Upon the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan on Thursday, March 14, 2011, nuclear power plants have shown that they are not fully capable to withstand extremely powerful natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami led to problems at three of the country’s nuclear power plants, one of which remained a serious concern Monday as crews continued a seesaw battle to control a damaged nuclear reactor complex.
In Fukushima Prefecture, an explosion in a building housing the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant injured 11 workers. Hours later, cooling problems at the plant’s No. 2 reactor allowed nuclear fuel rods to overheat and generate radioactive steam that officials will have to vent into the atmosphere.
Crews thought they had the situation under control, but water levels dropped dangerously again Monday night when a buildup of steam prevented fresh seawater from entering the reactor chamber, Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported. Officials said they would be able to fix the problem.
A similar explosion over the weekend occurred in another reactor at the Fukushima plant.
"It’s just adding insult to injury," said Ryan McDonald, an American living in Kitakata, about 60 miles west of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. "The earthquake was horrible. Then the tsunami was horrible. And that’s not enough. Now there’s a nuclear fear."
The explosions occurring in the nuclear power plants are possibly releasing chemicals which cause higher levels of radioactive activity in the atmosphere which can be damaging and cause diseases in the human body.
"This is unprecedented," said Stephanie Cooke, the author of "In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age." "You’ve never had a situation with multiple reactors at risk."
Cooke said that it may take years to fully assess the damage at Japan’s worst-hit reactors, much less to get them working again. And authorities may never definitively determine how much radiation was emitted, or how many got sick because of it.
Stocks of solar power providers rose Monday as questions about nuclear energy safety arose over a damaged power plant in Japan. With this insult added to injury, many are starting to look for alternatives in nuclear power plants. One solution that can generate power in a safely manner are solar power plants.
There are many solar training schools fully equipped to prepare the workforce needed to complete and operate solar power plants. Solar photovoltaic training is mandatory in order to complete the solar power plants, assuming that many plants will go online in reaction to the nuclear power plant explosions in Japan. In order to start-up ones career in the solar energy industry, one should attend solar training courses to receive a solar installation certification. Many solar training schools> also offer free solar training seminars if one wants an introductory course in solar training.
In order to live in a safer world, we must look into building solar power plants as an alternative to nuclear power plants. We have already witnessed in the past what can happen when a nuclear power plants explodes. The disaster in Japan was a recent reminder of why wind power and solar energy plants are a safer alternative to nuclear power plants.