On May 4th there was a conference in New York given by a group of research Professors (including Hiroaki Koide -nuclear specialist and Prof. at Kyoto Nuclear Research Reactor Institute and medical professionals on the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan) for the benefit of the global community,mainly Americans and with the purpose of bringing the latest data by word of mouth directly to America where there is understandable concern about the ocean carrying nuclear waste to the west coast shores.
Although this was a valuable lecture, it was frustrating that many things were not mentioned, challenged or discussed. The new data is alarming, but we knew and feared the worst anyway. From the perspective of someone who must remain here in North Japan, and all of us who have families, roots here and lack financial means to escape I would have liked to have heard more about what suggestions are being made for decontaminating hot spots and addressing fishery and ground water problems.
Now is the time when great minds should turn the focus from analyzing exact data and put their wisdom into innovations to set global standards for dealing with this kind of unimaginable scenario. This is all new territory and we need global help and we need it now. While Chernobyl can teach us much, Fukushima has become the world`s largest nuclear meltdown and as such, Japan has to act as world leader setting out new protocol in clean up and decontamination strategies.
These strategies have to come out of University Research Centers and be presented to the government with more pressure because the govt has proved it will not initiate research funds in any other way.. Yes, the govt has lied to us and the whole country is angered by the way that Fukushima has been dealt with from day one, but in a govt led country with such extremely stringent law enforcement there is no other way but to get acceptance through them and the go ahead for all decontamination/nuclear core location efforts via global pressure.
There has to be some way (robots, by air etc) to get closer to plant 4 for longer periods to speed up it`s cold shutdown. There has to be a place thought up for hotspot debris to go. There has to be a decontamination method or chemical sanitation process that carries least risk. It was these kind of repair issues I wanted to see discussed and am so disappointed to find are still not making news.This is where research is needed now. The conflicting data and arguments over precise becquerel figures is no longer a priority.
Meanwhile people living here, continue to fight depression by reading about and supporting those individuals who are doing their best to help others who have it worse than themselves. NPO charities and groups who are making things better in small ways for some people. And yet there is something intrinsically heart breaking about the limits of all this love and care that is a small band aid on a gaping wound. We are all grimly aware (despite carrying on our lives as close to normal as we can for sanity`s sake) that we are floating in a time capsule, a grisly experiment that will show results in decades to come and which is the first of its kind worldwide. We have to hope that the fascination with stats, numbers and graphs finally subdues, and that nuclear scientists will find practical, viable solutions to the plethora of problems that need solutions and that these will be adopted by the govt, under global pressure asap.