FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rupert Murdoch’s Fukushima Flim-Flam

With every atomic reactor disaster comes the inevitable whitewash.

And Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has just painted a tragic new coat over the radioactive wasteland of atomic flim-flam.

Its “Panic at Fukushima” speaks volumes to a nuclear power industry now crumbling at the core.  It fits an historic pattern:

When yet another radioactive leak emits from the local nuke—no matter how serious—the official response is hard-wired to include the phrase “no danger to the public.”

When serious structural cracks surface at reactors like Ohio’s Davis-Besse or Crystal River, Florida,  safety concerns are invariably dismissed with well-funded contempt.

As with fatally flawed steam generators at California’s San Onofre, if it can make an extra buck, the industry will run these reactors into the ground, safety-be-damned.  Protected by federal taxpayer insurance and the bankruptcy laws, they know even a catastrophic disaster need not trouble their bottom line.

When earthquakes rattle reactors in Virginia and Ohio, or threaten others near New York City and Los Angeles, the public is “never in danger.”  Likewise a generation of Japanese heard for decades that reactors at Fukushima and Kashiwazaki were “perfectly safe.”

But, now that earthquakes have hammered them both, we know who pays.

At Three Mile Island, there was “no melting of fuel” until, nine years later, robotic cameras showed there certainly was.

“Nobody died” at Three Mile Island until epidemiological evidence showed otherwise.  (Disclosure:  In 1980 I interviewed the dying and bereaved in central Pennsylvania, leading to the 1982 publication of KILLING OUR OWN).

TMI was a “success story” for industry apologist Patrick Moore, whose accounting skills apparently include cheerily alchemizing a $2 billion liability from a $900 million asset.

Likewise, the Soviet Union said not to worry as Chernobyl spewed lethal radioactive clouds across Europe and into the jet stream that contaminated the entire northern hemisphere.  One “scientist” said the fallout would “improve” human health in downwind Ukraine and Belarus, where stillbirths, malformations and birth defects still run rampant.

The Soviet Union is now dead…except in the hearts of a corporate media still parroting the Politburo lie that only 31 people died at Chernobyl, rather than the million-and-counting that now seems likely.

For Fukushima, the inevitable Murdoch whitewash comes from a one-time Koch-funded climate skeptic named Richard Muller.  He says Fukushima has harmed virtually no one except the nuclear industry, which the Japanese people have all but shut.

Muller’s article occupies a parallel pro-nuclear universe.  Virtually devoid of actual fact, it is meticulously dissected by SimplyInfo in a brilliant primer on the health impacts of a truly apocalyptic nightmare that is far from over.

Entitled “The Truth vs. the Wall Street Journal,” SimplyInfo’s dissection is deja vu all over again.  The once-prestigious Journal disgraces itself in vintage Murdoch style with some truly embarrassing errors and anachronisms.  Simply and briefly:

1. The Journal astonishingly minimizes the death toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki using speculative data that has been discredited for decades.  It ignores the findings by Japanese scientists that Fukushima has (thus far) spewed nearly 30 times as much radioactive cesium as did the Bombings;

2. The Journal’s totally discredited averaging assumptions say Fukushima’s fallout will nicely administer uniform minimal doses for everyone.  But the fallout has gone global.  Plutonium, cesium, strontium and other killer isotopes tend to come down in clumps and clusters, heavily dosing some while missing others.  As at TMI, Chernobyl and now Fukushima, woe be to the unlucky masses who get rained on;

3. The averaging argument jumps off the rails with pregnant women, as well as small children, the elderly, the biologically sensitive.  At TMI, the owners’ advertising compared the fallout to a single x-ray for everyone in the area.  But a doubled childhood leukemia rate has long been linked to a single x-ray administered to a fetus in utero.  Pregnant women exposed to these small doses must brace for the worst.

4. The Journal admits that Fukushima was not designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and 50-foot tidal wave.  The quake’s epi-center was more than 100 miles offshore, but all three Fukushima reactors operating at the time melted and exploded.  Diablo Canyon, San Onofre, Indian Point are no safer.   Nearby fault lines could reduce them and others to rubble, followed by emissions whose death toll would be virtually impossible to calculate.

5. The Journal has published a heavily edited rebuttal (the full original is at http://www.nirs.org/fukushima/crisis.htm) from Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service pointing out that sea-ward winds saved Japan—including Tokyo—from suffering far heavier doses.  But like Chernobyl, Fukushima’s radiation has long since reached our shores, with a serious potential death toll.

Fukushima erupted 66 years after Hiroshima/Nagasaki, 32 since Three Mile Island, 25 after Chernobyl.  The atomic industry seems defined by a reverse learning curve.

Perhaps it could heed Jeffrey Immelt, president of General Electric, who warns that nuclear power has no economic future.  GE’s brand is all over Fukushima.  Small wonder Immelt wants to join Siemens et. al. in a green-powered Solartopian future, built on renewable technologies like wind, solar and bio-fuels.

No verbal contortions can ever cleanse what Forbes Magazine long ago branded “the largest managerial disaster in American history.”  No error-filled whitewash will ever convince our bodies that radiation is good for us.

While Rupert Murdoch helps paint a happy face on a dying industry, we continue to pay with our money and our lives.

Harvey Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is atwww.harveywasserman.ning.com, along with WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA’S 2012 ELECTION?, co-authored with Bob Fitrakis. 

 

More articles by:

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail