The result is that radiation leaks are escalating out of control and attempted remediation efforts are faltering. This is in addition to the fact the Japanese government's attempted brainwashing propaganda campaign has also been exposed. It attempted to convince people that if they drank beer or smiled, they would be immune to radiation poisoning. (Yes, this is how desperate they've become...)
From day one, the Fukushima fiasco has been all about denial: Deny the leaks, shut off the radiation sensors, black out the news and fudge the science. Yet more than two years later, the denials are colliding with the laws of physics, and Tepco's cover stories are increasingly being blown wide open.
As Businessweek.com now reports, Japan seems to have no practical interest in solving this problem:
"Russia's nuclear company, Rosatom, of which Rosenergoatom is a unit, sent Japan a 5 kilogram (11 pound) sample of an absorbent that could be used at Fukushima almost three years ago, Asmolov said. It also formed working groups ready to help Japan on health effect assessment, decontamination, and fuel management, among others, Asmolov said. The assistance was never used, he said."
That's because for Tepco to welcome any assistance, it would first have to admit it has a problem. And that's unacceptable in a business culture where egos run rampant and the idea of taking responsibility for your actions is considered abhorrent.
27 families file suit against TEPCO
The problem with denial in the face of a world-class radiation disaster is that sooner or later the body bags start to pile up. Now, 74 people from 27 families are filing suit in the Osaka District Court, seeking 15 million Yen each for psychological and physical damage. (And they are the lucky ones who are still living.)
As Japan Times reports:
"The group will argue that Tepco should have taken stronger measures to protect the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant from earthquakes and tsunami after the government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion warned in 2002 that there was a 20 percent chance of a magnitude 8 or so quake occurring in the Japan Trench in the Pacific Ocean within 30 years."
Fishing ban reinstated
Part of the Fukushima denial was the claim that fish were somehow not being irradiated by the numerous leaks of highly radioactive water. This cover-up was further enforced by lifting a fishing ban that had been announced in the days following the original Fukushima meltdown event in 2011.
"[The fishermen] are very angry. They've obviously believed that Tepco has been lying to them for weeks, if not months. You know, they seem to suggest that that the cover-ups get worse... They believe Tepco's probably sitting on more secrets that they don't want anyone to know about. So there's a feeling that Tepco just cannot be trusted and that these fisherman probably don't really feel like they have a future anymore."
Tepco lying? Say it isn't so!
Zeolites to the rescue?
In desperation, Tepco is now trying to figure out how to stop thousands of tons of radioactive water from leaking into groundwater supplies (and ultimately into the ocean).
Those ideas, according to CTV News in Canada, include things like "freezing" the soil around the leak, creating an underground ice barrier that would require ongoing freezing, presumably for hundreds of thousands of years. You'd probably need to build another nuclear power plant to power the freeze cores, come to think of it.
Another idea, put forth by Arnie Gundersen, arguably the most sane observer in all this, involves digging a 2-meter-wide trench all the way down to bedrock, then filling the trench with zeolites which scientists now reluctantly admit trap radioactive isotopes. Note carefully that when people talk about consuming zeolites as a detox liquid, many modern-day doctors call it "quackery." But when push comes to shove, even they have to admit zeolites absorb radioactive elements. (You can't argue with the laws of physics. Zeolites work!)
Tepco answers to no one