SCIN 136 Assignment 2 Plate Tectonics & Marine Resources

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  • SCIN 136 Assignment 2 Plate Tectonics & Marine Resources
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NEWSFLASH – The Japanese Government has announced that the cores and radioactive wastes from the crippled Fukushima Nuclear Plant are going to be removed from the plant areas. Some of this material has a half-life of about 400,000 years. Rather than bury them under the remains of the reactor buildings and leave them on land, after sealing these materials in glass (see comment below) they will just take them to one of the oceans deepest points – the bottom of the Japan Trench (which is 6.7 miles deep, is right off the coast and is actually where the earthquake waves started as the ocean-floor rock was subducting) – and bury them in the bottom sediments right there. This will be done using robotics and ROV's to set the waste vessels and covered reactor cores in place. Here’s the question - From your knowledge of how plate tectonics work, explain FIRST why this bright idea is (a) truly good!, and then SECOND, why the idea is (b) truly awful! Explain it in terms of plate tectonics. Note: The idea is to vitrify the waste (seal it in solid glass, tough stuff, doesn't corrode, won't crush) before disposal on land or at sea. Please read the attached article on just what the problem is in the U.S. too. When researching this question remember Godzilla was only a movie.

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