Despite the fact that the Japanese government and TEPCO were caught red-handed underplaying the severity of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, a study has found that almost a quarter of Fukushima residents hospitalized in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami were treated as having a “psychiatric disorder” because of their concerns over radiation.
“Some 24.4 percent of people who were hospitalized in Fukushima with psychiatric disorders in the wake of the outbreak of the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant had done so possibly because of fears of radiation exposure, according to the results of research conducted by psychiatrists at Fukushima Medical University,” reports the Mainichi Daily News.
The phenomenon of authorities underplaying the threat posed by radiation or even characterizing concerns over it as a mental illness has become a dominant theme since the catastrophe just over a year ago. This is despite the fact that Japanese authorities were caught over and over again lying to cover-up the true scale of the disaster.
After Japanese authorities released thousands on tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the EPA announced that it was raising the “safe limit” of exposure to iodine-131 by around 100,000 times.
The treatment of Japanese citizens who expressed concerns about radiation sickness only to be told they had a mental illness is similar to how Desert Storm veterans and other U.S. military servicemembers were told that their health problems from exposure to depleted uranium were in fact a result of a psychological disorder.
Skepticism on behalf of Fukushima residents over official assurances about radiation levels, far from being a mental illness, is a perfectly rational and logical response given the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s proven track record of deception in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.
The situation at the Daiichi nuclear power plant is by no means stable. Only yesterday, TEPCO announced that, “it has found that the cooling water in one of the damaged reactors at Fukushima is only 60 centimeters deep, far lower than previously thought.”
Although the Fukushima crisis seldom makes the headlines anymore, the devastation it wrought is unlikely to be quantified for years or even decades.
Research published by the New York Academy of Sciences last year found that the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor killed nearly one million people worldwide as a result of cancer-causing nuclear fallout that circulated the globe.
Research has shown that some areas of Tokyo have more radiation than existed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zones. Indeed, recent soil samples taken in Tokyo were found to be so radioactive that they would be considered radioactive waste in the United States and would have to be disposed of by experts at a secure facility.
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