It is unimaginable that the Japanese, weighed with such huge loss and misery from the quake and tsunami must now deal with this third tragedy occurring at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, which happens to be one of the largest in the world. We can pray that their suffering and fear of more will ease soon. Can we also even begin to hope that we can learn from this in ways that will have far reaching effects for the greater human community?
In 2008, nuclear power generated 13.4 % of the world’s electricity. (The rest came from: coal- 41%; gas – 21%; hydro -16%; oil 5.5% and other renewables < 3%)
Examples of percentages of nuclear generated power of the electricity per country, 30 countries have it:
France 75%; Belgium 52%; Ukraine 49%; Sweden 37%; Japan 25%; USA 20%
However, the amount of nuclear power generated per country is a vastly different picture. The U.S., giant energy consumer that it is, generates twice the amount of nuclear power that France does, three times as much as Japan. The plants in the U.S. are all old, there is only one under construction.
World reactions to this crisis in Japan (e.g. China, Germany, U.S., Australia) are requiring reevaluations of both operating plants and those under construction or in planning. The questions have always been: do the risks outweigh the benefits? What can be done with the waste? Nuclear power is less than 60 years old, and these questions remain unanswered. Whether or not it is a long range energy solution for us is unknown, but it is not going away soon. Perhaps at the very least, a greater measure of safety will come of this.
^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~
Barbara Hirsch, recording engineer, eco-person
“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– The Lorax, Children’s book by Dr. Seuss
Past ecofacts can be found here:
You can sign up to receive these weekly ecofacts here: