Archive for the ‘Fukushima’ Category

Nuclear Investigator: Worry over underground explosions at Fukushima

March 21, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Nuclear Investigator: Worry over underground explosions at Fukushima — New data shows molten fuel is “dropping lower each day”, melting deeper into ground below plant — Disaster far worse than public being told — “Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere?”
Posted: 20 Mar 2017 12:28 PM PDT

“Massive leak” at nuclear plant after reactors contract “small pox” — Stunning Discovery: Contagion has spread all over critical structures — Multiple large cracks found — Experts befuddled… Literally a plot similar to a movie thriller
Posted: 21 Mar 2017 04:07 AM PDT

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine”

March 15, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine” — Melted fuel ‘disappeared’ — Contamination will go on for hundreds of thousands of years… “No one knows when it’ll end” — Gov’t perpetrating ongoing cover-up (VIDEO)
Posted: 14 Mar 2017 03:36 PM PDT

Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster

March 14, 2017

ASIA PACIFIC

By MOTOKO RICHMARCH 11, 2017
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(Full article with photos here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html?emc=eta1&_r=0)

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A worker on the outside wall of the Reactor 2 building at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last month. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWER STATION — Six years after the largest nuclear disaster in a quarter-century, Japanese officials have still not solved a basic problem: what to do with an ever-growing pile of radioactive waste. Each form of waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami on March 11, 2011, presents its own challenges.

400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day

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Tanks for contaminated water, with Reactors 1 and 2 in the background. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The Tokyo Electric Power Company is pumping water nonstop through the three reactors to cool melted fuel that remains too hot and radioactive to remove. About 400 tons of water passes through the reactors every day, including groundwater that seeps in. The water picks up radiation in the reactors and then is diverted into a decontamination facility.

But the decontamination filters cannot remove all the radioactive material. So for now, all this water is being stored in 1,000 gray, blue and white tanks on the grounds. The tanks already hold 962,000 tons of contaminated water, and Tokyo Electric is installing more tanks. It is also trying to slow the flow of groundwater through the reactors by building an underground ice wall.

Within a few years, though, and no one is sure exactly when, the plant may run out of room to store the contaminated water. “We cannot continue to build tanks forever,” said Shigenori Hata, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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The authorities are debating whether it might be acceptable, given the relatively low radioactive levels in the water, to dilute the contaminated water and then dump it into the ocean. But local fishermen are vehemently opposed. Many people still do not trust Tokyo Electric because of its bungled response to the disaster, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge

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Shipping containers holding reactor maintenance equipment from the plant. Other containers at the site hold rubble or filters full of radioactive sludge. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The process of decontaminating the water leaves radioactive sludge trapped in filters, which are being held in thousands of containers of different sizes.

Tokyo Electric says it cannot quantify the amount of radioactive sludge being generated. But it says it is experimenting with what to do with it, including mixing it with cement or iron. Then it will have to decide how to store it.

64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing

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An employee putting on work attire.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The estimated 6,000 cleanup workers at the site put on new protective gear every day. These hazmat suits, face masks, rubber gloves and shoe coverings are thrown out at the end of each shift. The clothing is compressed and stored in 1,000 steel boxes stacked around the site.

To date, more than 64,700 cubic meters of gear has been discarded, the equivalent of 17 million one-gallon containers. Tokyo Electric says it will eventually incinerate all this contaminated clothing to reduce the space needed to store it.

Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land

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Cut trees on the grounds of the Fukushima plant.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The plant’s grounds were once dotted with trees, and a portion was even designated as a bird sanctuary. But workers have cleared about 220 acres of trees since the meltdown spewed radiation over them.

Now, piles of branches and tree trunks are stacked all over the site. Officials say there are about 80,000 cubic meters of this waste, and all of it will have to be incinerated and stored someday.

200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble

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The shell of the Reactor 1 building at the plant. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Explosions during the meltdown filled the reactors with rubble. Workers and robots are slowly and carefully trying to remove this tangled mass of crushed concrete, pipes, hoses and metal.

Tokyo Electric estimates that more than 200,400 cubic meters of rubble — all of it radioactive — have been removed so far and stored in custom-made steel boxes. That is the equivalent of about 3,000 standard 40-foot shipping containers.

3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil

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Bags of contaminated soil are stored in this lot in the town of Namie.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
Thousands of plastic garbage bags sit in neat rows in the fields and abandoned towns surrounding the Fukushima plant. They contain soil that was scraped from land that was exposed to radiation in the days after the accident.

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment estimates that it has bagged 3.5 billion gallons of soil, and plans to collect much more. It will eventually incinerate some of the soil, but that will only reduce the volume of the radioactive waste, not eliminate it.

The ministry has already begun building a massive, interim storage facility in Fukushima prefecture and negotiating with 2,360 landowners for the thousands of acres needed to complete it. And that is not even a long-term solution: The government says that after 30 years it will need another site — or sites — to store radioactive waste.

1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

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A pool at the facility for storing spent fuel rods. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The ultimate goal of the cleanup is to cool and, if possible, remove the uranium and plutonium fuel that was inside the three reactors at the time of the disaster.

Hundreds of spent fuel rods are in cooling pools inside the reactors, and the company hopes to have cleared away enough rubble to begin removing them next year. The much bigger challenge will be removing the fuel that was in use in the reactor core at the time of the meltdown.

The condition and location of this molten fuel debris are still largely unknown. In one reactor where a robot was sent in January, much of the melted fuel is believed to have burned through the bottom of the inner reactor vessel and burrowed into the thick concrete foundation of the containment structure.

The plan is to completely seal the containment vessels, fill them with water and use robots to find and remove the molten fuel debris. But the rubble, the lethal levels of radiation and the risk of letting radiation escape make this an exceedingly difficult task.

In January, a camera inserted into one of the reactors detected radiation levels high enough to kill a person in less than a minute. A robot that was sent into the reactor last month had to be abandoned after debris blocked its path and radiation disabled it.

Tokyo Electric hopes to begin removing fuel debris from the reactor cores in 2021. The entire effort could take decades. Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.

“We want to return it to a safe state,” said Yuichi Okamura, general manager of the company’s nuclear power and plant siting division. “We promised the local people that we would recover the site and make it a safe ground again.”

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A monitoring post in Naraha shows the radiation level at the entrance gate to temporary storage for contaminated soil. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Correction: March 13, 2017
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated the contents of shipping containers at the plant. The ones in the photograph hold reactor maintenance equipment, not rubble. (Rubble and radioactive sludge are held in other containers.)

Correction: March 14, 2017
An earlier version of this article mischaracterized how lethal levels of radiation were found in one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in January. The radiation was detected with a camera inserted into the reactor, not a robot.

A version of this article appears in print on March 13, 2017, on Page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: Nuclear Waste’s Toll and Challenge in Japan, Six Years After Disaster. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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RELATED COVERAGE
A Reporting Team’s Nuclear Stress Test: Hazmat Suits, Face Masks and 9 Flights of Stairs MARCH 13, 2017

What’s Next

Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time”

March 14, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews
Fish leaking pus, covered in lesions, deformed along US West Coast — Fisherman: Nearly all fish caught affected; “I’ve never seen this… Some had pus all over body” — Official: So many are showing illness, environmental conditions could be a factor (PHOTOS)
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 10:47 AM PDT

Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time” — NYTimes: Fuel may never be removed, reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl (VIDEO)
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 07:48 AM PDT

Remembering 6th Anniversary of Fukushima March.11.2017

March 12, 2017

OpEdNews Op Eds 3/10/2017 at 22:28:45

By Sheila Parks, Ed.D. Follow Me on Twitter Message Sheila Parks, Ed.D. Permalink

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Kimberly Roberson, speaking as a parent and an activist/organizer does not mince her words. They are heart, mind and soul piercing. She is in our faces about the horrific dangers of nuclear power – especially for our babies and children. Her purpose is to inform and rouse to action all those not already involved and aware. “Startling clear to me: radioactive fallout from nuclear power and food do not mix, and children are especially at risk”.But as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and caregivers we have a responsibility to our children. And remember, radiation from nuclear fallout is transgenerational, meaning that it has been proven to damage DNA for generations to come. The bigger picture after all is really about food safety and human health.

2020 Fukushima Olympics with Gas masks needed
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I marked every page in the book as I was reading. I am focusing on food in this review because that is a major issue for both Roberson and me. What are we doing to our babies and children when we give them milk? Alarmed, I read from Roberson that “strontium 90 has been detected in the U.S. milk supply, as well as other radioisotopes linked directly to Fukushima”.Radioactive strontium is attracted to the body, much like calcium, only rather than nourishing bones it causes cancer. Children’s cells divide and multiply at an accelerated pace which makes the youngest especially vulnerable to radiation.”

Roberson tells us, “The late Dr. Rosalie Bertell, PhD and Gray Nun of the Sacred Heart was an accomplished scientist who warned in No Immediate Danger; Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth not only of the damage to the person coming in contact with radioactive fallout in their food and water, but also to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren suffering mutations in their DNA as well.”

Roberson continues, again alarmingly, “Probably the one question that perplexed so many of the people I was working with was how could the biggest industrial and nuclear accident in world history be allowed to continue to affect our food supply unchecked .” [emphasis mine]. That continues to this day.

Roberson puts it this way, “One thing I’ve realized in the past two years is to always consider the source”The list goes on and on. Grass fed beef, free range poultry, miso [see the paper I wrote about miso “Fukushima, Miso Soup and Me” ], nori, strawberries”pesky questions, but we all need to be asking them.” Begin today, now, all the time, to ask this question about everything you eat and drink. This is urgent: what is the country of origin?

From my experience working on the many issues about food and drink safety since Fukushima, here are some questions we must understand and work to change since Fukushima: What food and drink does the USA import from Japan? How was and is our food here in the USA contaminated from Fukushima? Who tests the food in each country, including the USA? How do they test it? Is how the food is tested adequate? Who decides? How honest are our labelling laws? [Not honest at all; but that requires a whole other paper.] Thank goodness the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been defeated by the actions of we the people and as immoral and misleading as our food labeling laws are here in the USA, at least it willl still be mandatory to put counrty of origin on our food. What Trump will do, who is now talking about “binary arrangements” instead of the TTP, remains to be seen.

Be wary also, Roberson warns us, of “fish oil, carrageenan, and sea salt [which] all come from ocean waters.” I say, please read all labels. Use pink salt from the Himalayas, not sea salt. This pink salt from the Himalayas sometimes is called sea salt – but from oceans millions of years ago. I eat nothing from the ocean. There is really only one ocean. Look at any map. You might want to read a paper I have written called “The Pacific Ocean Does Not Belong to Japan: It Belongs to All of Us.”

Also pay attention to iodine and where it comes from, continues Roberson. Iodine often comes from kelp “but where is the kelp sourced? Much of the kelp spanning the California coastline has shown significantly increased levels of Iodine-131 since Fukushima began. Not exactly the kind of iodine I want in children’s gummy vitamins.”

While we are here talking about food and drink, note also that most non-mercury fillings that your dentist puts in your mouth come from Japan!!! As does most bonding material at your dentist’s office. Instead, there is a company in Germany – Grandio – where dentists, not you, can get non-mercury fillings. Please ask your dentist to do so for you.

Since Fukushima, I myself do not knowingly eat or drink any food or beverages that come from Japan. My first question about anything that goes into my mouth always is – what is the country or countries of origin? I am an organic vegan now, since Fukushima, and before that was an organic vegetarian for 40 years. For those who eat organic, Roberson notes, “And trust me, radioactive fallout does not distinguish if it lands on conventional or organic items. You may be asking why is radioactive fallout alllowed in organic food but irradiation is not? The answer is because the regulations are not yet in place to test from nuclear accidents and nuclear power production. That clearly needs to change.” She wrote this in 2013. It is now 2016. Nothing has changedI love this from Roberson, “Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best in The Lorax, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

On my birthday two years ago, before I read Roberson’s book, I went to the Dr. Zeuss museum in Springfield, MA and read that quote there for the first time and bought myself a Lorax then. Consider buying a Lorax for a constant reminder and keep her with you = in mind, heart, body, soul. You can buy a Lorax through The Manhattan Toy Store.

A final truth telling from prophet Roberson, “Another lesson learned. Much of what happens to protect our food and water or anything else for that matter starts with us.”

FUKUSHIMA IS EVERYWHERE
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PLEASE SIGN FFAN’S [FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT AWARENESS NETWORK] URGENT PETITION No Olympics or Paralympics in Radioactive Fukushima “Children are our most beloved and cherished gift and they are also the most vulnerable to the generational damage of man-made radiation in air, food, soil and water. Around the world children who are currently adolescent and possibly younger are in training to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Japan. Their parents most likely have no idea that some of the venues are near the most devastating and ongoing nuclear and industrial disaster in world history, Fukushima Daiichi.

(Article changed on March 11, 2017 at 01:00)

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). The (more…)

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Expert warns of collapse at Fukushima reactor: “It would be the end of Japan”…

March 11, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Expert warns of collapse at Fukushima reactor: “It would be the end of Japan”… New photos show serious structural damage at Unit 2… “It’s a fantasy” that they can decommission plant — AP: Melted fuel has broken pieces of structure in containment vessel (VIDEO)

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 10:44 AM PST

Many at Fukushima “now have brain damage” — Worker develops 3 types of cancer in a year

March 4, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Many at Fukushima “now have brain damage” — Worker develops 3 types of cancer in a year — Secret hospital used to treat those sickened by radiation exposure — Doctor: “People cried… Can we survive?”

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 10:15 AM PST

WATCH: Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation

March 1, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

WATCH: Professor links die-offs on US West Coast to Fukushima radiation — “Nobody has any idea what to do about the continuing contamination” — River flowing under plant with “molten fuel on the bottom” and it’s going into ocean (VIDEO)
Posted: 28 Feb 2017 10:39 AM PST

Retreat fromTokyo Olympics and a new page

February 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

Governor Yuriko Koike has finally succeded to set up the article 100 Committee
to clarify the background of the Toyosu market issue.Together with other recent developments,
such as the surfacing of the Dentsu’s illegal labor management with its subsequent consequences,
the persitent investigation by the French prosecuters concerning Olympic corruptions.

This reminds us of the saying “Heaven’s vengeance is slow but sure”.We owe this thinking to
Chinese ancient philosopher Laozi who is considered as the principal source of Japanese maternal culture.
I often use the term “the will of heavevs and the earth”whose definition is “the law of history researched by philosophy”,
such as the inevitable fall of the arrogant,that of all dictatorships and the impossibility of immorality to last long.

It is based upon this way of thinking that I foresee the approaching retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
being prepared totally ignoring the deterioratong situation in Fukushima and the consequent reactions from abroad such as
the following;

ENENEWS http://enenews.com/ 、CLICK HERE for this week’s episode, #296、
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?、 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0bsrFyLz6U 

The ongoing attempt to revive militairism in some quarters has encountered a serious obstacle which is linked to the acquisition by a school corporation of national land at an exceptionally low price.It may develop into a fatal political scandal that could lead Japan to open a new page.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

IAEA fact-finding team examines devastation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in May 2011. (photo: IAEA/Greg Webb)

February 16, 2017

IAEA fact-finding team examines devastation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in May 2011. (photo: IAEA/Greg Webb) go to original article

Fukushima: Still Getting Worse After Six Years of Meltdowns
By William Boardman, Reader Supported News
12 February 17

Even Fox News reports radiation at “unimaginable levels”

fter a week of limited coverage of “unimaginable levels” of radiation inside the remains of collapsed Unit 2 at Fukushima (see below), Nuclear-News.net reported February 11 that radiation levels are actually significantly higher than “unimaginable.”

Continuous, intense radiation, at 530 sieverts an hour (4 sieverts is a lethal level), was widely reported in early February 2017 – as if this were a new phenomenon. It’s not. Three reactors at Fukushima melted down during the earthquake-tsunami disaster on March 3, 2011, and the meltdowns never stopped. Radiation levels have been out of control ever since. As Fairewinds Energy Education noted in an email February 10:

Although this robotic measurement just occurred, this high radiation reading was anticipated and has existed inside the damaged Unit 2 atomic reactor since the disaster began nearly 6 years ago…. As Fairewinds has said for 6 years, there are no easy solutions because groundwater is in direct contact with the nuclear corium (melted fuel) at Fukushima Daiichi.
What’s new (and not very new, at that) is the official acknowledgement of the highest radiation levels yet measured there, by a factor of seven (the previously measured high was 73 sieverts an hour in 2012). The highest radiation level measured at Chernobyl was 300 sieverts an hour. What this all means, as anyone paying attention well knows, is that the triple-meltdown Fukushima disaster is still out of control.

“Sievert” is one of the many terms of mystification used to prevent most people from fully understanding radiation. A “sievert” is roughly equivalent to a “gray,” as each represents a “joule” per kilogram (not to be confused, for example, with “Curie” or Bequerel,” or with “rem,” “rad,” or “roentgen”). In the International System of Units (SI), a “joule” is the “unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves one meter in the direction of action of the force, equivalent to one 3600th of a watt-hour.” Got that? The jargon doesn’t much matter as far as public safety is concerned. All ionizing radiation is life-threatening. The more you’re exposed, the more you’re threatened. As Physics Stack Exchange illustrates the issue:

The dose [of radiation] that kills a tumor is deliberately aimed at that tumor. If, instead of using a collimated beam, you put a person in a wide beam for radio “therapy”, you would be treating their entire body as a tumor and kill them.
Radiation levels at Fukushima are comparable to a nuclear explosion that doesn’t end. That’s one reason that TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. that owns Fukushima, keeps trying to reassure the world that little or no radiation escapes from Fukushima. This is not true, radiation in large, mostly unmeasured or undocumented amounts pours into the Pacific Ocean all the time, without pause. One reason this release is out of control is because no one apparently knows just where the three melted reactor cores have gone. TEPCO says it thinks the melted cores have burned through the reactors’ inner containment vessels, but are still within the outer containment walls. They keep looking as best they can.

On February 3, 2017, the Guardian reported the high radiation levels discovered by a remote camera sent into the reactor on a telescopic arm. Reader Supported News carried the story from EcoWatch on February 5. Essentially the same story was reported on February 6 by Smithsonian.com, on February 7 by ZeroHedge.com, and on February 8, Fox News reported that “radiation levels at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are now at ‘unimaginable’ levels.” There have apparently been no such reports on CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC. On February 9, ABC ran an AP story about pulling a robot out of Unit 2 because of “high radiation,” without specifying a level and adding: “TEPCO officials reassured that despite the dangerously high figures, radiation is not leaking outside of the reactor.” (PJMedia.com calls the Fox story “fake news,” relies on ad hominem argument, trusts TEPCO on keeping track of the irradiated ocean flow, and accepts US EPA standards for “safe” drinking water – without actually discrediting the story.)

On February 12, Pakistan Defence ran the AP story of February 9, but included the new level of radiation at 650 sieverts that fried a robot’s camera, adding:

The high levels of radiation may seem alarming, but there’s good news: it’s contained, and there are no reports of new leaks from the plant. That means that the radiation shouldn’t affect nearby townships. Higher levels of radiation could also mean the robot is getting closer to the precise source of radioactivity to properly remove the melted fuel.
All this coverage relates only to Unit 2’s melted reactor core. There is no reliable news of the condition of the melted reactor cores in two other units. Last November, in a half-hour talk reviewing the Fukushima crisis, Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds Energy Education discussed the three missing reactor cores and what he suspected was the likelihood that they had not been contained within the reactor.

The ground water flowing into, through, and out of the reactor is contaminated by its passage and is having some impact on the Pacific Ocean. The US, like other governments, is ignoring whatever is happening, allowing it to happen as if it doesn’t matter and never will. In Carmel, California, local residents are finding that tide pools, once vibrant with life, are now dead. They blame Fukushima.

Whatever is actually going on at Fukushima is not good, and has horrifying possibilities. It is little comfort to have the perpetrator of the catastrophe, TEPCO, in charge of fixing it, especially when the Japanese government is more an enabler of cover-up and denial than any kind of seeker of truth or protector of its people. It took private researchers five years to figure out that Fukushima’s fallout of Cesium-137 on Tokyo took a more dangerous, glassy form that wasn’t cleaned up effectively.

The US and most of the rest of the world have chosen not to take Fukushima more seriously than a multi-car Interstate pile-up. The policy is one more roll of the dice, saving money now and gambling the future. But now we have Rick Perry heading up the US Department of Energy and Scott Pruitt slated to take over the Environmental Protection Agency – so we can expect big changes, right?

Actually there has been one big change already at the Energy Dept., which uses more contractors than any other US agency. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Energy Dept. failed to protect whistleblowers who raised legitimate nuclear safety and other concerns. In response, the Energy Dept. prepared a new rule protecting whistleblowers from contractor retaliation. That rule was blocked from going into effect by President Trump’s regulatory freeze on January 20.

In a sense, Fukushima is perhaps a metaphor for the current American moment. The electoral earthquake and tsunami of 11/9 has produced a political meltdown of unknown and expanding proportions, that continue unchecked, causing still unmeasured destruction and human suffering far into a dark and dangerous future.