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University of California covers up the truth on Fukushima radiation

The future of all life: Indigenous sovereignty and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Bay View, National Black Newspaper,  by Harun Minhaj, March 4, 2019  “………..As the Caretakers of Mother Earth have warned, the nuclear establishment has been working tirelessly to cover up and downplay the consequences of this nuclear disaster. The University of California has long played an essential role in this establishment, as it designed the core physical package of every single nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal. And now, formerly secret documents show that UC played an indispensable role in the federal response to – and cover-up of – the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The estimates secretly forecasted by the LLNL’s model predicted very high doses to children in California from radioactive iodine, which is known to cause serious thyroid illnesses. Subsequent measurements found that this model’s predictions of radiation exposure in California were far more accurate than lower estimates and actually underestimated the radiation found 30 km off the coast of Japan.

Yet the UC never issued a single health warning to anyone living on the West Coast prior to their exposure to this deadly radiation. Instead, at the very time that the UC’s LLNL was modeling “estimates of possible plume arrival times and dose for U.S. locations,” UC Berkeley scientists were at the forefront of corporate media coverage on outlets such as ABC7 proclaiming brazen falsehoods such as “there is no plume.”

The LLNL’s model was continually being refined and updated “based on meteorological analyses and available field data” to ensure its predictions were maximally accurate, yet UC Berkeley scientists were simultaneously telling the public that “you cannot predict how the weather is going to carry radiation particles over the West Coast, if anything at all.”

Even worse was the initial UC Berkeley claim that the radiation reaching California was “not harmful at all” and posed “no risk to California,” despite the LLNL’s forecast of very high doses to children in California from radioactive iodine.

Meanwhile, the head of UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department secretly admitted that “it is possible that we will find that some people have received doses … that could exceed the levels that current Protective Action Guidelines are designed to prevent.” The Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) are legal limits on radiation exposure set by the EPA designed to minimize the risk of harm, and this professor subsequently suggested that, should they be exceeded, “this could provide a basis for immediate action to change PAGs.”

When UC Berkeley began testing for radioactive iodine from the Fukushima fallout in California, it found levels in rainwater up to 181 times the EPA’s safe drinking water standards. And although rainwater and tap water should not be conflated, radioactive isotopes climb their way up the food chain in increasing concentrations in numerous ways, such as the soil of produce farms and the pastures of milk-giving cattle.

The UC cover-up of West Coast fallout

Far from being incidentally related to the case, the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) was in fact the federal contractor given the responsibility of projecting the damage or “dose” from Fukushima Daiichi’s fallout to Japan, the Pacific Ocean and U.S.-occupied Turtle Island.

And, indeed, radioactive materials from Fukushima were detected across California’s food web, while UC Berkeley’s own measurements showed that food items such as milk were regularly exceeding the EPA’s PAGs in both 2011 and 2012 until they stopped taking these measurements.

The response to these findings was once again denial and distortion. The EPA soon increased its PAG “safe limit” by more than 400 times, to such a high level that all of these findings would retroactively cease to be considered health risks.

In the meantime, UC Berkeley engineers once again asserted there was no cause to worry and falsely minimized these readings by conflating external radiation as received from plane travel with the more dangerous internal radiation received through ingesting radioactive particles, which remain in the body emitting radiation for much longer and have the ability to concentrate in specific vulnerable organs such as the thyroid.

But the initial epidemiological evidence is in, and it already shows a variety of illnesses and deaths across the West Coast significantly correlated with the arrival and presence of Fukushima fallout, such as over 100 additional fetal deaths and birth abnormalities in the state of Washington in 2011 and increased rates of congenital hyperthyroidism in California infants born shortly after the meltdowns – around 1,500 additional borderline and severe cases.

The EPA soon increased its PAG “safe limit” by more than 400 times, to such a high level that all of these findings would retroactively cease to be considered health risks.

The University of California totally failed to make public the initial LLNL projections of “very high doses” to California infants and provide adequate health warnings – such as avoiding contaminated milk or taking natural iodine supplements – despite having this legal responsibility both as a federal contractor and as the operator of California’s Poison Control System, which administers such warnings on behalf of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority for the entire state.

The UC cover-up of Pacific fallout and seafood contamination

As serious as the consequences of the fallout on California were, the radiation California and the West Coast received was only a small fraction (<2 percent) of the total, of which the majority (~80 percent) fell into the Pacific.

From the very beginning, UC scientists were involved in studying the Pacific die-offs. Indeed, it was UC scientists who declared when studying the 2011 marine invertebrate mass die-offs that “[N]o previously documented mortality event has been so severe over such a large region …” Yet these UC scientists who had been studying this epidemic from the very beginning have failed to ever monitor the sick and dead animals for radiation, despite one of the lead scientists admitting that Fukushima could not be ruled out as a cause.

When their major study was published in 2018, it included no consideration of Fukushima or radiation whatsoever. Apparently, it was a moot point – the UC’s website on the die-offs had already been claiming for years there was “no evidence” of Fukushima radiation having an impact, even though they had never looked for any despite having already admitted it couldn’t be ruled out.

To make matters worse, one of the principal UC authors of this study falsely claimed that Fukushima radiation could not have precipitated the die-off, because “many more creatures would be affected.” By this time, the unprecedented and concurrent die-offs of fish, marine mammals and sea birds had already been reported.

In denying the impact of Fukushima on the Pacific, these scientists are hardly alone. Overand over again, UC professors – frequently in leadership positions and with government ties – have minimized the impact by relying on the widely debunked fallacy of “dilution.”

Yet dilution has been known to be a false solution to radiation for over 50 years now. In 1955, a once-secret memo from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) – then headquartered in Berkeley – noted that the “dissipation of radioactive fallout in ocean waters is not a gradual spreading out of the activity from the region with the highest concentration to uncontaminated regions, but that in all probability the process results in scattered pockets and streams of higher radioactive materials in the Pacific.”

This is due to a variety of reasons, including the flow of currents and the role played by sediment and debris in transporting radiation. Furthermore, studies have shown that the bioconcentration of radioactive particles up the food chain increasingly amplifies its prevalence in smaller and larger marine organisms by factors ranging from 3 to 300.

While this memo may have previously been secret, the “no threshold” model of radiation has been well-established for almost as long, and is the accepted foundation of radiation protection for the Environmental Protection AgencyNational Academy of Sciences, and many other institutions.

In the 1960s, UC Berkeley Nuclear Scientist John Gofman established the Biomedical Research Division of the UC’s LLNL, when he was employed by the AEC to discredit findings which showed that “low level” radiation from nuclear weapons tests was exposing infants in surrounding areas to dangerous amounts of radiation.

Instead, Gofman’s research confirmed these dangers, and at the end of the decade he gave a report showing that there is no threshold beneath which radiation exposure is “safe”: lower levels correspond to a lower – b­ut very real – risk of disease. Consequently, dilution does nothing more than spread the impact of radiation amongst a larger population vulnerable to disease, with each individual facing a lower risk but the overall aggregate impact remaining the same.

The AEC disliked these findings and forced Gofman out of the LLNL, illustrating the reprisals nuclear scientists often face for challenging the pro-nuclear establishment.

Numerous projections of the spread of Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean have predicted that, far from becoming increasingly diluted, once the radiation leaves the immediate vicinity of the Fukushima shoreline it would actually become increasingly concentrated as it approaches the West Coast due to the dynamics of ocean currents, with eventual peak concentrations reaching levels up to 10 times higher than off the coast of the rest of Japan.

There is no threshold beneath which radiation exposure is “safe”: lower levels correspond to a lower – b­ut very real – risk of disease.

What measurements are available not only confirm these projections, showing increasing concentrations traveling east across the Pacific Ocean roughly correlating to these models, they also show that the vast quantities of radioactive particles the Nordic PSA Group predicted would kill at least 50-100 million fish were indeed present throughout large areas of the Pacific Ocean.

In other words, a vast array of scientific knowledge, regulatory precedent, expert models, and empirical data directly contradicts the denials of the UC nuclear establishment that Fukushima’s radiation is of no concern in the Pacific due to “dilution.”

Once again, these denials have serious consequences not just in terms of the ecocidal impact of Fukushima Daiichi’s radiation on Pacific sea life. Based on the thoroughly disproven dilution fallacy, several prominent UC scientists have also denied that there are any health impacts from Fukushima radiation in the Pacific, including the risks entailed in eating contaminated seafood.

The Nordic Probabilistic Safety Assessment Group, however, founded by the nuclear utilities of Finland and Sweden and therefore not at all “anti-nuclear,” concluded in its 2011 report that even if seafood radiation levels from Fukushima stay below legal limits, more than 1 million people would die from just one of the elements of concern, cesium-137. They wrote:

“The fish, seafood, whale meat and seaweed consumed may have concentrations below legal limits, but the radioactive content will be increased from normal levels. As noted in Section 3.6.3, the ingestion dose could be substantial even if the legal limits for the foodstuff are preserved. This cycle will last for many generations, because of the food chain of fish and other marine fauna, and the radioactivity will be recycled and in fact the meat content will increase rather than decreasing by decay. Even if only one one-hundredth of the radioactivity (more than 1e15 Bq of CS137) were to enter this recirculation pattern, the collective whole body ingestion dose over many generations would exceed 1e7 Sv, sufficient to kill more than 1,000,000 people.”

As predictions of mass die-offs and increasingly concentrated radiation crossing the Pacific to the West Coast have already come true, ignoring the scientific evidence about the dangers this radiation poses to us too promises to have deadly consequences. With over 1 hundred million sea creatures having already perished as predicted by the nuclear utility-founded Nordic PSA Group, this institution’s estimate that more than 1 million people could also die if human consumption of Pacific seafood continues unabated is supported by a solid track record based on the scientific method, unlike the UC’s ongoing denials and distortions of even the most basic facts of the Fukushima disaster………….


March 9, 2019 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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