Japanese nuclear safety officials are admitting that 45% of the children in the prefecture where the three nuclear reactors melted down in Fukushima had thyroid exposure to radiation, according to Kyodo News agency.
Even though the survey does not reflect any exposure since March, when it was taken, officials stress that only trace amounts of radiation were detected. None of the over 1,000 children surveyed was exposed to more than 0.2 microsievert per hour, which is the threshold for requiring additional examinations.
In more disturbing news, the soil at four locations in Fukushima are contaminated with radioactive cesium levels well above the legal limit, CNN reported via The Japan Times. One sample was found to be 90 times the legal limit and higher than the limit for compulsory resettlement after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
The city is outside the 12 ½ mile evacuation zone that surrounds the hazardous site.
All of this is in the midst of many pushes from various governments, including The White House, for the expansion of nuclear technology. While President Obama tries to prevent Yucca Mountain from becoming a sight for spent nuclear waste, he continues to advocate for the proliferation of nuclear sites across America. The President seems to be trying to play both sides of the field to preset his administration as “responsible” nuclear advocates.
In a similar story reported by The Guardian, British officials were planning a co-ordinated public relations ploy in order play down the Fukushima nuclear accident only two days after extent of the disaster was known.
According to the newspaper, “Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power.”
Russia is also ratcheting up their nuclear capabilities to offset the dwindling of their natural gas and oil reserves. According to OilPrice.com, “Russia is positioning itself to become the Home Depot of the global civilian nuclear industry, offering everything from construction to decommissioning.”
By upping the ante on nuclear production, many of these countries seem to be tipping their hats to the coming global crisis that is Peak Oil. After such a devastating accident in Japan, governments should be following Germany’s lead and seriously considering shutting down aging reactors.
FrugiVoice: What do think about nuclear energy? Do you want the US government to invest your money into nuclear energy? Or do want them to explore alternative energy sources like wind and solar?