Why is it that a news item ceases to be a news item after a few days, or at most a few weeks?
Oh yes if it has been something akin to the tragedy that struck on September 11th, 2001 or a massacre of school children, or a world war commencement or ending, then we might have an annual remembrance. These events can even spur public holidays in the nations where they occurred so that people can pause to remember, and if appropriate, celebrate.
But on the whole, once a story has been front page news for a day or two, it slowly but surely slides into (what might be termed) media oblivion.
Who can possibly forget the live television reports following the Great Japan Earthquake (GJE)? A magnitude 9.0 earthquake which struck on March 11th 2011 at 14:46 JCT and generated a powerful tsunami wave which (according to some) reached heights of up to 40+ meters.
I suspect most people with access to a television set watched in awe and trepidation, as homes, villages, industry, farmland and people we swept into oblivion. According to Wikipedia:
Of the 13,135 fatalities recovered by 11 April 2011, 12,143 or 92.5% died by drowning. Victims aged 60 or older accounted for 65.2% of the deaths, with 24% of total victims being in their 70s. As of March 2012, Japanese police data showed that 70% of the 3,279 still missing were aged 60 or over, including 893 in their 70s and 577 in their 80s. Of the total confirmed victims, 14,308 drowned, 667 were crushed to death or died from internal injuries, and 145 perished from burns.
But even those figures pale in light of the nuclear catastrophe which unfolded.
The media was full of the news of the impending disaster, after the reactors suffered serious damage following the earthquake and tsunami. Today – only a little over a year later, you would be hard pressed to find any reports of this in the main stream media.
The continuing catastrophe unfolding on the Nation of Japan has slid into media oblivion. There appears to be a deliberate wall of silence – worldwide. The only places a reader like you and I can get information is on the internet. I believe it is of vital importance that this information be passed along. It has not all be fixed up! It has not all slipped quietly into oblivion in the annals of world history. It is still unfolding and should be front page news in the Mail Stream Media. People lives are at risk worldwide and yet there is a concerted shhhhhhhh……….. with an eerie silence. It seems that if they don’t report on it then everyone will forget it is happening.
Dear Readers, let us not forget this is happening. I am not about to leap into a diatribe about the dangers of nuclear power (that speaks for itself), but I am going to give you some thoughts which I hope will provoke you into asking for answers from both the media and your government. Yes I believe in the tooth fairy too!
People with far more knowledge and credentials than me have been pleading with the world for assistance, and the Japanese Government and TEPCO seem to be deaf to their pleas.
What is it going to take? Japan is a very volatile and shaky Island Chain. TEPCO say’s the reactors are safe and will not come crashing down with another earthquake. They say they withstood the last one. But they have since been seriously damaged, so what effect will another major earthquake have on their vulnerable structures?
The following is a plea for help addressed to the world community. It is part of a letter I recently received:
A plea for help from Japan
A nuclear inspector just said that the fate my country and much of the world depends on Fukushima’s Reactor Number 4. If this damaged structure collapses, the spread of radiation would go way beyond Japan’s borders and be truly catastrophic.
Since last year’s tragic earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, a pool of highly dangerous spent nuclear fuel is being held in reactor 4’s crumbling structure. Experts say another strong earthquake would cause the pool to collapse and emit such high radiation that my family and the 35 million people in Tokyo would be forced to evacuate. It would also contaminate the skies across the Pacific and into Asia. The area around the toxic pool is vulnerable to regular seismic shocks, but, amazingly, my government is denying the risks, likely desperate not to cause panic.
Global nuclear experts, a US Senator and tens of thousands of people across Japan are raising the alarm. My country has the technology to stop this disaster, but not the political will. The best way to curb this lethal threat that would dwarf last year’s disaster is a global wave of public pressure on my government to agree an emergency plan with UN experts. Click below to sign the petition to the UN and Prime Minister Noda and forward this to everyone:
The reactor 4 pool has no walls or roof and there are thousands of spent fuel rods inside containing ten times the amount of radioactive material than was released in the Chernobyl nuclear accident. This material, Cesium 137, is one of the most hazardous materials on the planet — it gives off radiation that can remain dangerous for hundreds of years. To avoid spontaneous fire due to radioactivity alone, the dilapidated pool must be constantly cooled. If it collapsed and a fire ensued reactor 4 is just 50 meters from the other reactors that contain thousands more spent fuel rods. The scope of disaster is nearly unfathomable!
Nuclear scientists say the spent fuel must be removed from the storage pool as fast as possible to a dry and safe facility. But so far the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Japan’s embattled nuclear energy giant responsible for the cleanup, insists they have reinforced the structure and is relying on the vulnerable pool storage system. People across Japan distrust TEPCO and do not understand why my government is leaving it up to this agency when they were already caught lying about the safety of Fukushima reactors before last year’s disaster.
The Japanese people should not have to live on the brink of nuclear disaster. (neither should the world community who will also be affected should these spent fuel rods deteriorate any further) And fears that an accident would have global impact led one Japanese politician to call the risk, ‘the ultimate catastrophe for the world’. Global experts are now raising their voices and US Senator Wyden, who just visited the site, has publicly called for action and offered US help. I appeal to you to help get the UN’s attention now to force my government to welcome an international team of nuclear experts to clean up Reactor 4 and remove this risk forever.
MORE INFORMATION available from these links – information that ought to be widely available in the Main Stream Media – but isn’t. I ask you to follow the links, read what others who are more knowledgable than me have to say, judge for yourselves, and pass along the information
Fukushima Reactor 4 poses massive global risk (CTV)
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over (Huffington Post)
Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant (The Asahi Shimbun)
Fukushima Daiichi’s Achilles Heel: Unit 4′s Spent Fuel? (The Wall Street Journal)
Japan Nuclear Plant May Be Worse Off Than Thought (New York Times)
Mark Sircus on Fukushima
Mark Sircus: Fukushima Hanging by a Thread