The group's warning underlines the dangers posed by the out-of-control facility which is causing unprecedented damage to earth, sea and sky. But while the disaster continues to grow larger by the day, the government's only response has been to expand the evacuation zone and try to shape news to minimize the public backlash.
Emergency crews have braved high levels of radiation to bring the plant back under control, but with little success. A number of violent tremors and a second smaller tsunami have made their jobs nearly impossible. Thousands of gallons of radioactive water that was used as coolant has been flushed into the sea threatening marine life and sensitive habitat. The toxic release of radiation now poses an incalculable risk to the battered fishing industry and to fish-stocks around the world. This is from an article at Global Research:
"Fish in nearby waters are now being measured at 4,000% above the Codex Alimentarius limits for Iodine-131 and 447% of Caesium-137. Radioactive caesium has a half-life of 30 years. Radiation levels for the isotope are not considered “safe” for 10 to 20 times longer. The caesium released today will remain dangerous six centuries from now....“Fukushima has become the dirty bomb of the Pacific"....("Radiation Spreads Worldwide", Freedom Against Censorship Thailand, Global Research, April 14, 2011)
These costs were never factored in when industry executives and politicians decided to exploit an energy source that can cause cancer, pollute the environment for millennia, and bring the world's third largest economy to its knees.
This is from Reuters:
"Japan's economics minister warned on Tuesday that the economic damage from last month's earthquake and tsunami is likely to be worse than initially thought as power shortages will crimp factory output and restrict supply chains.
“The more sober assessment came as Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to a level 7 from 5, putting it on par with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
“The Bank of Japan governor said the economy was in a "severe state," while central bankers were uncertain when efforts to rebuild the tsunami-ravaged northeast would boost growth, according to minutes from a meeting held three days after a record earthquake struck Japan on March 11." ("Japan quake's economic impact worse than first feared", Reuters, April 14, 2011)
Foreign investors have yet to grasp the full impact of the crisis on Japan's economy. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has increased its bond purchasing program and "launched an ultra-cheap loan scheme for banks in the area devastated by the quake", but monetary policy alone will not lead to a recovery. The government will have to initiate large-scale programs to engage the public while setting aside neoliberal policies that slash state spending and privatize public assets. Restoring economic well-being means strong leadership that moves forcefully in the opposite direction of present trends with the emphasis on shared sacrifice and community values.
This is from the Wall Street Journal:
“Fukushima Daiichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned Tuesday that since the Fukushima Daiichi plant is still releasing radioactive materials, the total level of radiation released could eventually exceed that of Chernobyl, a spokesman said.
“The new assessment comes as Japan admits that the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident—which has already caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and spread radiation through groundwater and farms over a broad section of eastern Japan—are likely to be long-lasting and grave.....
“Japanese nuclear regulators determined that after the accident, the plant has likely released tens of thousands of terabecquerels—or a mind-boggling tens of thousands of trillions of becquerels—of radiation in the immediate area. That's a level that's been recorded only during the Chernobyl accident." ("Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl", Wall Street Journal)
Mike Whitney is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Mike Whitney