NYTimes: Eerie fog of silence around Fukushima plant — First surprising thing is there’s no sound in no-go zone -Photographer (PHOTOS)

Published: September 25th, 2012 at 5:09 pm ET


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Title: Kosuke Okahara’s Photos of Fukushima’s Aftermath
Source: New York Times
Date: September 25, 2012, 5:00 am

[…] “If you go into the no-go zone, the first surprising thing is there’s no sound — it’s quiet,” [Tokyo-based photographer Kosuke Okahara] said.

But just outside the exclusion zone, emerging from the eerie fog of silence, Mr. Okahara encountered resilient people who stayed behind […]

Families who spoke to Mr. Okahara in Fukushima were concerned about radiation levels and fear another disaster there […]

Published: September 25th, 2012 at 5:09 pm ET


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51 comments to NYTimes: Eerie fog of silence around Fukushima plant — First surprising thing is there’s no sound in no-go zone -Photographer (PHOTOS)

  • lam335 lam335

    "Eerie fog of silence around Fukushima plant"

    When I saw this headline, my initial thought was that it must be describing the media's relative lack of discussion of this on-going crisis. That's the truly "eerie" silence.

    • Maggie123

      Iam335: Good observation. My first thought was "Where's the NYTimes been to now on this, (speaking of eerie silences)?"

      My second: "Does this begin a string of in-depth articles that will dig deeper into Fukushima realities and include an update on Chernobyl"?

      My third: "Highly unlikely".

      It was the NY Times that shot the opening salvo on pro-war-on-Iran "public persuasion" when in Nov 2011 it published an IAEA report that used old data and misleading quotes and information to "insist" that Iran wants nothing more than nuclear weapons as fast as they can develop them. Seymour Hirsch wrote extensive and documented criticism of the article, and others have followed since to point out fallacies. But pro-destroy-yet-another-nation and-its-peoples seems all the fashion in US politics these days. (Did we learn *nothing* about being falsely led to brutality in the Iran war lead-up!)

      I'd already given up on Washington Post when just before the WH "health reform summit" the WaPo head person invited a privileged group of pro-corporate top insurance people for dinner at her place to "examine solutions" (no single payer or anti-corporate people were invited.)

      Both papers occasionally put out good journalism but IMO it's for appearances. Both ride on earlier reputations of quality investigations. Neither strongly challenges with consistency.


        you're good Maggie123. I was thinking the same thing about the NYT and where they've been (missing) on this ongoing nightmare. And you're also right in the role they're playing in this lead-up to the next war. Since 911 (yes, that far back), I stopped reading the NYT on a regular basis. I couldn't help but notice how quick they took to the 'party line'. Unless you happen to be a dead dog on the side of the road, most everyone's figured-out who's setting the editorial content of our MSM…

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Rachel Maddow had a great show concerning the hazards of Fukushima this past summer during the Reactor 4 Ron Wyden hoopla. I was astonished as GE owns MSNBC and it was very truthful. Rachel Maddow is an awesome reporter. IMHO

        • Maggie123

          moonshellblue re Maddow – That's great to hear! I don't have tv so don't actually know what's available except read/hear much evidence of false, misleading, "pure obliviousness", and lack of in-depth, status-quo challenging, programing – hour upon hour of it. (And that'w without counting Fox which I don't even bother to include!) Maddow's "against the current" reputation seems to hold up well from what I gather. Amazing she's not overstepped a line and been sent packing. I'll also say a friend who has no computer, and basic cable package, continually astonishes me with what she's learned but she's *really* picky on what she'll watch.

        • Anthony Anthony

          She was all over Fuku as it unfolded and seemed to be *reined in* heavily around the time the 10 million bq announcement was made and retracted.

          • Maggie123

            Interesting. I wonder how long people like Rachel Maddow will carry on before they decide the income's not worth it and join their colleagues who've gone to alternative media.

      • Maggie where in the video is the map that has been declared fake?

        There are several images of dispersion.


    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      The whole fuel chain is designed to create a permanent silence, globally. Why build some weapon that can never be used? Some itchy trigger finger and/or terrorist is going to start something eventually, unless we dismantle it all.

      The Nuclear Fuel Chain That Leads To Nuclear Bombs; via A Green Road

      Alpha Radiation Dangers; Polonium, Radon, Radium, Plutonium, Uranium; via A Green Road

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    People are living in danger because of naive governments that can't understand the dangers of nuclear power.

    • dosdos dosdos

      They understand it all too well. They are doing their best to limit the economic consequences in the short run, at the expense of the Japanese people's well being.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Agreed. They probably also assume that the general population would panic and like Arnie says you can't run or hide. I have even seen video of a guy in Brazil taking geiger counter readings and was amazed by how high the levels in South America are. Having said that it would have been nice to have some warning for folks on the West Coast and Canada but anyone paying attention knew there is a big problem at Fukushima , a big never-ending problem and from my personal experience many people just don't want to hear about how bad it really is as they tell me to 'shut-up or so what can you do about it or it can't be that bad or they wouldn't fly airliners over their' and the list goes on and on. Let's face it the government always lies about radiation. We only hear how radiation was detected but levels are so low it poses no threat to the public. We heard that about TMI and decades later the truth emerged. I'm just grateful for folks like Arnie, Radchick, Majia, AGreen, Helen Caldacott, and countless other individuals and of course Enenews NO NUKES

        • Maggie123

          🙂 moonshellblue – a few years back I thought maybe fear of public panic was explanation but more recently I've decided it's the opposite – fear of major uprising! 🙂

    • lam335 lam335

      And politicians get so much money from the industry that they seek to do their bidding (build new plants, re-start plants, not enforce regulations, not cost the industry extra money by insisting on safety regulations), AND they seek to diminish the public's awareness/apprehensions about nuclear.

      And then there's the connection between civilian nuclear power and weapons production …

      They are not naive. They are short-sighted, self-interested, and cynical.

      • Maggie123

        Iam335: I think 'cynical' is a key word at a pretty deep level. Gave it some thought a few months back. IMO these people do not have anything like a vision of "humanity's promise and potential". I think they believe there are masses who are "hopelessly unable to appreciate complexity and to ever be more than 'worker bees'".

        I don't think they know they believe this! I don't think they have a clue how utterly patronizing, condescending, and chauvinistic their views toward their constituents and general populace are. This is the case I believe across the political spectrum. (Must say there are a few exceptions – Bernie Sanders always comes to mind).

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        "They are not naive. They are short-sighted, self-interested, and cynical."

        Any mental health professional will tell you they are acting like murderous psychopaths. Just because they wear a tie and some of them are elected we choose to ignore this?

        We may very well be getting what we deserve.

        • Maggie123

          Speaking of their ties! I don't have TV but catch clips of new footage in on-line news, and often see "photo op" shots where "deciders" are gathered. I've developed something of an irrational obsession about their d**n ties – those wide, nearly always red (power), or occasionally blue ("trust me"). I just want to reach through the screen and grab them by their ties and … not sure what … at least give the ties a yank! Maybe scissors too to snip their fabric symbols from display!

          • or-well

            Maggie123, ties…think of them as dog collars…who holds the leash?
            Maybe the snipped tie could be a symbol for those who've broken free…


    "…some generally demonstrating an attitude of complacency toward radiation…" because they've been given no option to live-out their lives, in a clean and peaceful world. I want to personally thank all those in the military-industrial-complex, who've sacrificed so much to make this a safe and secure environment for our children. You guys are just sooo awesome…

  • A tribute to Inno 'the bird'.

    Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1
    (Old TEPCO Web cam view.)
    Screen shot taken around 7/11/2012

    "Inno" was short for Innocent One.

    She was looking for her friends, but somehow, the fog, seemed to have silenced them all.

    It was the SILENCE…

    Andrei, a farmer from Belarus
    "I remember that morning well. I went out into my kitchen garden as usual; it was a lovely spring day and so beautiful. It was in full bloom; it's my very favorite time. The garden all dressed in wedding white. But something was wrong, something was missing, some old memorable sounds.

    "Ah, you see, I realized something unusual, it came to me that I couldn't hear the SOUNDS of bees. This was something strange…"


  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    It's not nearly as silent in Fuku as it should be. Throughout Fuku and Japan, right now, there should be utter silence, only the sound of the breeze blowing down deserted streets. All of the people should have been exacuated months ago, when it would have made a difference. Instead, "life is returning to normal", which only means you will all die soon, each in your turn. Victims of human greed, the effort to turn nuclear fission into utility profits.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    The first nuclear accident in the USA SL-1.http://youtu.be/BVr6bD-z9hM

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      There was an earlier nuclear accident in the USA:

      “The Sodium Reactor Experiment was a pioneering nuclear power plant built by Atomics International at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Simi Valley, California. The reactor operated from 1957 to 1964. On July 12, 1957 the Sodium Reactor Experiment became the first nuclear reactor in the United States to produce electrical power for a commercial power grid by powering the nearby city of Moorpark.[1][2] In July 1959, the reactor experienced a meltdown; the reactor core was damaged, and there was a controlled release of radioactive gas into the atmosphere.[3]
      “In February 2004 a class action lawsuit was filed against the landowner, Boeing, alleging (in part) that the Sodium Reactor Experiment caused harm to nearby residents. The plaintiffs produced an analysis of the incident prepared by expert witness Arjun Makhijani. Makhijani's analysis of the Sodium Reactor Experiment estimated the incident at the Sodium Reactor Experiment may have released up to 260 times more radioactive iodine-131 than the official estimates for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station release.[22] The ‘260 times worse than Three Mile Island’ assertion has been widely quoted.[22][25][26] The ‘Three Mile Island’ conclusion presented in the legal filing did not agree with data and documents prepared at the time of the SRE incident…

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        “In September 2008, Daniel Hirsch presented testimony in the U.S. Senate to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by California senator Barbara Boxer. Hirsch called the July 1959 event ‘one of the worst nuclear accidents in nuclear history’ and testified that the government ‘covered up the seriousness of the accident’.[22]…
        At the time of the July 1959 incident, the Sodium Reactor Experiment had operated for 10,344 hours. After the repairs were made and a new core loaded, the Sodium Reactor Experiment operated for an additional 26,716 hours and generated a total of 37 GWh of electricity.[37]
        A film about this reactor:

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      TY, moonshellblue, for posting this movie. It was extremely scary to watch.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Concerning this disaster http://youtu.be/bcixn2KWIRs

  • weeman

    Good place for meditation and contemplation, maybe it will go away can't hurt probably more helpful than current efforts as it is out of our combined knowledge to rectify.

  • pierre

    the last independent newspaper in New York went to the grave with it's editor almost 100 years ago.

  • weepsforthechildren

    If it is that quiet, how to explain the sound of insects and birds on the Tepco live camera? Hmmmm.

    • The Tepco web cam has no sound. The TBS cam does.

      The TBS/jnn cam is miles away. Most of the birds are just passing through. Those who had lived there. Are Gone. 🙁

      I no longer hear insect sounds on the TBS cam at least not for some time. This was noted back in July 2012 I believe.

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        TBS cam is 20 miles away.. I think the only birds we hear anymore are screaming.. non of the everyday bird sounds, but some bird sounds.. I remember I used to hear baby birds at first 🙁 not in a long time..

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          There are very few birds now where is live in Colorado. We used to have many, many birds. Also, very few bees, though I did have a lot of fruit on my trees this year.

          • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

            We used to have such a problem with yellow jackets, especially late in the summer.. not nearly as many..certainly nothing I would even call an issue..

            I have seen a few odd shaped bees, with parts smooth and parts furry.

            I have not seen a humming bird since.. very very few moths.. and other bugs that used to like the light on the porch 🙁

  • This eerie silence is the forerunner of the night of Brahma's due when the nuclear reactors will explode one after another in due course of time. They need not be all of them before the maxi eerie silence lasting for 4.32 billion years. The critical mass is enough. Modern civilization has assured that this will happen. There is a certainty about it.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      It's already started.

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        In a weird way, the Mayans may have been right after all. All the Mayan prophecy believers think it was something that would happen quick. What if it was something that would happen slow? It's all over in a hundred years. A blink of an eye in cosmic time.

  • ML

    Why would people stay in an area so seriously contaminated? Probably because ionizing radiation doesn’t register in the human sensory experience. Ionizing radiation doesn’t trigger the flight or fight response in our bodies, so there isn’t a trigger for any protective response mechanisms. Avoiding exposure to dangerous levels of ionizing radiation requires use of higher brain function and additional tools such as Geiger counters and knowledge of reliable historical information on the dangers of ionizing radiation. The effects can take years to develop and are varied in their expression. This situation combined with the lack of bodily response has worked for major world government strategies to cover up the dangers of nuclear radiation.
    The perfect storm for the demise of life on earth is here now as a result. Will we be able to use our higher brain function to resource out of this situation, regardless of the cries from the pro-nuclear people that there is nothing to fear? (And despite not feeling the effects of such exposure?) Human brains created the nuclear reactor with no good solution in the case of a disaster like Fukushima. Is fear of major lawsuits stymying governments from gathering resources to work on a solution? Instead of governments and the governed focusing on lawsuit potential, all could be looking for remedies. Well, at least some will be looking for remedies.
    This video does deserve a good look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-sPUawl6yg

    • Maggie123

      ML re "On Fukushima Beach". I'm just beginning a viewing. Was interested in a map shown early on that in 3 colors showed radioactive atmospheric movement across the Pacific, eventually covering western USA to along east side of Rockies.

      I opened a 2nd browser to find a copy of the map and it's been declared 'fake' with inaccurate, extreme, information. (The 'fake' is re speed, 'doses', lethality, etc.) I assume the accusation is true – which says nothing at all about accuracy of entire rest of film. But I thought I'd pass along a 'heads-up'.

      Some skeptics will want to use the "fake map" to discredit the whole film. Only went to one site to check 'fake' accusation. Any of us can check further. We might want to prepare to counter dismissals of film.

      Here's the site offering an explanation: http://yournewreality.blogspot.com/2011/03/millions-of-americans-will-not-be.html

      • The dispersion maps shown in the film are NOT fake.

        Although, they are models based on assumptions that probably understate actual fallout.

        The Australian map you cite Maggie was called into question in 2011 but the map continues to be used widely and I am not sure whether it was ever actually PROVEN to have been fake.

        As I understood it, the map in question was never intended as a factual representation of quantity. It was a model of fallout potential.

        I'm sure who ever made it was happy to disown it when national security was shown to be at risk


      awesome video ML. Thanks for bringing this to our attention…

    • Can anyone help me on the 200 tons of water?

      In a clip in the film, Gundersen states that The New York Times reports that 200 hundred tons of water daily were being dumped-on / pumped-into the reactors.

      I really could use that cite.

      I would be very grateful if anyone has it

  • Sickputer

    Great observations. The ancients (pre-recorded history) had short lifespans because of tainted food, lack of hygiene, and primitive medical and dental procedures.

    People now living in nuclear hot zones face drastic reduction in life spans. Japan, one of the leaders in human longevity, is headed for third world statistics in central Japan. Bioaccumulation and possible massive new eruptions at Fukushima NPP threatens the entire island chain with shortened lifespans.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      North America is only a few months behind, and Europe, Russia and Asia are only a few months behind us. I wouldn't think the Southern Hemisphere would be more than a few months behind the Northern Hemisphere, in terms of rad sickness effects.

      All our shortened timelines are connected now.