Japan’s Near Miss Shows It’s Time to Say “No” Nukes

Japan narrowly missed another nuclear disaster. Today, the island nation of 126 million people is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Typhoon Neoguri, a storm that was once so strong that meteorologists called it a “once in a decade” storm. Neoguri will be a lot weaker once it hits the Japanese mainland, and it was actually downgraded from a Super Typhoon to just a plain old tropical storm earlier today, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly.

Far from it - When Neoguri makes landfall on the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu, it will still be strong enough to take down trees, rip up power lines, and cause a whole of destruction. It will also bring along torrential downpours and flooding. The weather is going to be a mess in Japan over the next few days, but the people of that country can be thankful about one thing: Typhoon Neoguri probably won’t be causing any huge problems for the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

There was some concern a few days ago that Typhoon Neoguri could hit the plant, which is still having a lot of problems with leaks, and cause more parts of it to melt down. However, now that the storm has weakened, those fears have subsided. But what if Neoguri didn’t weaken? What if it was heading full force towards the Japanese mainland with Fukushima power plant in its sights?

Give or take a few changes in air temperature, and we could be talking about how a “once-in-a-decade” Super Typhoon was about to cause another nuclear crisis in Japan. You know that feeling you get after almost getting into a car accident? That’s the way the world should feel right now about Typhoon Neoguri and Fukushima.

If it wasn’t already obvious, after what already happened at Fukushima in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, it should be obvious now: Every country that uses nuclear power is flirting with disaster.

Nuclear power never has been and never will be safe, and the only way for us to guarantee that there won’t be any more disasters in both Japan and around the world is abandon nuclear power once-and-for-all.

It’s time to just say “no” to nukes.

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