Radiation exposure, how are the children doing and what is the Japanese government doing in light of the Fukushima disaster?
Fukushima, Japan- It’s been a little over 5 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster that occurred back on March 11th. During that time The BQB covered the story extensively from analyzing the actual incident in Fukushima to the direct aftermath, however no one could have seen the silent horror that is developing.
TEPCO released a statement yesterday on their website:
With another earthquake, TEPCO assures that it has not added to the Fukushima disaster however at this point one wonders if it can get much worse. That is until you see the pictures of children lining up to get tested for radiation exposure, results that Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission refused to release. Mark Willacy ABC’s North Asia correspondent noted that Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission even went as far to remove the data pertaining to the results from its website, citing privacy reasons.
Also on TEPCO’s webpage is a link taking those who inquire to the status of the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Diane Nuclear Power Stations.
How are those affected in the Fukushima nuclear disaster fairing? During April I covered a story on the animals in the Fukushima nuclear disaster after watching Anderson Cooper on AC360 discuss their situation.
20 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a group of people cloaked from head to toe in white protective garments, gather for a memorial service in memory of the victims lost in the nuclear disaster. Former residents of Ohkuma-cho appear more like medical doctors we see in movies like ET or Independence Day, getting ready to operate on extraterrestrial organisms. Sparse hints of color come from small bouquets of flowers the residents hold in their hands ready to lay at the site in memory of the Fukushima Daiichi victims.
ABC News bought a little sunshine into the Fukushima disaster media coverage by releasing their story on the Sydney Rainbow Stay Project. Yukiko Hirano formed the Sydney Rainbow Stay Project in hopes to take the Fukushima children out of the aftermath of the March disaster and into a better place in Sydney, Australia. Think about it, children need freedom to go outside and play, exercise their imagination and know that at the end of the day they have a place they can call home. Unfortunately for the children who were affected by the Fukushima Daiichi disaster that is not the case.
Finally the NY Times breaks the silence surrounding safety and the Fukushima disaster as Two Voices Are Heard After Years of Futility. Describing the pair as ready and willing to stare down the rich and powerful, the NY Times releases how a Yuichi Kaido, a self-effacing lawyer and Mizuho Fukushima, a firebrand lawmaker are a pair of antinuclear activists who will be heard.
Over the past three decades the couple has been fighting against nuclear reactors like Fukushima Daiichi’s, claiming they are dangerous. Parliament casted aside Ms. Fukushima’s Socialist Party and antinuclear platform only to have karma come back around when the Fukushima disaster proved the point the pair had been trying to make. Unfortunately Mr. Kaido and Ms. Fukushima were right in the end.
“I thought my life was a failure right after March 11,” Mr. Kaido said, referring to the date of the earthquake and tsunami. “I have devoted myself to legal cases and antinuclear activities to prevent this kind of accident, but I could not prevent the worst from happening. It was an agonizing feeling.” (NY Times)
Al Jazeera released a report on the radiation levels due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that are now affecting the public.
The maximum reading that TEPCO is able to take when measuring radiation is 10,000 millisieverts (mSv). Measurements of 10,000 mSv equal the same amount of radiation found in 100,000 chest x-rays. Radiation levels are 250% higher than when the earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants back in March.
Since the Fukushima disaster the aftermath has been kept silent and out of the media however Aela Callan reporter for Al Jazeera, sent back news regarding health concerns surrounding the Fukushima disaster. “It is now looking more likely that this area has been this radioactive since the earthquake and tsunami, but no one realized until now.”
Therefore it was no shock when Noriyuki Shikata, who was speaking on behalf of the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations for the Prime Minister’s office had no comment on findings by Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama, a professor at the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology and Director of the University of Tokyo’s Radioisotope Centre.
Earlier in Al Jazeera’s article Kodama was quoted as saying, “the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 ‘Hiroshima-type atomic bombs’ and the amount of uranium released ‘is equivalent to 20’ Hiroshima bombs.” (Al Jazeera)
Asahi.com produced results regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster and children. A survey of more than 1,000 children and babies living near the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has produced an alarming finding: 45 percent of them suffered internal exposure to radiation following the accident there.
TEPCO and the Japanese government have been hush, hush since the beginning. The public understands that this has never happened before; however retreating into your offices and conference halls does not reassure them. The only way to fight fear is with knowledge. Fukushima is no different from any other disaster, people are afraid, what is wrong with them? What is wrong with the children? Answers are needed, even if they are not promising. Hopefully in the months to come TEPCO, the Japanese government and the nuclear safety commission will get together and inform those affected by the Fukushima disaster what to expect.