How a Scientist Was Censored by the Japanese Government After the Fukushima Accident

The following was written on September 20, 2013, for an e-mail communication on some mailing lists, based on the information from the Japanese news and a Japanese blog that summarized a series of Asahi Shimbun articles, called Prometheus Trap: Order to Suspend Radiation Monitoring, published in February 2012.  Although the English version of this Prometheus series is available online, only a limited number of articles can be accessed without monthly payments.

Although this post was not originally intended to be publicized as a blog post, it seemed appropriate to include it here because it is important to address Aoyama's statement in view of his past struggle with the governmental interference. 

On September 18, 2013, the Japan Meteorological Agency scientist, Michio Aoyama, told the audience at the IAEA 2013 Scientific Forum "The Blue Planet - Nuclear Applications for a Sustainable Marine Environment," that 60 GBq of Cesium-137 & Strontium-90 directly go out to the ocean outside of the Fukushima Daiichi port daily, contradicting the Japanese Prime Minister Abe's words about the contaminated water being blocked from going beyond the port.

It turns out that Fukushima Daiichi's undamaged Unit 5 and 6 take up the Fukushima Daiichi port water for cooling and release the contaminated effluent north of the port, directly into the Pacific Ocean.  This fact, by default, invalidates the Prime Minister Abe's infamous "total block" statement.

Michio Aoyama, a senior scientist at Geochemical Research Department of Meteorological Research Institute, Japanese Meteorological Agency, and a long-time researcher of environmental impact of radioactivity, had his research censored by the government shortly after the Fukushima accident.  First, his team was deprived of funding to check environmental radioactivity almost immediately after the accident and ordered not to take any measurements.  (His team learned of the explosion on TV and immediately began taking samples to take measurements.  The radiation levels were so high that their instruments were not able to take proper measurements, so they were in the middle of making adjustments to enable the necessary measurements when the order came not to take any measurements).  But Aoyama's team ignored the order and continued the measurements with the underground support by other research institutes.  Then Aoyama was told not to release his research findings, co-written by Ken Buesseler and slated to be published in Nature, which stated that the Fukushima oceanic contamination was several orders of magnitude higher than that from the past nuclear testing and at least one order of magnitude higher than the contamination in Black Sea and Baltic Sea due to the 1986 Chernobyl accident.  His superior said to take this part out, which was actually written by Ken Buesseler.  Aoyama could not publish this study due to the Meteorological Agency not giving him permission. 

IAEA's Scientific Forum this year happened to be on radiation and ocean, and Aoyama might have seized the moment to reveal the truth.

However, this does not seem to be taken up by the foreign media.  It might be because this is considered a "routine" release.  However, it does not seem to be a common knowledge amongst the general public that normally operating NPPs release so much radioactivity into ocean/river/lake, so the media might not want to draw attention to it.  In Japan, it became a news item because it directly opposed what the Prime Minister Abe told the International Olympic Committee about the contamination being totally blocked at the port perimeter.



IAEA 2013 Scientific Forum Program PDF
Japanese blog covering the summary of the Prometheus Trap series.
The Prometheus Trap: Order to Suspend Radiation Monitoring (a series of 15 stories)


Anonymous said...

This is beleivable. Abe's assertions not so much.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese Govt. has become EVIL.

Anonymous said...

Holy mackerel!

Niko said...

I have lived in Japan for 12 years now and have always had great respect for the Japanese.
However, the government obviously is corrupt in many ways.
I believe this has to do with their culture in that they believe if information is unheard of no ones the wiser.
Meaning the purposely keep and hide information in families, schools and whatnot in hopes that people won't find out.

Just last night, my parents in-law told my wife and I randomly through a slip in conversation that my wives brother was in the hospital for a minor heart attack 6 months ago. hahahahhahahhah Why? Why was this kept a secret?

I just wish the government would not keep information and just gives simple important facts.
With proper news and knowledge people can make their own assessments.

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