tv The Stream Al Jazeera September 28, 2014 1:30am-2:01am EDT
with british lebannees human rights lawyer in venice. celebrity guests included bono, matt damon, and anna wintel. a reminder there's more on the website. aljazeera.com. get the latest on the stories there. highway, i am lisa fresher and you are in officials scramble to contain tens of thousands of gallons daily. plus, more than 100 u.s. sailors involved in the fukushima clean up say they and fair families suffer because of radiation exposure. the latest on their lawsuit. and a former nuclear industry insider, says
the outcome could have been much worse, the impact on global nuclear policy, and why is summit is going the opposite direction, of some other developed nations. ♪ all of your feedback throughout the show, it is the three year anniversary. everybody is covering it six months later it has come out of the news. >> about a year ago, it was the most heavily requested show by our online community, there was concern about the environmental consequences, the effect on health, and the effect on seafood, and still a lot of skepticism unanswered questions. fukushima, according to him is a disaster, it could serve the world best by learning all we can do to be better prepared.
however, on the flip side, independent thinker says despite that, he still believes in nuclear energy. lit help us produce our depend on oil. they may have been forgotting but residents are still suffer willing from the j math. they now say 104 children, either have or suspected to have thyroid cancer. and the latest attempts to contain water from the damaged reactors have proven to been a failure. so while the contaminated water continues to flow, residents are being told that the truths and pitch, and vegetables all grown in the reare john, are completely safe to eat. but is that true? joining us on set to discuss is greg lavigne. he has extensively covered fukushima prior to, and during his time here. joining us from sidney australia, she spent the past 42 years as an antinuclear advocate, and was nominated for a nobel prize.
her upcoming book is called crisis without end, the medical and ecological consequences of the fukushima nuclear catastrophe. from burgington vermont, he is a former nuclear industry executive, who now serves as the chief engineer for the nonprofit fair winds energy education. joining us from big sky montana is radiation expert dr. robert gale, he led the u.s. assistance to the sow yet government during the chernobyl accident. and from japan, co director of the advocacy group, peace boat, he is a grass roots activist, that works with rests uh just about every someday. so helen, we are are 3 1/2 years past the melt down, i just mentioned the reports of kids and thyroid cancer, potentially from the radiation. are you seeing evidence of people in or near fukushima having health problems specific to radiation? >>
well the trouble is scientists in japan, are not collecting the data on patients. many doctors have been told not to tell the patients that the symptoms to be related to radiation. there's a huge cover up. the only thing that is being officially looked at is thyroid cancer during ultra sounds on children under the age of 18. they found 104 suspected or confirmed cancer. the population is normally one to two per million. it indicates these children have a very high dose of radiation, and they probably still getting it. but because it takes five to 80 years to cancers and leukemias to develop, we are only just seeing the tip of the ice burg, and these thyroid cancers are the tip indicating
that the very big ice burg underneath. >> dr. gale, the government is denying any links between the fall out or the radiation from fukushima and these kids. but the rates that dr. called cot is mentioning are seem to be based in fact, what's your assessment of this? of these high numbers? well, a couple of things. we have a lot of experience, sorry are to say, from the they are mobile accident, where we have more than 7,000 cases of thyroid cancer. so we know from that what dose of radiation may cause thyroid cancer and how long it takes to cause thyroid cancer. so, it's not really within the realm of possibility at these thyroid abnormalities that are being detected are from radiation from fukushima. it is very very unlikely,
we don't normally do ultrasound examinations in children under 18. so we don't have the control group to which to compare this to. now the final thing i want to correct, is the statement that they are still getting radiation. radio active iodine has a half life of eight days. so after act three months the radio active iodine that was released at fukushima is gone. so there is no longer radio active iodine, of course, there may be radio active -- but certainly not iodine. >> greg, there is about 80,000 gallons of contaminated watt tear is still running off the facility every day. you have reported extensively on the attempts they have made to try to contain that, one thing they tried to do is build an ice wall, talk about that, why it failed and what they are doing now to contain the waste? >> right, the short answer what they are doing now is everything and nothing.
why the ice wall failed no one predicted the ice wall would work, at least not of this size, they used it to construct tunnels frozen small sections of ground, they build out ice walls like that, but as far as containing a moving street of water, it has never been tried and the small scale effort has failed so far. >> you are talking about innovative solutions underground, frozen wall, if it is working or not, we asked our community, how can the government ensure the safety of civilians. they can't ensure anyone's safety, not in the entire world. japan poisons the pacific ocean every day, you are in japan. you visit the community, what are their concerns, what are their health concerns what are you seeing on the ground. >> well, first of all, it is important to that even today, more than 160,000
people are in the evacuation. and they are having very serious social problems. let alone all the concerns about medical impacts by radiation. and due to this huge number of displacements the community was broken. and many social and mental problems causing hundreds of people. and the decontamination process, is really slow. and having met it's target. but even that, the government both central government and the local government, are trying to push people to go back to the area. the ever the homeland. with very little progress. of the decontamination. so their concerns are -- so serious and long lasting. >> afternoonny, i would like you to comment on this as well. you just mentioned that
they are pushing very hard to get people to come back into these contaminated areas. and there seems to be a p.r. campaign on the part of politician in the region, when it comes to the food. the prime minister and others they are publicly eating peaches, and veg are tables, and seafood, and saying look, it's safe to eat. do the people there feel that it is safe to eat? are are they buying this. >> no, very huge misstep all the government p.r., and in the actual sense, people are not buying the food, and the product frommish shim ma. it is a well minded process, for the monetary is underway. i am not saying all the foods are
bad but the government is not investing efforts. rather they are investing more on p.r. about the safety p.r., so that's -- the focus is quite strange, and different from the people's perspective. >> well, afternoonny, why don't you jump in here, you have heard this conversation so far, what do you think are some legitimate concerns that the people of fukushima have right now, when it comes to the consequences of the melt down. >> well, the first type of cancer you are going to see are are the thyroid cancers. but most of the cars againic effects are going to occur out at ten years or 15 years or even 20. so to expect people to collapsing in the street right now, suspect really good physics. but that doesn't mean that it won't happen in the next 20 years.
as dr. called cot mentioned at the beginning, the medical community is being throttled by the japanese government, and the i.a.e.a. the atomic energy agency. they can't issue reports without the approve, which in it's. >> charter is to promote nuclear power. so, frankly, i don't trust what the data that i am seeing coming out of the medical community, in japan. on that note,ly put the conversation on pause, the u.s. military sent thousands of soldiers to the region to assist after the mobility down, and now more than 100 of them are suing for $1 billion. up next, we will talk about their attorney. >> it's a weekday morning in new york city and a line forms well before doors open at this east harlem food pantry.
the people waiting for food range from young mothers to older people on fixed incomes. inside the pantry, the number of people needing food is only growing. congress cut 5 billion dollars from "s.n.a.p." or the "supplemental nutrition assistance program" in late 2013; because of that, the new york common pantry, one of the largest in new york - serving 3 million meals annually, reports a 26% increase in recipients in the last year. new york ranked 4 in a recent survey of cities around the globe with the highest percentage of millionaires. joel berg, who heads the new york coalition against hunger says, as the city gets wealthier, demand at the 1000 plus food kitchens he represents is only increasing. >> well when neighborhoods gentrify, the demand goes up because rent is the single greatest cost that low income people face and if they can't afford to pay rent, they can't afford to buy food. >> and with less government aid for food, the strain is on charities to fill the void and depend on donations to keep feeding new york's hungry.
there was a time about a month into the operation, that i started getting acute sickness. when they measure my right arm, it's actually 11 september meters smaller than my left. unfortunately, it's been three years and they can't figure out what is wrong, and in the mean type, my body just continued to kind of shrivel up. >> welcome back, that was a u.s. navy sailor. one of thousand whose helped with the fukushima clean up. he is also a plaintiff in a billion dollars lawsuit alleging that the power company failed to properly warn people about the high levels of radiation. so dr. gale, 110 sailors sign on to this lawsuit, their charges negligence, and alleging that these various illnesses are result of radiation exposure, and i don't think anybody doubts that these men and women are
are suffering. but how difficult is it to definitively link the cause to the fukushima disaster? >> well, you know, i would say sadly, from the ale toic bomb explosions, and other radiation exposures chernobyl, question have a very good idea of what radiation can do. and what radiation can't do. and how much radiation it takes to cause various things. so actually, for radiation, more than any other thing in our environment we can predict how likely it is -- for example, cancer. every one of us, every male, has almost a 50% chance of developing cancer in their life. so if someone gets cancer and we know their radiation dose, which is known for all the sailors, we can say with reasonable accuracy, what's the likelihood
that it will caused by radiation. the interview you just played, the likelihood that someone's arm is shrinking, from a radiation dose, that they could have gotten on a ship, is zero. we have more than several hundred thousand ale toic bomb survivors and i have never heard of such a consequence. he is representing the 110 sailors. those kinds of claims are so hard to prove. isn't it a little unrealistic to act a jury to award $1 billion based on anecdotal evidence? >> first of all, the evidence is not an tech total. these kinds of illnesses cancers and conditions are quite characteristic of people who have been exposed to radiation.
has miss represented what they were exposed to and now 110, outlast probably -- we now have two tun and five injured sailors. a population that you don't usually find cancers such as leukemia, urine canners thyroid cancers and we also have canners on the .001 experience it. so in terms of the navy, operating on. we admitted that the calculations are off. and that's allowed the profession not just the regular one times 100.
it is so -- the information that initially came out. was totally incorrect. the thing that is happening to a lot of these sailors and the milt tear, is they think they are getting very conflicted information. there was a period of the report, that said as dr. gale just mentioned that they probably weren't receiving excessively high dozes but then there are other reports that say that the level of radiation on the ship was 30 times heighter than what techko reported.
how do they know what to believe and whatnot to believe? >> well, it is very difficult. they are in a quagmire of different potentials. but the truth is they did get a huge dose, not just externally, which is what the hiroshima and nagasaki survivors got, but they lot a got of internal exposure from breathing in the radio active. also the drinking water, which was contaminated. and one sailor he went in to be tested and it went off scale. so we can't estimate but they certainly got high dozes. i agree with dr. gayle, but shrinking of an arm muscle would not be related to radiation. >> we asked our community, we are going to take a step back, could the melt down have been prevented, was it
foreseeable, we asked our community, foreseeable yes, even i predicted it on my t.v. show before it happened. and amy says any country, with a nuclear reactor on a fault line should have strict safety guidance. greg was the truck sema melt down foreseeable. toe the first question, it was foreseeable, they knew it when they built the plant, when they started surveying the sight. and about a decade before, they were presented with then waying report, that said they are overdue for a tsunami. not high enough to prevent the tsunami they were expecting. as far as preventable is concerned look no further and you will see a load of problems. we have reactors that are exactly like the one that's in japan ray cross the united states.
we have reactors in seismically dangerous areas. the evacuation plan, there, if something should go wrong, would be to have people going out on the two lane highway, you would have to specifically evacuate new york city. which is inside even the most moderate of exclusion zones. that is is sort of preventable, that's the question. i don't know how to answer that when you have that situation. >> even when it is presented to us, we don't do anything about it. the topic of a future show, i promise, but up next, how the devastation has impacted japan's nuclear ambitions and what effect the disasters had on global nuclear policy. we will be right back.
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disaster has fueled the debate, not only in japan but globally about the lazards of pursuing nuclear power. afternoonny, you have been around this industry 30 plus years. but can it be done safely enough to have the benefits outweigh the risks. >> yeah, i don't think so. you know, to blame the japanese on othis
accident is wrong. the reactors were designed by americans. they were designed by general electric and an engineering company in new york city. and those same american companies designed all the american reyak tors. so to think that this is the japanese problem. america created nuclear power, and all of the assumptions that go into it are, in fact, relate back to decisions made by american engineers in the 60's and the 70's. >> afternoonny, left me shift gears what do you think the nuclear structure is like in japan now? is it different, postfukushima. >> well, it's someone better. the industry was in fact, a -- compliant way too
compliant, in regulation. now they have a new set up with something called the nra, but already the regime was changing the members of the nra, and putting in more pro nuclear people to regulate the industry. so japan is sliding back into the same regulatory mold it had. because the regime wants these power plants to run again. >> lisa, we asked our community, is 30 years and that's what they are saying 30 years to make the site safe enough, is that enough? community member says no, try about 3 million years. again, you are on the drowned, you are in japan, how long do you think it will take? how many decades to make the site safe again for the japanese people. >> for the complete commission
there was a very fundamental change in the opinion of the power. in the past, people have to say majority of people believe is control and necessary, while people are totally against nuclear weapons. but after the disaster, the majority of people want a phase out, and a zero of nuclear power. is trying to shift back to the new quality, and -- i have say this is for the people, because we are having all summer.
and in japan, it is really hot, but we survived without knowing what the power plant is operating. but we survived in the sense of but you know if governments commit to zero of the power, then that will be a huge crisis for the company. so they are prioritizing saving the company with the help of the people. >> we have about 25 seconds left, what can the japanese government do to inspire confidence in the japanese people at this point. >> well, the truth would be good. every month something new comes out, a little bit here and there, nobodien has rein faith with the numbers. you feel for anyone that is involved in trying to reare populate, the area or clean up, they are not getting the whole story. but i think it brings up a good point, which is that this is not about a choice. it is a policy decision on the part of japanese government.
it is not a necessity, they have proven that by operating for years now without it. >> all right, thank you to all of our guests we are out of time, until our next show, we will see you online. >> it's friday afternoon in the rio grande valley in texas. >> abortion is one of the most common medical procedures for women around the world. >> two friends are reading a manual on how to give yourself an abortion. >> and then i asked you for sure like how pregnant you are. >> for sure right now, i'm seven weeks. >> that's good because once you get to 12 weeks, it's like riskier. >> they wouldn't let us film their faces because here, like