Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Robots in the nuke plant... fearmongering moves to North Korea

For the last 3 days, U.S.- made robots have been inspecting the conditions inside the nuclear reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  They have found - wait for it - high levels of radiation, which I found about as shocking as say, detecting high levels of radiation next to a damaged nuclear reactor.  So shocking that I can barely raise the energy to mention it.  The robots couldn't really do much - just roll in, take some video and radiation measurements, and then retreat in the face of scattered debris on the ground.

Meanwhile the centre of world fear-mongering may have moved to that most reliable and objective of medias, state-owned North Korean television.  "The crisis is getting more serious," it was reported yesterday. "Even a month after the accident, we see no prospects of getting radioactive leakages under control."

There you have it, a source you can trust.

In other bad news, more examples of ugly discrimination against perceived radiation victims are popping up.  The so-called 'radiation certificates' are still in wide circulation, and there have been reports that people from Fukushima have been refused entrance to hotels in other prefectures, and that children have been bullied.  There is even the extraordinary case of a an eight-year-old child who lived 20 kms from the nuclear site being refused entry into a Fukushima hosptial as she had no non-radioactivity certification; her father told Japan's Mainichi newspaper that he was shocked that their appointment at the hospital had been cancelled.

Discrimination of different kinds is rife in Japan, but this kind of thing is particularly unsavoury.  Haven't victims of the earthquake and tsunami suffered enough?

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