All this for steam

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Nuclear Power for Steam

I was six years old when my father painted my body yellow with a huge biohazard sign across my little chest and dragged me to an anti-Nuclear-facility-demonstration in Switzerland, protesting the construction of the second AW (Atom Werk) in progress.

When in late April of 1986 the accident of Chernobyl scarred half of Europe into the reality of the risks of using the “power of the sun” as my father expressed; I was well educated in his views on my Plutonium Power Generation; He, as a professor for mathematics, physics and chemistry on the ETH (Swiss University for Science and Technology) had instilled a very strong perception on the ignorance of indeterminacy risk by generating energy through BWR (boiling water reactors).

So, I am a geek when it comes to this specific knowledge on Nuclear risk; indoctrinated from early childhood on. With the recent catastrophic development in Japan I have come to realize that I need to educate a very “blind” generation with simplicity and passion: Everyone should be very alert about the reality of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant catastrophe. Sorry, this is scary!

In 1967 the plans to build six Nuclear reactors in the Futabe District about 140 miles SE of Tokyo on an earthquake fault caused engineers to quit their respected jobs, frustrated that the Tokyo Electric Company and the conservative Government would not regard their warnings… The construction started in 1971. Yes, the plans are that old, the security is outdated and the population has expanded 240% in the surrounding area. Partially because there had not been an accident and foremost since real estate boomed in the late 80’s and compliance is a human trait.

All the signs were there: Today, Chernobyl caused over 1 million people to die painfully on cancer, we have over 20’000 people in an 300 mile area of ground zero living with Thyroid cancer and no farmland can produce vegetables beyond or above grounds that should be used for living consumption; Although people live in that area, grow food and are sickly and even infertile. Today, 40% of Northern Europe produces crop and produce that contains elements of radioactivity that is considered harmful (60 times above some dubious guidelines) to humans and certain products from Turkey, like Hazelnuts are sold worldwide, even so they are unsafe…

Back to Japan. We have six Nuclear reactors damaged. Three of them without shielding cover. Two of the cooling towers blown out by a hydrogen explosion and with it about 250 pieces of highly radioactive spent fuel-rods scattered all over the place. Also they are “old” rods, they still need to be cooled for about sixty years (we don’t really know, because we have no reference…) If you held one of these cladded twenty inch long and ½ inch wide rods next to your face you would die within minutes of radiation burns. Your skin would boil and fall off your face. Standing ten feet away you would die within days of inner organ burns, your eyes would dry out and your brain shrink and this old rods radiate in dangerous high measurement even 1 mile away to such an extreme, they can cause anyone to experience skin eruptions in month and years to come: internal damage equal to an AIDS patients dying of a whipped out immune system. Hey, I’m not trying to scare you, we know this for fact from Chernobyl. Google some pictures… So, twice, 250 pounds of these rods in each of the cooling roofs are blown all over the place… It’s a mess. Two towers missing, a third roof partially gone.

After the earthquake the electricity went out. The Tsunami took out four generators the size of a Midwest farm barn, usually assisting in an emergency supply of energy needed for the 3M L H2O pM (one million gallon of water per minute!) to keep the facilities running safely. About 30 tons of Nuclear waste needs to be cooled every year… Besides, it takes lot’s of water to cool the 500 lbs of active purified Uranium in the core of each facility to keep it from melting; a term used when a critical stage of heat is overstepped (we are not sure about this precise measurement either) the rods will burn, glow or melt uncontrollably and there is no stopping it… Not even salt water that was pumped directly from the ocean and washed back radioactive…

To date, 500 lbs in each of the six buildings are not cooled correctly; two of the cooling pools are pretty much exposed or empty and the Zirconium covered rods are evaporating, overheating, releasing a radioactive steam that can cause bone cancer, Typhoid cancer and all sorts of allergies for the next 600 years on earth. Okay, it eventually dilutes in the atmospheric region but some will rain down on fields and foremost oceans where it will be absorbed by plankton feeding crustaceans, feeding little fish, feeds big fish and is surely absorbed by us with no escape. It only takes 1/M of a gram to cause cancer in a human being. Five lbs of this yellow cake Plutonium is enough to cause cancer in all living species on earth. (That includes us…)

Right now we have 1000 lbs of activated Uranium leaking radioactive energy all over the place on Japan, spews variations of radiation traveling into the winds and cruising onwards Northern America and “falling out” (rain) onto the freshly sprouted farmlands. The energy released by each core is equal to 1000 Hiroshima bombs – not a mathematical matter we can ignore or brush aside as insignificant. Yes, it only took 5lbs to make the Nagasaki bomb.

I was furious about the oil spill in the golf of Mexico, but the catastrophic reality happening right now on Japan is by far the worst result caused by the greedy need for energy. A human notion we could play with the energies of the sun gone slightly wrong.

For the first six weeks we are in danger of Iodine 129 causing guaranteed Typhoid cancer, well that has nearly past (the EPA claims… but all private research levels are still alarmingly high and the energies released have not diminished), for the fact of fission radiation of Cesium – well, let’s look at it this way: Einstein estimated it would linger 600 years in ground water supplies and possibly harm any living organ in this time frame…

Strontium 90 however will cause radiation damage for at least 500 million years, but heck – who cares… That is a freaking long time and nobody will know, really…

As a Buddhist I have to end this “outburst” with a kind and encouraging note: Indeed, there are solutions that Nature offers us to cope with the never-ending pollution brought upon humanity by brilliant minds. We can adjust our intake, be it physically and mentally; it does require we become informed and don’t shy away from the information available. Self-promoting as it seems, I do teach courses in cooking and consuming healthy food that can boost our immune response and aids our abilities to cope in this short cycle of wondrous living.

Chef Raphael


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