Friday, August 2, 2013


I am married to a man who spent decades researching and speaking about the dangers of the nuclear power industry. Because he has a clear grasp of the scientific aspects of the grave threat hovering over life on this planet, he continues to be appalled at the silence and indifference of the corporate press and the U.S. public who depend upon it for their "news."

If the media outlets that command so much attention with celebrity birth news were reflecting reality right now, they would be running headlines like this:

      ------ EXTRA! EXTRA! ------
Bequerels of radiation increasing exponentially
Strontium-90 among radioactive isotopes detected in groundwater mixed with sea water indicates core is in meltdown; mixing of fresh and salt water indicates pollutants are leaking into Pacific Ocean.

Instead, those who care must sift through highly technical reports like this one and connect their own dots between the scientific facts:  
950,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of Cs-134/137 was detected from reactor2 seawater trench shaft....They also measured 520,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of all β nuclides to include Strontium-90. The chloride concentration was 7,500 ppm.
Of course there are plenty of smart people who are paying attention; it's just that they have no way to break through the wall of silence imposed by media corporations owned by the same people who profit from building nuclear reactors -- and who lose big money if their criminal liability is exposed in disasters at nuclear power plants.

Carol Wolman, bless her heart, has been sending around a petition to U.S. senators serving West coast states, calling on them for an independent investigation that sidesteps TEPCO and its inability to contain Fukushima's meltdown. Wolman shared a really scary article published on July 24, "Rising Tritium Could Trigger Huge Fukushima Blasts" by Yoichi Shimatsu, a former editor of the Japan Times Weekly (a publication I used to write for). It read, in part:
Two serious threats are emerging during this tritium build-up: 
- medical effects of exposure to beta particles on top of gamma radiation from the Fukushima releases; 
- and more ominous, the possibility of a tritium-deuterium fusion reaction that triggers a plutonium blast more powerful than the 2011 explosion at Reactor 3. 
Apologists for the nuclear industry, including the Wall Street Journal, boldly assert beta radiation emitted by tritium poses no health threat. This irresponsible claim is based on a gross underestimate of the effects of beta rays. While less powerful than gamma radiation, beta radiation can ionize DNA. Externally beta rays can be blocked by a thin sheet of metal foil, but inside human tissues there are no physical barriers to prevent beta particles from rupturing chromosomes.
There are measures that could be taken to ward off the blast Shimatsu warns us of, but pretty much everyone agrees that TEPCO lacks both the will and the ability to spring into action.

My spirit grows weary of repeating the same formula to the pack of evil moronsknown as energy executives, nuclear engineers, government bureaucrats and politicians. But here we go again, preaching to the wicked. 
The underground corium pockets can be detected by radiation scanners and with blast tomography, which reveals the locations of larger concentrations. Next, steam-injection pumps used at near-exhausted oil fields should be deployed to pump borax solution into those pockets. Borax unlike boric acid, crystallizes in solution, thereby partitioning the underground spaces with neutron-absorbing barriers. Subdivided into smaller cysts, the fissile materials will be deprived of critical mass.
Evil morons would also have been an apt term for those scientists, politicians and bureaucrats who conspired to drop nuclear bombs on Japan at the end of the Pacifica phase of WWII. Why it wasn't necessary, and the lasting effects for all of us, have been amply documented elsewhere for those with ears to hear the truth.

Meanwhile, my friend Bruce Gagnon has just returned from Asia and Australia on a speaking tour and fact-finding mission about the so-called Pacific Pivot, planned by the Pentagon and announced through their mouthpiece Barack Obama. In his blog Organizing Notes Gagnon writes:'s clear that Obama's "pivot" is more than the Navy - the US Air Force also has big plans to expand this provocative and expensive encirclement of China. 
As we approach Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) days of remembrance it is vital to understand that any hopes for nuclear disarmament are being smashed to bits by the US military surrounding of Russia and China.  Russia and China have no incentive nor military justification to contemplate reducing their nukes at the same time the Pentagon's rope tightens around their necks. 
Nuclear disarmament activists should listen to Russia and China as they react to US moves.  They are being upfront about their reluctance to shrink their retaliatory capability.  Disarmament activists need to be talking much more about US "missile defense," naval, and Air Force moves into the Asia-Pacific.  All of these destabilizing deployments are killers to hopes for nuclear abolition.
Kind of like the destabilizing meltdown of Fukushima is a killer to hopes for the future of life on Earth.

Too discouraging? Try looking at pictures of bunnies for a few minutes. Then, get back to work sharing information.
From the excellent information website Fukushima Diary. It has a KAWAII (cute) tab with pictures to relieve stress.

1 comment:

El said...

My ongoing frustration with lack of media attention to this life-threatening and burgeoning event - tightens my gut regularly. Adding the military build-up to realities is truly horrifying. Thank you for your diligence - I do all I can to pass along Fukushima updates on Facebook, but most of my friends tuned that out nearly two years ago after initial reports.