[July 13 2011]
Vanishing from the mainstream headlines, the nuclear catastrophe of Fukushima seems more and more eclipsed from our eyes. Out of sight, out of mind, so would the governments like it to be. If you visit The Japan Times website, you will see at least some information on the ongoing crisis. ‘Radioactive beef already sold, eaten‘. A few days ago, the headline ‘Cesium found in Fukushima cattle feed‘ outlined in its article that ‘the contaminated beef did not reach retailers, the officials said’.
Where are all these headlines in our newspapers?
Yesterday, TEPCO announced that it hopes to reduce the highly radioactive leaks by end of July and to cool the reactors by January 2012. And across the ocean, in America, two nuclear incidents are escalating with minimal press reporting. The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility in Omaha, due to be re-licensed until 2030, is being submerged by dangerous flooding, with its surrounding area now designated a ‘No Fly Zone‘ since early June. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a 93 square mile wild fire approached the Los Alamos’ nuclear lab dump site, where an estimated 20,000 55-gallon drums of nuclear waste are being inadequately stored above ground. After burning an acre of lab property, crews are now preparing for flash-flooding in the area triggered by the fire. This would not be the first time that governments, particularly the U.S. Government, withhold data and violate free exchange of information ‘for national security purposes’. Sites such as Fort Calhoun and Los Alamos, essentially produce enriched material for nuclear weapons and bombs, holding close ties to the military. In 1959, Boeing Rocketdyne nuclear testing facility released the third greatest amount of radioactive iodine in nuclear history. The incident went unreported for 40 years.
‘It is a great error to believe that by making the political choice of its energetic turnaround, Germany is breaking with the European concept of modernity and turning towards an archaic age…What is irrational is not the exit from the nuclear power, but continuing to defend it after Fukushima…refusing to take our lessons from history’s experience’, says the German sociologist and philosopher Ulrich Beck in Le Monde. And moreover, who wants to trust our future with an industry that keeps its lips so tight?
Photo and text Sophie Pinchetti