03 Apr '11, 4pm

The earthquake kit: How to unpack for a disaster and survive the unexpected

In some respects the authorities here and in Japan have been completely crazy, not just in the aftermath of this disaster but every day since the dawn of the “peaceful atom ” era of the nuclear age. Nuclear power is essentially an elaborate and unlikely way to boil water to turn turbines to create electricity. Its makers must mine, refine, and consolidate huge amounts of one of the deadliest materials on earth, uranium-235 (the less than 1 percent of naturally occurring uranium with 235 electrons; the leftover 99 percent, the less radioactive but nevertheless deadly U-238, becomes nuclear waste in the process). U-235 and the plutonium created from it are dangerous at every stage of the process. In addition, constructing a power plant requires a huge amount of carbon-spewing conventional energy, so there’s never been a lot of logic to building them to bridge our move to ren...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/article/2011-04-03-the-earthquake-ki...

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