Friday, April 29, 2011

Fukushima Updates and Surplus Populuations

As of April 27, radiation at the Fukushima plant was up significantly

"Radiation readings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi station rose to the highest since an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, impeding efforts to contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

"Two robots sent into the reactor No. 1 building at the plant yesterday took readings as high as 1,120 millisierverts of radiation per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said today. That’s more than four times the annual dose permitted to nuclear workers at the stricken plant...."

The handling of this ongoing disaster, which the media are quickly forgetting, led Dr Toshiso Kosako to resign in protest:
"UPDATE, 12:30 pm, Friday, April 29, 2011. Toshiso Kosako, a University of Tokyo professor and radiation expert, resigned as a special nuclear advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan today, in protest over the government’s handling of the Fukushima crisis. Kosako was appointed as an advisor on March 16. He told a news conference—apparently holding back tears-- that ''The prime minister's office and administrative organizations have made impromptu policy decisions, like playing a whack-a-mole game, ignoring proper procedures.'' Kosako specifically pointed to the government’s decision to increase allowable exposures to workers from 100 to 250 MilliSieverts/year (from 10 to 25 rems/year; U.S. allowable level for workers is 5 rems/year) and to the decision to allow schoolchildren in Fukushima Prefecture to be exposed to 20 MilliSieverts/year (2 rems/year; 20 times higher than international standards)..."

Particularly disturbing is the lack of regard for the safety of Japanese children. It is outrageous and sickening. See the story here by Robert Alvarez at Counterpunch

Arnie Gunderson makes a similar critique in a RT video posted at energy news

Yesterday I spoke to someone from Arizona's radiation emergency management about efforts to monitor radiation accumulation in food, water, and air in Arizona. I learned that no efforts will be made to monitor accumulation other than to take protective action if safety levels are exceeded.

What this means is there is no effort being taken to monitor the accumulation of radiation in our bodies as a result of continuous low-level exposure. Safety levels are set very high for food and milk so we can be assured of lots of cumulative exposure

This is unbelievable. The most charitable interpretation is that there is no precedent for handling continuous low-level exposure.

However, there is in fact precedent in the years of nuclear testing that occurred in the US southwest. Like then, it appears that the human health effects are irrelevant, collateral damage.

We are in effect surplus populations. Our welfare matters not...

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