southeast Asia have added risk due to the presence of nuclear power stations.
There are currently 64 nuclear power plants under construction, 27 of them in China and 19 of thaose 27 are being built in areas that are considered to be geologically dangerous. South Korea, Pakistan and India are also currently in the building phase and all the plants have been identified as being in at risk areas.
Lead author of the study and researcher at the Geodynamics and Paleontology Department of the University of Huelva said:
“The location of nuclear power plants does not only have implications for the host countries but also for the areas which could be affected by radioactive leaks”
Some researchers believe the damage caused by the Fukishima disaster has been underestimated, in particular the increase in cancer mortality rates as time goes on. More can be read about reassessment of the health implications of Fukishima at: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2013/01/reassessing-health-effects-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-accident
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!