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Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s deadly hazard – highly radioactive sandbags

Nuclear sandbags too hot to handle,  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/nuclear-sandbags-too-hot-to-handle/news-story/87b811443cb8e2881f55e17108872880 By RICHARD LLOYD PARRY, THE TIMES. APRIL 1, 2020  

    Japanese engineers trying to dismantle the melted reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant face a new hazard — radioactive sandbags so deadly that standing next to them for a few minutes could be fatal.

The sandbags were intended to make life easier for the teams dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in 2011 when three reactors melted after a tsunami destroyed their cooling systems. Twenty-six tonnes of the bags were placed in basements beneath two of the reactors to ­absorb radioactivity from waste water.

They were stuffed with zeolite, minerals that can absorb caesium. Nine years after the disaster, the submerged sandbags have sucked up so much radiation that they now represent a deadly danger themselves.

Samples of zeolite removed from the bags contain caesium, producing huge amounts of radiation, while the sandbags are giving off up to four sieverts of radiation an hour. Fifteen minutes of exposure to this could cause haemorrhaging. After an hour, half of those exposed would eventually die as a result. The maximum lifetime recommended dose of radiation for humans is less than half a sievert.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), which operates the plant, had intended to remove the contaminated water by the end of 2020. The complication caused by the sand means it will take three years longer, the latest delay to the decommissioning.

Tepco managers have admitted that the technology needed to finish the job does not exist and they do not have a full idea of how it will be achieved. Their stated goal of decommissioning by 2051 may be impossible, they said.

One of the biggest problems is the 170 tonnes of irradiated water coming out of the plant every day, much of it natural ground water that flows through the earth ­towards the sea, picking up radiation on the way. Tepco pumps it out and stores it in huge storage tanks, filtered of some, but not all, of its contaminants — 1.17 million tonnes so far. In two years, the storage space will run out.

The government wants to pour the water away, insisting that the diluting effect of the ­Pacific will render the radiation harmless, but it is opposed by North and South Korea and the local fishing industry, whose reputation has been ruined by the disaster.

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

LANL Plans to Release Twice the Amount of Tritium Allowed 

March 28, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power Plants: Tritium is a lot more hazardous than they say

tests for statistical significance have been misused in epidemiological studies on cancers near nuclear facilities. These in the past have often concluded that such effects do not occur or they downplayed any effects which did occur. In fact, copious evidence exists throughout the world – over 60 studies – of raised cancer levels near NPPs.

Most (>75%) of these studies found cancer increases but because they were small, their findings were often dismissed as not statistically significant. In other words, they were chucked in the bin marked “not significant” without further consideration.

Just as people were misled about tobacco smoking in previous decades, perhaps we are being misled about raised cancers near NPPs nowadays.

The Hazards of Tritium, Dr Ian Fairlie, March 13, 2020

Summary

Nuclear facilities emit very large amounts of tritium, 3H, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen.  Much evidence from cell/animal studies and radiation biology theory indicates that tritium is more hazardous than gamma rays and most X-rays. However the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) continues to underestimate tritium’s hazard by recommending  a radiation weighting factor (wR) of unity for tritium’s beta particle emissions.  Tritium’s exceptionally high molecular exchange rate with hydrogen atoms on adjacent molecules makes it extremely mobile in the environment. This plus the fact that the most common form of tritium is water, ie radioactive water, means that, when tritium is emitted from nuclear facilities, it rapidly contaminates all biota in adjacent areas. Tritium binds with organic matter to form organically bound tritium (OBT) with long residence times in tissues and organs making it more radiotoxic than tritiated water (HTO). Epidemiology studies indicate increases in cancers and congenital malformations near nuclear facilities. It is recommended that nuclear operators and scientists should be properly informed about tritium’s hazards; that tritium’s safety factors should be strengthened; and that a hazard scheme for common radionuclides be established. Continue reading

March 19, 2020 Posted by | radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Dr Ian Fairlea on Epidemiological Evidence of Cancer Risks

The Hazards of Tritium,https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/the-hazards-of-tritium/ , Dr Ian Fairlie, March 13, 2020   “……….Epidemiological Evidence of Risks Because of methodological limitations, epidemiology studies are a blunt tool for discovering whether adverse effects result from radiation exposures. These limitations include:

  • under-ascertainment, …
  • strict data requirements….
  • confounding factors: the true causes of morbidity or mortality can be uncertain due to confounding factors such as socio-economic status and competing causes of death.
  • bias: ……
  • poor signal to noise…..
  • uncertain doses:……
  • wide confidence intervals……
Many epidemiology studies are ecologic studies, that is, quick inexpensive studies which look at health statistics in tables and notate individual data. Their findings are usually regarded as indicative, but not conclusive. If their findings suggest an adverse effect then these should be investigated further by more detailed cohort or case-control studies. The latter match “cases” (i.e. those with an adverse health effect) with randomly-selected similar individuals without an adverse effect, in order to minimise under-ascertainment. However few of these are actually carried out because of their expense and long time-spans. Sometimes they are not carried out for political reasons because findings of increased cancers are not welcome.
A disconcerting finding is that a substantial number of epi studies near NPPs conclude there are no findings of ill health even though positive increases were in fact observed. That is, the researchers were unable to accept the evidence of their own work. It is difficult to comment on this cognitive dissonance (few studies seem to exist on this phenomenon) but it is apparently often due to unacknowledged biases or to group-think re the impossibility for ill-health effects to exist near nuclear facilities. In their conclusions, such authors have discounted their findings using a variety of reasons ………
However there is a serious problem here. If similarly increased health effects had been observed near, say, a lead smelting factory or an asbestos mine, would they be dismissed by referring to these rationales? I rather doubt it. In other words, what is occurring here is that hidden biases in favour of nuclear power are in play. In my view, such conflicts of bias should be declared at the outset just as conflicts of interest are nowadays.

The Abuse of Statistical Significance Tests

Many epi studies of cancer near NPPs have found increased risks but dismissed them as not “statistically significant”. This wording often misleads lay readers into thinking that a reported increase is unimportant or irrelevant. But, in statistics, the adjective “significant” is a specialist word used to convey a narrow meaning, ie that the likelihood of an observation being a fluke is less than 5% (assuming a p = 5% test were used). It does not mean important or relevant.
Also this phrase is usually employed without explaining that the chosen significance level is quite arbitrary. There is no scientific justification for using a 5% level or any other test level: it is merely a matter of convenience. In other words, it is quite possible for results which are “not significant” when a 5% test is applied, could become “significant” when a 10% or other test level were used.
The existence of this practice has historical parallels. In the 1950s, dozens of health studies financed by tobacco companies acted to sow seeds of doubt about the health effects of cigarette smoking for many years. Continue reading

March 19, 2020 Posted by | radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Tritium – more hazardous than gamma rays and most X-rays

Ian Fairlie 13th March 2020, The Nuclear facilities emit very large amounts of tritium, 3H, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Much evidence from cell/animal studies and radiation biology theory indicates that tritium is more hazardous than gamma rays and most X-rays.

However the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) continues to underestimate tritium’s hazard by recommending a radiation weighting factor (wR) of unity for
tritium’s beta particle emissions. Tritium’s exceptionally high molecular exchange rate with hydrogen atoms on adjacent molecules makes it extremely mobile in the environment.

This plus the fact that the most common form of tritium is water, i.e. radioactive water, means that, when tritium is emitted from nuclear facilities, it rapidly contaminates all biota in adjacent areas. Tritium binds with organic matter to form organically bound tritium (OBT) with long residence times in tissues and organs making it more radiotoxic than tritiated water (HTO).

Epidemiology studies indicate increases in cancers and congenital malformations near
nuclear facilities. It is recommended that nuclear operators and scientists should be properly informed about tritium’s hazards; that tritium’s safety factors should be strengthened; and that a hazard scheme for common radionuclides be established.

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/the-hazards-of-tritium/

March 16, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear testing left a signature of radioactive carbon all around the world

When Linus Pauling accepted the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning against hydrogen bombs, he said that carbon 14 “deserves our special concern” because it “shows the extent to which the earth is being changed by the tests of nuclear weapons.”
If people’s teeth have a very low level of radiocarbon, it means that they were born well before Castle Bravo. [thermonuclear atom bomb test] People born in the early 1960s have high levels of radiocarbon in their molars, which develop early, and lower levels in their wisdom teeth, which grow years later. By matching each tooth in a jaw to the bomb curve, forensic scientists can estimate the age of a skeleton to within one or two years.

Even after childhood, bomb radiocarbon chronicles the history of our body.

Your Inner H-Bomb  Nuclear testing left a signature of radioactive carbon all around the world—in trees and sharks, in oceans and human bodies. Even as that signal disappears, it’s revealing new secrets to scientists. The Atlantic, Story by Carl Zimmer, 2 Mar 20, 
“…… Among the isotopes created by a thermonuclear blast is a rare, radioactive version of carbon, called carbon 14. Castle Bravo and the hydrogen-bomb tests that followed it created vast amounts of carbon 14, which have endured ever since. A little of this carbon 14 made its way into Clark’s body, into his blood, his fat, his gut, and his muscles. Clark carried a signature of the nuclear weapons he tested to his grave.
I can state this with confidence, even though I did not carry out an autopsy on Clark. I know this because the carbon 14 produced by hydrogen bombs spread over the entire world. It worked itself into the atmosphere, the oceans, and practically every living thing. As it spread, it exposed secrets. It can reveal when we were born. It tracks hidden changes to our hearts and brains. It lights up the cryptic channels that join the entire biosphere into a single network of chemical flux. This man-made burst of carbon 14 has been such a revelation that scientists refer to it as “the bomb spike.” Only now is the bomb spike close to disappearing, but as it vanishes, scientists have found a new use for it: to track global warming, the next self-inflicted threat to our survival. ……. Continue reading

March 3, 2020 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, environment, radiation, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Secret research by U.S. Navy revealed effects of nuclear radiation on animals

February 20, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Excess radiation level recorded in Moscow

Belsat 12th Feb 2020, A sensor of the Russian state enterprise Radon, which specializes in  handling radioactive waste, has recorded a 60-fold excess of the radiation background at the construction site of the South-East Chord (multi-lane expressway) in Moscow, the Russian service of Radio Liberty reports.
The sensor recorded 18 microsieverts per hour at a maximum permissible
radiation level of 0.3 microsieverts. Residents of the
Moskvorechye-Saburovo district report that this is the seventh time in
three days, but neither Radon nor the MES have taken any action, claiming
that the sensor works in test mode and there are no actual spikes in
radiation.
Earlier, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin acknowledged the presence
of radioactive waste on the South-Eastern Chord route. The mayor`s office
said that “in the case of the construction of the chord, the city faced a
unique and exceptional problem — radioactive waste, which the Moscow
Polymetal Plant stored in its backyard in the 1950s and 1960s”. At the
same time, the City Hall called the discovered traces of radioactive
contamination “insignificant”.

https://belsat.eu/en/news/excess-radiation-level-recorded-in-moscow/

February 17, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, Russia | Leave a comment

Marie Curie’s illness and death caused by ionising radiation

John Wayne squares off against Jim Hansen, Medium,  Albert Bates, 11 Jan 2020     “…….. In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium emitted rays that resembled X-rays. Marie Curie suspected that the radiation was not the outcome of some interaction but came from the atom itself. Her work with uranium disproved the conventional wisdom going back to ancient Greece that atoms were indivisible and set up the later discovery of subatomic particles. Curie discovered that thorium, radium, polonium and radioactive bismuth occurred naturally with uranium. Radium was known to glow in the dark, which made it useful for painting the hour and minute hands on watches and clocks. It was later discovered that radium “radiated” more than just neutrons, but also protons and electrons, becoming another unstable element, radon, and that element radiated its subatomic particles to become others, polonium and bismuth, until those eventually became a  stable element, lead. Indeed, the radium Curie discovered was the progeny of another unstable element, thorium, which was the progeny of yet another unstable element, uranium.

Madame Curie was a physicist, not a medical doctor, so she did not recognize the health effects of handling uranium, thorium, radium and the other radionuclides. Indeed, she suspected the effects would be beneficial. One of the papers she and her husband published in the late 19th century announced that, when exposed to radium, diseased, tumor-forming cells were destroyed faster than healthy cells (the basis for today’s radio-chemotherapy). She carried test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pockets and stored them in her desk drawer. Although her many decades of exposure to radiation caused chronic illnesses (including near-blindness due to cataracts) and ultimately her death, she never acknowledged the inherent health risks. She likely did not recognize the symptoms when she began to feel weak and lose her hair. She died in 1934 from aplastic anemia without ever knowing that she fought the same mortal enemy as those who had painted the hands on watches and clocks, or those who had mined and processed the uranium on which she worked. After her death, and to this day, her papers and effects are too radioactive to be handled and her laboratory is unsafe to enter.also……..https://medium.com/@albertbates/john-wayne-squares-off-against-jim-hansen-42a258b2260d

January 21, 2020 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Low dose radiation causes cell mutations – new research

Low doses of radiation used in medical imaging lead to mutations in cell cultures, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200116141731.htm–

Discovery that radiation creates breaks that allow in foreign DNA must be confirmed in animal studies  January 16, 2020 Source: PLOS

Summary:
Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe. A new study, however, finds that in human cell cultures, these doses create breaks that allow extra bits of DNA to integrate into the chromosome.

Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe. A new study, however, finds that in human cell cultures, these doses create breaks that allow extra bits of DNA to integrate into the chromosome. Roland Kanaar and Alex Zelensky of Erasmus University Medical Center and Oncode Institute and colleagues report these new findings in a study published 16th January in PLOS Genetics.

Scientists have long known that exposing cells to high doses of ionizing radiation generates mutations by creating double-strand breaks that let in external segments of DNA. These extraneous fragments of DNA can occur in the nucleus, left over from natural processes, such as genomic DNA repair and viral infections. In the new study, researchers investigated whether low doses of ionizing radiation have damaging side effects by irradiating human and mouse cells grown in the lab. When they counted the cells that had taken up foreign DNA, they found that low doses of radiation, in the upper range of common diagnostic procedures, create mutations through inserted DNA even more efficiently than the much larger doses studied previously.

While the new results in cell cultures are potentially concerning, the study’s authors stress that translating radiation’s effects on lab-grown cell cultures to effects in the body is premature. Future experiments using animal models will be necessary to determine the full effects of low-dose radiation, and whether its use in medical imaging has an impact on patient health. If the same phenomenon does occur inside the body, then doctors may need to take into account levels of extraneous DNA, such those resulting from a long-term viral infection, when assessing a patient’s risk from a procedure that requires radiation.

“Most molecular radiobiological research is focused on high doses of ionizing radiation relevant to cancer treatment, while effects of physiologically relevant doses of radiation on the cell are notoriously difficult to study at the molecular level,” said author Roland Kanaar. “Our discovery that mutagenic insertion of foreign DNA into cell’s genome is remarkably responsive to doses encountered during diagnostic, rather than therapeutic, procedures provides a new simple and sensitive tool to study their consequences and revealed surprising molecular genetic details of how cells cope with natural amounts of DNA damage.”

January 20, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 1 Comment

Ionising radiation damages brain connections

December 28, 2019 Posted by | radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Radiation- high levels near start of Japan’s 2020 Olympic Torch Relay

Nuclear Radiation Hot Spots Found At Starting Point Of Japan’s 2020 Olympic Torch Relay https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/12/nuclear-radiation-hot-spots-found-at-starting-point-of-japans-2020-olympic-torch-relay/, George Dvorsky, Dec 5, 2019, High levels of radiation have been detected near Japan’s J-Village, a sports facility and the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay, according to Greenpeace. The discovery was made by surveyors with Greenpeace Japan, which warns that monitoring and decontamination efforts in Fukushima are inadequate.

Radiation levels as high as 71 microsieverts per hour were found on the surface near J-Village in northeastern Japan, according to a Greenpeace press release issued Wednesday. This level of radiation is hundreds of times greater than what’s stipulated in Japan’s decontamination guidelines, prompting Greenpeace Japan to demand that the Japanese government conduct regular radiation monitoring and decontamination of regions affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

J-Village National Training Centre is in Fukushima prefecture, which is located 20 kilometres from the damaged nuclear power plant. This sports facility will be the starting point of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which is scheduled to begin on March 26, 2020. That J-Village was chosen as the starting point for the relay is by design, as the Japanese government is promoting the games as the “reconstruction Olympics.” The Olympics will begin on July 24, 2020 in Tokyo, some 239 kilometres from the damaged reactors.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

On nuclear radiation – past and future – extract from article on Chernobyl

DOES CHERNOBYL STILL MATTER? Public Books, BY GABRIELLE HECHT , 25 Nov 19, “……. The question is not whether an accident of Chernobyl’s gravity can happen elsewhere, but how to prepare for the consequences when it does.

That’s one of the questions Kate Brown considers in Manual for Survival. Offering a wealth of new information and analysis, Brown speeds past the reactor explosion. Instead, she focuses on dozens of previously untold stories about how people coped with their newly radioactive lives.

Brown’s protagonists include women who worked at a wool factory fed by contaminated sheep and butchers ordered to grade meat according to radioactivity. Ukraine, we learn, kept serving as the Soviet breadbasket, despite food radiation levels that exceeded norms. The concentrations of radionuclides were biomagnified by receptive organisms and ecologies, such as mushrooms, wild boar, and the Pripyat Marshes. Defying expectations, some foods, over time, have even become more contaminated.

Brown’s descriptions add historical flesh to arguments first developed by Olga Kuchinskaya, in her 2014 book on Belarus’s Chernobyl experience, The Politics of Invisibility: Public Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl.

Since the first studies of bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, science on the biological effects of radiation exposure has been subject to controversy. Like all scientific work, these early survivor studies had limitations. Exposure estimates were unreliable.

The largest study began data collection five years after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts, so it didn’t include people who died or moved between 1945 and 1950. Another problem lies in the applicability of these studies. Bomb exposures, such as those in Japan, mostly consist of high, external doses from one big blast. Yet postwar exposures have mainly consisted of low doses, delivered steadily over a long period. They often involve internal exposures—such as inhalation of radioactive particles or consumption of irradiated food—which can be deadlier.

Irrespective of their limitations, however, the findings of these survivor studies have served as the basis for establishing regulatory limits for all types of radiation exposures. Critics argue that extrapolating from the Japan data underestimates low-dose effects: If you’ve already decided that the only possible health effects are the ones you’ve already found, surely you’re missing something? Among other limitations, studies of external gamma radiation exposures cannot illuminate the long-term health effects of inhaling radioactive alpha particles.

Brown injects the work of Dr. Angelina Gus’kova into this story. Gus’kova started treating radiation-induced illnesses in the 1950s, while working at the top-secret Mayak plutonium plant (where the radioactive spills from a 1957 accident continue to contaminate people, land, and water). A neurologist, Gus’kova made observations that extended beyond the narrow cancer focus of most Western practitioners who studied the health effects of radiation exposure. Her patients displayed a wide range of symptoms, which Gus’kova and her colleagues dubbed “chronic radiation syndrome.” Not that they neglected cancer: a 40-year study of 1.5 million people who lived near Mayak found significantly higher cancer and death rates than those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Soviet rubric of “chronic radiation syndrome” did not exist in the West. Yet Gus’kova’s findings did align with those of dissident scientists in the US and the UK. Thomas Mancuso, for example, was pushed out of the US Atomic Energy Commission because he refused to give the Hanford plutonium plant a clean bill of health after finding that workers there sustained high rates of cardiovascular disease, immune system damage, and other illnesses.

Alice Stewart, meanwhile, was shunned by the British establishment after her 1956 research showed that x-raying pregnant women increased the risk of cancer and leukemia in their children by 50 percent. Over the years, these and other scientists whose data challenged the findings of American and European nuclear establishments found themselves sidelined and defunded.

In tandem with perestroika, Chernobyl opened communication between Soviet and Western nuclear experts, engendering what Brown calls an “unholy alliance.” In 1990, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent a mission to Belarus and Ukraine to assess radiation damage. Belarusian scientists reported rising rates of many diseases in contaminated areas. Nevertheless, the IAEA team rejected radiation as a possible cause. Such correlations didn’t appear in Western data.

Instead, the IAEA teams used dose estimates provided by distant Moscow colleagues and ignored local Belarusian and Ukrainian descriptions of people’s actual consumption habits, which included significant amounts of contaminated food and milk. The IAEA assessments neglected the internal exposures resulting from this consumption. Yet these assessments now serve as international reference points. “Underestimating Chernobyl damage,” Brown warns, “has left humans unprepared for the next disaster.” …….

Brown is on the right track. Many modes of scientific inquiry aren’t equipped to address our most urgent questions. Clear causal chains are a laboratory ideal. The real world brims with confounding variables. Some scientists studying Chernobyl’s “exclusion zone”—the region officially declared uninhabitable due to contamination—are trying new techniques to grapple with this reality. Tim Mousseau and Anders Møller, for example, collect data on the zone in its ecological entirety, rather than focusing on single organisms. Their findings belie romantic tales of wildlife resurgence (such as the one offered up by a 2011 PBS special on the radioactive wolves of Chernobyl). They too have met resistance. …..

we can refuse to see Chernobyl and its kin as discrete events of limited duration. Brown, for example, treats Chernobyl as an acceleration of planetary-scale contamination that began with the atomic arms race.

Let’s be clear: the contamination continues. After the triple meltdown at Fukushima, scientists found highly radioactive, cesium-rich microparticles in Tokyo, 150 miles south of the accident site. When inhaled, such particles remain in human lungs, where their decay continues to release radioactivity for decades. Contaminants from future accidents will, in turn, accrete on the radioactive residues of their predecessors.   https://www.publicbooks.org/does-chernobyl-still-matter/

November 26, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

20% drop in patient’s radiation dose achieved by U.S. radiologists

November 18, 2019 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Tritium and other radionuclides are hazardous,even in transport and storage

Zac Eagle Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 11 Nov 19, 
This is from the International Atomic Energy Agency admitting some radionuclides will be released into the environment even in Storage!

“The specific aims of disposal are:

(c) To inhibit, reduce and delay the migration of radionuclides at any time from
the waste to the accessible biosphere;

(d) To ensure that the amounts of radionuclides reaching the accessible
biosphere due to any migration from the disposal facility are such that
possible radiological consequences are acceptably low at all times.”

Some radionuclides can NOT be contained as they will diffuse in transport and storage, eg tritium.

Tritium is a carcinogen (causes cancer), teratogen (causes deformations of the embryo during pregnancy) and mutagen (causes mutations to DNA). Even very low rates of tritium exposure can lead to cancer, leukemia, and birth defects. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

November 12, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment