Instead of recreating the wheel, RadCast is sending you to the most informative and well-vetted sites regarding Fukushima. These are sites that we view daily to get our information.
Please start with this PDF to understand Fukushima from the beginning:
Important Update on Fukushima
Responding to Fukushima, Summer 2014 by John Bertucci
August 2014, 2nd quarter of the 4th year since four nuclear reactor units blew up at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Here are some reflections on the subject to date.
The situation in Japan is by no means ‘under control.’ The nuclear material from two melted cores, one exploded core and various spent fuel pools, continues to spew lethal radioactive isotopes into our environment. This is true from now on, wherever the melted corium or vaporized rods may presently be located. Yet general public opinion, carefully shaped in the media and seemingly validated by the immediate lack of visible impacts in our daily lives, is that we’re doing okay.
No question: this kind of truth is hard to embrace, who wants to think about it? We look around, things look the same and the media ‘helpfully’ reinforces that perception. Our opinions are guided into a polarized, false choice: those currently trying to talk about Fukushima in a coherent manner are framed as ‘alarmists’ and those who want us to believe that Fukushima is ‘no problem’ simply omit to mention the correct time frame for truly understanding what’s wrong there, the full span in which this disaster is going to play itself out.
The reality at Fukushima Daiichi is that it’s falling apart. The plant is saturated with radioactivity, there are rooms they still can’t go back into, it suffered heavy structural damage in 2011 and for three years, corporate containment and clean-up efforts have been criminally inept. Meanwhile, hundreds of tons of water must flow into the site every day to keep the missing cores and spent fuel cool, thus contaminating the ground water and Pacific Ocean daily, as well as making the ground soggy and unstable. Precarious is an understatement, dangerous forever is more like it.
Our food chain and gene pool are equally vulnerable to deterioration from the massive levels of radionuclides generated every day in the nuclear mess at the Daiichi site. In her writing, Majia Nadesan calls this threat “genotoxic” because it destroys DNA. It’s a fundamental poison, a molecular solvent that we, in the largest sense of the word, have released into the miracle of Life as we know it.
Last year we heard a lot about leaking tanks, this year it’s an ice wall. These are short-term, misguided reactions to an on-going problem, and getting more attention than they deserve. The real news about Fukushima can be summed up in three words: constant corium contamination. This is because the missing core material has been, is now and will likely forever be releasing radiation into our water and air, like a faucet no one knows how to turn off.
“It has become impossible to think after Fukushima as we did before” wrote French philosopher Alan-Marc Rieu in 2012. As we in FukushimaResponse community group see it, the radioactive wheels of what Fukushima means have already been engaged and far too little is being done about it. We are in slow-motion collision with an invisible reality, and the new conditions are not very friendly to the visible world we inhabit. So we work to understand, alert others, try to mitigate and adapt, respond.
For instance, instead of leaking tanks and ice walls, maybe we should be talking about cellular repair, or how to host groups of Japanese children for a few months of reduced exposure on the West Coast.
Talking about it is a start, which is how FukushimaResponse got started, and continues. Last year we drew a literal line in the sand with a human mural to say: Fukushima is Here. This year we are developing a regional monitoring capacity. We’re not waiting for the news to catch up, we’ve initiated our own program to learn how to measure what we need to begin avoiding.
In the sub-atomic world time doesn’t exist, a thousand years means nothing. Perhaps another way to respond to Fukushima is to start expanding our perception of time, to stretch our reference points and incorporate into our lives the greater perspective we get when we think in terms of future generations. We need to talk about Fukushima not because we want to to, but because our grandchildren’s grandchildren want us to.
Right now, your grandchildren’s grandchildren gather around you as you read this, urging us all to do something now.
FukushimaResponse meets every month, 10:30AM on second Tuesday, at Lydia’s Sunflower Center in Petaluma. Please join us if you have questions, ideas, unfinished thoughts or emotions related to Fukushima.