Updating Japan's Nuclear Disaster - by Stephen Lendman
Japan's March 11 earthquake/tsunami-caused nuclear disaster affects millions of people regionally and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. But you'd never know it from most major media reports, downplaying an unfolding catastrophe.
In fact, distinguished experts like Helen Caldicott long ago warned of inevitable nuclear disasters, especially in seismically active areas. On May 23, 2004, The Japan Times contributor Leuren Moret headlined, "Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette," saying:
"Of all the places in all the world no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list."
"Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates....and is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan."
In 2004, Kobe University Seismologist/Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi called the situation then "very scary. It's like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode."
American cities like New York have no credible evacuation plans in case of nuclear disasters. Neither does Japan, its Fukushima response a clear example. In fact, however, there's no adequate plan possible in cases of catastrophic nuclear events. How and to where do you transfer millions of people. Abandoning the technology alone can work, a possibility not considered, at least not so far.
Japanese nuclear engineer Yoichi Kikuchi told Moret about serious longstanding safety problems at Japanese nuclear facilities, including cooling system cracks in pipes from reactor vibrations. Operators are thus "gambling in a dangerous game to increase profits and decrease government oversight," he said.
Former GE senior field engineer Kei Sugaoka agreed, saying:
"The scariest thing, on top of all the other problems, is that all the nuclear power plants are aging, causing a deterioration of piping and joints which are always exposed to strong radiation and heat."
As a result, Moret, like Caldicott, said:
"It is not a question of whether or not a nuclear disaster will occur in Japan (or most anywhere); it is a question of when it will occur," and if catastrophic enough, perhaps nothing can be done to contain it.
Moreover, all radiation, especially large amounts, is harmful, cumulative, permanent and unforgiving. Yet lunatic fringe, self-styled "nuclear experts" like Ann Coulter told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly that a "growing body of evidence (shows radiation) is actually good for you and reduces cases of cancer." Even O'Reilly reacted skeptically to the "hormesis" notion. Wikipedia calls it:
"the term for generally-favorable biological responses to low exposures to toxins and other stressors," including radiation.
Other toxins aside, no amount of radiation is safe. In her book "Nuclear Madness," Helen Caldicott explained:
"Lower doses of radiation can cause abnormalities of the immune system and can also cause leukemia five to ten years after exposure; (other) cancer(s), twelve to sixty years later; and genetic diseases and congenital anomalies in future generations."