Saturday, July 2, 2011

John Vidal: "Fukushima spin was Orwellian" (UK govt. downplayed Fukushima)

John Vidal:"Fukushima spin was Orwellian: Emails detailing how the UK government played down Fukushima show just how cosy it is with the nuclear industry" posted July 1, 2011 at the Guardian:
It was an open secret that Britain's decision to back nuclear power in 2006 was pushed through government by a cosy group of industrialists and others close to Tony Blair, and that a full debate about the full costs, safety and potential impact on future generations was suppressed.

But the release of 80 emails showing that in the days after the Fukushima accident not one but two government departments were working with nuclear companies to spin one of the biggest industrial catastrophes of the last 50 years, even as people were dying and a vast area was being made uninhabitable, is shocking.

What the emails shows is a weak government, captured by a powerful industry colluding to at least misinform and very probably lie to the public and the media. When the emails were sent, no one, least of all the industry and its friends in and out of government, had any idea how serious the situation at Fukushima was or might become.

For the business department to then argue that "we really need to show the safety of nuclear" and that "it's not as bad as it looks", is shameless. But to argue that the radiation was being released deliberately and was "all part of the safety systems to control and manage a situation" is Orwellian. An ignorant government that relies for its information on companies it is planning to reward with contracts for billions of pounds smacks of corruption.
See also Rob Edwards" "Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima: Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan." More links at Vidal's article.

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