Tuesday, April 26, 2011
IS FUKUSHIMA FOOD CONTAMINATION OVER?
The Fukushima power plant disaster hasn't been as much in the news during the last few days, at least not in the U.S. Nor have we heard much about the dangers of nuclear waste in the food supply. Does that mean an "all clear" signal. Is it over? No more need to worry?
Unfortunately not. I have just finished listening to a video recording of a speech by the well-known Australian anti-nuclear activist, Dr. Helen Caldicott. Frankly, it was very frightening. She views Fukushima as being worse than Chernobyl. I hope that isn't true.
The good news is that Tokyo Electric Power Company has finally outlined an ambitious plan for bringing the damaged and leaking reactors to what is called " cold shutdown" (the repairs haven't worked). The bad news is that in the meantime, radioactive emissions from the plant will continue for at least three or more months while this is taking place (and hopefully, will work, but nothing is for sure). They will continue to enter the air, the ocean, lakes and rivers, and seep into the soil.
This is not good news for any food grown in areas where such radiation is spreading (and the experience of Chernobyl shows that it can spread over a very wide area as time goes by). This applies to leafy greens, root vegetables, rice, other grains, milk, meat, fish, shellfish - just about anything. Unfortunately, contaminants can become increasingly concentrated in water and soil - and in food. We will hear much more, as testing is done and results are released to the public.