Full Abolition of Nuclear Power to Overcome Social Anxiety
Xu Jingbo, the president of Asia News Agency, pointed out that 10 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the fundamental reason for the delay in dealing with it was that the radiation level near the bottom of the furnace exceeded the limit of what was acceptable to human beings. In other words, human beings cannot get close to it. Meanwhile, due to the explosion, the bottom part of the nuclear reactor has been destroyed. Even if robots were to enter the bottom of the furnace, first of all, it was necessary to remove all the roadblocks, cut the atomic furnace, and develop and manufacture robots with professional skills. In addition, the fuel rods were sunk into the bottom of the furnace, but must be constantly cooled with cooling water, thus generating a large amount of contaminated water every day. The treated "nuclear wastewater" is continuously stockpiled in large, custom-made steel tanks. Now there are around 1,000 tanks with over 1.2 million tons of radioactive effluent. In two years, there will be no more space for any steel tanks.
On March 10, 2021, the Japan Atomic Power Regulatory Commission announced the investigation report of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. It stated that serious contamination was found above the reactor plants. A concrete cover called a “shield plug” was located above the No. 2 and No. 3 units where a total of 7 trillion becquerels of radioactive material might be attached. This is equivalent to 10% of the radioactive material in the three reactors of Unit 1, 2 and 3, which suffered core meltdowns in the nuclear leak a decade ago.
So far, Ukraine and Japan have been unable to solve the two major nuclear accidents of Chernobyl and Fukushima. They are completely helpless. Instead of giving up on nuclear power, China has been vigorously developing nuclear power plants along its coast areas, which is indeed a frightening sight!
By the end of 2019, China had 47 nuclear power units in operation, with a total installed capacity of 48.75 million kilowatts, ranking third in the world after the United States and France.
In 2019, three nuclear power units were in commercial operation in China, namely Haiyang Nuclear Power 2, Yangjiang Nuclear Power 6, and Taishan Nuclear Power 2. The installed capacity of nuclear power accounted for 2.42% of the total installed capacity of electricity in China in 2019. Although nuclear power accounts for only 4.88% of the country's total electricity generation, it should not be forgotten that a single accident will not only destroy everything, but also leave a string of disasters for thousands of years to come.
On March 6, 2021, there was a nuclear accident at Unit 2 of Haiyang Nuclear Power Plant. The State Nuclear Safety Administration stated that there were “no radiological consequences, no personnel exposure, and no environmental contamination”. According to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Classification Manual, it was defined as Level 0 incidents, i.e., incidents of “no safety significance”. However, the public cannot put 100% trust in the safety of nuclear power. People are always afraid, not of ‘what’, but ‘what if’.
Learning from Fukushima’s lesson, Germany has already adopted a policy to abandon nuclear energy. Germany accounts for six of the world’s top ten safest nuclear power plants. Germany was densely populated with nuclear power stations and became one of the largest net exporters of electricity in Europe. However, after news of the nuclear disaster in Japan reached Europe on March 11, 2011, hundreds of thousands of Germans staged a demonstration demanding that the government abandon the nuclear power plants. After nearly 12 hours of heated arguments and discussions, the German ruling party finally decided to shut down all 17 nuclear power stations in the country by 2022 and completely abolish nuclear power. On March 5, 2021, the German government announced a compensation of 2.4 billion euros for German companies that withdraw from the nuclear power industry.
On March 11, 2021, the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident, five former Japanese prime ministers, Naoto Kan (2010-2011), Yukio Hatoyama (2009-2010), Junichiro Koizumi (2001-2006), Tomiichi Murayama (1994-1996), and Morihiro Hosokawa (1993-1994), jointly issued a “Zero Nuclear Power” declaration calling on the current government to change its nuclear power policy.
Junichiro Koizumi gave a speech at a meeting held at the Constitution Memorial Hall, criticizing that the argument that nuclear power was natural, low-cost, and clean energy were “all lies” and that “there is no difference between the ruling party and the opposition party on the issue of nuclear power, which is a problem that endangers the lives of the people and the country’s economy. If we can’t solve the problem, we have to abandon the nuclear power plant.” Naoto Kan also pointed out that over the past decade, nuclear power plants have produced only 3 percent of the total amount of electricity, while the construction costs of nuclear power plants have tripled, and the used fuel cannot be disposed of.
Ten years ago, He Zouxiu, Chinese Academy of Sciences academician, remarked: “Once a nuclear accident occurs, it is not only a matter of how many people die, but how many generations will be affected. The Chernobyl accident created an extensive no-man's land, and the Fukushima accident this year is unavoidable. Nuclear material will be active for thousands of years and will be a great burden to humanity.”
The only way to overcome social anxiety is to have zero nuclear power.