Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thousands of US Infants Die from Fukushima Fallout

Earlier this month the peer-reviewed International Journal of Health Studies published a study by respected epidemiologists on the correlation between a spike in infant mortality across the US earlier this year and the arrival in mid-March of a radioactive plume from Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear facility. The authors suggest that a dramatic increase in infant deaths, totaling nearly 14,000, is attributable to the fallout from Fukushima and is strikingly similar to a rise in such deaths in Europe following Chernobyl. See here for the original report and here for a summary.

I remember dismissing as alarmist and uninformed the dire warnings of foreign observers on the severity of Fukushima back in  March.  Nuclear experts from around the world strongly suspected that meltdown was underway in one or more reactors in the hours and days following March 11 even as the Japanese government and the operator of the Fukushima facility strenuously rejected the very possibility of this, instead assuring the international community that the reactors' fuel rods were completely submerged at a safe temperature and that the situation was under control. 

The failure of government and nuclear industry to give careful consideration to historical evidence of massive tsunami in the past- geologic findings published a decade before 3/11 showed that waves easily capable of overtopping the Fukushima plant's defenses had been generated by powerful quakes in the region 1000 years earlier- coupled with the superstitious belief that to prepare for the worst was to invite it, established a pattern of complacency that was seen in the authorities' response to the catastrophe.

The Japanese nuclear establishment and regulatory agency were as unprepared for 3/11 as was the Japanese shogunate of yore for the massed hosts of Mongol invaders.  Unfortunately, this time there was no 'divine wind' to come to the rescue.