Destroyed: A satellite image of the Fukushima nuclear station shows the destroyed reactor buildings and radioactive steam rising from the plant. From the satellite it is safe, but flying below, as approaching helicopters need to do if they are ever to bury the plant in sand and concrete, it is so dangerous that one approaches the gates of hell on earth in plain sight.
Above and surrounding that plant, its infernal heat and death rays would kill a man quickly if he got close enough. A person taking a walk inside the area of the nuclear power plant without any protection would burn up on a cellular level as fast as you can drop a hat. That nastiness of existence is going, in all likelihood, to grow nastier as each day, week and month passes, but amazingly this situation is already starting to receive less media attention as if a hell on earth did not exist in Japan.
Obama flew over me today in the northeast of Brazil on his way down south to Rio. And the news line read that the President’s mind was split between what was going on around him in Brazil and the attacks going on in Libya. Not a mention was made of the mega disaster of still a much unknown dimension in Japan and very much solidly in the northern hemisphere. The online Times version made no mention of the disaster today in terms of its health threat but instead was only concerned with the economic fallout, of which there will be a lot.
The headlines we wake up to Monday morning say: A new column of smoke rising from an overheating nuclear plant in Japan drove workers out of the smoldering site dented hopes for a breakthrough in the post-quake atomic crisis raising the risk of uncontrolled radiation. The World Health Organization said today that radiation in food after an earthquake damaged a Japanese nuclear plant was more serious than previously thought, eclipsing signs of progress in a battle to avert a catastrophic meltdown in the reactors.
Just a little bit of radiation can make you terribly sick and of course a lot can kill you quite instantly. Every little bit of radiation adds to the winds that bring on cancer so there is a lot to be concerned about. An unexpected spike in pressure inside one reactor on Sunday is setting back efforts to bring Japan’s overheating, leaking nuclear complex under control and concerns are growing that contamination of food and water is spreading.
If there ever was a time for starting to plan for worse-case scenarios, it is now. But we are not hearing any stories of people from the north fleeing to the southern hemisphere; are you? That’s right, there is no panic or mass migration going on—just some concerned parents trying desperately to get their hands on some iodine, any iodine and for good reason. But the controlled press strikes back and makes fun of these very concerned citizens. It appears that the press and the experts are going to abandon the people of Japan like they did the Gulf Coast, which is still staggering from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
The survival rate after radiation exposure depends on the radiation dose. For those who survive, full recovery typically takes from a few weeks to 2 years.
As each day passes the world comes closer to reading news of one of the largest nuclear stations in the world going out of control creating a permanent hot spot on our planet that will create nightmares for generations to come. It is already happening and we are within a hair’s breadth of incalculable suffering and harm to human civilization. That might sound dramatic but what else are we to think with thousands of tons of nuclear material at risk at the still not under control overly large nuclear power station. Some of the bravest men who have ever lived are battling to bring the situation under control and at this point we can only pray that their sacrifices are not in vain.
At Fukushima prefecture’s 12 monitoring points, the highest level of radiation was detected in the village of Iitate where a reading of 12.10 microsieverts per hour was recorded at 8:00 am (2300 GMT Sunday). An X-ray is 600 microsieverts so people in this region are receiving the equivalent of almost an X-ray every other day at this level meaning 180 X-rays a year. In three years it will be 540 X-rays in six years over a thousand and that’s only if the radiation intensity gets no worse. And we must remember that these detectable readings are not reporting on the full range of radiation since many types of radiation on not detectable with normal instrumentation.
“This event has the potential to be the most globally disruptive natural hazard in modern times,” said Rob Verchick, a disaster expert at Loyola University in New Orleans. “And it may just be, in the context of globalization, of all time.” “The Asian tsunami of 2004 killed more people. The fall of the Twin Towers launched two wars. The collapse of the Berlin Wall spelled the end of an empire. But in this event, psychological, even philosophical, shock over the confluence of human tragedy and nuclear catastrophe yields some fundamental questions. If a technological power like Japan can be so vulnerable, who’s safe? Is even minimal risk, as with nuclear power, too much risk? Do we need to rethink the role of government in protecting the public?” wrote Joji Sakurai, writing for the Associated Press.
No one in the world is going to enjoy seeing this simulation. The longer the nuclear plant in Japan emits radioactive particles the further it will travel and touch down in foreign lands. When we hear of the “safe” levels we should starting thinking of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. non-profit advocacy group, which at one point called for a halt to new nuclear reactors in the United States.
“There is no safe level of radiation exposure,” said Jeff Patterson, a former president of the group. Hard science has concluded that Patterson is correct in his assertion, which means every time you read the “safe” word used in conjunction with nuclear radiation in the newspapers or on TV, you are reading deliberate manipulations of our minds. Actually the report on the Taiwan food imports read “slightly” contaminated so we have to add the “slightly” word to the word “safe”. Anyone who wants to eat some “slightly” contaminated radioactive food, please raise your hand, and imagine in a month or a year from now, as the soil soaks up more and more radiation, what the food situation is going to look like.
They will keep saying it’s safe or talk about safe amounts or tiny exposure until people and children, millions of them, are in their graves.
Radiation exceeding Japanese safety standards were found in milk from a farm about 30 km (18 miles) from the plant as well as spinach grown in neighboring Ibaraki prefecture. Radioactive iodine has also been found in tap water in Tokyo, about 240 km (150 miles) to south. Many tourists and expatriates have already left and residents are generally staying indoors. Radioactive iodine and cesium were also found in northern Ibaraki and in dust and particles in the greater Tokyo area, the government said on the 20th. Authorities in Taiwan, checking food imports for radiation, found a shipment of fava beans from southern Japan that had been contaminated.
Japan’s Health Ministry says tests have now detected additional types of radiation-tainted vegetables in more places, suggesting that contamination from its tsunami-crippled nuclear complex is reaching further into the food chain. Ministry official Yoshifumi Kaji said Sunday that tests found excess amounts of radioactive elements on canola and chrysanthemum greens, in addition to spinach. He said the areas where the tainted produce was found included three prefectures that previously had not recorded such contamination. But Japanese officials say levels so far are not alarming, meaning they will not start to evacuate the northern end of Japan or Tokyo any time soon.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said radiation levels in milk from a Fukushima farm about 30 km (18 miles) from the plant, and spinach grown in Ibaraki, a neighboring prefecture, exceeded limits set by the government. Shoppers in Tokyo avoided the produce that came from Ibaraki prefecture in the northeast, where radiation was found in spinach grown up to 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
On Monday the 21st, the Japanese government told people not to drink the tap water in a village near the quake-hit nuclear power plant after high levels of radioactive iodine were detected. The health ministry said 965 becquerels per kilogramme of radioactive iodine was found in water sampled on Sunday in Iitatemura, which is 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Fukushima No. 1 plant. It is already more than three times the level the government considers advising people to limit the intake of water.
The radiation from the plant will only get stronger and become more penetrating into the environments around it. The local affect is quite strong but what is local might soon come to envelop the entire island nation of Japan.