by Graham Saunders
The 9.0 (Richter scale) earthquake and tsunami on March 11 in Japan set off nuclear problems by disrupting power to cooling systems at the Fukushima plant. Since then, four of the troubled plant's six reactor units have seen fires, explosions or partial meltdowns and release of radiation.
This complex tragedy continues to inflict hardships on people in Japan. While they are trying to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, the nuclear crisis continues. It is important to be mindful that atomic radiation has special significance for these people with a cultural memory of nuclear weapons. Hopefully the worst of the nuclear disaster has been avoided.
The following assumes that readers have been following events in Japan and does not attempt to restate two weeks of news and developments. The attempt is to:
- pass on a few details that were missed by Ontario and Canadian media news,
- explore how this disaster in Japan has implications for proposals to build two new reactors at Darlington, east of Toronto and
- provide thoughts about nuclear waste disposal and site selection.
Don't worry, it sounds a book, perhaps a trilogy. It is longer than intended but hopefully is a timely read.