I've been convinced for a long time that the cleanup and containment of the 4 destroyed nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi is beyond the capacity of TEPCO and the Japanese government. Although they are making progress, it's very slow, and many problems remain for which no solutions are yet known. How can the groundwater be cleaned up before it reaches the Pacific Ocean? How can the spent fuel pools of reactors 1-3 be emptied, when those reactors are too radioactive to approach? Where are the melted cores of 1-3? Clearly, they have gone through their concrete containers. How can they be retrieved and disabled?
This is a hugely expensive task, with no reward except the virtue of doing the right thing. It's pouring money into a black hole. Right now, there is much cutting of corners, exploitation of workers, and rakeoffs by subcontractors, that impair the competency and efficiency of the operation. An international effort is needed to stop the radioactive pollution of the ocean and of Northern Japan.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government is building expensive facilities for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Many Japanese people are convinced the money would be better spent on the Fukushima mess. And the safety of athletes and spectators is highly questionable, given that the spread of radioactive groundwater over the next 5 years could easily reach the Tokyo aquifer. Already, many Tokyo residents are ill from chronic exposure to low level radiation.
The two petitions above are slowly gathering signatures. The following comments are from the olympics petition, followed by a symposium:
Please sign, if you have not done so, and send these two petitions to your lists.
Peace, Carol Wolman, MD
Ms. Narumi Tomida, Japan
Nov 09, 23:23
The hosting Olympic game that is based on sacrifice of many lives of children, young people, and labors working in contaminated areas by radiation for the Olympic is not true honor of Japan. Japan and Japanese nations must know what is more worthy than surface honor of a state and economical benefit given by 2020 Olympic in Tokyo. Human life and dignity is far much more worthy and important than theses. What we Japanese must do now first is to protect children's lives and natural environment. That's NOT the preparation for 2020 Olympic. So, as a Japanese, I clearly oppose Japan's hosting of 2020 Olympic and say that Japan must resign it. Lastly, I thank all people who wrote this petition and approved this.
Mr. Marc Gimbrere, QL
Nov 11, 02:52
Dear Sir - We have been researching this issue for several years now and are absolutely amazed that the Japanese government could even consider hosting the Olympics in Tokyo with so much radiation everywhere! If you don't bow out now it will end up being a much greater embarrassment in the future. Please reconsider! We know how hard it is to make this decision, but consider how much more you will lose if you continue down the path of Tokyo Olympics. It is time to admit that three lost coriums seeping masses of radiation into the air and water, not to mention radiation throughout Tokyo including plutonium, is something that needs international attention, finance and assistance. The technology DOES exist to clean up the site but if you try to do it over the course of 40 years it may turn into an extinction level event. Please do the right thing!!
Nov 09, 16:05
The fact that the quantity of radiation that has escaped from the Tepco Daiichi nuclear plant has clearly been kept under wraps is endangering the entire world. Better to come clean and let more experienced groups work with you, so that lives in Japan and elsewhere can be saved.
Ms. Jan Boudart, IL
Nov 03, 06:18
The Chernobyl catastrophe demonstrates that the nuclear industry's willingness to risk the health of humanity and our environment with nuclear power plants will result, not only theoretically, but practically, in the same level of hazard as nuclear weapons." p326 from "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment"""Authors: Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko and Alexey V. Nesterenko"""
Official: Fukushima "destroyed our life ... it can destroy history itself " -- Professor: "Very hard to imagine a future beyond Fukushima, it 's so uncontainable " -- Filmmaker: Meltdowns "opened up a fissure in time and space ... Horror of radiation menaces the future in the present "
Guggenheim Global Art Initiative -- Q&A with the Otolith Group discussing their film 'The Radiant ' which explores the aftermath of 3/11, published Oct. 29, 2014 (emphasis added):
- Anjalika Sagar (at 2:00 in): Things have got much worse -- and at the same time that things have got much worse, you have an accelerated form of secrecy relating to the level of the contamination in food products, in the sea ... We were interested in ... the politics of how disposable this population has become ... Where the threat of the earthquakes could possibly contaminate the whole of Japan, which has happened ...
- Kodwo Eshun: We made a distinction between the nature of an accident and the nature of a catastrophe ... The idea is that an accident is located in time and space ... the earthquake and tsunami are a terrible tragic instance, but they are accidents. The catastrophe is potentially unlimited in time and space ... The [meltdowns are] a catastrophe that opened up a fissure in time and space both in the past and in the present and in the future. So that what seems to be past is no longer past, but becomes present in a new way. And similarly what hasn' 't happened yet is menaced by this moment ... The horror of inhabiting radiation is that it menaces the future in the present. And it makes the future hostile in the present. So that mothers cannot be certain the babies they will have will not mutants. It makes the question of mutation -- which is a core fantasy of science fiction, for comics, for superheroes -- take on a real world effect ... Very few people trusted the Japanese government anymore .... What we heard ... was this notion of Japan as a laboratory, the notion of the citizens of Japan as guinea pigs. The sense that the Japanese government are carrying out an experiment in which they are calculating the levels at which people will revolt, and the levels at which people will accept their fate.
Katsunobu Sakurai, Mayor of Minamisoma, Fukushima: "To put it simply, it destroyed our life ... The region was lost, then the countryside was lost ... In our history, it 's only for a moment that we 've had nuclear power -- 40 years. But it can destroy history itself. " > Watch here