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There’s money in denying the science about ionising radiation – it’s useful nuclear lobby spin

Recently, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) – scientists who provide guidance and recommendations on radiation protection under a mandate from Congress – supported the LNT model. NCRP analyzed 29 epidemiological studies and found that the data was “broadly supportive” of the LNT model and that “no alternative dose-response relationship appears more pragmatic or prudent for radiation protection purposes.”
In fact, the National Academies’ Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, the International Council on Radiation Protection, and other international bodies and regulators all use the LNT model for guidance and radiation protection.
Why radiation protection experts are concerned over EPA proposal  https://theconversation.com/why-radiation-protection-experts-are-concerned-over-epa-proposal-104895  Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress
Scientist-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, October 19, 2018 The Takata Corporation sold defective air bag inflators that resulted in the death of 16 people in the United States and a massive recall of cars. While it was rare for the air bags to fail, the brutal consequences of this defective device in even minor collisions was easy to recognize. But the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation – high energy waves or particles that can strip electrons from atoms and physically damage cells and the DNA within – on people’s health is much harder to see, and prove.
When the Associated Press reported that the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency solicited the advice of a controversial toxicologist, Edward Calabrese, to consider changes to how it regulates radiation, it sent shock waves through the radiation protection community. Calabrese is well known for his unconventional and outlying view that low-dose radiation is not dangerous.It is important to note that the health effects of high doses of radiation are well established. We all know about the horrific effects based on studies of the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombs were dropped. Then there was also the recent case of Russian defector Alexander Litvenenko who quickly sickened and died 23 days after being poisoned with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in 2006.However, the effects of low doses of radiation are not well understood. Part of the reason is that these low doses are difficult to measure.

Current understanding of the health effect of radiation relies primarily on a decades-long study of the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks. That population was exposed to a one-time large dose of radiation, with individual exposure dependent on where they were at the time of the explosion.
In those high-dose radiation studies, researchers found that there is a proportionate relationship between dose and effect. The way the EPA gauges the effect of low doses of radiation draws from these studies as well as studies following other incidents. The current guidelines for the EPA adhere to what is called the linear no-threshold (LNT) model, which implies that even low doses of radiation have an effect across a population. Some scientists dubbed it to be a “reverse lottery,” where an unlucky few within a given population will get cancer during their lifetime due to their exposure to radiation.

There have been questions as to whether the LNT model is appropriate for measuring cancer risk from low doses of radiation. That’s because when the radiation-induced cancer rate is low, and the sample size is small, there is more statistical uncertainty in the measurement. This allows more wiggle room in putting forward alternative dose-response models such as Calabrese’s, which have little scientific backing but that promise financial benefits for regulated industries.

Overall, the general feeling in the radiation protection community is that for now until new research proves otherwise, the LNT model, because of the lack of understanding of the effect of low doses, is the prudent model to use to set protective limits.

Also, not being able to determine the effect of a low dose of radiation is a problem in measurement, not in the underlying linear threshold model. As doses of radiation decrease, fewer cases of radiation-induced cancers occur, making it more difficult to identify those specific cases.

This is especially true given that cancer is already a common occurrence, making it nearly impossible to disentangle radiation exposure from many other potential cancer risk factors. This is where the analogy with Takata air bags fails, because it is not possible to prove that a specific cancer death is due to ionizing radiation, but this does not make it any less real or significant.

Who profits if radiation guidelines change

The EPA issues guidance and sets regulations to “limit discharges of radioactive material affecting members of the public” associated with the nuclear energy industry. The EPA defines what radiation levels are acceptable for a protective cleanup of radioactive contamination at Superfund sites. It also provides guidance on the levels of radiation exposure that would trigger a mass evacuation. It is not surprising that certain stakeholders would welcome modifications in EPA assessment of low-dose radiation exposure given the high costs involved in preventing or cleaning up sites and in compensating victims of such exposure.

Recently, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) – scientists who provide guidance and recommendations on radiation protection under a mandate from Congress – supported the LNT model. NCRP analyzed 29 epidemiological studies and found that the data was “broadly supportive” of the LNT model and that “no alternative dose-response relationship appears more pragmatic or prudent for radiation protection purposes.”

In fact, the National Academies’ Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, the International Council on Radiation Protection, and other international bodies and regulators all use the LNT model for guidance and radiation protection.

From my perspective, as someone who has worked with radioactive sources, the EPA should be cognizant of the warning by the late Harvard sociologist Daniel Yankelovich that just because an effect can’t be easily quantified does not mean it is not important or does not exist.

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October 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Genetic effects on UK soldiers – ‘guinea pigs’ at nuclear bomb tests in Australia in 1950s

UK to probe poisonous genetic legacy of nuclear test ‘guinea pigs’ SMH, By Nick Miller, 19 October 2018 London: The UK government is considering a new study into the health of the children of British veterans used as guinea pigs in its Australian and Pacific nuclear weapons tests, to test fears of a poisonous genetic legacy.

If a link can be found it may form the basis of a claim for compensation from the UK government, despite courts previously turning down such claims from the veterans themselves.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has told officials in the Ministry of Defence to look at the feasibility of a study into the health and well-being of the children of nuclear test veterans, an MOD spokesman said.

Decades ago, around 22,000 British military personnel witnessed nuclear weapons tests in South Australia, on the Montebello Islands off Western Australia, and on Kiribati’s Christmas Island in the Pacific.

Some felt the heat of the explosion on their backs and were ordered to turn around and observe the mushroom cloud. One veteran told the BBC in February the tests “bowled people over” and left them on the ground screaming. He had watched “another sun hanging in the sky”, dressed only in a t-shirt, shorts and thongs.

“We were guinea pigs,” Bob Fleming, 83, said. He said 16 of his 21 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren had birth defects or health problems: his youngest daughter has thyroid problems and severe breathing difficulties.

The family believe it is a result of the radiation Mr Fleming was exposed to during the test.

Another veteran, RAF sergeant Roy Kirkland, slept a half a mile from Ground Zero and was ordered to collect dead seabirds from the Christmas Island test site.

His grandson, Wayne, was diagnosed with cancer of the nervous system at age three and died before he was 10. Wayne’s aunt told the Daily Mirror “the biggest health issue for these veterans now is their descendants”.

The new feasibility study follows a campaign by the Mirrorand Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who have been pushing for recognition and compensation for the veterans who were exposed to radiation during the tests in the region between 1952 and 1967 – and their families.

In 2007 a study of New Zealand nuclear test veteransfound they had more than double the expected amount of genetic damage for men of the same age – even higher than that detected in workers close to the Chernobyl nuclear accident or involved in the clean-up.

The study by researchers from Massey University found the genetic damage was most likely attributable to the veterans having been on board NZ navy frigates observing nuclear tests at Christmas Island.

Britain’s Health Protection Agency reviewed the Massey research and agreed with their conclusions. Earlier this year the UK’s Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents at Brunel University in London announced a three-year genetic study looking for any possible damage to the veterans’ DNA caused by the tests.

In 2014 a study by European researchers found a “significant excess” of infant mortality and congenital illnesses in nuclear test veterans’ children. The veterans’ wives had five times as many stillbirths, and 57 children of veterans had congenital conditions – ten times the rate in the control group and eight times the national average. There were also significantly higher congenital illnesses – and cancer – among the veterans’ grandchildren. The researchers said their results were “highly statistically significant”. …….. https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/uk-to-probe-poisonous-genetic-legacy-of-nuclear-test-guinea-pigs-20181019-p50alz.html

October 20, 2018 Posted by | health, radiation, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Gender and radiation impact project 

 https://www.genderandradiation.org/basics

“For too long, girls and women have been invisible in the construction of radiation standards to protect heath. We are ready to expand the research base and collective will to change this – starting right now.”

— Mary Olson, Founder

THE BASICS

It is widely known that ionizing radiation – radioactivity powerful enough to strip electrons from atoms, break chemical bonds of molecules, and even break chromosomes – can be extremely harmful to humans. Even at low levels, ionizing radiation has the potential to cause DNA damage resulting in an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells, or what is commonly known as cancer.  

While this public health threat impacts us all, the risk is dramatically greater for women and girls.

For every two men who develop cancer through exposure to ionizing radiation, three women will get the disease.Further, while children as a whole are more harmed by radiation than adults, infant and young girls, when exposed, run the highest risk of cancer across their lifetime, and teenage girls will suffer almost double rates of cancer compared to boys in the same juvenile group and the same level of exposure.

The information above, derived from data contained in the 2006 National Academy of Sciences Report Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII, or BEIR VII, clearly shows that gender is a major factor in determining who suffers harm from exposure to ionizing radiation, yet this fact has not been widely reported and is not reflected in regulations or practice.

Yet, there is reason to hope. With the participation of 135 nations, the preamble of the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was written to include the following stanza:

Cognizant that the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons cannot be adequately addressed, transcend national borders, pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security and the health of current and future generations, and have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, including as a result of ionizing radiation (emphasis added)

The fact this treaty was crafted to include language referring to impact on girls and women demonstrates we have a window to examine why this is the case, which will lead to better and healthier solutions for everyone.

It is time to ask the right questions and educate the public about the policy and lifestyle choices related to ionizing radiation.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Women | 1 Comment

A false reference: “acceptable” radiation risks set as they affect adult men, not women, no children

It’s Time to Retire Reference Man https://www.genderandradiation.org/blog/2018/9/4/its-time-to-retire-reference-manMary Olson, 17 Oct 18   Our species split atoms on purpose in 1942. Since then, few have looked back.

Weapons of Mass Destruction, energy that was supposed to be too cheap to meter which has produced more than 100,000 metric tons of waste with the potential to poison all the waters on the Blue Planet Earth, and may, in the end cost more than the electricity it made. We did all that before anyone noticed that radiation is more harmful to women, compared to men, and way more harmful to little girls than boys, and compared to men there is a whole order of magnitude greater harm to girls than to the men that regulators chose as the baseline for all regulations and risk-assessments.

Now analysts have noticed that gender, or more specifically, biological sex is a factor in harm from radiation. This discovery was made when examining the data-set used by the world to establish radiation standards—the Life Span Study data from people who survived the US nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945.

It is unconscionable that the first nuclear weapons were used, on cities full of people. And the fact that happened, and the aggressors decided to study the radiation impact, resulted in the creation of a data-set of more than 100,000 people, that includes people of both sexes and who were all ages (birth to 80) at the time of the bomb.

I sometimes say, in the atomic ashes of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki was hidden a very important message for us all…that a mistake was made: someone thought that only military males would be exposed to fission products. No one ever stopped to evaluate that assumption when hundreds of nuclear power reactors, nuclear fuel factories, nuclear weapons factories, uranium processing factories and hundreds of thousands of uranium mines were opened, and the standards made for the adult man were extended to the general population.

The mistake was not only that regulations based on men were used for the entire human lifecycle—it is that the very decisions to make nuclear weapons and generate nuclear electricity were made without the decision-makers understanding that the risk-assessments are off by a factor of ten, or more.So, we looked at the data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and we found a pattern that has been ignored:

  • Boys exposed in childhood cancers over lifetime
  • Girls exposed in childhood 2x more cancers over lifetime than boys
  • Men exposed in young adulthood à cancer / fatal cancer
  • Women exposed in young adulthood à 1.5x more fatal cancer than men
  • AND when women who were exposed as girls are compared to men: 10 times more cancers over their lifetime

Regulators say that girls are a “sub-population” – but that is a false construct that comes from not being trained in life-science. Girls are a part of the human lifecycle!

But all of the regulations governing nuclear operations, medical and dental exposures, assumptions about high-altitude air travel and levels of radon in homes are based on the “Reference Man.” How do we change that?

Today, there are three papers, and several presentations that tell this story about gender and radiation.

That is not enough. In order to change medical practices, policy recommendations and decisions, the first thing that is needed is a body of published literature telling the story. In order for top researchers working on radiation today to add questions on gender and radiation, they need additional capacity. Funding for post-docs and graduate and medical students will enable them to tackle these new questions.

Gender and Radiation Impact Project is dedicated to functioning as a catalyst, or a fairy god-mother, to fund initial study of why and how biological sex and life-cycle stage impact outcome of radiation exposure.

We believe that by providing a spark, the fire will build, and that mainstream funders will see the merit in this work, and that the work will grow to provide a solid basis for a policy review.

In addition, we will be raising a much-needed new generation of experts.

I hope you are as ready as I am.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

“Transparency”- the Trump administration’s dirty trick to strangle access to reputable science on nuclear radiation  

Yes, radiation is bad for you. The EPA’s ‘transparency rule’ would be even worse.  The Trump administration wants to strangle access to reputable science.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/10/08/yes-radiation-is-bad-you-epas-transparency-rule-would-be-even-worse/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b7e530a79729 By Audra J. Wolfe, 8 Oct 18   Audra J. Wolfe is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, and historian. She is the author of Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science.

Last Tuesday, a headline from the Associated Press sparked outrage in the ordinarily quiet world of science policy. The Environmental Protection Agency, the story suggested, was considering relaxing guidelines for low-dose ionizing radiation, on the theory that “a bit of radiation may be good for you.” Within hours, the AP had issued a correction. As it turned out, the EPA was not, after all, endorsing hormesis, the theory that small doses of toxic chemicals might help the body, much like sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D.

Instead, the EPA was doing something much scarier: It was holding hearings on the “Transparency Rule,” which would restrict the agency to using studies that make a complete set of their underlying data and models publicly available. The rule is similar to an “Open Science” order issued by the Interior Department last month, and incorporates language from the HONEST Act, a bill that passed in the House in 2017 but later stalled in the Senate. The HONEST Act originally required that scientific studies provide enough data that an independent party could replicate the experiment — which is simply not realistic for large-scale longitudinal studies.

Although these rules cite the need to base regulatory policy on the “best available science,” make no mistake: They aim to strangle access to reputable studies.

The Transparency Rule continues the Trump administration’s pattern of anti-science policies. The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is a ghost town, with most of the major positions, including the director’s post, vacant since January 2017. Agencies and departments across the board, including the State Department and the Agriculture Department, are dropping their science advisers and bleeding scientific staff. It’s getting harder and harder for federal rulemakers to access expertise.

Understanding what’s wrong with “transparency,” at least as defined by these policies, requires a closer look at how scientists work. Let’s say you’re trying to understand the health effects of a one-time, accidental release of a toxic chemical. This incident might be epidemiologists’ only chance to investigate how this particular chemical interacts with both the air and the humans who breathe it, at varying doses, over a period of time. No matter how careful your approach, your study would fall short of the replicability standard.

You wouldn’t have baseline health information for the specific people who happened to be in the area. You might not have information on which residents had air filtration systems installed in their homes, or which residents were working outside when the incident took place. Your early results would, by definition, reflect only short-term health outcomes, rather than long-term effects. And you couldn’t replicate the study (with better controls) without endangering the health of thousands of people. In such cases, scientists have to extrapolate from existing, sometimes imperfect, data to protect the public.

Epidemiologists have community standards, including peer review, to evaluate these kinds of studies. A careful, peer-reviewed study of this hypothetical incident might well represent the “best available science” on this particular chemical. Regulators might rely on this study to establish the permissible levels of this chemical in the air we breathe. But now, let’s also say that this study took place 30 years ago. The leading scientists involved are dead, and no one kept their files. The raw data are, effectively, lost. Should scientists at the EPA be blocked from using the study?

Despite what made last week’s headlines, the EPA’s Oct. 3 hearing went beyond radiation. In fact, its lead witness, University of Massachusetts toxicologist Edward Calabrese, barely mentioned his theory of radiation hormesis. Instead, his testimony argued that the EPA should no longer rely on linear no-threshold (LNT) models for any number of hazards, including toxic chemicals and soil pollutants. In toxicology, LNT models assume that the biological effects of a given substance are directly connected to the amount of the exposure, with no minimum dose required. Radiation protections standards are based on LNT models; so are basic regulations involving ozone, particulate pollution, and chemical exposure.

The original studies asserting a LNT model for low-dose ionizing radiation were conducted in the 1950s. Like our hypothetical epidemiologist investigating a toxic chemical release, the geneticists who tried to understand the biological effects of atomic radiation were working with imperfect data, much of which is no longer available. The concept of a “comprehensive data management policy” simply did not exist in 1955. These particular studies were primarily based on survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Japan. The scientists also extrapolated from high-dose exposure data in fruit flies and mice and from unethical high-dose experiments conducted on humans.

These studies are imperfect, but focusing on their limitations misses the broader scandal. These studies took place during the heyday of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, an era when both the United States and the Soviet Union were pumping the atmosphere full of radioactive nucleotides. Some of the areas near the testing zones received so much radiation that they are still uninhabitable today. The tests coated the entire planet with a scrim of radiation. The Atomic Energy Commission, the agency in charge of the United States’ nuclear weapons program, didn’t even attempt to investigate the potential health effects of this constant, low-dose exposure to ionizing radiation on the world’s population. Studies of low-dose radiation were expensive, inconvenient, and politically risky, potentially jeopardizing the weapons testing program and therefore the United States’ ability to fight the Soviet Union. From the government’s perspective, it was better not to know.

This week, a sensational headline distracted us from a broader crisis. Without government support for research of environmental hazards, the public’s health is left to either the whims of industry researchers, who have a strong incentive to play down their dangers, or to public advocacy groups, which are too easily smeared with charges of anti-industry bias. The “transparency” movement supposedly resolves this crisis of authority by giving the public access to the underlying data on which science is based, but it ignores the power dynamics that determine which research questions get asked, and why and how they’re answered.

In the past, Americans looked to their federal science agencies and science advisers to resolve these sorts of disputes. But a few weeks ago, the EPA announced that it, too, would be eliminating its Office of the Science Adviser. With the science offices empty, who will decide?

There is one bright spot in all of this: On Sept. 28, bipartisan legislation authorized the Energy Department to restart its low-dose radiation research program. But what about the other pollutants that the EPA supposedly regulates? Who will produce the kinds of science deemed acceptable under the “transparency” rule?

“Transparency” has become another way to cultivate institutional ignorance. Americans deserve better from the agencies that are supposed to protect them. In the case of environmental hazards, what you don’t know can hurt you.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Genetic changes in children of soldiers who were exposed to ionising radiation

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Germany, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Protection Agency, -sorry, Environment Protection Agency , set to weaken radiation guidelines

October 8, 2018 Posted by | politics, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

The very bad news about what space travel can do to your gut

Deep-Space Radiation Could Damage Astronauts’ Guts By Samantha Mathewson, Space.com Contributor | October 4, 2018 Deep-space missions, to Mars and beyond, could spell trouble for astronauts, according to new research showing that cosmic radiation can damage the digestive tract, stomach and colon.

Spending weeks or months in space can lead to muscle loss, deterioration in cognitive ability and bone formation, and even vision problems for astronauts. As we prepare to send astronauts deeper into space, researchers are investigating how these even-longer journeys will affect the human body.

“While short trips, like the times astronauts traveled to the moon, may not expose them to this level of damage, the real concern is lasting injury from a long trip, such as a Mars [mission] or other deep-space missions, which would be much longer,” Kamal Datta, the study’s lead investigator and project leader of the NASA Specialized Center of Research (NSCOR) at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a statement. [What Does Space Travel Do to Your Gut Microbes? (Video)]

To simulate how galactic cosmic radiation in deep space will affect future astronauts, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center studied radiation’s impact on the small intestine of mice. Their findings suggest that exposure to a low dose of iron radiation could cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) damage, as well as tumor growth in the stomach and colon, according to the statement………

The radiation appeared to cause permanent damage, according to the study. Also, the researchers suggested that exposure to heavy ions may cause similar damage responses in other organs.

“With the current shielding technology, it is difficult to protect astronauts from the adverse effects of heavy-ion radiation,” Datta said. “Although there may be a way to use medicines to counter these effects, no such agent has been developed yet.”……

The findings were published Monday (Oct. 1) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.  https://www.space.com/42018-deep-space-travel-damage-astronauts-gut.html

October 8, 2018 Posted by | radiation | Leave a comment

Tritium was identified as the primary culprit in damaging fetuses and mothers’ rapidly diving cells. 

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Germany, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear explains why radioactivity harms us and no dose is “safe”

nations that rely on the use — and marketing — of nuclear technology, will do everything possible to suppressknowledge about its dangers. This has resulted in public relations campaigns endeavoring to persuade its citizens — as is happening in post-Fukushima Japan —that their “hysteria” and “radiophobia” are causing more illnesses than any radiation that might have gotten out. 

This tactic is embedded in a strategy to “normalize” radiation exposures so that exposure limits can be raised. In Japan, the 1 millisievert a year “acceptable” level of exposure was raised to 20 mSv a year after the Fukushima disaster, simply because the Japanese government cannot ever hope to “clean up” areas contaminated with radioactivity back down to the 1 mSv level. Thus, an annual dose rate that is completely unacceptable, especially for children, becomes the new “normal.”

October 5, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 2 Comments

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces 3 New IAEA Safety Guides on Radiation Protection

Three New IAEA Safety Guides on Radiation Protection Available

The recommendations provided in these three Safety Guides, together with the requirements of IAEA General Safety Requirements( GSR Part 3), provide a basis for including environmental considerations in the assessment and management of radioactive releases.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-8, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment, provides high level/generic guidance in relation to the protection of members of the public and the environment in planned exposure situations, existing exposure situations and emergency exposure situations. Key stakeholders from governments, regulatory bodies and operating organizations are provided with a structured approach to controlling radiation exposures resulting from the operation of facilities and environmental contamination resulting from accidents.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-9, Regulatory Control of Discharges to the Environment provides specific guidance on the application of the principles of radiation protection and safety objectives associated with the control of radioactive discharges from facilities and activities and on the process for their authorization. Recommendations and guidance focus on the process for the authorization for discharges, including the setting of discharge limits, the means of verification of compliance, that will contribute to control radiological impact on the public and the environment.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-10, Prospective Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment for Facilities and Activities details the general framework and methodologies for prospective radiological environmental impact assessment. It defines various types of methodologies that can enhance prospective radiological environmental impact assessment, which are normally undertaken at the pre-operational and the operational stage of a facility or activity, as a requirement for their authorization. The methodologies are also applicable for governmental decision-making processes, such as for the environmental impact assessment process included in several national and international regulatory frameworks.

Member States are encouraged to apply these recommendations and use them to enhance and develop national regulations on protection of the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation, Telleria said. Effective national radiation protection infrastructures, including the existing and those under development, can benefit from these new safety guides that promote the establishment optimal levels of protection. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/three-new-iaea-safety-guides-on-radiation-protection-available

 

October 5, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

The hidden danger of internal radiation emitters – dust particles around nuclear weapons sites

Hidden danger: Radioactive dust is found in communities around nuclear weapons sites, LA Times,    By RALPH VARTABEDIAN  SEP 28, 2018 “……….Studies by a Massachusetts scientist say that invisible radioactive particles of plutonium, thorium and uranium are showing up in household dust, automotive air cleaners and along hiking trails outside the factories and laboratories that for half a century contributed to the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

·         The findings provide troubling new evidence that the federal government is losing control of at least some of the radioactive byproducts of the country’s weapons program.

·         Marco Kaltofen, a nuclear forensics expert and a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, said he collected samples from communities outside three lab sites across the nation and found a wide variation of particle sizes. He said they could deliver lifelong doses that exceed allowable federal standards if inhaled.

·         “If you inhale two particles, you will exceed your lifetime dose under occupational standards, and there is a low probability of detecting it,” he said.

·         A peer-reviewed study by Kaltofen was published in its final form in May in Environmental Engineering Science. Kaltofen, who also is the principal investigator at the nuclear and chemical forensics consulting firm Boston Chemical Data Corp., released a second study in recent weeks.

·         The Energy Department has long insisted that small particles like those collected by Kaltofen deliver minute doses of radioactivity, well below typical public exposures. One of the nation’s leading experts on radioactivity doses, Bruce Napier, who works in the Energy Department’s lab system, said the doses cited by Kaltofen would not pose a threat to public health.

·         Such assurances have been rejected by nuclear plant workers, their unions and activists who monitor environmental issues at nearly every lab and nuclear weapons site in the nation.

·         Jay Coghlan, executive director of NuclearWatch New Mexico, cited a long history of denial about the claims of “down winders,” the residents of Western states who were exposed to radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. “We can not trust self-reporting by the Department of Energy,” he said. “I don’t accept that low levels of radioactivity have no risk.”

·         Tom Carpenter, executive director of another watchdog group, the Hanford Challenge in central Washington, said as recently as last year that the Energy Department released an unknown quantity of radioactive particles during demolition of a shuttered weapons factory, the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

·         After a series of three releases during 2017, the Energy Department shut down the demolition and has yet to resume it. Forty two workers were exposed in the incidents.

·         “If you work in a coal mine, you go home with coal dust on you,” Carpenter said. “Same with a textile mill; you go home with cotton dust. These Hanford workers went home with plutonium dust.”

·         The second study by Kaltofen, completed in August, reported that fairly high radioactivity levels were found in 30 samples from the communities around the Hanford nuclear site, near Richland, Wash. The samples found contamination on personal vehicles driven inside the Hanford site that would leave mechanics exposed if they worked around the vehicles, the report said.

·         Kaltofen also reviewed an internal study in March by an Energy Department contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, that found a calculated potential dose of 95 milliren for workers, roughly 10 times higher than the federal Environmental Protection Agency standard.

·         Kaltofen said a broader independent study should look at residual contamination around Hanford. An Energy Department spokesman at the Hanford site said the office had no comment on the studies.

For his studies, Kaltofen collected samples outside the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the former Rocky Flats weapons plant near Denver and the Hanford site……..

Kaltofen’s sampling found some very high levels of contamination in Los Alamos’ Acid Canyon, a recreational area near a community pool and skate park………

A worker’s exposure to radioactivity, such as walking by a radioactive substance or having particles cling to clothing, is checked by monitors and badges worn by workers at plant sites. Such exposure is like a medical X-ray, which delivers a momentary dose. But inhaling a small particle of plutonium or thorium can go unnoticed by such monitors and deliver a lifetime of alpha radiation right next to lung tissue, Kaltofen said.

“You can walk through a portal monitor without setting it off but you can get a substantial amount of energy from particles in the body,” he said. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-na-radiation-hazards-2018-story.html#

September 29, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cardiologists and Other Medical Professionals at risk from radiation in nuclear medicine

September 29, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Authorities deceive the public on radiation from Fukushima Daiichi

Dr Yamashita is only one among a host of politicians, bureaucrats, experts and advertising and media consultants who support the post-3.11 safety mantra of anshin (secure 安心), anzen (safe 安全), fukkō (recovery 復 興). Through public meetings, media channels, education manuals and workshops,54 local citizens in Fukushima Prefecture were inundated with optimistic and reassuring messages.
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At the same time, to reduce ‘radiophobia’ and anxiety, while focusing on the psychological impact from stress, health risks from radiation exposures have been trivialised and/or normalised for the general public.
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This approach is backed up by international nuclear-related agencies. As stipulated on 28 May 1959 in the ‘WHA12-40’ agreement, the WHO is mandated to report all data on health effects from radiation exposures to the IAEA, which controls publication.
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Nevertheless, it is no longer possible to ignore a significant body of research, including 20 years of scientific studies compiled in Belarus and Ukraine that show serious depopulation, ongoing illnesses and state decline.

Informal Labour, Local Citizens and the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Crisis: Responses to Neoliberal Disaster Management Adam Broinowski {extensive footnotes and references on original]  September 2018, “……… (Official Medicine: The (Il)logic of Radiation Dosimetry On what basis have these policies on radiation from Fukushima Daiichi been made? Instead of containing contamination, the authorities have mounted a concerted campaign to convince the public that it is safe to live with radiation in areas that should be considered uninhabitable and unusable according to internationally accepted standards. To do so, they have concealed from public knowledge the material conditions of radiation contamination so as to facilitate the return of the evacuee population to ‘normalcy’, or life as it was before 3.11. This position has been further supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which stated annual doses of up to 20 mSv/y are safe for the total population including women and children.43 The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Scientific Commission on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) also asserted that there were no ‘immediate’ radiation related illnesses or deaths (genpatsu kanren shi 原発 関連死) and declared the major health impact to be psychological.

While the central and prefectural governments have repeatedly reassured the public since the beginning of the disaster that there is no immediate health risk, in May 2011 access to official statistics for cancer-related illnesses (including leukaemia) in Fukushima and southern Miyagi prefectures was shut down. On 6 December 2013, the Special Secrets Protection Law (Tokutei Himitsu Hogo Hō 特定秘密保護法) aimed at restricting government employees and experts from giving journalists access to information deemed sensitive to national security was passed (effective December 2014). Passed at the same time was the Cancer Registration Law (Gan Tōroku Hō 癌登録法), which made it illegal to share medical data or information on radiation-related issues including evaluation of medical data obtained through screenings, and denied public access to certain medical records, with violations punishable with a 2 million yen fine or 5–10 years’ imprisonment. In January 2014, the IAEA, UNSCEAR and Fukushima Prefecture and Fukushima Medical University (FMU) signed a confidentiality agreement to control medical data on radiation. All medical personnel (hospitals) must submit data (mortality, morbidity, general illnesses from radiation exposures) to a central repository run by the FMU and IAEA.44 It is likely this data has been collected in the large Fukushima Centre for Environmental Creation, which opened in Minami-Sōma in late 2015 to communicate ‘accurate information on radiation to the public and dispel anxiety’. This official position contrasts with the results of the first round of the Fukushima Health Management Survey (October 2011 – April 2015) of 370,000 young people (under 18 at the time of the disaster) in Fukushima prefecture since 3.11, as mandated in the Children and Disaster Victims Support Act (June 2012).45 The survey report admitted that paediatric thyroid cancers were ‘several tens of times larger’ (suitei sareru yūbyōsū ni kurabete sūjūbai no ōdā de ōi 推定される有病数に比べて数十倍の オーダーで多い) than the amount estimated.46 By 30 September 2015, as part of the second-round screening (April 2014–March 2016) to be conducted once every two years until the age of 20 and once every five years after 20, there were 15 additional confirmed thyroid cancers coming to a total of 152 malignant or suspected paediatric thyroid cancer cases with 115 surgically confirmed and 37 awaiting surgical confirmation. Almost all have been papillary thyroid cancer with only three as poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (these are no less dangerous). By June 2016, this had increased to 173 confirmed (131) or suspected (42) paediatric thyroid cancer cases.47

The National Cancer Research Center also estimated an increase of childhood thyroid cancer by 61 times, from the 2010 national average of 1–3 per million to 1 in 3,000 children. Continue reading

September 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | 4 Comments

Heavy radiation effect on astronauts to Mars – now can be measured

Astronauts Going to Mars Will Absorb Crazy Amounts of Radiation. Now We Know How Much. https://www.space.com/41887-mars-radiation-too-much-for-astronauts.html By Meghan Bartels, Space.com Senior Writer | September 20, 2018, There are plenty of challenges to putting people on Mars, whether you look at the rocket, the astronaut or the planet itself.  

September 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, technology | Leave a comment