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Fukushima Power Plant Disaster Essay

971 words - 4 pages

On March 11th of 2011, Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant was hit by a massive earthquake, triggering a tsunami and causing one of the most dangerous nuclear accidents in history. This disaster was caused mainly from failure of safety systems that caused multiple explosions and release of huge amounts of radiation; 14,000 times the amount released in an atomic bomb.“About 150,000 people were evacuated from their homes as radioactive material spewed out of the plant. Many are still unable to return. .” (RT news,2012). The main concern most people have over this incident was this question; was this disaster avoidable or unavoidable?
When the earthquake reached the powerplant, the electricity supply to the reactor cooling systems failed and shortly after, the tsunami destroyed the emergency backup generators. Reactors 1, 2 and 3 began to meltdown and exploded not long after. When the earthquake was finished, control rods were activated to stop the nuclear reactors from heating water into steam that would turn the turbines and create electricity. Due to the power being shut down, the cooling systems weren’t working and the water inside started to boil creating more steam , which reacted with the fuel rods and produced hydrogen gas. While trying to vent the steam and gas from the reactor, the hydrogen gas exploded, damaging everything around it. A massive discharge of radioactive material was the result of the explosion in reactor 2 that damaged the suppression chamber. Officials tried another attempt to prevent another explosion by filling the reactors with sea water as an emergency coolant. The only reactor that had not exploded was reactor 4, but it did cause 2 fires when the storage pools ran low on water and couldn’t cool the nuclear fuel rods. In an attempt to replenish the water in the storage pools, helicopters dropped water onto reactor 3 and 4’s buildings, just then was water eventually filling the storage pools in all the reactors. It wasn’t until september of 2011 when the power was restored and the cooling systems were all working again. People argue over whether the Fukushima power plant was avoidable or unavoidable. It leans more towards avoidable because the company was not prepared and had no emergency systems, lack of communication and responsibility; but because of this, they also had no idea what was coming for them.
“Tepco blamed the report suggested that the earthquake could have been responsible for much of the damage. The commission viewed Tepco’s concentration of the blame on the tsunami and “not on the foreseeable quake” as “an attempt to avoid responsibility,” (New York Times). That quote proves that, Tepco, (The Tokyo Electric Power Company) would blame anything to convince people this accident was unavoidable, which just makes it easier to say it was avoidable. This company had no safety systems or any emergency plans to prepare...

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