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Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear and radiation accidents’

Fukushima and the Battle for Truth

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26798

Large sectors of the Japanese population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination
Global Research, September 27, 2011
– 2011-09-26
Fukushima’s nuclear disasteris a nightmare. Ghostly releases of radioactivity haunt the Japanese countryside. Lives, once safe, are now beset by an ineffable scourge promising vile illness and death.Large sectors of the population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination, setting the stage for a public healthtragedy.A subtle increase in the number of miscarriages and fetal deaths will be the first manifestation that something is amiss. An elevated incidence of birth defects will begin in the Fall and continue into the indefinite future. Thyroid diseases, cardiac diseases and elevated rates of infant and childhood leukemia will follow. Over the next decade and beyond, cancer rates will soar.


Chernobyl was the harbinger of this heartbreaking scenario. It taught mankind the inescapable biological truths that emerge within populations internally contaminated by heightened levels of fission products. And yet, government and industry schemers attack these truths as unfounded scare-mongering. With cold indifference, they deny that Chernobyl was a mass casualty event. They turn a blind eye to a huge body of research and deviously proclaim that no evidence exists that more than a handful of people suffered harm from the Ukrainian disaster. They publish propaganda, draped in the guise of science, that dismisses the hazard of low levels of internal contamination. Believing their subterfuge to have been successful and intoxicated by their hubris, they are already positioning themselves to stage-manage the public’s perception of Fukushima. 

Japan’s government, its Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Tokyo Electric  Power Company have already demonstrated that they will do everything in their power to keep citizens ignorant of what is taking place. The emerging health crisis is scheduled to be erased. Following a time-tested blueprint worked out by prior radiation releases around the world, data relevant to assessing the medical impact of the accident will not be gathered. Radiation doses to the population will be woefully underestimated. The hazards associated with low levels of internal contamination will be obliterated from all discussions of risk. Academic journals that support the nuclear agenda will be flooded with bogus studies demonstrating that no health detriment was suffered by the population. The heightened incidence of childhood leukemia will be attributed to some as yet unidentified virus unleashed by population mixing following the evacuations caused by the tsunami. (This theory is currently in vogue to deny that the heightened incidence of leukemia among children under five years of age living nearby to nuclear reactors is radiation induced.)  The birth defects will be summarily dismissed as impossible because the risk models upheld by the International Commission on Radiological Protection don’t predict them. The possibility that the models are fraudulently constructed escapes consideration. (See a Betrayal of Mankind by the Radiation Protection Agencies, available as a free download at http://www.du-deceptions.com/excerpts.html.)

How is TRUTH to gain ascendancy when blocked by this institutionalized matrix of deceit? What agency can possibly take the lead to accurately document the full scope of the disaster, identify its victims and those at risk, and publish trustworthy public health information? Who is going to take responsibility to protect the children? To wait for the government to come to the rescue is naive. The history of radiation accidents testifies that governments routinely betray their citizens in deference to their nuclear weapons program and the nuclear industry. No, only one alternative is open to the people of Japan. They must become proactive. They must seize the initiative and wrest control from government and industry of the “perception” of the catastrophe. 


The accident at Fukushima demands that a peoples’ campaign be initiated to produce an honest assessment of the current situation, catalog the medical consequences as they emerge, and offer accurate advice as to how citizens can protect themselves. Using the internet as a platform, scientists from all relevant disciplines must band together with interested laypeople with something valid to contribute to create a widely distributed open source research project. The evolving online encyclopedia will archive all pertinent data and preserve it from future tampering. The accident from its inception must be documented. With published reports frequently in conflict with one another, all available information, whether from government sources, citizen investigators or eyewitnesses, must be gathered for future evaluation. Worldwide meteorological data since March 11 must be assembled. All official and unofficial measurements of radiation in the environment, both in Japan and worldwide, must be collected and collated. This is essential information required for future epidemiological studies. Contaminated agricultural areas must be identified. Samples of all edible material for human and animal consumption must be evaluated for safety. As suspected radiation-induced illness begins to appear in the population, healthcare providers and victims must make public their experiences. Initially, this information will be anecdotal but nonetheless invaluable. It will identify emerging trends of morbidity and mortality and define population subgroups requiring more systematic scientific investigation.   Researchers working alone or in groups must seize the initiative to pursue study in their fields of expertise and interest. (One excellent suggestion by Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility is the widespread collection of babies’ teeth to provide objective data on the geographic dispersion and uptake of strontium-90 [1].) Methodologies, data and results need be posted online as they become available. Free access to the whole body of work must be guaranteed so as to allow scrutiny by people from all over the world. Transparency must be paramount. An open dialogue will allow divergent points of view to be fairly represented. Disagreements over research protocols or the interpretation of results will point the way to new avenues of investigation where clarification and consensus might be achieved. Objective investigation via the scientific method will be the final arbitrator of truth. The ultimate goal of this effort will be to produce an unbiased determination of the public health consequences of radiation released into the environment, assess the accuracy of current standards of radiation safety and identify how improvements can be made for the common welfare of humanity.

It is urgent that this initiative commence immediately. Data must be captured while it is remains untainted. Of particular importance is the securing of pre-accident health statistics for the population of Japan. Rates for various pregnancy outcomes; the frequency of different types of birth defects; the incidence of thyroid diseases, heart diseases, cancers and so forth, all must be cataloged. There is good reason why this baseline data need be preserved. The history of radiation accidents is littered with examples of the outright falsification of data that has prevented an honest evaluation of the effects of low levels of internal contamination on human health. For instance, evidence exists that morbidity and mortality data published by the U.S. Government’s Public Health Service was altered in the wake of radiation releases from nuclear weapon production facilities and commercial nuclear power plants so as to hide cancer deaths in the population [2]. The accident at Three Mile Island, persistently painted by government and industry spokesmen as a benign event, in fact produced illness and death among humans and farm animals downwind [3,4]. After the accident at Chernobyl, hundreds of thousands of so-called “liquidators” participated in cleanup operations in close proximity to the destroyed reactor and also built a concrete sarcophagus around the reactor building to entomb the radiation. According to the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), in subsequent years this population was reported as having a lower rate of leukemia than the general population. Only later did it come to light that Soviet doctors were forbidden from recording leukemia in their diagnoses [5]. The Wales Cancer Registry was cited by the ECRR as excising cases of cancer from its database so as to prevent the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in the U.K. from being blamed for causing illness to the population. Also mentioned by ECRR was the alteration of infant mortality figures in Germany after Chernobyl so as to mask the impact of the accident on public health [5].

Mischief has not been confined to falsifying health records. In 1957, a fire broke out in the graphite reactor at Windscale, England on the site now occupied by the Sellafield facility. The amount of radiation released and the incidence of cancer induced in the population of Ireland has remained fiercely contentious issues. According to the ECRR, at some point after the fire, meteorological records were altered “with the apparent motive of concealing the likely location of any effects” [5]. Similarly, the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Japan suffered a devastating fire in 1995. Prefecture and city officials found that the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster [6].     

If an accurate documentation of the health consequences of Fukushima is to succeed, one condition is paramount: the project MUST retain its independence from the international agencies that currently dominate the discussion of radiation effects. The tacit mandate of these organizations is to support nuclear weapons programs and the nuclear industry, and they do so by publishing fraudulent scientific studies that downplay the hazards to health of radioactive material released into the environment. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and other UN organizations jointly published Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-economic Impacts [7].  This study is routinely cited as proof that Chernobyl had little impact on public health. It concluded that only twenty-eight first responders died from acute radiation syndrome and 4,000 children developed thyroid cancer, fifteen of whom died by 2002. In addition, it estimated that an additional 4,000 fatal cancers might arise in the overall population. This sanitized version of the catastrophe was reached by the devious method of consulting only 350 sources of information, mostly published in English, while ignoring  30,000 publications and 170,000 sources of information available in languages other than English [8]. A summary of this large body of literature, published as Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, concluded that radiation-induced casualties approached 980,000 [9].

To offer a second example, a number of prestigious institutions have published disinformation on the hazards to health of depleted uranium weapons. These include WHO, IAEA, the European Commission, the Royal Society in the U.K., the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in the U.S., the Rand Corporation, and the Health Physics Society [10,11,12,13,14,15,16]. All concluded that weaponized uranium creates no adverse health effects when internalized by soldiers on the battlefield and downwind populations. Justification for this conclusion came from a survey of the scientific literature regarding uranium contamination among workers in the uranium and nuclear industries and populations exposed to elevated levels of uranium in their drinking water. Historically, the only two types of adverse health effects documented among these populations is altered kidney function due to uranium’s chemical toxicity and cancer due to uranium’s radioactivity. But studies of veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome reveals no evidence of kidney disease. And according to models promulgated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the radiation dose from battlefield uranium is too low to initiate cancer. The conclusion? Case closed! DU cannot be a factor in the severe suffering of veterans or the increased incidence of cancer and birth defects in Fallujah and other areas of Iraq. As convincing as the logic of these studies attempt to be, they all suffer from fatal flaws. They all fail to acknowledge that combustion-derived micro- and nano-sized particles of uranium have unique biokinetics when internalized that are not comparable to historical types of uranium exposure, and they quit cleverly fail to take into account the most up-to-date research on the toxicology of uranium. New research conducted since the first Gulf War has demonstrated that uranium is genotoxic (capable of damaging DNA), cytotoxic (poisonous to cells), mutagenic (capable of inducing mutations), teratogenic (capable of interfering with normal embryonic development) and neurotoxic (capable of harming nerve tissue).  This research has yet to dislodge the stale mantra that uranium is only capable of causing kidney disease and cancer. (For a thorough disclosure of the fraudulent science used to discount the hazards of DU and a summary of recent research on the toxicology of uranium, see this author’s “The Harlot of Babylon Unmasked: Fraudulent Science and the Cover-Up of the Health Effects of Depleted   Uranium”  in   A   Primer   in   the   Art   of   Deception   available   at

Mischief also infects the radiation protection community. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima conducts ongoing medical research on the health of the survivors of the atomic bombings at the end of WWII. The Life Span Study is the single most important piece of evidence used by the ICRP for setting worldwide guidelines for radiation safety. That radiation safety for all types of exposure and all manner of radiation-induced illnesses relies so heavily on this research is incredibly disturbing because the Life Span Study is deeply and irreparably flawed. Initiated five years after the bombings, after tens of thousands of victims succumbed to unidentified levels of radiation exposure, results are hopelessly skewed in favor of finding radiation less hazardous than it in fact is.  Further, the study can provide no meaningful information on the birth outcomes to fetuses exposed in utero.  More problematic is the fact that both the study and the control groups were internally contaminated by the black rain that showered down upon the destroyed cities after the blasts. This unacknowledged contamination of the control group hopelessly compromises any meaningful conclusions of the rates of radiation-induced illnesses in the study group. The Life Span Study is plagued by numerous other flaws that raise serious questions as to why it has become the centerpiece of radiation standards. (For further information on this topic, consult Exhibit C in the aforementioned free download at http://www.du-deceptions.com/downloads/Betrayal_Chap6.pdf.)

The Japanese have been victimized by nuclear horror more than any other people on Earth. Today they are immersed in an imperceptible tragedy that will slowly but inevitably bring disease and heartbreak to millions. In response to this crime, a rare and courageous opportunity exists. By undertaking a national campaign to honestly document the disaster that is engulfing them, they can  lead all of humanity to break through the quagmire of deception and deceit that has allowed nuclear weapons and reactors to flourish. Truth finally has an opportunity to triumph over falsehood. In some small but significant way, this would be fitting repayment for the malevolence of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima. 


Paul Zimmerman is the author of A Primer in the Art of Deception:  The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.  A more technical, fully referenced presentation of the fraudulent nature of current radiation standards and the coverup of the effects of depleted uranium weapons can be found within its pages. Excerpts, free to download, are available at www.du-deceptions.com.

Notes

[1]  Gordon Edwards. Tepco Confirms the Presence of Radioactive Plutonium and Strontium Contamination. Email newsletter from Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition of Nuclear Responsibility (http://www.ccnr.org/). September 4, 2011. 
[2]  Jay Gould, Benjamin Goldman. Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows; 1990.
[3] Sue Sturgis. “Fooling with Disaster? Startling Revelations About Three Mile Island Raise New Doubts Over Nuclear Plant Safety.” Counterpunch. April 3-5, 2009.http://www.counterpunch.org/sturgis04032009.html
[4]  Katagiri Mitsuru, Aileen M. Smith. Three Mile Island: The People’s Testament. (1989), a series of interviews with approximately 250 Three Mile Island (TMI) area residents from 1979 to 1988. 
[5]  European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators’ Edition.  Brussels; 2003. www.euradcom.org
[6]  Hiroko Tabuchi. Japan Strains to Fix a Reactor Damaged Before Quake. New York Times. June 17, 2011.
[7]  The Chernobyl Forum. Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental
and Socio-economic Impacts. Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency; April, 2006. http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf
[8]  Janette D. Sherman. Chernobyl, 25 Years Later. CounterPunch. March 4-6, 2011. http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/03/04/chernobyl-25-years-later/
[9]  A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko. Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature.  The New York Academy of Science. 2009.http://books.google.com/books/about/Chernobyl.html?id=g34tNlYOB3AC 
[10]  World Health Organization (WHO). Depleted Uranium: Sources, Exposure and Health Effects. Department of Protection of the Human Environment. WHO/SDE/PHE/01.1. Geneva: WHO; 2001.
[11]  International Atomic Energy Agency. Features: Depleted Uranium.
[12]  European Commission, Directorate General of Environment. Opinion of the Group of Experts Established According to Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty: Depleted Uranium. March 6, 2001.
[13]  Royal Society. Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions: Part I. London: Royal Society, March 2002. http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2001/10023.pdf
        Royal Society. Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions: Part II. London: Royal Society, March 2002. http://royalsociety.org/policy/publications/2002/health-uranium-munitions-ii/
[14]  Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Uranium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 1999.
[15]  Naomi H. Harley, Ernest C. Foulkes, Lee H. Hilborne, Arlene Hudson, C.R. Anthony. A Review of the Scientific Literature as it Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses: Volume 7 – Depleted Uranium. Santa Monica: Rand National Defense Research Institute; 1999. 
[16] Health Physics Society.  http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q746.html 
[17]  Paul Zimmerman. A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science. 2009.  http://www.du-deceptions.com/  
Global Research Articles by Paul Zimmerman
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Live Beyond Realization

Posted by Admin on June 29, 2011

June 24th, 2011 by Rev. Mark Kimmel

The following post is a joint venture with my celestial friends and Andromedan brothers and sisters. It contains information that I supplied based on my research. Nonetheless it is an important and timely message.

By admitting the false veneer of the 3rd dimension, you can take a big step forward in your soul’s evolvement. Seeing what goes on about you as the drama of others, and not becoming engaged therein, is a further step forward. It is what comes next in your personal development that is being called forth by the celestials and by your brothers and sister from other star systems: Live beyond realization.

We are living in extraordinary times in which the truth about events is slowly emerging. For many years you have been subjected to misinformation and lies, and the residual effects thereof, as perpetuated by governments and the mainstream media. The reporting of these is skewed to maintain the veneer of the 3rd dimension.

  • The crash of non-terrestrial craft (E.g. Roswell, New Mexico)
  • Back-engineering of alien technology from crashed UFOs
  • The extent of government cooperation with alien races
  • The truth about Earth’s moon
  • The truth about events on September 11, 2001
  • Mind control experiments and their on-going usage
  • The extent of environmental damage cause by the BP oil spill
  • On-going damage caused by “Aerial Spraying”
  • The purpose and uses of HAARP
  • Radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan
  • Radiation leaks at the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility in Nebraska

If you have any question about whether or not we are living in extraordinary times, review the following sample of “natural disasters” that have occurred over the last eighteen months.

  • Earthquake in Haiti — magnitude 7.0 (January 12, 2010)
  • Earthquake in Chile — 8.8 magnitude (February 27, 2010)
  • Earthquake in China — 6.9 magnitude (April 14, 2010)
  • Volcano in Iceland — ash across Europe  (April 16, 2010)
  • Flooding in Pakistan — 20% of country affected (July 2010)
  • Earthquake in New Zealand (February 22, 2011)
  • Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan (March 11, 2011)
  • Tornadoes in Southeast U.S. — 1,092 occurrences (Spring 2011)
  • Flooding of Mississippi River (April-May, 2011)
  • Flooding of Missouri River (June 2011)
  • Arizona wildfires (June 2011)
  • Flooding of Souris River (June 2011)

What is more important than the events, known or hidden, is your reaction to them, or your lack of reaction to them. Everyone is playing out roles that were agreed upon prior their incarnation in this 3rd dimension. The victim of an earthquake knew at a soul level that this would happen to them. People killed in tornadoes agreed to live to this end.

What is most important to recognize is that from a soul level all is being done out of love, all is being done to allow a soul to grow, and all is being done to assist others to awaken to the larger reality. We all live in oneness whether we recognize it or not. An individual who lives an extraordinary life serves as a light for those that get to know him or her. An animal that agrees to live in a cruel environment does so in order to help the humans involved awaken to the extent of their cruelty.

Phase one of moving to a higher consciousness is to recognize that there is more going on than is being reported by the mainstream media. This involves researching other sources (Personal experiences, Internet, and word of mouth) — all with careful discrimination — to determine the truth behind the larger picture.

The second phase of awakening is to see events, both what is reported and what you glean from other sources, as background for the on-going drama, and not necessarily involving you. Become an observer of events (a loving observer) who allows others to play out their particular role without being someone who overly empathizes with victims, who rescues others, who inserts their opinions into the lives of others, or who attempts to control the behavior of others. In other words, conform to the Law of Allowance.

The third phase of awakening into consciousness is to set aside all that surrounds you, and to put forth the effort to raise your individual vibration to a place where you no longer are a part of the drama: “Being in this world but not of it.” Learn to think from your heart. Raise your vibrations so that you can act as a beacon for others who may not yet be fully awakened and who are searching for answers. Thus the phrase, “Live beyond realization.”

There are many ways to raise your individual vibration. Find the one that resonates with you and pursue it diligently, for these are the days of change and you will need the detachment that comes from being one who stands above the chaos if you are to ascend to the new Earth.

You are being asked to raise your vibration to the 5th dimension so that you might play an active role in creating a new civilization for Earth based on that lighter way to live. This will in turn assist all in the universe to ascend to a brilliant new way of being. Earth is the center-point of this vast transformation. The next few months will reveal the path of each individual, your path. Will you put forth the necessary effort to turn away from the 3rd dimension, and align with the transformation of Earth and her humans to a lighter existence, an existence based on love?

I am grateful to be involved with messages such as this one and trust they are of value to those of you reading them.

In truth, Love and Joy,

Mark Kimmel

1.Check out my most recent posting at Athabantian: http://cosmicparadigm.com/Athabantian/

2. I gave a talk in Pagosa Springs, Colorado on January 7th. I believe it will answer many of your questions. Check it out at YouTube (In several parts):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNRGntVgSGU&feature=related

3. You may donate to my efforts by clicking on the “Donate” button at the left. Many thanks to all who have contributed.

4. My three books of the Paradigm Trilogy, “Trillion,” Decimal,” & “One,” are now available on Kindle at Amazon.com

5. The following book, “Transformation,” is available as an electronic book only.

http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Books/Transformation/

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What Does Fukushima’s New “Level 7” Status Mean?

Posted by Admin on April 12, 2011

Internationally recognized symbol.

Warning You are repeating the same MISTAKE!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110412/wl_time/httpecocentricblogstimecom20110411whatdoesfukushimae28099snewe2809clevel7e2809dstatusmeanxidrssfullworldyahoo;_ylt=Ak4VUwEjp_Qj2Er6Ly0CkY9vaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTVrYXBtbWdqBGFzc2V0A3RpbWUvMjAxMTA0MTIvaHR0cGVjb2NlbnRyaWNibG9nc3RpbWVjb20yMDExMDQxMXdoYXRkb2VzZnVrdXNoaW1hZTI4MDk5c25ld2UyODA5Y2xldmVsN2UyODA5ZHN0YXR1c21lYW54aWRyc3NmdWxsd29ybGR5YWhvbwRwb3MDNwRzZWMDeW5fYXJ0aWNsZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA3doYXRkb2VzZnVrdQ–

By KRISTA MAHR Krista Mahr Tue Apr 12, 6:40 am ET

Japanese officials announced on Tuesday morning that they were planning to raise the event level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from a 5 to the maximum level of 7, the highest on the international scale for nuclear incidents and the same level assigned to the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine.

The decision was made after Japan‘s nuclear safety body determined that at one point after the March 11 earthquake, the plant was releasing 10,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131 for several hours; level 7 accidents are defined as releasing tens of thousands of terabecquerels. “The INES rating itself is not an indicator of a daily phenomena, but the assessment after careful consideration and calculation on the event that happened in the past,” Ken Morita of NISA told TIME on Tuesday morning. (See inside Japan’s nuclear wasteland.)

NISA has also noted, however, that the amount of radioactive material being released at Fukushima today is less than 1 terabecquerel. The agency says that, to date, Fukushima has only released about 10% of total radiation released 25 years ago in Chernobyl, or about 1.8 million terabecquerels. About 30 people, mostly workers, died in the immediate aftermath of Chernobyl, though the UN has estimated that the long-term death toll due to exposure could eventually be as high as 4000.

The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), designed in 1989 by the IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the OECD, ranges from 1 (anomaly) to 7 (major accident). The scale is intended to help easily communicate with the public to indicate the seriousness of a nuclear event. Chernobyl is the only other nuclear accident to have been given a 7, an accident classified as having a major radioactive release with widespread impact on the environment and public health. According to INES, “Such a release would result in the possibility of acute health effects; delayed health effects over a wide area, possibly involving more than one country; long-term environmental consequences.” (Read the IAEA’s glossary of short- to long-term health effects of radiation exposure here.) (See the world’s top 10 environmental disasters.)

Besides Chernobyl, the only event that’s come close to a 7 before was a 1957 accident at a fuel processing plant (where spent nuclear fuel is recycled into new fuel) in Russia, in which an off-site release of radiation prompted preventative evacuations. The Three Mile Island accident in the U.S. in 1978, in which a reactor core was severely damage but off-site release of radioactivity was limited, was classified as a 5. Almost all reported events at nuclear facilities are a level 3 or under, according to INES.

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the back of a minor fire spotted by workers outside Fukushima’s reactor 4 on Tuesday morning, shortly after the second of three major aftershocks to hit the beleaguered northeast in the space of 24 hours. Three people in Iwaki died in landslides triggered by the 7.1 aftershock on Monday evening. The government also expanded the exclusion zone around Fukushima on Monday to include several towns within a 30-km (19-mile) radius that had formerly been told that they could remain at home, but were recommended to stay indoors. The towns now added to the mandatory evacuation zone were found to have high levels of radiation. (See the battle to hold Fukushima’s cores.)

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has said that in a survey conducted in Fukushima last week, its team of experts found radiation levels 75 times higher than the government recommendation in 11 samples of vegetables from gardens and small farms. The environmental group also announced that it found radiation levels equivalent to an annual exposure of 5 millisieverts – the evacuation threshold for Chernobyl – in a playground in Fukushima City, population 300,000. Greenpeace is urging the government to delay the start of the school year.

Though raising Fukushima’s level to 7 may not herald any immediate worsening of events, it is sure to add to many residents’ growing concern – and feelings of helplessness – over what could happen at dozens of other nuclear reactors spread across this seismic archipelago. On Sunday, over 17,000 people protested at two separate demonstrations in Tokyo against nuclear power. It was the first time that Yohei Nakamura, 45, had ever been to a protest. “For a long time I’ve been suspicious of nuclear power, but now I realize it’s a serious problem,” he said amidst the crowds carrying placards and shouting slogans. He said anti-nuclear demonstrations were undercovered in the Japanese press because of the influence of Tokyo Power and Electric Power Company, which owns Fukushima. “TEPCO is one of the most powerful companies in Japan,” Nakamura said. “They use a tremendous amount of money for adverstising. If the mass media shows anti-nuclear power activities like demonstrations, they risk losing TEPCO as an advertiser.”

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