With the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, Fukushima is dominating headlines this week with everything from worker mistakes to delaying plans for cleaning up the towns that surround the nuclear plant.

Since the tsunami back in 2011 that resulted in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, operators of the plant in Japan have been struggling to tackle the crisis.

Wait, what happened?

In just one week this October, a series of mistakes caused mostly by human error, have been making headlines all over the world.

“Workers overfill a tank, spilling radioactive water on the ground. Another mistakenly pushes a button, stalling a pump for a vital cooling system. Six others get soaked with toxic water when they remove the wrong pipe,” reports the Associated Press.

While it’s in question whether or not operators have the situation under control, it is prompting some concern that there could be another disaster just around the corner.

The delay on the cleanup from the earthquake and tsunami that took place two and a half years ago is in part due to the fact there is a lack of space to store the radioactive waste that comes from the decontamination process, according to Huffington Post.

While the original plan was to have the clean up completed by March 2014, Environmental Ministry officials, who are responsible for the decontamination efforts, predict an extension of one to three years.

Additional information about nuclear power

Nuclear power is a low source of carbon energy; it’s still a good primary power source during this time of the climate change crisis.

“And we should make as much use as we can of renewables,” says The Guardian, “But the biggest onshore wind schemes could supply only a fraction of the low-carbon power a nuclear plant can produce.”

With nuclear power, it means less gas and coal burning. Of course, since the Fukushima incident, nuclear power generation has declined — taking the steepest drop last year.

“The peak for nuclear power generation was 2006 when 2,660 TWh was produced worldwide,” according to The Guardian in an article that suggests China, with a need to replace fossil fuels, is keeping hope alive for nuclear energy.

What this means for BizEnergy readers

This is essentially a reminder that our power sources are limited and businesses should continue to set high environmental initiatives, follow through and be as energy efficient as possible.

The think global, act local mentality is a good one.


Image credit: hige-daruma