Ziggy Switkowski vs the Farmers of Japan.


M&C news
Asia Pacific
Fukushima not a Chernobyl in the making, nuclear physicist says

Mar 17, 2011, 10:37 GMT

Sydney – Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor is not about to belt out volumes of radiation the way the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine did in 1986, Australia’s foremost nuclear physicist said Thursday.

Ziggy Switkowski, the former chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, said the situation as Fukushima was ‘very, very serious’ but not comparable with the Soviet-era disaster.

‘The reactors are obviously damaged, there is radiation leakage, but there’s not yet measurable impact on the broader community in terms of radiation exposure,’ said Switkowski, who once ran Australia’s biggest phone company.

‘There are extraordinary efforts to restore power to the site to restore the cooling system,’ he said. ‘Every day we think engineers have come up with a solution but it’s still pretty bleak.’

Switkowski told national broadcaster ABC that in a worst case scenario the cores would melt and flow into holding trays below the Fukushima plant.

‘There will be extensive radiation released for a short time and an area around the reactor site will be contaminated. But there’s no doubt that it will be very localised.’

He said Chernobyl was an uncontrolled burning of an exposed core for 10 days where the roof of the facility had been blown off. There was no containment vessel. ‘That’s as bad as we’ve ever seen,’ he said.

‘This is likely to be a melt through the containment vessel and it’s likely to go underneath the reactor. There’ll be burning but it’ll be progressively controlled.’

He said the crisis had not rocked his faith in nuclear power but he could understand public fears.

In most cases the concerns about nuclear power are based on an incomplete understanding of the technologies, suspicions of the way the facilities are managed and the view that these are unacceptable risks.’

He said German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not be faulted for ordering the early closure of half the nuclear fleet.

‘Every new installation that’s on the books at the moment will pause until we understand exactly what happened in Japan,’ he said.

It could be that Japan was found to be unsuitable as a location for a nuclear power plant.

‘Whether this freakish, extraordinary, unpredictable coincidence of a magnitude-9 earthquake followed by a tsunami of awesome power could have been built into the specifications, and should have been, or we can never build anything that can withstand something like that, and you go to the obvious conclusion.’

end quote . Compare Ziggy’s statements with the narrative of a farmer from the immediate Fukushima fallout zone:

The Death of a Farm in Iitate – One year later.

Even by the heart wrenching standards of the March 11 disaster, Hiroshi Sano and his neighbours can count themselves among the unluckiest of survivors. For an entire month, no one told the people of Iitate – a village which lies about 20 km outside of the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant – that they were in a so-called “hot spot”. (Paul’s note: Greenpeace picked up the hot spot early, but their urgent report was ignored then contested by the Japanese government).

Radiation levels in Iitate were – and still – are as high as many areas within the zone, so by the time they were eventually told to leave they’d been dangerously exposed. For Sano, 40, who has the weather beaten face and steady gait of farmers the world over, the fallout from Fukushima has robbed him of a property that’s been in his family for eight generations. The stress has stripped 14 kg from his frame.

We meet him at the Senbonmatsu tourist ranch, 140km south, where he’s moved with his family to try to build a new life. He’s found work as a farmhand, which he says he’s grateful for because jobs are in short supply, but it’s clearly an emasculating experience for someone who ran his own beef cattle breeding and rice farming venture.

Sano’s wife, Terumi, says she’s lonely here and finds herself in tears whenever tsunami stories come on the television. Their children …(aged 10 and 9) are coping better, but Terumi says the 9 year old is having second thoughts about becoming a farmer when he grows up. “He wanted to do what his father did, but now he’s lost hope in that. He’s never seen his father working just as a farmhand before.”

Sano says the farming families from Iitate fled to all corners of Japan when the order to evacuate came through. “Nowadays we struggle to stay in contact with each other – each of us is trying hard to get used to a new environment”, he says. “I remember a stream of evacuees coming from the direction of the disaster. I never imagined that I myself would have to evacuate.”

Sano says Iitate’s residents were becoming more fearful even before the evacuation order, as bulletins from from the International Atomic Energy Agency and rumors (Paul: facts) suppressed by JGov, who with held its SPEEDI data which showed the evacuees were led into the path of the radionuclide cloud which traversed Iitate and the mountains ) on the Internet suggested the town had been showered with wind bourn fallout (Which the Chief British scientist falsely claimed would stay within 500 metres of the Fukushima plant, and which consisted of many more reactor products than the cesium and iodine the nuclear authorities claimed.) . He took his family to Tokyo about a week after the the quake, as explosions rocked the nuclear plant, but still hoped he could return to Iitate when the situation improved. Eventually the family wound up in temporary housing and Sano sold his cattle as the crisis deepened.

Amid the confusion, Meat and Livestock Australia’s Japan Manager, Melanie Brock, arranged for Sano and other farmers to visit Australia and tell their story. Subsequent donations of fodder from Australian farmers allowed some nearby farms to survive but Iitate itself is simply too contaminated,

To drive through Iitate now is to drive through a ghost town: It’s empty, save for a few cats. Houses and farms are deserted, and radiation readings remain close to the evacuation threshold (Paul : which is set far too high – we are not talking about transient CT scans here, but scatterings of radio-chemicals) . The government says it will take 30 years for places such as Iitate to be decontaminated. “I’ve explained to my children we can’t go back”, Sano says.

He would dearly love to re-establish a farm of his own, but with inadequate compensation he’s at the bottom of a financial hole that will keep him working as a farmhand at Senbonumatsu for some time yet. (Source: Taken from “Piece by Piece, One Year after Japan’s devastating Tsunami, how much has changed attempting to rebuild their lives?” by Rick Wallace, “The Weekend Australian Magazine”, March 10-11, 2012, pp 22. ) end quote

I would rather believe a farmer over a nuclear industry propagandist such as Ziggy. No matter what happens in Japan, Ziggy can go on selling mobile phones. For the farmers of Japan,
life has become very hard and their personal futures far less certain than prior to the Great Japanese Nuclear Industry Lying competition triggered by Mother Nature’s March 2011 audit
of nuke industry crap and faulty assumptions.

nuclear industry cannot handle the truth.

One Response to “Ziggy Switkowski vs the Farmers of Japan.”

  1. CaptD Says:

    Farmer are realists, they have to be…

    Nuclear Scientists are N☢T, They in Nuclear Denial*

    * http://is.gd/XPjMd0

    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

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