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Monday, June 20, 2011

Fallout days and Mondays always get me down

Now that Anthony Weiner's gone, maybe it's time for another boring update on the worst man-made environmental disaster in history, currently unfolding at Fukushima, Japan.

First, the really awful, but not at all surprising, news: Children 30 miles from the nuclear meltdown site are showing up with health problems like diarrhea, nosebleeds, and constant fatigue, and their worried parents are attributing it to exposure to radiation. And there seems to be no escaping it, as the grass on the ground is unsafe as far away as 120 miles from Fukushima.

Nosebleeds are, unfortunately, just the beginning of the health problems that are coming. Here's a revealing graph, showing increases in thyroid cancer in Belarus after Chernobyl. The red line is children under 15; the blue, ages 15 to 18; and the yellow, young adults (19 to 34). It's a grim little chart to go with your Cheerios.

Meanwhile, back at the trashed reactor site, it turns out that there is yet another pool of radioactive waste to worry about -- not the spent fuel pools, but another one. This one is on the top floor of what's left of reactor no. 4, which was down for refueling when the earthquake and tsunami hit. The pool holds some sort of equipment that gets irradiated during the miraculous process of producing atomic power. Apparently the equipment gets so radioactive that it has to sit in a pool of water when it's out of the reactor core -- otherwise, it will release a lot of radiation into the air. And that's just what it did two weekends ago, when the water in the pool in which it was sitting somehow disappeared. Who knows how much deadly crap flew into the air before they refilled the pool -- or where the water went?

About the only encouraging sign we can see from our armchair this morning is that the populace in Japan is catching on to the unholy domination of its government by corporate interests. In the case of Fukushima, the theft of public health for the sake of private profit is too brazen to miss. And some people in that usually staid society are so upset that they're speaking out about it.

As well they should. Tokyo Electric is going to have to be nationalized eventually. If the government had any power and guts, that day would have been about three months ago. But it appears that Tokyo Electric owns the government of Japan -- not the other way around. It might take a revolution for that structure to get inverted to what it's supposed to be. When the birth defects start showing up on YouTube, maybe it will happen.

Comments (12)

Even the Wall Street Journal had an article saying the IAEA report included all sorts of info about how TEPCo had messed up on many levels.
When the WSJ says you screwed up, you gotta know things are really bad.
My question is; Now what's next?

Here's another good yet deeply troubling article:


smarana, Great article!
I guess I will stop worrying about my high cholesterol, and get the air filters changed on my cars! Somehow that seems more a immediate concern.

Now what's next?

Exactly. But the Japanese government doesn't know, and can't know, because they're under the influence and control of TEPCO's management, who are in turn beholden to shareholders.

The only hope is that TEPCO's share price drops to worthless status quickly, so there is a takeover. That won't guarantee the right thing will happen; it will just take TEPCO's management and shareholders out of the picture.

I really hope those kids are suffering from something other then the acute radiation poisoning that it appears to be.

We are used to radiations effects being many years down the line, or in lands far away. I'm starting to think we will find our government and media complicit in a huge Dirty Bomb effect, and only months or years from now the true horror of what is happening is coming to light.
This is not going to be as simple and curious as 3 eyed fish.

I'm afraid it will be dead children. Soon

Luckily, we can all just ignore the article smarana sent, given the source. It's just more terrorist propoganda to distract us from the real dangers, like Anthony Weiner.

Yesterday there was an earthquake at the Fukushima site. Now it looks like something critical is happening at the site. I don't know if they will keep the video up. But there are stills available at this site:


I wonder if the spikes in radiation here last week are connected to the disappearing pool around the radioactive equipment? Or is Tepco venting, what is going on?


It didn't just spike in AZ.

If you are able to see the video at 1:25 there looks to be an explosion. We should be getting the fallout soon.

And speaking of pools...

I wonder how our outdoor swimming pools will fare here in the west. How much fallout? My son participates in the Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Swim League, some of the pools are outdoors.

More good nuclear news-- an AP article today reports that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been systematically weakening safety rules, such as allowing valves to leak at 20 X the original permissible limit, to permit old nuclear power plants to continue operating.

66 of the 104 operating US plants have already exceeded their time limit and have had their licenses renewed by another 20 years simply by changing safety guidelines to enable failing equipment to continue operating. This has been done with no oversight and no safety analyses.


I was going to mention the AP article; it's unusually good for them.

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