- ► 2016 (24)
- ► 2015 (459)
- Experts worry that radiation fears are leading to ...
- India seeks Japan's approval to reprocess spent nu...
- Radioactive dust released during Fukushima cleanup...
- Do the Martu peoples want uranium mining?
- Inquest panel calls for indictments against former...
- Govt. subsidies for Fukushima questioned
- Elevated TSH levels among California newborns afte...
- Nuclear waste “flowing out to sea” from undergroun...
- From Jul. 9, 2014 Nuclear Waste Disposal
- From Jul. 16, 2014 Working Conditions at Fukushima...
- "Iitate residents to file for arbitration
- Global nuclear power contribution falls to lowest ...
- "Tochigi town favored as permanent radioactive was...
- Saitama was unaware of 2,400 Fukushima evacuees li...
- Ucluelet West Coast Fishermen ' Fukushima debris w...
- Government offers ¥230 billion over 30 years if Fu...
- Radiation level spiked up over 30 times much in va...
- Cs-134 / 137 density jumped up 12 times much as pr...
- Briefcases Full Of Cash For Japan’s Pro Nuclear Po...
- Ice put into utility tunnels at Fukushima plant
- "Emergency Radiation Exposure Limit May Be Raised"...
- Tahiti memorial commemorating those impacted by Fr...
- "Weak state secrets oversight"
- Operation to halt flow of groundwater into No. 1 r...
- The Nuclear Attacks on Mari Takenouchi: Free Infor...
- Former Kansai Electric Power executive reveals 18 ...
- Fukushima Groundwater Bypass Not Working As Planne...
- REPOST More needed than NRA safety nod
- Iodine distributed to residents near nuclear plant...
- "Plan Dropped For Land Purchases To Host Nuclear D...
- Uncontrolled, Visible Nuclear Chain Reactions
- Radiation measuring field trip in Iitate village, ...
- TEPCO completed 10th bypass release to the Pacific...
- Janick Magne reporting from Kori-machi, Date-gun, ...
- The workings of the ADR system (alternative disput...
- Bypass water discharge didn’t decrease contaminate...
- 2,700,000,000 Bq/m3 of Strontium-90 measured from ...
- Strontium-90 detected from seawater of Fukushima p...
- Increase in leukemia in babies who were in utero w...
- Iitate Village More than 75 Microsieverts/Hour
- TEPCO: Groundwater bypass showing limited effects
- Uranium decay a danger
- Stanford study shows how to power California with ...
- TEPCO using secondhand tanks to store radioactivel...
- Plan for another Fukushima: says a new report by t...
- Prime Minister's Office of Japan Message from Prim...
- New strategy for Fukushima trench water
- Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 debris removal operations...
- Fukushima plant measures to freeze tunnels doesn't...
- Radioactive pollution endangers cultures of Tohoku...
- Japanese monkeys' abnormal blood linked to Fukushi...
- Chinese radioactive fish in Moroccan dishes calls ...
- Health problems may rise in the whole North hemisp...
- TEPCO to use ice blocks to stem flow of radioactiv...
- Cesium fallout topped 1 trillion becquerels during...
- Japan expert calls for immediate health exams outs...
- Fukushima Daiichi Still Releases 10 Million Becque...
- TEPCO using secondhand tanks to store radioactivel...
- Is the UN report underplaying Fukushima?: IPPNW is...
- Abe Declares He Will Start Japan’s Nuclear Plants ...
- How to Spot Pro Nuclear Pr Firms and Other Boot-li...
- Stigmatized workers quitting Tepco in droves
- Survey: 80% of municipalities eager to promote ren...
- Let's Get Irradiated! - New Poster In Fukushima Ci...
- YOU 'D LIKE A CUP OF WINE?
- Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won'...
- Why many of decontamination volunteers died
- The Imperial General Headquaters again? A notice t...
- STILL ONGOING FISSION: Over 1,000 Bq/Kg of I-131 m...
- Reactor 5 pool without coolant system leaked its c...
- Fieldwork 7 or 1.15μSv/h in a Vegetable Field near...
- 370 Bq/Kg of Cesium-134 / 137 from 5 ~ 6 km offsho...
- New radiation measurement method spreads confusion...
- Fukushima city “Eating mushroom protects you from ...
- 67,000 Bq/Kg of Cs-134/137 from Fukushima plant po...
- NRA panel and Diet Commission differ on cause of d...
- Spirulina: The Incredible Superfood You’ve Never H...
- Fukushima Bad and Getting Worse: Global Physicians...
- News Navigator: Who will select special state secr...
- COMMENTARY: Green light for Sendai plant shows les...
- Reactor 5 pool coolant system won’t get back on un...
- Fukushima city “Let’s build radiation resistance b...
- Japan Doctor: “Tokyo should no longer be inhabited...
- Japan Correspondent: It’s very scary, officials tr...
- In the Wake of Fukushima: Stigmatized Nuclear Work...
- Study: Cesium from Fukushima debris removal likely...
- Radiation does not "JUST" cause cancer, it is a br...
- Radiation and our Concerns and Responses Discussio...
- AREVA: Creating a steering committee to deploy the...
- 4 Trillion Becquerels Released Over 4 Hours From U...
- Storage of Radioactive Spent Fuel Rods Still Haunt...
- 74 One Liner Lies of the Nuclear Cartel
- CWS to map radiation hot spots in 50 nurseries and...
- Increased "Backround" Radiation
- Information for Those with Johnny Tubes. Interview...
- Abe’s Nuclear Renaissance Ignores Stiff Opposition...
- Minami-Soma lambastes government, TEPCO for remain...
- Doubts over ice wall to keep Fukushima safe from d...
- Unit 5 Fukushima Remains On Shared Cooling, No Rep...
- Nuclear radiation: There is no safe dose (From Apr...
- ▼ July (140)
- ► 2013 (844)
- ► 2012 (157)
Saturday, 5 July 2014
The Fukushima disaster and the seven principles of national -nuclearism
Seeking to annihilate a human law that, paradoxically, attempts to ensure that people can only think, decide and act with relative peace of mind when in insecure contexts, Japanese authorities, backed by
the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA)to “increase efforts to
communicate that any level of individual radiation dose in the range of 1 to 20 mSv per year is acceptable”1, have established a safety benchmark that appears to be inhuman. In gloomy resonance to Walter Benjamin’s words which states that “the price of any strength is life
inside a tank”, survival within a contaminated zone -presented initially as “temporarily” habitable -is in reality uninhabitable in both the short and the long term, even though recommended by those careful to leave to others the risk of experimenting.
The disaster’s managers have stopped at nothing in their bid to subject the public to the unacceptable. They cite “the mental stress from long stays away from their native towns”2 to explain the 100 suicides associated with the nuclear disaster in the Prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi among individuals in temporary accommodation
between June 2011 and August 2013. Awaiting the lifting of the evacuation ban in order to return to their “native town” and reduced to depression, inhabitants should be relieved to be able to call on support centers against suicide. Following the wave of high aspirations that follow disasters, these have pompously been named “Centers for
Disaster mental health care”.
Although clearly stated from December 2011, this Heideggerian ideology barely masks the morbid planning that led to the choice of a threshold dose of 20 millisieverts per year “authorizing” the return of 210,000 refugees. According to a minister who participated in the preliminary meetings at the time, a threshold dose of 5 millisieverts –which prevailed at Chernobyl –would have entailed the evacuation of a large proportion of two of the largest towns of the department: Fukushima and Koriyama. Both these towns have over 300,000 inhabitants, “making the running of the Prefectureimpossible”, not to mention “the concerns involving additional compensation”3.
This confirms what the Chernobyl disaster had already established: all
the risks are acceptable when we ensure that those who take these
risks cannot refuse them.
To deny the actual impact of radiation on life forms –and especially those of so-called “low” doses –scientific advances that had established a relationship between radiation and cancer have been dismissed, raising doubt where there had been certitude.
In line with this productionof ignorance, “international experts” anxious to erase traces of destruction delivered the following scientific message
at a conference in Fukushima4: the effect of low radiation levels on physical health are inexistent or negligible; the only problems are those that arise from the excessive fear of radioactivity; only the
adaptation of populations and effective communication by experts can offset the psychiatric risks linked to the misunderstanding of the situation. The priority is therefore to assist Fukushima’s inhabitants to “get rid of the emotional exhaustion linked to radiation fears” which “eat away at the people’s morale” asserted Yôhei Sasakawa, president of the Nippon Foundation, a private, far right-wing organization financing the event5.
While Kazuo Sakai from theNational Institute of Radiological Sciences argues that “radiophobia has no unique and simple remedy”, the psychiatrist Evelyn Bromet considers that “the distrust of the authorities is a risk factor for mental health”, clearly outlining the nature of the psychiatric project mobilized in Fukushima: address individuals’ loss of
confidence in the authorities “assumed” to have lied and “normalize the situation”. This raises questions as to the fate of the stubborn who will not regain their confidence in government.
The South Korean physician Jaiki Lee calls for “a reform in the public’s perception encouraging people to learn to live with nuclear power” and considers that “curiosity kills” far more than radiation.
A group of WHO experts notably including the regrettable academician of the sciences, Maurice Tubiana, had already proffered a similar phrase: “From a mental health perspective, the best solution for the future of the peaceful use of atomic energy is to see the emergence of a new generation which has learnt to come to terms with ignorance and
Withholding knowledge on the suffering it causes is among the avowed goals of national-nuclearism.
National-nuclearism gives credit to an elevator science, based on the
exchanges and returnsbetween its protagonists whose main target is an
optimized access to better ascending careers. It is to science what Musak is to music: a seemingly insignificant substitute with repressive aims.
Indeed, the example of the now renowned Professor Yamashita (an ardent advocate of the safety of radiation below 100 millisierverts and
a doctor promptly appointed “risk advisor” to the Prefecture of Fukushima from March 19, 2011, then director of the
“Fukushima health management survey” conducted by Fukushima Medical University on May 27, 2011,) who advised everybody to “smile to avoid radiation”, shows how some scientists expediently implement the rule of cascading uncertainty according to which we are constantly in uncertain situations in a world where information is always considered as incomplete while scientific careers are fully guaranteed.
Delivering the survey’s results even before conducting the research, the
particularity of such a science is also to avoid surprises.The above-
mentioned survey therefore primarily sought to “calm the anxiety of
the population” and convince those with doubts that “the health
impact of the nuclear accident of Fukushima can be assumed to be very minor”, a difficult starting point for a scientific investigation.
In October 2013 at the College of France, Steven Chu, Nobel laureate physicist and former United States Secretary of Energy dazzled a
prestigious audience with similar radionegationist divinatory statements:
“In Fukushima we can estimate that there will be approximately one hundred cancer cases caused by this accident. It seems tragic and it was not necessary, but the majority of these cases will be benign and will be cured”7.
When we know that this same science asserts in an equally conclusive manner that it is much too early to come to any conclusion with regard to the 33 children of the Prefecture of Fukushima who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 41 more having tumor-suspect
biopsies on February 2014, it becomes clear that for truth killers who are also enthusiasts of fortune telling, while it is always too premature to come to a conclusion on the present, it is never too early to predict the future.
This fortune telling coincides with the inexorable merging of the profiles of cleaners and scientific researchers, the latter now responsible for sweeping, cleaning, eliminating and shining the object of study-using gloves -science exploring itself rather than discovering.
According to the radiobiologist Keith Baverstock, former director of the
Radiation Protection Programat the World Health Organization, such a “sham” underscores the transformation of many scientists into experts who, under the cover of being in consensus with their “community”, avoid downright scientific confrontation with their “peers”8.
Finally, a more prosaic characteristic is that those riding up the elevator display “memory lapses”. In November 2013, we learned that at least ten academics who had worked with the Nuclear Regulation Authority within the framework of commissions on safety rules or on the Fukushima disaster had never disclosed the public and private funds received to independently carry out their expertise. One academician confided to have only reported “what fell under the categories set by the regulation authority” while another failed to disclose his subsidies
because “it slipped his mind.”9.
Far from a science gone mad, elevator science is a political force that takes advantage of the discredit brought on the State, media and scientists themselves, in order to further revere established experts and
those who finance them. This science is not in “conflict of interests” but rather, converges with those who activate it. It is a genuine science, in the service of a false consciousness of national-nuclearism.
At Fukushima, experts have called on all individuals to take part in a “practical radiological culture” and be involved in their own protection.
“It is the hot spots, sometimes very spatially limited, that are highlighted by those who speak of radioactivity in alarmist terms even when these spots neither represent the average nor a risk. The only reasonable way to manage this is through complete transparency with regard to information and risks. We live in knowledge societies where people can get involved to manage this risk” affirms Jacques Repussard, Director General of the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), in a radical call for civic engagement10.
Involvement in risk management is also sought by the Ethos in Fukushima “citizen” initiative which, under the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and its “Dialogues”, and in the pact of ignorance that it intends to make on behalf of the primacy of “everyday life”, calls on individuals to become “stakeholders” of their irradiation
; this it does within a populist impulse grounded in “accountability” and “empowerment”.
This program’s liturgy is based on several key ideas already addressed
in Chernobyl. “It is indispensable to optimize doses” says Jacques Lochard, one of Etho’s chief priests, member of the ICRP. He adds:
“We will not evacuate hundreds of thousands of people
against their will to protect them from minimal risk (...). This does not mean that everybody will be exposed to an average of 20mSv
(...) Only a few will exceed this figure.”11 It is up to each individual to recite the right prayers to avoid falling among the “few” in question.
Thus to the fundamental question “How can one sustain life in decent conditions?” the response is “by self-protective actions”. “To be efficient” - that is, to maintain radiation at a level that is compatible with minimal social and economic disruption – one must establish “multiple sources of measurement to maintain the public’s confidence in the results” and
“develop a common language among the stakeholders involved”. “
Residents become co-players in managing situations alongside experts and professional authorities: this is the best way to avoid stress. Managing radiation at the local level is the key to success.”12
This naive assertion of subjective reason that is a mockery of “participatory” democracy establishes a cognitive and physical trivialization of radiation. Through their quest for an impossible
harmony, victims of nuclear disasters classified as level seven
become stakeholders of their probable death. Die, possibly, but die responsible, united and serene.
The philosopher Günther Anders was also preoccupied by the fact that
“nothing is more dangerous than well-crafted bullshit at the rhetorical level”.
Lucid, the group of WHO experts previously mentioned had since 1957
already outlined this “risk communication” strategy, writing: “By using propaganda to restore public confidence, one is likely to encounter failure. The problem should be considered from a conditioning perspective. During the Second World War, refugee cases showed that men acquired reflexes which were then automatically triggered by symbols previously loaded with terrifying meanings. For instance, the sight of a military uniform would sometimes raise irrational fear, even when among friends. This mechanism was modified by cautiously and
gradually familiarizing the refugee with the objects feared and developing in him an emotional and intellectual understanding of what these objects signified. This lesson can be applied to the implantation of atomic plants, that is, to weigh the respective advantages - from a psychological point of view – of the solution which involves setting up atomic plants in isolated regions, and of the other solution which entails familiarizing the public with atomic energy by installing plants close by.”13
How can we not think of the “death conditioning” described by Aldous Huxley where children incited to play are offered candy and brought together with the dying in order to arouse an association of pleasant ideas with death? This is assumed to bring children’s terror of death to an end.
In line with this planned self-experimentation which is nothing more than death conditioning, the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan now calls on people to measure their own radiation levels14. This decision has also been influenced by the fact that radiation air dose rates recorded by
government are higher than those obtained from the residents’ dosimeters. Dosimeters that make it possible to “correlate daily movement to the doses received” have been distributed, enabling
individuals “to make decisions concerning their dose reduction and their
health management”15. Incidentally, this provides the authorities with
direct and individualized access to the data collected. “Communicators responsible for explaining acceptable levels of radiation to residents
in order to eliminate their anxieties” are available as well.
Ironically, facts being facts, in three zones where the evacuation order was to be liftedin April 2014, notably Tamura, Kawauchi and Iitate
Municipalities, the radiation doses obtained in late 2013 from the individual dosimeters distributed to residents were found to be three to
four times higher than those expected by the authorities. The latter
thus chose to withhold this information, making public the less alarming results obtained the previous year using a more comforting device
in order to encourage people to return to their contaminated homes16.
By entrusting the administration of the disaster to those who suffer the consequences most directly, self-management in which public authorities and experts remain in charge guarantees the efficient circulation of injunctions to those who receive them, all the while
nourishing recipients’illusion of participation on which their forced
submission is based. Put differently, this principle consists in making
the sufferer the guilty party.
In the name of security for all, submitting to the nuclear order is preferable to freedom and is indisputable. The following illustrations from recent legislative developments demonstrate this:
An amendment to the “Atomic Energy Basic Law” of 1955 that was quietly passed on June 20, 2012 states that henceforth, “the nuclear energy policy of Japan has to contribute to national security”17.
For Michiji Konuma, physicist at Keio University, the notion of national security is in contradiction with the clause proclaiming the peaceful u
se of atomic power: “the new clause fills a hole in Japan’s constitution,
which permits self-defense with weapons that remain unspecified” and from now on (June 2012) “nuclear weapons can be used to defend national security.”
According to a high ranking official18, it is also about ensuring the legitimacy of the center for storage, reprocessing,plutonium extraction
and MOX production at Rokkhasho. This reprocessing chain was built
in partnership with AREVA as from 1993. Although the center has never been used, it will soon become operational19. Using Rokkasho’s
infrastructure for military purposes is the sole action that could guarantee the sustainability of this 20 billion euro gem whose dismantling costs are estimated at an additional 80 billion euros: indeed, no reactor in Japan today can accommodate the separated plutonium
Rokkhasho’s reprocessing capacity could enable the annual production of 8 tonnes of separated plutonium, sufficientto make 1000 atomic bombs. As Japan already holds enough plutonium to make 5000 nuclear bombs, the amendment mentioned earlier is an additional step towards
normalizing its military nuclearization, which was, de facto, already under way.
The repressive national-nuclearism drivehas also asserted itself
by adopting the “Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law” on December 6, 2013. This law authorizes an extension in the length of classification of “all internal government information pertaining to
national security” to over 60 years, laying down penalties ranging from between 5 to 10 years imprisonment for violators. In case of trial, the government’s accusations can be based on “indirect evidence”, thereby making it possible to try defendants who are unaware of the crimes that
they are being accused of.
According to this law (now being reinforced by further legislation making it possible to punish “acts of conspiracy”) all elements involving the safety of nuclear plants and the consequences of an
accident on the public now fall under the diplomacy, counter-espionage
and counter-terrorism categories. While the law has sparked numerous protests viewed as “acts of terrorism” by Shigeru Ishiba (Secretary
-General of the Liberal Democratic Party)20, Akira Kurihara, a professor emeritus of political sociology at Meiji University, denounces it as a bill that “equals the Enabling Act of Nazi Germany that controlled all information”21. According to the director of the NGO Access-Info Clearinghouse Japan, this is worrisome as in the event of a nuclear disaster,“monitoring how such crises affect us would be impossible”22.
Seeking to reassure, the Japanese government has decided to reserve the right to “rapidly declassify information useful to the public” should
disaster strike. However, such flexibility is all the more illusory as, according to a recent study, “it is practically impossible to evacuate all residents close to a nuclear power plant fast enough to avoid exposure to radiation in the wake of an accident”23. Five and a half days would be required to evacuate the 1,067,000 residents within a 30km radius
around the Tokai nuclear plant; this plant is situated at a distance of 110km from Tokyo within the Ibaraki Prefecture. Six days would be
necessary to evacuate the 740, 000 residents close to the Hamaoka n
uclear plant located 200 km from Tokyo in the Shizuoka Prefecture.
Through its fatal militarization, security-related blackmail and discretionary management of omission, national-nuclearism does not stop at restricting liberty. It also fuels fear of it, making the public
stigmatize it and flee from it. In the same vein, it democratizes a
useful form of freedom, compensating the government’s reinforcement
which drives it, and the institutions which enable and organize it.
When nuclear power is no longer presented as the cause behind the disasters it generates but as their remedy, major reversal is at work. The individuals affected are expected to be contaminated but satisfied.
For instance, Shinichi Niwa who heads the Psychiatric section of the Fukushima Health Management Survey points out that:“take
decontamination work for example, people can feel secure if they do it themselves, rather than if they ask others to do it”24.
Calling on all residents to introject aggression to themselves, to live the
(de)contamination freely as if it was a part of their own lives, and to administrate the disaster in the same way that they administer drugs, the decontamino-therapist proceeds: “It is also important to ease anxieties through radiation exposure.” The strong man, who pays for his
strength by distancing himself from nature, must constantly disallow all anxiety. By reversing the very senseof the disaster and confounding it with the maximum risk – which then becomes the subject of all attempts
at control - such a government destroys man’s freedom to sense fear
by confiscating it. For the public, this involves the ability to experience fear corresponding to the danger weighing upon it. It is also the ability
to experience the anxiety that one must feel in order to escape from this danger, seek shelter and free oneself.
Within a nuclear society, the cycle of energy production is disembedded from social relationships. It is no longer associated with society but on the contrary, becomes a self-regulating system where life, social, economic and biological forms are guided or programmed, and where everything is transformed into a risk. Consequently, an increasing
proportion of human activity focuses on “managing’ this risk; this primarily involves rational choice and acceptability, given that social, economic and biological lives are expected to adapt to this movement,
and ethics are reduced to probabilistic calculations.
In this regime that transforms disasters into remedies, the indisputable
– undisputed in any case – “technological rise” and “the reinforcement of security measures” have generated new social and human issues more rapidly that they have solved existing ones. They have veiled the rising disaster in which, under the guise of resilience, the more one breaks, the
more one heals and the more he/she requires further breakage. In so doing, the disaster becomes opium and a “vital” necessity.
National-nuclearism makes nuclear power and its disasters – that are man-made - natural realities. It is the pathology of consciousness that prevents us from reflecting on nuclear power and its disasters and encourages us to think through them. In this regime, nuclear power and its disasters are no longer the objects of thought but rather, what
National-nuclearism – a milestone in industrial history – denies man as a human being. Indeed, it destroys him in a calculated manner, like raw material or residue. National-nuclearism seals the inextricable unity of industrial societies’ submission and protection. It makes this unity an objective necessity against which each one believes himself to be helpless. The Fukushima disaster provides glaring evidence that the immense submission that citizenship now implies only guarantees
feignedprotection in return. Human beings are now like contaminated water storage tanks: we know their life-span, but we bet on the relative
elasticity of their resistance; they are all nothing more than resources whose disappearance is programmable, awaiting replacement. Neither the public nor workers engage in battle; like inanimate mechanisms they
are forced to battle. Human beings - these social atoms - become materials, just as nature becomes society’s material.The use of the society’s most repressed members to supply the pool of 50, 000 workers who have contributed so far to the damage control in Fukushima reflects
Humanity’s indifference todeath – which is now a part of life – and to each of its members makes it all the more possible to scientifically organize a biological destruction - selection consciously ensured by social will. The lack of respect for the individual who is viewed as a barrier facilitates the management of the disaster by the individuals themselves. The “Centers for Disaster mental health care” recently launched in Fukushima deal with the burden of the soul.
Jacques Lochard, the post-accidental nuclear metaphysics consultant previously cited addressed the following message to the people of Fukushima: “Life is stronger than death (...) those who have passed through this experience have something more inside of them. They are
stronger.” For this composed amateur, life is hard but this hardship
makes it beautiful and healthy. It is this passion that justifies the world which requires it.
By equating honor to suffering with virility and accepting the suffering
despite all costs, national-nuclearism attempts to make us accept, in its rush toward profitable destructiveness, that life can be created from death. According to this pseudo-ontology which aggravates the disease,
it is disaster which makes man and not man who makes disaster.
However, the disaster’s managers do not recommend an outright liquidation of humanity: they flirt with its dehumanization. They prepare each individual for death - a social utility that has become an instrument of repression, introducing an element of surrender and submission. These managers reconcile the public with the idea that dying
before they want to and before they must is highly likely and is part of the march of civilization. They yearn for a society obliged to obey, a society that takes upon itself what each one should eventually be able to take on him or herself. A hardened individual is best in a hardened society. Rooted to the spot, this NovHomme or Newman, this robust being is expected - with some technological advances in remediation and a few socio-psychological and genetic adaptations - to be able
to rapidly adapt to a contaminated area: this is the objective of national
Noting that the victims of psychopathological disorders in the immediate aftermath of a disaster are often prone to mental disorders and
trauma prior to the disaster, Craig Katz, psychiatrist at the Icahn School in New York, recommends that the public be made mentally healthier
before the disaster, so that they can be better prepared when disaster strikes25. Consequently “physical exercise, active coping, a positive outlook, a moral compass (spirituality for instance), social support and cognitive flexibility” areconsidered “resilient factors” that make it possible to mitigate the traumatic effects of a nuclear disaster.
According to Patrick Momal, an economist at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), disaster managers dream of “medicine that would render cancer as mild as flu”.
Subsequently, “the cost of a nuclear accident would slump” because “the
aversion to cancer plays a fundamental role in the magnitude of the costs”, notably because of “a deeply profound image impact” such as the “impact on tourism” or on “agricultural exports”26. More delicate, Jacques Repussard, director of the same public expert body in nuclear communication, reminds us with feeling that “a nuclear disaster is not necessarily represented by the number of deaths but by the long term abandonment of lands individuals are attached to sentimentally, socially and economically”. “The loss of territory” is “one of the most unbearable characteristics of a nuclear accident”27.
National-nuclearism must therefore make cancer less unappealing in order to reverse the public’s revulsion towards it. This revulsion prompts individuals to turn away from the dangers, largely imaginary, of nuclear energy and nuclear devastation. Essentially, if death were to disappear
in this quest for complete human beings, life irradiated at minimal cost
would finally reign in all serenity.
Why try to prevent cancer when a medical cure will undoubtedly be found? Gerry Thomas - director of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank in London
which is funded by one of the "tentacles" of the aforementioned Nippon Foundation – sums up the debate as follows: “Finally, thyroid cancer is quite treatable, and Japan has efficient testing and treatment options”. Reassuringly, she concludes: “Today, having cancer no longer means death”28. This disgrace is all the more ordinary as today, some people consider that death means nothing.
Neither the result of a “lobby” conspiracy nor a simple error of judgment, national-nuclearism is the false consciousness of its time. As its implementation results in serious calamitieswhere apathy is the law,
it combines the philosophies of nothingness and devastation, equating progress to the regression of reason within an ideology effectively mobilized to resist change.
Desire and autonomy pertain exclusively to individuals. But by at
tributing these qualities to the nation-state and to the public, national-
nuclearism transforms the State into an instrument responsible for meeting each individual’s specific aspirations, and an extension of
the personality of each one of them. Collectivizing responsibility enables the disaster’s administrators to proceed as before each disaster, while saving the organic whole of the nation.
Consequently, the less the public’sfreedom of choice and moral responsibility, the moretheir practical responsibility. Each one is called upon to share in the management of the disaster, assess, act as a citizen and pay for reparation. Owing to the enormous burden of this
morbid geometrization of daily life which further borders on madness, individuals thus becomeresponsible for choicesmade by others or withheld from them.
Accounting for the nationalization of the people, which is far more effective than the nationalization of industries when there is reconciliation around submission; characterizing enlightened confinement which keeps each one in his or her place, becoming a macro-management object for super states with higher ambitions and notions to make the world better; becoming aware of the irrationality of docile and constant adaptation to reality - irrationality which becomes more reasonable to the individual than the reason behind it: all this is not equivalent to being opposed to reason, but to identifying the different ways reason manifests itself within nuclear societies. Made citizenly desirable, such manifestation of reasonis brandished in the name of our own self-preservation, taking us more deeply than ever before into the experience of the making of man (and the making of the world) into a
thing which perfectly characterizes the progress towards morbidity.
Kyoto, April 14, 2014
Researcher at CLERSE-CNRS
University of Lille 1, France
(a French version of this paper was published in Raison Présente
, n°189, mars, Paris, 2014, pp. 51-63, in a special issue entitled: Is Progress Desirable?)
1, Kyodo, 21 October 2011.
2, Fukushima Minpo, 13 October
3, Asahi 25 May 2013.
4, Nippon Foundation International Expert Symposium: «Radiation and Health Risks», September 11
-‐12, 2011, Fukushima.
5, The Nippon Foundation was created by Ryôichi Sasakawa, a rank A war criminal never condemned and then liberated in 1948, defining himself as being «the wealthiest fascist of the world», founder with Reverend Moon and Tchang Kaï-‐Chek of the World Anti-‐Communist League (WACL). His links with yakuza groups are notorious.
6, Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, Questions de santé mentale que pose l’utilisation de l’énergie atomique à des fins pacifiques, Série de rapports Techniques n°151, 1958, Genève,
7, Colloque du Collège de France, Sciences et démocratie, Paris, 17-‐18 octobre 2013.
8, Journées «Protéger et soumettre à Fukushima» 15, 16 oct. 2013, colloque à la Maison franco-‐japonaise, Tôkyo
9, Japan Times, 9 November, 2013.
10, Libération, 12 mars 2012.
11, Figaro, 17 juin 2011.
12, Ibid. note
13, Ibidem note 6, p.47.
14, Asahi, 10 November 2013.
15, Asahi, 21 November 2013.
16, Mainichi, 27 March 201
17, Asahi, 17 August 2012.
18, Mainichi, 26 June 2012.
19, Mainichi, 8 January 201
20, Mainichi, 1st December 2013.
21, Mainichi, 30 November2013.
22, Mainichi, 13 November 2013.
23, Mainichi, 14 January 2014.
24, Mainichi, 26 March 2012
25, FMU-‐IAEA International Academic Conference, «Radiation, Health, and Society», November 21-‐24, 2013, Fukushima Medical University.
26, Journée «Le nucléaire dans l’interdisciplinarité», 16 novembre 2012, IRSN, Aix en Provence.
27, Libération, 12 mars
28, Ibid. not 4