The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant situation in Japan has gotten so out of hand. Misinformation early on, and the continual underestimating of this catastrophe by officials there, right before the world’s eyes is astonishing.
The only thing more astonishing really is the realization that a worst case scenario is probably closer to the truth than any of us realize.
A Glowing Report
The events of the last few days have shown, once again, that the Japanese government nor Tokyo Electric, have much of anything at all under control. Fish found miles from the plant with radioactive elements above the normal limits, seawater near the plant measured at over 7,500,000 times the allowable limit for radioactivity?
My questions is; “How does the average person even understand such a number?” How many millions of times is that capable of killing or altering the cell structures of an organism? Cesium, Iodine, half lives? Let’s not get into the scientific terminologies, it’s sufficient to assume radioactive cesium and iodine in your tuna sandwich is not something to take lightly. Charlie Tuna never shone so brightly – unbelievable!
Can anyone else out there remember TEPCO and/or Japanese officials making the statement about the time I wrote this article; “Fishing is not a major industry in Fukushima province anyway?” Something to the effect there is no cause for alarm because “A” the sea will dilute any contaminating very quickly and “B” there is not much fishing going on offshore here in any event. Really?
Tony Hayward Déjà Vu
As if turns out, and as you can easily see if you look at the map at the bottom of this article – fishing off the East coast of northern Japan is a big deal. At least big enough for someone to paint three fish there rather than the normal one for all other Japan coastline! Yeah, more misinformation like Thad Allen telling the world BP’s Deepwater Horizon was only leaking first 1,000, then 5,000, then 10,000, then 50,000, and finally God knows how much oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Unfortunately for Japanese politicians and their yes men, the Japanese Coast Guard cannot supervise the spraying of chemicals onto radioactivity to make it sink to the ocean floor – there is no such known chemical! So Japan and her neighbors will just have to live with three eyed fish for a few decades. And the stake for Japan’s already obliterated fishing industry?
As it turns out, fully 25 percent of the country’s fishing harvest! And make no mistake about it, fish to the Japanese are serious business. Forget about thousands of fishermen with their livelihoods destroyed by the tsunami – now fishing bans will decimate these people’s lives.
弟 Can You Spare A Dime?
TEPCO’s monetary responsibility in all this is staggering. Why no one has questioned the company’s solubility here is a mystery to me. Just the damages to local towns because of the radiation (so far) will likely be in the tens of billions of dollars. And what is TEPCO doing so far to alleviate the suffering of those townspeople? Well, one village refused to take the $12 per citizen they sent, and do you know why? Kosei Negishi, an official at one of the hardest hit towns just 6 miles from Fukushima explains to the Wall Street Journal;
“The coastal areas of Namie were hit hard by the earthquake and the tsunami but because of the radiation and the evacuation order we haven’t had a chance to conduct a search for the 200 people who are missing. Why would we use our resources to hand out less than 1,000 yen ($12) to every resident?”
When the Time to Be Alarmed Start?
The source of these super high levels of radioactivity is suspected to be the number two reactor at Fukushima. One can only hazard what perils workers there now undergo, just how horrible this situation has really become – in the absence of any credible report? Even if officials have been trying to avert panic (and the Japanese seem less likely to panic than anyone on Earth to me) was no one worried about the inevitable? Let’s pretend for an instant we are all Asian restaurant owners needing Salmon for our menu. Are we going to buy our usual catch from Japan, or avoid those fish like the plague?
The same officials who have assured just about everyone on planet Earth that Fukushima is far less hazardous at any given point than it may actually be (or likely is) have now asked Russia for help in storing radioactive contaminants (the ones that did not exist two weeks ago). Meanwhile, India just recently became the first nation to ban Japanese food imports altogether. And TEPCO? Well, the mixed reports say the radioactive leak into the sea may have been slowed. We can only hope and guess, I guess?