This article written by Keith Harmon Snow is a sobering assessment of the reality on the ground in Japan concerning the Fukushima reactor meltdown.
As the sun set over quake-stricken Japan on Thursday 17 March 2011, we learned that four of six Fukushima nuclear reactor sites are irradiating the earth, that the fire is burning out of control at Reactor No. 4’s pool of spent nuclear fuel, that there are six spent fuel pools at risk all told, and that the sites are too hot to deal with. On March 16 Plumes of White Vapor began pouring from crippled Reactor No. 3 where the spent fuel pool may already be lost. Over the previous days we were told: nothing to worry about. Earthquakes and after shocks, tidal wave, explosions, chemical pollution, the pox of plutonium, contradicting information too obvious to ignore, racism, greed — add these to the original Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine and Death. The situation is apocalyptic and getting worse. This is one of the most serious challenges humanity has ever faced.
Humanity now faces a deadly serious challenge coming out of Japan — the epicenter of radiation. Intentional efforts to downplay or dismiss this catastrophe reveal the immaturity of western civilization and some of our most acute human pathologies, including our worship of technology and our psychopathology of denial. The widespread distortion and cover-ups to protect private profits, national and corporate interests, to fool and betray the people, are unacceptable. Here are some of the deeper whats and whys and hows — some technical issues and the kinds of questions people need to ask — about the nuclear apocalypse unfolding on planet earth. Prayers are not enough. It’s time to question everything, to put politics aside, to take personal action to halt nuclear expansion and defend ourselves from this industrial juggernaut.
I know something about technology, and science: I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering — with honors — from one of America’s top Engineering schools. Before 1990 I worked in classified programs for General Electric — the maker of the nuclear reactors now irradiating Japan. I worked at GE Aerospace Electronics Laboratories: low-level classified government programs in communications, radars and missile guidance systems for Ronald Reagan’s infamous Star Wars (Strategic Defence Initiative) programs.
From 1990 to 1993 I taught English at Japan’s big Soga Shosa (trading houses) like Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Corporations, and meanwhile I biked the rivers, swam the beaches, hiked the mountains and studied the culture of Japan. Japanese corporations were paving the shorelines and rivers with concrete, sinking giant tetrapods off shore. One corporation even developed these giant rubber bladders — the size of football-fields — sunk offshore, which could be pumped full of seawater to provide a giant barrier against tsunami’s. Of course, the profit margins for these corporations supplying these bags were huge, but I wonder what happened to the technology, if these were ever deployed, and where.
For the first 34 years of my life I was in favor of nuclear power. This changed when I saw young people in the United States put their bodies on the line to protest the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Station operations in Tennessee (1994). The commitment and integrity of these young people made me rethink my nuclear bias.