Strong in the rain / Lucy Birmingham & David McNeill


(Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

A book review from Glenn

I read this book upon a recommendation from my favourite news source – Democracy Now!  (  The story reviews the almost unfathomable events that took place in March of 2011 when an earthquake off shore off Japan’s coast created a massive tsunami which would in turn devastate many communities along the north-east shore.  Japan has a long history of tsunamis and concrete seawalls that had been built in many locations were expected to protect the people.  Disaster plans and evacuation orders were also part of the protocol.  But the scale of this wave was nowhere near what was expected.  In some cases, the wave overshadowed the seawall by 40 ft.  The wall of water hit at an estimated speed of 500 mph!  The destruction was beyond belief.  19,000 lost their lives, and the lives of those left living would be profoundly affected.  Something even more ominous was yet to come…  The quake knocked out power to the Fukushima nuclear power facility in the area affected.   Backup generators were in place to pump water to the cores for cooling.  The tsunami, however, flooded these generators and they failed.  The cores of three reactors could no longer be cooled.  What did the company that ran them do?  It kept this information a secret and denied this catastrophe until such time as it could no longer make this claim.  Unbelievable.  70% of Japan would be directly affected by radioactive fallout to some degree and a massive area near the Fukushima will never again be inhabitable.  Why does it seem like we hear of corporate cover-ups and disregard for human life all too often?   I’m amazed that regulators would even consider building nuclear power plants in such a high risk area.  With hundreds of reactors throughout the world I can’t help but consider which one will be next.  Why have those planning power for the planet chosen this path?  But alas, I’m using this platform as a soapbox rather than a simple review.  Read the book.  It may make you angry.  But better angry and in the know than blind to what’s happening in our world.

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