Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Apr 27th
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 communitytv.org for a schedule of Community TV programming.

Photo: tj sharp

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise