Day 238 Fukushima: “poster child for the inherent risks of nuclear power”

Lead story from NASDAQ?!!

New International Report Shreds Japan’s Carefully Constructed Fukushima Scenario

Japan’s six reactor Fukushima Daichi nuclear complex has inadvertently become the world’s bell-weather poster child for the inherent risks of nuclear power ever since the 11 March Tohoku offshore earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a devastating tsunami that effectively destroyed the complex.

Ever since, specialists have wrangled about how damaging the consequences of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami actually were, not only for the facility but the rest of the world.

The Fukushima Daichi complex was one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world and the Fukushima I reactor was the first GE designed nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.

Needless to say, in the aftermath of the disaster, both TEPCO and the Japanese government were at pains to minimize the disaster’s consequences, hardly surprising given the country’s densely populated regions.

But now, an independent study has effectively demolished TEPCO and the Japanese government’s carefully constructed minimalist scenario. Mainichi news agency reported that France’s l’Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, or IRSN) has issued a recent report stating that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 that entered the Pacific after 11 March was probably nearly 30 times the amount stated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in May.

According to IRSN, the amount of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 that flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant between March 21 and mid-July reached an estimated 27.1 quadrillion becquerels.

Why should this matter? Aren’t the Japanese authorities on top of the issue?

Cesium-137 can cause burns, acute radiation sickness and even death at sufficient doses. It can contaminate food and water and, if ingested, gets distributed around the body, where it builds up in soft tissues, such as muscles. Over time, it is expelled from the body in urine.

And where might tingested cesium-137 come from?

Seafood, anyone? One of the problems of the release of radioactivity into a maritime environment is that is represents a cumulative food chain, from plankton consumed by larger organisms, as evidenced by mercury contamination of swordfish, none of whom swam around ingesting globules of the silvery metal.

IRSN estimated that of the total amount, 82 percent had flowed into the sea by 8 April, adding that the Pacific was polluted at exceptional speed because the devastated Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant ( NPP ) is situated in a coastal area with strong currents.

If the IRSN report contained any good news, it was that the impact of the cesium-137 contamination on marine life in remote waters is likely to lessen later this year.

The radioactive silver lining? Radioactive cesium-137 has a half life of roughly 30 years, so if the IRSN estimates are accurate, then my 2041 the Pacific’s aquatic life will only be subjected to a mere 13.55 quadrillion becquerels of radiation.

This is not to suggest that Japanese will shortly be keeling over from consuming their sushi but rather, that for better or for worse, a significant amount of cesium 137 has entered the Pacific’s aquatic environment, and the long-term effects of low-level exposure on the population consuming Pacific seafood are unknown. Numerous tests since 1945, when before it was believed that only massive bursts of radiation were hazardous to human health, have documented the insidious effects of long-term, low level radiological exposure to humans.

Fukushima sits at the nexus where the Kuroshio Current, running northward off the eastern coast of Japan, collides with the cold subarctic Oyashio Current that flows southwards, circulating counterclockwise along the western North Pacific Ocean. Their interaction produces the North Pacific Current, a slow warm water eastwards flowing current between 40 and 50 degrees north in the Pacific Ocean. In the eastern northern Pacific, the North Pacific Current divides into the southern flowing California Current and the northern Alaska Current.

The potential level of pollution outlined in the IRSN report indicate that it is long overdue for both TEPCO and the Japanese government to stop dribbling out information about the true state of events since Fukushima was devastated, and that foreign governments, particularly the United States, whose western shores are washed by the same currents that pass by Fukushima, insist that they do so.

While trillions of dollars are at stake in the worldwide nuclear industry, the potential health consequences are now simply too significant to ignore.


By. John C.K. Daly of


Strontium-90 in the air of Tokyo

Posted by Mochizuki on November 3rd, 2011

11/2/2011, Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial and Vocational center finally released the data to show strontium-90 particle was in the air of Tokyo in March.

According to their report, from the air sample taken on 3/15/2011, they measured 0.01 Bq/m3.

Tokyo metropolitan industrial technology research institute and Nihon bunseki center analyzed the sample, they submit the result to Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial and Vocational center on 6/21/2011.

However, they kept concealing the data for about 5 months. They explain, “because it was not the harmful level.”

I wonder why they didn’t disclose the data sooner if it’s not the harmful level of amount.

Japan communist political party asked Tokyo local government to disclose strontium related information, so they finally published it on 11/2.

Human (50kg) breathes about 7,200 L of air everyday, which means Tokyo citizen took 0.072 Bq of strontium-90 on the daily basis.

Now it has been about 8 months since 311.

Tokyo citizen has already absorbed 17.28 Bq of Strontium-90.

Unlike food, hot particles taken into the lung will never get out of your body.

It does not take longer than a month to reach bone marrow.

This explains why acute leukemia case is spiking up.



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Acute leukemia case is spiking up

Posted by Mochizuki on November 3rd, 2011

【拡散希望】 近所の病院に勤める知り合いのコメントです。 「最近病院で、急性白血病が多すぎる。前は悪性リンパ腫 ばっかりだったのに。マジです。気のせいじゃ無い。 そのうち科学的裏付けが取れたら騒がれるんだろうな。 血液疾患診てるとこは絶対にみんな感じてるはず。」 シャレにならない

A medical staff of a hospital leaks information.

As the person says, the case of acute leukemia is unusually increasing. It used to be lymphoma malignum most of the cases.

This is too obvious to ignore. Not a negligible scale of a change.

One day, if it’s proved scientifically, it would be a massive scandal.

All the hemodyscrasia experts must share the same impression. This is not a joke.


Science far from conclusive on low-level radiation risks

Experts just don’t know the effect on humans below 100 millisieverts

Staff writer

The March 11 nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 plant has transformed what used to be a long-standing academic debate into an urgent issue for millions of ordinary people: Will long-term exposure to low-level radiation cause any health problems?

News photo
Watchful eye: A dosimeter shows radiation of 0.16 microsievert per hour at a debris collection site in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on Wednesday. The debris from the quake and tsunami is being dumped at a disposal site off Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district.KYODO PHOTO

Experts have long been at odds over whether low-level radiation doses of less than 100 millisieverts are damaging.

Following are questions and answers on the effect of low-level radiation on human health:

How much risk does exposure to a cumulative radiation dose of 100 millisieverts present?

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection, it could increase the cancer mortality risk by about 0.5 percent, meaning about 50 out of 10,000 people exposed to that level could die of cancer caused by the radiation.

The ICRP is an organization of scientists whose guidelines have served as the basis for radiation regulations in many developed countries, including Japan.

How afraid should we be of radiation at that level?

It depends on individual perceptions. If the ICRP is correct, it would increase your chances of dying of cancer by only 0.5 percent, but that could be a significant increase for a government responsible for protecting hundreds of thousands of people living around a nuclear plant.

For individuals, there are innumerable other factors in everyday life that can cause cancer, and doctors say improved lifestyle choices can easily offset the increased risk posed by exposure to 100 millisieverts of radiation.

In fact, various forms of cancer account for as much as one-third of all deaths in Japan, with major factors including smoking, insufficient consumption of vegetables and lack of exercise.

What about the risks of cumulative radiation doses of less than 100 millisieverts?

Results of tracking surveys of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings suggest exposure of 100 millisieverts does increase the cancer mortality risk, but it is unclear whether there is a link between doses below 100 millisieverts and cancer.

Scientists are split on the question of whether there are any risks below the 100-millisievert mark. Some believe 100 millisieverts is the “threshold” level under which radiation won’t harm humans. Others argue otherwise, saying there is still a risk, however small it may be.

What is the government’s assessment of the 100-millisievert risk, and how is it reflected in food restrictions?

The Food Safety Commission, a government panel consisting of independent experts, concluded on Oct. 27 that radiation above a cumulative exposure of 100 millisieverts poses a significant risk to humans, but it is difficult to draw any conclusions on the health effects from radiation less than that level.

Based on the commission’s interpretation, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will lower the acceptable annual intake in food products to 1 millisievert per year from the current provisional limit of 5 millisieverts.

Is there any scientific research on radiation exposure of less than 100 millisieverts?

Fifteen nations, including Japan, the U.S., the U.K., Canada, some European countries and South Korea, have conducted research on workers at nuclear power plants for about a decade. Also, scientists studied people living in Kerala, India, well-known for its high background radiation from radioactive thorium in monazite sand.

In short, there was no statistically significant evidence to conclude exposure to less than 100 millisieverts increases the cancer risk.

Why are those studies inconclusive?

Because there are confounding — or outside — factors in getting cancer, such as smoking.

Cigarettes for example have a much stronger effect than radiation. The risk of lung cancer for smokers is 2.3- to 22.4-fold higher than that for nonsmokers, according to the Japan Health Promotion and Fitness Foundation, which cites separate studies by Japanese and U.S. groups. Those levels are far higher than the theoretical 0.5 percent risk posed by 100 millisieverts of radiation exposure.

What were the results of the research in Japan on nuclear plant workers?

The Radiation Effects Association researched 277,000 employees of nuclear plants, most of whom had been exposed to less than 100 millisieverts over an extended period.

The study found that those who were exposed to higher radiation, though still below the 100-millisievert level, saw higher cancer mortality rates, which may indicate that even low-level radiation doses pose a lethal cancer risk.

But many of those with cancer were also smokers, which may have pushed up the risk. This makes it difficult for researchers to draw a clear conclusion on the risks of low-level radiation exposure.

“Past research (on smoking, drinking and the workers’ other habits) shows those with high radiation doses tended to smoke more,” the study’s research paper concluded.

“Taking these facts into account . . . confounding bias by smoking and other habits is undeniable,” it stated.

The 204,000 men in the study had an average cumulative radiation dose of 13.3 millisieverts. Of them, 14,224 had died as of March 2009, including 5,711 who succumbed to cancer.

What was the result of the Kerala research?

In short, no correlation was found between the ambient radiation and the risk of cancer, but there was one for cigarettes. Smoking was one of the factors studied.

The study “showed no HBR- (high background radiation) related excess of malignant tumors. Although the statistical power of the study might not be adequate due to the low dose, these findings suggest it unlikely that estimates of cancer risk at low doses are substantially greater than currently believed,” a research paper stated in the January 2009 edition of Health Physics magazine.

Seiichi Nakamura of the Health Research Foundation, under the science ministry, said Kerala’s radiation level is about the same as in Iitate, Namie and other municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture that the government ordered evacuated because of the nuclear crisis. Nakamura was on the team that researched Kerala residents.

So radiation of less than 100 millisieverts won’t harm the human body?

Just because studies haven’t found a statistically significant increase in risk doesn’t necessarily prove there is no chance of an increase in the cancer rate. Some scientists argue there is a risk, even if it hasn’t been confirmed in epidemiological surveys.

The Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, comprised of radiology scientists in the United States, wrote a report titled “BEIR VII” in 2006 that says “the current scientific evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that there is a linear, no threshold (LNT) dose-response relationship between exposure to ionizing radiation and the development of cancer in humans.”

Sentaro Takahashi, another researcher at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, said the report is conservative because it is intended to provide a standard for protection from radiation.

He also said the report doesn’t mention whether the linear relation is statistically significant because the aim of the committee is to come up with an overall conclusion based on individual studies, each of which mention the statistical significance of their theories.

Is cancer the only health risk associated with low radiation doses?

Scientists and medical doctors say yes. Nakamura is aware of some blogs stating there has been an increase in the Kanto and Tohoku regions of heart attacks resulting in death, birth defects and cases of childhood diseases, but it is scientifically impossible any of this was caused by radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the leakage of radiation has not been high enough, he said.

This, filed under “Not playing with a full deck”

March 11 a chance for rebirth: experts

… Keiro Kitagami, vice minister of economy, trade and industry, said technological innovations in these fields [Energy, the environment and health ] will be important since they will be valuable as emerging countries grow and their energy consumption increases.

For instance, he said despite the Fukushima crisis, Japan’s nuclear safety technology is still world class and has much to offer other countries planning to build atomic plants. …

Read the entire article at:


Gov’t OKs plan to provide 900 bil. yen financial aid to TEPCO

TOKYO, Nov. 4, Kyodo

The government gave the green light Friday to provide about 900 billion yen to Tokyo Electric Power Co. so that the cash-strapped utility can secure funds to pay massive compensation related to the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant through March.

The move came as the utility known as TEPCO promised to cut more than 2.55 trillion yen in costs over 10 years such as by cutting corporate pension payments, and facilitate the often-criticized payment process under a special business plan crafted by the company and a state-backed funding body.

In approving the plan, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano told TEPCO President Toshio Nishizawa, ”Considering the responsibility of borrowing massive amounts of money from the public, even though it is temporarily, I would like (TEPCO to) implement considerate compensation and thorough streamlining efforts.”

Further discussion of the Xenon discovery of the past few days:

Xenon Detection in Reactor 2: Different Detection Limits on Different Days at Different Sampling Locations

from EX-SKF

Spontaneous fission, says TEPCO, the NISA says they cannot rule out criticality, and no one cares as no one believes either of them.

Here’s another reason not to believe them, or take their words at face value: TEPCO tested at different locations and for different durations for the nuclides in the gas that was sucked out of the CV of Reactor 2.

Take a look at the table below, which I compiled fromTEPCO’s handout for the press on November 2, 2011. For each nuclide, the detected amount and the detection limit are listed for October 28, November 1, and November 2.

Read the entire article at:

And these from ENENEWS:

CNN: Tepco’s claim of ‘spontaneous’ fission is an “improbable phenomenon” says nuke professor — Strange that such a “rare” event was detected almost immediately after sampling began?

Nov. 3 — “A rare type of radioactive decay, not a renewed chain reaction, appears to have produced the radioactive xenon gas,”reports CNN.

According to the report, on Thursday Tepco said “it believed the gases were produced by ‘spontaneous fission’ of uranium, since the shorter-lived isotope persisted after the use of boric acid”.

Gary Was, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Michigan, told CNN that ‘spontaneous’ fission occurs when an element like uranium splits on its own, though it’s an “improbable phenomenon”.

Professor Was noted that the detection of xenon happened less than a week after Japan began taking new gas samples from the reactors.

It is highly coincidental that so soon after the sampling began an “improbable phenomenon” like ‘spontaneous’ fission would occur.

Unfortunately, no report has mentioned the massive increase in Krypton-85 in the same location as the small rise in xenon. Krypton-85 is used to detect plutonium fission.

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Published: November 3rd, 2011 at 10:43 PM EDT

Japan Times: It is now a “grave situation” at Fukushima — “Plutonium fission” mentioned for first time — “Criticality is very likely to have occurred”

Nov. 3, 8:30 pm ET(Emphasis Added) — Areport published at 8:30 pm ET by the Japan Times calls on Tepco and the Japan gov’t to “find out true reactor conditions” at Fukushima.

Tepco announcedWednesday that, according to the Times, “There is thepossibility that criticality, asustained nuclear chain reaction, had occurred ‘temporarily’ and ‘locally’ in the No. 2 reactor.”

Read entire article at:

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Ch. 4 UK: Now there are concerns that Fukushima is worse than authorities believe — New fission “shows there are still considerable problems” says top nuke expert

Nov. 3 — Regarding the detection of xenon, TEPCO has “played down the find, saying there was no evidence of a ‘criticality’ in the reactor,” reports the UK’s Channel 4 News, “Now there are concerns that the situation is worse than the authorities believed.”

According to the report, “Nuclear expert John Large* told Channel 4 News that any evidence of fission was a ‘concern’.”

“It shows there are still considerable problems. It’s concerning because it shows they are not in total control of the nuclear processes in the plant – and even a small amount of fission is a concern because it can become a large amount of fission,” said Large.

*Large was invited by the UK gov’t to join the Technical Advisory Panel working on assessing the implications of Fukushima for the country’s nuclear industry.


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