FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Fukushima’s Fallout is Already Harming Our Children

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima.  They are the first clear sign of an unfolding radioactive tragedy that demands this industry be buried forever.

Two years after Fukushima exploded, three still-smoldering reactors remind us that the nuclear power industry repeatedly told the world this could never happen.

And 72 years after the nuclear weapons industry began creating them,  untold quantities of deadly wastes still leak at Hanford and at commercial reactor sites around the world, with no solution in sight.

Radiation can be slow to cause cancer, taking decades to kill.
But children can suffer quickly.  Their cells grow faster than adults’.  Their smaller bodies are more vulnerable.  With the embryo and fetus, there can never be a “safe” dose of radiation.  NO dose of radiation is too small to have a human impact.

Last month the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey acknowledged a horrifying plague of thyroid abnormalities, thus far afflicting more than forty percent of the children studied.

The survey sample was 94,975.  So some 38,000 children are already cursed with likely health problems…that we know of.

A thyroid abnormality can severely impact a wide range of developmental realities, including physical and mental growth.

Cancer is a likely outcome.

This is the tenth such study conducted by the prefecture. As would be expected downwind from a disaster like Fukushima, the spread of abnormalities has been increasing over time. So has the proportion of children with nodules that are equal to or larger than 5.1 mm.
The number of cysts has also been increasing.

And the government has revealed that three cases of thyroid cancer have already been diagnosed in the area.  All have been subjected to surgery.

Fukushima’s airborne fallout came to our west coast within a week of the catastrophe.  It’s a virtual certainty American children are being affected.  As health researcher Joe Mangano puts it:  “Reports of rising numbers of West Coast infants with under-active thyroid glands after Fukushima suggest that Americans may have been harmed by Fukushima fallout.  Studies, especially of the youngest, must proceed immediately.”

Untold billions of gallons of unmonitored liquid poisons have poured into the Pacific.  Contaminated trash has carried across the ocean (yet the US has ceased monitoring wild-caught Pacific fish for radiation).

Worldwide, atomic energy is in rapid decline for obvious economic reasons.  In Germany and elsewhere, Solartopian technologies—wind, solar, bio-fuels, efficiency—are outstripping nukes and fossil fuels in price, speed to install, job creation, environmental impact, reliability and safety.

No one has yet measured the global warming impacts of the massive explosions and heat releases at Fukushima (or at Chernobyl, where the human death toll has been estimated in excess of a million).

The nuclear fuel cycle—from mining to milling to enrichment to transportation to waste management—creates substantial greenhouse gases.  The reactors themselves convert ore to gargantuan quantities of heat that warm the planet directly, wrecking our weather patterns in ways that have never been fully assessed.

Even in the shadow of Fukushima, the industry peddles a “new generation” of magical reactors to somehow avoid all previous disasters.  Though they don’t yet exist, they will be “too cheap to meter,” will “never explode” and will generate “radiation that is good for you.”

But atomic energy is human history’s most expensive technological failure, defined by what seems to be a terminal reverse learning curve.  After more than a half-century to get it right, the industry has most recently poked holes in the head of a reactor in Florida, and installed $700 million steam generators it knew to be faulty in two more in California.  It now wants to open San Onofre Unit Two at a 70% level, essentially to see what happens.  Some 8 million people live within a 50-mile radius.

This from an increasingly dangerous industry that has brought us four “impossible” explosions—one at Chernobyl, three at Fukushima—clearly with more yet to come.  Its radiation has spewed for decades.  Its wastes have no place on this planet.

The ultimate death toll among Fukushima’s victims may be inescapable.  But the industry that’s harming them is not.

Those thyroid-damaged children bring us yet another tragic warning: There’s just one atomic reactor from which our energy can safely come.

Two years after Fukushima, it is still 93 million miles away—but more ready than ever to safely, cleanly and cheaply power our planet.

Harvey Wasserman is author of SOLARTOPIA! (www.harveywasserman.com) and HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.  He edits
www.nukefree.org.  His GREEN POWER & WELLNESS SHOW is at www.prn.fm.
www.nukefree.org. His GREEN POWER & WELLNESS SHOW is at www.prn.fm.

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail