Advice Columnist: Mother terrified to return to Tokyo with 3 kids due to Fukushima contamination — Tells her “What you are experiencing is treatable” and to contact PTSD center

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 9:01 pm ET


Title: Terrified to return to Tokyo
Author: Cary Tennis
Date: Jan 23, 2013 08:00 PM EST

Terrified to return to Tokyo

Dear Cary,

I don’t know how to write this letter, so I’m going to just lay out the facts. I am American. My husband is Japanese. We have three young children. We were living in Tokyo on March 11, 2011 […]

I just don’t know what to do. Do I move back to Tokyo this summer and accept a life surrounded by radioactive contamination? Or do I divorce my husband and tear our family apart? Maybe for no good reason, maybe I am overreacting, maybe it’s not that dangerous? I am completely stressed out and agonized. I talk to friends but they don’t seem to really understand. I’m writing to you in the hope that you will have something to say, something that makes sense.

Thank you.



Dear Fearful,

Before you return to Japan, you must be ready. You are not ready yet. You may be ready at some point. But you are not ready yet. You must be ready emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. […]

The respected scientific journal Nature says that health risks are minimal. […]

I suggest you contact the National Center for PTSD  for help in finding treatment in your area. […]

You can get through this. What you are experiencing is treatable. […]

For more on the ‘respected’ ‘scientific journal’ Nature, see: [intlink id=”nature-people-radiophobia-believe-food-fukushima-safe-japan-kept-people-safe-physical-effects-radiation” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 9:01 pm ET


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18 comments to Advice Columnist: Mother terrified to return to Tokyo with 3 kids due to Fukushima contamination — Tells her “What you are experiencing is treatable” and to contact PTSD center

  • dear Cary
    its a tough decision.. with three kids to consider..

    food contamination is a worry but there are local projects and testing designed to minimise the uptake of radionuclides.. the worse isotope cd134 has diminished by half now.. there is no testing for products for isotopes such as strontium90 though the percentage of strontium is less than cesium, it may bio-accumulate in certain foodstuffs etc.. no recent studies have been done in this fact tracing strontium and other awkward to find isotopes is a BIG problem for the nuclear industry… so there is an element of risk even if the cesiums are counted correctly..

    Daichi unit 4 spent fuel pool.. there are some issues here and the Japanese Gov are covering up the problems.. tokyo is not far enough away if this problem develops.. serious contamination in tokyo might take some time giving you time to evacuate.. and it might not happen??

    family ties.. these are important and may over ride the levels of risk invollved.. you have left time for a reduction in levels and awareness of hot spots etc..

    one last point on the food and water.. it would be wise and is possible to use safe products for your children and if costly the adults can eat the official safe food, taking some basic precautions..

    if it was me i would be with my family and friends having done alot already to protect my children.. the japanese parents are on the case concerning safe foods..
    have a good trip

    • oops! meant dear scary

      cary talks crap! naive, uniformed and recommending psychiatry unnecessarily.. these people pretend to know about subjects they know nothing of,
      this cary gets a paycheck but does NO research.. just spouting the same old crap!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    As with all nuclear disasters, info and data is secret. Or vague, at best. The whole situation is brought on by the existence of reactors. And nobody, anywhere, really knows what they're breathing, thanks to this weird man-developed technology.

  • Sickputer

    "A woman that was dispatched to help clean up the aftermath of the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history, Chernobyl, has a word of advice to the Japanese anywhere near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Run!"

    SP: BTW: in looking for this story I read 21 months ago about Natalia Manzurova who has the infamous Chernobyl necklace (scar from thyroid removal) I found the original news item (linked in the webpage above) is now excised by Big Brother (original AOL online article now goes to HuffPost fluff).

    All the more reason to STAY the HELL AWAY from Tokyo with your children! Screw the marriage…save your kids.

    • m a x l i

      Thanks for the link, Sickputer – a little glimpse into Japan's future and not a nice picture. Here too, like the above columnist Cary does it, victims are pushed into a corner where the mentally unstable or hysteric are, in order to deny or downplay the real physical effects of radiation:

      "I was basically disabled at 43. I was having fits similar to epileptic fits. My blood pressure was sky high. It was hard to work for more than six months a year. The doctors didn't know what to do with me. They wanted to put me in a psychiatric ward and call me crazy."

      CodeShutdown (further down from here) very nicely shows, how the "crazy" ball should be played back. Well said!

    • pure water

      The best possible advice – from people been in the same situation! The details of personal experience are better than any cold blooded estimations.

  • jec jec

    Protect the children..they should be around longer than a few more years. If you do decide to go back to Tokyo, and I hope you dont, read up on all the information you can on ways to protect yourselves.BEFORE you think of heading back to the contamination area. Might change your mind big time–its not safe to be in that level of fallout– you will have a continuous "downwinder" syndrome of illness like cancer. Good Luck.

  • 🙁 lies!!!

    [[ "Fukushima has stopped releasing radioisotopes into the air, and radioactivity in the sea seems to have dispersed with little effect." – author Geoff Brumfiel ]]

    NATURE – Fukushima's legacy of fear
    written March 2012

    Also: His latest piece of rhetoric:
    Read or please leave a comment there:
    NATURE – Fukushima: Fallout of fear
    written 16 January 2013

    "After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan kept people safe from the physical effects of radiation — but not from the psychological impacts." – author Geoff Brumfiel

    This is a re-post from here:
    January 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm
    · full comment

  • We Not They Finally

    Dear Arclight: Are you an idiot? Why don't YOU move to Tokyo? Oh, you think you might be poisoned to death, with your children at even GREATER risk? Good thinking. Now get a life. You can use is to listen to Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gundersen, and people who actually KNOW something and are terrified at the radiation levels there ongoing.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    advice to columnist; You are ignorant but you can get through this. What you are experiencing is treatable; Work for a year caring for the deformed and retarded children in Belarus. When you return to Japan, continue the good work for the children in Fukushima. Then you will be ready, spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.

  • Au Au

    Dear Fearful,

    You are not overreacting. It is dangerous. Do not go back. You can go back after 55,000 human generations have passed.

  • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

    Dear Fearful,

    My best advice to you is to remove every single stitch of clothing from your body, and then go stand outside in the direct sunlight for twelve hours. If after that you decide to move back to Tokyo, buy yourself and your children lead underwear and breathing apparati.

    Best wishes for your self preservation instincs,


  • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist



  • kintaman kintaman

    Look at how they ridicule the worried mother here on reddit. Gaijin snobs who love Japan so blindly they cannot see the reality:

    • Anthony Anthony

      TRhanks for this link – here is another comment sample I found under Fukushima….
      **The radioactive materials in the cloud will be longer-lived decay products of hydrogen and oxygen in, and as far as I'm aware none of those are particularly active. The cloud will be dilute itself after release, which will lower the intensity of the radiation field significantly. Therefore, the total radioactivity release will be many orders of magnitude lower than that of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.
      tl;dr: Right now, the fear isn't meltdown, it's mainly the steam pressure. The media are definitely playing up the meltdown angle, though.
      Like I said, I'm a nuclear reactor operator–if you still have questions, please ask me.**