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Fukushima radiation levels 15,000% higher than first reported

By       Message Ian Brockwell     Permalink
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Japan has admitted that radiation levels from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactors are much higher than originally reported. It seems that someone "accidentally' put the decimal point in the wrong place (0.69 instead of 6.90).

Ever since the reactors were damaged as a result of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, we have seen an endless stream of misleading figures.

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We have been led to believe, by the authorities and mainstream media, that radiation levels in Japan were still within safety limits, although it was found necessary to increase the legal limits of radiation exposure to achieve this result.

Just a week ago we were informed that radiation levels detected by robots (in the damaged reactors) were between 49 and 57 millisieverts per hour. The limit of exposure for emergency workers in Japan is 250 millisieverts a year, which means they would exceed safety limits within just a few hours.

Writers discussing the dangers of radiation affecting the United States (and other countries) have been accused of creating panic and producing information without facts. Yet, even recent figures provided by the EPA have shown an increase in some radiation levels.

Whilst the authorities may inform us that the increased levels are of a less dangerous type of radiation (whatever that may be), there is no doubting that this is coming from the damaged reactors in Japan. And if one "type' of radiation has reached the United States, you can be certain others have as well.

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As most of the monitoring stations are controlled by the government, it is extremely difficult to provide independent evidence to confirm the increased levels of radiation, and even harder to believe the official reports that are published.

It is difficult to place too much trust in the authorities when they increase the legal limits of radiation exposure to suit themselves, or have much faith in the EPA when they withdraw many of their radiation monitors (in places like California, Oregon and Washington ), because the readings "seemed too high". Could it be because the radiation levels WERE too high?

Obviously, the greatest danger is to those living closest to the damaged reactors, just as it was in the Chernobyl accident , which is why many Japanese have been evacuated as far from this location as possible. But as we all know, the majority of the deaths caused by the Chernobyl accident occurred many years later (in the form of cancer related problems), and these have been estimated at around one million.

No one is suggesting that the radiation currently drifting over the United States and Canada is going to cause instant deaths, the levels would have to be extremely high to do that. The danger may not become apparent for many more years.

The problems we can expect to see will be an increase in the cancer rates over the next 20-30 years, and many more "defects' appearing in births (in the short term). And the longer the radiation leak continues in Japan, the more people will be affected.

It is not unrealistic to expect many millions to die as a result of this nuclear accident over the next 30 years. Hiding the facts, or playing around with the figures, is not going to prevent this from happening, but by keeping the public informed of the truth and suggesting ways in which to reduce the risk, could help to limit the damage considerably.

Clearly, the authorities have chosen to cover-up the seriousness of the problem, and it is our duty to ask the question WHY?
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Ian has been writing Op-Ed articles for more than 10 years, which have been read by millions of people. He is based in England, but spent many years living in Russia. Ian currently works as a freelance teacher of English as a second language (more...)

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Fukushima radiation levels 15,000% higher than first reported