The last active nuclear reactor in Japan was switched off on May 5th and thousands of Japanese marched on the streets to celebrate this event, shaking “koinobori”, carp-shaped banners that have become a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement.
According to authorities the reactor on the northern island of Hokkaido was closed down for mandatory routine maintenance. However, since the horrific earthquake and tsunami in March 11, 2011, no reactor halted for checkups has been restarted. The general public is wary of nuclear technology and has become frightened about the effects of radiation.
All reactors in Japan are required to pass new tests to withstand quakes and tsunami and have to gain local residents’ approval before restarting. As the government is concerned about blackouts and rising carbon emissions by presently using oil and gas for energy, they are eager to restart the nuclear reactors.
However, a recent examination of the Fukushima nuclear plant has revealed radiation levels up to ten times the fatal dose. The news alarmed the population who has been living in constant fear of radiation exposure. A study by psychiatrists at Fukushima Medical University found that almost a quarter of Fukushima’s residents hospitalized after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami were diagnosed with a “psychiatric disorder” because of their fears over radiation. Officials have been repeatedly caught lying about the real situation at Fukushima and many locals live in constant stress over the possibility of radiation poisoning.
All is not well in Fukushima. It is a total disaster area in every sense. A 20 km exclusion zone remains in place around the plant but the radiation is not limited to this area. According to a recent article written by Makiko Segawa and posted by the Asia-Pacific Journal, Japan Focus, there has been a continuous leakage of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean, radioactive waste water that includes strontium-90, and the dire claim that “Fukushima’s radioactive waste water contamination will spread all over the world, reaching to Kamchatka, Hawaii and the U.S. soon.”
There have been several reports about the huge amount of floating radioactive debris in the Pacific Ocean pulled out of Fukushima by the tsunami moving towards the Canadian and US west coast. Once the currents have reached, they will turn toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific Gyre.
The Telegraph stated that “Japan’s government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs.” We can only imagine the nightmare what impact all that is going to have on the fish and ocean life.
Earlier this week it was reported that radioactive water was still pouring into the Pacific, as yet another leak sprang in the Fukushima plant’s makeshift cooling system. The increase in radioactive water, which is used to cool the nuclear fuel rods, is another major concern for Japan. They are quickly running out of space to store the material, and experts fear that interrupting the water supply could cause major problems at the already troubled reactors.
Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear joins Thom Hartmann (liberal author, radio host and progressive political commentator) in this short video from early April, speaking about the radioactive waste headed toward the West Coast of the United States. Every citizen on this planet ought to be aware that this means our oceans have been contaminated…and it is not going to be absorbed fast. As we know, the Chernobyl radiation is still hanging around the planet, 26 years later.
Bhagawati, Osho News