FUKUSHIMA: 30 MILLION RADIOACTIVE STORAGE BAGS
This is the fourth blog in my series of artwork about nuclear energy. My painting depicts only one of 30 million plastic storage bags stuffed with radioactive waste in the Fukushima area in Japan. These bags are part of a seemingly futile effort to clean up contaminated soil in the area. According to Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education Organization and who has more than 40 years of nuclear power engineering experience these filled millions of plastic bags are spread all around the area—in parking lots, in people’s back yards and in rice paddies, among many other places. Each bag holds 1 ton of radioactive waste. He notes that despite these massive efforts remove the radioactive soil, every time it rains or snows contamination reappears. Ultimately, the cost to Japan for the entire radioactive clean up (if that is even possible) will reach one half a trillion dollars.
In the corner of my painting you can see a little black bird. It refers to what appears to be a diminishment of the bird population as a direct result of the triple nuclear power plant meltdown. There is now a dead zone in area. The disaster has had huge impacts as there are dramatically fewer species, according to Dr. Timothy Mousseau, Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina.
In doing research for my artwork about nuclear energy, it is clear that there is no solution for the disposal of tons of waste from shuttered as well as existing nuclear power plants. To pretend otherwise is appalling. I am shocked about the leaking of radioactivity into groundwater. I strongly oppose the construction of any new nuclear power plants and the closing of all existing plants.
If you want further information please check out: www.fukushimaupdate.com and www.fairewinds.org.
“Mother Earth is a source of life, not a resource”. -Spoken by Sioux Chief Argol Lookinghorse