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International calls for urgent action on climate, as new fires rage in Amazon forests

August 27, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, climate change | Leave a comment

New fires – hundreds – in Amazon rainforests

Amazon rainforest burning at record rate

Hundreds of new fires rage in the Amazon as G7 leaders offer assistance, SBS 26 Aug 19  Hundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, official data showed, as world leaders at the G7 Summit agree to pitch in and help fight the worst blazes in years following a global outcry.

Leaders of the world’s major industrialised nations are close to an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon forest fires and try to repair the devastation.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the G7 countries comprising the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Canada, were finalising a possible deal on “technical and financial help”.

“There’s a real convergence to say: ‘let’s all agree to help those countries hit by these fires’,” he told reporters in Biarritz on Sunday.

Macron shunted the Amazon fires to the top of the summit agenda after declaring them a global emergency, and kicked off discussions about the disaster at a welcome dinner for fellow leaders on Saturday.

An EU official, who declined to be named, said the G7 leaders had agreed to do everything they could to help tackle the fires, giving Macron a mandate to contact all the countries in the Amazon region to see what was needed.

“It was the easiest part of the talks,” the official said.

A record number of fires are ravaging the rainforest, many of them in Brazil, drawing international concern because of the Amazon’s importance to the global environment……. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/hundreds-of-new-fires-rage-in-the-amazon-as-g7-leaders-offer-assistance

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, climate change | 2 Comments

Life on Earth threatened by climate change – loss of Amazon Forests

ONE OF the easiest ways to combat climate change is to stop tearing down old trees. This is why it is everyone’s problem that new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro seems determined to chop away at the Amazon rainforest, the world’s greatest reserve of old-growth forest.

According to a recent analysis in the New York Times, “enforcement actions by Brazil’s main environmental agency fell by 20 percent during the first six months of the year, compared with the same period in 2018.” Fines, warnings and the elimination of illegal equipment from preservation zones are among the measures Brazil’s authorities are doing less often. “The drop means that vast stretches of the rain forest can be torn down with less resistance from the nation’s authorities.” The result has been a loss of 1,330 square miles of rainforest since January, a loss rate that is some 40 percent higher than a year previous, according to Brazilian government records.

Mr. Bolsonaro has called his own government’s information “lies,” stripped the environment ministry of authorities and slashed the environmental budget. When eight former environment ministers protested in May, current environment minister Ricardo Salles allegedthat there is a “permanent and well-orchestrated defamation campaign by [nongovernmental organizations] and supposed experts, within and outside of Brazil.”

In its reality denial, Mr. Bolsonaro’s brand of right-wing populism closely resembles that of President Trump. Both leaders stoke unfounded suspicions that environmental concerns represent foreign plots to undermine the domestic economy. Both are committed to breakneck resource extraction while dismissing expert warnings. And both lead nations with special responsibilities in the global fight against climate change. Global warming cannot be successfully addressed without the engagement of the United States, the world’s largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases and erstwhile leader. The Brazilian Amazon, meanwhile, is a unique natural treasure, its abundance of plant life inhaling and storing loads of planet-warming carbon dioxide day and night. Without “the world’s lungs,” life on the planet is doomed.

Earlier this month, the journal Science published a paper finding that, if world leaders made reforestation a priority, the planet’s ecosystems could accommodate massive numbers of new trees — perhaps hundreds of billions more. True, reforestation advocates would no doubt have to compete with those who would use land for other purposes, particularly as the world population increases. Even so, the paper’s authors note, their work “highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date.”

This is not to say that the fight against global warming is as easy as planting a few, or even billions, of trees, if such a thing were politically or logistically feasible. As long as humans depend on carbon-emitting sources of fuel for energy, the atmosphere’s chemistry will continue to change and the climate will be in peril. But it does suggest that leaders such as Mr. Bolsonaro, who are leading in the opposite direction, can do particularly extreme damage to the effort to restrain climate change.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, climate change, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Massive wildfires are burning across the world- July was hottest month ever

August 24, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Brazil, climate change | 1 Comment

The nuclear accidents we don’t hear about – The Goiânia Accident

August 3, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, incidents, Reference | Leave a comment

Former Brazilian President Michel Temer indicted on corruption charges Involving nuclear plant bribes

Former Brazilian President Michel Temer was indicted on Tuesday on corruption charges brought by prosecutors who said he took part in a bribery scheme related to the Angra 3 nuclear power plant complex on the coast near Rio de Janeiro.

The case is part of Operation Car Wash, Brazil’s largest corruption investigation, which has put dozens of businessmen and politicians in jail since 2014.

Federal Judge Marcelo Bretas accepted charges of corruption and money laundering against Temer, his former energy minister, Wellington Moreira Franco, and six other close aides.

Temer, who left the presidency just three months ago, was arrested with the others on March 21 and released four days later. They all deny any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said the graft at Angra was one action of a “criminal organization” that Temer had run during his four decades in public life, which they alleged received or arranged upward of 1.8 billion reais ($462.5 million) in bribes.

The investigation into kickbacks on the nuclear plant’s construction contract involves the Brazilian subsidiary of Swedish consulting firm AF Poyry, along with Brazilian engineering firms Engevix and Argeplan.

The Swedish company declined to comment on an ongoing investigation. Engevix and Argeplan did not reply to requests for comment……. https://www.voanews.com/a/brazil-ex-president-temer-indicted-on-charges-involving-nuclear-plant-bribes/4859686.html

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Brazil’s former president Michel Temer arrested on charges of corruption relating to Angra 3 nuclear plant.

Guardian 21st March 2019 Brazil’s former president Michel Temer – who played a key role in the 2016 impeachment of his rival Dilma Rousseff – has been arrested by federal police while driving in São Paulo.

Judge Marcelo Breitas issued arrest warrants on Thursday for Temer and nine others in “Operation Radioactivity” – part of Operation Car Wash, the country’s largest ever corruption investigation, which has led to the convictions of numerous
members of Brazil’s political elite.

Federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro said Temer had led “a criminal organization”, which was involved in the construction of Brazil’s Angra 3 nuclear plant. According to prosecutors, Temer received a R$1m bribe in exchange for awarding three
companies a construction contract for the nuclear facility.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/21/brazils-former-president-michel-temer-arrested-in-corruption-investigation

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear convoy in Brazil attacked by armed men

A convoy carrying uranium to a Brazilian nuclear plant was attacked by armed men, Task and Purpose,   RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Armed men shot at members of a convoy transporting uranium to one of Brazil’s two working nuclear power plants on a coastal road in Rio de Janeiro state on Tuesday, police and the company managing the plant said.

They said the truck carrying the nuclear fuel and its police escort came under attack when it was passing by the town of Frade, about 30 km (19 miles) from Angra dos Reis, where the reactor is located.

Policemen guarding the convoy returned the attackers’ fire, police said. They said there were no injuries or arrests and the armed men fled……..

police escorting the truck fanned out alongside the road as a precautionary measure after hearing nearby gunshots. The armed men then started firing on some of the heavily armed “shock battalion” accompanying the shipment, Eletronuclear said.

The nuclear fuel used in the two reactors in Brazil, Angra 1 and Angra 2, is produced in a government installation in Resende, a city in the interior of Rio de Janeiro state located 130 km (80.78 miles) from Angra dos Reis……. https://taskandpurpose.com/a-convoy-carrying-uranium-to-a-brazilian-nuclear-plant-was-attacked-by-armed-men

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear transport trucks in the thick of gang gunfire in Brazil

Brazilian drug gang opens fire on convoy of trucks carrying nuclear fuel, Guardian Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro 20 Mar 2019 Latest incident raises concerns about Brazil’s nuclear security in a state struggling with violent crime A convoy of trucks carrying nuclear fuel came under armed attack on a highway in Rio de Janeiro state on Tuesday as it drove past a community controlled by a drug gang. Gang members armed with rifles opened fire on the convoy, Rio’s O Globo newspaper said.

Armed police escorting the convoy exchanged fire with armed gang members as the trucks carrying uranium continued to a nearby nuclear plant. The attack is the latest of several violent incidents in the area where Brazil has two nuclear reactors and has raised concerns about its nuclear security in a state struggling with high levels of violent crime.

The attack happened as the convoy passed the Frade community around noon near the tourist town of Angra dos Reis in the Green Coast (Costa Verde), around 200km from Rio de Janeiro. It reached the Angra 2 nuclear plant less than half an hour later, Brazil’s nuclear agency said……

Typically, such convoys have around five or six trucks and are escorted by regular police and motorbike outriders from Brazil’s Federal Highway police, the Eletronuclear spokesman Marco Antonio Alves told the Guardian. It was carrying uranium fuel to supply the Angra 2 nuclear power plant, which began operating in 2001. ……. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/20/brazilian-drug-gang-opens-fire-on-convoy-of-trucks-carrying-nuclear-fuel?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3RPlZ7l2eqbDbUKOavFnccBnocR5AjCpeedTMeCQT7686-HKxuii8rfwE

Comment by  Raymond John Cockram I‘m figuring the probability that it was refined into fuel rods is closer to the truth given it was on its way to the reactor site, what you need to remember is that the Brazilian President is a self confessed fascist so media manipulation MUST be expected.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, incidents | Leave a comment

Brazil Seeks Nuclear Pact With U.S. During Bolsonaro’s Visit

Bloomberg, By  Sabrina Valle  March 15, 2019, 
  •  Minister says he wants Brazil open to uranium mining companies
  •  Government also supports construction of new nuclear plants

Brazil’s energy minister said the country plans to sign an accord next week with President Donald J. Trump that could pave the way for U.S. companies to explore the Latin American country for uranium and invest in new nuclear-power plants.

Bento Albuquerque, a former admiral who once ran the Brazilian Navy’s atomic program, met with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Houston this week and discussed creating a bilateral forum on energy cooperation that would include nuclear projects. That’s expected to be part of a memorandum signed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on his first trip to the White House next week, Albuquerque said Thursday in an interview.

The proposed collaboration is another element of the Bolsonaro administration’s push to align with Trump……https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-14/brazil-seeks-nuclear-pact-with-u-s-during-bolsonaro-s-visit

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Brazil moving towards nuclear-powered submarine

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Brazil prosecutor calls for emergency safety measures at tailings dam at former Poços de Caldas uranium mine

Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office calls for emergency measures to prevent failure of tailings dam at former Poços de Caldas uranium mine

Decommissioning Projects – South/Central America  8 Feb 2019

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF)  has recommended to the President of the Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB)  and to the President of the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN)  that, by March 30, all necessary steps be taken to fully implement the Emergency Action Plan for Dams (Paemb) on the tailings dam of the Mineral Treatment Unit (UTM), located in the municipality of Caldas, south of the state.
This dam contains radioactive material resulting from the first uranium mine operated in Brazil.
The exploration lasted from 1982 to 1995, when it was closed, on the grounds that the activities were economically unfeasible. Even after the end of the mine, the mine pit containing mud with radioactive waste, a decontaminated ore processing plant, dozens of equipment, and the dam with thousands of tons of uranium, thorium and radium waste remains in the mine.

In September of last year, INB noted that an “unusual event” occurred at the UTM-Caldas dam, which was immediately communicated to CNEN and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA) . Such an event consisted of turbidity and reduction of water flow at the outlet of the overflow pipe system of the structure. Also, actions were immediately initiated to investigate the causes of the event, by collecting special samples and intensifying the field inspections and reading the dam instrumentation.
A technical report produced by an emergency contractor at the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP)  concluded that the overflow pipe system of the tailings dam is seriously compromised and that the infiltrations found on its walls favor the occurrence of so-called piping.
Piping is a process of internal erosion that damages the structure of the dam, increasing the probability of rupture, which requires immediate measures of correction and intervention [view here].

About two weeks ago, representatives of the Brazilian Nuclear Industries presented to the MPF the measures that are being implemented as a matter of urgency to change the mechanism of the overflow pipe dam system, preceded by a provisional auxiliary system, as well as the Paemb and the schedule of its Implementation. Regarding the Paemb, no concrete action has been taken so far.
For the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, the relevance and complexity of the facts, already worrying about the possibility of rupture of the structure, are more serious when the tailings are considered to consist of radioactive material.
The closure of uranium exploration activities occurred in 1995, without concrete measures being taken to decommission UTM-Caldas and environmental recovery for the damages caused. The omission of INB led the Federal Public Prosecutor to file a Public Civil Action No. 4106-80.2015.4.01.3826 , in the year 2015, to demand the full environmental recovery in the area of the project. “The longer this situation lasts, the lack of concrete measures for decommissioning and environmental recovery, the greater the exposure of the environment (fauna and flora) and the population to the risk of serious and harmful events,” warns MPF.

Transparency – Another point addressed in the recommendation concerns the need and the right of the populations neighboring the project, which can be affected in the event of a possible rupture, to receive information about the dam situation in clear and accessible language.
Therefore, the MPF recommended that in five days, INB and CNEN should be widely disseminated to civil society, especially to communities that may be directly affected by a possible incident, about the risks they are exposed to.
The information should cover both the “unusual event” occurred on Sep. 25, 2018, indicating the characteristics and causes of the occurrence, as well as the potential risks arising from the situation in which the dam structure is located, the measures taken by the entrepreneur to stabilization of the enterprise and the content of the Emergency Action Plan (SAP). (MPF Feb. 7, 2019)

The latest Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office action in this case apparently was triggered by the Brumadinho tailings dam disaster on Jan. 25, 2019 (see details). http://wise-uranium.org/udsam.html#POCOSDEC http://wise-uranium.org/udsam.html#POCOSDEC

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, safety | Leave a comment

Brazil’s new President – a danger to environment and to action against climate change

October 29, 2018 Posted by | Brazil, climate change | Leave a comment

THIS IS WHAT THE REAL FUKUSHIMA AND LARGE SURROUNDING AREA IS LIKE.

It is in the water, the soil, the food, the air, the people, their houses, the animals, the plants, their cars. It is everywhere.in Japan.

From the Beyond Nuclear story abput the cesium 137 tragedy in Brazil:
On September 13, 1987, Brazilian scrap metal dealer, Devair Ferreira, unwittingly opened Pandora’s box. Out spilled a bright blue crystalline powder that fell glowing to the floor. Fascinated by the magical iridescence, Ferreira invited family members to his home to see the mysterious substance for themselves. They were entranced. They touched it and passed it around to other friends and relatives.
What none of them knew was that they had just set in motion Latin America’s worst nuclear accident. The blue powder was cesium chloride, encased inside a cesium-137 teletherapy unit that had been left behind in an abandoned cancer treatment hospital in the City of Goiânia, the capital of the State of Goiás. Two jobless youngsters had picked it up, pulled out the heavy lead cylinder containing 19 grams of cesium-137, and sold it to Ferreira.
Ferreira, and his friends and family, soon became sick. His brother Ivo took some of the powder to his house where his six-year old daughter Leide played with the glowing radioactive crystals on the floor just before dinner. When she ate boiled eggs with her contaminated fingers, the deadly cesium-137 entered her body. Twenty two Ferreira family members had direct contact with the cesium-137. But they unwittingly went on to contaminate others.

It is amazing how much damage, 19 gr
Of this evil blue shit cesium 137 did in this town in Brazil. The shit, like cobalt 60, strontium 90, iridium is such a strong gamma emitter it has to be tightly contained in a thick lead box. Yet tons of it and other shit was blown all over japan by the reactor explosions.Decontamination of houses and streets in Goiânia
At least 40 people were hospitalized, and by October 28 four had died. They were Ivo’s daughter Leide and Devair Ferreira’s wife Gabriela — who had first sounded the alarm about the sudden mysterious sicknesses in her extended family — along with two of Devair’s employees.
All of those affected were at first treated at the local hospital like regular patients and were allowed to circulate freely through the city, contaminating others they met, as well as the doctors and nurses who cared for them. For 16 days, no one knew that the cause of their sickness was radiation exposure.
When it finally came to light, Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission sent a team to Goiânia, to quarantine and isolate those contaminated and to start the clean-up.
A total of 112,800 people remained isolated in the Olympic Stadium of Goiânia until December 1987, and were examined there for radiation by the CNEN. Radiation technicians ultimately registered a total of 249 contaminated people, 129 of them with cesium-137 in their body, a man-made isotope produced in nuclear reactors that, when ingested, binds with muscle and irradiates people internally.
According to the government of Goiás and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Goiânia’s cesium-137 accident claimed only four lives, but the Goiás Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Association of Cesium Victims (AVCesio) say that at least 1,400 people were contaminated and that 66 have died as of 2017.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan,Time magazine produced a list of 12 of the Worst Nuclear Disasters. Goiânia was one of them. Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA,pointed out in a March 25, 2012 Washington Postcolumn, that the Goiânia incident “involved the unintended release of radioactivity, but it remains the best real-world indicator of what could happen on a larger scale if terrorists were to detonate a dirty bomb in a large city or at a major public event.”

On September 13, 1987, Brazilian scrap metal dealer, Devair Ferreira, unwittingly opened Pandora’s box. Out spilled a bright blue crystalline powder that fell glowing to the floor. Fascinated by the magical iridescence, Ferreira invited family members to his home to see the mysterious substance for themselves. They were entranced. They touched it and passed it around to other friends and relatives.
What none of them knew was that they had just set in motion Latin America’s worst nuclear accident. The blue powder was cesium chloride, encased inside a cesium-137 teletherapy unit that had been left behind in an abandoned cancer treatment hospital in the City of Goiânia, the capital of the State of Goiás. Two jobless youngsters had picked it up, pulled out the heavy lead cylinder containing 19 grams of cesium-137, and sold it to Ferreira.
Ferreira, and his friends and family, soon became sick. His brother Ivo took some of the powder to his house where his six-year old daughter Leide played with the glowing radioactive crystals on the floor just before dinner. When she ate boiled eggs with her contaminated fingers, the deadly cesium-137 entered her body. Twenty two Ferreira family members had direct contact with the cesium-137. But they unwittingly went on to contaminate others.

Decontamination of houses and streets in Goiânia
At least 40 people were hospitalized, and by October 28 four had died. They were Ivo’s daughter Leide and Devair Ferreira’s wife Gabriela — who had first sounded the alarm about the sudden mysterious sicknesses in her extended family — along with two of Devair’s employees.
All of those affected were at first treated at the local hospital like regular patients and were allowed to circulate freely through the city, contaminating others they met, as well as the doctors and nurses who cared for them. For 16 days, no one knew that the cause of their sickness was radiation exposure.
When it finally came to light, Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission sent a team to Goiânia, to quarantine and isolate those contaminated and to start the clean-up.
A total of 112,800 people remained isolated in the Olympic Stadium of Goiânia until December 1987, and were examined there for radiation by the CNEN. Radiation technicians ultimately registered a total of 249 contaminated people, 129 of them with cesium-137 in their body, a man-made isotope produced in nuclear reactors that, when ingested, binds with muscle and irradiates people internally.
According to the government of Goiás and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Goiânia’s cesium-137 accident claimed only four lives, but the Goiás Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Association of Cesium Victims (AVCesio) say that at least 1,400 people were contaminated and that 66 have died as of 2017.
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan,Time magazine produced a list of 12 of the Worst Nuclear Disasters. Goiânia was one of them. Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA,pointed out in a March 25, 2012 Washington Postcolumn, that the Goiânia incident “involved the unintended release of radioactivity, but it remains the best real-world indicator of what could happen on a larger scale if terrorists were to detonate a dirty bomb in a large city or at a major public event.”
Main article from beyond nuclearhttp://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2018/6/20/one-of-the-worlds-worst-nuclear-accidents-was-in-brazil.html

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Brazil, environment | Leave a comment

In new technique, scientists calculate radiation dose in bone from victim of Hiroshima bombing

Scientists calculate radiation dose in bone from victim of Hiroshima bombing  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/fda-scr042718.php

In an article published in PLOS ONE, Brazilian researchers describe the first retrospective dosimetric study by electron spin resonance spectroscopy using human tissue from nuclear attack victimsFUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO

The bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in 1945 was the first and only use of nuclear weapons against civilian targets. A series of studies began in its aftermath to measure the impact of the fallout, in terms of both the radiation dose to which the victims were exposed and the effects of this exposure on DNA and health in general.

Continuing research that started in the 1980s under the leadership of physicist Sérgio Mascarenhas, Full Professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazilian scientists have published an article in the journal PLOS ONE describing a method of precise measurement of the radiation dose absorbed by the bones of victims of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.

The investigation was conducted during the postdoctoral research of Angela Kinoshita, currently a professor at Universidade do Sagrado Coração in Bauru, São Paulo State. Her supervisor was then Oswaldo Baffa, Full Professor at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto School of Philosophy, Science & Letters (FFCLRP-USP).

“We used a technique known as electron spin resonance spectroscopy to perform retrospective dosimetry. Currently, there’s renewed interest in this kind of methodology due to the risk of terrorist attacks in countries like the United States,” Baffa said.

“Imagine someone in New York planting an ordinary bomb with a small amount of radioactive material stuck to the explosive. Techniques like this can help identify who has been exposed to radioactive fallout and needs treatment.”

As Kinoshita explained, the study is unique insofar as it used samples of human tissue from victims of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“There were serious doubts about the feasibility of using this methodology to determine the radiation dose deposited in these samples, because of the processes involved in the episode,” she said. “The results confirm its feasibility and open up various possibilities for future research that may clarify details of the nuclear attack.”

The equipment used in the investigation was purchased during a project coordinated by Baffa and supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP.

Origins

In the 1970s, when he was teaching at the University of São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP), Mascarenhas discovered that X-ray and gamma-ray irradiation made human bones weakly magnetic. The phenomenon, known as paramagnetism, occurs because the hydroxyapatite (crystalline calcium phosphate) in the mineral portion of bone tissue absorbs carbon dioxide ions, and when the sample is irradiated, the CO2 loses electrons and becomes CO2-. This free radical serves as a marker of the radiation dose received by the material.

“I discovered that we could use this property to perform radiation dosimetry and began using the method in archeological dating,” Mascarenhas recalled.

His aim at the time was to calculate the age of bones found in sambaquis (middens created by Brazil’s original inhabitants as mounds of shellfish debris, skeletons of prehistoric animals, human bones, stone or bone utensils, and other refuse) based on the natural radiation absorbed over centuries via contact with elements such as thorium that are present in the sand on the seashore.

On the strength of this research, he was invited to teach at Harvard University in the United States. Before leaving for the US, however, he decided to go to Japan to try to obtain samples of bones from victims of the nuclear bombs and test his method on them.

“They gave me a jawbone, and I decided to measure the radiation right there, at Hiroshima University,” he said. “I needed to prove experimentally that my discovery was genuine.”

Mascarenhas succeeded in demonstrating that a dosimetric signal could be obtained from the sample even though the technology was still rudimentary and there were no computers to help process the results. The research was presented at the American Physical Society’s annual March Meeting, where it made a strong impression. Mascarenhas brought the samples to Brazil, where they remain.

“There have been major improvements in the instrumentation to make it more sensitive in the last 40 years,” Baffa said. “Now, you see digitally processed data in tables and graphs on the computer screen. Basic physics has also evolved to the extent that you can simulate and manipulate the signal from the sample using computational techniques.”

Thanks to these advances, he added, in the new study, it was possible to separate the signal corresponding to the radiation dose absorbed during the nuclear attack from the so-called background signal, a kind of noise scientists suspect may have resulted from superheating of the material during the explosion.

“The background signal is a broad line that may be produced by various different things and lacks a specific signature,” Baffa said. “The dosimetric signal is spectral. Each free radical resonates at a certain point on the spectrum when exposed to a magnetic field.”

Methodology

To make the measurements, the researchers removed millimeter-scale pieces of the jawbone used in the previous study. The samples were again irradiated in the laboratory using a technique called the additive dose method.

“We added radiation to the material and measured the rise in the dosimetric signal,” Baffa explained. “We then constructed a curve and extrapolated from that the initial dose, when the signal was presumably zero. This calibration method enabled us to measure different samples, as each bone and each part of the same bone has a different sensitivity to radiation, depending on its composition.”

Thanks to this combination of techniques, they were able to measure a dose of approximately 9.46 grays (Gy), which is high in Baffa’s view. “About half that dose, or 5 Gy, is fatal if the entire body is exposed to it,” he said.

The value was comparable with the doses obtained by other techniques applied to non-biological samples, such as measurement of the luminescence of quartz grains present in brick and roof tile fragments found at the bomb sites. According to the authors, it was also close to the results of biological measurement techniques applied in long-term studies using alterations in survivors’ DNA as a parameter.

“The measurement we obtained in this latest study is more reliable and up to date than the preliminary finding, but I’m currently evaluating a methodology that’s about a thousand times more sensitive than spin resonance. We’ll have news in a few months,” Mascarenhas predicted.

About São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. For more information: http://www.fapesp.br/en.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Brazil, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment