Fookooshimar TIME

There’s a new TIME article on Fukushima entitled The World’s Most Dangerous Room, containing a pull “quote” that I think will offend many people in the prefecture and beyond. First, the story’s lead picture of this “most dangerous” room has a new-looking notebook PC seemingly fixed in position, which would suggest to me that it can’t be that radioactive otherwise the PC would soon get fried, and if I remember correctly, the reactor control room is heavily shielded, so it is actually relatively safe, I think.

The latest plan by TEPCO, Japan’s largest power provider, is to build a wall of frozen earth around the damaged reactors and other highly radioactive areas to prevent radiation from seeping out of the site.

I thought the point of the ice wall was to prevent ground water entering; I suppose the ground water currently picks up radiation and some inevitably leaks out, but that is a side-effect; the wall is primarily for keeping water out, not in.

Fukushima was not just an epic natural disaster

*sigh* It was not the Fukushima earthquake, it was all of the north-east coast that suffered from the quake and subsequent tsunami.

Half-way down the page there is a bizarre photo of a topless women standing in a washing machine while washing her hair.

Many suicides aren’t reported by families who worry about being stigmatized, say local doctors, obscuring the real death toll.

Err, what? How does that work?

Now, the most offensive part of the article in huge lettering:

“[Fukushima] is finished. It’s only fit for ghosts.”
—TATSUKO SHIGA, 77, A FORMER RESIDENT OF THE FUKUSHIMA AREA

Note the square brackets – the actual comment from a former resident of Futuba in the article is:

Still, Shiga has no wish to return to her farmhouse, one of the few in her community to have escaped the tsunami’s wrath. “That place is finished,” she says. “It’s only fit for ghosts.”

“That place” is either her house or her community, not the amorphous “Fukushima”.

I wanted to log in to post a comment to this effect, but the comment system won’t let me.

  1. Indeed, a big disservice to the people of Fukushima, which is a pretty big prefecture, especially compared to the prefectures in the western region of the nation. I was there during the summer holidays, in the Aizu Wakamatsu area, which is the largest tourist draw, and might as well be on the other side of the country to the relatively limited area affected by the accident. Of course 95% the readers of this article will be ignorant to that fact.
    *Thanks for posting, nice to see something not involving the usual sad sack expats/ex-expats.

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  2. Regardless of the eventual result of the Fukushima accident, the fact that it’s become the face of the entire 3/11 disaster that is the most tragic thing to me. At least the domestic media drops by the “temporary” refugee apartment containers in, say, Iwate once in a while — the offshore press has totally forgotten about everything but the atomic nuclei.

    The city of Kessennuma is only starting to get back on its feet after being *totally erased from the freaking map* three years ago, but nope, no nuke angle there, forget those guys. :headdesk:

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  3. “I thought the point of the ice wall was to prevent ground water entering; I suppose the ground water currently picks up radiation and some inevitably leaks out”

    This is incorrect. The groundwater flows through the site. In and out in equal quantities and carries the radiation off under the Pacific ocean.

    You may have noticed that they have a huge number of water storage tanks on the site. Currently the only way they can slow the exit of irradiated water from the site is to pump it out and place it in tanks. Apart from the question of where the water goes next to be disposed of or treated this situation is not sustainable as the amount of water is far too great. Hence, there is this plan to build a great underground ice wall around the site to stop groundwater coming in and then, inevitably, flowing out to pollute the environment.

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  4. @Sniper:

    “flowing out to pollute the environment.”

    More Fookoshimar nonsense ! it’s impossible that a damaged nuclear power station could pollute the environment. Can’t we all just move on?

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  5. @Kal R:

    Ooh, satire isn’t dead, is it.

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  6. @VK:

    Satire? Unfortunately not.

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  7. Fookooshimar news: only a handful of spent fuel rods now left to be removed from the no. 4 cooling pool. Next problem, some of these last 11 rods are possibly leaking or damaged (debris damage?), so a rethink is needed on how to get them out safely. Otherwise all went well with no big bangs.

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