Gallery D

The Radiation Threat

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Fukushima Radiation Still Doing Its Damage

By James Donahue

We don’t hear much about the Fukushima disaster anymore because other world events are diverting the attention of international news reporters. In fact, the call for a moratorium on nuclear powered electric plants has apparently been forgotten.
For the first time in 30 years, new nuke plants are under construction in the United States. Work began on two new nuclear powered electric plants this year in South Carolina and Georgia, and work has resumed on a partly built reactor in Tennessee.

Other new nuke plants are under construction in other nations, especially in China.
It looks as if the world has not yet learned its lessons from the disasters at Fukushima and Chernobyl where hundreds died, thousands were left homeless and sick, and the radioactive waste is still taking its deadly toll on the environment.

Some reports are saying that the damage from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011 was less than first expected. But is that corporate propaganda? Can we really believe that the billions of gallons of radioactive waste water dumped into the Pacific Ocean has not drifted to the U.S. coast; that the fish caught in the Pacific is safe to eat; that all the sludge now drifting up on the American coast is safe to handle?

A research team from Oregon State University has found that radiation in albacore tuna has been steadily increasing ever since the Fukushima disaster. In fact, the report published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, states that levels of radioactive cesium in the tuna have increased by about 300 percent since the project began in 2011.

In yet another study, researchers say the majority of California pelicans that normally breed on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, have stopped reproducing. Professor Dan Anderson of University of California at Davis, said the birds have demonstrated a “nearly complete failure to breed.” Anderson said a study on Isla Salvatierra Island, where a usual breeding season produces up to 10,000 young pelicans, only had about 20 young birds this season.

A buildup of radioactivity in the water, which is killing small fish like sardines and anchovies, is suspected as the cause of the pelican phenomenon. The birds feed on these small fish as do many sea creatures. Thus we are yet to learn just what long-range effect the Fukushima disaster is going to have on the Pacific Ocean and the world in general.

Scientists are warning that the continued drift of radioactive water still coming from Fukushima will contain concentrated pockets of high-dose radiation as it reaches the West Coast. A study published in the journal Science China Earth Sciences said these elevated radiation levels may persist for at least a decade.

Meanwhile, back at the Fukushima disaster site, word is just getting out that things were much worse at the three wrecked reactor cores than we were ever told. It seems that Tokyo Electric Power Company was deliberately using faulty testing equipment to minimize the reported levels of leaking radiation.

A recent story in the New York Times, written by Matthew L. Wald, says it is now being learned that all three cores apparently went into complete meltdown. Because of the level of damage, and the high concentrations of tons of highly radioactive uranium, plutonium, cesium and strontium, “Nobody really knows (the true level of damage) because nobody has yet examined many of the most important parts of the wreckage,” the story said.

It thus appears that the Fukushima disaster is much more calamitous than the world was first lead to believe. And we all knew it was a dangerous situation even then. Yet the world continues to rush to build even more nuclear power generating plants, when so much new technology now exists to give us safe alternative green energy sources.
Fukushima still has the potential of rushing the world into a final great extinction. Why must we still continue down that deadly road when we don’t have to.