Fukushima, after a thousand days: radiation-related deaths still equal the number of vampires walking the earth

The Fukushima meltdowns occurred 3,273 days ago. As I and others predicted on the day-of and in the anxious-headline-filled days immediately following, nobody has died because of radiological releases from the wrecked reactors. Nobody has died because of radiological releases from the spent fuel pools.

What does she have in common with radiation-related fatalities from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan? Both are all over the pop culture and media, and neither exists.

This fact may seem odd, what with the tons of newspaper ink spilled and thousands of hours of expensive broadcast media minutes devoted to the Fukushima meltdowns. But it is the truth. Nobody has died because of the effects of ionizing radiation due to radiological releases from the Fukushima reactors.

Here’s a video clip of me predicting, on March 17 2011, few if any casualties because of the Fukushima meltdowns. Drag to 1:35 to hear it in my own words:

I will quote Winston Churchill again, on the matter of truth and people’s reaction to it, because it just fits this situation so perfectly:

[People] occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.

Put in a way that might resonate in the pop culture: there are as many radiation-related deaths from Fukushima as there are vampires walking the earth.

Just because it’s all over the news, and just because most news stories uncritically recycle the breathless and dire predictions of anti-nuclear lobbyists, doesn’t mean Fukushima has killed anyone with radiation. Most nuclear news, sadly, is the same as shows about vampires. Entertaining, titillating, vaguely scary… and fantasy.

What a shame. Nuclear science is a fascinating subject in its own right. Look at the names associated with it: Becquerel, Curie, Einstein, Fermi Feynman, to name only a very few.

2 comments for “Fukushima, after a thousand days: radiation-related deaths still equal the number of vampires walking the earth

  1. Morgan Brown
    December 5, 2013 at 10:30

    Read “Nuclear Fear: A History of Images” by Spencer Weart. A detailed and exhaustively-annotated book.

  2. James Greenidge
    December 6, 2013 at 19:54

    Right on, Steve! Well said! Ship this one to Japan PM Abe! He needs all the sane anti-FUD support he could get! Should I wait for the NY Times to pick this up??

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

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