Can’t bank on dams in a quake

Regarding the Nov. 10 editorial, “Winds of energy independence“: In fact there was a failure of a dam on March 11, 2011. The Fujinuma Dam in Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, collapsed in the quake, leading to flooding and eight deaths.

This was hardly covered by the press, which was more concerned with the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which didn’t kill or injure anybody.

I point this out not to disparage reliance on dams [whether for flood control, for drinking water or] for hydro power, which in general is an excellent and reliable energy source, but to illustrate that renewable energy also has its risks. In terms of casualties, the failure of Fujinuma Dam was incomparably more dangerous.

michael radcliffe
from the japan times online

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.