Religious icons that had scattered throughout the community of where Yuriage once stood. Those who found these remnants returned them to where the town’s temple once stood. Photo credit Stack Jones.
Three Years On is dedicated to the victims of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that occurred on March 11th, 2011. The site can be viewed here.
It’s been three years since Japan’s triple disaster, and there has been very little, if any change in the way the nation governs the nuclear aspect of the energy industry.
Hundreds of millions of dollars poured in through generous donations from around the world, but most of the victims hadn’t received one single yen of compensation, as the government has hijacked misappropriated much of the funds, and used it on projects that most of the donor’s would not have approved of. Meanwhile, scores of families still remain living as evacuees, without being supplied basic necessities such as water, electricity, and heating. Most refugees have not received government assistance, nor cash payouts by TEPCO for the loss of their lands, and livelihoods. The victims, be it the earthquake, the tsunami, or the radiation debacle, simply have been forgotten by the media, Japan, and the world.
As far as the man-made nuclear aspect of the disaster goes, most of the Japanese people remain in denial, even as officials have finally admitted that many areas in Fukushima Prefecture will never be inhabited again. The radiation contamination readings in Fukushima, and the surrounding areas have recently been recorded at their highest levels ever recorded. Meanwhile, a joint study by Kyoto University, and the University of Tsukuba, estimates that the water at the mouth of the Abukumagawa River that runs through the prefecture is contaminated with radiation levels of 50 billion becquerels per day. This will prove to be disastrous for the people of Fukushima, as that river is their main water source. Further, an estimated 10% of Fukushima children already have suffered cancer related illnesses, but the government, and TEPCO continue to deny any causal link between their suffering, and the reckless corporate management of the nuclear facility, that brought about the subsequent destruction of much of central Japan.
As the disaster in Dai-ichi continues to unfold, it is becoming evident that Japan’s nuclear nightmare is far worse than that of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Tepco still hasn’t been able to get close enough to Unit 3, to even make an assessment, as to how severe the situation is at that particular reactor. Are they even trying? The company continues to dump highly contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean as if it is their personal radiation disposal site. Meanwhile, a huge radiation plume has already made its way to North America’s west coast. The impact of that is yet to be known, as the plume continues on its course, heading to the Hawaiian Islands, and further into the massive Pacific Ocean vortex. How much radiation contamination is really out there from Japan’s triple reactor breaches? According to Professor Koide the three explosions that occurred at the Daiichi nuclear facility in the city of Namie, has released the plutonium equivalent of 200,000 Hiroshima bombs into the environment.
Nuclear energy companies promised clean, safe, and cheap energy when they started this “atoms for peace” program. It’s quite clear that none of this is true. Some radiation left behind by Tepco’s reckless, and unconscionable conduct will continue into its half-life decaying stage long after human’s are extinct. Until then, generations of offspring will have to deal with attempting to maintain the environmental catastrophe, again, and again, and again, at crippling economic costs. That’s the legacy, the environmental footprint that will be left behind by mankind.
This generation has caused more destruction to this planet than any prior. If we don’t start becoming responsible for our actions, we won’t have to worry about our legacy, as there will be no one left to right our wrongs. We are already in the world’s sixth great extinction period, and life on this planet is dying off at a faster rate than at any time in history. The red flags are raised, and the alarms are all sounding, but we are all asleep at the wheel.
Clearly, nuclear energy is not the answer to the world’s energy demands. Even more clear, is that the only foreseeable way out of the current economic crisis, that has already lasted for nearly a decade, is for companies, and governments to cooperate, and invest into renewable energy technologies, such as fusion, wind, and solar power. Simply, the world needs sustainable energy sources that are clean, and effective.
Hopefully, the politicians, and the corporations that prop them up, and profit from their wars, destruction, and genocide will somehow gain a collective conscience, and move beyond petty money grabbing schemes, and rise to the challenge. Somehow, I doubt this will occur. I’m not optimistic that the human race will ever rise to that challenge. Even when it means saving their own species from annihilation.