Soon it will be the six-year anniversary of the massive Tohoku earthquake and the resulting tsunami. Six years have passed and the Japanese government, and the power giant TEPCO have achieved absolutely nothing in regards to the situation at Fukushima Daichi Nuclear plant. The discoveries they make only illustrate how much worse everything is than they previously thought. Based on recent reports that 600 tons of highly radioactive fuel has melted through the base of the plant and is basically “lost”, and the coinciding anniversary, there will be plenty of this in the news.
What is more shocking however, because one would assume a massive nuclear meltdown would be wildly complex and difficult to deal with, is that people are returning to Fukushima. Fishermen have brought boats back and refugee families are being pressured to return to their homes.
This is completely insane.
Not a year ago people were trumpeting that “The fish are safe to eat! Everything is Awesome!” Except…in Fukushima.
Recently we talked about Japan and its love affair with the rising sun cop-out, Shouganai. Well, this: the return to Fukushima, the site of the worst industrial accident in history, which is still in full swing, is the mother of all Shouganai.
Without writing a term paper on radiation poisoning, because I don’t have much of a grasp on it, neither do you, neither does Snopes, or the Japan Times, or 99.9 percent of the global population, so we will defer to common sense. Keep that in mind because it’s an important point: Nobody really knows what will happen as time passes because this has never happened before, but some groups, who specialize in the environment, and have no vested economic interest in Nuclear power, seem to think things are pretty bad. We, the normals, can however, draw conclusions from past, similar events.
After the Chernobyl accident, a 30 kilometer exclusion zone was set up, and is maintained to this day. It’s guarded and regulated by the military, because it’s a dangerous place to visit. Some people do live there, but only because as senior citizens they refused to leave and the government unofficially allows them to live there. 30 years has passed but the place is still considered dangerous.
So, what conclusion can we draw?
Fukushima is regarded as being 3X as radioactive as Chernobyl, possibly more, and where as in Chernobyl “The elephant’s foot”, or the large melted core, has been contained (for the time being), nobody even knows where Fukushima’s 600 tons of burning death is at. And even if they did know, they have no way to remove or contain it. It’s melting the robots they’re sending in to photograph it.
My conclusion is that TEPCO and Abe government is utterly up shit creek with no paddle. Either they keep playing pretend or prepare for many a head to roll.
Well, up to this point, it seems to be option #1. The Abe regime is committed to a never-ending chorus of “Everything is awesome!” What’s happening here is simple enough; Japan’s position in the world, it’s leverage and entire identity is connected with its economic standing, which has been precarious and, frankly, artificial for years. The 2020 Olympics is just one big dog-and-pony show to buy more time in the top-tier, which Japan doesn’t really rate, in the hopes that some economic miracle occurs, which it won’t. Well, nobody is going to want to come hang out in Tokyo in 3 years if they go home glowing red.
Japan can’t hide the disaster so they aren’t trying to. Like comfort women and Nanking, Japan is just ignoring it, and in so doing, normalizing a nuclear disaster the likes of which the world has never seen. Face it, moving everyone back in and pretending everything is fine is not a real solution, it’s a fantasy, and a potentially tragic one for those being sacrificed to help the country save face.
No amount of Shouganai and shoulder shrugging is going to make this one go away, Japan.
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Have all the mortgages been foreclosed on Fukushima houses, or is ownership a bit different with Nippon banking? Are they forgiving mortgages, and just letting people restart payments? A lot of people probably don’t have anything to go back to.
Interesting question. I have no idea.