Tag Archives | Fukushima

Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse

Japan Nuclear power plants map.gif

Our contributor Kowality Jesus (we don’t know his or her real name, s/he’s truly independent of disinformation) stirred up not a little controversy with the post Fukushima’s Real Threat: Undue Fear. As a counterweight, consider this Counterpunch post by Nukewatch’s John LaForge to be a rebuttal:

There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”

IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2.

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Fukushima’s Real Threat: Undue Fear

The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Reactor 1 to 4 from right to left.

The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Reactor 1 to 4 from right to left.

Our reaction to the crisis in Fukushima Daiichi has been and continues to be generally irrational.  Contrary to the assertions of some recent sensationalistic articles, there is no evident increase in thyroid health problems in Japanese children living in and around the Prefectures of Fukushima, and it is unlikely that there ever will be (UN Report; Nuclear News; J. of Am. Phys. and Surg.; CBCnews; Hiroshima Syndrome; National GeographicAsahi Shimbun).   This is because the only cause of thyroid risk during a nuclear disaster, iodine-131 which has a half-life of 8 days, was allowed to decay during evacuation and with restrictions on food and milk from the area.  After 80–90 days had passed, released radioactive iodine-131 decays to less than 0.1% of its initial quantity, and therefore the danger is essentially over.  (These precautions were not well followed near Chernobyl and thus resulted in many health problems in future years for the people of Ukraine.)

In fact, it has repeatedly been shown that the worst health effects from Fukushima have come not from any radioactive exposure, but from the the stress of evacuations and fear of radiation itself (Gaji 2013; Japan Daily Press; WHO Report; NYTimes).  “The psychological stress…we should never underestimate that…it’s really what the big problem is, because there’s a lot of fear which might actually cause health effects,” says Kai Vetter of UC Berkley nuclear engineering department.  In fact, not one person has yet died from exposure to Fukushima’s radiation, and it’s likely that no one ever will.… Read the rest

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Fukushima’s Children are Dying

Picture: Fry1989

Picture: Fry1989

Harvey Wasserman writes at CounterPunch:

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.

More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors nowsuffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that “not one person” has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30.

But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as well as findings at other commercial reactors.

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Fukushima Radiation About to Reach U.S. West Coast

VOA Herman - April 13 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant-04When the mainstream media like USA Today is reporting on radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster reaching the Unites States’ West Coast, you can pretty much be sure that it’s no longer alarmist environmentalists and other activists sounding the alarm:

Very low levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster likely will reach ocean waters along the U.S. West Coast next month, scientists are reporting.

Current models predict that the radiation will be at extremely low levels that won’t harm humans or the environment, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who presented research on the issue last week.

But Buesseler and other scientists are calling for more monitoring. No federal agency currently samples Pacific Coast seawater for radiation, he said.

“I’m not trying to be alarmist,” Buesseler said. “We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it’s safe?”

The news comes three years after the devastating Japan tsunami and resulting nuclear accident.

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U.S. Sailors Sick From Fukushima Radiation

200px-D-W005_Warnung_vor_radioaktiven_Stoffen_oder_ionisierenden_Strahlen_ty.svgHarvey Wasserman writes at CounterPunch:

Citing a wide range of ailments from leukemia to blindness to birth defects, 79 American veterans of 2011’s earthquake/tsunami relief Operation Tomadachi (“Friendship”) have filed a new $1 billion class action lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power.

The suit includes an infant born with a genetic condition to a sailor who served on the USS Ronald Reagan as radiation poured over it during the Fukushima melt-downs, and an American teenager living near the stricken site. It has also been left open for “up to 70,000 U.S. citizens [who were] potentially affected by the radiation and will be able to join the class action suit.”

The re-filing comes as Tepco admits that it has underestimated certain radiation readings by a factor of five. And as eight more thyroid cancers have surfaced among children in the downwind region.Two new earthquakes have also struck near the Fukushima site.

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Yes, Things Are Very Bad at Fukushima, but It’s Not the Apocalypse

Pic: VOA (PD)

Pic: VOA (PD)

Yes, this article is from Greenpeace, but it’s not hyperbolic.  Jan Beránek writes:

There have been a number of news stories recently about the radiation escaping into the ocean at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that have raised great concern. Some are worried about how escaping radiation  may or may not be affecting ocean eco-systems around the world.

Since Greenpeace has been working on the Fukushima nuclear crisis since it first began in March 2011, we can offer some thoughts on people’s concerns.

We have sampled sealife along the Japanese coastline, both from the Rainbow Warrior and in conjunction with local fishermen and Japan’s food cooperatives.

You can find some of the results of our independent measurements on our Radiation Surveys – Fukushima webpage.

While we don’t have a marine biologist on our team, we have a number of radiation specialists whose findings and assessments we share with scientists and academic researchers.

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Bioaccumulation Of Radiation In Fresh Water And Salt Water Fish After Chernobyl And Fukushima

Via AGreenRoad Project:

In the video above, we explore how to detect radiation in food. Why is this the ‘new normal’? With radiation accumulating in food, both animal, vegetable and fruit, we have no way of knowing how much radiation is in it. It is now becoming necessary to test ALL food before consuming it, due to the overwhelming magnitude of radiation contamination from many areas and nuclear facilities globally, not to mention depleted uranium weapons use.

Toxic radiation accumulates in water supplies after nuclear accidents. Radiation bioconcentrates in fish that live in fresh water and salt water. Runoff of fresh water from land which has been contaminated ends up contaminating oceans, and salt water creatures that live in it. Radiation can and does accumulate and bioconcentrate in fish and other creatures that live in the ocean, just like mercury, for example.

Most mass media stories about this subject downplay the hazards of nuclear radiation accumulating in animals or other foods.

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Fukushima Radiation Scare Stories Are Going Viral On the Internet. Are They Real Or Fake?

Fukushima I nuclear accidents diagramIf you were to visit the websites of the likes of Alex Jones or Mike Adams you’d be scared shitless that California is being irradiated by Fukushima nuclear fallout. PolicyMic tries to squash the concerns of millions of Americans. We’re linking to (but not necessarily endorsing) their take on the issue here, but we welcome and expect contrary views in the comments:

The news: A few suspect news stories have been making the rounds on the internet in recent days, suggesting that radiation from the Fukushima power plant disaster has hit the West Coast of the United States and is causing major harm to the Pacific Ocean off California. Most pernicious is the report from NaturalNews.com that a scientific study found a significant drop off in sea life in the Pacific Ocean near the U.S. coast.

So should you trust these scare stories? Absolutely not. 

The fine folks at Deep Sea News — which features writers with academic degrees, actual professional credentials, and expert knowledge — are doing their best to debunk the rumors spreading about Fukushima radiation and its impact on the U.S.

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