Tuesday, March 10, 2015
THE CONTINUING TRAGEDY OF FUKUSHIMA
Today and tomorrow, March 10 and 11, are two terrible days in the history of Japan. Seventy years ago B-29 bombers in one hellish bombing of Tokyo, killed 105,400. Of course, the Atomic-bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused a death toll of 225,000. Which leads to another nuclear tragedy, the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, of 11March2011, where "only" 16,000 were killed, but the crucial fallout was a meltdown of three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi.
It is said that the economic loss caused by the nuclear debacle could amount to a quarter trillion dollars. This would make it the costliest natural disaster in world history (#2 was the Japan Kobe earthquake in 1995 at $100 billion, while #3 was Hurricane Katrina in 2005 at $81 billion). Every indication is that just the cleanup will be $1 trillion, and there are estimates up to $10 trillion. These large numbers could well prevail, for a report by the French government revealed that their worst case scenarios went up to $7.5 trillion.
While all the cleanup is occurring, it should be noted that radiation is still leaking into the Pacific Ocean. Here is a NOAA map of where this leakage is heading. To quote from an opinion piece:
It now appears that anywhere from 300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodone, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daichi site everyday. To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945
There is also the human tragedy. A quarter million residents remain dislocated in shelters .EcoWatch indicates that Fukushima's children are dying. While this might be an overstatement, more than half of the 375,000 young people tested by the Fukushima Medical University now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities. These statistics apparently are consistent with nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Finally, there is something rotten about a Japanese government accustomed to denial. Whether it's comfort women or the Fukushima nuclear debacle, while downplaying the issue, it delays action, and, two-facedly, displays every intent to reactivate as many closed nuclear power plants as possible. Incidentally, here are where the U.S. nuclear plants are located:
Mind you, four new reactors are building in Georgia and South Carolina. However, recent reports indicate they are having huge problems.
To close, while this is not even being discussed yet, I would not be surprised if the entire Fukushima nuclear area eventually becomes Japan's third nuclear "peace" park, this one dedicated to the end of nuclear power in the world. A monumental national park, for the nuclear contamination site is about as large as the state of Connecticut.