BLOCKBUSTER! FOIA Documents Reveal NRC Cover-Up, Deception Over Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

According to several stunning editorials by authors Lucas W. Hixon and Joy Thompson on the website, evidence obtained through an FOIA request reveals a ‘cover-up’ by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an effort to conceal the severity of the meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan.
The FOIA request was initiated by the Friends of the Earth (FOE), the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and the Nuclear Information and Resource Center (NIRS) in March of 2011. Physicians for Social Responsibility explains the purpose of the request on
“On March 16, 2011, NRC Commissioner Gregory B Jaczko told Congress that he was recommending the 50-mile evacuation radius.
The scope of the recommended evacuation is highly unusual and suggestive of extraordinarily high radiation levels in excess of those reported to the public in Japan and the U.S., …In the U.S., nuclear reactor licensees and local governments are only asked to provide for evacuation out to 10 miles. As concerns grow about food and water contamination in Japan, the three groups…are seeking to determine the answer to this key question: What made Jaczko exceed the limits of his own agency’s regulations by five times?”
Interestingly enough, and surely by coincidence, the Qur’an burnings in Afghanistan have taken place just as the analysis of these documents, and the documents themselves are being made public.
It should be no surprise that the corporate controlled mainstream media is ignoring this blockbuster revelation instead of exposing it and demanding an investigation.
In a January 18th and February 19th article analysis of NRC emails and transcripts of phone conversations, dated just days after the accident, reveals the nature of the cover-up:
1. Containment: “By Sunday March 13th, Elliot Brenner, sent out an e-mail to upper NRC counterparts clearly narrating the sequence of events. ‘While we know more than what these (press releases) say, we’re sticking to this story for now.’ writes Breener, during the weekend he labled [labeled] ‘very hectic’.”
In regards to not fully utilizing twitter: “The NRC was using their blog and the updates provided by the American Nuclear Society as the main modes of communication with the public.
2. Selective distribution of information: “David McIntyre also works in the NRC on public affairs, and spent much of his time creating carefully crafted e-mails that constantly downplayed the disaster, and any relationship that might be made to the safety status of US nuclear stations.
On March 14th, McIntyre received an email [from] Molly McCrea, a reporter for CBS inquired about the status of a law that Senator Markey had authored that would distribute KI (potassium iodide) to those living within a certain distance from a nuclear power plant, and whether or not it was being followed. She asked whether or not the pills had been distributed, and why the NRC had been reported to be discouraging the distribution.
McIntyre replied vaguely alluding to the fact that the NRC was not solely responsible, but that it was a ‘US Government decision, not just the NRC but HHS [Health and Human services] and others.’ It is true that the NRC has worked hard against the burden of purchasing, storing, and maintaining a fresh supply of KI for those populations closest to nuclear reactors.
In 2009, the NRC actually canceled it’s policy on KI distribution, stating that it was unnecessary, as it did not protect against all radionuclides that could be potentially released, would cause undue stress on the community, and would delay critical response time by adding more duties to local, state and federal staff.”
3. Deception: “It appears that McIntyre used his own personal discretion on which information to release to specific reporters or news services. On March 14th, he received an e-mail from Molly McCrea again, this time asking if the United States was possibly sending KI to Japan, or had sent KI to Japan to help out, if he could confirm, and if not who should she contact.
McIntyre replied ‘We have not been asked to provide KI’. He further explained, ‘We understand the Japanese authorities have included KI as part of their protective action guidelines, which would indicate they have some stockpiles.’
The reply email was sent on Tuesday March 15th, 2011 at 4:07:00 PM. At 4:10:00 PM, only 3 minutes later, McIntyre rushed a quick note to Matthew Wald, a long-time reporter for the New York Times who has written on nuclear energy for years, with the subject line-’KI Info’ stating, ‘Matt-I’m told we distributed approximately 11 million pills. Dave.’”
4. Hiding knowledge of a radioactive plume bound for the West Coast, USA: Referring to a series of e-mails from David Lew as ‘documents 3,4 and 5′ : Thompson writes:
“Yet another caution to limit information given to the public and a heads-up to ‘Expect the public/media focus to turn toward domestic in the next day or so.’ IOW, by the afternoon of March 12 the NRC was in full ass-covering mode for the U.S. nuclear industry.”

Excellent quotes from these e-mails are provided, quotes that show officials were aware of the radioactive plume headed for North America. Why was there no emergency broadcast warning?
“Interaction with DHS and federal agencies, including plume plot, possible exposure models, and monitoring of west coast.”
This information can only lead to one conclusion, stated perfectly by Thompson: “FEMA standing down, don’t expect the plume to hit the west coast that weekend. NRC thinks unit 2 ‘shut down safely.’ [Heh. The direct cite above indicates clearly federal agencies – FEMA, DHS, DOE, EPA – were very much aware that contamination from Fukushima would travel as a plume and that there would be fallout when it reached the U.S. mainland…”
In ‘document 6‘, an ‘Internal email’ from one William Ostendorff, and in reference to a 3:30PM conference call, there is another admission of knowledge of the plume, “4. Keep interacting with DHS on potential plume plots and modeling capability, etc…”.
5. Cover -up: Evidence of an effort to prepare for the inevitable pesky public inquiry can also be found in the internal email of Mr. Ostendorff:“Further develop Q&A as the attention will start to turn to US plants and our level of preparedness/protection from seismic and floods.”
But as Hixon points out, the directives for information control were given the day of the accident indicated in a bulletin from the ‘Operations Center’ dated March 11th at 3:04 PM:
“This is the ‘NOT A DRILL’ notice pictured above the squiggle. It sets the tone for information control with instructions specific to dealing with the international press.
In the first paragraph it identifies where employees may direct the press in order to access the ‘official’ press releases from NRC, and urges any NRC employees who ARE contacted by the media to inform the NRC Office of Public Affairs immediately.”
6. At the highest levels: There is plenty of evidence the White House knew everything and played a ‘lead’ part. In the Osendorff email he clearly states that “NRC posture to hold White House lead for U.S. response, NRC to be support only so as not to focus media attention on NRC-”.
Again, in a March 12th, 12:52 PM email from David Lew, we see White House involvement: “NRC remains in the monitoring mode. Chairman attended a meeting with White House. Marty Virgilio participated by VTC.” (video teleconferencing)
Later that afternoon another email from Mr. Lew states that there is a “Deputies Meeting at the White House with significant focus on the nuclear event.”
There is little doubt now that the radioactive plume had an effect on American citizens but keep in mind that people were not falling over dead in the street in numbers and the ‘plume’ is an invisible one so unless one had warning, there was virtually no way of detecting its presence.
According to a article based on research printed in the Journal of Health Services , Internist and Toxicologist Janette Sherman, MD insists we have paid a heavy toll from the fallout:
“Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here (USA) may be as high as 18,000, with influenza and pneumonia, which were up five-fold in the period in question as a cause of death. Deaths are seen across all ages, but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults.”
It seems that the fundamental problem with what Americans are experiencing is not just radioactive fallout but Fascism, the merging of the corporate and the state.
In a fascist state, there is little or no responsible action from the corporations for there is little or no promotion of accountability from the state. The corporations, for all intents and purposes, control the state.
And when the time has come that corporate profits outweigh human safety, has not also the time come, as Americans, to ask ourselves: do we, as a society, even value human life as we once did and if we do what IS the worth of a life?
Perhaps for once, it should NOT be determined in terms of a dollar amount.
Additional Reading: There are over a 1,000 pages of FOIA documents that are being analyzed post haste in an effort to reveal the truth about the Fukushima accident and what authorities did or did not do following the meltdowns to protect U.S. citizens.
The 186 page NRC transcript of conference calls: Lot’s of redacting but on page 153 (lines 24 and 25) and page 154 (lines 1-8) of the document Chairman Jaczco is told by Jack Grob that:
“They asked for monitoring, both land-based and air-based monitoring. The DOE Radiological Assistance Program teams are on the ground in Japan, and they’ll be providing that monitoring. We have already established a relationship with the Department of Energy, and will get that information in real time, and that will be a huge benefit.”
Talking Points Memo: NRC talking points as of March 17th, 2011 0600 EDT. Shows radiation plume was headed for the US.
395 pages of NRC Emails and more reveal the inner workings of the cover-up. Includes the emails quoted above.
Report on ‘An Unexpected Mortality Increase In The United States Follows Arrival Of The Radioactive Plume From Fukushima: Is There A Correlation? By Joseph J. Mangano and Janettte D. Sherman.