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Silence of Australian,and other, media on the extent of Fukushima nuclear crisis

Something similar is going on in Japan and the US. In Japan, the nuclear industry has been actively promoted by the Government since inception in the interests of Japanese nuclear security.  The nuclear regulator is almost entirely made up for former Tepco employees and is described as being almost an arm of the power company. Criticism of nuclear power has long been strongly suppressed in Japan.

Independent Australia has reported before about plans for the world’s  nuclear waste to be shipped to Australia and the fact this agreement with the US was actively suppressed by the Australian media, perhaps because some media proprietors have strong vested interests in the nuclear industry. It seems that Australia’s overly concentrated media industry is not only a crisis for our democracy, but can potentially even threaten our children’s health.

(VIDEOS) Fukushima: Caldicott says Japan may become uninhabitable – media silent |Dr Helen Caldicott says that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has the potential to make Japan “uninhabitable”, yet the mainstream media in Australia continue to ignore the crisis Independent Australia, David Donovan May 31

Yesterday – the same day Germany announced it would close all its nuclear plants because of Fukushima, and dangerous levels of radiation were reported in Japanese clean-up workers – Independent Australia did a straw poll of 50 random people at a metropolitan shopping centre in Queensland. Each of them was asked: “were you aware that there had been a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima in Japan”. Almost all of these respondents recognised the name Fukushima but only 4 of the 50 – a mere 8 per cent – said they had heard of any meltdown.

This rough poll points to deficiencies in popular media reporting in Australia of what some say has the potential to become the most devastating man-made disaster the world has ever known.

That may sound like an alarming claim, so let’s look at the facts.

THE CATACLYSM

In the wake of the March earthquake and tsunami, on March 15, Independent Australia reported:

“Yesterday, Japan’s nuclear agency attempted to calm fears by ranking the incident as a Category 4 nuclear accident, below the 1979 Three Mile Island partial meltdown in the US and well below the Chernobyl meltdown and explosion 25 years ago which rated top of the scale at seven.”

As also reported then, experts in Australia, including Dr Ziggy Switkowski, along with the Japanese nuclear power plant operator Tepco, tried hard then to dispel public fears about the severity of the disaster. By March 25, however, the category had been upgraded above Three Mile Island to a level 6. Then on April 13, as Tepco struggled to contain the fires burning at the reactor, it was reluctantly given the top rating of 7 by the Japanese authorities, which classed it as a “major accident”, equal to Chernobyl though officials still maintained the disaster was not as severe since there had not, apparently, been a melt-down.

Fast forward a month to May 13, and people’s suspicions and fears were realised when Tepco admitted there had, in fact, been a meltdown in Reactor One. Not only that, but reports began circulating that Tepco had been aware of the meltdown since the very earliest days of the accident……..

The Financial Times went on to say that the Japanese Government was maintaining its line that Fukushima had only leaked 10 per cent of the radiation of Chernobyl.

This claim must now be held in grave doubt. Former nuclear industry engineer and executive Arnie Gunderson described the ground water contamination at Fukushima as “the worst in human history”. Dr Vivian Norris, writing in the Huffington Post, described his findings:

 

MEDIA SILENCE Fukushima may end up being one of the worst disaster the world has seen, we are yet to know its full impact as Japanese authorities struggle to contain the fallout. Yet, if you weren’t reading Independent Australia, listening closely to a small handful of other Australian media sources, such as Crikey, or Mark Willacy on ABC radio, or reading the international press, it is likely that you would have missed the meltdown and would have no comprehension about the full scale of the disaster. In other words, the vast majority of Australians who get their news from newspapers or commercial television or radio have no idea about the severity of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, or the danger to human health posed by this ongoing crisis.
Something similar is going on in Japan and the US. In Japan, the nuclear industry has been actively promoted by the Government since inception in the interests of Japanese nuclear security.  The nuclear regulator is almost entirely made up for former Tepco employees and is described as being almost an arm of the power company. Criticism of nuclear power has long been strongly suppressed in Japan.

In the US and Japan, where the nuclear industry is a powerful lobby group, perhaps it is understandable that the nuclear industry have managed to suppress information about this devastating crisis. But here in Australia, where we have no nuclear power industry? The reality is that Australia, with its huge natural reserves of uranium and strong mining industry, is deeply entrenched in the nuclear cabal. Independent Australia has reported before about plans for the world’s  nuclear waste to be shipped to Australia and the fact this agreement with the US was actively suppressed by the Australian media, perhaps because some media proprietors have strong vested interests in the nuclear industry. It seems that Australia’s overly concentrated media industry is not only a crisis for our democracy, but can potentially even threaten our children’s health.

Dr Caldicott said that the media here are failing in their duty to the people of Australia.

“The media need to be brought down to Earth,” said Dr Caldicott.

“President Jefferson said an informed democracy will make reasonable decisions.”

“The media are failing to inform, so the people can’t make reasonable decisions.”…

Fukushima: Caldicott says Japan may become uninhabitable – media silent | Independent Australia

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June 4, 2011 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media

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