A Sense of Perspective Is Needed regarding Japan's Radioactive Fallout

The New American, April 18, 2011 | Go to article overview

A Sense of Perspective Is Needed regarding Japan's Radioactive Fallout


The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan killed more than 10,000 people and left more than that number unaccounted for. The twin disasters also severely impacted the country's infrastructure and economy. The rebuilding efforts will undoubtedly take years.

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The damage wrought by the violent and titanic forces of nature, as anyone not marooned on a desert island knows, includes the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant. That plant was designed to withstand an 8.2-magnitude quake on the Richter scale, which was considered the worst-expected earthquake scenario for a 500-year time frame. But the unprecedented 9.0-magnitude quake that wreaked havoc on Friday, March 11, was much more powerful than the nuclear plant's design with stand-ability--more than six times more powerful. (The Richter scale, recall, is logarithmic.) In addition, the plant, located next to the ocean, was struck by the tsunami.

The aftermath? A "nuclear disaster" according to the major media, which have not only warned of an imminent--and "catastrophic"--nuclear meltdown, but have practically melted down themselves in their frantic and frenzied coverage of the radioactive fallout that has already occurred.

The alarmist reports of the fallout--including even radioactive water and food--have heightened the fears of the public, many of whom have little understanding of radiation and its effects. …

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