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Page added on December 27, 2012

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Tokyo Almost As Irradiated As Fukushima

Tokyo Almost As Irradiated As Fukushima thumbnail

We’ve documented the spread of radiation from Fukushima to Tokyo for a year and a half.  See this, this, this, this, this and this.

Unfortunately, as the following recent headlines from Ene News show, things are only getting worse:

  • Tokyo getting 5 times more radioactive fallout than prefectures closer to Fukushima

And we’ve previously noted that the radiation will spread worldwide (by water and air). For example:

A new study says that the West Coast will get slammed with radioactive cesium starting in 2015 

American Sailors Sue Tepco for Lying about Fukushima

Preface:  Before you get too mad at the Japanese, remember that the U.S. government and nuclear industry are just as bad.  And America is largely dictating Japanese nuclear policy.

Courthouse News Service reports:

Eight crew members of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, whose home port is San Diego, sued the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Federal Court.

 

They claim the utility company, “a wholly owned public benefit subsidiary of the government of Japan,” misrepresented radiation levels to lull the U.S. Navy “into a false sense of security.”

 

Lead plaintiff Lindsay R. Cooper claims Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) intentionally concealed the dangerous levels of radiation in the environment from U.S. Navy rescue crews working off the coast of Japan after the March 10, 2011 earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear disaster.

 

“TEPCO pursued a policy to cause rescuers, including the plaintiffs, to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the FNPP [Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant] that had been damaged. Relying upon the misrepresentations regarding health and safety made by TEPCO … the U.S. Navy was lulled into a false sense of security,” the complaint states.

 

***

 

Six of the eight plaintiffs worked on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier; two worked in air contamination or the “air department.” One sued also on behalf of her infant daughter.

 

Japan called the relief effort Operation Tomadachi.

 

The complaint states: “Defendant TEPCO and the government of Japan, conspired and acted in concert, among other things, to create an illusory impression that the extent of the radiation that had leaked from the site of the FNPP was at levels that would not pose a threat to the plaintiffs, in order to promote its interests and those of the government of Japan, knowing that the information it disseminated was defective, incomplete and untrue, while omitting to disclose the extraordinary risks posed to the plaintiffs who were carrying out their assigned duties aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.” [Even an official Japanese inquiry found “collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco”]

 

It adds: “Defendant represented and warranted that the levels of contamination to which the plaintiffs would be exposed were less than harmful to them and that their presence during ‘Operation Tomadachi’ would not cause any different or greater harm to them than they may have experienced on missions in the past. …

 

“At all times relevant times, the defendant, TEPCO, was aware that exposure to even a low dose of radiation creates a danger to one’s health [that’s true] and that it is important to accurately report actual levels.

 

***

 

And, they say: “Defendants had actual and/or constructive knowledge of the properties of radiation that would ensure that, once released into the environment, radiation would spread further and in concentrations that would cause injury to the plaintiffs.”

 

The plaintiffs claim the government deliberately misled them: “the Japanese government kept representing that there was no danger of radiation contamination to the U.S.S. Reagan … and/or its crew, that ‘everything is under control,’ ‘all is OK, you can trust us,’ and there is ‘no immediate danger’ or threat to human life, all the while lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns at FNPP. [While the Japanese government hid radiation from its own people, it purportedly did share it with the U.S. military.]

 

“Such reports were widely circulated with the defendant, TEPCO’s, organization at the time it was published, despite the fact that the defendant knew that higher levels of radiation existed within the area whereat the plaintiffs and their vessel would be and were operating.”

 

***

 

“According to then-existing data uniquely known to the defendant at the time, the plaintiffs’ consequent exposure to radiation within their zone of operation, then indicated that radiation levels had already reached levels exceeding the levels of exposure to which those living the same distance from Chernobyl experienced who subsequently developed cancer,” the complaint states. [Yup.]

 

***

 

The sailors say they “face additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.”

But surely the Japanese government and Tepco are on top of things now …

Not exactly:

 

Washington’s Blog



8 Comments on "Tokyo Almost As Irradiated As Fukushima"

  1. Rick on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 3:52 pm 

    Nukes suck.

  2. Steve Foster on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 4:36 pm 

    Without hard dose / exposure numbers from reputable sources, this is complete BS. We might as well be talking about the effect of aliens on the earth’s climate: it would be just as reputable as this nonsense. How about this from the Chairman of UNSCEAR at a recent Fukushima-related conference (Dec. 17/12):

    Contributions of quality-assured data of International Organizations such as the CTBTO, FAO, IAEA, WHO, WMO as well as by scientists from Japan and other countries have been received. A preliminary document has been considered by the Commitee at its fifty-ninth
    session in May 2012. The preliminary findings are: No radiation health effects have been observed among public or workers; six workers received doses above 250 mSv; 170 received doses above 100 mSv; thyroid doses being estimated; six workers died in first year – not due
    to radiation; as a result of thyroid monitoring of 1,080 children the maximum dose reported was 35 mSv; and the highest exposures of wildlife are observed in the marine environment

    (Source)

    Please note natural radiation background is between 1-13mSv and some areas are abnormally high, e.g. Ramsar Iran clocking in at absorbed radiation doses as high as 260mSv. Studies, such as the following published in the peer reviewed journal Health Physics, 82(1), Jan. 2002:

    People in some areas of Ramsar, a city in northern Iran, receive an annual radiation absorbed dose from background radiation that is up to 260 mSv y(-1), substantially higher than the 20 mSv y(-1) that is permitted for radiation workers. Inhabitants of Ramsar have lived for many generations in these high background areas. Cytogenetic studies show no significant differences between people in the high background compared to people in normal background areas. An in vitro challenge dose of 1.5 Gy of gamma rays was administered to the lymphocytes, which showed significantly reduced frequency for chromosome aberrations of people living in high background compared to those in normal background areas in and near Ramsar. Specifically, inhabitants of high background radiation areas had about 56% the average number of induced chromosomal abnormalities of normal background radiation area inhabitants following this exposure. This suggests that adaptive response might be induced by chronic exposure to natural background radiation as opposed to acute exposure to higher (tens of mGy) levels of radiation in the laboratory. There were no differences in laboratory tests of the immune systems, and no noted differences in hematological alterations between these two groups of people.

    A CAT scan is approx. 10mSv. So someone living with a high radiation background + a couple of CAT scans would get about as much radiation as the WORST of Fukushima. As for far-flung areas, the amounts are going to miniscule compared to what is already small.

    Note: first responders at Chernobyl who got does > 4000mSv died from acute radiation sickness, those < 2000mSv did not. Fukushima had nothing close to this. Levels have to be *100 times* higher than the highest dose observed in Fukushima to begin causing real damaging health effects.

    Without real numbers that can be compared against levels known by science to be dangerous, this is a complete SHAMEFUL exercise in scaremongering.

  3. Norm on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 5:19 pm 

    What could be wrong with nuclear power. It produces very little electricity…
    It produces gigantic piles of nuclear waste….
    And then the building explodes and gives everybody cancer!

    I think thats perfect! Also, the government has arranged that all profits from the miniscule amount of power generated, go to the private shareholders, and then when it becomes one of the highest fiscal liabilities in the world after it melts down, then the government buys it from you!!

    I think nuclear power is perfect for my financial portfolio. Lets build more nukes!

  4. rollin on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 11:29 pm 

    Some people seem not to understand the difference between ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination.

  5. Rick on Fri, 28th Dec 2012 12:46 am 

    For the record, those who have posted in favor of nukes. I personally know of someone who has been Fukushima, after the fact, like days ago. If they can even clean up the area, it will be 25 years. Also, his rad badge was over the top, meaning beyond dangerous.

  6. ken nohe on Fri, 28th Dec 2012 1:02 am 

    Absolute nonsense. Yes Tokyo did get some radiations but the amount was infinitesimal. The “hot spots” are well known and documented. The risk is low. Unlike some areas of Fukushima which were heavily showered and were radiations, mostly from Cesium will remain for a couple of decades.

    But mostly Japan was lucky, the winds were towards the ocean and we avoided the worst. Although the tragedy of Fukushima is far from over. Work at the power plant is progressing very slowly, there is still no way to clean-up the area and local radioactive pollution will remain for as long as we can look ahead.

  7. Kenz300 on Fri, 28th Dec 2012 1:40 am 

    Nuclear energy is too costly and too dangerous.

    There are safe clean alternatives.

    It is time to move forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    Wind, solar, wave energy and geothermal are the future.

  8. BillT on Fri, 28th Dec 2012 2:00 am 

    S.F. & ken, you need an education or are you owners of GE stock? After all, GE designed the nuclear plants at Fukushima. Ge also owns or controls most of the major ‘news’ sources in the US. It also has control over the governments of both countries.
    If you don’t believe that is so, you better take off the blinders. Corporations run the world.

    I have no doubts that the above info is mostly correct. I have been following the radiation reports on other sites that agree. We are being killed slowly by our own government in many ways and the radiation from spent fuel is going to be more and more dangerous as the hundreds and thousands of tons of it pile up all over the world. It is deadly for millennia, not just a few years.

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