Fukushima – More of an Impact on the Northern Hemisphere Than You May Think
The nuclear disaster that took place at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant last March has sparked a lot of well deserved inquiries about the possible exposure in the US from the radioactive fallout. As the situation continues to unfold, and news reports have all but ceased, it is difficult to get accurate information about radiation exposure. Certainly in this instance, no news is not necessarily good news. All along officials have painted the health risks as isolated to the immediate area around Fukushima, yet a growing body of evidence indicates there may be more of an impact worldwide than we think, especially for North America.
In fact, the current proposal by the EPA to change the PAG’s (Protective Action Guides) to raise the acceptable levels of radiation in our food, the environment, and humans in the event of a “nuclear emergency” is enough to cause speculation. Before we go into how much radiation the US has actually been exposed to, let’s look at what officials and the media have not been telling us.
Fukushima Continues to Worsen by the Day
Regardless of what officials are, or are not reporting, the Fukushima crisis continues to worsen. (predicted in Messages) What we do know at this point is that not only did 3 of the reactors melt down, but they have melted through. (confirmed in Messages) A “melt through” occurs when radioactive fuel burns through the outer containment vessels of the reactors into the ground and water. The findings of the report were revealed by the Yomiuri newspaper, which described a “melt-through” as being “far worse than a core meltdown” and “the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.”
Dr MV Ramana, a physicist with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University who specializes in issues of nuclear safety, told Al Jazeera he expects the plant reactors and fuel cores to be cooled enough for a shutdown within two years. “But it is going to take a very long time before the fuel can be removed from the reactor,” he added. “Dealing with the cracking and compromised structure (confirmed in Messages) and dealing with radiation in the area will take several years, there’s no question about that.”
Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president told Al Jazeera, “Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.” (confirmed in Messages) He gives a grim assessment of solving this crisis. (predicted in Messages) “Units 1 through 3 have nuclear waste on the floor, the melted core has plutonium in it, and that has to be removed from the environment for hundreds of thousands of years,” (predicted in Messages) he said. “Somehow, robotically, they will have to go in there and manage to put it in a container and store it for infinity, and that technology doesn’t exist. (confirmed in Messages) Nobody knows how to pick up the molten core from the floor, there is no solution available now for picking that up from the floor.”
As the situation continues to grow worse (predicted in Messages), at least three explosions at the site have weakened critical structures there (confirmed in Messages) . Massive leakages may have softened the earth (confirmed in Messages) and undermined some of the buildings’ foundations (confirmed in Messages) . Since there is no understanding of how to clean or remove the nuclear waste (confirmed in Messages), further explosions, or aftershocks, or another earthquake like the one that occurred on June 23 could bring on structural collapses with catastrophic fallout (all points predicted in Messages).
With no end in sight (predicted in Messages) as far as cooling the reactors is concerned, officials and the media have provided us a great disservice by minimizing the significance (confirmed in Messages) of the fallout from the meltdown and melt-through of these reactors. There is still fissioning (confirmed in Messages), and the cumulative amount of spent fuel released into the atmosphere from the Daiichi complex is debatable at best. Many nuclear experts claim that readings from officials have been drastically underestimated (confirmed in Messages).
What’s more, the time frame for the “Chernobyl Option” seems to have passed. It appears that bombing the facility with boron, sand, water and cement as was done with Chernobyl, is not going to happen. There are no official plans to bury this thing for good. In their usual manner, and often conflicting with non-invested 3rd party opinions, TEPCO’s latest estimate was 9 months before this situation could be under control. (Messages said "out of control") . So what does this mean for Japan and the rest of the world?
Is Complacency Leading Us Down a Deceptive Path?
The current complacency displayed by officials in Japan, here in the US and around the world (Messages speak of "lies" and "invented stories") has led global citizens to believe there is really nothing to worry about. (Messages criticize lack of information or misinformation) To downplay and minimize a situation (confirmed in Messages) that may be the worst nuclear disaster in history (confirmed in Messages) is a blatant disregard for human life and environmental health with disastrous consequences (predicted since the beginning in the Messages) to play out in the years to come.
Earlier in May Japan released an aerial map showing high levels of radioactive contamination (confirmed in Messages) spreading over an area nearly 4 times greater than was originally admitted. A nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan - is now likely uninhabitable. (vast uninhabitable zone confirmed in Messages) Yet people residing in these areas were not immediately evacuated (criticized in Messages), and whether or not the entire area is completely evacuated now, remains to be determined. (evacuation zone should have been much greater according to Messages which recommened 50 km in the first place, then 200 and 300 km, now up to 1,000 km !)
To release this kind of information to the media, downplay its severity, then fail to take immediate action (criticized in Messages) is an extreme case of denial that bestows a false sense of security not only to Japanese citizens, but to the entire world (whole world concerned predicted in Messages). Why aren’t these people being evacuated? (criticized and recommended urgently in Messages) Why is the Japanese government not instructing its citizens on how to protect themselves? (criticized and recommended urgently in Messages) And why hasn’t this thing been shut down? (urgently recommended in Messages)
What Does this Mean for the US and the Rest of the Northern Hemisphere?
Whether it’s 9 months or 2 years before officials can bring the Fukushima Daiichi plant under control, the ongoing fallout (predicted in Messages) most certainly will have devastating consequences as the world’s oceans (predicted in Messages) are concerned, and time will tell just how destructive this massive disaster will be on the entire world (predicted in Messages) as radiation continues (predicted in Messages) to be swept up by the jet stream and circulated throughout the northern hemisphere. This is especially disconcerting for the US and all of North America since the jet stream generally flows from the west to the east.
“Dangerous levels of radioactive iodine and cesium have already contaminated the sea (confirmed in Messages), the soil, groundwater, and the air (confirmed in Messages). Plutonium was detected (confirmed in Messages) for the first time outside the stricken plant, and Strontium-90 (confirmed in Messages), known as a bone seeker because it can cause bone cancer and Leukemia, has now been found as far away as 60 kilometers (extension of evacuation zone recommended numerous times in Messages) (37+ miles) from the facility,” said reporter Mark Willacy of the Australian Broadcast Corporation in a recent Lateline interview (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/cont…). And with large scale radioactive isotopes still leaking into the air, underground aquifers, soil, and the ocean (confirmed in Messages), somehow we’re supposed to believe that this is not going to have a major impact worldwide.
In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35% spike in infant mortality in northwest cities (many deaths predicted in Messages) that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.
The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.
By the end of March state agencies in several states including, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington reported that radiation was detected in the atmosphere, drinking water, and soil (worldwide impact predicted in Messages). In response, the Federal regulatory agencies and their media subsidiaries were quick to assure us that there really was no reason for concern. Virtually every report given by the media about the Fukushima fallout suggested or implicitly stated the radiation levels were “harmless” or “miniscule” and there really was no need for alarm (Messages repeatedly criticized that situation was minimized). Really?
Sufficient evidence exists that radiation levels were much higher than reported, and that is really only the tip of the iceberg. What about the Radioiodine-131 in rainwater sample near San Francisco at 18,100% above federal drinking water standards, or the radiation detected in drinking water in 13 US cities and Cesium-137 in Vermont milk? (contamination of water, food and milk all predicted in Messages)
To help generalize this situation, it may be helpful to understand what happened with Chernobyl, and then compare it to what is happening with Fukushima. The perspective will most certainly make you look at the current situation much differently. Here is a computer simulation by researchers at Kyushu University, that shows calculated dispersal of radioactive dust from the Fukushima plant beginning at 9 p.m. on March 14 (Messages gave alert on March 11), spreading across North America and reaching Europe. (worldwide fallout predicted in Messages from the beginning)
Fukushima May Possibly Be 20 Times Worse than Chernobyl
In early April, Japan raised the crisis level at Fukushima from a level 5 event to a level 7 event on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, the same level as Chernobyl. The primary purpose of the INES Scale is to facilitate communication and understanding between the technical community, the media and the public on the safety significance of events. The aim is to keep the public, as well as nuclear authorities, accurately informed on the occurrence and potential consequences of reported events.
This new ranking to a level 7 signified that Fukushima was now considered a “major accident” that included widespread effects on the environment and human health. (predicted in Messages) So widespread in fact, that it has become blatantly obvious officials are lying, withholding information, and downplaying a major catastrophe (criticized many times in Messages, saying that the public must be informed on the dangers of radiation to enable people to protect themselves). To lead the public to believe that Fukushima incident is not exponentially worse than Chernobyl is to deliberately use systems of measurement that ignore the math, twist the data, and minimize catastrophic consequences to keep the public in the dark. (criticized many times in Messages)
Chernobyl contained 190 Tons of fuel at the time of the crisis and involved only one reactor, and only 57.6 Tons of Chernobyl’s spent fuel went into the atmosphere. In dramatic contrast, the Daiichi complex in Fukushima contained approximately 1,760 Tons of fresh and used fuel, six reactors were involved, three of them melted through (confirmed in Messages), and at least one spent fuel pool in the fourth reactor may have been entirely exposed to air and caught fire (confirmed in Messages). It is tilting and may be sinking, with potentially devastating consequences (predicted in Messages).
Here’s the clencher. Fukushima’s Daichii facility has 3 nuclear reactors exposed and 4 fuel cores exposed. According to Gundersen, “There is most likely the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled (since the beginning, Messages advised to urgently cool the reactors), and there is no means to cool them effectively.” ("out of control" said in the Messages) Chernobyl had 1 core exposed, thus making this situation potentially 20 times worse than Chernobyl. “The data I’m seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man’s-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometers being found 60 to 70 kilometers away from the reactor (evacuation zone up to 300 km, latest up to 1,000 km recommended in Messages). You can’t clean all this up ("impossible to decontaminate" said in Messages "as radiation will go on"). We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl.”
With all of this, and for unthinkable reasons the Japanese government has no immediate plans to seal this thing off. The units are still emitting radioactive gases and an enormous amount of radioactive liquid. (confirmed in Messages) Experts believe it will be at least a year before it stops boiling, and until it stops boiling, it’s going to be spewing radioactive steam and liquids (Messages predicted ongoing radiation for a very long time). Considering that Fukushima sits right on the ocean, that Reactor 4 appears to be in grave danger (confirmed in Messages), and the country just experienced another earthquake (more earthquakes predicted, one very catastrophic to come soon according to Messages), how can this scenario NOT be worse than Chernobyl? Is it possibly because there is no science to deal with this (confirmed in Messages), that no one has ever imagined a situation to this magnitude?
Chernobyl - Responsible for Nearly 1,000,000 Deaths
The book, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” published by the New York Academy of Sciences was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus. Drawing upon extensive data, the authors estimate the number of deaths worldwide due to Chernobyl fallout from 1986 through 2004 was 985,000, a number that has since increased. By contrast, WHO and the IAEA estimated 9,000 deaths and some 200,000 people sickened in 2005.
To generalize the big picture, the Japanese government doesn’t appear to be willing or able, as if their hands are “tied”, to stop a level 7 nuclear event, one that includes “widespread” effects on the environment and human health (predicted in Messages). They have oscillated back and forth between denial and admitting the bare essentials, and other governments, including the US, have turned their cheek to this entire situation (criticized in Messages). If Fukushima is in fact, potentially 20 times worse than Cherynobyl this is a serious problem, because without adequate and honest information the Japanese, American, and global public are severely limited in understanding the seriousness of the situation and most importantly, how to protect themselves (lack of information from the Government how to protect oneself from radiation many times criticized in Messages).
Plutonium, or “Pluto”, God of the Underworld…No Kidding!
Probably the most troubling factor that sets Fukushima worlds apart from Chernobyl is that the Daichii facility’s Reactor 3 used MOX fuel (mixed oxide fuel) which contains plutonium (danger of plutonium explained in Messages). This fuel is 2,000,000 times more radioactive and toxic than the Uranium-235 rods used in Chernobyl. It releases far higher doses of gamma and neutron radiation than Uranium. Dr. Helen Caldicott, a nuclear disarmament activist for over 38 years stated in a press release shortly after the March 11 incident the grim realities of radioactive plutonium. “One millionth of a gram if inhaled will give you cancer (many cancers predicted from the beginning in Messages). Hypothetically, one pound of evenly distributed plutonium could give every single person on earth cancer. Each reactor has 250 kilograms of plutonium…you only need to 2.5 kilograms of plutonium to make a bomb…If plutonium is spread into the air and sea, the ramifications may be wide spread death of vegetation and animals.” (catastrophic worldwide consequences predicted in Messages)
Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, a disarmament educator and activist who has been engaged in the nuclear industry for over 20 years, told Al Jazeera that radioactive Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years, which means it is carcinogenic and mutagenic for up to 250,000 years, or 12,000 human generations (Messages predicted that reactors will release radioactivity for eternity). A radioactive half-life means that in this case, in 24,000 years, half of the ionizing radiation will have decayed, then in another 24,000 years half of that radiation will decay, etc. “That’s not really understandable or explainable in a conventional sense of knowing,” Sullivan said, “We have to apply our moral imagination to 12,000 generations to even begin to understand what we are doing in this moment.” “This is permanent and irreversible,” she added. (predicted in Messages)