Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Deadly Silence Over Fukushima

Amid the cover-up of the Fukushima nuclear power disaster, the title of Kimberly Roberson’s book rings so unfortunately true: Silence Deafening, Fukushima Fallout…A Mother’s Response.

It’s relatively brief at 69 pages but gets to the heart of the catastrophe: the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex in 2011, the months and months of discharges of radioactivity—and the silence of media and public officials.

“The silence after the earthquake, nuclear meltdowns and tsunamis AF [After Fukushima] was truly deafening and unlike anything I had experienced before. Surreal ‘Twilight Zone’ comparisons were hard to avoid,” she writes. “Knowing what I knew, and then seeing those facts to be so thoroughly disregarded by the media and elected officials has begun to take on a sort of nightmare quality.”

“It may take decades for the true magnitude of Fukushima Daiichi to be comprehended, just as the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986 are still being realized,” she continues. “This is the story of my attempt to learn the truth, and then to do something about it in my own small way.”

The book, published by VisionTalk, is very personal and written from a mother’s perspective. Roberson is also well-educated about the horrors of nuclear technology.

She relates how, working for Greenpeace in Washington, D.C. in 1986, she opened a “letter from the farmer near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster who had mailed us pictures of grossly deformed farm animals. Those images would later appear in magazines like Time and Newsweek and helped to open the world’s eyes to the largest nuclear disaster to date.”

She writes about a main consequence of pollution from radioactivity and other sources—cancer—and how “it’s reached epidemic proportions.”

As to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, she tells of the English version of the landmark book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences 25 years after the accident—with the horrible consequences manifest. The book, written by a team of European scientists led by Dr. Alexey Yablokov of Russia, concludes that based on available medical data, nearly one million people around the world died as a result of fall-out from Chernobyl.

“At Chernobyl,” Roberson writes, “there was one reactor affected” while “at Fukushima there are four, and workers are still struggling to contain radiation there as of this writing nearly one year after the disaster began March 11.”

The book is studded with breaks for quotes such as that from Gandhi: “First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.” Winning over nuclear power is still far off, however. Roberson writes how in Spring 2011, “Apart from the occasional Internet bombshell…the deafening media silence around Fukushima raged on.”

She, however, has been taking action—which she writes about.  There is a petition campaign and, with the findings of radioactivity in her home state of Calilfornia, the creation of the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network.

“While young children, the elderly and immune deficient are at particular risk, the Fukushima Daiichi will affect us all globally for generations to come just as at Chernobyl,” Roberson writes. “One thing we do know is that we are at a crossroads with nuclear power.”

Roberson’s book helps in choosing a direction: away from this lethal technology.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

COMING IN SEPTEMBER

A Special Memorial Issue of CounterPunch

Featuring recollections of Alexander Cockburn from Jeffrey St. Clair, Peter Linebaugh, Paul Craig Roberts, Noam Chomsky, Mike Whitney, Doug Peacock, Perry Anderson, Becky Grant, Dennis Kucinich, Michael Neumann, Susannah Hecht, P. Sainath, Ben Tripp, Alison Weir, James Ridgeway, JoAnn Wypijewski, John Strausbaugh, Pierre Sprey, Carolyn Cooke, Conn Hallinan, James Wolcott, Laura Flanders, Ken Silverstein, Tariq Ali and many others …

Subscribe to CounterPunch Today to Reserve Your Copy

More articles by:

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

May 24, 2018
Gary Leupp
Art of the Dealbreaker: Trump’s Cancellation of the Summit with Kim
Jeff Warner – Victor Rothman
Why the Emerging Apartheid State in Israel-Palestine is Not Sustainable
Kenn Orphan
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
James Luchte
Europe Stares Into the Abyss, Confronting the American Occupant in the Room
Richard Hardigan
Palestinians’ Great March of Return: What You Need to Know
Howard Lisnoff
So Far: Fascism Lite
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Norman Finkelstein on Bernie Sanders, Gaza, and the Mainstream Treatment
Daniel Warner
J’accuse All Baby Boomers
Alfred W. McCoy
Beyond Golden Shower Diplomacy
Jonah Raskin
Rachel Kushner, Foe of Prisons, and Her New Novel, “The Mars Room”
George Wuerthner
Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests
Binoy Kampmark
Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist
Dean Baker
The Marx Ratio: Not Clear Karl Would be Happy
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail