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When will the truth be told about Fukushima?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Is the Japanese Government being honest about Fukushima? In this guest post by Rowan Douglas, Rowan thinks the answer is clear: No.

I’ve just finished watching a short film supplied by Tepco (a major Japanese electric utility company) on the removal of fuel rods from the stricken Fukushima Nuclear power plant.

The workers at Fukushima would have to be some of the bravest people on the planet, and there can be no doubt that they deserve far more recognition than they are receiving at the moment. These dedicated professionals are getting stuck into a job that few would even be prepared to contemplate, placing their lives at risk in order to fix just one of a plethora of problems requiring resolution. This newly-released film from Tepco highlighted to me just how much attention is being given to this reactor and its particular problems.

But maybe it’s what they are not focusing on that’s the real issue.

I started to research the Fukushima and the Chernobyl nuclear disasters in August this year. The company I worked for is planning on heading into Japan at the start of 2014, and it was, in fact, the way the company was not acknowledging the recent mainstream media reports coming out of Japan that got me researching this topic.

The company that I worked for is the prestigious entertainment production company Cirque Du Soleil.

Of late though, Cirque has been failing to attract the crowds it has become used to over its thirty-year history. It is a fact, in this particular production from Cirque, they have just had four months off due to not being able to find a market to successfully sell their product in. This has never happened in Cirque’s history. If they were not to take this production into the promoter market of Japan, then they would not have any place to take this show. Cirque has been relying increasingly upon promoter markets since the GFC in 2009. A promoter market is when a particular promoter pays for the Cirque product (show) upfront and then sells and promotes the product they have purchased. This has proven to be the most cost effective and profitable way for Cirque to run. I perceived their lack of acknowledgment of the change in the situation at Fukushima as trying to downplay the potential dangers presented in Japan. This being due to the fact that they have been hemorrhaging staff since the unpaid break of four months. I believed that they were putting the lives of their employees and their families at risk in order to keep the production alive and make millions of dollars profit from the Japanese promoter market.

What worried me further, after looking into it more deeply, is the fact that the promoter for Cirque in Japan is the television network Fuji, which if you do not know, is the largest television network in Japan. This is the very same television network that is participating in the media black out of Fukushima. After Cirque’s initial non-acknowledgment of the situation and my awareness of who the promoter Fuji actually was, I felt I had no safe choice but to resign from my position. At this point I need to make it clear that Cirque has since covered itself and acknowledged the changing situation in Fukushima. It only did this after I sent out a company wide email addressing the change in the Fukushima situation.

During my own research into this topic I learned that the Japanese government and Tepco had been aware of the ongoing leakage of radioactive water into the ocean and had continued to keep this information concealed. I became incensed. How could a government lie to its people and to the world about such a perilous situation? I also discovered that they had been deceitful since the incident at Fukushima in saying that there had only been one meltdown when in fact there had been three.

The situation comes down to me now as a question of trust. Both the Government and Tepco has by their own admission been deceiving the public since the very beginning, so why should I or anyone trust anything they say now?

During the period I was researching, Tokyo was named host of the 2020 Olympics. I was astounded. How could a country that has just undergone the worst nuclear disaster in history, and really only just begun the process of cleaning it up, be awarded this privilege?

It was all a little strange and far too coincidental for me.

The Japanese Government has assured the world that they have this disaster under control. Obviously ‘control’, at least by the Japanese government’s definition, means releasing 350-400 tons of radioactive waste into the ocean on a daily basis.

The Olympic committee seems to be satisfied with this explanation. The world’s mainstream media seem to be satisfied as well. They have gone strangely quiet since the Olympic announcement. It is like someone has waved a magic wand. All reports of water leakage and ‘ice walls’ seemed to have vanished. They have been replaced by short pieces on the work being done on removing the fuel rods from the spent fuel pools at reactor no.4. Personally, I have only come across one piece on the water leakage since the announcement.

I turned my attention instead to the underground media on the Internet. A common theme I immediately found among these many sites was a huge amount of fear. Most of the fear centres around the potential for a huge nuclear release from the moving of the fuel rods. It seems strange to me that everyone is focusing solely on the potential for something that may or may not happen. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the range of problems holistically and then dealing with all of them as such? Is not like independent sources have not been offering Tepco other solutions to the water leakage either. During my research I came across Arni Gundersen from the energy watchdog Fairewinds. He approached Tepco with the following solution two years ago ‘Surround the plant with a trench filled with material called zeolite. That’s just the volcanic ash. The volcanic ash is very good at absorbing radiation. But the solution isn’t to keep the water from getting out. The solution is to keep the water from getting in. So, outside the trench that they surround the plant, if they pull the water level down (the clean water outside the trench) that would prevent further water from leaking into the Daiichi site.’ Why then are Tepco only focusing on reactor no. 4?

It feels like the same charade that governments and corporations play the world over. The old sleight of hand parlour trick. While we have our attention on something that may happen, they continue to do nothing about what actually is happening. This raises further questions. Is it because the problem is so huge and will cost so much money that they cannot afford to fix it? Is it simply something that cannot be fixed by any known technology or science? Or is it that we cannot see the damage being done so therefore it is easier to not to focus on it?

These are just some of the questions that I feel the world’s media should be asking. As an aware citizen I believe we have a right to the truth, especially when it comes to issues such as these. Governments have a responsibility to their people and to the rest of the world to tell the truth no matter how bad or incompetent they look.

One thing I do know for sure is that the truth always prevails. How long this will take and how much damage will be done until such a time, it seems, is up to the Japanese government.

The very same government that has been lying since the beginning.

So, you see, for me it is not a question of truth any more.

It is a question of when.

When is the world’s media going to start asking these questions?

When will someone have the guts to stand up to the obfuscation peddled by the authorities and demand cold hard facts?

When is the actual truth going to be told?

See more from Rowan Douglas on his blogsite Time to Share, Time to Act.

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  1. Ricky Pann

    Don’t Worry Mugs, Asbestos Julie will get to the bottom of it. Destined to become a pop culture verb..Its muckashima’d

  2. Jed Walker

    “We’ve harnessed the energy of the sun, we’ve lost control of it, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it”

    You gotta keep writing about this.

  3. Murphy

    Msm doesn’t exist in my world anymore. The deafening silence hurts my brain.

    Arnie Gundersen –

  4. doctorrob54

    When we can’t eat the fish caught in the Pacific any more.What f#@ks me is if it was an oil spill or similar it would be news every day,world wide.why is this treated different.

  5. Colin

    When will the truth be told about Fukushima? is the question. Unless and until that question is asked, and asked, and asked, and asked etc etc, it won’t be. Keep on probing, the so-called journalists of the world (in most cases) can’t or won’t, and the general population will continue to accept the crap that passes for news these days.

  6. Ricky Pann

    I urge you all to watch this. Prediction: Invasion of Japan is imminent,

  7. Möbius Ecko

    People shouldn’t be surprised at this if they had looked up Japan’s long history of nuclear accidents and radioactive leaks cover ups. Any quick online search reveals many of them, and it makes you wonder about the ones that the government and industry did manage to keep secret.

    Then you have to wonder about the other reactors around the world and how much has been covered up.

    On paper at least I’m optimistic about the new GE AP1000 reactor design approved in the US. The Chinese are building a copy, but there are worries about the very short timescale they are planning to do it in that has experts believing that shortcuts are being taken.

  8. Trevor Vivian

    Well well well. Three holes in the ground. Michael Taylor thank you for your research on fukafukinmessshima. The nuclear age has thrown up many more questions than answers since it’s inception. None more so than the role of the media complicit withe military industrial estate in selling the SAFE USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY Big public lie for generations now. You name any nuclear issue and the levels of secrecy that surround public release by governments military and corporate players have amazed me for over my 20yr interest in all things nuclear. From production, use of and waste disposal to reactor housing dismantling. But more amazing has been the public response of complicity toward this insidious industry. This mostly silent complicity allows the secrecy to continue and because of the serious charges and fines put in place by governments at the request of the military and corporate players the complicity of the public will continue. But once again thanks to Michael Taylor for his research and public position. Ciao

  9. diannaart

    Interesting read, Michael.

    On lies, obfuscation and self-interest I don’t think the Japanese government is much different from our own or the USA, the Brits, Canadians’, or most western governments since the ascension of global corporatisation.

    We have been played for suckers for so long now, that it takes a truly monstrous act – such as the lies about Fukushima for even a glimmer of reflection on our behaviour – globally speaking.

    If we needed further evidence that some kind of world malaise is occurring, that the wondrous Cirque Du Soleil is failing to attract crowds. I don’t see this as a long bow to draw – not in an age where our ‘heroes’ are vacant celebrities rather than the very real talents of real people in such as the Cirque Du Soleil.

  10. Ricky Pann

    The cloak of secrecy around this is ridiculous
    Firstly there are 55 reactors in japan dating back to 66. They are landlocked so ask yourself by way of common sense, where do they put this stuff. There is 150,000 tons of highly toxic waste from Fukashima alone and rising.
    This was imminent considering their culture of covering shit up and avoiding problems. 2/3 o hat economy is running black and not paying Tax, corporate corruption id rife and criminal activity is permeated through the society as the norm. So where are they gonna get the resources to sort this out?

  11. Roswell

    When will the truth be told about Fukushima? When will the truth be told about anything?

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