It goes without saying that all ACerS members, leaders and staff are distraught about the effects of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and the struggle of that nation to regain control of the nuclear power facilities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people of Japan.
Despite our Society’s name, a large portion of the membership of The American Ceramic Society is Japanese, a reflection of Japan’s deep history of treasuring ceramic arts and science. Our Japanese comrades have consistently brought an abundance of wisdom to our technical meetings and have always been quick to use nonsymposium time to embrace others as both colleagues and friends, and to establish warm and abiding amity that in many cases spans decades. In this context, our inability to contact or find out the situation facing these compatriots, their families and their coworkers is extremely distressing.
As far as providing financial aid to the relief effort, ACerS has been suggesting that individuals and groups donate to three organizations:
- Japan Relief Fund of the Salvation Army
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on behalf of the Japanese Red Cross (select Japan: Earthquake and Tsunami)
- Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund
In addition, because so many ACerS members are directly involved with nuclear power research and industry, there is a frustration that comes in wishing there was some assistance that could be provided (and I suspect some of our members are either already on site providing guidance or enroute).
In regard to understanding and deciphering what is going on in the nuclear front, I can suggest two sources of information. The first is one of our fellow science and engineering societies, the American Nuclear Society. The other is the Nuclear Energy Institute.
The ANS has set up a special page on its Nuclear Cafe blog that is aggregating media reports and providing additional information when the organization considers it to be credible. The blog also has a growing list of links to various international and Japanese agencies and news sources.
Likewise, the NEI is providing updates and technical information as it becomes available.
If readers of this blog have other suggestions for donations and credible news coverage, please add them in the comments section of this post.