TOYKO, Japan (June 11, 2011) — New radioactive hot spots and more radiation is entering the ocean as nuclear meltdowns continue at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility.
The new leaks may force the Japanese government to extend the areas of evacuation.
One week after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami damaged the reactor, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and the United States government said that a full meltdown had occurred, but it was strenuously denied by both the Japanese government and TEPCO, the owners of the power plant.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted for the first time that in the first week after the disaster, full nuclear meltdowns occurred in three of its reactors, and that double the amount of radiation reported leaked from the plants.
“What they failed to mention is that they discharged an equally large amount into the ocean,” said Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. “As [the radiation] goes up the food chain, it accumulates. By the time it reaches people who consume this food, the levels are higher than they originally were when they entered the environment.”
"Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains very serious." said the IAEA in a statement.
"Japan has a very long history of withholding information and misleading the public about the hazards of their activities," Alvarez said.
Alvarez said that companies like TEPCO enjoy a privilege status, as they are part of the military's nuclear weapons program.
"It's a system that has been fostered under conditions of secrecy, isolation, and privilege, and they do not consider it in their interest to be candid with the public," Alvarez said.
Alvarez said the government believes that scaring the people is worse than telling the truth, calling it a "wrong headed assumption."
As for health problems, Alvarez says that the U.S. comments about the Japanese people not suffering any health-related problems due to the accident is nothing more than "P.R. arm waving."
"We won't know what the truth will be for decades to come," Alvarez said, explaining that with the experiences from Chernobyl and here in the U.S., there will be increases in cancers and other diseases.