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I’ve just finished watching a short film supplied by Tepco (a major Japanese electric utility company) on the removal of fuel rods from the stricken Fukushima Nuclear power plant.
The workers at Fukushima would have to be some of the bravest people on the planet, and there can be no doubt that they deserve far more recognition than they are receiving at present. These dedicated professionals are getting stuck into a job that few would even be prepared to contemplate, placing their lives at risk in order to fix just one of a plethora of problems requiring resolution.
The film from Tepco highlighted to me just how much attention is being given to this reactor and its particular problems, but maybe it’s what they are not focusing on that’s the real issue.
The company I worked for (prestigious in the entertainment world) was heading to Japan at the start of 2014, and it was, in fact, the way the company was not acknowledging the recent mainstream media reports coming out of Japan that got me researching this topic in August 2013. Going through a dip commercially and financially, if they were not to take this production into the promoter market of Japan, then they would not have had any place to take the show. (A promoter market is when a particular promoter pays for the company’s product (show) upfront and then sells and promotes the product they have purchased.)
I perceived their blatant lack of acknowledgment of the change in the situation at Fukushima as trying to downplay the dangers presented in Japan, which potentially put the lives of employees and their families at risk.
What worried me further after looking into it more deeply was the fact that the promoter was the largest television network in Japan – the same television network participating in the media blackout of Fukushima.
I felt I had no safe choice but to resign.
(At this point I need to make it clear that company has since acknowledged the changing situation in Fukushima.)
During my own research into this topic I learned that the Japanese government and Tepco had been aware of the ongoing leakage of radioactive water into the ocean and continued to keep this information concealed. I became incensed. How could a government lie to its people and to the world about such a perilous situation? I also discovered that they had been deceitful since the incident at Fukushima in saying that there had only been one meltdown when in fact there had been three.
Just two weeks ago it was revealed that Tepco had been caught out issuing untruths again in covering up the levels of strontium being released:
“…the company announced it detected 5 million becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium-90 in a groundwater sample taken some 25 meters from the ocean as early as last September, Reuters reports. The legal limit for releasing strontium into the ocean is just 30 becquerels per liter.”
The situation comes down to me now as a question of trust. Both the Government of Japan and Tepco has by their own admission been deceiving the public since the very beginning, so why should I or anyone trust anything they say now or in the future?
It seems that every time we see a news report about Fukushima it is a revelation of a cover-up being exposed.
During the period I was researching, Tokyo was named host of the 2020 Olympics. I was astounded. How could a country that has just undergone the worst nuclear disaster in history, and really only just begun the process of cleaning it up, be awarded this privilege? The Japanese Government has not even dealt with the 100,000 or so people that were displaced due to Fukushima and yet they are planning on spending millions building Olympic stadiums and villages to house athletes.
It’s all a little strange and just downright wrong to me.
The Japanese Government has assured the world that they have this disaster under control. Obviously “control”, at least by the Japanese government’s definition, means releasing 350-400 tons of radioactive waste into the ocean on a daily basis.
The Olympic committee seems to be satisfied with this explanation. The world’s mainstream media seem to be satisfied as well. They have gone strangely quiet since the Olympic announcement. It is like someone has waved a magic wand.
I turned my attention instead to the underground media on the internet. A common theme I immediately found among these many sites was a huge degree of fear. Most of the fear centres around the potential for a huge nuclear release from the moving of the fuel rods. It seems strange to me that everyone is focusing solely on the potential for something that may or may not happen. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the range of problems holistically and then dealing with all of them as such?
During my research I came across Arni Gundersen from the energy watchdog Fairewinds. He approached Tepco two years ago with the following solution: “Surround the plant with a trench filled with material called zeolite. That’s just the volcanic ash. The volcanic ash is very good at absorbing radiation. But the solution isn’t to keep the water from getting out. The solution is to keep the water from getting in. So, outside the trench that they surround the plant, if they pull the water level down (the clean water outside the trench) that would prevent further water from leaking into the Daiichi site.”
Why then are Tepco only focusing on Reactor Four ?
Why has this disaster not been opened up to the world so that all developed countries can lend a hand with their knowledge and expertise?
It feels like the same charade that governments and corporations play the world over. The old sleight of hand parlour trick. While we have our attention on something that may happen, they continue to do nothing about what actually is happening.
This raises further questions. Are they taking this tack because the problem is so huge and will cost so much money that they cannot afford to fix it? Is it simply something that cannot be fixed by any known technology or science? Or is it that we cannot see the damage being done so therefore it is easier to not to focus on it?
These are just some of the questions that I feel the world’s media should be asking. As an aware citizen I believe we have a right to the truth, especially when it comes to issues such as these. Governments have a responsibility to their people and to the rest of the world to tell the truth no matter how bad or incompetent they look.
One thing I do know for sure is that the truth always prevails.
How long this will take and how much damage will be done until such a time, it seems, is up to the Japanese government.
The very same government seems to have been telling untruths since the beginning.
So, you see, for me it is not a question of truth any more.
It is a question of when.
When is the world’s media going to start asking these questions?
When will someone have the guts to stand up to the obfuscation peddled by the authorities and demand cold hard facts?
When is the actual truth going to be told?
(ed’s note – below is a presentation by The Big Picture by Thom Hartmann that questions whether Tepco should still be in control of the clean-up)