segunda-feira, 14 de março de 2011

Última hora: artigo excelente Post Nuclear Japan, Pre Disaster United States

Maps of Nuclear Power Reactors: WORLD MAP (clicar aqui para ver de forma interactiva)

 Post Nuclear Japan, Pre Disaster United States, por Michael Collins (about the author)
Página 1 de 3
The Japanese disaster at Fukushima I is a human tragedy of striking proportions.  As many as ten thousand citizens may be dead in the general catastrophe, with many more at risk for radiation poisoning at levels yet to be determined.  The fact that Japan is a highly organized and wealthy nation in no way diminishes the intensity of the losses and pain experienced by the victims.  (Image)
Political and economic implications will emerge rapidly.  As the whole world watches, the Japanese experience creates windows of opportunity to learn how to avert future meltdowns at nuclear ticking time bombs placed throughout Europe, the United States, India, and China.

Events have overwhelmed the highly professional Japanese bureaucracy.  In a late Saturday night report by CNN, the chief cabinet minister said that he presumed that there was a nuclear meltdown in reactors one and two, with three on the way.  A nuclear regulatory official hedged by referring to the "possibility" of a meltdown, which he said could not be confirmed since workers couldn't get close enough to see.  The same regulatory official told CNN,
"We have some confidence, to some extent, to make the situation to be stable status," he said. "We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this." March 12
Experts outside the government referred to the situation as desperate given the use of saltwater as a last resort for cooling the nuclear material.
Japanese Energy and Economic Disruption
Eighty percent of Japanese energy relies on imports.  Nuclear plants provide about 30% of the electric production for the industrial base.  The loss of the Fukushima I plant, for example reduces the nuclear output by 10%, just for starters.  It also derails the big plans Japan has for nuclear power through 2050.  Over 60% of domestic needs will be met by a robust nuclear program according to one optimistic estimate.
The following graph shows the contributions electrical production:

Assume a 20% loss of nuclear power production with the elimination of Fukushima's 10% contribution and other reactors that may go offline due to preemptive safety precautions.  Japan faces a near term energy shortage.  The loss of 20% of nuclear production, for example, could translate into a 6% percent reduction of overall electric production.  Hydroelectric and renewables are not capable of rising to the occasion as replacements.  That leaves thermal/fossil plants.  More imports and more pollution will go hand in hand for the next few years.  Japan will pay much more attention to the Middle East, the source of 90% crude oil imports, with less focus on planned  spread of nuclear plants.
This is speculation.  The situation may be much worse.  One thing is certain. The government regulator's confidence that "we will resolve this" seems far-fetched at best.
The damage to plant, equipment, and infrastructure led to the shut down of several automobile plants.  United States exporters will feel the impact of lower Japanese corporate revenues.  China, Japan's top trading partner, may well see the loss of investment and export opportunities.  In addition, China may have a new competitor for crude oil due to the disruption to Japan's overall energy supply system.
Still mired in the great stagnation since 1985, healthcare costs, rebuilding requirements, and the implosion of energy production  in the Fukushima Prefecture will hit the domestic economy very hard in short order.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

Sem comentários: