The man who led efforts to stabilize the crippled Fukushima nuclear-power plant has died of cancer of the esophagus at the age of 58.
An Associated Press report quotes a Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesperson claiming that Masao Yoshida's death was not linked to exposure to radiation.
He reportedly kept pumping in water from the ocean to cool one of the reactors after the building had exploded following a tsunami. He didn't stop even after instructed to do so by his superiors.
He quit nine months later after contracting cancer.
Meanwhile, Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper has reported that radioactive cesium levels at Fukushima's No. 1 nuclear-power plant rose 90 times higher on July 8 than they were just three days earlier.
This was discovered in a well near a water intake for the No. 2 reactor, which dumped radioactive material into the ocean in April 2011.
“It is unclear whether the radioactive water is leaking into the sea,” a TEPCO official told the Asahi Shimbun today in connection with the recent high level. “After gathering needed data, we will conduct analyses.”
In Canada, public-health officials have downplayed concerns about radiation from the Fukushima plant crossing the Pacific Ocean and causing cancer in this country.
This is despite a peer-reviewed scientific paper on migrating Pacific bluefin tuna earlier this year that suggested radioactive water may still be leaking from the Fukushima plant.
The latest revelations about dramatic increases in radiation levels likely elevate suspicions of those who already wonder how secure the crippled nuclear-power plant really is.
That's in spite of assurances from TEPCO that Masao Yoshida's cancer wasn't caused by massive exposure to radiation in Fukushima.
The public is expected to conclude that he must have died from a pre-existing condition.
This ensures that a United Nations scientific panel can continue to claim that there have been no fatalities from radiation exposure arising from the "accident" in Fukushima-Daiichi.
Perish any thought that the worst nuclear disaster since the explosion of the Chernobyl plant resulted in a single radiation-induced death. To suggest otherwise is enough to have you labelled as a conspiracy theorist.