As radioactive water continues to leak out of containment tanks and into the Pacific Ocean, more truth is leaking out concerning the efforts to cover-up the significance of the Fukushima disaster from the very beginning.
Immediately after the disaster was first reported, I recognized the familiar smell of a cover-up. Here is some of what I wrote on March 14, 2011, just three days after the event:
Since the Fukushima nuclear crisis began, we were given spotty, uninformative reports about the extent of the damage to the critical equipment, despite assurances that the “reactor vessels remain intact”.
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A good deal of the frustration experienced by those attempting to ascertain the status of the potential nuclear hazards at Fukushima, was obviously due to the control over information flow exercised by the Japanese government. I began to suspect that President Obama might have dispatched a team of Truth Suppressors from the Gulf of Corexit to assist the Japanese government with spin control.
During the subsequent weeks and months, I found it necessary to express my disgust over the cover-up of the hazard’s severity on more than a few occasions, such as here, here, here and here. Despite the fact that the first three of those four pieces were written in 2011, a good deal of the information contained therein would come as a surprise to most Americans.
Not included in the foregoing list of links was what I had to discuss about contamination of the Pacific Ocean back on May 12, 2011 – just two months after the earthquake and tsunami:
In the United States, the EPA has apparently become so concerned that the plume of radioactivity may have contaminated fish, which are being caught off the Pacific coast and served-up at our fine restaurants – that the agency has decided to cut back on radiation monitoring. That’s right. Thorough radiation testing of water and fish causes too much transparency – and that’s bad for business. Susanne Rust of California Watch discussed the reaction this news elicited from a group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Public Employees – uh-oh!):
The EPA and the Food and Drug Administration increased their radiation monitoring efforts after a massive earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan set off the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
But on May 3, the EPA announced [PDF] in a press release that it was falling back to a business-as-usual schedule of radiation monitoring, citing “consistently decreasing radiation levels.”
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“With the Japanese nuclear situation still out of control and expected to continue that way for months and with elevated radioactivity continuing to show up in the U.S., it is inexplicable that EPA would shut down its Fukushima radiation monitoring effort,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the watchdog group, in a statement.
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According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the EPA has proposed raising their guideline radiation limits, or Protection Action Guides. These values are used to guide decision makers about when a clean up is needed after a nuclear incident.
According to Ruch, the new clean up standards are “thousands of times more lax than anything the EPA has ever before accepted.”
Documents obtained by the watchdog group [PDF] via the Freedom of Information Act indicate the EPA made a decision to approve the revised guidelines months ago, but has yet to make a formal announcement.
The latest disclosures concerning the magnitude of the hazards involved – as well as the efforts by TEPCO and the Japanese government to cover-up such information – have sparked widespread outrage. With a plume of radioactive water on its way to the West Coast, an assortment of experts – none of whom have any credentials to support a claim of expertise on the subject of the bio-effects of ionizing radiation – are busy telling people not to worry. They want us to believe that the radioactive water in the plume will be harmless.
Not only are such claims unscientific (no current data, no readings on radiation levels) they are obviously being made to convince the public of something that will, more than likely, be proven as untrue.
As I have said at least five times before: If you are in search of honest information about the hazards resulting from this disaster, Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, provides regular updates on Fukushima. For more specific information on the latest radiation hazards affecting the West Coast, be sure to visit the site run by Michael Collins: EnviroReporter.com, where you can also find links for obtaining radiation measurement devices.