Reporting On Fukushima May Lead To A 10 Year Prison Sentence

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PostMon Dec 16, 2013 11:57 pm » by Willease


Fukushima continues to spew out radiation. The quantities seem to be rising, as do the impacts.

The site has been infiltrated by organized crime. There are horrifying signs of ecological disaster in the Pacific and human health impacts in the U.S.

But within Japan, a new State Secrets Act makes such talk punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Taro Yamamoto, a Japanese legislator, says the law “represents a coup d’etat” leading to “the recreation of a fascist state.” The powerful Asahi Shimbun newspaper compares it to “conspiracy” laws passed by totalitarian Japan in the lead-up to Pearl Harbor, and warns it could end independent reporting on Fukushima.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been leading Japan in an increasingly militaristic direction. Tensions have increased with China. Massive demonstrations have been renounced with talk of “treason.”

But it’s Fukushima that hangs most heavily over the nation and the world.

Tokyo Electric Power has begun the bring-down of hot fuel rods suspended high in the air over the heavily damaged Unit Four. The first assemblies it removed may have contained unused rods. The second may have been extremely radioactive.

But Tepco has clamped down on media coverage and complains about news helicopters filming the fuel rod removal.

Under the new State Secrets Act, the government could ban—and arrest—all independent media under any conditions at Fukushima, throwing a shroud of darkness over a disaster that threatens us all.

By all accounts, whatever clean-up is possible will span decades. The town of Fairfax, CA, has now called for a global takeover at Fukushima. More than 150,000 signees have asked the UN for such intervention.

As a private corporation, Tepco is geared to cut corners, slash wages and turn the clean-up into a private profit center.

It will have ample opportunity. The fuel pool at Unit Four poses huge dangers that could take years to sort out. But so do the ones at Units One, Two and Three. The site overall is littered with thousands of intensely radioactive rods and other materials whose potential fallout is thousands of times greater than what hit Hiroshima in 1945.

Soon after the accident, Tepco slashed the Fukushima workforce. It has since restored some of it, but has cut wages. Shady contractors shuttle in hundreds of untrained laborers to work in horrific conditions. Reuters says the site is heaving infiltrated by organized crime, raising the specter of stolen radioactive materials for dirty bombs and more.

Thousands of tons of radioactive water now sit in leaky tanks built by temporary workers who warn of their shoddy construction. They are sure to collapse with a strong earthquake.

Tepco says it may just dump the excess water into the Pacific anyway. Nuclear expert Arjun Makhijani has advocated the water be stored in supertankers until it can be treated, but the suggestion has been ignored.

Hundreds of tons of water also flow daily from the mountains through the contaminated site and into the Pacific. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen long ago asked Tepco to dig a trench filled with absorbents to divert that flow. But he was told that would cost too much money.

Now Tepco wants to install a wall of ice. But that can’t be built for at least two years. It’s unclear where the energy to keep the wall frozen will come from, or if it would work at all.

Meanwhile, radiation is now reaching record levels in both the air and water.

The fallout has been already been detected off the coast of Alaska. It will cycle down along the west coast of Canada and the U.S. to northern Mexico by the end of 2014. Massive disappearances of sea lion pups, sardines, salmon, killer whales and other marine life are being reported, along with a terrifying mass disintegration of star fish. One sailor has documented a massive “dead zone” out 2,000 miles from Fukushima. Impacts on humans have already been documented in California and elsewhere.

Without global intervention, long-lived isotopes from Fukushima will continue to pour into the biosphere for decades to come.

The only power now being produced at Fukushima comes from a massive new windmill just recently installed offshore.

Amidst a disaster it can’t handle, the Japanese government is still pushing to re-open the 50 reactors forced shut since the melt-downs. It wants to avoid public fallout amidst a terrified population, and on the 2020 Olympics, scheduled for a Tokyo region now laced with radioactive hot spots. At least one on-site camera has stopped functioning. The government has also apparently stopped helicopter-based radiation monitoring.

A year ago a Japanese professor was detained 20 days without trial for speaking out against the open-air incineration of radioactive waste.

Now Prime Minister Abe can do far worse. The Times of India reports that the State Secrets Act is unpopular, and that Abe’s approval ratings have dropped with its passage.

But the new law may make Japan’s democracy a relic of its pre-Fukushima past.

It’s the cancerous mark of a nuclear regime bound to control all knowledge of a lethal global catastrophe now ceaselessly escalating. ... -sentence/

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PostTue Dec 17, 2013 12:12 am » by Hurtswhenipee

Do you think this could be about pride and "Saving Face"? I do. Why else are they clamping down?
There seems to be an air of "oh well" with the Japanese government.

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PostTue Jun 10, 2014 10:40 pm » by 99socks

Massive disappearances of sea lion pups, sardines, salmon, killer whales and other marine life are being reported, along with a terrifying mass disintegration of star fish....

It's even worse now for the starfish than it was last year...

Mystery Disease Turns Oregon's Sea Stars to Goo

A mysterious disease that is turning sea stars to goo has taken off along the Oregon coast, with up to half or more of the creatures being infected in just the last few weeks, scientists say.

Until now, Oregon was the one state along the U.S. West Coast essentially spared from the disease. In April, researchers estimated less than 1 percent or so of the purple ochre sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) living within 10 sites along Oregon's intertidal zones — which provide an easily accessible place to monitor sea stars — were affected by the wasting disease. By mid-May that percentage had gone up slightly, and then after that it seemed to skyrocket.

"The percentages we saw last week, they were as high as 40 to 60 percent of the population that's showing signs of wasting," said Bruce Menge, a marine biologist at Oregon State University, who is studying the wasting disease in Oregon.

Turning sea stars to goo

Sea star wasting syndrome causes a sea star's body to disintegrate, ultimately leading to death.

The disease tends to progress from no outward signs to behavior changes in which the sea stars cross their arms and seem to collapse on themselves. Then white lesions appear on the surface of the sea star's body that turn into holes; those lesions are typically followed by the disintegration of skin around the lesion and the loss of a limb or several limbs, and in extreme cases the animal's entire body is affected by the syndrome. Some of the creatures physically tear their bodies apart in the process, scientists say.

"We've seen a number of cases where all that's left is a puddle of their skeletal parts and a bunch of bacteria eating away at the tissue," Menge told Live Science. "It's a pretty gruesome thing to see."

The current outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome was first reported in June 2013 along the coast of Washington by researchers from Olympic National Park. Since that report, die-offs have been documented everywhere from California to Alaska and even along the East Coast from Maine through New Jersey.

View galleryMystery Disease Turns Oregon's Sea Stars to Go …
Undergraduate students at Oregon State University assist in monitoring the intertidal zone on the Or …
"Wasting has been known for a long time, but usually it's very localized to a single site or single region," Menge said. When that's the case, as it was last August just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, the chances for recovery are high since the plankton, or floating forms, of the sea stars from healthy, nearby populations can recolonize those areas that were hit.

"The thing that is worrisome now is that it's happening pretty much all along the West Coast, even up into Alaska," Menge said.

In this widespread outbreak, Oregon seemed to be a lucky outlier. "We were hoping that for some weird reason we were going to miss out on it. We were optimistic," Menge said. "It finally did hit, and we really have no idea what the pathogen is, what the mode of transmission is. "

Mystery disease

The cause of the wasting disease is unknown, though scientists working on the mystery are testing whether an underlying virus or bacteria is to blame, along with some environmental stress, such as water temperature or salt content, making the organisms more vulnerable to it.

"We are finding correlations between certain microorganisms and viruses present in the lesions," Gary Wessel, of Brown University in Rhode Island, told Live Science in an email. "We are now testing whether these organisms are causative (by infecting healthy animals and seeing if they replicate the wasting phenotype) or just associated."

Wessel added that his lab is also looking into the impacts of environmental stressors.

"In our challenge experiments to test infectivity, we are stressing the animals with salt conditions and temperature to determine if this environmental stress makes them more susceptible," Wessel said.

Since sea stars can act as keystone predators, meaning their predatory activities shape an ecosystem, their loss could have far-reaching impacts, the researchers say. By eating mussels on the low shores in Oregon, sea stars keep those populations in check so the bivalves don't explode in numbers, at the expense of other organisms. Menge said it's too early to say whether the sea stars' mussel-munching could be compensated by whelks in the area.

In addition to leaving a void in a finely tuned ecosystem, the loss of sea stars would also disrupt a seeming iconic shoreline organism.

"The aesthetics of the rocky shore are going to be quite a bit less," Menge said. "They are charismatic beasts."

Video at link: ... 56304.html

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PostTue Jun 10, 2014 11:09 pm » by Trip

Its really bad, ive just read this news flash today as well, sad news to share, carelessness! its bloody awful!

Japan TV ‘News Flash’: Officials fear melted reactor fuel is now exposed at Fukushima — Tepco: We don’t know at this point if fuel is uncovered — Large drop in water level — Experts ‘struggling’ to find condition of nuclear cores, nothing is known for all 3 reactors ... ing-to-fin

"There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning"

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PostWed Jun 11, 2014 3:21 am » by 99socks

Trip wrote:Its really bad, ive just read this news flash today as well, sad news to share, carelessness! its bloody awful!

Japan TV ‘News Flash’: Officials fear melted reactor fuel is now exposed at Fukushima — Tepco: We don’t know at this point if fuel is uncovered — Large drop in water level — Experts ‘struggling’ to find condition of nuclear cores, nothing is known for all 3 reactors ... ing-to-fin

Dr. Goodheart
June 10, 2014 at 7:38 am
What are the odds of all three nuclear reactors having a 100 TON BLOB of 5,000 degree Fahrenheit liquid radioactive LAVA just sitting there, ON TOP of concrete, in a nice, neat little doggie pile, without doing anything?

What did TEPCO do to get it to stay there? Did they order it?

Nice corium doggie pile.. SIT! STAY!

An out of control 5,000 degree Fahrenheit corium does not just sit there.

IT GOES places… It eats holes through cement like a hot knife through butter.

This is absolutely a pro nuclear propaganda piece.

As usual, deny 99%, admit 1%.

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