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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster - Research Paper Example

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RUNNING HEAD: Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster The Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster Abstract This study is an examination of the anomaly that occurred at Fukushima I Power Plant in March. The said incident happened as a direct result of the massive earthquake and tsunami that occurred just recently…
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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster

Download file to see previous pages... If left unchecked, these can result in casualties equaling or even exceeding the body count of the previous natural disasters. This being the case, this study intends to take a look at the specifics of the incident – what occurred, as well as how and why. Concluding the study shall be a brief reflection on the incident and its immediate and distant aftermath. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 4 The Disaster 5 Radiation – The Deadly Consequences 8 Reflection 14 Conclusion 15 References 16 Introduction The disaster that occurred at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant last March came right on the heels of the then-recent earthquake and tsunami that rocked the nation. The said occurrence was a consequence of these natural calamities, and was in fact joined by other nuclear accidents all over Japan. However, the one in Fukushima stands out as the largest. In fact, the magnitude of the disaster is said to be comparable to the tragedy at Chernobyl decades ago (Thomson-Reuters, 2011). The comparison to Chernobyl came courtesy of experts on the subject, which should say something on how catastrophic the Fukushima incident was. On the International Nuclear Event Scale, its rating was a 7, exactly the same as that of Chernobyl, whereas the Mile Island Disaster trailed behind at 5. As shall be explained below, the Japanese government tried to dismiss and downplay the incident to extent, but was eventually forced to concede to its magnitude. Fortunately, casualties resulting from the immediate disaster were relatively few. For sure, the natural calamities that preceded the disaster claimed over 9,000 more lives than the accident at Fukushima. Even then, the latter was still hardly equivalent to a slap on the wrist. The death toll immediately following the disaster numbered at 47. Two of these were Fukushima plant workers unlucky enough to get caught in it, and who sustained multiple external injuries before ultimately dying of blood loss. The other 45 who perished had been patients at an evacuated hospital in Futaba, and who had mostly been suffering from dehydration and starvation. Unfortunately, though, the relatively low immediate body count might be balanced out by an even bigger death toll if things are left the way they are now. As with the disaster at Chernobyl – and, more to the point, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the area remains irradiated, and cleanup efforts continue up till today. The threat of radiation is arguably the most terrifying thing to have come out of the disaster. The other consequences which have resulted from the accident cannot be seen by human eyes. However, these are unmistakably there, and can in fact result in a much higher body count if left unchecked. Even as it is now, the constant threat of being irradiated has rendered numerous surrounding villages and neighborhoods uninhabitable, which by itself is already a monumental setback for the unlucky ones living there (Maeda, 2011). The Disaster As already noted, the Fukushima disaster ranks among the biggest nuclear catastrophes in recent history, easily at par with or even exceeding what happened at Chernobyl (Thomson-Reuters, 2011) though still on a somewhat lower scale compared to the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs. Considering that multiple reactors were involved at Fukushima, in contrast with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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