Over 18 months ago, the reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station went into meltdown. Large amounts of radioactive material were released. And the world seems to have forgotten about it, or at least pretend that it’s all finished.
TOKYO (majirox news) — But it’s not over. According to The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), children and young people are still being exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity that continue to linger in the atmosphere and affect the safety of food.
“Many children have already developed abnormalities in their thyroid glands,” they said.
The Network has been monitoring the effects of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Incident since the March 11, 2011 disaster. Ten priests from around the world, including Thailand, the US, Japan and India, recently toured Fukushima prefecture, including the cities of Sukagawa and Nihonmatsu and the high-radiation areas of Ita-te village and Minamisoma.
Michinori Sasaki, the vice-principal of Doho kindergarten and priest of Shingyoji Temple in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima, said, “the children have health problems that they didn’t have before, including thyroid diseases. Almost every night parents come to our temple crying about the their children’s health problems and their future.”
Sasaki worries about his own four children as well.
“My wife and I want to leave this city because my children are sick and have diseases, but I can’t throw away my temple.”
Residents face difficult choices along with the loss of their livelihoods and the destruction of the communities in which they have grown up. The choice between remaining or evacuating has broken up marriages.
“Parents fight,” Sasaki said. “The mothers want to leave and take their children to a safer area, but the fathers can’t leave since they can’t find jobs outside.”
The Network priests say the people are not getting direct help from the government.
here is ongoing and serious negligence by the Japanese government, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and other responsible parties of providing timely and accurate information on radiation levels, proper health standards, and responses regarding appropriate lifestyles responses for the people living in these regions,” they say.
There are criticisms of the way that money has been spent. Billions of dollars allocated to help victims of the disaster have been diverted elsewhere, it is claimed.
According to the Japanese media, “the Japanese government suspended 35 projects that were receiving money from the nation’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster reconstruction fund. Recently, it was discovered that portions of the reconstruction budget were going to causes completely unrelated to the disaster. As much as one quarter of the 11.7 trillion yen (approx. $148 billion) fund was being diverted to other projects. These included the construction of a contact lens factory in a another part of Japan, and $30 million event went to the nation’s controversial whale hunting program.”
Katsuko Arima, who owns a restaurant in Fukushima, agrees that the people are not getting direct help from the government.
“We are told what hospital to go to by the government or else they will not support us,” she says. ” That’s because the recommended hospital will not report the truth about the conditions of our health.”
The city of Ita-te is empty except for cows, dogs and cats roaming the streets.
“It’s eerie because the greenery, the birds, and the scenery are so beautiful, but there are no people around,” said Phra Paisan Visalo, a Thai monk touring the area. “I carried a dosimeter when I went into the area and it kept going off because of the high radiation levels.”
Safecast, which is an independent, citizens science volunteer group has been measuring radiation in Fukushima and has collected over 5,000,000 measurements for the past 18 months.
“Our measurements show dose rate values in the range of 0.3uSv to 1.3uSv in Fukushima City and in the range of 2-4uSv/hr in Ita-ite village,” said Pieter Franken of Safecast. “Over the past year we have seen radiation levels in general come down, but the exposure risk is far from over. Seen the challenges encountered in decontamination, the exposure risk will be a long term problem requiring continuos monitoring and caution.”
Residents are allowed into the area a few hours a day to feed the animals.
The local people grabbed the priests and thanked them for listening.
“They wanted us to look at what we saw, and not from the television or newspapers,” Visalo said. “It’s grim. However, we were inspired by their courage and perseverance, and we will offer whatever support we can to their families and children.”
The residents told the priests that the Japanese think the radiation is gone and everything has settled down.
“People are starting to forget,” Arima said. “The disaster is not over and we are still suffering.”
According to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, radioactive apple produced in Fukushima was sold in Hyogo.
Sample : Apple
Origin : Fukushima
Sold : Hyogo
Cs-134 : 9.4 Bq/Kg
Cs-137 : 13 Bq/Kg
Purchase of sample : 11/12/2012
Analysis date : 11/21/2012
Not much information comes out of Japan about Fukushima anymore, and the American MSM seems to have forgotten what watered down reporting they had done earlier. But the human suffering has begun in Japan, and even the Japanese government is trying to pretend it’s not happening.
The curtain is pulled over the total impact of this disaster to protect the nuclear power industry. The government and media blackout has become known as “plume gate” for the radioactive plume that was released from the Fukushima mishap. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035789_Fukushima_Cesium-137_Plume-Gate.html)
The Fukushima reactors were designed by General Electric, and 23 reactors of the USA’s 104 operating reactors are very similar to Fukushima’s. Lately, awareness of nuclear power’s pitfalls is growing and casting a shadow on nuclear power’s illegitimate claim of sustainability and unlimited power.
The suffering has already begun
Thousands of Japanese children from Fukushima and the nearby areas have been diagnosed with cysts and nodules on their thyroid glands. So far, 41.1 percent of 57,000 tested have shown these early warnings of potential thyroid cancer.
Even worse, four out of five Fukushima evacuees have been observed with developing thyroid abnormalities. It’s not just iodide isotopes with their relatively short radioactive half-lives that can penetrate thyroid glands, cesium-37 isotopes with longer half-lives can too. Here’s the shocking truth about radioactive half-life. (http://www.lbl.gov/abc/Basic.html#Half)
However, the official medical line from the head of this research is that maybe they’ve eaten too much seafood or taken too much iodine. It’s also an official decree that the testing be stopped before it begins in other areas of Japan.
Even in Tokyo, doctors are reporting dramatically increased incidents of incurable diarrhea, non-stop nose bleeds, and flu-like symptoms. Some parents are becoming activists in Japan to get at the truth and get their childrentreated properly. Children are more easily affected by radiation poisoning.
A Japanese pediatrician even put out a YouTube video asking for outside help since the Japanese government is not helping as they should. (http://enenews.com)
Dr. Christopher Busby, visiting professor at the University of Ulster’s School of Biomedical Sciences and Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk put out this video about Fukushima. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdvfsBsXNS4)
He’s been attacked. But as a saying goes: “You know you’re getting close to the target when you’re getting flack.” Here’s Busby’s counter attack: http://fukushimaupdate.com
Nuclear power is dangerous no matter how it’s used
Even with flawless operation, the growing problem of where to put power plants’ spent fuel rods, which are actually still very radioactive for centuries, is becoming an issue that’s swept under the rug. Using DU (depleted uranium) for ammunition has been one outlet for nuclear waste.
Depleted uranium is a misleading term. Depleted means it’s not suitable for nuclear reactor use. But it’s still highly radioactive. Uranium metal is extremely hard, and DU is used to on projectiles and bullets in modern warfare because of DU’s ability to penetrate even armor.
When the projectiles hit targets, they explode and a radioactive mist is released into the immediate environment. Even before that, those projectiles tend to ignite and release radioactive materials. These local radioactive mists get into the area’s water and soil and remain for thousands of years.
This has begun in Iraq and elsewhere. These mists can also be carried far away from the immediate areas as radioactive measurements in the UK have demonstrated. In effect, nuclear war has been practiced for decades by the U.S. and its allies by using DU ammunition, which the UN had earlier declared illegal.
A massive underground radioactive waste “tomb” is under construction in Finland. It’s known as Onkalo, and it’s featured in a documentary entitled Into Eternity. Onkalo is only for Finland’s nuclear waste. Sweden and France may follow soon. Will others follow, or is it already too late?
It was the largest radioactive contamination of the sea in history but Japan’s government is disputing a study by a respected international research group suggesting that radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is still entering the food chain.
Last month the US-based Woods Hole Institution revealed that about 40 per cent of the fish caught off Fukushima is contaminated with radioactive caesium which is above the government’s own limit.
But Japan’s Fisheries Agency says the contamination is sinking deeper into the seabed and is not entering the food chain, while the nuclear plant operator TEPCO denies any tainted water is leaking from the facility.
Mark Willacy from Radio Australia has more.
It’s an unfortunate name for a fishing boat from Fukushima, and the irony isn’t lost on the skipper of the Lucky Treasure.
Kozo Endo is a 52-year old fisherman.
« We can’t sell any of these fish, it’s such a waste. We can only catch them for radiation sampling. Those that are left over – well, all of us working on the boat take them home to eat.”
Once Kozo Endo’s haul of halibut, cod, and greenling would have been bound for market and the crew of the Lucky Treasure would be living up to their boat’s name.
But a recent study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United States suggested that in the 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns about 40 per cent of fish caught off the coast there contained radioactive caesium above the government’s safe limit.
This would in turn suggest that radioactive particles have accumulated on the sea floor and are still entering the food chain.
The report’s author is Ken Buesseler.
“There has to be a source, and they’re cooling those reactors quite extensively. Some of that water is getting back into the ocean, either actively being pumped out after some decontamination or through leaks in the building, so not able to contain all of the water that they use to cool.”
There is no doubt that TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, has used millions of litres of water to keep the overheating reactors under control and some of that water, especially in the early days of the crisis, leaked into the sea.
TEPCO spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi.
« We’re doing surveys of the seabed and looking at the things fish eat, such as small organisms like shrimp, but so far we have not found very high levels in either. So at the present time we are not in a position to clearly understand why there is still radiation being found in fish off Fukushima.”
One theory is that radioactive particles deposited on hills and mountains during the meltdowns are slowly washing into rivers and estuaries, and are then being flushed out into the Pacific before settling on the seabed, where it is absorbed by bottom-feeding fish like greenling.
But Japan’s Fisheries agency says it is not enough to contaminate large numbers of marine species.
Koichi Tahara is the fisheries agency researcher.
« We think the caesium is gradually absorbed into the seabed, and once it’s absorbed it becomes more difficult for it to enter back into living organisms. »
But if you’re a fisherman like Lucky Treasure skipper Kozo Endo, the damage has already been done and with 36 species of fish still banned from sale, that means his boat is hardly living up to its name.
The following is the known status as of Saturday morning of each of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the four reactors at the Fukushima Daini plant, both in Fukushima Prefecture, which were crippled by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11.
Due to the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011, TEPCO’s facilities including our nuclear power stations have been severely damaged. We deeply apologize for the anxiety and inconvenience caused.
With regard to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, on April 17, 2011, we have compiled the roadmap towards restoration from the accident and on July 19 we accomplished the Step1 target « Radiation dose is in steady decline ». Then on December 16 we confirmed the accomplishment of the Step 2 target « Release of radioactive materials is under control and radiation doses are being significantly held down ».
In addition, on December 21, 2011, we have compiled the « Mid-to-long-Term Roadmap toward the Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Units 1-4, TEPCO ».
In addition to the maintenance of the plant’s stable condition, we will implement Mid-to-Long Term countermeasures towards the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Units 1-4 to enable evacuees to return to their homes as soon as possible and reduce the anxiety of the people in Fukushima and the whole nation as soon as possible.
Below is the status of TEPCO’s nuclear power stations (Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini).
* The updates are underlined.
[Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station]
・Unit 1 to 4: Abolishment (April 19, 2012)
・Unit 5 to 6: Outage due to regular inspections before the earthquake
-The mega float currently located in the shallow draft quay in the port will be moved to the north side of the port since all the transport crafts need to get to the shore for the construction to be carried out in the port and carry-in of equipment/materials. As the accumulated water transferred from Units 5-6 Turbine Buildings containing low level of radioactive materials is stored in the mega float, the accumulated water was transferred from the mega float to the temporary tanks installed near Units 5-6 from 10:10 AM to 11:59 AM on November 22 for the purpose of mitigating the risk of radioactive material leakage into the sea. The transfer of the accumulated water is planned to be completed within a month or so.
[Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station]
・Unit 1 to 4: Shutdown due to the earthquake.
Asahi: Expert says Japan should be prepared for possibility of M10 quake — “Days of tsunamis” — Only 1 magnitude below asteroid strike
Japan should be prepared for the possibility of a magnitude-10 earthquake, although the chances of a temblor that size are slim, a seismologist said.
If a temblor of such a scale should strike, the underground rupture would continue for 20 minutes to an hour, meaning tsunami could hit coasts before the shaking subsides.
If a 3,000-kilometer stretch from the Japan Trench to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench along the Pacific Ring of Fire has a slip of 60 meters, that would constitute a magnitude-10 earthquake, [professor Toru Matsuzawa of Tohoku University] said.
The energy of a magnitude-11 quake, 30 times more powerful than a magnitude-10 temblor, would be equivalent to that of the asteroid impact that is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago. Such a quake would cause a shift extending more than 20,000 kilometers. Matsuzawa concluded that consideration would not be needed for such an earthquake.
A magnitude-10 quake would be 32 times more powerful than the 9.0 earthquake that hit northeastern Japan in March last year. […]
A magnitude-10 quake would occur, for example, if an 8,800-kilometer fault along a northern Pacific Rim trench shifts 20 meters.
Matsuzawa says such an earthquake would result in tremors lasting 20 minutes to one hour, and trigger days of tsunamis.
Matsuzawa stresses he’s not saying a magnitude-10 quake would definitely occur. But he notes that Japan was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake when it had been expecting a maximum magnitude-8, so people should be aware of what could happen.
- イノシシから３万3000ベクレル 野生鳥獣検査で最大
On 11/20/2012, Fukushima prefecture announced they measured 33,000 Bq/kg of cesium from wild boar in Iwaki city. It was the highest measurement ever.
Prefectural government commented they are not sure about the reason.
From last Sunday’s Guardian: “About 80 per cent of Suzuki’s menu is from Fukushima […] on a quiet street in the Takaido neighbourhood of Tokyo in June last year […] Mr Suzuki’s business plan defied logic: to offer dishes made with ingredients mostly from his home town of Iwaki.”