An entire issue of the journal â€œElementsâ€ (June 2012) is devoted to the Fukushima â€“ Daiichi nuclear tragedy in Japan in the wake of the 9.0 â€“ Magnitude 11 March 2011 TohukuÂ Â earthquake with Takashi Murakami (Department of Earth and Planetary sciences of the University of Tokyo) and Rodney C. Ewing (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, USA) as guest editors. In a very thought provoking writeâ€up worth reading by all earth scientists and also nuclear engineers, Allison Macfarlane (Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VirgimaÂ Â and the presidential nominee as the next chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission) explores the â€œdisconnect between Geology and Nuclear Engineeringâ€. In her analysis she highlights the differences in the approach of geologists and engineers as follows : â€œgeologists try to understand a dynamic complex earth with all its attendant processes, while engineers consider a given system over a specified period of time â€“ but one that must work within that complex Earth Systemâ€.
All earthâ€scientists interested in the environmental impact of the Fukushima tragedy in terms of atmospheric dispersion and deposition of radio nucliides from the plant, landâ€surface contamination, oceanic dispersion and interaction between nuclear fuel and water at the reactor sites, should pursue this special issue that provides a concise survey by Japanese and other international scientistâ€groups of great value.
The debate about the future of nuclear power not only in Japan but also around the world after the Fukushima â€“ Daiichi event has to necessarily delve also on the dynamics of geological processes in risk assessment.
MSR/1 Aug 2012
Source: Elements, Jan 2012, v.8, No.3, pp.163â€240, Guest Editors: Takashi Murakami and Rodney C. Ewing (Issue devoted to Fukushima â€“ Daiichi)