Comments by Susan Sterrett Subscribe

On Update on "Highly Radioactive" Water Leaks at Fukushima

I think Kimberly Davis raised a significant point that this article completely ignores:  the concern about groundwater flowing from the mountains into the sea is getting contaminated.  This is a different, and, she argues, more significant issue than the one about tanks that this article focuses on.  

Is this hysteria from the uninformed?  No, it is not.  

The contamination of water flowing down from the mountains to the sea is not well-reported.  The media reporting on water in tanks that is discussed in this article is, admittedly, sometimes not very well done.  HOWEVER, that the media doesn't report the tank issue well doesn't make the very important and significant issue of contamination of groundwater go away.  

As Kimberly Davis points out, the purpose of the ice wall is to deal with this larger problem.  Here are two links to sources that you cannot dismiss as uninformed:  

--MIT Technology Review, which reports that:
"Every day roughly 400 tons of groundwater flowing down from the nearby mountains enters cracks in the reactor buildings damaged by the meltdowns and explosions at Fukushima in 2011, according to an April 2013 Tepco briefing document. Water that escapes from the buildings pollutes the groundwater downstream and ultimately spills into the sea. The contaminant levels are dangerously high. "

and from the Idaho State Journal, a concise and informative Q&A on "Japan's Radioactive Water Leaks: How dangerous?"

Dismissiveness is not appropriate here.  

September 10, 2013    View Comment    

On Myth #1: Renewable energy can generate all the world’s energy needs

The author of this column wrote: 

"Sunlight on average, at sea level, bombards the earth with about 1.3 KW per square meter. In one hour, that means that one square meter of sunlight generates 1.3 KWh. Pretty straight forward." 

This does NOT seem straight forward.  The amount of energy at the equator is much more than in the latitudes far away from the equator.  By averaging, you vastly underestimate the energy to be harvested in the places where solar energy devices would likely be located.   Thus, you could easily be off by quite a large factor.  

January 10, 2010    View Comment