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Schoolchildren around the world “on strike” demanding action on climate change

‘Fridays for future’ marches for climate change going global | DW News

It’s our time to rise up’: youth climate strikes held in 100 countries https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/15/its-our-time-to-rise-up-youth-climate-strikes-held-in-100-countries Sandra LavilleMatthew Taylorand Daniel Hurst, Sat 16 Mar 2019 

School and university students continue Friday protests to call for political action on crisis  From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike.

The event was embraced in the developing nations of India and Uganda and in the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change – as tens of thousands of schoolchildren and students in more than 100 countries went on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency. Continue reading

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March 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change | Leave a comment

Continuing concern over thyroid and other cancers, due to Three Mile Island nuclear accident

Thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.  
 
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Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: Debates continue over health issues after nuclear plant accident

On March 28, 1979, Chris Achenbach-Kimmel was a 14-year-old freshman at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Fourteen miles away, on the Susquehanna River, staff at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station were trying to contain the damage from an accident at one of its reactors.

“I just remember being in class, and just getting the news, and wondering, what does this mean?”……

Her mother kept her and her siblings inside as much as possible. TV news reports echoed through the house as her mother waited for an “all clear” from authorities. ……

For Achenbach-Kimmel, the accident became merely one more high school memory. She graduated in 1982 and went on to a career in occupational therapy.

It wasn’t until her thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she thought again about Three Mile Island.

“I think as soon as I got over the initial shock, it’s like, oh my gosh, I wonder if these two things are related,” said Achenbach-Kimmel, now a 54-year-old academic fieldwork coordinator at the Elizabethtown College occupational therapy department.

Her doctor wasn’t surprised when Achenbach-Kimmel mentioned TMI.

“She said, ‘oh yeah, we see an increased incidence in the area compared to what my colleagues see around the country.’”

Pennsylvania has had one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in recent years, according to Centers for Disease Control.

For those who grew up in central Pennsylvania, Chris’s story is a common one. People blame TMI for their illnesses, and some doctors accept it could have been the case.

Yet, the nuclear industry’s position has been that there has been no conclusive link between the accident and adverse health effects…….

Dr. David Goldenberg, a surgeon and thyroid researcher, launched the Penn State College of Medicine Study after years of hearing his patients bring up the nuclear plant accident.

……  thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.

The scientists screened out many thyroid cancer patients, limiting their study to 44 people who were born in counties around Three Mile Island, were present during the accident and were treated at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

“We found a shift, which absolutely can be attributed to exposure to radiation, during the correct time frame of the Three Mile Island accident,” he said, adding that this does not prove that TMI caused the cancer. It just shows a correlation.

Goldenberg is quick to point out the study’s limitations, emphasizing that he’s working on a larger follow-up study. Still, it has put him in the middle of a 40-year-old debate: Did the accident at TMI release more radiation than the government says? Did it harm people? https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/03/three-mile-island-and-thyroid-cancer-study-ignites-debate-over-health-issues-after-nuclear-plant-accident.html

March 16, 2019 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Fall in numbers of children in Fukushima municipalities

8 Years On: Number of Kids Dives in Disaster-Hit Fukushima Municipalitieshttps://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2019031300954/8-years-on-number-of-kids-dives-in-disaster-hit-fukushima-municipalities.html Mar 15, 2019  Fukushima, March 15 (Jiji Press)–In 10 Fukushima Prefecture municipalities where elementary and junior high school have reopened after the lifting of nuclear evacuation advisories, the number of students stood at 758 as of May 1, 2018, about 10 pct of the level before the March 2011 disasters.

During protracted evacuations, many child-rearing families rebuilt their lives in new locations, leading to the sharp fall in the number of students in Fukushima.

As a result, the local governments are facing difficulties in school operations.

In the Yamakiya district of the town of Kawamata, the evacuation advisory was removed in March 2017, six years after the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant, heavily damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

Elementary and junior high schools reopened in the town in April 2018, but five six-graders are the only elementary school children. With no freshman joining this spring, the elementary school plans to suspend its operations in April.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Changes in Congenital Anomaly Incidence in West Coast and Pacific States (USA) after Arrival of Fukushima Fallout 

https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VuSFAXQrkCs.twitter  Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:336KB) PP. 76-89    [multiple references supplied]

ABSTRACT

Radioactive fallout after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown entered the U.S. environment within days; levels of radioactivity were particularly elevated in the five western states bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation exposure, and the ability of radioisotopes to attach to cells, tissues, and DNA raise the question of whether fetuses/newborns with birth defects with the greater exposures suffered elevated harm during the period after the meltdown. We compare rates of five congenital anomalies for 2010 and 2011 births from April-November. The increase of 13.00% in the five western states is significantly greater than the 3.77% decrease for all other U.S. states combined (CI 0.030 – 0.205, p < 0.008). Consistent patterns of elevated increases are observed in the west (20 of 21 comparisons, 6 of which are statistically significant/borderline significant), by state, type of birth defect, month of birth, and month of conception. While these five anomalies are relatively uncommon (about 7500 cases per year in the U.S.), sometimes making statistical significance difficult to achieve, the consistency of the results lend strength to the analysis, and suggest fetal harm from Fukushima may have occurred in western U.S. states.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | children, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

UK govt’s health study of nuclear veterans – but they’ve lost half the records

Nuclear test guinea pigs study announced – then Government admits it’s lost half of them https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/government-announces-study-nuclear-test-14134958

Veterans say the research is meaningless, and demand a long-promised medal review By Susie Boniface,  14 MAR 2019 

The government has “lost” all trace of almost half its nuclear veterans – making a mockery of a planned health study.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is now facing calls to cancel the expensive and “meaningless research” which survivors of the bomb tests say has no chance of proving their claims to have been irradiatedduring Cold War radiation experiments.

It comes after officials at Public Health England, which is conducting the six-figure study, admitted they have no way of checking the health of all 22,000 servicemen who took part in the 1950s tests.

Alan Owen, chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, said: “We have been palmed off with meaningless research that has no chance of being definitive or accurate. The only reason for continuing it is shameless PR.

“Mr Williamson should cancel this useless study immediately, and use the money to provide our veterans with a medal for their exemplary service.”

Several studies have been carried out since the 1980s into the veterans’ rate of cancer, which if accurate could indicate radiation exposure.

But veterans says they are flawed because they compare the health of scientists with soldiers, and the health effects of smaller weapons that had fewer eyewitnesses with massive hydrogen bombs. Many of the servicemen lived in the fallout of such weapons for more than a year.

In 1983 the MoD said it could find records of only 85 per cent of those present, and now PHE staff have admitted they have lost almost half.

An official has now said privately to campaigners that they can trace 12,000 deaths of veterans for the research, but details for the remaining 9,400 people – or 44 per cent of the total – are missing from the records.

Those who have moved abroad, not registered with a GP after moving home, or who use private doctors will not be included. If a veterans’ NHS number becomes inactive they cannot be tracked for the study.

The Ministry of Defence did not confirm the figures that were leaked to the veterans.

A spokesman MoD said: “Around 2,000 [of the veterans] have emigrated and around 100 have not yet been traced. We continue to follow up with the remainder and are confident this study will bring the current information up to date.”

March 16, 2019 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima Prefecture to lose 15 high schools, due to population decline

As population declines, Fukushima Prefecture to lose 15 of its 96 high schools, Japan Times , FUKUSHIMA MINPO, MAR 15, 2019

The Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education will reduce its number of prefecture-run high schools by 15 by the end of fiscal 2023 as the region continues to struggle with a dwindling number of students due to a declining birthrate.

The mergers will be implemented over the span of three years from fiscal 2021 and will reduce the number of high schools in the prefecture from 96 to 81.

Twenty-five schools will be merged and reorganized into 13 under the plan, which will integrate schools located in close proximity of one another. Each school will retain four to six classes per grade.

With the merger, the prefecture’s 88 day schools and seven night schools will be reduced to 74 and six, respectively, by the end of March 2024, according to the education board’s reform plan revealed Feb. 8. Fukushima’s only correspondence school will remain open……… https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/15/national/population-declines-fukushima-prefecture-lose-15-96-high-schools/#.XIwdDSIzbGg

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, social effects | Leave a comment

New study on the social consequences of the 3/11 nuclear accidentin Fukushima prefecture.

IRSN 11th March 2019 IRSN publishes a study on social consequences of the 3/11 nuclear accident
in Fukushima prefecture. Result of the French-Japanese research project
Shinrai, the report “The 3/11 accident and its social consequences – Case
studies in Fukushima prefecture” analyses post accidental policy in
Fukushima prefecture, particularly the questions linked to return or
non-return to evacuated towns and villages. The report also compares the
concrete experience of the inhabitants and the decision-makers with a
number of principles that underlies international post accidental policy
and recommendations.

https://www.irsn.fr/EN/newsroom/News/Pages/20190311_Fukushima-shinrai-study-social-consequences.aspx

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Manual For Survival – A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

Science 6th March 2019 Two decades after Chernobyl, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations (UN) Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation stated that “fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers,” because radiation levels were considered too low to have caused any detectable harm. This conclusion was based on data derived from the atomic bomb survivors life-span study, a program that began in 1950 to document the long-term health effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian scientists vehemently disputed this assessment, estimating Chernobyl-linked fatalities in the hundreds of thousands. The UN agencies later recognized a broader spectrum of Chernobyl-related health effects,
yet the idea that there were no long-term consequences to human health proved hard to dislodge.
The UN-WHO-IAEA assessment was repeated in many venues and was cited by journalists as a scientific consensus. After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, residents in the affected region were told by experts from many of the same international institutions that there would be no direct long-term health effects because their radiation exposure was low.
Because there was no post-Chernobyl equivalent to the atomic bomb survivors life-span study, the argument went, the data on the Japanese survivors remained the gold standard of international nuclear regulations.
The notion that no such data existed, however, was not entirely true as regards Chernobyl. Kate Brown’s meticulously researched Manual for Survival is the first environmental and medical history that recovers decades-long efforts of scientists and doctors in Ukraine and Belarus to document the long-term health impacts from the Chernobyl meltdown.
Unlike the Japanese atomic bomb survivors life-span study, which began 5 years after the exposure, Soviet doctors worked in contaminated areas right after the Chernobyl accident—many of these areas populated by people who didn’t
know that they were exposed to radiation. Over the years, Soviet scientists amassed vast evidence of a broad range of debilitating health effects from low-level radiation, including cancers; anemia; gastrointestinal problems; and severe disorders of the liver, kidneys, thyroid, and other organs.
The individuals who collected these data risked their careers and lives, enduring harassment from regional politicians and Soviet secret police and accumulating radioactive isotopes in their own bodies.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2019/03/06/manual-for-survival/

March 12, 2019 Posted by | radiation, resources - print, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Prejudice against Fukushima nuclear evacuees

‘You’re Contaminated’: The Stigma Against Japan’s Fukushima Survivors, Broadly, 12 Mar 19,

A 2011 quake and tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, killing thousands and displacing more. Two ‘nuclear refugees’ explain why returning home is more complicated than it seems.


…….. While the nuclear disaster is becoming a distant memory for most Japanese, for some others it is their everyday reality. Nuclear refugees and evacuees face discrimination, separation from loved ones, and in some cases, they are even forced to return to the former evacuation zone.

The government, worried about people getting exposed to radiation, declared a 20-km evacuation zone around the plant and uprooted close to 165,000 people. As of today, there are still 50,000 people who haven’t returned to Fukushima.

Keiko Owada, 66, is one of them. When I meet her in Tokyo, she refers to the Japanese capital as her home for the past seven years. That will soon change due to the government’s decision to withdraw her free housing subsidies.

Because decontamination work has made progress and food declared safe from radiation, it has been deemed safe to return to most villages within the evacuation zone. The same goes for Owada’s village Naraha, where the evacuation order was lifted two years ago.

Owada is not excited about the prospect of returning to Naraha. “Would I continue to get financial support for my apartment here in Tokyo, I would have stayed here, yes. I’ll tell you why: there is no hospital in Naraha, only a small hospital for first aid. There is no supermarket, only a small convenience store. And the reason is simple: only a few people have returned.”

Life as an evacuee hasn’t always been easy, Owada explains. “It wasn’t like people were treating me any different, but my neighbors never greeted me. I think it’s because of the compensation I received and the free housing. They knew I was from Fukushima, that’s why.”

According to Owada, some of the other evacuees in Tokyo she knows have faced harsher treatment. “I know of others whose cars were damaged on purpose because they had a Fukushima license plate. That’s why I never parked my car in the middle of the parking lot, but always in a corner, so no one could see it.”

If anything, Owada’s story illustrates how many evacuees continued to live in fear. Displaced from their homes, dropped in a new community—the disaster is anything but over for them. ……….

When Kamata got in touch with relatives living in other parts of Japan, she was shocked to hear one sister-in-law’s initial response. “After the disaster, I wanted to flee to Chiba [a prefecture next to Tokyo], my sister-in-law picked up the telephone and told me I didn’t have to come to their house. ‘You’re contaminated,’ she told me.”……….
As Kamata remembers what life was like back in Fukushima, she uses a handkerchief to wipe a tear from her cheek. She barely speaks to her friends anymore.

“The disaster divided our communities, both physically as well as mentally. ………https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mb5zny/japan-fukushima-earthquake-survivors-stigma

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Japan, psychology - mental health, social effects | Leave a comment

Eight Years on, Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Still Poses Health Risks

https://havanatimes.org/?p=149927  March 9, 2019 By Akio Matsumura HAVANA TIMES – On March 11, we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. To an outside observer, this anniversary passes as a technical progress report, a look at new robot, or a short story on how lives there are slowly returning to normal.

Yet in Japan, the government has not figured out how to touch or test the irradiated cores in the three crippled reactors, which continue to contaminate water around the site of the melt down. The government does not know where it will put that radioactive material once it can find a way to move it.

Meanwhile, the government and site operator are running out of room to store the contaminated water, which is filling up more and more tanks. The cleanup is estimated to take forty years and the cost is estimated at $195 billion.

The latest publicly released findings of radiation levels are from 2017, when Tokyo Electric Power Company had to use a remote-controlled robot to detect the levels in Reactor 2, since no human can approach the crippled reactor.

The rates read 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the March 2011 meltdown. We have no reason to believe that they have fallen since then. Remote-control robots are being used in the other reactors as well, indicating that radiation levels are similarly high there.

Even using the robot, work can only be carried out for very short times, since the robots can only stand 1000 sieverts of exposure – less than two hours in this case.

This is an extremely high amount of radiation. After TEPCO published the rate, the Asahi Shimbun reported that “an official of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.”

The Japan Times quoted Dr. Fumiya Tanabe, an expert on nuclear safety, who said that the “findings show that both the preparation for and the actual decommissioning process at the plant will likely prove much more difficult than expected.”


Fukushima’s Children Need International Attention

There have been many victims of this disaster. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. Local fishermen are worried that the government will proceed with its plan to dump the storage tanks of contaminated water into the ocean.

Others worry that the flow of the radioactive wind and contaminated water are reaching North America and will continue to do so for the next forty years.

Above all of these important issues, it is the children of Fukushima who most need our attention. They are at risk of higher rates of cancer because of their exposure to the contamination from the initial explosion. In Chernobyl, the only comparable case we have, more than 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer were found in children according to the UN through 2005.

There is evidence that thyroid cancer rates are higher among Fukushima’s children than the national population, but it is a latent disease: it is still too early to tell what the full impact will be. But it is clear the case needs action.

Scientists will always offer different opinions, swayed first by uncertainty, but also, sadly, by politics, money, and ambition.

Some will claim that the evidence has been exaggerated, underestimated, or that perhaps we’re at too early a stage to be certain. Or that we need more time to clarify the results. I have seen many instances of these arguments at the United Nations and international science conferences. Why do we wait and make another mistake?

Helen Caldicott, a medical doctor and founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, part of a larger umbrella group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, wrote: “The truth is that most politicians, businessmen, engineers and nuclear physicists have no innate understanding of radiobiology and the way radiation induces cancer, congenital malformations and genetic diseases which are passed generation to generation. Nor do they recognize that children are 20 times more radiosensitive than adults, girls twice as vulnerable as little boys and fetuses much more so.”

UNICEF Can Lead

We face many complex challenges of climate change, poverty alleviation, and national security. The health and welfare of children must always be our top priority. They are our future; our deepest purpose is to care and provide for them. By deciding not to fully investigate the effects of Fukushima, we fail them.

We all agree with that personally, but which institution is best positioned to carry out the mission? To me, UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is the only answer. Indeed, putting children above national security is at UNICEF’s core.

Maurice Pate, an American humanitarian and businessman who joined UNICEF at its inception in 1947, agreed to serve as the Executive Director upon the condition that UNICEF serves the children of “ex-enemy countries, regardless of race or politics.” In 1965, at the end of Pate’s term, the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize.

To this day, its mission includes a commitment to “ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.” The children of Fukushima deserve the protection of UNICEF.
——
*Akio Matsumura is also the Secretary General of the Global Forum Moscow Conference hosted by President Gorbachev at the Kremlin in 1990 as well as of the Parliamentary Earth Summit Conference hosted by Brazil National Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 1992

March 10, 2019 Posted by | children, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Rising temperatures threaten health of fetuses, researchers say

March 6, 2019  By Ruth SoRelle, Texas Climate News  Climate change evokes images of people swimming out of their flooded neighborhoods, cars bumper-to-bumper as drivers flee burning homes, merciless sun that dries up rivers and lakes. However, climate change is more than these very visible disasters. Of equal or greater danger is the silent, unseen damage that may occur in the gestating fetus – damage that can last a lifetime.

In a recent article in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an international group of researchers concluded that higher temperatures caused by climate change may result in up to 7,000 additional infants with congenital heart defects in Texas and seven other representative states over an 11-year period.

The researchers combined a multi-state database of birth defects with another of population. They integrated that with maps of temperatures across the nation and projected temperature increases from 2025-2035 to predict an increase in the numbers of infants born with serious heart defects.

In Texas and Arkansas (which the researchers defined as the South), for example, they foresee as much as a 34 percent increase in newborns with certain malformations such as tetralogy of fallot (a combination of four defects that affects the flow of blood) and as much as a 35 percent increase in another type involving a hole in the wall between the heart’s chambers.

In the Northeast they predict a 38.6 percent increase in atrial septal defect (a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart). The Midwest is expected to have the highest increases of heat exposure to pregnant women, excessively hot days, heat-event frequency and heat event duration, when compared to the baseline period.

This study is a continuation of a 2018 study that first linked long duration of hot weather with heart defects, particularly in the southern and northeastern United States.

Scientists believe that when pregnant women are exposed to heat early in pregnancy, two problems can occur – fetal death or interference with the process in which cells generate new proteins, inducing severe fetal malformation. In the newer study, those problems appear associated with congenital heart defects……. http://texasclimatenews.org/?p=16061

March 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change | Leave a comment

On this warming planet, mosquito-borne diseases are increasing

Climate Change Will Expose Half of World’s Population to Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes By 2050  https://e360.yale.edu/digest/climate-change-will-expose-half-of-worlds-population-to-disease-spreading-mosquitoes-by-2050  MARCH 5, 2019 Scientists and public health officials have documented an increasing number of outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses across the globe in recent years, including yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Now, an international team of researchers has found that by 2050, two key disease-spreading mosquitoes — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus — will significantly expand their range, posing a threat to 49 percent of the world’s population.

“If no action is taken to reduce the current rate at which the climate is warming, pockets of habitat will open up across many urban areas with vast amounts of individuals susceptible to infection,” said Moritz Kraemer, an infectious disease scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Oxford and a co-author of the new research, published in the journal Nature Microbiology,.

The researchers analyzed historical distribution data from more than 3,000 locations in Europe and the United States, dating back to the 1970s. They then modelled future distribution using projections for climate change, urbanization, and human migration and travel. Kraemer and his colleagues found that in the last five years, Aedes aegypti has spread northward in the U.S. at about 150 miles per year. In Europe, Aedes albopictus has spread at a rate of 93 miles per year.

The scientists also found that within the next 5 to 15 years, human travel and migration will be the largest factors driving the spread of mosquitoes. After that, however, climate change and accelerating urbanization will create new mosquito habitats. Aedes aegypti could reach as far north as Chicago and Shanghai by 2050. However, the species will likely decline in parts of the southern U.S. and Eastern Europe, which are expected to become more arid as global temperatures rise. Aedes albopictus, on the other hand, is forecast to spread widely throughout Europe over the next 30 years, as well as establish small populations in parts of the northern U.S. and the highland regions of South America and East Africa.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health, Reference | Leave a comment

Along the 2020 Olympics torch route in Japan – higher radiation levels

Atomic Balm Part 1: Prime Minister Abe Uses The Tokyo Olympics As Snake Oil Cure For The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Meltdowns  Fairewinds Energy Education, By Arnie Gundersen “……….To determine whether or not Olympic athletes might be affected by fallout emanating from the disaster site, Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I were sponsored by Fairewinds Energy Education to look at Olympic venues during the fall of 2017.We took simple dirt and dust samples along the Olympic torch route as well as inside Fukushima’s Olympic stadium and as far away as Tokyo. When the Olympic torch route and Olympic stadium samples were tested, we found samples of dirt in Fukushima’s Olympic Baseball Stadium that were highly radioactive, registering 6,000 Bq/kg of Cesium, which is 3,000 times more radioactive than dirt in the US. We also found that simple parking lot radiation levels were 50-times higher there than here in the US.

Thirty of the dirt and fine dust samples that I took on my last two trips to Japan in February and March 2016 and September 2017 were analyzed at WPI (Worchester Polytechnic Institute. The WPI laboratory analysis are detailed in the report entitled: Measuring Radioactivity in Soil and Dust Samples from Japan, T. Pham, S. Franca and S. Nguyen, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, which found that:

With the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in 2020 hosted by Japan, it is necessary to look into the radioactivity of Olympic venues as well as tourist attractions in the host cities… Since thousands of athletes and millions of visitors are travelling to Japan for the Olympics, there has been widespread concern from the international community about radiation exposure. Therefore, it is important to investigate the extent of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi incident.

The measured results showed a much higher activity of Cesium-137 in the proposed torch route compared to other areas. Overall, the further away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, the lower the radioactivity. The activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo, the furthest site from the plant, was the lowest when compared to the other sites. Therefore, the activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo sample was used as the baseline to qualitatively estimate the human exposure to radiation.

At the Azuma Sports Park, the soil and dust samples yielded a range of 78.1 Bq/kg to 6176.0 Bq/kg. This particular Olympic venue is around 90 km from the Nuclear Power Plant. The other sites that are closer to the Nuclear Power Plant like the tourist route, proposed torch route, and non-Olympic samples have higher amounts due to the close proximity to ground zero of the disaster.

… the proposed torch route samples had the highest mean radioactivity due to their close proximity to the plant. Based on the measurement, we estimated qualitatively that the radiation exposure of people living near the Azuma Sports Park area was 20.7 times higher than that of people living in Tokyo. The main tourist and proposed torch routes had radiation exposure of 24.6 and 60.6 times higher, respectively, than in Tokyo…. Olympic officials should consider using the results of this project to decide whether the radioactivity level at the proposed torch route and the Olympic venues are within acceptable level……  https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/atomic-balm-part-1-prime-minister-abe-uses-the-tokyo-olympics-as-snake-oil-cure-for-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-meltdowns

March 2, 2019 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Radiation in a crematorium traced back to a human body

It wasn’t enough radiation to be alarming, but it could be a sign of an ongoing problem The Verge By A crematorium in Arizona became contaminated with radiation when workers cremated a man who had received radiation treatments for cancer right before he died, a new study reports. The findings highlight a potential safety gap for crematory workers, who might not know what’s in the body they’re cremating.

In this case, the radiation in the crematorium wasn’t significant enough to be worrying for the crematory worker’s health, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But the study also found clues that exposure to radioactive compounds from medical treatments may be an ongoing safety risk for crematory workers……..

It’s not an easy problem to fix. Manufacturers provide detailed instructions for handling the drug with patients who are alive, but not for ones that have diedYu says. “It presents a unique safety challenge.” Detecting radioactive materials is more complicated than running a Geiger counter over the body. And there aren’t any federal regulations for what to do with a radiation-treated body, Yu says, so the laws change from state to state. ……https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/26/18241402/radiation-crematorium-arizona-radiopharmaceuticals-cancer-body-lutetium

March 2, 2019 Posted by | employment, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Trump administration accepting the greedy “radiation is good for you” group

These assertions stand scientific consensus on its head. Most experts say to the contrary that even low doses of radiation cause cell damage that years later can promote uncontrolled cell growth and replication, and that children and fetuses are particularly susceptible to harm. That seven-decade-old view was reaffirmed as recently as last April in a study by a congressionally chartered nonprofit organization, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement.

The study, overseen by a dozen experts from the government, academia, and industry, and funded by the NRC, considered 29 contemporary scientific studies of the effects of low-dose radiation in reaffirming that even low-level radiation should be avoided to the extent possible.

RADIATION IS GOOD FOR YOU? THE FRINGE VIEWPOINT GAINS GROUND IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, https://publicintegrity.org/national-security/radiation-is-good-for-you-the-heretical-view-gains-ground-under-trump/The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is actively considering claims that low-dose radiation protections should be lifted because exposures make you healthier, a potential boon to radiation-related industries. 

Since World War II, virtually every American business where radiation is present – hospital emergency rooms and cancer wards, uranium mines, nuclear power plants, and others – has operated under rules generally requiring that exposures be kept as low as possible. The rules are based on a widely-accepted scientific dicta that even small amounts of extra radiation can be harmful to human health.

Following those rules, though, is costly and often cumbersome, and so the requirement for low-dose radiation protections – known as the ALARA standard for “as low as reasonably achievable” – has long been annoying to a large swath of American industry. Estimates of the costs associated with these protections run into the billions of dollars.

Until the Trump era, opponents of the rules have gotten little traction in trying to upend low-dose radiation protections – such as isolation units, elaborate shielding, specialized air cleaners, and elaborate worker training — in federal regulations. But proposed relaxations have been percolating in recent months, courtesy of a little-known advocacy group called Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information, or SARI.

Members of the group, which claims its ideas have been wrongly dismissed and belittled by mainstream scientists, subscribe to a minority theory known as “hormesis.” It defies conventional wisdom by holding that damaging things that are dangerous in high doses might actually be beneficial to human health in small doses.

Despite swimming against the tide in the past, one of the group’s members has just been appointed to head a Radiation Advisory Panel at the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps set federal standards for radiation doses received by the public and by workers. And several of its recommendations to ease radiation protections are presently under active consideration by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

SARI’s members typically have more day-to-day connections to radiation than others, and potentially more influence: They have held jobs connected to radiation protection at the EPA, the Department of Labor, the Energy Department and its sub-agency responsible for building nuclear weapons at nine factories across the country. Practitioners of nuclear medicine, people employed in the nuclear industry, and professors who teach nuclear medicine or industrial hygiene also populate SARI.

The NRC’s consideration of the SARI views got started when three members of the group petitioned it in 2015 to abandon its current approach and accept that radiation in low doses is not only benign, but improves health. That was two years after SARI’s founding by industry officials trying to tamp down public concerns about the radiation that spilled from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The NRC took the petitions seriously. Its staff created a working group to study the issue, and insiders now say that work is done. According to Scott Burnell, an NRC spokesman, the five members of the commission as a result will take up the issue this spring. Continue reading

February 28, 2019 Posted by | politics, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | 1 Comment