Why disaster that occurred at Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl?
Japan is in no hurry to recognize the scale of the crisis. But the truth now emerges.
Yoshio Ichida remembers the worst day of his 53 years of life — 11 March, when the sea swallowed up his home and killed his friends. When there was a great earthquake, Fukushima fisherman was in the bathroom, and he barely managed to reach the open sea on his boat for 40 minutes to 15-meter tsunami following the earthquake. When he returned to the port area, where he lived, and almost everything else was gone. "No one can remember anything like this," he says.
Now, living in a refugee center in the ruined coastal city of Soma, Ichida mourns 100 local fishermen, who were killed in the disaster, and is trying to rebuild his life with his colleagues. Every morning they come to the ruined fishing cooperative in Soma port and prepare for work. Then they look at the irradiated sea, and wait. "We know that one day will be allowed to fish again. We all want to believe in it," they say.
The country is recovering from natural and technological disasters. But the triple disaster and its impact on the nuclear power plant "Fukushima", 40 kilometers down the coast of Somalia to turn Japan into an unknown and unknowable terrain. Around the north-east of the country, millions of people live among its effects and seek consensus on a safe level of radiation, which is not. Experts give strikingly different risk assessment.
Some scientists say that the disaster at the plant "Fukushima" is worse than the Chernobyl accident, which occurred in 1986, with which it shared the maximum, the seventh level of the scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most famous of them is an Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, who warns about the "horrors of the future" in Fukushima Prefecture.
Professor at the University of Ulster Chris Busby is known for alarmist views. It spawned controversy during his visit to Japan last month, saying that the disaster will cause the death of over 1 million people. "Fukushima is still infect their radionuclide whole of Japan," he said. "In Chernobyl work began immediately. So Fukushima situation worse."
At the other end are the defenders of the nuclear industry, the friendly scientists who claim that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. "I think the government and the operator of nuclear power plants" Tokyo Electric Power "are doing their best," said Associate Dean Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Naoto Sekimura. Sekimura originally said people who are near the nuclear power plant that the radioactive disaster "unlikely" and that they should remain "calm", although he had to change that assessment since.
Government is acting slowly, step by step, often late for events and downgraded the disaster. Last Friday, the scientists related to the Agency's nuclear and industrial safety, said the plant freed 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium, which causes cancer, which is about 168 times higher than in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, which began the nuclear era. (Professor Busby says that the amount of at least 72,000 times worse than a nuclear bomb exploded over Hiroshima.)
Once in the huge stream of often conflicting information, many Japanese instinctively grope beacons that they know. Ichida and his colleagues say they no longer trust the nuclear industry or the officials, who assured them that the plant "Fukushima" in safety. But they believe in testing the radiation of the government and believe that they will soon be allowed to return to the sea.
This is a mistake, say skeptics, who note a consistent pattern of lies, delays and harboring members of the Government of Japan. Last week, officials finally acknowledged what has long argued his critics: that thousands of people whose homes are located near the damaged nuclear power plant may not be able to return them for a generation or more. "We can not exclude the possibility that there will be some areas where for their residents will be hard to go back for a long time," said a senior government spokesman Yukio Edano. "We are very sorry."
On Friday, hundreds of former residents of cities Futaba and Okuma, located near the nuclear power plant, were allowed to visit their homes — perhaps for the last time — to pick up his things. They wore masks and costumes from the radiation, they were taken in the 20-kilometer zone around the plant contaminated their homes partially reclaimed by nature, where the dead and rotted in the sun hundreds of animals. "It's hard to believe we used to live here," said in an interview with NHK Japan Broadcasting one former residents.
Some other areas, in the north-west of the nuclear power plants, nuclear power became a ghost town after the people were ordered to evacuate. "Too late," say many people who believe that they have taken a dangerous amount of radiation in a few weeks after the accident. "We have no idea when we can go back there," said Shoji Katsudzo that processed rice and cabbage and kept a small herd of cattle near the picturesque village of Litate 40 kilometers from the plant.
Despite the fact that the village is located outside the exclusion zone, its mountainous topography meant radiation was brought wind, rain, and settled there, contaminating crops, water, and school grounds.
Young, wealthy, mothers and pregnant women left for Tokyo or elsewhere. Most of the remaining people, whose number is equal to 6000, were evacuated after the government increased the safety limits of radiation.
75th Soji was first shocked, and then went into a rage, and then in despair when the government told him that it is necessary to destroy all his vegetables, kill all his cattle, and very moving with his wife Fumi's apartment in Koriyama — located at about 20 kilometers town. "We have heard of 5, maybe 10 years, but some say that it is too optimistic forecast," he said, crying. "Maybe I can go back home to die there." He received compensation of one million yen (about 15,000 U.S. dollars) from TEPCO and another 350,000 yen from the government.
Such is the fate of people who are outside the evacuation zone, but this is the greatest contradiction. Parents of Fukushima City, located 63 kilometers from the plant, have joined forces to demand that the government do more to protect about 100,000 children. Schools have banned soccer and other types of outdoor sports. Windows are closed. "We have to take care of themselves," says Sato Machico — my grandmother, who lives in the city. "It angers me greatly."
Many parents have sent their children to relatives or friends for hundreds of kilometers. Some want the government to evacuate the entire two-million population of Fukushima Prefecture. "They demand the right to evacuate," says anti-nuclear activist Aileen Mioko Smith, working with parents. "In other words, if they want to evacuate, then the government should support them."
So far, at least, the authorities say that it is not necessary. The official line is that the consequences of the accident at the nuclear power plants are down as well as the radiation levels outside the exclusion zone, and they defined the "current point" security.
But many experts warn that the crisis is just beginning. Biology professor Tim Mousseau, who spent more than a decade studying the genetic effects of radiation around Chernobyl, is concerned that many people Fukushima "hid their heads in the sand." His research on Chernobyl led to the conclusion that in the irradiated zone and decreased biodiversity of insects and spiders, and bird populations are showing signs of genetic defects, including smaller brain.
"The truth is, we do not have sufficient data to provide accurate information about long-term consequences," he said. "However, we can say that it is very likely that there will be significant long-term impact on health."
In Somalia, Ichida says all the talk about radiation knock him off. "All we want — it's back to work. There are many different ways to die, so why not use one of them?" — He asks.
The economic costs
Fukushima. Japan estimated a cost of recovery from the crisis, earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster will be evaluated at 188 billion pounds.
Chernobyl. There are a number of estimates of economic impacts, but the total cost is estimated at 144 billion pounds.
Fukushima. On the damaged nuclear power plant workers were allowed to work up to 250 mSv.
Chernobyl. People who have received radiation doses of 350 mSv, were relocated. In most countries the maximum annual dose for workers is 20 mSv. It is permissible dose for a person living near the nuclear power plant is about 1 mSv per year.
The death toll
Fukushima. Two workers were killed in the accident. Some scientists predict that one million people will die from cancer.
Chernobyl. It is difficult to say how many people died in the evil day, due to the mode of national security, but it is estimated "Greenpeace" 20,000 people died from radiation and cancer associated with radiation for about 25 years after the accident.
The Exclusion Zone
Fukushima. Tokyo was originally marked the exclusion zone around the plant with a radius of 20 kilometers.
Chernobyl. The initial radius of the Chernobyl zone was 30 miles — 25 years later it is still in force.
Fukushima. Share price "Tepco" collapsed since the disaster, and to a large extent because of the amount that it would have to pay, which is about £ 10,000 per person.
Chernobyl. Not a lot. There were reports that in 1986 the Armenian victims of the disaster were asked approximately 6000 pounds each.
Fukushima. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported bilateral aid worth 95 million U.S. dollars.
Chernobyl. 12 years after the disaster, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma that time complained that his country is still awaiting international aid.
Well, certainly, two survivors of the tragedy can safely do printing on T-shirts that they are both tragedies and survived. Such is our mentality, to make to know more about our people's struggles. In any case, to purchase custom t-shirts with similar inscription will not be considered something reprehensible, because people are free to express their individuality as they want.
"Independent", September 1, 2011
Translation — "InoZpress.kg"