This week Fukushima Power plant has become the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the earth, a fact ignored by the establishment media which spent the week fixated on Donald Trump and every nuance of his rather pedestrian speech to Congress. Nuclear fuel now leaks through at least one reactor containment vessel into the water table in the earth below. So radiation today is greater than at any time since the meltdown, and increasing despite $300 billion spent on clean-up efforts. It’s an irremediable process that will theoretically continue until the radioactive corium ultimately eats its way to the molten core of the earth. The shocking news is independent organizations monitored radioactive releases of 490 sieverts per hour.
What was the most dangerous nuclear disaster in world history? Most people would say the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but they’d be wrong. In 2011, an earthquake created a tsunami that caused a meltdown at the TEPCO nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Three nuclear reactors melted down and what happened next was the largest release of radiation into the water in the history of the world. Over the next three months, radioactive chemicals, some in even greater numbers than Chernobyl, leaked into the Pacific Ocean. However, the numbers may actually be much higher as Japanese official estimates have been proven by several scientists to be flawed in recent years.
What is a sievert? The old measure of radiation was in REMS. One sievert is roughly equal to 100 rems. A modern x-ray reaches 1/10 of a rem at most. One rem is how much the average body absorbs from three years of solar radiation. Human exposure to only one sievert of radiation produces a 5% chance of cancer. Three sieverts will kill 90% of people. Fukushima’s 490 sieverts per hour has been an unimaginable number, unanticipated in any of the nuclear safety procedures that have ever been developed.
This radiation is being discharged into the ocean at the incredible rate of 400 tons per hour. What is the consequence? Nobody knows.
The Japanese government and TEPCO, the nuclear utility company, argue there is nothing to fear because the radiation will be diluted in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. They say radiation reaching the west coast of North America will be below safe dosages. This is scientific hogwash. Thermal and salinity layers in the ocean currents carry relatively intact volumes of water across thousands of miles. The familiar floating islands of plastic refuse in the Pacific is an illustration of this phenomena.
In addition, types of radiation are being discharged into the ocean that have never before existed in human history. For instance, nuclear fission produces isotopes of Cesium that don’t occur in nature. There is no study of their biological effect. Our bodies have developed adaptations to many types of radiation, the most obvious being tanning of skin to prevent absorption of too much solar radiation. Some of the new isotopes being disgorged into the sea may have stunning effects on the reproductive system of fish. And as we all know, poisons move up the food chain. The amount of radiation becomes more concentrated, culminating in predators like tuna.
The TEPCO PR people are wrong: radioactive isotopes don’t dilute like dye in water. They concentrate to the detriment of all biological life.
From the beginning no independent commission has monitored Fukushima. All data has come from TEPCO and the Japanese Government, both engaging in cover-ups and constantly underplaying the seriousness of the multiple reactor breakdown. The reasons are obvious. Knowledge of the true situation could lead to TEPCO’s bankruptcy. And with the 2020 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo, the Japanese Government fears informed tourists will stay away ~ leading to huge economic losses.
The terrible truth is that there may not be a solution to the Fukushima catastrophe. Radiation may continue to leak longer than Homo Sapiens have been on the earth. At least one reactor’s fissionable material along with containment tanks discharges into the sea. Plus the design of the plant’s location was incompetent. Fukushima was not only placed where it was vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, but also below an excavated hillside. Every rainstorm drains down the hillsides through the plant, picking up radiation and then into the ocean. No safety plan anticipated the magnitude of the plant failure. Note: There are more than 20 similarly designed plants located in the United States.
The radiation at Fukushima is so intense the magnitude of the problem is not yet assessed – the many releases of damage reports have been TEPCO’s and the Government’s guesswork. The computer systems of six hardened robots introduced into the reactor buildings were destroyed by radiation before they could send back data. The last, incorporating the best radiation safeguards science could devise, operated only a few minutes and returned blurry pictures of where the nuclear fuel had eaten through the reactor floor.
At Chernobyl, the Russians immediately mobilized the military and more than a 100,000 humans, “biobots” they were called, were rushed to the reactor site. Many of these ‘LIQUIDATORS’ as they were also called, entered the reactor for only a few minutes, did what they could, and died. Russian Air Force helicopters bombed the reactor with bags of sand and concrete creating a temporary seal that reduced radiation leakage. The Russians responded to the catastrophe with full-on mobilization. Many safety personnel’s lives were lost.
In Japan TEPCO minimized the failure with reassurances that safety protocol was in operation and danger to the public was being minimized. Though to be fair, it might not have mattered. Radiation leaking from multiple damaged reactors into the ocean is a very different problem than Chernobyl’s single reactor on solid ground. After 3 years at Fukushima there is no plan beyond scientific doubletalk to remedy the catastrophe.
Meanwhile for us in the public, alternate news blogs and YouTube videos are the only source for updates on the Fukushima nightmare. Our supposedly reliable establishment news networks have offered nothing but rehashed Japanese government press releases. The establishment media resembles the old supermarket gossip sheets with screaming headlines about Washington politics instead of exploring the coming dangers of the world’s greatest nuclear disaster.
Jeff Shero Nightbyrd © 2017
Jeff Nightbyrd is a journalist and talent scout who lives in Austin, he was the co-founder of the original Austin Sun
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