How Deadly Is the Ongoing Disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Station?
By B. McPherson
The catastrophe that hit Japan this last March continues. The combination of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation has made 2011 a most deadly year for the Japanese. New figures being released show that the radiation release from nuclear plant Fukushima Daiichi was probably twice as high as initially thought. Apparently, the Japanese government failed to measure the amount of radioactive particles that were released into and over the ocean, only taking into consideration that which fell on the surrounding land.
“Andreas Stohl, of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, said measurements taken from a global network of sensors showed that the plant had released 36,000 terabecquerels of caesium-137 between 11 March and 20 April.” The Guardian UK
New figures being made public show that there was a massive release of cesium 137 into the ocean. This element is radioactive and takes 30 years for half of it to decay to a non-radioactive substance. This constitutes the largest radioactive contamination of the ocean to date. This winter’s rains will wash even more radioactive materials into the ocean.
While those representing the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, try to put the best face on this disaster saying basically that the Pacific Ocean is so large that it will dilute the load of radioactivity to negligible levels, scientists are not so sure. Some organisms are exquisitely sensitive to radioactive particles and gamma rays.(ref: The Maritime Executive)
The Japanese population has endured poor communication from their government about the extent of the contamination from their power plant, leaving them wondering if the damage done will echo down the generations in damaged genetic material. The financial ruin of farmers around Fukushima has yet to be addressed, and the cost of dismantling the ruined power plant over the next 30 years has yet to be calculated.
Japan will be taking a hard look at their energy needs and sources in the coming months. Their reliance on the “clean” energy of the atom has been severely shaken. Today word is coming out that another nuclear power station, Tokai No. 2 Reactor, run by the Japan Atomic Power Company has reported a water leak of over 22 Tons. The officials there have assured the public that no radioactivity was released with the discharged water. (ref: Japan Today)
It’s just my opinion, but if you believe that, there’s a bridge for sale in Brooklyn …..