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Thursday, 10 October 2013

And Japan’s nuclear ‘black comedy’ goes on! ‘ICEWALL’ TOMFOOLERY WINS 2020 OLYMPICS BID FOR TOKYO . . .

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"If I ever go to Japan, I’m sure the pilot willbe ale to find it, so why do I have to know where it is?"

by Selvam Canagaratna

"We are ignorant of the Beyond because this ignorance is the condition sine qua non of our own life. Just as ice cannot know fire except by melting, by vanishing."

- Jules Bernard, Journal (1890).

On September 3, 2013, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to overcome the Fukushima nuclear disaster. "The world is watching," he said, "if we can properly handle the contaminated water but also the entire decommissioning of the plant."

He didn’t spell out that the ‘contamination’ he was referring to was deadly radiation that had been spewing globally – both into the atmosphere as well as the sea – from the stricken nuclear facility for 30 months!

Premier Abe is clearly a modern-day Rip van Winkle, taking only an 8-month cat-nap before waking up to face reality. The Fukushima disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. Abe assumed the Premiership only on December 26, 2012, by when he was a seasoned politician, having been in politics since 1993. [Merely following the rule-of-thumb for survival in the political jungle: never try to be too clever and pull out others’ political chestnuts out of the fire.]

Investigative journalist Jake Adelstein, writing in the Japan Times on August 31, quoted King Solomon’s words spoken around 3,000 years ago – "What has been will be again,/ what has been done will be done again;/ there is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9 – and ventured to suggest that, perhaps, they "were an augury of Japan’s nuclear industry", adding, "I’m sure somewhere there’s an original text that reads, ‘In the Land of the Melting Sun’."

Adelstein’s point was the occurrence in Japan of a repetitive pattern of action, or rather inaction: "An accident occurs in Japan’s nuclear industry; those in charge fail to deal with it well; people suffer; those in charge lie to the public; finally they admit it and apologize profusely. Then the cycle is repeated."

In the northeastern Tohoku region of Honshu, where the Fukushima plant is located, more than 100,000 people have been forced to evacuate due to high radiation levels, and the cleanup will likely take at least 40 years, before they can return to their homes. [For most of the evacuees that’s as good as never!]

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), in charge of the Fukushima nuclear plant, at first blamed the accident on "an unforeseen massive tsunami" triggered by an earthquake, then admitted it had in fact foreseen just such a scenario but hadn’t done anything about it.

The explosions and meltdowns of three reactors at TEPCO’s Fukushima facility in March 2011, led to massive leaks of radiation, and represented the world’s worst nuclear disaster since a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the USSR (present-day Ukraine) in April 1986.

A Special Japanese Diet Commission reporting in July 2012, and other studies, concluded that the earthquake alone probably damaged the cooling system of the Fukushima plant’s 40-year-old Reactor 1 so badly that, even before the tsunami, meltdown was inevitable because it would overheat so much.

In other words, wrote Adelstein, some [or most] of Japan’s nuclear power plants may be unable to withstand earthquakes. "Not a comforting thought in a country that has constant seismic activity," he noted.

But, of course, ‘nuclear meltdown’ itself had been forcefully denied for months. Even up to May 2011 – two months after the disaster – while the foreign media had long labeled the Fukushima disaster "a triple meltdown," TEPCO, and the Japanese government, stonewalled, insisting that meltdown had not been confirmed.

Then finally, just a week before members of an International Atomic Energy Agency investigation team were to arrive in Japan, the government and TEPCO admitted the facts – with the usual ritual apologies.

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