One Year and Three Months Since Fukushima
June 11, 2012 (15 months after 3/11)
Before Fukushima, when this site was called Idealist.ws, my philosophy was that in order for Earth's peoples to go non-nuclear, we all need to re-develop a natural fear for unseen nuclear radiation in pollution and waste that permeates our living environment and bodies. There was another reason I felt why people need to fear manmade radioactive chemicals: historical events even worse than Chernobyl and Fukushima have created a massive global public health problem.
A few years before Fukushima, I began investigating a thing called 'global fallout.' Global fallout is the term used in scientific journals to describe the actual nuclear fallout from historical open-air nuclear blasts, or the roughly 400 atomic and hydrogen atmospheric explosions in the 20th century by the 'nuclear powers'. The fallout from 'global fallout' didn't stay in one place. It went everywhere, and was pretty bad at times.
Several experts, both living and dead, have calculated that the greatest number of people on the Earth harmed by anything beginning with the term 'nuclear' were hurt by this 'global fallout.' The death toll - related to this 'global fallout' - is not perfectly quantified, but estimates put it at from many tens to many hundreds of millions of premature deaths, notably cancers, through the 20th and 21st centuries.
Agreeing with this notion that nuclear testing caused a cancer epidemic was hard for me for several reasons. One, I never knew that so many nuclear tests transpired in history or that the fallout went everywhere! What was also difficult in agreeing with all of this is there is very little evidence to prove cause-and-effect. There are no studies. There has been nothing but denials and downplaying by governments. And, more difficult, fewer and fewer experts are speaking about this death toll. In truth, nowadays, maybe there are 5 or 10 experts in the world who believe this and have at one time or another aired their beliefs.
So, when Fukushima happened, naturally, the big question - to me - was 'what is the nature of the fallout in air?' In terms of global public health, the worst type of nuclear meltdown is a Chernobyl-style fire that lofts radionuclides high up into the atmosphere where across the globe rains will pull them down into arable areas where the food supply for millions and millions of persons will become contaminated. It is very important to know that the 8 or 9-figure death toll from global fallout largely didn't have to do with external exposures: it had to do with eating, for years and years, food that was contaminated - this led to the global health crisis.
Fukushima lofted radionuclides, but not very high, and most of it resulted from volatilization (more here). Wind currents brought this fallout to other countries, but the fallout outside of Japan was far less than anything experienced during the global fallout years of the 1960s with some exceptions. One, since there were basically no radiation monitoring stations in the Arctic, and a huge radiation spike in Fairbanks, Alaska, happened just 5 days after the earthquake and first meltdown, there may have been damaging fallout in the vulnerable Arctic region - where bioaccumulation via the air-lichen-caribou-man chain back in the 1960s caused massive body burdens of radiation in indigenous populations. Two, outside of Japan there were hotspots.
But the Fukushima event is morphing into a multi-pronged one. There is airborne fallout - which will continue as long as the corium still volatilizes in open containment (and dust is stirred by manmade or natural forces). Another developing facet of Fukushima - which in the worst case will have no historical rival - is the effects on oceans and seafood. Although most atmospheric nuclear tests put their 'load' into the upper atmosphere, a few, like one hydrogen bomb test in 1954, contaminated the ocean greatly. As you will see below, the 'Bravo' nuclear test of 1954 contaminated the entire West Pacific fish population.
It is clear as day to me that Fukushima is as bad as or worse than this 1954 nuclear test. While the Japanese government in 1954 had the wisdom to bury their tainted tuna catches - hundreds of tons of them - as nuclear waste, the U.S. and Canada and other Pacific Rim countries are making a terrible mistake in not taking the tainted seafood threat seriously. They are not monitoring the catches for radiation. People are simply eating seafood that hasn't been tested for radiation.
There will be several million premature deaths in the long run from Fukushima even if we responsibly and safely deal with the ocean contamination problem. But if the billion (or more) people who depend on Pacific seafood for their protein are chronically exposed to really contaminated wild seafood without their knowing, the bloodshed will be far, far worse. This is what I believe. I also believe that the test of our generation - and even our species' survival - is whether or not we will stake our futures on a scientifically unproven belief about chronic exposures and whether or not we will challenge our governments that have lost their ability to protect public safety from the menace of Fukushima's ocean impacts.
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Important pages: Gummed film & fallout maps | Scientists misled Americans about 'hot' halibut | Fukushima formed a 'hotspot' in California | EPA is not exactly 'monitoring' our milk for radiation | Montana cows died from radiation? | FDA is barely testing our food for radiation | spent fuel fires could harm us all | a NUCLEAR REACTOR from SPACE could land on your house | solar storm dangers | plutonium dust is a problem north of Vegas | Chernobyl contamination was 95% from Chernobyl; 5% Was From a U.S. Secret Radiation Release | Nuclear Reactor Operators Don't Really Monitor Their Pollution - They Guess
Believe it or not: U.S. Government Gave Secret Fallout Maps to Kodak, But Never to Americans | Unexploded Nuclear Bombs North of Las Vegas Could Still Detonate or Reach Criticality| Your Cremated Remains Would be 180 Times the Limit Allowable by the EPA for Beta Radiation in Drinking Water | Quaker Oats and Boston universities gave radioactive cereal to unwitting special needs children