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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Action of S Louis County women prods EPA into testing for radiation

see-this.wayEPA to test for radiation at West Lake Landfill http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2014/04/16/epa-radiation-testing-west-lake-landfill/7797061/Allison Sylte, KSDK7:28 p.m. CDT April 16, 2014 BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) –The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to test for radiation outside the West Lake Landfill.

This news comes after a group of neighbors announced that if the EPA wasn’t going to do it, they were going to test for radiation themselves.

A lawyer donated $16,000 to help them buy a “mobile radiation detector.”

The EPA insists the radioactive waste at West Lake is not a threat to the surrounding area. Testing will begin in less than six months.

The community group is holding an informational meeting Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Union Hall on Hollenburg Drive in Bridgeton.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

St Louis County women organise radiation monitoring

see-this.wayVideo: Moms want to test for radiation in Bridgetonhttp://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2014/04/15/bridgeton-landfill-radiation-testing/7762985/Casey Nolen, KSDK10:55 p.m. CDT April 15, 2014 ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) – If the federal government won’t test for radiation, some West Lake Landfill neighbors say they’ll do it themselves.

Dawn Chapman and her group, Just Moms STL, plan to deploy radiation detectors in St. Louis County by the end of the week.

They hope to monitor the air for any possible high levels of radiation that they believe could be coming from the nearby West Lake Landfill, where old nuclear waste is buried.

Politicians purchased Geiger counters for these birdhouse-like stationary sensors.

Tuesday, an attorney, who is suing the landfill, gifted the group a $16,000 portable radiation detection lab called Gamma Pal. Chapman says they’ll hire a certified contractor to operate it – paid for with community dollars.

Chapman says she’d rather not use the device at all. She’s told the EPA she has it, and hope that will encourage the agency to start its own testing sooner than it plans.

“I would love nothing more than at the end of this week, somebody to say ‘my god, this community is desperate, someone help them right now,’” she said. The EPA said it does plan to start testing for radiation for the first time, outside West Lake’s boundaries.

They say the timeline could be less than six months. The agency still insists that the site is safe.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Death and disease among uranium workers in Rio Tinto’s mines

uranium-oreUranium workers dying after time at Namibia mine, report warns http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/15/uranium-workers-dying-cancer-rio-tinto-namibia-mine

Miners who dug ore to supply the military found to be dying of cancers and other illnesses at Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine  Miners who dug uranium ore that supplied the British and US military in the 1970s with the raw material for bombs and civil nuclear power are reported to be dying of cancers and unexplained illnesses after working in one of Africa‘s largest mines.

A study based on questionnaires of current and former workers at the giant Rio Tinto-owned Rössing uranium mine in Namibia says that everyone questioned was aware of people who are now suffering lung infections and unknown illnesses thought to be linked to their work.

The mine, in the Namib desert, produces around 7% of the world’s uranium but was operated with rudimentary safety when it opened in 1976. “People get sick. We are seeing it in people that have worked for Rössing for a long time. They just go back and die after working at Rössing,” one man told researchers working with Earthlife Namibia and the Labour Resource and Research Institute.

The study, which is expected to be published this week, accepts that working conditions in the mine have greatly improved but says that all workers questioned said that they were exposed to high levels of dust.

“Two current workers are on sick leave since 2000 and 2003. One worked as a laboratory technician for 24 years and claims to have proof he was radiated,” says a summary of the paper seen by the Guardian.

Rössing, which mines millions of tonnes of rock a year to extract uranium, employs more than 1,500 people. “Most workers stated that they are not informed about their health conditions and do not know if they have been exposed to radiation or not. Some workers said they consulted a private doctor to get a second opinion,” say the authors.

“The older workers all said they know miners dying of cancers and other illnesses. Many of these are now retired and many have already died of cancers,” says the report.

Aerial view of the discharge channels from Rössing, the world’s largest opencast uranium mine. Photograph: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/CorbisA spokesman for Rio Tinto said that Rössing has been recognised by independent consultants as one of the world’s safest mines. “The health and safety of our employees is the top priority. We have health management systems in place to make sure that everyone goes home safe and healthy every day. Effective controls ensure that radiation exposures to employees are kept well below the Rössing standard for occupational radiation exposure.

“The company keeps detailed records of the health status of its workforce from the day of employment to the day they leave the company. It therefore does not need to speculate on health issues of its employees.”

One former worker said: “Yes, I have cancer now. In the beginning they [Rio Tinto] did not want to give money for the treatment but later when they referred me to a doctor for an operation they gave me money for treatment.”

“Doctors were told not to inform us with our results or tell our illness. They only supply you with medications when you are totally finished up or about to die,” said another.

During the first years of operation, Rössing operated with a migrant labour system which the International Commission of Jurists declared illegal and said was similar to slavery. Black workers lived on the mine premises and were exposed to dust and radiation 24 hours a day and the mine became the focus for protests by anti-apartheid and anti-nuclear groups.

Shares in the mine are owned 69% by UK-based Rio Tinto, and 15% by the government of Iran. The Namibian government has denied supplying Iran with Namibian uranium which could be used for nuclear weapons.

The Erongo region is home to Rössing mine, the oldest and third-largest producer of uranium in the world. The mine sustains the small satellite town (population 7,600) of Arandis, which is visible near the top of the image. Photograph: ALI/EO-1/NASA“Uranium companies generally deny that workers get sick because of exposure to radiation. They blame the bad health conditions to unhealthy lifestyles such as eating habits, tobacco smoking and alcohol,” says the study.

Former Rössing mineworkers and people from communities adversely affected by Rio Tinto mines in west Papua, Madagascar, Namibia, Mongolia and the US will petition Rio Tinto shareholders at Tuesday’s annual meeting in London.

“Rio Tinto is enormous. Its history of attacks on workers’ rights, and environmental destruction has had a particularly damaging impact across the world,” said Richard Solly, co-ordinator of LondonMining Network, an alliance of human rights, development, environmental and solidarity groups.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | AFRICA, health, South Africa, Uranium | Leave a comment

Japanese government’s double dealing on radiation data

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, rense.com. By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 I stand to be corrected but what I recently witnessed first hand and face to face in the city of Nihonmatsu can be interpreted as nothing other than scientific fraud and blatant misrepresentation of the facts on the part of the Japanese government regarding gamma radiation levels, leading to the early deaths of tens of thousands of residents . I visited a large nuclear refugee camp in a beautiful location near Nihonmatsu, a modest sized city just outside the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant No. 1 (FNPP#1) disaster site . Continue reading

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, radiation, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Personal account from Tokyo, of government’s duplicity in radiation readings

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, rense.com. By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 “…….Can You Trust The Government?

According to the Japanese government official website, the Nuclear Regulation Authority , gamma radiation in Tokyo is just 0.034 microsieverts per hour (mcr sv pr hr) . This reading is taken 22 meters above the ground, in Shinjuku, a main hub of urban Tokyo. As luck would have it, I live not far from there and took a reading out my window several stories up in my apartment building and it regularly reads 0.13 mcr sv pr hr. According to the government chart, an estimated reading of 0.061 mcr sv pr hr is given for one meter above ground level. I measured one meter above ground where I live and the reading was 0.12 mcr sv pr hr.

What accounts for the noticeable discrepancy? Could it be the equipment or the location of measurement? The government chart gives an average reading for the ENTIRE CITY OF TOKYO, of 0.061, as if that is remotely accurate. I believe the government and authorities use two main tactics:

1. The place measurement monitoring devices high above the ground where it won’t read the worst radiation which naturally settles on the ground or in ditches;
2. They scrub and decontaminate the area in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring device in order to create a lower reading.

It could also be that tampering with the way devices are calibrated in order to get lower readings, or manipulating published data could occur, but I have no personal proof of these speculations.

Much of the problem with radiation science promoted by the nuclear establishment and their minions is that they limit the factors involved in their methodology and avoid the precautionary principle when drawing conclusions. In other words: don’t worry, be happy (even if your mitochondrial DNA is being damaged).

After the Fukushima accident I personally measured my kid’s school grounds. My readings were consistently higher what was reported by the school who simply measured above the ground in order to avoid the worst radiation.

When I was in the midwest in the US in March, I took outdoor readings above and on the ground that measured between 0.08 to 0.13 mcr sv pr hr. We now live in a manmade radioactively contaminated world due to above ground nuclear tests, nuclear power plant emissions, and nuclear accidents, in addition to natural background radiation from the sun or soil.

What I have witnessed first hand in Nihonmatsu is scientific fraud and misrepresentation of the facts. This is verified by my own dosimeter readings, and by the testimony of both Mr. Honda, the head of the temporary housing facility, and the experienced construction and decontamination worker who I talked with…..”

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Rense.com. He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at http://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at wilcoxrb2013@gmail.comhttp://www.rense.com/general96/jpsradioctv.html

 

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

David Cameron acknowledges damage to nuclear test veterans and their offspring

      David Cameron gives nuclear test veterans glimmer of hope after our 12-year campaign for justice

flag-UKhttp://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-gives-nuclear-test-3406479

        Apr 12, 2014 Prime Minister has promised to investigate setting up a £25 million health fund for descendants of those exposed to genetic suffering genetic defects

David Cameron has at last given hope to families of nuclear test veterans after a 12-year Sunday Mirror campaign for justice.

The Prime Minister has promised to investigate setting up a £25million health fund for descendants suffering genetic defects passed down by ­servicemen exposed to 1950s blasts.

He will also look at offering personal thanks to the veterans and recognising their sacrifice with a medal.

Campaigners say the breakthrough at a half-hour meeting is the closest they have been to formal recognition of the suffering caused by the South Pacific explosions.

It came days after the Sunday Mirror called for the PM to recognise the plight ofchildren like 15-month-old Ella Denson, who was born with a deformity linked to her great-grandad Eric Denson’s exposure to radiation on Christmas Island in 1958.

The meeting between Mr Cameron and Tory MP John Baron last Wednesday was the first time the veterans have had their case put forward to any prime minister.

Mr Baron, patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, told the PM descendants had 10 times the normal rate of birth defects, their wives had elevated rates of ­miscarriage, and no other veterans’ group had suffered harm which spread down the generations.

A New Zealand study found veterans’ genes had three times the damage of Chernobyl survivors. The tests have never been repeated here.

Scientists say effects could last for 20 generations.

As Mr Cameron listened, Ella, of Morden, South London, was recovering from her latest hospital admission to deal with her severe defect. She was born with two tubes to a kidney instead of one and needs daily antibiotics to stop infection before having surgery at three.

At the weekend she was rushed to hospital for the third time in her short life. Her brother Jamie and mum Kimberley have teeth deformities.

Ella’s great-gran Shirley Denson, 79, had four daughters with bomb veteran husband Eric and has seen more than a third of his descendants suffer.

She said: “I pray the Prime Minister does the right thing, for the sake of my Ella and all the thousands like her.”

Eric was one of 22,000 men ordered to witness the ­detonation of nuclear bombs between 1952 and 1967.

He later suffered ­crippling ­headaches and killed himself in 1976. Fewer than 3,000 veterans survive.

France, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China and even the Isle of Man ­recognise and compensate test veterans. The MoD has always insisted no harm befell the men.

Mr Baron said: “The meeting with Mr Cameron was constructive. He is going to get back to me.”

April 15, 2014 Posted by | children, health, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chiho Takahashi: a volunteer reflects on the Fukushima nuclear tragedy

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, rense.com. By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 A Volunteer Speaks

“………My colleague, Chiho Takahashi, a student at Tsuda College, recently wrote of her experiences as a volunteer to support the folks at the Adachi temporary housing facility:

“In November of 2012, I went to the Adachi temporary housing in Nihonmatsu for the first time. Almost all of the children that participated in our event were shorter than me, my height is 148 cm. But as I visited periodically during the next year and a half I noticed the children growing in height. In that way I could measure the passage of time and see that the victims’ lives were not “temporary” at all but taking place over a long period.

Children who were first grade students of elementary school became third grade students. Children who were first grade students of junior high school became high schoolers. I asked myself, ‘do you think that it is a temporary life?’ I could not think so.

In February of 2013 I had an experience where an elderly man let me into his house at the Adachi temporary housing. He lives in the house all alone. I went up his steps into his small quarters. There are four rooms in the house: kitchen, living room, bed room and bath. He showed me into the living room where there was akotatsu (Japanese foot warmer) and suggested that I warm myself in the kotatsu because it was very cold that day. We talked for about 30 minutes in afternoon and he told me about his children and grandchildren but he rarely sees them because they live in Tokyo and Miyagi prefectures. He was proud that he had done forestry and farming work using his big truck before he was forced to move to Nihonmatsu from Namie town because of the 3.11. disaster. Since then, he has lost everything and has nothing to do every day but drink in broad daylight. There were some bottles of rice wine and potato liquor on the table in the living room.

When I was heard his sad story I could only say to him that ‘that’s too bad.’ Although I felt I was not useful to him I tell people this story to people in Tokyo so they will know what a hard life it is in the temporary housing of Nihonmatsu.

I want many people to know the experience which I saw and heard and felt in Tohoku. I can’t carry out expensive projects like government, but I have always felt that I should try to do important things with my precious friends even if they might seem ‘small.’ In this way, maybe I can inspire more people from Tokyo to assist the refugees of the Tohoku and Fukushima disasters, even if it is just one person at a time. Our small volunteer made the singular effort to go to Nihonmatsu to assist the temporary housing residents, so too if each person made a small but sincere effort it might create a larger effect.”

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Rense.com. He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived athttp://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisisat wilcoxrb2013@gmail.comhttp://www.rense.com/general96/jpsradioctv.html

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Health danger from electromagnetic radiation, as well as from ionising radiation

New Studies Show Health Risks from Wireless Tech: Warnings from the BioInitiative Working Group http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140411005708/en/Studies-Show-Health-Risks-Wireless-Tech-Warnings   April 11, 2014 RENSSELAER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)--The BioInitiative Working Group says evidence for health risk from wireless tech is growing stronger and warrants immediate action. The Group released a mid-year update covering new science studies from 2012 to 2014.

New studies intensify medical concerns about malignant brain tumors from cell phone use. “There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones,” says Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD at Orebro University, Sweden, according to studies released in 2012 and 2013. “Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a known human carcinogen. The existing FCC/IEEE and ICNIRP public safety limits are not adequate to protect public health.”

graph-electromagnetic-to-br

The BioInitiative reports nervous system effects in 68% of studies on radiofrequency radiation (144 of 211 studies) in 2014. This has increased from 63% in 2012 (93 of 150 studies) in 2012. Studies of extremely-low frequency radiation are reported to cause nervous system effects in 90% of the 105 studies available in 2014. Genetic effects (damage to DNA) from radiofrequency radiation is reported in 65% (74 of 114 studies); and 83% (49 of 59 studies) of extremely-low frequency studies.

Mobile wireless devices like phones and tablets are big sources of unnecessary biological stress to the mind and body that can chip away at resilience over time. The Report warns against wireless in schools. Schools should provide internet access without Wi-FI.

“It is essentially an unregulated experiment on childrens’ health and learningMicrowave from wireless tech disrupts thinking – what could be worse for learning? Technology can be used more safely with wired devices that do not produce these biologically-disruptive levels of microwave radiation,” said Cindy Sage, Co-Editor of the BioInitiative Report.

Federal programs like ConnectED and E-Rate are calling for wireless classrooms while ignoring the health evidence. Hyperactivity, concentration problems, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, distracted behavior, sleep disorders, and headaches are reported in clinical studies.

Government reviews on health impacts of wireless radiofrequency radiation from the European Union and Australia continue to be inconclusive largely because they require certainty before issuing warnings. The FCC review of health impacts from wireless technologies is still underway, but has not affected the federal push for wireless classrooms.

Contacts

BioInitiative Working Group
David O. Carpenter, MD
(518) 525-2660
dcarpenter@albany.edu
info@bioinitiative.org
www.bioinitiative.org

April 12, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, radiation | 1 Comment

The exposure of US sailors to radiation, near Fukushima

text ionisingNavy Sailors: Frozen Fukushima steam blanketed ship; Crew suffered massive radiation doses, dozens have cancer — Calls for it to be sunk… still too radioactive; Navy: There’s some contamination, but it’s ok — Tepco: No way US officials would rely on information we were telling to public http://enenews.com/navy-sailors-frozen-fukushima-steam-blanketed-uss-reagan-crew-suffered-massive-radiation-doses-dozens-now-have-cancer-report-calls-for-ship-to-be-sunk-still-too-radioactive-navy-says-contam

AP, Apr 7, 2014: Nearly 80 U.S. sailors are [...] alleging [Tepco] lied about the high level of radiation in the area [and] repeatedly said there was no danger to the crew when they were actually being blanketed with radiation that has since led to dozens of cancer cases and a child being born with birth defects [Tepco] said that there was no way the commanders of the aircraft carrier would have relied on the utility [...] “It’s wholly implausible… military commanders in charge of thousands of personnel and armed with some of the world’s most sophisticated equipment, relied instead only on the press releases and public statements of a foreign electric utility co.”

Orange County RegisterApr. 6, 2014: Sailors on the flight deck said they felt a warm gust of air, followed by a sudden snow storm: radioactive steam. Freezing in the cold Pacific air. Blanketing their ship. And there they remained for two days, until [...] aircrews returning [from] near Sendai identified levels of radioactivity [and] the Navy ordered the carrier to reposition much farther away [...] the lawsuit contends, the crew had already suffered massive doses of radiation. [...] dozens have developed cancers, at least one has borne a child with birth defects [Their lawsuit is] raising very strange and disturbing questions: Could the Reagan – one of the most advanced nuclear aircraft carriers in the U.S. fleet – really not know that it was being showered with massive doses of radiation? [...] Some critics on the ecological front say the Reagan, now stationed in San Diego, is still so radioactive that it needs to be sunk. It floated around the Pacific for many weeks after the Fukushima humanitarian mission ended, as no Pacific Rim country would give it permission to dock. [It's] slated to move to a new home port this year. In Japan.

Navy spokesman Lt. Greg D. Raelson:  “Low levels of radioactive contamination did enter ventilation systems, which have numerous inaccessible areas difficult to perform radiological surveys and decontamination [...] there is no indication that any remaining minimal levels of radiation pose any adverse health concern. Radiological controls are in place to survey, control and remove remaining contamination”

U.S. sailors’ lawsuit“[Those exposed to radioactive releases from Fukushima Daiichi] must now endure a lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering which could have and should have been avoided” [TEPCO] lied through its teeth, knowing all along the plant was in full-scale meltdown [...] “rendered the plaintiffs infirm and poisoned their bodies.”

See also: Navy Officers on TV: “My body is falling apart” after Japan rescue mission, his right side “just didn’t work” — Another “can no longer use his legs” and unable to urinate — If 300 times normal radiation is OK, I don’t know what to tell you

April 11, 2014 Posted by | health, Legal, radiation, USA | 2 Comments

Low level ionising radiation could be even worse than we thought

In addition to the detection of statistically significant levels of certain illnesses among the liquidator cohort, they have made the argument that, instead of being linear, radiation health effects are “bi-modal” at certain low dose levels i.e. more harmful than the linear model predicts.

highly-recommendedRadiation and the Ronald Reagan, China Matters, 10 April 14 “….. I address the tendency of governments to minimize/mislead/suppress information concerning radiation releases from nuclear accidents and the overall uncertainty pervading their efforts. ….

The biggest minefield in the issue of nuclear accidents is the issue of the health effects of radiation exposure.  The international standard for nuclear safety is the “Linear No Threshold” or LNT model, which argues that the negative health impacts of low-level radiation exposure are, well, low.  People who give credence to claims of extensive radiation-related illness as a result of nuclear accidents are frequently dismissed as cranks.Interestingly, the only place that is serious about emphasizing the health hazards of radiation is a country very much in the news today, Ukraine.  Doing the right thing by Ukrainian citizens after the injustices inflicted by the Soviet Union on the Chernobyl front has been an important part of Ukrainian national identity, and claims of radiation-related illness are given a hearing largely denied to them in the West, Japan, or Russia.

radiation-causing-cancer

The international pushback against academics trying to make the statistical and biomedical case for extensive Chernobyl-related illnesses has been intense, including the attempt to explain any statistically significant health effects as a combination of “radiophobia” (the debilitating fear occasioned by radiation exposure) and the overall decline in public health in Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  

In 2005 a symposium conducted by the IAEA, WHO, and UN concluded that only 50 people had died because of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl accident; that’s quite a distance from estimates of critics who think the toll might be as high as 50,000.In response, scientists such as Russia’s Elena Burlakova have carefully monitored the health of the sizable cohort of Chernobyl “liquidators” (the hundreds of thousands of workers who were exposed to high levels of radiation during cleanup at the plant and in the Chernobyl district) and conducted research to attempt to qualify the LNT standard for measuring the health effects of radiation exposure.

In addition to the detection of statistically significant levels of certain illnesses among the liquidator cohort, they have made the argument that, instead of being linear, radiation health effects are “bi-modal” at certain low dose levels i.e. more harmful than the linear model predicts.

Backhanded support for this challenge to the LNT model comes from a school of thought—“radiation hormesis”—now enjoying a certain vogue in the pro-nuclear crowd in Japan, that draws on the experience of inhabitants of Ramsar, a community of the Caspian Sea with high background radiation levels and low cancer rates, to argue that low levels of radiation are beneficial.

Challengers to the LNT model seem to be making some headway—the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently devoted a special issue to the subject—but there is considerable resistance to qualifying LNT and thereby admitting the possibility of rethinking and perhaps acknowledging the likelihood of extensive health problems from the release of low-level radiation by a nuclear accident.

Cleanup for a nuclear accident is expensive.  In an ironic recapitulation of the uncertainty surrounding the magnitude and destination of Fukushima’s radiation releases, the total cleanup bill has been estimated in a range from $10 billion to $50 billion to $250 billion.
To paraphrase Everett Dirksen, ten billion here, ten billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money and the possibility that even rare and occasional nuclear accidents will push up the total cost of nuclear power to unacceptable levels.

Understandably, the nuclear industry and people who have staked their hopes on nuclear power as a greenhouse-gas free alternative to carbon-based electricity generation resist the idea of expanding the accepted definition of significant radiation-related health effects, and with it the cost of any accident.

There is also, perhaps, the temptation to let the radiation illness problem take care of itself i.e. shy away from investigations of radiation sickness that might yield inconvenient or perhaps politically or financially catastrophic conclusions while demographics does its grim work of culling the irradiated herd…… http://chinamatters.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/radiation-and-ronald-reagan.html

April 11, 2014 Posted by | radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

After a nuclear catastrophe, radiation victims become “unpersons”

highly-recommendedWhen life becomes a shadow – after nuclear catastrophe, Ecologist Robert Jacobs 8th April 2014 Those caught up in nuclear disasters suffer many times over, writes Robert Jacobs. Ill-health and early death aside, they are also cut off from their former communities, identities and family life, and the victims of social and medical discrimination. Radiation makes people invisible. We know that exposure to radiation can be deleterious to one’s health; can cause sickness or 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 that 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 relationship to their families, to their communities, to their hometowns, to their traditional diets and even traditional knowledge systems have become broken. They often spend the remainder of their lives wishing that they could go back, that things would become normal.

Unpersons

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 weapon testing, from nuclear weapon production, from nuclear power plant accidents, from nuclear power production or storage, or, like the people in the community that I live, in Hiroshima, from being subjected to direct nuclear attack.

HibakushaFor 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 in radiation-affected communities all around the world. In our research we have found a powerful continuity to the experience of radiation exposure across a broad range of cultures, geographies, and populations.

Fukushima – the victims’ future is all too predictable

About half way between beginning this study and this present moment the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi happened here in Japan.

One of the most distressing things (among so many) since this crisis began is to hear so many 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 there is actually a deep historical precedence that suggests that the future for the people of Tohoku is predictable.

In this short article I will outline some continuities to the experiences of radiation-affected people. Most of the following is also 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 much continuity…….. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2351503/when_life_becomes_a_shadow_after_nuclear_catastrophe.html

April 9, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, radiation, Reference, social effects | 1 Comment

Nuclear industry PR ignores the latency period for cancer from radiation

nuke-spruikersSmWhen life becomes a shadow – after nuclear catastrophe, Ecologist Robert Jacobs 8th April 2014“…….It is disingenuous when nuclear industry apologists say things like “no one died at Fukushima” since they are well aware that for most of the people who will eventually get sick this process will take time.

We are currently in the latency period for these illnesses, a point not missed by nuclear industry PR people.

highly-recommendedLosses of homes, community and identity

Areas that experience radioactive contamination often have to be abandoned by those who live there. The levels of radiation may be high enough that continued habitation can be dangerous to health.

In these cases people lose their homes – often traditional homes that may have been the primary residences for a family for multiple generations. In these cases one’s identity may be deeply connected to the home and the land around the home.

For communities that have to be abandoned the bonds that have been built up and that sustain the wellbeing of the community are disintegrated. Friends are separated, extended families are often separated, and schools are closed.

People who have lived in the same place all of their lives have to make a fresh start, sometimes in old age, sometimes as children, and lose the communal structures that have supported them – shopkeepers who know them, neighbors who can be relied on, the simple familiarity that we have by being known and knowing our way around.

Loss of land and continuity

What is lost when a person is no longer able to eat an apple from a tree planted by their parent or grandparent? With the loss of community many people lose their way of making a living. This is especially true in less industrialized places where many people have been farmers or fishers or herders for generations.

When someone who has only known farming is taken from the land they have tended, when someone who is a fisher can no longer fish in areas where they understand the natural rhythms and habits of the fish, it can be impossible to start over.

Often such people are forced to enter service positions or become dependent on state subsidies, which further erodes their sense of self and wellbeing. Usually, those removed from their land because of contamination are placed into temporary housing.

In almost all cases this housing is not temporary, but becomes permanent. Since it is initially intended to be temporary housing it is often very shoddy and cramped.

It can become impossible for multigenerational families that have been living together for decades to remain together. This can remove care for the elderly, childcare for young families and further erodes to continuity of family identity, knowledge and support. Ill health from processed or radioactive food

Removal from land also is accompanied by the loss of a traditional diet. Those without access to the lands and seas that have provided food for their families for generations often begin a journey of ill health fostered by a new diet composed of processed foods.

In some communities such as the small villages around the former Soviet nuclear test site in Kazakhstan the people simply continue to live in dangerously contaminated homes. The state responsible for their exposures no longer exists and no government feels the responsibility to evacuate them.

They live very traditional lives and most of their food is from their own gardens and from livestock raised on their contaminated land. Many of the long-lived radionuclides simply cycle through this ecosystem and those living here can be contaminated and recontaminated over many generations.

Loss of traditional knowledge

In some remote places survival is dependent on centuries old understandings of the land. In Australia the areas where the British conducted nuclear testing in the outback are very difficult places to live.

Traditional communities in these areas often have songs that hold and transmit essential knowledge about how to survive in such a harsh environment, such as – where to find water, when to hunt specific animals, when to move to various areas.

When the British relocated them to live in areas hundreds of kilometers from their traditional homes this knowledge became broken. It became impossible for the refugee population to survive living a traditional life in areas where they had no knowledge of the rhythms of the land and animals.

This removal from their traditional lands led quickly to dependence on governmental assistance and severed what had been millennia of self-reliance. This led to the further erosion of community, familial and personal wellbeing……. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2351503/when_life_becomes_a_shadow_after_nuclear_catastrophe.html

 

April 9, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, social effects, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Discrimination and the mental effects of being afflicted by ionising radiation

highly-recommendedWhen life becomes a shadow – after nuclear catastrophe, Ecologist Robert Jacobs 8th April 2014  “……Discrimination

HibakushaPeople who may have been exposed to radiation usually experience discrimination in their new homes and often become social pariahs. We first saw this dynamic with the hibakushain Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

They found it very difficult to find marriage partners since prospective spouses feared they would have malformed children, found it difficult to find jobs since employers assumed that they would be sick more often, and often become the targets of bullying. It became very common to hide the fact that one’s family had been among those exposed to radiation.

Many people are familiar with the story of Sadako Sasaki who died at the age of twelve after being exposed to radiation from the nuclear attack on Hiroshima ten years earlier.

Sadako folded paper cranes in accordance with a Japanese tradition that someone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted a wish. Sadako’s story has become well known and children around the world fold paper cranes when they learn her story, many of which are sent here to Hiroshima.

While Sadako has become a symbol of the innocence of so many hibakusha who were victims of the nuclear attack, her father tried to hide this fact so that his family would not suffer discrimination and was upset that his daughter had become so famously afflicted.

Fukushima victims bullied

Children whose families evacuated from Fukushima prefecture after the triple meltdowns at Fukushima found themselves the victims of bullying at their new schools. Cars with Fukushima license plates were scratched when parked in other prefectures.

Often this is the result of the natural fear of contamination that is associated with people exposed to a poison. In the Marshall Islands those who were evacuated from Rongelap and other atolls that became unlivable after being blanketed with radioactive fallout from the Bravo test in 1954 have had to live as refugees on other peoples atolls for several generations now.

The Marshall Islands have a very small amount of livable land and so being moved to atolls that traditionally belonged to others left them with no access to good soil and good locations for fishing and storing boats. They have had to live by the good graces of their new hosts, and endure being seen as interlopers.Becoming medical subjects – or ‘objects’?

Many people who have been exposed to radiation then become the subjects of medical studies, often with no information about the medical tests to which they are subjected.

For example Hibakusha of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki became medical subjects of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission during the American occupation of Japan after World War Two.

This study has continued to this day under the now jointly US-Japan operated Radiation Effects Research Foundation. In the early days of the study Japanese hibakusha had no choice about being subjected to the medical exams.

An American military jeep would appear in front of their homes and they had to go in for an examination, whether it was a good time or not. They were not given information about the results of their tests. This has happened in many radiation-affected communities.

In 1966 a US nuclear bomber blew up in midair and its debris fell on the small village of Palomares, Spain. Four H-bombs fell from the plane, one into the sea, and three onto the small village. None exploded but two broke open and contaminated part of the town with plutonium and other radionuclides.

To this day some of the residents of Palomares are taken to Madrid each year for a medical examination as the effects of exposure on their health is tracked.

They have never been given any of the results of the tests nor informed if any illnesses they develop were related to their exposures. They are subjects, not participants in the gathering and assessing of the effects of radiation on their bodies.

There is no doubt that such studies contribute data to our understanding of the health consequences of radiation exposures (the data itself is contentious for reasons that I won’t go into here), however for those from whom the information is gathered, being studied but not informed reduces ones sense of integrity and agency in one’s own health maintenance.

Many Pacific islanders exposed to radiation by the nuclear tests of the US, the UK and France had such experiences where they were examined and then sent off with no access to the results. Many report feeling as if the data had been harvested from them.

Anxieties belittled

Often the first thing that those exposed to radiation are told is that they have nothing to worry about. Their anxieties are belittled.

Radiation is a very abstract and difficult thing to understand. It is imperceptible – tasteless, odorless, invisible – adding to uncertainty that people feel about whether they were exposed, how much they were exposed to, and whether they and their loved one’s will suffer any health effects.

The dismissal of their anxieties by medical and governmental authorities only compounds their anxiety. When other members of their community develop health problems, such as thyroid cancer and other illnesses years later it can cast a pall over their own sense of wellbeing for the rest of their lives.

Every time that they run a fever, every time that they experience pain in their stomachs, nosebleeds, and other common ailments this anxiety rears up and they think – this is it, it’s finally got me. These fears extend to their parents, their children and other loved ones. Every fever that their child runs triggers horrible fears that their child will die.

Sadako was healthy for nine years following her exposure to radiation when she was two years old in Hiroshima. Then suddenly her neck began to swell and she was soon diagnosed with leukemia. This is the nightmare world that the parents of children exposed to radiation experience on a daily basis. Every ailment can rip them apart.

Radiophobia and ‘blaming the victim’ Radiophobia and ‘blaming the victim’

Iit is often the case that who is and isn’t exposed to radiation, especially to internalized alpha emitting particles, is unknown. So large numbers of people near a nuclear detonation, a nuclear production plant, a nuclear power plant accident, a uranium mining location and countless other sources of exposure to radiation worry about their health and the health of their loved ones.

Among this group, some have been exposed and some have not. The uncertainty is part of the trauma. Often, as is currently the case for the people of Northern Japan, all of these people are dismissed as having undue fear of radiation, and are often told that their health problems are the result of their own anxieties. In some cases that may well be true but it is beside the point.

For those who have experienced some radiological catastrophe – who may have been removed from their homes and communities and lost those bonds and support systems, who are uncertain as to whether each flu or stomach ache is the harbinger of the end, and who cannot be certain that contamination from hard to find alpha emitting particles is still possible when their children play in the park – anxiety is the natural response.

Even if it does cause health problems, it is not their fault: forces outside of their control have upended their lives and they now must live a life of uncertainty and often experience discrimination.

Of course they are going to suffer from the anxiety that this situation produces. To blame them for this is to blame the victims in the situation and is a further form of traumatization.

Their lives will be divided in two parts – before, and after

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 to 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, 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 devastating 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 devastation that a nuclear disaster truly wreaks is unknowable.

The lives of those exposed to radiation, or those in areas affected by radiation but uncertain about their exposures, 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.”

April 9, 2014 Posted by | psychology - mental health, radiation, Reference, social effects | 1 Comment

Cancer rates nearly four times higher than world average near Fukushima

cancer_cellsJapanese physicians link spike in cancer to Fukushima radiation http://www.naturalnews.com/044619_Fukushima_radiation_cancer_Japanese_physician.html, April 06, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer  Cancer rates in many areas of Japan are on the rise following the global catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility back in March 2011. flag-japanAnd some Japanese doctors now caring for all those radiation refugees who were shipped out from areas surrounding the nuclear plant after it exploded say fallout from the disaster is likely to blame for this massive uptick in disease.

The German media group Deutsche Welle (DW) reports that many radiation refugees are having to watch as their family members and pets suffer gruesome fates at the hands of what appears to be radiation poisoning. One elderly woman told reporters that her dog lost all the hair around his neck, his skin turned black, and he eventually died, all signs that suggest a link to radiation.

Many people are also suffering, as evidenced by tests revealing an increase in thyroid damage among folks who lived in close proximity to the plant. One local doctor from Namie, a town located about 5.6 miles (9 km) from the Fukushima plant, has been examining patients ever since the disaster and is convinced that Fukushima radiation is causing a major public health crisis.

“Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the uptake in radioactive iodine in their thyroid,” says Dr. Shunji Sekine, a retired physician with a medical practice in the city of Nihonmatsu, which is currently housing some 230 relocated families who evacuated other areas following the Fukushima disaster, as quoted by DW.

“Although comprehensive studies are missing, I see a connection between nuclear accidents and the occurrence of cancer,” adds the specialist in both thyroid and breast cancer, noting that he has observed a significant increase in both conditions following the nuclear catastrophe.

Cancer rates nearly four times higher than world average near Fukushima Cancer rates have been rising all across the region, in fact, with the latest data showing that 13 out of every 100,000 inhabitants, including many young children, are coming down with some form of cancer. Based on world averages for cancer, this represents a cancer rate that is nearly four times higher than the norm.
“According to official figures, 33 cancer cases have been identified in about a quarter of a million children and teenagers since the beginning of February,” reads the DW report. “This translates into 13 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, a figure almost four times higher than the world average for all age groups.”

Forced evacuations exposed people to more radiation; Japanese government knew all along

The Japanese government has, perhaps not surprisingly, continued to downplay the severity of the situation, advising “further investigations” in order to avoid pinning the rise in disease on Fukushima. But the phenomenon almost exactly matches what occurred following the Chernobyl disaster, as well as the uptick in cancer rates following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. during World War II.

Many of the people being diagnosed with radiation-associated diseases were also forced to trek through areas during their evacuation that had become poisoned by radioactive particles that drifted from the stricken plant. According to Dr. Sekine, who out of the kindness of his own heart is now allowing victims in his area to use a full-body screening machine to test for radiation poisoning annually, the forced relocation of these folks by the Japanese government actually exposed them to more radiation.

“Only four days after the explosion of the nuclear reactor, orders were given to evacuate the town of Tsushima in the northwest,” adds DW. “This led to the refugees being transported through the invisible radioactive cloud, resulting in even more exposure to contamination than if they had stayed at home.”

“Officials in Tokyo knew this from their computer models. But they remained silent, as they feared a widespread panic.”

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, health, Japan | Leave a comment

Increasing levels of radioactive cesium in Vancouver area

Cesium-137Radio: “Surprisingly, high concentrations [of Fukushima cesium] found in Vancouver area” since ocean currents slow down — Levels are increasing — “Might be hotspots where radiation concentrates” — “Chances are high for marine life to absorb it… concern about mussels… clams, oysters” (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/radio-surprisingly-high-concentrations-fukushima-cesium-found-vancouver-area-because-movement-ocean-currents-june-last-year-increasing-levels-found-be-hotspots-radiation-concentrate-chances-h?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

RED 93.1FM (Vancouver, BC), “The Filipino Edition”, Mar. 30, 2014:

At 4:15 in

Joseph Lopez, reporter: In the Vancouver area, as of June last year […] there are increasing levels of cesium-134, the same isotope released from Fukushima. [...]
Irene Querubin, host: I hope we’re not slowly dying by that.

At 7:00 in

Lopez: There’s a strong current called the Kuroshio current […] these are highways in the ocean […] it’s one of the strongest water currents […] and this current passes through Fukushima but it is so strong it helps keep the radiation levels in the Fukushima area lower, it blows it away. […] These radioactive isotopes, in a slower speed — because they’re slowing down in these areas like Vancouver […] where the water is not as fast as in the ocean, there’s a chance for the radioactive isotopes to settle down and be in the water and possibly be absorbed by bottom feeders. [...] The radioactive isotopes [are] not observed much in Japan, in the Fukushima area, surprisingly […] but the current pulls it away and acts as a boundary because it’s so fast. Once the speed slows down in our area, the chances are high for the marine life to absorb it.

At 11:00 in

Lopez: They’re not doing any testing right now, that’s why the public should be concerned [...] We don’t know why they’re not doing it. They should be doing it. [...] It is true that the Pacific Ocean will dilute the radiation, but what they found is there might be hotspots where this radiation might be concentrated. And surprisingly the high concentrations have been found in the Vancouver area because in these waters there’s less movement, less speed. [...] I’m surprised that Dr. Smith of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans would categorically state that there’s a zero chance of starfish die-off [being related to radioactive contamination]. It’s like saying the Titanic will never sink. [...] I would be concerned about mussels as well [...] and clams and oysters, because they are filters. [...] Remember no Hear-This-waylevel of radiation is ever safe.Full broadcast available here

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Canada, oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

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