Hold that "hot" Fukushima sushi
June 7, 2012
We all knew it was coming.
Radioactive tuna has been caught off the coast of California. The fingerprint of cesium 137 is unmistakably from the exploded reactors at Fukushima.
But Fukushima's hot hands are also on a very welcome debate still stalemating China's plans to build more than 30 new reactors. Fierce No Nukes opposition continues to escalate in India. Reactor cancellations have spread throughout Europe.
And the $8.33 billion loan guarantee for Georgia's Vogtle double-reactor project has still not been finalized. After just five months construction is $1 billion over budget and falling ever further behind schedule. There is no firm price tag. Substandard concrete and rebar steel that doesn't meet official specifications are just the beginning of the nightmare.
You can help Georgia ratepayers and American taxpayers out of this misery by signing our petition at
You can also prepare for life without sushi. National Public Radio has assured us all that the radioactive tuna are perfectly safe to eat. This is the same network whose Scott Simon glibly told us that there were no injuries at Three Mile Island, "not even a sprained ankle."
But as long-time radiation expert Robert Alavarez warns, "it's not harmless." Fukushima released far more cesium-137 than the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many decades ago lesser fallout from nuclear testing forced the confiscation of more than 4 million pounds of fish.
But as the really bad news from Fukushima continues to escalate, we must begin to adjust to far worse than giving up raw fish.
Massive quantities of Japanese trash have begun to wash up on the west coast of North America, from Alaska to California and beyond. The tragic residue of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and cost trillions has crossed the Pacific. The waves of debris include at least one "ghost ship," many motor vehicles, thousands of barrels full of unknown substances and much more.
Much of it is radioactive. Government officials, the nuclear industry and corporate media will lowball the readings and scoff at the health implications. But American beaches are now contaminated, the fish you once ate is unsafe and the situation could get much worse.
Still hovering 100 feet in the air is the spent fuel pool at Fukushima #4. Stacked with thousands of tons of the most lethal substances ever created, the fuel rods could come crashing to the ground with the next big earthquake. Strewn at random, with no cooling water, exposed to the air, the radiation releases would far exceed Chernobyl, the nuclear bomb tests and any other polluting fallout humankind has yet created. That it would go global is a given.
Repeated calls for help from international teams of experts underline the core reality that nobody really knows what to do, except to pray for seismic stability...an impossible dream in Japan, but at this point the only port of last resort.
Thankfully, the doubts instilled by Fukushima and the growing power of the global No Nukes movement have had their impact. Reports from China indicate deep divisions about further reactor construction.
Massive demonstrations and hunger strikes continue in opposition to India's Koodankulam project. Cancellations have spread throughout Europe.
In the meantime we Americans can finally kill the prospect of federal loan guarantees for building new reactors here.
As Mary Olson of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service has pointed out, money for new nukes---which can't get private financing---was set aside early in the George W. Bush Administration. But in large part as a result of the power of the grassroots No Nukes movement, not a single guarantee has yet been finalized.
Vogtle is the first project officially designated. But problems with design, planning and execution continue to escalate. So have the rate hikes imposed on Georgia consumers. With no firm price tag or completion date, and with the entire industry in chaos, the Office of Management and Budget has been unable to set reasonable terms that the reactor builders can meet.
It all adds up to an industry in accelerating collapse. Reactor construction at South Carolina's V.C. Summer is also over budget, behind schedule and at the core of massive rate hike fights in both Carolinas.
Reactors proposed for Florida's Levy County have soared over a minimum of $9.5 billion to as high as $12 billion each, and still climbing---far in excess of original estimates. Shutdowns continue at nearby Crystal River, California's San Onofre, the flooded Calhoun in Nebraska and many others. Public pressure to forever close Vermont Yankee, New York's Indian Point, Ohio's Davis-Besse, South Texas and more continues to escalate.
Whether these shut-down movements succeed before a Fukushima happens here, or that spent fuel pool collapses, or Vogtle again escalates in price, remains to be seen.
What's certain is that you can help stop the Vogtle loan guarantee and kill the chance of any new reactors being built here---paving the path at last for a totally green-powered Solartopian Earth.
So next time you start to reach for some sushi, grab a pen or keyboard instead. Sign the petitions, call your Representative, run a bake sale---do whatever is needed to kill this loan guarantee and lessen the odds on being harmed by a Fukushima here at home.
Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! is at harveywaseerman.com along with HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US. His Green Power & Wellness Show airs at prn.fm. He is Senior Editor of freepress.org, where this was first published.
Email this article to a friend
"The 2d Amendment does NOT condone random slaughter"
December 15, 2012
"Nuke power's collapse gets ever more dangerous"
November 29, 2012
"Romney would have won if it had all come down to Ohio"
November 8, 2012
"The e-voting lawsuit that could decide the election"
November 5, 2012
"Harvey Wasserman talks election theft with two EON videos"
November 4, 2012
"Harvey Wasserman on Romney's voting machines counting YOUR vote and more"
October 29, 2012
"The rust-bucket reactors start to fall "
October 25, 2012
"Japan's Long Atomic Sayonara "
September 17, 2012
"Bonnie Raitt lights up the world"
September 13, 2012
"Murdoch's Journal pushes tragic Fukushima flim-flam"
August 29, 2012
"The devil STILL has us death dancing at Fukushima "
August 7, 2012
"Why should nuke guarantees cost less than home or student loans?"
July 2, 2012
"Hold that "hot" Fukushima sushi"
June 7, 2012
"Will you pay as new reactors jump $900 million in three months? "
May 15, 2012
"The nuclear industry has melted in Japan and France"
May 7, 2012
"Atomic rate rape & the new China syndrome"
May 4, 2012
"Obama's atomic Solyndra?"
April 18, 2012
"A dying empire invades Oaksterdam, our privacy & our speech"
April 12, 2012
"America's 2 new nukes are on the brink of death"
April 5, 2012
"Nuclear power's Green Mountain grassroots demise"
March 16, 2012
"We may yet lose Tokyo….not to mention Alaska…and now Georgia, too "
February 10, 2012
"Court to Vermont: "Drop Dead""
January 24, 2012
"2012 is the year to finally bury nuke power "
January 3, 2012
Read Articles by Year:
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000