nuclear-news

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

World in Danger by Arnie Gundersen

How does the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown disaster show the enormous risk potential for the continued operation of the Diablo Canyon atomic reactor? Filmed by Ecological Options Network (EON) at Point Reyes Station in California, Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen presents A World in Danger. This presentation from the 2015 California speaking tour precedes a panel discussion “Tell All” between chief engineer Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds founder and president Maggie Gundersen, and EON co-directors Jim Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan. The follow-up conversation can be found here.

Thanks to Ecological Options Network (EON) for producing the video.

http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//world-in-danger

August 20, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Interview with professor Robert Jacobs: Must say no to a war more

8713e57dae02cf2759c4ad6412d02010-212x300

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Toukai, Editorial Writer

People in Hiroshima, which marked the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing, have still evaluated the visit by U.S. President Barack Obama highly. Meanwhile, there is still a long way to go to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons in international society. The Chugoku Shimbun interviewed Robert Jacobs, 56, a professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University, about how we can fill the gap between real politics and the desire of people in the A-bombed cities. Mr. Jacobs has been living in Hiroshima for 11 years, and is familiar with American public opinion and pop culture concerning nuclear issues.

I have heard your own experiences as a child is the point of origin that has driven you to continue your research activity in the A-bombed Hiroshima.
When I was an elementary school student in Chicago, U.S., I went through a training similar to “Duck and Cover” every month. In the training, I practiced what to do when a nuclear weapon exploded. After my teacher told the students that a tremendous flash happened, we ducked on the floor all at once. I was scared, because I thought I was going to die soon. From 1950s to 1960s, conducting such a training was quite popular at schools in the U.S. As I couldn’t stop thinking about horrors of nuclear war, I read a lot of books on nuclear weapons. Then, I took part in the antinuclear movement in my teens, and I developed a strong belief that nuclear weapons must be eliminated. So, I think it was inevitable for me to come to Hiroshima.

What is your main research theme at the Hiroshima Peace Institute?
I have been studying how horrible results have been wrought by the development and testing of nuclear weapons, and how American and world culture and society have been affected by them. In addition, through a project titled “Global Hibakusha Project,” I have been investigating an initiative to connect the nuclear victims throughout the world. In the project, young people in Republic of the Marshall Islands, a nation which was involved in a U.S. hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, and several other countries have been developed as memory keepers. They have also been interacting with the youth in Hiroshima via Skype, an internet video and also in person workshops.

As an American, what did you think about President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima?
It was a historic event. The U.S. media also reported it very positively. However, from my perspective, I am disappointed that he didn’t mention anything about a concrete path towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, including how American nuclear policy would be changed.

You mean a world without nuclear weapons cannot be realized soon.
Hiroshima has two significances to the U.S. While Hiroshima is known as a tragic city in the U.S. because of the atomic bombing, the U.S. used Hiroshima as an excuse to increase its nuclear arsenal during a cold war era. In those days, the U.S. government aroused its citizens’ sense of fear that the U.S. must have much more nuclear weapons than the former Soviet Union to not end up being like “Hiroshima.” Now, against a backdrop of a threat by the militant group known as the Islamic State, the nuclear weapons have gained prominent attention again. It could be a shocking fact to people in the A-bombed cities, but it’s still strongly believed in the U.S. that the nuclear weapons are necessary because of the tragedy, which occurred in Hiroshima.

Even if President Obama visited Hiroshima, the public opinion in the U.S. hasn’t been changed so much, has it?
In Japan, some people say that President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima has advanced a movement towards nuclear abolition. But I am afraid they may be too optimistic. Many Americans still believe they should maintain the option to keep nuclear weapons though they do also want to abolish them. It’s the same logic as the one for gun ownership: many U.S. households have a gun because they believe it might be necessary sometime in the future, although not everyone wants to use it.

If things are not changed, do you think a desire of people in Hiroshima to abolish nuclear weapons won’t take root in the nuclear nations?
You have to be more aware that a barrier to nuclear abolition, which the A-bombed cities should take focus on, is quite enormous. Even if a U.S. president advocates abolition of nuclear weapons, the real politics and military system won’t change so easily. The bottleneck is a giant military industry that has the power to influence the world of politics, and public opinion believing in nuclear deterrent force. I think just appealing for the inhumanity of nuclear weapons is not enough to fight against them.

Could you elaborate on it more?
I believe you should rather make an appeal based on the extensive moral framework of the whole society. As the living standard of the middle-class has declined in the U.S., more and more people have become pessimistic about their future. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is planning to spend a trillion dollars (about 100 trillion yen) for upgrading nuclear weapons over the next three decades. Is it acceptable to sacrifice living standard of people for such spending? Shouldn’t education and medical services be more prioritized than military affairs? Taking these perspectives into account, it’s important to appeal to international opinion opposing wars and military powers. If people in the A-bombed cities can collaborate with those working on these issues in the world, I believe you can generate a much bigger wave than now.

Profile

Robert Jacobs
Born in Chicago, the United States, Mr. Jacobs obtained a doctor’s degree at the University of Illinois, and came to Hiroshima in 2005 to serve as an instructor for the Hiroshima Peace Research Institute. He assumed his current post from this year. Studying history as his major, he has been researching the history and culture of nuclear technologies and nuclear victims. He has written books including “The Dragon’s Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age.”

(Originally published on August 8, 2016)

http://www.hiroshimapeacemedia.jp/?p=63666

August 20, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment

Every baby born in 2016 contains atom bomb radiation — here’s why

Seventy-one years ago Saturday, a United States B-29 bomber named the “Enola Gay” dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The bomb fell just over 29,000 feet from the plane and detonated 1,900 feet above Shima Hospital, an active medical center with a history dating back to the 18th Century. Between four and five square miles of buildings were leveled in the blast generated by just 141 pounds of highly enriched uranium. The US Department of Energy (DoE) estimates 70,000 people died in the initial blast, resulting fires, and radiation burst on August 6, 1945, but that the five-year death toll may have exceeded 200,000 people.

President Harry Truman told Japan to surrender or “expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.” Three days later, a second bomb (this time plutonium-based) dropped from an American warplane over the city of Nagasaki. The DoE estimates 40,000 people died in the immediate aftermath, and that number may have reached 140,000 within five years.

These events remain the only cases, so far, of human beings attacking other human beings with nuclear weapons. But the survivors of these attacks are from from the only people to carry the marks of nuclear warfare in their bodies.

Every person alive on the 71st anniversary of those attacks holds in their flesh radioactive remnants of the nuclear era — a period centered in the early decades of Cold War when nuclear nations conducted atmospheric tests of ever-larger bombs.

That’s the period that left us images of bright, sky-piercing mushroom clouds like the one at the top of this article, and footage like this of the devastation these weapons could wreak.

 

Hundreds of bombs detonated in the open air (and several more in the ocean) during the heyday of atmospheric nuclear testing — with thousands more tests conducted underground.

The 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty put a stop to exposed American and Soviet explosions, though France and China continued atmospheric tests until 1974 and 1980, respectively. Many countries pursued underground testing through the early 1990s. Only North Korea has detonated a weapon in the 21st Century.

 

Nuclear explosions produce radioactive substances that are rare in nature — like carbon-14, a radioactive form of the carbon atom that forms the chemical basis of all life on earth.

Once released into the atmosphere, carbon-14 enters the food chain and gets bound up in the cells of most living things. There’s still enough floating around for researchers to detect in the DNA of humans born in 2016. If you’re reading this article, it’s inside you.

That’s strange, if not a little unsettling. Though carbon-14 is completely harmless, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea that our species’ cruelest weapons left measurable traces in our bodies.

But it turns out that this can actually be helpful for scientists.

As Carrie Arnold reported in 2013 for Nova, the massive, unusual carbon-14 load of the era between 1955 and 1963 remains in the atmosphere. It’s called the “bomb pulse,” and it still makes its way, through plants, into the food web. But every second it decays a little more, leaving less in the atmosphere.

That means that every new cell created has a bit less carbon-14 than cells before it. And that slow decline proceeds in a predictable way.

In the last couple decades, researchers have taken advantage of that predictability to figure out exactly how old individual cells are. The process is fairly simple: Extract the cell’s DNA, measure its carbon-14 levels with a tool called a mass spectrometer, and check the result against tables of carbon-14 decay in the period since 1963.

This technique has been used, as Arnold reports, to trace the progress of cancers, advance our understanding of obesity and diabetes, and prove that brain cells continue to form through a human being’s lifetime.

However, barring a nuclear war or a rogue state conducting more dangerous above-ground tests, this method has a limited lifespan. Within a few decades, the bomb pulse will fade until it’s indistinguishable from our planet’s background carbon-14. (The researchers Arnold spoke to peg the date at 2050.)

If that happens, it will be good news for humanity. After all, it’ll mean we’ve gone long enough without a nuclear explosion that the bomb’s most widespread traces have disappeared. But for certain segments of medicine and science, it will mean the end of a once-in-history opportunity.

 

http://www.techinsider.io/bomb-pulse-radiation-decay-cells-2016-8

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear disasters and “normalization” of contaminated areas

Fukushima 311 forever remembered

Translated by Kingsley Osborn

Political, economic, health, democratic and ethical

The nuclear lobby is beginning to openly assert that the evacuation of populations affected by a major nuclear accident is too expensive, is the source of lots of hassles, accidents, despair families, ruin the local economy.
To some additional cancers it will not be worth it to impose populations.

Sezin TOPÇU is PhD in sociology of science and technology, she is a researcher at the National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) and teaches at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). She is the author of “Nuclear France. The art of governing disputed technology “(Le Seuil, 2013) and co-edited the book” Another story of the postwar boom. Modernization and pollution disputes in France after the war “(with Christophe Bonneuil Céline and Pessis, La Découverte, 2013).

Here is the introduction to his analysis:
Minimizing impacts of a catastrophic nuclear accident is set to become a classic of our time, and not only in countries where the presence of nuclear installations is important, such as France, or in countries that have already undergone an accident, such as Japan and Belarus, but also in countries that do not. This minimization, which seems to impose forcefully, is the ability to “resilience” of specialists in nuclear, that is to say, industrialists, nuclear states, and certain regulatory bodies, both national and international.

How the specialists in nuclear-they managed to trivialize the radioactive wrong with that? By what means, strategies and watchwords governing bodies have managed to formulate the problem in terms of evacuation procedures and even its legitimacy, when we should collectively discuss the legitimacy to continue to make use of facilities that have potential for processing and destruction unparalleled in the territories, natural resources, living species, and human body?
from these questions, this paper aims to contribute to the emergence of a political debate and citizen which is long overdue, around the issue of contaminated territories in case of nuclear accident.

Three Mile Island? The French nuclear officials there saw immediately that an “incident” or a “glitch”. Chernobyl? In 1996 again, the World Health Organization (WHO) only accounted for 32 deaths. Fukushima? The disaster paradoxically accelerated the offensive of the Japanese nuclear industry for exports. No other sector causes, accident, such bitter controversy and permanent (with expertise, evidence / no-evidence, observations, assessments and also contrasting and contradictory), on health impacts experienced by affected populations.

Beyond the very serious consequences on the health of populations, whose proof or recognition are made difficult due to the latency that require radiation-induced diseases to manifest itself, but also the secret or active factory ignorance that often surround them, a nuclear accident also means the sacrifice of entire territories.
the challenge for specialists in nuclear, since the 1990s at least, is indeed to minimize the sacrifice in the eyes of public opinion. To ensure that the renunciation of land does not occur, or only take place only temporarily. A instrumentalize, for this suffering, certainly real but no singular evacuees to believe that those who remain on their land, even though they would offer more than enough healthy living conditions, suffer for nothing. A claim that may well “learn to live” with ambient radioactivity.

The first part of this note reviews the genesis of panel discussions, legal arrangements and managerial tools for the management of contaminated territories. This is to recall that the unmanageable nature of damage caused by a major nuclear accident has been recognized by the nuclear experts in the 1950s, which has historically conditioned the doctrine prevailing today, whereby post-accident measures (including the abandonment of contaminated areas) will necessarily be limited or should be optimized.

The second part of the note looks at how the contaminated territories have been effectively treated in post-Chernobyl and post-Fukushima. Socio-economic and geo-political criteria that influence how to design the future of the evacuated areas, their status, and they could not “return to normal” are analyzed here.

The last part of the note stresses the importance of official strategies to psychologizing disasters to minimize abandonment of contaminated land, but also to push into the background the prospect of a fair assessment of the health damage caused in the event accident.

To read the entire article: The Show as PDF (400KB) The view on the EPF website

The website of the Foundation for Political Ecology: http://www.fondationecolo.org/

Note:
We’ve been warned: the next nuclear accident, we will be strongly urged to stay or return to live on contaminated territories.

Catastrophes nucléaires et « normalisation » des zones contaminées

http://www.vivre-apres-fukushima.fr/catastrophes-nucleaires-et-normalisation-des-zones-contaminees/

June 12, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Genetic radiation risks: a neglected topic in the low dose debate.

From Chris Busby:

“This is the final version and the abstract in pubmed is new: I had to re-write it. It is far more poisonous to the nuclear industry than the previous web version. There was significant pressure on the journal from NIH to pull the paper, to remove it. I had to write to say that the paper was critical evidence in the High Court action and if they de-submitted it the issue would be a major media one and would be raised in the veterans case. Just read the new Abstract on PUBMED. Says it all.”

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the accuracy and scientific validity of the current very low risk factor for hereditary diseases in humans following exposures to ionizing radiation adopted by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The value is based on experiments on mice due to reportedly absent effects in the Japanese atomic bomb (Abomb) survivors.

METHODS:

To review the published evidence for heritable effects after ionising radiation exposures particularly, but not restricted to, populations exposed to contamination from the Chernobyl accident and from atmospheric nuclear test fallout. To make a compilation of findings about early deaths, congenital malformations, Down’s syndrome, cancer and other genetic effects observed in humans after the exposure of the parents. To also examine more closely the evidence from the Japanese A-bomb epidemiology and discuss its scientific validity.

RESULTS:

Nearly all types of hereditary defects were found at doses as low as one to 10 mSv. We discuss the clash between the current risk model and these observations on the basis of biological mechanism and assumptions about linear relationships between dose and effect in neonatal and foetal epidemiology. The evidence supports a dose response relationship which is non-linear and is either biphasic or supralinear (hogs-back) and largely either saturates or falls above 10 mSv.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that the current risk model for heritable effects of radiation is unsafe. The dose response relationship is non-linear with the greatest effects at the lowest doses. Using Chernobyl data we derive an excess relative risk for all malformations of 1.0 per 10 mSv cumulative dose. The safety of the Japanese A-bomb epidemiology is argued to be both scientifically and philosophically questionable owing to errors in the choice of control groups, omission of internal exposure effects and assumptions about linear dose response.

KEYWORDS:

Congenital malformation; Down´s syndrome; Environmental radioactivity; Internal radiation; Low level effects; Sex-ratio; Still birth

Free full text: http://e-eht.org/journal/view.php?doi=10.5620/eht.e2016001

May 26, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment

Resuspension and atmospheric transport of radionuclides due to wildfires near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 2015: An impact assessment

srep26062-f1

 

In April and August 2015, two major fires in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) caused concerns about the secondary radioactive contamination that might have spread over Europe. The present paper assessed, for the first time, the impact of these fires over Europe. About 10.9 TBq of 137Cs, 1.5 TBq of 90Sr, 7.8 GBq of 238Pu, 6.3 GBq of 239Pu, 9.4 GBq of 240Pu and 29.7 GBq of 241Am were released from both fire events corresponding to a serious event. The more labile elements escaped easier from the CEZ, whereas the larger refractory particles were removed more efficiently from the atmosphere mainly affecting the CEZ and its vicinity. During the spring 2015 fires, about 93% of the labile and 97% of the refractory particles ended in Eastern European countries. Similarly, during the summer 2015 fires, about 75% of the labile and 59% of the refractory radionuclides were exported from the CEZ with the majority depositing in Belarus and Russia. Effective doses were above 1 mSv y−1 in the CEZ, but much lower in the rest of Europe contributing an additional dose to the Eastern European population, which is far below a dose from a medical X-ray.

On Sunday 26th April 2015 at 23.30 (local time), exactly 29 years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) accident, a massive fire started in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ). The next morning (April 27th) at 07.30 the fire was partially stabilised and the fire-fighters focused on only two areas of 4.2 and 4.0 hectares. However, the fire spread to neighbouring areas due to the prevailing strong winds. During the night of April 27th to 28th, 2015, the fire spread to areas close to the Radioactive Waste Disposal Point (RWDP), and burned around 10% of the grassland area at the western of the RWDP1. On April 29th and 30th, 2015, the attempts to stop the fires in the CEZ did not succeed. Fire brigades from Chernobyl and Kiev region supported extinguishing attempts and the last 70 ha were suppressed on May 2nd, 2015. The radiation background is continuously monitored in the CEZ by an automated radiation monitoring system (ARMS) at 39 points1. Given the importance of this fire, background radiation and radionuclide content in the air near the fire were also analysed online.

Another less intensive fire episode took place in August 2015. About 32 hectares were initially burned in the CEZ on August 8th2. The fires started at three locations in the Ivankovsky area. As of 07.00 on August 9th, the fires had been reportedly localized and fire-fighters continued to extinguish the burning of dry grass and forest. The same fire affected another forested area, known as Chernobylskaya Pushcha. The fire spread through several abandoned villages located in the unconditional (mandatory) resettlement zones of the CEZ and ended on August 11th.

Forest fires can cause resuspension of radionuclides in contaminated areas3. This has caused concern about possible fires in heavily contaminated areas such as the CEZ4. While concerns were initially limited to the vicinity of the fires, Wotawa et al.5 have shown that radionuclides resuspended by forest fires can be transported even over intercontinental distances. Earlier in 2015, Evangeliou et al.6, based on a detailed analysis of the current state of the radioactive forests in Ukraine and Belarus, reported that forest cover in the CEZ has increased from about 50% in 1986 to more than 70% today. Precipitation has declined and temperature has increased substantially making the ecosystem vulnerable to extensive drought. Analysis of future climate using IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) REMO (REgional MOdel) A1B climatic scenario7 showed that the risk of fire in the CEZ is expected to increase further as a result of drought accompanied by lack of forest management (e.g. thinning) and deteriorating fire extinguishing services due to restricted funding. The same group8 considered different scenarios of wildfires burning 10%, 50% and 100% of the contaminated forests. They found that the associated releases of radioactivity would be of such a magnitude that it would be identical to an accident with local and wider consequences9. The additional expected lifetime mortalities due to all solid cancers could reach at least 100 individuals in the worst-case scenario.

This paper aims at defining the extent of the radioactive contamination after fires that started in the CEZ on April 26th (ended 7 days after) and August 8th (ended 4 days after) 2015. We study the emission of the labile long-lived radionuclides 137Cs (t½ = 30.2 y) and 90Sr (t½ = 28.8 y) and the refractory 238Pu (t½ = 87.7 y), 239Pu (t½ = 24,100 y), 240Pu (t½ = 6,563 y) and 241Am (t½  = 432.2 y). These species constitute the radionuclides remaining in significant amounts since the Chernobyl accident about 30 years ago, and their deposition has been monitored continuously by the Ukrainian authorities. The respective deposition measurements have been adopted from Kashparov et al.10,11 and are stored in NILU’s repository website (http://radio.nilu.no). Using an atmospheric dispersion model, we simulate the atmospheric transport and deposition of the radioactive plume released by the forest fires. We also estimate the internal and external exposure of the population living in the path of the radioactive smoke. We assess the significance of the emissions with respect to the INES scale and define the regions over Europe, which were the most severely affected.

See more at: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep26062

srep26062-f2

srep26062-f3

May 19, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aspects of DNA Damage from Internal Radionuclides

Christopher Busby1

 

More on http://www.intechopen.com/books/new-research-directions-in-dna-repair/aspects-of-dna-damage-from-internal-radionuclides

May 19, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment

Pro-nuclear trolls & disinformation

internet-trolls-mental-disorder

 

A few links to some articles dealing about about pro-nuclear trolls  and their disinformation techniques.

Got nuclear trolls? Here’s how to stop them in their tracks. https://youtu.be/qAW0n-BxSR0
Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist http://www.whale.to/b/sweeney.html
How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/the-15-rules-of-internet-disinformation.html
dont_feed_the_troll_0

May 18, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment

Children Suffer Nuclear Impact Worldwide

Do children suffer worldwide from atomic power? Absolutely. CCTV host Margaret Harrington anchored a panel with Maggie Gundersen, Caroline Phillips, and Chiho Kaneko from Fairewinds Energy Education to discuss the health risks to children around the world from operating nuclear power reactors and their burgeoning waste. In the aftermath of the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, mothers in Japan especially bear the responsibility to protect their children. As a result, they experience greater hardships in an environment where just expressing one’s legitimate concerns about radiation contamination is seen as a treasonous act. Meanwhile in Ukraine, 30-years following the atomic disaster at Chernobyl, the repercussions of massive radioactive contamination and government zoning continue to severely impact children living within 50 miles of Chernobyl’s epicenter. The United States is not immune to these worries and contentions as Tritium, Strontium-90, and Cesium 137 are radioactive releases that threaten the health of children living nearby leaky atomic power reactors and nuclear waste dumps. Learn more by watching this episode of Nuclear Free Future as the women of Fairewinds lend their voices to protect the children.

http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//cctv

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear, World Nuclear | , | 1 Comment

Questions raised over nuclear evacuation plans urging residents to remain indoors

kll.jpg

Residents of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, disembark from a ferry after its arrival at a port in Oita Prefecture as part of a nuclear disaster evacuation drill, in November 2015

Residents living in areas hosting Japan’s nuclear power plants are voicing concerns about nuclear accident evacuation plans following two recent deadly earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture registering a maximum 7 on the Japanese intensity scale.

The government’s evacuation plans are based on the premise of some residents near nuclear plants initially remaining indoors, and having them flee to other prefectures if necessary. But questions have been raised over how effective current plans would be in the event of disasters like those that hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

“If there were a nuclear accident, remaining indoors would be impossible. The Kumamoto Earthquake has made me even more anxious,” said Ikue Yamaguchi, a 34-year-old public servant raising two children in the Kagoshima Prefecture city of Ichikikushikino. Her home is just around 15 kilometers away from the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Satsumasendai in the prefecture. The reactors are the only ones currently operating in Japan.

Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, areas within 8 to 10 kilometer radii of nuclear power plants were designated as being subject to evacuation plans, but after the outbreak of the disaster, the areas were expanded to a 30 kilometer radius. As a result, 135 municipalities in 21 prefectures are now subject to such plans, compared with 45 municipalities in 15 prefectures before the disaster. Altogether, some 4.8 million people, or about 4 percent of the population, are subject to such evacuation plans.

Under government evacuation plans, those living within 5 kilometers of a nuclear power plant are supposed to be evacuated immediately if there are signs of a nuclear accident, while those living 5 to 30 kilometers away are to remain indoors, and then evacuate further away if there are signs that radiation levels are increasing. The Nuclear Regulation Authority says that radiation exposure can be sufficiently reduced in areas between 5 and 30 kilometers from a nuclear power plant by remaining indoors. It adds that if people in those areas go out of their way to evacuate, they could face a heighted risk of radiation exposure and health damage.

But in the case of an earthquake like the temblors that recently struck Kumamoto Prefecture, which left many homes in danger of collapsing, it would be difficult to remain indoors. And not all shelters offer stable protection, either. As of the end of March last year, 85.7 percent of public facilities in Kagoshima Prefecture supposed to be used as shelters during disasters had been reinforced against earthquakes — a figure lower than the national average of 88.3 percent. Ehime Prefecture, which hosts Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant that is expected to be reactivated in late July, has the nation’s third worst rate, at 79.1 percent.

If an accident were to occur at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, then according to estimates, it could take up to around 29 hours to evacuate some 210,000 people living within a 30 kilometer radius of the plant who would be subject to evacuation. This, however, is based on the premise of people living in areas within 5 to 30 kilometers of the plant initially remaining indoors — if everyone were to start evacuating at once, then it is predicted that transportation networks would become congested, and evacuation would take even longer.

“Even if we were to evacuate indoors, then we would have to go outside (to receive supplies, etc.) and wouldn’t be able to avoid exposure to radiation,” Yamaguchi says. “I would want to evacuate immediately, but evacuation routes would probably be crowded.”

Shunro Iwata, an official at the nuclear safety control division of the Kagoshima Prefectural Government, commented, “When evacuating indoors, people are not forbidden from going outside, so they can go out if the need arises. There would be no immediate effect on health (for radiation levels below the standard reading). We are not in a position to revise plans, and there is no change to the fact that this is the most reasonable approach at present.”

Naoya Sekiya, a specially appointed associate professor at the University of Tokyo who is familiar with evacuation plans during disasters, said it is not realistic to base evacuation plans on the premise of people remaining indoors.

“Evacuation plans should be made with the presumption of a major earthquake cutting off roads and railways. If evacuation orders are issued to people within a five-kilometer radius of a nuclear plant, then obviously people in surrounding areas will start evacuating, too, resulting in further confusion. An evacuation plan based on the premise of people remaining indoors is not realistic,” he said.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160502/p2a/00m/0na/021000c

May 4, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Germany looks to export reactor decommissioning technologies

BERLIN – Germany may become an exporter of technologies to decommission reactors in the future given the experience gained after its phasing out of nuclear energy, German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

Germany believes it may be able to halt all nuclear power in the country before its 2022 target year, Hendricks said Wednesday in Berlin. She also expressed hope for cooperation with other countries in reactor decommissioning.

“I cannot exclude the possibility that the last nuclear reactor will be switched off earlier than 2022; there has been a reactor which switched off earlier than it was planned, because of the costs of running it longer,” she said.

The interview was held prior to her visit to Japan to take part in the Group of Seven environment ministers’ meeting scheduled for May 15 and 16 in Toyama on the Sea of Japan coast.

After the session, she plans to travel on to Fukushima Prefecture, home to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered a triple-meltdown triggered by a major quake and tsunami in 2011.

“I want see the situation with my eyes and see how Japan has dealt with it,” she said.

The Fukushima disaster motivated Germany to decide the same year to abandon atomic energy by 2022.

“In Germany we have begun or finished the decommissioning of nearly 20 nuclear power units and more than 30 research reactors,” she said. “We have gathered a lot of technological experiences.

“The nuclear power phase-out is an advantage, because we have begun earlier to gather experiences on how to change a nuclear power plant to a green grass or a base for another industry,” she said.

The minister added that nuclear decommissioning “will become the next export technology” for Germany.

Asked to comment on Japan’s resumption of some reactors taken offline after the nuclear accident, she said: “Every country has to decide about their energy mix. I do not want to make advice.”

Hendricks, however, expressed “surprise” that Japan has not fully made use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower.

The environment ministers’ meeting is one of the G-7 ministerial sessions being held in Japan in the run-up to the Ise-Shima summit May 26 and 27. The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/01/business/germany-looks-to-export-reactor-decommissioning-technologies/

May 1, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | | 1 Comment

Dr. Timothy Mousseau reports the decline of organisms in contaminated areas

Contrary to the mass media newsroom stories on the abundance of wildlife in Chernobyl exclusion zone, Dr. Timothy Mousseau reports the decline of organisms in contaminated areas. Result of the technological stupidity and ignorance of the mankind!

Watched the video:

https://vimeo.com/164193914

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | | Leave a comment

Blind mice and bird brains: the silent spring of Chernobyl and Fukushima

400384

Radioactivity warning sign on the hill at the east end of Chernobyl’s Red Forest, so called due to the characteristic hue of the pine trees killed by high levels of radiation after the disaster

Evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau and his colleagues have published 90 studies that prove beyond all doubt the deleterious genetic and developmental effects on wildlife of exposure to radiation from both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But all that peer-reviewed science has done little to dampen the ‘official’ perception of Chernobyl’s silent forests as a thriving nature reserve.

Dr Timothy Mousseau has published more than 90 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, related to the effects of radiation in natural populations (and more than 200 publications in total).

He has spent 16 years looking at the effects on wildlife and the ecosystem of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

He and his colleagues have also spent the last five years studying how non-human biota is faring in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns in Japan.

But none of this work has received anything like the high profile publicity afforded the ‘findings’ in the 2006 Chernobyl Forum report which claimed the Chernobyl zone “has become a wildlife sanctuary”, and a subsequent article published in Current Biology in 2015 that said wildlife was “thriving” around Chernobyl.

“I suppose everyone loves a Cinderella story”, speculated Mousseau, an evolutionary biologist based at the University of South Carolina. “They want that happy ending.” But Mousseau felt sure the moment he read the Forum report, which, he noted, “contained few scientific citations”, that the findings “could not possibly be true.”

Ninety articles later, Mousseau and his research partners from around the world are able to demonstrate definitively and scientifically that non-human biota in both the Chernobyl zone and around Fukushima, are very far indeed from flourishing.

Far from flourishing around Chernobyl, birds and animals are fading

What Mousseau found was not unexpected given the levels of radiation in these areas and what is already known about the medical effects of such long-term exposures. Birds and rodents had a high frequency of tumors.

“Cancers are the first thing we think about”, Mousseau said. “We looked at birds and mice. In areas of higher radiation, the frequency of tumors is higher.” The research team has found mainly liver and bladder tumors in the voles and tumors on the head, body and wings of the birds studied, he said.

But Mousseau wanted to look beyond cancers, which is what everyone expects to find and what researchers had looked for, but only in humans. There were few wildlife studies, a fact Mousseau found surprising, given nature’s ability to act as a sentinel for likely impending human health impacts.

Mousseau and his fellow researchers found cataracts in birds and rodents. Male birds had a high rate of sterility. And the brains of birds were smaller. All of these are known outcomes from radiation exposure.

“Cataracts in birds is a problem”, Mousseau said. “A death sentence.”

Mental retardation has been found among children exposed to radiation in utero. Mousseau and colleagues discovered the same pattern in the birds they studied. “Birds already have small brains, so a smaller brain size is a definite disadvantage”, he said.

Almost 40% of male birds examined were sterile

There were also just fewer animals in general. “There were many fewer mammals, birds and insects in areas of higher radiation”, Mousseau said. And they had their hunch as to why.

He and his colleagues extracted sperm from the male birds they caught and were shocked to find that “up to 40% of male birds in the radiologically hottest areas were sterile.”

The birds’ sperm were either deformed or dead. None would be able to reproduce. The discovery, he said, was “not at all surprising. These are the levels of radiation known to influence reproduction. At the same time, there is no safe level of radiation below which there aren’t detectable effects.”

Fewer birds have already been observed in the contaminated areas around Fukushima, said Mousseau. “Although it’s too early to assess the long term impact on abundance and diversity around Fukushima, there are very few butterflies and many birds have declined in the more contaminated areas. If abundance is compressed, biodiversity will follow.”

Five years into the still on-going Fukushima disaster, Mousseau’s research continues to uncover “a dramatic reduction in the number of birds and numbers of species in areas of high radiation”, he said.

At least in that region, Japan could be headed toward a Silent Spring.

No doubt that Fukushima and Chernobyl are causing genetic damage

The consequences of radiation exposure, says Mousseau, “will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of these animals, and the length of quality of life. It need not necessarily be cancers”, that cause these damages he said. “There is no doubt that the levels of radiation in Chernobyl and Fukushima generate genetic damage.”

A study by Mousseau et al. that did get some attention, most notably from the Smithsonian Institution, found disturbing changes in the decomposition of organic matter in the Chernobyl Zone.

Fungi and other microorganisms are decomposing at half the usual rate. Trees fall but rot unusually slowly. Leaf matter piles up without much decay, creating a tinder-box risk in the event of forest fires, several of which have occurred in the Zone.

“There is an accumulation of highly radioactive organic matter” in these areas, Mousseau said. All of this could be lofted into the air during a forest fire and redistributed as radiological contamination elsewhere, he points out.

Indeed, a map in an April 2006 edition of National Geographic Magazine, shows that this has already happened, expanding the Chernobyl Zone from its original 30km radius. High-altitude winds swept radioactive smoke and ash across a wider area, which scientists traced from soil levels of cesium 137, a long-lived isotope,” read the map’s caption. Major forest fires in the Chernobyl Zone in 2010 and 2015 have likely worsened the situation.

While the radiation spread by Chernobyl fell mostly on land, where it is easier to study the medical effects on humans and animals, the initial Fukushima radioactive plume blew mainly out to sea. And since 2011 when the accident began, further dumping of radioactive water into the Pacific has occurred.

A responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife, not just man

This has led to speculation – and some unscientific and alarmist rumors – that sea life in the Pacific is collapsing due to the Fukushima radiation.

“Catastrophic marine events started 40-50 years ago”, Mousseau points out. “Bird populations in the Pacific were in decline long before Fukushima.”

One important cause, says Mousseau, is “plastics in the environment that are consumed by marine animals which were in downward spirals long before the Fukushima accident.” Marine population decline has likely also been “compounded by climate change”, he says.

Indeed, Mousseau, who grew up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, remembers the local harbor encrusted with star fish when he was a child. Recently, when he took his son there, he found none.

Fukushima cannot necessarily be blamed, as some would wish, but the compounding and potentially synergistic effect of radiation in the Pacific could still be taking its toll, Mousseau avowed.

“We don’t know how different environmental stresses interact with each other”, he said. “They could be synergistic and related. There is almost no research on this even in the Pacific off Fukushima – virtually nothing on the biological consequences in really contaminated areas.”

With “little real science” to rely on, Mousseau says, “we will never know” just how much marine damage the Fukushima disaster may do.

He finds the continued lack of other independent animal studies in radioactive zones frustrating. “We have a responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife, not just man”, he said. It may be expensive and difficult to conduct these kinds of studies, but, says Mousseau, “that is not an excuse.”

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987598/blind_mice_and_bird_brains_the_silent_spring_of_chernobyl_and_fukushima.html

 

 

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , , , | Leave a comment

At Chernobyl and Fukushima, radioactivity has seriously harmed wildlife

image-20160413-25397-867nu9

White storks on road near Chernobyl, Ukraine. Many parts of the Chernobyl region have low radioactivity levels and serve as refuges for plants and animals. Tim Mousseau, Author provided

The largest nuclear disaster in history occurred 30 years ago at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in what was then the Soviet Union. The meltdown, explosions and nuclear fire that burned for 10 days injected enormous quantities of radioactivity into the atmosphere and contaminated vast areas of Europe and Eurasia. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that Chernobyl released 400 times more radioactivity into the atmosphere than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Radioactive cesium from Chernobyl can still be detected in some food products today. And in parts of central, eastern and northern Europe many animals, plants and mushrooms still contain so much radioactivity that they are unsafe for human consumption.

The first atomic bomb exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico more than 70 years ago. Since then, more than 2,000 atomic bombs have been tested, injecting radioactive materials into the atmosphere. And over 200 small and large accidents have occurred at nuclear facilities. But experts and advocacy groups are still fiercely debating the health and environmental consequences of radioactivity.

However, in the past decade population biologists have made considerable progress in documenting how radioactivity affects plants, animals and microbes. My colleagues and I have analyzed these impacts at Chernobyl, Fukushima and naturally radioactive regions of the planet.

Our studies provide new fundamental insights about consequences of chronic, multigenerational exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation. Most importantly, we have found that individual organisms are injured by radiation in a variety of ways. The cumulative effects of these injuries result in lower population sizes and reduced biodiversity in high-radiation areas.

Broad impacts at Chernobyl

Radiation exposure has caused genetic damage and increased mutation rates in many organisms in the Chernobyl region. So far, we have found little convincing evidence that many organisms there are evolving to become more resistant to radiation.

Organisms’ evolutionary history may play a large role in determining how vulnerable they are to radiation. In our studies, species that have historically shown high mutation rates, such as the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), the icterine warbler (Hippolais icterina) and the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), are among the most likely to show population declines in Chernobyl. Our hypothesis is that species differ in their ability to repair DNA, and this affects both DNA substitution rates and susceptibility to radiation from Chernobyl.

Much like human survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, birds and mammals at Chernobyl have cataracts in their eyes and smaller brains. These are direct consequences of exposure to ionizing radiation in air, water and food. Like some cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, many of the birds have malformed sperm. In the most radioactive areas, up to 40 percent of male birds are completely sterile, with no sperm or just a few dead sperm in their reproductive tracts during the breeding season.

Tumors, presumably cancerous, are obvious on some birds in high-radiation areas. So are developmental abnormalities in some plants and insects.

image-20160421-27001-ghokic.jpg

Chernobyl reactor No. 4 building, encased in steel and concrete to limit radioactive contamination.

Given overwhelming evidence of genetic damage and injury to individuals, it is not surprising that populations of many organisms in highly contaminated areas have shrunk. In Chernobyl, all major groups of animals that we surveyed were less abundant in more radioactive areas. This includes birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, grasshoppers, spiders and large and small mammals.

Not every species shows the same pattern of decline. Many species, including wolves, show no effects of radiation on their population density. A few species of birds appear to be more abundant in more radioactive areas. In both cases, higher numbers may reflect the fact that there are fewer competitors or predators for these species in highly radioactive areas.

Moreover, vast areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are not presently heavily contaminated, and appear to provide a refuge for many species. One report published in 2015 described game animals such as wild boar and elk as thriving in the Chernobyl ecosystem. But nearly all documented consequences of radiation in Chernobyl and Fukushima have found that individual organisms exposed to radiation suffer serious harm.

image-20160419-13901-1xt15gz.jpg

Map of the Chernobyl region of Ukraine. Note the highly heterogeneous deposition patterns of radioactivity in the region. Areas of low radioactivity provide refuges for wildlife in the region.

There may be exceptions. For example, substances called antioxidants can defend against the damage to DNA, proteins and lipids caused by ionizing radiation. The levels of antioxidants that individuals have available in their bodies may play an important role in reducing the damage caused by radiation. There is evidence that some birds may have adapted to radiation by changing the way they use antioxidants in their bodies.

Parallels at Fukushima

Recently we have tested the validity of our Chernobyl studies by repeating them in Fukushima, Japan. The 2011 power loss and core meltdown at three nuclear reactors there released about one-tenth as much radioactive material as the Chernobyl disaster.

Overall, we have found similar patterns of declines in abundance and diversity of birds, although some species are more sensitive to radiation than others. We have also found declines in some insects, such as butterflies, which may reflect the accumulation of harmful mutations over multiple generations.

Our most recent studies at Fukushima have benefited from more sophisticated analyses of radiation doses received by animals. In our most recent paper, we teamed up with radioecologists to reconstruct the doses received by about 7,000 birds. The parallels we have found between Chernobyl and Fukushima provide strong evidence that radiation is the underlying cause of the effects we have observed in both locations.

Some members of the radiation regulatory community have been slow to acknowledge how nuclear accidents have harmed wildlife. For example, the U.N.-sponsored Chernobyl Forum instigated the notion that the accident has had a positive impact on living organisms in the exclusion zone because of the lack of human activities. A more recent report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation predicts minimal consequences for the biota animal and plant life of the Fukushima region.

Unfortunately these official assessments were largely based on predictions from theoretical models, not on direct empirical observations of the plants and animals living in these regions. Based on our research, and that of others, it is now known that animals living under the full range of stresses in nature are far more sensitive to the effects of radiation than previously believed. Although field studies sometimes lack the controlled settings needed for precise scientific experimentation, they make up for this with a more realistic description of natural processes.

Our emphasis on documenting radiation effects under “natural” conditions using wild organisms has provided many discoveries that will help us to prepare for the next nuclear accident or act of nuclear terrorism. This information is absolutely needed if we are to protect the environment not just for man, but also for the living organisms and ecosystem services that sustain all life on this planet.

There are currently more than 400 nuclear reactors in operation around the world, with 65 new ones under construction and another 165 on order or planned. All operating nuclear power plants are generating large quantities of nuclear waste that will need to be stored for thousands of years to come. Given this, and the probability of future accidents or nuclear terrorism, it is important that scientists learn as much as possible about the effects of these contaminants in the environment, both for remediation of the effects of future incidents and for evidenced-based risk assessment and energy policy development.

https://theconversation.com/at-chernobyl-and-fukushima-radioactivity-has-seriously-harmed-wildlife-57030

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

It’s not just cancer! Radiation, genomic instability and heritable genetic damage

Chris Busby – 17th March 2016

Cancer is just one of of the outcomes of the genetic damage inflicted by nuclear radiation, writes Chris Busby, and perhaps one of the least important. Of far greater long term significance is the broad-scale mutation of the human genome, and those of other species, and the resulting genomic instability that causes cascades of heritable mutations through the generations.

Those who fear the effects of radiation always focus on cancer. But the most frightening and serious consequences of radiation are genetic.

Cancer is just one small bleak reflection, a flash of cold light from a facet of the iceberg of genetic damage to life on Earth constructed from human folly, power-lust and stupidity.

Cancer is a genetic disease expressed at the cellular level. But genetic effects are transmitted across the generations.

It was Herman Joseph Muller, an American scientist, who discovered the most serious effects of ionizing radiation – hereditary defects in the descendants of exposed parents – in the 1920s. He exposed fruit flies – drosophila – to X-rays and found malformations and other disorders in the following generations.

He concluded from his investigations that low dose exposure, and therefore even natural background radiation, is mutagenic and there is no harmless dose range for heritable effects or for cancer induction. His work was honoured by the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1946.

In the 1950s Muller warned about the effects on the human genetic pool caused by the production low level radioactive contamination from atmospheric tests. I have his original 1950 report, which is a rare item now.

Muller, as a famous expert in radiation, was designated as a speaker at the Conference, ‘Atoms for Peace’ in Geneva in 1955 where the large scale use of nuclear energy (too cheap to meter) was announced by President Eisenhower. But when the organisers became aware that Muller had warned about the deterioration of the human gene pool by the contamination of the planet from the weapon test fallout, his invitation was cancelled.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The protective legislation of western governments does, of course, concede that radiation has such genetic effects. The laws regulating exposure are based on the risk model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the ICRP.

The rules say that no one is allowed to receive more than 1mSv of dose in a year from man-made activities. The ICRP’s scientific model for heritable effects is based on mice; this is because ICRP states that there is no evidence that radiation causes any heritable effects in humans.

The dose required to double the risk of heritable damage according to the ICRP is more than 1000mSv. This reliance on mice has followed from the studies of the offspring of those who were present in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Japanese/ US Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC).

These studies were begun in 1952 and assembled groups of people in the bombed cities to compare cancer rates and also birth outcomes in those exposed at different levels according to their distance from the position of the bomb detonation, the hypocentre. The entire citadel of radiation risk is built upon this ABCC rock.

But the rock was constructed with smoke and mirrors and everything about the epidemiology is false. There have been a number of criticisms of the A-Bomb Lifespan Studies of cancer: it was a survivor population, doses were external, residual contamination was ignored, it began seven years after the event, the original zero dose control group was abandoned as being “too healthy”, and many others.

But we are concerned here with the heritable effects, the birth defects, the congenital malformations, the miscarriages and stillbirths. The problem here is that for heritable damage effects to show up, there have to be births. As you increase the exposures to radiation, you quickly obtain sterility and there are no pregnancies. We found this in the nuclear test veterans.

Then at lower doses, damaged sperm results in damaged foetuses and miscarriages. When both mother and father are exposed, there are miscarriages and stillbirths before you see any birth defects. So the dose response relation is not linear. At the higher doses there are no effects. The effects all appear at the lowest doses.

Bad epidemiology is easily manipulated

As far as the ABCC studies are concerned, there is another serious (and I would say dishonest) error in the epidemiology. Those people discarded their control population in favour of using the low dose group as a control.

This is such bad epidemiology that it should leave any honest reviewer breathless. But there were no reviewers. Or at least no-one seemed to care. Perhaps they didn’t dig deeply enough. In passing, the same method is now being used to assess risk in the huge INWORKS nuclear worker studies and no-one has raised this point there either.

Anyway, the ABCC scientists in charge of the genetic studies found the same levels of adverse birth outcomes in their exposed and their control groups, and concluded that there was no effect from the radiation.

Based on this nonsense, ICRP writes in their latest 2007 risk model, ICRP103, Appendix B.2.01, that “Radiation induced heritable disease has not been demonstrated in human populations.”

But it has. If we move away from this USA controlled, nuclear military complex controlled A-Bomb study and look in the real world we find that Muller was right to be worried. The radioactive contamination of the planet has killed tens of millions of babies, caused a huge increase in infertility, and increased the genetic burden of the human race and life on earth.

And now the truth is out!

In January of this year Prof. Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, of the University of Bremen, Dr Sebastian Pflugbeil of the German Society for Radioprotection and I published a Special Topic paper in the prestigious peer-review journal Environmental Health and Toxicology. The title is: ‘Genetic Radiation Risks – a neglected topic in the Low Dose debate‘.

In this paper we collected together all the evidence which has been published outside the single Japanese ABCC study in order to calculate the true genetic effects of radiation exposure. The outcome was sobering, but not unexpected.

Using evidence ranging from Chernobyl to the nuclear Test Veterans to the offspring of radiographers we showed clearly that a dose of 1mSv from internal contamination was able to cause a 50% increase in congenital malformations. This identifies an error in the ICRP model and in the current legislation of a factor of 1,000. And we write this down. The conclusion of the paper states:

“Genetically induced malformations, cancers, and numerous other health effects in the children of populations who were exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation have been unequivocally demonstrated in scientific investigations.

“Using data from Chernobyl effects we find a new Excess Relative Risk (ERR) for Congenital malformations of 0.5 per mSv at 1mSv falling to 0.1 per mSv at 10mSv exposure and thereafter remaining roughly constant. This is for mixed fission products as defined though external exposure to Cs-137.

“Results show that current radiation risk models fail to predict or explain the many observations and should be abandoned. Further research and analysis of previous data is suggested, but prior assumptions of linear dose response, assumptions that internal exposures can be modelled using external risk factors, that chronic and acute exposures give comparable risks and finally dependence on interpretations of the high dose ABCC studies are all seen to be unsafe procedures.”

Radiation causes genomic instability

Our paper is available on the web as a free download, so you can see what we wrote and follow up the 80 or so references we used to construct the case.

Most of the evidence is from effects reported in countries contaminated by the Chernobyl accident, not only in Belarus and Ukraine but in wider Europe where doses were less than 1mSv. Other evidence we referred to was from the offspring of the nuclear test veterans.

In a study I published in 2014 of the offspring of members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) we saw a 9-fold excess of congenital disease in the children but also, and unexpectedly, an eight-fold excess in the grandchildren. This raises a new and frightening spectre not anticipated by Herman Muller.

In the last 15 years it has become clear that radiation causes genomic instability: experiments in the laboratory and animal studies show that radiation exposure throws some kind of genetic switch which causes a non-specific increase in general mutation rates.

Up until these genomic instability discoveries it was thought that genetic processes followed the laws of Gregor Mendel: there were specific dominant and recessive gene mutations that were passed down the generation and became diluted through a binomial process as offspring married away.

But radiation scientists and cancer researchers could not square the background mutation rate with the increased risks of cancer with age: the numbers didn’t fit. The discovery of the genomic instability process was the answer to the puzzle: it introduces enough random mutations to explain the observations.

It is this that supplies the horrifying explanation for the continuing high risk of birth defects in Fallujah and other areas where the exposures occurred ten to twenty years ago. Similar several generation effects have been seen in animals from Chernobyl.

Neonatal mortality in the nuclear bomb era

So where does that leave us? What can we do with this? What can we conclude? How can this change anything? Let’s start by looking at the effects of the biggest single injection of these radioactive contaminants, the atmospheric weapons tests of the period 1952 to 1963.

If these caused increases in birth defects and genetic damage we should see something in the data. We do. The results are chilling. If babies are damaged they die at or shortly before birth. This will show up in the vital statistics data of any country which collects and publishes it.

In Fig 1 (above right) I show a graph of the first day (neonatal) mortality rates in the USA from 1936 to 1985. You can see that as social conditions improved there was a fall in the rates between the beginning and end of the period, and we can obtain this by calculating what the background should have been using a statistical process called regression.

The expected backgound is shown as a thin blue line. Also superimposed is the concentration of Strontium-90 in milk (in red) and its concentration in the bones of dead infants (in blue). The graph shows first day neonatal mortality in the USA; it is taken from a paper by Canadian paediatrician Robin Whyte (woman) in the British Medical Journal in 1992. This paper shows the same effect in neonatal (1 month) mortality and stillbirths in the USA and also the United Kingdom. The doses from the Strontium-90 were less than 0.5mSv.

This is in line with what we found in our paper from Chernobyl and the other examples of human exposures. The issue was first raised by the late Prof Ernest Sternglass, one of the first of the radiation warrior-scientists and a friend of mine. The cover-ups and denials of these effects are part of the biggest public health scandal in human history.

It continues and has come to a venue near you: our study of Hinkley Point showed significant increased infant mortality downwind of the plant at Burnham on Sea as I wrote in The Ecologist.

It’s official – genetic damage in children is an indicator of harmful exposures to the father

As to what we can do with this new peer-reviewed evidence we can (and we shall) put it before the Nuclear Test Veterans case in the Pensions Appeals hearings in the Royal Courts of Justice which is tabled for three weeks from June 14th 2016 before a tribunal headed by high court judge Sir Nicholas Blake.

I represent two of the appellants in this hearing and will bring in the genetic damage in the children and grandchildren as evidence of genetic damage in the father.

We are calling Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, the author of the genetic paper, as one expert witness; the judge has conceded that genetic damage in the children is an indicator of harmful exposures to the father. He has made a disclosure order to the University of Dundee to release the veteran questionnaires. They have.

Finally, I must share with you a window into the mind-set of the false scientists who work for the military and nuclear operation. As the fallout Strontium-90 built up in milk and in childrens’ bones and was being measured, they renamed the units of contamination, (picoCuries Sr-90 per gram of Calcium) ‘Sunshine Units’.

Can you imagine? I would ship them all to Nuremberg for that alone.

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987395/its_not_just_cancer_radiation_genomic_instability_and_heritable_genetic_damage.html

 


 

The paper:Genetic Radiation Risks – a neglected topic in the Low Dose debate‘ is published in Environmental Health and Toxicology.

March 17, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment