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When the real facts emerge…

Good morning, Netizens...


I am sick to death of listening to the half-truths and outright lies being told in the news media, if not the alternative news media sources about unfolding events in Japan with regard to the nuclear crises. Over the previous 72 hours it has become more and more difficult to truly tell just what is going on in that tragedy-tinged corner of the world, and if you have studied, as I have, the various sources all of whom claim to speak for the power company in charge of the six nuclear reactors, it becomes a steady source of double-speak, most of which is dutifully and immediately sent to the various news agencies for dispersal as fact.


Perhaps the most-important question remains, just who is in charge of the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant and its ultimate recovery? Most sources suggest that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is purportedly in charge, the Japanese government deferring to them and the International Atomic Energy Agency deferring to the government. That perhaps is the beginning of where the half-truths originate, as the power company has, in the past, been responsible for not being entirely forthright in their public announcements according to several news sources.


It gets worse. In the early days of the nuclear crisis, if one did not consult with a good map of the area, it would have been all but impossible to remember there are six reactors in the Fukushima atomic plant complex, as most of the members of the news and alternative news media seemingly could not recall just what they were talking about.


As of three A.M. Pacific Daylight Savings time this morning, no one from any source has actually stated the amount of radiation emanating from any of the damaged atomic plants. News moderators warble on and on about the feeble attempts to cool down the various reactor cores, but without any real sense of just how much radiation is being spewed into the atmosphere. Once again, TEPCO is the only company with manpower on the ground capable of either knowing nor providing this information, and apparently they simply are not telling or perhaps, lacking the technology to track such information, do not know.


Then there is the repetitive and often misleading comparisons between the Fukushima Plant(s) and Chernobyl which are flat-out distortions of the truth. The physical types of the reactor vessels are not even closely similar; Chernobyl had no containment vessel, as compared to Fukushima, which does. In retrospect, at Chernobyl radioactive graphite, noble gases and various other radionuclides were the primary source of the post-event damage and continuing radiation. Since it is not yet factually known whether or not the plants at Fukushima have breached their reactor cores, nor of the true amount of radioactive substances being released into the atmosphere, it may be quite awhile before anyone will know how bad the potentially-released radiation from Japan will be.


Left unattended, without any in-depth analysis, we will continue to be inundated with half-baked rumors, various schemes and other bureaucratic half-truths. How soon will the radiation from Japan reach the United States? It would help to know how much radiation has been released at its source point. Anything else is a wild-assed guess.



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.