Sensors inside Daiichi reactors not working - Censors outside work just fine!
Ever since the crippled nuclear reactors and spent fuel storage pools at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan first made headlines there has been a concerted effort by nuke industry flaks and their minions in media and academia to downplay or dismiss what is obviously a major nuclear disaster. I have seen news reports that read more like industry press releases. Having dealt with promoters of nuclear power for the better part of forty years, first as co-founder of New York's anti-nuclear/pro-safe energy Shad Alliance and since as an environmental commentator and radio host, I'm familiar with the kind of corporate tactics and outright bullshit these operators produce. I have to say, given the breadth and scale of it: this time they've out done themselves.
With some exceptions, not many news organizations are going near the issue of the global implications of multiple meltdowns and spent fuel pool fires. Nor are most media outlets reporting on the potential for long term irradiation, instead focusing on the decrease or increase of radiation readings, as if they were poll numbers. Yet, those readings and official reaction to them, if viewed in context of the extreme potential of the crisis, are integral to the story. It is for that reason that Friends of the Earth, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Physicians for Social Responsibility have filed a Freedom of Information request to find out what led NRC Commissioner Jazcko, and perhaps others, to call for a 50-mile evacuation radius for Americans near the Japanese reactor while normally only a ten mile evacuation zone would be called for under the circumstances. The groups are concerned that the numbers being publicly reported may have been, and continue to be manipulated.
It's not like cover-ups and disinformation haven't been used by the energy industry and governments in the past, right? It was only last June when BP, with apparent White House support, was engaged in info wars with the public and an all too compliant media. And, rest assured, the nuclear industry with politicians in their deep pockets will go to most any extreme to protect their game and their profits. Given all the conflicting messages from plant operators and the media, some nuclear physicists have called for an international team of experts to take over the rescue operation at Fukushima Daiichi and hopefully stem the release of radiation. It feels like some experts are needed in the media as well, to stem the release of disinformation.