Fukushima Worldwide Radiation YouTube
Russia Stunned After Japanese Plan To Evacuate 40 Million Revealed
Posted by EU Times on Apr 15th, 2012 // 112 Comments
he Kremlin today prepared by the Foreign Ministry on the planned re-opening of talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands during the next fortnight states that Russian diplomats were “stunned” after being told by their Japanese counterparts that upwards of 40 million of their peoples were in “extreme danger” of life threatening radiation poisoning and could very well likely be faced with forced evacuations away from their countries eastern most located cities… including the world’s largest one, Tokyo.
The Kuril Islands are located in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast region and stretch approximately 1,300 km (810 miles) northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater Kuril Ridge and Lesser Kuril Ridge, all of which were captured by Soviet Forces in the closing days of World War II from the Japanese.
The “extreme danger” facing tens of millions of the Japanese peoples is the result of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster that was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.
According to this report, Japanese diplomats have signaled to their Russian counterparts that the returning of the Kuril Islands to Japan is “critical” as they have no other place to resettle so many people that would, in essence, become the largest migration of human beings since the 1930’s when Soviet leader Stalin forced tens of millions to resettle Russia’s far eastern regions.
Important to note, this report continues, are that Japanese diplomats told their Russian counterparts that they were, also, “seriously considering” an offer by China to relocate tens of millions of their citizens to the Chinese mainland to inhabit what are called the “ghost cities,” built for reasons still unknown and described, in part, by London’s Daily Mail News Service in their 18 December 2010 article titled: “The Ghost Towns Of China: Amazing Satellite Images Show Cities Meant To Be Home To Millions Lying Deserted” that says:
“These amazing satellite images show sprawling cities built in remote parts of China that have been left completely abandoned, sometimes years after their construction. Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices. Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.”
Foreign Ministry experts in this report note that should Japan accept China’s offer, the combined power of these two Asian peoples would make them the largest super-power in human history with an economy larger than that of the United States and European Union combined and able to field a combined military force of over 200 million.
To how dire the situation is in Japan was recently articulated by Japanese diplomat Akio Matsumura who warned that the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant may ultimately turn into an event capable of extinguishing all life on Earth.
According to the Prison Planet News Service:
“Matsumura posted [this] startling entry on his blog following a statement made by Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, on the situation at Fukushima.
Speaking at a public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on 22 March 2012, Murata warned that “if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4,” writes Matsumura.
In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421.”
Disturbingly, the desperate situation facing Japan is, also, facing the United States as Russian military observers overflying the US this week as part of the Open Skies Treaty are reporting “unprecedented” amounts of radiation in the Western regions of that country, a finding that was further confirmed by scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who have confirmed that a wave of highly radioactive waste is headed directly for the US west coast.
Important to note is that this new wave of Fukushima radiation headed towards the US is in addition to earlier radiation events that American scientists are now blaming for radioactive particles from Japan being detected in California kelp.
Though the news of this ongoing global catastrophe is still being heavily censored in the US, the same cannot be said about Japan, and as recently reported by the leading Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Daily News that reports:
“One of the biggest issues that we face is the possibility that the spent nuclear fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant will collapse. This is something that experts from both within and outside Japan have pointed out since the massive quake struck. TEPCO, meanwhile, says that the situation is under control. However, not only independent experts, but also sources within the government say that it’s a grave concern.
The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it. The 7-story building itself has suffered great damage, with the storage pool barely intact on the building’s third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area. Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned about this risk.
A report released in February by the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident stated that the storage pool of the plant’s No. 4 reactor has clearly been shown to be “the weakest link” in the parallel, chain-reaction crises of the nuclear disaster. The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate.”
Even though this crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war” and the US Military is being reported is now stocking up on massive amounts of anti-radiation pills in preparation for nuclear fallout, there remains no evidence at all the ordinary peoples are being warned about this danger in any way whatsoever.
MUTATION ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!! – DANDELIONS ARE NOW SHOWING TREMENDOUS DNA DAMAGE!!!!
Published on Apr 16, 2012 by adrumzzify
Vancouver, BC Canada
Found: April 16th??
Mutated dandelions are popping up all over my street! There are more to come! Please share this video. Go outside and look for yourself! YOU DON’T NEED TO GO ON THE INTERNET TO FIND THESE ANYMORE! IT’S RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD! Share this video!
The US Military Stocking Up On Anti-Radiation Pills In Preparation for Nuclear Fallout
West Coast is now radiated via Fukushima-levels rising
More Michigan Mutations from Fallout 4.21.2012
Published on Apr 21, 2012 by ichicax4
Dandelions found today in a parking lot in Rochester Hills Michigan, about 20 miles north of Detroit, where I found mutations last weekend.
Fasciation images here:
2 Asahi reports on mutations:
RadChick page on facebook:
Mutation Watch on facebook:
My email: email@example.com
Please send inages with your name, location, date found for proper credit if used in research paper or lectures.
Japan Is Doomed So Is USA Fukushima Radiation Spreading EVERYWHERE Nuclear Disaster
Published on Apr 20, 2012 by ExposeTheZionists
For all of my narrations and/or commentary, my official-site is http://LindseyNarrates.wordpress.com
This is from March 23, 2011.
Fair Use Notice
This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, social justice issues, international jewish/zionist criminality, etc, in my efforts to identify humanity’s global problem and hopefully to help find solutions to cure that problem. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Consistent with this notice you are welcome to make ‘fair use’ of anything you find on this web site. However, if you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
May 6, 2012
(NaturalNews) The news you are about to read puts everything else in the category of “insignificant” by comparison. Concerned about the 2012 U.S. presidential election? Worried about GMOs? Fluoride? Vaccines? Secret prisons? None of that even matters if we don’t solve the problem of Fukushima reactor No. 4, which is on the verge of a catastrophic failure that could unleash enough radiation to end human civilization on our planet. (See the numbers below.)
The resulting releasing of radiation would turn North America into a “dead zone” for humans… mutated (and failed) crops, radioactive groundwater, skyrocketing infant mortality, an explosion in cancer and infertility… this is what could be unleashed at any moment from an earthquake in Japan. Such an event could result in the release of 85 times the Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl catastrophe, say experts (see below). And the Chernobyl catastrophe made its surrounding regions uninhabitable by humans for centuries.
Yet, astonishingly, the usual suspects of deception are saying absolutely nothing about this problem. The mainstream media (the dying dinosaur media, actually) pretends there’s no problem with Fukushima. President Obama says nothing about it. Federal regulators, including the NRC, are all but silent. It’s as if they think their silence on the issue somehow makes it go away.
Perhaps these professional liars in the media and government have become so used to idea that they can simply spin their own reality (and get the public suckers to believe almost anything) that they now believe they can ignore the laws of physics. That’s why they have refused to cover the low-level radiation plume that continues to be emitted from Fukushima.
The fate of the world now rests on reactor No. 4
“It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No.4 reactor.” – Mitsuhei Murata, Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal, Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics
Mr. Murata’s stunning statement should be front-page news everywhere around the world. Why? Because he’s right. If reactor No. 4 suffers even a minor earthquake, it could set off a chain reaction of events that quickly lead to North America becoming uninhabitable by humans for centuries to come. Imagine California, Oregon and Washington states being inundated with radiation — up to 85 times the radiation release from Chernobyl. We’re talking about the end of human life on the scale of continents.
Here’s how this could happen, according to Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy:
“The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident. The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters.”
Note: He says “10 times” the Cesium-137 of Chernobyl. Others say up to 85 times. Nobody is 100% certain of what would actually occur because this has never happened before. We are in uncharted territory as a civilization, facing a unique and imminent threat to our continued survival. And both governments and the corporations that assured us nuclear power was safe are playing their “cover my ass” games while the world waits in the crosshairs of a nuclear apocalypse.
To better understand the severity of this situation, read these facts about Fukushima reactor No. 4 which I have assembled from available news sources:
• Reactor #4 contains 1,535 spent fuel rods which remain highly radioactive.
• These fuel rods currently hold the potential to emit 37 million curies of radiation.
• Those fuel rods are stored in a concrete pool located 100 feet above the ground, inside the structurally compromised reactor building, effectively making the pool open to the air.
• The pool holding these fuel rods is “structurally damaged.”
• “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.” – Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy.
• “The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors.” – Mr. Alvarez.
• Just 50 meters from reactor No. 4, a much larger pool of spent fuel rods contains 6,375 fuel rods, all of which remain highly radioactive.
• All these fuel rods are, astonishingly, exposed to the open air. They are not held inside any containment vessel.
• The total number of spent fuel rods across all six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi site is 11,421.
• If reactor No. 4 suffers a structural failure, the release of radiation from the 1,535 spent fuel rods would make it virtually impossible for work to continue on the site, potentially resulting in an inability to halt a massive radiation release from all the other rods.
• In all, the 11,421 fuel rods held at the Fukushima Daiichi facility contain roughly 336 million curies of “long-lived radioactivity.” Roughly 134 million curies of that is Cesium-137.
• “Reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.” – Mr. Robert Alvarez, U.S. Dept. of Energy
• This amount of Cesium-137 radioactivity held in the full collection of fuel rods at Fukushima is 85 times the amount released at Chernobyl.
• The release of this amount of Cesium-137 would “destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is an issue of human survival.” (http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html)
[*Ed: This page was updated on 4/5/12 to reflect corrected calculations]
By Akio Matsumura
Read this article in Japanese.
Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4—with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).
I asked top spent-fuel pools expert Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 rods.
I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:
In recent times, more information about the spent fuel situation at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site has become known. It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in reactor No. 304 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity. The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da–Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel appear to be unscathed.
Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).
It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.
Many of our readers might find it difficult to appreciate the actual meaning of the figure, yet we can grasp what 85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl would mean. It would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.
There was a Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul on March 26 and 27, and Ambassador Murata and I made a concerted effort to find someone to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4. We asked several participants to share the idea of an Independent Assessment team comprised of a broad group of international experts to deal with this urgent issue.
I would like to introduce Ambassador Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey this urgent message and also his letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Japanese readers. He emphasized in the statement that we should bring human wisdom to tackle this unprecedented challenge.
It seems to us that the Nuclear Security Summit was focused on the North Korea nuclear issue and on the issue of common security from a terrorist attack. Our appeal on the need for the independent assessment at Reactor 4 was regarded as less urgent. We predicted this outcome in light of the nature of the Summit. I suppose most participants fully understood the potential disaster which will affect their countries. Nevertheless, they decided not to raise the delicate issue, perhaps in order to not ruffle their diplomatic relationship with Japan.
I was moved by Ambassador Murata’s courage in pressing this issue in Japan. I know how difficult it is for a former career diplomat to do this, especially in my country. Current and former government officials might be similarly restricted in the scope of their actions, as Ambassador Murata is, but it is their responsibility to take a stand for the benefit of our descendants for centuries to come—to pass on a world safer than our ancestors passed us.
If Japanese government leaders do not recognize the risk their nation faces, how could the rest of us be persuaded of the looming disaster? And if the rest of us do not acknowledge the catastrophe we collectively face, who will be the one to act?
Tokyo, March 25, 2012
Honorable Ban Ki-moon,
I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for your considerate letter dated 2 March, 2012. Your moral support for a United Nations Ethics Summit will remain a constant source of encouragement for my activities.
Please allow me to pay a tribute to your great contribution to strengthen nuclear safety and security. The current Nuclear Summit in Seoul is no doubt greatly benefiting from the high-level meeting you convened last September.
I was asked to make a statement at the public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 23. I raised the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima containing1535 fuel rods. It could be fatally damaged by continuing aftershocks. Moreover, 50 meters away from it exists a common cooling pool for 6 reactors containing 6375 fuel rods!
It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on NO.4 reactor. This is confirmed by most reliable experts like Dr. Arnie Gundersen or Dr. Fumiaki Koide.
Please allow me to inform you of an initiative being taken by a former UN official who is endeavoring to have the Nuclear Security Summit take up the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima. He is pursuing the establishment of an independent assessment team. I think his efforts are very significant, because it is indispensable to draw the attention of world leaders to this vital issue.
I am cooperating with him, writing to some of my Korean acquaintances that this issue deserves the personal attention of President Lee Myung-bak. I have written today to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. I asked him to consider taking the initiative of mobilizing human wisdom on the widest scope to cope with the Fukushima reactor No.4 problem, fully taking into account the above-mentioned “independent assessment team”.
The world has been made so fragile and vulnerable. The role of the United Nations is increasingly vital. I wish you the best of luck in your noble mission. Please accept, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal
Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics
Fukushima Radiation Map – Clouds Stream
Stream of radioactive clouds from 11 March – 5 April.Ohhh what a shame that the brainless people in charge of such important nuclear plants are not made to live or rounded up and put right in the area where everything is radiated.that would teach the new up and coming people that run these plants,what will happen to them if they don’t use the proper measures to secure the safety of these nuclear plants. if only we had the power to make this all go away,the dreams are gone-wishes are futile,the end of a normal world is here,here comes the freak-monster birth era. 4 sure
• The mainstream media operates in a total blackout of this news, refusing to even acknowledge the existence of this immediate threat to human civilization.
• The mainstream media is, in large part, owned by General Electric, the very company that designed the Fukushima reactors in the first place. It is clear that GE is diligently running a total media blackout on this news in order to cover its own ass and prevent people from asking questions about the faulty engineering and nuclear facility site selection that led to this catastrophe.
18,000 dead so far and hundreds of millions at risk: The media cover-up
“The executive branch and multiple federal agencies, agencies tasked with keeping the American public safe, did their best to hide and to cover-up information about a deadly radioactive plume and ensuing fallout that was headed for the West Coast of the United States from Japan,” says Alexander Higgins. http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/01/plumegate-media-silent-feds-fukushima-coverup-88832/
He goes on to state “The evidence obtained in the FOIA request indicates that right from the start, the NRC had a clear idea of the significance of the disaster that was unfolding, but concealed the truth from the American public. The results of the plume and fallout can be measured in the rise of infant mortality rates: cells of unborn and newborn children are dividing at a much higher rate than those of a mature adult, thus the amount of damage is greatly increased and hence more detectable. Conservative estimates place the number of stillborn following the Fukushima accident at over 18,000.”
See the FOIA documents here:
The conspiracy cover-up of the radioactive plumes still being emitted from Fukushima is now being called “Plume-Gate.” This issue needs to be front and center on all our radar screens. There may quite literally be nothing more important for the survival of the human race than dealing with this runaway issue of Fukushima radiation in the immediate term, and the larger issue of the scientific fraud of nuclear power “safety” thereafter.
As Higgins explains, “It is this author’s opinion that any media source not shouting about Plume-Gate as loud as they can are likely controlled by the powers-that-be.” He’s got a point. This should be our No. 1 issue, and NaturalNews is re-shifting priorities right now to help raise the alarm on the impeding Fukushima disaster for the obvious reason that everything else pales in comparison to the importance of dealing with this.
Take action now
Although I hate to call for the UN to do anything at all, as it is a criminal globalist organization engaged in widespread sex slave trafficking, child abuse and mass murder, the UN definitely has some pull with governments around the world. The petition linked below calls for the UN to take immediate, decisive action to deal with Fukushima reactor No. 4 before it’s too late and we all get “Fuk’ed” beyond repair.
This petition calls for two actions:
1. The United Nations should organize a Nuclear Security Summit to take up the crucial problem of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.
2. The United Nations should establish an independent assessment team on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and coordinate international assistance in order to stabilize the unit’s spent nuclear fuel and prevent radiological consequences with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Here at NaturalNews, although we hold the UN in contempt for its globalist actions and crimes against humanity, we nevertheless support this particular petition and the urgent effort for the UN to actually do something positive for a change. In fact, if the UN ignores this issue, that itself would be the greatest crime of all against humanity, for failure to solve this reactor No. 4 situation could mean the end of human civilization as we know it.
NaturalNews will continue to cover this issue, especially focusing on reactor No. 4. We are reaching out to Higgins and Gunderson to conduct more interviews on this subject. Watch for more coverage here at NaturalNews.com.
Arnie Gunderson – one of the most important scientific voices of truth and reason on this issue
Radioactive Seawater Flowing From Fukushima
It seems that many worry about wars, and government, but natural disasters and man made disasters are increasing. Are we closer to the end times every day?
Mutated Dandelions In Nova Scotia, Canada [Potent News Blast #7]
Published on May 6, 2012 by PotentNewsUpdates
by Louise Koster (PotentNews.com)
more pictures: http://potentnews.com/2012/05/06/mutated-dandelions-in-nova-scotia-canada
Arnie Gundersen on Facing The Reality of Fukushima Dangers Part 1 of 2
Arnie Gundersen interview by Chris Martenson on June 03, 2011 – Part 1 focusing on the reality of situation & contamination levels. Part 2 focuses on what to do to protect yourself from the different radiation threats.
Below is part of the transcript for Exclusive Arnie Gundersen Interview: The Dangers of Fukushima Are Worse and Longer-lived Than We Think
Complete transcript to this part 1 at link below:
Chris Martenson: Let’s just briefly review — if we could just synopsize — I know you can do this better than anybody. What happened at Fukushima — what happened and I really would like to take the opportunity to talk about this kind of specifically, like where we are with each one of the reactors. So first of all, this disaster — how did it happen? Was it just bad engineering, was it really bad luck with the tsunami? How did this even initiate — something we were told again and again — something that couldn’t happen seems to have happened?
Arnie Gundersen: Well the little bit of physics here is that even when a reactor shuts down; it continues to churn out heat. Now, only five percent of the original amount of heat, but when you are cranking out millions of horsepower of heat, five percent is still a lot. So you have to keep a nuclear reactor cool after it shuts down. Now, what happened at Fukushima was it went into what is called a “station blackout,” and people plan for that. That means there is no power to anything except for batteries. And batteries can’t turn the massive motors that are required to cool the nuclear reactor. So the plan is in a station blackout is that somehow or another you get power back in four or five hours. That didn’t happen at Fukushima because the tidal wave, the tsunami, was so great that it overwhelmed their diesels and it overwhelmed something called “service water 2” But in any event, they couldn’t get any power to the big pumps.
Now, was it foreseeable? They were prepared for a seven-meter tsunami, about twenty-two feet. The tsunami that hit was something in excess of ten and quite likely fifteen meters, so somewhere between thirty-five and forty-five feet. They were warned that the tsunami that they were designed against was too low. They were warned for at least ten years and I am sure that there were people back before that. So would they have been prepared for one this big? I don’t know, but certainly, they were unprepared for even a tsunami of lesser magnitude.
Chris Martenson: So the tsunami came along and just swamped the systems and I heard that there were some other design elements there too, such as potentially the generators were in an unsafe spot or that some of their electrical substations all happened to be in the basement, so they kind of got taken out all at once. Now, here’s what I heard — the initial reports when they came out said, “Oh, nothing to fear, we all went into SCRAM,” which is some kind of emergency shutdown and they said everything is SCRAMed and I knew that we were in trouble in less than twenty-four hours, they talked about how they were pumping seawater in. Which I assume, by the time you are pumping seawater you have a pretty clear indication from the outside that there is something really quite wrong with this story, is that true?
Arnie Gundersen: Yes. Seawater and as anybody who has ever had a boat on the ocean would know, saltwater and stainless steel do not get along very well. Saltwater and stainless steel at five hundred degrees don’t get along very well at all. You are right, they had some single points of vulnerability — the hole in the armor and the diesels were one of them. But even if the diesels were up high, they would have been in trouble because of those service water pumps I talked about. And they got wiped out and those pumps are the pumps that cool the diesels. So even if the diesels were runnable, cooling water that runs through the diesels would have been taken out by the tsunami anyway. So it’s kind of a false argument to blame the diesels.
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Arnie Gundersen on Protecting Yourself From Fukushima Radiation Part 2 of 2
Japan shuts off nuclear power as thousands celebrate
Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation’s 50 nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol.
Japan was without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido went offline for mandatory routine maintenance.
After last year’s March 11 quake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, no reactor halted for checkups has been restarted amid public worries about the safety of nuclear technology.
“Today is a historic day,” Masashi Ishikawa shouted to a crowd gathered at a Tokyo park, some holding traditional “koinobori” carp-shaped banners for Children’s Day that have become a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement.
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“There are so many nuclear plants, but not a single one will be up and running today, and that’s because of our efforts,” Ishikawa said.
The activists said it is fitting that the day Japan stopped nuclear power coincides with Children’s Day because of their concerns about protecting children from radiation, which Fukushima Dai-ichi is still spewing into the air and water.
The government has been eager to restart nuclear reactors, warning about blackouts and rising carbon emissions as Japan is forced to turn to oil and gas for energy.
Japan now requires reactors to pass new tests to withstand quakes and tsunami and to gain local residents’ approval before restarting.
The response from people living near nuclear plants has been mixed, with some wanting them back in operation because of jobs, subsidies and other benefits to the local economy.
Power shortage possible
Major protests, like the one Saturday, have been generally limited to urban areas like Tokyo, which had received electricity from faraway nuclear plants, including Fukushima Dai-ichi.
Before the nuclear crisis, Japan relied on nuclear power for a third of its electricity.
The crowd at the anti-nuclear rally, estimated at 5,500 by organizers, shrugged off government warnings about a power shortage. If anything, they said, with the reactors going offline one by one, it was clear the nation didn’t really need nuclear power.
Whether Japan will suffer a sharp power crunch is still unclear.
Electricity shortages are expected only at peak periods, such as the middle of the day in hot weather, and critics of nuclear power say proponents are exaggerating the consequences to win public approval to restart reactors.
Hokkaido Electric Power Co. spokesman Hisatoshi Kibayashi said the shutdown was completed late Saturday.
The Hokkaido Tomari plant has three reactors, but the other two had been halted earlier. Before March 11 last year, the nation had 54 nuclear reactors, but four of the six reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi are being decommissioned because of the disaster.
Yoko Kataoka, a retired baker who was dancing to the music at the rally waving a small paper carp, said she was happy the reactor was being turned off.
“Let’s leave an Earth where our children and grandchildren can all play without worries,” she said, wearing a shirt that had, “No thank you, nukes,” handwritten on the back.
24 Fukushima Reactors in USA with More Spent Fuel than Fukushima are ready to Shake & Blow?
Published on Apr 19, 2012 by connectingdots2
More bad news coming from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. While speaking to Swiss lawmakers last month – Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, warned that if the building housing reactor four at the plant were to collapse – as many officials fear might happen – then it would lead to a global catastrophe like the world has never seen before. As Reader Supported News reports – a former official with the U.S. Department of Energy commented on the consequences of a building collapse around reactor four saying, “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.” And if that fire were to consume the thousands of other radioactive spent fuel rods at the Fukushima plant – then the radiological event could be 85-times greater than the Chernobyl disaster. So just how dangerous is the situation still at the Fukushima plant – and what are the consequences for the United States? Kevin Kamps if back – he is the Nuclear Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear.
Published on Apr 19, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT
Fukushima – the real story you need to know – Interview With Professor Tony Hall
Published on Apr 10, 2012 by wimlentelink
Professor Anthony Hall is interviewed on June 10, 2011 in San Francisco about his research into the introduction of nuclear power into Japan and the role of the United States in the postwar period. His paper and research are in Japan Nuclear Catastrophe Made In USA-From Hiroshima to Fukushima, 1945-2011: A Nuclear Narrative of Hubris and Tragedy
Production Of Labor Video Project http://www.laborvideo.org laborvideo.blip.tv
Dr. Anthony J. Hall: From Hiroshima to Fukushima, 1945-2011
Introducing the world to Atomic energy with the obliteration of Hiroshima. Historians have shown that this demonstration of lethal power was to send a hostile message to the Soviet leadership
From Hiroshima to Fukushima, 1945-2011: A Nuclear Narrative of Hubris and Tragedy
by Anthony J. Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies University of Lethbridge
(28 March, 2011, Version 2, Running Draft)
The Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Nuclear Plant Number One
From Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the witches brew of melting, spewing and exploding nuclear matter at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Number One, the history of humanity’s first decades of encounter with energy’s atomic sources is unfolding as a poetic saga of hubris and tragedy.
In 2011 as in 1945, the people of Japan have been put at the centre of a dark science experiment testing the limits of human capacities to absorb new frontiers of nuclear devastation.
The tsunami of annihilation and then slow, radiation-induced sicknesses and deformities was introduced to the world with the terrible blasts of the two American Atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fate Man and Little Boy were the codenames bestowed by the US Air Force on the two original atomic bombs that were dropped on the two defenseless Japanese cities from the Boeing B-29 Superfortress named the Enola Gay.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of highly-radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods are stored at nuclear power stations in Japan, USA and most other nuclearized countries. This form of nuclear waste remains highly toxic for hundreds of thousands of years
The devastation wrought at Hiroshima and Nagasaki may prove limited compared to the catastrophe now set in motion at the maimed power station just north of Tokyo. The devastation underway has such enormous destructive potential because the site of Fukushima Daiichi (which translates from Japanese as “Fukushima Power Plant Number One”) has long been made to double as a massive storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods, the most deadly and volatile form of nuclear waste.i
Long the Achilles heal of the nuclear energy industry, the used rods that have fueled nuclear plants remain highly radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years or more. The immense technological problems entailed in trying to isolate this most toxic form of nuclear waste from life’s natural cycles over such vast periods of time has helped to catalyze massive public opposition to the expansion of the nuclear energy industry.
Rather than expose this Achilles heal to the light of yet more public controversy, the lords of most of the world’s 400 or so nuclear power plants decided some time ago to put off a reckoning with the intractable political and technological problems associated with locating new installations devoted specifically to storing contaminated fuel rods emanating from multiple nuclear power stations. The multiplication of functions, where nuclear power stations are made to double as storage facilities for huge concentrations of densely-packed nuclear waste is nowhere so marked as in the United States.ii
The severity of this congestion of dangerous functions at nuclear power stations in the United States was aggravated when President Obama put the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility on hold as an expedient to assuage aroused Nevada voters.
President Barack Obama receives major political and financial backing from the American Nuclear Energy Industry, but especially from the Illinois-based Exelon Company
The problem of what do with the nuclear waste has been a primary, yet persistently neglected, facet of the nuclear industry from its inception. A major proof of this neglect is the fact that the Hanford Reservation in Washington State, the site where the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were manufactured and assembled, contains 53 million gallons of high-level nuclear waste to this day.iii As Carol L. Wilson, the first General Manager of the US Atomic Energy Commission observed when he looked back at the beginnings of the industry from the perspective of 1979,
Chemists and chemical engineers were not interested in nuclear waste. It was not glamorous; there were no careers; it was messy; nobody got brownie points for caring about nuclear waste… There was no real interest or profit for dealing with the back end of the fuel cycle.iv
The tight juxtaposition of many installations for generating nuclear power, processing nuclear waste, and storing nuclear waste within the narrow confines of the one-and-a half square mile site of the maimed Fukushima plant epitomizes the irresponsibility of a troubled industry. The depth of the problem is confirmed by the failure of nuclear regulators to explain clearly in the course of the current crisis the immensity of problems generated by the need to isolate vast quantities of toxic nuclear material from any exposure whatsoever to air, to water, and to all living organisms over hundreds of thousands of years. In speculating that the Fukushima disaster could fast be approaching its “Chernobyl Moment,” Mike Whitney has cautioned that much of the mainstream media’s goal has been “to conceal the scale of the catastrophe in order to protect the nuclear industry.”v
One of the great tragedies of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is that, as with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the episode is already giving rise to a huge case study on the uncertain effects of what happens to all living beings, including humans, when they are exposed to such large-scale releases of highly toxic radionucludes, including, for starters, Cesium-137, Strontium-90, Iodine-129, and Plutonium-239. What are the effects on public health when our life support systems of food, air and water are exposed to so many radioactive elements rushing simultaneously into sea, river, land, and air at extremely quick rates and in very large quantities? The confusion and subterfuge in the early stages of this giant science experiment on human subjects was suggested on March 27 when officials first reported that water leaking from Fukushima #1’s Reactor #2 was about 10 million times more radioactive than normal. By the end of the day Sakae Muto, Vice-President of the Tokyo Power Company that runs the crippled plant, revised the original estimate down to 100 thousand times normal levels. In at least one account of Muto’s comments, he is reported to have “ruled out having an independent monitor to oversee the various checks despite the errors.”vi
The Fukushima disaster provides a text book example of the huge dangers inherent in literally stacking up, one on top of the other, so many of the most dangerous industrial processes known to humankind.vii A single breakdown in one industrial cycle can spread to neighboring industrial operations creating a series of proliferating chain reactions. This outcome reflects the reality that chain reactions are the atomic essence of nuclear energy. The release of great amounts of radioactivity into the air system and water systems of the crippled nuclear plant is making periodic evacuations of the crippled control room necessary, removing human agency from the chain reaction of mounting breakdowns, as one disaster begets another, and as a local emergency moves closer and closer to the threshold of a global catastrophe.
The Fukushima #1 site encloses six closely configured nuclear reactors together with seven pools that were supposed to be devoted to the temporary storage of used nuclear fuel. Instead of periodically emptying the nuclear storage facilities to lessen the likelihood of breakdown in such a high-risk hotspot of intertwined doomsday scenarios, those running this antiquated installation have for four decades packed more and more spent fuel rods into tighter and tighter configurations. As more and more nuclear waste was concentrated in increasingly overwhelmed cooling pools, the greater and greater became the chance that an industrial disruption, such as the loss of liquid coolant, might provide the environment where radioactive materials could interact in ways that would extend from radioactive fires to the horror of explosions and nuclear meltdowns in the open air. Even the limited and highly censored images emerging from the Fukushima site have provided clear indications of what this combination of dire circumstances actually looks like.
There could be no better expression of the utter madness of this juxtaposition and multiplication of dangers than the design of the General Electric Mark I reactors at Fukushima and at dozens of other sites around the world. This GE system, originally designed to propel the first generation of US nuclear submarines, situates the cooling pools for spent nuclear fuel rods directly OVER THE TOP of live nuclear reactors. Any disruption of the nuclear reactors, therefore, is quite likely to disrupt the attending mechanism for storing nuclear waste. The reverse is similarly true.viii This juxtaposition of functions may have seemed unavoidable in the 1950s when the original designers of the Mark I system faced the challenge of trying to cram so many industrial functions into the confined space of a nuclear propelled submarine. But what is the industry’s justification for linking so closely the mechanisms for generating nuclear power and for cooling as well as storing nuclear waste in the more open environment of land-based nuclear power plants?
The plan back in the early days of the nuclear power industry was to ease the multiplier effect of combined nuclear dangers by carting away nuclear waste from such close proximity to live nuclear reactors. Because of the so-called NIMBY effect– namely the consistency of citizens’ mobilization to block the construction of nuclear waste dumps by proclaiming “Not In My Back Yard”—the anticipated development of sites devoted exclusively to the large-scale storage of spent nuclear fuel never materialized. The result is that Japan’s nuclear power plants, like most nuclear power plants around the world, have become repositories for large accumulations of highly toxic nuclear waste. Only the German nuclear industry has begun seriously to avert the likelihood of chain reactions of proliferating nuclear disasters by making tentative moves to store spent fuel rods to specially designed facilities away well from live nuclear power plants.
Some of the nuclear waste at Fukushima has been packed in multiple casks. Questions have been asked if some of these casks, which can float if only partially filled, were swept out to sea by the Sendai tsunami. The largest part of the nuclear waste from the nuclear power generators was stored in seven pools, six of which are (or possible were), as already noted, situated directly above the live nuclear reactors. The seventh and largest storage pool, whose condition remains unclear, is said by the Tokyo Power Company to contain well over 6,000 waste assemblies. Each assembly contains 64 separate spent nuclear fuel rods. Each rod contains hundreds of radioactive pellets. Most of the reactors together with the installations for the storage of radioactive waste seem to have been seriously disrupted in a variety of still-unknown ways as a result of the series of explosions and fires that ripped through Fukushima One following the recent Sendai earthquake and tsunami. The simultaneous convergence of so many breakdowns was quite predictable given Japan’s location on a major seismic fault line and the power plant’s location on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Just down the coast from the site of the worsening nuclear disaster is Fukushima Power Plant Number Two. It has four more reactors along with accompanying facilities for processing and storing spent nuclear fuel rods. We have been reassured that Fukushima Two, one of 53 nuclear power stations in Japan, has been stabilized. Could its nuclear materials yet be ignited or otherwise disrupted if a massive explosion was to take place at Fukushima One?
The potential wallop of this ongoing fast release of radionuclides into the land, sea and winds of the Pacific Rim could, in worst case scenarios, become many orders of magnitude more lethal than the hundred or so pounds of fissionable material made to explode over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Fukushima installation combines antique reactors designed during the early years of the Cold War with the most recent generation of plutonium-laced fuel rods produced by AREVA Corporation, France’s most aggressive nuclear merchant and innovator. The core ingredient of nuclear bombs, plutonium is the most deadly ingredient known to science.
The deliberate combination of the most antique nuclear reactors with the most advanced form of high-octane nuclear fuel is so wildly negligent that it is almost certainly constitutes a criminal violation of public safety laws. There were many interventions in Japanese courts seeking to block this nuclear madness. Unfortunately the interventions to protect public health failed.
Much of the controversy revolves around the activities of a so-called nuclear reprocessing site at Rokkasho. Starting in October of 2010, AREVA’s plutonium-laced rods began to be loaded into the nuclear fuel tank of Reactor 3. Reactor 3 is the core installation surrounded by containment shed that on March 14 exploded high into the air in full view of nearby cameras.ix This explosion occurred two days after the initial blast at Reactor #1, also clearly captured on camera.x AREVA’s first corporate response to the disaster was, like GE, to disclaim any legal liability for its role in the disaster. AREVA’s spin doctors then quoted approvingly a newspaper editorial asserting, “The public needs to calm down, the environmentalists need to quit trying to make political hay out of a grave crisis, and the politicians need to grow a spine.”xi
YouTube – Veterans Today –
One of the primary motivations for building nuclear power plants in the first place has been to produce the plutonium needed for the construction of nuclear weapons.xii This overlapping of functions continues yet. The tight integration of the business of designing and manufacturing nuclear devices as weapons of mass destruction and the business of using nuclear fuel to generate electricity for broad public consumption needs to be emphasized again and again.xiii To gain insights into the linkages between the building of nuclear power plants and the construction of nuclear weapons one need only consider the controversy attending relevant developments in Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. In 1945 at the dawning of the nuclear age none of these countries even existed except for India. At the time India was still a colony of Great Britain. The controversy currently swirling around Iran’s nuclear program repeats in a new context the controversy surrounding earlier stages of the efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The persistently persecuted whistle blower, Mordechai Vanuna, provided the world in 1986 with pictures illustrating the thick web of industrial connections linking the generation of nuclear energy and the development of nuclear weapons in Israel. His photographs shed considerable light on Israel’s top-secret installations for the manufacturing of nuclear devices at the Dimona complex in the southeastern corner of one of the world’s most heavily militarized countries.xiv Another illustration of this same pattern came to light when it was reported in 2010 that the weapons-grade tritium manufactured at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant would be channeled to the production of nuclear weapons in the United States.xv
YouTube – Veterans Today –
The approval of this transfer by President Barack Obama should not come as a surprise. He and many members of his inner circle, including David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, have received significant financial and political backing from the Exelon Corporation, the biggest operator of nuclear power plants in the United States. Exelon runs 10 nuclear power stations with a total of 17 reactors.xvi The core of their nuclear empire is in Illinois, the home state of the current US president. One of Barack Obama’s major fund raisers is John Rogers Jr., a member of the Exelon board and Chairman of Ariel Investments.xvii
From its inception in the darkest days of the Cold War, the nuclear energy industry was designed with a view to providing a more civilized civilian face to the stealthy operations of a military establishment that developed atomic energy as medium for mass destruction, including mass murder, on an unprecedented scale. Some telling continuities have been placed on full display, therefore, in the linkages connecting the subjugation of the Japanese to the horrors of state terror at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the present prospect of their slow submission to nuclear-induced sicknesses and deformities from the failed experiment in nuclear deregulation at Fukushima. The prospect of this nuclear plague spreading to surrounding countries and regions helps to underline the obsolescence of our outmoded conceptions of national sovereignty in the twenty-first century.
The origins of this nuclear plant’s design in the operations of the permanent war economy maintained by the United States since 1941 helps to clarify the artificiality between the civilian and military functions in our societies and in the unaccountable global corporations that have long acted as our real, behind-the-scenes governors. A former researcher for the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Company based in California, Leuren Moret has pointed out that 85% of all the world’s nuclear power plants have been designed by only two companies, General Electric and Westinghouse.xviii Both these corporate leviathans have grown up around core divisions devoted to the development of weapons of mass destruction. Like many military-based firms, both these companies have owned and controlled large media conglomerates integral to the psychological warfare served up to us on a daily basis to divert attention from the real workings of the permanent war economy.
If and when the investigations take place into the genesis of the nuclear disaster presently underway in Japan, it will be important to look much higher up the chain of responsibility and command than the officials of the Tokyo Power Company. The notorious corruption and fraud of TEPCO officials is but a low-level manifestation of an interlocked system of global power based on the tight marriage of banking, military and media empires. In the closed kleptocracy of this increasingly concentrated and unaccountable complex of governance by the few, of the few and for the few, conflict-of-interest, bribery, blackmail, negligence, cover-up and failures of due diligence are given wide latitude. Under these circumstances the supposed safeguards thought to reside in periodic elections, even in the so-called liberal democracies, have become little more than window dressing in a political culture modeled to replicate the appearance of choice between, say, Pepsi and Coke, Westinghouse and General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba.
Accompanying the still-unfolding global financial debacle and following immediately in the wake of BP’s massive oil contamination of the Gulf of Mexico, the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima #1 highlights yet again the suicidal trajectory onto which we have been placed. All humanity is experiencing a wild ride on an accelerating technological juggernaut that outstrips the capacities of our now-outmoded systems of political economy and public education to keep up. Some would say we have been collectively betrayed in this death walk through forms of televised mass hypnosis that helped us accept the massive devolution of government powers to the so-called private sector. The Fukushima tragedy underlines the outcome of this journey of deregulation towards extremes that grossly violate the public interest and sabotage the common good. When even the nuclear energy industry is run as a private business for cost-cutting corporations, the pendulum of deregulation has definitely swung way too far.
The unanswered questions arising from these and many similar extremes of deregulation come easily. How are the activities of those who design and operate nuclear reactors as well as nuclear storage facilities in any way private? How are the operations of companies extracting oil from, say, the Gulf of Mexico or the Tar Sands of Alberta, in any way private? What is private about the assaults on ecology and public health that have been shown to occur regularly and on a massive scale in the industrial transformation of matter into energy? Who is supposed to pay for the clean up when supposedly-private corporations mess up? Who is to be held liable in societies where the for-profit corporations have been legally structured around the concept of limited liability?
How are the activities of Goldman Sachs or the other banking partners of AIG in any way private when their deregulated derivative products became so toxic that they plunged the global economy into meltdown mode? Now, at Fukushima, the meltdown from excessive deregulation is not a mere metaphor. What is a “partial meltdown” anyway? Hiroshima beget Fukushima.
The nature of humanity’s shared dilemma is highlighted by the propensity of our mass media of disinformation to point our attention away from those most responsible for the creating the conditions behind the Fukushima crisis—behind the massive breakdown of technology, ecology, public health, and political economy embodied by this disaster. What happened in the background of this debacle that thrust the employees of TEPCO, a private, for-profit company, into the untenable position assigned them after March 11? What led up to the crisis still unfolding after a predictable tsunami swept over the nuclear waste dumps and the live museum of antiquated nuclear devices assembled in the Fukushima #1 just a hundred and fifty miles north of Tokyo? How could this combination of nuclear dangers been allowed to develop in Japan, one of the most active island earthquake zones on earth?
From the U.S.S. Nautilus to “Atoms for Peace”
The preponderance of Mark I reactors at Fukushima invokes the dawning of the era introduced to the world with the atomic explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The ending of the Second World War with the atomic attacks on Japan doubled as the opening act of the half-century of world history that had at its bipolar core the conflict pitting the USA against the USSR, capitalism against communism, believers in God against adherents of dialectical materialism. This core conflict dominating the second half of the twentieth century is generally known as the Cold War. This so-called Cold War, however, was in fact very hot for the people of Korea, Indochina, the Middle East, Latin America, and much of Africa. In these theatres of Cold War conflict, army met army with the direct or indirect military involvement of the two mirrored superpowers.
As is now widely understood, the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was directed at putting the Soviet Union on its guard. The US government was sending a message to the Soviets that, not only did it possess atomic weapons, but that the commanders of the US Armed Forces were ready, able and willing to use these lethal devices against masses of civilians. What better proof of this position could there be than the actual bombing of the Japanese cities causing the immediate murder of 150,000 individuals and the slow deaths and deformities of many more victims through the infliction of radiation-induced maladies, including epidemics of cancer?
Thus the highest levels of authority in the United States chose to sacrifice scores of Japanese citizens in order to send a message to the Soviet authorities. The US government was demonstrating its determination to contain and push back Soviet power and influence regardless of the fact that Stalin’s forces were largely responsible for the defeat of Hitler’s army in Germany’s grab for Eurasian living space.xix
In the years following the end of the Second World War, the Cold War was formally born in the passage by Congress in 1947 of the National Security Act. As the US national security state, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), gained enormous new powers, the US Armed Forces and their corporate partners set to work to redirect the technological forces that had destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The new enemy was to be Josef Stalin’s communist regime in the Soviet Union. The US Navy, which had been excluded from the manufacturing of the atomic bomb in the top-secret Manhatten Project, stepped forward to make its mark in the transformed geopolitics of the era. The US Navy entered the Atomic Age with the initial goal of developing nuclear power plants with sufficient capacity to propel submarines on long underwater voyages.
The primary duty assigned these nuclear-powered submarines would be to carry and, when ordered to do so, launch nuclear-armed missiles aimed at enemy targets. The course of the Second World War had demonstrated the strategic importance of underwater weaponry. The conflict had exposed the limitations of existing technology based on battery-powered locomotion that only permitted submarines to conceal their underwater travels for a maximum of about 20 miles at a stretch.
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover: Chief Engineer of The Nautilus’ Nuclear Power Plant and the Founding Father of the so-called “Civilian” Nuclear Energy Industry
The Mark I prototype took shape at a military laboratory in Idaho in the early 1950s, where the world’s initial nuclear power plant was assembled, tested and modified in an artificial lake and in the hull of a submarine designed especially for this top secret project. Hyman G. Rickover led the team of technological innovators commissioned by the US Armed Forces and the Atomic Energy Commission. As the project went from success to success this naval officer and electrical engineer was promoted up the ranks to become an admiral. Admiral Rickover was to play a major role in pioneering all design, manufacturing and training facets of the use of nuclear power for the generation of electricity not only on military vessels but in land-based power plants as well.
The Mark I design began to take shape when Rickover accepted the Westinghouse Company’s proposal for a boiling water reactor run by the heat generated from nuclear fission. The core operations of the Mark I turn electricity-producing turbines through the medium of steam. The patents emerging from Westinghouse’s successful bid for the lucrative Navy contract were later purchased and developed by General Electric, the manufacturer of three of the ailing reactors at Fukushima #1 and the designer of all of them. The Hitachi and Toshibe corporations assembled the other reactors using the GE blueprints.
From the design of the propulsion system driving the US nuclear submarines since 1954, to the design of the first civilian atomic power plant at Shippingport Pennsylvania, to 32 of the several hundred nuclear reactors presently running worldwide, the Mark I prototype adopted and developed by Admiral Rickover has been replicated again and again over more than half a century in spite of repeating choruses of serious professional criticisms.
These criticisms became especially intense in the 1970s when several whistle blowers within the nuclear industry resigned, pointing to a variety of structural problems including the vulnerability of the Mark I’s cooling systems to external breakdowns of electrical power. In spite of their criticisms, the lords of the US nuclear industry continued to depend heavily on the Mark I design. There are presently 23 Mark I reactors sprinkled among the 103 nuclear power stations currently running in the United States. The stopping of the flow of electrical power to the Mark I’s cooling systems after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami contributed significantly to the nuclear disaster in Japan. Another criticism mounted by experts in the field had to do with the inadequacy of the Mark I’s containment systems, a problem whose basis in fact is now on public display in the release of many radioactive gases from Japan’s most seriously crippled nuclear plant.xx
Admiral Rickover was chosen by the US Navy with the objective of integrating the naval division of the US Armed Forces more deeply into the profound realignment of many kinds of power that came about with the introduction of atomic weapons. Very early on Rickover seized on the objective of extending the utilization of nuclear energy not only to the propulsion of naval vessels but also to the large-scale generation of electricity for more general consumption. He was encouraged to move in this direction by a number of allies in the so-called private sector, executives in companies like GE, Westinghouse and General Dynamics. These firms, like the majority of large manufacturing enterprises based in the United States, had expanded exponentially while acting as military partners of the US government during the Second World War. Rickover played a major role in working with his staff to set up the legal structure of the nuclear energy industry in ways that advanced the proprietary interests of the corporate partners that have long been deeply integrated into the core operations of the US Armed Forces.
Admiral Rickover’s approach was very different than that of a powerful coalition seeking to place controls over all facets of atomic energy in the hands of a genuinely international agency whose highest priority would be to keep this source of such vast concentrations of energy inside a tightly circumscribed circle of research and regulation. This coalition, which strongly opposed the overly hasty efforts to apply atomic energy to the generation of electricity, included among its members Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer as well as the controversial Anglo-American globalist, Carroll L. Wilson. In 1946 Wilson became the first general manager of the US-based Atomic Energy Commission.
This faction could claim the attachments of the preponderance of living scientists whose theoretical breakthroughs had been integral to the Manhatten Project’s engineering of the atomic bombs that had destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This propensity was epitomized by the struggles of Robert Oppenheimer with his own conscience in the light of his awareness of his own role in the process of unleashing such lethal and unpredictable forces on all of humanity. Oppenheimer’s anguish was most famously captured in his public citation of Vishnu’s cry as drawn from the ancient Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”xxi
In 1953 the course of the Cold War strengthened the hand of the Rickover faction in the struggle over the future of nuclear power. The fact that the Rickover faction was allowed to take over the momentum of the nuclear industry from so many of those whose efforts established the basis of nuclear science is telling. It perhaps illustrated the truth of Albert Einstein adage that “with the splitting of the atom, everything has changed except our way of thinking.”xxii
While the US had monopolized the capacity to apply the power of the atom to warfare in the years immediately following the Second World War, the geopolitics of nature’s deepest sources of energy shifted in 1949 when the Soviet Union successfully tested an atomic weapon. In August of 1953 the Soviets detonated the world’s first hydrogen bomb. American Cold Warriors nicknamed the nuclear device Joe 4 after Josef Stalin.
These developments helped accelerate an arms race to the point where, between 1951 and 1953, the US government conducted 37 test explosions of nuclear bombs in the open air. This assertive display of military might was quite rightly generating growing trepidations in North America and throughout the Americas that a serious spread of radioactivity was underway. Beyond the huge public health concerns raised by these tests, such provocative nuclear sword rattling could not help but increase fears about the apparent imminence of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
This rush of new information about military preparation for nuclear warfare was, in the parlance of Madison Avenue, a public relations nightmare. Against this background of growing fear and general unease with the militaristic behavior of both antagonists in the Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower helped to introduce his two-term presidency with his famous “Atoms for Peace” speech at the United Nations on December 8 of 1953. Significantly Eisenhower would end his presidency in 1961 by warning against the rising threat of tyranny posed by various networks of private and public power that he labeled the military-industrial complex. In his “Atoms for Peace” speech, Eisenhower declared that his country’s desire to “find a way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.” He proposed to “move out of the dark chamber of horror and into the light” by putting the secrets of the atom “in the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.” To advance this ideal he proposed to transform “the greatest destructive forces” into “a great boon, for the benefit of all mankind.” He continued, “The United States knows that peaceful power from atomic energy is no dream of the future. The capability already proved, is here today.”xxiii
The following year US nuclear submarine, U.S.S. Nautilus, began its test runs. The Navy’s successful operation of this nuclear powered submarine was widely viewed as a triumph of American technology.
With The Nautilus, the US Navy, GE and General Dynamics create a triumph of American technology, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine
Using Mark I technology, Admiral Rickover quickly expanded his focus beyond submarines to include between 1954 and 1957 the design, construction and testing of the world’s first “civilian” nuclear power plant at Shippingport Pennsylvania.
The building of this land-based project became ground zero of the broader US initiative to implement and lead national and international programs done in the name of applying President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech. Looking back on this history from the perspective of 1985, one of Rickover’s biographers explained the importance of what had taken place in the early years of the demonstration project that introduced the world to so-called civilian atomic reactors at Shippington Pennsylvania. The following account of the installation’s history appeared in Fusion Magazine in the summer of 1985:
Although small by current standards (60 megawatts), the Shippingport plant had an enormous impact on the development of civilian nuclear technology.
The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania was ground zero of the global nuclear power industry. Completed in 1957, Admiral Rickover used it as a training facility for a whole generation of engineers who would dominate the nuclear power industry
Because it had no military applications (unlike the slightly earlier British reactor at Calder Hall), its design was unclassified. Hundreds of engineers from around the world attended seminars on it given by the Naval Reactors Branch, Westinghouse, and Duquesne [Power and Light Company] during 1954-55, and Westinghouse made available thousands of technical reports on every aspect of the project. Shippingport thus functioned as a school in reactor technology for hundreds of engineers until well into the early 1960s, and the reactor’s design has been the model for more than three fourths of all civilian nuclear reactors produced in the United States and many in foreign countries since that time.xxiv
Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech was seized upon by the United States’ Cold Warriors as a major theme of US foreign policy. It provided a blueprint for one aspect of a more overarching US project to integrate US allies or potential US allies into the industrial cycles of US-based corporations and the financial cycles of debt and credit as administered by US-based banking regimes. It provided a blueprint to advance an agenda of Cold War capitalism geared to the special interests of US military hegemony as linked to the special interests of large US businesses and their expanding international networks of consumers, suppliers, partnerships, franchises, technological transfers, and patent arrangements.
As proclaimed in 1955 by the National Security Council, one of the core expressions of the enormous expansion of the US Executive Branch as the primary global agency charged with the formal, informal and covert attacks on communism, “Atoms for Peace will strengthen American world leadership and disprove the Communists’ propaganda charges that the US is concerned solely with the destructive uses of the atom.”xxv A Congressional Committee on Nuclear Energy came up with a similar recommendation in 1956 arguing, “Atomic power must be the most tangible symbol of America’s will to peace through the peaceful atom.”xxvi
In South America the US promotion of “Atoms for Peace” led to the early establishment of nuclear power plants in Argentina and Brazil. In the Far East, Taiwan and South Korea were inducted into the nuclear energy club. Japan too would be drawn into the network of polities whose governments were encouraged through access to grants and loans to adopt nuclear energy in the name of “Atoms for Peace.” But, of course, in Japan this course of action ran against inflamed memories and aroused antagonisms of a nation that had been only a few years earlier on the receiving end of American atomic weapons.
Richard Falk, international jurist and special UN rapporteur on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has reflected on the horrors of the Faustian bargains put on offer after the conclusion of the Second World War with two mushroom clouds of death. The fuller meanings of those deals with the devil have now become incarnate in the disaster at the Fukushima #1. In drawing the connections, Falk refers to the US targeting of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as “the greatest single act of state terror in human history.” Perhaps an ascent up the chain of command towards the highest level of executive accountability for the Fukushima debacle will help set in motion the long overdue process of addressing the unaddressed criminality entailed in the US decision to obliterate two densely populated and defenseless Japanese cities.xxvii
Television, Anti-Communism, and the Import of the American Nuclear Energy Industry into Japan
The establishment of the nuclear power industry in Japan emerged from the same set of forces that were integral to the establishment and deployment of the Japanese television industry as a medium of American-led anti-communism. This convergence of factors, all taking their queues from the psychological warfare of the Cold War, has run through the history of the US-based and Japan-based megacorporations that have had a hand in designing, manufacturing and installing the industrial infrastructure of Fukushima Nuclear Plant Number One. Figuring prominently among these corporate entities are General Electric and Westinghouse as well as some of Japan’s Zaibatsu-based conglomerates, but especially Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi.
General Douglas MacArthur signs the instrument of Japan’s surrender. Between 1945 and 1952 MacArthur was the Supreme Commander of U.S. Occupying Forces in Japan
The Zaibatsu-based partners of the American conglomerates epitomize strands of continuity linking the pre and post-WWII political economy of Japan. It was the imperatives of anti-communism that drove the US decision to revive the old Zaibatsu-based structures of productivity and authority that had animated the war machine whose imperial masters had ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Knowledge of this history is crucial to the success of any effort to understand the genesis of the political decisions resulting in the placement of the world’s third-largest nuclear energy industry on one earth’s most earthquake-prone zones.
Many forces combined in the unstable mix of ideological, political, commercial and industrial factors that would explode into tragedy with the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The aggressive anti-communism that was the primary catalyst of this mix can be traced most tellingly through the collaboration linking a US Senator from South Dakota with a police commissioner and war propagandist who extended his media empire in imperial Japan to a broadcasting empire in post-WWII Japan. The primary figure on the US side of the equation was Senator Karl Mundt, a close associate of future US president Richard Nixon. The so-called Mundt-Nixon Bill of 1948 lies near the inception of a growing tsunami of anti-communist initiatives emanating from the imperial capital of Cold-War America.
Senator Mundt was one of the most assertive members of the now-notorious Congressional Committee on Un-American Activities chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Mundt was also was a founder of Voice of America, a US government agency for the dissemination of so-called overt propaganda. As Ian Johnson has written, “Cold War propaganda developed along two tracks, covert and overt. Programs such as the States Department’s support of film, radio, art, and exchange programs, and the Voice of America broadcasts were considered overt propaganda because they could be clearly identified as government efforts. Covert operations ranged from secretly funded magazines to anonymous smear campaigns.”xxviii
Senators Mundt and McCarthy shared a preoccupation with putting a spotlight on show business as an alleged hotbed of communist activity. In 1950 in his widely publicized “Vision of America” speech, Senator Mundt gave a new twist to this preoccupation, proposing a strategy of psychological warfare aimed at expanding the reach of television technology with the primary aim of broadcasting idealized pictures of the American way of life. Senator Mundt placed special emphasis on the development of commercial television networks in Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan. Drawing on the legacy of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a display of American technological wizardry, Mundt referred to television as a “See-Bomb.” He asserted “Television can put in motion chain reactions for constructive good which rival in their magnitude the destructive consequences of the chain reaction of the A-bomb.”xxix
A radio announcer by the name of Shibata Hidetoshe became the primary intermediary between Senator Mundt’s anti-communist bandwagon in Washington and the obsessive anti-communism of Shoriki Matsutaro, the founder of both Japan’s commercial television industry as well of Japan’s domestic nuclear energy program.
Shoriki Matsutaro: The frontman in Japan for President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative
Even before the Admiral Rickover’s team had completed the first so-called “civilian” facility for the generation of atomic energy at Shippingport Pennsylvania, Shoriki got himself named in 1956 as the founding chair of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission in 1956. Shoriki combined some of the attributes of J. Edgar Hoover with those of William Randolph Hearst in the history of imperial Japan prior to that regime’s defeat in 1945. As a police commissioner, Shoriki was much like the American FBI Chief in the satisfaction he derived from directing the state’s repression and brutalization of communist strikes and protests. As owner of the Yomiuri newspaper, Shoriki promoted the Japanese colonization of Manchuria much like Hearst had done in encouraging the US military to invade the remaining Spanish colonies in Cuba and the Philippines. A contender for mayor of Tokyo in the 1930s, Shoriki displayed his deft populist touch in his organizing of a Japanese tour for Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees in 1935. Shoriki followed up this initiative up by founding the Yomiuri Giants baseball team in Tokyo.
Like many of the industrialists, financiers and media moguls rooted in the aristocratic Zaibutsu clans that had directed the channeling of Japan’s prolific productivity into the imperial war machine of Emperor Hirohito, Shoriki was rounded up as a class A war criminal by the occupying army under US General Douglas MacArthur.
Under General MacArthur’s command, The Sugamo Prison held many accused of “Class A” war crimes. Among the prisoners was Shoriki Matsutaro and many other Zaibatsu corporatists that would become titans of finance and industry in the informal U.S. empire Shoriki occupied a prison cell across the hallway from Yoshisuke Aikawa (aka Ayukawa Gisuke), an industrialist who went on from his pre-war exploits as a major participant in Japan’s colonization of Manchuria to become the driving force behind the rise of the Nissan group of companies after the Second World War.
The Sugamo prison has come to be regarded by some observers as a kind of gentleman’s hotel where the American occupiers of Japan began to acquaint themselves with the Zaibatsu elites on whom they would come to lean so heavily in the project of building up Japan as a capitalist powerhouse to contain the eastward spread of Soviet influence as well as that of Chinese Communism after 1949.xxx The westward wing of this same policy of containment, one of the primary doctrines of the US anti-communism during that era, proved to be Western Europe, but especially West Germany.
As with the war crimes trials in Tokyo, the war crimes trials at Nuremberg tended to downplay the role of financiers and industrialists in the Nazi horrors. This outcome came about because it was deemed that those who had built up the financial and industrial infrastructure of the Nazi war machine must be encouraged and helped with the task of building the capitalist bulwarks to contain the westward spread of Soviet-backed and Soviet-inspired communism.xxxi The transformation of Germany and Japan, the two main Axis opponents of the spread of Soviet-style communism before WWII, into key allies of US-led anti-communist after 1945 forms one of the central phenomena in the entire geopolitical history of the twentieth century.
Shoriki was released from prison in 1947, though he continued to be subject to legal prohibitions that prevented him from holding public office or working at jobs in the Japanese media of mass communications. These kind of restraints, however, evaporated quickly once the Korean peninsula flared up in 1950 as the site of major fighting between the United States and the Chinese Red Army. The ascent of the revolutionary forces of Mao Zedong in 1949, followed by the inception of the Korean War, helped heightened the zealotry of anti-communism within the United States. This development helped fuel the attacks led by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Karl Mundt against real or imagined communists in positions of power.
The politics of anti-communism was replicated more broadly and more harshly in Japan as almost 30,000 labor organizers, teachers, civil servants and such were stripped of their jobs in an extremely ugly and aggressive Red Purge.xxxii The other side of this crackdown saw men like Shoriki Matsutaro unburdened of any and all legal restrictions as the US occupiers prepared to formally hand over the powers of self-government to the people of Japan in the San Francisco Treaty of 1952.
By the time Shoriki was “unpurged” in 1951 many of the elements were already in place for him to apply for and receive the broadcasting license that would him make him the founder of the Nippon Television Network. As Simon Partner has observed, Shoriki’s “brightest credential” in the eyes of his main American backers proved to be his “anti-communist past.”xxxiii Indeed, Shoriki was far from alone in making the transition from a class A suspect of war crimes in 1945 to a titan of industry and a frontier soldier in the US-led campaign to contain and crush real, imagined or manufactured communists.
Arima Tetsuo has written a Japanese-language book on the role of US anti-communism in the establishment and early operations of Shoriki’s Nippon Television Network. Arima’s rendition of history presents Shoriki pretty much as a front man for an initiative emanating from deep within the American national security of state. He writes
First, various intelligence and information agencies of the United States were involved in the establishment of NTV. There were four groups of people involved. Of course, there were Matsutaro Shoriki, president of NTV and the owner of Yomiuri Newspaper—which had a ten-million circulation—and his private secretary, Hidetoshi Shibata. The second group was the Japan Lobby (American Council on Japan), which consisted of (i) William Castle, former ambassador to Japan and consultant to CIA whose diary is kept at Houghton Library of Harvard University library, (ii) Eugene Dooman, former counselor of Japan and leader of Dooman Group that engaged in psychological warfare with CIA in postwar Japan; and (iii) James Kaufmann, an attorney for RCA, General Electric, etc. He was professor at Tokyo University and taught western laws. CIA transcripts indicated that he was not a CIA agent. He was the top of AP and the Scripps and Howard Group, but he was an adviser to CIA. The fourth group, OSS, an old-time intelligence agency, had James Murphy—number two of OSS and attorney for NTV—and William Donovan, Director of OSS and adviser to MSA (Military Security Act).xxxiv
Arima goes on to outline the form, content and sources of the television culture developed by Shoriki’s network during the first decade or so of its existence. He writes,
NTV was not planned as a medium for entertainment or for commercialism. It was planned as a medium for propaganda and military communications. Building NTV was a cover of CIA operation to build anti-communist military and propaganda network. It was not Shoriki but the U.S. who made the plan. The U.S. did not help Shoriki build the network; the U.S. used Shoriki to build it. NTV was meant to be a part of a world-wide telecommunication network in the overall scheme of U.S. anti-communist policy.
The CIA and the USIA (the United States Information Agency) provided American TV programs. American films and TV programs occupied Japanese primetime TV until the late 1960s. They played a very decisive role in forming Japanese TV culture. Japanese TV producers and directors learned the know-how from these American TV programs. (Some of them were sent to the US to learn how to produce TV programs through the exchange program sponsored by the USIA.) It was the CIA and USIA that planned and designed Japanese TV culture.xxxv
One of the first campaigns mounted by the owner of the Yomiuri newspaper and of the newly-minted commercial television network was to promote in 1955 an exhibit in Tokyo based on the theme of “Atoms for Peace.” With the encouragement and help of his US and Japanese backers, Shoriki thus set himself the task of becoming his country’s most enthusiastic promoter of nuclear power for the generation of the electricity. Of course Shoriki’s present and future customers would require access to large new sources of electrical energy in Japan in order to power their TV sets and the other electrical appliances that would in future years become synonymous with the Japanese economic miracle.
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Shoriki’s promotion of the “peaceful” uses of nuclear energy to generate electricity continued a pattern of visits by US celebrities that were organized whenever the entrepreneur had a pet project he wanted to raise in public stature and visibility. Whether Shoriki’s goal was to establish a Japanese baseball team or secure a TV license or promote nuclear energy for the generation of electricity, his publicity tactics were quite consistent. Among the visiting salesmen in his Shoriki’s bid to prepare public opinion for the expansion into Japan of the American nuclear energy industry was John Jay Hopkins, president of General Dynamics, a company involved in the work of the US Naval Reactors branch from the start. Also present in Tokyo for the “Atoms for Peace” exhibit was the famed nuclear scientist, Manhatten Project dynamo, financial wizard and all-round entrepreneur, Ernest O. Lawrence.xxxvi Lawrence R. Hafstad, a physicist who had worked closely with Admiral Rickover in developing the nuclear power plant for the Nautilus, rounded out the delegation that spoke in Toyko’s Hibya Park.xxxvii
The “Atoms for Peace” exhibit came in the wake of a major US test of a hydrogen bomb at the Bikini Atoll in the south Pacific that had contaminated with nuclear radioactivity the 23 members of the crew on a fishing boat, the Diago Fukuryu Maru. One of the crew members immediately died and many more became very ill. The episode was widely reported in Japan, where some referred to the debacle as the “second Hiroshima.” The nuclear explosion, code named Operation Castle Bravo, was calculated to be about 1,000 times more powerful than the bombs that had destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The test bomb proved to have more than twice the force anticipated by weapon’s designers. The menacing news about the incident helped inspire Nevil Shute to write On The Beach, a fictional account of one of the last outposts of life in Australia after the devastation of a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere.xxxviii
The contamination of the Japanese fishing crew helped inspire some of the protests in 1955 by a number of Japanese citizens pointing to the dangers and contradictions lurking behind Shoriki’s promotion of the “Atoms for Peace” event in Tokyo. Nevertheless, through unrelenting salesmanship, including through the deployment of pop culture figures like the carton robot, “Astro Boy,” Shoriki made his newspaper and television empire instrumental in turning public opinion towards at least a begrudging acceptance of nuclear power as a viable way of generating electricity. Of course this course of action acquired considerable momentum of its own accord in a fairly small but densely populated island country with no major deposits of conventional energy sources.
Shoriki’s role in selling nuclear power and then in leading government initiatives to kick start the nuclear industry are explained by Kawabe Ichiro in his brief overview of the history of nuclear disarmament in Japan. He writes
In 1954 a Japanese fishing vessel was caught in a nuclear test carried out by the US in the Bikini Atoll area. This turned public opinion strongly against US. In order to weaken anti-American sentiment, Shoriki Matsutaro, a man who owned the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and Nihon TV, and had once been classified as an A-class war criminal, set about improving the image of nuclear power. Of course both the US and the Japanese Governments were working toward this end, but whereas the Americans were working in an unofficial capacity, Shoriki’s actions were explicit. Not only did he run advertisements in the newspaper and on TV supporting nuclear power, he became a Member of Parliament in February 1955 and then, as a State Minister, the first chair of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission which was established in January 1956. For the Japanese Government, promotion of nuclear power generation and supporting the US nuclear weapons policy, were tied together from the start.xxxix
Shoriki’s quick transition from Japan’s number one cheerleader for nuclear energy to the job of overseeing and regulating the industry in its most seminal phase of development presents a classic example of the failures of scientific rigor, commercial acumen, respect for the imperatives of public safety, and absences of plain common sense now on full public display in the nuclear disaster at Fukushima #1. The phenomenon of nuclear industry promoters doubling as nuclear industry regulators is deeply endemic of the continuing situation in Japan, but in virtually every nuclearized polity on earth with the possible exception of Germany. Shoriki’s career in post-WWII Japan demonstrates much about the processes for manipulating public opinion that made it possible for nuclear energy systems to be accepted as a primary means of generating electricity for public consumption even in one of the most active earthquake and tsunami zones on earth.
The secrecy attending these regulatory conflicts-of-interest make it highly unlikely that the regulatory authorities in charge of Japan’s 53 nuclear facilities have given a complete public accounting even now of the full extend of the dangers generated by the Sendai earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
Peace and Liability: Mobilizing to Oppose the Dangers of Nuclear Energy
Any attempt to explain the Japan’s deep integration with the global fortunes of the American nuclear energy industry cannot be made complete without some careful consideration of the role of the United States in creating the Constitution of its former enemy. Drafted in 1947 under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of US Forces in the Occupation of Japan, Article 9 of this document announced, “The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation, and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. Land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential shall never be maintained.”
In 1952 the period of formal occupation of Japan by US Armed Forces was brought to an end in the Treaty of San Francisco. Attending this international agreement was the Japan-US Security Treaty that set out the legal framework for the retention of many US military bases set up in the wake of the Japanese surrender in 1945. The codified renunciation of the instruments of war in Article 9 helped provide a hook of propaganda to be exploited in the process of making Japan the poster child of President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative. This interpretive thrust found expression in The Atomic Energy Basic Law adopted by the Japanese parliament—the Diet– in 1955. This legislation codified Japan’s intention to “utilize” atomic energy for “the welfare of mankind and the elevation of the national living standard.” It established the legal foundations for the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission, whose first chair was Japan’s most avid media cheerleader of nuclear energy, Shoriki Matsutaro.
A key passage of Chapter I, Article 2 of the Basic Law was written to conform with the content of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. “The research, development and ultilization of nuclear energy,” the provision detailed. “shall be limited to peaceful purposes.” The Japanese nuclear program would “aim at ensuring safety, and shall be performed independently under democratic administration.” The results of information obtained in these endeavors “shall be made public so as to actively contribute to international cooperation.”
As explained by Kawabe Ichiro, the core of the US strategy for Japan after its defeat in the atomic conflagrations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to “revive the old regime which had supported Japanese militarism.”xl The role of Shoriki as a leading enemy and then a leading friend of the United States is indicative of this pattern. Shoriki retained the momentum of his Japanese version of the “Atoms for Peace” initiative. In doing so he helped direct a saga of industrialization that would make Japan the third biggest host of the nuclear energy industry after the United States and France.
Along the way from Hiroshima to Fukushima, the Japanese government reproduced some of the tactics for promoting nuclear energy as pioneered in the United States by Admiral Rickover and his corporate partners. Between 1963 and 1976, for instance, the US-led nuclear industry sought to advance its interests through an active campaign of public education at the Japan Power Demonstration Reactor. This facility performed much the same functions locally as those that had been initiated at the Shippingport Nuclear Power Station after 1957.
In spite of the all the hype and political clout behind the expansion of the nuclear energy industry in Japan, some parts of Japanese society have thrown up spirited and determined opposition to this thrust of policy starting with protests in 1955 in Toyko’s Hibya Park against Shoriki’s public relations campaign. Sometimes this opposition movement directed its activities to outlawing all uses of nuclear energy as channeled both into the production of nuclear weapons and into the generation of electricity. This broader approach to the issue has consistently been that of, for instance, a powerful Buddhist organization in Japan named Soka Gakkai. In 1973 it collected 10 million signatures aimed as this more comprehensive approach to dealing with the expansion of the industry whose powerful technology was introduced to the world in the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Even at the highest echelons of Japanese authority officials have not always bowed to the initiatives thrust their way by imperial Washington and the leading corporate partners of the US Armed Forces. In 1960, for instance, Japanese Prime Minister Ikeda Hayato appointed peace activist Okazaki Katsuo as Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations. In 1961 Ambassador Okazaki supported a very contentious resolution of the UN General Assembly entitled the Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear and Thermo-Nuclear Weapons. In doing so Japan became the only so-called “Western” country to oppose the leadership of the United States and join with the majority in the UN’s most inclusive legislative assembly. Japan voted with the majority of UN countries in asserting that the development and use of nuclear arsenals violated key provisions of the UN Charter.
Japan has been the site for the growth of many NGOs—Non-Governmental Organizations– opposed to the activities and expansionary plans of the nuclear energy industry. One such NGO is the Citizens Nuclear Information Center established in Tokyo in 1975. On the day after the Sendai earthquake and tsunami the CNIC issued a press release that included the flowing statement, “Last December the Japanese government began a review of its nuclear energy policy. The review was commenced in the spirit of essentially confirming the existing policy. That approach is no longer viable. The direction of the policy review must be completely reversed. It must be redirected towards developing a policy of phasing out nuclear energy as smoothly and swiftly as possible.”xli
The initiatives in public education by the CNIC and many other organizations has gradually been turning the tide of public opinion towards the side of conservative caution even before the Fukushima nuclear disaster that was triggered by the predictable earthquake and tsunami of March 11. In 2005, for instance, only one in five of those surveyed believed that nuclear power is safe enough for the construction of new nuclear plants in Japan.xlii
Those seeking to stop the building of the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant have engaged in sit-ins, hunger strikes, art displays and direct encounters with the China-based Chugoku Electric Company
This opposition movement has found one of its most forceful centers of gravity in the campaign to stop the building by the Chugoku Electric Company of the Kaminoseki nuclear energy facility in the Japan’s Seto Inland Sea region. This pristine treasure of indigenous Japanese ecology is abundant in biodiversity. The tactics of those opposed to the project have included hunger strikes, sit-ins, and direct encounters between scores of Iwaishima Islanders and contractors preparing the Kaminoseki site.xliii
The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant has been the site of particular contention in recent years. Owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, Rokkasho is a controversial factory where spent nuclear fuel rods are “recycled” so that nuclear waste is reconstituted as turbocharged MOX fuel that includes high concentrations of plutonium. In 2008 the movement to stop the reprocessing enterprise at Rokkasho put thousands of protestors into the streets of Tokyo. They are said to have represented hundreds of groups demanding an end to the intensification of nuclear dangers that come with the so-called “reprocessing” of nuclear waste. The Stop Rokkasho movement makes ample use of music and other artists’ creations.xliv
As Richard Falk has observed in his reflections on the Faustian bargains of the nuclear age, the risks of nuclear energy “if objectively assessed, were widely known for years, yet effectively put to one side.” He continues, “It is the greedy profit-seekers who minimize and suppress these risks, whether in the Gulf of Mexico or Fukushima or on Wall Street, and then scurry madly at the time of disaster to shift responsibility to the victims that makes me tremble as I contemplate the human future.”xlv Falk’s observation about the shifting of responsibility to the victims in times of disaster is tellingly born out by a report in Bloomberg News. On March 23 the news agency reported, “Japan’s taxpayer, not the nuclear industry, will cover most of the cleanup cost from the worst accident since Chernobyl, a financial rescue that may spur moves by other nations to make companies assume more liability.”
It is the employees and officers of the Toyko Power Company, TEPCO, who seemingly still remain the main crisis team to deal with the Fukushima disaster and to interpret its character and scope for the public. According to a report in Bloomberg News, the corporate entity that appears presently to be bearing the bulk of the responsibility is not financially responsible for the full extent of the damages that will be incurred because of what is transpiring at its nuclear plant. TEPCO is apparently liable for the third-party damages resulting from the incident only up to the amount of $2.1 billion. Unfortunately this figure seems small compared to the scope of the disaster that continues to unfold. Bloomberg added, “Should the government declare the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that flooded its reactors an ‘exceptional’ act of God, the utility may be off the hook in paying compensation that may be demanded by injured workers, farmers and shareholders.”xlvi
Toxic radioactive gasses escape from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site
What is the logic of privatizing a public utility if the company or companies providing the public service do not have to bear the legal liability for assaults on public health and ecological systems resulting from corporate incompetence, fraud, or negligence? How should Japanese citizens take the news that they are held to be collectively liable to bear most of the costs for the damage done by a preventable nuclear catastrophe that is hitting just as they are trying to make it through the very first stages of recovery from the largest earthquake and tsunami in their recorded memory?
While TEPCO apparently has already established its limited corporate liability, the first concern of ARVEDA and GE and many other companies involved in the man-made elements of the disaster has been to defend their products and thereby attempt to avert the prospect of being sued for various forms of malfeasance. On March 18, for instance, GE issued a press release indicating, “The Mark I meets all regulatory requirements and has performed well for over 40 years.” GE added, “The Mark I containment designs were modified in the 1980s to address improvements in the technology and changing regulatory requirements. All these changes required by regulatory authorities have been implemented.”xlvii
This pattern of companies seeking to escape legal liabilities for their inventions and production procedures in manufacturing and operating nuclear devices has been clear and consistent from the start of the industry. In commenting on the requirements of Charles Wilson, the CEO of General Electric during the Second World War, an historian of the project to construct the first atomic weapons observed, “GE expected full recovery of all costs incurred in connection with the contract and protection against liabilities, since hazards of ‘an unusual and unpredictable nature’ were involved.” There were to be no exceptions in the seminal phase of the nuclear industry to the uniform “insistence” of corporations that they must be “completely free of liability for their actions.”xlviii
The indemnification of private companies from the consequences of accidents in the nuclear energy industry was formalized with the Price-Anderson Act of 1957. It amended parts of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 that established the Atomic Energy Commission. One reason given for making taxpayers the ultimate backstop for potential payouts to those killed or injured by the activities of the corporate agencies of the nuclear energy industry was that no private insurance companies were willing to assume the risks in this line of enterprise. Congress renewed the Price-Anderson Act in 1967, 1975, 1988, and 2005. Its most recent extension in 2005 was legislated to run for twenty additional years.xlix
The Price Andersen Act provided a legal prototype that was basically exported along with American nuclear technology to those countries that accepted US leadership in this field. The legacy of the way the American “Atoms for Peace” initiative was absorbed into the industrialization of Japan after WWII helps explain why those masses of citizens attempting to cope with the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in their history are left holding the bulk of the liability for a preventable, or at least partially preventable, nuclear accident whose full horrible extent remains unclear.
Extremes of Laissez-Faire
In Bailout Nation Barry Ritholz attempts to explain the genesis of the financial contagion that moved from Wall Street to the global economy beginning in 2008. Like most of those who have attempted to diagnose the financial debacle, Ritholz attributes the economic meltdown to the excesses of deregulation that opened the way for various sorts of executive plunder, incompetence and fraud to run rampant. Ritholz turns to history to demonstrate that there was every reason for executives, but especially those in the financial services sector, to expect that governments would draw on taxpayers’ money to save key institutions from going under when calamity inevitably struck.
Like the financial meltdown and BP’s industrial toxification of the Gulf of Mexico, the Fukushima nuclear disaster seems like yet another dramatic example of an increasingly familiar pattern. The nuclear crisis in Japan illustrates yet again what happens when the delivery of public services, including the provision of public utilities, are passed to the so-called private sector. It illustrates what happens when these and other key businesses are left unregulated and when the public is left to bear the consequences and pay the costs of enormous corporate transgressions. Again and again, it seems, profits are privatized whereas the attending costs of doing business in terms of deteriorating public health, citizens’ savings, social cohesion, and ecological equilibrium are simply swallowed or socialized as the debt of taxpayers to be carried over long periods of time. “Let posterity pay” seems to have become the motto of our unstable and unsustainable system of economic relationships.
Ritholz points to Ronald Reagan as “the intellectual father of the modern radical deregulatory movement.”l Significantly, Reagan learned and cultivated his philosophy of extreme deregulation of business when he was employed between 1954 and 1962 as the primary television spokesperson of the General Electric Company. During this period he was the host of General Electric Theatre, a highly-rated drama broadcast weekly by the CBS Television Network.
As GE’s most high-profile representative to the American public, Reagan immersed himself deeply in the corporate culture of his patrons. GE’s leadership in applying nuclear technology to military operations and civilian life, together with the company’s deep involvement in the psychological warfare of the Cold War, extended broadly throughout the informal empire of the United States. As we have seen, some of GE’s products and methodologies proved to have particular significance for the development of Japan.li
Ronald Reagan began to attract attention as an effective anti-communist politician when he backed Barry Goldwater’s run for the US presidency in 1964. During that presidential campaign he warned of the “government invasion of public power” and cautioned against “abandoning the American Revolution” with the view that “a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan for ourselves.” In moving from the job of Governor of California in 1966 to that of President of the United States in 1981, Reagan perfected his frequent appeal that “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”lii
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Today it is the lack of strong, accountable government that has been put on clear display in the prelude to, and genesis of, the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Where in the Army Corps of Engineers now that we need them? Where is General Electric? Where is the US Navy to help in the mass evacuation that the gravity of this emergency seems to demand? Where are the investigative reporters we need to look behind the façade presented by Tokyo Power Company to seek answers from those really responsible for creating the underlying conditions of this crisis? Where is the US government that bears an enormous part of the responsibility for Japan’s transition from the agony of Hiroshima to the agony of Fukushima?
How would Admiral Rickover view this outcome at Fukushima of the technological legacy derived from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? While the chief engineer of the Nautilus and of the Shippingport nuclear energy plant helped set the course towards the proliferation of so-called “civilian” nuclear energy plants, in his later years this iconic figure of the military-industrial complex questioned the wisdom of his former course. In a presentation to a Committee of Congress in 1982, Admiral Rickover reflected,
Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible… Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it… I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships. That is a necessary evil. I would sink them all. Have I given you an answer to your question?liii
I think Admiral Rickover answered his own question well. But what about the big questions I asked of you, the reader, near the beginning of this essay? My question was as follows: How could this combination of nuclear dangers been allowed to develop in Japan, one of the most active island earthquake zones on earth? Hopefully this essay begins to suggest some answers to this important question.
iENDNOTES TO “FROM HIROSHIMA TO FUKUSHIMA, 1945-2011
Keith Bradsher and Hiroko Tabuchi, “Greater Danger Lies in Spent Fuel Rods Than in Reactors, The New York Times, 17 March, 2011
ii Interview with Robert Alvarez on the Dangers from Depleted Nuclear Fuel, Living On Earth, 18 March, 2011
Robert Alvarez et. al., “Reducing the Hazards of Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States, Global Security, Vol. 11, no. 1, 3003, 1-60
iii Hanford Quick Facts at
iv Carrol L. Wilson, “Nuclear Energy: What Went Wrong? Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, Vol. 35, June, 1979, 15
v Mike Whitney, “Fukushima ‘Chernobyl Moment’ Could Be Fast Approach, op ed news, 26 March, 2011
vi Yuri Kageyama and Mari Yamaguchi, “More Obstacles Impede Crews in Japan Nuke Crisis,” Associated Press, 27 March, 2011
vii Stephen Leahy, “Japan Nuke Disaster Could Be Worse Than Chernobyl, IPS, 17 March, 2011
Keith Harmon Snow, “Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan, Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and Cover-Up,” Conscious Being, 18 March, 2011
viii California Fire Department, “Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Plants Reaching Critical Levels Could Explode,” 15 March
ix Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Reactor 3 Explosion on March 14, 2011
x Big Explosion, Reactor No. 1, Live, 12.03.2011
xi AREVA, “Quote of the Moment,” March 18, 2011
xii Rodney P. Carlisle and Joan M. Zenzen, Supplying The Nuclear Arsenal: American Production Reactors, 1942-1992, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1996)
xiii See International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons,” Nuclear Reactors,”
Arms Control Association, U.S. Civilian Nuclear Reactor to Produce Weapons Material, November, 2003
xiv Israel’s Dimona Nuclear Weapons Facility in 3D
A Sample of Morechai Vanunu’s Photographs of the Dimona installation
xv Dave Flessner, “Sequoyah To Produce Bomb-Grade Material, timesfreepress.com, 3 February, 2010
xvii John McCormick, “Nuclear Illinois Helped Shape Obama’s View of on Energy Dealing with Exelon,” Bloomberg News, 23 March, 2011
xviii Leuren Moret, “Nuclear Power Safety in US— not any safer than in Japan,” 16 March, 2011, Press TV
xix Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb (New York: Vintage, 1996)
xx Cathy Schwartz, “Reactors at Heart of Japanese Nuclear Crisis Raised Concerns as Early as 1972, TFD News, 15 March, 2011
xxi Robert Oppenheimer filmed
xxii Albert Einstein quoted
xxiii President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace Speech, December 8, 1953
xxiv Robert Zubrin, “Admiral Rickover and the Nuclear Navy,” Fusion, Vol. 7, number 4, July/August, 1985, 14
xxv Cited in Daniel Wit, “The United States and Japanese Atomic Power Development,” World Politics, Vol. 8, no. 4, July, 1956, 489
xxvi Congressional Committee cited in ibid, 490
xxvii Richard Falk, “Learning From Disaster? After Sendai,” 15 March 2011
xxviii Ian Johnson, A Mosque in Munich: Nazis the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010), 40
xxix Simon Partner, Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the Japanese Consumer (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 80
xxx Jim Twitch Little, “Getting Away With Murder,” 3 parts, Combatsim.com
xxxi Hall, Earth into Property: Colonization Decolonization, and Capitalism (Montreal: McGill –Queen’s University Press ,2010), 611-629
xxxii Tetsui Hirata, “Japan’s Red Purge: Lessons from a Saga of Suppression of Free Speech and Thought,” ZNet, 10 July, 2011
xxxiii Partner, Assembled in Japan, 83
xxxiv Tetsuo Arima,”The Impact of U.S. Anti-Communism Policies on the Establishment of Nippon Television Network (NTV),” 2007
xxxvi Will Parrish, Nuclear Chickens,” the AVA.COM, 16 March, 2011
xxxvii Hafstad’s Obituary is published in The New York Times, 22 October, 1993
xxxviii Yamazaki Masakatsu and Okuda Kenzo, “Pacifying Anti-American Sentiments: Introducing Nuclear Reactors in Japan after the Bikini Incident,” Journal of History of Science. Japan, Vol. 43, 2004-2006, 83-93
xxxix Kawabe Ichiro, Nuclear Disarmament in Japan, New Internationalist Japan, No. 100, June, 2008, 32-52
xli CNIC, Statement re Nuclear and Earthquake Disaster Unfolding in Japan, 12 March, 2011,
xlii Yale Environment 360, “Japan’s Once-Powerful Nuclear Industry Under Siege,” Reuters, 18 March, 2011
xliii Kaminoseki: Nuclear Power Plant, Human Rights and Biodiversity
xlv Richard Falk, “Learning From Disaster? After Sendai,” 15 March 2011
xlvi Natalie Obiko Pearson and Carolyn Bandel, “Atomic Cleanup Costs Goes to Japan’s Taxpayers, May Spur Liability Shift,” Bloomberg News, 23 March, 2011
xlvii Agence France Press, “GE Defends Nuclear Plant Design,” 18 March, 2011
xlviii Stephen I. Schwartz, Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons since 1940 (Washington: The Brookings Instiution, 1998), 357
xlix The Encyclopedia of Earth, Price-Anderson Act of 1957, United States
l Barry Ritholz, Bailout Nation:How Greed and Easy Money Captured Wall Street and Shook the World Economy (Hoboken N.J.: Wiley, 2009), 134
li Thomas W. Evans, The Education of Ronald Reagan, The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006)
lii Ronald Reagan cited in Hall, Earth into Property, 743-745
liii Admiral Rickover to Congressional Committee, 1982
Hiroshima to Fukushima, Finishing the Job
Evacuate Tokyo and All US Forces From Japan
Fukushima – 350 Times Maximum Annual Radiation Dose Permissible?
Notice – Byron, Illinois Nuke In Trouble
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=91626
Helen Caldicott – Fukushima | You wont hear this on the Main Stream News.mp4 |
Fukushima Nuclear Reactor – Deliberate and Systematic Destruction
TEPCO monitoring No.1 reactor & Radioactive Strontium Found in Hawaii Milk & Workers continued the insertion of nitrogen gas into the No. 1 reactor to prevent “additional” explosions. White vapor continued to exit reactors No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, according to an IAEA statement.
” New EPA radiation tests show Cesium in California rainwater “
”Radioactive Strontium Found in Hawaii Milk”
” TEPCO monitoring No.1 reactor “
“Japan admits daily radioactive release from Fukushima at 154 trillion Becquerels,”
”Radiation readings in Fukushima reactor at highest level since crisis began
”strontium is a soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element that is highly reactive chemically.
The metal turns yellow when exposed to air. It occurs naturally in the minerals celestine and strontianite. The 90Sr isotope is present in radioactive fallout and has a half-life of 28.90 years.”
RADIATION MAPS FALLOUT:
NOTE….( Xe-133 is also an important fission product.Nuclear fission products are the atomic fragments left after a large atomic nucleus fissions.)
UTC:time conversion chart
This was formerly known as Greenwich mean time (GMT) or “universal time,” and “world time.”
”Radiation Test — Saint Louis, Missouri — 36.1 CPM”
“Japanese Nuclear Fallout will hit CANADA – U.S. ”
”Scientist Leuren Moret – Radiation war intensifies”
” Fallout will carry 100’s of radioactive particles to West coast “
Caesium-135 with a half-life of 2.3 million years.
News & Politics
Professor Chris Busby Fukushima Meltdown Could Trigger Atomic Explosion!
Top Scientist: Fukushima Meltdown Could Trigger Atomic Explosion
http://www.infowars.com/top-scientist-fukushima-meltdown-could-experience-ato link dead
April 12, 2011
A British professor and expert on the health effects of ionizing radiation told Alex Jones today evidence points toward a nuclear explosion occurring at the Fukushima Daiichi complex. Two explosions at the plant in March were described as hydrogen gas explosions by Japanese officials and the corporate media.
Professor Chris Busby on the Alex Jones Show, April 12, 2011.
Citing data collected by two Russian scientists, Professor Chris Busby told Alex Jones and his audience that the explosions at Fukushima were possibly nuclear. The Russian scientists, Sergey A. Pakhomov and Yuri V. Dubasov of the VG Khlopin Radium Institute in Saint Petersburg, examined data related to the explosion at Chernobyl.
Japanese nuclear safety agency raises crisis level of Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident from 5 to 7.
Using ratios of the radionuclides Xenon 133 and Xenon 133m which they measured by gamma spectrometer, the Russians demonstrated that the Chernobyl explosion was a fission criticality explosion and not principally a hydrogen explosion as has been claimed.
“I believe that the explosion of the No 3 reactor may have also involved criticality but this must await the release of data on measurements of the Xenon isotope ratios,” he writes in a statement on Fukushima and Chernobyl emailed to Infowars.com.
Busby further notes that the surface contamination and of dose rates 60 kilometers out from the Fukushima site on March 17 exceeded that released at Chernobyl.
He explains in his statement that the damaged reactors at Fukushima “are now continuing to fission. It is hoped that there will be no separation of plutonium and possible nuclear explosion. I feel that this is unlikely now.” Short of an actual plutonium explosion, the reactors remain open to the air and will continue to “fission and release radionuclides for years unless something drastic is done.”
Dr. Busby noted a precedent for the dire scenario now unfolding – a nuclear explosion at a plutonium production reprocessing plant in the former Soviet Union in 1957.
The incident at the Mayak facility was the second-worst nuclear accident in history after the Chernobyl disaster. The explosion released 50-100 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste and contaminated a huge territory in the eastern Urals. The Soviets kept the explosion secret for 30 years. According to a report on the accident, about 400,000 people in the region were irradiated following the explosion and other incidents at the plant.
Dr. Busby told Alex Jones that short of actual isotope readings, he cannot definitely state that the explosions at Fukushima were nuclear, although he believes they were. “We don’t have evidence of that,” he concluded, “we would need to have the Xenon isotope ratios.”
April 12, 2011
New cybervirus found in Japan / Stuxnet designed to attack off-line servers via USB memory sticks
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Stuxnet, a computer virus designed to attack servers isolated from the Internet, such as at power plants, has been confirmed on 63 personal computers in Japan since July, according to major security firm Symantec Corp.
The virus does not cause any damage online, but once it enters an industrial system, it can send a certain program out of control.
Symantec says the virus reaches the servers via USB memory sticks, and warns against the careless use of such devices.
Systems at power plants, gas stations and water facilities are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber-attacks.
A Symantec engineer who has analyzed the virus said it was made using advanced technology, and it is highly likely a well-funded organization, not an individual, produced it. The virus has spread throughout the globe via the Internet.
After Stuxnet finds its way onto an ordinary computer via the Internet, it hides there, waiting for a USB memory stick to be connected to the computer, when it transfers itself to the memory stick. When the USB device is then connected to a computer linked to an isolated server, it can enter the system and take control of it.
As computers that harbor Stuxnet do not operate strangely, the virus can be transferred to a memory stick inadvertently.
According to the security company, the virus is designed to target a German-made program often used in systems managing water, gas and oil pipelines. The program is used at public utilities around the world, including in Japan.
The virus could cause such systems to act erratically, and it could take months to restore them to normal.
The 63 infected computers found in Japan were likely infected sometime after June.
According to the company, about 60 percent of the computers that have been infected with the virus were discovered in Iran. Since September, about 30,000 computers there have been found to be infected with the virus. The country’s Industry and Mines Ministry has called the virus an electronic act of war.
Some computers at the Iranian Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to begin operation in October, have been infected with the virus.
A supervisor at the plant said the virus has not damaged the facility’s main computer system and would not affect its planned opening.
In Japan, no public utilities have been affected by the virus. Nevertheless, the Cabinet Office’s National Information Security Center has urged electric power companies to exercise extreme care when using USB devices, and to scan any programs that may have been tampered with.
(Oct. 5, 2010)
Japan’s Nuclear Crisis, Stuxnet and SCADA Defenses
Monday, March 21, 2011
The devastation in Japan caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami is truly heart wrenching, especially when one considers how millions of lives can be turned upside down in the matter of a few minutes.
In no way is this article intended to draw any attention away from the plight of the people now suffering in the earthquake’s aftermath, as our concerns should be for them first and foremost.
With that caveat aside, I believe we can use the events that are unfolding in Japan as a learning opportunity regarding the possible consequences of a sophisticated Stuxnet-type attack against SCADA networks at a nuclear facility.
Stuxnet is a highly sophisticated designer-virus that wreaks havoc with SCADA systems which provide operational control for critical infrastructure and production networks, such as those used to operate a nuclear power plant.
Stuxnet-type viruses are uniquely dangerous because they are capable not only of affecting network computer systems, they can also cause actual physical damage to the equipment the networks control.
Specifically, Stuxnet damaged equipment at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility, which reportedly set back the nation’s nuclear program several years.
From what I understand of the current crisis in Japan, the problems at the nuclear facilities did not stem from the reactors themselves sustaining significant damaged in the earthquake.
Instead, the problem with the reactor cores over-heating was caused by a disruption to the power and water supplies that are needed for the cooling systems. The problem was compounded by the destruction of the backup generators for the cooling system pumps in the subsequent tsunami.
In the past, the majority of these systems are operated manually or by analog control systems like electro-mechanical relays, but that is changing.
A senior member of the technical staff at one of our nation’s largest and most prestigious national research laboratories indicated that a significant number of the nuclear facilities in the U.S. have modernized the controls for those auxiliary systems, and are now employing Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
According to the source, at least one facility specifically uses Siemens PLCs, the same type attacked by Stuxnet at Natanz in Iran.
If both the primary and redundant cooling components at that nuclear facility used PLCs and were hit with a Stuxnet-type attack that was able to cause physical damage to the equipment – we might witness events similar to those which are now playing out in Japan.
Granted, a Stuxnet-type attack would not also destroy roads and other infrastructure, or divert emergency response resources to other concerns. But, as far as the problems with cooling the reactor core, the challenges would be inherently similar.
I asked Richard Stiennon if he could provide some insight on this hypothetical scenario. Richard is the Chief Research Analyst and founder of IT-Harvest, an independent analyst firm that focuses on IT and network security.
Richard is also the author of the thought provoking book Surviving Cyber War, a holder of Gartner’s Thought Leadership award, and was named “one of the 50 most powerful people in Networking” by NetworkWorld Magazine.
Stiennon confirms that a Stuxnet-type attack could theoretically cause reactor core cooling systems to be disrupted:
“Stuxnet targeted high speed rotating machinery controls, most probably the Uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran. Both electricity generators and water pumps are examples of rotating machinery that are also controlled in industrial systems by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). Communications with industrial control systems, often via SCADA, can be a vector for attack, or as in the case of Stuxnet, malware can be introduced directly by a bad actor. It is not hard to extrapolate that designer-malware could target these systems with the intent to shut them down and cause at the very least the emergency shut down of a nuclear power plant, at the worst, release of a radioactive plume and the permanent disabling of the reactor – as has happened in Japan,” Stiennon replied via email.
Numerous experts have speculated that a major cyber attack on critical infrastructure would most likely not occur in isolation, but in conjunction with a conventional kinetic attack, which would present a situation even more similar to what we are witnessing in the aftermath the natural disaster that occurred in Japan.
But if a non-kinetic Stuxnet-like attack could in effect produce serious kinetic damage on the magnitude of disabling of a nuclear facility, or worse, the discharge of radioactive material and the potential for a core meltdown, the notion that such an attack would only occur in conjunction with a traditional military offensive seems to be less likely.
Recently, the International Society of Automation announced the formation of a task group to conduct a gap analysis on the ANSI standards governing SCADA security to evaluate how well organizations following the ISA99 standard would have responded to a Stuxnet-type attack.
While the ISA study will focus on network responses, perhaps other regulatory entities should begin to study what a successful post-Stuxnet attack environment could actually look like.
Evaluation of the challenges Japan is currently facing could provide valuable insight in the event there is ever a successful attack on SCADA systems controlling auxiliary systems at a nuclear facility.
“The one lesson to draw from the unfolding crisis is that risk planners have to expand worst case scenarios. While most nuclear power plants are not on faults (with the notable exception of Diablo Canyon in California) they are all subject to mechanical failures induced by malware introduced to their networks. Redundancy and fail safe measures cannot rely on power, computers, or networks. This applies to nuclear power plants as well as data centers, electrical grids, and communication systems,” Stiennon concludes.
Fukushima Daiichi Workers Clear Debris by Remote Control
By Martyn Williams, IDG News Apr 11, 2011 6:10 am
Remotely controlled construction machinery rolled into the site of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last week to help clear roads and passages of radioactive debris, the plant’s operator said Monday.
The effects of the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, a tsunami estimated at around 15 meters high, and two hydrogen explosions in reactor buildings have left the Fukushima Daiichi site covered in rubble and debris, according to images released by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). Some of the debris has high levels of radioactivity, complicating its removal and the movement of workers around the site.
The machinery consisted of an excavator and transporter, each equipped with a remote control system. Cameras were mounted on each piece of equipment and TEPCO set an additional six cameras around areas where work would take place.
The entire operation was managed from a mobile control room where staff could watch video from the cameras and manipulate the machinery, said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for the electric utility.
The clearance operation began when both units rolled into place near an debris-strewn area. The excavator, which had been fitted with a giant grabber hand, picked up debris and dropped it into a container on the back of the transporter. It took about 2 hours for this to be completed.
Once full, the excavator knocked closed the lid of the container and the transporter trundled to a temporary dump site. The Fukushima Daiichi plant, like other nuclear power plants in Japan, was built with plenty of open space so the debris can be temporarily collected together on-site, said Hasegawa.
The unloading operation took about an hour to complete, and then the cycle began again.
The remotely controlled machinery was originally developed for use in hazardous construction environments, such as those near volcanos or where landslides could occur, said a spokesman for Yoshikawa Co., which worked on the system.
The radio control system typically has a range of about 300 meters, but this time a radio relay station was used to boost the signal and allow the controllers to be up to 2 kilometers away, the Yoshikawa spokesman said.
TEPCO has also been used remotely controlled drones and helicopters to get a close-up view of the reactor buildings. The company received pictures from a U.S. military Global Hawk drone, and reports say the RQ-16 T-Hawk micro unmanned air vehicle is also being used.
Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Israeli firm’s cameras recording Japanese nuclear core http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=212168
LAST UPDATED: 03/15/2011 01:43
Security cameras installed by Israeli defense company at Fukushima plant have ability to detect presence of radioactive clouds in air.
Photo: REUTERS/NTV via Reuters TV
As the world continues to gaze with concern at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, hi-tech security cameras installed by an Israeli defense firm are recording events at the troubled core from an insider’s vantage point.The Arava-based Magna BSP company, which specializes in producing and installing stereoscopic sensory and thermal imaging cameras, had been contracted to place cameras around one of the plant’s six cores – the core that has been experiencing explosions and overheating.Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Magna’s head, Haim Siboni, said the thermal cameras also had the ability to detect the presence of radioactive clouds in the air, but added that Magna had not been able to gain access to the images recorded by the cameras at this time.“Because we are using these special cameras, we can also identify radioactive clouds, due to the spectrum that our cameras can sense,” Siboni said.Although Magna is able to gain remote access to its computer system, which receives the cameras’ images, Siboni said his company had not yet been authorized to do so.“We have not been allowed to take control remotely yet,” Siboni said.Magna has been asked to secure a second core at the Fukushima plant in the near future.
Israel video shows Stuxnet as one of its successes
A showreel played at a retirement party for the head of the Israel Defence Forces appears to back claims that the country’s security forces were responsible for the Stuxnet cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear programme.
The video of Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi’s operational successes included references to Stuxnet, a computer virus that disrupted the Natanz nuclear enrichment site last year, it was reported.
Although Israel has not officially accepted responsibility for the Stuxnet attack, evidence of its role has been mounting since the virus was first revealed in July. The virus, unprecedented in its sophistication, was designed to infiltrate the control systems at Natanz and make hidden, damaging adjustments to centrifuges.
Security researchers say factors including complexity of the operation point strongly to Israel as the source. It has also been reported that a special facility was set up with American co-operation in the Israeli desert to test the weapon.
Immediately after the section on Stuxnet, the video for Lt Gen Ashkenazi included a tribute from Meir Dagan, who was head of Israel’s secret intelligence service during virtually all of Lt Gen Ashkenazi’s time in charge of the IDF.
The video otherwise reportedly included only publicly acknowledged operations, apart from references to a bombing raid on a Syrian nuclear site in 2007. It has since been established that too was a clandestine Israeli attack.
Lt Gen Ashkenazi’s four-year term as the IDF’s Chief of General Staff came to an end on Monday.
Israeli security chief celebrates Stuxnet cyber attack
A showreel played at a retirement party for the head of the Israeli Defence Forces has strengthened claims the country’s security forces were responsible for a cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear programme.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility Photo: AP
The video of Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi’s operational successes included references to Stuxnet, a computer virus that disrupted the Natanz nuclear enrichment site last year, Ha’aretz reported.
Although Israel has not officially accepted responsibility for the Stuxnet attack, evidence of its role has been mounting since it was first discovered last July. The virus, unprecedented in its sophistication, was designed to infiltrate the control systems at Natanz and make hidden, damaging adjustments to vital centrifuges.
Immediately after the section on Stuxnet, the video tribute to Lt Gen Ashkenazi included a message from Meir Dagan, who was head of Israel’s secret intelligence service Mossad during virtually all of Lt Gen Ashkenazi’s time in charge of the IDF.
The video otherwise reportedly included only publicly acknowledged operations, apart from references to a bombing raid on a Syrian nuclear site in 2007. It has since been established that too was a clandestine Israeli attack.