Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nuclear Effects

Today marks the 20 year anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster, and possibly one of the worst ecological disasters in recent times. Yes, it’s been 20 years since that faithful day in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and we’re still feeling the effects of what happened.

What can you really say about what happened?

The short term consequences of what happened led to the hospitalization of 203 people of which 31 died, 28 of which were from radiation exposure. This also had an adverse effect on living conditions in the area causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

We’re only starting to see some of the long lasting health problems the people in the surrounding areas are faced to live and in some cases die with. Thyroid cancer is fairly common amongst those who live in the surrounding areas touched by radioactive fallout and future generations may have health problems as well, this however remains to be seen. The Ukrainian Health Minister suggests that more than 2.4 million Ukrainians suffer from health problems related to the disaster

San Onofre, nestled snug between Los Angeles and San Diego, is home to a nuclear power plant. This hits a little close to home when hearing about Chernobly because the fallout from the coast will probably hit both Los AngelesSan Diego, two huge metropolitan areas. and

It’s a scary thought to think that if a meltdown occurred in San Onofre, how would a large scale evacuation work…would it even work? I can recall with vivid recollection what the evacuation was like when the coastal cities along the gulf, it wasn’t a pretty site. The highways looked like parking lot for miles, and it would take hours upon hours to go one mile due to stalled cars, cars with no fuel, and a myriad of other planning problems.

No, I don’t believe Los Angeles, San Diego, or any other city in America is really ready to up and leave with the populations the way they are, and the real lack of good freeways away from the major metropolitan cities. Going eastward from the bay cities of California is a pick your poison of 2 lane freeways.

Sometimes the numbers don’t always tell the tale, paper doesn’t show the emotion, and nor can it give you the profound images that linger in the minds of those who were affected by this. I found the images in the following links a somber reminder of what remains and I was humbled by them. Feel free to visit them if you would like to check them out as well.

And with that I'll leave today with this quote...
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius

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