Reports from Fukushima continue raising alarms about nuclear energy

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      Here's some news about the Fukushima disaster that you're not likely to read in the mainstream media:

      • The CounterPunch website has an article called "Fukushima's Radiation Gusher: Why the Entire Pacific Fishery Could be Tainted", by John LaForge of Wisconsin-based Nukewatch. "The radiation dumped by Fukushima into the environment has exceeded that of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the second worst nuclear power disaster in history," LaForge writes. "Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima so far are between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report."

      • Greenpeace's Justin McKeating wrote a blog post saying the Tokyo Electric Power Company is "no closer to solving the contaminated water crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant". A recent typhoon brought heavy rainfall. According to McKeating, protective barriers failed to contain radioactive water around 11 storage areas. He noted: "In a further development, TEPCO stated that water found in a monitoring well last week that was last found to contain record levels of contamination (400,000 Becquerel per liter of beta ray sources, including strontium) may have taken two months to travel the ten meters to the well." 

      • The iStockAnalyst website features an article citing concerns from doctors that the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation got it wrong. UNSCEAR downplayed the health consequences of radiation from the crippled Fukishima power plant. The UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur on the right to health, on the other hand, takes a different point of view, according to the website. Tomorrow morning, experts will discuss both UN reports in New York City.

      According to an Associated Press report, the Japanese government has concluded there have been 44 confirmed and suspected cases of thyroid cancer among kids 18 years old and younger in Fukushima Prefecture.

      The normal rate among children is one in a million.



      Hiroshi Suzuki

      Oct 24, 2013 at 10:47am

      28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima
      October 21st, 2013 The Truth
      3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low. Many are blaming Fukushima.
      5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.
      8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

      Murray Waldron

      Oct 24, 2013 at 12:44pm

      The truth is what we need to understand
      Why is this not the main concern of the planet?
      Manually working on this plant?
      I guess there's no money in it for the likes of corporate hands


      Oct 25, 2013 at 5:46pm

      Perhaps you should provide references from reality, not blog posts and articles from counterpunch. It would be interesting if you put in the WHO's official statements that claim there will not be any measurable effect of radiation to anyone from this disaster with the exception of a handful of workers who exceeded their industry regulated radiation doses and should be monitored going forward.

      Do you have a real source for "5.6 to 8.1 times Chernobyl"? That's a new one for me and I have spent hundreds of hours researching this topic. I would be interested to hear it.

      Numbers such as 400,000Bq/L are useless unless you provide how many L. 400,00Bq is a relatively small amount of radiation. Are we multiplying this number by 1L? 0.5L? 1000L? 1 million L? Furthermore, that kind of radiation is contained WITHIN the plant borders. This would be like stating the number of Bq released during a reaction contained within the plant. Totally meaningless.

      Drumming up this kind of unfounded fear is irresponsible and dangerous. Next time tell the whole story.


      Oct 27, 2013 at 11:32am

      Looking back at the author's commentary on Fukushima, it's not surprising to read yet another slanted article on the topic. You would think that "indie" journalism would be less prone to personal agendas, but alas that does not appear to be the case. For an author to comment on a topic as technical as this without the necessary technical background or fact-checking is, well, not what I would expect from The Straight. Perhaps this is why you don't read such "information" in the "mainstream" media.

      If the general population paid just a little more attention in science class (heaven forbid anyone takes a university level science elective along with their non-science degree) the world would be a very different place. The world "radiation" scares the begeezus out of people because most know nothing about it. If you wrote an article about a toaster's ability to generate "intense infrared radiation", I'm sure you could scare a few people with that too.

      When you look at the realistic options for base-load power generation, you are looking at five real options for the foreseeable future. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, and oil/diesel (in remote locations). Renewables like geothermal, wind, tidal, and solar are promising no doubt, but they are regional in nature and none will have the scale to meet our power needs any time in the near future. So pick your poison... Coal? I didn't think so. Natural gas? Hmmm, what's all that noise about fracking and groundwater? Hydroelectric? Yes, lets flood all the valleys, choke off the rivers, and and a bunch more mercury to the ecosystem... not. Just wait until the protests start about the rare-earth mines that will be needed for all the magnets for wind or tidal power, or the toxic waste that solar panel manufacturing produces.

      Look, every power source, and I mean EVERY power source comes with positives and negatives, but to keep harping on Fukushima like some poster child for the dangers of nuclear isn't constructive. Everyone knows that when nuclear goes wrong, it's bad. Full stop.

      This was a 40+ year old reactor that was hit by the strongest earthquake and tsunami seen by Japan in recent memory. Modern reactors have already been redesigned to avoid these flaws.

      Did we stop driving because of the misfortunes of the Ford Pinto?

      No, we learned from it and moved on... because that's how progress works.

      Not Good

      Oct 27, 2013 at 12:16pm

      The prevailing Winds and Ocean Currents bring all the Shit from Asia to the West Coast of Canada & US.

      This will have a serious effect on our Environment locally and Marine life already under stress from regular Pollution here.


      Oct 27, 2013 at 3:23pm

      For those who are interested in learning more about the "other side of the story", here are two links. Both authors are what I would call "qualified" to intelligently comment on the events at Fukushima. One holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics, while the other has a BSc in Nuclear Technology and a Masters in Philosophy. Certainly brings some balance to the discussion. I don't claim to know all the facts, but I do know that every good discussion has two sides.

      Lee L

      Oct 27, 2013 at 4:40pm

      I honestly HOPE you can do better than this dreck Charlie.