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Excerpt: "No matter where we are on this planet, our lives are still threatened every day by a Unit 4 fuel pool left hanging 100 feet in the air. At any moment, an earthquake we all know is coming could send that pool crashing to the ground. If that happens - and it could as you read this - the radiation spewed into the atmosphere could impact every living being on Earth. And that certainly includes you."

The crippled No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. (photo: Kimimasa Mayama/Pool/Reuters)
The crippled No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. (photo: Kimimasa Mayama/Pool/Reuters)

Our Lives Hang by a Devil's Thread at Fukushima

By Harvey Wasserman,

09 August 12


he molten cores at Units 1, 2 & 3 have threatened all life on Earth. The flood of liquid radiation has poisoned the Pacific. Fukushima's cesium and other airborne emissions have already dwarfed Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and all nuclear explosions including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Children throughout Japan carry radioactive burdens in their thyroids and throughout their bodies. Hot spots in Tokyo demand evacuation. Radioactive tuna has been caught off San Diego. Fallout carried across the Pacific may have caused spikes in cancer and infant mortality rates here in the United States.

And yet, 16 months later, the worst may be yet to come. No matter where we are on this planet, our lives are still threatened every day by a Unit 4 fuel pool left hanging 100 feet in the air. At any moment, an earthquake we all know is coming could send that pool crashing to the ground.

If that happens---and it could as you read this---the radiation spewed into the atmosphere could impact every living being on Earth. And that certainly includes you.

Cecile Pineda lays it all out in her brilliant new DEVIL'S TANGO: HOW I LEARNED THE FUKUSHIMA STEP BY STEP (Wings Press: San Antonio;

With poetic fury, Cecile rages in satanic detail about how Fukushima was built despite volumes of whistleblower testimony underscoring its fatal flaws. But after agreeing with proof that the GE designs were patently insane, NRC Chair Joseph Hendrie approved them anyway because doing otherwise would have killed the nuclear industry.

There are 23 of these Mark I monsters in the US alone, far more worldwide. Pineda's passionate prose runs the gamut from detailed technical critiques to heart-wrenching dirges about the birth defects and malformations imposed on countless downwind victims.

One reads with horror Cecile's descriptions of hundreds of horribly deformed children of Chernobyl. In three towns near Fukushima, nearly half the youngsters already suffer from low-level thyroid exposure.

In Iraq and Bosnia, Pineda writes, vaporized depleted uranium shells have carpeted the countryside with radioactive powder. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, children born at Falluja were eleven times as likely to suffer from "neural tube defects affecting the brain or lower extremities, with cardiac or skeletal abnormalities, or with cancers." As elsewhere in Iraq, and in Bosnia, premature births, spontaneous abortions and birth defects have become a plague.

Some uranium by-products can kill for 4.5 billion years---a common estimate for the lifespan of the Earth itself. Pineda takes us on a tragic tour of other facilities with radioactive burdens, including nuclear waste dumps, weapons factories and power reactors.

But nothing quite matches Fukushima and how it threatens us today. Astonishing as it may seem, the GE Mark I design includes waste storage pools perched 100 feet in the air. Around the world, thousands of tons of the most radioactive substances ever created are swung out of reactor cores and into these "swimming pools" to sit for months or years, suspended in air.

The presumption has been that they would somehow be removed and shipped to a central repository. But nowhere has one been approved. Nor has anyone devised a safe way to get the rods there if one is.

Experts like Robert Alvarez are begging that Fukushima's rods be removed to dry casks where they might be out of immediate harm's way.

But at Unit 4, more than 1500 rods remain suspended in air. Called "a bathtub on the roof" by CNN anchor Jon King, the damaged pool teeters atop a building decimated by seismic shocks and at least one hydrogen explosion. The question is not if, but when it will come crashing down.

Thus far, TEPCO has removed just two rods, and says it won't get the rest until late next year.

Meanwhile, we are all hostage. DEVIL'S TANGO provides ample evidence that the Fukushima disaster was caused primarily by the earthquake of March 11, 2011. The tsunami that followed made things worse. But the atomic reactors there and around the world remain far more vulnerable to seismic shocks than their builders want us to know.

This means Indian Point, New York; Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, California; in Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina and virtually everywhere else these reactors sit.

All these reactors---including virtually every one in Japan---could be destroyed by shock waves like those that took down Fukushima.

Cecile Pineda makes it passionately clear that our species has no more pressing priority than to get those fuel rods out of the Fukushima 4 pool and onto the ground before another earthquake does it for us.

The only way out is a switch to Solartopia, to a world based on technologies that will end forever this death dance that is atomic energy.

Meanwhile, as those rods still sway above Fukushima, the Devil's Tango has us right at the brink of a hellish world of radioactive hurt. your social media marketing partner


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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

+21 # tedrey 2012-08-09 09:35
I have been shouting for almost a year now . . . SHIELD THE WHOLE AREA! If there were profit in it, like a theme park or a sports arena, a quarter-mile- wide protective structure (underground too) could have been completed long ago -the center of a new Peace Memorial. I get no responses. It's only human lives at stake, so nothing doing.
+15 # jwb110 2012-08-09 10:16
An International Boycott of all Japanese goods might get their attention.
+13 # DaveM 2012-08-09 10:25
A long time ago, I knew someone who was fond of saying: "it's easier to get into a situation than it is to get out of it". And it's true.

She was referring to personal relationships, but it's worth keeping in mind in all endeavors and can save a whole lot of trouble. Clearly, the nuclear industry, which has dotted the world with the most toxic of toxic waste sites, never did anything of the sort.
+17 # mdhome 2012-08-09 10:32
Pure insanity to not get this taken care of, NOW
+9 # Rangzen 2012-08-09 11:24
Hillary Clinton has been there. Why isn'th the United States...and the entire international community...hel ping TEPCO shield rods capable of destroying life as we know it on earth?
+1 # gzuckier 2012-08-09 13:39
Can't dare to scare the public regarding nuke power any more than they are already scared; bad for the economy. And with that piled on top of AGW; talk about a no win situation.
+1 # indian weaver 2012-08-09 15:11
what is AGW? stop using acronyms and abbreviations, because now thousands of such are thrown around like everyone is reading the media daily everywhere. but, we are not. so stop it so we can understand what folks are saying. Howcum no one understands english anymore or howcum no one can spell or take the second it takes to write out a full word. except maybe b.s., we all still understand that one.
+1 # JJS 2012-08-09 19:22
AGW Anthropogenic Global Warming
AGW Anti-Global Warming

+2 # JJS 2012-08-09 19:20
Quoting Rangzen:
... Why isn'th the United States...and the entire international community...helping TEPCO shield rods capable of destroying life as we know it on earth?

Because we are already toast! Please be kind and conciderate of your fellow human and animal kind as the end is nigh.

“The End is Nigh!" the man shouted.
"Is there still time for hot chocolate?" Riley asked.
The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. "Ah, maybe, I don’t know.”

― Jana Oliver, Forbidden
+1 # Glen 2012-08-10 16:12
With your permission, I will quote this response. Many folks I have known over the years, who have studied environments and the atmosphere and such as Fukushima, have said similar to Jana Oliver, but with a bit of crudity:

0 # JJS 2012-08-19 17:05
Go right ahead. I'm having a cup right now!
0 # bluesapphire48 2013-05-29 18:07
Hilary Clinton is part of the PROBLEM. Here's what she's been doing about Fukushima:
"Last August, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a secret pact with her Japanese counterpart to continue importing Japan's untested food for American dinner tables."
+4 # AMLLLLL 2012-08-09 11:59
If Armageddon occurs the only one left would be the robotic Romney.

Never create what you can't uncreate.
0 # gzuckier 2012-08-09 13:40
"If Armageddon occurs the only one left would be the robotic Romney. "

The 2012 model doesn't seem to have advanced much over the previous model, don't you think? I had hoped for some progress in understanding and replying to human speech. Pretty bad when your presidential candidate fails the Turing Test.
+8 # vicnada 2012-08-09 12:20
Ghastly. Since the world is now playing Russian roulette sponsored by the NRC, it would seem just and appropriate to require personal, daily, rotating visits to reactor 4 Fukashima by each and all of the former and acting NRC board members. Until this catastrophe is averted, GE board members should be forced to tent out at the site and give tours to all who wish to visit the Leaning Tower of Fukashima.
+4 # indian weaver 2012-08-09 15:16
If I knew or could find the street addresses of the GE murderers and war criminals promoting worldwide Crimes Against Humanity, not to mention mere nuclear power plant crimes, then we could confront these killers at their homes, en masse. That is what is necessary, take it to their homes, families, phones, properties, offices one way or a violent other.
+3 # cordleycoit 2012-08-09 13:11
Why do allow politicians and corrupt ones at that to threaten our lives and health. We call it democracy but it is not it is oligarchy in guise of democracy. Close the nukes and if necessary jail the lobbyists and give the humans a chance to live.
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-08-09 21:06
Like I have been saying, this is a DEATH CULTURE -and we murdered the indigenous peoples all around the world who knew how to live in harmony in a great circle of life to sustain them and their ancestors for "Seven generations to Come".
I got to know a Westinghouse nuclear engineer a few years ago who had be fired for pointing out some defects in the deign and wanted the construction of a plant halted so they could be reviewed and fixed -but they got rid of him and built it anyway.
And now we have the recent Chevron debacle in the Bay Area to contend with.
Wonder what these power company C.E.O.'s and other planet-wrecking greed-mongers will do when they are faced with an inescapable global disaster of their own making -try to buy their ways out?
Let them eat fuel rods and drink toxic cocktails until their innards buuble!
+4 # carp 2012-08-10 09:42
I do not understand why these power plants are allowed to operate when they have no viable method to deal with the spent fuel rods. I fear that Utah will be made the eventual dump site for these spent fuel rods and have witnessed the political machinations to make it so. Manchurian candidate freshman Sen. Mike Lee from Utah was an attorney for Energy Solutions, a nuclear waste storage site. The ES site is designated to accept low level waste and now through lobbying the designation is becoming blurred. Why are our non nuclear scientist politicians making decisions regarding nuclear waste storage? The reason I did not vote for Obama is because he is a nuclear energy proponent and apologist.
+2 # shraeve 2012-08-18 23:23
Thanks for enlightening me about Obama's nuclear policy. Yet another reason for me not to vote for either one of those jerks.

I was going to vote Libertarian, but because of this Fukushima thing I might vote Green.

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