For anyone keeping an eye on what’s been happening with the Fukushima disaster in Japan it has become very clear that nobody is getting the full story on what is happening. Thanks to the mainstream media and nuclear industry tacticians most people have bought the “official” version and moved on. The nuclear industry’s damage control activities which were modeled on a sophisticated version of how BP managed the massive Gulf Oil spill in 2010. They are using the Japanese people who were hit by the triple whammy as a national sacrifice area just as the US did to the Dine people (Navajo) with uranium mining. Or how the nuclear industry and its handlers have reduced Chernobyl, the largest industrial disaster in history down to a single number with the specious claim that only 56 people died. Aren’t we are watching the same thing happen again with Fukushima?
However, a global online movement, from twitter users (#fukushima), bloggers, as well as angry Japanese has grown as details of the disaster continues to emerge. Following years of scandals that plagued the Japanese nuclear industry prior to Fukushima the once tiny anti-nuclear movement in Japan has been revitalized. It has launched a variety of national and international campaigns, that include Fukushima Prefecture’s call to close all 10 of its nuclear reactors, to counter the deceitful behavior of the Japanese government, Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and most of the country’s media. Unlike the rest of the world, Japan’s major media services have been forced to deal with the realities of the disaster. At one point there was even legislative attempts to investigate and actively censor internet coverage of Fukushima but this backfired.
Of course the main story that is missing in action is just how badly the radiation impacts are to the 80,000 people who were forced to evacuate and those just outside the evacuation zone. The biggest part of the problem comes from the fact that Tepco has been the largest source of income for this poor area of Japan. The company has flooded this predominately agricultural area with money to the point that most people dare not speak out in fear that they endanger family or relatives who have Tepco jobs.
With the announcement that Tepco had covered unit one with a tent and successfully ended the danger of further hydrogen explosion, the public was told that some of the evacuees could start returning home in October! A recent survey found that only 40% of the people are willing to go back.
Its articles like Fujioka Atsushi’s Understanding the Ongoing Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima: A “Two-Headed Dragon” Descends into the Earth’s Biosphere to get a sense of how people in Japan are changing and why. There are even calls to increase the evacuation area in Japan rather than reduce it as the government is doing as of October. And how did Japan come to such a state of nuclear affairs? Here is an excellent history of how the US nuclear weapons propaganda machine after world war ii changed the Japanese public from opposition to support.
The 800 pound Gorilla in the room has to be the fact that the nuclear industry and the Japanese government spent the last 50 years telling the country that an event like Fukushima was impossible and that the nuclear stations were perfectly safe. Would it be any wonder when the governor of Fukushima Prefecture stated that the government and Tepco had betrayed them! The Fukushima Prefecture voted on October 20th to shut down all ten of its reactors.
*Tepco is the fourth largest electric company in the world, and the biggest in Asia, operating 17 nuclear reactors that supply one-third of Japan’s electricity.
*The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Tepco’s nuclear expansion requires a history all of its own in terms of the promotion of nuclear power in Japan as the public was originally opposed to its development. This includes its close association with General Electric that designed the reactors at Fukushima.
*The owner of the country’s largest newspaper and a major LDP politician also happened to be the country’s most powerful advocate for the development of nuclear energy.
* Soon after the 1995 Monju breeder reactor fire accounts of falsification started to be investigated and be emerge publicly including gag orders of employees.
*Tepco’s wrongdoings were exposed by a former engineer at General Electric to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that then gave Tepco his name, helping to cover up the reports.
*In 2002 Tepco admitted falsifying safety data on 200 occasions between 1977 and 2002.
* Tepco tried to hide cracks in reactor vessel shrouds at 13 units at Fukushima Daiichi Fukushima Daini and 7 Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.
*Tepco and Hitachi were caught manipulating pressure tests at Fukushima’s No 1 reactor.
*In March 2007 Tepco revealed a large number of previously unreported incidents including an unexpected reactor criticality in 1978 plus systematic false reports.
*The July 2007, the 6.8 quake ruptured pipes and started a fire Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station, including the release of radiation into the environment.
* Tepco after the publicity died down from the accident that the facilities hadn’t been built to withstand the quake.
*The 2007 fire and closure of Tepco’s Kasiwazaki-Kariwa made it the most indepted utility company in the world
*Former Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata signed deals in 2010 to help build two nuclear reactors in Vietnam.
*Tepco and Mitsubishi Corp. formed a partnership to take over Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO), one of the largest power companies in Thailand.
* In 2010 Tepco helped bail out financed new reactors at the South Texas Project.
* A national scandal erupted across Japan in 2010 when the government was forced to disclose that it had been secretly breaking the country’s constitution since the Nixon administration, letting US nuclear weapons and vessels to enter the country.
*Tepco was planning six new nuclear reactors, including units 7 and 8 at Fukushima Daiichi and 2 other units near Kyushu island, where a volcano burst after Tohoku.
*Film-maker Hitomi Kamanaka resigned from NHK after it refused to run her material criticising the country’s nuclear power companies.
*Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi plant was the very first to begin operational generation, on March 26, 1970.
*After 311 an engineer spoke out saying that Fukushima Unit 4 had used faulty steel in constructing the reactor and had covered it up since its construction in the 1970’s.
- Japan burns all of its garbage which has been increasing regional contamination by sending strontium back into the environment;
- The government failed to use available technology to monitor radiation and evacuate the public out of harms way;
- Emergency lighting systems failed throughout the Fukushima Daiichi Complex;
- Onsite radiation monitors were without power & incapable of detecting radiation;
- Electric company manipulation of voting to restart reactors;
- Top government consultants resign or are fired;
- Temporary workers at Fukushima are not told where hot spots are at the facility;
- Temp workers don’t know how much radiation they are being subjected to;
- The government increased worker radiation doses 2.5 times higher after 3-11;
- Temp workers have been forced to sign agreements not to talk to the press;
- Temp workers are required to waive future health benefits to get higher pay;
- Tepco subcontractors handle all employment to keep them out of legal problems;
- Over 18,000 temp workers have been used at Fukushima as of October 2011;
- Tepco payments to evacuees requires a 160 page manual & 60 page form;
- Evacuee payments require waiver that shuts them out of disputing Tepco’s payment to them;
- Tepco releases redacted (unreadable) operations manual to government investigators;
- Government estimates compensation to evacuees could reach $46.5 billion;
- These are not the full estimates of how much the total economic fallout will be. Estimates could easily go into the hundreds of billions of dollars.
- NRC FOIA reported 5 workers died of radiation poisoning;
- International radiation symposium in Fukushima says radiation is imaginary;
- Citizen groups rather than the government or Tepco are finding radioactive hot spots;
- Japanese Government admits radiation is 10x higher and previously reported:
- Sept: Tepco acknowledges plutonium found 45 km from Fukushima;
- 4 days later the government decides to stop monitoring for plutonium;
- Strontium found 80 km from Fukushima;
- Radiation as high as 40,000 Bq/kg found south of Tokyo at Yokohama;
- Oct: FOE says radiation is now 5 times worse than 3 months ago;
- Japanese radiation advisory board is planning to raise the safety limit from 1 mSv per year to 20 mSv per year;
- Growing reports of plant abnormalities across northern Japan;
- No media outlets have attempted to paint a complete picture of the scandals or the accident in fear that it might panic the public or more to the point, they are managing what people know or remember. Just be happy and the radiation won’t effect you!