The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Afraid about radiation, but afraid to speak out: Fukushima mothers

chld-Japan-medicalReluctant to speak, Fukushima moms admit fear of radiation, pressure from families, Japan Times, BY , 29 Sept 15 STAFF WRITER To stay or to flee. Mothers in Fukushima Prefecture had to make harsh decisions for their families after the nuclear disaster of March 2011. More than four years on, they still have to.

Those who remain there live in constant fear for their children’s health. But choosing to flee opened them to accusations of being bad wives who abandoned their relatives, community and husbands tied to jobs.

It is a no-win situation for those who face the decision to stay or go, because they may be unable to live up to the ideal of a ryosai kenbo (good wife, wise mother).

“Consciously or subconsciously, women are aware of the role we are expected to play in a family. After the earthquake and nuclear disaster, however, everything changed,” said Yukiko (not her real name), a mother and voluntary evacuee in her 30s. “I can’t live up to those expectations any more, and society judges me.”

All women interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity.

As the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant began to play out, Tokyo Electric Power Co. established a 20-km no-go zone around the site, outside of which the government said conditions were safe. Many did not believe the assertion.

Yuriko, a woman in her 70s who lives in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, believes the zone restrictions divided the community.

“Some people trusted the government’s word and continued to live here, but others couldn’t stand living every day in fear and moved out,” Yuriko said. “Nobody knew what to believe and communities have fallen apart.”

The fear of radiation, rumors and media reports about the safety of local food prompted many mothers just outside the no-go zone to evacuate voluntarily for the sake of their children’s health. Some moved to neighboring prefectures, including Iwate and Miyagi, and others made the great leap south to Tokyo.

“To be honest, I didn’t have much knowledge about the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. But I did know how deadly high exposures of radiation could be,” said Yuko, in her 30s, who has a 6-year-old daughter. “I evacuated to Tokyo within a week of the disaster. My husband stayed in Fukushima, but I was determined to leave to prioritize the safety of my daughter.”

In many cases, voluntary evacuees like Yuko are mothers who fled with their children while their husbands remained in Fukushima to work…………..

September 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Mururoa Nuclear Radiation Report Scheduled for October

Mururoa-test-1971Mururoa Nuclear Radiation Report Scheduled for October
30 September 2015,

An independent report into likely exposure and risk from radiation during the New Zealand government’s 1973 two-frigate protest against French nuclear testing at Mururoa is expected to be released to MNVG Inc in October. 42 years after the event.

The report was commissioned by Veterans Affairs New Zealand (VANZ) in August and is being carried out by Crown research agency Environmental Science and Research Ltd, .it is addressing three issues:• the external dose rate to veterans from nuclear testing; • the internal (perhaps also external) dose rate from seawater used in ships; • hereditary effect on offspring.

Described as “a scientific report written with consideration of a non-specialist/technical audience”, the report is the result of sustained efforts over the last two years by the Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group Inc (MNVG Inc) MNVG Inc President, Wayne O’Donnell, says the group – formed in 2013 and registered as a legal society – has been monitoring the health of the veterans, their children and grandchildren, and is establishing a trust fund to enable the medical testing of the veterans’ children and grandchildren, and to help those in need.

He says the report stems from the MNVG Inc’s meetings with Veterans Affairs Minister Craig Foss and VANZ in May. Following that meeting, Foss directed VANZ to commission an independent examination of the issues.

O’Donnell says Foss and Head of Veterans Affairs New Zealand, Jackie Couchman – both relatively new to their positions – have proved far more receptive and open to looking at the issues than their predecessors.

He says the group hopes the results of this work “will establish the truth of the genetic transfer of illnesses related to the nuclear exposure encountered by the crews”.

“We wanted to get it recognised as an issue, and ideally, to get help from the Government in funding research and establishing a Health Trust Fund.”

New Zealand’s protest in 1973 attracted international attention and helped force the French to switch to underground testing.

Around 500 crew, observers (including a government minister, Fraser Colman) and news media sailed aboard HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago to witness two atmospheric nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll. HMAS Supply, with a crew of 200 plus, was also deployed into the radiated waters by the Royal Australian Navy to replenish the frigates with Fuel and Food during the deployment. To date these Australian Sailors have not been recognised or offered Health Assistance in relation to their deployment by the Australian Government.

A number of Mururoa veterans – and some of their children – have died at an early age.

MNVG Inc says there has also been a significant number of miscarriages, stillborn children, and children born with deformities or health problems.

The group has been searching for veterans and their descendants to contribute to the research. However, the search has been complicated by the lack of complete data on who was on board the frigates. While MNVG Inc have a full list for Canterbury, no such list can be found within NZDEF Records or archives for Otago.

Contact has been lost with some of the widows and children of those who have died, says O’Donnell. “We need to make contact with these people so that they can be informed of any findings, be part of the testing but most of all receive the duty of care they are entitled to. We also need to record any medical issues suffered by the generational children of the nuclear veterans. Not just now but in future generations.”

At the end of June 2015, 93 veterans who served at Mururoa were receiving a War Disablement Pension under the Veterans’ Support Act. A list of “conclusively presumed conditions” supports veterans of Pacific testing. A veteran diagnosed with a disability on the list is entitled to free medical treatment.

“This number of 93 is minimal, why ?, simply because many Veterans do not know what they are entitled to and there has been no proactive action taken to locate and inform them in the past. Some of our shipmates are simply living with their health issues and eventually dying, totally unaware of the Duty of Care they are entitled to”, Says O’Donnell.

Until now the New Zealand government has taken the position that the available evidence indicated Mururoa veterans were not exposed to harmful doses of ionising radiation in the frigates, neither of which came within 20 nautical miles – the minimum safe distance – of a detonation. However they did sail thru the contaminated cloud and fallout on more than one occasion and drew contaminated water into the ships.

O’Donnell, who was a navy marine engineer and diver, says it is not just a matter of direct exposure to radiation. He says seawater was collected and desalinated to provide drinking water, and food was stored in lockers on the upper deck in direct exposure to any and all fallout and salt water contamination..

“This water had been radiated for years and years. The testing of samples showed that it had high levels. We were ingesting it”.

He says the concern should be whether radiation was involved, not how much: “Any radiation is too much.”

Mururoa Nuclear veterans and families have been waiting 42 years and look forward to the report and further communications with both the Government and VANZ.

September 30, 2015 Posted by | health, New Zealand | Leave a comment

Don’t fall for nuclear industry propaganda about radiation “hormesis” !

highly-recommendedCancer, Coverups and Contamination: The Real Cost of Nuclear Energ27th September 2015 Andreas Toupadakis Ph.D Contributing Writer for Wake Up World   “…….many nuclear industry advocates actually maintain that low-dose nuclear radiation is in fact beneficial to human health. Their theory, known as the “Hormesis Effect”, is deliberate industry propaganda. The human body perceives radiation as a threat to its existence, which results in an intense immune response. The short term result of this immune activity can be a short-term improvement of other existing ailments, however the immune system cannot work permanently in such a state of stress, and as environmental exposure continues, human health inevitably deteriorates. This is also the conclusion of the ECRR which concludes that…

Hormesis“… hormesis may exist, but if it does exist its long-term effects are likely to be harmful… [When exposed to radiation] immune system surveillance is being potentiated in the short term … [however] the existence of radiation-inducible repair means that the repair systems themselves may be open to attack, also by radiation… If cells were induced into a state of high sensitivity for repair replication, then the cell line would undergo a greater rate of replication throughout the period of stress, and… the consequence of the short-term advantage conferred by hormesis is… accumulated DNA damage caused by high numbers of replication-copying processes.”

Over fifty years ago, questions on radiation and toxicity hazards were raised by at least three groups – the the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP), and the Federal Radiation Council (FRC). Continue reading

September 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

What Are The Public Health and Environmental Impacts of Radiation Exposure?

highly-recommendedCancer, Coverups and Contamination: The Real Cost of Nuclear Energ27th September 2015 Andreas Toupadakis Ph.D Contributing Writer for Wake Up World 

“………Another important factor in the equation of the cost of nuclear power is public health. This factor is downplayed if BREAST-CANCERnot completely ignored in most cost analyses so, while the corporations continue to benefit, the risks of nuclear power generation are passed onto the unaware public. However, informed citizens know that cancer is devastating their families and ask why. Let’s look at some facts about breast cancer, among so many other kinds.

Breast cancer kills 46,000 women in the U.S. alone, each year. It is well known that cancer rates depend on the degree of exposure to carcinogens. But what are the carcinogens that cause cancer?

Physician, author and activist Dr. Janette D. Sherman MD is a practicing physician who specializes in internal medicine and toxicology with an emphasis on chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause illnesses, including cancer and birth defects. In her fully-documented book “Life’s Delicate Balance: The Causes and Prevntion of Breast Cancer” (New York and London: Taylor and Francis, 2000), Dr. Sherman explains an established cause of breast and other cancers: ionizing radiation from x-rays and from nuclear power plant emissions and the radioactive fallout from atomic bomb tests. Dr. Sherman also asks a simple question, which medical and nuclear insiders are otherwise unable to answer;

“How [else] can one explain the doubling, since 1940, of a woman’s likelihood of developing breast cancer, and also increasing in tandem with prostate and childhood cancers?”

How is it known that ionizing radiation in our environment – that is, in air, water, soil and food – plays an important role in causing breast cancer? Because when women from their non-industrial homelands move to nuclear and industrial countries, their breast cancer rate inevitably goes up. In 1984, a study of Mormon families in Utah downwind from the nuclear tests in Nevada reported elevated numbers of breast cancers. Girls who survived the bombing of Hiroshima are also now dying in excessive numbers from breast cancer. There are also a number of ecological studies showing that women living near nuclear power plants suffer from elevated rates of breast cancers.

It is not a secret that all nuclear power plants leak radioactivity routinely into local air and water, and that any exposure to ionizing radiation increases a woman’s danger of breast cancer. Clearly there is an epidemic of cancer that is sweeping the western world, and the only way to prevent the nuclear industry from further contributing to this problem is to end nuclear power permanently. This is also the conclusion of the ECRR 2010 recommendations report

“The Committee concludes that the present cancer epidemic is a consequence of exposures to global atmospheric weapons fallout in the period 1959-63 and that more recent releases of radioisotopes to the environment from the operation of the nuclear fuel cycle will result in significant increases in cancer and other types of ill health.”

But is breast cancer from nuclear power plants the only cost of nuclear power to public health? How about dozens of other illnesses? Studies have clearly linked radiation exposure to increased rates of childhood cancers, thyroid damage, skin complaints, endocrine disruption, pregnancy issues (such as miscarriage) and emotional trauma, which itself negatively impacts the body.

“In 2007, the latest of a long series of childhood leukemia studies was published: this one from the German Childhood Cancer Registry, showing a statistically significant effect on child cancer in those living within 5km of nuclear plants (KiKK 2007). The size of this study, and the affiliation of the authors, made it impossible to conclude that this was anything but proof of a causal relationship between childhood cancer and nuclear plant exposures to radioactive releases…

“The Committee has examined the considerable weight of evidence relating to the existence of childhood cancer clusters near nuclear sites, including evidence from aggregations of nuclear sites in the UK and Germany and has concluded that it is exposure to internal radiation from discharges from the sites which is the cause of the illness.”………

September 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, radiation, Reference, women | Leave a comment

Radium isotopes in coal ash – from its thorium and uranium content

Radioactive Contaminants Found in Coal Ash, September 2, 2015
  • Avner Vengosh
  • Heileen Hsu-Kim
  • Nancy Lauer DURHAM, N.C. — A new Duke University-led study has revealed the presence of radioactive contaminants in coal ash from all three major U.S. coal-producing basins.The study found that levels of radioactivity in the ash were up to five times higher than in normal soil, and up to 10 times higher than in the parent coal itself because of the way combustion concentrates radioactivity.

    The finding raises concerns about the environmental and human health risks posed by coal ash, which is currently text thoriumunregulated and is stored in coal-fired power plants’ holding ponds and landfills nationwide.

    “Until now, metals and contaminants such as selenium and arsenic have been the major known contaminants of concern in coal ash,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “This study raises the possibility we should also be looking for radioactive elements, such as radium isotopes and lead-210, and including them in our monitoring efforts.”

  • Radium isotopes and lead-210 occur naturally in coal as chemical by-products of its uranium and thorium content. Continue reading

September 28, 2015 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, thorium | Leave a comment

Research shows that there is no safe low level of ionising rdaiation

The study effectively “scuppers the popular idea that there might be a threshold dose below which radiation is harmless.”

Even so, the significant issue regarding radiation exposure for humans is that it is a “silent destroyer” that takes years and only manifests once damage has occurred

radiation-warningRadiation Impact Studies: Chernobyl and Fukushima, Dissident Voice,  by Robert Hunziker / September 23rd, 2015   Some nuclear advocates suggest that wildlife thrives in the highly-radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, animals like it, and not only that, a little radiation for anybody and everybody is harmless and maybe good, not bad. This may seem like a senseless argument to tackle were it not for the persistence of positive-plus commentary by nuke lovers. The public domain deserves better, more studied, more crucial answers.

Fortunately, as well as unfortunately, the world has two major real life archetypes of radiation’s impact on the ecosystem: Chernobyl and Fukushima.  Chernobyl is a sealed-off 30klm restricted zone for the past 30 years because of high radiation levels, whereas PM Abe’s government in Japan has already started returning people to formerly restricted zones surrounding the ongoing Fukushima nuclear melt-down.

The short answer to the supposition that a “little dab of radiation is A-Okay” may be suggested in the title of a Washington Blog d/d March 12, 2014 in an interview of Dr. Timothy Mousseau, the world-renowned expert on radiation effects on living organisms. The hard answer is included further on in this article.

Dr. Mousseau is former Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Population Biology, Panelist for the National Academy of Sciences’ Panels on Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities and GAO Panel on Health and Environmental Effects from Tritium Leaks at Nuclear Power Plants, and a biology professor – and former Dean of the Graduate School, and Chair of the Graduate Program in Ecology – at the University of South Carolina.

The title of the Washington Blog interview is:

“Chernobyl and Fukushima Studies Show that Radiation Reduces Animal and Plant Numbers, Fertility, Brain Size and Diversity… and Increases Deformities and Abnormalities”

Dr. Mousseau made many trips to Chernobyl and Fukushima, making 896 inventories at Chernobyl and 1,100 biotic inventories in Fukushima. His mission was to test the effects of radiation on plants and animals. The title of his interview (above) handily serves to answer the question of whether radiation is positive for animals and plants. Without itemizing reams and reams of study data, the short answer is: Absolutely not! It is not positive for animals and plants, period.

Moreover, low doses of radiation, aka “radiation hormesis”, is not good for humans, as advocated by certain energy-related outlets. Data supporting their theory is extremely shaky and more to the point, flaky.

Furthermore, according to the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journalBiological Reviews, including reported results by wide-ranging analyses of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over 40 years, low-level natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA and several measures of good health.

Dr. Mousseau, with co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud, examined more that 5,000 papers involving background radiation in order to narrow their findings to 46 peer-reviewed studies. These studies examined plants and animals with a large preponderance of human subjects.

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.

There is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation.

With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there’s an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it’s only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level…. But they’re assuming the natural background levels are fine. And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants.

Results of Major Landmark Study on Low Dose Radiation (July 2015)

A consortium of researchers coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, examined causes of death in a study of more than 300,000 nuclear-industry workers in France, the United States and the United Kingdom, all of whom wore dosimeter badges.1

The workers received on average just 1.1 millisieverts (mSv) per year above background radiation, which itself is about 2–3 mSv per year from sources such as cosmic rays and radon. The study confirmed that the risk of leukemia does rise proportionately with higher doses, but also showed that this linear relationship is present at extremely low levels of radiation.

The study effectively “scuppers the popular idea that there might be a threshold dose below which radiation is harmless.”

Even so, the significant issue regarding radiation exposure for humans is that it is a “silent destroyer” that takes years and only manifests once damage has occurred…….


September 26, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Anti-radiation pills coming in the mail to residents near Pickering nuclear plant

potassium-iodate-pillsResidents near Pickering nuclear plant to receive anti-radiation pills by mail TV Toronto , September 22, 2015 Residents living near the nuclear power plant in Pickering, Ont., will soon start receiving anti-radiation pills in the mail to protect them in the event of a radiation leak at the facility.

Starting in October, anyone living within a 10-kilometre radius of the Pickering Nuclear Plant will receive a pack of potassium iodide (KI) pills that help prevent thyroid cancer caused by exposure to radioactivity.

“It fills up your thyroid with iodine and therefore, if you ever get exposed to radioactive iodine, it can’t get into your thyroid and it prevents thyroid cancer,” said Ken Gorman, Durham region’s director of environmental health. More than 200,000 homes and businesses near the plant will receive kits containing the pills and a brochure explaining how to administer the treatment. Each package contains enough pills for one family.

Until now, potassium iodide pills have been available at local pharmacies to anyone who wanted to stock up. But in October 2014, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission ordered that the pill be distributed to all Canadians living or working within 10 kilometres of a nuclear facility.

In the event of a leak at a nuclear plant, residents are asked to evacuate the area as quickly as possible. If this isn’t possible, the provincial emergency authority recommends that people stay indoors and wait for instruction from authorities. With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney

September 23, 2015 Posted by | health, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Clusters of Cancer – the shameful nuclear secret of Santa Susana Field Lab’s “Area Four,”

cancer_cellsFlag-USALA’s Nuclear Secret: Part 1  Tucked away in the hills above the San Fernando and Simi valleys was a 2,800-acre laboratory with a mission that was a mystery to the thousands of people who lived in its shadow 4 Southern California  By Joel Grover and Matthew Glasser, 22 Sep 15

“………..Researchers inside and out of government have contended that the radiation and toxic chemicals from Santa Susana might have caused many cancer cases. “The radiation that was released in 1959 and thereafter from Santa Susana is still a danger today,” Dr.Dodge said. “There is absolutely a link between radiation and cancer.”

The I-Team tracked down dozens of people diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses who grew up in the shadow of Santa Susana — in Canoga Park, West Hills, Chatsworth, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley. Many of them believeh their cancers were caused by radiation and chemicals from the field lab.

Kathryn Seltzer Carlson, 56, and her sisters, Judy and Jennifer, all grew up in Canoga Park around the time of the nuclear meltdown and for years after, and all have battled cancer. “I played in the water, I swam in the water, I drank the water” that ran off the Santa Susana Field Lab, said Carlson, who finished treatment for ovarian cancer earlier this year and is now undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. “I’ve had, I don’t know how many cancers.”

Bonnie Klea, a former Santa Susana employee who has lived in West Hills since the 60s, also battled bladder cancer, which is frequently linked to radiation exposure. “Every single house on my street had cancer,” Klea said. A 2007 Centers for Disease Control study found that people living within two miles of the Santa Susana site had a 60 percent higher rate of some cancers.

“There’s some provocative evidence,” said Dr. Hal Morgenstern, an epidemiologist who oversaw the study. “It’s like circumstantial evidence, suggesting there’s a link” between the contamination from Santa Susana and the higher cancer rates.

Silence From the Government

For more than two months, the I-Team asked to speak with someone from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the federal agency that’s responsible for all nuclear testing, to ask why workers were ordered to release dangerous radiation over Los Angeles, why the DOE has never publicly admitted this happened, and what it plans to do to help get the site cleaned up.

The DOE emailed the I-Team, “We will not have anyone available for this segment.”

So the I-Team showed up at a public meeting this month about Santa Susana and asked the DOE’s project manager for the site, Jon Jones, to speak with us. He walked away and wouldn’t speak.

Will the Contamination Ever Be Cleaned Up?

Community residents, many stricken with cancer and other radiation-related illnesses, have been fighting for years to get the government and the private owners of the Santa Susana Field Lab to clean up the contamination that remains on the site.

But efforts in the state legislature and state agencies that oversee toxic sites have, so far, stalled. But residents, with the support of some lawmakers, continue to fight for a full cleanup. “People are continuing to breathe that (radiation) in and to die,” Chatsworth resident Arline Mathews said.”See that this is done immediately, before more lives are lost.”

September 23, 2015 Posted by | health, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Radiation risks to interventional cardiologists

text ionisingInterventionalists Receive 4.7 Times the Radiation Exposure to Left Side of Head Than Right Side During Invasive Cardiovascular Procedures Published study reveals exposure at 16 times the ambient radiation level WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The results of a research study indicate that interventional cardiologists receive “very high” radiation exposure levels to the left side of the head specifically when performing fluoroscopically guided invasive cardiovascular (CV) procedures. Even with modern imaging equipment and shielding, a significant exposure difference was seen between the two sides of the head. The study was published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, FACC, FSCAI, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Medicine and director, Interventional Cardiology at UC San Diego, authored the study.

According to the study, interventionalists received 16 times the ambient radiation level to the left side of the head during an invasive CV procedure. Also, radiation exposure on the left side of the head was 4.7 times higher than exposure on the right side of the head. Interventional cardiologists typically stand anteriorly to the patient, with the left side of their body closest to the patient’s chest and most proximate to the radiation source.

“The implications of this study are significant when considering the subsequent impact ongoing exposure to even low levels of radiation can have on the health of the practitioner over the course of their career,” said Dr. Mahmud………..

September 23, 2015 Posted by | health, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Pacific Ocean radioactive isotopes from Atomic Testing compared with from Fukushima nuclear disaster

Fukushima inputs are much smaller in magnitude and despite ongoing release unlikely to exceed weapons fallout. 
The weakness of this approach is that there are other pressures (ocean acidification, warming, oxygen depletion) on the marine environment that one could qualitatively say might make the ecosystem more vulnerable to these very small increases in radiation.
Pacific-Ocean-drainHistory of Bomb Strontium and Cesium Isotopes in Pacific Compared to Fukushima Sources (EXCELLENT GRAPHS) by MarineChemist

The purpose of this diary is to compare the concentrations of Sr-90 and Cs-137 in the North Pacific Ocean over the last 50 years to the concentrations predicted to arrive on the west coast associated with waters affected by release of radionculides from the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Given present levels that are being measured in the eastern Pacific and barring release rates that significantly exceed past rates in March-April 2011 the impact on marine organisms and the marine environment is going to be very minimal.  What follows below the fold is a comparison of the concentrations measured and predicted over much of the Pacific owing to Fukushima to the concentrations that were present in the mid-1960s from the fallout of atmospheric weapons testing that is free from any discussion of safe doses or models of radiation exposure to organisms. Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | oceans, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

How world health will benefit from Iran nuclear deal

Communicationflag-IranIran nuclear deal will bolster global health Boston Globe, By Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh and Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad   SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 National security and regional stability have dominated the political debate over the Iran nuclear accord in recent weeks. Less discussed, however, are the far-reaching, positive implications for public health that will come when sanctions are lifted, as the deal calls for, and Iran’s medical system can begin to cooperate with the West again.

Sanctions for several years have severely restricted access to life-saving medicines for patients in Iran, leading to serious health consequences. Although the US government introduced loopholes to bypass these sanctions for medical purposes, the loopholes have not worked properly and lives have consequently been lost. With the nuclear agreement in place, thousands of Iranians will once again receive treatments for diseases like cancer and hemophilia.

Yet the calming of political tensions will have broader impact than just inside Iran. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been at the forefront of advancing primary medical care for rural populations through a system of robust health networks, which comprises more than 17,000 rural health facilities and a health center for every 7,000 rural residents. This network’s success even drew the interest of public health experts in Mississippi, who collaborated a few years ago with colleagues at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran to reduce health care disparities between rural and urban parts of the state.

Iran has also launched advanced intervention programs for drug users and is home to two out of three HIV surveillance and treatment knowledge hubs for the Eastern Mediterranean region office of the World Health Organization. These hubs are in charge of knowledge transfer to other countries in the region.

Iran’s vast potential to enhance global health is significantly underutilized right now. For example, since 2013, we have trained local ophthalmologists in Tajikistan to treat the main causes of avoidable blindness through a US-based nongovernmental organization. When we sought ophthalmologists who could provide training in Tajikistan, it was only natural to consider enlisting the expertise of Iranian colleagues. Iran, a neighbor of Tajikistan, is home to several reputable training sites sponsored by the International Congress of Ophthalmology. Iranian physicians speak the language and know the culture of Tajikistan and other countries in the region. They are also less expensive to hire than their American counterparts. But current restrictions make even these small-scale collaborations virtually impossible, despite their clear humanitarian purpose……..

proposed health partnerships transcend political ideologies and improve lives from villages in Tajikistan to small towns in Mississippi. But their success depends on the durability of this nuclear agreement. Iran and America do not see eye-to-eye on many political issues, and the current accord will not change that. But support for this agreement can pave the way toward a shared global responsibility to make the world a healthier place.

Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh is a visiting scholar at UCSF School of Medicine’s Institute for Health Policy Studies. Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad is an assistant professor in the same program., Boston Globe 

September 16, 2015 Posted by | health, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Even when it’s cold, UV radiation is a risk

UV-radiationThe damages of UV radiation are a daily risk even when you can’t feel the heat of the sun, News Local, Sydney September 12, 2015  IT seems logical to assume that the red hot sunburn we get comes from standing under the hot sun we feel, but it is not quite correct.. Sun damage is a reality that Australians face every day of the year, regardless of how hot the temperature is or how cloudy the sky…….

 associate Professor Pablo Fernández-Peñas, who sees the detrimental effects of too much sun exposure.

“We can’t feel UV light and the heat sensation is not related to the amount of UV light,” he said.

“In winter, as days are cooler, people tend to stay longer outdoors.” A 2014 Australian study, ­“The influence of age and gender in knowledge, behaviours and attitudes towards sun protection”, found the use of sunscreen dropped to between 24 and 49 per cent outside summer.

“When you are just walking from your house to the car or dropping the kids to school, that sun exposure accumulates in the future,” Prof Fernández-Peñas said.

“Australia has the highest mortality of skin cancer in the world.”……..HEALTH EFFECTS OF UV RADIATION

■ Sunburn: can cause permanent and irreversible skin damage that can lay the groundwork for skin cancer

■ Eye damage: photoconjunctivitis, also known as snow blindness or welders flash, and skin cancer of the conjunctiva and skin surrounding the eye

■ Premature ageing: such as skin wrinkling, sagging, blotchiness and roughness …….

September 16, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Outrageous decision of USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to cancel research on cancer-nuclear links

NRC-DraculaVital cancer study canceled: NRC will hide the truth about nuclear reactor risks Beyond Nuclear today decried the outrageous decision by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to cancel a study that would have examined cancer incidence and mortalities and the connection to U.S. nuclear facilities.

“Study after study in Europe has shown a clear rise in childhood leukemia around operating nuclear power facilities, yet the NRC has decided to hide this vital information from the American public,” said Cindy Folkers, radiation and health specialist at Beyond Nuclear.

The study, initiated in 2009 and carried out under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), had completed Phase 1 and was looking at seven pilot nuclear sites around the country, a project that was estimated to cost $8 million.

“An $8 million price tag for the next phase of this study is a drop in the bucket for an agency with a $1 billion annual operating budget,” added Folkers.  The NRC identified  the “significant amount of time and resources needed and the agency’s current budget constraints” as its excuse for terminating the study.

Folkers noted that, in reality, nuclear industry manipulation, rather than budget constraints, could be behind the NRC’s sudden decision to abandon the NAS study.

In documents obtained by Beyond Nuclear it was revealed that NRC staff had been approached by the president of U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), John Boice, offering a cheaper, faster and less sensitive study design to replace the NAS study, although the NRC has not yet agreed to accept the NCRP bid.

Read the full press release and feel free to circulate.

September 11, 2015 Posted by | health, politics, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

IAEA claims ‘no harm from Fukushima’ – they’re wrong

text ionisingWhy The IAEA Claim Of No Harm In Fukushima Is Wrong September 2nd, 2015

Portions of the new IAEA report on Fukushima have been criticized by the media and roundly slammed by Greenpeace. Much of the dispute is around a contradictory statement about the potential thyroid cancers in evacuees. IAEA admits that the exposure data being used is limited and unclear but went on to give a solid prediction there would be no thyroid cancers from Fukushima related exposures.

UNSCEAR and IAEA have been relying on outdated estimates done by the Fukushima Health Survey.  The Fukushima Health Survey adopted a dose estimate scheme created by NIRS. There are a number of problems with this dose estimate scheme.

  • The NIRS dose estimate is for external exposure only. The critical portion of any exposure related to thyroid cancer is the internal exposure. Usually by the inhalation or ingestion of iodine 131.
  • There are no actual radiation readings used for estimates made for exposures during the first three days of the accident. These first three days are also when some of the largest exposures would have happened
  • NIRS uses the source term radiation estimate provided by the Japanese government. This estimate has been proven to be extremely low by later studies including one that used CTBTO radiation monitors to back track estimate the levels of radiation released from the plant.
  • NIRS assumed most residents evacuated before radiation levels rose, for many this was not the case as not all residents evacuated early in the disaster
  • NIRS admits there is considerable uncertainty in their estimates and that recalculations may be in order if new data shows the source term or radiation levels were higher. This has never been done…………..

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, radiation | Leave a comment

How ionising radiation gets into water

water-radiationby Gordon Edwards, Ph.D.

(1) When nuclear fuel is used in a nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb, the atoms in the fuel are “split” (or “fissioned”) to produce energy.  The fission process is triggered by subatomic particles called neutrons.  In a nuclear reactor, when the neutrons are stopped, the fission process also stops.  This is called “shutting down the reactor.”

(2) But during the nuclear fission process, hundreds of new varieties of radioactive atoms are created that did not exist before.  These unwanted radioactive byproducts accumulate in the irradiated nuclear fuel — and they are, collectively, millions of times more radioactive than the original nuclear fuel.

(3) These newly created radioactive materials are classified as fission products, activation products, and transuranic elements.  Fission products — like iodine-131, cesium-137 and strontium-90 — are the broken pieces of atoms that have been split.  Activation products— like hydrogen-3 (“tritium”), carbon-14 and cobalt-60 — are the result of non-radioactive atoms being transformed into radioactive atoms after absorbing one or more stray neutrons.  Transuranic elements — like plutonium, neptunium, curium and americium — are created by transmutation after a massive uranium atom absorbs one or more neutrons to become an even more massive atom (hence “transuranic,” meaning “beyond uranium”).

(4) Because of these intensely radioactive byproducts, irradiated nuclear fuel continues to generate heat for years after the fission process has stopped.  This heat (“decay heat”) is caused by the ongoing atomic disintegration of the nuclear waste materials.  No one knows how to slow down or shut off the radioactive disintegration of these atoms, so the decay heat is literally unstoppable. But decay heat does gradually diminish over time, becoming much less intense after about 10 years.


(5) However, in the early years following a reactor shutdown, unless decay heat is continually removed as quickly as it is being produced, the temperature of the irradiated fuel can rise to dangerous levels — and radioactive gases, vapors and particles will be given off into the atmosphere at an unacceptable rate.


(6) The most common way to remove decay heat from irradiated fuel is to continually pour water on it. Tepco is doing this at the rate of about 400 tons a day. That water becomes contaminated with fission products, activation products and transuranic elements.  Since these waste materials are radiotoxic and harmful to all living things, the water cannot be released to the environment as long as it is contaminated.

(7) Besides the 400 tons of water used daily by Tepco to cool the melted cores of the three crippled reactors, another 400 tons of ground water is pouring into the damaged reactor buildings every day. This water is also becoming radioactively contaminated, so it too must be stored pending decontamination.


(8) Tepco is using an “Advanced Liquid Processing System” (ALPS) that is able to remove 62 different varieties of radioactive materials from the contaminated water — but the process is slow, removal is seldom 100 percent effective, and some varieties of radioactive materials are not removed at all.


(9) Tritium, for example, cannot be removed. Tritium is radioactive hydrogen, and when tritium atoms combine with oxygen atoms we get radioactive water molecules. No filtration system can remove the tritium from the water, because you can’t filter water from water. Released into the environment, tritium enters freely into all living things.


(10) Nuclear power is the ultimate example of the throwaway society. The irradiated fuel has to be sequestered from the environment of living things forever.  The high-quality materials used to construct the core area of a nuclear reactor can never be recycled or reused but must be perpetually stored as radioactive waste.  Malfunctioning reactors cannot be completely shut off because the decay heat continues long after shutdown.  And efforts to cool a badly crippled reactor that has melted down result in enormous volumes of radioactively contaminated water that must be stored or dumped into the environment.  No wonder some have called nuclear power “the unforgiving technology.”…….

September 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, water | 1 Comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,059 other followers