Crestone, Colorado (USA) – February 15, 2015
The fate of those who were in the worst fallout zone, out over the Pacific Ocean, downwind from the March 11, 2011 nuclear disaster, is one of the many topics surrounding the ongoing Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe that I have not written much about.
- A Pacific Northwest KOMO TV Newscast (Feb. 11, 2015) provides some basics in video format. (Further below in this post are a couple more videos, as well.)
- To go straight to the Der Spiegel article: ‘Uncertain Radiological Threat’: US Navy Sailors Search for Justice after Fukushima Mission’
Sharing the below Der Spiegel article and my intro here leading up to it is intended to drive home ‘the Wake Up! call’ that Fukushima is not just a matter of fine-tuning dispersion models, or a mere decommissioning engineering challenge, or part of some odd hobby of mine to spend weeks analyzing dull data, but an attempt to communicate that Fukushima poses a grave encroaching public health catastrophe.
With the ongoing lack of independent oversight of the nuclear industry, it is near-certain that many more serious nuclear accidents will exacerbate global radioactive pollution levels this century. The 247 sick sailors mentioned in the lawsuit against TEPCO might be just the very beginning of a tsunami of health nightmares, much worse than what Chernobyl and the fallout from the 20th century Bomb Test Era already did, to affect millions of people in the coming decades, and possibly generations to come.
My personal Interest in this health issue.
Photos (left): When I entered the Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 12, 2013, I took a “better safe than sorry” approach: Although the area is deemed perfectly safe by the Japanese government, I came dressed relatively well-protected from getting radioactive dust inside of me. When, however, I looked like a total freak in the town of Iwaki, where most people weren’t even wearing face masks, I quickly adapted to this atmosphere of ‘all is well here’.
During most of the next day, visiting the beach, doing ceremony and taking measurements, I opted to blend in with the locals (as far as that was possible as the only Western tourist…), including not wearing my protective gear.
The beach I visited was just 15 miles directly south of the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Disaster Site. While the area by the ocean, where I spent most of my time, was possibly safer than parts of Tokyo, on my way back to town I did also walk through areas that had obvious hotspots, such as by the gutter shown in the photo, which measured a whopping 3.7 µSv/hr (and that was already 2 years and 8 months after March 11, 2011!) But at that time, not only was I confused and “out of it” after my Ayahuasca-assisted attempt to gain further insights into ‘the shamanic dimensions’ of the accident just north of there, but I actually did not know enough to interpret fallout-related Geiger Counter dose rates like that yet.
Before my trip, I shared some rudimentary basics in (Sept 13) “‘The Darkest Dance’ – Archetypal Dynamics of the Nuclear Era“, but what I learned from my journeys in Japan… … [sigh] … Some other time, perhaps. Two of my paintings that reflect on that very memorable strange day are: ‘Prayers for Fukushima’ and ‘The Call to End the Nuclear Era’, see @ PAINTINGS. ).
Brief but strange dizzy spells, disorientation, inability to focus, hands tingling, muscle spasms, heart pains, discomfort in the liver area, and flu-like symptoms are among things I’ve experienced in the past 15 months since visiting the Fukushima Coast north of Iwaki, just south of the exclusion zone surrounding ‘F1’. I keep most of what I experience to myself. As for a cause, the symptoms I’ve experienced may have absolutely nothing to do with having inhaled and ingested radioactive particles. Dehydration, perhaps exacerbated by coffee and alcohol consumption, as well as the discomforts of many months of homelessness, may have been factors in some instances too. I don’t know. But this vague sense of “something just doesn’t feel quite right” is strikingly different from my sense of overall well-being in preceding years, which weren’t particularly different in other ways.
Except for a weird coming-and-going discomfort in the liver area (which I’ve had looked at pre-2011 and nothing was ever found), I now wonder every now and then if just randomly, ‘by chance’, so to speak, I inhaled or ingested a larger than normal amount of harmful radioactive particles from Fukushima, at one point or another, and if that were affecting me… After only 5 weeks in Japan of which only 24 hours in Fukushima… seems rather unlikely to me, but, then again, I don’t know. Energetically I was very much intentionally ‘calling it in‘; I don’t know if that would be mirrored in physical ways too. No idea. To some degree I did not really know what I was doing, I just felt strongly called to take the actions I took.
Extensive blood tests done last summer (2014) did not reveal anything abnormal. The resurfacing odd sense that ‘not all is well’ has prompted me, earlier this month, to begin what may be many months of detoxing cleanses, including abstaining from intoxicants altogether and eating even healthier than I already was. Regardless of causes of discomforts, the dietary course I’ve chosen to take is certainly only going to be beneficial anyhow. I’ll find out where it leads… All of this just as a personal side-note.
The below Der Spiegel International Online article (with photos) is very telling.
To get an idea of the fallout levels the US Navy Sailors downwind from the Fukushima accident were exposed to… At its reported peak, the air’s gamma shine was 6.0 µSv/hr. !-> See the overview documentation from Dec. 2012 @ A Green Road: “USS Ronald Reagan Sailors/Crew Exposed To High Doses Of Fukushima Radiation, File Lawsuit“. 6 µSv/hr may still be less than an equivalent dose rate seen on some commercial airline flights, but as an indicator of fallout, especially un-deposited in the air, that’s HUGE.
It is beyond disgusting that the US Defense Department not only went 100% for denial, by making the utterly ridiculous claim that their sailors had “not been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation“, but also that they pulled a classic Dose Deception trick by stating that it amounted to less than the “total radiation experienced by passengers on cross-country airline flights” (As if there’s no difference between internal and external radiation…) Just unbelievable.
For comparison, when the Chernobyl cloud was passing over Scandinavia in 1986, the cloud itself (not at the surface) measured up to 0.8 µSv/hr. And rain-out hotspots rarely exceeded 4.o µSv/hr. For some very interesting data on that, see my blog post (Jan. 15, 2015), “Gaging Recent Radiation Spikes: How do the Recent Gamma Upticks Compare to those Observed after Chernobyl?“.
For what hell Chernobyl unleashed on the bodies and minds of hundreds of thousands of people in the decades that followed, I suggest you read through these two overview studies, for starters:
- Health Effects of Chernobyl 25 years after the reactor catastrophe, by German Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) @ http://www.chernobylcongress.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/chernob_report_2011_en_web.pdf (!-> at least read the first 11 pages to get a clue); as well as:
- Chernobyl Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, which was published in Issue 1181 of ‘Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences’, and can be found @ http://www.tucradio.org/Yablokov_Chernobylbook.pdf.
- Added after posting: For something more on Radiation-induced endocrinopathy, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125012/ [h/t ENEnews, Feb. 16, 2015]
The Der Spiegel article doesn’t go into those intricacies, but what it reports on eerily matches health effects also observed after Chernobyl. Without further due:
- !-> Der Spiegel Online International (German Magazine) [h/t ENEnews Feb 13, 2015] headlined (Feb 5, 2015), ” ‘Uncertain Radiological Threat’: US Navy Sailors Search for Justice after Fukushima Mission“, from which the below quote [my emphasis]:
“[…] “I’m now spending half the month in doctors’ offices,” she says. “This year, I’ve had more than 20 MRTs. I’ve simply lost track.” She swallows one of the pills, takes a sip of water and smiles wryly. It was the endocrinologist who asked her if she had been on the Ronald Reagan. During Tomodachi? Yes, Morales told her. Why?
The doctor answered that he had removed six thyroid glands in recent months from sailors who had been on that ship, Morales relates. Only then did Morales make the connection between the worst accident in the history of civilian atomic power and her own fate.
The Fukushima catastrophe changed the world. Nuclear reactors melted down on live television and twice as much radioactive material was released as during the Chernobyl accident in 1986. The disaster drove 150,000 people from their towns and villages, poisoned entire landscapes for centuries and killed hundreds of thousands of farm animals. […]”
The estimate of “twice as bad as Chernobyl” is extremely conservative, though. In my blog post (Sept. 5, 2013), “Fukushima is most likely worse than ‘Four Chernobyls’ now. Some Data suggest Fukushima = 3000+ times Hiroshima Cesium & 20,000+ times Nagasaki Strontium.” I refer to a CNN blog post, “Why Fukushima is worse than you think“, which mentioned:
(Aug. 30, 2013) “[…] While the amount of radioactivity released into the environment in March 2011 has been estimated as between 10 percent and 50 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident, the 400,000 tons of contaminated water stored on the Fukushima site contain more than 2.5 times the amount of radioactive cesium dispersed during the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine. […]”
!!!–> The first part of the above CNN Blog quote, namely the estimates of how much radiation was actually released into the environment, has since been adjusted (due to additional data and analysis) to about 200 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident, as mentioned in the recent Der Spiegel article. And the water tanks, still being built and filled with hundreds of tons of badly contaminated water every day, likely hold more than 4 times the amount of radioactive Cesium-134 & -137 dispersed during the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine by now. A large Earthquake could rupture many of those. The situation is many times worse when you factor in Strontium-90, Tritium and dozens of other nasty radioactive pollutants.
This admission, in a respected mainstream German publication no less, does put all the pro-nuclear apologists and their denier henchmen to shame, though. They, regardless of mounting evidence, have been describing Fukushima as “the worst SINCE Chernobyl”, to downplay Fukushima through suggesting Chernobyl was worse. No, Fukushima is worse, and still getting worse. It is so far THE WORST nuclear industrial accident in history, bar nothing. Fukushima is not even close to being under control. They don’t even know where precisely the molten fuel blobs are, nor how they will deal with them once they find ’em. In all likelihood, they are still fissioning underground.
The Der Spiegel article goes into several specific cases of the Navy men and women poisoned by the radioisotope cloud they were in for a few weeks, and what lead up to the lawsuit that was filed against TEPCO, the greed-run criminally negligent utility company that operated the Fukushima-Daiichi NPP and continues to lie about the severity of the ongoing catastrophe.
The article goes into the laywers’ history and end with the court case being allowed to go forward.
“[…] With Simmons’ help, Paul Garner was able, during the 90 minutes available to him, to erase the grins from the faces of the industry lawyers from Los Angeles.
The court decision came in the mail a few weeks later. The class-action lawsuit, the court ruled on Oct. 28, may proceed. Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on Feb. 26.
The complaint is 100 pages long and contains the names of 247 sick sailors along with details pertaining to reactor construction, water samples taken, Navy tactics and Japanese politics. It assails company greed just as it does the negligence of those who built the Fukushima reactors — […]”
Read full article @ Der Spiegel International Online.
- !-> I wouldn’t normally link to the Alex Jones Channel, but there aren’t many interviews with people who were actually on board the USS Reagan. Lt. Steve Simons (US Navy, retired) did an excellent job telling what happened to him, and bringing up related information about Chronic Radiation Syndrome. (Posted: Nov 14, 2014)
- Utah-based Anti-nuclear activist Kevin Blanch, in one of his F-bomb-dropping rants, mentioned some things about this as well. (Posted: Nov. 26, 2014)
We are all in this together.
For more Nuclear Topic blog posts of mine, see my Archive page for those.
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[Except for minor edits, last updated: February 15, 2015 –11:11 pm Mountain Time]