A few days after the tsunami and earthquake happened that caused the meltdowns at Fukushima in Japan, I told a friend “We won’t get to know the whole story”. And we didn’t – and probably never will.
The storage tanks that are now leaking 10 tonnes of radioactive water per day were only built to last five years, and hence were not built to a high standard. An official from TEPCO, which operates (or perhaps we should say ‘operated’) the Fukushima plant, said that the release could have been happening for 30 days before being detected.
Various websites, such as ENE and SimplyInfo (which is linked to the Fukushima Project), publish alarming updates very frequently. The ENE site has a column of related updates on one side – these are equally alarming, as they show what we are not being told.
It will be interesting to find out if cancer rates have increased in the Fukushima vicinity. Masao Yoshida, who was superintendent of Fukushima at the time of the tsunami and who initially directed 50 staff to try and minimise ensuing damage, died in July of oesophageal cancer. And pools of water in the storage tanks release as much radioactivity in one hour as a person working in a reactor is allowed to be exposed to over a five-year period.
The situation is likely to get worse, not better.