Monday, July 23, 2007

Genpatsu - Shinsai

July 23rd, 2007

Dear Readers,

I spent most of the past few days working on
background material for a follow-up article on
the Kashiwazaki accident. I came home from the
library today, ready to flesh out my skeletal 400-word essay.

But instead, I find that Harvey Wasserman has
ALREADY written a fine article, covering every
topic I had planned to cover, and then some.

So here it is (below). It should appear in every
newspaper in the country that calls itself honest
-- that wants to present the real issues that
matter in the world today. Even without their
help, I believe Harvey's article is already the
#1 editorial on the planet right now, judging by
the buzz I've seen about it. And it should
be. He's done a fine job expressing every detail
of the situation. People need to know this stuff.

I only wish to add that Wikipedia is currently
reporting (subject to change by pro-nuke truth
saboteurs) that virtually all radiation release
data for the initial phase of the accident was LOST.

How incredibly convenient!

Please pass Harvey Wasserman's excellent article
around to everyone on your lists!


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Harvey Wasserman: PR Nuke Flacks Do The Kashiwazaki Quake Death Spin

Published on Monday, July 23, 2007 by

PR Nuke Flacks Do The Kashiwazaki Quake Death Spin

by Harvey Wasserman

As you read this, swarms of extremely well-paid
PR flacks are spinning the Kashiwazaki nuke quake
into an argument for building more reactors. They
will deploy utter absurdities and personal
attacks, followed by the sound of media-complicit silence.

But the news coming from Japan­and not being
covered here­makes it clear the realities of this
latest reactor disaster are beyond catastrophic.
Seven reactors were put at direct risk, with four
forced into emergency shut-downs while suffering
numerous fires and emitting unknown quantities of
radiation. Most importantly, the quake exceeded
the design capabilities of all Japan's 55
reactors, and worse seismic shocks are expected.

To counter these inconvenient realities, expect
to soon see more of Patrick Moore, the alleged ex-Greenpeace founder.

Moore has called the disaster at Three Mile
Island a "success story." Moore claims to be a
scientist. He's obviously not an accountant.

His face stays straight while calling the
transformation of a $900 million asset into a $2
billion liability a "success story." It testifies
to a mentality that never saw a polluter's check that couldn't be cashed.

On January 28, 1986, I debated a spokeswoman from
Cleveland Electric Illuminating who termed the
earthquake fault near the Perry Nuclear Plant a "geologic anomaly."

As we spoke, the Challenger space shuttle blew up
because NASA "scientists" said warnings from
their own staff about O-rings in cold weather
were not "compelling." The shuttle was shot off
to coincide with a planned presidential
performance by Ronald Reagan. Seven astronauts
died while the whole world watched in horror.

Three days later, a non-anomalous earthquake
cracked pipes and pumps at Perry, knocking out
roads and bridges. Apparently, neither the
O-rings nor the fault line had read the industry's spin.

Today the nuke flacks say Kashiwazaki was a
"success story" because four reactors SCRAMmed
into emergency shutdown and three more were
damaged, but no apocalypse resulted (yet).

Since this is only the world's largest nuke
complex, with only seven reactors on site, and
only several hundred barrels of nuke waste tipped
over, and far fewer had their lids fly off, and
the gas emissions the utility lied about were
only tritium, which is less deadly than
plutonium, the fact that all of Japan was not
engulfed in a catastrophic radiation release
(yet) will be used to sell more reactors.

Expect phrases like these:

"The reactors withstood the worst nature could throw at them."

"The SCRAMs went off perfectly."

"The shut-downs will be temporary."

"American reactors are far stronger than Japanese ones."

"This was a once-in-a-century fluke, and no one was hurt."

"Even so, we must have nuke power to fight global warming."

"The media has distorted the utility's good-faith
attempts to inform the public."

"Those rad-waste barrels were tipped over by eco-terrorists."

"Tritium is good for you."

"Nuke power is a 'zero emissions' technology,
therefore the reported leaks could not have occurred."

"Those anti-nuke so-called scientists have been discredited."

But most importantly, expect a tightly enforced media blackout.

It starts when all who question the industry are automatically "discredited."

Dr. John Gofman, universally acknowledged as one
of the world's leading nuclear and medical
researchers, was once in charge of health
research for the old Atomic Energy Commission.
When asked to determine how many people would be
killed by radioactive emissions from "normal"
reactor operations, he found it would be about 32,000 Americans per year.

The AEC demanded he revise his findings. Gofman
refused. So he was forced out of the AEC and
"discredited" despite credentials that continue
to dwarf those who replaced him.

The list of physicists, engineers, medical
researchers and others similarly purged for
fact-based reporting is too tragic to reconstruct here.

But it even includes a park ranger at the Pt.
Reyes National Seashore who noticed in the spring
of 1986 that the number of live bird births had
plummeted compared with the previous ten springs.
The only logical link was to radioactive fallout
from Chernobyl, brought down by a California
rainstorm ten days after the explosion.

The ranger soon found himself out of a job.

On the other hand, the industry still falsely
asserts that no one died at Three Mile Island. It
even produced a "doctor" who traveled through
Europe asserting that the enormous radiation
releases spewed by the explosion at Chernobyl would ultimately save lives.

Predictably, the Kashiwazaki catastrophe has
disappeared from the American media. But in
Japan, the news has transcended the truly horrifying.

According to Leo Lewis in The Times, talk is
rampant of a "Genpatsu-shinsai," defined by
Japan's leading seismologist, Katsuhiko Shibashi,
as "the combination of an earthquake and nuclear
meltdown capable of destroying millions of lives
and bringing a nation to its knees." Shibashi
warns that the recent 6.8 magnitude shock
exceeded the design capabilities of the
Kashiwazaki nuke by a factor of three. A Kobe
University research team is reported as saying
that if the quake had been 10km further to the
southwest, a "terrible, terrible disaster" would have resulted.

Prof. Mitsuhei Murata of Tokai Gakuen University
is quoted as warning that a quake at the Hamaoka
nuke could bring "24 million victims and the end
for Japan." Japan's earthquake experts assume the
probability of an 8.0 quake within the next 30 years to be 87 percent.

As in the US, Tokyo Electric has long denied that
its seven Kashiwazaki reactors were sited atop a
fault line, only to have it turn out to be true.
As at Three Mile Island, vital data has already
disappeared from the Kashiwazaki disaster, and
the exact quantities of radiation released are
unknown. Radiation at both sites escaped well
after the reactors were shut down.

As in the United States, Japanese earthquake
experts have warned since the 1960s about the
dangers of reactor construction, only to be ignored and "discredited."

Undoubtedly the Japanese PR nuke spinsters will
continue to attack and ignore them.

Here, 2400 central Pennsylvania families will
still be denied a federal trial on the death,
disease and mayhem spewed upon them by Three Mile
Island nearly thirty years ago. And the seven
dead Challenger astronauts are not available for
comment on the "perfectly safe" O-rings that
killed them just prior to the "non-credible"
earthquake that struck the Perry nuke.

Any possible problems with a new generation of
reactors are equally non-credible. Just ask a flack.

EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at He is
senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear
Information & Resource Service, and writes
regularly for, where this article first appeared.
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