There is cause for concern for residents of Fukushima City after the Japanese government raised its alert level from 5 to 7 yesterday, which is on par with the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl. Thomas Breuer of Greenpeace describes this situation as actually “way worse” than Chernobyl because Fukushima City is “a densely populated area,” whereas Chernobyl was “more or less rural.”
Rather than evacuating residents or extending the distance of the evacuation zone, the Japanese government is deciding to risk the safety of approximately 340,000 inhabitants by downplaying the increased alert level. Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, issued a statement that “produce from the region around the Fukushima plant is safe to eat despite radiation leaks.” Basically, the level of radiation is decreasing.
Let’s say the radiation level is actually decreasing. What will happen if one of the numerous–not to mention large–aftershocks that have been plaguing Japan since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit takes down one or more of the nuclear plants? Will the government continue to play coy with the public?
As Mr. Breuer has already mentioned. Greenpeace, working with scientists, informed the government three weeks before Japan raised the level to 7.
If the Japanese government wants to avoid more casualties, it will cease its misinformation towards the public and work proactively to help its citizens. Or take Dr. Michio Kaku’s recommendation of removing the current leadership and implementing a team of “top physicists and engineers” to work with the military. Either way, do something else other than deceiving the public.