Why we’re protesting at the Japanese Consulate today
I know. It’s labor day. Why protest on labor day? Well, right now as we speak, hundreds of gallons per day or radioactive water is pouring into the pacific ocean, containing radioactive isotopes that will remain deadly for hundreds of years, and it’s not just going to stay in the pacific, either.
There really is just one ocean. It seems separate until you look at the bottom of your world map and see this thing called the southern ocean. It’s a body of water that connects all the world’s oceans and circles around the antarctic. Slowly but surely, the wastes from Fukushima are swirling into it, like cream into iced coffee. From there, it mixes into the atlantic, the indian ocean, etc…. It’s in the south china sea. It’s everywhere, just more in the pacific, for now.
2/3 of the world’s protein supply comes from the sea. Contaminate the ocean, and you contaminate the planet. Birds eat the anchovies and herrings. Then their droppings go into the lakes and streams inland. Fish in the streams and lake eat the droppings. Then bears and other wildlife eat the fish. Then they leave droppings and urine. Plants grow on that. Soon, much sooner than you think, the water coming out your tap will have strontium 90 and cesium 137 dissolved in it. This hasn’t happened yet, but it will, unless we stop the flow of radioactive waste into the pacific now.
In all fairness, Japan is in a difficult situation trying to do just that. No country on earth, truthfully, has the resources to handle something like this alone. Chernobyl completely overwhelmed the Soviet Union, and may have been the straw that broke USSR’s back. It took international resources to bring Chernobyl under control, and it still isn’t really over, even 30+ years later.
TEPCO, the partially state-owned utility company that operates Fukushima, has spent the past two years protecting it’s bottom line, and not protecting the people of Japan, or the pacific ocean. TEPCO has repeatedly misled the public as to the state of the disaster, as to the state of the clean up, and as to their competency in continuing to deal with the reactors and their awful effluents. It’s time for Japan’s government to take control of the disaster away from TEPCO, and move quickly to secure the spent fuel rods in dry cask storage, and to staunch the flow of water into the pacific. No other tasks should have higher priority. While we empathize with Japan’s predicament, the first law of disaster management is to create no additional casualties - this is exactly what TEPCO has failed to do. The spent fuel rods are still precariously balanced above the destroyed reactor cores, poised for even a minor earthquake to send them crashing into the ruined reactor core, igniting an even greater disaster. Japan must act immediately to secure this hazard. They must act immediately to staunch the flow of contaminated water. We will continue to protest at the consulate until they do so. Please join us! It’s your own life and the lives of your children and every living thing on the planet that’s at stake.