Fukushima is not a Japanese nuclear accident…..

Fukushima is not a Japanese nuclear accident – it is a nuclear accident that happened to occur in Japan. The problems that caused the Fukushima accident exist wherever these type reactors operate.

There are many reactors of this type in operation today – probably 45 out of the 104 reactors in the United States.

2:40 AM EST on June 13th, 2014 – Enenews

Japan Official: Bottom of reactor vessel suspected to have “broken off” at Fukushima Unit 2 after the explosion, called “catastrophic development… very grave” — Top US Expert: It’s inconceivable how melted fuel could be extracted

05:25 PM EST on June 12th, 2014 – Enenews

 Japanese Nuclear Expert: Melted reactor cores not in one piece at Fukushima, as gov’t claims — I think nuclear fuel scattered everywhere, stuck to walls — Chernobyl-like sarcophagus may be needed — Nothing has been done, by time they deal with this I’ll be long dead

 

 

The novel “#Betrayal”, was written to bring attention to the terrible aftermath, years later, following a nuclear catastrophe. The hashtag is indicative of more than one type of betrayal. The following is the award winning first chapter. Hope you enjoy.

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#Betrayal

a nuclear fiction novel of survival

BookCoverPreview (4)

PROLOGUE

 

The white walls and the white linens surrounded her. The bareness of the room was overwhelming, not cozy and comforting. For the moment she was alone. Sara watched the clock click away and wondered if these were the last moments of her life. She wanted some more morphine but was afraid if she increased the dosage she wouldn’t wake up again. She fingered the pump. The pain hit her with an intense wave.

 

As the relaxing drug flooded her body she floated away. Help, she was too young for this! And she thought back…Sara thought back to her first baby who had been born after the devastating San Mirado nuclear catastrophe. When her child was delivered they had wrapped it in a towel and given it to her to hold. They thought she didn’t notice. But she did – she could feel it was too small and too thin. Ben’s baby – their son. Delivered in the presence of Dr. Bernard Parsons.

 

It had been the nuclear catastrophe that could never happen. Her then husband, Ben, had been the supervisor of the local nuclear power plant. He never failed to assure her how safe the nuclear plants were, they had thought of everything in the planning. They were fail safe. They had thought of everything except the earthquake that had frozen the control rods. The control rods that couldn’t be lowered into the core of the nuclear reactor to slow down the speed of the atoms splitting. The control rods which were necessary to keep the reactor from overheating. The reaction kept increasing in speed, releasing more and more heat as more and more atoms split, until a terrible explosion of pent up energy and overheated gases blew the place apart, causing a meltdown and a tremendous release of radiation.

 

People panicked and drove in the wrong directions, clogging the streets, trying to flee. They couldn’t believe their precious phones no longer worked, or the bank automated teller wouldn’t give them any money. The things they took for granted disappeared in an instant and they were not prepared.

 

And now years had passed. She was married to Dr. Bernard Parsons. And now they had Fukushima. The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe that everyone said could never happen. Just as it had been said the nuclear catastrophe could never happen in San Mirado. Would they never learn?

CHAPTER ONE

Dr. Bernard Parsons sat at his desk in his suite of medical offices adjacent to the hospital. His white lab jacket hung open over his open collared dress shirt and neatly pressed pants. He was a handsome man, but the past years involving the San Mirado nuclear disaster had aged him somewhat. He had already done his morning rounds for his patients. He had visited with Sara, his wife, in her private hospital suite, and made sure she was as comfortable as possible. Once again he had been reassuring to her. He was hoping for a miracle. The phone rang several times before Bernard could reach it. It was his direct line which bypassed his secretary and receptionist. “Hello, Bernard Parsons here,” he spoke into the telephone.

Bernard, how are you? Just calling to see what’s happening?” Sam Baxter said. Sam, of Baxter Investments, was a successful businessman in the real estate and investments market. He was the ‘go to’ person for getting ahead with your money. He had five sons from his first wife, who were in business with him. His second wife, Elise, had no children. But it was because he was insistent about her not having a child. And secretly, just to make sure he had his way, he had, as insurance, had a vasectomy. That served two functions. One, he could cheat without the fear of getting stuck with one more kid, blackmail, and/or a divorce. And two, Elise – who was incapable of taking care of anything – was prevented from having the child she constantly talked about wanting. She worried obsessively about who was going to take care of her when she was older.

You have over $50,000 cash in your investment account,” Sam said. “One of your bonds was called at par and you haven’t been spending as much lately, so you should put this to work. We have a good bond, in-house from a trust. The kids who are now in control want to cash everything out now since the father has died. They will sell it below market. The smell of money is driving them to get this done quickly. You can buy it for eighty cents on the dollar – 50,000 in the block.”

So who’s behind the bond? What’s it rated” asked Bernard.

Oh, you know I’m going to go through all the particulars with you. Just wanted to let you stop me dead in the water if you had other plans for the cash,” Sam responded. “It’s a bond for the Moorpark, Ca. school system, rated AA, and insured by Ambac. Moorpark’s a very upscale city, very healthy financially. Yield is 5% tax free.”

As long as it’s not Sacramento,” Bernard said. “Go ahead.” Then he paused slightly, not knowing whether he wanted to broach the subject or not. “How are the kids?”

With a sigh, Sam answered, “Doing well. I have to monitor their transactions and since there are five of them it takes a lot of my time. They’ve brought in a lot of business, got to give them that. But they just don’t believe that things can go wrong. And they resent my looking over their shoulder.”

We will have to have dinner one of these evenings when things settle down at my house,” Bernard said.

How is Sara doing?” Sam asked.

Realistically, not so well. But I’m always hopeful for a remission or a miracle. Listen, gotta run, my nurse has buzzed me several times…patients are waiting. Thanks for calling, Sam.” Bernard hung up the phone and pressed his nurse’s intercom button.

****

Fuji woke up hungry. The drab concrete block walls around him had no decoration and stared back at him silently. He blinked to clear out the sleep from his eyes. Other people were starting to move around, up from their cots. Soon the noise level would move to such high decibels people would gladly go outside to get away from it. But it was cold outside and almost as cold inside.

The government had been giving them rations since they had been evacuated from Fukushima, but they were hardly edible. First the authorities had said it was no problem for them to stay in the area. Then after two weeks they were told the area was very radioactive and there were mandatory orders to evacuate. He wondered how much radiation they had been exposed to.

Fuji thought about what he would do today. They needed a place to live. They had a home near Fukushima, Japan, but now they were no longer allowed to go there. They also needed clothes. Now he had no job. His wife and two children were alternately scared, hungry, bored, angry, and confused. They were sleeping on cots with hundreds of other families in a big warehouse. There were two bathrooms inside, outside were portable toilets, and one makeshift outside shower with only cold water.

Fuji…,” his wife said, “are you awake? I’m going to get the children up and go stand in the food line.”

Okay. I’m going to see if it is possible to shower.”

Have you heard anything? About what’s happening?” Shisa asked.

I’ll try and find out,” he replied. Slowly rising, he got off his cot in his rumpled, soiled clothes and began making his way to a door leading to the outside. A government agent would be there later he had heard. Possibly they would have some clothing to give out. It meant standing in line again for hours to take your turn. Some people had money or had relatives they could stay with. Fuji and his family were poor. They had no nearby relatives. They had no money. And now they had no possessions.

He stopped to piss on the way by closely hugging the wall and hoping no one would notice. At the shower there were only a few men as most people were in the food line. He took his place in line, hoping they wouldn’t run out of soap in the dispenser, or the paper towels, before his turn came. He hoped the sun would warm the cold air. Maybe he could get an extra shirt since there were no coats.

Did you hear anything?” he asked the man in front of him.

No one seems to know anything except we can’t go back now. The earthquake and tidal wave wiped out most of the area, the radiation from nuclear plants contaminated the rest.”

But we can go back?” Fuji said hopefully.

Who knows? There’s not a lot left there. Where did you work?”

I worked at the power plant”, Fuji said.

The nuclear plant? The one that blew up?”

Yes, the Fukushima nuclear plant.”

The other man shook his head and left Fuji standing there as he walked quickly away.

****

Bernard was sitting in his offices after the last patient had left and the employees had gone. There was not much of a push to get home since Sara was in the hospital located beside his medical offices. He would get dinner from the hospital cafeteria and take it up to eat with her. It couldn’t be any worse than what she was being served. Hospitals were famous for their bad food.

Bernard sat and looked over the latest offering from Sam’s company. His kids were pushing second loans on houses secured by real estate. Supposedly it could never go wrong with real estate constantly pushing upward in price. He thought back to the last catastrophe, when the nuclear plant in San Mirado, California, had blown up. Real estate values went to nothing in the area after all the radiation contamination. Didn’t make any difference whether you held the first loan or the second – you were out of luck. The lenders lost their money, the homeowners lost their houses. Insurance didn’t cover radiation disasters.

But, as the kids pointed out, these weren’t in Southern California, but in the suburbs outside San Francisco. He and Sara had moved there after getting married to start a new life together. And the government obviously believed nuclear was clean, safe energy or they would have closed the plants down. Just because there had been an accident in Fukushima didn’t affect the values here.

Bernard pondered whether he believed all this. He and Sara had been in the middle of the last disaster.

Bernard thought about the fact the United States was recognized as a world leader, a world power, perhaps the strongest of all the nations with the most modern technologies. Yet, as a doctor he contemplated why the United States didn’t lead the world in having the lowest mortality rate among infants. And it wasn’t even a close race. With approximately 188 countries reporting, the US was only number 34. And a lot of the countries ahead of the US had no nuclear power.

In fact it had been theorized that the health of the United States population had been compromised by all the above ground nuclear testing starting in the 1940’s, then the underground tests which followed, and the massive leaks of radioactive material. Australia, with no nuclear industry, was ranked 18 in the report.

Interestingly, the Japanese, who had been subjected to two massive nuclear bombs and had 55 operating nuclear plants in a small country, was number 3 in lowest mortality rating. It would be revealing to see what happened to their rating over the next ten to twenty years after their massive Fukushima nuclear accident. But the documentation showed the United States, in those years of testing nuclear bombs in the atmosphere and oceans, had detonated over one hundred million times the bombs which had been dropped on Japan. The US was first in the production of radioactive pollution.

****

Bernard opened the hospital room door softly, to see if Sara was awake. He hoped she was, but if she were sleeping he would return later. Her eyes were closed. Even with no makeup she was still beautiful, her features perfect. She had naturally blond hair and big dark eyes. The lashes were heavily fringed and surrounded those eyes, giving her a dramatic look. Slowly they opened and a smile came to her face. She lifted her arms to him, to touch him. He bent over and kissed her cheek.

I have good news, Sara,” he said quietly.

And what is that?” she asked still smiling.

Well, you have improved in how you are feeling, so we must assume the chemo and radiation have done some good. The tumor hasn’t grown. You could very well be in remission at the moment. But the tumor is inoperable and is still there in your brain. There is a new experimental procedure available. A doctor with your same tumor tried it. He figured it was his only chance to survive. His tumor began to shrink. Duke University has begun a larger study with good results for these glioblastomas.

Is it painful?” she asked.

No, not really. It requires an injection into the tumor, but it’s done with anesthesia. You would have some soreness in the scalp area after, but that’s about it.”

What is being injected?”

Polio virus. They have shown in mice the injection of the live virus into tumors shrinks them. First we would get your polio vaccination updated so you didn’t get polio. Then we would do an injection of the live virus into the tumor in your brain. Hopefully it will work for you as well as it has for this doctor.”

What kind of doctor is he?”

Interestingly enough he is a cardiac surgeon. When he got this brain tumor and was diagnosed with only six months to live he started doing research. This guy wasn’t a smoker; he only drank minimally and kept his health an important part of his life. So why did he get this tumor? He found a medical paper published wherein twenty-two doctors had all gotten this same type tumor in the same side of the head and the same placement. They were all doctors who had radiological studies going on while they were doing surgery.”

That’s rather scary, Bernard, you being a surgeon.”

Does make you think. But anyway, he then found the study with the polio virus injection and decided to make a try. For him, it seems to be working.”

Well, can I have a little break from the hospital before we try something else?”

Why not. I’ll ask your doctor to make a final determination and sign you out. I will discuss this with him and perhaps you can even leave today.”

Sara’s eyes lit up and then tears formed in them. She squeezed Bernard’s hand tightly. “I can’t wait to get out of here.”

****

Sara stared out at the view from the back deck of their home. They lived high in the hills north of San Francisco. She had missed looking out at the bay, the boats coming and going, the sunrises and sunsets. Bernard was close enough to his hospital so commuting wasn’t a problem. And there was no nuclear plant close to them. That had been a factor in their choice of where to live.

She also missed the activities she had shared with her friends. When she became ill, first with the headaches, then nausea, finally vomiting, Bernard had insisted she have a MRI. It had shown the tumor, an aggressive malignant type, located in her brain in an inoperable location. It was hard to talk with her friends about this.

They had called and she had simply chosen not to discuss it. “Let’s not dwell on this,” she said. If Bernard wanted to tell them he could. But their questions were depressing, and certainly she had no answer to the one which was repeated over and over – what are you going to do? Even though the doctors said radiation and chemotherapy had little effect on these tumors she and Bernard decided they would start with that route. Since his offices were at the hospital, it was easier to check in for a stay there while she received treatment. They had no children and had decided they didn’t want to take a chance on bringing a damaged child into the world after their radiation exposure from the San Mirado nuclear catastrophe which had occurred while they were living in Southern California. She thought about all those young Japanese women now heavily exposed to the radiation released when the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted down in 2011…and sighed heavily, thinking back on her own experiences.

But if she were going to continue her life, she had to rise above these thoughts and move on to what she enjoyed. She picked up her tablet and began to type an email to her friends. “I’m out of jail! I’m coming down to visit next week. Call me if you can go out to play. Sara”

This is the end of the first chapter. Thereafter:

The United Nations decrees that an independent team will be sent to Japan to evaluate this situation that threatens to contaminate the world. Bryce Anderson’s company in southern California is selected.. He finds that he is not welcomed with open arms by the country of Japan. In fact someone seems to be trying to kill him.

Bryce hires a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, John Taguchi to gather stories from nuclear refugees. Fuji, a former nuclear power plant worker, and Mr. Nouchi, a farmer and their families are displaced from their homes and work by this accident. The Japanese Mafia, known as the Yakuza, have invested money in these now ruined nuclear plants. They are making threats and demands. Mr. Tanaka, Japanese Minister of Public Affairs is pulled in many directions as he tries to satisfy everyone. Their lives all intertwine in this tale of betrayal. Lies, murder, greed, and power. Whom would you trust?  

                                                         Amazon site for paperback edition

Amazon site for EBook edition

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                       My thanks to Michelle McKeeth for her editing expertise.  Michelle may be

                                                              contacted at:  mmckeeth1@hotmail.com

 

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About Barbara Billig

Hi! I am Barbara Griffin Billig and I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis at age nineteen with a degree in biology and chemistry. After teaching for several years in St. Louis, Southern California seemed to be calling. There I started and worked at a variety of businesses including pet shops, restaurants, and a real estate brokerage firm. Deciding to take a sabbatical from the business world for several years I wrote, in conjunction with another teacher, Bett Pohnka, “The Nuclear Catastrophe”. This fiction novel portrayed what ultimately came to pass with 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Japan Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown. A new updated edition of this is available as an EBook for the kindle. An updated paperback version entitled“THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe” is now also available. In 2014 the sequel was published: "#Betrayal, a nuclear fiction novel of survival"
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