Thursday, March 14, 2013

Where Are The Fukushima Alarmists Now ?

Last night, I watched a documentary marking the first anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster in Japan. I think most of you know that it was the byproduct of a 8.8 Earthquake out to sea that caused an enormous tsunami that inundated miles of countryside as well as the plant and its backup generators that were in each building's cellars.. With no power to have pumps pour in water to keep the core-rods cool, they overheated and the increased pressure was vented manually in three of the containment vessels....spreading radioactive dust and gas. Note: The Reactors were of an old design and were going to be replaced with a self-contained internal power source to provide backup pumps when it was needed.

Remember the disgraceful scaremongering over this emergency. I know we can't expect the media to be saints, but scares sell and sometimes scares even turn out to be true. But now that we know, a year later, that not a single person died in this crisis, and that not a single person is likely to, either, can we please introduce a new tradition with scaremongers that could still sell papers and lift ratings. Sure, keep interviewing them as we greedily do after every fresh ''catastrophe'', whether it's Fukushima, bird flu, SARS, flooding rain, forestfires or global warming. But then, after everything settles down as it usually does, can we have the same traders-in-fear back for a sobering follow-up. Let's call it ''How did you get it so wrong?''.  Or, ''What's your excuse this time?''

May I propose the first guests? For Top Ratings in the OMG-Fear Category, I want to see the following people lined up against a studio wall to be shot in close-up explaining how they got Fukushima so wrong.
          FIRST, lets ask the writer for Crikey (an Australian electronic magazine) Guy Rundle to show us his dead Fukushima pilots, stripped of flesh. Rundle is the alarmist who wrote: ''As I write this, the Japanese are conducting direct overflies to try and control the continuing damage most like this will be a suicide mission for the pilots and crew. The Japanese crews will slough their skin and muscles, and bleed out internally under the full glare of the world's media.''
          Well, in that recent documentary, they interviewed the pilots and crews of the water-bombing helicopters and they were saying they were experiencing no after-effects from their heroic flights.

          SECONDLY, let's have veteran nuclear hysteric Helen Caldicott, (left) who warned on a number of radio and TV stations that the Fukushima reactor could blow-up at any time (a scenario ruled out by nuclear experts). This she wailed, ''God, hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying with two weeks of acute radiation illness....with countless more later suffering from an 'epidemic' of cancers.''
          Come on Helen....explain yourself, now that you were made to be an ignorant fool!!

          THIRDLY,  let's get another twit, Dr Tilman Ruff, (sounds like a dog's name),   who's actually a Nossal Institute of Infectious Diseases expert and long-time anti-nuclear activist (see I told you he was a twit), who wildly claimed ''we might be looking at a Chernobyl-type disaster or worse.'' and hungrily described the many ways people could get sick from the fallout that never really came. Such alarmists were given a red carpet entree into the news rooms of almost every big news organisation when fear was then a hot commodity.

The Way I See It....there was no lasting threat of radiation. Remarkably, outside the immediate area of Fukushima, this is hardly a problem at all. Although the crippled nuclear reactors themselves still pose a danger, no one, including personnel who worked in the buildings, died from radiation exposure. Most experts agree that future health risks from the released radiation, notably radioactive iodine-131 and cesium-134 and -137, are extremely small and likely to be undetectable.

Even considering the upper boundary of estimated effects, there is unlikely to be any detectable increase in cancers in Japan, Asia or the world, according to the World Health Organization report. It states; ''There will almost certainly be no increase in birth defects or genetic abnormalities from radiation.''

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