nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

New research shows serious health effects from Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

ncluding erythema, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting5. Researchers later correlated more than a dozen verified reports of medical impacts to simultaneous meteorological conditions

large-scale epidemiological investigations have uncovered health decrements including breast and lung cancer, heart disease, and early mortality among the exposed population within ten miles7 and five miles8,9,10 of the TMI facility.

the emissions from the accident should be considered causative for the observed excess incidence of cancer in the surrounding ten-mile area

Radiobiological shot noise explains Three Mile Island biodosimetry indicating nearly 1,000 mSv exposures Aaron M. Datesman Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 10933 (2020) 

Abstract ………

IntroductionThe 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power station in Pennsylvania released a large quantity of the radioactive noble gas xenon-133 into the surrounding environment. Although it is well-established that gamma ray exposures to the affected population were comparable to or smaller than the annual dose due to background radiation (around 1 mSv), the topic of health effects relating to the accident has always been controversial. The Report of the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (known as the Kemeny Commission Report, after its chairman) asserted that any health or medical impacts affecting the population living within twenty miles of the accident site were due to mental distress1. On the basis of what is known about the accident and the nature of the exposure suffered by those nearby, it is therefore not conventionally believed that any discernible impact to human health caused by exposure to ionizing radiation has been observed2,3,4.

However, contrary evidence does exist, and ought not to be summarily dismissed. For instance, contemporaneous accounts from hundreds of local residents describe symptoms consistent with significant exposure to ionizing radiation, including erythema, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting5. Researchers later correlated more than a dozen verified reports of medical impacts to simultaneous meteorological conditions at the TMI facility6, , at least suggesting the presence of the radioactive plume at the location of the individuals making the reports. Because the persons affected in some cases were not aware that a radiological release from the TMI facility had occurred following an accident, and in most or all cases may not have been knowledgeable regarding the medical impacts of radiation poisoning, a diagnosis of mental distress as an explanation for the acute effects observed is difficult to accept.

Furthermore, large-scale epidemiological investigations have uncovered health decrements including breast and lung cancer, heart disease, and early mortality among the exposed population within ten miles7 and five miles8,9,10 of the TMI facility. Because the doses suffered by the exposed population were small and because the discernible health impacts were not those expected for the nature of the exposure, among other reasons, most investigators have been unwilling to interpret these epidemiological results as convincing evidence relating the observed health impacts to exposure to ionizing radiation. Due in part to their results showing a clear dose response for lung cancer, however, a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill contended that the emissions from the accident should be considered causative for the observed excess incidence of cancer in the surrounding ten-mile area11. In order to justify their conclusion, the UNC researchers hypothesized that the doses to the affected population may have been much higher than generally accepted. There is little corroborating evidence for the claim. The Kemeny Commission, for instance, concluded that the greatest exposure to any individual due to the accident was only about 0.7 mSv.

The present article engages specifically with one piece of evidence cited by the UNC team supporting their view: the results of the cytogenetic analysis of 29 individuals, living near TMI at the time of the accident, who reported symptoms consistent with radiation poisoning contemporaneous with the accident12. The analysis produced dose estimates in the range of 600–900 mSv, orders of magnitude larger than the gamma ray doses estimated by the Kemeny Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission13,14, experienced nuclear industry consultants15,16, or the Three Mile Island Public Health Fund17. While the results of the cytogenetic analysis have been published in the open scientific literature and are freely available, the existence of this information does not appear to be widely known.

While the dose estimate based upon cytogenetic analysis is sufficient to explain contemporaneous reports of acute effects, then, it contradicts firmly established estimates of the gamma dose to affected individuals. Because those gamma ray dose estimates are anchored to actual, physical measurements taken by dosimeter at the time of the accident, the cytogenetic results are difficult to explain. Although the conflict seems irreconcilable, in fact its existence illuminates a fundamental oversight in the health physics body of knowledge18 While the phenomenon of shot noise19 deriving from the discrete nature of electrical charge has long been known to apply to biological systems at least in the context of nerve-muscle junctions20 and membrane conduction21, its application to radiobiology has up until the present time been neglected.

It will be shown (contrary to the assertions of authorities) that the gamma ray doses suffered by those in the path of the Xe-133 plume were far from the most significant exposures that occurred. The results of cytogenetic analysis are instead consistent with the effects of internal exposure to beta radiation. Correcting a fundamental oversight in the health physics body of knowledge—relating to shot noise in the context of radiobiology—resolves the apparent paradox

The finding should motivate a comprehensive re-evaluation of the conventional understanding of the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station, especially regarding its impact upon the population of the surrounding area.Materials and methods……….. …..   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67826-5#disqus_thread  

July 11, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: