Posted by: Dr Churchill | March 28, 2013

Japan’s Silent Spring

Japan’s Silent Spring echoes in silence.

In the once happy lands of Fukushima, a strange silence has erupted now that Springtime has arrived. Absent are the birds and their bird song, and  their happy landings. All is quiet in the western front….

Fukushima is a Nightmare that keeps on giving…

Because Fukushima’s dramatic nuclear radiation fallout is far from over.

This spring there are no crickets, no bees, nor song birds – to hear and rejoice – in Fukushima…

There are no butterflies…

They haven’t been here since they were wiped out by the Nuclear disaster two years ago.

An eerily quiet has dawned during this time of glorious Spring in and around the once fertile lands of Fukushima – now rendered a No man’s land.

A deathly silence has taken hold – away from nature’s sounds and smells of life everlasting – proving once and for all the error of our ways. A strange void of sound has now taken hold of Fukushima. No school children can be heard laughing and crying out, nor are there any around. No happy voices to be heard anywhere around Fukushima either.

Silent Spring indeed.

The Fukushima TEPCO nuclear power plant’s core melt down and explosions released huge amounts of radiation and apparently still do, because the nuclear reactors are far from being entombed and thus allow radiation to escape. There are measurements that radiation is still leaking, leaching, and seeping, in the air, the sea, the ground, and carried out by water … causing even the birds to fall silent. The birds are gone, because the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor melt down leaves a lasting impact on bird’s population, DNA, and their breeding patterns. The population of the Fukushima birds has shifted dramatically, as all wildlife and human species tend to relocate… towards cleaner lands.

Sadly the bees that are the queen of reproductive cycles for agriculture have disappeared from Fukushima too…

A 2011 study of birds near Chernobyl in Ukraine found that their sperm is being damaged by harmful radiated reactive oxygen species, which have been created by radiation from the country’s nuclear disaster in 1986. According to calculations by Jim Smith at the University of Portsmouth, UK, the radiation at Chernobyl has produced enough reactive oxygen species that explains the observed harm (Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0150) along the more nasty radioactive elements of the melt down that are responsible for the silence at Chernobyl. He says, the same is true of Fukushima. The biggest effects at Chernobyl were seen in barn swallows, which rely on farming activities for their food. Smith thinks the evacuation of the area and stoppage of all agricultural activities may also explain the swallows’ plight and this is truly taking place in Fukushima as well…

And the wildlife as a whole is affected negatively because the Fukushima levels of radioactivity are still way too high.  Proof of this is the high levels of radioactivity found all around Fukushima even today. Levels that are as high as the peak time of the nuclear melt down two years ago. For example, the levels of radioactive caesium in fish around Fukushima are as high now as they were a year ago, suggesting that there may be still unknown sources of continued radiation leakage and spreading contamination.

But the birds, the fish, the crickets and the bees aren’t the only ones disappearing: All wildlife is gone, because radiation harms wildlife in seriously sinister ways, by damaging their DNA and thus not allowing to reproduce healthy offsprings. The three headed yet short lived lizards of Chernobyl are a good example of this Fukushima nightmare because these mutant lizards have been seen here too…

Ken Buesseler from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts analysed data from almost 9000 samples of sea life, taken more than a year after the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The amount of caesium-134 in the fish has not yet decreased. The isotope has a half-life of two years, so Buesseler says caesium-134 must still be leaking into the environment (Science, doi.org/jm4).

The Fukushima area is chock-full of radioactive debris, that is far from being cleaned up. And the anaemic efforts from the industry cleaners hired by TEPCO and government to shift dirt around and hide it under the proverbial earth carpet — are finally seen for what they really are. Pure window dressing to make people feel a little better, although everybody knows that — much like Chernobyl — nobody will be allowed to return.

The Fukushima people, farmers, agriculturalists, fishermen, residents and children are very far from ever returning back to their homes, because the various radioactive elements strewn around Fukushima as were thrown from the explosions, and carried by the winds, have a half life of 6,700 years.  So it’s very likely they will persist in giving trouble for a long time to come rendering the area uninhabitable for hundreds of generations – no matter what clean up efforts take place.

God’s green earth indeed…

It’ so quiet in the irradiated area around Fukushima, now that the wildlife species much like the humans have disappeared in their bid to escape the nasty fallout.

And after all this — amazingly the Japanese government wants to restart some of the stopped nuclear reactors regardless of the vociferous opposition offered by the usually rather stoic Japanese public.

Yet to remind them of their continued and exaggerated folly, the Fukushima disaster keeps on giving — proving the bitter ironies of the myth of the easy, plenty, and stable nuclear energy, as advertised by the industry, greenwashing PR, and compliant governments, around the world.

Stupid Fools indeed.

Now another element comes out — freshly unearthed from the rubble that Fukushima now is.

The element of verity, just surfaced from under the nuclear disaster debris of Fukushima:

The TRUTH…

And this came about in a rather circuitous way.

From the Civil Courts.

Seems that the truth will be finally spilled out from the hearings related to a case seeking recompense for health and life related damages due to Fukushima reactors spewing radioactivity here and there and everywhere. Mostly everywhere…

Because the Fukushima’s fallout is far from over…

Under the present day remove, the Fukushima human costs are also slowly revealed.

Slowly at first as it alway happens, but reveal they will.

Mainly …  because … of litigation.

And because Justice has a way of arriving fashionably late — yet it always doe.

Litigation about who should pay for Fukushima melt down related illnesses, for the deaths, and for all these all too human costs and the life term loss… is now on.

And as it turns out now that the American GIs are suing — amongst others — the truth might come out along with a sense of justice overdue and overlong.

Today the thousands of US Marines who sped to the scene of the Nuclear meltdown to assist with the containment effort and help the people of Japan — have gotten sick from radiation related illnesses and are seeking recompense.

The US military personnel and their families are seeking $2 billion in damages for illnesses they believe were caused by the nuclear plant’s meltdown. They allege that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, misrepresented the amount of radiation present when it accepted US military assistance to deal with the crisis.

Soldiers aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, which rerouted from Korea to assist Japan, after the reactors at Fukushima went into meltdown in 2011, have filed a lawsuit against TEPCO in the District Court for the Southern District of California. So far, 24 people are claiming damages, but Paul Garner, a lawyer based in San Diego, California, who is representing the plaintiffs, says that the 70,000 US military personnel and families stationed in or near Japan at the time could be party to the suit if they wish.

The plaintiffs claim that the Fukushima radiation leak caused leukaemia, bone and blood cancers, testicular cancer, vision problems, birth defects, pregnancy complications, unnatural body induced abortions, and extreme gynecological bleeding, and other radiation related illnesses.

“It seems like a regular pattern of sickness — a whole lot of cancers,” says lead plaintiff attorney Garner.

The Pentagon has put together an online registry to document radiation levels in Japan and surrounding areas where military staff might have been. According to the website, all the known levels are far too low to cause harm. That concurs with a recent World Health Organization assessment which found that infants in the immediate vicinity of the stricken plant may have a slightly increased risk of developing some cancers, but that the risk to adults is low.

David Brenner of Columbia University in New York says that although leukaemia can develop within a brief period after exposure to radiation, “at the doses of relevance here, one would not expect much else by way of health effects in the first two years”.

This will be a long road, but do we know the facts yet?

Surely some of the facts will be revealed in the course of the proceedings…

TEPCO’s legal issues and compensation lawsuits certainly don’t end there either.

Earlier this month, over 1600 residents from around the Fukushima nuclear radiation exclusion zone, filed a lawsuit with Fukushima District Court, demanding compensation for damaged health, erasure of human rights, and displacement.

This is unprecedented because Japan is not a litigious society and certainly not one where the people take on the government and big business through the court system.

A seismic shift is taking place where the exceedingly polite & bureaucracy accepting people, now had had enough of the Nuclear industry and it’s obfuscation of the facts relevant to people’s ill health caused from their exposure to the nuclear radiation.

Seems to me that somehow the Ethics of doing business for the Good of the public have not penetrated into the Iron Triangle patronage system of Japan Inc.

And the giant disaster in Fukushima has not been enough of a wake up call into getting the bureaucrats of the government ministries to listen to public opposition to nuclear energy, seeing as they approved the restarting of the nuclear reactors across Japan.

Something’s got to give…

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Naturally TEPCO shielded by Japan’s government has not bothered to respond yet, feeling that the matter will be dealt with in due time and in due course same as the Fukushima nuclear disaster created the Fukushima exclusion zone — by their own accounts — due to no fault of their own…

Seems that Japan’s bureaucrats think they are of a different species – impervious to radiation  – and a breed apart…

Yet REALITY begs to differ.


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