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Boardman writes: "The world's worst nuclear power disaster continues to release radiation into the sea and air around Fukushima, Japan, where the site remains only partially-controlled and is still years if not decades from any sort of safe shutdown."

Workers at Fukushima nuclear plant. (photo: Getty/AFP)
Workers at Fukushima nuclear plant. (photo: Getty/AFP)

Fukushima in Year Five of Endless Radioactive Contamination

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

26 March 15


Fukushima’s fourth birthday brings little encouraging news

he world’s worst nuclear power disaster continues to release radiation into the sea and air around Fukushima, Japan, where the site remains only partially controlled and is still years, if not decades, from any sort of safe shutdown. The March 11, 2011, multiple-meltdown has already cost billions of dollars to mitigate, with no end to spending in the foreseeable future. And the unwillingness of the Japanese and other governments around the world to deal honestly with the growing catastrophe is creating an expanding, global sacrifice zone. 

The Fukushima site owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has spent about $3 billion to date, with little progress to show for it. The company’s ineffective site cleanup program has wasted more that $500 million on useless equipment and failed techniques, according toJapanese government auditors

The Japanese government had allocated more than $15 billion for radioactive waste cleanup outside the plant site, in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere. This program has made little progress while creating new mounds of radioactive waste that needs to be stored somewhere, but there’s nowhere to store it yet.

The government’s current plan is to create a vast radioactive waste dump near the Fukushima nuclear site. The plan was adopted despite fierce objection from Fukushima residents, some 2,300 of whom will lose their land to the 16 square mile waste dump that is supposed to be only temporary (30 years). The Japanese government has promised the prefecture $2.5 billion per year in subsidies in exchange for local cooperation. The cost of building, maintaining, and dismantling the waste dump will cost unknown billions more. 

The government plans to build a more permanent waste dump, also in Fukushima Prefecture, over the next 30 years. Japan, like the US, has so far failed to create a permanent nuclear waste storage site anywhere.

Nuclear “security” secrecy protects government from accountability  

In December 2014, Japan put into effect a strict new state secrets law that critics, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, fear will make Japan more like Russia, China, or North Korea. The Japanese government adopted the law in order, it said, to give the US and others confidence in sharing intelligence with Japan. The law makes a wide range of government activities secret, including much that relates to nuclear power and, by extension, activities at Fukushima.  

Despite TEPCO’s demonstrable failures from plant design to cleanup, the Japanese government has doggedly kept outside nuclear experts uninvolved in Fukushima’s disaster aftermath, preferring to leave the faltering but lucrative cleanup in the hands of TEPCO and its Japanese nuclear industry allies. Adding fiscal insult to radiation injury, the Japanese government also compensates TEPCO for its partly self-induced losses with some $1.2 billion in tax dollars a year. 

The Japanese government has embarked on a controversial and expensive project to build or rebuild some 440 sea wallsalong 240 miles of the northern Japanese coastline. At an estimated cost of $6.8 billion, the completed sea walls will not protect the inland from predicted massive tsunamis. Already the government has allocated this sea wall funding to other, less critical parts of the country, including some $5 million to Okinawa. 

Radioactive water flows constantly into the Pacific Ocean

With virtually no effective means of controlling the flow of groundwater into the plant or controlling the flow ofradioactive water out of the plant and into the Pacific Ocean, TEPCO remains the world’s leader in radioactive pollution. Unmeasured and unchecked, the radioactive runoff from Fukushima will continue to accumulate in the Pacific with unknown consequences farther into the future than anyone can predict. The estimated water flow into and out of Fukushima’s damaged reactors is 300 tons, or 80,700 gallons every day (roughly 3,300 gallons an hour, or almost 30 million gallons a year) just from uncontrolled groundwater.

TEPCO has been reassuring the public that radiation levels have been dropping in the water released into the Pacific. On February 22, however, TEPCO sensors identified a new leakfrom the Fukushima complex. Water from this leak tested at 50 to 70 times higher than the usual contaminated water going into the Pacific.  Within a day, the level dropped quickly to only 10 to 20 times above normal. In the course of several days in mid-March, Tritium levels in groundwaterjumped by as much as 17 times over previous readings. TEPCO did not offer an explanation for the increases, nor did the corporation analyze the water for Cesium or Strontium. 

Even the present consequences of this radioactive water flow are disputed, as most Pacific nations do little or nothing to assess the impact accurately, scientifically, or comprehensively. In Peru this year, a massive die-off of more than 500 sea lions was attributed by some to Fukushima radiation, while Peruvian officials looked to fish nets or ocean plastic as causes. Along the US west coast, scattered die-offs of starfish are a topic of debate as to whether they are caused by Fukushima radiation. So far, the only certainty is uncertainty, although the evidence includes a reality of dead sea creatures covering 98 per cent of California’s nearby ocean floor, a phenomenon that was at only one per cent of the ocean floor before Fukushima.

Plumes of radioactivity from Fukushima have reached the Pacific coast of Canada and the United States, with little government curiosity as to their impact – even though such plumes will keep coming as long as Fukushima keeps leaking, and the continuously-renewed radionuclides in the water will remain toxic for years, decades, in some cases centuries.

Government ignorance rooted in denial continues to be massive

Radioactivity in the air is largely ignored, although there are credible assertions that Fukushima continues to emit airborne radiation at least intermittently. Over the past four years, much of the airborne radiation from Fukushima has settled on the ground around the region and become ground contamination that remains in places dangerous for humans, as well as agriculture (hence the ban on Fukushima produce). Now scientists are hoping that salt-loving bacteria might be effective in cleaning the ground of radioactive elements such as Cesium and Plutonium, but this is still in the experimental stage.

At the Fukushima site, TEPCO has performed an examination by a muon detection system that confirms what was already well known about the reactor in Unit 1: that the fuel had mostly melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor containment vessel. The fuel in Units 2 and 3 also melted in a similar manner. A separate muon scan by Nagoya Universityalso appears to confirm that the Unit 2 core has also melted down completely.

This muon exercise is another example of evasion trying to pass as forthrightness. TEPCO’s scan confirms conclusions long since arrived at by informed observers, but ignores a far more dangerous – and critical – question: where is the core now? As Japan Times posed the problem:

However, the scan — based on tomography imaging that made use of elementary particles called muons — did not look at the bottom part of the reactor, where the molten fuel would have pooled. So some experts suggested that it was not possible to tell whether the fuel had indeed been contained.

The three cores in Units 1, 2, and 3 remain radioactively hot, lethal to humans, and unapproachable by anything but special robots. For the cores to become safe in any practical sense, they need to be isolated from human contact for a period longer than humans have yet existed on Earth, an engineering, security, and cultural problem for which there is no known answer, or cost. If one or more of the cores has, indeed, melted through the reactor containment (the so-called China syndrome), there is no known remedy for, or means to control that event. 

Hundreds or more reactor fuel rods remain unsecured at Fukushima

Fukushima Unit 4’s reactor was in the midst of re-fueling and was empty at the time of the accident. The new and spent fuel had been stored some fifty feet above ground, in a fuel pool that was damaged by the earthquake. That fuel pool was structurally unsound and in danger of collapse, risking yet another meltdown, this time outside any containment. On March 24, TEPCO announced that it had completed removal of all 764 fuel rods from the elevated fuel pool and stored them in a safer, ground-level fuel pool.

The spent fuel pools in the other three reactors remain unsecured. When Unit 3 exploded in 2011, the explosion knocked a crane into the fuel pool and TEPCO had been removing the crane in sections. In late February, an oil leak from the crane still in the fuel pool led to the temporary shutdown of the fuel pool cooling system.

The reactor explosions of 2011 reportedly sent radioactive debris, including parts of fuel rods, as far as 60 miles in all directions. 

Radioactively contaminated food products from the Fukushima region continue to reach public markets in Japan and elsewhere. In Taiwan, health authorities have seized more than 283 banned food products that were deliberately mislabeled by corporate distributors to conceal their origins in the Fukushima region. Counterfeiting food labels is a crime in Japan punishable by fines up to $900,000 and/or two years in jail. Japanese regulators did not intercept the Fukushima food from being exported to Taiwan, even though Japan prides itself on strict monitoring of food product radioactivity. That pride is based on only periodic test samples (every three months for beef, for example). TheJapanese Health Ministry recently announced plans to eliminate another 20 food products from testing, and to increase the testing period to one year. The Ministry willcontinue to test beef, milk, and 43 other products.   

When Taiwanese officials caught up with the corporate fraud, they seized more than half a ton of illicit produce. By then an unknown amount had already been sold to consumers. Taiwanese health officials have promised a crackdown on importers and promised to force corporations to make refunds to consumers with receipts for illegal goods. 

Hong Kong recently reported detecting Cesium 137 in powdered green tea from Japan, but the radiation was well below the legally allowed maximum. The importer withdrew the tea from the market. In 2011, Hong Kong also reported “unsatisfactory” levels of radioactive contaminants in three samples of vegetables. Occasionally since then, other samples of Japanese food have shown low levels of radioactivity. 

In early March, a United Nations conference on disaster relief met in northern Japan, where Fukushima food products were discussed. Not all Fukushima products are contaminated, but the mere name of their source region is associated with contamination in much of the public mind. Without providing supporting data, Voice of America reported:

At the Fukushima Agricultural Technology Center, workers put fish, chicken, and vegetables in radiation detectors made in the United States. All food from the area is tested for radiation. Officials say Japanese safety standards are ten times stricter for levels of radioactive cesium than American or European standards.

Japanese residents affected by Fukushima are getting little help

Fukushima prefecture’s population was about two million in 2012. About 1,800 residents are dead or missing as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns. In 2015, at least 120,000 residents are still alive in Japan, but internal refugees fromtheir contaminated homes. According to Green Cross International, more than 30 million Japanese residents are continuously exposed to radiation from Fukushima. A Kyoto University professor points out that there is a heavily contaminated area outside the Fukushima evacuation zone where people continue to live. Professor Hiroaki Koide of the Research Reactor Institute said on the Nuclear Hotseat program:

Because of the radiation dispersed due to the accident a large area of Japan … has been contaminated.… It looks like the national government is simply going to abandon these people. Moreover, surrounding the 386 square mile evacuation zone where these people live, there is a 5,400 square mile [14,000 square kilometer] area that is heavily contaminated.

If Japan were a country under the rule of law, this would be a restricted access area where people should not be allowed to live due to radiation. The several million people who live there have been cast aside and told if you want to leave, go ahead and do it on your own. The government feigns ignorance. These millions of people, including children and infants, go about their daily lives in this area being exposed to radiation as if there’s no problem at all.… I think this is very bizarre. [emphasis added] Additionally there has been no resolution at the accident site … from my vantage point, the accident is not under control at all. [emphasis added]

Additionally there has been no resolution at the accident site … from my vantage point, the accident is not under control at all.

Neither the Japanese government nor TEPCO has yet carried out comprehensive health assessments of the estimated 20,000 emergency workers who worked at the Fukushima site while it was most radioactive in 2011. TEPCO and its sub-contractors reportedly overexposed many workers to radiation at the site. In March 2015, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, a Japan-US institute based in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, initiated a project aimed atassessing the health of all 20,000 Fukushima workers. Among the first sample of 2,000 workers targeted, only 704 responded and agreed to health assessments.

Neither TEPCO, its subcontractors, nor the Japanese government is actively participating in the health assessment effort. During the cleanup period, the government more than doubled the “safe” limit of radiation exposure above the previous – and current – “safe” levels. News reports at the time said that TEPCO and its subcontractors exposed their cleanup workers to much more than the doubled “safe” limit. TEPCO mostly prevented news coverage on-site, except for official tours. 

With the Fukushima disaster continuing, perhaps slowly but largely out of control, the Japanese government has announced plans to reopen the nuclear plant on the island of Kyushu as well as 42 other plants that have remained shut down since 2011. And TEPCO says it plans to decontaminate some 54 million gallons of radioactive water stored on the Fukushima site and discharge it into the Pacific. 

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+44 # tm7devils39 2015-03-26 09:38
Like I've said before - the collective intelligence of the human race is not high enough to insure it's own survival...
+14 # MainStreetMentor 2015-03-26 23:00
I strongly agree, tm7. The media appears to wonder why whales, dolphins and other aquatic creatures beach themselves in an apparent suicide - I believe it's from man-made pollution, and this case is a contributing factor. Radioactive seafood will begin to be evidence more and more in the coming months - and the world community will end up paying for the nuclear disaster with lives and mutations.
-94 # brycenuc 2015-03-26 10:12
This article is a totally unwarranted alarm story. No one, plant worker or member of the general public, has been harmed by the radiation at Fukushima and no one ever will be harmed.
+47 # WBoardman 2015-03-26 11:40
brycenuc expresses an article of faith
frequently asserted by the nuclear priesthood.

But brycenuc offers no support for his article of faith,
because it is an article of faith that is indefensible:

1. No one knows how much radiation is actually harmful;
there is no "safe" level of exposure;
2. The sailors with radiation sickness from the USS Reagan
have a lawsuit that the Navy takes seriously;
3. Direct exposure to radiation is only ONE of the harmful
effects of the multi-meltdowns which have caused
life-destroying evacuations, loss of property and livelihood,
increased thyroid and other cancers, and so on –
none of which happens without dispersing all that
"harmless radiation"

Followed to its logical conclusion, brycenuc implies that
the best response to Fukushima is... nothing.
-44 # brycenuc 2015-03-26 14:18
The only deaths and injuries sustained because of the radiation at Fukushima were those who were too sick to be evacuated (due to harmless levels of radiation) and sustained needless injuries or death due to the evacuation.

We do know how much radiation is harmful, we have known it for years. We also know, due to radiation hormesis, that low levels of radiation are beneficial. This has been proved by many studies. Check out "radiation hormesis."
+19 # 2015-03-26 15:16
There is no harmless level of radiation.

Looks like the plan here is to wait it out until the public starts to forget about it.
+13 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:08

Which most of them already have, unless we so-called "terrorists" who don't live in avoidance and denial of truth, do face all of that truth, and exercise their rights to speak those truths, keep bringing it up and reminding people that Fukushima is an ongoing, unmitigated disaster that is still effecting the entirety of North America and the Northern Hemisphere; which most people don't want to hear; otherwise, they push it out of their minds and/or make themselves forget about it.

So, most people, "Amerikans" in particular, live as if the disaster never happened, and keep believing the lies that there's "nothing to worry about". In fact, there are many people, if not the majority of people, who know nothing about it whatsoever, or only vaguely remember that it happened, and only recall it if they are reminded about it.

I constantly run into people who, when I mention Fukushima, never heard of it, had forgotten about it already, or as I already said only vaguely remember the name, and then certainly don't know anything about it that they can recall. But I am heartened that I also run into a few people who do know about it and realize its ongoing level of dangerousness; but they are certainly in a very small minority.

+10 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:10

I would guess, most likely quite accurately, that there are people being reported to the government by other people for discussing the ongoing seriousness of Fukushima, as there are people also being reported to the government who speak critically about the U.S. and other Western governments, and that some if not many of those people are being monitored by their respective governments as "threats", being harassed by those governments, and some even being framed for "crimes".

The governments in question, especially the U.S. government, don't want the truth concerning them, and things like Fukushima, being discussed; and they want us all to be ignorant of the truth, to live in deep avoidance and denial of it, to falsely live as if everything's "hunky dory", to react at least verbally-violen t if we are exposed to the truth by others, to consider those who discuss the truth to be a "threat" to the government, to report those to the government who report the truth and to treat them like they are so-called "traitors" and "terrorists".

+9 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:12

It is getting worse and worse every day. I am a completely defenseless, harmless, physically-disa bled person who has done nothing but exercise and fulfill my duty(ies) to stand up against government and other criminality; and I know that I am being monitored and reported upon, and that it has been going on for at least the past nine years, probably longer ever since I was railroaded in a misdemeanor matter in 2002 in which I was falsely accused. I have been continuously harassed ever since; especially, as I already alluded to, since 2005, when I was also falsely accused of another matter, this time that I was never charged with, arrested for, nor had adjudicated in any way in a court of law.

Now, I have recently been again falsely accused of threatening some people, which I never did; though the cops were never called, no police report has been made (that I know of anyway), I have not been visited about it by any cops, and I have not been served with any legal documents; all of this for my simply reporting ongoing violations of law by my apartment management, and doing nothing but legally standing up for, and exercising, my rights and duties under the law, as well as exercising my freedom of speech.

+8 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:13

As a result, I have been threatened that if I continue to exercise my legal rights and duties, I will be taken to court seeking a false restraining order against me [for nothing but false claims---an increasingly common tactic used against people like myself seeking to have government and/or corporate people held accountable, in order to completely discredit the whistleblower(s ) like myself, and build a false appearance of habitual "perceived threatening conduct" against them].

All it takes anymore is false claims by people, and they know like never before that they can get away with it, so they are doing it more and more against people who stand up against government and/or corporate illegal activity(ies), seeking to make them look like habitual "threats". I have already had three such incidents since 2002, so they've pretty much already succeeded in falsely making me look like I'm supposedly "guilty" of habitual "perceived threatening conduct" in violation of the "U.S.A. 'P.A.T.R.I.O.T. ' Act".

And, on top of all that, they keep using people to try and push me to do something "truly 'threatening'" and/or "illegal", and/or to get me to respond nothing but legally in order to use that against me further as well, to even more make it falsely appear that I'm being "habitually 'threatening'". This is what the U.S. and the rest of the West has come to.

+8 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:14

Next, unless it is stopped, I think they're going to set me up as a patsy for a crime that I didn't commit, but which they have thoroughly made it look like I committed by planting evidence. In fact, I'm surprised that they haven't already done something like this. I know that if I keep fulfilling my duty(ies) to nothing but non-violently stand up for what's right, that they will perpetrate such against me sooner or later, probably sooner than later. They're seeking to shut down my First Amendment and other rights and duties, by terrorizing me into volunatarily ceasing to exercise my liberties, freedoms, rights and duties; under the threat that if I don't, they will destroy me.

In response, I am now praying that they themselves will cause all of this to backfire on them, without my doing anything but praying. God is MUCH more powerful than their god, Evil; and, unless God must allow my demise for some good reason(s), He, and ONLY He, will prevent them from succeeding, or fully succeeding at least, at the criminal activity(ies) that they are perpetrating against me. I believe completely in God's Word(s) in Romans 12:17-21; so, I believe vengeance belongs COMPLETELY and ONLY to God alone, and I have ABSOLUTELY NO desire to get revenge against ANYONE (though those involved in this witchhunt would love it if I did seek revenge, or if they could fraudulently make it appear like I did).

+5 # John S. Browne 2015-03-26 17:14

Therefore, in addition to the foregoing, I constantly pray for God's protection, and that those evil people who are seeking to destroy me will not succeed, but will be held accountable sooner than later. God has taken very good care of me, and thus far has kept me safe and protected me from the evil people seeking to destroy all such people as myself who are doing nothing but non-violently standing up against evil, and for what's right. Thus, in Jesus the Christ's name, I express all of my great thankfulness and gratefulness, and give all glory and praise, to God for all of His help and protection, not just for myself, but for all those who are nothing but doing and standing up for what is right.

+13 # WBoardman 2015-03-26 16:53
brycenuc would have you believe the unbelievable,
just as nuclear priests once measured radiatiation
in "sunshine units"

The EPA doesn't buy that:

The Radiation Effects Research Foundation doesn't buy that:
[check out what they say about "hormesis"]

Humans survive as long as they do in spite of radiation,
which is ever-present at a background level that varies with location. The earth was once too radioactive to allow life.
The background level declined over millennia to allow
life to emerge, but in the last half-century background radiation
has begun to increase, which is a bad sign for the next millennium or two or three after that. ;-)))

Yes, there are benefiicial uses for radiation,
as in cancer treatment,
but the radiation is still destructive and life-threatenin g,
just a lot less so than the cancer.

As for "hormesis," even the NRC considers it only
a possibility:

"Hormesis" is a hypothesis that there's some good exposure
level for healthy people (not just a trade-off for the sick),
but it's only a hypothesis for a limited range of exposure
to radiation which otherwise known to be damaging up
to lethal –
+10 # Ken Halt 2015-03-26 23:48
bry: Okay, so we go from "...No one, plant worker or member of the general public, has been harmed by the radiation at Fukushima and no one ever will be harmed." to "The only deaths and injuries sustained because of the radiation at Fukushima were those who were too sick to be evacuated (due to harmless levels of radiation) ..." Do you understand how ridiculous your counterclaims are? Was no one harmed? Was someone harmed? Were many people harmed? Your ability with the English language seems subpar, judging from the sentence "...(due to harmless levels..." I think I know what you intend but it isn't clear in the sentence. They were evacuated because of harmless levels of radiation? If so then populations all over the world might be subject to indiscriminate evacuation every day of the year. And "due to" should not be used as a substitute for "because". I raise these points because language is the medium of thought, to use language well is to show that one's thought processes are adequate to the task at hand (one of the reasons that Gdub's presidency was so alarming). I've also read your manifesto about global warming and its correlation to electrical feedback systems, which exhibited a similar fuzziness. Sorry, but I give you only a grade of C- as apologist for nuclear energy and as climate denier.
+16 # reiverpacific 2015-03-27 10:39
Quoting brycenuc:
The only deaths and injuries sustained because of the radiation at Fukushima were those who were too sick to be evacuated (due to harmless levels of radiation) and sustained needless injuries or death due to the evacuation.

We do know how much radiation is harmful, we have known it for years. We also know, due to radiation hormesis, that low levels of radiation are beneficial. This has been proved by many studies. Check out "radiation hormesis."

Written by a true poster-boy for the Death and pollution industry.
I live on the N.W. Oregon coast, where the local fire and Sea Rescue departments are being issued with Geiger counters, also two politically active friends, which are beginning to find measurable, amounts of Fukushima-emitt ed toxins in everything from seaweed to fish and it will only get worse as this plant stays out of control.
So, if you are so certain that Fukushima is "Safe", I CHALLENGE you and y'r deluded colleagues to take a field trip to the site and solve the situation in situ. Then take a refreshing swim in the sea where the toxic effluent is being discharged, followed by a nice "fresh" dinner of locally-culled Sushimi. I mean, you've nothing to worry about, have you?
We on the NW coast are caught between this menace and the groundwater seeping into the Columbia, detritus of the Manhattan Project at Hanford, from badly-designed and constructed concrete storage tanks by Bechtel. Cancer deaths there are well recorded.
-19 # WilliamPHalll 2015-03-26 17:17
Boardman's article is over the top.

Yes, nuclear power plants are dangerous, and in some cases badly managed. But coal mining, coal power stations, and the resulting chemical pollution from burning coal are far more damaging to health and the environment than the production of an equivalent amount of energy from nuclear power.

Boardman's understanding of radiation and biology is also wanting. I noted especially his reference to "a reality of dead sea creatures covering 98 per cent of California’s nearby ocean floor, a phenomenon that was at only one per cent of the ocean floor before Fukushima."

Radioactive elements are easily detectable by physical means, and if contamination had been responsible for the death of the sea creatures there is no way physically that the contaminants would have vanished after the fact. Anyone seeking to use the article Boardman referred to in this quote should read that provides a scientifically based review of the wild claims.

That Boardman used this article is evidence for his selective choice of sensational nonsense to back up his emotive claims which gives me little respect for his reputation as an ethical journalist. Unfortunately, Boardman's hyperbolic discussion discredits his argument that Teppco and the Japanese government should be brought to book for incredibly slack and secretive management of inherently dangerous technology.
+18 # WBoardman 2015-03-26 18:52
WilliamPHall makes a common but irrelevant
argument: that coal is more dangerous than nuclear.
Even if true, it does not address the dangers of the
nuclear fuel cycle (typically ignored) and it creates a
false choice between methods of power generation,
BOTH of which should be rejected asap.

As for his comments on the dead sea creatures, he omits –
significantly – the main clause of the sentence:
"the only certainty is uncertainty."

Hall quotes the part of the sentence that implies a
possible Fukushima connection, but does not assert that
connection as fact.

Hall then links to an article that claims that no such study
exists to support the claim of the article I quoted.

THAT is false. The study, referenced in my source article as being by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
(MBARI) definitely exists:
and MBARI vociferously rejects any causation by
Fukushima radiation.

Tellingly, perhaps, MBARI does NOT address the assertion
that“Dead sea creatures cover 98 percent of ocean floor off California.” Neither affirmed nor denied.

Presumably it is a reality, then, but not a relevant one.

So Hall has a point about the apparent implication of
one reality, an implication that is disputed. And THAT seems
to be the best Hall has, except for valueless
ad hominem aspersions.

The Pacific Ocean is in play.
+15 # rhgreen 2015-03-27 07:39
Mr. Boardman is correct. When I took the standard US govt approved radiation biology course, the first thing we learned was that there is no safe level of exposure to radiation. Sure there is natural radiation we are all exposed to, but minimizing additional exposure is the only rule to follow.
+6 # Seadog 2015-03-26 12:00
I guess because you say so right?
+31 # davidh7426 2015-03-26 12:29
Brycenuc :: So you'll be volunteering to go help with the manual clean-up then...

When are you leaving ?
+13 # Ken Halt 2015-03-26 23:28
Brycenuc worked for decades in the nuclear industry, allegiance to his paymasters is an issue. As to his going to help with the cleanup, as a nuclear professional he's too well-informed to do that.
+15 # linkedout 2015-03-26 16:29
Zero health effects? Zero? None? Nada? Zilch?


Do you work for TEPCO, or what?
+14 # Ken Halt 2015-03-26 23:51
See above, a shill for the nuclear industry.
+20 # ritawalpoleague 2015-03-26 10:20
Yes, tm7devils39, we humans absolutely need to evolve into both brighter and more compassionate beings. Put an end we must to evil greed and need for power over all addiction, and put firmly in place...

+18 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-03-26 13:51
Yeah, "Too cheap to Meter" right.
"It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself" --Enrico Fermi
+9 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-03-26 20:51
& in a way, blowback from the technology & ethics that worked so well at Hiroshima & Nagasaki 70 years ago….
-21 # DrAlexC 2015-03-27 00:46
Too bad Boardman doesn't understand nuclear sciences but does seem to want to puff up his writing receipts by scaring people out of his own ignorance of facts.

If someone wants facts about Fukushima, one can actually find them in various honest places, like...
"Fukushima students find their radiation levels are normal."
"Tokyo has removed 20 food items from the list of items to be checked for radioactive Cesium."

The inconvenient truth for Boardman seems to be that Fukushima actually demonstrates the safety of regulated western nuclear power, since it's the only nuke plant in Japan that suffered serious problems because of the giant 9.0 Tohoku quake and the 15 meter tsunami.

If Boardman indeed cared about communicating truth, he'd have noted the existence of both all the safe Japanese reactors and the root cause of Fukushima Dai-Ichi's failure, which was one of poor regulation, not "nuclear power"...

In effect, by fibbing about Fukushima, Boardman does exactly what the combustion industry has always loved anti-nukes doing.
Dr. A. Cannara
650 400 3071
-18 # DrAlexC 2015-03-27 00:47
Then too, Boardman might discuss the other inconvenient truth for his naive anti-nuclear bias -- scientists explaining why massive new nuclear deployments are critical...
+14 # Questions, questions 2015-03-27 18:33
This is such a crock - another instance of the failing nuclear industry still trying to justify itself despite tens of $billions in subsidies and 60 years of research and development. Even putting aside the environmental and human health consequences, the idea that more nukes are going to save us from climate destruction is a sick joke just on economics alone.

The trillions needed to build even a fraction of the power plants needed (even if you could find acceptable spots to locate them) would be much efficiently, much more safely spent on any number of renewable, sustainable technologies - and built at a much more rapid rate. Researchers at Stanford, at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research ( and elsewhere have demonstrated that we can get ALL the renewable energy we need GLOBALLY in the next few decades WITHOUT resorting to new nuke development.

The so-called "nuclear renaissance" is DEAD - you got that? Even the outgoing NRC Chair admitted this recently. It's just simply a result of renewables getting cheaper and cheaper to build while nukes continue to get more expensive. And no amount of "new improved" (though largely untested/unfund ed) thorium/breeder /modular nuclear technologies is likely to change that. No wonder almost every nuclear plant around the world (and every one of the 4 remaining of dozens proposed in the US) is OVER BUDGET and BEHIND SCHEDULE. You can always find a few "scientists" who don't get this - but they'd better.
+8 # WBoardman 2015-03-31 15:04
DrAlexC seems to argue that
because it took an earthquake and tsunami
to set off the chain reaction that led to
three continuing meltdowns and the rest,
therefore nuclear power is safe.

By that logic, nuclear weapons are safe, too,
at least until they go off.

His ad hominem animadversions have no value.

Similarly, citing scientists-for- more-nukes
is mere argumentum ad authoritatum,
not a serious effort to all the nuclear problems,
from mining to disposal,
most of which remain unsolved, as Fukushima illustrates.
+15 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-03-27 12:25
My nuclear physicist friends (including one who designed these types of reactors) tell me Fukishima has the potential to kill between 50% and 100% of the human race.
Where does DrAlexC get his information?
+14 # Ken Halt 2015-03-28 01:43
PD: Your skepticism is valid, he's a troll and a shill for the industry. Any exposure to nuclear radiation is dangerous to life as we know it. Period.

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