Robert Oppenheimer after seeing the atomic bomb explode at Los Alamos said a line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Oppenheimer stated, “I suppose we all thought that one way or another.”
No one is talking about Fukushima anymore. Silence is an act of denial. Fukushima is still spewing radioactivity into air and water. The ever increasing number of metal barrels poorly put together to store the cooling waters, filled with radioactive waste are breaking down and leaking. Credos of the nuclear industry are increasingly disproved but still they spout comments to tranquilize. The reactor containers said to be unbreakable but are leaking. You can tell this from the loss of pressure that happened with Three Mile Island (TMI). They state that every possible problem was considered before building. They assumed a pseudo god-like posture. They say that there are good plans for evacuation. Not true. And even when they choose to announce the problem is unreliable due to contradictory motives. The TMI neighborhood people were not told to evacuate until 3 days later. In a city of 8 million, there is no way for New Yorkers to drive away if Indian Point goes down. The road will be an instant and permanent traffic jam.
The GE Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor was a gift to Japan from the United States. It was pointed out as faulty in 1972 but the potential for explosion was accepted by the power industry which feared that atomic energy would be rejected if the public knew. The Fukushima Daiici reactor is situated on a fault in a country known for earth quakes. The New York Indian Point reactor is situated on a fault. It was an earth quake which created the tsunami which broke the structure into pieces, caused a hydrogen explosion and threw radioactivity into the land, sky and water.
Michio Kaku, nuclear physicist says like was done at Chernobyl, Japan should martial its army so that each can go if for a short stretch in order to encase the reactor in walls of cement. Tepco has gone from saying we can handle it so don’t worry to we don’t know what to do so help us. It is time for people with greater knowledge to take over.
Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear researcher said that 23 of these Mark 1 reactors are scattered around the US, disasters waiting to happen. Which one is going to be next? Gundersen spoke of how the Japanese turned down the opportunity to build a waterproof wall which would keep the radiation from seeping inland. They called doing it too expensive. Now the whole nation is situated on a field of increasing radioactivity particularly found in household dust. Tokyo is polluted. There is no real plan for evacuation in all the world’s nuclear power areas. Tokyo said that 6 to 10 miles from the pollution site is sufficient New York asks for 50. As nuclear pollution increases so grows the reading for what is acceptable. The Tokyo government is protecting its nuclear industry. New York’s Indian Point is doing same.
At Fukushima, 300 tons of radioactive water leak into the Pacific every day whose currents move it west. Radioactivity now surrounds Hawaii where those in the know do not eat its seafood nor swim in its ocean. Radioactive tuna from Japan have been caught in California. The coast of British Columbia is increasingly devoid of life. Radioactivity has hit the California coast. If there is another earthquake at Fukushima, the damage threatening life on earth will multiply.
In British Columbia, the sea bottom and many beaches at low tide are littered with bodies of dead animals, sea lions and seals and…. At low tide, there are few or no growing plants. There are no insects, no fish, no birds since there is nothing for them to eat. A few tiny muscles cling to rocks but no wave of baseline species is coming out of an irradiated ocean.
According to Arnie Gundersen, this radiation will last 100 years. This finding is not carried by the US news which wants to keep westerners serenely buying the latest whatever keeps the economy going. People watching the nuclear waste spread are mostly ignored. Dr. Helen Caldicott of Australia, an anti nuclear activist said that there is no such thing as safe radiation. To keep its folk from reacting to the stress, Japan raised the meter reading it calls safe.
It is now well established that given the cost of creating nuclear reactors with all that it entails, wind and sun power are fare cheaper, doable and waste-free. However, the coal and gas and oil companies get local and state government to make it difficult for individuals to afford the switch. Like Florida, land of the sun taxes those with solar power. The reason for sustaining destructive sources of power is always one of money. The banks have invested in nuclear power. They have to get their money back and likely make a profit. Government is in the nuclear corporate pockets. Even Obama against great objection is talking of building new reactors. Do our leaders under the addiction of power lose contact with necessary limitation of destructive behavior for mass survival? Oppenheimer who created the atomic bomb knew it and did it anyway. It was and is a “get them first” philosophy. Homo sapiens? I doubt it. Wisdom is entirely something else.
There are some who say we should escape to the southern hemisphere since the winds tend to blow across their latitude rather than up and down. But the seas keep moving and eventually intermingle. We are advised to eat a plant-based diet since radioactivity tends to accumulate upwards through the species.
What can we everyday citizens do? For starters give up the lie of forgetting. Fukushima is with us. And incredibly we ask, do we want more? What must we do to contain it and then how to move from there?