Part 2 of this multi-article work looks at the global consequences of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.
Read “Part 1: What Happened?”.
Later parts will explore how hemp, marijuana and mushrooms can help combat the negative effects of Fukushima and help save us from future nuclear disasters.
A nuclear accident anywhere is a nuclear accident everywhere.
– Stephen Metruck, U.S. Adviser to the 55th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (68)
No amount of radiation is safe. Every dose is an overdose.
– Nobel Laureate George Wald, in 1953 (69)
Reactor-grade plutonium makes inefficient but dirty bombs. It also has a curious physical property of igniting spontaneously when exposed to air, thereby producing tiny aerosolized particles which are dispersed by wind currents and available for inhalation by humans and animals. … The most awesome property of plutonium is its half-life of 24,400 years … if an individual dies of lung cancer engendered by plutonium, his body will return to dust but the plutonium lives on to produce cancer in another human being.
– “Power Corrupts – The Arguments Against Nuclear Power”, Hilary Bacon and John Valentine, 1981, Pluto Press, p. 16
Because its radioactivity is so slow to decay, plutonium would have to be stored virtually forever. It has a half-life of 24,000 years. That is, after 24,000 years it would be half as lethal and after another 24,000 years a quarter as lethal.
– “Energy Politics”, David Howard Davis, 1982, p. 229
Plutonium is most damaging to human health when inhaled and these fine particles are the most dangerous and most difficult to filter out of the air. Potentially fatal lung doses are measured in billionths of a gram.
– “The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age”, John May, 1989, pp. 111-112
Nuclear radiation – which threatens life on planet earth – is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities. … Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium.
– “Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War, The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation”, Michel Chossudovsky (Editor) (70)
… if the reactors at Fukushima heated up to around 2,000 degrees Celsius, then it likely that plutonium vapor was escaping and floating over Japan and beyond in March 2011 …”
– “Deception, Cover-up and Murder in the Nuclear Age”, Andrew Kishner, Feb. 11, 2013 (71)
Aluminum I crush your f.u.n aluminum
The sea is radioactive
The sea is radioactive
– “Superfast Jellyfish”, Gorillaz, May 2010
When nuclear power was first being sold to the American public, enthusiasts bragged about designs that would “make safety absolute”. (72) According to the World Nuclear Association, “In the 1940s some 26 workers at US nuclear weapons facilities became contaminated with plutonium. Intensive health checks of these people have revealed no serious consequence and no fatalities that could be attributed to the exposure.” (73)
Wikipedia makes similar claims: “…no human is known to have died because of inhaling or ingesting plutonium, and many people have measurable amounts of plutonium in their bodies.” (74)
These views have been disputed by activists, who point out that cancer rates are highest around plutonium processing plants. These activists claim that secrecy and disinformation have plagued the various plutonium processing plants and the contaminations that each site has experienced, and that radiation-related cancer mortality is routinely under-reported if it’s reported at all. (75)
There is some indications that polonium may have been used to assassinate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (76) and Alexander Litvinenko (Russian secret service agent, journalist and critic of Vladimir Putin). (77) The “SNAP-9A accident”, where a U.S. satellite carrying a plutonium power system crashed and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere, distributed some 2.1 pounds of plutonium into the atmosphere and was responsible for a noticeable increase in lung cancer all over the world, according to Dr. John Gofman, professor emeritus of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley. (78)
“An abnormally high incidence of thyroid tumors and cancers have been observed in populations living downwind from Hanford,” writes Nobel Peace Prize/Academy Award-winning Dr. Helen Caldicott, “Strontium 90, cesium 137, and plutonium 239 have also been released in large quantities, as was, between 1952 to 1967, ruthenium 106. People in adjacent neighborhoods were kept uninformed about these releases – before, during and after – and none of them were warned that they were at risk for subsequent development of cancer. (Some experts have estimated that downwind farms and families received radiation doses ten times higher than those that reached the Soviet people living near Chernobyl.)” (79)
Big Clean-up Job
Fukushima nuclear plant is constantly leaking radiation into the ground, air and sea. Every day, the area is flooded by 400 tons of soon-to-be highly radioactive Fukushima water, a combination of natural water mixing with the water pumped in to keep the reactors cool. Plant manager Takeshi Takahashi estimates it will take “30 to 40 years” to isolate, remove and store the nuclear fuel safely. (80)
That radiation isn’t just staying in Japan. It mixes with nearby ocean water and evaporates into the air, where it mixes with the radiation from nearby incinerators and travels thousands of miles, where it rains down upon the rest of the world. Unusual amounts of radiation have been detected in North Carolina, (81) California, (82) Missouri, (83) Arizona, (84) Hawaii, (85) Oklahoma, (86) British Columbia, (87) and many other US Cities. (88) And it’s not just North America that is receiving this radioactive rain. Measurements of 3.8 becquerels of radioactive iodine per cubic meter were found as far away as Lithuania. (89)
In Calgary, Alberta, an unsettling level of irresponsibility has revealed itself in response to the radioactive rain. “It has now been revealed that data were not released from a Calgary Health Canada monitoring station detecting levels of radioactive iodine in rainwater well above the Canadian guideline for drinking water,” according to MP Elizabeth May’s office. (90)
According to industry watch-dogs; “… American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborn radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising ‘acceptable’ radiation levels.)” (91)
… just like the Japanese government did. (92)
The US government even has a “secret” agreement with the Japanese government to keep buying food from Japan without testing it for radiation! (93) According to official Japanese sources, 60 to 80 percent of the fish caught off Japanese shores tests positive for cesium, and one in five of fish tested contain more radioactive material than is legally permitted. (94) Apparently, NASA blames increases in radiation detected in Europe on the “Tarantula Nebula” (160,000 light-years away) but not Fukushima. (95)
14,000 North American Deaths
Before 2011 was over, 14,000 deaths – many of them infants and the infirm hit by the plume of toxic fallout that rolled into North America six days after the disaster occurred – were linked to hot particles found within the fallout from the disaster, (96) according to an article in a prestigious, peer reviewed journal from John Hopkins University. (97) Another American study estimates infants born on the North American west coast are 28% more likely to develop congenital hypothyroidism. (98)
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts there will be minimal effects from the fallout, (99) but others suggest WHO’s position on problems with the nuclear power industry has been compromised since they signed away their ability to come to independent conclusions to the International Atomic Energy Agency back in 1959. (100)
A host of mutations have started to appear in varied locations. (101) Strawberries and dandelions in Dearborn Michigan, (102) kittens in Michigan, (103) glorybower and corn near Portland, Oregon, (104) kittens in Oregon, (105) and potatoes in Croatia. (106)
Students of ocean currents estimate the entire Pacific Ocean will soon be filled with radiation. (107) Fish caught off the coast of California have continuously tested positive for radiation. This radiation shows no signs of dissipating. (108)
Global Media Blackout
The corporate media have been underwhelming in their coverage of the disaster in general and the effects of radioactive fallout in particular, offering “vague, industry-friendly reassurances” instead of an in-depth discussion by experts on the health effects of radiation. (109) One researcher described the coverage of the disaster as a “global media blackout”. (110)
Chernobyl: 1 Million Dead and Counting
Given the inability of the government and Tepco to do any effective cleanup, the outlook for the people of Japan is grim. About one million people have died of cancer caused by the 1986 Chernobyl accident so far, according to the most comprehensive report on the subject (and contrary to the official – less comprehensive – reports). (111)
With the added problems of being at sea-side, of being unable or unwilling to contain the melt-down, of much more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl had, of being vulnerable to the many earthquakes Japan experiences each year, the disaster may end up being many, many times greater than Chernobyl ever was. (112) A recent report estimates that ocean currents will increase radioactivity on the West Coast dramatically starting in 2015. (113)
Recent estimates of the actual amount of fuel subjected to atomic fission at Fukushima have been made: 9 tonnes – “several times the amount needed to kill by internal contamination the whole human race.” (114)
Find out how hemp, marijuana and mushrooms can help save us from the Fukushima disaster in the upcoming parts of of this article, coming soon to Cannabis Culture.
(72) Atomic Power Plant, John W. Campbell Jr., Astounding Science Fiction, Feb. 1947, p. 104
(78) “U.S. Plans to Wage War in Space”, October 14, 2000, Karl Grossman
(79) Helen Caldicott, M.D., If You Love This Planet, 1992, p. 90
(93) Dupre, D. (2011, August 14). Radiating Americans: Fukushima rain, Clinton’s secret food pact. The Examiner. Retrieved from: http://www.examiner.com/article/radiating-americans-fukushima-rain-clinton-s-secret-food-pact
(94) Roslin, A. (2012). After Fukushima, fish tales. The Gazette. Retrieved from: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NHaJXuotGoygbASyVDTMquvTCpG0YEMU16XT_Fnylrg/edit
See also: http://www.radiation.org/reading/pubs/HS42_1F.pdf
See also http://www.radiation.org/
Analysis Of The Distribution Of Fukushima Radiation In The Pacific Ocean
(110) Fukushima Daiichi: a Never-Ending Story of Pain or Outrage? Hannah Spector, Transnational Curriculum inquiry, 2012
see also http://www.vice.com/en_ca/the-vice-guide-to-travel/the-radioactive-beasts-of-chernobyl
(114) K. Nishihara, et al., “Radionuclide release to Stagnant Water in Fukushima-1 Nuclear Power Plant,” Trans. At. Energy Soc, Japan, Vol 11 (1), pp 13 – 19, 2012 (in Japanese).