Japanese media blackout of words: MOX, plutonium, and meltdown

Published: June 15th, 2011 at 7:51 am ET
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David McNeill: Who’s telling the truth on the Fukushima meltdown?, CNN Go By David McNeill, June 15, 2011:

One of the more striking aspects of the local media coverage of Fukushima was the missing word — “meltdown.” It seemed reasonable to speculate, from March 11-15, that this is precisely what happened. One reason was the repeated news of cesium dispersed in the atmosphere on March 12. [...]

“There was a blackout in the media of the word,” he says in an interview this month with the Foreign Correspondents’ Club magazine, “No.1 Shimbun.” In April the head of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Takashi Sawada, also said that fuel rods in reactors 1 and 3 had melted. Yet, it took over two months for newspapers and TV here to begin using the word. [...]

We might also cite the example of MOX fuel and plutonium, a substance so toxic “that a teaspoon-sized cube of it would suffice to kill 10 million people,” in Reactor 3 at Fukushima.

Newspaper and TV reports in Japan essentially banished the words from their reports.

Published: June 15th, 2011 at 7:51 am ET
By

43 comments

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