Fukushima world’s radiation nightmare

Fukushima world’s radiation nightmare

Fukushima is Japan’s and the world’s radiation nightmare that will not go away in our lifetimes nor our children’s or grandchildren’s. The Fukushima nuclear power plant is hemorrhaging radioactive toxic waste into the ocean and though we are told not to panic, nor even to be casually concerned, the situation is dangerous and critical to future life on earth.

Ever since March 11, 2011, the damaged plant has been leaking tremendous amounts of radiation. Now Tepco, the operator of the damaged facility, says they have recorded spikes between 50-70 times above average readings in the gutters that pour water into a nearby bay.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said February 22, 2015, that an alarm went off at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant signaling high radioactivity levels in drainage ditches. According to the NRA and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m., and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher levels.

The levels of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium-90, measured 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water between 10:20 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. Tepco requires radioactivity levels of groundwater at the plant discharged into the sea to remain below 5 becquerels. However, it was revealed that Tepco knew about the problem all the way back in May of last year and did not report it.

An official at the plant apologized, saying that, “the trust of the people in Fukushima is the most important thing,” and that “we’ve been working with that in mind, but unfortunately, we have damaged that trust this time,” according to Digital Journal. The situation at Fukushima is obviously much worse than authorities are leading us to believe. Newsweek reported on the continuing disaster saying, “The fallout from the Fukushima disaster is far from over. A staggering number of accidents has plagued the plant.”

Strontium mimics calcium making it extremely dangerous to all life forms once it is absorbed. Local, national and international fury once again rises against TEPCO as this latest indication that the crisis at the plant is far from under control. Japan’s top government spokesperson reiterated the government’s long-standing mantra, “The situation is completely under control. Any negative impact of radioactive water on the environment is completely blocked.” TEPCO was aware since April of last year and did nothing to prevent contaminated water from leaking directly out to sea.

Scientists are able to actually measure what they say are very low levels of radiation in the ocean that are now reaching the west coast of North America. Their instruments read the radiation and so can the cells in a person’s body. We are toldnot to worry and certainly not to panic. In fact, nuclear power plants are still promoted as safe even though they offer potential hell to life. Prince William was recently near Fukushima juggling balls for the children, eating locally produced foods and planting trees, promoting the safety of the area and that is understandable considering how deeply the royal family is into the nuclear industry.

Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said, “I certainly wouldn’t discourage people from swimming or eating fish from the Pacific because of levels that low. It sounds scary because it’s radioactivity, it’s Fukushima and it’s detectable.” Only problem is if there is any strontium in the fish one could get leukemia!

Low levels of radiation are extremely dangerous

There has long been public concern about risks from low-level radiation, which is understandable in light of the fact that you may be exposed and yet never know it. Dr. Boyd Haley, the ex-chairman of the chemistry department from Kentucky University warns us that even low levels are dangerous and should be everyone’s concern. It is widely understood that there is no ‘safe’ level of radioactivity. Any amount can kill. The more radioactivity, the greater the impacts. As the National Council on Radiation Protection has declared: “Every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer.”

On February 18, 2014, the Aichi Prefectural Police arrested a construction firm executive for sending a 15-year-old boy to help clean up radioactive waste outside the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. That executive, the press and governmental agencies around the world all agree that the situation should not be of concern. So do not bother with iodine or anything else like sodium bicarbonate, which both are inexpensive ways to protect oneself and one’s children from radioactive contamination.

Image credit: Bedford Institute of Oceanography

A radiation plume from the March, 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan took about 2.1 years to travel via ocean currents and ultimately cross the waters of the Pacific Ocean to reach the shores of North America. That is according to to a study at the end of 2014 (December 29) by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For the first time since the catastrophic 2011 earthquake, Japan has been rocked with a series of stronger tremors, with two 6.0+ stronger quakes recorded in February 2015. It is unclear if the new leaks are directly related to the recent surge in tectonic activity. RT News said that contamination levels fell quickly, but still measured 10 to 20 times more than prior to the leak.

Death is coming

The year is 2015 and already “It’s like a scene from a horror movie along the West Coast. “We’re seeing all sorts of mysterious goings-on.” “There is no food out there.” Scientists cannot figure out why there is mass starvation of seabirds. Sardines and crayfish have disappeared from the Pacific Ocean; they have just vanished. Marine mammals are starving, struggling to survive on the West Coast. Reports are coming in up and down the coast of a mysterious surge in sick marine mammals infested with parasites, and being extremely emaciated.

At Fukushima where 4 reactors are still out of control and spewing radiation many think this has caused the death in the Pacific of thousands of baby sea lions on the California coast, and 500 navy soldiers are still suffering from radiation poisoning after responding to the earlier Fukushima disaster. We also have reports that West Coast orca whales are experiencing extremely high infant mortality rates as radiation from Fukushima drifts across the ocean. An adult killer whale weighing up to 5,000 kilograms can eat 5% of its body weight, or 250 kilograms of fish, per day. Researchers are also alarmed by ‘puzzling’ changes in orca’s behavior.

As far south as Peru dolphins and sea lions were found dead but no reliable explanations are given. Governments everywhere refuse to make any connection between the deaths and Fukushima. In fact, officially no one has died from radiation from Fukushima. Yet we find scientists saying that right after the accident death rates of infants increased in North America. This is of course adamantly denied by all devotees of nuclear energy.

Jiřina Vitázková and Errico Cazzoli wrote, “The results with respect to health effects show that within 80 years the number of victims of the Fukushima disaster can be expected to be at least in the range of 10,000 to 300,000 people in terms of deaths due to infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, genetic diseases and cancers; and about the same number of sicknesses/syndromes needing prolonged hospitalization and health care are expected to occur. This estimate accounts only for the population already living at the time of the accident. A comparable number of excess deaths and sicknesses may be expected in the population that will be born in the period. In addition to these, more than 100,000 excess still-births and a comparable or larger number of excess children born with genetic deformations (e.g. Down syndrome) are expected.”

The toxic substances such as Tritium, Cesium, Plutonium and Strontium are being carried everywhere by winds, rain and ocean currents, entering the food chain through seaweed and seafood, building up high levels of toxicity in the fish – and humans – at the top end of the consumption chain.

It is the contention of this book that all levels of radiation are threatening. When levels increase, even by small amounts, we humans, and all the life around us will suffer from increasing cancer rates thus demanding that doctors learn and teach their patients to take defensive measures. We live in a contaminated world (chemical, heavy metal and radiation) that is getting more toxic day by day. I calculate that 20 tons of mercury are put into the air by all the coal fire plants in the world but government officials obsess only with carbon dioxide, a safe necessary gas that is not bringing warming to our world.

Doctors, who themselves expose their patients to radiation tests and treatments have to calculate the rising risks of combined radiation exposure. Eco Watch lists fifty reasons that we should not trust our governments nor the press, and why we should fear the worst from Fukushima.

Projecting a death toll of more than a million from the radioactivity released from Fukushima is Dr. Chris Busby, scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk who has been a professor at a number of universities. “Fukushima is still boiling radionuclides all over Japan”, he said. “Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse.”

Dr. Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, told a symposium on ‘The Medical Implications of Fukushima’ said, “The accident is enormous in its medical implications. It will induce an epidemic of cancer as people inhale the radioactive elements, eat radioactive vegetables, rice and meat, and drink radioactive milk and teas. As radiation from ocean contamination bio-accumulates up the food chain … radioactive fish will be caught thousands of miles from Japanese shores. As they are consumed, they will continue the cycle of contamination, proving that no matter where you are, all major nuclear accidents become local. The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end. The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be ‘cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever.”

Written by Dr. Mark Sircus

The Nuclear Brink – Japan May Become Uninhabitable

Dr Helen Caldicott says that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has the potential to make Japan “uninhabitable”, yet the mainstream media continue to ignore the crisis. Managing editor David Donovan reports.

Yesterday – the same day Germany announced it would close all its nuclear plants because of Fukushima, and dangerous levels of radiation were reported in Japanese clean-up workers – Independent Australia did a straw poll of 50 random people at a metropolitan shopping centre in Queensland. Each of them was asked: “were you aware that there had been a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima in Japan”. Almost all of these respondents recognised the name Fukushima but only 4 of the 50 – a mere 8 per cent – said they had heard of any meltdown.

This rough poll points to deficiencies in popular media reporting in Australia of what some say has the potential to become the most devastating man-made disaster the world has ever known.

That may sound like an alarming claim, so let’s look at the facts.

THE CATACLYSM

In the wake of the March earthquake and tsunami, on March 15, Independent Australia reported:

“Yesterday, Japan’s nuclear agency attempted to calm fears by ranking the incident as a Category 4 nuclear accident, below the 1979 Three Mile Island partial meltdown in the US and well below the Chernobyl meltdown and explosion 25 years ago which rated top of the scale at seven.”

As also reported then, experts in Australia, including Dr Ziggy Switkowski, along with the Japanese nuclear power plant operator Tepco, tried hard then to dispel public fears about the severity of the disaster. By March 25, however, the category had been upgraded above Three Mile Island to a level 6. Then on April 13, as Tepco struggled to contain the fires burning at the reactor, it was reluctantly given the top rating of 7 by the Japanese authorities, which classed it as a “major accident”, equal to Chernobyl though officials still maintained the disaster was not as severe since there had not, apparently, been a melt-down.

Fast forward a month to May 13, and people’s suspicions and fears were realised when Tepco admitted there had, in fact, been a meltdown in Reactor One. Not only that, but reports began circulating that Tepco had been aware of the meltdown since the very earliest days of the accident.

On May 18, the Financial Times reported the following about the escalating situation:

“In the first days after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station began spewing radiation in mid-March, the plant’s operator and Japanese safety regulators studiously avoided the word “meltdown”.

Yes, they said, uranium fuel rods in the tsunami-hit facility’s reactors might have been damaged after cooling systems failed. But the official view was that the rods were still mostly intact – and radioactive material was safely contained inside their zirconium sheaths.

Now, a little over two months later, new information on the state of Fukushima Daiichi’s three overheated reactors is making the m-word impossible to avoid. Fuel inside the cores, it is now understood, melted far more quickly and extensively than was initially believed – disintegrating just a few hours after the tsunami knocked out the plants electricity and cooling systems.”

And, not only had there been a meltdown in reactor 1 but, in fact, there had been meltdowns in two other reactors as well:

Tokyo Electric Power, Fukushima’s operator, says there may be little left of the rods at all – just clumps of uranium at the bottom of the reactors’ innermost steel containers. Some of the melted fuel may have leaked into the concrete vessels that form the next layer of protective containment, making for a meltdown by even the narrowest industry standards.

On Wednesday Naoto Kan, prime minister, said Tepco was working on the assumption that some fuel from Fukushima Daiichi’s No 1 reactor core had leaked out. On Monday Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission, said: “Our understanding is that the No 2 reactor melted down. We surmise that the No 3 reactor is in the same situation.” The darkening picture of conditions inside the cores – which has emerged since Tepco began sending workers into the reactor buildings for the first time last week – has added to doubts about whether Tepco and the government disclosed all they knew in the early days of the crisis.

The Financial Times went on to say that the Japanese Government was maintaining its line that Fukushima had only leaked 10 per cent of the radiation of Chernobyl.

This claim must now be held in grave doubt. Former nuclear industry engineer and executive Arnie Gunderson described the ground water contamination at Fukushima as “the worst in human history”. Dr Vivian Norris, writing in the Huffington Post, described his findings:

Gundersen is in touch with senior members of the Japanese nuclear establishment.…I will summarize some of Gunderson’s very disturbing and important information here:

1. There was a hydrogen explosion and it was a detonation not a deflagration, in other words the fire burned up not burned down.

2. A frame by frame analysis shows a flame which confirms that the fuel pool is burning as a result of an explosion which started as a hydrogen explosion but that could not have lifted the fuel into the air so there must have been a violent explosion at the bottom of the fuel pool. But more data is needed.

3. Gunderson speaks about past criticalities in other nuclear reactors around the world, and I fin d it odd we are not hearing about these and how they can teach us about what is going on now at Fukushima.

4. Radioactive water is being pumped out and ground water is contaminated so there must be a leak or leaks and this disaster is in no way contained. There will be contamination for a long time to come and this ground water contamination is moving inland. One town is reporting radioactive sewage sludge from ground water or rainwater.

THE HORRIFYING CONSEQUENCES OF THE FUKUSHIMA MELTDOWN

by Sandi Keane

EXCLUSIVE interview with Dr Helen Caldicott, who talks about the potential ramifications of the Fukushima meltdown, including the horrifying possibility of a hydrogen explosion, which is something the authorities aren’t discussing.

By Sandi Keane| Environment Editor

If you’re a news junkie like me chasing stories outside Australia’s mainstream, you would have heard the news today about the meltdown in Reactor No. 1 at Fukushima. It should have sent a chill down your spine. It probably won’t. We get “meltdown” but unless we live in the immediate fallout area, we’ll probably just carry on in blissful ignorance. Here’s what I mean. I just tuned in to the 1pm ABC Radio National news. The lead story was Julie Gillard berating Tony Abbott for his negativity. That’s news? Or should I say new? That’s how most of us deal with disasters if they don’t affect us! Fukushima wasn’t news once we were sure no telltale glowing clouds were headed our way. Give us a disaster movie any day, especially horrors happening in other places. Who didn’t thrill to the 1979 adrenalin fix, The China Syndrome? What a rush that was — major meltdown right through the container into the earth – all the way to China! Whoooeeehhh!

The news coming from Japan today is no horror movie. It is very real and we may be in for a sequel – The Japan Syndrome. My reality check came after a very sobering interview today with Dr. Helen Caldicott who has given Independent Australia the inside story. To her, the real accident at Fukushima is just beginning.

Last week, engineers from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) finally got into the No. 1 reactor with their water monitoring equipment. This is the first time they’ve seen the molten mass at the bottom of the reactor which, according to Dr. Caldicott, “could melt through the bottom of the containment vessel and onto the concrete floor if hasn’t already done so”. Up to now, TEPCO believed that there was enough water left in the core of the reactor to keep the fuel rods stable. The company isn’t denying the possibility of a molten pool of radioactive fuel burning a hole in the steel containment pressure vessel. What they aren’t saying, according to Dr. Caldicott, is that it could initiate a hydrogen explosion which would release massive amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.

Dr Caldicott says the same goes for No. 2 Reactor. Total meltdown. Radioactive lava has hit the concrete floor. And another leak. Workers have been pumping water into Reactors 1-3 but as fast as they do, the water is pouring out through the holes caused by the exposed, burning fuel rods. No-one seems to have a clue where it is going. Like the rest of the statistics, we’re talking “guestimates”.

“They think No. 3 is also a meltdown but we don’t know how much,” said Dr. Caldicott.

TEPCO’s engineers haven’t gone in as yet so there’s no water monitoring. Interestingly, cooling pool No. 3 has no fuel in it.

Dr Helen Caldicott

Dr Caldicott mentions a massive explosion, which has almost certainly spread radiation widely into the surrounding areas:

“There was a massive explosion – maybe a nuclear critical mass explosion – which would explain how fuel rods containing plutonium were found one-and-a-half miles from the reactor. Witnesses reported a big explosion and dark smoke. The fallout testing in the USA is totally inadequate. The smoke from this explosion probably contained aerosolite plutonium, which could be blowing with the help of the westerly winds to the USA. In fact, plutonium has been found in areas in the west.”

Fuel pool No. 4 also underwent a massive explosion. The building which is leaning could collapse. There is lot of fuel in fuel pool 4. They emptied the reactor and put all the spent fuel in the pool just before the earthquake occurred. It’s yet another complication. U.S. nuclear experts are urging the building of a concrete wall around the entire site. This would take years. But, in the meantime?

According to Dr Caldicott, the radiation recorded at Fukushima is many orders of magnitude higher than that recorded at Chernobyl.

Dr. Caldicott despairs of getting the message across about the medical catastrophe:

“Genetic mutations damage the very building blocks of life. There will be millions of cases of cancer.”

She also reminds us that the winds in Japan, currently blowing from west to east, are about to change to south blowing radioactive fallout towards Tokyo and south of Japan. And this is the season for rain, which will bring the fall out down in quite concentrated amounts.

We thought Chernobyl was the hard lesson of the nuclear experiment. The lesson from Fukushima is yet to be played out. Helen Caldicott is right. The real accident is just beginning. TEPCO is in unchartered territory. Nuclear experts are predicting the scale of this catastrophe to skyrocket off the known emergency procedures charts. TEPCO has been telling us for months that the disaster has been contained. If you were living in Japan, who would you believe?

Helen Caldicott describes herself a pantheist – a worshipper of life rather than gods — something she shares with William Wordsworth and Frank Lloyd Wright whose artistic expression speaks to us of their love of the natural world. If you would like to find out more about Dr Caldicott, visit her website: http://www.helencaldicott.com, or read one of her books, Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (Publisher: The New Press (2006); ISBN: 978-1-59558-067-2,