For each of the last four days, I have published a part of an interview I filmed with a brave, young woman from Fukushima about her diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Following are some details about the interview as well as some data for reference.
Below is a summary of the main points of the young woman’s story:
1) She often gets tired easily after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer.
2) She sometimes feels emotionally unstable after the surgery.
3) She has no medical doctor with whom she can talk comfortably.
4) She does not want other Fukushima children/ adolescents to develop thyroid cancer.
5) She wants young residents in Fukushima to undergo regular thyroid checkups, so that thyroid cancer cases may be detected early.
6) She is anxious about the possible health implications on her future children.
Points 1) and 2): Fukushima Medical University insists that thyroid cancer is not a disease that is deadly, and therefore residents in Fukushima do not have to worry even if they are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. However, this young woman’s story clearly demonstrates that the postoperative conditions of patients are not that simple. Post-operative patients are likely to experience various physical and emotional difficulties even after they have survived thyroid cancer.
Points 3): Doctors at Fukushima Medical University are not forming a comfortable relationship with the patients on whom they operate, which is a significant problem in terms of doctor-to-patient relationships. It is even more problematic when it is taken into account that most of the patients are young and therefore require intensive medical and emotional follow-up care.
Points 5): She is sending a strong message to young Fukushima residents that they should continue receiving regular thyroid checkups.
Ian Thomas Ash
People shout slogans and hold placards to protest against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner and operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 2015.
TOKYO, May 23 (Xinhua) — Facts about the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by a powerful earthquake kept emerging over the past five years after the mishap took place, revealing the real face of the disaster.
In front of the local government of Iidate Village in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, there stands a sharp radiation measuring device. On its spotless dashboard jumps a red number: 0.38 microsieverts/hour.
The spot is about 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was crippled by the monstrous quake-triggered tsunami in March 2011.
However, volunteer Yoichi Tao who majored in physics said the figure of radiation on their own device is 8 to 10 times of the official one.
According to Tao, the government dispatched the military to wipe out the nearby nuclear radiation on the ground in advance, so the official figure looks very low. “That’s how the government did it,” he said.
Toshihide Tsuda, professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University, found out that the rate of children suffering from thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture was as much as 20 to 50 times higher than the national average as of 2014, three years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
His finding, however, did not arouse concern from the Japanese and local governments. On the contrary, it was rejected by the Fukushima prefectural government, attributing the phenomenon to a surge of “over diagnosis.” The local government insisted the cancer incidents and nuclear radiation were not related.
The Japanese government admitted in August 2013 that at least 300 tons of highly-contaminated water flew freely into the Pacific Ocean everyday, and the problem might linger for ages. However, in September the same year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the international community when Japan was bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games that the crisis was “totally under control.”
It has also been revealed that TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Company, had knowledge of multiple meltdowns at the plant’s reactors following the tsunami, but intentionally refrained from informing the public of the fact until recently.
Underestimating the long-term impact of the accident could lead to a slack supervision on affected foods. It may also produce an unrealistic optimism in the Japanese government, thus the official handling of the aftermath would be careless, experts warned.
With all what Tepco has been dumping and leaking into the sea at Fukushima Daiichi for the past five years, no wonder the Japanese people to slow down their fish consumption.
TOKYO —Japan’s seafood consumption has declined drastically, especially among the younger generation, according to a government report released this week.
The report reveals that the total per-capita marine food consumption in the year through March 2016 had declined to 27.3 kilograms, 30% down from a peak of 40.2 kilograms in fiscal 2001, Sankei Shimbun reported.
The decreasing seafood consumption is especially prevalent among people younger than 40, who are increasingly replacing the country’s once most common food with meat, the report reveals.
Meanwhile, with the overall seafood consumption in most developing countries increasing, the report further suggests that Japan may profit from expanding its export market in the future, as a means to compensate for domestic sales decline.
A successful example, specifically mentioned in the report, was the cooperation of six seafood companies based in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, an area that was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in 2001. The alignment resulted in producing a new seafood brand, which is successfully expanding export sales globally and contributing to sustaining the Sanriku area’s overall financial growth.
The following is the letter to the Editor for the Chicago Tribune editorial, “The children of Fukushima: When medical tests mislead.” The letter was submitted through the online form on April 19, 2016, but there has been no response from Chicago Tribune. (Brevity of the content is due to the 400-word limit for letters).
The March 25, 2016 Chicago Tribune editorial, “The children of Fukushima: When medical tests mislead” is misleading on its own regarding the childhood thyroid cancer situation in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
Differences in cancer rates by distance from the accident site and contamination levels may not be obvious, but an epidemiological analysis by Tsuda et al. (http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2016/05000/The_Authors_Respond.37.aspx) found a dose response tendency with proximity to the accident site after adjusting for the length of time between the accident and the time of screening. It is also important to remember only 1,080 children had their thyroid exposure doses directly measured and that is only 0.36% of 300,000 children who underwent thyroid ultrasound examination. Taken under high background levels, the doses are far from being accurate.
Children younger than age 5 showed an increased rate of thyroid cancer beginning at 4-5 years after the Chernobyl accident, so the first 3 years after the Fukushima accident, covered by the completed first round screening, would not expect to see that age group affected. The first cancer case was diagnosed about 17 months after the accident, not within a year, and some of these early cases might have been the result of radiation exposure promoting the growth of latent cancer that might not have become large enough to be detected until much later in life if unexposed to radiation.
Comparison with three other prefectures where one cancer case was diagnosed in 4,365 subjects is invalid as its small sample size lacks the necessary statistical power. The Korean screening is in adults and should not be compared with children.
It is true that unnecessary medical testing can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, but the clinical information provided by Fukushima Medical University, such as metastasis and physical proximity of tumor to other vital structures, validates surgical interventions for the majority of the operated cases in Fukushima. Thyroid cancer is believed to grow slowly, but 80% of thyroid cancer cases discovered in the ongoing second round screening had no suspicious findings in the first round screening only 2-3 years earlier.
It is not just a cancer death but cancer diagnosis itself that is concerning for patients and their loved ones, and the causality should not be prematurely prejudged. A lesson of the Fukushima children may be the importance of conducting a timely and adequate collection of the exposure data and a comprehensive evaluation of data in a transparent and unbiased manner.
Yuri Hiranuma, D.O.
Member, Radiation and Health Committee
Physicians for Social Responsibility
The Fukushima nuclear plant disaster has been examined in hundreds of documentaries to date, counting all media, nationalities and languages. But “Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” stands out for one simple, powerful reason: Its central figure, Italian journalist Pio d’Emilia, was among the first foreign reporters allowed on the scene after the earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.
With his camcorder, he captured the devastation and confusion of the disaster’s immediate aftermath, as he evaded still-spotty security to travel to the plant gates. The documentary, narrated by American actor Willem Dafoe, has been distilled from nearly 300 hours of footage. This includes an in-depth interview with Naoto Kan — prime minister at the time of the disaster — who says he was seriously considering an evacuation of Tokyo when the meltdowns at the plant seemed to be spiraling out of control.
Kan was also on hand for a gala preview screening of “Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” at the MAXXI museum of contemporary art in Rome on Monday. The film has also been sold for broadcast in Canada, the United States, Germany, Norway and Mexico — but not yet Japan.
“Fukushima has already joined the many forgotten nuclear disasters,” says d’Emila; “forgetting means lying. Tepco and the Japanese government began lying from the very first hours — by hiding the already occurring multiple meltdowns — and are still lying by pretending the situation is now under control. As everybody knows, it isn’t.”
t 原発事故当時15歳女性の証言: (パート3)
21 May 2016
This interview was filmed on February 12, 2016, in Fukushima Prefecture. The young woman was 15 at the time of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, and we are releasing this interview with her permission. She is one of the 166 Fukushima residents aged 18 or younger at the time of the nuclear disaster who has been diagnosed with or suspected of having thyroid cancer (as of February 2016).
Fukushima residents who were 18 years old or younger at the time of the nuclear accident have been asked to participate in the voluntary thyroid ultrasound examination which is part of the Fukushima Health Management Survey. However, 18.8% of this age group were not tested in the 1st round of testing.* While the final results for the 2nd round of testing are not yet complete, every year the number of children participating in the official thyroid examinations is decreasing; the number of children who have not participated in the 2nd round of testing is currently 50.7%** For those young people aged 18-21 (as of April 1, 2014) and who were living in Fukushima at the time of the nuclear accident, 74.5% have not yet taken part in the official thyroid ultrasound examination.**
This young woman’s reason for speaking out is to motivate the families of children who have not yet received the thyroid ultrasound examination to have their children tested. However, in sharing her story about a topic which has become increasingly difficult to talk publicly about in Japan, she faces inherent risks which may include those to her work, community life and personal relationships. I therefore ask that her privacy is respected.
Ian Thomas Ash, Director
contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Former McDonnell Douglas workers, residents file suit over radiation exposure, St Louis Public Radio By DURRIE BOUSCAREN • MAY 20, 2016 Three former aircraft workers and seven north St. Louis County residents who say they were exposed to radioactive waste stored near Lambert Airport after World War II, have filed a federal lawsuit against Mallinckrodt and the Cotter Corporation.
“There were a lot of fellow employees that are no longer with us. And I feel that I’m speaking for them,” said the lead plaintiff, 72-year-old Bob Malon, who survived a colon cancer diagnosis in 2004.
The personal injury lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, seeks unspecified damages………
The nine plaintiffs claim that Mallinckrodt and other federal contractors acted negligently and allowed materials to leach into the environment, putting people nearby at a greater risk for several types of cancer and thyroid disease………
The 10 plaintiffs allege they were exposed to doses above 500 millirem a year without their knowledge.
Ken Brennan, the lead attorney on the lawsuit, hopes to consolidate it with ongoing litigation filed in 2012, McClurg et. al v. MI Holdings, Inc. et al. About 250 people who believe their health issues are connected to their exposure to radioactive contamination in north St. Louis County are represented by the consolidated suit, and another 150 have filed similar suits.
“We reconstruct, based on data that’s available, how much radiation was stored at the airport site, how that radiation was then distributed through weather and erosion and wind patterns,” Brennan said.
Brennan estimates a quarter of the plaintiffs are former employees of Boeing or McDonnell Douglas. The majority lived near the airport or along Coldwater Creek. Many plaintiffs, including Malon, were made aware of the litigation by a Facebook group that has tracked cancer and other health issues near Coldwater Creek since 2011, when a group of friends planning a high school reunion realized that many of their classmates had developed cancer or passed away.
“When we determine the extent to which each of our clients was exposed to radiation, we use existing science to demonstrate that their cancers were more likely than not caused by that radiation,” Brennan said……..
The people who worked at the waste site could be eligible to receive compensation from the federal government—and 48 of them have filed to do so, according to the Department of Labor.
By law, contractors and subcontractors who worked at nuclear sites between 1942 and 1971 can receive a lump sum and coverage of medical bills if they meet certain conditions. 22 cancers are specified in the law, including lung, breast and colon cancer.
Residents and nearby workers are not included, but Malon and the other plaintiffs believe their injuries stem from the same contamination. …. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/former-mcdonnell-douglas-workers-residents-file-suit-over-radiation-exposure?utm_content=buffer961c0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
The numerous allegations against SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries helped Canada dominate a World Bank blacklist of corrupt companies.
Canadian companies represented 117 of the 600 firms on the list in 2013, that were banned from doing business with the World Bank. Most of them were SNC subsidiaries.
The federal Liberal government last year allowed SNC-Lavalin to continue bidding on government contracts while the criminal charges against it are resolved.
Under new procurement rules brought in by the previous Conservative government last year, companies convicted of corruption are banned for 10 years from bidding on government contracts.
SNC-Lavalin Named In Panama Papers http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/05/18/snc-lavalin-panama-papers_n_10031200.html The Huffington Post Canada | By Daniel Tencer 05/19/2016 Canadian construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, already embroiled in corruption scandals in numerous countries around the world, can add one more black mark to its reputation: It has been named in the Panama Papers leak of offshore accounts, according to news reports.
Among the 11.5 million files in the Panama Papers were documents showing SNC-Lavalin paid a company in the Caribbean nearly $22 million to help secure contracts in Algeria, according to an investigation by the CBC and The Toronto Star.
The two news outlets are the Canadian partners of the consortium that has released the Panama Papers.
The CBC reports that the setup described in the Panama Papers is similar to how SNC-Lavalin operated in Libya, where the company has been accused of bribery.
The RCMP laid charges against SNC-Lavalin last year, alleging the company offered some $47 million in bribes to Libyan officials in the hopes of securing work there between 2001 and 2011.
It also alleged the company committed fraud worth $130 million in its dealings in Libya for paying bribes so it could secure contracts for infrastructure projects there.
A former SNC vice-president, Riadh Ben Aissa, was convicted of bribery in a Swiss court in relation to the Libyan allegations. Continue reading
May 05, 2016
Identify the 25 rules of disinfo when you see it & then draw attention to the disinfo perpetrators by identifying which rule they are using & how they are using it to silence, bully & ridicule antinuclear voices.
Websites mentioned in the video:
The 25 Rules of Disinfo
Veterans Today – Your Radiation This Week
The Little Rad Book – a free download on Smashwords
Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky’s work in Minsk following Chernobyl
You may want to bookmark some of these sites and go back to review them later. (It’s a lot of information to digest at once. )
Is the Iran deal unraveling? Think again. Brookings, Suzanne Maloney | May 20, 2016Are the wheels coming off the Iran deal? Less than a year after Iran, America, and five other world powers inked a comprehensive nuclear accord, a debate over its terms has erupted anew.
In Washington, the braggadocio of a prominent White House aide is fueling Republican accusations thatPresident Obama deliberately deceived the Congress and the country about Iran and the deal. And in Tehran, frustration over the residual impact of American sanctions has prompted increasingly resentful accusations from Iranian leaders that the United States has failed to live up to its end of the bargain. As a result, some are fretting that the deal is “at risk” and are laying blame on the White House doorstep.
Both claims are spurious, and deserve a more forceful rebuttal from the Obama administration. In the end, however, the ruckus over recent comments by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is largely an inside-the-Beltway drama—one that provides endless entertainment for Washington insiders but has little real significance for deal or American diplomacy.
By contrast, Iran’s dissatisfaction presents a serious diplomatic dilemma for Washington. But it should not be interpreted as evidence that the deal is “unraveling.” Rather, the chorus of complaints from Tehran demonstrates the accord signed in July 2015 is working exactly as it was intended—forestalling Iranian nuclear ambitions while amplifying the incentives for further reintegration into the global economy. Continue reading
KYODO MAY 21, 2016 WASHINGTON – The United States would back a change to Japan’s nuclear fuel reprocessing program because there are concerns it may lead to an increase in its ally’s stockpile of unused plutonium, a senior White House official said. … (registered readers only) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/21/national/politics-diplomacy/u-s-back-rethink-japans-plutonium-recycling-program-white-house/#.V0I7-zV97Gj
Exxon Mobil documents call for a thorough investigation We expect prosecutors to investigate when evidence suggests a corporation may have committed a crime, especially when the company may have harmed the public or deceived investors. Houston Chronicle, By Chris Tomlinson May 21, 2016 That’s why the legal community was surprised that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would try to stop an investigation by another attorney general into whether Exxon Mobil Corp. misled the public and investors about climate change.
Seventeen attorneys general, who unlike Paxton have criminal law experience, want to know when Exxon Mobil knew climate change was real, when it realized global warming would hurt its business, and whether it misled shareholders about the potential risk…….
Scientists working for Exxon Mobil in the 1970s and 1980s were among the first to recognize global warming, and that carbon dioxide was a major contributor, according to company papers published online by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times in September 2015.
“There is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Exxon Mobil senior scientist James Black told the company’s management committee in 1977. Black told senior managers and scientists the following year that a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and cause significant climactic changes, according to the documents…….
Exxon Mobil managers recognized the threat to the planet and their business model. Exxon Mobil scientists studied atmospheric CO2 and built climate models in the early 1980s. Company scientists worked alongside the world’s top climate experts and published academic papers, many of which are the basis for our understanding of climate change today.
A memo from 1980 called on Exxon Mobil managers to promote the company’s research into finding a solution to “the Greenhouse Effect.”……..http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Exxon-Mobil-documents-call-for-a-thorough-7887890.php?t=a90e275765&cmpid=twitter-premium
The Fort McMurray fire’s stunning pulse of carbon to the atmosphere, WP By Chris Mooney May 20 The Fort McMurray wildfire, which seems likely to be the costliest disaster in Canada’s history, continues to grow. According to the government of Alberta, as of Friday morning it had burned over 500,000 hectares of land, or more than 1.2 million acres…..
Steve Taylor, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service said the fire already ranks in the top six or seven largest fires seen in Canada in the satellite era, starting in 1970, when observations became most reliable. Especially since this is occurring in May, early in the wildfire season, that’s pretty incredible.
And so is another detail about this fire — the amount of carbon that it is apparently pouring into the atmosphere.
Taylor’s colleague, Werner Kurz, is a senior research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service and heads its carbon accounting team. He said he generally estimates that for every hectare of forest land consumed in a fire like this one, about 170 tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions — so dubbed because they actually include not only carbon dioxide but also methane and nitrous oxide, two other greenhouse gases — head into the atmosphere.
That would mean that this single fire has contributed — for a rough estimate — some 85 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions.
The fire has also, at least temporarily, worsened the entire nation of Canada’s emissions of carbon dioxide…….
the burning of northern forests can also leave behind a dark upper surface layer that absorbs sunlight, heats up and then thaws permafrost, or frozen soil, beneath the surface. Fort McMurray is located in a zone of Canada that’s still far enough south to see only “isolated patches” of permafrost beneath the ground — but if any of that thaws in the wake of this fire, it will emit carbon into the atmosphere. And that might not get put back in the ground again, at least not on any time frame relevant to the immediate future.
The threat of megafires to permafrost becomes more and more of an issue as you travel farther north in Canada, Alaska and Siberia, which is why northern wildfires can be such a major problem — especially if they are worsening, as appears to be the case…….https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/05/20/the-fort-mcmurray-fires-stunning-pulse-of-carbon-to-the-atmosphere/
U.S. Nuclear Reactors Fall Short on Steps to Cope With Disasters http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-20/u-s-nuclear-reactors-fall-short-on-steps-to-cope-with-disasters Jonathan Crawford JonNCrawford May 21, 2016
Report notes failings in securing spent fuel, plant security
Operators have already spent $4 billion on safety measures
More than five years after a tsunami struck Japan triggering one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, U.S. reactors and industry regulators haven’t done enough to prevent a similar catastrophe, a government-sponsored study found.
Reactor operators are falling short on measures to prevent spent nuclear fuel stored at the plant from overheating and releasing radiation into the atmosphere following an accident or natural disaster, according to a report Friday from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Operators should also upgrade plant security “to cope with extreme external events and severe accidents.”
- A March 2011 earthquake caused a tsunami that slammed into Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, causing a triple meltdown that sent a radioactive plume over surrounding communities. The loss of power that followed the tsunami exposed weaknesses in systems meant to secure the plant and its stock of spent fuel.
- “The 2011 Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear accident should serve as a wake-up call to nuclear plant operators and regulators,” the National Academies, a private research group that advises the government, said. A 2014 report from the group focused on the causes of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi accident.
The recommendations follow safety and security steps covering the nation’s 100 operating reactors mandated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in response to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi accident. Industry groups questioned the cost of the rules while environmental groups said they didn’t go far enough.
Plant operators have spent $4 billion on post-Fukushima safety enhancements, according to the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade group representing plant owners. Friday’s report calls on the industry to go further.
Operators must ensure that pools used to cool spent fuel rods can be maintained and monitored following accidents or terrorist attacks. Power sources serving security systems should be protected and backed up with redundant supplies. Regulators and plant operators must improve their ability to identify terrorist threats.Regulators should also examine the risks and benefits of expediting the transfer of spent fuel from pools to drys casks.
Manning’s attorney, Vincent Ward, said the documents were filed Wednesday with the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Chief Deputy Clerk John Taitt said the document must undergo a review for classified information before it can be publicly released. Ward said he’ll wait until the review is complete before commenting.
Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The transgender soldier, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted of espionage and other offenses for sending WikiLeaks more than 700,000 digital files including battlefield logs, diplomatic cables and video clips.
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