Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Headline In the Wake of Tragedy

blog_slugDanNuclear policy expert discusses implications of the Fukushima plant disaster
It's been more than a month since the March 11 tsunami and resulting nuclear meltdown in Japan, but Daniel Hirsch says it’s not behind us just yet. Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer and former director of Adlai Stevenson Program on Nuclear Policy, shared these thoughts and more at a special lecture titled “Impacts and Implications of the Japanese Nuclear Disaster” at UCSC on Tuesday, April 19.

During the 1986 Chernobyl accident, Hirch was chair of an independent team of experts whose review of the Department of Energy facilities led to the closure of the Hanford N-reactor and cessation of U.S. plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

Hirch has recently been asked to testify before the California Senate Select Committee on Earthquake Preparedness and Disaster Planning on the implications the Fukushima nuclear accident may have for California's nuclear reactors that are located near major earthquake faults. “If it can happen in Fukushima, which it has … it can happen anywhere,” Hirch said at the April 19 lecture.

He went on to explain how the chain of events including the earthquake and tsunami caused a loss of primary and back up power supplies to the boiling water reactors resulting in the overheating of fuel, hydrogen explosions and the release of radiation. According to Hirch, one- fourth of the boiling water reactors in the United States are identical to the reactors at Fukushima.

There is not yet a way to measure the global impacts of the radiation in the atmosphere and the ocean will be; however, current estimates conclude that the radiation will continue to enter the atmosphere and Pacific Ocean for up to nine more months until the plant is fully under control. Previously, incidents at Three Mmile Island emitted radiation for a few days and Chernobyl, which is considered the worst nuclear power plan accident in history, radiation emissions lasted about a week.

Hirch hopes that whatever the impacts are, that this tragedy will shift the way we, as a society, are able to recognize the potential dangerous of such plants and change the future of power generation.

“My hope is that out of this tragedy we will bookend the nuclear era,” Hirch said,issuing a call to action for the end a reliance on nuclear power and the development of alternative renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

The lecture, which was free and open to the public, was hosted by UCSC at the Stevenson Events Center was recorded by Community Television of Santa Cruz County, visit for a schedule of Community TV programming.

Photo: tj sharp

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Simplicity Preparing for Thanksgiving

When we study and apply astrology in our daily lives, we are anchoring new Aquarian thinking. Study, application and use of astrology, understanding its language, builds the new world, the new culture and civilization. Astrologers are able to plan right timing and right action. Next week is Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 26). It’s good to understand the energies influencing us in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. When we know these things we are able to make Right Choices, have Right Action. We link heaven and Earth, our minds with the starry energies that influence us. Let us consider the following influences. The North Node (point in space where sun and moon meet, representing humanity’s present/future pathway) has just entered Virgo. Virgo is about food, purity, cleanliness, service, detail, order and organization. What can we learn from this? Because these energies are available to us we, too, can have intentions and a rhythm of order and organization, purity and cleanliness. Sunday, the sun enters Sag, joining Mercury (we have high ideals, many goals). Tuesday, Mercury/Saturn (structured disciplined thinking) squares Neptune (thoughts, ideas, goals dissolve away). Wednesday is 3 degree Sagittarius solar festival (full moon). Sag’s keynote is, “We see a goal, we achieve that goal, and then we see another.” We might have many plans and goals for Thanksgiving. However, on Thanksgiving those goals may be dashed. Saturn (structure) squares Neptune. All structures and plans dissolve and fall away. What is our response to this? We simplify all that we do. We plan on everything changing. We don’t fret. We adapt instead. Adaptation is the behavior of the Disciple. Sagittarius is the sign of the Disciple. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of November 20

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


If you could be someone else for one month, who would it be?

President Obama, so I could change a lot of laws that pertain to people in jail for drug possession and other minor crimes. Raouf Ben Farhat, Petaluma, Self-Employed



Blanc De Blanc Sparkling Wine is best shared with the one you love


Rainy Refuge

Kelly’s offers killer sliders and pumpkin pie, plus dining pet peeves and wine of the week


If you won the lottery, what would be the first three things you did?

Build a restaurant, buy a house for my mom and donate a quarter of the money to the Boys and Girls Club. Jevon Martin, Santa Cruz, Chef