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Fukushima Year 12 - Radioactivity
By Yoichi Shimatsu
Saturday, March 11, 2023 marks the 12 th anniversary of the triple disaster that struck the Fukushima coastal region with a powerful tsunami, an earthquake that wrecked older homes and soon followed by a massive tsunami that wrecked the vulnerable Fukushima No.2 nuclear power station operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Beside the Japanese workforce, there was an American team under GE management that was relining Reactor No. 4 for planned use as a MOX (mixed oxide, of enriched plutonium). Three days later, MOX-fueled Reactor 3 exploded, sending powerful shock waves through the center of the Earth, which likely knocked the magnetic North Pole off its axis, which might explain the many weather anomalies since then. My article series on the Fukushima mega-disaster has tapered off over the past six years after perhaps spending too much of lifetime inside the nuclear exclusion zone.
Stormy Weather stuns California
The late winter pummeling of Northern California by successive rainstorms followed by massive snowfall in the Southland, which evoked shock among meteorologists, were long-anticipated effects of Tokyo Electric Power's ocean-dumping of more than one million tons of wastewater packed with cesium and tritium energy from its deteriorating storage tanks into the Pacific Ocean. The stunned reactions from weathermen and so-called eco-activists a month ago were uncalled for, since it was simply wrong of them to call these radioactivity-driven events out of Japan as "atmospheric rivers", a term that refers to tropical storms originating in the torrid Philippines region. Fukushima denial still runs deep and wide among the third-rate scientists of the Department of Energy and on university campuses, since none dare offend their research grant-givers. Among all manner of cowardice, intellectual fraud ranks the lowest and most vile offense against human intelligence.
The direct cause of the spate of California storms was the massive dump of more than 1 million tons of wastewater with cesium and tritium content (and probably other isotopes in some of those storage units) on the grounds of the Fukushima No.2 nuclear plant. This is certainly not the first-ever drainage of radioactive water from the TEPCO facility but definitively the largest continuous volume ever released, starting in late December 2022, which is probably a better indicator of the actual start of tank drainage. The stored water volume took months to complete and likely still being drained.
As predictable every early spring since 2011, the powerful weather events hitting the Sierra Nevada arrived in late winter directly from the Japanese coast along the North Pacific current. Equally predictable, based on trends over the past dozen years are a spate of autumn lighting storms causing conflagrations and power outages across the Americas. These events are not acts of God nor the outcome of so-called "climate change" due to carbon dioxide emissions but instead are generated by free-floating nuclear isotopes, which are the final outcome of financial investment and misplaced public trust in nuclear power.
The late winter storms are not the end of the Fukushima weather story, since hundreds of tons of radioactive fuel rods, which were hastily disposed of during the first months of the 2011 emergency, remain unaccounted for at several sea-burial sites along the Japan Trench, the Philippines Trench (hence "atmospheric rivers" or more property atomic storms) and, perhaps even more troubling, at great distance into the Southern Sea south of New Zealand and Australia. Of course it was irresponsible of the Japanese government and the TEPCO power company to opt for sea-burial of nuclear rods, just as it was illegal for Italy to dispose of its nuclear waste off the coast of Somalia following the Chernobyl crisis.
The UN has dismally failed to discuss much less pursue these violations of the global environment, while focusing on far less harmful so-called "greenhouse gasses", and the cowardly silence of the global warming eco movement raises questions of whether the green activists are paid diversionary puppets of the nuclear power industry. By now, a dozen years in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, every single government and the entire international apparatus connected with the UN have shown themselves to be mere handmaidens of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). As for the White House, Congress and the Supreme Courts, these have proven themselves not to be defenders of democracy but, to the contrary, the front-line violators in the radioactive assault against the American public.
Simply put, 12 years of unchallenged radioactivity streamng out of Fukushima shows that we the people are hardly better off in terms of basic rights than in the early 1770s, oppressed and robbed by tyranny of the worst unrepresentative type of political schemers. Until each of us spits the bitter pill of Fukushima radioactivity at the faces of the nuclear directorship, there will be no chance for genuine representation for something so basic as public health protection from lethal radioactivity exposure. The unnatural storms that are reducing California to a Third World hellhole should be the rallying point for a determined movement back to democracy and justice for American families. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl burn-out, was the ideal moment to rid the Earth of the nuclear threat yet not a single politician, East or West, made the opening move with a call for denuclearization. We must not make that cowardly mistake of remaining silent now when the West Coast is about to experience a rise in radioactivity levels.
Secrets of the Sea
Back in late summer 2011, after six months of probing the entry-prohibited radioactive zone surrounding the devastated TEPCO nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, at first in a motor vehicle and later to evade security teams by peddling a bicycle, the effects of outdoors heat, radioactive rainfall and oppressive humidity were wearing down my enthusiasm for field research and appalling discoveries of official fraud. At that pointing of psychological exhaustion and worrisome questions about the hundreds of spots on my forearms and small lumps in the armpits, I decided to take to a different angle in field research by checking radioactivity levels at Choshi Peninsula's Cape Inubo, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of the disaster zone, where the south-moving Oyashio Current that passes by the destroyed nuclear plant swerves eastwaard to join the flow of the Black Current (Kuroshio) from the warm south for the journey across the Pacific Ocean towards North America. The question then was: Is the North Pacific Current a conveyor belt of radioactive waste destined for the USA? The short answer discovered immediate with Geiger counters is yes, that's absolutely the dire situation.
The research challenge was trickier than expected, as an occasional high-rising wave swept ashore overwhelming my sensitive German-built Geiger counters, flooding their internal electronics, at $2,500 dollars apiece shorted out by the crashing water. More distressing, my digital camera suddenly failed to operate due to radioactive bombardment. The last of my four handheld dosimeters (one burn-out, two given to young antinuke activists) picked up disturbingly high readings, which were confirmed by the lack of surfers or strollers along that lonely stretch of white sand beach. Dead fish lay along the shoreline without a trace of stench, dried by sunlight and radioactive salts.
As the high tide started to recede by mid-afternoon, I took note of up to two dozen weird baseball-shaped creatures on the wet sand spitting out water. The sea squirts were writhing in agony, an oddity that I'd never before seen during my boyhood summers in Chiba's 99 League Coast or along the Inland Sea off Kobe. Called "Hoya" in local dialect along the northeast Tohoku coast, these plump red bottom-dwellers are netted and eaten raw as sashimi. In my younger teen years I body-surfed during summer vacations on the 99 league coast, which is too sandy for Hoya. I therefore could reasonably assume that these Hoya were from region immediately south of the TEPCO plant, where they were poisoned by radioactive debris and then floated southward to this pristine sand beach.
A few days later, on a flight to Hong Kong en route to Thailand, the best place for recuperation from exhaustion, sunburn and radioactivity exposure, I was seated alongside a Filipino-American graduate student of oceanography whose research area happened to be Tunicates, which she discussed with all the joy of a kitten pawing at a goldfish bowl. After hearing me out about the shoreline findings, the experienced scuba diver said that it's highly unusual to spot these bottom-dwellers on shore and that their ejection of water was an indicator of irritation, probably indicative of their death throes. Whatever the case, it was curious, she added, that radioactivity could reach down to those depths in their habitat on the sea bottom. She agreed that the probable cause of mortality of these tough leather-back creatures was exposure to high dosages of radioactivity along the ocean bottom. Though I missed out on Hoya sushi, this was a stunning confirmation that massive amounts of radioactive waste were accumulating on the sea bottom off the TEPCO plant and moving southward along the undersea trenches.
After penning an article titled "The Death of the Pacific" (a less detailed earlier draft on the same theme as this updated article) posted at rense.com , my thoughts drifted off to barbecued chicken and sticky rice sold by street vendors on the rural outskirts of Chiangmai, northern Thailand. I was starved after a few weeks of fasting in Japan where I dare not eat fish or vegetables, an certainly not seaweed, of any sort. By a gurgling fountain under the shade of a mango tree with ripe reddish fruit about the size of sea squirts (but sweeter by far) the realization came to mind that those doomed bottom feeders had floated to the surface to escape the intense heat of the dumped MOX fuel rods below. That's when I recalled those tunicates had large brown spots on their red hides, indicating radioactive burns. So the floor of the Pacific Ocean was being roasted by the heat of a million welding torches. The heated water would then rise for rapid ascension as super-heated clouds. This was not a "Pineapple Express" or a "atmospheric river", it was an artificial hot radioactive cloud on a vast scale heading straight toward the USA. Reconsidering the dynamics of Earth events is more complicated yet in many ways simpler than theorizing with flawed data to impress one's academic peers.
Thus a nonstop flotilla of radioactive particles heading to the West Coast was something of a marine conveyor belt of death and will remain as such for the remainder of our lifetimes. Weep not for California because it's all our own damned fault, or so indicate the sea squirts, those fire alarms of the sea. As for Fukushima, no how vigorously the Japan's corrupt government and paid-off local boosters try to gloss over the hardships of life in the countryside and the obvious radioactive residues, many of the villages surrounding the TEPCO plant remain virtually uninhabited.
The Government of Japan is equally and probably more guilty than its implicated White House allies. One of the unreported crimes of state was the state-sponsored secret sea-dumping operations. One seaside community at the mouth of a fishing port used for towing Fukushima radioactive waste out to the trench was soon exiled to distant locations to prevent nighttime sightings of the grim flotilla of barges. These concentrations of plutonium, uranium and their derivative radioactive isotopes, along with seared metal, create hot-spots along sea bottom, which account for the long line of pink golden-tinged clouds along the boundary of the Japan Trench. Later, other batches of fuel rods were disposed off the Philippines, becoming the source of so-called subtropical "atmospheric rivers" in years prior to 2022, although not during the recent past,
Nuclear-amplified storms slamming California
Farther south along the California Current, the superheated and electro-charged waters have formed a dense marine layer on the ocean's surface. As the fog rises, it forms ominous clouds, which recently deposited 10 feet of snow on the San Bernadino Mountains. Of course, the greater problem could well be the radioactive particles released by the snow melt during sunny days. California's not out of the woods yet when the radioactivity-driven wildfire season is fast approaching.
The future of California is grim, especially when the seaside Diablo Canyon nuclear plant's operations are being extended for decades by a fanatic Governor Gavin Newsom to power "environment-friendly" electric cars run on power generated at gas-fired electricity plants and nuclear reactors, a fact that not a single self-righteous environmental organization will admit from inside their hermetically-sealed nanoverse.
Release of the Carrillo film on the Fukushima disaster
After several years more of the Fukushima research, accessed on supposedly nonexistent train lines and harassment from security guards, which provides a nearly humorous scene in a new film by Phillippe Carrillo (details below), I was increasingly discouraged by increasingly repressive attitudes by governments across Asia and therefore returned to the USA to complete my radioactivity research in Washington State and Southern California, contributing in a small way at a critical moment toward the closure of the leaking San Onofre reactor run by SoCal Con Edison.
Although mentally exhausted from radioactivity exposure, my next step was a decisive move to the birthplace of the Nuclear Age, southern New Mexico. Gradually I've come to realize that my synergy with radioactivity began when my mother during her early teen years was exposed after boarding the last train out of Hiroshima. I was born with symptoms of radioactive exposure, which by now is a part of this life cycle and indeed a condition that enabled my physical toleration of a dozen research expeditions into the Fukushima hot zone. New Mexico, as it turns out, is a graveyard of nuclear artifacts. I've discovered that the long branches of ocatillo plants uptake radioactive particles, thereby purifying the sands for the growth of mesquite trees and lesser cacti. Soil remediation, as pioneered by the Kazakh scholar Sarsenbaev, is due to those super-plants that can uptake and survive high dosages of radioactivity. Recently, while rummaging at an outdoors dump for old glass bottles, I found a large lump of uranium weighing about 15 pounds. That was a Clark Kent aka Superman moment with my nemesis kryptonite, a joke more than a threat, even though it made the dosimeter scream. It's now buried in the sand far from human contact and screaming electronic devices.
So a dozen years after the 311 Fukushima disaster, I should be wondering what comes next in this brief life. It turns out that I don't have to wait for long or venture far: Just two years from now, it will be the 80 th anniversary of the Trinity atomic bomb test near Alamogordo, the mother hen of the Nuclear Age. Despite all the crazy risks and tragic memories, life is worth living, if only to stare down the brute power of death with a dosimeter, camera and notebook at the next encounter. I hope to greet many a Fukushima survivor at Ground Zero for tears and laughter over a local beer, that is if the murderously toxic trail left by Richard Branson's suspicious overflight of the Virgin Galactic capsule has been cleared away by then. Nuclear power is the Big Lie in our time, which has to be answered with truth and nothing but the truth.
End Note: Year 12 is not the last chapter of the Fukushima saga. French film producer Phillippe Carillo is now completing his video documentary on the Fukushima controversies, which will include many critics of nuclear power, including interviews with Arnie and Maggie Gunderson and his Fukushima journey with me, Yoichi Shimatsu. It was a crazy time, especially when two anxious teams of security guards came rushing a mountain to see whether we were about to blow up a dam full of tritium. Hey, pass the dynamite! Arigato!
Here how to access the film "The Fukushma Disaster":
For Film Festivals: Filmfreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/ TheFukushimaDisaster- TheHiddenSideoftheStory
Distributor: journeyman: https://www.journeyman.tv/ film/8421