Fukushima highlights industry failures | The Jackal

20 Dec 2011

Fukushima highlights industry failures

Last Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave a press conference in which he claimed that the Fukushima nuclear reactors are now stable. This information has been widely accepted by many news services.

However Fukushima's operators, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), have not measured the temperatures at the bottoms of the containment vessels. Readings would be inaccurate if containment vessels were punctured by melted fuel rods. High levels of radiation is making any proper confirmation unattainable.

So can we trust what TEPCO and the Japanese government says? Today, The Japan Times informed us that a new study into the cause of the Fukushima accident is due out on the 26 December, which shows that the claims of TEPCO that the tsunami caused the nuclear power plants failure is not correct. Kyodo writes:

If the allegation is found to be true, it would force Japan to overhaul all quake-safety findings at many nuclear plants because it has claimed that the tsunami, not the quake, crippled the Fukushima plant.

This could be a huge blow to the industry, as the report would show that all the nuclear power plants around the world that use the same technology are susceptible to similar catastrophic failure in the event of an earthquake. It's no wonder TEPCO tried to hide this fact.

Surely the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have ensured that there was accountability and honesty in the face of such a huge disaster. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case. In March, Russian nuclear accident specialist Iouli Andreev said:

The IAEA should share blame for standards, he said, arguing it was too close to corporations building and running plants. And he dismissed an emergency incident team set up by the Vienna-based agency as "only a think-tank not a working force":
"This is only a fake organization because every organization which depends on the nuclear industry - and the IAEA depends on the nuclear industry - cannot perform properly.

It appears that the IAEA is biased and all too willing to help a corrupt industry that is more concerned with protecting their interests than the well being of people around the world. We shouldn't only be concerned with the health and wellbeing of people in Japan either. Today, the Medical Daily reported:

Study Connects U.S. Deaths to Fukushima, Contradicts EPA Reports
In the 14 weeks after Fukushima fallout arrived in the U.S., deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rose 4.46 percent from the same period in 2010, or roughly 14,000 deaths. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.

The reason they've tried to cover up the amount of radiation released and the harm caused by the Fukushima disaster is that it questions the legitimacy of the entire nuclear power industry... an industry that appears to be without any impartial or proper oversight.

It's time to follow Germany's lead and close all nuclear power plants worldwide.