Nuclear disasters: temples of disinformation

After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the director of the Central Service of Protection against Ionizing Radiation (SCPRI) assured that France wasn’t threatened by Chernobyl’s radioactive pollution anymore. However, in 2011, the Fukushima disaster raised again the matter of government’s disinformation. To have a new point of view, we decided to ask some questions to a Japanese woman who has a critical position on that particular issue.

What did the media told you about the nuclear power station when the tsunami happened?

“They were telling us the most of information they got. But I didn’t think the media had all the information from the government.”

Before the tsunami, did the government thought that having those power stations near the sea was kind of dangerous because of the Japan’s localisation on the tectonic plates?

“They might had some ideas about those risks but their predictions were not enough. They kept using the particular word “unexpected” over and over. We felt that was the way the government and TEPCO(1) tried to avoid to be blamed for their responsibilities.”

Do you think you had enough information about what was happening or the media kept some information secret because of the government censorship ?

“We still feel that we were banned from the truth. Even lately, we had news that the reactor NO2 might had melt down after the tsunami.”

Since the accident, does new energies source are used in Japan?

“Yes. Many business and individuals decided to switch to solar energy. And also government encouraged it by creating some financial support system.”

Do you personally think it will be better to stop nuclear energy in Japan and to replace it step by step?

“Definitely. The summer after the earthquake, the power plant companies had to control the electricity supply for air-conditioning system. As you know, Japan is such a high humid country and takes a lot of energy, so they thought we would have a sort of energy shortage. However, we did not have had such problems. But they kept giving us warnings for that because nuclear power is the most cost-performance energy. Actually, the problem is that they are not a safe oriented organization: they are “business” organization. Many people here think that we can handle our life without nuclear power.”

(1) Tokyo Electric Power Company

Coralie Charlet, in collaboration with Aline Jacquin-Mathon

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