CTV finally gets to the heart of how serious the situation in Fukushima still is – for all of us.

Many of you who have joined me on Facebook know that in the year since the Fukushima disaster, I have posted periodic updates and queries there, on the still unresolved situation with reactor 4.

Some have called me alarmist, some have said I should get a tin foil hat, but many more have shared my posts and agreed that people deserve to hear the truth of the potential for disaster.

It’s not all good and business as usual in Japan. The Japanese government has been horrifically understating the serious potential for global tragedy if another earthquake  were to occur, specifically with respect to the still unresolved situation with reactor 4.

 In April, I posted a link to the web page of Senator Ron Wyden who, on a recent trip to Fukushima, was shocked and alarmed to discover that little had been done to secure reactor 4 and that it was in fact, perilously close to the sea, exposed to the elements.  In shock at the reality and very clear potential for what could become a global tragedy, he returned to American soil to immediately write letters, and ask for help from his own government to pressure the Japanese to act quickly and deal with the situation. They need help, of that, there is no doubt.

 You can read the report from his trip and the subsequent letters at this link: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/after-tour-of-fukushima-nuclear-power-station-wyden-says-situation-worse-than-reported

When I posted this link in April, I asked the question,  ” Why are the Canadian and American governments doing so little to ensure the situation is handled immediately and completely?

Why indeed, are we doing nothing?  What the Japanese government has not been sharing with the world, is that their relative inaction to deal properly with this last reactor, is putting not only the Japanese people at massive risk, but the rest of the world as well.

Why indeed, was Christy Clark over in Japan, drumming up business when she perhaps should have been pressuring the Japanese officials to take action, to accept help? Why is she not joining the chorus of officials around the world who are begging the Japanese government and the UN, to begin the treacherously dangerous job of dealing with reactor 4? Does she even know what is going on? Does she even care? I honestly don’t know.

Terrace Daily did an exemplary article on this situation last week, which spells out succinctly the very real impact such a disaster would have on life in North America. I absolutely urge you to click on this link and share with your friends, colleagues and elected officials.

http://www.terracedaily.ca/show9797a/15_EARTHQUAKES_IN_5_DAYS_-_ALL_REPRODUCTIVE_LIFE_IN_BALANCE

This is not an exaggeration. In fact, it was followed by an online only article by CTV news that impressed me greatly, for the simple fact that not many in the mainstream, western Canadian media have even touched this. If only this were to appear on our nightly news here in BC, I would be even more impressed.

Fate of the world’ depends on Reactor 4

He’s not alone in pressing the Japanese government to adopt a sense of urgency about the Reactor 4 dilemma.

Robert Alvarez, a former top adviser at the U.S. Department of Energy, also expressed concern in a letter to Akio Matsumura, a Japanese diplomat who has turned his focus to the nuclear calamity.  

Matsumura had asked Alvarez about the risk associated with Reactor 4.

“The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements,” Alvarez said in his response. “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.”

Mitsuhei Murata, Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal, has also made it his mission to convince the UN and the world that urgent action is needed.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor,” Murata said in a recent letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which he urged him to back efforts to address the problem.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20120518/fukushima-dai-ichi-risk-reactor-4-120519/#ixzz1vd1k012o

Yesterday, Damien Gillis, documentary filmmaker and co-founder of The CommonSense Canadian, came forward with his take on Fukushima, ” Fukushima Reactor 4: The most important story nobody is talking about” and I am really happy that he jumped in on this story as well. Damien talks a little bit about why no one wants to talk about Fukushima, and why he finally has waded into the ongoing story:

“But in recent months, increasingly troubling reports from high-ranking Japanese and American politicians, diplomats and nuclear experts have been trickling into the blogosphere and alternate medialike the irradiated water still seeping from the plant into the Pacific Ocean. They suggest, in a nutshell, that were another decent-sized earthquake to hit the stricken plant before thousands of highly radioactive spent fuel rods are properly secured, we could see the explosion and diffusion into the North Pacific’s winds and ocean currents of 10 times the radioactive material emitted by the Chernobyl disaster – rendering much of Asia, North America and many other corners of the globe uninhabitable for centuries.

No wonder no one wants to talk about this stuff! 

The force of such warnings has been muted by the fact that most of these alarms are being sounded by relatively fringe politicos and individuals associated with the anti-nuclear movement – albeit highly respected in their respective fields – and carried largely by alternate media sites.

But that has begun to change. This past week, one of Canada’s largest media outlets, CTV News, carried a story titled, “Fukushima Reactor 4 Poses Massive Global Risk”, which echoed many of the concerns being raised through other channels. If you read one depressing thing this week, make it this story.

~snip~

Experts in communicating environmental themes to the broader public tend to stress the importance of providing people with hope and tangible actions they can take to help resolve the issue at hand. Perhaps that’s one reason I’ve resisted covering this story up until now. I confess, every time I read about the dire situation at Fukushima, I can’t help but feel depressed and powerless to affect a situation that threatens to destroy everything I hold dear: my wild salmon and marine ecosystems, my coastal home, the health and welfare of my family and community, my whole country and the very planet as I know it. If we take to heart the warnings of people like Senator Wyden, Dr. Alvarez, Ambassador Mistuhei – or even if at minimum we apply the Precautionary Principle to the situation, which seems well-warranted – then we have to acknowledge the very real possibility that nothing short of the fate of human civilization and the natural world hang on the teetering frame of Reactor 4.

Is that melodramatic? So what if these fears prove overblown in the end? This is one situation where I don’t mind being labelled a Chicken Little, for the chance that the danger was real and my actions helped in some way to mitigate it. “

~snip~

What is required now is for this issue to gain enough prominence in the mainstream media and, consequently, the public consciousness, to compel a unified political effort to move those bloody fuel rods to safety before another earthquake topples them and takes us all with them.

It is my hope, in talking about this thing no one wants to contemplate, that I’m doing my small part in inching the world closer to the action necessary to avert a crisis of unthinkable proportions. And perhaps if you take a moment to share this story and others you come across with your social media network, friends, colleagues and family – and write your political representatives and media – we can help build the movement required to keep our air and water clean, our children’s future preserved.

I’m all for prayer in these situations…but action’s preferable”

Everyone knows where I stand on this – with Damien, with Merv Ritchie, with the many international politicians and experts who have been crying for international attention on this for the last year. I stand with the people of Japan who are most at risk from their governments lack of action and inability to deal with this situation alone. For the children to come, their food, their way of life – and all of ours.  It’s not about scaring you, it’s about informing you. I have faith that if the people are given the right information, the facts, then they will rise to the cause and do what’s needed to be done. Readers have proved this here time and time again on this site.

Share this story, and all the links within it. Send it to your friends, colleagues, family and elected officials. Email your MLA, your MP, our acting premier and the prime minister. Knowledge is power, information is the commodity. Use them well.

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22 Responses to CTV finally gets to the heart of how serious the situation in Fukushima still is – for all of us.

  1. Raj says:

    I read Merv’s article and the chart on all the sizable earthquakes in a few days, glad too to see the Canadian get on this.Not a time to panic,a time to tell these bureacrats to get the hell off their asses and get working with the UN.I follow you on FB, you and Merv have been loyal to this for a long time and thank you to the Haida people for doing that monitoring.But where the eff are the feds on this?

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Opps, Didn’t see you here Raj.Hope the baby is doing better! Yes the number of quakes is striking with the magnitudes of over 5 or 6. I agree,time to find out what are politicians are doing about this.

      Like

  2. Dan Schubart says:

    Count on Wanda Ballantyne from POCLAD to have a pertinent link:

    http://guymcpherson.com/2012/05/fukushima-denial-and-the-ethics-of-extinction/

    If you weren’t frightened before, you ought to be now.

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Choke. Well written,true. Denial is better for most than action, whether we talk extinction or corrupt political parties. But I agree there are ethics involved and mine have not been bargained.

      From this post Dan has brought us – I could not have said this better, and urge you to think what small action you can do to provoke action:

      We have just seen a sudden mass movement intentionally triggered by a small group — Occupy Wall Street — significantly change the political debate in this country overnight. It may be possible to do something similar regarding Fukushima. It won’t solve the problem, but it could be part, even an important part, of a larger effort which mitigates things a bit.

      That’s about as much hope as the visible landscape will bear. It isn’t much, and granted, the likeliest outcome by far is the worst one.

      If there was nothing at stake except our sorry selves, then maybe sinking back into the familiar numbness of inertia would be defensible. But that isn’t the case. There are uncountable numbers of living beings, some of them human and very small, who will suffer and die horribly and slowly when Fukushima blows. Almost all of them are innocent, and powerless to prevent this.

      You and I are neither powerless nor innocent. We didn’t stop gobbling the world even when we knew that others will be paying for our little party with their futures, including our own children. We have failed as guardians of their future.

      Our unbridled selfishness has ruined the ever-changing web of living interaction known as the biosphere. This has been called biocide, and if the worst happens with the worlds radioactive waste, that may become literally true. Our debt is very large indeed, and it is owed to our own victims. It is just possible that an enormous effort may help somewhat.

      What kind of person am I if I will not try?

      __________

      Many of us have treasured deep connections to certain places (the deserts and mountains of Arizona, in my case) and done our best to keep them alive and vibrant, to leave hawk and juniper, and ponderosa, elk and wolf room to thrive, to push back against the death culture with every tool available. We failed, and for those who know what is now gone the loss is hard to bear.

      Consider love of life as a reason to keep working, love for what was and the astounding grace of having known the beauty and intelligence of a flourishing living ecosystem before the chance was gone, and love manifested as a willingness to make it possible again. I will keep trying in gratitude, and in hope that possibly the recovery can be expedited in some small way by something I do.

      That’s reason enough.

      __________

      Who will you chose to be now, in this painful, nightmare time? This is an existential crisis in the most literal sense. The future existence of our species, and likely everything above the cockroach level is seriously in question, and our individual lives and the lives of our children are immediately at risk from Fukushima. One quake, one lengthy glitch in the water flow to any spent fuel pool, and immense suffering ensues instantly.

      The situation may still seem abstract and unreal on an emotional level because humans cannot perceive radiation directly, and usually only personal perception of danger registers. But this will change over time as the cover-up cracks, or immediately if a pool burns. At some point the denial will break, followed by much disorder as people try to make themselves and their loved ones safe when it is impossible to be safe.

      In disasters people can both show great kindness and commit terrible crimes, but mostly there is fear and running, hiding and shocking, paralyzing confusion. Responding to this situation requires courage, not least the courage to look directly at the horror we are facing and still not be broken, to refuse to stay safely passive as our species kills itself and everything else.

      I think that for myself, integrity requires I keep trying until I no longer have the ability.

      __________

      I adore little kids. A yard full of happy pre-schoolers is about as much fun as I know how to have. I am reading about what is happening to kids in Japan, and it breaks my heart and make me very sad and very angry- children dying of cardiac arrest in fifth grade, children forced to consume huge amounts of radiation to protect the reputation of Fukushima produce, refusal to test children for internal radiation. It goes on and on it is sickening and horrifying and as a human being I will not stand idly by while this happens there and spreads around the world, regardless of any other reason to try.

      Fuck the murderous corporate scumbags doing this. I will fight them to my last breath. It is too late for Japan, but it may not be so everywhere. WE MUST NOT PASSIVELY LET THEM POISON MORE CHILDREN. And to those displaying a sophisticated, cynical superiority such that even this doesn’t signify a moral imperative to act: consider living with yourself when they start dying here. Is this who you chose to be? Is this really who you chose to see in the mirror every morning?

      How much cowardice is currently showing?

      Because this is really what it comes down to, isn’t it- taking full responsibility for who we are and what we do, and making and living that hard decision to always do the right thing. I am a fighter by nature and by path, and for me this is the essence of life for an honorable warrior. It’s only secondarily about fighting, although defending those who need it is certainly a necessity. The true essence is always doing the right thing regardless of personal consequences. Fear, and overcoming it, is just part of the work. There are many depending on us to do this, for they cannot help themselves and without our help they will die in great misery. For your sake as well as theirs, I hope you will undertake to become courageous and help them.
      So there it is, one person’s reasons for trying regardless of whether or not it makes any difference, of whether or not the universe offers meaning beyond that which we construct, whether or not anyone else does anything. I will never stop trying to make things better, so long as I am able to choose. And sometimes there is a success.

      It is enough.

      SOMETHING, HOWEVER SMALL AND IMPERFECT, IS BETTER THAN NOTHING

      Like

  3. e.a.f. says:

    I would suggest we now know why Stevie Slime wants to eliminate all the biologists who work with the oceans & marine life. If people find out the water is radioactive he’d have a hard time getting anyone near the water or eat the fish. In the end we would all be dead. Now for us over 60 crowd its not so bad, but there is a whole generation of children who are being created & born who deserve to live a healthy life.

    Just another example of how big governments don’t care about people & the news media’s unwillingness to deal with the real news of the world.

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Hey there might be something to that eaf! Let’s see… Coast guard cuts,defence cuts… no ocean pollution monitoring… just getting things ready for the pipeline, fukushima and whatever else might be coming our way. Some of my conservative readers and friends were discussing this on FB, the cuts to ocean pollution monitoring… this is what one conservative had to say, with her permission to post here:

      ” I feel helpless sad up against my own federal government. I have been a Conservative all my life, and a social moderate but for the first time in my life I cannot support the Feds. I don’t recognize them.

      Reform was made up of experienced farmers, fishermen, loggers and working people with strong morals and ethics. Ranchers and fishermen love the ocean and the land. I don’t think Harper cares.

      After being stonewalled by other governments, the Haida Gwaii community of Old Massett Village has purchased, on their own, a monitoring system which will remain active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They will be monitoring the air, ground, water, food sources such as seaweed as well as sea life.

      But will our governments listen to them? I strongly doubt it and that scares me for the future health of BC. :( Health Canada discouraged the Haida Gwaii from monitoring pollution in the air, ground, water and food sources. Why?

      I feel kind of homeless right now, Laila. No place to park my vote next federal election. If power corrupts then I’m afraid we’ve been too generous giving them a majority. I’m discouraged and I grieve the old Reform party.”

      Knowing Sue the way I do, I think it was powerful coming from her lifelong conservative leaning. Nice to know on many issues,we are on the same page.

      Like

  4. bernadettekeenan says:

    Very Scary.

    Like

  5. Julie says:

    Perhaps all the Prophacy’s are true, the world ends in 2012.

    NASA scientist James Hansen warned, the tar sands are already killing the planet. Harper puts his greed first….people don’t count in Harper’s sick mind.

    I don’t doubt Harper is trying to stop the, monitoring for radiation levels in BC. They had found radiation in BC not long after the earthquake, right as far as Kelowna. No doubt those levels are climbing.

    Mind you, Harper hates BC. We have been victimized by both Harper and the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. They don’t call Harper, spiteful Stevie for nothing. Everything Harper does to BC is deliberate. No-one opposes Harper, without being penalized. What kind of a fool would take search and rescue away from, a busy BC port and busy coast?

    Harper’s greed will trump radiation sickness as will, the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers.

    It is so true. Man is the most destructive animal on earth, and the most stupid one at that.

    Like

  6. gini says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Laila. I read Damien’s column in the Common Sense Canadian, and have e-mailed it to my MLA, Adrian Dix and others who may not be aware of this.

    Like

  7. Leah says:

    Interesting timing for a new “Shut the F*&k Up” law brought in by the “so useless they can’t even be used as a bad example” government in Victoria:

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/information+farm+outbreaks/6657194/story.html

    So much for your freedom of speech, and so much for caring about your neighbour, province or country. Note to Christy Clark and Crew: Go to Hell. Go directly to Hell, do not pass Go…do NOT collect 200 dollars. It’s the nicest way I could think of to say…”F*&K YOU!

    Like

  8. kootcoot says:

    As e.a.f. points out above, all the new laws to limit both awareness and the ability to actually even publicize dangers seem designed to deal with disaster by avoiding it. We know that Slimey Steve doesn’t believe in facts and operates on ideology and greed. Maybe he’s right and subscribes to the dictum that what we don’t know can’t hurt us!

    I’m thinking it’s getting about time for pitchforks or more serious implements…………

    Like

  9. Curt says:

    http://endthelie.com/2012/04/21/fukushima-is-falling-apart-are-you-ready/#axzz1vpWH1dAi

    http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/after-tour-of-fukushima-nuclear-power-station-wyden-says-situation-worse-than-reported

    There are enough places to get news on what’s going on. We certainly can’t get it within our own country. Shameful. But you know, some of these “news” people have families too. You’d think one of them at least will have had enough of the suppression within. Wishful thinking I guess. We all need a paycheque. But won’t matter much with these threats will it?

    Like

    • Laila says:

      There certainly are Curt, remember Kai Nagata? http://lailayuile.com/2011/08/12/losing-an-illusion-makes-you-wiser-than-finding-the-truth-karl-ludwig-borne/

      There are others. I know a few ex journo’s who have gone to other routes and love it, but the more financial obligation you have -and/ or kids, a family – that makes it harder too. But it’s not easy finding a job in media these days, with so many young hungry yet to be dis-illusioned grads out there. Not saying that makes up for the crap we see so much in msm news, but remember the editors/producers/ execs behind the journo’s who do the work. I have spoken to some that have had their stories edited after submission that convey far different perceptions than before they were submitted.

      With Fukushima, its interesting to see such a lack of it. I think for many, if something this horrible were to happen, they would rather not even know it is coming,because honestly,if the worst case scenario did happen, there really isnt much to be done at that point. What are you going to do, stay inside forever? Not eat food? Me, I live with my eye wide open, good or bad, rather then eyes wide shut.

      Like

  10. Laila says:

    And furthermore, to everyone in the House of Commons and other government agencies on Ottawa that have been reading this post excessively for the last few days, I hope it is because you have some ethical motivation to do something constructive about this, rather than finding someway to make this go away. Do the right thing, for once, all of you.

    Like

  11. Dan Schubart says:

    A little ray of hope:
    A friend of mine sent me a link to an Alexandra Morton missive (that I’d already read on my own and copies of which I had received from the AEC and a couple of other sources), the important thing being that this is the first time that this person has been moved to take action other than a sage nod of the head in agreement that things are a little off the right track. If there is enough of this traction gained, there may yet be hope for humanity. I fervently hope so, and it reminds me why I spend so much time immersed in corrosive narratives of misdeeds in the name of greed and self-aggrandizement, abetted by so much ignorance and indifference as empathy and caring are slowly drained out of the processes of society.

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Nice, Dan nice! That is why I do it too,one person at a time,we change and those people add up. That is an achievement, moving the couch-sitter to action!

      Like

  12. Curt says:

    Maybe we should SUIT UP THE POLITICIANS and send them in? (I bet not a one would volunteer.)
    They could see first hand the devastation about to wreak havoc worldwide. I’m sure alot of them would volunteer to go and inspect it, right? Bunch of arrogant, egotistical, greedy, chicken$hits who hide behind walls of legislatures and houses of commons, parliaments, palaces.
    Common on you overpaid idiots do something, now, today, and quit just talking about it. Obviously you don’t have a clue imo.

    Like

    • Laila says:

      I think some are clueless, many like many around us, feel paralyzed and impotent about anything they can do, and then some poiticians… they just dont care, or believe the worst could happen.
      I feel for the people of Japan, many of whom are suffering greatly among those evacuated and those allowed home. There are videos out there showing how high the radiation still is, the children cant go outside to play in some areas still.

      Like

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