Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fukushima Narrative in the US & UK: Suppression of Information is the Norm

I would like to remind readers of the Zardov story. This story involved a hacker who discovered that the Norwegian Institute providing air dispersion maps of the radiation fallout from Japan had 2 SETS OF MAPS, one was public and one was not.

The Zardov files are the private files that were hacked. They showed radiation exposure levels much, much higher than the public files did.

Japanese simulations estimated that radioactive dust was lifted high in the atmosphere over Japan on March 14 and 15 by updrafts and reached the U.S. via the jet stream by March 17th or 18th (“Radioactive dust”, 2011).

President Obama went on record on March 17 declaring to U.S. citizens that they faced no risk of significant radiation fallout in the U.S. (Landau,

Despite assurances, radioactive fallout occurred in the US beginning in mid-March. On March 29,“Traces of radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in japan” were reported as being detected in states from California to Massachusetts but “state officials say there is no public-health risk” (3/29 Hotz & Levitz, 2011, p. A12).

The assertion of no public health risk echoed in media accounts across the U.S. and Canada, despite levels of Iodine-131 three hundred times background reported in March in British Columbia (Landau, 2011; Smith

Air filter analyses conducted by independent scientists were made public in June by nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson. Gunderson reported that scientists found high amounts of “hot” particles of cesium, strontium, plutonium, uranium, cobalt-60, and revealed that U.S. citizens breathed in on average 5 hot particles a day in Seattle (citizens in Tokyo inhaled approximately 10 a day and those in Fukushima prefecture over 30 times that amount Gunderson CNN and Fairewinds ).

Hot particles lodge in bodily tissues and emit radiation as they decay. In the right circumstances, one hot particle can cause cancer.

Furthermore, the EPA’s own data documented high levels of radioactive fallout in the U.S. The EPA’s data were eventually published online, but were not publicized at the time of detection.

Consequently, public activist groups criticized the EPA for failing to notify the public of its findings. For instance, the Seattle nuclear watchdog group complained in July of 2011 that the EPA had failed to warn the public of high levels of Iodine-131 detected in rainwater. The level on March 24, according to EPA data exceeded federal drinking water standards by 130 times (Chittim

The mantra of no health effects from Fukushima fallout was in fact orchestrated carefully: "No health effects are expected among the Japanese people as a result of the events at Fukushima,” read a statement issued by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry trade group, at a June Washington Press conference (cited in Grossman, 2011 June 16). The mantra was in fact a propaganda campaign, as documents released by The Guardian prove.

Two days after the earthquake British government authorities contacted nuclear companies including Westinghouse, Areva, EDF Energy, and the Nuclear Industry Association to coordinate a public relations campaign aimed at assuring the public nuclear is safe in order to avoid resistance to a new generation of nuclear plants planned for the UK (Edwards, 2011).

In April the UK office for nuclear development met with nuclear companies in London to "to discuss a joint communications and engagement strategy aimed at ensuring we maintain confidence among the British public on the safety of nuclear power stations and nuclear new-build policy in light of recent events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant" (cited in Edwards

The collusion between government and industry coupled with the apparent willingness to deceive the public about the scope of the disaster produced public outrage in the U.K. but was little remarked upon in the U.S. press, despite the fact that Americans received far more fallout than persons in the U.K.

Public assurances by the nuclear industry and western governments that fallout from the disaster poses no public health risk were from March onward contested by international scientific and medical authorities. On March 30, Dr. Chris Busby published a report on the internet warning of Fukushima’s health dangers (BusbyThe health outcome). The Australian anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott also warned early on of the dangers of fallout in Japan and across the northern hemisphere in a video that was published on youtube.

These warnings were largely ignored by the mainstream press, despite the official documents by the international IEA, the U.S. NRC, and the US EPA stating that there exists no “safe” level of exposure to radionuclides.

The deliberate suppression of information about the dangers of ionzing radiation from nuclear plants is not a new phenomenon. For instance, Dr. Janette Sherman, a toxicologist and contributing editor to the book Chernobyl: The Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment claims was quoted by Carl Grossman in an essay on the disaster and the nuclear industry as stating:

 “We’ve known about radioactive isotopes for decades,” says Dr. Sherman. “I worked for the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1950s and we knew about the effects then. To ignore the biology is to our peril. This is not new science. Cesium-137 goes to soft tissue. Strontium-90 goes to the bones and teeth. Iodine-131 goes to the thyroid gland” (cited in Grossman

Nuclear industry officials and captured politicians rely on the public’s poor understanding of ionizing radiation Grossman interviews Dr. Steven Wing, an epidemiologist specializing in the health effects of radioactivity,

The generally accepted thinking about the safe dose is that, no, there is no safe dose in terms of the cancer or genetic effects of radiation. The assumption of most people is that there’s a linear, no-threshold dose response relationship and that just means that as the dose goes down the risk goes down, but it never disappears…As the radiation clouds move away from Fukushima and move far away to other continents and around the world, the doses are spread out…

"But it’s important for people to know that spreading out a given amount of radiation dose among more people, although it reduces each person’s individual risk, it doesn’t reduce the number of cancers that result from that amount of radiation. So having millions and millions of people exposed to a very small dose could produce just as much cancer as a thousand or a few thousand people exposed to that same dose.”

Finally, Grossman quotes Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, who claims the denial of harm is part of a larger cover up, “The absurd belief that no one will be harmed by Fukushima is perhaps the strongest evidence of the pattern of deception and denial by nuclear officials in industry and government.”

Mangano’s belief that Tepco deliberately withheld and distorted information was seconded by Dr. Robert Jacobs, Professor of Nuclear History at the Hiroshima Peace Institute who in an interview with RT described how Tepco "managed" the media and public opinion by slowly releasing as "news" over 3 months information that they had since the first days of the disaster

MAJIA HERE: The point of posting this narrative is to remind readers that we should be wary of any official pronouncements today about the dangers of Fukushima. Lies have predominated and truths have been buried in misinformation and outright propaganda.

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