To a person like me following the developments in Japan from a distance, it is shocking to learn that the initial radiation levels from the meltdown of the reactors at Fukushima were 2.5 times the levels originally estimated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.!
According to news reports, although people who lived closest to the nuclear plant were evacuated, many people remain in areas where radiation levels are significantly higher than normal. What shocks me further is that Tepco now belatedly confesses that if this information had been available at the time, Tepco could have used it in planning evacuations. Despite the problems faced by Tepco, some of which could be genuine, this certainly casts serious doubt on the safety of nuclear technology itself. More important, it shows how helpless and incompetent are those who run the reactors.
Should Tepco not have evacuated those even remotely likely to have been exposed? Who will compensate all those whose health might have been adversely affected because of exposure to radiation as a result of the over-adventurous attitude of those who had lulled the people into a false sense of security?
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.