The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Looking after Chernobyl’s radioactive puppies

The Puppies of Chernobyl


HUNDREDS OF RADIOACTIVE PUPPIES JUST GOT SPAYED, NEUTERED AT CHERNOBYL DISASTER SITE, BY KATE SHERIDAN An American nonprofit organization, Clean Futures Fund, has started a spay and neuter clinic for the four-legged descendants of survivors of one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on April 26, 1986, some dogs and cats left behind survived and began to breed. More than 400 animals were spayed and neutered in the first year of the clinic’s operation at the former reactor, which ended earlier this month.

The laws governing the exclusion zone around Chernobyl strongly advise people to avoid feeding or touching the dogs, due to the risk of contamination. Not only is the dogs’ fur potentially loaded with radioactive particles, but their food and water is contaminated. The radioactive molecules they ingest may also linger in their bodies.

“We could find areas in their bones where radioisotopes had accumulated. We could survey the bones and we could see the radioactivity in them,” a Clean Futures Fund co-founder, Lucas Hixson, told Newsweek. The program funds medical treatment for locals in addition to running the spay and neuter program at the power plant and in the neighboring city.

“These dogs run through [contaminated areas] and it gets stuck on their coat and on the end of their noses and their feet.”

There are nearly 1,000 dogs in the area around the power plant. Only a few dozen cats live in the highly contaminated areas that the dogs frequent.

Hixson has been traveling to Chernobyl for about five years, initially as a radiation specialist. “I go over there expecting to do my work, and I step off the train at the power plant and there’s a dog in my face. Honestly, it was one of the last things I expected to see at Chernobyl,” he said.

To keep the veterinary hospital as free from radioactive contamination as possible, dogs that come to the facility are examined and washed down until their levels of radioactivity are deemed safe.

Despite the potential risk, Hixson said he’s continued to interact with the dogs. “There is a fair amount of handling that happens. This is a natural reaction between humans and dogs,” he said. “You can’t help yourself.”

“They’re not hazardous to your immediate health and wellbeing. But anytime you go pet the dogs, go wash your hands afterwards before you eat.”

Clean Futures Fund got approval from the Ukranian government for its operations. Other partners include SPCA International, Dogs Trust and two U.S. universities, including Worchester Polytechnic Institute and the University of South Carolina.

Hixson also noted the local workers have welcomed the team. “I remember there was a lot of skepticism when we showed up,” he said. “But after about two or three days of us catching dogs, processing them, releasing them, the attitude immediately changed,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.”

Even if every dog and cat in Chernobyl is sterilized and vaccinated, the wider stray dog issue in Ukraine means that more dogs could move into the contaminated area and Clean Futures Fund’s efforts could be somewhat for naught. Ultimately, Hixson would like to work with the Ukranian government on a wider rescue program to get the dogs out of the area and into homes.

He will be returning in November to measure the impact of the program, which is expected to run for five years. The next spay and neuter clinic will happen next summer.


September 23, 2017 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Remembering America’s nuclear scientists of The Mahattan Project, those who died young because of nuclear radiation

Paul Waldon, fight to stop nuclear waste dump in flinders ranges sa, 15 Sept 17, Today the 15th of September is another red letter day in the nuclear arena, with the 72nd anniversary of the death of Haroutune Krikor “Harry” Daglian, physicist with the Manhattan Project. Harry was NOT the only person working on the project to die from “Acute Radiation Syndrome” but he was the youngest at only 24 years of age. Three members of the big four were to follow Harry to a early grave with cancer deemed to be from the radiation they were subjected to during their time on the Manhattan and other projects. The contaminated materials left over from the development of the bombs are still having a impact on life and the environment, and will continue to do so for generations. However the deaths and contamination on American soil from the development of the bombs, outnumber Japans. RIP Harry.

September 16, 2017 Posted by | health, history, PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radioactive particles from North Korea nuclear tests now found in South Korea’s air, land and water

South Korea detects radioactive material following North Korean nuclear test,, September 08, 2017 Traces of radioactive material were detected in South Korea by the nation’s nuclear safety agency Friday, less than a week after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test.

South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission discovered trace amounts of xenon gas, a radionuclide, in an analysis of samples from the air, ground and water collected following North Korea’s nuclear test, according to Yonhap News Agency.

North Korea defied international warnings Sunday, conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. The country said it detonated a hydrogen bomb that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Thursday he expects its neighbor to launch a missile Saturday while celebrating its founding day. North Korea has already fired 21 missiles this year.

The radioactive material’s inflow is still being tracked to determine definitively if it came from the nuclear test, according to the agency.

The agency added the level of radioactive material detected in the analysis is not enough to cause any effects on South Koreans’ health.

September 9, 2017 Posted by | radiation, South Korea | 1 Comment

Ionizing radiation: Radiation protection standards need to be improved

ionizing radiation

Translated by Hervé Courtois

Doctors and scientists are warning about the health risks of ionizing radiation.

Even small doses of about 1 millisievert (mSv) increase the risk of developing radiation-induced diseases.

There is no threshold below which radiation could be considered harmless.

Summary of a meeting of experts in Ulm (Germany) on 19 October 2013

On 19 October 2013, the German and Swiss members of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) invited doctors and scientists in the fields of radiobiology, epidemiology , statistics and physics at a meeting of experts in Ulm, Einstein’s hometown. Participants discussed current knowledge about the health effects of ionizing radiation, especially in the field of low doses.

The panel concluded that a revision of current radiation protection standards is essential to reflect the current level of scientific knowledge. Ionizing radiation is capable of causing detrimental effects on health; Some can be predicted and quantified through the use of epidemiological models.

In the past, the identification of the health risks of ionizing radiation was based on studies of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. This reference group can no longer be considered appropriate in the light of the new statistical evidence. Even very low doses of radiation are likely to cause disease.

Here are the conclusions of the Ulm Symposium:

1. Even background natural radiation has detrimental effects that are measurable;

2. The use of radiation for medical diagnosis has measurable adverse health effects;

3. The use of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons tests have measurable adverse health effects;

4. The use of the collective dose concept in epidemiological studies can reliably predict and quantify the health risks of low radiation doses.

5- The use by the ICRP of basing the risk factors for low doses of radiation on the examination of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors should be considered outdated.

6. Improved radiation protection based on the notion of risk is necessary. It must be combined with the rigorous application of the minimization requirement of radiation exposure.

1. Even natural radiation has measurable adverse health effects.

Even low doses of natural radiation (terrestrial and cosmic radiation, inhaled radon and ingestion of natural radioisotopes) have adverse health effects that can be measured by epidemiological studies. It is therefore a deception to assert that exposure to radiation can be considered safe as long as it is at the level of the doses of “natural” background radiation. 1-17

2. The use of radiation for medical diagnosis has adverse health effects that are measurable

It has been shown that conventional CT scans and radiological examinations cause an increase in cancer cases (mainly breast cancer, leukemia, thyroid cancer and brain tumors). The risk is greater in children and adolescents than in adults and the embryo is the most vulnerable of all. 18-40

Limiting the use of diagnostic rays and the use of nuclear medicine to cases of absolute necessity is urgently recommended.It would be necessary to adhere to strict rules for the use of scanners and to use only CT scanners [Computed tomography = scanners called scanners -ndt] with low radiation emission. Whenever possible ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging should be preferred.

Some population groups have an increased risk of developing cancer due to exposure to radiation, for example women who have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that women with such a risk not be included in X-ray screening. 41-45

3. The use of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons tests have measurable adverse health effects

Due to the use of nuclear weapons (over 2,000 tests) and serious nuclear accidents, large quantities of radionuclides have been released and widely dispersed; They expose a large part of the world’s population to increased exposure to radiation. The epidemiological studies carried out in the populations concerned, around the Nevada and Semipalatinsk nuclear weapons test sites and in the areas affected by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters show an increase in morbidity and mortality. 46-54

Even the routine operations of nuclear power plants have adverse effects on the health of the surrounding population. Depending on the distance, an increase in cases of leukemia and other types of cancer has been observed in children under 5 years of age in the nuclear power plant environment. (Currently, the strongest evidence is in Germany, with concordant results in studies in Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.) 55-59

In workers exposed to ionizing radiations, there is a significant increase in cancer cases compared with the other groups even though the official limit dose has not been exceeded.

The health of their children is more impaired than that of other children. 60-64

Among employees of uranium mining companies and atomic weapons production sites, there is an increase in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 65-68

Leukemias and many other types of cancers have been caused by low doses of ionizing radiation, in areas with increased background radiation due to nuclear weapons tests, nuclear accidents, or medical diagnostic examinations and occupational exposure. 69-92

Following exposure to low doses of radioactive iodine, thyroid diseases including cancers have been observed in children, adolescents and adults. 93-99

In addition, low doses of ionizing radiation cause serious non-malignant diseases such as meningiomas and other benign tumors, cardiac, cerebrovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases or dysfunctions; And also psychiatric disorders and cataracts.100-113

Studies have shown that in utero and in children, brain exposure to ionizing radiation causes a decrease in cognitive development. Possible sources of radiation include, but are not limited to, diagnostic X-rays, radiotherapy and exposure to radiation due to nuclear accidents. 114-116

As a result of the nuclear accidents, teratogenic effects have been observed in both animals and humans, even in those exposed to low levels of radiation. 117-120

Some genetic effects can already be observed in the first generation of offsprings, others only appear in later generations. Late affections may be difficult to confirm.

Numerous studies have been carried out in the “dead zones” of Chernobyl and Fukushima on animals whose generations succeed one another rapidly; they showed severe genetic abnormalities related to the level of radiation in their habitat.

In humans, such abnormalities have been observed for a long time following exposure to low doses.

Transgenerational effects of radiation, that is to say genetically fixed, have often been documented, for example, in the children of the Chernobyl liquidators. 121-128. Many other studies also suggest that ionizing radiation causes long-term genetic or epigenetic damage. 129-146

4.The use of the concept of collective dose in epidemiological studies can reliably predict and quantify the health risks of low doses of radiation.

The concept of collective dose is, in the current state of knowledge, the surest way to quantitatively evaluate the stochastic risks of radiation. Significant new clinical studies confirm the linear no-threshold model; this model establishes that there is no threshold below which radiation would have no effect on health. 147,148

Using the concept of collective dose that takes into account current scientific studies, the following risk factors (excess absolute risk, EAR) should be applied:

A risk factor of 0.2 / Sv should be used to predict cancer mortality and 0.4 / Sv to predict the incidence of cancer. 149-151

The United Nations Scientific Committee for the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) still use low risk factors of 0.05 / Sv for cancer mortality and 0.1 / Sv for the incidence of cancers. However, in its 2013 assessment of health risks in Fukushima, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that ICRP risk factors should be doubled. 152

The above risk factors apply to an exposed population whose ages have a standard distribution. However, according to the ICRP, the sensitivity to ionizing radiation of young children (less than 10 years) and fetuses is three times higher than that of adults. 153-155

Risk factors for the prediction of the incidence and mortality of non-malignant diseases (non-cancerous diseases), especially cardiovascular diseases, are of the same order as those of malignant diseases. 156-157

It would be desirable for WHO and national radiation protection institutions to adopt the risk factors mentioned above as a basis for risk assessment after nuclear accidents.

5. The use by the ICRP of studies on Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors as a basis for determining the risks of low radiation doses should be considered an outdated practice.

In their studies, institutions such as the ICRP used as reference the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the prediction of the effects of radiation.

Risk prediction on this basis is not transferable to other populations exposed over a long period of time to increasing levels of radiation, for the following reasons:

The Japanese survivors were briefly exposed to high energy penetrating gamma radiation.

Radiobiological investigations have shown that such exposure is less harmful to tissues than an internal alpha or Beta irradiation following the incorporation of radionuclides.

The same applies to long-term exposure to x-rays or Gamma rays from natural or artificial sources at levels comparable to normal background radiation. 158-159

The radiation delivered by the nuclear bombs has an extremely high dose level.

Previously, it was accepted that the mutagenicity would therefore be higher in this case than for low doses. Currently, the ICRP claims that this assertion always holds and divides in its calculations the risk of developing cancers by a factor of 2.

Studies on occupationally exposed cohorts of workers contradict this assertion and WHO sees no justification for dividing this risk factor into two. 160-161

Radiation doses received due to radioactive fallout and neutron activation have not been taken into account by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), despite the fact that they have caused significant effects on the survivors of Hiroshima And Nagasaki. The actual effects of radiation have therefore been underestimated. 162

Because the RERF only began its work in 1950, there is a lack of important data on the first five years after the nuclear bombing. It should be recognized, therefore, that the assessment of teratogenic and genetic effects, as well as those of cancers with a short latency period, is incomplete.

Because of the catastrophic situation after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must admit to considering the survivors as a selected cohort of specially resistant people (“the survival of the fittest”). Therefore, these studies were not representative of a normal population. This selection bias caused an underestimation of about 30% of the radiation risk. 163

The survivors of the nuclear bombing were ostracized by the Japanese society. It is very likely that information about the origin of the family or the morbidity of the descendants has been hidden or falsified so as not to endanger, for example the chances of marriage and the social integration of children. 164

Editor’s Note:

Risk factors used in the concept of collective dose describe the likelihood that additional cases of disease, higher than rates of spontaneous cancers, occur, that carcinogenesis caused by radiation, cancer incidence or mortality, Increase above the baseline of a given population.

Usually this Excess Absolute Risk (EAR) is represented by unit 1 / Sv. A risk factor (EAR) of 0.2 / Sv for cancer mortality means that a 1Sv irradiation would cause an additional 20% risk of cancer death – in addition to the 25% base risk. An EAR of 0.2 / Sv corresponds to a relative risk excess (ERR) of 0.2 / 0.25 = 0.8 / Sv.

6. Improved radiation protection based on the notion of risk is necessary. It must be combined with the rigorous application of the minimization requirement of radiation exposure.

Determining the level of radiation health risk that is acceptable and reasonable can only be achieved at the societal level by listening to the voices of those involved. To protect populations, the risks of ionizing radiation should be determined as accurately as possible and presented in a comprehensible manner. In medicine, such radiation protection criteria are already becoming more and more important.

Assessing the dangers of ionizing radiation according to a risk-based concept can help to minimize their adverse effects even at low doses. Associated with the legal minimization requirements, a set of concrete measures using such a concept could serve to further reduce the harmful effects of radiation. The concept of risk acceptability for carcinogenic materials at work already existing in German legislation is, in broad outline, a good example to follow. 165-169

The highest priority should be given to the protection of life before birth and the integrity of future generations. Radiation protection must broaden its adult-based models and adapt them to the particular vulnerability of the embryo and children.

Speakers and participants in the Ulm expert meeting,
19 October 2013:

» » Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Hoffmann, MPH, Professor für
bevölkerungsbezogene Versorgungsepidemiologie und
Community Health, Institut für Community Medicine,
Universitätsmedizin in Greifswald

» » Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Körblein, Dipl. Phys., selbstständiger
Wissenschaftler in Nürnberg, Wissenschaftlicher Beirat

» » Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Edmund Lengfelder, Professor
em. des Strahlenbiologisches Institutes an der Medizini-
schen Fakultät der LMU München, Leiter des Otto Hug
Strahleninstitutes für Gesundheit und Umwelt

» » Dr. rer. nat. Hagen Scherb, Dipl. Math., Helmholtz Zen-
trum, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und
Umwelt in München

» » Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Professorin
em. für experimentelle Physik an der Universität in Bre-
men, Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der

» » Dr. med. Hartmut Heinz, Facharzt für Arbeitsmedizin,
ehem. leitender Werksarzt in Salzgitter, AK Atomenergie

» » Dr. med. Angelika Claußen, Fachärztin für Psychothe-
rapie in Bielefeld, AK Atomenergie der

» » Dr. med. Winfrid Eisenberg, ehem. Chefarzt der Kin-
derklinik in Herford, AK Atomenergie der

» » Dr. med. Claudio Knüsli, Leitender Arzt der Onkologie
im St. Claraspital in Basel, Vorstandsmitglied

» » Dr. med. Helmut Lohrer, Facharzt für Allgemeinmedizin
in Villingen, Int. Board der IPPNW, International Councillor

» » Henrik Paulitz, Dipl.-Biol., Atomenergie-Referent der in Seeheim

» » Dr. med. Alex Rosen, Kinderarzt in Berlin, Stellv. Vorsit-
zender der

» » Dr. med. Jörg Schmid, Facharzt für Psychotherapie in
Stuttgart, AK Atomenergie der

» » Reinhold Thiel, Facharzt für Allgemeinmedizin, Ulmer
Ärzteinitiative, AK Atomenergie der

I add a reference: Risk of cancer in 680,000 people exposed to CT scans in childhood or adolescence: a study linking data from 11 million Australians

What is IPPNW?

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW), is a pacifist international organization of doctors committed to nuclear disarmament. Established in 1980, the organization was awarded the Unesco Prize for Peace Education in 1984 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its “important and competent information work”, which improved global awareness of the consequences of a nuclear war and acute radiation syndrome. The organization has close to 150,000 members in more than 50 countries.

The IPPNW website:


The text is complemented by a long list of references to download here

August 21, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , | Leave a comment

Iodine-129 waste used to track ocean currents for 15,000 km after discharge from nuclear plants

In connection to the article I wrote last August 3, 2017 “Radioactive Contamination of Oceans: Sellafield, La Hague, Fukushima”

This study is about radioactive 129I travelling the equivalent of a third of the way round the globe, a 15,000 km journey, legally released since 20 years from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants in the UK and France. Of course as usual, in complete disregard of recent studies about the dangerosity of low dose,They emphasise that the radioactivity levels found in the North Atlantic are extremely low and not considered dangerous.

This study still is letting us envisage the travel of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant numerous radioactive contaminants which have been dispersed since March 2011, which still are being dispersed and will be additionally dispersed into the Pacific Ocean.

Radioactive 129I has travelled the equivalent of a third of the way round the globe, since being released from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants in the UK and France. The iodine’s 15,000 km journey begins in the nuclear plants at Sellafield and La Hague and continues via the Arctic Ocean and then southward via the Grand Banks towards Bermuda, where it is found at very low concentrations about 20 years later. This tracer has been used to provide the most complete up-to-date, high-accuracy mapping of the oceanic currents that transport CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to the abyssal depths of the deep North Atlantic Ocean. These results are being presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Paris.

artic loop of iodine 129 aug 16 2017.png


Radioactive contaminants have been legally released for more than half a century from the nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield (UK) and La Hague (France). Scientists have recently begun to use the radioactive 129iodine (129I) as a way of tracking the movement of ocean currents. They emphasise that the radioactivity levels found in the North Atlantic are extremely low and not considered dangerous.

“What we have found is that by tracing radioactive iodine released into the seas off the UK and France we have been able to confirm how the deep ocean currents flow in the North Atlantic. This is the first study to show precise and continuous tracking of Atlantic water flowing northward into the Arctic Ocean off Norway, circulating around the arctic basins and returning to the Nordic seas in what we call the “Arctic loop”, and then flowing southward down the continental slope of North America to Bermuda at depths below 3000 m” said lead researcher Dr John N. Smith (Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada).

The research is part of the international GEOTRACES project, which aims to use geochemical markers to follow ocean currents, and so provide precise estimates of transit times and mixing rates in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. So far the 129I has been measured as far south as Puerto Rico, but the researchers assume that it will continue to flow southward into the South Atlantic and eventually spread throughout the global ocean.

Dr Smith continued, “These currents have previously been studied using dissolved CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) – the molecules which used to be used in fridges until banned in 1989. However, CFCs undergo ocean-atmosphere exchange which means that surface water is continually replenished with CFCs during the arctic leg of the journey, whereas the 129I plume retains the initial imprint of its input history over a long period of years. Further, 129I is relatively easy to detect at extremely low levels using accelerator mass spectrometry methods which gives us a large measurement advantage in terms of the signal to noise ratio. Since we know exactly where the 129I comes from and when it entered the ocean, for the first time we can be absolutely sure that detecting an atom in a particular place is as a specific result of the currents”.

“In many ways this is a bit like the old ‘stick in a stream’ game we used to play as kids – what people call ‘Pooh sticks’ in England – where you would drop a buoyant object in the water and observe where it comes out. Of course, it would be much better if these markers were not in the ocean at all, but they are, and we can use them to do some important environmental science”.

Commenting, Dr Núria Casacuberta Arola (ETH, Zurich) said:

“The work performed by John Smith and colleagues in recent years has greatly contributed to the understanding of water circulation, especially in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The advantage of using 129I as a transient tracer in oceanography is the long half-life (15.7 My) of this isotope compared to the circulation times, and the fact that it is largely soluble in seawater. Now, major efforts are also devoted to find other artificial radionuclides with similar sources and behaviour than 129I (e.g. 236U, 237Np) so that the more tools we have, the better we will understand the ocean circulation. Recent advances in mass spectrometry (ICP-MS and AMS) allow today for very low detection limits so that we can measure very low concentrations of these isotopes in deep ocean waters”.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , | Leave a comment

Will potassium iodide protect you from nuclear fallout?

Verify: Will potassium iodide protect you from nuclear fallout? Barbara Harvey, KXTV 6:48 AM. PDT August 16, 2017 In 1999, the World Health Organization released guidelines on the use of potassium iodide, citing the exposure of children to radiation after the Chernobyl disaster.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

How USA’s Argonne National Laboratory abused a small Australian boy, with plutonium injections

Paul Langley,, 14 Aug 175 yr-old Simon Shaw and his mum. Simon was flown from Australia to the US on the pretext of medical treatment for his bone cancer. Instead, he was secretly injected with plutonium to see what would happen. His urine was measured, and he was flown back to Australia.

Though his bodily fluids remained radioactive, Australian medical staff were not informed. No benefit was imparted to Simon by this alleged “medical treatment” and he died of his disease after suffering a trip across the world and back at the behest of the USA despite his painful condition. The USA merely wanted a plutonium test subject. They called him CAL-2. And did their deed under the cover of phony medicine.

“Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-2107, Edward J. Markey, 7th District, Massachusetts Committees, [word deleted] and Commerce, Chairman Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Natural Resources, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Edward J. Markey From: Staff Subject: The Plutonium Papers Date: 4/20/94

Staff Memo on Plutonium Papers

The medical file for Cal-2 also contains correspondence seeking follow-up from Argonne National Laboratory in the 1980s. Cal-2 was an Australian boy, not quite five years old, who was flown to the U.S. in 1946 for treatment of bone cancer. During his hospitalization in San Francisco, he was chosen as a subject for plutonium injection. He returned to Australia, where he died less than one year later.

Document 700474 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to an official at the Institute of Public Health in Sydney, Australia, in an attempt to reach the family of Cal-2. This letter reports that the child was “injected with a long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclide.” Document 700471 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to New South Wales, Australia (names and town deleted), inquiring about recollections of the boy’s hospitalization in 1946. The letter notes that, “those events have become rather important in some official circles here,” but provides few details to the family.

A hand-written note on the letter reports no response through October 8, 1987. Considering the history on the lack of informed consent with these experiments, it is surprising that the letters to Australia failed to mention the word “plutonium.”

The Australian news media has since identified Cal-2 as Simeon Shaw, the son of a wool buyer in New South Wales, and information on the injection created an international incident. The information in the medical file does indicate that at a time when Secretary Herrington told you that no follow-up would be conducted on living subjects, the Department of Energy was desperately interested in conducting follow-up on a deceased Australian patient.

In an effort to determine the full extent of follow-up by the Department after 1986, your staff has requested, through the Department’s office of congressional affairs, the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stebbings, Dr. Robertson, and any other officials who may have been involved in the follow-up. So far, that request has been unsuccessful. It remains an open question as to what was the full extent of follow-up performed in the 1980s, and whether the efforts then would facilitate any further follow-up on subjects now. It seems appropriate for the Interagency Working Group to address these questions as its efforts continue.”

Source: National Security Archives, George Washington University…/…/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt

See also ACHRE Final Report.


Mr. President, you are wrong if you think you can do the same again re hormesis funding in Australia as the USA did with CAL-2. We have not forgotten and do not trust you or your paid agents in Australian universities such as Flinders.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, radiation, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Radioactive Contamination of Oceans: Sellafield, La Hague, Fukushima

Frankly speaking, I find it amazing that the people and the media talk so much about Fukushima Daiichi having leaked contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean since March 2011, and about Tepco possible future release of the tritiated water accumulated on site into the Pacific Ocean.

Whereas nobody ever talks about how much contaminated water the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing site on England’s west coast has been releasing into the Irish Sea (then from there flowing into the Atlantic Ocean), and how much contaminated water the La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing site on France west coast has been releasing into the English Channel (then from there flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

If you think that Fukushima Daiichi is contaminating the Pacific Ocean since 2011, why are aren’t you aware that Sellafield and La Hague have been contaminating the Atlantic Ocean for decades already?

Both sites having large pipes underwater going far from the land into the sea, both releasing their contaminated water at sea now for decades, with the gracious authorization of the IAEA.

It might be because few people actually know about it, or because it is easier to point the finger to somebody else far away than at home. Of course it also serves the political and economic interests of both England and France to make their people mindful of what’s happening over there in Fukushima while keeping them blind about what’s happening in their own backyards, their media editors knowing very well what issues are to be avoided as too sensitive to be handled.

Of course I am not saying that the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean by Fukushima Daiichi should not be published, not looked into, not adressed.

What I am saying is that the radioactive contamination of the Atlantic by Sellafield and La Hague in parallel should be also published, looked into, as much adressed, not swept under the carpet, and the people well informed about it, especially as this has been going on for decades authorized by the IAEA.


A few related articles about Sellafield :

There is more radioactive plutonium in the sediments off the Sellafield plant in the Irish Sea than at the underwater Russian Novaya Zemlya nuclear weapons test site, according to Greenpeace.

The environmental group yesterday released further data arising from its ongoing survey of the Irish Sea. It has been measuring radioactive contamination in sediments and seaweed along British and Irish coasts for several weeks. Last week it visited Dundalk bay, retrieving seaweed as part of this activity. The data released yesterday related to the plutonium and caesium content of sediment taken adjacent to a Sellafield waste-discharge pipe two kilometres off the Cumbrian coast.”

June 1988 : Irish Sea radioactivity `worse than at nuclear site’


“A record number of radioactive hotspots have been found contaminating public beaches near the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, according to a report by the site’s operator.

As many as 383 radioactive particles and stones were detected and removed from seven beaches in 2010-11, bringing the total retrieved since 2006 to 1,233. Although Sellafield insists that the health risks for beach users are “very low”, there are concerns that some potentially dangerous particles may remain undetected and that contamination keeps being found.”

July 2012 : Record number of radioactive particles found on beaches near Sellafield


“Greenpeace has warned that the dumping of the reprocessing plant’s liquid waste has made the Irish Sea among the most contaminated waters in the world, even though Ireland itself produces no nuclear energy. Irish fishermen have been angered by catches of unsaleable mutated fish and by findings that they have been exposed to low-level radiation.”

Jan 2014 : Irish free to sue British nuclear operators over contamination


“Radioactive waste from the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria is contaminating shellfish hundreds of kilometres away on the west coast of Scotland, according to a new scientific study.

Scottish researchers discovered traces of radioactive carbon discharged from Sellafield in the shells of mussels, cockles and winkles as far north as Port Appin in Argyll, 160 miles from the notorious nuclear plant.”

December 2015 : Scottish shellfish are contaminated by radioactive waste from Sellafield


A few related articles about La Hague :

According to the ACRO, in general, “there is more tritium in the Channel than in the Pacific waters near the Fukushima power station”. (They certainly should know as they regualarly monitor and analyze the contamination near La Hague, and they have repeatedly traveled to Fukushima to cooperate with the Iwaki Mother’s Radiation Lab to measure contamination there).

The tritium rejected at La Hague is 1,000 times higher than what is allowed at the nearby Flamanville nuclear plant.”


Conclusion from my friend Pierre Fetet (Fukushima’s blog) :

“There are several differences between La Hague and Fukushima (for Sellafield, I do not know enough):

At La Hague, for example, there is an authorization to reject 50,000 billion Bq of Tritium per day.

While in Fukushima, it is not known at all how much is continuously discharged into the sea in terms of radioactivity, except that it is 300 tons per day of contaminated water and that is not authorized by anyone.

The big difference is that in France that crime is allowed but confidential and that in Fukushima that crime is suffered and mediatized.

But you’re right Hervé, people are not aware and remain uninformed of what is really going on.”


For information: Releases by La Hague

20637872_10214212853938087_5602193404803544621_n.jpgAnnual Radionuclide Releases Report in terabecquerel (1 terabecquerel = 1 000 000 000 000 becquerels )


Special credits to Pierre Fetet and Javale Gola

August 3, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Harm from inhaled radioactive dust: new evidence from Hiroshima’s teenagers of 1945

Extent of A-bomb dust inhalation in 1945 underestimated: researchers 31, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)HIROSHIMA — The prevalence of acute symptoms among teenage soldiers exposed to dust particles as they helped out with relief operations in the aftermath of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima has been found to be at least 10 times higher than those who were unexposed, it has been learned.

August 2, 2017 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

New Study Shows Full Radiation Risks are not Recorded 7/27/17 Contact: 

Today, the scientific journal Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) published a peer-reviewed article entitled: Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment. Co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education, the article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns.                    

Based on 415 samples of radioactive dust from Japan, the USA, and Canada, the study identified a statistically meaningful number of samples that were considerably more radioactive than current radiation models anticipated. If ingested, these more radioactive particles increase the risk of suffering a future health problem.

“Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen said. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”

The same level of risk exists in Japan. While most people have an average level of risk, a few people get an extra spark from a hot particle. According to Dr. Kaltofen, “The average radiation exposures we found in Japan matched-up nicely with other researchers.  We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result.  We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives. Combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models,” he added, “we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem.  This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

Fairewinds’ book Fukushima Dai-ichi: The Truth and the Way Forward was published in Japan by Shueisha Publishing, just prior to the one-year commemoration of the tsunami and meltdowns. “Our book,” Mr. Gundersen said, “which is a step-by-step factual account of the reactor meltdowns, was a best seller in Japan and enabled us to build amazing relations with people actually living in Japan, who are the source of the samples we analyzed. We measured things like house dusts, air filters, and even car floor mats.  Collecting such accurate data shows the importance of citizen science, crowd sourcing, and the necessity of open, public domain data for accurate scientific analysis.”

Fairewinds Energy Education founder Maggie Gundersen said, “We are very thankful to the scientists and citizen scientists in Japan, who sought our assistance in collecting and analyzing this data. We will continue to support ongoing scientific projects examining how people in Japan and throughout the world experience radioactive dust in their daily lives.”

The complete peer reviewed report and project audio description by Dr. Kaltofen are available here at the Science of the Total Environment website.  

Interactive data and the supporting materials are available here at the Fairewinds Energy Education website.

July 31, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Hanford to use air surveillance to track down underground radioactive hotspots

Looking for Hanford’s radioactive hot spots from the air, BY ANNETTE CARY,  Hanford will use an airplane to save some employee legwork this week.

July 14, 2017 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Ionising radiation’s cancer effect far greater in females than in males

The highest incidence of cancer, looking across 60 years, was among those who were children when they were exposed. This is not news. The surprise is that in this group, females suffered twice as much cancer across their lives than did males.

The difference between male and female, with males more resistant to radiation harm, is measurable in all the age-of-exposure cohorts, even into old age

For every two men exposed in adulthood who died of cancer, three women died of cancer

Females Exposed to Nuclear Radiation Are Far Likelier Than Males to Suffer Harm, by Mary Olson • July 5, 2017 • The new nuclear weapons ban treaty, to be most likely adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this week, arises from hope for our future. The negotiations for the treaty have elevated new information about the damage from ionizing radiation to the world stage. That is exactly where it needs to be heard.

More cancers are derived from radiation than national regulators now report. They may not be aware that both age-at-exposure and one’s sex determine how much harm we suffer from radiation.

Women exposed to ionizing radiation during childhood suffer from cancer at a rate 10 times higher than predicted by traditional models used by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The models assume that “Reference Man” represents us all. Invented to simplify calculations, Reference Man is 25 to 30 years old, weighs 154 pounds, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, “Caucasian and has a Western European or North American” lifestyle.

There has never been a pause as more than 2,000 atomic tests since 1945 have been spreading radioactivity worldwide and hundreds of nuclear factories have proliferated. No one asked if Reference Man is an appropriate stand-in for all of humanity and radiation harm.

It turns out that adult males are hurt by radiation, but they are significantly more resistant than their mothers, sisters, wives or daughters. Use of Reference Man masks gendered impacts and therefore systematically underreports radiation harm.

My first paper on radiation, published in 2011, “Atomic Radiation Is More Harmful to Women,” answers a simple question from a woman who raised her hand at one of my public lectures in North Carolina a year earlier, asking, “Does radiation exposure harm me more than a man?” She did not mean in pregnancy; she meant her own body.

I was shocked. That was 2010; in decades of work on radioactive waste policy, I had never heard of gender as a factor in radiation harm. I could not even attempt an answer. When the literature yielded nothing, my mentor, Rosalie Bertell, suggested I look at the numbers myself. Bertell was a mathematician and a recipient of a Right Livelihood Award, which is called an alternative to the Nobel prizes. Bertell devoted her life to communities hurt by radiation, including the ones she pointed me to in order to examine the data.

Only one large data set includes all ages and both genders exposed together to a single flash of gamma and neutron radiation: the survivors of the US nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. They survived in shelters or other shielding amid the first horrific years. Sixty years of data on cancer incidences and fatality among the survivors — called the Hibakusha — was published by the US National Academy of Science in 2006.

I regret that this data even exists — it was my government that used the first nuclear bombs on cities full of people, and I certainly wish they had not. I nonetheless use the numbers. They hold a message for humanity: gender matters in the atomic age. That does not make it right.

The highest incidence of cancer, looking across 60 years, was among those who were children when they were exposed. This is not news. The surprise is that in this group, females suffered twice as much cancer across their lives than did males.

The difference between male and female, with males more resistant to radiation harm, is measurable in all the age-of-exposure cohorts, even into old age — the difference between genders is smaller when adults are exposed rather than when they are children.

For every two men exposed in adulthood who died of cancer, three women died of cancer. A 50 percent difference in the rate of cancer death from radiation exposure in adulthood is not insignificant to most female readers! Indeed, this finding is changing my own behavior in fieldwork.

The question, Why is gender a factor?, is waiting for researchers to tackle. A team lead by David Richardson in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2016 showed that the A-bomb cancer data mirrors the outcomes of many smaller radiation exposures over time, adding up to the same exposure level as the Japanese survivors.

We are all getting these smaller radiation exposures.

The 10-females-to-1-male ratio cited here is the comparison of cancer outcomes from the youngest female survivors versus the 25- to 30-year-old males: the group that underpins Reference Man. This dramatic order-of-magnitude difference in biological research is like a siren blaring: pay attention!

It is time to retire Reference Man. Any level that is set for public exposure to radiation should be based on little girls. When we protect them, everyone is better protected. Unless we protect girls, our collective future is at stake.

The radiation and gender “siren”  has not been heard widely, but it has been heard. In 2014, I was honored to present my findings at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons and exhilarated to read the draft treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, where one basis for the need for the new treaty is the disproportionate harm to women and girls from ionizing radiation.

The treaty falls within the jurisdiction of humanitarian law, which includes the most human activity of all: making babies, from which flow future generations. For these countless people to come, I celebrate that the news on radiation has been heard at the UN as it takes the next vital step of voting on a new nuclear-ban treaty.

It is a sturdy seedling of hope.

July 10, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, women | Leave a comment

The very great difference in effects on the environment between nuclear bombs and nuclear meltdowns

Nuclear Bombs and Nuclear Reactor Meltdowns Affect the Environment in Very Different Ways, Why do nuclear bombs leave little longtime radiation, while nuclear reactor meltdowns could last for centuries? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Viktor T. Toth, IT pro, part-time physicist, on Quora:

Why do nuclear bombs leave little longtime radiation, while nuclear reactor meltdowns could last for centuries? Well, for starters, there is the amount of fuel involved.

Little Boy (the bomb dropped on Hiroshima) contained 64 kilograms of highly enriched (weapons grade) uranium. Of this, less than a kilogram actually underwent nuclear fission, producing fission products including short-lived but dangerous isotopes, and also producing the neutron radiation “flash” that induced secondary radioactivity in some materials that absorbed those neutrons.

In contrast, an RBMK reactor like the one that blew up in Chernobyl contains 100–150 fuel assemblies, each with over 100 kg of partially enriched uranium. So right there, the amount of fuel in the reactor is several hundred times more than the amount of fission fuel in a nuclear bomb. And whereas a nuclear bomb uses its fuel rather inefficiently (the explosive fission process takes place in milliseconds), a reactor does a more thorough job consuming its fuel over the course of several months before a fuel assembly is replaced.

Furthermore, the fission byproducts remain in the fuel assembly. Depending on the reactor design, these may, in fact, include materials a lot worse than the uranium fuel, such as weapons grade plutonium. Then there are also all the irradiated parts of the reactor that have been continuously exposed to radiation, resulting in secondary radioactivity and more nasty byproducts.

When a nuclear bomb explodes, it is dispersed over a large area. In case of a reactor accident, some of the fuel is dispersed, but a lot of it remains in place, at the reactor site. So this represents a concentration of radioactive materials that just does not occur in case of a bomb. And because all of it sits on the ground, there is the chance of leakage, e.g., into the water table, contaminating the water supply of a large region.

A nuclear reactor site may also contain other sources of radiation. For instance, one of the biggest concerns after the Fukushima accident was due to spent fuel pools located near the meltdown sites.

Having said all that, let us not forget that the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone became possibly the biggest accidental wildlife sanctuary in Europe, if not the world. That is because while radioactive contamination takes its toll, it’s nothing compared to what humans do. Remove most of the humans and even if you add a substantial amount of radiation, Nature thrives.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Hibakusha were not treated for radiation damage: finally Radiation research foundation to apologize

Radiation research foundation to apologize for studying but not treating hibakusha  June 17, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)HIROSHIMA –– The chairman of a joint Japan-U.S. research organization studying the long-term effects of radiation exposure on humans is expected to apologize to hibakusha — survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — who were studied but generally not treated by the organization’s American predecessor, it has been learned.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Japan, radiation, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US federal cutbacks mean closure of  Manhattan Radiation-Detection Lab

 Manhattan Radiation-Detection Lab To Close Due to Federal Budget Cut, The Chief ,By BOB HENNELL, Jun 16, 2017 The Department of Homeland Security will be closing its city-based National Urban Security Technology Laboratory which services the NYPD and the FDNY radiation-detection equipment used to detect an improvised nuclear device or a so-called dirty bomb, THE CHIEF-LEADER has learned. In addition to providing technical support to the city’s first-responders, the lab, under the post-9/11 Securing the Cities program, provides similar assistance to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as local departments across the region.

Casualty of Trump Budget

In a letter obtained by this newspaper dated June 1, Adam R. Hutter, the NUSTL’s director, wrote to the lab’s Securing the Cities partners that to satisfy cuts required by President Trump’s proposed budget for the Federal fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 the DHS will close the facility that helps “to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats by conducting functional tests of law enforcement radiation detection equipment for Securing the Cities (STC), through an agreement with the New York City Police Department.”

 The lab at 201 Varick St. in lower Manhattan was established in 1947 as part of the Manhattan Project and has been a global leader in studying background atmospheric radiation. It provided critical scientific research that helped make the case for the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. which banned testing on atomic bombs in the atmosphere, underwater or in outer space.

“NUSTL is honored to have tested nearly 20,000 units in support of the homeland security enterprise,” Mr. Hutter wrote. “Please be assured that we will continue to provide you with testing and support services until NUSTL’s closure is finalized.”

Union VP ‘Stunned’

“We were stunned,” said John Kada, who works at the lab and is the vice president of Local 42 of the American Federation of Government Employees. “Over the years we have built really good relations with first-responders throughout the region. We have one-on-one relations that grew out of our calibrating their equipment and providing the latest in training materials in this critical area.”…..

June 19, 2017 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment