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The dream of Karipbek Kuyukov, on UN International Day against Nuclear Tests

I have a dream: A world free of nuclear weapons Aljazeera,  28 Aug 2014  China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the US are still to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Karipbek Kuyukov is the Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project. The UN International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29 is an opportunity to remind the world about the inhumane consequences of nuclear explosions. It is a day which has a special meaning for the many thousands of people who, like me, grew up in Eastern Kazakhstan.
Kuyukov,-Karipbek,-KazakhstI was born 100 kilometres from the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site where the Soviet Union exploded more than 600 nuclear devices between 1949 and 1991.  They have had terrible physical consequences for the people who lived near them.
I came into this world without arms. People often ask me if I can be sure that radiation was the cause. If you had lived in my home town or region, this would not be a question.

In the place where I grew up, I saw mothers and midwives shocked at the sight of their babies. I saw families too embarrassed to show their children to the outside world, hiding them deep inside their homes and bringing them out only briefly for fresh air and sun.
I witnessed families and whole communities decimated by radiation-related cancers. As the United Nations confirms, more than 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have suffered the effects of Soviet nuclear weapons testing.
The most terrifying fact about this story is that we didn’t understand the impact these explosions would have. We were taken completely by surprise – and this, I believe, is why it is so important that we use August 29 to warn the world about the impact of nuclear testing. We must never forget what happened or allow others to remain in the dark.
I saw so much tragedy and suffering in my homeland that I decided to do everything possible to ensure that my generation is the last to suffer such damage. I became an activist in an anti-nuclear weapons movement and found peace in expressing my pain through art.
I use my feet and mouth to hold my brush and pour out in my own colours my inner world, calling on others to follow my cause. Today, I am an honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project, an online campaign to encourage the global leadership needed to totally eliminate the nuclear threat.
Since its launch two years ago, The ATOM Project has taken the stories of Kazakhstan’s nuclear testing survivors around the globe. On my travels, I have made many new friends in many countries who have encouraged us to continue our work.
We now have over 90,000 supporters from more than 100 countries and have set ourselves a goal of reach the 100,000 mark by August 29. You can help us reach this milestone by signing the petition and showing your desire for a nuclear-weapons-free world.
And over the last two decades we have seen progress. Even before Kazakhstan became a fully independent country, our leader, and now President, Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991 in defiance of then Soviet government in Moscow. On independence, our country also voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, which we had inherited from the Soviet Union. Similar courageous decisions were taken by Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa who all renounced their nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programmes………http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/08/i-dream-world-free-nuclear-weap-201482874433467528.html

 

August 29, 2014 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s young thyroid cancer sufferers – the tip of the coming cancer iceberg?

thyroid-cancer-papillaryThyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima, Asahi Shimbun August 24, 2014 By YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer  The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.

The 104 are among 300,000 young people who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and whose results of thyroid gland tests have been made available as of June 30. They were eligible for the tests administered by the prefectural government.

Of these 104, including 68 women, the number of definitive cases is 57, and one has been diagnosed with a benign tumor. The size of the tumors varies from 5 to 41 millimeters and averages 14 mm.

The average age of those diagnosed was 14.8 when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011……..

The figure can be extrapolated for comparison purposes to an average of more than 30 people per population of 100,000 having definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer.

The figure is much higher than, for example, the development rate of thyroid cancer of 1.7 people per 100,000 among late teens based on the cancer patients’ registration in Miyagi Prefecture…….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201408240011

August 29, 2014 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2014, Japan | Leave a comment

Tokyo’s radiation level 0.036 μSv/h before March 2011, now 13μSv/h.

text ionisingRadiological Disaster Survey in Tokyo Suburbs: 13μSv/h in Kashiwa, Chiba http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/exclamation-Smradiological-disaster-survey-in-tokyo_26.html 2014-08-24 osted by  According to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the radiation level (gamma ray) in Tokyo was 0.036 μSv/h before 311. And now with the Japan fukushima nuclear flag-japancontamination Tokyo 13μSv/h.

13μSv/h is 388 times more than what the Tokyo government measures at Shinjuku, 176 times more than their measurement in Edogawa-ku.
Here is what the Tokyo government finds at their (concrete and metal) monitoring posts (some of which are conveniently located 23 meters above ground):
http://monitoring.tokyo-eiken.go.jp/en/index.html
Sources:
Radiological Disaster Survey in Tokyo Suburbs: 13μSv/h in Kashiwa, Chiba 2014-08-24
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUAPJc1ZUYU
Radiation back ground level was 0.036 μSv/h in Tokyo before 311
http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/12/radiation-back-ground-level-was-0-036-μsvh-in-tokyo-before-311/

Courtesy of Troy Livingstone and Bruce Brinkman

August 27, 2014 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation | 1 Comment

Compelling evidence that nuclear power stations cause childhood leukaemias

radiation-warningNuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia – and here’s the proof http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/childhood-leukemias-near-nuclear-power-stations-new-article/ Ian Fairlie 24 Aug 14

In March 2014, my article on increased rates of childhood leukemias near nuclear power plants (NPPs) was published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (JENR). A previous post discussed the making of the article and its high readership: this post describes its content in layman’s terms.

Before we start, some background is necessary to grasp the new report’s significance. Many readers may be unaware that increased childhood leukemias near NPPs have been a contentious issue for several decades. For example, it was a huge issue in the UK in the 1980s and early 1990s leading to several TV programmes, Government Commissions, Government committees, a major international Conference, Government reports, at least two mammoth court cases and probably over a hundred scientific articles. It was refuelled in 1990 by the publication of the famous Gardner report (Gardner et al, 1990) which found a very large increase (7 fold) in child leukemias near the infamous Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria.

The issue seems to have subsided in the UK, but it is still hotly debated in most other European countries, especially Germany.

The core issue is that, world-wide, over 60 epidemiological studies have examined cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most (>70%) indicate leukemia increases. I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between NPPs and child leukemias. Continue reading

August 25, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Public unaware of massive spikes in radiation as nuclear reactors are re-fuelled

radiation-warningScientist: Massive spikes in radioactivity are being hidden from public — Radiation doses around nuclear reactors increase exponentially — It’s a major worry… very, very important — Something must be done (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/scientist-massive-spikes-radioactivity-being-hidden-public-radiation-doses-around-reactors-increase-exponentially-major-worry-very-very-important-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Interview with Dr. Ian Fairlie
Radiation Biologist, Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, Aug 19, 2014 (at 35:30 in): One of the key things I’d like to mention to your listeners is this; Up until 2012, we didn’t really know what happened with emissions from nuclear reactors. The only data that we had was annual data… we didn’t really know the time pattern — now we do. Now we know that the large majority — say two-thirds, three-quarters — of the annual emissions from a reactor occur just once, during one spike.

And that spike occurs when the reactor is opened up to take out the old fuel and to put in fresh fuel. During that time period — about a day, day-and-half — the reactors are depressurized… they open up the valves and the radioactive gases shoot out. It’s during that time that we think that the people down wind are exposed to high levels of radioactivity, i.e. high radiation doses… Instead of having even, little bits of emissions throughout the 365 days, you haveone big, massive spike which happens over a day-and-a-half period. And that happens roughly speaking, once a year…

That’s important — Very, very important — because it results in doses that are at least 20 times higher, maybe even as much as 100 times higher… That’s a major worry… I’ve said to a number of nuclear operators, “Why don’t you do this at night time when people are in bed? Why don’t you do it when it’s really, really windy out — and it’s not raining?” … When it’s very calm it just drifts everywhere and you get big doses — No response… These spikes have been hidden from us ever since the beginning of the nuclear power program … nobody knew about them apart from people who work in the nuclear industry and they keep really quiet about it.  I’d like to say to your American listeners, this is very important. You have to go to your regulator and say, “There’s no reason why this is not occurring at US reactors. These data are from German pressurized water reactors… We know that it’s very, very likely the same thing is happening with US reactors.” I hope that at least some of your listeners will pick this up and say, “Whoa, we’ve got to do something here.” >>Full interview available here

Dr. Donald Mosier, Scripps Research Institute’s Dept. of Immunology and city council member in Del Mar near San Onofre nuclear plant,  Oct. 19, 2013 (at 27:15 in): The problem with the data is that tritium releases are episodic. They’ll have a release of tritium one day a month, but when they report that to the NRC, they’ll say this is the amount of tritium we’ve released over the year. You have 5 days of release, but you divide that by 365 days, it doesn’t look like so much tritium. But if you’re sitting right next to the plant on the day of the release, it’s quite a bit. There’s some data from Europe that says those spikes are dangerous. There’s no data in the US that you can interpret. >> Watch the community symposium here

August 25, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, technology | Leave a comment

Japan thyroid cancer children – crimes against humanity – Tokyo Press Conference

highly-recommendedTokyo Press Conference: Gov’t is committing crimes against humanity; Fukushima children living in war zone and can’t leave — Childhood cancer developing much faster than Chernobyl; Rate now 14 times higher — Parent: “I’m revealing the reality of what’s going on… it’s only way to get rid of the criminals” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/tokyo-press-conference-officials-committing-crimes-against-humanity-fukushima-children-living-war-zone-evacuate-childhood-cancer-developing-faster-chernobyl-rate-14-times-higher-parent-im-reveal?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=e

Press Conference at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, August 18, 2014:

Toshio Yanagihara, attorney representing Fukushima children and their parents

  • 5:00 — Thyroid cases after Chernobyl in Belarus — comparing that with the present situation in Fukushima, [here] there’s 14 times [the rate] of children with thyroid cancer.
  • 6:00 — Fukushima prefecture’s announced that the massive number of thorough screenings [is the reason why there's] more numbers of people with cancer — but we found that doubtful. In Fukushima prefecture, the west part of Fukushima compared to those areas that are closer to the nuclear power plant, there are about ¼ or even 1/5 the people who are found with thyroid cancer.
  • 7:00 — June 10th of this year, the Fukushima committee in charge of researching thyroid cancer admitted for the first time that the suspicion of malignancy is due to the lymph node metastasis. This is the common thing that was found after the Chernobyl accident.
  • 8:00 — In Fukushima right now, we see that the number of the children found with thyroid cancer — and the scale of this catastrophe is ongoing — it is going much faster than it was in the Ukraine after Chernobyl.
  • 11:45 — The announcement from the Sendai high court from April 2013 that the Fukushima children’s lives are threatened… this didn’t cause Fukushima or the Japanese government to help provide support.
  • 16:15 — We emphasis that the Japanese government is discriminating against the Fukushima children, and in the international [court], we can say this is a crime against humanity. This is Japan’s most important and most criminal human problem that we’re facing right now.
  • 17:15 — Fukushima is a war zone, and children have a right to be evacuated to a safer place… In Japan, this present situation is the most harsh child-rearing situation in the world.
  • 19:15 — They’re supposed to support and evacuate children from Fukushima during this war zone… It must be argued at the international court that this is a crime against humanity. We would like to take this case to the International Criminal Court, and we’re preparing for that.

Katsumi Hasegawa, parent of two young children who evacuated from Koriyama (60km from Daiichi)

  • 22:45 — We currently live in Shizouka prefecture where we evacuated to in August 2011 — my pregnant wife and 5 year-old son… Why did the Japanese government contain us in the no-go zone 20 or 30 km radius, while many foreign countries had told residents within 80 km from Fukushima Daiichi to evacuate?
  • 35:00 – I’m a parent of children, and I’m an adult whose living at the time of this accident — this era. I would like to reveal the reality of what is going on. And I would like to do my best, even if I’m starting right now, I would like to do my best. That is my responsibility, and that is the only way to get rid of the criminals — and irresponsibility that we have committed already… Even though raising my voice is hard, I know that there are things that we need to do. Thank you.
  • 36:30 — Lucy Birmingham, FCCJ president: Thank you so much. OK… wow.

Watch the press conference and Q&A here

August 22, 2014 Posted by | children, Japan | 1 Comment

Indian Uranium Corporation ordered to probe birth deformities near mines

hydrocephalus-babyThe health issue came to the attention of the High Court earlier this year after pictures of Jadugora’s deformed children appeared in the Indian press. The court in February ordered Uranium Corp. to produce documents that might shed light on the health issues. The court noted then that children living near the mines in Jadugora are “born with swollen heads, blood disorders and skeletal distortions.”

India Court Orders Uranium Corp. to Probe Deformities Near Mines Bloomberg By Rakteem Katakey and Tom Lasseter  Aug 20, 2014 India’s sole uranium mining company is being ordered by a regional court to disclose radiation levels and the presence of any heavy metals in soil and water in a cluster of villages with reports of unusual numbers of deformed and sick children.

The order by the Jharkhand High Court also mandates thatUranium Corp. of India Ltd.explain how it ensures the safety of nearby civilian populations who may be exposed to its 193-acre (78-hectare) radioactive waste dump near the village of Jadugora in eastern India.

The move comes about a month after a Bloomberg News story chronicled the plight of parents living near the Uranium Corp. mines who are seeking answers to what’s sickening and killing so many of their kids. The story also reported that local residents routinely wander the unfenced dump sites and fish and bathe in a river that receives water flowing from the dumps, known as tailings ponds. The Bloomberg article was submitted to the judges of the High Court by Ananda Sen, the lawyer appointed by the court to review the case.

Uranium Corp. has denied its mining operations have anything to do with village health issues. In 2007, a survey of more than 2,100 households by an Indian physicians group found mothers in villages 1.5 miles from the mines reported congenital deformities more than 80 percent higher than the rates just 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, with reported child death rates from such abnormalities more than five times as high.

Independent Experts

Continue reading

August 22, 2014 Posted by | children, India, Reference, Uranium | 1 Comment

Fukushima and Chernobyl’s plants and animals have suffered from radiation

text ionisingNo, Fukushima Is Not a Wildlife Haven—and Neither Is Chernobyl http://www.citylab.com/tech/2014/08/no-fukushima-is-no-eden-for-animalsand-neither-is-chernobyl/376046/ A slew of new research reveals the deleterious effects of radiation on Fukushima’s ecology. LAURA BLISS @mslaurabliss Aug 14, 2014 

Perhaps you’ve encountered the well-publicized idea that Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear disaster of 1986, has become a kind of ‘wildlife haven’ as a result of its abandonment by humans.

So what of Fukushima Daiichi, Japan’s nuclear collapse of 2011—might we expect a happy menagerie there, too? Not so much, according to a slew of new papers out in the Journal of Heredity. And you may want to rethink Chernobyl-as-Eden, too.

The findings of the new studies tell of significant population decline across many different species of animals and plants, as well as a range of expressions of genetic damage and cell mutation.

One paper reports that the pale grass blue butterfly, one of Japan’s most common butterfly species, has suffered from significant size reduction, slowed growth, high mortality and abnormal wing patterns both within the Fukushima exclusion zone and among lab-raised offspring of parents collected at the site. Which is to say, radiation-caused genetic mutations were passed down.

butterflies-mutant-0812Researchers also found major declines in populations of birds, butterflies, cicadas, and some small mammals, as well as aberrations and albinism in the feathers of certain birds.

Timothy Mousseau, a prominent biologist and lead author of that population study, has also conducted significant research into radiation’s impacts at Chernobyl. He roundly rejects the claim that the area has become an animal haven, arguing that notion was based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific data. Mousseau’s own work demonstrates radiation has had similar effects on Chernobyl’s ecology as on Fukushima’s.

Further inquiry into all manner of species living at the Chernobyl site could help scientists better predict Fukushima’s biological trajectory, he says. “There is an urgent need for greater investment in basic scientific research of the wild animals and plants of Fukushima,” Mousseau told the Journal of Heredity.

August 16, 2014 Posted by | Belarus, environment, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

A warning from UK’s National Health Service on the risks of radiation from CT scans

CT-scanCaution urged over CT scan radiation doses, NHS UK, 15 Aug 14 
BBC News reports on a sharp rise in the number of CT scans being performed, exposing people to the potential health risks of radiation.

However, as The Daily Telegraph says, it is not possible to calculate the cancer risk due to exposure to CT scans because there is a lack of data.

These media stories follow the publication of a report by theCommittee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). COMARE has reviewed trends in the use of CT scans in the UK. The review weighs up the risk-benefit balance of using CT scans, and considers ways to obtain the best quality scan image while minimising the necessary radiation dose.

The COMARE report sets out good practice guidance, encouraging doctors to take a more “proactive approach” to protecting patients and reducing radiation doses.

The committee recommendations cover equipment and procedures already in place, but also note there are dose reduction features available on some of the newer CT scanning machines that should be considered when new equipment is purchased.

 What is COMARE and why is it looking at CT scans?….

only 15% of our radiation exposure comes from medical sources. However, it has still increased from 0.33mSv per person per year in 1997, to 0.4mSv in 2008.

CT scans account for much of this exposure. ……..The report says there has been wider use of CT scans among younger people and children, whose tissues may have greater sensitivity to radiation. They also, of course, have a longer lifespan ahead of them in which potential harmful effects may be observed…..

70% of indications for CT scans recommended by guidance relate to benign (non-harmful) or potentially benign conditions. It says that CT scans are increasingly being used as a standard investigation, replacing other conventional ways of detecting health problems.

There are potential risks related to radiation…….

What does the COMARE report recommend?……..http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/08August/Pages/caution-urged-over-use-of-ct-scan-radiation-doses.aspx

August 16, 2014 Posted by | children, health, UK | Leave a comment

Uranium mining destroys lives

Yet another example of how mining companies destroy local peoples lives Papua New Guinea Mine Watch 14 Aug 14 

“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.”

India uranium mining fuels health crisis


flag-indiaRadioactive waste generated in three government owned mines spurs health fears in eastern Jharkhand state.

Sanjay Pandey | Al Jazeera They took away my land,” 35-year-old Agnu Murmu told Al Jazeera, days before he died. “I begged them to give me a small truck… but they gifted me with cancer.”

Murmu, according to social activist Ghanshyam Birulee, was just the latest casualty of radiation pollution in Jadugoda, a tribal heartland in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

His house sits dangerously close to a tailing pond, where the government-run Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) discharges waste from its mining operations. Murmu’s mother said the family knew nothing about radiation when mining began here about five decades ago.

“Like other unsuspecting parents, I would also allow my children to play near the tailing pond and catch fish from the canal that I know now is contaminated by radiation pollution,” said Rakhi Murmu, 52, with tears spilling down her creased cheeks.

“Uranium mines have ruined our lives. I know they won’t rest till they bury us all in those pits.”

Spontaneous abortions and miscarriages

Radioactive waste generated by three government owned mines – Narwapahar, Bhatin and Jadugoda – has spurred fears of a health crisis in the region.

Residents say they suffer from a number of diseases linked to radiation pollution, including congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions and cancer – yet mining continues unabated near these Indian villages, without proper security measures in place.

Dumping of radioactive waste by the roadside or near the villages may be putting even more people at risk………

radiation pollution

Several surveys conducted by independent agencies, including Japan’s Kyoto University and India’s Jadavpur University, have confirmed radiation pollution in the air, water and soil in Jadugoda.

Independent nuclear scientist Sanghmitra Gadekar, who conducted a survey on 9,000 villagers living in and around mines, has documented cases of congenital deformities, infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and miscarriages……..

Guinea pigs?

Nitish Priyadarshi, a geologist who has surveyed radioactivity in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, said while uranium particles cannot travel that far, “its sister elements like radon gas, which damages lungs and kidney, can travel to the city and take the already high radioactivity to alarming levels.”…….

whatever the government policy, Jadugoda’s 50,000 tribal residents continue to stand exposed to a danger which the activists say “nobody cares about”.

“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.” http://ramumine.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/yet-another-example-of-how-mining-companies-destroy-local-peoples-lives/

August 14, 2014 Posted by | health, India, Uranium | Leave a comment

Thyroid cancer in Fukushima children: an inconvenient fact for Japan’s government

thyroid-cancer-papillaryJapan Professor: Outbreak of cancer is now underway in Fukushima children; Clear evidence of an epidemic — All of Japan is still being exposed to nuclear radiation — Gov’t Official: It will be ‘disastrous’ if we have to conclude there’s an actual increase in thyroid cancer from Fukushima http://enenews.com/japan-professor-outbreak-cancer-fukushima-children-clear-evidence-epidemic-underway-all-japan-being-exposed-nuclear-radiation-govt-official-will-be-disastrous-conclude-actual-increase-thyroid-ca?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Excerpts from a report by Dr. Yuri Hiranuma, a physician specializing neuromusculoskeletal medicine, published by Fukushima Voice version 2e, Aug 3, 2014:

[At the July 16, 2014 Expert Meeting Regarding the Status of Health Management of Residents Following the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plan Accident, held by the Ministry of the Environment]

  • Toshihide Tsuda, a physician and an epidemiologist at Okayama University, has just emphatically stated that in certain Fukushima municipalities there was a clear evidence of a thyroid cancer epidemic [...] Calling this an “outbreak, occurring only 3.1 to 3.2 years after the accident” [...] “outbreak” of thyroid cancers in Fukushima children cannot be explained by the “screening effect,” when the data is analyzed and compared with the national cancer statistics as well as within Fukushima Prefecture against municipalities with the lowest exposure dose. Critical of the commonly accepted notion that health effects do not occur below 100 mSv, Tsuda presented numerous published studies that proved otherwise. [...] “This Expert Meeting has not brought up these studies so I must do it” [...]  Tsuda also said that the Expert Meeting should consider the fact that all age groups including pregnant women were still being exposed to radiation in Fukushima Prefecture. [...] Tsuda said, “We are all being exposed to radiation in Japan” [...]
  • [Committee] Chairman Shigenobu Nagataki, emeritus professor at Nagasaki University, a former chairman of Radiation Effects Research Foundation, and a mentor to infamousShunichi Yamashita [said] “Committee members, please do not hesitate to ask questions. Given what was just stated, it will be disastrous for this committee to have to conclude that there is an actual increase in thyroid cancer (due to the Fukushima accident).” [...] if the Expert Meeting were seriously considerate of the disaster victims [...] why would it be disastrous for this Expert Meeting to have a conclusion that cases of thyroid cancers might be increasing? [...]

Excerpts from an article by Japanese independent media outlet OurPlanet-TV summarizing the July 16 meeting, translated by Dr. Yuri Hiranuma, Aug. 3, 2014:

  • Professor Shinzo Kimura [who conducted] field investigations in Chernobyl, reported that currently there are many cases of thyroid cancer [...] more than 250 km away from Chernobyl
  • Matsumoto City Mayor Sugenoya, who has provided medical care to children with thyroid cancer in Belarus [said] even in areas contaminated with low-level radiation with an annual radiation level below 1 mSv, residents showed a depressed immune function, hematopoietic disorders, and perinatal abnormalities [and] medical personnel are not allowed to refer to the Chernobyl accident.
  • Okayama University Professor Tsuda pointed out that there is no end of the number of researchers who say, “No cancer occurrence is expected from radiation exposure dose under 100 mSv,” after the Fukushima accident. Tsuda candidly said researchers should refrain from making such statements. [...] As of the end of March 2014 [Nakadori, the central region of Fukushima that is 40-80 km from the Daiichi plant] had the highest detection rate [of thyroid cancer,] as much as 11 times higher than Aizu [western region of Fukushima, over 80 km from the plant]. [...] thyroid cancers from municipalities other than Aizu region showed rates which were 15 to 40 times higher [than data from the National Cancer Center]. He sounded an alarm [...] “It’s only been 3.1 to 3.2 years but there are so many cases observed in Fukushima. We need to take immediate countermeasures.” [...] “They are still exposed  to radiation. We can’t wait until the results come out. [...] All of us as well as Fukushima residents are being exposed to radiation.”
  • During this session, the audience applauded several times when  witnesses spoke.

See also: Former Official: Fukushima radiation is killing children… heart problems, leukemia, thyroid — Terrible things are going on — Authorities hiding truth from world — We need to admit many people are dying, but we’re not allowed to say that (VIDEO)

August 12, 2014 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2014, Japan | Leave a comment

Uranium exposure and skin cancer

uranium-oreStudy may help explain link between uranium exposure and skin cancer http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-08-link-uranium-exposure-skin-cancer.html   After years of delving deep into DNA and researching ways in which metal damage may lead to cancer, a team of researchers is taking a step back to look at the surface where one answer may have been all along. The varying health risks from exposure to natural uranium are well established, but Diane Stearns, professor of biochemistry at Northern Arizona University, and her team have been trying to determine if there is a link between uranium exposure and skin , stating that skin may have been overlooked in the past.

In a recent article published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, the NAU team shared results from a study that explored photoactivation of uranium as a means to increase its toxicity and ability to damage DNA.

“Our hypothesis is that if uranium is photoactivated by UV radiation it could be more harmful to skin than either exposure alone,” Stearns said.

Through the study, the team found that once uranium was present in the skin, exposure to UV radiation or sunlight could be chemically toxic and lead to cancerous lesions. The team members recommend that future risk assessments regarding cancer caused by uranium exposure include the possibility of photoactivation in skin.

They also propose that photoactivated uranium exposure could be even more harmful in cells that can’t repair the damage on their own. Stearns explained such cases are found in individuals with Xeroderma Pigmentosum or XP, a disease that causes extreme sensitivity to sunlight.

Through research into the XP cell lines, the team discovered regional relevance for the study. The disease is prevalent on the Navajo Nation, a site of historically high levels of and processing in the Southwest. The 2012 documentary Sun Kissed further piqued the researchers’ curiosity. The film cites the incidence of XP in the general population as one in 1 million, yet cases increase significantly to one in 30,000 in the Navajo population.

Stearns believes there may be implications that should be taken into consideration for a population like the Navajo community with carriers of XP mutations and relatively high exposure to uranium and the sun.

“We just want to make people aware that uranium exposure could contribute to  and could also be exacerbating XP,” Stearns said.

Stearns said as she looks to the future, she hopes to fine-tune her understanding of the photoactivation mechanism and how it is damaging DNA. “We have predicted the link but now we would like to study it step by step to establish an even stronger connection.”

Together with her Navajo students at NAU, she also hopes to determine whether the old uranium mines might explain the increase in cancer and what is being called a sudden emergence of XP on the Navajo Nation.

“I’ve had several Navajo students come to me because they found out I was doing uranium research and they had a relative who died of cancer and always wondered if it was uranium,” Stearns said. “It’s been a really personal way for them to see the value in scientific research because it can directly relate to their community.”

August 8, 2014 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

To help the nuclear industry, USA’s EPA to weaken radiation standards

text-EPA-Nuclear-ProtectionGreen groups say EPA rules would weaken radiation standards The Hill, By Tim Devaney – 08/04/14  Green groups say the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to weaken radiation standards at nuclear power plants would triple the likelihood of people in surrounding communities developing cancer.

The EPA said earlier this year it is considering new rules that green groups claim would actually weaken radiation standards, increasing public exposure by at least three times from the current level. The agency has not updated the standards since 1977. “The EPA admits that radiation is much more likely to cause cancer than was believed when the rule was originally written,” said Dan Hirsch, president of nuclear watchdog group Committee to Bridge the Gap. “So it’s perplexing that rather than tightening the rule, they’re proposing to weaken it further.”

The Committee to Bridge the Gap is one of about 70 environmental groups that sent EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy a letter over the weekend, asking her to reconsider the new rules as the public comment period closes and the agency enters the final stages of rule-making.

In addition to the environmental groups, more than 6,000 people have written to the EPA opposing the changes to the radiation standard, Hirsch said.

Under the EPA’s current standards, about one in every 500 people who are exposed to radiation develop cancer, but the new rules would increase the risk even more, Hirsch said.

“They’ve given a free pass to radiation,” Hirsch said……….

environmental groups speculate the Obama administration could be trying to replace coal production with nuclear energy, which they say is why the EPA is loosening radiation standards.

Environmental groups, however, express deep concerns about this plan.

“I would not say that nuclear is safer than coal, not at all,” Hirsch said.

“Choosing between coal and nuclear is a form of picking one’s poison, either carbon or plutonium,” he added. “But we believe that shouldn’t be the choice. The choice should be between dangerous pollutants and renewables, which are far safer.”

Renewable energies such as solar, wind and hydropower are all better replacements for coal than nuclear energy, Hirsch said. : http://thehill.com/regulation/214232-green-groups-say-epa-rules-would-weaken-radiation-standards#ixzz39gQFKYxi

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August 7, 2014 Posted by | radiation, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 3 Comments

USA’s Nuclear – I mean – Environmental Protection Agency

text-EPA-Nuclear-ProtectionOfficially “Safe” RadiationBy   OpEd News  8/3/2014  More Radiation Exposure Won’t Hurt You, Says U.S. EPA

“Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations” means what?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States is a full blown oxymoron when it comes to protecting U.S. residents from the danger of increased exposure to ionizing radiation. That’s the kind of radiation that comes from natural sources like Uranium and the sun, as well as unnatural sources like Uranium mines, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power plants (even when they haven’t melted down like Fukushima). The EPA is presently considering allowing everyone in the U.S. to be exposed to higher levels of ionizing radiation.

In 1977, the EPA established levels of radiation exposure “considered safe” for people by federal rule (in bureaucratese, “the regulation at 40 CFR part 190“). In the language of the rule, the 1977 safety standards were: “The standards [that] specify the levels below which normal operations of the uranium fuel cycle are determined to be environmentally acceptable.” In common parlance, this became the level “considered safe,” even though that’s very different from “environmentally acceptable.” “Acceptable by whom? The environment has no vote.

The phrase “considered safe” is key to the issue, since there is no “actually safe” level of radiation exposure. The planet was once naturally radioactive and lifeless. Life emerged only after Earth’s radiation levels decayed to the point where life became possible, in spite of a continuing level of natural “background radiation.” The reality is that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure.

Is the EPA actually immersed in a protection racket?

The studied ambiguity of the proposal’s title — “Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations” — goes to the heart of the issue: who or what is really being protected, nuclear power operations?

Quite aware that it is perceived by some as placing the desires of the nuclear power industry above the safety needs of the population, the EPA begins its proposal for changing radiation limits with this defensive and apparently contradictory passage:

This Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is being published to inform stakeholders, including federal and state entities, the nuclear industry, the public and any interested groups, that the Agency is reviewing the existing standards to determine how the regulation at 40 CFR part 190 should be updated and soliciting input on changes (if any) that should be made.

This action is not meant to be construed as an advocacy position either for or against nuclear power.

EPA wants to ensure that environmental protection standards are adequate for the foreseeable future for nuclear fuel cycle facilities. As far as the EPA is concerned, the uranium fuel cycle does not include Uranium mining, despite the serious environmental danger that process entails. Once the environmental and human degradation from Uranium mining has been done, the EPA begins regulating environmental protection from nuclear fuel cycle facilities, beginning with milling and ending with storage or reprocessing facilities for nuclear waste.

According to the agency itself, “EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the

environment. EPA sets limits on the amount of radiation that can be released into the environment.”

Radiation exposure is chronic, cumulative, and unhealthy

Given the pre-existing radiation load on the environment from natural sources, it’s not clear that there is any amount of radiation that can be released into the environment with safety. The EPA pretty much evades that question, since the straight forward answer for human health is: no amount. Besides, the semi-captured protection agency is just as much engaged in protecting economic health for certain industries as it is in protecting human health. This leads it to making formulations that manage to acknowledge human reality without actually supporting it:………

Lower radiation levels provide more environmental protection

Environmental organizations like the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) are urging the EPA to lower radiation release standards, to “protect more, not less.” According to NIRS, regulation of nuclear power has a sorry history:……..

In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences addressed “safe” levels of radiation and concluded that there are none in any scientifically meaningful sense.

Humans are exposed to a basic, damaging level of ionizing radiation from multiple sources from gestation till death. This natural background radiation is at a relatively low level, but the risk from radiation is cumulative. Every additional exposure above background radiation adds to the risk. Some of these risks, like radiation treatment to ward off cancer, are widely accepted as reasonable trade-offs. The reasonableness of greater exposure from the nuclear fuel cycle and the uncontrolled growth of nuclear waste is not such an obviously beneficial trade-off. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Officially-Safe-Radiatio-by-William-Boardman-Cancer_Environment_People_Radiation-140803-863.html

August 7, 2014 Posted by | politics, radiation, USA | 2 Comments

How the victims of nuclear radiation simply become socially invisible

HibakushaThe Radiation That Makes People Invisible: A Global Hibakusha Perspective Robert Jacobs The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 30, No. 1, August 3, 2014.

Radiation makes people invisible. We know that exposure to radiation can be deleterious to one’s health; can cause sickness and even death when received in high doses. But it does more. People who have been exposed to radiation, or even those who suspect that they have been exposed to radiation, including those who never experience radiation-related illnesses, may find that their lives are forever changed – that they have assumed a kind of second class citizenship. They may find that their relationships to their families, to their communities, to their hometowns, to their traditional diets and even traditional knowledge systems have been broken. They often spend the remainder of their lives wishing that they could go back, that things would become normal. They slowly realize that they have become expendable and that their government and even their society is no longer invested in their wellbeing.

As a historian of the social and cultural aspects of nuclear technologies, I have spent years working in radiation-affected communities around the world. Many of these people have experienced exposure to radiation from nuclear weapons testing, from nuclear weapons production, from nuclear power plant accidents, from nuclear power production or storage, or, like the people in the community where I live, Hiroshima, from being subjected to direct nuclear attack. For the last five years I have been working with Dr. Mick Broderick of Murdoch University in Perth, Australia on the Global Hibakusha Project. We have been working with victims in radiation-affected communities all around the world. Our research has revealed a powerful continuity to the experience of radiation exposure across a broad range of cultures, geographies, and populations. About half way between beginning this study and today the triple disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant occurred in Japan. One of the most distressing things (among so many) since this crisis began is to hear people, often people in positions of political power and influence, say that the future for those affected by the nuclear disaster is uncertain. I wish that it were so, but actually, deep historical precedents suggest that the future for the people who lived near the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns is predictable.

Here I will outline some continuities in the experiences of radiation-affected people. Most of the following also holds true for people who merely suspect that they have been exposed to radiation, even if they never suffer any health effects. Many have already become a part of the experiences of those affected by the Fukushima disaster. There are, of course, many differences and specificities to each community, but there is also profound continuity……..

Conclusion–Radiation makes people invisible. It makes them second class citizens who no longer have the expectation of being treated with dignity by their government, by those overseeing nuclear facilities near them, by the military and nuclear industry engaged in practices that expose people to radiation, and often by their new neighbors when they become refugees. People exposed to radiation often lose their homes, at times permanently, either through forced removal or through contamination that makes living in them dangerous. They lose their livelihoods, their diets, their communities, and their traditions. They can lose the knowledge base that connects them to their land and insures their wellbeing.

Radiation can cause health problems and death, and even when it doesn’t it can cause anxiety and uncertainty that can become crippling. Often those exposed to radiation are blamed for all of the problems that follow their exposures. After a nuclear disaster we count the victims in terms of those who died but they are only a small fraction of the people who are truly victimized by the event. Countless more suffer the destruction of their communities, their families, and their wellbeing. The full scale of devastation that a nuclear disaster wreaks is unknowable.

The lives of those exposed to radiation, or those in areas affected by radiation but uncertain about their exposure, will never be the same. As Natalia Manzurova, one of the “liquidators” at Chernobyl said in an interview published two months after the Fukushima triple meltdowns: “Their lives will be divided into two parts: before and after Fukushima. They’ll worry about their health and their children’s health. The government will probably say there was not that much radiation and that it didn’t harm them. And the government will probably not compensate them for all that they’ve lost. What they lost can’t be calculated.”10

(This article is expanded from an article originally published on the SimplyInfowebsite. Original can be seen here)

Robert Jacobs is an associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University in Japan and an Asia-Pacific Journal Associate. He is the author of The Dragon’s Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age (2010), the editor of Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb (2010), and co-editor of Images of Rupture in Civilization Between East and West: The Iconography of Auschwitz and Hiroshima in Eastern European Arts and Media (2012). His book, The Dragon’s Tail, is available in a Japanese language edition by Gaifu. apanese language edition by Gaifu. He is the principal investigator of the Global Hibakusha Project.  http://japanfocus.org/-Robert-Jacobs/4157

August 4, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, social effects | 1 Comment

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