WEDNESDAY 07 DECEMBER, 2011 |
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Could Cost $257 Billion
Nuclear power generated electricity may appear cheap, but like fossil fuel
electricity generation much of the real cost is hidden in subsidies and other
forms of support. Add to that a nuclear accident or even just other associated
environmental impacts under normal operations and suddenly any savings quickly
evaporate, like water on overheated nuclear fuel rods.
to a report
from Reuters, based on data from the Nikkei, it's been estimated
cleaning up after the Fukushima nuclear disaster and compensation costs could be
as high as 20 trillion yen - USD$257 billion.
While the Fukushima crisis doesn't dominate the headlines as much any more, it's
an ongoing situation with nasty new surprises regularly cropping up.
Just this week, there have been two developments of note.
Operators of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), announced on
Monday 45 tonnes of highly radioactive waste water had leaked from the plant's
water treatment system.
Yesterday, TEPCO estimated 300 litres of the waste water ran into a nearby gutter that leads to the
Pacific Ocean, with around 150 litres actually reaching the ocean. That water is
believed to contain around 26 billion becquerels of radioactive materials,
including strontium. According to some reports, that is a million times higher
than accepted safe levels.
This morning, ABC News has reported radioactive caesium has been
in a brand of Japanese baby formula; sparking a recall of 400,000
Radioactive food, water and land - in fact, radioactive everything - aren't the
only environmental hazards to be generated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The cleanup of the mess is creating other problems, such as the pileup of
480,000 used disposable protective suits reported
by the ABC
back in October. Contaminated soil being hurriedly stored around
the nation is also causing concern.
As Australia continues its journey towards its wind and solar powered clean
energy future, it's all food for thought as we strike agreements with countries
such as India to supply uranium for power generation purposes. Let's not forget
the millions of tonnes of coal and other fossil fuels we export around the world
each year either.
Can we every really lay claim to being clean and green by shipping the essential
ingredients for major environmental disasters to other nations? Is Australia the
Typhoid Mary of filthy energy
Other news for Wednesday 07 December, 2011
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services