Nuclear energy is incredibly expensive as well as fantastically dangerous . . . One might ask why, if nuclear power is the energy of the future, it has taken so long for it to supply less than 6 percent of the world’s energy. Even this meager achievement accounts only for commercial energy, excluding the requirements of world total primary energy of all kinds. In that case, nuclear power’s share drops even further, to about 2.5 percent. - Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop, authors of The Doomsday Machine (1)
To negotiate with the nuclear industry is like debating with the drug cartels about the introduction of law and order - Ralph T. Niemeyer, editor and journalist (2)
In space no one can hear you scream. - Alien (3)
And when I die, I want to go to hell
And that's when goodbye should be farewell. - Morrissey (4)
Can we trust Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to tell the truth about the status of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) or is Tepco really “Tipco,” a company based on shaky practices that now claims their radioactive storage building won’t tip over in another earthquake?
While imperfections are not uncommon in the history mankind, nuclear power companies are substantively different given their blunders have the potential to release massive and life-destroying plumes of radiation across the entire planet.
It is not surprising to learn that the International Nuclear Crime Syndicate Of Satanists (INCSS) has adopted a sophisticated propaganda system in order to dupe the public into believing that the benefits (ie., production of a mere 2.5 percent of world energy production; weapons of mass destruction supply) are worth the risk of radioactive waste and disasters. As Robert Zimmerman writes in his book that dissects the “cult of nuclearists” and their “fraudulent science”:
The field of radiation protection has been heavily infiltrated and compromised by those with a vested interest in ensuring the proliferation of nuclear and radiological weapons and commercial nuclear reactors. A politically motivated international system of standard setting agencies, upholding antiquated models of the biological effects of ionizing radiation, has asserted itself as the voice of authority in the field of radiation protection. Governments, in turn, depend on the flaws within these models to legitimize the safety of their nuclear programs and conceal the detrimental biological effects these programs impart to unsuspecting populations (5).It is important to not overly particularize the topic in the midst of our frustration and anger with Japan for what we (correctly) perceive as their incompetent and callous behavior in this nuclear tragedy. That the “WHO’s Coverup Of Fukushima Radiation Is Unscientific Hogwash” is another case that proves this is a problem of international scope (6).
It is now well known that in case of another major earthquake the Unit 4 and other fuel pools at the Fukushima no. 1 power station have the potential of releasing 85 Chernobyl’s worth of radiation into the ocean and atmosphere.
The possibility of a worst-case scenario, even if it is only 1 percent probability (yet there is high probability of another major earthquake in the region) is beyond mind boggling. A religious, spiritual or other worldly explanation can only suffice and is elucidated in this conceptually original and frightening essay by the Cosmic Convergence group (7).
If you prefer a more conventional track: over past centuries humanity went down a slippery slope.
It compromised morality, integrity and order in exchange for freedom, security, convenience and comfort. In the bargain an economic system based on fraudulent accounting tricks emerged (8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15) and created an unnecessarily overly built infrastructure that is overburdened, and in the case of nuclear power stations, appears to be in collapse.
The Sherlock Holmes Mystery of the Tilting Reactor Building
Shortly after the nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, one observer noted that Japan’s “downplaying” of the disaster was leading to “informational uncertainty.”
It is absolutely imperative that Japanese officials become more transparent in their crisis communication. It is equally imperative, as this present crisis makes clear, that officials around the world realize the severe harm that can be inflicted by the obfuscation and distortion of critical information in the wake of catastrophe (16).And yet, well over a year later how little we have learned. After Japan declared the nuclear crisis under control with “cold shutdown” earlier this year they have since quit releasing “plant parameter data” in English which is “one of the most important” sources for understanding the current situation at the FNPP (17).
Grassroots and political pressure is having an effect on forcing Tepco to become more transparent and pro-active in solving the Unit 4 fuel pool crisis. Everyone from the alternative media on the Internet to Arnie Gunderson to former Japanese diplomat Murata to Senator Wyden have made enough noise to force Tepco to attempt to speed up their operations. Tepco recently announced they are beginning to remove fuel rods from the Unit 4 reactor building ahead of their original schedule which was to begin only in late 2013 (18; 19).
Not surprisingly, Tepco and the Japanese government have resisted outside help in the matter, in the same way that Obama let BP take over damage control after the BP oil catastrophe in the spring of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a case of the Arsonists putting out the fire. Yet Israel-US insist that Iran must have endless nuclear inspections despite the fact that Iran has already complied with every IAEA rule under the sun. This is an astonishing double standard of international norms.
Why is Japan not being more cooperative? After all, Japan is a society built on cooperation and consensus (if a bit coercive).
- They don't want a precedent to be set by letting independent teams of scientists “nose around” their operations;
- Arnie Gunderson notes the reason for lack of international effort to fix Fukushima is that if the fatal flaws in the Japan nuke system are exposed, that also indicts the US nuke industry in one fell swoop (20).
Cohen and McKillop make the case that the nuclear arms race is one of the most important reasons the otherwise nearly useless nuclear power industry is able to muddle along: as a cover for weapons programs and a global nuke arms race (Op. cit.).
Washington DC reporter, Joseph Trento, has documented the empirical and circumstantial evidence of Japan’s nuclear power/weapons program. Here are a few stunning revelations:
- “The United States deliberately allowed Japan access to the United States’ most secret nuclear weapons facilities; while it transferred tens of billions of dollars worth of American tax paid research that has allowed Japan to amass 70 tons of weapons grade plutonium since the 1980s.”
- “While Japan has refrained from deploying nuclear weapons and remains under an umbrella of U.S. nuclear protection . . . the country has used its electrical utility companies as a cover to allow the country to amass enough nuclear weapons materials to build a nuclear arsenal larger than China, India and Pakistan combined.”
- “This deliberate proliferation by the United States fuels arguments by countries like Iran that the original nuclear powers engage in proliferation despite treaty and internal legal obligations. Russia, France, Great Britain as well as the United States created civilian nuclear power industries around the world from their weapons complexes that amount to government-owned or subsidized industries. Israel, like Japan, has been a major beneficiary and, like Japan, has had nuclear weapons capabilities since the 1960s.”
- “ [The] Reagan administration . . . ceded virtually all control of U.S.-origin nuclear materials shipped to Japan . . . The Japanese government exploited the Japanese public’s well-known abhorrence of nuclear weapons to discourage the media and historians from delving into its nuclear weapons activities.”
- “International corporations and officials sacrificed the safety and security of the public to carry out the deception. Under the guise of a peaceful nuclear power program, they made huge profits” (23).
It is well documented and even admitted by Japanese nuclear whistleblowers themselves, that the Nuclear Village has a long history of corruption and cover-ups, with foxes guarding hen houses and arsonists investigating the fire (24).
Professor Jeff Kingston of Temple University in Tokyo, offers a thorough chronology of the Fukushima nuclear crisis from the political perspective (25). The Citizens' Nuclear Information Center has documented the Japanese nuclear industry’s malfeasance in scrupulous detail since 1987 (26), and Kingston supports their 25 years of work exposing the fraud of nuclear power by stating that the Fukushima disaster “was preceded by a series of mishaps, cover-ups, irresponsible practices, close calls and ignored warnings . . . it was an accident waiting to happen.”
Which raises the question: how can we trust now the same people who have zero credibility? The obvious answer is that we cannot, thereby, Japan is in a precarious situation if another earthquake strikes the FNPP.
Kingston shows how Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was in office at the time of the Tohoku Disaster, was attacked and removed from office by the Nuclear Village specifically because of Kan’s strong anti-nuclear/pro-renewable energy stance (27). Kan who was trained as an engineer now firmly believes that the use of nuclear power in Japan is discredited and dangerous, whereas other officials typically in key positions of power are lawyers (28; 29).
As Kingston explains in “Mismanaging Risk”:
So who is to blame for the three meltdowns at Fukushima? The nuclear village tried to shift blame onto PM Kan, spreading erroneous information about his visit to Fukushima Daiichi to the effect that he forced TEPCO to stop venting and subsequently alleging that he ordered the halt of pumping of seawater to cool the reactors and spent fuel rods stored in adjacent pools...but this was TEPCO’s responsibility and had nothing to do with Kan’s visit on March 12....TEPCO retracted its allegations against Kan, but not before damaging Kan’s reputation....Scapegoating Kan served many purposes, especially diverting attention away from TEPCO’s, NISA’s and METI’s responsibility for the accident and woeful crisis response....
The third party panel that investigated the nuclear crisis...was harshly critical of TEPCO and the government, pointing out that the utility was ill-prepared for a crisis and that its’ workers made critical errors....workers and their managers were inadequately trained to cope with an emergency situation....Their mishandling of emergency procedures contributed to the crisis.
The investigations also pilloried TEPCO and the government’s mishandling of the evacuation of residents living near the plant, in many instances evacuating people to places where levels of radiation were higher than those where they had left....The panel confirmed that data generated by the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) on radiation dispersal was available and could have been used to evacuate residents at greatest risk to safer areas, but this information was not provided to the Prime Minister’s crisis management center until March 23....[O]ne month after the original evacuation, the government used this SPEEDI data to move evacuees out of harms way, meaning that many had been subjected to substantial doses of avoidable radiation exposure.
TEPCO and its regulators...failed to act on fresh and compelling evidence about tsunami risk, a blind spot that left the plant needlessly vulnerable....Telltale warnings began accumulating over the decade prior to 3/11....Clearly, there is no basis to TEPCO’s claim that the scale of the 3/11 tsunami was inconceivable; the utility chose to ignore centuries of geological evidence and repeated 21st century warnings from modern scientists, including in-house researchers....Inexcusably, TEPCO did not make safety its ethos while lax oversight by the government allowed this culture of complacency to persist long after it was obvious that TEPCO was cutting corners to cut costs” (Op. cit.).Due to outside pressure Tepco has had to confront the situation more forthrightly. The corporate-controlled media has also begun to take notice, with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times (30) and the Asahi Newspaper and TV News finally doing some decent reporting. On the other hand, the lapdog presstitutes continue to make excuses for Tepco without strongly challenging the assumption that “all is OK, you can trust us.” This story from MSNBC fails to point out that Mr. Hosono, who recently inspected the nuclear site, is a lawyer and not a technician. Not much credence is given to “environmental critics” and it does not go into any details of their analyses. The media omits and marginalizes interpretations of events that are outside the acceptable boundaries of elitist discourse (31).
Nevertheless, Tepco has been forced to dust off documents purporting to show that Unit 4 is safe and will not collapse. Fukushima nuclear disaster blog hero, “Ex-SKF” points out after translating this information to her readers that “there is no independent confirmation of the data” (32). Information uncertainty and lack of trust lead round and round in circles.
Another example of Tepco’s arrogant and dissembling nature is when a Wall Street Journal reporter kept pressing the question of what Tepco would do if Unit 4 was damaged in an earthquake (33). The video is transcribed into English but I listened to it and speak Japanese well enough to understand the PR person’s evasiveness. The question is direct, honest and fair enough, but the Tepco guy immediately changes the topic by wondering, in a snide tone, “what kind of influence” could cause such a disturbance? As if worrying about rogue asteroids bombarding the nuclear site might be far fetched. Finally he makes the point that if a magnitude “10, 11 or 12” occurred they have really not considered what would happen. But the question was about an intensity 6 earthquake, not a magnitude 12 quake. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency Seismic Intensity rating, on 3/11 for Fukushima the SI was 6+. The magnitude at the plant was 7 and magnitude 7 is what experts have been warning about, saying that may be enough to damage the Unit 4 fuel pool.
Despite the dire situation, Tepco executive, Akio Komori, “rejected growing calls to let outside experts...inspect the plant” and stated that "[a]s the party with direct responsibility, it's our job to carry out the necessary checks." At the same time Japanese government representative for the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Mr. Hosono, toured the plant and gave the go-ahead and thumbs-up for Tepco to keep up their good work. Hosono graduated from the Faculty of Law at Kyoto University in 1995 and only became the Environment minister recently. He is neither a technician, engineer nor an architect, let’s see what his assessment is:
Hosono said he wasn't able to see the reported 3-cm wall bulge with his own eyes but urged Tepco ‘not to take an optimistic view and instead deal with it carefully in order to ensure safety.’ Hosono later told reporters that he could see the pool had been sufficiently reinforced. ‘I could see steady progress being made toward removal of the spent fuel, which is the next major goal,’ he said (34).Tepco may be making progress but is it fast enough to beat the next big earthquake? One worker at the plant anonymously reported that if an accident were to occur, emergency measures would not occur as smoothly as Tepco claims. For example, it would be difficult to get trucks to the site quickly enough to act. Another experienced worker also said that spraying a special form of concrete on exposed fuel rods may not be as easy as it sounds! (35; 36).
When the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency was quizzed by a diligent reporter about earthquake-caused ground subsidence at the FNPP, NISA claims to have conducted the seismic evaluation of Unit 4 building according to “the most severe standard.” Later in the interview they admitted it was merely done “visually” (37). Similarly, computer models are used by Tepco to show that earthquakes over a certain size will not damage the plant even though the intensity they admit could happen could indeed damage the plant -- and such level of earthquake has been predicted by a number of experts (38). Tepco chutzpah is further rebutted by a recent independent scientific report from the US that regulatory “non-solutions” inevitably lead to problems with nuclear reactors (39).
The potentially catastrophic situation at Fukushima prompted one outside expert, who for 20 years ran a consulting business in Japan for some of their largest companies, to call for a “Manhattan Project approach.” He warns that an “accident, involving nuclear fuel rods, is virtually inevitable, most likely preventable, and the fact that it won’t be prevented comes down solely to Japanese government and TEPCO incompetence and stupidity. Japanese citizens will probably die unnecessarily because the way things are done at the top in Japan is completely screwed up” (40). We can’t wait three or four years let alone thirty of forty years to remove the fuel rods and clean up the mess (41). Kyoto University professor of nuclear engineering Hajimu Yamana has chimed in that “[i]t’s a race against time” (42).
Arnie Gunderson admitted for the first time that he would not be surprised if after ten years Tepco did not decide to pour concrete into the reactors and call it a day once they have been cooled enough. The technical problems of removing the melted fuel are formidable and the reactors are already leaking contaminated water downward while the ground water seeps upward and becomes contaminated. The soil structure at Fukushima is soft and penetrable and different from Chernobyl where it is continental hard pack and better suited for catastrophic nuclear accidents (Op. cit.)
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Richard Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from a social science, holistic perspective. He teaches part time at a number of universities in the Tokyo, Japan area. His articles on environmental topics including the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been published at Counterpunch, Global Research, Dissident Voice and Rense.com. His interview with Jeff Rense is available at the website www.rense.com. Many of his articles are archived here: http://environmentalarmageddon.wordpress.com/?s=Richard+Wilcox
1. Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop, The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, The World’s Most Dangerous Fuel (Palgrave, 2012, 242 pgs.)
2. Journalist in Japan
3. Alien (movie poster) (1979).
4. Morrissey -"One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell"
5. A Primer In The Art Of Deception
Free PDF Excerpts from the book
6. WHO Coverup Of Fukushima Radiation Is Unscientific Hogwash
7. Why does the World Shadow Government destroy its own home (planet)?
8. The Money Masters
9. Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt (Third Millennium Press, 2007, 524 pgs.)
10. Roy Madron and John Jopling, Gaian Democracies (Green Books, 2003, 154 pgs.)
11. Steve Keen, Debunking Economics (Pluto Press, 2001, 335 pgs.)
12. Stuart McBurney, Ecology Into Economics Won’t Go (Green Books, 1998, 190 pgs.)
13. Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith, The Case Against The Global Economy And For A Turn Toward The Local (Sierra Club Books, 1996, 549 pgs.)
14. Herman Daly, Beyond Growth (Beacon Press, 1996, 253 pgs.)
15. Douglas Reed, The Controversy of Zion (Veritas Publishing, 1985, 587 pgs.)
16. Downplaying Disaster, Informational Uncertainty in the Wake of Japan’s Nuclear Crisis
17.Tepco stopped releasing plant parameters in English
18. TEPCO to Attempt Removing 2 New Fuel Assemblies from Reactor 4 SFP at Fukushima I Nuke Plant
19. Asahi TV: “Unbelievable” — If Unit 4 pool gets a crack from quake and leaks, it would be end for Tokyo
20. Audio, May 18, 2012, Gundersen and Helen Caldicott Discuss the Fukushima Daiichi Meltdowns and Their Worldwide Implications
21. Rense Radio Network
22. Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
23. United States Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium
24. Japan's Nuclear Cartel
Atomic Industry Too Close to Government for Comfort
25. Mismanaging Risk and the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
26. Nuke Info Tokyo
27. Ousting Kan Naoto: The Politics of Nuclear Crisis and Renewable Energy in Japan
28. Goshi Hosono
29. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
30. Spent Nuclear Fuel Drives Growing Fear Over Plant in Japan
31. Weakened Fukushima nuclear pool is not unstable, Japan insists
32. Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 4 Bldg Is Not Tilting, Says TEPCO with Data
33. Tepco has no clue for the worst senario of SFP4
34. Hosono visits Fukushima plant to quell fears over No. 4's pool
35. Actual Fukushima worker “In case of the major aftershock, all the reactors will be in crisis”
36. Former Fukushima Daiichi Worker: TEPCO screwed up by admitting it’s preparared to spray concrete on spent fuel
37. NISA: “Earthquake may have caused ground subsidence in the area of Fukushima plants”
38. Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant
39. New report: San Onofre nuclear plant failures could have been prevented
40. Fukushima Daiichi requires a Manhattan Project approach to avoid another nuclear accident
41. Humanity At The Height Of Folly
42. Japan Plant Gets Close Exam
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