Saturday, April 23, 2011

Regions of the World Facing Nuclear Risk

Nature News and Columbia University has collaborated to produce a Google Earth Map of areas facing nuclear risk, reports Fastcompany. What I saw with alarm is that a small country such as Japan has the highest concentration of nuclear plants. How this be? Excerpt:

The world has 211 nuclear power plants. They fleck the map, clustered in predictable places: America (the northeast, mostly), Europe (all over, including Eastern Europe and Russia), and much of Asia and India. There's just one if Africa (South Africa) and two in South America (Argentina and Brazil), from the looks of it. In some places, the numbers that underlie the dots are harrowing. The Guandong plant not far from Hong Kong has more than 28 million people living within 75 kilometers of a dual-reactor plant. One hundred fifty-two plants have over a million people within 75 kilometers. Even constricting the radius to a smaller number, 30 kilometers, the numbers are still frightening: one Taiwan plant has 5.5 million people that close by, while another has 4.7 million. The city of Taipei could be within the fallout zone if either of those plants had a meltdown. In Karachi, Pakistan, 8.2 million people live within 30 kilometers of a nuclear plant (albeit a relatively small, 125-megawatt plant).

You can find the interactive map here (you may need to download a plug-in).  

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