Commemorating the Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Christine Dillon Strickland

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I never intended to be an anti nuclear activist. There was nothing further from my mind. Being a mother of six children, three of whom are confirmed diagnosed with autism, a wife and a grandmother, and an avid gardener, my life was full. Then came Fukushima and the whole world turned around for me. I can never forget what I have learned and I can never abandon this cause. Nuclear energy is deadly and this fact is hidden from the public eye. Today? I can not imagine a future where I do NOT fight for a nuclear free world.

It is so hard to believe that two years have passed since that fateful day when over twenty thousand men, women and children lost their lives in the mega tsunami that inundated the north eastern coast of Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake of magnitude 9.0. That same earthquake damaged the nuclear power facility owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company, Daiichi-which means Number One-, and it threatened many others. The number of lives immediately lost in that mega tsunami will pale when compared to the lives that will be cut short in the future because of this nuclear catastrophe. That number twenty thousand is small in comparison with the number who will be damaged by the radiation releases from this stricken melted down nuclear power plant. It is for these people that this journey began down the radioactive rabbit hole.

In the beginning of the catastrophe which was to become the worst environmental disaster to ever occur on the planet, the Japanese and the United States officials failed to reveal the true scope of the disaster to the CITIZENS. This fact is, by now, well documented. The government’s of Japan and of the United States and others, in collusion with the “nuclear village” as it has been called, that is to say the nuclear power industry, kept vital information from the people of Japan and of the west coast of the United States and of Canada. What was that information that was kept secret and hidden? The nuclear power plant was melting down! The fuel inside of three of the nuclear reactors had over heated due to lack of cooling, and were, in fact, in the process of melting down. Three nuclear reactors were melting down and it was known by the powers that be and not a word was said to the people, to the CITIZENS in the path of the radioactive plumes. As it happens, it was just the reverse.

It took months for the fact that there had been three catastrophic nuclear melt down’s to even be admitted. Months during which the Japanese people most especially, and those to the east, and at the whim of the jet stream were bombarded with deadly nuclear radiation. Once this fact was admitted, it was played down and then hushed and then propagandized into oblivion. Who assisted in this cover up, this huge lie to the nations of planet earth? One culprit was and is the main stream media. Owned and operated by the same folks who own all the nuclear plants, the information of deception was distributed to the CITIZENS by them. The mass media helped this industry keep the CITIZENS in the dark about the true scope of what was happening. The governments all over the planet told their CITIZENS through the media that all is well, it is safe, there is no immediate threat to human health, it is within safe limits, it is very low levels, the radiation will not hurt you if you smile, there is no melt down, melt down is not possible. That was all one huge lie. The radiation will hurt you, and those same persons, who mislead the CITIZENS of planet earth knew this to be true from the start. So why does this matter? This lie will negatively impact the health and lives of millions of people, and hundreds of millions after that and it did not have to be this way. Warning and precautions could have spared much of the suffering that is to come. This was not to be.

This is not the first nuclear disaster to have happened on the planet. There have been others, many others. One was at Chernobyl. In that disaster stable iodine was immediately given to the populations nearby in order to reduce the amount of radioactive Iodine being taken up by the thyroid glands’ of the people. No such remedy was widely administered in Japan. Add to that the fact that a hugely populated area was the recipient of the worst radioactive fallout, far more populous than any area that has ever experienced such a disaster, and it is a recipe for the devastation to the health and safety of the CITIZENS of Japan especially. In addition? The populations that were evacuated, eventually, were, in many cases moved to locations in the direct path of the worst radiation plumes, which effectively contaminated people again. So, although this was not the first nuclear disaster, no lessons seem to have been learned from past ones, where the health and safety of the people is concerned. Why do these things matter?

Fukushima worker on camera

Fukushima worker signing at the monitoring webcam.

One of the first visible effects to present its self as damage from nuclear radiation, is thyroid cancer. The number of these to ultimately manifest is greatly reduced by providing stable iodine to the populations in the path of the radiation. The effects of not providing this one protection are already becoming apparent. Of the pitifully small number of humans that have been monitored in Fukushima, already over 44% of Japanese children in Fukushima have thyroid nodules, which is an abnormality not normally seen in that great a number in a population of children especially. That figure is undeniably horrifying, and the knowledge that it is an under estimation is even more so. Nearly thirty years later, the people contaminated by Chernobyl continue to see these effects and they did receive the stable iodine. What awaits Japan? Other effects that are also seen are immunological, heart damage, miscarriage, still birth, lack of fertility, respiratory, diabetes, neurological, weakness, fatigue, and digestive problems . These are all being reported in Japan and only two years have passed. The people are suffering.

The CITIZENS of Japan are most frightened. One lie after another has been told to them and they, of course, do not know what or whom to believe. They are confused. And they are being oppressed by their own government into remaining silent and remaining in areas that are contaminated beyond evacuation zone levels of radiation in the Chernobyl disaster. The CITIZENS of Fukushima and beyond are in the streets demanding to be saved and the government ignores their plea and turns a deaf ear. Why is this so? There is only one answer and it is money. The governments and the nuclear power operators are concerned about profits and projects more than about the health and safety of the people. Literally millions of people have protested this annihilation of life and health and their cries continue to fall in a dead zone, where men love money more than they love the lives of their fellow men.

These are ordinary people who were going about their lives, farming lands their families had owned many lifetimes, living ordinary lives and doing fine. Many did not even realize they lived near a nuclear power plant. Most knew nothing about radiation and its effects. Now they exist in a perpetual nightmare where all their land is contaminated with a deadly and invisible toxin. This makes things even more difficult to understand for the average citizen. Radiation cannot be seen, smelled, heard or felt. It is an invisible enemy and yet is one of the most deadly known to man. They have been forced from their homes and their lands and not compensated by the power company nor by the government. They have lost their way of life and all they owned, and yet? According to the laws in Japan they must continue to pay for those lands and those homes and that way of life. If they leave the evacuation centers and move into the temporary housing that has been built then they no longer qualify for assistance with food and must somehow struggle to feed their families. This is wrong on so many levels, especially in light of the fact that no consequences have befallen either the industry that is responsible for this technology that destroys life, nor the governments who allow It to operate. The men and women of TEPCO sleep soundly in their beds each night, wanting for nothing, sacrificing nothing, even as the MILLIONS effected by this disaster have trouble sleeping at all, not knowing what is to become of them. This is unacceptable.

And what is happening today, this moment, at Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant site in Japan? Three reactors remain melted down, and at least one and probably all three also melted through their containment, which is the worst case scenario that can happen in a nuclear disaster. The location of these hundreds of tons of nuclear fuel is unknown to this day. The radiation levels remain so high that humans cannot enter in to the areas near the reactors. The basements of these buildings are filled with highly radioactive water in the hundreds of thousands of tons and the Japanese government is planning to flush that into the Pacific Ocean in April of this year. The radioactive water has leaked constantly into the ground water and into the sea since March 11, 2011 to this very day. Radioactive steam continues to pour straight out into the environment with no containment to stop it. Men continue to die who have worked there and they remain anonymous heroes due to privacy issues. And the lies of the Japanese government continue on to this day. Solutions to this catastrophe are no closer in sight. And the people continue to suffer and remain exposed to deadly and dangerous particles of nuclear fuel, in their soil, in their food, in the air, in their homes, and in their own bodies. This is criminal.

A wise young man named Daniel once said “Even a bad thing like this nuclear disaster can bring something good, because now the people are becoming more aware of nuclear power and its dangers.” That young man is correct. If nothing else, the CITIZENS are now awakening to the facts of uranium fired nuclear power plants and the horrible dangers which they present to all biological life forms. This is a necessary awakening and one which had to come to pass in order for the truth of this industry to be revealed to the CITIZENS. If nothing else, the CITIZENS are Idle No More and are standing up and protesting their demise at the hands of the nuclear machine. Who will stand with them? Who will save the children of Japan?

It will not be the World Health Organization, who recently released a report downplaying the effects of this disaster. This “report” so called, was based on erroneous radiation data among its numerous flaws. As recently as February of this year the Japanese government admitted the figures released previously concerning radiation levels were off by orders of magnitude. W.H.O. based their findings on that prior erroneous data. Shall a new report be compiled based on the greater figure recently admitted? It is unlikely. This flawed report, which is in error in every way that a report can err, will likely become the report of record. The final say of an organization who are supposed to be looking out for human health and instead are downplaying a catastrophe in order to protect an industry whose time has passed, indeed, an industry that should never have been. No nuclear is the only safe nuclear! Resist!