And here we are. It’s 5 am on the 3rd of January and I’m over in England at my daughter Michelle’s house. Late last night I had a prompt from Alexandra to start a piece on Fukushima. It’s now approaching 3 years since the problems there, which began with a large earthquake over 9 on the Richter scale, which was followed by a devastating tsunami. There were loads of vehicles and houses just washed away in a horrendous body of water that enveloped whole villages, as anyone who saw the footage may remember. Following this was a riveting account in a publication I read, by a sailor who single-handedly sails the Pacific Ocean every few years who recounted how much debris he encountered in the ocean from that tsunami. A lot of it was radioactive to some extent because of Fukushima obviously.
There’s a lot of conspiracy theory type stuff going around, and I’ve tried to be careful in my research about Fukushima over these months, but one thing I do know for certain is that there were overt cover-ups by both TEPCO (who are the operators of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan) and the Japanese government. I think the most vile thing about the whole situation is that the Japanese government vied for and succeeded in getting the next Olympic games in Tokyo, which is an absolute travesty, as there is no way that there should be any Olympic games in Tokyo simply because of one particular fact: the clean up of Fukushima is going to take years. Part of that is underway now with removing what are termed spent fuel rods from Reactor Number 4, and as a small aside Co-Opera has made music expressing energy in reflecting this process in our typical style.
From the mainstream media there is virtually no factual news. There was an interesting situation where the BBC and CNN were allowed in a few months ago to report on what they saw and it was very much an embedded effort. The reporters were shown around, not allowed to go other than where they were specifically guided. I remember the report from the BBC reporter saying that they were allowed to go to Reactor Number 4, but as they went past Reactors Number 1 and 3 with a Geiger counter, the readings there were off the scale before they got anywhere near them.
We still haven’t seen the full ramifications of the BP oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, and I bring that in now because with that and Fukushima, the reporting has been very much controlled, and that is not conspiracy – it is obvious to most of us. Our capabilities for containing catastrophes of this sort are non-existent. There can’t be any heavy duty reporting since reporters are not allowed in unfettered. The catastrophes that could unfold, we don’t have the capability as individuals or societies to deal with. So we just hope that they don’t. I think the biggest clear and present-day danger is another large earthquake, and that in itself is enough to do untold damage, and of course if there was another tsunami, well, as stated before, we don’t want to think about that.
(To be continued)