05 Jul 2011

FUKUSHIMA CITY, Japan.  Even though this city of 300,000 lies outside of the 30-km NO-GO zone around the crippled Fukushima Dai No.1 plant, a recent survey showed radiation levels in several spots exceed 13 millisieverts (mS) per year – more than six(6) times natural levels.

WHAT IS A MOTHER TO DO? Akiko Itoh, 42, with her four(4)year old son in her lap said: “Everything and everyone here is paralyzed and we feel left on our own, unsure whether it’s actually safe for us to stay in the city”.  Another mother of a four(4) year old said: “I scooped up all the radioactive soil and grass from my garden, and dumped it in the forest, so no one could find it…”When I put my Geiger counter close to that mountain of soil it showed 10 mS”. That is more than four(4) times the official annual nuclear exposure limit.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A LONG -TERM GOVERNMENT PLAN Fukushima residents are attempting to cope with contamination on their own. Panicked residents scoop up soil from their gardens and dump it in holes dug out in parks and nearby forests, scrub their roofs with soap and refuse to let their children play outside.  As increasingly panicked residents take matters into their own hands, experts warn that such do-it-yourself efforts to reduce local contamination, risk making matters worse by creating hotspots of high radioactivity where soil is piled high. Others have been seen dumping their scraped-up nuclear waste in public parks, and by the river.  BY THE RIVER IS NOT A GOOD PLACE!

SCHOOL AUTHORITIES DEVELOPED A PLAN AND IMPLEMENTED IT in school grounds, scraping and packing contaminated soil in tarps, and burying it in holes in the grounds as a stopgap measure intended to reduce exposure for children. Seiichi Nakate from the “Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation,” (a non-profit citizens group) appears critical, when he says: “They(School Authorities and Parents) say this is just a temporary solution, but we are worried they may take years before removing the contaminated soil for good” – WE GUESS HE WANTS NOTHING DONE, and offers no other solution. While checking radiation in schools is now commonplace, health check-ups have only started in the worst-affected areas.

HOTSPOT MAP BY GOVERNMENT COMING Tokyo has promised that the radiation hotspot map will be ready by October 2011; seven(7) months after the disaster.

Dai No.1  MAY BE THE BEST FINAL REPOSITORY FOR CONTAMINATED SOIL; so say many experts; However that will mean waiting until at least 2012 when efforts to “stabilize” the plant are scheduled to wind down.  Assuming that they will succeed.

COMPREHENSIVE CLEAN-UP PLAN SORELY NEEDED Takumi Gotoh, a Nagoya-based cancer specialist is worried that such accumulations of radiation can also leak into the groundwater and pose more health hazards for a sustained period.  Gotoh said:  “That’s why Japan urgently needs a comprehensive, long-term plan to deal with the issue”.

UNCERTAINTY IS , AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN, THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY. Yoshinori Kasuya, assembly member of Fukushima city council poignantly asks:  “What is the government doing? How many of them actually came to Fukushima to listen to the concerns of the people living here?”, BUT “BIG BROTHER DOES NOT ANSWER – NOT YET; Meanwhile experts predict that the longer it takes Japanese authorities to plan/organize a clean-up, the greater the risk of additional, long-lasting damage.  THE ATTITUDE BEING SHOWN BY JAPAN’S “BIG BROTHER” IS CLEARLY LAIZZES-FAIRE (DO NOTHING), AND TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.   CHANGES ARE NEEDED IN THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ASAP!



July 5, 2011 at 1:13 AM Comments (6)