The fallout from Fukushima

Fallout from Fukushima

Richard Broinowski

October 2012

RRP $27.95, e-book $18.99

Scribe Publications

ISBN (13): 9781922070166

Unless you've spent the past decade under a rock you'll know about the phenomenon of 'pro-nuclear environmentalists'. It's unlikely you could name more than a few ... because there are no more than a few.

It's largely a beat-up by the industry and the corporate media. In 2006, for example, Channel 9's 'Sunday' program hosted a debate including someone claiming to be a representative of 'Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy'. He later acknowledged that the organisation does not exist!

Much less attention is given to nuclear supporters turned opponents. One such person is former Australian diplomat Prof. Richard Broinowski, author of Fallout from Fukushima.

Fallout from Fukushima tells the story of Japan's worst nuclear disaster, and the attempts to suppress, downplay, and obscure its consequences. Broinowski travelled into the irradiated zone to speak to those affected and to find out why authorities delayed warning the public about the severity of the radiation. Combining interviews, research, and analysis, he reveals the extent of the disaster's consequences: the ruinous compensation claims faced by electricity supplier TEPCO; the complete shutdown of Japan's nuclear reactors; and the psychological impact on those who, unable to return to their farms and villages, may become permanent nuclear refugees.

Broinowski puts this nuclear tragedy in context, tracing the path back through Tokyo, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl. Examining what the disaster will mean for the international nuclear industry, he explores why some countries are abandoning nuclear power, while others − including Australia, through its export of uranium − continue to put their faith in this dangerous technology.

Prof. Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and another nuclear supporter turned critic, describes Fallout from Fukushima as the definitive analysis of the accident and  states: "If you are tempted to see a role for nuclear energy, you should read this book."

Gavan McCormack, Emeritus Professor at ANU, states: "The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown that brought Japan close to collapse in the days and weeks that followed 11 March 2011 also helped prise open a window into the way that for more than five decades high officials of state had colluded to create, cosset, and expand the nuclear industry, minimising safety concerns and evading democratic supervision. The result was a crisis of a depth and complexity hitherto unknown, from which author Broinowski doubts that the Japanese industry can recover … His book offers a lucid guide to the events and their implications, not only for Japan but also for the world."