What Are Officials Hiding About Fukushima?

by Alex Roslin
The Georgia Straight
October 20, 2011
[Note: This story shared in a nomination for an investigative reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists in 2012.]

But when Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident took place last March, public officials in Japan and Canada alike jumped straight into Chernobyl-style damage-control mode, dismissing any worries about impacts.
Now evidence has emerged that the radiation in Canada was worse than Canadian officials ever let on.
A Health Canada monitoring station in Calgary detected radioactive material in rainwater that exceeded Canadian guidelines during the month of March, according to Health Canada data obtained by the Georgia Straight.
Canadian government officials didn’t disclose the high radiation readings to the public. Instead, they repeatedly insisted that fallout drifting to Canada was negligible and posed no health concerns.
In fact, the data shows rainwater in Calgary last March had an average of 8.18 becquerels per litre of radioactive iodine, easily exceeding the Canadian guideline of six becquerels per litre for drinking water.
“It’s above the recommended level [for drinking water],” Eric Pellerin, chief of Health Canada’s radiation-surveillance division, admitted in a phone interview from Ottawa. “At any time you sample it, it should not exceed the guideline.”

[Read the entire story here, and visit my investigative journalism blog here.]