Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Legal Limits and Life As We Know It

Last year included, among many, many other things, an early humanitarian crisis in Haiti as the result of the January 2010 earthquake - and then, another aquatic/biological crisis from the "Deepwater Horizon" and/or BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010).

This year the earthquake in Japan has lead to this news today as that catastrophe unfolds:

April 5, 2011, 4:39 a.m.
The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it had found radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials imposed a new health limit for radioactivity in fish.

The reading of iodine-131 was recorded Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Another sample taken Monday found the level to be 5 million times the legal limit. The Monday samples also were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.

The exact source of the radiation was not immediately clear, though Tepco has said that highly contaminated water has been leaking from a pit near the No. 2 reactor. The utility initially believed that the leak was coming from a crack, but several attempts to seal the crack failed.

There are no easy answers to our continued need for consumption - alongside the natural functions of earthquakes and tectonic shifts, winds, waves, tsunamis, and the like.  These things are intensely complex - involving huge facilities, international economies, national powers and more.

In the midst of it, though, we must begin to think of better ways to consume resources such that - when natural disasters normally and naturally come - we are better equipped to mitigate the large-scale, long-term, pollution and radiation that make places permanently uninhabitable. 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

No comments:

Post a Comment