I agonised about posting this, even though much of this blog involves death and destruction. This happens only as a result of my obsession about truth and justice. ‘Peace and Goodwill’ is my personal ideal and the two areas seem to be diametrically opposite.
However, the media choose to ignore the Japanese crisis due to the Fukushima NPP melt-downs. The public choose to ignore the real dangers of ionising radiation. The governments choose to cover up issues relating to both these aspects. The nuclear industry and its supporters, in general, are happy to continue “business as usual”.
A couple of countries have responded by restricting or winding down nuclear power generation. Germany and Belgium are talking of abandonment. UK and, I think US, wish to continue development. It may be that future designs will provide greater safety outcomes, but the inherent dangers and the waste product issues are not eliminated. Perhaps improved BUT!
What will replace the energy short-fall if nuclear power stalls, is an interesting question?
I recall comments in the ‘early days’, “no-one has died”, why is radiation such an issue? Well, here we have admissions of related deaths. I suppose it is impossible for total cover-up but that has been the general approach by the Japanese company TEPCO and the government.
It is sad that deaths have occurred, it is sad that there are likely to be a large number more, extending well into the future. There will also be genetic damage and birth defects, in general a horrific outcome.
But it is good, in a perverse sort of way that, information is forthcoming. This will allow all involved people and organizations to deal with the nuclear power issue on an honest basis.
It is heartening to see honesty in recognising the deaths and the causes, in allowing public disclosure, in the responsibilies involved and in providing compensation.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A total of 573 deaths have been certified as “disaster-related” by 13 municipalities affected by the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
This number could rise because certification for 29 people remains pending while further checks are conducted.
The 13 municipalities are three cities–Minami-Soma, Tamura and Iwaki–eight towns and villages in Futaba County–Namie, Futaba, Okuma, Tomioka, Naraha, Hirono, Katsurao and Kawauchi–and Kawamata and Iitate, all in Fukushima Prefecture.
These municipalities are in the no-entry, emergency evacuation preparation or expanded evacuation zones around the nuclear plant, which suffered meltdowns soon after the March 11 disaster.
A disaster-related death certificate is issued when a death is not directly caused by a tragedy, but by fatigue or the aggravation of a chronic disease due to the disaster. If a municipality certifies the cause of death is directly associated to a disaster, a condolence grant is paid to the victim’s family. If the person was a breadwinner, 5 million yen is paid.
Applications for certification have been filed for 748 people, and 634 of them have been cleared to undergo screening.
Of the 634, 573 deaths were certified as disaster-related, 28 applications were rejected, four cases had to reapply because of flawed paperwork, and 29 remain pending.
In Minami-Soma, a screening panel of doctors, lawyers and other experts examined 251 applications and approved 234 of them. The panel judged two deaths were not eligible for certification and 15 were put on hold.
“During our examination of the applications, we gave emphasis to the conditions at evacuation sites and how they spent their days before they died,” a city government official said. “However, the screening process was difficult in cases when people had stayed in evacuation facilities for an extended time and when there was little evidence of where they had been taking shelter.”(Feb. 5, 2012)
Source: Daily Yomiuri Online
- U.S. Should Bring an End to the Nuclear Era (usnews.com)
- Radioactive leaks at crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant increase two months after it was declared safe (dailymail.co.uk)
- New Generation of Radioactive Waste-Consuming Nuclear Reactors Could Power UK for 500 Years (inhabitat.com)
- Japan governor wants nuclear safety pledge in writing (reuters.com)
- Should Nuclear Power Be Expanded? (usnews.com)
- Nuclear Socialism Strikes Again (nukespeak.org)
- Fukushima puts East Asia nuclear policies on notice (japantimes.co.jp)