by Richard Wilcox
September 6, 2012
Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies
social science, holistic perspective.
He teaches part
time at a number of universities in the Tokyo, Japan
His articles on environmental topics including the
Fukushima nuclear disaster have been published at
Counterpunch, Global Research, Dissident Voice
His interview with Jeff Rense is available at
Many of his articles are archived
In all things of nature, there
is something of the marvelous.
In wildness is the preservation of the world.
The earth is what we all have in common.
We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial
elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also
arranged things so that almost no one understands science and
technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away
with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of
ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
The issue of the environment can be viewed through a fascinating
variety of historical and philosophical lenses. (1; 2; 3; 4; 5)
the “failed species,” find ourselves
on the verge of “transhumanist”
transcendence, or, on the skids toward extinction on an eroded and
polluted planet. (6; 7)
Without a biodiverse ecology, there is no
economy. Don’t try to kill Mother Nature, she will sneeze at you,
wait a few million years and then go on to something else.
The amount of highly radioactive waste from global nuclear power
production increases every day. The monetary cost of storing or
disposing of it (probably eventually just dumping it back into the
environment when no one is looking), is skyrocketing. As yet, there
is no safe storage method that is tried and true. Although dry cask
storage is much safer than open fuel pools, it is an interim and not
long term storage solution. (8)
Considering the high cost and danger of storing nuclear waste for
thousands of years, why don’t we just switch to a non-nuclear energy
Japan is the most outrageous example of bad planning. In the most
seismically volatile region of the world it would be unthinkable to
bury the waste, and “recycling” the spent fuel was a Promethean
But there may be hope.
The Technopians have informed us that,
“nuclear waste containers could be easily and safely transported up
the Space Elevator to a suitable point and then launched from there
towards the sun with an absolute minimum risk to life and the
environment on Earth“ (9)
A seemingly insurmountable problem
“easily” solved. If the Space Elevator idea goes as well as nuclear
energy, then we’ll no longer have to worry about a radioactively
Thank the Technopians.
An Experiment Gone Awry
Activist Post, an informative journal which is concerned with
disturbing social trends, recently featured an author who
presciently and saliently observes that:
Whether it is nuclear power
generation or nuclear detonation, all nuclear industry is
Will top management of utility companies -
people whose focus seldom reaches beyond the balance sheets of
current quarter and perhaps one subsequent quarter - exercise an
appropriate level of control on wastes that will be dangerously
radioactive for dozens of thousands of years?...
energy and resources that have been invested into nuclear
experimentation are likely incalculable. It is an industry of
inhuman lies and practices, one which voids all consideration of
clean air, clean water and healthy food. Where humanity would be
today without nuclear experimentation is impossible to say, but
without it surely the planet would be less toxic and polluted.
submit that... if it were not for nuclear experimentation
humanity could already have free, or for all extents and
purposes endless and harmless, power sources...
It is obvious
oligarchical collectivism of the nuclear
experimentation industry has indirectly eliminated alternative
power systems to the extraction of and concoction of dangerous
minerals. It has done so simply through its existence as well as
through diabolical influence and outright subversion of systems
The biggest issue on the Earth is that of
nuclear experimentation. Stop nuclear experimentation, for the
While progress to create stability at
the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station (FNPS) can be said to be
occurring, in some technical aspects, it is so slow that in reality
it can also be said to be deteriorating. We are in the nuclear
During his current visit to Japan, nuclear expert, Arnie Gundersen
met with Japanese parliamentarians and gave a lecture to concerned
citizens in Tokyo. (11)
During his lecture he confirmed that he has,
“seen no interest on the part of Tepco or NISA about getting other
experts involved in the process” of helping to shore up the FNPS.
When Gundersen spoke with
Tepco he suggested they use “lighter
casks” for the Unit 4 fuel pool because they would be better for
moving the nuclear fuel rods. Tepco dismissed this because like all
nuclear operators, they don’t want to spend the money.
Worst of all, Gundersen reported that:
If an earthquake damages the pool
and the water drains out, it’s less than a day before the fire
begins. Which is why when I asked Tepco have you prepositioned
chemicals on-site in the event you were to lose water, and to
hear they had not even considered prepositioning chemicals was
This level of arrogance is typical of the nuclear
establishment which shrugs its shoulders and walks away every time
they mess things up.
Gundersen was also recently interviewed by the intrepid Helen Caldicott, medical doctor and long time anti-nuclear campaigner.
The entire interview is highly recommended listening, not only
for its incredible technical information, but also to enjoy the
brilliance and humor of two of our most venerable activists.
Where are the leagues of other nuclear engineers speaking out with
such expertise? There are not many.
Gundersen has intimate knowledge
of what is happening at the FNPS and one wonders how he gets his
information. Other than that in the public domain are there at least
some concerned officials feeding him data?
Gundersen tends to speak
conservatively and there is certainly room for other interpretations
of the situation. He may be sugar-coating the truth at times, but I
think he rarely or never exaggerates the dangers.
These are main points summarized from Gundersen and Caldicott’s
Unit 4 is being cleaned up so that
Tepco can put in place the crane to remove the fuel rods. This
work will not be completed before 2015 or 2016. Tepco plans to
construct a building on top of what is currently there at Unit 4
in order to put in place a huge crane for removing the rods,
which will then be placed in casks on the ground.
There are concerns that the fuel
rods will be damaged, but ideally they can just pull them out
and put them into dry cask storage. There is a chance they will
not be removed easily and get “jammed” when they try pull them
out. This could take years!
It is a very long, involved process.
“They are taking way too long.” This process has to be repeated
for the other reactor fuel pools as well. In the meantime we
have to hope there is not another large earthquake, even though
geologists think there is a likely chance of one.
The fuel in Units 1, 2, 3 is melted
down to the bottom of the reactors or “lying on the concrete” at
the foundation of the reactor buildings. It took ten years to
remove fuels from a melted reactor at Three Mile Island after
its disaster in the US in 1979. TMI was a minor accident
compared to Fukushima.
The three reactor units at Fukushima
are so highly radioactive that a million bq/liter is measured in
water in surrounding buildings. That means that in the reactor
buildings themselves the radiation would be exponentially
Gundersen believes the radiation is
so high in the reactor areas that workers cannot do the job. The
only “solution” will be to pour concrete on top of the units
while “walking away for three hundred years, obviously
monitoring it.” This could happen in a few years from now.
However, Caldicott points out that
the radiation will seep down into the water table for the rest
of time. Arnie agrees: there is no good solution. Although “the
solution would be to bore holes from underneath, and constantly
pull water from out from under the building so it can be
treated.” This would have to be done for a couple of hundred
years to prevent contamination of the Pacific Ocean.
If Japan’s economy shrinks, cracks,
contracts and or collapses due to a variety of factors, will
they have the knowledge and money to carry on with this project?
Gundersen estimates the cost of the Fukushima disaster will be
500 billion dollars. The Japanese taxpayer will pay for it.
Weighed against Japan’s rapidly
aging and declining population the Japanese will be carrying a
huge economic burden. The detrimental health effects from
radiation will effect a substantial proportion of Japan’s
population into the mists of time but will be covered up and
hidden from public view, even as they perish.
A Special Warm Place
The other day I went to a “going away” (escape) party for some
friends. I met a young Japanese oceanographer I know.
He is very
well educated and I asked him about living in Fukushima; he agreed
it is dangerous. His area of study is not related to radiation in
the ocean, but he is familiar with the government’s monitoring of
radiation in fish. Strangely, he did not know difference between
external and internal radiation and discounted the danger of tainted
food, believing “small amounts” are not harmful.
Maybe so (I hope so
too). I also asked him why the Japanese government doesn’t get help
to deal with Fukushima from other countries like the US. After all,
the US militarily occupies Japan! He replied with a laugh that Tepco
and the J Gov are probably too “ashamed” to ask for help. Ashamed?
So we have to sacrifice the world’s ecosystems in order to restore
Yoichi Shimatsu, a man of sharp wit and former editor of the Japan
Times Weekly, sardonically informed me about the absurdity of the
"The Japanese have a penchant for
misinterpreting, falsifying and mythologizing history, while
confusing all that is good for bad and vice versa. Within a
decade, you will be seeing NHK TV dramas about the ‘stoic
patriotic Tepco executives, under the strategic leadership of
Heroic Leader Shimizu, who defied the panicked liberal
government, bravely fought the mob violence by the anti-nuclear
traitors, rescued Japan's nuclear industry and finally, after
heroic self-sacrifice, created the Japanese A-bomb just in time
to avert a foreign invasion from Red China and United Korea.’
We are so grateful to TEPCO!
In Japan, shrines are erected for
mass murderers while the humanitarian heroes who saved the
country from itself are relegated to the footnotes or treated as
ill-mannered scoundrels. Evil has a special warm place in the
1. Donald Worster, Nature’s Economy
(Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977, 505 pgs.)
2. Edward Goldsmith, The Way: An Ecological World View (Univ. of
Georgia Press, 1992, 541 pgs.)
3. Roy Madron & John Jopling, Gaian Democracies (Green Books,
2003, 154 pgs.)
4. Richard Evanoff, Bioregionalism and Global Ethics - A
Transactional Approach to Achieving Ecological Sustainability,
Social Justice, and Human Well-being, (Routledge, 2011).
5. Environmental Ethics
6. Transhumanism - Techno-Eugenics Usurping Humanity
7. The Vigiliant Citizen, Transhumanism
8. Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop, The Doomsday Machine: The
High Price of Nuclear Energy, The World’s Most Dangerous Fuel
(Palgrave, 2012, 242 pgs.)
9. The Space Elevator: Economics and Applications
Nuclear Experimentation Killed Free Power
11. Appalling: Tepco admits there’s no prepositioned chemicals
at Fukushima plant in event water drains from fuel pool after
12. Arnold Gundersen with another update on the unfolding
effects of the Fukushima disaster