Fukushima is Worse | The Jackal

22 Sep 2011

Fukushima is Worse

Last night, New Zealand's mainstream media reiterated that the Fukushima nuclear disaster was officially recognized as an accident similar in scale to Chernobyl, and that typhoon Roke, was heading towards the stricken nuclear power plant, which was devastated in the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

The main fear is that even more radioactive material will over flow into the sea and surrounding areas due to heavy rainfall. High winds could also displace radioactive particles across a larger area.

The plant has already been leaking vast amounts of radioactive water into the nearby ocean, with strontium-90 levels measured in June at 240 times above safe limits. Last month, nearly half of the children living in the Fukushima district tested positive for dangerous levels of radiation contamination.

After the major 9 magnitude earthquake, around 37 of the country’s 54 nuclear power plants were shut down for safety checks. All the nuclear plants that were closed were ordered to stay closed until their safety could be guaranteed.

The public's sentiment after the major disaster meant support for the president, Naoto Kan fell to only 16%. After the Fukushima meltdowns, he said he wanted Japan to move away from reliance on nuclear energy, which was projected to grow from approx 33% to 53% of the countries energy requirements by 2030.

Naoto Kan formally resigned just prior to the August elections, and Japan's parliament backed the former finance minister of the Democratic Party, Yoshihiko Noda to become prime minister. Noda then informed the public that he wanted to reopen the closed nuclear power plants.
"From spring through next summer, we must bring them (the reactors) back up as best as we can, because if we have a power shortage, it will bring down Japan's overall economy," Noda said in an interview with the U.S. daily today.
Commercial production has re-started at some nuclear power-plants after strong lobbying from nuclear industry workers, who were recently caught posing as members of the public to promote their industry. Kyushu employees accounted for more than 30% of all messages sent in support of the Genkai plant being reopened, in what was an under reported major scandal.

However the majority of Japanese do not want to see the nuclear power plants reopened, especially the dangerous ones that experienced containment failures after the earthquake. As of June 2011, more than 80 percent of Japanese say they are anti-nuclear and distrust government information on radiation. There's been many demonstrations, the largest of which occurred in Tokyo on 20 September.
Anti-nuke demonstration with approx 100,000 people in Tokyo
It's apparent that the Japanese authorities are ignoring the will of the people in their quest to reopen the dangerous nuclear power plants. What is even worse is that a lack of reporting by mainstream media is allowing the nuclear power industry to undertake a coverup of the Fukushima disaster.

One would think that with the potential risk Fukushima posses, the authorities would make a precise measurement of radiation fallout available to the public. But despite elevated levels of radioactive idodine-131 being detected in the water supplies of 19 different US cities, the EPA stopped making data available on 5 April. Radiation levels in the US then started to increase.

In my opinion, the official recognition that Fukushima is as bad as Chernobyl is grossly underestimated, as the disaster is ongoing, has already released more radiation than Chernobyl and has the potential to get a lot worse.