- AUDIO About San Onofre Nuclear plant. Nuclear Regulatory Commission – NRC: Lapdog or Watchdog? http://www.fairewinds.org/content/nrc-lapdog-or-watchdog
- and this Japan’s nuclear safety record criticised by regulator http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/connect-asia/japans-nuclear-safety-record-criticised-by-regulator/1132464
VIDEO: Japan to open nuclear plant http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3761126.ht
Women and nuclear radiation – Mary Olson speaks
Mary Olson, from Nuclear Information and Resource Service, spoke at the New York symposium on Fukushima’s effects, March 2013.
Here are some highlights:
Mary Olson discussed the findings of the latest National Academy of Sciences Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation ( BEIR VII) , illustrated by this graph:
This lifespan graph shows increased cancer risk by exposure to a given amount of radiation, The pink line shows the risk for girls, the blue line for boys. Look at left hand part of the graph. It covers from zero to 5 years, and includes pre birth. We see a striking difference between the blue line and the pink line. The nuclear regulators assume that the risk shown here at age 40 – in the blue line- is the same for every individual regardless of age or gender. Yet, even at ages 40 – 60 the cancer risk from radiation is significantly more for women, than for men.
The cancer danger from ionising radiation depends on the type of radiation, the amount, and the duration of the exposure. But it also depends on who is exposed. Radiation exposure endangers some individuals more than others. In order, the most vulnerable are:
Primary germ cells/ Embryo
Females – both juvenile and adult
All of the world’s scientific authorities agree that there is no safe dose of radiation. That includes the WHO, EPA, NRC, and national Academy of Science.
The standards for permissable levels of ionising radiation were originally written to cover doctors using radiation, then were intended for the purpose of sending military into radiological areas. Yet these standads, based on a 30 year old man, are applied to everyone.
Over 100 years, man’s activities have increased the background radiation by 25%
The ratio of cancer risks from radiation for males and females is 3 to 2. That is for every 2 males who get cancer from ionising radiation, there are 3 females. In reports from BEIR and the Lifespan study of Hiroshima survivors only external radiation is considered, not internal radiation. The risk for females is being underestimated in reports and in regulations about radiation
The World Health Organisation is the first big agency to acknowledge this difference in radiation risk between males and females, in its latest report. WHO is also saying that there is 70% higher risk of thyroid cancer for little girls exposed to radiation.
Studies are continuing, and animal studies, too, are showing this gender difference. We must move towards prevention and precaution as the basis of policy. Sadly, it is too late for a lot of prevention. We need to cahnge the priorities – to protect first, study second
And we need to get a whole lot more women motivated to get involved.
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