Fukushima At Five: Reflections on the Crime, the Cover-up and the Future of Nuclear Energy

Global Research News Hour Episode 134

The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end.

The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be ‘cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever.” -Dr. Helen Caldicott [1]



Length (58:59)

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Nuclear expert Arnold Gundersen called it, “the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.”[2]

It’s been five years since a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility resulting in three meltdowns and the release of copious amounts of radioactive debris into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean.[3]

Mainstream press reports do not seem to reflect the severity of this ongoing disaster. For example, on the eve of the five year anniversary, Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, virtually ignored the radiation concerns. The report stated that there were “zero deaths or cases of radiation sickness as a result of radiation exposure” and attributed this low mortality to “the quick-thinking, preventative actions taken by the Japanese government.” [4]

Such reporting is misleading. As Gundersen explained in a June 2011 interview:

 “One cigarette doesn’t get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can’t measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April (2011).” [5]

We know that radioactive Plutonium 239 has escaped into the ocean from Fukushima. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, a single microgram of this toxic substance can cause leukemia and bone cancers. [6]

Not only has the mainstream media failed to address these environmental perils, it has also failed to adequately report on the extent of the cover-up by Japanese, U.S. and international authorities. In a 2014 article for Counterpunch, State University of New York/College of New York journalism professor Karl Grossman detailed the Japanese government’s efforts to defend the nuclear industry at the expense of the welfare of the public. For instance, the Japanese government increased the maximum allowable radiation exposure level from 1 mSv (millisievert) per year to 20 mSv per year, allowing authorities to reduce the number of required evacuations.

In his free internet e-book, independent journalist Hatrick Penry has unveiled an even more comprehensive account of multi-agency involvement in a cover-up of the severity of the situation. Among his discoveries were NOAA tracking of major 60 kilometre mile long plumes of radioactive clouds along the Japanese coast and officials statements acknowledging Spent Fuel Pools #3 and #4 “going dry.”

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Global Research News Hour brings listeners two related interviews on the topic of Fukushima and lessons learned.

The first interview is with Linda Pentz Gunter, international specialist for the environmental advocacy group ‘Beyond Nuclear.’ In this conversation, Gunter addresses the question of whether nuclear is being seriously explored as an alternative to the climate-ravaging fossil fuel industry. She also outlines aspects of the Fukushima cover-up, and why international bodies and media are failing to hold nuclear and government agencies to account.

In the final half hour, Portland-based Mimi German, Earth activist and founder of Radcast.org, speaks more about the cover-up, the nuclear situation in the U.S. and the consequences for society and all life on earth.

For more on Fukushima, please read Global Research’s comprehensive report.




Length (58:59)

Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)


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1) http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/the-giant-lie-about-fukushima/

2) Dahr Jamail, June 16, 2011, “Fukushima: It’s much worse than you think”, Al Jazeera;http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/06/201161664828302638.html

3) ibid

4) http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/5-years-after-fukushima-by-the-numbers-1.3480914

5)  http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/the-giant-lie-about-fukushima/

6) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-fukushima-endgame/5420188

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