It may be hard to believe but only two years after a near-disastrous last-minute evacuation, the Oroville Spillway could be on the verge of failure again. A major piece of infrastructure in Northern California, the spillway has not been well-maintained despite continuously increasing taxes for that purpose.
And despite a very near miss two years ago, it looks like we’re seeing a replay of those same events.
According to a report on The Common Sense Show with Dave Hodges, some folks downhill from the dam have already evacuated due to the strong possibility of imminent failure. Hodges is issuing a warning to people in the path of the looming disaster. He wrote:
I asked Paul Preston, “How close is the dam to failing?” Preston replied “It could go by this weekend”.. His comments, in part, are based upon the dire weather forecast in which intense rainfall is forecasted between Wednesday May 15 and Sunday, May 19th. This is significant because this could greatly add to the inflow and the outflow data which shows an extreme imbalance. And when we consider that the dam is 12 feet from overtopping, the danger multiplies exponentially. When any structure takes on more water, whether it be a ship or a dam, it is going to fail/sink…
…This article is a progress report. However, it is also a warning to the residents in the Central Valley which lie below the Oroville Dam and are in the direct path of the torrent of water that will be released when the dam fails. Some are leaving and some more will undoubtedly leave before it is too late. However, we many unsuspecting potential victims that are oblivious to the present set of conditions. This article is aimed at getting the present state of the Dam in front of as many people in the Central Valley as possible. (source)
It’s like deja vu. Is this warning only an “internet rumor?”
At the same time, local officials are assuring people that there is no danger. The Butte County Sheriff released the following statement on Twitter.
The Department of Water Resources released a statement explaining why the spillway is not a concern.
DWR is monitoring weather forecasts into the Feather River basin this week, and the impact incoming storms will have on melting snowpack. Forecasts and weather can change rapidly, and DWR will notify the public and media if the main spillway needs to be used to manage reservoir levels. Currently the reservoir is at an elevation of 889 feet and outflows to the Feather River are 9,500 cubic feet per second. DWR is targeting high lake levels through spring and summer in accordance with normal state and federal regulations, which is good news for local recreation and for statewide water supply. (source)
But not so fast – let’s revisit the Department of Water Resources actions the last time the dam was near failure.
The Oroville Spillway almost failed in 2017
Back in 2017, the people of Oroville were in a very similar situation. Nearly 200,000 residents were evacuated due to fears that the main spillway is pending imminent collapse. The emergency spillway isn’t some high tech engineer’s creation – it is just a cleared hill which showed massive erosion when they tested it with a small amount of water.
When drought-stricken California got the equivalent of five years’ worth of rain all at once, crews were left to work frantically around the clock to fix the spillway.
But the mismanagement of funds or the last-minute slipshod repair wasn’t even the worst of the matter. Not by a long shot. The local government gave only a ONE HOUR warning to local residents.
Of course, the lack of maintenance and mishandled tax dollars are unforgivable, but the lack of warning was even worse.
…the real lesson here isn’t the faulty infrastructure or the mismanagement of funds.
It is the deception of the public and the way that officials will go to great lengths to cover their butts – even if that means giving a warning to the public that could be too late. This isn’t the first time that the government has completely failed in an emergency response to an imminent disaster, and it won’t be the last.
Officials waited until they believed that the disaster was only 60 minutes away to evacuate nearly 200,000 people. (source)
For more than a week, residents expressed their concerns but were basically patted on the head and told not to worry. (Go here for a timeline of the Department of Water Resources’ complete denial of a problem last time around.) Meanwhile, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife evacuated almost all salmon from the Feather River Fish Hatchery but the humans were repeatedly told there was no threat whatsoever.
Until five hours after the announcement of the successful evacuation of the fish.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED: Officials are anticipating a failure of the Auxiliary Spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes. (source)
Residents were warned as they were leaving:
Unprecedented flooding could occur in Oroville, Palermo, Gridley, Thermalito, South Oroville, Oroville Dam, Oroville East and Wyandotte.
“With Lake Oroville filled to the brim, such a collapse could have caused a “30-foot wall of water coming out of the lake,” Cal-Fire incident commander Kevin Lawson said at a Sunday night press conference.” (source)
One estimate suggested that the initial flash flood could reach up to 100 feet in depth, wiping out everything in its path.
People were stuck in long lines at gas stations and then stuck in traffic for hours – up to nine hours to be specific. Imagine if the Spillway had failed while hundreds of thousands of people were stuck in their cars. Imagine the level of death and devastation there would have been.
And all of it would have been due to the fact that someone was covering up careless management. And here they are again, two years later, facing the same potential disaster.
If you live in an area that would be affected if the Spillway fails, I strongly urge you to evacuate if you can at all before Mother Nature dumps several more inches of rain this weekend. It might be a nice time to go visit family members outside the potential emergency zone. Evacuate keeping in mind that you might never be able to come to your home again. (Get evacuation checklists and whole home inventory checklists in this PDF book.)
Go now so that you aren’t stuck in traffic when disaster strikes. And if you can’t go now because of work or school commitments, at least ensure that your fuel tank is topped up at all times and that you are packed and ready to roll the second an evacuation order is given.
I would not wait for the official evacuation order.
Because if their past performance is anything to go by, it’s pretty clear that you won’t be able to trust local officials to warn you in time.
We don’t hear much about Fukushima, do we? There is good reason for the media to ignore it. Join me as we look at the Fukushima nuclear disaster…then to now. The truth needs told, and it’s scarier than you can imagine. Open the Video
Three weeks ago, a highly unusual weather event hit the heart of America—an extremely rapid pressure drop that meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone.” It swept through the central United States, from Minnesota to Texas. The hardest-hit states suffered fierce winds, heavy snow and rain.
After an especially cold winter, the earth was frozen and encased in snowpack. The ground was thus unable to absorb the moisture, so the rainfall swiftly turned into flooding. Unprecedented, catastrophic flooding.
Flood watches and warnings have been issued in parts of 15 states. Rising water levels breached levees all along the Missouri River. These have a cascading effect: Once one levee is breached, water surges to the next levee downstream, causing more breaches. The Spencer Dam in Boyd County, Nebraska, collapsed, sending an 11-foot wave strewn with large chunks of ice downstream, razing a house and smashing the county’s main water line.
Thousands of people have been stranded for weeks on islands created by floodwaters. On March 20, Nebraska’s governor, Pete Ricketts, said 200 miles of highways will be unusable until they are repaired, and 14 bridges have been damaged. Eighty-one of Nebraska’s 93 counties have issued disaster declarations. At least three people have been killed.
Floodwater covers Highway 2 on March 23 near Sidney. Iowa.Scott Olson/Getty Images
Satellite data shows that over a million acres of American farmland were submerged for at least seven days last month. Reuters reports that “the ‘bomb cyclone’ storm left wide swaths of nine major grain-producing states under water” (emphasis added throughout). Thousands of farms have been ruined. The flooding has washed away huge tracts of corn, soy and other crops. Calves, chickens, hogs and other livestock are being wiped out, including more than a million calves in Nebraska, according to the state’s agriculture secretary.
One Nebraskan farmer said the river near his home “just exploded on us.” “Within 15 minutes it was devastation,” Richard Panowicz told the Omaha World-Herald. “He described some ice chunks as three feet thick and the size of an extended-cab pickup,” the paper reported. He lost 40 of his 60 recently born calves, and many of the carcasses he found had broken legs. He said that after being around cows for five decades, he’ll probably get out of the business. Losses
“Just from an agriculture standpoint, we think we’ve got at least $400 million in livestock losses, $440 million in crop losses,” said Ricketts. “We think the public infrastructure damage is in the hundreds of millions of dollars a well.” Iowa estimates $1.6 billion in losses.
Part of the losses came from stores of last year’s harvest. “As of December 1, producers in states with flooding—including South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois—had 6.75 billion bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat stored on their farms—38 percent of the total U.S. supplies available at that time, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data,” Reuters reported.
“Fremont County farmers estimate about 390,000 bushels of stored soybeans and about 1.2 million bushels of stored corn are under water,” reported Des Moines Register. “And [local farmer Jeff] Jorgenson said more of last year’s grain was being swallowed up Tuesday as the Missouri River crests. At local cash prices for corn and soybean, that’s about $7.3 million farmers may be unable to replace. And that’s just one county, Jorgenson noted.”
Corn burst from grain bins that were soaked with floodwater near Union, Nebraska.Scott Olson/Getty Images
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers flood-soaked wheat, corn and soybeans “adulterated” and says they must be destroyed.
It is the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and the numbers are still rising. Real losses are impossible to calculate yet because the floodwaters haven’t even receded. It is the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and the numbers are still rising.
“There’s just devastation everywhere,” said Colleen Rambo, who has been working out of Fremont, Nebraska, with a disaster-response team called No Town Left Behind. “The water is covering entire towns to the rooftops, and the water is contaminated. So, not only are they covered in water, but now whole areas don’t have any usable water for their towns.”
Flooding threatens the safety of more than a million private water wells, cnn reported. “The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living in more than 300 counties across 10 states have their groundwater threatened from bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.”
The scarcity of clean water is exacerbating the losses to livestock caused by the flooding itself: Farmers are simply unable to get feed and water to them.
Homes and businesses in Hamburg, Iowa, are surrounded by floodwater on March 20.Scott Olson/Getty Images
“Some of these towns, the people are never going to be able to go back home,” Rambo told the Trumpet. “Because of the way that the water came down and covered the town, it’s going to take a long time for the water to drain back out, and as you know that causes mold issues and that kind of thing. So there are whole towns where people are not going to be able to return.”
The real effects of this disaster on America’s food supply will only appear over time.
This is the time of year when farmers prepare to plant wheat, corn and soy. Submerged fields certainly cannot be planted. Waters may not recede in time to sow, causing farmers to lose an entire growing season.
And while farmers hope for a quick recovery, more flooding is predicted. Government figures say that “at least 91 percent of the upper Midwest and Great Plains in snow covered to an average depth of 10.7 inches,” Bloomberg reported. Thus, as spring gets warmer, this snowpack will melt, swelling rivers even further.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire,” Ed Clark, director of noaa’s National Water Center, told Vox. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.”
On top of the immediate threat, the violence of the flooding has already wrecked the soil.
“[T]he croplands have been covered with sand,” Rambo told the Trumpet. “I felt like I was in the Florida beaches. … One of the farmers was telling me that this happened back in the ’50s and they turned over the land five feet in order to bury the sand, and they can’t do that again because they’ll just bring that sand back up. So there are millions of acres that are not going to be planted this year. The amount of food that is going to be produced by the Midwest is going to be drastically reduced this year.”
Great expanses of American farmland simply will not be usable this year—and perhaps beyond. National Weather Service meteorologist Dr. Barb Mayes-Bousted said, “Lands may be silted and unusable for more than just this year” (Forbes, March 18). Great expanses of American farmland simply will not be usable this year—and perhaps beyond.
Mother Jones reported: “And severe winter and spring floods take another toll that’s much more difficult to quantify: soil loss, on a grand scale, right in the region that provides a huge amount of our food supply. The Midwest boasts one of the globe’s greatest stores of topsoil, more than half of which has been lost in the past 50 years.”
This all means that the effects of this disaster will extend far beyond the families directly impacted. To this point, not many people outside the affected areas are expressing much concern. America’s news media are preoccupied with more political concerns. But this disaster will affect all Americans. Shortages of beef, dairy, wheat, corn and soy products will cause food prices to rise significantly—possibly for years to come. Why Is This Happening?
Some are saying this latest weather disaster is caused by climate change—which means the blame lies with politicians who aren’t taking drastic enough measures to combat climate change—which means it’s U.S. President Donald Trump’s fault.
But consider a few verses in Deuteronomy 28: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. … The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. … And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: … if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them” (verses 1-5, 8, 11-12).
If you are one of the few people who truly believes the Bible, this passage ought to be quite moving. Obedience to God brings blessings—blessings that America is not experiencing today!
A soybean field is covered in mud as floodwater recedes on March 23 near Union, Nebraska.Scott Olson/Getty Images
This same chapter goes on: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy [cattle], and the flocks of thy sheep. … Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee …” (verses 15-18, 31).
Again, if you believe the Bible, you must recognize the link between the conditions that are overtaking us and our disobedience to God—our sins! Not our “sins” of fossil fuel consumption, but sins like blasphemy, adultery and lust, idolatry, coveting and materialism.
God intends that these curses help us see the error of our ways.
Those who blame climate change push God from the picture. But the Bible is clear that God controls weather, climate and even crop production—and these are contingent on our relationship with Him.
Job 12:15, for example, reads: “Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.” God has power over the waters, to cause droughts or induce floods. These types of disasters are a warning—and an appeal from God to repent and change! That is something our society is unwilling to consider. Those who blame climate change push God from the picture. But the Bible is clear that God controls weather, climate and even crop production—and these are contingent on our relationship with Him.
In this case, Governor Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring this coming Sunday as a Statewide Day of Prayer. “Nebraska has experienced the most widespread natural disaster in state history,” he said. “This coming Sunday [April 7], we are asking Nebraska to lift our state up in prayer. As Nebraskans roll up our sleeves and work together on recovery efforts, we ask God for wisdom in seeing and best responding to the needs around us. By the grace of God, Nebraska’s communities will emerge from this challenge stronger and better than ever.”
That proclamation says that “throughout our history, Nebraskans have united in prayer to God to humbly ask for strength and steadfastness during times of difficulty.” It says that “prayer provides peace and guidance in times of crisis and conflict, and reminds us of the comforting assurance of God’s love for us all ….” This is a good start. This proclamation says nothing about repentance—but at least it is making an appeal to God!
We will see if God responds. There have been many times in history that He has responded to these types of requests.
The forecast is for higher-than-normal rains to continue. If the skies yield sunshine and warmth instead, it would lessen the extent of the damage considerably. We will see.
But the fact is, as a whole, America has turned its back on God, and we are experiencing the curses that result from that.
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal …” (Hosea 8:7). We must sow differently if we expect to reap differently.
The Bible is loaded with truth on this point. Passage after passage show the cause for curses and the cause for blessings. You can prove this to yourself by reading our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?
God wants to bless us abundantly—and He will do so! But first, we must learn the lessons we need to, and turn to Him in repentance and obedience.
Open the Video We have never seen anything like this before. According to satellite data that was just released by Reuters, “at least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were covered by water for at least seven days this month. That is an agricultural disaster without equal in modern American history, and yet the mainstream media is treating this like it is some sort of second class story. It isn’t.
This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far, and people want to know what is going on. A few days ago, I posted a story entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’, and it has already been shared on social media more than 145,000 times.
Farming communities all over the central part of the nation now look like war zones as a result of all this flooding, but the media elites on the east and west coasts don’t want to write about it. And with more flooding on the way for the next two months, this crisis is only going to get worse.
This is the time of year when farmers are gearing up to plant wheat, corn and soybeans, and now a substantial portion of our farmland will not be able to be used at all this year. According to Reuters, at least a million acres of farmland were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days this month, and that “will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year”…
Open the VideoThe party of hate is at it again. They literally refused to pass a bill that would provide extremely vital funds to help the people in the Midwest and California, (believe it or not) and the reason is ridiculous as usual.
The dems are bitching about the mere $610 million allotted for Puerto Rico was not enough, Bloomberg reported. Puerto Rico’s officials are totally incompetent as well as totally corrupt.
Trending: Secret Service On High Alert Senate Democrats blocked a $13.5 billion Republican disaster aid bill, contending it lacks enough aid for Puerto Rico, leaving the Senate without an immediate path forward to provide relief for areas hit by recent Midwest floods, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and California wildfires.
The aid package, amended last week by Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama, would give Puerto Rico $600 million in nutrition assistance, but it doesn’t contain the same funds the House authorized to bolster flood protection and repair the electrical grid.
The Senate failed to advance its version of the bill Monday on a 44-49 vote. Senators then voted on the House version, which was blocked by Republicans on a 46-48 vote. Second-ranking Senate Republican John Thune said he expects Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “will sit down and try to figure out a path forward.”
Republicans say the aid package should be confined to 2018 and 2019 disasters while leaving recovery for Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico in 2017 to be sorted out another time. Given President Donald Trump’s opposition to any more aid for the island, Republicans say the $600 million for nutrition already represents a compromise.
To begin Part 2, let’s talk about the scientific studies that Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I began together back in 2012. Before the ongoing catastrophe created by the Fukushima meltdowns, the maximum allowable radiation exposure emanating from commercial atomic power reactors was 100 millirem per year (1 milli Sievert per year) to civilians worldwide. Because radiation workers receive compensation for the increased body burden they take on by working in a high radiation risk environment, workers were allowed a maximum of 5,000 millirem per year of radiation (50 milli Seiverts of 5 Rem – depending upon which term one is applying). Although that is the legal upper limit, most workers in atomic power industry actually receive approximately 2,000 millirem per year (20 milli Sieverts or 2 Rem). According to DOE 2016 Occupational Radiation Exposure
Over the past 5-year period, all monitored individuals received measurable total effective dose (TED) below the 2 rem (20 mSv) TED ACL, which is well below the DOE regulatory limit of 5 rem (50 mSv) TED annually.
Since the Fukushima meltdowns, the government of Japan changed the rules by increasing the allowable amount of radiation civilians are subjected to at 20-times higher than was previously allowed, which is almost the same as the highest dose exposure nuke workers may receive in an entire year! D05w2TOX4AAz0Ff.jpg
A significant portion of the Olympic games, including men’s baseball and women’s softball and the Olympic torch run, as well as the soccer training facility, will occur on land that the government of Japan has declared to be part of a “nuclear emergency”. This means that athletes and civilians will legally be exposed to allowable radiation levels that are 20 times higher than levels that exist at other athletic facilities on any other continent. Therefore, according to the National Academy of Science’s Linear No Threshold (LNT) radiation risk assessment, the athlete’s risk of radiation related maladies has also increased 20 times higher than if they stayed home.
The people living in and around the Fukushima Daiichi disaster were informed by Japan’s government that they must return to their contaminated homes and villages if the radiation levels there were 2 Rem, even though they are being subjected to daily doses of radiation that is 20 times higher than any people living near any nuclear plants in Japan were ever subjected to.
Rather than completing an effective cleanup, Japan’s government is forcing its evacuees to return to their allegedly clean but still highly contaminated homes if they wanted to continue to receive their financial refugee stipend. There are three fundamental problems that make the exposure to Japanese civilians much worse than the new dose limit. moreTEPCOpruning.jpg
The first problem is with the government of Japan’s clearance criteria that only areas in and around homes have been allegedly decontaminated. I measured radiation along highways and then 50-feet into the surrounding woods, only to find that the woods remained highly contaminated, so that when it rains or snows, or the wind blows the dust or pollen from the woods, that radiation migrates back to people’s supposedly clean and radiation-free homes. I went to the top of 4-story high rooftops in Minamisoma that had been completely cleaned and repainted following the meltdowns. These rooftops were recontaminated by dust on the wind, blowing in radiation from the surrounding mountains. Peoples’ homes and communities that were claimed to be clean are indeed being recontaminated every day.
The second problem is that the government of Japan is measuring only one type of radiation prior to forcing the refugees to return. Only the direct radiation from cesium is being measured with handheld Geiger Counters. Such measurements are the measurement of external gamma rays that travel through the human body uniformly, much like X-rays. Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I have long noted that ingestion of small radioactive particles, called hot particles or fine radioactive dust (or nanoparticles), migrate into peoples’ lungs and GI systems causing internal organs to receive heavy radiation doses for years on end. TEPCO and the government of Japan are ignoring the presence of these hot particles.
The third and final problem is that some hot particles are extraordinarily radioactive, much more so than the average hot particles. In a peer-reviewed paper that Dr. Kaltofen and I wrote, we detail our scientific research which proves that more than 5% of these particles are up to 10,000 times more radioactive than the average of all 300-particles we studied. Of course, this means that peoples’ internal organs are constantly bombarded with extraordinarily high levels of radiation, much higher than the civilian evacuees are subjected to.
These three additional selfie-videos that I took while in Fukushima during September 2017 show what is really happening near Fukushima. We cannot forget about the magnitude of these exposures to all people in order to create an image of normalcy by Japan’s hosting of the Tokyo Olympics.
The migrating radioactive dust from Fukushima has had and will continue to have a devastating effect on thousands of people who lived near the reactors and are now being forced to return as well as hundreds of thousands who reside much further away. Highly radioactive samples were found as far away and in such populous places as Tokyo. In its effort to try and restore everything to the way it was before the triple meltdowns, the government of Japan has failed to realize that Japan and in fact the world, is a much different place than it was before the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Japan continues to force refugees to return to contaminated villages and is marketing what can only be irradiated products from Fukushima.
Cleaning up after a nuclear meltdown is no easy task, in fact a total clean-up is technically impossible, by slapping Band-Aids and quick fixes onto the problem instead of acknowledging the scope, severity, and root causes of the issues, the politicians and government officials of Japan and TECPO are endangering the lives of thousands of Japan’s citizens in order to protect their political standing, personal financial status, and the wallets of the nuclear industry.
According to the Asia Pacific Journal (AJP) last week, in a brilliant essay written by University of Chicago professor Dr. Norma Field, a Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor in Japanese Studies in East Asian Languages and Civilizations:
We might pause over predictions that the 2020 Olympics-Paralympics may end up costing 3 trillion yen (approximately 26.4 billion USD), many times the original budget for what was promised to be the most “compact Olympics” ever. These games are often touted as the “recovery Olympics” (fukkō gorin).
It is not hard to conjure ways that these monies might have been used to benefit the entire region afflicted by the triple disaster and especially, the victims of the enduring nuclear disaster. A pittance of the Olympics budget would have sustained modest housing support for evacuees, compulsory or “voluntary.” Instead, the highly restricted, arbitrarily drawn evacuation zones have been recklessly opened for return of evacuated citizens despite worrisome conditions prevailing over wide swaths of the region.
The Olympic soccer center that served TEPCO as a base for radioactively contaminated disaster workers (where they slept, donned protective gear, and were screened) has been contaminated by radioactivity yet is scheduled to be the training site for the national soccer team.
In Dr. Field’s essay for APJ, which was an introduction to a longer essay by the recently retired Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute professor: Dr. Koide Hiroaki, she wrote:
…As medical journalist Aihara Hiroko observes with not a little irony, “Surely the Tokyo Olympics will be a superb occasion for displaying ‘recovery from disaster,’” but also for revealing to the international community the “real consequences of the human-made disaster resulting from the national nuclear energy policy: the imposition of long-term evacuation and sacrifice on the part of area residents.” [Emphasis Added] Refugees at a shelter
Refugees at a shelter
Dr. Field’s introduction and Dr. Koide Hiroaki’s extensive article in APJ are crushing to read, yet they do not tell the whole story. I feel it is important to expand upon the ongoing radiation exposures that the 160,000 Fukushima refugees are still experiencing, eight years after the meltdowns. This science, that governments are hiding from people around the world, is not difficult to understand, especially if we also focus on the desire of world governments to keep alive the ever-intertwined nuclear power and nuclear weapons opportunities they have invested in so heavily – financially, politically, and emotionally. During my four trips to Japan, and from all the people who have written to Fairewinds from Japan since we first published our book there, I have met, spoken with, or communicated with numerous refugees from Fukushima and truly believe that Fairewinds understands their traumatic losses.
While people world-wide might cheer the Tokyo Olympians, the human perspective should focus on the real victims, those who are being shoved out-of-sight.
The bottom line is that to reduce cleanup costs while spending enormous funds on the Olympics, the government of Japan treats its 160,000 Fukushima evacuees as if they were radiation Guinea Pigs, forcing them to return to recontaminated areas to try and convince the world everything is ok, meanwhile making it difficult for serious scientists to accurately assess the effects of radiation on these evacuees. The billions of dollars being spent on the Olympics would be much better used to help those displaced by the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Help these families find permanent homes and employment and new supportive communities far away from the contaminated areas that they are now forcibly being returned to.
As we prepare for the eighth remembrance of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, Fairewinds is ever mindful of what is currently happening in Japan.
There has never been a roadmap for Japan to extricate itself from the radioactive multi-headed serpentine Hydra curse that has been created in an underfunded, unsuccessful attempt to clean-up the ongoing spread of migrating radioactivity from Fukushima. Rather than focus its attention on mitigating the radioactive exposure to Japan’s civilians, the government of Japan has sought instead to redirect world attention to the 2020 Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo.
Truthfully, a situation as overwhelming as Fukushima can exist in every location in the world that uses nuclear power to produce electricity. The triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi are the worst industrial catastrophe that humankind has ever created.
Prior to Fukushima, the atomic power industry never envisioned a disaster of this magnitude anywhere in the world. Worldwide, the proponents and operators of nuclear power plants still are not taking adequate steps to protect against disasters of the magnitude of Fukushima!
Parts of Japan are being permanently destroyed by the migrating radioactivity that has been ignored, not removed, and subsequent ocean and land contamination is expanding and destroying once pristine farmlands and villages. For reference in the US and other countries, Fukushima Prefecture is approximately the size of the State of Connecticut. Think about it, how would an entire State – its woods, rivers, and valleys, eradicate radioactive contamination?
Let’s begin with the reactors and site itself. There was a triple meltdown in 2011, yet Tokyo Electric banned the use of the word “meltdown” in any of its communications with Japanese civilians. Now we know that in the first week after the tsunami, each molten radioactive core melted through its six-inch-thick steel reactor, burned and chemically reacted with the concrete underneath, and all are now lying in direct contact with groundwater. Aside from a few grainy pictures of those cores showing burn holes in the reactors, nothing has been done to remove the cores and to prevent further contamination of the groundwater. I have witnessed schemes including a mining operation to bore under the reactors and an underground train to collect the molten masses, but those schemes are decades from fruition. The government of Japan claims that the Fukushima site will be entirely cleaned and decommissioned in less than forty years, a date that will definitely slip AFTER the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are held, and one that is scientifically impossible since some radioactive isotopes will be spread across the Fukushima site and surrounding landscape for 300 years and others for 250,000 years.
Fukushima’s radioactive reactor cores have been in direct contact with groundwater for the last eight years, and then that highly toxic radioactive water enters the Pacific Ocean. When the disaster struck TEPCO wanted to build an ice-wall to prevent the spread of the contamination, which I knew would fail. I advocated immediately surrounding the reactors with a trench filled with zeolite, a chemical used to absorb radiation at other atomic facilities.
“The problem with freezing the soil is that as soon as you get an earthquake, you lose power and then your ice turns to mush and you’re stuck.” Gundersen, who has visited the Fukushima power plant in the past, said a better solution would be to dig a two-meter wide trench down to bedrock level and fill it with a material called zeolite: a volcanic material that comes from Mother Nature.
“It’s incredibly good at filtering radioactive isotopes. So whatever is inside the fence will stay inside and whatever is outside the fence would be clean,” said Gundersen, who estimates the price tag for such a project would be around $10 billion.
TEPCO’s ice wall has not eliminated radiation from spreading via groundwater. How will Fukushima’s owner TEPCO and the government of Japan successfully clean and mitigate the damage caused by the three atomic reactors that each lost their fuel to a meltdown? These problems were never anticipated in Japan where these reactors were built and operated or in the United States where the Fukushima nuclear plants were engineered and designed and the parts were manufactured.
Since the meltdowns in 2011, Fairewinds notified the world that the recovery plans for the proposed cleanup would be almost untenable, calling it a ‘long slog’. From the very beginning, I made it clear that “the nuclear disaster is underfunded and lacks transparency, causing the public to remain in the dark.” Sadly, eight years later, nothing has changed.
In February 2012 when I spoke to the press at the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Press Club, the governments recovery from the radiation released by Fukushima has never been about protecting the people of Japan. It was clear in the immediate aftermath of the world’s largest atomic power disaster and still today, the government of Japan is focused on protecting the financial interests of the nuclear power corporations in Japan so they may build new reactors as well as continue to operate the old ones. Clearly, the steps taken by the government of Japan shows that the survival of the electric generating corporations like Hitachi, Toshiba, Tokyo Electric and others are more important to the Abe Government that the survival of 160,000 evacuees and the future of the food supply emanating from Japan’s agriculture and aquaculture.
Evacuees in Japan are being forced to move back to their community and their homes that remain radioactively contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi detonations and meltdowns. The government of Japan and the alleged global regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – which was chartered by the United Nations (UN) to both promote and regulate atomic power generation – have raised the allowable public radiation level more than 20-times what it originally was rather than return to land to the condition it once was.
An exposé released in early February 2019 in The Washington Post said that,
For six years, Namie was deemed unsafe after a multiple-reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In March 2017, the government lifted its evacuation order for the center of Namie. But hardly anyone has ventured back. Its people are scattered and divided. Families are split. The sense of community is coming apart…
As we at Fairewinds Energy Education have repeatedly said since the tragic 2011 meltdowns, understanding why the fate of the 160,000 evacuees from the toxic Fukushima landscape does not matter to the government of Japan, one must simply follow the money trail back to the corporations producing Japan’s electricity. As Fairewinds has noted from its personal experience, and what The Washington Post and the people of Japan clearly understand is that these meltdown refugees are simply pawns in a much bigger issue of money and politics. According to The Washington Post article,
For the people of Namie and other towns near the Fukushima plant, the pain is sharpened by the way the Japanese government is trying to move beyond the tragedy, to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a symbol of hope and recovery, a sign that life can return to normal after a disaster of this magnitude…. Its charm offensive is also tied up with efforts to restart the country’s nuclear-power industry, one of the world’s most extensive networks of atomic power generation. [Emphasis Added].
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be staged in Fukushima, the prefecture’s bustling and radiation-free capital city, and the Olympic torch relay will start from here. 21584318_1521213834591559_1311313929_o.jpg
To determine whether or not Olympic athletes might be affected by fallout emanating from the disaster site, Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I were sponsored by Fairewinds Energy Education to look at Olympic venues during the fall of 2017. We took simple dirt and dust samples along the Olympic torch route as well as inside Fukushima’s Olympic stadium and as far away as Tokyo. When the Olympic torch route and Olympic stadium samples were tested, we found samples of dirt in Fukushima’s Olympic Baseball Stadium that were highly radioactive, registering 6,000 Bq/kg of Cesium, which is 3,000 times more radioactive than dirt in the US. We also found that simple parking lot radiation levels were 50-times higher there than here in the US.
Thirty of the dirt and fine dust samples that I took on my last two trips to Japan in February and March 2016 and September 2017 were analyzed at WPI (Worchester Polytechnic Institute. The WPI laboratory analysis are detailed in the report entitled: Measuring Radioactivity in Soil and Dust Samples from Japan, T. Pham, S. Franca and S. Nguyen, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, which found that:
With the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in 2020 hosted by Japan, it is necessary to look into the radioactivity of Olympic venues as well as tourist attractions in the host cities… Since thousands of athletes and millions of visitors are travelling to Japan for the Olympics, there has been widespread concern from the international community about radiation exposure. Therefore, it is important to investigate the extent of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi incident…
The measured results showed a much higher activity of Cesium-137 in the proposed torch route compared to other areas. Overall, the further away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, the lower the radioactivity. The activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo, the furthest site from the plant, was the lowest when compared to the other sites. Therefore, the activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo sample was used as the baseline to qualitatively estimate the human exposure to radiation.
.… At the Azuma Sports Park, the soil and dust samples yielded a range of 78.1 Bq/kg to 6176.0 Bq/kg. This particular Olympic venue is around 90 km from the Nuclear Power Plant. The other sites that are closer to the Nuclear Power Plant like the tourist route, proposed torch route, and non-Olympic samples have higher amounts due to the close proximity to ground zero of the disaster.
… the proposed torch route samples had the highest mean radioactivity due to their close proximity to the plant. Based on the measurement, we estimated qualitatively that the radiation exposure of people living near the Azuma Sports Park area was 20.7 times higher than that of people living in Tokyo. The main tourist and proposed torch routes had radiation exposure of 24.6 and 60.6 times higher, respectively, than in Tokyo…. Olympic officials should consider using the results of this project to decide whether the radioactivity level at the proposed torch route and the Olympic venues are within acceptable level.
On a more personal note, I witnessed first-hand the ongoing radioactive devastation in and around the Namie area like that detailed in The Washington Post’s revealing and factual essay. During the two weeks I spent in and around Namie in September 2017 I took six short videos showing what the devastation looks and feels like up close. These short iPhone videos total less than 5-minutes of run time. I was on my own, without a videographer, so these short films probably lack the professional quality viewers may usually associate with Fairewinds, however, they do convey the very palpable feeling of gloom and emptiness pervading the ghost towns I visited. I am sharing the first three short videos in today’s blog. We will be releasing a Part 2 of this Fukushima update, which will feature another three short films.
Longtime Friends of Fairewinds may remember that back in 2011, Prime Minister Noda (he was between the ousted Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was PM when the Fukushima Meltdowns occurred and today’s Prime Minister Abe), claimed that the three melted down Fukushima reactors were in ‘cold shutdown’, which they were not, in order to lay the groundwork for Japan’s Olympic bid. Noda claimed “… we can consider the accident contained”. Fairewinds compared Noda’s “cold shutdown” hypocrisy to former President George Bush crowing about “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Sadly, what we said in 2011 still rings true today:
Is the Japanese government and the IAEA protecting the nuclear industry and not the people of Japan by claiming that Fukushima is stable when it is not? Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen outlines major inconsistencies and double-speak by the IAEA, Japanese Government, and TEPCO claiming that the Fukushima accident is over. Dynamic versus static equilibrium, escalated dose exposures to the Japanese children and nuclear workers, and the blending of radioactive materials with non-contaminated material and spreading this contaminated ash throughout Japan are only a small part of this ongoing nuclear tragedy.
Later in 2013, Japan pressed the International Olympic Committee and bribed some of its members to accept the Olympics in 2020 according to an Associated Press article February 18, 2019 by Journalist Haruka Nuga.
Members of the JOC executive board are up for re-election this summer. There is speculation Takeda…[ Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for his part in an alleged bribery scandal] will not run, or could be replaced. French investigators believe he may have helped Tokyo win the 2020 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee.
Takeda has been JOC president since 2001. He is also a powerful IOC member and the head of its marketing commission. He has not stepped aside from either position while the IOC’s ethics committee investigates.
…French authorities suspect that about $2 million paid by the Tokyo bid committee — headed by Takeda — to a Singapore consulting company, Black Tidings, found its way to some IOC members in 2013 when Tokyo won the vote over bids from Istanbul and Madrid… Takeda last month acknowledged he signed off on the payments but denied corruption allegations. An internal report in 2016 by the Japanese Olympic Committee essentially cleared Takeda of wrongdoing.
Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to organize the Olympics. Games costs are difficult to track, but the city of Tokyo appears to be picking up at least half the bill.
Much of Japan’s focus has been to show that the Fukushima area is safe and has recovered from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the meltdowns at three nuclear reactors. [Emphasis Added]
Here is what I said in a video on Fairewinds website in 2013, when the original Tokyo Olympic announcement was made.
I think hosting the Olympics in 2020 is an attempt by the Japanese to change the topic. I don’t think people around the world are going to care until 2020 approaches. There is a seven-year window for the Japanese government to work to make Tokyo a showcase for the entire world to view. I think the Japanese government wanted to host the Olympics to improve the morale of the people of Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Unfortunately, it’s taking people’s attention off of the true cost of the accident, in terms of both money and public health.
Placing the Olympics in Tokyo was and still is a ploy to minimize the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns and to take the public’s attention away from a pressing emergency that still needs resolution for the health and safety of the people of Japan.
Fairewinds Energy Education will keep you informed with Part 2, at fairewinds.org.
One part of prepping that is sometimes overlooked or not given the consideration it deserves is what you will do when someone comes knocking on your door. I’m not talking about the wondering stranger, I’m talking about close family members that may or may not know you are prepping.
The question we need to ask ourselves and think about very seriously is who you would turn away, and what extended family members would you help out in a disaster or SHTF event.
Unfortunately this is just the first step, now you need to think about how you are going to handle the situation of having extra mouths to feed. This is all dependent on whether you decide to help them or turn them away, and as I said in the last article, (and I am talking about close family, not the entire family) I just couldn’t turn close family members away. If you could, my bet is there are other circumstances that weigh into your decision other than survival.
Missed it by That Much…
How would you decide who could stay and who needed to go away? This is a tough question, but it’s one we really need to put a lot of thought into. Deciding on who would make the cut could be the difference between surviving and thriving, or throwing everything you have down the tubes.
To me there are a few factors that I would have to think about…
1. How Close Are They?
It’s just not feasible to think that you can bring everyone and everyone they bring with them in during an SHTF event, most of us can barely afford to get ourselves prepared. Like it or not, we are going to have to figure out how to say “I just can’t do it”
In the podcast we used my son and his fiancée as an example, I absolutely want him here, and I know he won’t come without her. She has her twin sister that she is very close to and who knows who else she would want to bring along, so how do I handle that situation?
As much as it would pain me I would have to have a conversation with my son and tell him that he has a choice to make. If he chooses to stay it will only be him and her, if he chooses to stay with her I would help as much as I could and send them on their way.
2. What is my Family’s Opinion?
In any marriage we are bound to have different opinions about people than our spouse, and this should weigh heavily into your decision. Your husband or wife’s opinion about your favorite cousin might be completely different than yours.
Have a conversation now with your family about who would stay and why, try to put personal feelings aside and come to a rational conclusion about whether they would be an asset or a hindrance to your survival plan. Also, try not to get into an argument when you’re talking about this, a divorce is the last thing you want.
3. How Helpful Have They Been?
During your conversation with your family your past experiences with this person are bound to come up. What is their personality like? And how has our past relationship been?
Some people are helpful, some are all about themselves and some people are know it all’s. We can tolerate these personality traits now, but in an SHTF situation these traits will be magnified.
4. How Helpful Would They Be?
I dig a little deeper into this later, but think about how they would benefit your situation, what skills do they have that would help you in a disaster situation. Even if someone is a “one upper” and it drives you crazy, they might have skills that would be useful to you.
Do they have carpentry, electrical, gardening or welding skills? In situations like these we will need to weigh the good with the bad to figure out if we give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.
5. What Challenges Do They Bring?
Just as important as thinking about what they bring to the table is what they will be taking from the table. The truth is that any time you add someone to the equation the situation becomes more complicated, and sometimes the negatives so outweigh the positives you need to make that tough decision.
The Double Edged Sward
As much as it drives me nuts knowing that I shouldn’t have to prepare for someone who doesn’t see why it’s important, I do understand that this is a catch 22 that I might have to deal with.
We can barely prepare for ourselves, let alone for the family members that might end up on our doorstep, but unless you are willing to turn everyone away it is a problem you are bound to face.
One other option that could be another article all by itself is bugging out altogether. We always think about security from marauders and criminals, but what if so many people end up at your door that you have no option other than leave, you might have to.
How Much Extra do you Prepare?
Because we can only do what we can do, and sometimes storage space and money are limited I think more along the lines of “how can they make my situation better?” Maybe saying that you should turn this into a positive is a little optimistic, but at least try to make it a little less negative.
Storing extra beans, rice, flour and dry goods will go a long way and give you the basics you will need, but at some point it will run out. Have plans in place to use them like you would an employee, start thinking like a post collapse CEO.
Set the guidelines and expectations from day one. You need to let them know that if you are going to let them stay there for however long that might be you expect them to help. What is impossible for 2 or 3 people to do in a day might be possible with more people, expanding the garden, foraging, hunting, raising more animals for food and building/repairing will become more possible with more people.
The Come to Jesus Talk
At first we might need to lower our expectations because most unprepared people will try to hold on to their Pollyanna reality as long as possible, they will be like a junkies going through withdraws. This is why it’s important to set your expectations from day one.
You might hear things like “why are you rationing the water? This will be over in a day or two?” or “Look at all this food, were going to eat like kings!” These people might have no idea what we could be in for, and need to be set straight before it becomes a problem.
At some point it might become necessary to have what I call the “come to Jesus talk” people will tell you whatever you want to hear to get your help, but if they are not holding up their end of the bargain you might have to have the tough conversation neither one of you want to have.
You might have to say…
“This is what you told me you would do when you came here, and this is what you are actually doing (or not doing), how are we going to fix this? Does this mean you need to go? Or are you going to get onboard and pull your weight?”
Problems like these are bound to happen, and these are situations we need to be able to face, otherwise disappearing and not letting people know where you are might be the better option.
Whether you’re unsure of how to plan for a bug out situation because you don’t know where you would bug out to, or you simply prefer the idea of battening down the hatches in your current dwelling to weather whatever catastrophe may strike, urban survival and bugging in are two important topics that are quite worthy of consideration.
Most people now live in developed suburban and urban areas rather than out in the countryside, so in the event of an emergency, many people are going to find themselves trying to survive in the concrete jungle.
How well you can survive, amidst looting, violence and the desperation of the under- or completely unprepared, will depend on your own good sense and your ability to prepare ahead of time. Aside from stocking up on basic supplies like food and water, you don’t have to spend a fortune to prepare yourself for urban survival or bugging in, either.
First and foremost, one of the most important things to consider is self-defense for yourself and your loved ones. If an emergency crops up or a disaster strikes, law enforcement will likely be overwhelmed or possibly disbanded entirely, leaving civilians vulnerable to criminals. Those who are clearly well prepared become immediate targets of the unprepared.
To mitigate your risk of being targeted there are some very good things you can do (please note that these are basic guidelines, which can and should be adapted to the specifics of your circumstances and the emergency or disaster that has occurred):
Identify local resources ahead of time, including water alternative water sources for if / when the taps run dry. A reliable water source and method of purification is critical not only to basic survival but also to maintaining any semblance of cleanliness and proper hygiene, which is in turn necessary to avoid the spread of infectious diseases.
Avoid detection by boarding over the windows, keeping lights off at night (don’t underestimate the pitch black of a night without urban light pollution; your lights will stand out and draw attention to you, so keep them off) and entering or exiting your home from a discreet location or when no one is around.
Secure your home or dwelling as well as you can, without being too obvious and drawing attention from the exterior. Additional reinforcement at doors (if not to stop then at least to slow intruders) such as door jammers or barricades, chain locks and additional bolts can all make entries and exits more secure. If it is within your means to do so, you can also use the Russian method of a double door; the front door of an entry point is a heavy, solid metal door with multiple bolts and chain locks, followed by a secondary door of heavy, solid wood with a peep hole or viewing hole, additional chain locks, bolts, etc. If you’ve ever seen a traditional Russian tenement, you know what this looks like.
Whenever possible, try to cultivate a closer and more unified community amongst your neighbors ahead of time. If SHTF and you’re prepared but no one else on your street is, you may find yourself having to hide from or deceive the people you live alongside. Alternatively, your needy neighbors may end up targeting you in their desperation. A closer and better-developed community is especially necessary in the event of any long-term survival situation that may arise following a serious collapse or disaster.
Maintain an unattractive appearance to your house; while many people may be inclined to erect a veritable fortress around their house, this is more apt to draw attention to your location; a house that looks guarded and well stocked is an attractive target to roaming gangs who will probably outnumber and/or outgun you eventually. By comparison, a house that doesn’t look like much, is overgrown in the yard, and has every appearance of having already been ransacked a time or two, is far less likely to attract attention.
Now, in terms of your food and water, when you’re planning on bugging in you are at something of an advantage. Bugging in has its disadvantages, too, but if you have the room for food storage, you can eat like a proverbial king while bugging in.
Compared to bugging out, when every ounce of weight in your pack matters and canned food is a heavy luxury item, if you’ve got an empty pantry to fill, canned foods offer a great, economical investment in tasty, quality food that will generally last 3 – 5 years or longer. Compare that to an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) or some astronaut food.
Also, avoid burning your dwelling down; keep a few fire extinguishers stored for use in case of an emergency and practice safe cooking rules when using fire at any time. Lighting fires inside your home or using a grill is not recommended; if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t light fires inside, period. Likewise, don’t leave anything cooking unattended and if you ever try to dispose of trash or yard debris by burning it be extremely careful.
Finally, a well-packed urban survival bag (also sometimes called a get home bag) can be invaluable in case of an emergency that strikes while you’re away from home. Packed with slightly different supplies than a standard bug out bag, an urban survival bag is designed to help you survive an emergency long enough to travel from your current location to your home or to another suitable location you intend to bug out from.
Items commonly packed in an urban survival bag include:
A basic emergency first aid kit
Fine particle masks (or possibly a gas mask)
A window punch (for use escaping from a vehicle or building when glass obstructs you)
Potentially a small quantity of cash
A pair of sturdy shoes (and possibly socks) esp. for women who wear heels regularly
Sunglasses, a handkerchief or bandana, and;
Some water and/or snacks for the trip home, it might be a long walk
You’ll probably also want a flashlight with spare batteries, a small, portable radio and a thermal blanket and/or warm jacket, depending on the climate you live in. You might want coins for operating a payphone, and if you rely on your cell phone for important numbers then write down those numbers in an address book and toss it in your emergency bag just in case.
For long-term urban survival following a bug in, there are several additional points to take into consideration, but to get into everything here would go beyond the scope of this article.
Suffice to say, for long-term urban survival following a crisis, emergency or other collapse, there would be concerns with trash, vermin and rodents, as well as sanitation, human waste removal, medical care, new food production, guard duties and additional security, and keeping yourself healthy.