The 2011 Fukushima catastrophe is an ongoing disaster whose end only gets more remote as time passes. The government is desperate to get evacuees back into their homes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the problems on the ground, and in the breached reactor vessels, are only getting more serious and costly, as unbelievable volumes of radiation contaminate land, air and ocean. Six years after the catastrophe at Fukushima, the situation is still far from being resolved, still ongoing. Three reactor core meltdowns still releasing radioactive nanoparticles into the open skies, contaminated water is still leaking continuously into the Pacific ocean, and partially decontaminated water is being dumped into the ocean. All available information and figures are controlled by Tepco and the Japanese government, with no independent party allowed to verify the veracity of the given information. A massive public relations campaign of disinformation and denial is under way, to brainwash the Japanese population and the whole world that everything is now under control and OK. Systematic denial of the radiation risks for the people’s health is the rule, economics being the Japanese government priority, not public health protection.
Ecologist 10th March 2017 read more »
On the abandoned streets of Fukushima, there is a new rule of law – and it’s set by emboldened wild boar. Hundreds of bristling, aggressive, radioactive boar are roaming wild in the towns deserted in the wake of 2011 nuclear disaster. Those in charge of cleaning up the town are struggling to cope, strengthening the reluctance of former residents to return home. In three years since 2014 the number of boars killed has more than quadrupled – from 3,000 to 13,000, reports The New York Times. Disposal of their bodies is now a problem. Although boar is a delicacy, these animals are too toxic to eat. One city, which had set up mass graves, has run out of space. Another city, which had built special incinerators to filter out the radioactivity, is struggling to staff the furnaces.
The i Newspaper 10th March 2017 read more »
Gesturing as if with guns, two boys in Tokyo repeatedly taunted a girl whose family fled to Japan’s capital to escape radioactivity unleashed by the Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011. Tormented by headaches and weight loss, the girl began to skip classes, and switched schools to escape the bullies, her mother told Reuters. But the very radiation that uprooted the family brought more pain in her new home. Six years after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima meltdown, several cases of “nuclear bullying”, as the Japanese media calls them, have prompted discrimination similar to that suffered by survivors of the World War Two atom bombs.
Independent 10th March 2017 read more »
With the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster falling tomorrow, nuclear lobbyists are arguing over solutions to the existential crisis facing nuclear power, writes Jim Green. Some favour a multinational consolidation of large conventional reactor designs, while others back technological innovation and ‘small modular reactors’. But in truth, both approaches are doomed to failure. Scientists are wondering how on earth to stabilise and decontaminate the failed reactors awash with molten nuclear fuel, which are fast turning into graveyards for the radiation-hardened robots sent in to investigate them. Kendra Ulrich from Greenpeace Japan notes in a new report that “for those who were impacted by the worst nuclear disaster in a generation, the crisis is far from over. And it is women and children that have borne the brunt of human rights violations resulting from it, both in the immediate aftermath and as a result of the Japan government’s nuclear resettlement policy.” Radiation biologist Ian Fairlie summarises the health impacts from the Fukushima disaster:”In sum, the health toll from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is horrendous. At the minimum: Over 160,000 people were evacuated most of them permanently. Many cases of post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders arising from the evacuations. About 12,000 workers exposed to high levels of radiation, some up to 250 mSv An estimated 5,000 fatal cancers from radiation exposures in future. Plus similar (unquantified) numbers of radiogenic strokes, CVS diseases and hereditary diseases. Between 2011 and 2015, about 2,000 deaths from radiation-related evacuations due to ill-health and suicides. An, as yet, unquantified number of thyroid cancers. An increased infant mortality rate in 2012 and a decreased number of live births in December 2011.” Nuclear advocates and lobbyists elsewhere are increasingly talking about the ‘crisis’ facing nuclear power – but they don’t have the myriad impacts of the Fukushima disaster in mind: they’re more concerned about catastrophic cost overruns with reactor projects in Europe and the US. Michael Shellenberger from the Breakthrough Institute, a US-based pro-nuclear lobby group, has recently written articles about nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis” and the “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West”.
Ecologist 10th March 2017 read more »