Japan's Apocalypse - by Stephen Lendman
Despite a disaster multiples worse than Chernobyl, major media reports all along downplayed it. Now they largely ignore it, moving on to more important things like celebrity features and baseball's opening day, besides pretending American-led Libya bombing is well-intended when, in fact, it's another brazen power grab - an imperial war of conquest, explained in numerous previous articles.
The horror of all wars aside, waged solely for wealth and power, never humanity, Japan deserves regular top billing, given its global implications and potential millions of lives affected. Ignoring it is scandalous, yet it's practically disappeared from television where most people get news, unaware only managed reports are aired omitting vital truths.
Over three weeks and counting, Japan's crisis keeps worsens. Radiation levels in Fukushima's underground tunnel water reached 10,000 times above normal and rising. In nearby seawater, they're 4,385 times too high. Heavy rainfall exacerbates the problem. Food, water, air and soil contamination is spreading.
On March 31, New York Times writer Henry Fountain headlined, "Cleanup Questions as Radiation Spreads," saying:
At issue is "how to clean up areas that have been heavily contaminated by radioactivity," stopping short of suggesting they're dead zones that may affect all northern Japan, an area comparable to Pennsylvania, potentially making it uninhabitable.
On March 31, the IAEA (the industry's global promoter) "said a soil sample from Iitate, a village of 7,000 about 25 miles northwest of the plant, showed very high concentrations of cesium-137," a harmful gamma ray-producing isotope, contaminating air, water and soil for decades.
Levels found are "double" those in Chernobyl's dead zone, raising concerns about extending Japan's evacuation, not done so far. Moreover, they're rising daily and will continue for months, perhaps years, creating permanent contamination combined with uranium, plutonium, and other hazardous toxins.
On April 1, Al Jazeera headlined, "Japan nuclear evacuation will be 'long term,' " saying:
"Residents of evacuated areas....have been warned that they may not be able to return to their homes for months," if ever, given increasing hazardous contamination levels. Cleanup will take decades and fall far short of making areas toxin-free.
Experts call conditions "unchartered territory," wondering what, if anything can be done. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. The imponderables are huge, and potential implications staggering.
On March 25, Helen Caldicott highlighted "a medical problem of vast dimensions," saying "the situation has grown increasingly grave." A week later, it's worse with no end of crisis in sight, Caldicott calling nuclear power's harm "the greatest public health hazard the world will ever see."
On March 31, physicist Michio Kaku said "three (Fukushima) raging meltdowns" plus one or more (melting) spent fuel ponds opened to the air are ongoing, adding:
"This is huge," involving "uncontrolled radiation releases into the environment," including plutonium, the most toxic substance known. "A speck of plutonium, a millionth of a gram, can cause cancer if ingested." Moreover, if the plant site is abandoned, "we could be in free fall." Before it ends, Kaku believes it may far exceed Chernobyl. Perhaps it already has, though no one's admitting it or knows for sure.
Every Radiation Dose Is an Overdose
Experts like Harvey Wasserman agree. On March 27, he headlined, " 'Safe' Radiation is a Lethal TMI Lie," saying: