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Fukushima: Third Anniversary of the Start of the Catastrophe

By       Message Karl Grossman     Permalink
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Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, has said: "The health impacts to the Japanese will begin to be felt in several years and out to 30 or 40 years from cancers. And I believe we're going to see as many as a million cancers over the next 30 years because of the Fukushima incident in Japan." http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/12/nuclear_engineer_arnie_gundersen_fukushima_meltdown

   At Fukushima, "We have opened a d oor to hell that cannot be easily closed--if ever," said Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project at the U.S.-based group Beyond Nuclear last year. http://enenews.com/radio-weve-opened-a-door-to-hell-at-fukushima-plant-and-may-never-be-able-to-close-it-host-you-mean-that-even-with-robots-they-dont-know-where-3-reactor-cores-are-audio

Already an excessive number of cases of thyroid cancers have appeared in Japan, an early sign of the impacts of radioactivity.   http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-23/thyroid-cancers-surge-among-young-fukushima   A study last year by Joseph Mangano and Dr. Janette Sherman of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and Dr. Chris Busby, determined that radioactive iodine fall-out from Fukushima damaged the thyroid glands of children in California. http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2164974/fukushima_fallout_damaged_thyroid_glands_of_california_babies.html   And the biggest wave of radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima is slated to hit the west coast of North America in the next several months. M eanwhile, every bluefin tuna caught in the waters off California in a Stanford University study was found to be contaminated with cesium-137, a radioactive poison emitted on a large scale by Fukushima. The tuna migrate from off Japan to California waters. Daniel Madigan, who led the study, commented: "The tuna packaged it up [the radiation] and brought it across the world's largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured." http://topinfopost.com/2013/10/10/fukushima-is-here-all-bluefin-tuna-caught-in-california-are-radioactive

   There is, of course, the enormous damage to property. The Environmental Health Policy Institute of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in its summary of the "Costs and Consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster" cites estimates of economic loss of between $250 billion and $500 billion. Some 800 square kilometers are "exclusion" zones of "abandoned cities, towns, agricultural land, homes and properties" and from which 159,128 people have been "evicted," relates PSR senior scientist Steven Starr. Further, "about a month after the disaster, on April 19, 2011, Japan chose to dramatically increase its official "safe' radiation exposure levels from 1 mSv [ millisievert, a measure of radiation dose] t o 20 mSv per year--20 times higher than the U.S. exposure limit. This allowed the Japanese government to downplay the dangers of the fallout and avoid evacuation of many badly contaminated areas." click here

   And last year the Japanese government enacted a new State Secrets Act which can restrict--with a penalty of 10 years in jail--reporting on Fukushima. ""It's the cancerous mark of a nuclear regime bound to control all knowledge of a lethal global catastrophe now ceaselessly escalating," wrote Harvey Wasserman, co-author of Killing Our Own, in a piece aptly titled "Japan's New "Fukushima Fascism'." click here

   Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the nation's Nuclear Regulatory Commission has over the past three years consistently refused to apply "lessons learned" from Fukushima. Its chairman, Dr. Gregory Jaczko, was forced out after an assault led by the nuclear industry after trying to press this issue and opposing an NRC licensing of two new nuclear plants in Georgia "as if Fukushima had never happened." http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/12/fukushima-and-the-nuclear-pushers/

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Rosalie Bertell, a Catholic nun, in her book No Immediate Danger, wrote about the decades of suppression of the impacts of nuclear power and the reason behind it: "Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperative passively with their own death."

   Thus the desperate drive--in which a largely compliant mainstream media have been complicit--to deny the Fukushima catastrophe, a disaster deeply affecting life on Earth.

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www.karlgrossman.com
Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury and host of the nationally syndicated TV program Enviro Close-Up.

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