nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is (usually) a waste of time and money, says study

This study is corrupted science, on the payroll of the nuclear lobby, to justify future ‘radiation safety’ limits increases.In Japan, after the Fukushima Daiichi the radiation ‘tolerance’ threshold was raised from 1mSv/per year to 20mSv/per year, which is the radiation ‘tolerance’ threshold for nuclear plant workers in the other countries. The nuclear lobby would like to raise further all today’s radiation ‘tolerance’ thresholds.
Which radiation risk model did they use? ICRP, I bet, which is silent on inhaled and ingested radioactivity, and underestimates risk of congenital defects by 10,000 times. If you care about the children run like hell and don’t look back. That was Professor Alexey Yablokov’s advice and it still stands with abundant studies made in the past 30 years to back it up.
Screenshot from 2017-11-23 20-17-25.png
Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is (usually) a waste of time and money, says study
Over 110,000 people were moved from their homes following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011. Another 50,000 left of their own will, and 85,000 had still not returned four-and-a-half years later.
While this might seem like an obvious way of keeping people safe, my colleagues and I have just completed research that shows this kind of mass evacuation is unnecessary, and can even do more harm than good. We calculated that the Fukushima evacuation extended the population’s average life expectancy by less than three months.
To do this, we had to estimate how such a nuclear meltdown could affect the average remaining life expectancy of a population from the date of the event. The radiation would cause some people to get cancer and so die younger than they otherwise would have (other health effects are very unlikely because the radiation exposure is so limited). This brings down the average life expectancy of the whole group.
But the average radiation cancer victim will still live into their 60s or 70s. The loss of life expectancy from a radiation cancer will always be less than from an immediately fatal accident such as a train or car crash. These victims have their lives cut short by an average of 40 years, double the 20 years that the average sufferer of cancer caused by radiation exposure. So if you could choose your way of dying from the two, radiation exposure and cancer would on average leave you with a much longer lifespan.
How do you know if evacuation is worthwhile?
To work out how much a specific nuclear accident will affect life expectancy, we can use something called the CLEARE (Change of life expectancy from averting a radiation exposure) Programme. This tells us how much a specific dose of radiation will shorten your remaining lifespan by on average.
Yet knowing how a nuclear meltdown will affect average life expectancy isn’t enough to work out whether it is worth evacuating people. You also need to measure it against the costs of the evacuation. To do this, we have developed a method known as the judgement or J-value. This can effectively tell us how much quality of life people are willing to sacrifice to increase their remaining life expectancy, and at what point they are no longer willing to pay.
You can work out the J-value for a specific country using a measure of the average amount of money people in that country have (GDP per head) and a measure of how averse to risk they are, based on data about their work-life balance. When you put this data through the J-value model, you can effectively find the maximum amount people will on average be willing to pay for longer life expectancy.
After applying the J-value to the Fukushima scenario, we found that the amount of life expectancy preserved by moving people away was too low to justify it. If no one had been evacuated, the local population’s average life expectancy would have fallen by less than three months. The J-value data tells us that three months isn’t enough of a gain for people to be willing to sacrifice the quality of life lost through paying their share of the cost of an evacuation, which can run into billions of dollars (although the bill would actually be settled by the power company or government).
The three month average loss suggests the number of people who will actually die from radiation-induced cancer is very small. Compare it to the average of 20 years lost when you look at all radiation cancer sufferers. In another comparison, the average inhabitant of London loses 4.5 months of life expectancy because of the city’s air pollution. Yet no one has suggested evacuating that city.
We also used the J-value to examine the decisions made after the world’s worst nuclear accident, which occurred 25 years before Fukushima at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. In that case, 116,000 people were moved out in 1986, never to return, and a further 220,000 followed in 1990.
By calculating the J-value using data on people in Ukraine and Belarus in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we can work out the minimum amount of life expectancy people would have been willing to evacuate for. In this instance, people should only have been moved if their lifetime radiation exposure would have reduced their life expectancy by nine months or more.
This applied to just 31,000 people. If we took a more cautious approach and said that if one in 20 of a town’s inhabitants lost this much life expectancy, then the whole settlement should be moved, it would still only mean the evacuation of 72,500 people. The 220,000 people in the second relocation lost at most three months’ life expectancy and so none of them should have been moved. In total, only between 10% and 20% of the number relocated needed to move away.
To support our research, colleagues at the University of Manchester analysed hundreds of possible large nuclear reactor accidents across the world. They found relocation was not a sensible policy in any of the expected case scenarios they examined.
More harm than good
Some might argue that people have the right to be evacuated if their life expectancy is threatened at all. But overspending on extremely expensive evacuation can actually harm the people it is supposed to help. For example, the World Heath Organisation has documented the psychological damage done to the Chernobyl evacuees, including their conviction that they are doomed to die young.
From their perspective, this belief is entirely logical. Nuclear refugees can’t be expected to understand exactly how radiation works, but they know when huge amounts of money are being spent. These payments can come to be seen as compensation, suggesting the radiation must have left them in an awful state of health. Their governments have never lavished such amounts of money on them before, so they believe their situation must be dire.
But the reality is that, in most cases, the risk from radiation exposure if they stay in their homes is minimal. It is important that the precedents of Chernobyl and Fukushima do not establish mass relocation as the prime policy choice in the future, because this will benefit nobody.
 
Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident
 
Advertisements

November 23, 2017 - Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Well said Herve
    The distortions of real life tragedy show us that the UK is not willing to accept truths they are aware of. In one of the quotes below from A. Cameron, who I questioned after the event (linked Video and copy) said that she was one of the trustees of the Imperial College London (surely a trustworthy source? especially as Geraldine Thomas [pro nuke schill] has a department in that university). She said that she had worked in Belarus and was told not to report any health effects.

    Chernobyl London meeting (27 April 2013) Speech by Tamara Krasitskava from Zemlyaki

    On Sunday the 27 April 2013 in a little room somewhere off Grays Inn road London, a meeting took place. In this meeting was Ms Tamara Krasitskava of the Ukrainian NGO “Zemlyaki”.

    In this meeting she quoted that only 40 percent of the evacuees that moved to Kiev after the disaster are alive today! And lets leave the statistics out of it for a moment and we find out of 44,000 evacuated to Kiev only 19,000 are left alive. None made it much passed 40 years old

    …..3.2 million with health effects and this includes 1 million children…

    T .Kraisitskava

    “….I was told to not talk of the results from Belarus as the UK public were not allowed to know the results we were finding!….”

    A.Cameron (Belarus health worker from UK) https://nuclear-news.net/2013/05/02/chernobyl-london-meeting-27-april-2013-speech-by-tamara-krasitskava-from-zemlyaki/

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | November 23, 2017 | Reply

  2. Most of the UN nearly forgets Fukushima residents ongoing situation at up to 20 mSv/y Japan review (radiation version) Nov 2017
    “….So, to the nub of the matter. Out of 108 speakers, only a handful even mentioned the plight of Japans internally displaced nuclear refugees. The countries UN representatives that did speak up were Germany, Mexico, Portugal and Austria with Costa Rica hoping that the Atomic bomb survivors would have their rights to health care continued and Guatamala hoped that Japan would sign up to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.
    While the statements varied as to the issues with Fukushimas residents the 2 main points are;
    That Japan should continue the health checks that the government are currently deciding to stop or shrink (For the Atomic bomb survivors as well).
    The evacuees should have the right of choice and be able to be part of the decision making process involving their communities and groups.
    Mr Gunnar Schneider (@02.21:19 in the video) goes much farther and calls for a return to the safety limit of radiation to 1mSv/y which would allow more people living in higher radiation areas the option to move and receive a decent compensation to evacuate the contaminated areas. He stressed that pregnant women and children need to be considered better in radiation related health decisions.
    The UN representatives who should compassion to the victims of the Fukushima disaster and Atomic bomb survivors were;
    Costa Rica Ms. Diana Alejandra Alfaro
    Germany Mr Gunnar Schneider
    Austria Mr Micheal Pfeifer
    Mexico Mr Diego Ruiz Gayol
    Portugal- Ms Sonia Maria Melo Castro
    It should be noted that many countries called on Japan to create an independent Human Rights Council (That would also protect Fukushima residents rights as well as other stakeholder groups discussed at the meeting). but so far, No Human Rights Council in Japan.
    In response the Japanese mission made thorough replies to the council members questions except for the issue of Fukushima related questions and the suppressive Japanese Secrets Act of 2013. However they did make a reply of sorts;…” https://nuclear-news.net/2017/11/17/u-n-body-calls-on-japan-to-improve-protection-of-press-freedoms-and-fukushima-residents-rights/

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | November 23, 2017 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: