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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meltdown

Early day again, and working out of a hotel room in the early hours of the AM.  After a meeting, I hit the local streets for a run.  This time I almost get hit by a car when the sidewalk runs out, and the road narrows.  Good thing I was wearing a bright blue shirt in full sunlight and paying attention to my surroundings, unlike the person in their Lexus who was probably on their cell checking emails or texting.  I almost had a meltdown.

I back track and stay on sidewalks only which means I need to go up and down the the couple of blocks around the hotel...too many hills to climb over here, so it is 2.5 miles in 25 minutes.  Remind me why people do this.  Food addiction might be safer than fitness addiction.  Maybe I should have looked for a treadmill.

This day in history "On this day in 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated.
The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later.
At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere.
Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor."

A few years ago, oh who am I kidding, maybe more like 30 years ago, my mother in law is barbecuing chicken which catches fire and gets charred.  We called it Chernobyl chicken....removed the skin and ate it.  Luckily, we have never had a meltdown, and maybe in another few hundred millennium, people, animals, and plants can return to the area.

This should have been a valuable lesson, as was 3 mile island and the Fukushima accident.  There are alternatives to using fossil fuels and nuclear energy to power our insatiable appetites for energy.   Earth day just past, and more renewable energy is needed so we can keep our earth from becoming too toxic.

The average age of the 435 nuclear power plants that are currently operating worldwide is 25 years and in Western Europe, 75 percent of the plants are in the last half of their operating life.

Photo of the day "Meltdown"


P.S. How much clean energy reaches the Earth each day ?

 Approximately 120,000 TW (terrawatts) 

That is 120000000000000000 joules per second!

More energy hits the Earth from the Sun in one hour that the whole world uses all year.
(The world uses 15 terrawatts of power per year.)

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