FUKUSHIMA 2018 Part 3. Now What? | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

FUKUSHIMA 2018 Part 3. Now What?



A Three-Part Guide To


The Heroes, The Criminals & The Doomed


By William Thomas



-China Daily


Part 3.





If you like exotic cities, Tokyo (tow-kyo) works. Crammed with electronics emporiums, noodle shops, indecipherable signs and the headquarters of corporations with more assets than many once-sovereign nations, this clamorous crossroads is home to 10 million people not especially eager to find out what happens when they die.


In 2020, tens of thousands of visitors, team members and media will pass through airports and subway stations, where countless people returning from the Fukushima region have been tracking Dai Ichi’s dirt on their shoes for the past seven years.


Here are some 3-year-old Tokyo radiation numbers and trends

July-August 2014 to February-March 2015*:


Narita Airport      (down .13)     0.42 µSv/hour

Haneda Airport        (up .22)     0.31 µSv/hour

Ueno Park:         (down 0.46)    0.33 µSv/hour

Tokyo Station:          (steady)    0.23 µSv/hour

*random “hot spots” may be much higher. As F. Ward Whicker, a Professor Emeritus at Colorado State U. – whose model for tracing radiation through the food chain is renowned – found, "There can be hot spots far away from an accident, and places in between that are fine.

Meanwhile, day and night inadequately-filtered incinerators around the Kanto Plain burn compacted nuclear waste, distributing fresh fallout on shifting breezes.


But the city’s still “safe”. Right? At a press conference in Buenos Aires in September 2013, didn’t Abe assure Olympic chiefs that the situation was "under control."


Japan’s Prime Minister also glibly pledged to "solve the problem of leakage of radioactive water by the end of March 2014."


(Oops. At the same time, another TEPCO rep was telling Russian reporters that the company planned to somehow "clean up" all the contaminated water at Dai Ichi by April 2015.)  


They were both wrong by at least a factor of decades.


But that didn’t stop Abe from doubling down in 2015, when he bluffed to an accommodating IOC, "Fukushima has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo."




Dr. Shigeru Mita


Let’s ask Dr. Shigeru Mita. In March 2014 he closed his metropolitan Tokyo clinic, where he’d served the Kodaira community “for more than 50 years, since my father's generation” – and moved to Okayama-city in western Japan. Though intended for Association of Doctors in Kodaira, his short essay on "Why Did I Leave Tokyo?" went instantly viral in Japan.

Soviet technician checks a toddler for radiation in a village near Kiev in 1986. -AP

In a village near Kiev in 1986. -AP

In Iwaki, a town south of the Fukushima nuclear plant, a doctor conducts a thyroid examination on 4-year-old Maria Sakamoto -Toru Hanai/Reuters

In Iwaki, Fukushima, 4-year-old Maria Sakamoto -Toru Hanai/Reuters

"Within the 23 districts of Metropolitan Tokyo, [soil] contamination in the east part is 1000-4000 Bq/kg and the west part is 300-1000 Bq/kg. The contamination of Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, is 500 Bq/kg (Ce137 only),” Dr. Mita wrote.


“West Germany after the Chernobyl accident has 90 Bq/kg, Italy has 100 and France has 30 Bq/kg on average. Many cases of health problems have been reported in Germany and Italy.


“Shinjuku, the location of the Tokyo municipal government, was measured at 0.5-1.5 Bq/kg before 2011. Kodaira currently has 200-300 Bq/kg contamination.”


These findings were confirmed in 2012 when Arnie Gundersen analysed five random soil samples from Tokyo sidewalks, parks and playgrounds – and found levels of contamination up to 7,000 Bq/kg. In the USA, that qualifies as nuclear waste.


What does this mean for uncounted visitors and the 10 million people living there?

"Since December 2011, I have conducted thyroid ultrasound examinations, thyroid function tests, general blood tests and biochemical tests on about 2000 people, mostly families in the Tokyo metropolitan area expressing concerns on the effects of radiation,” Dr. Mita continued. “I have observed that white blood cells, especially neutrophils, are decreasing among children under the age of 10.”  

Plunging, actually. Whereas his pediatricians' desk reference textbook gives a neutrophils reference value for healthy children 6-12 years old between 3000 and 5000 – with 3000 the lowest value for continuing good health – Dr. Mita found that in hundreds of children visiting his clinic since the accident, their white blood neutrophils has dropped to 2500. “I think this points at a serious problem," he wrote.

Neutrophil is "the last bastion of the immunity system," Dr. Mita later explained, and could play a role in fatal illnesses such as septicaemia in the case of aggressive colds.

"Contamination in Tokyo is progressing, and further worsened by urban radiation concentration, or the effect by which urban sanitation systems such as the sewage system, garbage collection and incineration condense radiation, because contaminated waste is gathered and compressed,” his essay went on.   

"Data measured by citizens' groups showed that radiation levels on the riverbeds of Kawabori River” (in Tokyo) “have increased drastically in the last 1-2 years. 


"I also observe high occurrences of rheumatic polymyalgia characterized by complaints such as 'difficulty turning over,' 'inability to dress and undress,' and 'inability to stand up' among my middle-aged and older patients. Could these be the same symptoms of muscle rheumatism that were recorded in Chernobyl?” 



"Changes are also noticeable in the manifestation of contagious diseases such as influenza, hand-foot-and-mouth disease and shingles,” Dr. Mita went on. "Many patients report experiencing unfamiliar symptoms or sensing unusual changes in their bodies.”  


Confronted by such alarming documentation… "There is not a single patient who resists my critical views on the impacts of radiation. Ever since 3.11, everybody living in Eastern Japan including Tokyo is a victim, and everybody is involved.

While government officials and corporate apologists might dance around the effects of external radiation exposure – much of which does not penetrate the skin – their framing is bogus. 


“The keyword here is ‘long-term low-level internal irradiation’,” the MD writes. “This differs greatly from medical irradiation or simple external exposure to radiation.”


(And yes, shrapnel-like gamma rays from Dai Ichi’s initial nuclear explosions passed right through the thin “radiation suits” and flesh of the first responders – including the men who opened that venting valve in Unit 2.)


"I must state that the policies of the WHO, the IAEA or the Japanese government cannot be trusted,” Dr. Shigeru Mita concluded.


"People are truly suffering from this utter lack of support. Since 3.11, mothers have researched frantically on radiation to protect their children. They studied in the midst of their hostile surroundings in Tokyo, where they could no longer trust either government offices or their children's schools. Family doctors were willing to listen about other symptoms, but their faces turned red at the slightest mention of radiation and ignored the mothers' questions. Mothers could not even talk openly to friends anymore as the atmosphere in Tokyo became more and more stifled.”  

And look, here’s Mitsuhei Murata back to ask that someone in authority acknowledge the radioactive drinking water coming out of the purification plant in Tokyo’s Kanemachi district.


Mita and Murata must have giant brass kintama.


Protesters at an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo, March, 2011. The signs read- 'Change energy policy' and 'Do not sprinkle radioactive material'. -Jean Baptiste, Paris/Creative Commons

Anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo, March, 2011. Signs read: 'Change energy policy' and 'Do not sprinkle

              radioactive material'. -Jean Baptiste, Paris/Creative Commons



Look what happened to Asahi Shimbun (8 million paying readers). Dubbed Japan’s New York Times, the 137-year-old newspaper represents nationwide opposition to restarting the country’s shuttered reactors. After setting up a special “Investigative Reporting Section” of 30-journalists to tell what was really happening at the stricken plant.


The team won Japan's top journalism award two years in a row for exposing official cover-ups and shoddy decontamination work around the nuclear plant," reported the Columbia Journalism Review – including the gag-order slapped on scientists, and the “failure” of government officials to release accurate radiation readings to evacuating residents.


Asahi won the Japanese equivalent of a Pulitzer in 2012.  Makoto Watanabe, a reporter in the Fukushima section, quit the newspaper in frustration that March – just as the division was abruptly closed down. "We came up with different scoops that were unwelcome in the Prime Minister's Office," Makoto says.


Today, the story is even more “radioactive” than Futaba. Reporters Without Borders lowered Japan's rating from 11th to 72nd in their annual ranking of worldwide press freedoms.  


“Now, Asahi has been forced to toe the line. The world is dead silent on credible information about the world's biggest disaster! Which causes one to stop and think… really a lot,” Robert Hunziker muses. “Fukushima radiation goes on and on, but nobody knows what to do… It is scandalous, not just in Japan but for the entire planet.




Emboldened by their “success”, Japan’s right-wing militarists (oh! oh!) went on to pass a law that awards any reporter telling the truth about Fukushima with a 10-year jail term.


Doctors incautious enough to tell patients their disease could be radiation related will not be paid by the national health system. Or worse.

Japan’s new Cancer Registration Law makes it illegal to share medical information on radiation-related issues, This includes denying the public access to their own medical records.


Shades of Muroroa! In 1979, I rowed ashore and interviewed Kon Tiki expedition member Bengt Danielsson. In his fragrant, airy home on Tahiti’s west coast, we discussed his book, Mururoa Mon Amour (“Muroroa My Love”), in which he and his wife Marie-Thérèse exposed French nuclear tests at Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls, and the colonial destruction of Polynesian culture. Incredibly and inexcusably in that cynically poisoned paradise, their daughter Maruia had died from cancer five-years before.


(She was not alone in Tahitian casualties from waves of airborne fallout. Greenpeace later sent me back to take photos of the secret hospital for French radiation victims in Papeete. I didn’t get past the armed guard.)


When it comes to nuclear censorship nothing has changed over the next half-century. In December 2012, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Mafia) whose mandate is to promote nuclear power and keep dissident insiders in line, signed closed-door "Practical Arrangements" with Fukushima Prefecture, Fukushima Medical University and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, handing over management of post-accident public relations to the nuclear lobby


One year later, the Japanese parliament passed a bill awarding public officials and private citizens up to 10 years in prison for divulging "special state secrets." ‘


Journalists even looking for classified information on such compelling topics of public interest as Fukushima fallout and shoddy nuclear plant maintenance – can get five years. Once “inside” one of these Yakuza-ruled barred establishments, any wannabe whistleblower is much more likely to be treated as a traitor than a hero. 


Did you just ask about whistle-blower fines?

Two-million Yen.


Looks like somebody’s running scared, Hunziker harrumphs.


Slamming still another lid on Fukushima’s simmering risks, a confidentiality agreement to “control” medical information was signed in January 2014 by the IEA, its UN equivalent, Fukushima Prefecture and its medical university. Since then, all info on radiation illnesses must be reported to a central censorship panel controlled by Fukushima Medical Centre and IAEA, representing the nuclear industry.


So are we good, or what?


“The situation at Fukushima is relatively stable now," remarks physicist Dr. Michio Kaku. "In the same way that you are stable if you hang by your fingernails off a cliff, and your fingernails begin to break one by one."


Abe’s “experts” say it’s going to take about 40 years and $200 billion to cap Fukushima. In fact, because nobody knows where those cores are, the technology to remove the melted fuel cannot be invented, The Japan Times carefully reported on Feb. 17, 2017.


Does this mean that even if found, those crushed coriums (melted cores) cannot be recovered and dealt with by any technologies currently known?


Er… yup.



Greenpeace Japan’s Mai Suzuk removes sediment samples from remote grabbber at Lake Biwa 

                -Christian Aslund/Greenpeace


"An increase of serious illness was seen four-to-five years after 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. Now we are facing the same situation in Tokyo and eastern Japan," Etsuji Watanabe reports.


Within several years of 3.11, rates of child thyroid were already being found around the Tokyo area matching those seen after the Chernobyl catastrophe.


"Severe illness such as various cancers, leukemia, and cardiac infarction are increasing too at alarming rate," Watanabe says. “Many people are started feeling very ill one after another. In fact, many of my friends living in Tokyo or Eastern Japan have collapsed from numerous illnesses over these years."


Of the 45 million people remaining in the contaminated Kanto region in and around Tokyo, Watanabe adds, many “are started feeling very ill one after another. In fact, many of my friends living in Tokyo or Eastern Japan have collapsed from numerous illnesses over these years."


The Association for Citizens and Scientists Concerned about Internal Radiation Exposures is encouraging "people in Tokyo and Eastern Japan to evacuate to safer places to protect their lives." 


But that’s not easy. (Think of uprooting your own family and finding another job. And being jeered at by the stay-behinds you’re threatening.)


With the Japanese government and national media continuing to ignore “dangerously high radiation levels,” the ACISC activist explains, "some people think it is nonsense to evacuate from Tokyo area and believe the evacuees are over-reacting. Many of the evacuees are feeling very isolated and are living in poverty after moving to safer locations, forcing some to return to the contaminated area against their will.

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks -Reuters

 Fukushima’s destroyed Dai Ichi nuclear coplaex running out of room to store radioactive cooling water -Reuters



"These reactors will never be cleaned up nor decommissioned because such a task is not humanly possible. Hence, they will continue to pour water into the Pacific for the rest of time and threaten Japan and the northern hemisphere with massive releases of radiation should there be another large earthquake," Dr. Caldicott cautions.


Wait for it. Japan is regularly jostled by gods as viciously capricious as that bearded old man lurking out of sight in western skies. The real mystery is why any deity would take such delight in hurting children.

"Fukushima Daichi will remain a diabolical blot upon Japan and the world for the rest of time, sitting as it does on active earthquake zones,” Dr. Helen Caldicott concurs. “Japan has had 564 earthquakes the past 365 days. It's an earthquake-ridden country… the Nankai Trough, the candidate for the big one, sits nearly directly below Tokyo." 



Be sure to visit a temple. Bowing deeply, clap three times to summon the gods and light some incense. Pray those severed structural supports in Unit 2 don’t completely fail.


"The problem of Unit 2," picks up Dr. Shuzo Takemoto, professor and geophysicist at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Science, "if it should encounter a big earth tremor, it will be destroyed and scatter the remaining nuclear fuel and its debris, making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable.”                        

There are 392 slowly fissioning radioactive fuel rods in cooling pools in Unit 1, 615 in Unit 2, and 566 in Unit 3. If say, a plus-7-scale tremblor breached a pool, "the gamma rays," says Dr. Helen Caldicott, "would be so intense…"

Stop right there! Don't even think about it. Forget how the ground hops and skitters somewhere in Japan at least three-times every two days. Or how, every day, millions of gallons of water follow gravity’s Pied Piper down from those mountains… “causing some of the earth below the reactor buildings to partially liquefy," Dr. Caldicott takes another whack at denial. Meanwhile, as all that water “flows beneath the damaged reactors, it immerses the three molten cores and becomes extremely radioactive as it continues its journey into the adjacent Pacific Ocean."   


Isn’t 'extremely radioactive' a bit over the tip top?


Not when you're talking unbagged cesium 137, 134, strontium 90, tritium, plutonium, americium maybe another hundred radioactive elements pouring into the Pacific from Dai Ichi’s drains every day for the past seven years.


Much of this tissue-rotting energy will keep “bio-concentrating” (adding up) "by orders of magnitude at each step of the food chain – algae, crustaceans, little fish, big fish then us," Caldicott continues.


What about those 1,200 towering storage tanks filled with captured cooling water spread around Dai Ichi? Un-muzzled experts warn the next +7 quake could deposit their ruptured contents instantly into the ocean.


Chernobyl crysalis a containment dome on shuttered facility becomes massive solar power plant. -ibtimes.co.uk


Remember Godzilla? Japan’s favourite scary monster was thought to have finally been killed, only to be rejuvenated by… nuclear waste.


If you encounter that rampaging dragon in Tokyo, just hope the ground doesn’t move for you in ways you may not enjoy. The next Big One to hit South Eastern Japan – “is highly expectable,” Dr. Mita wrote his fellow physicians, “it is reasonable to assume a scenario of meltdown in the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka prefecture, followed by radiation contamination in Tokyo.”


Though everyone hopes this never happens, hope is not a plan. Like relocating Japan’s capitol to Osaka. (It’s been discussed.) Or decommissioning aging nuclear plants worldwide. (Solar is much cheaper/safe/low maintenance/renewable. And radiation-weakened concrete and rebar age fast.)


Problem is... silent, invisible, odourless and tasteless radioactivity bypasses animal sensory alarms honed through 5 million years of bipedal evolution. Unless symptoms appear at the time of exposure, our easily spooked reptilian brain ignores lips flapping the word, "radiation" – while our horrified imaginations sensibly melt down.


When exposure limits and levels are not officially “adjusted” for public presumption, reason helps. Readouts of shifting radiation levels may resist correlation. But not trend lines. Not all the sick, dying and traumatized. While in Japan for the Games, stay alert for symptoms like Laura’s…






In the fall 2012, exchange student Laura Beans “went hiking through forests of colorful maple leaves” in Nikko (knee-ko), some 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Fukushima. It was a glorious trek. Until she “began experiencing strange headaches and fatigue.” She never considered “the possibility of radiation exposure in that area.”


Whisking smoothly on to Sendai, her bullet train stopped briefly in Fukushima…

“The passengers around me seemed to be folding downward,” she recalls. “Some covered their noses and mouths with their hands or sleeves, and some even tucked their faces into the tops of their jackets.” Her headache that had been “lingering for the past three days suddenly magnified into a piercing migraine.”

By the time she arrived in Sendai, the migraine had passed. Laura Beans “felt fine.”


In Kyoto, during her last four days in Japan after three-months in-country, the migraines returned. Flying through Osaka and Tokyo airports, and then on to the States, she relates online: “During the entire transpacific flight, I felt unexplainable stabbing pains in my stomach, nausea and delirium.”


The pain was far worse than any food poisoning she had ever experienced. By the time Laura Beans arrived back home, she felt relieved that her pain was gone.

“The following morning, I woke up with a bloody nose. During the next month, I experienced daily nosebleeds, headaches and dizziness,” she journals. “I felt chronic fatigue and weakness, and my mind was clouded.”


Two weeks into December, “I vomited for two days straight, uncontrollably purging all of the liquids from my body. On those days, I could not consume food.

I continued to have nosebleeds halfway into January.”


Had Laura Beans been exposed to radiation during her time in Japan? The “several doctors of both western and eastern medicine,” whom she consulted, confirmed symptoms typical of radiation exposure. They told her there was no way to test for internal injuries. Or “prevent long-term effects of radiation.”

New and lingering symptoms weren’t long in coming.


“One and a half years after studying in Japan, I notice a change in my physical health,” she relates. “My muscles are weak, and it seems that exercising and lifting weights three to four times a week does not help me gain strength.


Is she sure all this pain, weakness and uncertainty are souvenirs from eastern Japan? “It is not possible for me to attribute my nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and fatigue to radiation exposure, either inhaled or ingested,” Ms. Beans admits.


But what happens when the anecdotal becomes overwhelming?


“Does the lack of scientific evidence nullify my experience? Like the citizens of Fukushima Prefecture who have suffered from numerous unexplainable symptoms, does the lack of causal proof of radiation sickness justify others to ignore their suffering and simply look the other way?” she asks.


You decide.

[Dear Ms. Beane, Hair & urine samples would be a good place to start. For symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of radiation-related illnesses in the United States, please see my book Bringing The War Home, which looks at radiation exposure from Depleted and Non-Depleted Uranium weapons.]



    US Navy sailors sweep radioactive fallout from USS Ronald Reagan flight deck, March 23,2011 off Tohoku coast  

    during 10-day rescue and aid mission -AP




On January 5, 2018, a California federal judge dismissed a $5 billion suit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and General Electric Co. (who built Da Ichi’s steam boilers) over alleged radiation exposure to U.S. Navy personnel responding to the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Unfortunately for the ill sailors and their families, a new international convention limiting jurisdiction over nuclear accidents to the country in which it occurs applies to claims arising after the convention’s entry into force in 2015.


The sailors’ suit against TEPCO and GE was filed in August, 2017. Home-ported in San Diego at the time, the plaintiffs had made only claims under state law. But Judge Janis L. Sammartino ruled that her court had no jurisdiction over TEPCO because its alleged actions could not be tied to California.



An earlier class action suit, brought in 2012 and amended in 2014, was filed on behalf of more than 70,000 U.S. citizens who were potentially exposed to the radiation, Keith Goldberg reports for Law360.


In that instance, the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court's decision to allow the sailors to pursue their $1 billion lawsuit, rejecting TEPCO's argument that U.S. federal courts lacked jurisdiction before 2015.

Judge Sammartino says that her dismissing the second action against TEPCO “has no bearing” on the jurisdiction of the earlier case, currently in her court.



The infrared picture shows hot radioactive gases being released directly out into the atmosphere 9 days after the accident.Mar.-28-11.15


In early February 2017, a robot managed to extend a probe though a three-foot-wide hole in a metal grate in Reactor 2's primary containment vessel – and shocked Dai-Ichi watchers who thought they were finally past big surprises.


The robot detected radiation levels at a literally mind-blowing 530 Sieverts/hour – nearly instantly fatal to humans. (Hotspot seen by robot at right.)


The unconcerned robot would have "died" after two hours' exposure to levels of radiation medical professionals at Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences had “never thought of” ever seeing, reported Anna Fifield and Yuki Oda reported for the Washington Post on February 8, 2017.


“It does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a previously unmeasurable high-radiation area has finally been measured,” stressed Safecast’s Azby Brown.


That’s right, said newly-stressed Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Citizens' Nuclear Information Center. “The 530 Sievert reading was recorded some distance from the melted fuel, so in reality it could be 10-times higher than recorded.”

This changes things, expands Fumiya Tanabe, a nuclear safety expert and former chief research scientist at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. "It will be very difficult to operate robots in there for a long time to come, and to remove the melted fuel. So the finding might greatly affect the decommissioning time schedule.

"It's unbelievable that anyone would want to restart nuclear plants when Japan hasn't learned how and why the Fukushima Daiichi accident happened, or learned lessons from it."

The findings showed how little the government and TEPCO knew about what was happening inside the reaction, chimed in Greenpeace Japan energy campaigner, Ai Kashiwagi.

"The prime minister said everything was under control and has been pushing to restart nuclear plants, but no one knew the actual state of the plant and more serious facts could come out in the future.

This little piggy went to the Red Zone to cool off -matome.naver.jp


The Japanese Government’s rapidly rising cost estimate for something that absolutely cannot be done is ¥8 trillion.


Who pays?


And I am not referring only to money.


Why is every living creature and their descendants stuck with yet another planet-shaking disaster that can never be repaired?


Gomen, ne? I Know I’m not supposed to get worked up when corporations like BP, TEPCO and U.S. Military Inc. keep trashing this dying planet. And walk.


Right now, 32 million people in japan are negatively affected by this silent nuclear disaster. In two more years, you and every other Olympic-goer can be one of them.


Part 1. PLAY BALL!



Cathie Bearden rounding up the twins and rushing them into the house during a drill. John Dominis—The LIFE Picture Collection:Getty Images

                                        Cathie Bearden rounds up the twins during a nuclear attack. 

                                        Good thing this was only a drill!  -John Dominis/LIFE/Getty




 发件人     William Thomas 2019