Of nuclear village idiots and radiation scare-mongerers: letters

Nab Tepco execs, take over the clean-up

Until reading Brian Victoria’s letter on Aug. 13, I felt at times that perhaps I was being too much of an alarmist over the radiation dangers at Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant. But now I realize that, if anything, I was being a bit too optimistic.

Victoria called for the postponement of his university’s Study Abroad Program in Japan out of concerns for the long-term welfare of any and all participants. It’s his responsibility to make sure that none of the students in his Japan study program are ever at risk of being exposed to an unhealthy or deadly environment, one contaminated by radioactive chemicals.

Victoria fails to mention any of the troubling details that he learned during the two-day seminar he attended recently at the New York Academy of Sciences, though he did say that he was deeply worried about the “full scope of the ongoing dangers posed” at the Fukushima No. 1 disaster site.

Why is a New York medical academy better informed about the dangers of radioactive leaks in Fukushima than Japan’s prime minister or possibly even the chief of the new Nuclear Regulatory Agency? And do educators in Japan have less regard for their students than Victoria does for his own? Just what are the dangers to one’s health if exposed to 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter of water? Why is Tepco so secretive, still?

It’s way past time for the government to assume all clean-up operations at the crippled nuclear plant site in Fukushima. Tepco should have gone into bankruptcy on March 12, 2011, and all of its senior executives and engineers taken into custody for questioning and possible criminal prosecution. Criminal negligence has never been in doubt in the court of public opinion.

Tepco grossly failed in its responsibility to do everything possible to safeguard its Fukushima No. 1 plant from quake/tsunami-related catastrophe, despite warnings from a number of well-informed experts. Tepco pointedly ignored such expert opinion.

Is the president of Tepco in bed with PM Shinzo Abe? Is this why Abe is being so protective of the Tepco nuclear village idiots?

Why won’t the Japanese government sponsor a medical seminar similar to the one held at the New York Academy of Sciences and inform the Japanese public about “the full scope of the ongoing dangers posed” by radiation leaks in Fukushima? Why? NHK could do a two- or three-day seminar and invite medical experts to fully inform the Japanese public.

But that would take courage, something the Liberal Democratic Party and the Tepco senior management team are sadly lacking.

I wonder when former PM Taro Aso is going to take a tour of Fukushima and shout peevishly at the local residents to “hurry up and die”?

Otaru, Hokkaido

Come to Japan, catch less rads

In most places in the world, one would get a higher (natural) radiation dose than in Japan — except if one were to visit the immediate neighborhood of the defective No. 1 power plant, or if one insisted on sleeping right on top of one of the few hot spots a bit further away. Look at the radiation measurements on the web!

So, it would be advisable, for many people, in order to reduce their radiation exposure, to come to Japan. But do not come on a commercial high-altitude flight — this will give you a considerable radiation dose.

Atsugi, Kanagawa

Send comments on these issues and story ideas to community@japantimes.co.jp

  • neilcraig

    The Fukushima reactor is the only “catastrophe” since 3 Mile Island to have killed absolutely nobody.
    I am aware that a number of people in a nursing home in the zone died when their “carers” fled but none of them died because of the reactor. As always it turns out to be the anti-nuclear scare industry that is infinitely more destructive than the nuclear industry.

    • thedudeabidez

      As if cancers connected with low-dose exposure appeared overnight. Why not move on to your next ridiculous nuke-industry talking point, like bananas?

      Tens of thousands of people also lost their homes and livelihoods due to this accident. I suppose that doesn’t count as a catastrophe if you’re not one of them.

      • Starviking

        According to mainstream science, the cancers, if they occur, will be so rare as to be impossible to associate with radiation exposure.

  • Starviking

    Quite surprised at the balance of letters here: one for, one against. Given the drubbing Brian Victoria’s sensationlist piece got in the comments section I would have expected more on the against side.

    • Masa Chekov

      Yes, but don’t forget JT’s editorial staff has an extreme and irrational anti-nuclear bias, despite the science.

  • Sam Gilman

    Robert McKinney repeats the error in Brian Victoria’s original letter: there was NO seminar at the New York Academy of Sciences. Instead it was a gathering of renowned scientific cranks led by a New World Order conspiracy theorist: people personally invested in massively (really massively) exaggerating the health problems that will be caused in Fukushima.

    When I challenged Brian Victoria on this in the comments section, he made no effort whatsoever to defend his beliefs or his sources. Instead he made a series of quite baseless ad hominem attacks against me.

    Why does the Japan Times give space to cranks? Are we to get op eds by David Icke and Alex Jones next?

  • Bill

    How does this radiation leak compare to the amount of radiation released by coal power plants?

  • Gord Lawson

    We’ll see what real damage it has done in about 20 years.