Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nuclear Culture 10: Hot Headlines

American superheroes battle the 'Irradiated Man' in Tokyo: DC Comics (14 May 2012) solicitation with Perez's cover for World's Finest #4 (Aug. 2012). Image Source: CBR.

Remember when I said (here) that Fukushima had left the restrained, contained and edited world of the Japanese media and as the fallout has spread, the crisis has entered the Wild West that is the American World Wide Web? It is going to be a crazy ride.  But if we all survive, we might learn something about how national media cultures package reality. Canada is at risk from Fukushima's fallout as well. As a Canadian blogger, all I can say is that in Big Media terms, this issue is hitting America first. But I will talk about the Canadian reaction, and other national reactions beyond that, in due course.

The United States is not a country which takes an impending apocalypse (real or otherwise) lying down. You may not have heard anything much about Fukushima last year after the initial coverage of 3/11. This was partly because the Japanese media and government had a hold of the issue. It was still primarily a nationally-confined topic (or so it appeared). What came out in 2011 was the occasional, muted report, until the declaration of 'cold shutdown' at the end of the year. But I promise, you will hear about Fukushima now, from every conceivable quarter. US election year or no election year, the volume just got turned up to eleven.

Yesterday, news raced across the Web that prominent American-Japanese theoretical physicist Michio Kaku remarked on 9 May that the uranium core in Fukushima Daiichi's Reactor #2 had completely liquefied. Before I return to Kaku's comments in my next post, I'll note first how Kaku's viral report was just one of many American reports on Fukushima which surfaced in the past few days.

First, the Japan Times continued in it's-not-happening Neverland mode, which serves to provide a point of contrast. Fukushima Prefecture is scheduled to hold a bunch of spring festivals next weekend, to make the areas just outside the contamination zone more attractive to tourists and visiting groups of schoolchildren:
Local festivals representing areas across Japan will be held in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, on the last weekend of May, with the aim of reviving the local tourism industry. ... Aiming to revive the tourism industry of the city and the prefecture, officials of the Public Servant and Peoples' wor-com, a Tokyo-based private think tank working to bridge the public and private sectors, organized a new cultural festival dubbed Fukushima Festival in Aizu. ... At the Fukushima Festival, about 20 groups from 10 prefectures across Japan will show off their local traditions with dances, music, decorative floats and other distinctive items.
At the same time, on Twitter and Youtube, a video link was circulating from the American blog, Pissin' on Roses, regarding a post from 13 May 2012. The post (here) claims that barium-140 fallout detected between April 30th and May 8th in the United States possibly indicates that recriticality occurred at Fukushima in March or early April 2012.

On 14 May 2012, DC Comics announced its solicitations for August issues. World's Finest #4 has two American superheroes (one of whom is powered by the sun's radiation) battling a new villain, the Irradiated Man, to save Tokyo: "Hakkou, the Irradiated Man – the mysterious bad guy who might have a connection to Earth 2 – has grown to monstrous proportions. It’s up to Power Girl [Superman's cousin] and Huntress [Batman's daughter] to stop him – from destroying Tokyo?!"

On 13 May, Gryphon Astrology believed Japan is moving toward accountability and decontamination, but the astrologer anticipates earthquake trouble around the upcoming Ring of Fire solar eclipse on 20 May:
The eclipse occurs closely conjunct to the 1st magnitude fixed star Mirfak (alpha Perseus, meaning “the Elbow” in Arabic), which is traditionally seen as the side of Perseus, the famed killer of the Medusa and the sea monster Cetus. The star can be said to give bravery and strength, though it is placed in a warlike constellation ruled by Jupiter and Saturn, according to Ptolemy. Jupiter is for justice, but Saturn is for death. In general, this eclipse may bring earthquakes or big storms – the eclipse occurs in Gemini, an air sign, and its ruler, Mercury, is in an earth sign with Jupiter. Certainly Mercury and Jupiter in Taurus can indicate disturbances and movement in the earth."
On 14 May on Twitter, German astrologer Robert von Heeren provided information for those American astrologers who will doubtlessly be calculating Fukushima's astrological profile: "Ecliptical (tropical, geocentric) longitude for as of 04h05m02s UT is 27°8'47' ."

Meanwhile, also on 14 May 2012, a retired American Major General put out an alarming press release and video about Fukushima, along with a promotional statement about his NGO:
The Woodlands, Texas (PRWEB) May 14, 2012 Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III (US Army Ret.), President of the Natural Solutions Foundation, an international NGO (non-governmental organization), released a 27 minute public service Estimate of Situation about Fukushima, Japan focusing on the immediate threat to the Northern Hemisphere emanating from the highly radioactive ruins of the 5 Fukushima nuclear reactors. The video is available without charge at http://www.GeneralBert.com.

Gen. Stubblebine’s prognosis is dire: “When the highly radioactive Spent Fuel Rods are exposed to air, there will be massive explosions releasing many times the amount or radiation released thus far. Bizarrely, they are stored three stories above ground in open concrete storage pools. Whether through evaporation of the water in the pools, or due to the inevitable further collapse of the structure, there is a severe risk. United States public health authorities agree that tens of thousands of North Americans have already died from the Fukushima calamity. When the final cataclysm occurs, sooner rather than later, the whole Northern Hemisphere is at risk of becoming largely uninhabitable.” ...

With over 15,000 ‘spent fuel rods’ on the site, the Fukushima reactors have accumulated one of the largest stockpiles of these dangerous, intensely radioactive materials on the planet. No remediation work is being done at the site; there is no official remedial planning or disaster preparation. No private remediation, or public discussion of the need for it, is permitted by the Government of Japan under its new suppression of nuclear discussion laws.
General Stubblebine's call to arms derives partly from a brewing political scandal called, 'Plume-gate.'

On 12 May, Natural News reported on a Freedom of Information Act request which allowed several activist groups to gain access to 395 pages of e-mails between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Obama White House regarding the Fukushima nuclear accidents. You can read the e-mails here.

The Natural News report becomes breathlessly conspiratorial, intensely political and wildly apolitical at the same time; it also makes the extraordinary claim that several thousand babies have died in the United States since 3/11 due to radioactive fallout:
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Friends of the Earth (FoE), Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and the Nuclear Information and Resource Center (NIRS) has unearthed a shocking series of new evidence proving a deliberate, global cover-up of the true severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. And the unfortunate reality is that the mainstream media continues to blatantly ignore this colossal scandal.

Private emails, meeting transcripts and other key documents reveal that both the Obama White House and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) were well aware of just how bad things really were with Fukushima from the early days of the disaster, but did nothing to warn the public about it. In fact, NRC and the White House purposely did not warn Americans about a massive radiation plume that struck the West Coast just days after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's eastern coast.

According to information gathered from hundreds of pages worth of private NRC emails, conference calls and secret meetings, key players in the Fukushima whitewashing campaign, including the NRC's David McIntyre and Elliot Brenner, were hard at work in the days following the disaster distracting public attention away from it. By pretending that a radioactive plume did not exist while simultaneously sending out misinformation to the media, these two, in conjunction with White House officials, actively participated in a criminal cover-up of the truth.

You can read key portions of these criminal dealings at the following link:

A situation that is now being dubbed "Plume-gate," this massive cover-up of critical information about Fukushima could have saved thousands of lives, including the more than 14,000 individuals, many of whom were babies, that died in the weeks following the disaster (http://www.naturalnews.com/034586_Fukushima_USA_fatalities.html). And yet to this very day, the federal government's cozy relationship with the nuclear industry has allowed the injustice to continue, as no proper investigation into this dastardly crime has yet taken place.
"The executive branch and multiple federal agencies, agencies tasked with keeping the American public safe, did their best to hide and to cover-up information about a deadly radioactive plume and ensuing fallout that was headed for the West Coast of the United States from Japan," writes Tony Muga from The Intel Hub about the situation.

Not only did these government agencies hide the truth and deliberately deceive the public, they also used other events, including the infamous Qur'an burning in Afghanistan, as a distraction to divert public attention away from Fukushima, and away from the 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. that are of a similar age and vulnerability as Fukushima.

So why is the federal government getting away with all this? It is for the same reason that it gets away with most of its other crimes against humanity: corporate fascism. And sadly, corporate fascism is a bipartisan problem, as both Republicans and Democrats today are slaves to it, representing opposite but identical sides of the same coin.

"It seems that the fundamental problem with what Americans are experiencing is not just radioactive fallout but Fascism, the merging of the corporate and the state," adds Muga. "In a fascist state, there is little or no responsible action from the corporations for there is little or no promotion of accountability from the state. The corporations, for all intents and purposes, control the state."
Obviously, these sites hail from the politicized and dicey conspiracy fields of the Internet, and information from them should be handled gingerly.

Don't worry, Fukushima's American counter-critics are not far behind: see here and here. They dismiss the fears about the Fukushima as interest-driven fear-mongering. They strongly question the credibility of the main people who have been discussing Fukushima in alarmist terms on the Web.

In the meantime, the so-called Plume-gate e-mails are there to read. There must be something to this sudden uproar, because the Wall Street Journal also posted a Fukushima report on Monday. WSJ 's Yuka Hayashi just happened to track down Japan's Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, over the weekend. The WSJ wondered whether Reactor #4's spent fuel pool was safe and stable enough for tourists visit Noda's country. Hayashi wrote: "The answers from Mr. Noda — a conscientious speaker often willing to examine carefully different aspects of a single matter — were not so clear cut." Noda did not answer the question about Reactor #4's fuel pool.

On 12 May, Arnie Gundersen and his wife Maggie, American nuclear critics who have been covering this crisis online constantly, issued a statement entitled, "Fukushima: The Truth and the Future." They insisted that this catastrophe marks Japan's big opportunity to shift toward 21st century innovation and new energy technology (which the Gundersens' Fairewinds group might in fact promote, or at least discuss):
Japan is at a tipping point. You have an opportunity here to change the way we use energy. Or Japan can go back and turn on all its nuclear reactors again and continue business as usual and of course risk another accident. So you have a choice, you have the opportunity to change the way you use energy and to change the way you distribute energy. You can create smart grids that share power from the north to the south and from the east to the west, where the frequencies are different. We can distribute our generation, instead of having massive power plants in locations like Fukushima-Daiichi and Fukushima-Danai. We can distribute those power plants throughout Japan, throughout the world, with windmills, with solar power, with conservation and with distributed small sources of generation.

Those are all one way of doing it compared to the other which we are presently using, which is central station power. We needed central station power in the 20th century. Now with computers, we do not need central station power anymore. We can do it another way. And Japan can lead the way if it chooses to. If it leads the way, it will have an export commodity that the rest of the world will want desperately. You have an opportunity here to change your country. And you also have a business opportunity here to sell to the rest of the world a product that we all desperately need.

So the Fukushima-Daiichi accident is the worst industrial accident in history: it is a half a trillion dollars. But it also can be an opportunity for Japan to change the way it does business and to create the economy for the 21st century and beyond with distributed generation and smart grids. I hope you choose that choice. Japan is at a tipping point and it is your choice to make.
Never let it be said that one cannot make some money while one saves the world. On new sources of energy, I'll return to Michio Kaku's implied Fukushima China Syndrome and his book, The Physics of the Future, in my next post.

Read all my posts on Nuclear topics.

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