Uncensored Fukushima Report

Uncensored Fukushima Report Direct to West Marin, CA
Reprinted from: Guest Column – Pt. Reyes Light – March 22, 2012
By Rachel Gertrude Johnson & Mary Beth Brangan – EON

“The planet can’t endure another Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima.” Prof. Akira Murakami

Immense releases of radioactivity from Fukushima were at first blown eastward from Japan towards the West Coast of North America. In 1986, Chernobyl radiation caused a spike in bird, human elder and infant mortalities. After Fukushima, a similar spike in infant mortality was observed in Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Oakland, according to Center for Disease Control numbers.

Chernobyl was a single-reactor explosion estimated to have caused one million excess deaths since 1986. By 2000, fewer than 20 percent of Belarus children were considered healthy. Fukushima has already seen three melted reactor cores and 3,108 intensely radioactive fuel rods. It’s all still emitting radiation into the air and ocean, with no end in sight.

Tokyo, with a population of over 32 million, has radioactive hot spots at a distance of 150 miles from Fukushima. A professor emeritus at the University of the Ryukyus, Katsuma Yagasaki, said on November 12: “Children, pregnant women and those wanting children in the future should be evacuated from Tokyo.”

Yet the government has hardly taken any protective measures. Racehorses were evacuated, but children were not. People are still living within a 19-mile radius from the stricken reactors because they can’t afford to move without government help. Russia evacuated everyone from the more sparsely populated Chernobyl area.

What the Japanese government did do was raise the legal allowable radiation exposures to levels higher than those used for adult male nuclear workers. This when children, especially young girls, are up to seven times more sensitive than adults. Already 30 percent of children in the Fukushima area have nodules on their thyroids—a rate unheard of by doctors.

Food is spot-checked, loosely regulated, and residents have caught the government lying about radiation measurements. A campaign of “Buy Fukushima, Eat Fukushima” pressures people everywhere with the charge that they are traitors if they choose not to “eat Fukushima.”

Japan is a conformist society and its people are being ordered to stay silent. The government, the media, compliant college professors and medical doctors are down-playing the dangers and hiding facts.

But increasing numbers of mothers, aided by the Internet, independent media and international activists, are becoming engaged. A network of volunteers in Japan is working with MIT professors to take radiation measurements and provide the data to the public. Many residents and grocery store owners have invested in high-tech devices to provide reliable information about radiation levels in foods to concerned mothers.

Despite having suffered the devastation of being nuclear-bombed, Japanese residents in past decades bought into an “Atoms for Peace” campaign, illustrated with cartoon characters with reactors in their chests. The country wanted to emulate the superior technology of its American vanquisher, but years later it’s clear to many Japanese people that the campaign’s real purpose was to provide business opportunities for GE and Westinghouse as well as a cover for the production of weapons materials. (In 2006, Tochiba bought the nuclear power section of Westinghouse.)

Still, as Professor Akira Murakami from Japan’s Akita University puts it: “The planet can’t endure another Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima.”

Last week the Ecological Options Network (EON) hosted Murakami for a series of events and media interviews as part of a U.S. tour to report the uncensored news from post-Fukushima Japan.

The EON team, a Bolinas-based nonprofit, has a long history of anti-nuclear activism. Responding to the ongoing nuclear disaster has been a big part of our work for the past year. On November 7 we visited the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, where we presented an international petition of 7,000 signatures asking the Japanese government to stop its plan to distribute and incinerate radioactive rubble all over the nation.

Mary Beth Brangan (left) and Rachel Gertrude Johnson (center) of EON and Kimberly Roberson (right), founder of the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) meet with Japanese embassy officials.

We had been asked by Japanese activists to help ask their government to stop this unconscionable plan of spreading radiation to even uncontaminated areas of the country instead of containing it as much as possible.

Jim Heddle, co-director of EON, videotaped us at the consulate. The video was posted on YouTube and was translated into Japanese, garnering over 15,000 views in the first week. [See viewers below. ] As result, Murakami contacted us and asked if he could visit while he was here for events related to the anniversary of Fukushima. We were honored and hosted him at successful events in Bolinas and Berkeley.

Now Professor Akira Murakami and other Japanese citizens are pleading with us to shut down our nuclear reactors. Twenty-three U.S. reactor stations have the same defective design as those in Fukushima and California’s Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear reactors are surrounded by multiple earthquake faults and lie in tsunami zones.

Professor Akira ‘Lazy Cat’ Murakami from Japan’s Akita University has traveled to South Korea, Viet Nam, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area working for international solidarity for a nuclear free future. Photo: Rachel Gertrude Johnson

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