As shares in uranium exploration companies continued to shed value, Japan’s nuclear nightmare is still getting worse. News this weekend that the hope of ‘stabilizing’ the leakage of radiation by steam into the atmospohere and by water into the ocean is unlikely underscores just how bad the situation is. Within a 20 kilometre radius around the stricken plant, a Chernobyl-style dead zone is developing, with levels of 1.48 million becquerels a square meter measured within that area. (The average human naturally experiences 4400 becquerels from decaying potassium-40 within the body.) Dangerous levels of radiation have now been confirmed as far as 600 kilometres away from Fukushima.
Germany announced that it would discontinue all nuclear power generation by 2022. Switzerland, Italy, Thailand and Malaysia have all also announced the freezing of nuclear development until further notice. In the United Kingdom, anti-nuclear activists have seized on the decision of Germany to ratchet up pressure against the government there to abandon nuclear development plans.