In Fukushima Japan, we’ve passed another week out of eternity. Quakes rocked the damaged reactors, at the accident now rated Level 7, like Chernobyl. The evacuation zone was expanded, massive radiation admitted, and found in milk from Hawaii through California to Vermont and Europe.
I’m Alex Smith. This week on Radio Ecoshock we dig to find you the news not heard. In Japan, North America, Australia, all over this world, reconsecrated to the atomic nightmare.
We start out with the American nuclear expert, industry insider and whistleblower Arnie Gundersen, with a detailed investigation of each reactor. Where is plutonium coming from, where it going, where is panic only appropriate?
Later we’ll chat with California activist Ace Hoffman, who told us this was coming, and worries about his own local reactors.
All through, you’ll get news from Japan, and the world media, from the epicentre of a nuclear sore that will ooze radioactivity for centuries. Fukushima, the name we never knew, the name we can never forget.
We’ll talk about conspiracy and mutiny:
* plots to unseat Prime Minister Kan,
* big utility corporations who won’t follow political orders,
* the possibility Japan uses the nuclear power industry to stockpile
* and a final competition for the new nuclear renassance – cleaning up the radioactive mess at Fukushima!
That’s a 30 year long pot of gold to the lucky winner. Will it be French Prime Minister Sarkozy‘s Areva Corp – or Jeff Imhelt’s General Electric. Funny, both visited Japan in the last week or so. Just a coincidence. All that and more below.
Prime Minister Sarkozy’s Areva Corp – or Jeff Imhelt’s General Electric. Funny, both visited Japan in the last week or so. Just a coincidence. All that and more below.
First I’m going to run your radio head through the media meat grinder – hacking Fukushima. Along the way we explore some issues raised in our Radio Ecoshock interview with Arnie Gundersen.
DON’T MISS THAT RADIO INTERVIEW WITH GUNDERSEN!
I hope to have time to generate a transcript this weekend, but we’ll see.
We discuss the probability that very radioactive materials, from stronium through uranium to plutonium are loose in the Japanese countryside without proper warning to the citizens. A single test for Strontium-90, which is attracted to bone marrow and increases cases of leukemia – was found more than 30 kilometers from the plant, according to Kyodo news.
Scroll down in this story by blogger Alexander Higgens to find traces of uranium-234 and uranium-238 from Fukushima found in Hawaii, California, and Washington State by the U.S. EPA.
What does the Japanese government know, and when will they tell us?
Why did the Canadian government refuse to test milk? (Now, after fantastic pressure, the Canucks say they will test milk in British Columbia. Even though radioactive milk has been found in Vermont and other states.)
Arnie Gundersen has a lot of revelations and explanations you should not miss. You’ve been told.
CONTEST: BIGGEST WHITEWASH BY A MAINSTREAM REPORTER (this week)
The prize for biggest whitewash from a Western reporter goes to…. [drum roll] no, not George Monbiot, but long-time BBC Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh.
[BBC 110412 Pallab Ghosh ]
He tells us Fukushima is nothing like Chernobyl, and was only upgraded because of technicalities in the International Scale (INES) . Let’s join as Pallab and his long-time employer the BBC take up this analysis….
PALLAB GHOSH: “….in an incident requires long-term remedial action then it has to be regarded as 7 and also if there are human health consequences, well…
PRESENTER: And what are the human health consequences now? Are they worse than previously thought? Is it spread further, I mean we have these exclusion zone being widened…
GHOSH: Well that’s the point. The levels of radiation are relatively low, especially compared to Chernobyl. It’s just on a technical point that it has been raised to 7.
I think what a lot of people have been saying is that this reveals the inadequacy of this system which is supposed to be like the magnitude scale for earthquakes. …
PRESENTER: But people living in the area, are they at short-term, long-term, any risks from cancer, from health risks, from the food, from the water?
GHOSH: Well at the moment, the levels of radiation are low so there is very little if any risk to people living in the area…”
Gosh, and here I was worried about the tens of thousands of nuclear evacuees, and all the Japanese who dutifully stayed in the radioactive dumping zone until that was expanded. I can’t believe Pallab Ghosh was so naive… no risk to people living near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant? Did he miss the memo about plutonium-laden nuclear fuel rods blown a mile and a half out of the site?
DON’T EVER FORGET WHAT HAPPEND TO THE FUEL POOL AT REACTOR 4
Most of the radiation that YOU may be receiving flooded out from Japan in the first four days of the accident. More is coming daily, and as Arnie Gundersen warned, we could still get an even bigger does. Don’t ever forget what happened at Reactor 4.
I want to briefly take you back to March 14th in Japan, 3 days after the quake struck. Here is Russia Today.
[RT 110314 Panic Call all 6]
On the same day, a Russia Today reporter calls in about the #4 spent fuel pond, which I suspect as one of the major sources of contamination of Japan, North America and the Northern Hemisphere.
[RT 110414 Spent #4 fuel pond]
Here is a clip from NHK World Japanese television March 14:
[NHK World 110314 #4 fire]
And finally the next day, with the fire still raging in Reactor 4 fuel pond on the 15th, along with the open-to-the-sky bonfire of the spent fuel of Reactor 3 next door.
[NHK World 110315 #4 and #3 on fire]
There are repeated press stories saying that raw fuel rods littered the reactor plant site, preventing human access to at least the Reactor 3 building, with an almost eerie silence about what was going on in Reactor #4. Here is just one story from the pile, NHK World April 9th, when areas of the plant could not be reached by anything human, almost a month after the quake.
[NHK World 110409 Unmanned no-go area]
DEATHS AND INJURIES – A LITTLE INFO DRIBBLES OUT…
Now on the subject of deaths and injuries, three people are admitted dead at the reactor sites. One was a crane operator killed at the other Fukushima Daiini site. At Fukushima Dai-ichi, two worker’s bodies were “missing” for over two weeks, and finally retrieved from a reactor building, or tunnel. Tepco and the government say they died in the tsunami or earthquake. Their bodies were highly radioactive.
Do we have to take the authorities word for how they died?
About 29 others were injured, some of them due to radioactivity. At least nineteen workers or firemen at Fukushima received at least a lifetime dose of radiation, although we are not told how much.
Let’s listen in to this informative report from NHK World April 11th. [Radio only]
In that same broadcast, we also learn an emergency response crew was cut off from Tokyo at the start of the accident, unable to pass on critical info, because their power was out too.
Plus the Japanese TV saying “massive” amounts of radiation has been released.
[NHK World 110411 deaths, injuries, ]
Despite those published reports of injuries, the head of NISA, the Nuclear Information and Safety Agency, Director-General Kenkichi Hirose says there has been no direct impact on human health!
What an incredible statement, as hundreds of thousands of Japanese have been irradiated, by radioactive food, water, or directly through the air – with known consequences for the future. NHK World, quoting the head of NISA as he explains away the disaster as being much less than Chernobyl, makes this historic statement on April 12th. No direct impact on human health!
[NHK World 110412 No Impact]
A PROBLEM FOR THE REST OF THIS CENTURY
Shaun Burnie, an independent nuclear consultant from Scotland told Russia Today TV on April 4th,
“Twenty five years after Chernobyl, they’re still struggling with contamination on the site and the threat of further releases. Fukushima is 3 reactors and many, many more tons of spent fuel than is contained in Chernobyl. So this is an issue we’re going to be talking about probably for the rest of the century and beyond.”
IS JAPAN STOCKPILING PLUTONIUM FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
In another paper, “Thinking the Unthinkable – Japanese nuclear power and proliferation in East Asia“, Shaun and co-author Frank Barnabie suggest Japan has used its nuclear power industry to create all the necessary materials to create a nuclear bomb very quickly. Japan is, they suggest, a de facto nuclear state, which would not be surprising considering North Korea has threatened to send a nuclear missile to Japan, while testing just such a missile in the Sea of Japan.
And think of all the possible threats from China, or even Russia.
There is an even bigger conspiracy theory: someone plots to use this nuclear disaster to unseat Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and reseat the former Liberal party, who created the nuclear system in Japan. The
article by Yoichi Shimatsu published at globalresearch.ca is wild but still plausible. Published April 13th, the title is: “Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant? U.S.-Japan security treaty fatally delayed nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown.”
I find little proof that Reactor 4 was involved in a secret reactor program. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Loaded with American bases, if Japan wanted to develop bomb fuel, it would use a publicly visible reactor, perhaps at Fukushima.
But there is lots of agreement that Prime Minister Kan and his government are on shaky grounds themselves. They just lost more power in recent local elections. Former political suitors are now moving away. No one want to be left with sticky nuclear memories on their suits.
Like most people so far, on Fukushima I am no longer sure what is true. These internal struggles may explain the constant contradictions in the media from various agencies and Tepco. For example that Level 7 announcement was advanced, retracted, and then announced again, with apologies. The Japanese press, normally timid, inquired why? This may be significant. See this related April 11 story
“Tepco tardy on N-plant emergency” by Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japanese newspaper.
The Japanese Prime Minister was reportedly unable to control Tepco, the nuclear utility owner of Fukushima. The utility company delay may have caused the first hydrogen explosion at Reactor 1 – but Tepco later blamed the Prime Minister himself, saying they had to wait for his flyover. Warfare in the radioactive trenches!
It sounds like atomic court intrigue – a battle royal behind the scenes in Japan, with impacts on the unfolding disaster, the people of Japan, and all of us.
And there’s another kind of conspriracy swirling around the damaged plant. Nuclear-Industrial titans with their political allies, nations and campaign contributions want the new new nuclear renassiance: gazillions of dollars to clean up the mess they made.
The partnership that built Fukushima, General Electric, and now their newer partner Hitachi, have sent in a plan to dismantle Fukushima One. Their partners are the usual suspects: American nuke giant Exelon, Obama’s campaign funder, and mega-project specialist Bechtel Corp.
The prize: more than a trillion yen, at least twelve billion dollars, with another twenty or thirty billion in cost over-runs I suggest – in a super-contract lasting decades. Disaster capitalism at its best.
Maybe that is one reason why GE CEO Jeff Imhelt went to Japan after the accident. The first foreign dignitary guest was French President Sarkozy. Is it coincidence his national company Areva is hooking up with nuclear supplier Toshiba to put in the rival bid for this endless pot of gold?
Read all about it in the article “Hitachi, GE Submit Plan to Dismantle Fukushima Nuclear Plant” by Mariko Yasu and Maki Shiraki in Bloomberg April 12th. If we can’t make money building them, we’ll profit from the disaster…
REACTORS STILL OUT OF CONTROL
On Monday 11th, three new earthquakes rattled Japan again. Tepco reported power was cut, and cooling stopped at Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors for 50 minutes. One spokesman, Mr. Iguchi told the Wall Street Journal there was a high risk of flare up. Temperatures and pressure levels in Reactor 1 remain high. Two thirds of the fuel core is exposed to air, with no cooling. Iguchi said: “There could esily be more melting of the core.”
In the newspaper “Japan Today” April 12, a Tepco official said, quote:
‘‘The radiation leak has not stopped completely and our concern is that the amount of leakage could eventually reach that of Chernobyl, or exceed it,’’
Check out this evaluation by Thomas Bruer, atomic expert from Greenpeace Germany, courtesy of Democracy Now April 11th. He says Fukushima is not equal to Chernobly. It is way worse.
In California, one of the worst and most prone-quake plants, the Diablo Canyon reactors featured two weeks ago on Radio Ecdoshock, have withdrawn their application for relicensing. The owner PG&E has finally given in to public demands for new seismic risk testing. Fukushima did what years of court battles and protests could not.
To get more news about the impact of Fukushimi radiation on the United States, visit the blog of news-hound Alexander Higgins. He found EPA charts showing milk samples in Hawaii 800% above the federal limits for Cesium-134 in drinking water. It’s just below the federal drinking water limit in milk found in Los Angeles, and shows up as far away as dairy cows in Montpelier Vermont and Spokane, Washington.
WORST REACTOR OF THE WEEK: SAN ONOFRE – interview with ACE HOFFMAN
This week’s “Worst Reactor of the Week” has to be San Onofre in Southern California. It’s right on two earthquake fault lines, and right down by the sea, waiting to be swept away by a tsunami. We get more from the surfer’s friend, long-time anti-nuke and media activist Ace Hoffman. find some of his nuclear plant warning videos here on You tube.
[Ace Hoffman interview]
Meanwhile the island of Japan feels more like a ship in rough seas than land at all. With hundreds of aftershocks – at levels called major earthquakes anywhere else, with food and power shortages, regular life breaking down, fear for mothers, fear for parents, children afraid, a historic loss. I join you in sending my condolences not just for the tens of thousands who lost their lives, but the millions of citizens
who must say a sad goodbye to the innocence of the old Japan, now passing into something new and unrecognizable.
You and I will following shortly.
At least people in Japan are finally questioning authority!!
This is from Voice of America April 10th.
[VOA Thousands Protest against Hamaoke nuclear plant Southwest of Tokyo – right on the sea and a quake line, with lousy tsunami protection].
My thanks to all the listeners who sent links, and especially Carolyn Baker with her fine news service.
Hear another new Fukushima song “After the 9.0” by Vastman at soundclick.com.
This week you heard music clips from the new song “Talkin’ End Game – It’s the Radioactive Song” by Dylan tribute artist Michel Montecrossa. I found it on You tube.
I’m Alex Smith. Thank you for listening to Radio Ecoshock.
Get tons of free audio mp3 downloads at our web site, ecoshock.org.