It has been five years since the Fukushima disaster. Many of us have forgotten the press describing millions of gallons of ‘nuclear’ water leaking into the ocean, but nearly 400,000 people who had to be evacuated remember the event vividly. The panic and irresponsibility by TEPCO following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns was unprecedented.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Japan’s former Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, stated that the country had come within a “paper-thin margin” of being absolutely devastated.
Kan said that Fukushima was so bad, he had considered declaring martial law and evacuating Tokyo and all areas within 160 miles of the plant. He stated:
“The future existence of Japan as a whole was at stake. Something on that scale, an evacuation of 50 million, it would have been like a losing a huge war.”
Kan got the runaround from TEPCO executives and was also shocked by Japan’s key nuclear safety adviser, Nobuaki Terasaka. The effects of the radioactive contamination from the meltdown of six different reactors were so rapid and widespread that Kan was dumbfounded as to what to do. Kan said that when he turned to Terasaka for help:
“We questioned him and he was unable to give clear responses. We asked him – do you know anything about nuclear issues? And he said no, I majored in economics.”
The Fukushima disaster’s cleanup bill will exceed $105 billion, double an early estimate given by officials. This includes radiation cleanup and compensation to residents by TEPCO.
The loss of life and the damage to the world’s oceans and environment have no price tag.
The Telegraph (Featured image of Naoto Kan source: Julian Simmonds for The Telegraph)