Law Professor: Damage from Fukushima radiation may be “much larger” than we expect

Published: September 14th, 2013 at 5:20 pm ET


Title: Korea may sue Japan for mishandling leaks
Source: Korea Times
Author: Kim Tae-jong
Date: Sept. 14, 2013

The government will be able to take legal action against Japanese authorities if the latter continues to leak radioactive water into the ocean which could affect marine life in Korean seas, experts said, Tuesday. […]

“Our government can demand Japan provide us with timely and detailed information about water leaks from the nuclear power plant, and also to stop leaking radioactive water,” said Kim Young-sok, a law school professor at Ewha Womans University. “It is necessary to take every possible precautionary action, as radiation damage can be irreversible and may be much larger than we expect.” […]

“This can be the violation of International Maritime Law (IML),” he said. “Even merchants at local fish markets who have seen a drastic drop in sales due to the perceived health risks from fishery products can be compensated if they can prove they have been affected.” […]

It is obvious that Korea will be affected by the water leak from the tsunami-hit power plant, although there are disputes on the level of the health risk.

The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, affiliated with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, has recently announced that the radioactive water could affect marine life in Korean seas as early as next year.

See also: [intlink id=”korea-times-quarter-billion-liters-of-contaminated-water-has-flowed-into-pacific-from-fukushima-japan-cover-up-could-violate-international-law-hid-global-issue-of-environmental-concern” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: September 14th, 2013 at 5:20 pm ET


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29 comments to Law Professor: Damage from Fukushima radiation may be “much larger” than we expect

  • dosdos dosdos

    All lies eventually come to light.

  • Lion76 Lion76

    I determine my own "risks" I don't need some other person to dictate what is safe or not.

  • ftlt

    The lawyer and economists are in the mix now – Great!!!

    Where is gov't and the nuke industry???

    • Jim

      There is NO solution for a triple meltdown in damaged plants. The Japanese have been told that again and again. Gunderson told them to bury them and come back in a thousand years…to make his point. Like BP in the Gulf and the salt dome collapse in LA, again humankind simply dos not have the knowledge or technology to cope with what has been done. There is nobody who can help and nothing that can be done by any person, agency or government. In fact, messing about makes matters potentially worse.

  • Discordian

    And you can bet that the litigation will begin long before any process of repair or solution begins.

    • Discordian

      You can also bet that the folks who ultimately collect the punitive damages from such litigation will be the same ones who profit from the nuclear industry in the first place (kind of like BP buying Corexit from itself to fix its little problem in the GOM).

      Law just doesn't matter at this level of the economic Inferno; if it did, "accidents' like Fukushima wouldn't happen. If I may paraphrase Saul Bellow, If people suffered karma for killing chickens, no one would kill chickens.

      • nedlifromvermont

        Good thing GE insured itself against any liability from the flimsy-built and poorly designed nuclear power park at Fukup-Daichi … by having a pliant US Congress give them blanket protections known as the Price Anderson Act (1957) … and also Price Anderson protections from any reactors sold into Japan … served up by a well-paid, cozy, right wing, fascist, Nuclear Power Village in post-war Japan … or else they might be worried about their balance sheet …

        I guess, about now, Jeffy Immelt is making Joe Cassano (the AIG FP chief from Brooklyn College who went long $50 Billion in sub-prime mortgage bonds in 2005, because Goldman Sachs paid Moody's and Standard and Poor's nice, juicy fees to re-rate junk debt as super safe triple A quality fixed income …)

        This might be a little off-topic … but it does give you the flavor of American Big Business: "Screw the Customer", "Screw the Market" and finally "Screw the Planet" ……..

        Sorry, Anne, I'm just calling it as I see it …

        We still may not be as corrupt as the oligarchian, New Russia, but we're sure making fierce headway in our race to overtake them ….


  • Back about 2 years ago, Fukushima was declared 'cold shutdown'. Since then, radiation levels in fish have been increasing, not decreasing;

    In Jan. 2013, fish had 250,000 Bq/kg maximum levels
    In Feb. 2013, fish had 500,000 Bq/kg maximum levels
    In March 2013, fish had 740,000 Bq/kg maximum levels

    Fukushima Harbor Fish Measured With 740,000 Bq/Kg Cesium; via @AGreenRoad

    How much radiation has to be dumped to accomplish this level of radioactive contamination?

  • razzz razzz

    What could possibly go wrong in Japan during a 10-20 year time span?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear reactor technology was developed with hopes that a meltdown wouldn't occur.

    And here we are with no fix in sight.

    Claiming a violation of international law won't help either because the spewing of radiation into air and oceans can't be stopped.

    • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

      You right TBP , but i guess its a neccesary step , amongst others , to bring the rest of the industry to a "cold shutdown" ..

  • Jebus Jebus

    Even with a single "contained" meltdown, like TMI, the contrast between the nuclear lies and the evidential truth is striking.

    A Reevaluation of Cancer Incidence Near the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant: The Collision of Evidence and Assumptions

    We were given information (which, it later
    transpired, was incorrect) of the total
    radioactive emissions from the plant, but
    the exposure levels of the children were a
    matter of speculation. The radiation experts
    on the committee calculated "best estimates"
    and they concluded, on theoretical
    grounds, that these could not have caused
    any major excess risk: "It couldn't have
    happened, so it didn't happen."

    Sound familiar?

    • Jebus Jebus

      The radiation experts on the committee calculated "best estimates" and they concluded, on theoretical grounds, that these could not have caused any major excess risk: "It couldn't have happened, so it didn't happen."

      The head "expert" on that committee was Lake Barrett…

  • Jebus Jebus

    When they tell you that Chernobyl caused no harm, tell them that the evidence is clear that it has, and that the damage will continue for hundreds of years. The full effects of TMI, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima are a "gift" that we give to our childrens children…

    Thyroid cancer incidence among people living in areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident.

  • rogerthat

    Hi all, i have been following all this nonsense from day one, and i have few thoughts:
    Wasn't No.3 a nuclear blast? How else do you lift vast pieces of concrete a mile in the air and spread bits of fuel rod for miles in all direction? I know the matter has been raised here, but it's surely worthy of fuller discussion. wouldn't it be nice if journalists started asking the question that starts: "Oh, by the way, was No.3 a nuclear blast, or what?

    Also: Simple common sense suggests that six reactors built at water's edge on landfill and above an underground river will, with the help of frequent earthquakes and rising radioactivity levels, inevitably all end up in the sea, along with their cores and what's left of the spent fuel pools. About 2200 tons of nuclear fuel in all?
    The cores appear to be underground and steaming, so it really doesnt make a blind bit of difference what tepco or anyone else does. no-one has any idea how to deal with them. the solution adopted by governments is not to talk about the cores. just like the solution adopted with respect to plutonium; the word is never mentioned. is anyone even measuring?
    So that's my view: Everything is going to end up in the air, in the pacific (and thus eventually all oceans) and in the soil everywhere. eventually.
    So it's a good thing the stuff is harmless, ha ha.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      RogerThat – 3 was a detonation (blast), NOT a deflagration, as Arnie showed us all.

      All that shit will end up in the Pacific, what doesn't end up in the air that is.

      I agree with your conclusion!

    • nedlifromvermont

      @rogerthat … if you care to wade into the "Superthread" under Japan headlines, that "TepCo has been falsifying radiation data for two years …" you will find some very good posts from JoyB, which affirm your suspicions, that it will all end up in the ocean, which it turns out is preferable to it ending up in the air, which will also rain out and find its way into the hydrosphere, and then be taken up by land-based biological life forms …

      These posts, delivered with a poignant honesty, and helpful distance from emotion, begotten of a long history with nuclear industry lies and deceit, are truly helpful in calming the soul, so that we may pressure the "authorities" to begin to undertake a "planetary triage" strategy of mitigation, which would start by taking the decision to build "the Mother of all Sea Walls" off the harbor at Fukup-Daichi ….

      Let the stone hauling begin!!!

      • Sol Man

        But, it would be so much cheaper to fix it with PR.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        What ends up in the oceans eventually ends up in the air, and rains out. Process of convection and cloud formation over the oceans and bodies of water.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Except we can hope some of the contamination precipitates out of the water and goes down somewhere so deep it won't ever be mobilized again, except by the obduction/subduction process of plate tectonics. That would be a best case scenario.

          As for creatures living in the great depths, we'll likely never know what all of this has done to them.

          There appears to be admixture of water in the water columns even at great depth.

          There just isn't a "good" scenario for all of this, from the standpoint of life in the biosphere.

    • They are no longer 'allowed' to ask questions. Investigative journalism died in the mass media when huge global corporations bought up the local stations.

      They fired the investigative journalists. The few that are left are 'muzzled'. They can only say what pro nuclear apologists tell them, no more. NO questions can be asked.

      Questions are the enemy of fascism.

      • truthseek truthseek

        I have asked Directors of Photography and principals of several (huge) media organizations (which I personally) if they have seen or heard from within their organizations any word on the EPIC crisis or even know of a directive to restrict mentions of it. They all had deer in the headlights look, of utter surprise and I feel gave me an honest NO, they they were unaware. To my great surprise and major disappointment, it nearly seemed unimportant and asked for no further detail.

        People ARE so uninterested in this… We by contrasts, must be sadists.

  • Plutonium Mimics Iron In Body – 2 Million Times More Dangerous Than Uranium, MOX Planned For Use In All Future Nuclear Power Plants; via @AGreenRoad

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Am glad to see some legal action is being taken. Or more legal action.

    The question of the day is:

    Will the legal action get any traction, even a fraction, or just fizzle in action?

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Will it take me from my TV or from more shopping? If it does then I am afraid it will be..fizzle in action.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    We all love the need electricity and there is smart electricity and dumb/stupid electricity..

    Nuclear Power Generation is dumb/stupid electricity!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Fukushima waste left exposed
    Sept 19 2013

    "About 150,000 tonnes of radioactive waste from the meltdown crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, including soil left over from decontamination efforts, have been left in the open.

    Japan Meteorological Research Institute “60,000,000,000 Bq of Cs-137 and Sr-90 is leaking to the open ocean everyday
    Sept 19 2013

    May be “much larger” than we expect.