Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Earthquakes, Nuclear Plants and Carbon Credits

Awful news about Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant problems. In the past day Japan has experienced a lot of strong aftershocks - in fact 38 over magnitude 4, and three over 6 (check out http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php and http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/). Some of the earthquakes are as shallow as the one in Christchurch on Feb 22. A shaky day.

What a terrible combination of disasters for a country to have to deal with; thousands homeless, winter, little power, roads out and no way to get food to the survivors. Our poor Cantabrians seem lucky in comparison.


Interesting from my safe seat in New Zealand that the earth's rotation has been shortened by 1.8 microseconds and earth's axis moved by 25cm... but pretty damned awful to be feeling the effects of it on the ground in North East Honshu.

While John Key said in a UN address in 2009 that there is a 'growing regard for nuclear power in New Zealand', I think that the additional risk of a post-earthquake nuclear power plant failure has been clearly demonstrated in the unfolding situation in Japan. Nukes may be carbon-neutral, but they aren't safe when the world is being rocked on its axis. Perhaps GE should add as a rider to their plant sales collateral "Earthquake-prone countries need not apply".


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