Tokyo Professor on CBC: Latest Fukushima crisis is threatening public health — Gov’t response “totally abysmal” (AUDIO)

Published: August 13th, 2013 at 1:27 pm ET


Title: Fukushima Failure: Admitting to a leak
Source: CBC Radio’s ‘The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti’
Date: August 12, 2013

At 9:20 in

Anna Maria Tremonti, Host: What do you think of the way the Japanese government has handled this latest crisis?

Andrew Dewit, professor of political economy at Rikkyo University in Tokyo: It’s been totally abysmal. They allowed the utility to essentially manage the world’s most critical nuclear crisis on its own. Now we’re watching the consequence of that unfold.

At 13:30

Dewit: This is one of the world’s gravest crises. The faster we take advantage all the distributed expertise around the world, and get to work on [managing this problem], the better. This poses a threat to public health.

Full broadcast here

Published: August 13th, 2013 at 1:27 pm ET


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49 comments to Tokyo Professor on CBC: Latest Fukushima crisis is threatening public health — Gov’t response “totally abysmal” (AUDIO)

  • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

    I've seen a short vid were an official declared Japan would deal with this without any foreigner's help or interference and would continue to do so as long as they see fit with an aggressive nod of the head at the end..
    Wish i could find it back..

    • hbjon hbjon

      Sorta like being constipated and someone offering you help with your BM. This BM is ongoing and fan hitting. At least 2 million already dead and 5 million sick (stressed). Face the fact that nobody want to go there and die of exposure. Let's just say that Japan doesn't want any help with their problems, but remember to beware of the ones who have nothing to lose.(I read that somewhere and it seems appropriate)

    • "There is an incentive for TEPCO do to as little as possible…They are cash strapped and worker strapped. The more you spend on it, the more you lose."

  • Anthony Anthony

    **Dewit: This is one of the world’s gravest crises. The faster we take advantage all the distributed expertise around the world, and get to work on [managing this problem], the better. This poses a threat to public health.**

    We have been saying this for years now.

    Saying EXACTLY this.

  • jackassrig

    These Professors think because they impress a bunch of pipple faced kids in a classroom, they're impreessing the rest of us. GovCO needs to call for outside expertise.

    • We Not They Finally

      To the contrary. I think that the man being interviewed is probably anguished at the downslide. And he is obviously not WITH the government. So who are you to even KNOW?

  • ftlt

    The subtle Empire media spin here is that it is only the Japanese govt's fault…

    You talk to the John or Jane Q person on the street here, FUFU???? O that… In Japan???… That is a small # that even get that…

    The evening news is covering the lack of action by the Empire's offices in Washington DC…

    • ML

      If "they" finally bring attention to the problem, one must believe they understand it is game over for nuclear, and it is so bad that no one can defend this technology anymore.
      But it will be interesting to see if this becomes political fodder with claims of gross mismanagement by the current administration, especially the possible incumbent candidate, Hilary Clinton. By many people's assessment, she made the wrong decision by saying there was no need to test fish from Japan for radiation when sold in US.

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    2200 tons of nukefuel gone straight to hell on the beach in Japan and every government in the world looks like they got their panties wrapped around their ankles for the past two years !!

    Dewit is well worth quoting repeatedly:::
    ***Dewit: This is one of the world’s gravest crises. The faster we take advantage all the distributed expertise around the world, and get to work on [managing this problem], the better. This poses a threat to public health.

    Where's the bigshot experts from the mighty US Nuclear Navy ??
    ..all the Pentagoonies are total chickenshit.
    They are scared spitless humanity will rise up and take their toys away from them.

    goog: graphene kalmykov tour

    If you ask someone like Richard Dolan how to clean up Fukushima, he'll probably tell you that the US/MIC has the capability to fly a giant triangular UFO over there and suck the corium up out of the beach with an anti-gravity beam.

    • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

      The picture in your first link is telling. First thing: I count at least three women. Second thing: None of them, including the women, have adequate breathing aparatus (some have nothing), goggles, or protective clothing. Many don't have proper gloves. Third: This is a nuke-powered aircraft carrier and they don't have automatic hosedown systems to do this job without manpower on deck (Watch a video on any of the nuke tests in the pacific during the 50's and you'll see these systems in action, specifically Operation Wigwam)? Fourth: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier without hosedown systems and they don't have enough quality brooms on hand to give to everyone, let alone cover the width of the deck. Fifth: U.S. Navy sailors, and I see ONE MAN that knows how to use a broom…pathetic. Sixth: All this soap and water and they aren't even doing a good job. They aren't SCRUBBING the deck, and they aren't meeting each other's brooms on either side of them. And of course Seventh and un-seen: This is a Nuke ship with "trained" Nuclear professionals on-board. None of them sounded the alarm for their shipmates? What the hell? Strongest country in the world is just a facade…it's been rotting for years…the only thing holding the building up is the paint…and Fukushima is chipping it off.

      • mairs mairs

        The military is a conduit for making contractors rich. Soldiers are the collateral damage, while the VA is begrudgingly underfunded.

    • We Not They Finally

      You guys need to cool the “panties” references. Someone else posting thinks that that is cute macho crap too. It’s actually not. No one is impressed.

      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks


      • 21stCentury 21stCentury

        sorry to offend..

        In 1980 I used the same salty language at a very large public meeting in Olympia,WA..
        Gov. Dixy Lee Ray was there..
        We were discussing the future of the WPPSS Satsop NPP.. salty language made my message have loud and clear impact.
        We succeeded, and Satsop was never completed, never fueled up, and is now a interesting business park with good potential for many green projects.

        I have been railing against Hanford since before Kennedy was president.. I succeeded in getting Trojan NPP retired early by using my camera and showing the reactor construction photos while using some very salty language behind closed doors at a private clubhouse frequented by the stakeholders.

        I am a Hanford Downwinder, we are all hibakusha now.

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          I am not offended, since I have many friends who buy Men's Panties!

          Doesn't everybody have male/female friends who buy these panties?

          When mankind purposefully scrambled the DNA of their own genome/species via Nuclear Radiation Contamination etc., I would think panties should be allowed across the board.

          Bring more Panties for everybody and bring them now!

          Some people are just too sensitive..

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            P.S. please don't mention adult diapers either, but I would recommend you buy as much stock as you can in the companies manufacturing them.

            Kidneys will soon be failing all over the world, along with millions of renal failures downwind from Fukushima..

            • hbjon hbjon

              A+ for insightfulness and tangential thinking. When people are allowed to speak freely, great progress can be made.

              • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks


                Thanks, and to believe that I have never ever read one book cover to cover..

                Therefor I can only think such insight you talk about reference, must have come from that there.. "red pill".. I took sometime ago!

  • Fukushima – Thousands Of Storage Tanks Leaking Highly Radioactive Water Into Pacific Ocean via @AGreenRoad

  • zenmyo

    RE: "This is one of the world’s gravest crises. The faster we take advantage all the distributed expertise around the world, and get to work on [managing this problem], the better. This poses a threat to public health." This IS the world's greatest crisis, and ALL resources – people, money, technology – should be deployed immediately. It's not about who to blame, it's about how to mitigate the consequences.

  • KingofthePaupers

    Dewit: This is one of the world’s gravest crises. The faster we take advantage all the distributed expertise around the world, and get to work on [managing this problem], the better. This poses a threat to public health.
    Jct: They don't have the funds. We could have used the Argentine Solution to hire the distributed expertise around the world and get to work on [managing this problem]. A threat to public health? No kidding.

    • We Not They Finally

      WE don’t have the funds. But the GREEDY people? They do. They just don’t have the COMPASSION.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    There are always has been/will be massive profits to be had with disease and destruction..

  • Sol Man

    Well, ok friends, I am an old man and I want to share some significant gifts to you. Van Morrison did this and it has been a favorite since 1970(?). Bear with me perhaps our world is nothing of my dreams.

  • J.

    I think we need experts to create and consider radical, out-of-the-box proposals. I sent one to Mr. Gunderson a few days ago, with the caveat that I'm a layman and it may be nonsense, but nothing ventured nothing gained. My idea is to expand the proposed ground-freezing project to encompass as much of the damaged area as possible. The goal is create an enormous expanse of permafrost that could serve to stop ground water flow, strengthen the ground around the plant, and cool the corium enough that the location could be determined and efforts to remove them could begin. The power for the freezing — a huge demand — would come from one re-started NPP devoted solely to this task. Yes, it's a trade-off; all NPPs need to be eliminated. But it might be a good trade-off if it expedites the process — assuming of course that the idea has any merit. NB Gunderson's idea is to use a zeolite trench as mitigation. Excellent, and should have been done years ago, but freezing could go beyond mitigation and make "decommissioning" and "decontamination" at least imaginable.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Well maybe, as it might slow things down a little bit.

    But unless they agree to carve out a very large swath of that island and then dispose of it somewhere else, you may end up with a "forever frozen" section of Earth, that is dependent on the exact same failed technology that created the entire mess in the first place.

    Do we dump this massive carved out land section somewhere deep in the ocean?

    What about the next 9.0 earthquake and next proceeding tsunami taking out the supporting plant?

    A "forever frozen" section of Earth may not be so bad, over all, in the scheme of things.

    If we carve anything out who, whom, will dispose of it properly and where?

    Last I heard there is no legal place on Earth or at least in the US to store radiation contaminated items including spent fuel.

    Maybe they can reprocess it (land/dirt/buildings/steel) all into our building materials and build skyscrapers and new bridges out of it?

    I think that would be just spreading this nightmare around the world, and/but then the cement/materials would probably be dirt cheap!

    Very Good thoughts though..

    • Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral

      "Maybe they can reprocess it (land/dirt/buildings/steel) all into our building materials and build skyscrapers and new bridges out of it?"

      That's exactly what they do with old NPP.
      It becomes steel dishes, just the surface gets sandblasting.
      The same with bricks, just a bit decontamination and it's just


      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

        Yes..I have heard..and its so sad.

        Yes Teacher?
        Why is your lunch box glowing?
        Don't know teacher?
        Please do not bring your lunch box to school again!
        Yes teacher, but why?
        Just do what your told Bobby!
        Yes teacher!
        Will I have to report to incinerator #4 for processing?
        No Bobby, maybe tomorrow though, and we will check/see if any blood is coming from your eyes.
        Yes Teacher, Thank you!

  • J.

    I believe that part of Fukushima Prefecture will become Japan's repository of all its nuclear waste. I see no alternative. The main task now is to keep things from spiraling down into a worse catastrophe. If massive freezing can stabilize the Dai Ichi site and allow work to continue, it should proceed ASAP. I am confident Japan has the technology to do it if the government funds the work. As corium is removed, it can be dry-casked and transferred to a permanent waste storage area further inland. Japan was told long ago (so I read) that the Yucca Flats site in the USA would store their waste, but that project is dead — a betrayal from the Japanese perspective I suppose.

    Bottom line: we need ideas, and if anyone reads the comments here and any good comes from constructive suggestions, we're all better off. Phillip Up North may or may not be right about the coriums, but he certainly has constructive ideas, and I hope they get some attention.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Agreed and good show!

    You are using your gift and its your brain.

    You mean "citizens funds" though..right..governments have no money unless this money is directly taken/removed/taxed from their own people/citizens.

  • sueec

    How can this Japanese Government seriously think that they will continue to have a viable economic future . If they do not get a handle on this nuclear crisis ( even if it doesn't get worse ) their health budget will blow out their economy. If it gets worse surely no one will want their goods or to visit Japan and they will become a leper colony. Already I don't eat anything that might be Japanese. I certainly wouldn't visit there or fly over the top of their country. Isn't this enough to make them ask for help?

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    You are very wise and see the future clearly…

  • Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral


    I like your cattle and sheep comments and googled them.
    They have so much to say in a few words.
    This one will hopefully get me back to the corral:

    "The japanese citizens are cattle and sheep nothing more, and nothing less, not unlike all those that live inside and pay taxes here in the USA."

    Good Night

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Sleep tight and don't let the now glowing bed bugs bite…

  • I wonder how many of you actually listened to the show. What I found disturbing was what the Professor said about the apathy the Japanese people have towards this problem. For those of you with elaborate ideas on how to fix Fukushima, with all due respect, you don't understand what is going on. It's not a lack of ideas but an unwillingness to spend money. Ideas from the radio show which I think hold true. Tepco is cash strapped and has zero incentive to spend money. Japanese government doesn't want to get involved as if it appears to be calling the shots it will be responsible for the whole shit show and plenty of unforseen events can happen as science has never witnessed a triple melt down and such radioactive water in the billions of bequorels per US quart or litre. (similar volumes ) 30 bequorels per litre is the limit of safety for drinking water.
    Whoever is in power just wants to get through the term. Tepco and government are doing a dance together and neither are willing to do anything substantive. Nuclear poison is invisible and cancer deaths rarely are sourced. Japanese people still think the worse is over and still feel they need their nuclear power to fuel their economy. Still eating local fish and rice. Still bow down to authority. Yakusa organized crime deep in background of Tepco. US and others just dont want to panic the populous to keep economy stable. No one looks after you but you.

    • J.

      You make some good points, but obliviousness is not confined to the Japanese, and the average person is at least partially the victim of corporate media mendacity and down-playing. That said, the government DOES have the resources to deal with the problem, and has had many decades of experience in funneling cash to sectors of the economy as necessary. There's plenty of corruption in that process, of course, but things do get accomplished once the decision has been made. Turning the Fukushima Dai Ichi site into artificial permafrost would be a massive industrial project, unprecedented and thus potentially attractive to nationalists who want to showcase the fading "made in Japan" prowess of former years. Running one reactor to supply power to the project would save some face for the shamed nuclear power technocrats, and at least let them use a horrible technology to clean up their own horrible mess before moving on the better technologies. There may yet be a great solar/wind/ocean renewable technology renaissance — if Japan can avert calamity.

      • m a x l i

        Turning the site into permafrost, if it ever works, would at best buy us some time, for a few years be a face-saving exercise and give the illusion of a problem solved – until the giant fridge will, like every man-made technical apparatus, break down and be beyond repair. Then the frozen ground will thaw and we are back on square one – exactly where we are right now.

        But there could be potential advantages for that time-buying exercise. Groundwater coming downhill would circumvent the frozen area and get less contaminated (at least for a while). The ground could become more stable, which might help to undertake the removal of spent fuel and dismantling of the ruins.

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          You are quite correct, maxli, in your analysis of current (and traditional) Japanese society, and the dance. Always a day late, and a yen short. Against the backdrop of rapid population decline, and deepening recession.

          Yet, I try not to be too grim about it. The news ain't all bad. Lets review where things stand:
          1. The Frozen Wall is a Government initiative. Seems like the contracts are signed, and this is going to happen over the next 24 months. The Frozen Wall surrounds Units1-4, and should stop groundwater from getting contaminated by corium debris under Units1-3. Stopping groundwater from becoming contaminated in the first place, is the key to reducing contamination of the Pacific Ocean. (But the damage has been done.)
          2. Fuel will begin to be removed from SFP4 this fall, now that the Crane Support Structure is finished.
          3. The Impermeable Wall is half of a good idea. Of course, it will eventually occur to TEPCO to extend this wall to run behind Units1-4, in order to stop groundwater from becoming contaminated. The Impermeable Wall may one day replace the Frozen Wall.
          4. Webcams show lots of activity on Unit3 today, clearing debris from the Equipment Floor. A Crane Support Structure will be built there for SFP fuel removal, probably in 2014.
          Some progress, at least, is being made. 🙂

    • teamplayer

      It must be terribly frustrating for the thousands in Japan who turned out to protest nuclear energy… they understand the gravity of the situation.

  • razzz razzz

    Professor should have seen the mess during March 2011, makes TEPCO now look like a well oiled fine tuned machine.

  • Sol Man

    Perhaps the Rothschilds will pay since they own central banks, the money scheme and everything under the sun. So who exactly funded the beginnings of this nightmare, the Manhattan Project? I would venture a guess that it may have been the same.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Rothschilds do have an unending check book…its your tax dollars.

    What was it the Kennedy's dad said? The largest "cash machine" ever created on the Earth!

    That would be your by force Federal, State and local "by force removed" tax systems…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Remember these boys and girls have had a non stop party with your tax dollars since 1913!

    One reason why John was taken out..he saw the problem clearly.