Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War
Prof Michel Chossudovsky
August 16th, 2013
The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.
The crisis in Japan has been described as âa nuclear war without a warâ. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:
âThis time no one dropped a bomb on us âŠ We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.â
Nuclear radiation âwhich threatens life on planet earthâ is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.
While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes â Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancerÂ Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark SeldenÂ Â The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)
Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCOâs (Tokyo Electric Power CoÂ Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.
The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.
The realties, however, are otherwise. Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott,Â âone millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancerâ.Â Â
An opinion poll in May 2011 confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not believe the governmentâs information regarding the nuclear crisis. (quoted in Sherwood Ross,Fukushima: Japanâs Second Nuclear Disaster, Global Research, November 10, 2011)
The Impacts in Japan
The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that âthe severity rating of its nuclear crisis âŠ matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disasterâ. In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to been part ofÂ the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination:
âWhile Chernobyl was an enormous unprecedented disaster, it only occurred at one reactor and rapidly melted down. Once cooled, it was able to be covered with a concrete sarcophagus that was constructed with 100,000 workers. There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl.â (Â Extremely High Radiation Levels in Japan: University Researchers Challenge Official Data, Global Research, April 11, 2011)
Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011
The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:
âHazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cowâs meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements â called internal emitters â migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancerâ. (Helen Caldicott,Â Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age,Â April 26, 2011)
While the spread of radiation to the West Coast of North America was casually acknowledged, the early press reports (AP and Reuters) âquoting diplomatic sourcesâ stated that only âtiny amounts of radioactive particles have arrived in California but do not pose a threat to human health.â
âAccording to the news agencies, the unnamed sources have access to data from a network of measuring stations run by the United Nationsâ Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. âŠ
âŠ Greg Jaczko, chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told White House reporters on Thursday (March 17) that his experts âdonât see any concern from radiation levels that could be harmful here in the United States or any of the U.S. territoriesâ.
The spread of radiation. March 2011
Public Health Disaster. Economic Impacts
What prevails is a well organized camouflage. The public health disaster in Japan, the contamination of water, agricultural land and the food chain, not to mention the broader economic and social implications, have neither been fully acknowledged nor addressed in a comprehensive and meaningful fashion by the Japanese authorities.
Japan as a nation state has been destroyed. Its landmass and territorial waters are contaminated. Part of the country is uninhabitable. High levels of radiation have been recorded in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which has a population ofÂ 39 million (2010) (more than the population of Canada, circa 34 million (2010)) There are indications that the food chain is contaminated throughout Japan:
Radioactive cesium exceeding the legal limit was detected in tea made in a factory in Shizuoka City, more than 300 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the most famous tea producing areas in Japan.
A tea distributor in Tokyo reported to the prefecture that it detected high levels of radioactivity in the tea shipped from the city. The prefecture ordered the factory to refrain from shipping out the product. After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radioactive contamination of tea leaves and processed tea has been found over a wide area around Tokyo. (SeeÂ 5 More Companies Detect Radiation In Their Tea Above Legal Limits Over 300 KM From Fukushima, June 15, 2011)
Japanâs industrial and manufacturing base is prostrate. Japan is no longer a leading industrial power. The countryâs exports have plummeted. The Tokyo government has announced its first trade deficit since 1980.
While the business media has narrowly centered on the impacts of power outages and energy shortages on the pace of productive activity, the broader issue pertaining to the outright radioactive contamination of the countryâs infrastructure and industrial base is a âscientific tabooâÂ (i.e the radiation of industrial plants, machinery and equipment, buildings, roads, etc). A report released in January 2012 points to the nuclear contamination of building materials used in the construction industry, in cluding roads and residential buildings throughout Japan.(SeeÂ FUKUSHIMA: Radioactive Houses and Roads in Japan. Radioactive Building Materials Sold to over 200 Construction Companies, January 2012)
A âcoverup reportâ by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (May 2011), entitledâEconomic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of RecoveryâÂ presents âEconomic Recoveryâ as aÂ fait accompli.Â It also brushes aside the issue of radiation. The impacts of nuclear radiation on the work force and the countryâs industrial base are not mentioned. The report states that the distance between Tokyo -Fukushima Dai-ichiÂ Â is of the order of 230 km (about 144 miles) and that the levels of radiation in Tokyo are lower than in Hong Kong and New York City.(Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,Â Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery,Â p.15). This statement is made without corroborating evidence and in overt contradiction with independent radiation readings in Tokyo (se map below). In recent developments, Sohgo Security Services Co. is launching a lucrative âradiation measurement service targeting households in Tokyo and four surrounding prefecturesâ.
âA map of citizensâ measured radiation levels shows radioactivityÂ is distributed in a complex pattern reflecting the mountainous terrain and the shifting winds across a broad area of Japan north of Tokyo which is in the center of the of bottom of the map.â
âRadiation limits begin to be exceeded at just above 0.1 microsieverts/ hour blue. Red is about fifty times the civilian radiation limit at 5.0 microsieverts/hour. Because children are much more sensitive than adults, these results are a great concern for parents of young children in potentially affected areas.
SOURCE:Â Science Magazine
The fundamental question is whether the vast array of industrial goods and components âMade in Japanâ â including hi tech components, machinery, electronics, motor vehicles, etc â and exported Worldwide are contaminated? Were this to be the case, the entire East and Southeast AsianÂ industrial base âwhich dependsÂ heavily on JapaneseÂ components and industrial technologyâ would be affected.Â The potential impacts on international trade would be farreaching. In this regard, in January, Russian officials confiscated irradiated Japanese automobiles and autoparts in the port of Vladivostok for sale in the Russian Federation. Needless to say, incidents of this nature in a global competitive environment, could lead to the demise of the Japanese automobile industryÂ which is already in crisis.
While most of the automotive industry is in central Japan, Nissanâs engine factory in Iwaki city is 42 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Is the Nissan work force affected? Is the engine plant contaminated? The plant is within about 10 to 20 km of the governmentâs âevacuation zoneâ from which some 200,000 people were evacuated (see map below).
Nuclear Energy and Nuclear War
The crisis in Japan has also brought into the open the unspoken relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear war.
Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap.
In Japan at the height of the disaster, âthe nuclear industry and government agencies [were] scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japanâs civilian nuclear power plantsâ.1Â (See Yoichi Shimatsu,Â Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?Â Global Research,Â April 12, 2011)
It should be noted that the complacency of both the media and the governments to the hazards of nuclear radiation pertains to the nuclear energy industry as well as to to use of nuclear weapons. In both cases, the devastating health impacts of nuclear radiation are casually denied. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb are labelled by the Pentagon as âsafe for the surrounding civilian populationâ.
No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran, using âsafe for civiliansâ tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.
Such an action would result in âthe unthinkableâ: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East and Central Asia. A nuclear nightmare, however, would occur even if nuclear weapons were not used. The bombing of Iranâs nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing another Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout. (For further details See Michel Chossudovsky,Â Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2011)
The Online Interactive I-Book Reader on Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War
In view of the official cover-up and media disinformation campaign, the contents of the articles and video reports in this Online Interactive Reader have not trickled down to to the broader public. (See Table of contents below)
This Online Interactive Reader on Fukushima contains a combination of analytical and scientific articles, video reports as well as shorter news reports and corroborating data.
Part I focusses onÂ The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened?Â Part IIÂ Â pertains toThe Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan.Â Part IIIÂ centers on theÂ âHidden Nuclear Catastropheâ,Â namely the cover-up by the Japanese government and the corporate media.Â Part IVÂ focusses on the issue ofÂ Â Worlwide Nuclear RadiationÂ and Part V reviewsÂ the Implications of the Fukushima disaster for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry.
In the face of ceaseless media disinformation, this Global Research Online I-Book on the dangers of global nuclear radiation is intended to break the media vacuum and raise public awareness, while also pointing to the complicity ofÂ the governments, the media and the nuclear industry.
We call upon our readers to spread the word.
We invite university, college and high school teachers to make this Interactive Reader on Fukushima available to their students.
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Contributed by Prof Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research.
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