I am apt to be highly cynical of headlines like this and generally just move on, but in this case I decided to dig a little deeper, possibly because the implications of such sensationalist headlines being true was somewhat unnerving to say the least.
My first stop was at a German website, BfS (The Federal Office for Radiation Protection) which was mentioned in one of the posts. Here I came across a graphical representation of the spread of radioactive materials released from the Fukushima nuclear plants in the days following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, as detected by global monitoring stations. As you will see below, this, in itself, makes quite an impact in terms of the potential global consequences of the Japanese disaster - click on the image to play the animation.
Although the above graph doesn’t indicate radiation levels, other graphs on the same website show concentration levels of iodine 131 and Caesium 137 (two of the radioactive isotopes which pose the greatest health risk to humans). Elsewhere on the site there are reassurances that the levels detected pose no serious health risk in Germany and Europe (translated from the page):
“The BfS does not assume, due to the spacious distribution and dilution of the radioactive substances in the atmosphere released by the accident in Japan, that radioactive loads will enter in Germany in health-relevant levels. What radiation doses are to be expected in Europe? Radioactive substances released into the atmosphere are distributed by wind. The concentration of radioactive substances become less harmful to health and the environment with increasing distance from the site of the accident. The concentration of radioactive substances also declines as some radionuclides disintegrate over time as the materials are transported through the atmosphere over long distances. This applies, for example, to radioactive iodine. Also the washing of radioactive particles from the atmosphere with each precipitation reduces the quantity of radioactivity. This leads to the fact that in Europe the radioactivity can be measured, but no health effects are to be expected.”I found similar assurances on Health Canada’s Radiation Monitoring Data website, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organisation, which stated:
“Thus far, there are no health risks to people living in other countries from radioactive material released into the atmosphere from the Japanese nuclear power plants. Radiation levels measured to date in other countries are far below the level of background radiation that most people are exposed to in every day circumstances.”So how was it that I then began to unearth stories like this?
“Japan nuclear fallout radiation in US rainwater now several thousand percent above drinking water limits.”
This story presented data from no less than the US Environmental Protection Agency, which had found elevated levels of iodine-131 in rainwater in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, which it admitted exceeded normal background levels for these areas.
A press release from Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, showed radiation levels 3300% higher than the federal drinking water standard, although he was quoted as saying, “Rainwater is not typically directly consumed. However, people might get alarmed by making what would be an inappropriate connection from rainwater to drinking water. By testing the drinking water, we can assure people that the water is safe.”
So, who to believe, especially in light of the information that the United States and Canada have actually raised the legal limits of acceptable radiation exposure. Why?
Then I found a video clip (below) by a geo-scientist named Leuren Moret, which went a long way to explaining a few things.
After watching this (and a number of other clips by Moret) and digging around further on the subject, I had to conclude that, sensationalist as the headlines may be, the true story behind them, whether you choose to believe it or not, is just outright chilling.
Moret asserts that the levels of radiation reaching the Northern Hemisphere (and which will eventually permeate the Southern Hemisphere too) are grossly understated and that the western coast of the United States and Canada have received levels that are far in excess of safe limits and will have devastating implications for human health in the years ahead.
“We in North America are facing a terrible tragedy that will affect all of us and in the years to come there will be a very serious health crisis in the western regions of North America,” says Moret.In an earlier video clip from March 20 (see below) she explains in detail the sequence of events that occurred in the nuclear reactors at Fukushima following the earthquake and tsunami, how events unfolded and what that means in terms of wider, global consequences for the environment and human health.
Moret has calculated that in just one of the nuclear reactors that exploded at Fukushima (and there were three in total) there was material equivalent to 96,000 nuclear bombs of the intensity used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That radioactive material has been released into the atmosphere and poses a much greater risk than governments are trying to present, says Moret.
“What is happening is that radioactive particles, particulates, gases and liquids released from Fukushima are being transported across the Pacific Ocean and are then moving down the Pacific coast. What these plumes and clouds are made of are billions...of radioactive particles...and depending on the half life of the element that forms the particulate...these tracks represent, under the right circumstances, a cancer, each one of them.”Moret goes on to predict that eventually the incidence of diseases and illnesses around the world, as a result of the fallout from Fukushima, will be worse than Chernobyl. This radiation, she says, will eventually affect the whole globe and will contaminate everything in it, bacteria, plants, fish, animals and humans. The severity will depend on wind patterns and weather conditions in a particular region, and rainfall or snow (which she describes as a particularly effective scavenger of radioactive particles) will introduce the radioactive contaminants into lake, rivers and groundwater.
Grim stuff indeed.
Moret also expounds some interesting theories about the cause of the earthquake (and other similar events that have occurred worldwide). I don’t want to open that debate here, not because her arguments aren’t plausible, but because of the abject causal inhumanity that acceptance of them precludes. I’m not sure I am ready to deal with that realisation as yet. You must judge for yourself.
What is extremely plausible, however, coming from an accomplished and knowledgeable geo-scientist, with years of experience in the world of nuclear physics, is the extent of the accident at Fukushima and its global consequences in terms of environmental contamination and human health.
I would dearly like to dismiss Moret and her ilk as, at best alarmists and at worst, complete kooks, but I can’t. In fact I haven’t been able to find too many people who can or have, which is odd in itself.
In my own mind all I can know is that I have ample proof that self-interested governments lie and conspire with the powerful “friends” who help them get elected. So it’s not much of a stretch to believe the cover-up part of this story.
Motivation? That’s a bit harder to figure out. Perhaps not wanting to alarm the population and the need to keep people blissfully unaware, consuming and paying taxes outweighs the percentage of the population that needs to be sacrificed to do this.
After all, again we have plenty of evidence that making people sick can be immensely profitable to some and treating their illnesses is fairly lucrative too.
And maintaining the status quo in terms of energy has some pretty big players yielding some intimidating chess pieces.
Meanwhile the pawns should maybe invest in Geiger counters.
Copyright2011, Angela Lovell.