nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Radiation caused the deaths of 4,000 clean-up workers, and 70,000 disabled at Chernobyl nuclear disaster

 THE MELTDOWN AT the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine on April 26, 1986 was a massive tragedy that ultimately claimed at least 9,000 lives and affected millions more. It also created a toxic mess. Radioactive particles choked the atmosphere and rained down on cities, forests, and roads. In the immediate aftermath, fires had to be put out, debris cleared, contaminated waste buried deep underground.It was, obviously, not an easy task. Remote-controlled bulldozers and other robots proved too weak for the job, their circuitry fried by radiation. So the Soviet Union sent in humans—600,000 of them. These brave firefighters, soldiers, janitors, and miners—the so-called “liquidators”—did everything from hosing down streets to felling trees to building a concrete sarcophagus around the exposed reactor … all the while charged subatomic particles ravaged their cells and shortened their life spans.

“No personal sacrifice was too much for these men and women,” says photographer Tom Skipp. Moved by their story, he visited Slavutych, Ukraine in April to photograph survivors, now in their golden years. The portraits make up his haunting series The Liquidators.

“The liquidators were sent into impossible scenarios where even machines failed,” Skipp says. “Each has a human story seemingly entangled in the complex history of communism and duty to the motherland….

On average, the liquidators were exposed to 120 millisieverts of radiation, about 1,200 times the amount you get from a simple x-ray. In the years following the meltdown, more than 4,000 of them died from radiation-caused cancers, and another 70,000 were disabled by exposure. Still, the liquidators shared a steadfast sense of duty to their government and fellow citizens, even when they didn’t agree with the ruling system or found it difficult to talk about. “I think that there’s a certain amount of fear aligned with speaking out against any wrongdoings that were committed,” Skipp says. “Many live on a state pension.”

Skipp photographed the men and women with his Fujifilm GFX 50 in their homes, as well as at at a local museum dedicated to explaining the history of Chernobyl and Slavutych. Many of the portraits capture them standing proudly but solemnly before an image of the destroyed reactor and beneath a clock stopped at the exact time of the meltdown—the moment that defined their lives forever. https://www.wired.com/story/chernobyl-liquidators-photo-gallery/

Advertisements

September 10, 2018 Posted by | deaths by radiation, health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

For the first time, Japan acknowledges radiation death from Fukushima, and will compensate the family

Fukushima disaster: Japan acknowledges first radiation death from nuclear plant hit by tsunami Japan has acknowledged for the first time that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years ago, has died from radiation exposure.

Key points:

  • The man had worked at the plant since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011
  • He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016, in his 50s
  • The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry ruled that compensation should be paid to the family

The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry ruled that compensation should be paid to the family of the man in his 50s who died from lung cancer, an official said.

The worker had spent his career working at nuclear plants around Japan and worked at the Fukushima Daiichi plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power at least twice after the March 2011 meltdowns at the station.

He was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016, the official said. ……..

The ministry had previously ruled exposure to radiation caused the illnesses of four workers at Fukushima, the official said.

But this was the first death……

Tokyo Electric is facing a string of legal cases seeking compensation over the disaster.

The news came as the northern Hokkaido region was hit by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake, sparking concerns at the three-reactor Tomari nuclear plant, which lost power as a result of the earthquake.

The Tomari plant has been in shutdown since the Fukushima disaster.

The Fukushima crisis led to the shutdown of the country’s nuclear industry, once the world’s third-biggest.

Seven reactors have come back online after a protracted relicensing process.

The majority of Japanese people remain opposed to nuclear power after Fukushima highlighted failings in regulation and operational procedures in the industry.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-06/first-man-dies-from-radiation-from-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/10208244

September 6, 2018 Posted by | deaths by radiation, Fukushima continuing, health | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium “helped sow deaths and illnesses” in Italian soldiers

Uranium caused cancer – probe http://www.ansa.it/english/news/politics/2018/02/07/uranium-caused-cancer-probe_560c540f-b60e-4f90-8ce4-29c0dc42cd6d.html  But expert denies saying there was causal link,  Redazione ANSA, 7 Feb 18  ANSA) -Rome   – The final report of a commission on depleted uranium said Italian soldiers had been exposed to “shocking” levels of it in Italy and on foreign missions, and that it had “helped sow deaths and illnesses”.
However, the doctor whose expert opinion informed the panel’s conclusions denied a link between uranium and cancer. Levels of uranium in the sectors of security and workplace health for soldiers had been toxic and deadly, said the report from the parliamentary commission of inquiry. The report highlighted that military chiefs had been in “denial” on the phenomenon, and also stressed the “deafening silences maintained by government authorities.” Experts heard by the panel had verified the links between exposure to depleted uranium and tumours, the report said.
Commission Chair Gian Piero Scanu of the Democratic Party said “repeated judicial sentences have consistently affirmed the existence of a causal link between exposure to depleted uranium and the pathologies cited by the soldiers: this is a milestone and now those who were exposed will have the possibility of getting justice without having to struggle as they have done so far”.

But the Italian doctor whose expert testimony was cited by the commission as evidence that depleted uranium caused cancer in soldiers denied “ever saying that”. “That is absolutely not my thinking, I never said that depleted uranium is responsible for the tumours found in the soldiers,” said Giorgio Trenta of the Italian association for medical radioprotection. Trenta’s report was cited by the panel as proof of the causal link between depleted uranium and cancer.
The relatives of soldiers who died of uranium-linked cancer have been suing the government for years and pursuing cases in the courts, amid denials from military authorities.
In 2016 a Rome appeals court upheld a guilty verdict for the defence ministry in the 1999 death from leukemia due to depleted uranium exposure of 23-year-old Corporal Salvatore Vacca who handled uranium-tipped munitions during a 150-day mission in Bosnia in 1998-99.
The court found the ministry guilty of not having protected Vacca.
It ordered the ministry to pay more than one and a half million euros in compensation to Vacca’s family.
The families of other victims are suing the ministry for deaths allegedly due to depleted uranium exposure on several Italian missions.
Domenico Leggiero of the Military Observatory group said the sentence was “historic, because it confirms that the ministry was aware of the danger the soldiers sent to those zones were subject to”.
He said “I am sure Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti will bear this ruling in mind when she appears before the parliamentary depleted uranium commission”.
Italian authorities consistently played down the uranium risks

February 9, 2018 Posted by | deaths by radiation, depleted uranium, EUROPE, legal | Leave a comment