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Content of radioactive element in fish at Fukushima’s Nuclear Power Plant 180 times of safe limit

CGTN 6 June 23

The radioactive elements in the marine fish caught in the harbor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan far exceed safety levels for human consumption, according to a report issued by the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Monday. In particular, the data released show that the content of Cs-137, a radioactive element that is a common byproduct in nuclear reactors, is 180 times that of the standard maximum stipulated in Japan’s food safety law.

CGTN downloaded the English version of the report available on TEPCO’s official website. According to the data, the sampled black rockfish contains the radioactive element Cs-137 with a content of 18,000 becquerels per kilogram. Data available on the website of Fukushima Revitalization Station run by Japan’s Fukushima prefectural government shows that Japan’s current limit of radioactive cesium in general food which contains fish is set at 100 becquerels per kilogram.  

According to the report, the location where the sampled fish was caught is at the port area of Units 1 to 4 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, where a breakwater is built and nuclear wastewater with a high concentration of radioactive substances flows in. TEPCO said it will set up multiple protective nets to prevent fish from swimming out of the harbor.

A Chinese news website quoted experts noting that the radioactive elements in the nuclear wastewater could penetrate into fish, shrimp and other seafood, and later accumulate in the human body after consumption. ……………………

TEPCO on Monday started sending seawater into an underwater tunnel to be diluted before releasing the nuclear wastewater into the ocean. The company said that all facilities for the water release system are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Local fishing communities say their businesses and livelihoods will suffer still more damage. Neighboring countries such as China and South Korea and Pacific Island nations have raised safety concerns. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth oppose the release.


June 8, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

  Detailed evidence exposes Japan’s lies, loopholes in nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping plan

Japan’s existing ocean discharge plan and evaluation are based on the assumption that the nuclear-contaminated wastewater can meet discharge standards after treatment.

But unfortunately, the data released by TEPCO showed that as of September 30, 2021, some 70 percent of the then 1.243 million cubic meters of ALPS-treated nuclear-contaminated wastewater still failed to meet the criteria, 18 percent of which even exceeded the standards 10 to 20,000 times over

Firstly, the types of radionuclides that TEPCO monitors are relatively few, making it far from being able to reflect the correct radionuclide dispersion in the contaminated wastewater.

The Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater, coming from the wastewater which was directly in contact with the core of the melted reactor, theoretically contains all the hundreds of types of radionuclides in the melted reactor, such as fission nuclides, a uranium isotope, and transuranic nuclide.

But TEPCO at first only listed 64 types of radionuclides including H-3 and C-14 as a (data) foundation for the works including monitoring and analysis, emission control, and environmental impact assessment. These 64 radionuclides did not include the uranium isotope and certain other α-nuclides, which have long half-lives while some are highly toxic.

TEPCO’s exclusion of the radionuclides mentioned above has greatly compromised the effectiveness of its monitoring work, as well as the credibility of its environmental impact assessment result.

“TEPCO’s plan of only monitoring a few types of radionuclides is unscientific,” the insider told the Global Times.

Later, during the review process of the IAEA Task Force in 2022, TEPCO changed the number of radionuclide types it was monitoring and analyzing to 30, and then decreased it to 29 this year. This is far from enough to provide a complete assessment of the extremely complex nuclides in the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater.

Secondly, there are missing activity concentration values for multiple radionuclides in TEPCO’s monitoring scheme.

TEPCO’s public report on the 64 radionuclides only provides activity concentration values for 12 radioactive nuclides other than tritium, while over 50 other nuclides do not have specific activity concentration values. The report, while only offering gross α and gross β values, doesn’t disclose the respective concentration levels of many highly toxic radionuclides in the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater, such as Pu-239, Pu-240 and Am-241. 

“[TEPCO’s] current plan only monitors some of the nuclides and the gross α and gross β values, which cannot accurately indicate the fluctuations or changes in the activity of each nuclide after treating the contaminated wastewater due to the fluctuation of the nuclide source term composition,” said the insider. 

This operation of TEPCO has largely increased the uncertainty of the [nuclide] source item information of the nuclear-contaminated wastewater, and thus greatly increases the difficulties of making subsequent monitoring plans and marine ecological environmental impact assessment.

Thirdly, TEPCO didn’t make conservative assumptions in many aspects of its monitoring data, and some of the assumptions it made were somewhat “negligent.”

In the process of treating the nuclear-contaminated wastewater, the slight particle shedding of chemical precipitants and inorganic adsorbents in the ALPS may cause some radionuclides to exist in a colloidal state.

Therefore, TEPCO’s assumption that all nuclides in nuclear-contaminated wastewater in the ALPS are water-soluble is obviously invalid, said the insider. “TEPCO should scientifically and comprehensively analyze whether colloidal nuclides are present in the nuclear-contaminated wastewater based on the long-term operation experience of its ALPS system,” he noted.

Huang Lanlan Jun 05, 2023

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photo: VCGAs the date for Japan’s planned dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the ocean approaches, a Pandora’s Box threatening the global marine ecosystem is likely to be opened. 

The Japanese government announced its decision on April 13 to release the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea. Starting from 2023, the discharge is scheduled to last about 30 years. This decision has garnered widespread attention and sparked great concern across the globe.

While Japanese authorities are busy colluding with some Western politicians in boasting about the discharge plan, Fukushima residents, international experts in ecology, and various stakeholders around the world have kept calling for Japan to reconsider and modify its flawed plan.

Japan’s attempt to “whitewash” the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater release plan failed again at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in May. The joint statement of the summit did not explicitly state nor allude to the G7 members’ “welcome” of the current dumping plan due to strong opposition. Instead, it only reiterated support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) review of Fukushima’s treated water release.

An insider familiar with Japan’s dumping plan recently told the Global Times that he has many concerns and doubts about the plan. The insider provided detailed evidence exposing Japan’s lie that whitewashes its dumping plan. He also revealed many loopholes in the plan that the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have refused to talk about or even deliberately concealed from the public.

All provided evidence considered, it is apparent that, currently, Japan is incapable of properly handling the nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping. The toxic wastewater processed by the Japanese side cannot currently meet international discharge standards, and the country’s reckless behavior, if not stopped and corrected in time, may cause irreparable damage to the global ecosystem.

“There are still many unresolved issues with the source terms of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater,” the insider said. 

“If the Japanese government and TEPCO continue to have their own way, it may cause improper discharge of nuclear-contaminated water, and that must be taken seriously,” he noted, calling on the two sides to be open, transparent, and honest in solving the problem.

Disappointing data monitoring

Japan’s current plan of releasing nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea, though superficially reasonable at first glance, cannot hold up to close scrutiny. Its monitoring on the source terms of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater is incomplete, and the data it collects is likely unreliable, observers told the Global Times.

In February 2022, the IAEA Task Force released its first report, the IAEA Review of Safety Related Aspects of Handling ALPS-Treated Water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The report clearly stated that the Task Force “commented on the importance of defining the source term for the discharge of ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water in a sufficiently conservative yet realistic manner.” 

Source terms of contaminated water include the composition of radionuclide and the activity of simulation of nuclides dispersion. As the premise of marine environmental monitoring, the accuracy and reliability of the source term-related data is crucial. However, Japan’s data statistics and monitoring on the source terms are disappointingly full of loopholes. 

Continue reading

June 7, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Japan, radiation, Reference, wastes | 1 Comment

Tiny radioactive particles persist indoors years after Fukushima

Ellen Fiddian , 4 June 23

Radioactive microparticles were still coating buildings near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant five years after the disaster, according to a study in Chemosphere.

The researchers found caesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) in the dust of an abandoned primary school 2.8 kilometres southwest of the plant.

CsMPs are usually 5 micrometres in size or smaller (<PM5), and pose a threat to human health if inhaled because they’re highly radioactive.

They also don’t dissolve well in water, meaning they’re likely to persist  in the environment and in bodies of people and animals.

“Given the small size of the particles, they could penetrate into the deepest parts of the lung, where they could be retained,” says senior author Associate Professor Satoshi Utsunomiya, a researcher at Kyushu University, Japan.

The researchers had previously shown that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, which was triggered by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, released CsMPs. They found CsMPs in a wide area including as far south as Tokyo, about 300km away.

While they had shown  CsMPs were distributed widely in the Fukushima exclusion zone, but had not yet shown that the particles could get indoors.

“When entering the school building, we were all shocked by what we saw. Five years had passed by the time of sampling in 2016, but everything was left as it was at the moment of the 2011 earthquake. It’s as if time had stood still,” says Utsunomiya.

The researchers examined dust samples from floors near the school entrance, on its second floor, and in the school yard.

They found CsMPs at both indoor locations, with higher concentrations near the door.

“The CsMPs may present a threat; as shown in our work, CsMPs may accumulate locally and form hot spots, even in indoor environments,” says Utsunomiya, although the exact health effects of CsMPs are still unclear.

“The potential occurrence of CsMPs in indoor environments dictates a need for detailed studies of indoor CsMPs in residential areas impacted by Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant fallout,” says co-author Professor Gareth Law, from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

“I believe it is our duty to conduct rigorous scientific research on the tragic Fukushima events, to find and publicize new knowledge that will be important to society and the next generation,” says Utsunomiya.

“Maybe one day time can begin again for abandoned buildings like the school, but for that to happen, significant clean-up efforts are needed, and if that is to proceed, we first need to know about the forms and extent of contamination in those buildings, such that workers and potential occupants can be protected.”

Japan will be releasing treated radioactive water – nuclear waste from the plant – into the Pacific Ocean later this year.

June 6, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation | Leave a comment

Tritium found beyond safe limits in treated Fukushima wastewater

 A type of radioactive isotope in the over 1.3 million tons of wastewater
being collected at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant and planned
for discharge by as early as this summer has been found at levels beyond
those earlier suggested to be safe by the Japanese government, a wastewater
safety review report by the International Atomic Energy Agency showed

According to the report, which corroborated analyses of the treated wastewater by six laboratories including the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, the activity concentrations of tritium in the treated water were estimated to be at least 148,900 becquerels per liter.

The wastewater filtered through Japan’s Advanced Liquid Processing System at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station contained more tritium than what was stipulated in Japan’s national regulatory standards for discharge, 60,000 becquerels per liter……………………………………………

 Korea Herald 1st June 2023

June 4, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, radiation, wastes | Leave a comment

Trident: Ministry of Defence confirms more than 50 radiation leaks this year

By Hamish Morrison The National 24 May 23

QUESTIONS are hanging over the safety of Britain’s nuclear arsenal after it was revealed there were 58 radiation leaks at Trident facilities in Scotland this year so far.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has revealed there were 15 recorded radiation leaks at Coulport and a further 43 at Faslane in 2023 as of April – but said none were considered “serious”.

Alba MP Neale Hanvey is putting pressure on the UK Government to come clean about the safety of Britain’s nuclear weapons.

……………… What constitutes ‘serious’? 

Asked by The National to confirm the level of radiation at which the Government would consider a radiation leak to be “serious”, the MoD referred to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, which does not specify the level of radiation released into an environment is considered to be “serious”

………… The dates of the recorded breaches have also not been revealed.

Hanvey said: “The MoD has failed to confirm the date on which the staff at Coulport building 201 were first informed that they were being relocated to building 41 and have told me that ‘there was no requirement for a public announcement of the relocation of staff from one building to another’.

……………….“It seems that getting answers out of the MoD is like trying to get blood out of a stone. When it comes to weapons of mass destruction in Scotland, it is clear that the UK Government will tell us as much as they have to and as little as they want to.

“These answers continue to prompt further concerning questions. If the MoD will only make public ‘significant radiation exposure’, how many radiation leaks are there into the air or into Loch Long and the Gare Loch each year that the MoD are failing to tell the public about?…………………………

May 25, 2023 Posted by | radiation, UK | Leave a comment

UK government’s proposals on radioactive substances : -all of its 7 “consultation questions” should be vigourously opposed.

Nuclear Waste Consultation, No2 Nuclear Power SAFE ENERGY E-JOURNAL No.97, April 2023

The UK and devolved governments have launched a consultation on proposals to update and consolidate policies on managing radioactive substances and nuclear decommissioning into a single UK-wide policy framework. (1) The new document will basically replace existing policy which dates back to a 1995 document commonly known as Command 2919. The proposals focus on 3 areas: managing solid radioactive waste; updating the policy for nuclear decommissioning; managing nuclear materials and spent nuclear fuel. Proposals include leaving lower-level waste behind on decommissioned sites; disposing intermediate level waste in near surface facilities and, most shockingly, reintroducing reprocessing.

In a draft response, I argue that the consultation has its priorities the wrong way round. In Part 1 there is far more emphasis placed on cost-effectiveness and removing burdens from industry, whereas protecting public health appears to be relegated to a second-class objective. Even here the emphasis is on meeting safety and environmental regulations rather than maximising public health protection, with no recognition of the uncertainties involved in radiation protection.

There needs to be a new emphasis on openness, transparency and public consultation as plans for decommissioning and waste management are developed, so that the public is fully aware of the intended destination of each waste stream, radioactive discharges expected from each proposed method of waste management and the dose implications of each proposed action. The public should also be given access to independent advice.

The document says: Government “must strive to keep the creation of radioactive waste to a minimum,” which given that the latest UK Energy Security Strategy proposes increasing the target for new nuclear power stations from 16GW to 24GW is nothing short of misleading.

The proposals would embed the so-called Nuclear Waste Hierarchy into Government Policy. In our view the Hierarchy promotes methods of radioactive waste management which are basically ways of diluting and dispersing radioactive waste around the environment, ultimately discharging radioactive substances into our estuaries, seas and atmosphere whilst masquerading as the environmentally friendly sounding ‘waste hierarchy’. Diverting increasing quantities of radioactive waste to landfill, metal recycling and incineration plants is a policy of dilute and disperse rather than one of concentrate and contain. This is ‘waste management on the cheap’. Waste management techniques should be based on environmental principles, particularly the principle that hazardous waste should be concentrated and contained in isolation from the environment.

The document also proposes a new policy framework for near surface disposal facilities for some types of intermediate level waste in England and Wales. It should be noted that while these near surface facilities might resemble Scottish near surface facilities, in Scotland waste could be retrieved if something went wrong, but in England and Wales retrieval is not planned for.

The new policy also proposes the promotion of on-site disposal on nuclear and former nuclear sites with the rider “where it is safe to do so”. This is to “help drive earlier and more cost-effective nuclear decommissioning and management of radioactive waste without compromising safety and security.”

Finally, the consultation says “New and advanced reprocessing technologies, with integrated waste management, may be developed in the future which support advanced nuclear reactor systems. The UK Government is continuing to support the advanced nuclear sector through investments in research facilities and programmes.”

The Consultation Document asks 7 “Do you agree” questions. The answer to all seven should be “No”.

May 6, 2023 Posted by | politics, radiation, UK | Leave a comment

Discharge of tritium from Fukushima to harm human body: scientist

Tritium, which the Japanese government planned to dump from its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, will harm human beings’ inside bodies as internal exposure can be more dangerous than external one, a renowned scientist said Thursday.

“When tritium gets inside the body, it’s at least as dangerous as any of the other radionuclides. And in some cases, it’s more than double as dangerous in terms of the effects of the radiation on the genetic material, on the proteins,” Timothy Mousseau, professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina, told a press conference in Seoul. 

The Japanese government and institutions, including the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), have claimed that tritium is not dangerous because it emits a very “weak” beta particle, but the professor called it “fiction.”

“Ingestion is really the most dangerous. People have said that tritium is not dangerous based on the concerns for external exposure, but using the same argument, you would say that uranium 235 is not dangerous,” he noted.

Tritium is known as an emitter of low-energy beta particles incapable of penetrating a human body as they are stopped by a layer of clothing, in contrast to gamma rays that can pass through a human body and only be stopped by several feet of concrete.

If the tritiated water or the organically bound tritium discharged from the collapsed Fukushima power plant is consistently ingested, the ionizing radiation would directly damage DNA or indirectly affect other metabolic activities through oxidative stress or an imbalance inside the body that can lead to cell and tissue damage.

“The way it works is that the tritium molecule comes inside the cell and ejects an electron…It’s a little bullet. It’s like a bullet coming from a gun. It comes out from the nucleus of the tritium atom. That bullet hits something like the DNA,” Mousseau said.

“What makes tritium more dangerous than high-energy emission is that the bullet is moving kind of slow, so it hits something and bounces. And it hits something else and then it hits something else. It doesn’t go anywhere, so you end up with a clustered damage from that beta particle,” the professor noted.

“High-energy beta particles are higher energy. They will hit something, yes, but then they continue and go through the cell, maybe out of the body, and do much less damage as a result. So, this is why we need to pay attention to tritium in particular,” he added.

Mousseau, who published over 130 scientific papers related to radiation effects, presented a new paper on the biological consequences of exposure to tritium earlier this month based on 250 studies after scanning over 700,000 references to tritium.

According to the paper, the scientific literature indicated that tritium could be genotoxic and carcinogenic and can affect reproductive systems such as sperm and eggs.

Japan planned to release over 1.2 million tonnes of the tritium-laced water into the ocean for 30 years from 2023, but the discharge would last much longer than planned, Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace East Asia, told the press conference.

“Those discharges could begin as early as July, possibly later, and continue for many decades, not just the 30 years but maybe 50, 60, 70, 80 years. Next century is really possible,” said Burnie.

“This is water that’s radioactive in tanks, so it’s the deliberate decision to pollute and contaminate the environment, which doesn’t need to take place because actually there is sufficient storage space in the two districts next to the Fukushima nuclear power plant,” he noted.

Burnie was also skeptical of Japan’s claim that the contaminated water could be diluted through an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS).

“This is water that has come in direct contact with a reactor, a nuclear fuel that suffered a severe melt, which means fission products within the nuclear fuel became in direct contact with water,” the specialist said.

“It’s unclear how successfully the ALPS system processes the water. Around 70 percent of the water in the tanks still needs to undergo further processing. So, we still don’t know how effective it’s going to be. It can’t be discharged as it is at the moment,” he added.

April 30, 2023 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | 1 Comment

Dogs of war — Chornobyl

Chornobyl dogs are distinct group, researchers find

Dogs of war — Beyond Nuclear International By Linda Pentz Gunter 23 Apr 23,

DNA research among Chornobyl’s dogs could provide answers about the effects of living in a radioactive environment

Pity the poor dogs (and cats) of Chornobyl. Abandoned in 1986 by owners fleeing the nuclear disaster, their descendants live on in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, an area deemed too radioactive for human habitation and in a country now at war.

…………………………………..The presence today of at least several hundred semi-feral domestic dogs living around the Chornobyl plant and beyond, indicates that the 1986 cull was not, of course, entirely successful. The Dogs of Chornobyl — and their more furtive feline friends — continue to survive down the generations in a highly radioactive environment. There are other threats too, including exposure to rabies and wolf packs that prey on the dogs and their puppies.

…………..So how are these animals surviving? And how well?

A  new study, — The dogs of Chernobyl: Demographic insights into populations inhabiting the nuclear exclusion zone — published in the journal, Science Advances, has not yet answered this fundamental question. But the researchers have been able to gather important data to enable that next step.

The group studied the DNA of three sets of dog populations: those living at the Chornobyl power plant itself; those around nine miles away in Chornobyl City and another group around 28 miles away in Slavutych.

Their task was made easier by a surprising discovery: the dogs were not living in the traditional manner of wild dogs, or their closest ancestor, the Grey Wolf, but in distinct family units.

…………..These distinct family groups and lack of intermingling meant the researchers could easily identify different dogs through their DNA and thus distinguish those living at the nuclear plant from those living further away.

Co-author Tim Mousseau, professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina, has been visiting the Chornobyl site and studying the fate of its wildlife there since the late 1990s. At the same time, he began collecting blood samples from the Chornobyl dogs, curious to know how their bodies were handling such a significant radioactive load. Those samples are now being used in the current study to examine the dogs’ DNA. Wrote the authors in their paper:

“Hence, the dogs of Chernobyl are of immense scientific relevance for understanding the impact of harsh environmental conditions on wildlife and humans alike, particularly the genetic health effects of exposure to long-term, low-dose ionizing radiation and other contaminants, i.e., their adaptation to harsh living conditions makes them an ideal system in which to identify mutational signatures resulting from historical and ongoing radiation exposures.”

Mousseau’s wildlife studies have revealed shortened lifespans among birds and small mammals as well as the prevalence of tumors, sterility and cataracts among other phenomena considered related to exposure to radiation.

How or if the DNA of the Chornobyl-affected dogs has altered can now be examined……………………..

This in turn may lead to enlightenment on whether or not radiation damage is accumulating in their genomes and how this may affect their health and longevity — and that of other mammals similarly exposed — now and into the future

April 24, 2023 Posted by | Belarus, radiation | Leave a comment

Low-dose Radiation Linked to Heart Disease

Columbia University Irving Medical Center, March 23, 2023

People exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation have an extra, but modest, risk of developing heart disease during their lifetime, according to a new study(link is external and opens in a new window) published by an international consortium of researchers.

“The study suggests that radiation exposure, across a range of doses, may be related to an increased risk of not just cancer, as has been previously appreciated, but also of cardiovascular diseases,” says Andrew Einstein, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and one of the study’s senior authors.

“It should not steer people away from receiving radiation if necessary—in fact many medical uses of radiation are lifesaving—but it underscores the importance of ensuring that radiation is used appropriately and kept as low as reasonably achievable.”…………

The researchers used data from 93 studies covering all ranges of radiation exposures to find a relationship between dose and heart disease.

They found an increased excess lifetime risk of 2.3 to 3.9 cardiovascular deaths per 100 persons exposed to one Gy of radiation. (In the United States, about 25 out of every 100 people die from cardiovascular disease; a person exposed to 1 Gy of radiation will have a slightly higher, 27% to 29%, risk of dying from cardiovascular disease).

Few people other than those receiving radiation therapy will receive 1 Gy during their lives. But the researchers also found a higher risk of heart disease at low dose ranges (<0.1 Gy) more commonly experienced by the public and also for protracted exposures to low doses.

More research is needed to determine the precise increased excess lifetime risk of heart disease from these low doses.

“The effect of lower doses of radiation on the heart and blood vessels may have been underestimated in the past,” Einstein says. “Our new study suggests that guidelines and standards for protection of workers exposed to radiation should be reconsidered, and efforts to ensure optimal radiation protection of patients should be redoubled.”


More information

The study, titled “Ionising radiation and cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis(link is external and opens in a new window),” was published March 8 in The BMJ……………………………..

March 25, 2023 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Dr Ian Fairlie -Low-dose radiation a health in the nuclear industry , as well as in medicine

Dr Ian Fairlie , 12 Mar 23

This is an important new study in the BMJ  …a meta analysis of 93 health studies.

The authors conclude, inter alia, “Our findings suggest that radiation detriment might have been significantly underestimated, implying that radiation protection and optimisation at low doses should be rethought.” And also

“This finding has considerable implications for the system of radiological protection, assuming that the extrapolation is permissible, even, for example, over the restricted dose range 0-0.5 Gy. This added risk would nearly double the low dose detriment.”

These conclusions are supported in an accompanying BMJ editorial

In initial thoughts: we should note that almost all of these studies concern medical exposures (ie for diagnostic or for cancer treatment purposes). Environmental exposures are hardly mentioned at all. However radiation exposures do occur to nuclear workers and to populations near nuclear facilities. Therefore we should be concerned about their cardiovascular health risks too.

For example,  there exists a 2017 INWORKS study – strangely omitted in this BMJ meta analysis – of increased deaths to nuclear workers from cardiovascular diseases. see

[1][ Gillies M, Richardson DB, Cardis E, Daniels RD, O’Hagan JA, Haylock R, Laurier D, Leuraud K, Moissonnier M, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Thierry-Chef I, Kesminiene A, “Mortality from Circulatory Diseases and other Non-Cancer Outcomes among Nuclear Workers in France, the United Kingdom and the United States” (2017) 188:3 (INWORKS) Radiat Res at pp 276-290, online:

 It remains to be seen whether the nuclear establishment (ICRP, UNSCEAR, IAEA, WHO etc) will pay any attention to this study.

March 12, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 2 Comments

Low-dose radiation linked to increased lifetime risk of heart disease

by British Medical Journal, 8 March 23,

Exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is associated with a modestly increased excess risk of heart disease, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

The researchers say these findings “have implications for patients who undergo radiation exposure as part of their medical care, as well as policy makers involved in managing radiation risks to radiation workers and the public.”

A linked editorial suggests that these risks “should now be carefully considered in protection against radiation in medicine and elsewhere.”

It’s well recognized that exposure to high dose radiation can damage the heart, but firm evidence linking low dose radiation to heart disease (e.g., scatter radiation dose from radiotherapy or working in the nuclear industry) is less clear.

To address this knowledge gap, an international team of researchers examined scientific databases for studies evaluating links between a range of cardiovascular diseases and exposure to radiation (mostly radiotherapy and occupational exposures).

They excluded uninformative datasets or those largely duplicating others, leaving 93 studies, published mainly during the past decade, suitable for analysis. These studies covered a broad range of doses, brief and prolonged exposures, and evaluated frequency (incidence) and mortality of various types of vascular diseases.

After taking account of other important factors, such as age at exposure, the researchers found consistent evidence for a dose dependent increase in cardiovascular risks across a broad range of radiation doses.

For example, the relative risk per gray (Gy) increased for all cardiovascular disease and for specific types of cardiovascular disease, and there was a higher relative risk per dose unit at lower dose ranges (less than 0.1 Gy), and also for lower dose rates (multiple exposures over hours to years).

At a population level, excess absolute risks ranged from 2.33% per Gy for a current England and Wales population to 3.66% per Gy for Germany, largely reflecting the underlying rates of cardiovascular disease mortality in these populations.

This equates to a modest but significantly increased excess lifetime risk of 2.3-3.9 cardiovascular deaths per 100 persons exposed to one Gy of radiation, explain the authors.

Substantial variation was found between studies, although this was markedly reduced when the authors restricted their analysis to higher quality studies or to those at moderate doses (less than 0.5 Gy) or low dose rates (less than 5 mGy/h).

The authors suggest that mechanisms for these cardiovascular effects are poorly understood, even at high dose.

They also acknowledge that few studies assessed the possible modifying effects of lifestyle and medical risk factors on radiation risk, particularly major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease like smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and say further research is needed in this area.

In conclusion, they say their findings support an association between acute high dose and (to a lesser extent) chronic low dose radiation exposure and most types of cardiovascular disease and suggest that “radiation detriment might have been significantly underestimated, implying that radiation protection and optimization at low doses should be rethought.”

This view is supported by Professor Anssi Auvinen at Tampere University in Finland in a linked editorial, who points out that while inconsistencies and gaps remain in the evidence linking vascular disease to low dose radiation exposure, “evidence for cardiovascular disease will soon need to be added to the existing list of radiation-induced health risks.”

This will involve revisiting concepts and standards in radiological protection, while more stringent standards for justification and optimization, especially for high dose procedures, will have to be considered, he explains.

Their implementation will also require training to improve awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the risks associated with specific procedures and cumulative exposure, as well as risk communication for patients and the public, he concludes.

March 10, 2023 Posted by | radiation, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Seoul offers radiation tests to N Korea defectors as group flags nuclear risks

By Kelly Ng and Jean Mackenzie, BBC News, 24 Feb 23

South Korea will offer radiation testing to 881 North Korean defectors after concerns were raised about their exposure to the North’s nuclear tests.

It comes after a research report warned that residents around Punggye-ri, the main nuclear testing site, could be exposed to radioactive leaks in water.

The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) estimates that up to half a million residents are at risk.

It also potentially affects people in China, South Korea and Japan.

The group – which was established in Seoul in 2014 by activists and researchers from South Korea, North Korea, US, UK and Canada – analysed publicly available data and open-source intelligence for its latest report.

North Korea last tested a nuclear bomb in 2017 – the most powerful of six tests conducted at Punggye-ri.

It said the tests were conducted safely, but scientists have long raised fears that radioactive material might have escaped into the surrounding soil and groundwater.

North Korean defectors, who once lived near the site, have previously reported seeing strange illnesses in their communities, but scientists have not been able to establish a link.

Authorities in Seoul are now inviting all North Koreans, who escaped from nearby towns near the site, to be tested for signs of radiation.

Nuclear experts the BBC spoke to largely agree with the possibility of nuclear contamination laid out in TJWG’s report but say its extent will be hard to determine.

Nuclear radiation can damage living cells partially or completely, sometimes resulting in cancer. As with most toxins, the risks associated with radioactive materials depend on the amount of exposure.

The Ministry of Unification, an executive department in South Korea promoting Korean reunification, stopped testing defectors for radiation exposure in 2019.

Nine of the 40 defectors tested in 2017 and 2018 showed “worrying levels” of genetic abnormalities, the group said in its report. While the TJWG did not directly attribute these to radiation exposure, it noted higher radiation doses for those who showed more abnormalities.

In particular, the TJWG flagged the leakage of radioactive materials into groundwater as a particular concern, given people’s growing tendency to consume groundwater.

North Korea’s 2008 census data shows that a sixth of households in the northernmost province of North Hamgyong, where Punggye-ri is located, use groundwater as drinking and agricultural water.

This proportion is likely to have gone up due to a chronic shortage of electricity across the country. Electricity is supplied only on a part-time basis even in the capital Pyongyang, which is always prioritised in resource allocation…………………………………………………………..

The group has urged South Korean and Chinese authorities to disclose results of past tests, for radiation exposure. It is also calling for an international inquiry into the radiation risks for communities around Punggye-ri.

February 24, 2023 Posted by | North Korea, radiation | Leave a comment

Our Global Surveillance System on NUKE TESTING is inadequate

For the ones whom are not aware, there is a global monitoring and surveillance system that detects radioactive particles and gases on a global scale from 80 stations to detect the “smoking gun” in regards to nuclear testing globally in which Canada and the US are collaborators for surveillance purposes.

Suffice to say, pending global atmospheric transport, there are not enough monitoring stations in Canada or the US.

 This is because of the complexity of the jet stream (northern hemisphere) and the long-range transport of these radioactive particles emitted by nuclear testing because of atmospheric dilution or long-range transport, especially xenon (gas), either because of atmospheric dilution or weather patterns in the northern atmosphere. Climate change will in time make this even more problematic.

 This is because of the complexity of the jet stream (northern hemisphere) and the long-range transport of these radioactive particles emitted by nuclear testing because of atmospheric dilution or long-range transport, especially xenon (gas), either because of atmospheric dilution or weather patterns in the northern atmosphere. Climate change will in time make this even more problematic.

Coriolis forces:


Check out the link below for more details on the global surveillance system on radioactive fallouts from nuke testingLink:

How the radionuclide monitoring network works

The 80-station radionuclide monitoring network enables a continuous worldwide observation of aerosol samples of radionuclides. The network is supported by 16 radionuclide laboratories with expertise in environmental monitoring, providing independent additional analysis of IMS samples.”

“Radionuclide technology is complementary to the three waveform technologies used in the CTBT verification regime, and the only one that can confirm whether an explosion detected and located by the others is indicative of a nuclear test.”

“Radionuclide stations measure radioactive particles and noble gases, i.e. radionuclides, in the air. A radionuclide is an isotope with an unstable nucleus that loses its excess energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves in a process called radioactive decay.”

February 23, 2023 Posted by | NORTH AMERICA, radiation | Leave a comment

Radioactive releases from the nuclear power sector and implications for child health.

Notes here provided by:

Simon J Daigle, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.Sc(A)

Industrial / Occupational Hygienist, Climatologist,

Environmental Sciences Expert (Air Quality tropospheric Ozone),

Epidemiologist, Citizen scientist 

Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This BMJ article articulated extremely well the challenges of women’s health, pregnancy and radioactive exposures and includes nuclear power and related industries (nuclear waste). The facts below were known for decades and true to this very day and I quote:

“exposure standards in the USA remain based on a Reference Man—a model that does not fully account for sex and age differences.”

“Early in the nuclear weapons era, a ‘permissible dose’ was more aptly recognised as an ‘acceptable injury limit,’ but that language has since been sanitised. Permissible does not mean safe.”

“As noted by the EPA, this gives radiation a ‘privileged pollutant’ status”

The facts above are not only astonishing, in which the general public may either be oblivious or uninformed, but in 2023, these facts remain true and yet the nuclear industry remain “willfully blind” and disingenuous about the real radiation risks, especially to the most vulnerable groups in our population.

British Medical Journal – Paediatrics (Open Access).

A reputable journal! A recent article in the British Medical Journal – Paediatrics (Oct 2022).

Open access to all. A reputable journal!

Radioactive releases from the nuclear power sector and implications for child health (October 2022).


Selected excerpts:

“Children, women and particularly pregnant women living near nuclear production facilities appear to be at disproportionately higher risk of harm from exposure to these releases. Children in poorer often Non-White and Indigenous communities with fewer resources and reduced access to healthcare are even more vulnerable—an impact compounded by discrimination, socioeconomic and cultural factors.”

“Nevertheless, pregnancy, children and women are under protected by current regulatory standards that are based on ‘allowable’ or ‘permissible’ doses for a ‘Reference Man’.”

“Early in the nuclear weapons era, a ‘permissible dose’ was more aptly recognised as an ‘acceptable injury limit,’ but that language has since been sanitised. Permissible does not mean safe. Reference Man is defined as ‘…a nuclear industry worker 20–30 years of age, [who] weighs 70kg (154 pounds), is 170cm (67 inches) tall…is a Caucasian and is a Western European or North American in habitat and custom’.”

“However, many studies are unable to link these adverse outcomes to radioactivity because the studies’ authors tend to use several faulty assumptions:

  •  ‘doses will be too low to create an effect’—a beginning assumption ensuring poor hypothesis formation and study design. Therefore, when an effect is found, radioactivity has been predetermined not to have an association with the effect. This exclusion often leads to an inability to find an alternate associated disease agent;

  • ‘small negative findings matter’
    —In fact, what matters are positive findings or very large negative findings;
  •  ‘statistical non-significance means a lack of association between radiation exposure and disease’ — a usage a number of scientists in various disciplines now call ‘ludicrous’;
  •  ‘potential bias or confounding factors are reasons to dismiss low dose studies’—In fact, when assessing low dose impacts, researchers should take care not to dismiss studies with these issues and researchers should minimise use of quality score ranking.

“Consequently, we examine and reference studies even if they contain such faulty assumptions because they still indicate increases in certain diseases, such as some leukaemias, known to be caused by radiation exposure. Additionally, few alternative explanations were offered in the conclusions of these studies, meaning radiation exposure might still have been the cause.”

“Current U.S. regulations allow a radiation dose to the public (100 mrem per year) which poses a lifetime cancer risk to the Reference Man model of 1 person in 143. This is despite the EPA’s acceptable risk range for lifetime cancer risk from toxics being 1 person in 1million to 1 person in 10000. As noted by the EPA, this gives radiation a ‘privileged pollutant’ status. Additionally, biokinetic models for radioisotopes are not sex-specific. A male model is still used for females. The models are also not fully age-dependent. Radiation damage models also fail to account for a whole host of childhood and pregnancy damage.

Highlights (Conclusion)

  • Despite the numerous observations globally, linking radiation exposures to increased risks for children, pregnant and non-pregnant women and the well-demonstrated sensitivity to other toxicants during these life stages, exposure standards in the USA remain based on a Reference Man—a model that does not fully account for sex and age differences.
  • In addition, faulty research assumptions, unique exposure pathways, systemic inequities and legacy exposures to both heavy metals and radioactivity from mining wastes add to the risks for women and children, especially those in underserved communities.
  • Socioeconomic factors that drive higher deprivation of services in non-homogenous low-income communities of colour also put non-White children at higher risk of negative health outcomes when exposed to radioactive releases, than their White counterparts.
  • A first and essential step is to acknowledge the connection between radiation, heavy metal and chemical exposures from industries and the negative health impacts observed among children, so that early diagnosis and treatment can be provided.
  • Measures should then be taken to protect communities from further exposures, including a prompt phaseout of nuclear power and its supporting industries.

  • Studies are also urgently needed where there are none, and the findings of independent doctors, scientists and laboratories should be given equal attention and credence as those conducted by industry or government-controlled bodies, whose vested and policy interests could compromise both their methodologies and conclusions.
  • Finally, in the face of uncertainty, particularly at lower and chronic radiation doses, precaution is paramount.


Funding: The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Competing interests: None declared.

Patient consent for publication: Not applicable.

Ethics approval: Not applicable.

Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed

February 12, 2023 Posted by | children, radiation, Reference, USA, women | Leave a comment

Australia radioactive capsule: Missing material more common than you think

By Antoinette Radford, BBC News, 5 Feb 23

The world watched as Australia scrambled to find a radioactive capsule in late January.

Many asked how it could have been lost – but radioactive material goes missing more often than you might think.

In 2021, one “orphan source” – self-contained radioactive material – went missing every three days, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The not-for-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) lists lost and found nuclear and radiological material, and its records include a person in Idaho who stumbled across a radioactive gauge lying in the middle of a road.

The organisation also listed a package containing radioactive material falling off the back of a truck onto a nearby lawn in an undisclosed location – the resident who found it then delivered it to its intended recipient later that day.

And, in 2019, a tourist was detected in St Petersburg airport wearing a radioactive watch, according to the list.

Of the nearly 4,000 radioactive sources that have gone missing since the International Atomic Energy Agency started tracking them in 1993, 8% are believed to have been taken for malicious reasons, and 65% were lost accidentally. It is unclear what happened to the rest.

When properly maintained and handled, radioactive material does not pose a significant threat to humans.

But if a person is directly exposed to the radiation without protection, they can fall severely ill – or even die.

For example, four people died after a canister containing radioactive material was stolen from an abandoned hospital in the Brazilian city of Goiânia in 1987.

A group of men took the canister that contained Caesium-137 (Cs-137) – a radioactive material commonly used in medical settings – thinking it may have some value as scrap metal. As they took it apart, they ruptured the Cs-137 capsule, spilling its radioactive contents onto the rest of the metal.

A junkyard owner who bought the contaminated metal then exposed dozens of friends and family to the radiation after he brought them to see it glow blue in the dark. This included a six-year-old who ate the radioactive powder.

Dozens required urgent medical attention and two nearby towns were evacuated once doctors established their sudden illness was caused by radiation exposure.

The incident was described by the IAEA as among “the most serious radiological accidents to have occurred”.

In 2020, radioactive waste was also found at the home of a former nuclear energy agency employee in Indonesia.

And in 2013, six men were arrested – apparently unharmed – in Mexico for stealing radioactive material from a cancer treatment machine………………………………

February 6, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, radiation | Leave a comment