Tokyo Professor: We are facing a nuclear winter in Japan

Published: May 31st, 2012 at 5:24 pm ET


On the Cesium Road
Hoover Institution’s Hoover Digest
Toshio Nishi
April 6, 2012 no. 2


We realize now that the government and the power executives think we are not intelligent enough to understand the technical jargon about nuclear power. Of course, we were not familiar with those esoteric terms when the disaster struck. But we do understand we are facing a nuclear winter on this beautiful archipelago, placed on the Ring of Fire, and may not live long enough even to see such a winter.


Since bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan has cultivated a religion that condemns nuclear arms. Along the way, however, Japan metamorphosed into a strange creature that felt immune to things nuclear. Few Japanese left the country within the first weeks after the Fukushima meltdown. We can remain calm even in the midst of a horrible reality. Meanwhile, the falsehood of safe, cheap, and forever clean energy is swept away like the receding sea.

Toshio Nishi is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 1991 to the present, Nishi has been a distinguished guest professor at Reitaku University in Chiba, Japan, and from 2004 a graduate school professor at Nihon University in Tokyo. […] From 1985 to 1991, Nishi was a foreign correspondent for NHK Journal, a radio program of Japan’s largest media system. […]

See also:

  • [intlink id=”japanese-professor-where-did-all-that-plutonium-contaminated-water-disappear-to-into-the-pacific-ocean-or-the-ground-of-course-who-can-comprehend-the-magnitude-of-radioactive-contamination-that” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”tv-experts-paid-fukushima-small-leak-when-largest-world” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
Published: May 31st, 2012 at 5:24 pm ET


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63 comments to Tokyo Professor: We are facing a nuclear winter in Japan

  • GeoHarvey

    Some of us have been actively fighting against the idea that nuclear power is safe, green, and reliable for a long time. It is sad to be able to point to examples showing we were right.

  • GeoHarvey

    And, unfortunately, there are those who seek to restart reactors in Japan, and to build or relicense reactors elsewhere. I have heard nuclear proponents many times, telling people their work is based on science and the opposition is based on irrational fear. The truth is precisely the opposite. The fear is rational, and nuclear power is not based on science, but on irrational, pathological greed.

  • farawayfan farawayfan

    Nishi's words are achingly powerful. I hope they, amoung others, will eventually be heard.

    • What-About-The-Kids

      I agree, they are powerful and almost poetic:

      "Meanwhile, the falsehood of safe, cheap, and forever clean energy is swept away like the receding sea."

      I too hope the message will be heard by ever-increasing numbers…

  • tony wilson

    that's not all they and we are facing…

    a little plan for a big very scary place.
    Rokkasho Mura in the Aomori Prefecture.

    • agent provocateur

      that article is bullshit. leave the nutjob conspiracy theory stuff lalone

      • tony wilson

        who are you clown.
        gordon duff is not a nut job.
        provide proof log into that site and explain to him why you know so much more intel about what is going on.

      • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

        I have to go with the agent on this one, that story was out there

        • bleep_hits_blades

          @ Agent Provoc and Sharp – calling an article 'bulls**t', 'out there,' & 'conspiracy theory stuff' and calling its author 'a nutjob' – is just name-calling aka argumentum ad hominem.

          Giving reasoned, substantive criticisms of articles and pov's is great, but just calling them and their authors a bunch of bad names is schoolyard type stuff.

          • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

            The article implies that the 3/11 earthquake was a man-made event, that a hole was drilled under the ocean and a nuclear bomb was put down the hole. That it was purposely done to poison the US. It goes on to say that "they" are planning to do it again this summer. Now what do you think.

            • demo demo

              ha ha. great synopsis. thnx for saving us the trouble of reading it.

            • Abbass Abbass

              Maybe not so sharp after all. That synopsis you made is still not a logical refutation. It may appeal to others who find the suggestion alien to their current paradigm, but how on earth can people observing Fukushima and the state of the world when it comes to truthful reporting manage to miss the implications? I guess you're also unable to face the stark truth about 9/11 which should end all Pollyanna like ideas about how evil those in power really are. This world is full of shocking truths which lead us to realise that there is no normal way to evaluate the extent of wickedness or destructive intent of those in power, so why would you dismiss a report like that mentioned on such a shallow and pathetic basis? I have my doubts too, but mainly because there are easier ways for them to do this than a nuke. I have no trouble putting it past them though.

              To make the argument absurd as you unsuccessfully tried to do, then you'd have to pretend that the USA is being run in such a way as to ensure its future and survival, which would truly be absurd. I\d say you and your mate are just a part way along the path to awareness and at this point your progress is halted as you think you now have all your ducks in a row. Truly you\re only a small step beyond the sheep minds who ignore the facts and implications of Fukushima. There is none so ignorant as he who thinks he knows it all. Duff may be off the mark on this, but not because it is too far out to believe.

              • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                I think that if some illuminati, and multi generational richer than the world families wanted to take down the US they would use more direct means than digging a 20 kilometer deep hole on the subduction zone of Japan, to cause an earthquake and tsunami, that cripples a reactor just to poison the US. Now I do believe it is possible from an engineering standpoint. But way too complicated, If these people have as much power as claimed by some then there is no reason not to be straight forward and just kill a couple hundred million people

                • wideawake wideawake

                  ..They already have killed millions.. with their perpetual wars, enforced famines, DU. NPP's, vaccines, prescription meds, toxic waste, bio warfare, and on and on it goes.. and my guess is they thrive on it..Blink! It is also well known they pay shills to muddy the waters, ridiculous I know, way to difficult and complicated for mere mortals to sense….Blink! No links provided ,I'm sure your clever enough to do your own research. blink blink.

                  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                    Straight answer. Do You believe the earthquake on 3/11 was man-made by a secret group of people who want to destroy the US? I believe that it was a function of plate tectonics, and that the Japanese (who invented the word tsunami) were fools for putting this plant next to the ocean without planning for the worst case senario.

                    • richard richard

                      you've done well sharp, sticking to reasonable (and pretty obvious) logic.

                      someone mentioned 9/11 in there. that's a different issue. and proably not for here.

                      but i'm with sharp here.. tsunamis are an histoical fact … nuking the ocean floor .. . wow, like wow. 🙂 are they serious 🙂

                    • CB CB

                      I seen this way back, found it again. I don't know what to make of it. I think the 3/11 EQ was natural.
                      FFW-> 2:11.

                    • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                      WOW CB I Think someone who thinks they can cause a tsunami at will, is either insane, or hoping to gather an army of … I don't know how to say it without injuring the sensibilities of my detractors. but WOW!

                    • CB CB

                      Hi Sharp, I have more to say but would find it might cause for an international incident here. lolol. I agree with you, and then some.

                  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                    wideawake are those blinks supposed to be winks.

                  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                    wideawake are you OK, I have seen in the past where hostages tried to blink a morse code while taping a demand for their captors. blink twice if you are under duress.

              • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                As for the name Sharp, I did not choose the name because I think I am smarter than average, The calculator on the corner of my desk is a Sharp model 2197, The calculator is probably older than half the people on this website. I know I had it before I graduated HS in 1980

                • richard richard

                  i got my name from the plaque on the desk 🙂

                  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

                    LOL, thanks, I did not want to get into a fight, Just thought the story was a bit unreasonable. I agree there is stuff happening that would blow our minds, but this one was just too much of a stretch. BTW I have asked how you put the face on the little blank avatar.

                • Anthony Anthony


      • truthseek truthseek

        I agree – AP who do you think you are? Pointing your finger… What do you have to hide behind your waving hand of doubt… with little to support your endless provocation of many. Please DO greater study on topics and people which you deride. Many here contribute with there grounded views. You seem like a shill, an(other) pathetic politician, one of many trying to further obfuscate the truths which we are all here to gain clarity on.

        Admittedly, Gordon is a little out there in many (other worldly) topics in this crazy and growing more f'ed up planet unraveling around us. Nothing really makes sense and much of the volley here …needs… To make us collectively uncomfortable, to apply greater (out of the box) reasoning which could lead to greater clarity and reason to grasp dimensions of all about us. I have tremendous respect for Gordon and any topic that he sticks his head on the block to share with everyone with reason and reach enough to consider…

  • CaptD CaptD

    What will determine the total cost of their "Trillion Dollar" Eco-Disast­er?

    Please feel free to add your comments and or estimates to this list:
     Decommissi­oning costs
     Loss to all other radioactiv­e decontamin­ation caused by this Disaster.
     Loss of revenues by Tepco
     Loss to TEPCO's share holders caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of Japanese personal income caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to Japanese businesses caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of all Japanese health costs related to radioactiv­ity
     Loss due to unusable Japanese Land related to radioactiv­ity
     Loss due to Japanese housing caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of Japanese Property Values caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of fishing grounds caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of manufactur­ing caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to the value of the Yen caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to other Utilities caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
     Loss to Japans credit rating caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
     Loss to the Japanese peoples Lives because of radiation
    ……and lets not forget the
     Loss to the Japanese Nuclear Industry World-Wide…

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

       Loss of healthy citizens as genetic abnormalities take hold in future generations

      ~How much is a life worth? And what is the actual percentage that is considered acceptable risk? Does the acceptable risk model take into account the affect on future generations?

      And Are you willing to be that acceptable risk? Because it truly is a roll of the dice that determines if you are affected by the radiation & to what degree. But I promise you this someone must share the pain… 😛 in order for these Corporations to make those billions.

      By permitting companies to not only create such deadly poisons but let there be an acceptable number of deaths & disease, we allow these people to literally control whether we live or die or suffer as we take our last breath on this earth. And that risk is then passed on down to our children & grandchildren.

      …So maybe this is the angle that we can use to help make people understand the deadly result of radiation. And for us to STOP not only NUKES NOW but to also prevent the selling or creating of poisons that include an acceptable risk to all life on this planet.

    • CB CB

      This is the critical thinking that should be happening.
      A new reality is starring us all in the face.

      The powers that be should come to an agreement to waive all depts, "all depts". Foreign and domestic. Every country. From personal loans, small town mom and pops shops, upper level management, to CEO. Forgive all Government Depts. Debts must be forgiven. Its an absolute problem that must go away. It's not about the money, it's about our survival as a species. It's a race against time.
      A piece of paper should not be an obstacle.

      Maybe even a new money system implemented worldwide. Or no money system.

      Damage control.

      Wishful thinking.

      • CB CB

        What does the leadership do anyway? Sit around with their thumb up their ass, waiting for updates, answers, solutions, debating on minimizing capital loss?

        Any real leaders here?

        Hoping someone will fix this already, get up off your ass and point some fingers!. Lead!!!!

        Get up out of your fucking CHAIR, step out of your comfort zone, and give real direction! Don't worry about your paperwork. It can be late. Don't look over your fucking shoulder for support from the brainwashed adolescence. LEAD!!!!

        Don't be the one that says "I've done nothing and it didn't work"!

      • What-About-The-Kids

        I've thought of this too, CB. What about wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch? Bartering rather than paying with cold, hard cash?

        I'm obviously not an economist, but hey, if we can save the world from a huge crisis and accompanying pain and hardship and heartache from the collapse of the world economy by doing so, I'm game… 🙂

        • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

          RE: waiving all debt…it is not well known that any *bailouts given to the countries in the EU for example 100% of it goes directly to the banks to pay off the debt. NONE of that money is used for the government or to programs or the citizens. And so if these companies do Not accept the bailouts or the austerity measures imposed by accepting hem then the banks do not get paid.

          So I agree that the banks (World Bank) does not need anymore taxpayers money. Following Iceland's example means that they simply do not accept the banks measures & the debt is *effectively erased.

          If you add up the tax breaks for corporations & the bank *bailouts I mention above …then add up the austerity measures that most governments are taking right now….it almost balances out.

          What is happening IMHO is that the 1% have decided that they are no longer willing to contribute to the infrastructure (hospitals, roads, schools ect.) Because even though they used the infrastructure that we all have paid into to get where they are today (billion dollar companies), they now have their own schools, doctors & schools ect. in their own gated communities.

          @What about the kids…I agree with you. What we **hear from Main Stream Media is that for example Greece needs to pay their taxes…so everyone believes that slander 100% without questioning WHO is telling us that?

          • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

            Too some degree it is true…but what most do nto pay heed to is that becasue of a Union between Countries they must & have implemented a Common External tariff…which

            When a group of countries form a customs union they must introduce a common external tariff. The same customs duties, import quotas, preferences or other non-tariff barriers to trade apply to all goods entering the area, regardless of which country within the area they are entering.

            …It is designed to end re-exportation; but it may also inhibit imports from countries outside the customs union and thereby ..*Diminish consumer choice and support .Protectionism of industries based within the customs union.

            ~And so becasue of Protectionism they costs of most products are artificially inflated becasue there is either no competition or limited competition. As a result of this the black market….Or *bartering 😉 becomes the method that more citizens use to avoid those inflated costs & limits on accessible products.

            So as you see the citizens are then *punished as is happening now. And yet the very same woman who told Greece citizens to pay their taxes is exempt from paying any becasue of diplomatic immunity …(she has a salary of $467,940 plus $83,760 additional allowance a year) “A diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal.”

        • andre3

          Good point. The key is to change our debt system in which the worlds central banks operate and thus control the lending of credit to governments. What is truly amazing is that these central banks who finance political party's, war, debt etc., are in essence the entities which hold the entire world hostage and as a result have forced the "austerity" programs we now see.

          Nothing short of getting rid of these institutions will create a fair and equitable system not controlled by paper notes. Andrew Jackson dissolved the central bank in his day and on his deathbed proclaimed it his greatest act. Kennedy signed an executive order to abolish the fed, and well he did not last long after that.

          Getting rid of these central banks in essence will set the debt levels back to zero. Thereafter we then must insure fair trading policies that do not favor or punish a class of people because they were simply born into such class.

      • Bobby1

        Ancient Palestine had a jubilee year every 50 years, in which all debts were forgiven.

        Charging interest on loans was also forbidden.

        We should go back to this.

  • jump-ball jump-ball

    With the currently contaminated tuna harvest, the contaminated kelp offshore CA beaches, and the upcoming contaminated fall rains over the U.S. west coast, some of us are also facing a nuclear spring, summer and fall.

    Ultimately our federal and state agencies, as well as the several nuclear and enviromental authorities, will be disgraced and revealed for not only how little they did in the public interest, but for how much tragic damage their corrupt silence will have caused.

  • blackrain66

    that one reactor was ever commissioned,


  • glowfus

    the wide range of inclusions and the numerous variables of such allow even a professor to drift in disaster like this.

  • CaptD CaptD

    Face it, the Powers to be and those that donate to keep them in Office just care about maintaining their own Status Quo; the truth will only come out when it makes them some more money or when someone on the inside spills the beans…
    Good Luck Japan…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Soil contamination map.
    TEPCO and the Japanese government know exactly the amount of contamination is involved.
    Sept.2 2011

    This second post…I think deserves another listen.
    Why the Fukushima doctors will not help the children.
    Aug.29 2011

    Isn't it enough the Japanese people ..the people of Fukushima..are the victims of a tremendous nuclear accident..they are also being betrayed by their leaders?
    The people are being betrayed..the chidren are being betrayed.
    We want mercy for the people.

  • tomarsandbeyond tomarsandbeyond

    nuclear winter is when thousands of weapons go off kicking up enough soot to darken the skies around the world and lower the temperatures significantly. That is not what has happened.