B.C.’s citizen scientists on alert for radiation from Japan, Vancouver Sun BY AMY SMART, TIMES COLONIST JANUARY 25, 2015 Since October, citizen scientists have been dipping buckets into the waters of B.C.’s coast, looking for fallout from the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Japan.
At the centre of the search are two man-made isotopes, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137, which act as “fingerprints” for radiation specific to the Japan disaster. Both isotopes were released when the reactors failed in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami, just as they were during nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.
While Cesium-137 has a half-life — the time it takes for the radioactivity to fall to half its original value — of 30 years, Cesium-134’s is only two years. That means that if Cesium-134 is found in a sample, scientists can be certain it came from Fukushima.
“It’s been sufficiently long since atmospheric weapons testing last century or the Chernobyl disaster that we don’t see traces of [Cesium-134 from those sources] anymore,” said University of Victoria ocean chemist Jay Cullen. “So if we detect it in seawater or an organism, then we know that sample has been affected by Fukushima.”
The radiation is as close as 100 kilometres, with levels expected to peak over the next two years. But so far, members of the InFORM Network — citizen scientists, and representatives from academia, government and non-governmental organizations — haven’t found anything in seawater samples collected by volunteers at 14 coastal locations.
“The models of ocean circulation that the physical oceanographers have put together suggest that we are going to see it along the coast and we can expect it to arrive over the next couple of years, the heart of that contaminated plume,” said Cullen, who leads the network.
InFORM is also monitoring marine life, which can absorb radiation. The first results, from sockeye salmon and steelhead trout selected for their known migration paths, showed traces of Cesium-137, but no Cesium-134……….
John Smith, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, agrees that the health risks are likely to be “extremely low.” At its peak, the radiation in the plume is expected to be three to five becquerels per cubic metre of water. Canadian guidelines for safe drinking water impose a limit of 10,000 becquerels per cubic metre, he said.
For Smith, who began monitoring the plume’s spread in 2011, it provides a “dye test” for testing theories about ocean currents. The results will have implications for all kinds of models, including understandings of climate change, he said.
“This was a unique oceanographic event in that a large quantity of radioactivity was deposited into the ocean off Japan at a given moment in time and at a given location. It was a tremendous disaster. But it has provided an oceanographic tracer for currents that has never occurred before.”…….. www.vancouversun.com/health/citizen+scientists+alert+radiation+from+Japan/10758982/story.html
Raising radiation limits draws citizens’ anger Bismarck Tribune January 21, 2015 By LeAnn Eckroth A state Health Department plan to track and dispose of radioactive waste from the oil patch drew nearly 130 people to a two-hour hearing Wednesday in Bismarck. A majority who testified said the plan had serious gaps in public safety.
Signs against higher levels of TENORM — technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material — at special landfill sites were taped to the walls of the Environmental Training Center and even hung over a few attendees’ necks.
Dakota Resource Council members and members of area tribes said the state Health Department had given inadequate notice and education about the plan to increase TENORM levels allowed at radioactive disposal sites from 5 picocuries per gram to 50. They demanded more hearings, saying the Feb. 6 deadline for comments was not enough time…..
Audience members challenged whether the state agency had enough staff and money to fully regulate TENORM disposal sites.
“You told me that the industry came and asked you for this. I know no North Dakota citizen came to you asking for an increase in radioactivity to poison themselves, their children or grandchildren,” said Joletta Birdbear, a member of the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikira tribe and a DRC member.
Gene Wirtz, a farmer from Underwood, said the levels shouldn’t be raised. He said county commissioners voted against a radioactive waste site near his home.
“I see this as an end run to get that dump back,” he said. “No amount of radiation is good. Anytime you raise the amount of radiation you are exposed to, you are going to raise the risk of cancer.”……..
A meeting was held Tuesday in Williston and a third was to be held Thursday at the Fargo Public Safety Building at 4630 15th Ave. N.
Radig said the state health officials will consider extending the public comment and education period on the draft regulations.
Japan’s deadly game of nuclear roulette, Japan Times, BY LEUREN MORET MAY 23 2004“……The Radiation and Public Health Project, a group of independent U.S. scientists, has collected 4,000 baby teeth from children living around nuclear power plants. These teeth were then tested to determine their level of Strontium-90, a radioactive fission product that escapes in nuclear power plant emissions.
Unborn children may be exposed to Strontium-90 through drinking water and the diet of the mother. Anyone living near nuclear power plants is internally exposed to chronically low levels of radiation contaminating food and drinking water. Increased rates of cancer, infant mortality and low birth weights leading to cognitive impairment have been linked to radiation exposure for decades.
However, a recent independent report on low-level radiation by the European Committee on Radiation Risk, released for the European Parliament in January 2003, established that the ongoing U.S. Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Studies conducted in Japan by the U.S. government since 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors underestimated the risk of radiation exposure as much as 1,000 times.
Additionally, on March 26 this year — the eve of the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history, at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania — the Radiation and Public Health Project released new data on the effects of that event. This showed rises in infant deaths up to 53 percent, and in thyroid cancer of more than 70 percent in downwind counties — data which, like all that concerning both the short- and long-term health effects, has never been forthcoming from the U.S. government……..http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2004/05/23/to-be-sorted/japans-deadly-game-of-nuclear-roulette/#.VMMMH9KUcnk
Thousands of Hanford Downwinders — people who lived downwind from or worked at Hanford — have become ill or have died of cancers as the result of radiation exposure.
The legacy of the Manhattan Project is not represented solely by the atomic science. It is also reflected in its destructive effects on the human body, a cautionary tale learned from the broken lives of Downwinders not just near Hanford but around the world. The human toll of this project remains a story that must not be silenced or ignored.
Don’t throw history out with the radioactive bathwater http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/1/manhattan-projectnationalhistoricalparkhanfordnuclearplant.html January 15, 2015 by Trisha Pritikin @TrishaPritikin On Dec. 12, Congress passed legislation to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park at three nuclear plants in Washington state, New Mexico and Tennessee. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Dec. 19. The park will preserve historic buildings, structures and nuclear artifacts at the sites where the first atomic bombs were created. Public officials in Richland, Washington, near the Hanford B Reactor are rejoicing. Tourism promoters hope that the Hanford plant will become a major historical tourist attraction.
But not everyone is celebrating. As a victim of radiation discharged downwind from that plant, my feelings are mixed.
My father was an engineer at Hanford from the 1940s to ’60s. I spent my childhood playing in the poisoned Columbia River and drinking radioactive milk. Both my parents died of cancer related to Hanford radiation exposure. I’m alive today, I believe, because I had my thyroid gland removed at the first sign of cancer. I now live with tetany, pain and bone-numbing fatigue.
Constructed during World War II, the Hanford B Reactor was the first full-size weapons-grade plutonium production reactor in the world. It made plutonium for the first test of an atomic bomb, the Trinity test, in 1945, and for the atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan. Continue reading
These Are The 2 Big Hurdles To Setting Up A Mars Colony, Business Insider, JESSICA ORWIG 16 Jan 15 “…….. Ruthless Radiation
“The first [hurdle] is the radiation that you’re exposed to when you’re in deep space……….Since 2008, more than 40 scientists at institutions across the country have been studying what space radiation does to the human body and how to mitigate those effects. Moreover, NASA has established nearly a dozen specialised centres of research in this field.
The sun is primary source of harmful radiation that astronauts would face on their way to Mars. Powerful bursts from the sun called solar flares, like the one shown below, release lethal doses of radiation with the power of 160 billion megatons of TNT.
We are safe here on Earth because our planet’s magnetic field and thick atmosphere protect us from these radiation blasts, but there’s no protection in space. During deep space flights, astronauts would be bombarded by dangerous, high-energy radiation, like x-rays and gamma rays, from solar flares.
The human body can handle certain kinds of radiation in small doses, but the longer you are exposed the more likely your body will blow past those “safe” radiation levels into the danger zone. The result is a series of scary symptoms like vomiting, fatigue, changes to white blood cell count, and impaired immune system, all of which could jeopardize an astronaut’s ability to do much else.
Long term, radiation exposure will increase astronauts’ risk of developing cancer and can also lead to damaged cardiovascular system, eyes, and central nervous system……….http://www.businessinsider.com.au/two-big-hurdles-to-setting-up-a-mars-colony-2015-1
Fukushima Released 13,000,000,000 Times More Neutrons than Initially Estimated http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-released-13000000000-times-more-neutrons-than-initially-estimated/5424619
We estimated a lower limit of 5.2 × 1021 slow neutrons m–2 sec–1 [m–2 sec–1 = per sq. meter per second] were emitted from the nuclear fuel rods to the sea water injected in the reactors
- Priyadarshi et al. (2011) have estimated a release amount of 4 × 1011 slow neutrons m–2. The large difference with our estimation [13,000,000,000 times higher] comes from the intrinsic limit of the box model study by Priyadarshi et al.
- Our model directly estimates the amount of material released from the reactor core
- The estimated… number of neutron represent a lower limit of the amount of radiation emitted from the nuclear reactors… These values can be used as a proxy to the total amount of radiation emitted since the melt down
- [The authors] express their gratitude to… the Japanese Ministry of Environment…Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Technology (MEXT)… [and] the Cabinet Office
Priyadarshi et al.: Evidence of neutron leakage at the Fukushima nuclear plant… Despite the obvious implication for human health… there are no quantitative estimates of the neutron flux leakage… [T]ons of seawater were used as a coolant… A consequence is that salts and minerals present in seawater become radioactive by reaction with thermal neutrons… We calculated the total number of neutrons that leaked from the reactor core [and] estimate that a total of 4 × 1011 neutrons per m2 were released before March 20.
Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Coordination: Neutron radiation is a kind of ionizing radiation which consists of free neutrons… Neutrons readily pass through most material, but interact enough to cause biological damage. Neutron radiation is considered to be the most severe and dangerous radiation available. Neutrons can travel great distances…
Sunlight Can Kill You!https://planetpailly.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/sunlight-can-kill-you/We all know the Sun produces U.V. rays and that if you spend too much time sunbathing, you’ll probably get skin cancer. Well, the Sun spews a lot of other stuff into space too. Ultraviolet radiation may be the least of your worries if you happen to live in space.
In addition to U.V. rays, the Sun also produces:
- X-rays: sort of like U.V. rays, only with more energy and, therefore, more harmful.
- Gamma rays: even more energetic and harmful than X-rays.
- Solar ejecta: solar flares and other nasty explosions on the Sun can accelerate protons, electrons, and other little bits and pieces of atoms to ludicrous speeds. Do not stand in their way!
Fortunately, Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect us from most of the Sun’s deadly radiation. Even the crew of the International Space Station are in a low enough orbit that Earth still keeps them safe. Well, safe-ish.
But all this radiation makes human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit extremely hazardous. Before sending astronauts to the Moon, NASA had to wrestle with their collective conscience over how much radiation exposure should be considered acceptable. Now, NASA is wrestling with its conscience again as it plans to send astronauts to Mars.
Current technology cannot protect humans from solar radiation. The problem gets worse with increased solar flare activity. One of the things science fiction writers (like myself) have to figure out is how to keep our characters from dying of radiation sickness within the first few chapters of our books.
P.S.: Starlight can kill you too. In addition to solar radiation, astronauts have to worry about cosmic radiation: radiation from other stars, quasars, and God knows what else.
Radiation found in food 80 miles across the border from Cumbrian nuclear-plant Sellafield Daily record, Jan 07, 2015 By Jennifer Hyland
NUCLEAR waste released from the Cumbrian reprocessing site has made fish and shellfish caught off the Dumfriesshire coast radioactive. RADIATION has been found in food 80 miles across the border from a Cumbrian nuclear-plant a report has revealed.
Nuclear waste released from the Cumbrian reprocessing site has made fish and shellfish caught off the Dumfriesshire coast slightly radioactive.
And fish-fans in Dumfriesshire have the highest exposure to nuclear radiation of anyone north of the Border.
Despite Sellafield nuclear station being situated 80 miles away, the new report reveals that the nuclear power station is still having an impact on Scotland, reports the Daily Mail. And although the levels are within safe EU limits, Sellafield and Scottish nuclear power stations have infiltrated the food chain here.
Traces of radiation were found in fruit, potatoes and vegetables near to Dounreay nuclear power station in Caithness, in the far north-east of Scotland .
Whilst in Chapelcross, in Dumfriesshire, nuclear radiation has made its way into the milk.
Where as at Faslane, near Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, the destination of Britain’s nuclear submarines where liquid radioactive waste is discharged into the Gareloch,
beef has been revealed to contain a small amount of radiation……..
- The unborn children of pregnant women living within 550 yards of the Hunterston B site, in North Ayrshire – one of Scotland’s two working nuclear power stations -would received the highest dose there.
Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “There is no safe level of radiation. Nuclear technology… poses an ongoing threat to public health.”………http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/health/radiation-found-food-80-miles-4931653
The real fallout from Fukushima, Maclean’s Colby Cosh January 8, 2015 On the verge of the new year, scientists from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued the first systematic report of measurements on the spread of radioactive seawater from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor to the coast of British Columbia. …….Accurate measurements of the Fukushima plume are possible because humans wisely stopped testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere in 1980. There is still a “fallout background” of radiation lingering in the world’s oceans from these nuclear tests—and, of course, from those two nuclear explosions that did not quite have the character of tests. But every kind of radioactive isotope has a different rate of decay, usually expressed as a “half-life,” and the short-lived ones from nuclear testing are all gone.
This means that the 2011 Fukushima disaster left a distinctive “fingerprint” of fast-decaying radioactives that cannot be attributed to any other source. So that’s what the scientists measuring the plume look for—fanning out between Vancouver Island and Japan on Canadian Coast Guard oceanographic vessels, gathering up seawater from various depths, and pumping it through ion exchangers to extract the telltale radioactive cesium that spewed out of the damaged reactor.
In 2011, the measurements along the B.C.-Japan line looked just like usual. But the levels of cesium-134, which can only have come from Fukushima, suddenly increased about 1,500 km off the continental shelf when samples were taken in 2012. In 2013 the “fingerprint” of Fukushima seems to have reached the shelf itself.
Cesium-134 degrades fast. What physicists and doctors have been concerned about is the equal amount of cesium-137 spilled at Fukushima: that isotope has a half-life of 30 years, so most of whatever reaches B.C. now will be around for a while. The radiation emitted by the fallout background—the cesium-137 presently left in the ocean by past nuclear testing—works out to about one becquerel per cubic metre of seawater. That figure has now doubled. The total peak level of ocean radioactivity off Canada’s Pacific Coast is expected to reach somewhere between three to five becquerels per cubic metre before beginning to drop back down……..
Overall, the authors of the paper expect the Fukushima plume to make B.C. ocean water as radioactive as it was in the 1980s…….
Pappy’s Undark Girls Ghost Stories 2012 – 2014 by Lost Dutchman Ghost“…….The Radium Luminous Material Corporation used radium from carnotite ore to make luminous paint, which was sold under the brand name ‘Undark‘. The paint was used on military watches and compasses. Plant workers were told the product was safe and encouraged to handle the substance with their hands and mouth. When the girls went to the clubs after work, the paint was blazon on their lips and shone brightly in the darkness. They were very popular, but their looks could kill.
After several workers became ill with radioactive poisoning, plant workers (Grace Fryer and four others) sued for damages. A media sensation surrounded the case of the Undark Girls. It established several legal precedents and triggered the enactment of regulations governing labor safety standards; in addition to the historic reference of ‘provable suffering’.
Several of the plant workers died before the litigation was complete. The company enacted safety procedures and the illness ceased. Even after death, the bodies of the victims were so contaminated that radiation can still be detected at their grave sites, using a Geiger counter…….http://lostdutchmanghosthunters.blogspot.com.au/
TV: Record level of “flesh-eating bacteria” cases in Japan — Spike began around 2011 Fukushima disaster — Now at 400% normal rate — US Gov’t: Radiation from nuclear accident greatly reduces ability to fight this infection — Officials: We don’t know what’s triggering it; Seek immediate help if symptoms develop (PHOTOS & VIDEO)http://enenews.com/tv-flesh-eating-bacteria-record-levels-japan-spike-began-2011-400-previous-average-govt-radiation-exposure-after-nuclear-accidents-greatly-reduces-ability-fight-infection-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29 6 Jan 15
New studies by scientists from Fukushima Institute of Public Health and others:Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2014 (emphasis added): Patients with ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ hit record — A record high 263 patients are suffering from streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome (STSS), a deadly infection… National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) is calling on people to visit a doctor… immediately after a possible STSS symptom is detected, such as a severe sore throat… [A] maximum of 100 patients suffered from the disease annually until 2010… This year, that number reached 263 as of Dec. 14, topping the previous worst record of 242 in 2012… Tokyo ranked first with 41… The infection is mainly caused by Group A Streptococcus… but details remain unclear. It is unknown what triggers the disease… The condition may lead to a state of shock, multiple organ failure and other results in a few days… It is also called “flesh-eating bacteria” [affecting] tissues such as on limbs and the face… NIID official said [to] “seek immediate treatment… should STSS symptoms appear.”
- Increased prevalence of group A streptococcus isolates in streptococcal toxic shock syndrome cases in Japan from 2010 to 2012, published 2014: Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock, multi-organ failure, and high mortality… STSS is mainly caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). Although an average of 60–70 cases of GAS-induced STSS are reported annually, 143 cases were recorded in 2011. [We examine] the reason behind this marked increase… mefA-positive emm1 isolates has escalated since 2011.
- Evaluation of streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome caused by group B streptococcus[GBS] in adults in Japan between 2009 and 2013, published 2014: In recent years, [Streptococcus infection] is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among adults… disease similar to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome have recently been reported… underlying disease was present in 47.4% of the patients.
US Dept. of Defense, 2012: (Photo – “Crew member is checked for radiation [in] Japan… March 2011″); Ch. 5 – Therapy for Bacterial Infections following Ionizing Radiation Injury… [C]oncerns about nuclear disasters have… shifted to emphasize the low-dose acute and low-dose–rate chronic irradiation scenarios of nuclear accidents… nonlethal doses of ionizing radiation enhance susceptibility to exogenous bacterial infections… The predominant bacteria isolated from wounds included… b-hemolytic [and] a-hemolytic Streptococcus… [I]mmune responses are greatly diminished within a few days after irradiation…individuals should be monitored continually for… symptoms of infection [which] aredifficult to treat effectively in those who receive whole-body ionizing radiation.
Al Jazeera: What does Polonium do to a person?… An amount equivalent to the size of a particle of dust is lethal. After being taken into the body… it bombards people’s cells with millions of radioactive alpha particles [and] damages the intestines, causing toxic shock syndrome.
Dr. Nick Priest, toxicology professor at Middlesex Univ.: If polonium is ingested [it] will travel through the gut… Destruction of the inner gut wall will lead to… toxic shock syndrome.
Scientists: Test West Coast for Fukushima radiation Tracy Loew, USA TODAY March 9, 2014 SALEM, Ore. – Very low levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster likely will reach ocean waters along the U.S. West Coast next month, scientists are reporting.
Current models predict that the radiation will be at extremely low levels that won’t harm humans or the environment, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who presented research on the issue last week.
But Buesseler and other scientists are calling for more monitoring. No federal agency currently samples Pacific Coast seawater for radiation, he said.
“I’m not trying to be alarmist,” Buesseler said. “We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it’s safe?”……………
There are three competing models of the Fukushima radiation plume, differing in amount and timing. But all predict that the plume will reach the West Coast this summer, and the most commonly cited one estimates an April arrival, Buesseler said.
A report presented last week at a conference of the American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Section showed that some Cesium 134 has already has arrived in Canada, in the Gulf of Alaska area.
Cesium 134 serves as a fingerprint for Fukushima, Buesseler said.
“The models show it will reach north of Seattle first, then move down the coast,” Buesseler said.
By the time it gets here, the material will be so diluted as to be almost negligible, the models predict. Radiation also decays. Cesium 134, for example, has a half-life of two years, meaning it will have half its original intensity after that period.
In Oregon, state park rangers take quarterly samples of surf water and sand at three locations along the coast. The water is analyzed for Cesium 137 and iodine 131. Both of those already exist in the ocean at low levels from nuclear testing decades ago.
The monitoring began in April 2012, when tsunami debris began arriving along the Oregon coast. So far, all of the tests have shown less than “minimum detectable activity,” or the least amount that can be measured.
Results of the most recent samples, taken in mid-February, won’t be available until mid-March, Oregon Health Authority spokesman Jonathan Modie said.
Washington does not test ocean water for radiation.
“We have none happening now and we have none planned,” said Tim Church, communications director for the Washington State Department of Health. “Typically that would be something that would happen on the federal level.”
California regularly samples seawater around the state’s nuclear power plants to determine whether the plants are impacting the environment. Those results all are below minimum detectable activity.
Some citizens and scientists are taking sampling into their own hands. Cal State Long Beach marine biologist Steven Manley has launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” which will partner with other organizations to monitor kelp all along the West Coast for Fukushima radiation.
And Buesseler recently offered the services of his lab at Woods Hole in Massachusetts.
His project — titled “How Radioactive Is Our Ocean?” — will use crowd-sourced money and volunteers to collect water samples along the Pacific Coast, then ship them across the country to be analyzed.
So far, results are in for two locations in Washington and three in California. They show that the plume has not yet reached the coast.
Meanwhile, West Coast states are winding down their tsunami debris response efforts.
Oregon’s coastline is seeing less debris from the tsunami this winter than in the past two years, Oregon State Parks spokesman Chris Havel said.
If that doesn’t change, officials likely will disband a task force that was mobilized to deal with the debris.
Last year, Washington suspended its marine debris reporting hotline.
Loew also reports for the (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/09/scientists-test-west-coast-for-fukushima-radiation/6213849/?utm_content=buffer51957&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
“My take home is always, don’t trivialize it or dismiss it, but also don’t exaggerate what the effects might be,” says Woods Hole’s Ken Buesseler.
Radiation from Fukushima is reaching the West Coast — but you don’t need to freak out, WP By Chris Mooney December 29 “…….many Americans have been concerned — sometimes overly so — that radiation from Fukushima, traveling through the vast Pacific ocean, would eventually make its way to the waters off the West Coast of the United States and Canada. And according to a new scientific paper just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that has indeed happened.
The paper, by John N. Smith of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (a government agency) and several colleagues, is the “first systematic study…of the transport of the Fukushima marine radioactivity signal to the eastern North Pacific,” and concludes that radiation reached the continental shelf of Canada by June of last year, and has increased somewhat since.
But– and here’s the good news — the levels of radiation are very low, well below levels that public health authorities cite as grounds for concern. The radiation “does not represent a threat to human health or the environment,” reports the paper.
The new study is not the first to reach that conclusion. Continue reading
INTERVIEW/ Yukihiko Kayama: Experts should help Fukushima mothers speak up about radiation fears, Asahi Shimbun December 26, 2014 By YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer FUKUSHIMA--Psychiatrist Yukihiko Kayama said it is becoming more embarrassing, with the passage of time since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, for mothers in Fukushima Prefecture to casually discuss their fears of radiation.
In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Kayama attributed the trend to a “division” within the population of Fukushima Prefecture, whereby a divergence in their lifestyles according to their residential areas, available economic resources and other factors has made it difficult for them to relate to each other’s feelings.
He proposed meetings of experts with small audiences of residents, where participants could feel at ease talking about their own experiences, concerns and other problems. That would ease the speakers’ emotions to a certain extent, Kayama said.
Excerpts of the interview follow:……………
“….For one thing, people consciously keep from talking about radiation because many of them have found their own ways of coming to terms with radiation in their lives. But rather, I think it is truer to say that, with the passage of time since the nuclear disaster, it is becoming more embarrassing to talk about radiation at all.
That is partly because you are afraid you could be taken for being eccentric if you don’t react to radiation concerns the way others do. Some are concerned they could be taken for nervous ones who still worry about radiation if they just mentioned the topic of radiation.
You also tend to keep your mouth shut when you don’t know the background of the people you are talking to………..” http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/opinion/AJ201412260004
Scrutiny on the misleading spin about the health effects of Fukushima nuclear disaster being “tolerable”
The second basic narrative through which accounts of Fukushima have kept the accident from undermining the wider nuclear industry rests on the claim that its effects were tolerable – that even though the costs of nuclear accidents might look high, when amortised over time they are acceptable relative to the alternatives.
The ‘accidents are tolerable’ argument is invariably framed in relation to the health effects of nuclear accidents. Continue reading
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