A few interesting comments I have heard..
A) Knowing that the DPJ and LDP have both promoted nuclear power because they get money from the industry, why is Kan suddenly anti-nuclear in his closing of Hamaoka for the time being?
B) Why did one of his advisers, rapidly pro nuclear himself, suddenly quit the Kan advisory position he held?
I t could be that they both looked into the darkness of their souls and saw the pacts they had made with the devil and had a reawakening. Has happened before. See Ray Anderson in the documentary THE CORPORATION: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Anderson_%28entrepreneur%29 .
Or see Arnie Gundersen, a formerly pro nuclear executive now in the anti-camp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Gundersen
Or, it could be expedience. Or a combination of the two. One theory I have seen advanced in recent days:
MORE DISASTERS TO FOLLOW?
There has been (an under-reported) extreme rise in temperature in Fukushima dai 3. While people have been lulled into a false sense of normalcy by escalators that run again and mineral water in the stores again, this portends more trouble on the horizon and Kan knows this, using the closing of Hamaoka to distract people over that.
This may explain why a secretive leader has suddenly appeared to have moral scruples—we are not out of the woods yet, and so for political expedience he is taking action on these other two—Hamaoka and Tsuruga.
WHY DOES A PUPPET OF JAPANESE-GOVERNMENT A-BOMB APOLOGISTS SUDDENLY DISCOVER HIS HUMANITY?
May also explain why a pro nuke advisor quit the other day -in the past he has advised AGAINST recognizing radiation sickness in people the gov did not not heretofore recognize as hibakusha…both he and Kan now suddenly anti-nuke…not sure if this theory is true, but interesting.
And no, we should not be lulled into a false sense of security. I was one of those who in the beginning was fighting some of the foreign news reports, when the likes of THE MIRROR were emphasizing the dangers, and when the Japanese media was not showing the explosions or devastation.
ON THE CONTRADICTION IN THE WESTERN MEDIA SEEMING TO BEING AHEAD OF THE JAPANESE MEDIA
In retrospect, this was correct because sensationalizing serves the interests of those stand to make a lot of money doing so, and because it distracted from the need to rescue people. It still does. Some anti-nuke friends were quick to praise the foreign media like the NYT in comparison to the Japanese media in the beginning days of the multiple disasters. A mistake, because the same media has been complicit in covering up the crimes by governments and corporations in their jurisdictions. So we have the likes of the NY Times being a cheerleader for war. Too quick to heap praise on the western media, in my view. Even if they got it better than the Japanese media.
While the western press balks at the top-down, authoritarianism of the press-club system in Japan, they toe the line when the US government and their multinational corporation owners give orders to sit on a story. Then again, many fine NHK documentaries exist on social issues outside Japan, but NHK is largely a corporate-government puppet insofar as Japanese social issues are concerned.
PANIC/HYSTERIA VS. COMPLACENCY
But my friends are still right that THIS government and THIS nation’s media are in denial about the severity of the crisis (or in secret agreement to downplay it). Yes, I think we have to put acknowledge that there is a certain amount of unscientific reaction to the crisis. Some label it hysteria. But I think it is justified by the coverups of the government and nuclear industry. So while most of us do not know our roentogens from our bequerals, our millisieverts from our microsieverts, we are right to ask whether a) the constant talk of things being under control, b) of there being no danger to humans (by the spokesman with the big ears, Edamame, as he is sometimes referred to, c) of it being ok for kids to get up to 20 millisieverts a year isn’t just a way to take the heat off the METI/MONKASHO/DPJ pact to keep the political machinery going and hoping the public eventually turns a blind eye to the corruption of the nuclear industry. This happened before in Mad Cow (not good for US-Japan ties) or HIV (we have to consider that Green Cross Corporation and the government withheld the safer drugs available for hemophilia because they wanted to promote profits for this Japanese corporation even if it meant that some, maybe half, would contract HIV.) And this is when a young Naoto Kan was a fighter against such business-government ties.
HOW HIGH IS LOW? HOW UNSAFE IS SAFE ENOUGH?
So yes, there is hysteria and uninformed commentary on just HOW dangerous things are. Clearly many of us are overreacting to the “relatively” low levels. Clearly there is more radiation on an airplane trip. But Physicians for Social Responsibility has attacked the Mombusho approved levels of radiation as being ok for kids, saying that by forcing them to go to school in poisoned areas with relatively high levels of radiation, it “exposes them to a 1 in 200 risk of getting cancer. And if they are exposed to this dose for two years, the risk is 1 in 100. There is no way that this level of exposure can be considered ‘safe’ for children, ” they say.
ACCUMULATED RISKS AND WHAT IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR MERE HUMANS
Last year I had a 64-slice CT scan for coronary artery disease detection. Much more radiation than I have sustained so far since I came back from Miyazaki-once for a few days on the worst day, when one of the reactors exploded, and then 3 weeks later on my second 2-week escape to Southern Japan. But I was also 100 km from 3 Mile Island in an era where we did not know as much as we do now. I was drinking the suddenly plentiful supplies of Turkish mineral water just after Chernobyl…and now, even though I try to be careful and not eat local produce, who knows how much I am eating from unknown sources should I eat out. And then, I am 58, soon 59, but what about kids just born? Of those still in the womb? What about subtle and not so subtle DNA changes over time, that could affect future generations. And then we have to consider the conservative (read pro-business) scientists at agencies like the US FDA, who have traditionally said the risk of contracting “an additional” cancer from ingesting carcinogens in food additives was small. All this meant to allow dangerous products on the market rather than pass laws regulating them.
So yes, a number of my friends have been unscientific in their appraisal of the dangers facing us..ignoring the “wisdom” of nuclear apologists who point out that an airplane trip exposes one to much more danger. But this is one MORE risk on top of many others in the environment, and when most of the assurances come from those who stand to lose from the demise of nuclear power, I prefer to err on the side of caution.
Remember, these reassurances are coming from METI and friends, a trade organization who are the main agency involved in nuclear safety, an education ministry which censors textbooks that promote critical thinking, an industry that profits from hyping the dangers of fossil fuel by downplaying its own dangers, increasingly hard to do I admit.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, MAYBE THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS NOT ABOUT PROFITS BUT WAR
Meanwhile, Koide sensei of Kyodai, in an interview with Jimbo san, has commented that one reason J has pursued nuclear power despite knowing its dangers and costs is to become a member of the nuclear club, since the Constitution would not permit the development of nuclear weapons. Plus, with MOX, you have an easy route to those weapons should the political winds change, though Koide opines that Japan’s ability to create a weapon is probably still a way off as he does not think that highly of his fellow nuclear scientists’ abilities and common sense.
Feel free to repost so long as the entire message remains intact.