Like anyone with an ounce of compassion, Olga and I have been concerned about the welfare of the people of Japan. But it is becoming clear, at least to me, that most of the anxiety we initially felt about a nuclear catastrophe occurring in the country has been caused entirely by irresponsible and sensationalist reporting by the western mass media.
Scrolling news headlines screamed about fear of meltdown even while nuclear experts on the same channels were explaining how, due to the design of the reactors, this wasn’t likely. Fear has been generated over increased radiation levels in Tokyo causing many expatriates to flee home, many on the advice of their own western governments. But whilst reporting these increased levels, the news media have not bothered to put them into context, such as how the amount of radiation compares with that received on the flight home to London or on a holiday in Cornwall in the south west of England, a place where the naturally occurring level of radiation is so high that nuclear plants cannot be built there because they would exceed the legal radiation limits before they even started.
Yesterday, apparently, the Italian relief agency did a test for radiation on the roof of the Italian embassy in Tokyo and got a reading which is lower than the usual reading in Rome! The problems with the Fukushima reactors are almost a non-event compared to the tsunami which has displaced half a million people and wiped whole towns off the map. If the rest of the world wants to help Japan it should get a grip and focus on the real disaster.
In my search to try to find out what is really going on I have found a couple of blogs which I have added to my blogroll. The first is A Brasspounder’s Cafe by Leo, JJ8KGZ. He has just begun to write about his experiences during the earthquake last Friday. The second, The Intercultural, is written by a British academic working in Tokyo. The author is not a ham at all, but the blog is very well written. Finally I have added the blog of Atsu, JE1TRV which is called CW4EVER. He hasn’t written much about the disaster and his interests are a bit different than mine but my blog was already in his blogroll which is good enough for me to add his to mine!
Meanwhile we continue to think of the people of northern Japan, and especially the 50 heroes struggling to regain control of the power plants at Fukushima, and hope that things start to get better for the Japanese people very soon.