Fukushima. Collusion. Only in Japan, you say?

The Japanese Parliament has been told by a panel of experts that the Fukushima nuclear accident of March 11, 2011, was a man-made disaster. It cannot be blamed on the earthquake or the tsunami – but on Japanese culture, human-made error…& collusion. Good articles & short YouTubes here:

 

What has my knickers in a knot right now is the statement “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.” (from the article here)

Yes. Japanese culture does breed conformity & obedience.

What is our excuse in the other relentlessly nuclear countries?

In Canada, for example, say.

The level of collusion among nuclear industry, politicians & regulators is no less in evidence here.

Those of us who follow the goings-on of the un-aptly-named Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (an oxymoronic title, given the impossibility of “nuclear safety”) are all too aware of this collusion.

Come on, people!

We all know nuclear energy is not safe. Not safe, not reliable, not cheap. Wildly dangerous, wildly polluting & toxic, producing wastes that will remain dangerous for more years than we can even properly begin to conceive of.

Why don’t more Canadian citizens speak up?

Are we too obedient? Or just too lazy? Too complacent? “Too busy?” Too smug?

*****

I have to work a little at not letting nuclear goings-on make my blood boil (having my blood boil seems to be very bad for my own personal sense of equanimity. Heh heh).

But the apathy of my fellow citizens – on all environmental fronts – stuns me. Has stunned me for many years now.

Nuclear issues are complex, I grant you.

Tell me, though, how complex is this?

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has repeatedly licensed a company called SSI (short for Shield Source Incorporated, which is located in the small Ontario city of Peterborough since 1986) to make glow-in-the-dark products, using tritium – a wildly toxic by-product of the creation of nuclear energy. (They also license its competitor company, SRB, in Pembroke, Ontario. Therein lies another, quite similar, tale. Serious, stubborn polluters, both, of local air & water. Licensed over & over again to go on being so.)

Our so-called nuclear safety commission (or “regulator”) has done this knowing that the man who runs SSI used to run another tritium company in Almedia, South Centre Township, Pennsylvania (in the U.S.) by the name of Safety Light Corp. (Safety Light, btw, is one of the daughter companies of the old U.S. Radium Corp. No time to go down that road right now, though it’s an interesting one!) Safety Light had many safety violations while operating in Almedia, & frequently fell behind in its payments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for site clean-ups that have now fallen to U.S. citizens to fund.

Mr. William Lynch – Safety Light’s head honcho – shut Safety Light down in 2007, leaving U.S. taxpayers on the hook for a $120 million Superfund site clean-up (this figure may be an under-estimate, btw. Nuclear waste clean-ups are wildly, even outlandishly, expensive).

& in 2009, our Canadian regulator once again re-licensed Mr. Lynch’s SSI (which they had been licensing since 1986) – knowing of his company’s safety violations while in Pennsylvania, his departure from tritium light manufacturing in the U.S., & his company’s decision to leave American taxpayers with an impossibly toxic & dangerous nuclear mess by the shores of the Susquehanna River. (If the CNSC didn’t know all this, how come they didn’t know? Either way, it makes them some regulator…eh??)

I think I’ve said enough. I think you can connect the dots here, can’t you? It’s not rocket science.

Everywhere on this planet this horrid (I call it evil) nuclear industry operates, it does so hand-in-hand, i.e., with collusion, among its industry members, local ruling political elites & the so-called nuclear “regulators.”

Relevant quotation/insight from Frank Zappa?

“Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.”

Janet

* Check out the February 2012 Greenpeace report called “Lessons from Fukushima” here 

* For info on SSI in Peterborough, Ontario, go to the Tritium Awareness Peterborough Facebook page & also this page 

* Plenty of information about tritium here & on the Tritium Awareness Project Web site (& also, I expect, on the NIRS & Beyond Nuclear sites) Probably on the CCNR site also.

* Lots of pithy quotations about nukes (also maps, films & other resources) here 

* An incomplete (but still useful) list of groups working on nuclear matters here 

* The essay here compares the lead & nuclear industries & finds 10 common elements.

* As regards U.S. Radium Corp., good luck getting it all straight! They started out in New Jersey (so says Wikipedia) & after leaving a big nasty mess there, moved on to other locations & messed them up too. The Harvey Wasserman & Norman Solomon book Killing Our Own –The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation (available on-line here) has info on the company on page 128.

* You can also check into The Press Enterprise from Bloomsburg, PA to seek out articles about U.S. Radium/Safety Light’s history in Almedia, PA (as well as some of the New Jersey piece of the story) over the years.

Relevant quotation from a Press Enterprise story by Michael Lester: “’The net effect of these corporate and name changes, restructuring and ownership transfers was to limit the liability of predecessor companies and protect their corporate assets while Safety Light maintained an active license,’ says an NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] document.”

** company name changes & re-locations to avoid liability seem to be a common ploy of ... hmmm, maybe any kind of polluting industry?? Not sure about that. I am pretty sure the tritium-using industry is an old hand at it.

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Until we know how to safely dispose of the radioactive materials generated by nuclear plants, we should postpone these activities so as not to cause further harm to future generations. To do otherwise is simply an immoral act, and that is my belief, both as a scientist and as a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.” – Dr Shoji Sawada