Japan's nuclear power plant in the Fukushima area experienced a couple of natural disasters earthquake and tsunami this was back to back. Besides destroying the area and killing people. These disasters, unfortunately, caused the power plant's cooling system to fail on March 11, 2011. The nuclear plant declared emergency mediately. This went down in history has the first nuclear emergency that Japan had to declare. They evacuated everyone that meted the one requirement that is 20 kilometers away from the plant. Everyone had to leave their home and everything due to the plant failing to keep nuclear gas cool.
When the cooling system failed it caused dangerous amounts of radiation that enter into the atmosphere from the explosion of the plant. This was extremely dangerous to the environment and caused the economy to fall apart. This one just one of Japan's nuclear power plants to fail after natural disasters.
The kind of rector Japan used is GE boiling water rectors from the early 1960s.
Designed by GE Toshia and Hitachi also known for Mark I containment. They all supposed to operate at 286 Celsius but sometimes things do not go to plan when a natural disaster hits and causes the plant to fail. In the article, Fukushima: Background on Reactors by the World Nuclear Association”, highlights, “The BWR Mark I has a Primary Containment system comprising a free-standing bulb-shaped drywell of 30 mm steel backed by a reinforced concrete shell, and connected to a torus-shaped wetwell beneath it containing the suppression pool (with 3000 m3 of water in units 2-5).
The drywell, also known as the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV), contains the reactor pressure vessel (RPV).” ("Fukushima: Background on Reactors", 2012). This describes the way it looks and shapes make the reactor operate correctly. The water continues adding in the pool of itself in the meantime it absorbing the energy just in case of an accident like Fukushima. Furthermore, the dry area of the plant which is by the systems of vents ejected the pool of water only when there are high pressures.
The text also mentions, “The function of the primary containment system is to contain the energy released during any loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) of any size reactor coolant pipe, and to protect the reactor from external assaults. The Japanese version of the Mark I is slightly larger than the original GE version.” ("Fukushima: Background on Reactors", 2012). The primary function of this reactor is to be able to release the energy properly and efficiently as possible. Moreover, there is a second cooling system that is not designed to contain high pressures. It all matters on the size of the piping and protect around the reactor that will prevent more accidents happening. These all precautions that the plant takes to make sure the reactor runs smoothly as possible but they cannot control when or how an accident will prevail.
It is hard to keep nuclear plants under control especially when this main source of energy. Indeed, the potion of Japan\'s energy needs is met by nuclear energy. Japan uses 30% of nuclear power. The article entitled, Four Years After Fukushima, Japan Makes a Return to Nuclear Power, illustrates, “Before the meltdown, nuclear power supplied about 30 percent of Japan’s energy needs, with plans to increase that share to around 50 percent. The move away from nuclear has pushed the nation to overwhelmingly rely on imports for its energy sources.” (Breslow, 2015). The country was trying to push more opportunities within nuclear power before this accident. Now, they are trying to restart despite the accident in 2011. However, the citizens are opposed to the restart. The article also explained, “But national polls show that a majority of Japanese citizens oppose nuclear restarts, despite the introduction of new safety regulations for the industry more than two years ago. In one recent poll by Kyodo News — Japan’s primary national news wire — around 6 in 10 respondents said they were against a return to nuclear power.” (Breslow, Four Years After Fukushima, Japan Makes a Return to Nuclear Power, 2015). Citizens are up and arms about the response from the government. The country does not pay attention to the citizen’s opinions. Is trying to continue building and expanding the research of nuclear power. This has not slowed down the process of nuclear power within the country. It increased since this accident. From the plant to approved they need to relicensed, new equipment system, and be under new safety precaution. In the future, this will be a new way of energy which helps the earth in general.
Some consequences have short- and long-term effects on the local area Fukushima. This all started on May 11, 2011, due to an 8.9 earthquake hitting northwest coast Japan. Soon after the earthquake, the tsunami hit the coast that was 14 meters high. Which caused flooding to all the reactors. The reactors had no time to react, one, two, and three reactors stopped working right when the earthquake struck the local area. The remaining reactors were closed due to the maintenance that needs to be done on them. In the article, Nuclear Accident In Fukushima, Japan, discussed, \"At this moment the cooling problems of the reactor core begin with the risk of melting the core. Later, the fusion of the core of the reactors 1, 2, and 3 would be confirmed.” (Oriol Planas, 2011). After a few hours, the plant was having a hard time keeping cool which caused the melting and radiation to start to enter the atmosphere. These effects immediately starting soon as the plant was failing. Due to plant failing it cause several explosions and fires inside the nuclear power plant. The article also illustrates, “Fear of leaks of nuclear radiation led authorities in Japan to evacuate first a radius of twenty kilometers around the plant. Later this radius was gradually extended up to 40km. Plant workers suffered exposure to nuclear radiation on several occasions and were temporarily evacuated at different times.” (Oriol Planas, "Nuclear Accident In Fukushima, Japan", 2011). Incident people in the local area and workers were exposed to the radiation from the plant. The government decides to do evacuation for people's health and safety. In the article, Social Capital Enhanced Disaster Preparedness and Health Consultations after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Power Station Accident, “Radiation exposure was well controlled and minimal, but lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia emerged as a major health issue in the affected people. Based on lessons learned from the 2011 disaster, there is a need to prevent diseases, promote health, and improve early detection of disease, especially among evacuees." ("Social Capital Enhanced Disaster Preparedness and Health …"). These people are effect now and continue to be having health issues. Other health issues cause poor health issues including death. There are other effects that behind the plant explosions.
Other short- and long-term effects that Japan Fukushima is experiencing are environmental. The environmental factors causing marine issues and wildlife depletion due to the radiation that has entered into the ecosystem. In the article, On the divergences in the assessment of environmental impacts from ionizing radiation following the Fukushima accident, says, "The accident of March 11, 2011, at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS), resulted in atmospheric releases of significant amounts of radioactive substances leading to the contamination of the surrounding terrestrial (and freshwater) environment through deposition processes and interception by vegetation. Inputs of radioactivity to the marine environment also occurred through atmospheric releases plus deposition to the sea surface and runoff of seawater used to cool the reactors during the accident plus leakage of wastewaters from damaged containment structures." (Stand, Bergman, Brown, & Dowdell, 2017). The radioactive is leading destroying vegetation and marine environment this is deep in water and the soil. This is hard for people to live without food and clean water without having radiation poisoning. Animals are dying and being exposed to radioactive waste from the plant like boar, plankton, earthworm, and different bird spies. The article also mentioned, “The maintenance (or restoration) of the ecological integrity of an ecosystem is fundamental for the well-being of its populations and leads to the support of a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms comparable to that of similar, undisturbed ecosystems. Exposure to radioactive fallout may lead to direct observable effects on living organisms and indirect effects when specific constituents of an ecosystem are disrupted, resulting in some imbalance." (Stand, Bergman, Brown, & Dowdell, "On the divergences in the assessment of environmental impacts …", 2017). The ecosystem is damaged and organisms in the environment are suffering. They have to adapt to the radiation and migration to different areas to find food or water.
Lastly, another short-long term issue in this local area is financial problems. Financial problems consist in this general area. There have been ups and downs within the economy of Fukushima, Japan. In the article entitled, Effects of financial development, economic growth, and trade on electricity consumption: Evidence from post-Fukushima Japan, elaborates, “This study examines the long-run and short-run effects of financial development, economic growth, export, imports and capital on the Japanese energy predicaments as a result of the foregoing energy crisis in the country. To ensure a robust outcome, the study applied the extended Cobb–Douglas production function and used time-series data from 1970 to 2012.” (Rafindadi & Ozturk, 2015).” The effects of the explosion and later exposure radiation cause the economy to fail without question. This is hard for a country to expand and grow without the economy but it just in this area. In the same article, stated, “This development resulted in a considerable loss of electricity production, physical and human capital. The combined effect of this phenomenon caused additional stress on the country’s economic growth wherewithal. According to the Japanese ministry of trade and industry , the damages caused by this disaster were approximated to range between USD 195 billion to USD 305 billion” (Rafindadi & Ozturk, "Effects of financial development, economic growth and trade on electricity consumption: Evidence from post-Fukushima Japan", 2015). The electricity, physical, and human population have all decreased in recent years. The money that costs to fix the issues after the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown power plant caused the government to an extreme low. The government has been trying to fix the issues since this accident in 2011 but it is going to take time.
Short- and long-term global consequences that started in Fukushima, Japan. The effects have not just caused problems in Japan also in America and Europe. There are studies considering that clouds carry the radioactive particles that end up in the United States and parts of Europe. In the article, Radioactive impact of Fukushima accident on the Iberian Peninsula: Evolution and plume previous pathway, shows, “As it can be expected, the highest activity concentrations of the radionuclides determined in this study correspond to Japanese locations, them being three orders of magnitude higher than the ones obtained in North America and Europe. As time passes, the cloud expands and the activity concentrations decreased to values below the detection limits (0.03 mBq m− 3).” (Lozano, et al.,2011).
This is short- and long-term consequences in the world due to the radioactive particles in the cloud that cause health and ecosystem damage. Another issue that has been on the topic is the radioactive particles entering into the North Pacific Ocean. In the article, Impact of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident on the neon flying squids in the Northwest Pacific from 2011 to 2018, discussed, “The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (FDNPPA) resulted in a release of anthropogenic radionuclides to the North Pacific Ocean through the direct discharge of radioactive wastes and the deposition of the radionuclides released into the atmosphere as well as uncontrolled leakage of the heavily polluted coolant water (Kaeriyama, 2017; Buesseler et al., 2017). It released ∼520 PBq of radioactive radionuclides into the Northwest Pacific, which was ∼10% of that released by the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident (∼5200 PBq) (Steinhauser et al., 2014; Men et al., 2017; Livingston and Povinec, 2000).” (Men, et al., 2020). The radiation waves after the accident cause leakage in the ocean which is about 80% into the sea. This is hard on the ecosystem in the ocean and the surrounding area for fish to grow and pollute. The one fish that came after this nuclear accident is the neon flying squid. This mutated fish only lives for one year due to long term exposure of radiation that the ocean is exposed to. Japan\'s accident caused many issues in the world today due to radiation exposures this will ongoing issue in the ecosystem.