The global catastrophe we refuse to see coming.
The mainstream isn’t talking about Fukushima, but it’s screaming for the world’s attention.
Like many catastrophes of our time, the stories and facts of any major event trickle in slowly at first, then progress to a crescendo of 24-hour news coverage, then settle again like once agitated ocean sediment, and quietly exit the news cycle. It almost feels refreshing to move onto the next sensationalized news story, after such a relentless barrage of intense and emotionally saturated details. It makes it easy to forget that long after our attention has been diverted away, the aftermath still unfolds, the damage is still being reconciled, people are still suffering, surviving and trying to rebuild their lives.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began April 20, 2010. BP has supposedly paid millions of dollars for “cleanup” and restitution, and the story – for the most part – has settled in the mainstream media. But two years later, cleanup is still happening, businesses are still being shuttered, and we are finally beginning to see the devastating effects of oil and chemical dispersants on wildlife and marine life. There is still a catastrophe unfolding, but for those of us who don’t live near the gulf and personally experience the aftermath every day, it’s out of sight, out of mind. The tragedy is over.
The Fukushima tragedy has only just begun
The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011 was catastrophic. The world watched in horror as TEPCO workers and the Japanese government worked furiously to avert a complete nuclear meltdown. In December 2011 news came that the plant reactors were in “safe” shut down and under control. Many breathed a sigh of relief, crisis averted, the tragedy was over – out of sight, out of mind.
We know now though, that our collective relief was in vain and misplaced. Although the story of Fukushima has largely been absent from mainstream media coverage, an apocalyptic scenario is still unfolding, but no one seems to be paying attention. Many are framing the “post-Fukushima” debate around the future of nuclear energy in Japan and worldwide¹. Some are seeking answers and accountability from officials who rejected warnings and simulations suggesting that the plant was ill-prepared for a worst case scenario – both of which seem to focus on secondary issues of concern at the moment.
The most imminent threat being the 460 tons of nuclear fuel (1,535 fuel rods) contained in Reactor 4. The badly damaged structure is unstable and could potentially collapse, resulting in an explosion of overheated nuclear fuel.
Speaking at a public hearing on March 22, 2012, Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata warned that “if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4.” According to Kurt Nimmo at InfoWars, Murata elaborated stating, “In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries.” (Source: InfoWars)
For perspective – and to shed light on how truly vulnerable the Fukushima nuclear site is – take a look at the Japan Quake Map, a stunning graphic representation of earthquake activity over the last year in and around Japan. There have been 1,995 earthquakes recorded in Japan since March 11, 2011; 17 in the last week alone. Murata stated without question, “If another high level earthquake hits the area, the building [Reactor 4] will certainly collapse… He warned during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that such an accident would force the evacuation of the 35 million people in Tokyo, close half of Japan and compromise the nation’s sovereignty.” (Source: The Watchers)
While Reactor 4 is of greatest concern, what they found upon entering Reactor 2 at the end of March is also extremely problematic. Keeping in mind that water not only cools the fuel rods, but also shields the radiation emitted by them, workers discovered only 2 feet of water where they expected to find 33 feet. They measured radiation levels high enough to kill a person in minutes, and too high for electronic equipment to function in the environment. Translation – fixing this problem is “beyond human capability”. We don’t currently have the technology to deal with this crisis and we will have to develop it as the crisis continues.
Rachel Maddow delivered a mind-blowing report on April 6, 2012:
I would not consider myself an alarmist, in fact I spend probably too much time reading and considering facts and opinions from a variety of sources, over a period of time, before making any decision about what I think or how I feel about a particular issue. On the unfolding crisis at Fukushima, based on the reports I’ve read, the website diaries I’ve followed, the news segments and documentaries I’ve seen, I believe what’s happening has apocalyptic potential.
Maybe it’s not being talked about because there is no solution, or maybe it’s because nobody wants to be perceived as the chicken little of world disaster, but whatever the reason, I think people have a right to know what’s really going on. I think they have a right to know that life as we know it really does hang in the balance, waiting for a single earthquake to set up a domino effect we won’t likely recover from.
Fukushima Uninhabitable, 85x Chernobyl, farmland destroyed, nuclear Fallout update 4/23/12
60 Minutes Report: Fukushima Now Radiating Everyone: Will Impact All Of Humanity 3/6/2012
Japanese Diplomat urges UN intervention on SFP4 6/25/2012