Day 440 Drastic change…reflected in children’s facial expressions, behaviors, physical conditions

More on the pediatrician in Koriyama who is trying to do something to help the children who are being exposed to low levels of radiation in that city.

After the earthquake, children feared aftershocks and clung to their mother whenever they felt tremors. Some children stayed close to their mothers all day. The Japanese government recommended the citizens of Fukushima to stay home with the windows and doors closed to avoid radiation exposure. Due to a gasoline shortage, people were unable to use their cars and were obliged to stay home all day, anxious about the present and the future. This drastic change of lifestyle was reflected in children’s facial expressions, behaviors and physical conditions. The authors of this article were afraid that many children would develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, we consulted Dr. Hisako Watanabe, a child psychiatrist at Keio University Hospital, about the problems in Koriyama. Her advice was to secure a place where children could feel safe, and to take action to prevent them from developing PTSD.


Although we survived the earthquake and its immediate and short-term aftermath, it has been a challenging time. Our success in the face of this adversity can be attributed to two factors. First, we had prepared for a large-scale disaster by establishing the baseball stadium as a primary evacuation facility and holding regular emergency drills at KMCH. Those facilities were our operations center during this disaster. Second, members of the medical association had a good relationship with each other and also with the administration. During this sudden crisis, mutual support and collaboration led to greater success. We again underlined the importance of disaster preparation and setting up a network of daily cooperation. We are now fighting against persistent low-level radiation; the solution has not yet been discovered. Although we had not prepared at all for large-scale radiation exposure, the presence of a child support center provided us a base for the promotion of activities to protect children. The solidarity of various groups working for children will improve the situation for the children of Koriyama.

The above was published in an article in the Keio Journal of Medicine which can be found at:

The Medical Association Activity and Pediatric Care after the Earthquake Disaster in Fukushima

Shintaro Kikuchi1,3 and Tatsuo Kikuchi2,3

1Koriyama City Post-disaster Childcare Project, Fukushima, Japan

2Koriyama Medical Association, Fukushima, Japan

3Kikuchi Pediatric Clinic, Fukushima, Japan

(Received for publication on December 14, 2011) (Revised for publication on January 12, 2012) (Accepted for publication on January 12, 2012)

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Report regarding the number of deaths due to illnesses in “Fukushima children” Changes since the Fukushima accident based on the government’s vital statistics data.

By Seiichi Nakate,  Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation

The number of deaths due to “cardiovascular diseases” has doubled.  (This number includes cardiovascular deaths of children with congenital heart abnormalities.)  This has not been seen in other prefectures which suffered damages from the earthquake/tsunami disaster.  There are also increases in infectious diseases, cancer and leukemia, and pneumonia.

Check out the article and others on this site. Will add to the Blogroll!
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From ENENEWS at:

“Impossibly High”: WHO’s initial report estimated Tokyo AND Osaka infant thyroid dose at 10 to 100 millisieverts — Up to 1 full sievert in Namie

Subscription Only: Tokyo says WHO overestimated Fukushima disaster radiation doses
Asahi AJW
May 24, 2012


In its report, the WHO [World Health Organization] said residents living near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo were exposed to whole-body doses of between 10 and 50 millisieverts


“The WHO estimates deviate considerably from reality,” said one anxious Japanese government source. “If those figures are taken at face value, that may spread disquiet and confusion among the Japanese public.”


“Overall, (the latest WHO figures) are overestimates,” said Yoshio Hosoi, a professor of radiology at Hiroshima University’s Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine. “In particular, they have sharply overestimated the doses of external exposure and food-derived exposure,” he said.

But the Japanese government’s System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), which is designed to forecast the spread of radioactive substances, did produce larger thyroid gland dose estimates for 1-year-old infants in some districts of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture.

In that case, the WHO estimates “probably mostly reflect reality,” Hosoi said.


Initial Estimate

The WHO began compiling the dose estimation report last summer. Its first draft, which appeared last November, startled one Japanese government official.

The draft report estimated the whole-body doses for 1-year-old infants at 10-100 millisieverts in Namie and 1-10 millisieverts in Tokyo and Osaka.

The thyroid gland dose estimates for 1-year-old infants were 300-1,000 millisieverts in Namie and elsewhere and 10-100 millisieverts in Tokyo and Osaka.

Tokyo sent health ministry officials to the WHO headquarters and went through diplomatic channels to call for revisions.

“The figures are just impossibly high,” a government official said at the time. “If they are released, that will not only arouse unnecessary anxiety among the Japanese public but also serve as negative publicity.”

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TEPCO: 2-1/2 Times More Fukushima Radiation Released Than Previously Announced

– Common Dreams staff

The nuclear meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant released at least 2-1/2 times more radiation than Japan’s government had announced last year, the company responsible for the disaster said in a Tokyo news conference today.

TEPCO: 2-1/2 Times More Fukushima Radiation Released Than Previously Announced.

The severely damaged Fukushima Unit 4TEPCO, set to be nationalizedin July in exchange for a Japanese government bailout, estimated meltdowns at three Fukushima reactors released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances into the air during March. The total radiation release at the Chernobyl accident was estimated to be about 5.2 million terabecquerels.

 Article continues at: 

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From ENENEWS at:

“Fukushima amounts to four Chernobyls” of cesium-137 contamination — “It still seems to be just an effort to downplay the real scale of the event”

Follow-up to: Tepco estimates total cesium-137 release from Fukushima at 360,000 terabecquerels — 4 times higher than Chernobyl’s 85,000 terabecquerels

Cesium-137 contamination: Fukushima amounts to four Chernobyls
Russia Today
May 24, 2012

TEPCO’s new estimates suggest that its Fukushima reactor has released more than quadruple the amount of radioactive cesium-137 leaked during the Chernobyl disaster. But the method used to measure the damage may undervalue the hazard even further.

[…] it still seems to be just an effort to downplay the real scale of the event.

The report goes on to compare Fukushima with the Chernobyl accident of 1986, where it says 5,200,000 TBq of “radioactive substances” were leaked into the atmosphere.

The problem is that TEPCO only counts the amount of iodine-131 and cesium-137 leaked from the Fukushima reactor, and compares them to the whole range of isotopes that were discharged at Chernobyl.

And if compared properly, the numbers tell a different story.


Regarding the emission of cesium-137, Fukushima is far ahead its rival. Post-Fukushima estimations suggest that Chernobyl put out a total of 85,000 TBq of caesium-137 over the course of the disaster. The Fukushima reactor, however, has so far released 360,000 TBq of cesium-137, according to TEPCO.


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Hard lessons for U.S. nuclear safety from Fukushima meltdown

By Daniel P. Aldrich, Special to CNN

May 25, 2012 — Updated 0126 GMT (0926 HKT)
the meltdowns in Fukushima have punctured any “100% safe” myths that had survived Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Engineers and planners need to show humility when talking about risks to an ever-more-skeptical public

Read the entire article at:

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This blog is rated G (for all audiences), so I will refrain from calling these people the names that are floating in my head at the moment.

Atomic commission chief admits attendance at secret session on nuclear fuel cycle

Shunshuke Kondo, chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), attended a closed-door meeting on a review of the nation’s nuclear fuel cycle policy on Dec. 8 last year, according to memos obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun.

The revelation comes after the JAEC was found to have held closed-door “study” sessions with only pro-nuclear members in attendance. The JAEC held such secret sessions over more than 20 occasions, and an official of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which is in charge of research and development of fast-breeder reactors, also participated.

Article continues at:

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Researchers now predict 70 percent chance of major Tokyo quake within 30 years

The probability of a magnitude-7 earthquake directly hitting the Tokyo metropolitan area within 30 years is 70 percent, a new calculation by University of Tokyo researchers has shown.

Researchers including members of the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute recalculated the probability based on the latest seismic data. They concluded that the probability of a magnitude 7-level earthquake striking directly below the Tokyo metropolitan area is “70 percent within 30 years,” starting from January this year.

Article continues at:

FYI, there was a 3.6 50 km directly beneath Tokyo’s Ward 23 this afternoon at 16:27.

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Radiation didn’t cause Fukushima No. 1 deaths: U.N.

Jiji, AP

Radiation exposure was not responsible for the deaths of six workers helping to contain the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a U.N. committee said in a preliminary assessment Wednesday.


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