Sorrow in the land of the Rising Sun

Northern Japan is in ruin, hundreds are dead, and a nuclear power plant is near complete meltdown.

What does the tragedy mean for Northern Ohio? North America? Individually, the tragedy could mean a lot, nationally it means very little.


Northern Japan is in ruin, hundreds are dead, and a nuclear power plant is near complete meltdown.

What does the tragedy mean for Northern Ohio? North America? Individually, the tragedy could mean a lot, nationally it means very little.

The largest effect nationally is on our stance toward nuclear power in the United States. Is it unsafe to build new power plants? Should we shut down the power plants currently operating in the United States and put hundreds out of work? No. We must learn what has happened in Japan.

The meltdown was not the result of the earthquake, but the tsunami which flooded backup generators that keep the reactors from overheating. There are hundreds of nuclear power plants in the world and, including the most recent, only three have melted down.

Four nuclear power plants are within 110 miles of Akron. All four are beyond the 50-mile radius where food and water can become contaminated with radiation. So, students at The University of Akron don’t need to practice the duck-and-cover routine anytime soon.

Individually, the effect the disaster has on Americans could cause more grief and pain than the miniscule nuclear threat our power plants pose – it is the effect on those who have loved ones in Japan.

Fortunately, Japanese disaster relief and services like Google are helping to find lost loved ones. Japan has built relief shelters and made lists of the missing. Google has listed all of the missing online, where information can be found on the missing or the missing can post information about their location.

Of course, there are many ways to help with the Japanese recovery. The American Humane Association and the Red Cross are among the many organizations accepting donations to support the disaster victims.