— EPA tells public “no harmful health effects” from significant radiation exposure

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – PEER

For Immediate Release: Oct 16, 2017
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

PRUITT’S EPA: LEARNING TO LOVE RADIATION

Public Told “No Harmful Health Effects” from Significant Radiation Exposure


Washington, DC — In a startling public health reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now declaring that radiation exposures equivalent to as many as 5,000 chest x-rays “usually result in no harmful health effects,” according to an agency document posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). For decades, EPA had taken the position that “There is no known safe amount of radiation” and is responsible for enforcing laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, which prohibits public radiation exposure at levels the agency now says is safe.

In a September 2017 document titled “Questions & Answers for Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies,” EPA declares, in a FAQ format, the following:

“How much radiation is safe? How much is considered low risk?
According to radiation safety experts, radiation exposures of 5–10 rem (5,000–10,000 mrem or 50–100 mSv) usually result in no harmful health effects, because radiation below these levels is a minor contributor to our overall cancer risk…”

EPA does not specify which “radiation safety experts” it is now relying upon but it is notable that –

  • The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and EPA itself, have long estimated that 10,000 millirems could be expected to induce excess cancers in every 86th person exposed;
  • Those health effects are for a one-time exposure but EPA is rolling out a new approach that would allow daily public exposure at highly elevated levels every day for up to a year; and
  • EPA’s longstanding scientific estimate is that 10,000 millirems would produce a risk at least 100 times higher than EPA’s acceptable risk range on radiation exposure to the public.

“I knew that under Scott Pruitt EPA is in climate denial but now it appears to be in radiation denial, as well,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that EPA’s new advice contradicts its own 2007 advisory on the same topic which concludes “There is no known safe amount of radiation…the current body of scientific knowledge tells us this.” “This appears to be another case of the Pruitt EPA proclaiming conclusions exactly opposite the overwhelming weight of scientific research.”

EPA’s new approach is encapsulated in a policy with the paradoxical title of “Protective Action Guides” that allows public exposure to radioactivity following a nuclear release at levels many times the maximum limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act. It was finalized on the very last day of the Obama presidency but apparently has been embraced by the Trump team, as this health non-warning was issued just days ago.

“This signals that in the event of a Fukushima-type accident EPA will allow public consumption of radiation-contaminated drinking water for months,” added Ruch, noting that PEER is preparing to legally challenge the new drinking water Protective Action Guides. “Dr. Strangelove is alive and lurking somewhere in the corridors of EPA.”

###

Read the new EPA radiation exposure advisory

View summary of radiation exposure implications

See EPA side-by-side displays of contradictory 2007 and 2017 advisories

Look at EPA’s new radiation Protective Action Guide for drinking water 

https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/pruitt%E2%80%99s-epa-learning-to-love-radiation.html

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— Fukushima catastrophe at 6 years: normalizing radiation exposure demeans women and kids, shames people into risking their health

From Counterpunch

March 6, 2017

By Cindy Folkers

Since the election of President Trump, certain words have taken prominence in our lexicon: “alternative facts”, “gaslighting”, “normalization”. But the techniques these words represent have been used by the nuclear industry and its purveyors in government since the Cold War love affair with nuclear weapons began.

And as we deal with the continuing fallout 6 years after the Fukushima, and 31 years after the Chernobyl, catastrophes began, the nuclear industry continues to put these techniques to good use. They have labeled “radiophobic” those who question nuclear power or who refuse to move back to contaminated areas or eat contaminated food. They shame people into taking health risks and socially isolate those who refuse to comply. They sell the lie of decontamination despite the fact that what has been decontaminated one day, may be recontaminated the next.

Women and children are often the focus of these “normalization” techniques. And they are the ones with the most to lose including supportive social and familial structures, and ultimately, health. Females, children and pregnancy pay a disproportionate price for nuclear energy because they are especially vulnerable to radiation damage. When a catastrophe like Fukushima happens, they become targets: targets of gaslighting, social isolation, radiation damage.

Japan’s radiation refugees

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) estimates that as of Nov 2016, the number of people displaced because of the earthquake, tsunami and radioactive contamination remains at 134,000. Of this number, 84,000 are still displaced around Fukushima, where evacuation orders are not yet lifted around the reactor.

In 2017, Japan is lifting evacuation orders and basically forcing people to move back to towns that were, and still are, contaminated with radioactivity from the ruined Fukushima nuclear reactors. Those who return are promised a one-time sum for doing so. For those who will not go back, the Japan government will cut off compensation. The IDMC frames the issue as a horrible choice: return to risk or try to reintegrate elsewhere without any resources. Greenpeace, in their February 2017 report, demonstrates that the uncertain risks and unpredictable nature of radiological contamination mean there is no return to normal.

Taking radiation into your psyche, as if it is normal

Radiation is associated with disease, even at low levels. Nuclear power proponents incorrectly contend that if you think you are sick from radiation exposure, it is all in your head and your health problems resulted from your worry. In other words, it was your fault, not theirs. They term it “radiophobia”. This pernicious label was first coined in the United States in the 1950’s. Like much of the initial Cold War nuclear policy, it attempted to “normalize” nuclear technology so that above ground atomic bomb tests could continue unhindered.

In fact, an opinion piece in the Western journal of surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, a medical journal which addressed women’s health issues, blamed caretakers for inciting fear of nuclear weapons in children. In the piece, entitled “RADIOPHOBIA; a new psychological syndrome,” the author claims “Anxiety-ridden parents or teachers who fear atomic bombs probably project the same fears to their children…” And that this “conditioning amounts to psychological punishment”. In essence the author, who was not a qualified mental health practitioner, was accusing these parents of abuse. The not-so-subtle implication was that radiophobia was a woman’s disease that she passed to any children she contacted.

The unscientific radiophobia label has persisted through the larger nuclear power catastrophes. For instance, according to a Macmillan dictionary entry, “Chernobyl has left an enduring legacy of opposition to nuclear power, now often referred to as radiophobia by technical experts…” However, the targets of this dismissive and derisive label are not just those who oppose nuclear power. The mysogynistic overtones of the radiophobic label are clearly present as the Fukushima and Chernobyl catastrophes continue to unfold.

In the wake of a nuclear catastrophe, exposed women and children are specifically berated into silence. If they continue to express concerns about health impacts, they risk becoming social outcasts. In this context, radiophobia is a social label used to stigmatize, not a scientific or medical diagnosis. In the case of Japan, radiophobia is called “radiation brain mom“. This epithet particularly refers to women who question whether food is contaminated; and it implies that they are irrational, overly emotional and unscientific, merely for asking the question.

Radiophobia accusations at Fukushima put children and women’s health at risk

After Fukushima began, doctor of psychosomatic medicine, Katsuno Onozawa, was interviewed by the Asahi Shimbun in 2013. As an actual expert on psychosomatic disorders, she stated: “children were exhibiting a range of symptoms including sore throats, nosebleeds, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches and rashes…” Yet these symptoms were written off as “radiophobia” and the mothers were accused of making their children sick by worrying. “Many reproach themselves, thinking, ‘Maybe I’m the one who’s strange,’ and become depressed.” She concludes: “If we say ‘it’s safe’ despite the risks only to erase fears, then we simply leave in place the danger that defenseless children may be contaminated.”

For the record, here are some symptoms of short-term, higher radiation exposure: “nausea, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea…swelling, itching, and redness of the skin” Many around Three Mile Island complained of similar symptoms following the partial meltdown there. The higher the radiation dose, the quicker the symptoms manifest. Children are more vulnerable to radiation exposure than adults, women more vulnerable than men.

In Japan, the “radiation brain mom” label has resulted in a self-censoring of concern about radiological contamination, leaving women and children unprotected after exposure to the initial radiation cloud. Subsequently their health is continually put at risk from food and environmental contamination. “Silence was not imposed by an iron fist of government, but rather wrapped around people like soft velvet, gently making women feel that they had to be silent.”

Taking radiation into your body, as if it is normal

Since the Fukushima catastrophe started, recommendations for radiation exposure limits in Japan were increased by 20 times. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) sets non-binding recommendations internationally for post nuclear catastrophes. Their limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to background radiation. This effectively would double the dose from unavoidable natural background, which is already 0.8 to 1 mSv per year. However, according to the IAEA, 1-20 mSv per year “is acceptable and in line with the international standards and with the recommendations from the relevant international organisations, e.g. ICRP, IAEA, UNSCEAR and WHO”.

Therefore Japan is, under controversy, encouraging resettlement in areas up to 20 mSv/yr. The increase in the allowable exposure limit occurred after contamination created wide-reaching negative economic impacts. Before the radioactive release contaminated Fukushima province, it was a center for organic farming and the “eat locally” movement. Since the contamination, consumer instinct has been to avoid Fukushima products.

Since studies show cancer and other disease impacts can occur within the range of natural background, clearly, the decision to allow a higher exposure level had nothing to do with health. Instead, it was an economic decision that took advantage of the fact that many diseases induced by this radiation exposure may not show for years, or may show as hard-to-attribute subclinical impacts, masking radiation’s disease-causing role. For those health impacts that do appear, nuclear proponents can always fall back on the argument that “it is all in your head”–i.e. radiophobia.

International agencies and industries normalize eating contaminated food to save face and money.

The ICRP is guilty of encouraging radiation ingestion, despite known risks. One recommendation is the encouragement of growing, selling and consuming, contaminated food, as an economic imperative for those in contaminated areas.

ICRP has also supported an effort in the wake of Fukushima called ETHOS that encourages “practical radiation protection culture” (PRPC). ETHOS was an effort originally started with the French nuclear industry, after the Chernobyl catastrophe began, when they realized that the cost of evacuation and compensation was starting to impact the nuclear industry’s financial and public standing worldwide.

Encouraging PRPC is a cowardly way of saying it’s too expensive to move people away from contaminated areas or allow them to eat clean eat food, so officials need to tell people there is no health risk from contamination. This is done under the guise of empowering the local populations by providing them with monitoring equipment, training, and a sense that eating contaminated food is okay. Mothers in Belarus were trained to measure the radioactive contamination of their children and to accept a certain level, resigning them to the fate of living with and eating radioactivity.

ETHOS goes one step further in claiming that individuals bear the responsibility to keep themselves safe from radioactive contamination with little to no help or resources from the industry that caused the contamination in the first place. Now, ETHOS is in Fukushima, protecting the nuclear industry from those whose lands it has defiled and whose lives it has marred.

The U.S. will be no different

For those who are hoping the U.S. will somehow escape the radiation normalization process, think again. We are learning from Fukushima and Chernobyl that international bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) or ICRP will provide no support for clean food and relocation to uncontaminated land should we suffer a nuclear catastrophe.

We are further learning that our U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits that decontamination is a lie. Using very colorful and demeaning language regarding radiological cleanup, an EPA employee said in 2013 “‘U.S. residents are used to having ‘cleanup to perfection,’ but would have to abandon their ‘not-in-my-backyard’ mentality in such cases. ‘People are going to have to put on their big-boy pants and suck it up…’”.

Dove-tailing on this egregiously tone-deaf statement, EPA proceeded to institute “protective” action guides (PAGs) meant to provide levels of acceptable contamination in food and water subsequent to a radiological incident. A radiological incident can include a catastrophic release but also lesser releases from transport accidents, for instance. The limits EPA recommends are hundreds to thousands of times higher for some radionuclides than previously allowed. Exposure could continue at these levels for years, endangering women and children the most. Just like women have been resigned or bullied into silence at Chernobyl and Fukushima, we can expect the same modus operandi here.

UN Human rights instruments offer women and children radiation protection when other  national and international agencies fail to

Women and children are more susceptible to radioactivity, therefore any attempt to label women as irrational for fearing radioactivity is ludicrous. The fact is, women and early life stages are not protected by the recommendations of international experts. Women and children have, and will continue to, pay a disproportionate price for the use of nuclear power, it’s routine radioactive releases, and the catastrophes it causes.

Increasing allowable levels of exposure post accident for economic convenience or to tamp down fear is unacceptable. Encouraging women and children to eat contaminated food appears to be in violation of Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), particularly the principle of needed access to “adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution”.

Women’s voices should count for more, not less

Women are often the most concerned about social health, and are the first and most vociferous in protecting public health following a nuclear catastrophe. And science shows they should be. Women and children are more vulnerable to radiation’s impacts and the life-stage of pregnancy is uniquely sensitive. They pay the highest price for nuclear power and it releases, so their voices should count for more, both in the energy decisions we currently face and in how we protect those whose lives are upturned by nuclear catastrophes.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/06/fukushima-catastrophe-at-6-normalizing-radiation-exposure-demeans-women-and-kids-and-risks-their-health/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Chernobyl, genetic damage, and the UK nuclear bomb tests – justice at last?

Global Research, May 07, 2016
Radiation_warning_symbol.svg

Britain’s nuclear bomb test veterans suffered severe genetic damage from radiation, writes Chris Busby, and their case for compensation is being heard in the High Court today. Key to their case is evidence of similar damage inflicted on in utero babies exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, and how the dreadful health impacts of radiation cascade down to future generations.

The world has had 30 years to assess the consequences for life on Earth of the disaster at Chernobyl. This is about the same period during which I have studied the effects of radioactive pollution on the planet.

It was the radioactive rain in the mountains of North Wales, where I lived in 1986, that brought me into this strange Alice in Wonderland area of science, where people and children die, and the global authorities, advised by physicists, deny what would be obvious to a child at school.

Chernobyl was mentioned as the star that fell to earth in the Book of Revelations. You may laugh, and it may be a coincidence, but the impact of the event has certainly been of biblical proportions.

It is a story about the imposition by reductionist science on humanity of a version of the truth constructed from mathematics, not the only one, but perhaps the most important, since it involves the systematic destruction of the genetic basis of life. It is a story of lies, secrecy, power, assassination and money: the vast amounts of money that would be lost if the truth came out.

Shortly after the murder in 1992 of the German Green Party leader and anti-nuclear activist Petra Kelly, the late Prof Ernest Sternglass (the first of the radiation scientist/ activists) told me that Kelly had just struck a deal with a German TV company to run a series demonstrating the true awfulness of the immediate effects of radiation.

A dreadful global cover up begins

He said: if the truth came out, all the Uranium and the billions of dollars in Uranium shares would turn into sand. So something like a cover-up had to happen, and it did, continuing the process of chicanery and control of information that began with the nuclear weapons tests of the 50s and 60s.

In 1959, as the genetic effects of the atmospheric tests became apparent, the control of the understanding of radiation and health was wrested from the World Health Organization (WHO) and passed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Photo caption: Explosion cloud from the UK’s Operation Hurricane atomic bomb test on Australia’s Montebello Islands, 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).

Since then, no research on the health effects of radiation has been carried out by WHO, which has led to a permanent vigil outside their headquarters in Geneva by the group Independent WHO.

The arguments about the health effects of Chernobyl have mostly centered on cancer. I won’t write much about cancer here. The study of radiation and cancer has many complications, including that the data is often suspect, the time lag between the cancer diagnosis and the original radiation exposure can be 20 years, in which time a lot can happen, introducing ammunition (and opportunity) for those denying causation.

The predictions of the global cancer yield of the Chernobyl contamination has ranged from around a million (as predicted independently by the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), Rosalie Bertell, John Gofman and me, to about 600,000 (Alexey Yablokov), to less than a few thousand (the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), whose risk model is the current basis for all legal constraints on radioactive releases in Europe.

Cancer: just one manifestation of the genetic damage caused by radiation

Cancer is caused by genetic damage but takes a while to show. More easily studied is the immediate and direct genetic damage, demonstrated in birth rates of congenital diseases, birth defects, fetal abnormalities, data which is easier to locate. The effects of a sudden increase in radioactive contamination are most easily seen in sudden increases in these indicators.

You don’t have to wait 20 years. Out they come after nine months or in aborted fetuses with their heart and central nervous system defects, their lack of hands and feet, their huge hydrocephalic heads, their inside-out organs, their cleft palates, cyclops eyes and the whole range of dreadful and usually fatal conditions. There is no argument, and the affair is in the hands of doctors, not physicists. The physicists of the ICRP base their risk of genetic effects on experiments with mice.

I was in Kiev in 2000 at the WHO conference on Chernobyl. On the podium, conducting the theatricals, were the top men in the IAEA (Abel Gonzalez) and the United National Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), represented by Canadian Norman Gentner. “No effects can be seen” – Abel Gonzalez. “Internal radiation is the same as external” – Norman Gentner. Happily you can watch this farce as it was videotaped by a Swiss team (embed below).

So: cut to the chase, to the fatal assault on the edifice of the current ICRP radiation risk model. In January 2016 Prof Inge Schmitz Feuerhake, Dr Sebastian Pflugbeil and I published a major review paper on the genetic effects of radiation in the prestigious Korean peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Health and Toxicology.

What the research shows is that in every corner of the ex-Soviet Union and Europe and even further afield where epidemiologists and pediatricians looked, there were large and statistically significant increases in congenital diseases at birth and in babies that were aborted.

The genetic risk that cascades through the generations

The new article recalculates the genetic risk from radiation based upon reports from Germany, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Egypt, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Italy, the UK, Scotland, Wales, indeed everywhere where anyone looked.

There was a sudden jump in birth defects immediately following the contamination from Chernobyl and in proportion; but only up to the point where the exposure was so great the babies died in the womb or miscarried early in pregnancy. Thus, the relation between exposure level and effect was not a simple one where the birth defects increased with exposure: after a critical level of exposure they leveled off, or indeed fell.

Also since contamination is still there, women are still giving birth to genetically damaged children some 30 years later. These results, published by many doctors, epidemiologists and researchers in many different journals, show that the effects occurred at levels of contamination that provided ‘doses’, that yardstick of radiation exposure invented by the ICRP, that were very low, often below the natural background dose.

It is worse: from research on the nuclear test site veterans’ grandchildren (also reviewed in the study) it is clear that these effects continue down the generations and will only disappear when an offspring dies without issue, and leaves the genome of the human race. And many will or already have done: since what causes genetic malformation in the infant, at a larger dose causes fetal death and infertility.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1957-06-03_British_H-Bomb_(claimed).ogv?embedplayer=yes

These facts now form the basis of the case of Britain’s nuclear test veterans, whose case I am representing in the High Court today. The UK government recklessly exposed them to a double blast of intense radiation from the gamma ray burst of nuclear bombs, and to the subsequent fallout, and has since washed their hands of the matter.

The vetermans’ demand is that the sacrifice they and their families made should be recognised, and fair compensation paid. The MOD has resisted their claim by fair means and foul, but finally the evidence is assembled and their case is being heard. Today’s hearing is largely procedural, and the substantive hearings are scheduled to take place for some two weeks of June.

The scientific fraud explained

No one can have failed to have noticed the increase in human infertility that has occurred since the radioactive contamination of the planet began in the 1950s. As ex-US Atomic Energy Commission scientists John Gofman wrote in 1981 “the nuclear industry is waging a war on humanity.”

So how can it be possible that the legislative system has got it so wrong? The answer is also given in the paper. It is that the concept of ‘dose’ which may be convenient for the physicists as it is simple to compute, really does not address the situation where the substances that provide the dose are inside the body, often bound chemically to the DNA, which is the acknowledged target for all these genetic effects.

It shows that the human genome (and of course that of all life) is exquisitely sensitive to radiation damage from such internal exposures, to Strontium-90, Plutonium-239, Uranium and particularly to the nano-particles containing these radioactive elements which were produced when the reactor No 4 blew apart.

The paper shows the studies of the Hiroshima bomb survivors, upon which the current unsafe radiation laws are based were faulty because the true comparison group, those not in the city at the time of the bombing, was abandoned when it began to look like there was a real effect. Was this stupidity? Was it a trick? Does someone have to go to jail?

Last month, Prof. Alexey Yablokov, Dr. Alex Rosen and I wrote to the editor of The Lancet, in a recorded delivery letter posted by the Independent WHO in Geneva, requesting space in that influential journal to draw attention to these truths and overturn the false and dangerous structures created by the physicists.

Let us all hope that some good will finally come of the disaster – that the real legacy of Chernobyl will be the understanding of the true danger to health of radioactive pollution.

And that Britain’s nuclear bomb test veterans, and their families, will finally receive the justice they so richly deserve.

Chris Busby is an expert on the health effects of ionizing radiation. He qualified in Chemical Physics at the Universities of London and Kent, and worked on the molecular physical chemistry of living cells for the Wellcome Foundation. Professor Busby is the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk based in Brussels and has edited many of its publications since its founding in 1998. He has held a number of honorary University positions, including Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health of the University of Ulster. Busby currently lives in Riga, Latvia. See also: chrisbusbyexposed.org, greenaudit.org and llrc.org.

Study: ‘Genetic Radiation Risks – A Neglected Topic in the Low Dose Dabate‘ by Busby C, Schmitz-Feuerhake I, Pflugbeil S is published in Environmental Health and Toxicology.

This article is an edited version of one originally published on RT.

Latest book: Christopher Busby (2015) ‘What is Life? On the origin and mechanism of living systems’. QTP Publications. Illustrated by Saoirse Morgan. ISBN 978-0-9565132-1-2, 130pp. Order from Amazon UK (£10.00) or QTP publications 10 Bratwell Rd, Coleraine, BT51 4LB.

Steven Starr, implications of radioactive cesium contamination — Introduction

From Ratical.org

The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium
Steven Starr

Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Director, University of Missouri, Clinical Laboratory Science Program
Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium
New York Academy of Medicine, 11 March 2013

Contents
Introduction
Presentation
Biographical Sketch of Steven Starr
Bibliography of Recently Published Works

Introduction by Maria Gilardin
from TUC Radio’s 10-part Fukushima Symposium Mini-Series
Recordings from March 11 and 12, 2013
Broadcast quality mp3 of the 30 minute program is here: < http://tucradio.org/Starr_FUKU_SYM_FOUR.mp3> (20.8 MB)

The first time radiation contamination came to the attention of the American public was in 1979 when on March 28 a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, had a partial meltdown. A huge controversy developed as to what radionuclides had been released and what the health effects might be.

The overwhelming problem being that a lay person cannot see or smell nuclear radiation and also that health effects, such as cancer, in most cases do not occur immediately. Then and now the public and media are dependent on radiation monitors run by the nuclear industry and safety standards set by government agencies such as the EPA or the ICRP, the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

Only five weeks after the Three Mile Island accident 70,000 people from all over the country came to Washington DC for a rally to Stop Nuclear Power. California governor Jerry Brown spoke, as well as the actress Jane Fonda, and whistle blower, nuclear chemist, and MD, John Gofman. The comedian Dick Gregory made an amazing and inspiring point:

What we’re doing here today is more important than the Vietnamese war, it’s more important than dealing with racism, than dealing with sexism, than dealing with hunger. Because I can feel hunger. I can see war. I can feel racism. I can feel sexism. I cannot see radiation. I cannot smell radiation. I cannot hear radiation. I look around one day and I am dead. Somewhere, you have to.

So I say to you today, when you leave here, you have to give radiation an odor. You have to give radiation a sound. So go back into your communities. And be willing to go to jail if it comes to that. Because I’d rather see you in jail with the jails filled up, than the graveyards running over.

That was Dick Gregory on March 28, 1979.

I do not know if the world renowned Japanese film maker Akira Kurosawa heard those words. But in his 1990 movie Dreams he inserted a nightmare segment: Mount Fuji in Red. It shows the serial explosion of six nuclear reactors spewing radiation. In Kurosawa’s imagination the radiation had been colored by the engineers so it would become visible. And the last images of Mount Fuji in Red show a father desperately swinging his jacket into a cloud of red Cesium-137 trying to protect his wife and their two children.

No color had been added to the Cesium-137 dispersed by the Fukushima disaster and secrecy still prevails on part of the industry and government. But much more so than in 1979, people’s monitoring efforts and the voices of scientists, who still risk their careers for speaking out, give us a deeper understanding of nuclear radiation. Very sadly also we now have studies from the aftermath of Chernobyl when proof can be found as to how radiation damages the environment and health, especially of children, and how it persists for much, much longer that any one of our personal life spans.

A whole group of of responsible scientists had come to New York City on the two year anniversary of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. Among them Steven Starr from the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Missouri.

When I heard him speak concisely and crisply about Cesium-137 and what people in Japan are facing; how cesium moves, persists, accumulates, how it enters the body with contaminated food, and what organs it damages; I felt that he is one of the few scientists who actually can make radiation visible. In one brief quote he conjured up the nuclear fire, and the fact that we are trying to understand and cope with something totally new.

Long-lived radionuclides such as Cesium-137 are something new to us as a species. They did not exist on Earth in any appreciable quantities during the entire evolution of complex life. Although they are invisible to our senses they are millions of times more poisonous than most of the common poisons we are familiar with. They cause cancer, leukemia, genetic mutations, birth defects, malformations, and abortions at concentrations almost below human recognition and comprehension. They are lethal at the atomic or molecular level.

They emit radiation, invisible forms of matter and energy that we might compare to fire, because radiation burns and destroys human tissue. But unlike the fire of fossil fuels, the nuclear fire that issues forth from radioactive elements cannot be extinguished. It is not a fire that can be scattered or suffocated because it burns at the atomic level—it comes from the disintegration of single atoms.

That was a brief preview of Steven Starr’s talk at the New York Academy of Medicine, recorded on March 11, 2013. Steven Starr is Senior Scientist with Physicians for Social Responsibility. Here is his full presentation:


Title

( PDF format )

Editor‘s note: this transcript was created from the broadcast quality audio recording program featuring Steven Starr produced by Maria Gilardin in her Fukushima Symposium Mini Series on TUC Radio. Starting with the PDF file in the March 11 Documents tab of < http://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf#>, the text below was fashioned using Maria’s Introduction and Mr. Starr’s actual presentation. (All highlighted text in the original PDF – e.g., underlining, italics, bold – is represented below as underlined text.) The slides were generated from copy generously provided by Mr. Starr. I am grateful for the assistance of Steven Starr and Maria Gilardin in assembling this presentation.

http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Fukushima/StevenStarr.html

Steven Starr, implications of radioactive cesium contamination – Part II

From Ratical.org

( PDF format )

The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium
Steven Starr

Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Director, University of Missouri, Clinical Laboratory Science Program
Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium
New York Academy of Medicine, 11 March 2013

Contents
Introduction
Presentation
Biographical Sketch of Steven Starr
Bibliography of Recently Published Works

from TUC Radio’s 10-part Fukushima Symposium Mini-Series
Recordings from March 11 and 12, 2013

Broadcast quality mp3 of the 30 minute program is here: < http://tucradio.org/Starr_FUKU_SYM_FOUR.mp3> (20.8 MB)

( PDF format )

——————————————————

Cont’d

The greatest amounts of highly radioactive gases were released shortly after the meltdowns and 80% of this gas released by the reactors is believed to have traveled away from Japan over the Pacific. However the remaining 20% was dispersed over the Japanese mainland.

US Dept of Energy: Plume Model predictions for Fukushima fallout

US Dept of Energy: Plume Model predictions for Fukushima fallout

On March 11th, the US National Nuclear Security Administration offered the use of its NA-42 Aerial Measuring System to the Japanese and US governments. The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center of the Lawrence Livermore Lab stood up to provide atmospheric modeling projections. The next two slides were produced by Lawrence Livermore and presumably given to the Japanese government.

March 13-15: Radioactive plume images Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

March 13-15: Radioactive plume images Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

On March 14th, the easterly winds which had been blowing the highly-radioactive gases and aerosols coming from Fukushima out to sea, shifted and pushed the radioactive plume back over the Japanese mainland. You can see the progression. The red indicates the radioactive plume.

Radioactive plume over Tokyo

Radioactive plume over Tokyo

Note that the images indicate that the plume first went south over Tokyo and then reversed and went north as the wind changed. All the areas where the radioactive gases passed over were contaminated. However the heaviest contamination occurred where rainfall was occurring and the radiation rained out. This accounts for the patchy deposition of the radioactive fallout.

Maps: Prof. Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma Univ AND Japanese Science Ministry Sept 2011

Maps: Prof. Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma Univ AND Japanese Science Ministry Sept 2011

Eight months after the disaster, the Japanese Science Ministry released this map, which shows that 11,580 square miles, which is 30,000 square kilometers, which represents 13% of the Japanese mainland, had been contaminated with long-lived radioactive cesium. Note that the official map does not note any Cesium-137 contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area, unlike an unofficial survey done at about the same time by Professor Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma University. Given the fact that the Japanese government and TEPCO denied for two months that any meltdowns had occurred at Fukushima, one must look at all official data with a healthy degree of skepticism.

4500 square miles (or earlier today we heard 7700 square miles)—which is an area larger than the size of Connecticut—was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s previously allowable exposure rate of 1 millisievert per year.

Rather than evacuate this area, Japan chose to raise its acceptable radiation-exposure rate by 20 times, from 1 millisievert to 20 millisieverts per year.

Fukushima "exclusion" zone approximately 300 square miles; 159,000 Japanese made homeless

However, approximately 300 square miles adjacent to the destroyed Fukushima reactors were so contaminated that they were declared uninhabitable. 159,000 Japanese were evicted from this radioactive “exclusion zone.” They lost their homes, property, and businesses, and most have received only a small compensation to cover the costs of their living as evacuees.

Note here that the criteria used for evacuation is the millisievert. It is not a measured quantity of radiation per unit area that I have described such as the Curie or Becquerel. Rather the Sievert is a calculated quantity. It’s calculated to represent the biological effects of ionizing radiation. In other words, the millisievert is a derived number, based on the mathematical models which are used to convert the absorbed dose to “effective dose.”

Increased Cancer Risk by Age at Exposure to 20 mSv Radiation

So what is the increased health risk to Japanese based upon their exposure to 20 millisieverts per year? Let us examine figures constructed on the basis of data published by the National Academy of Sciences, courtesy of Ian Goddard.

[Source: National Academy of Sciences, Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation BEIR VII Phase 2 Report: Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, National Academies Press, 2006, (pg. 311), adjusted 100 millisieverts to 20 millisieverts by Ian Goddard according to BEIR instructions. See chart on page 29 of “Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards Surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant,” by Joseph Mangano, MPH, Director Radiation and Public Health Project, and BEST/MATRR Gretel Johnston, June 4, 2013.]

The vertical Y-axis is calibrated to the number of cancer cases per 100,000 age-peers, and the horizontal X-axis depicts the age of the population, beginning at zero years and moving towards old age. Now examine the allegedly safe dose of 20 millisieverts per year.

As a result of this exposure, there will be about 1000 additional cases of cancer in female infants and 500 cases of cancer in infant boys per 100,000 in their age groups. There will be an additional 100 cases of cancer in 30 year old males per 100,000 in this age peer group.

Notice that children, especially girls, are at the most risk from radiation-induced cancer. In fact a female infant has 7 times greater risk and a 5 year old girl has 5 times greater risk of getting a radiation-induced cancer than does a 30 year old man.

I want to note here that there is a great deal of controversy in regards to the accuracy of the methods used to arrive at the millisievert measurement, especially in regard to an accurate determination of the biological effects of an external versus internal exposure to ionizing radiation.

Internal versus External exposure to radiation

That is, the effects of an exposure to a source of ionizing radiation that is external to the body, versus an exposure that comes from the ingestion of radionuclides that provide a chronic, long-term internal exposure to living cells, which are adjacent to the radioactive atoms or particles.

Bioaccumulation

In the lands surrounding Chernobyl and Fukushima, the primary route of internal exposure is through the ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated with Cesium-137, which tends to bioaccumulate in plants and animals. What this means is that Cesium-137 cannot be excreted faster than it is being ingested. Thus it accumulates and increases in its concentration in the plant or animal that is routinely ingesting it.

Biomagnification

Cesium-137 also tends to biomagnify as it moves up the food chain. This means it becomes progressively more concentrated in predator species. We have seen this before with other industrial toxins, such as DDT, which can magnify its concentration millions of times from the bottom to the top of a food chain.

Consequently, all of the foodstuffs in a contaminated region tend to contain Cesium-137. Those naturally rich in potassium, such as mushrooms and berries, tend to have very high concentrations. Dairy products and meats also tend to have higher concentrations.

500 days ingestion of 10 Becquerels per day = total body activity of 1400 Becquerels

The International Commission on Radiological Protection, the ICRP, which sets radiation safety standards recognizes that Cesium-137 bioaccumulates in humans. This ICRP figure compares a single ingestion of 1000 Becquerels of Cesium-137, a one-time exposure, with the daily ingestion of 10 Becquerels. On the single exposure notice that half the Cesium-137 is gone from the body in 110 days. That’s considered the biological half-life.

Note also that with the routine daily ingestion of 10 Becquerels of Cesium-137 the total radioactivity within the body continues to rise, until after about 500 days there are more than 1400 Becquerels of radioactivity measured in the body. Becquerels can be counted in living persons because the decay of Cesium-137 leads to the emission of gamma radiation which passes through the body and can be measured by a Whole Body Counter. They have a chair that kids, or anyone, can sit and they can calculate the amount of Becquerels per kilogram of body weight.

1400 Becquerels for 70 kg adult = 20 Bq/kg; 1400 Becquerels for 20 kg child = 70 Bq/kg

In a 70 kilogram adult (based on this), a total body activity of 1400 Becquerels would correspond to 20 Becquerels per kilogram of body weight. In a 20 kilogram child it would be 70 Becquerels per kilogram of body weight. The ICRP document does not specify the average age or weight of those examined in the study. However, the safety standards that have been set by the nuclear industry do not consider this level of chronic exposure to so-called “low-dose” radiation to be a significant danger to human health.

The ICRP states in this document that a whole body activity of 1400 Becquerels is equivalent to an exposure of one-tenth a millisievert per year. In other words, the radiation models used by radiation biologists that convert this level of internal absorbed dose to “effective dose,” do not predict serious health risks from such exposures. In fact they state that it is safe to have 10 times this exposure level.

[Source: ICRP, 2009. Application of the Commission’s Recommendations to the Protection of People Living in Long-term Contaminated Areas After a Nuclear Accident or a Radiation Emergency. ICRP Publication 111. Ann. ICRP 39 (3).]

Chronic Cs-137 incorporation in children's organs

There is however strong evidence that the ingestion of these levels of so-called “low-dose” radiation are, in fact, particularly injurious to children. Research done by Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky, and his colleagues and students, in Belarus during the period 1991 through 1999, correlated whole body radiation levels of 10 to 30 Becquerels per kilogram of whole body weight with abnormal heart rhythms and levels of 50 Becquerels per kilogram of body weight with irreversible damage to the tissues of the heart and other vital organs.

One of the key discoveries made by Bandazhevsky was that Cesium-137 bioconcentrates in the endocrine and heart tissues, as well as the pancreas, kidneys and intestines. This goes completely against one of the primary assumptions used by the ICRP to calculate “effective dose” as measured by milliseiverts: that Cesium-137 is uniformly distributed in human tissues.

Let me restate that. The current ICRP methodology is to assume that the absorbed dose is uniformly distributed in human tissues. This is, in fact, not the case.

This table, taken from Bandazhevsky’s “Chronic Cs-137 incorporation in children’s organs,” compares the radioactivity measured in 13 organs of 6 infants. Very high specific activity, that is, levels of radioactivity, often 10 times higher than in other organs and tissues were found in the pancreas, thyroid, adrenal glands, heart, and intestinal walls.

Cs-137 level measured in 13 organs of 6 infants

Bandazhevsky summarized his nine years of research in his study entitled, “Radioactive Cesium and the Heart” [2001]. With the help of friends I have just finished editing a new Russian-to-English translation of this work [2013].

Radioactive Cesium and the Heart: Pathophysiological Aspects

It was never previously translated in large part because shortly after Dr. Bandazhevsky presented it to the Parliament and the President of Belarus, he was summarily arrested and imprisoned. Government agents entered the Medical Institute which he directed and destroyed his archived slides and samples. After he was released from prison he was held under house arrest. It was during this time that he actually wrote the study. He did so in an attempt to preserve his research knowing that he was about to be imprisoned again for a very long time.

Just as Soviet physicians were forbidden to diagnose a radiation-related illness following Chernobyl, the Belarusian government acted to suppress the work of Bandazhevsky who had been protesting government efforts to resettle people back into land badly contaminated with Cesium-137.

In “Radioactive Cesium and the Heart,” Bandazhevsky also did a correlation between the amount of Cesium-137 in live children and their heart function. He worked with the BELRAD Institute, which conducted more than 100,000 Whole Body Counts on Belarusian children, measuring the amounts of internally ingested Cesium-137 in each child.

Ratio between the content of radioactive cesium in body and the number of children without ECG changes

There were so many contaminated children in Belarus that it was difficult to find any with zero Becquerels per kilogram. However only those with less than 10 Becquerels per kilogram of body weight had normal Electro Cardiograms [ECGs]. 35% of the children with 11 to 37 Becquerels per kilogram had normal ECGs. 20% of children with 37 to 74 Becquerels per kilogram had normal ECGs. And only 11% of those with 74 to 100 Becquerels per kilogram had normal ECGs.

The accumulation of radionuclides within the organs of adults and children who died in 2007

This slide, which shows the averaged results from hundreds of autopsies done during 1997, is also taken from “Radioactive Cesium and the Heart.” Notice the very high concentration of Cesium-137 in the thyroid gland.

While we generally worry about radioactive iodine concentrating in the thyroid, Bandazhevsky’s work shows us that Cesium-137 is likely to play a major role in thyroid cancer too.

If Cesium-137 enters the body, it is distributed fairly uniformly throughout the body's soft tissues, resulting in exposure of those tissues.

If Cesium-137 enters the body, it is distributed fairly uniformly throughout the body’s soft tissues, resulting in exposure of those tissues.

I want to point out again that the currently accepted medical and legal understanding of Cesium-137 is that it is “distributed fairly uniformly” in human tissues. I copied the web page from the US EPA website, from which this quote is taken. Clearly, the autopsied human tissue samples analyzed by Bandazhevsky show that this is not the case. This new understanding needs to be incorporated into the way we understand how internally ingested radionuclides act upon the human body.

1967-2000, Life expectancy at birth, male (years) in Belarus

1967-2000, Life expectancy at birth, male (years) in Belarus

Two million people in Belarus live on lands severely contaminated by Cesium-137. Most of the children that live there are not considered to be healthy although they were before the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl exploded in 1986. Fourteen years after the explosion, 45 to 47 percent of high school graduates had physical disorders, including gastro-intestinal anomalies, weakened hearts, and cataracts. And 40% were diagnosed with chronic “blood disorders” and malfunctioning thyroids.

I am afraid that there are many Japanese people now living on lands equally contaminated with radioactive cesium. If Japanese children are allowed to routinely ingest foodstuffs contaminated with Cesium-137, they will likely develop the same health problems that we see now in the children and teenagers of Belarus and Ukraine.

Thus it is very important that we recognize the danger posed to children by the routine ingestion of contaminated food with Cesium-137 where ever they might live. It is also important to prevent further nuclear disasters which release these fiendishly toxic poisons into the global ecosystems. Given the immense amounts of long-lived radionuclides which exist at every nuclear power plant this is an urgent task.

Nuclear Power? No Thanks

I hope I have made it clear that long-lived radionuclides produced by nuclear power plants are neither “safe” nor “clean.” I would suggest that it is very bad idea to manufacture these nuclear poisons to try to make electricity, that it is past time we stopped manufacturing them and try to manage those which we have already created which must be isolated from the ecosystems for at least 100,000 years.

Thank you.

——————————————————————————–

Biographical Sketch of Steven Starr (from PSR):

Steven Starr, MT (ASCP), graduated from the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1985. He subsequently worked as a Medical Technologist over a period of 27 years at a number of hospitals in Columbia, Missouri, including Columbia Regional Hospital, Boone Hospital Center, and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, as well as at Saint Mary’s Health Center, in Jefferson City, Missouri. Mr. Starr is currently the Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Missouri.

Steven is an Associate member of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and has been published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His writings appear on the websites of PSR, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies, Scientists for Global Responsibility, and the International Network of Scientists Against Proliferation. Since 2007, he has worked with the governments of Switzerland, Chile, and New Zealand, in support of their efforts at the United Nations to eliminate thousands of high-alert, launch-ready nuclear weapons.

Mr. Starr is also an expert on the environmental consequences of nuclear war, and in 2011, he made an address to the U.N. General Assembly describing the dangers that nuclear weapons and nuclear war poses to all nations and peoples. He has made presentations to Ministry Officials, Parliamentarians, Universities, citizens and students from around the world, and specializes in making technical scientific information understandable to all audiences.

Bibliography of Recently Published Works:

Editor‘s note: this transcript was created from the broadcast quality audio recording program featuring Steven Starr produced by Maria Gilardin in her Fukushima Symposium Mini Series on TUC Radio. Starting with the PDF file in the March 11 Documents tab of < http://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf#>, the text below was fashioned using Maria’s Introduction and Mr. Starr’s actual presentation. (All highlighted text in the original PDF – e.g., underlining, italics, bold – is represented below as underlined text.) The slides were generated from copy generously provided by Mr. Starr. I am grateful for the assistance of Steven Starr and Maria Gilardin in assembling this presentation.

http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Fukushima/StevenStarr.html

Steven Starr, implications of radioactive cesium contamination — Part I

From Ratical.org

( PDF format )

The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium
Steven Starr

Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Director, University of Missouri, Clinical Laboratory Science Program
Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium
New York Academy of Medicine, 11 March 2013

Contents
Introduction
Presentation
Biographical Sketch of Steven Starr
Bibliography of Recently Published Works

from TUC Radio’s 10-part Fukushima Symposium Mini-Series
Recordings from March 11 and 12, 2013

Broadcast quality mp3 of the 30 minute program is here: < http://tucradio.org/Starr_FUKU_SYM_FOUR.mp3> (20.8 MB)

( PDF format )

Title

Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here today. A large number of highly radioactive isotopes released by the destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant grossly contaminated the Japanese mainland. Most of these radionuclides had short half lives which meant they would essentially disappear in a matter of days or months. For many of those who were exposed to them there will be major health consequences.

However, there were some radioactive elements that will not rapidly disappear. And it is these long-lived radionuclides that will remain to negatively affect the health of all complex life forms that are exposed to them.

Cesium-137

Chief among them is Cesium-137, which has taken on special significance because it is has proven to be the most abundant of the long-lived radionuclides that has remained in the environment following the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima. It has a 30 year radioactive half life which is why it persists in the environment. Scientists now believe that it will be 180 to 320 years before the Cesium-137 around the destroyed Chernobyl reactor actually disappears from the environment.

Cesium is water soluble and quickly makes its way into soils and waters. It is in the same atomic family as potassium and it mimics it, acting as a macronutrient. It quickly becomes ubiquitous in contaminated ecosystems.

It is distributed by the catastrophic accidents at nuclear power plants because large quantities of volatile radioactive cesium build up inside the fuel rods of nuclear reactors. Thus any accident at a nuclear reactor that causes the fuel rods to rupture, melt, or burn will cause the release of highly radioactive cesium gas.

Long-lived radionuclides such as Cesium-137 are something new to us as a species. They did not exist on Earth in any appreciable quantities during the entire evolution of complex life. Although they are invisible to our senses they are millions of times more poisonous than most of the common poisons we are familiar with. They cause cancer, leukemia, genetic mutations, birth defects, malformations, and abortions at concentrations almost below human recognition and comprehension. They are lethal at the atomic or molecular level.

They emit radiation, invisible forms of matter and energy that we might compare to fire, because radiation burns and destroys human tissue. But unlike the fire of fossil fuels, the nuclear fire that issues forth from radioactive elements cannot be extinguished. It is not a fire that can be scattered or suffocated because it burns at the atomic level—it comes from the disintegration of single atoms.

Thus, radioactivity is a term which indicates how many radioactive atoms are disintegrating in a time period. We measure the intensity of radioactivity by the rate of the disintegrations and the energy they produce.

Radioactivity

One Becquerel is equal to one atomic disintegration per second.

One Curie is defined as that amount of any radioactive material that will decay at a rate of 37 billion disintegrations per second.

So one Curie equals 37 billion Becquerels.

Potassium-40

Sometimes these man-made radionuclides are compared to naturally occurring radionuclides, such as Potassium-40, which is always found in bananas and other fruits. However this is a false comparison since naturally occurring radioactive elements are very weakly radioactive. In the lab chart the radioactivity is described as the “specific activity”. Note that Potassium-40 has a specific activity of 71 ten millionths of a Curie per gram. Compare that to the 88 Curies per gram for Cesium-137. This is like comparing a stick of dynamite to an atomic bomb.

Highly-radioactive fission products such as Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 emit 10 to 20 million times more radiation per unit volume than does Potassium-40. So which one of these would you rather have in your bananas?

Cs-137 10 million times more radioactive than Potassium-40

It is in fact the amount of Cesium-137 deposited per square kilometer of land that defines the degree to which an area is classified as being too radioactive to work or live. One may get an idea of the extreme toxicity of Cesium-137 by considering how little of it is required to make a large area of land uninhabitable.

Chernobyl: Cs-137 contamination

The lands that were grossly contaminated by the destruction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are classified by the number of Curies of radiation per square kilometer. There were 3840 square miles of land contaminated with 15 to 40 Curies of radiation per square kilometer. These lands are considered strict radiation dose-control zones.

Chernobyl: Cs-137 contamination
High Resolution Map Detail

The 1100 square mile uninhabitable exclusion zone that surrounds the destroyed Chernobyl reactor has greater than 40 Curies of radioactivity per square kilometer. For those more familiar with square miles, that would be 104 Curies per square mile.

Consider again that one gram of Cesium-137 has 88 Curies of radioactivity.

Thus, as little as one third of a gram of Cesium-137, made into microparticles and distributed as a smoke or gas over an area of one square kilometer, will make that square kilometer uninhabitable.

2 grams of Cs-137 - less than the weight of a US dime, distributed evenly over CentralPark, would make it a radioactive exclusion zone

Less than two grams of Cesium-137, a piece smaller than an American dime, if made into microparticles and evenly distributed as a radioactive gas over an area of one square mile, will turn that square mile into an uninhabitable radioactive exclusion zone. Central Park in New York City can be made uninhabitable by 2 grams of microparticles of Cesium-137. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Remember, these nuclear poisons are lethal at the atomic level. There are as many atoms in one gram of Cesium-137 as there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world. That’s 1021 atoms—10 to the 21st power. 1480 trillion of them or 1.48 times 10 to the 12th power are disintegrating every second, releasing invisible nuclear energy. So this works out to about one and a half million disintegrations per second per square meter. We can see how this works then.

150 million Curies Cs-137 in the spent fuel at Indian Point. Sources: Reconstruction and Analysis of Cesium-137 Fallout Deposition Patterns in the Marshall Islands, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 2000; National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, Cesium-137 in the Environment, Report No. 154, September 2007, Table 3.1,; Nuclear Energy Institute, Spent Nuclear Fuel at U.S. Reactors, December 2011,; and U.S. NRC, Characteristics for the Representative Commercial Spent Fuel Assembly for Preclosure Normal Operations, May 2007, Table 16.

Note the immense inventories of Cesium-137: 150 million Curies that are located in the nearby spent fuel pool at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant which is about 40 miles from here by road and less than that as the radioactive cloud flies. Many of the 104 US commercial nuclear reactors and power plants have more than 100 million Curies of Cesium-137 in their spent fuel pools. This is many times more than in the spent pools at Fukushima.

So now that we have some idea of the extreme toxicity of Cesium-137, let’s look at the extent of the contamination of the Japanese mainland.

Fukushima Explosion, March 11, 2011

It is now known that the reactors 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi all melted down and melted through the steel reactor vessels within a few days following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. This was not made public by either TEPCO or the Japanese government for two months.

Editor‘s note: this transcript was created from the broadcast quality audio recording program featuring Steven Starr produced by Maria Gilardin in her Fukushima Symposium Mini Series on TUC Radio. Starting with the PDF file in the March 11 Documents tab of < http://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf#>, the text below was fashioned using Maria’s Introduction and Mr. Starr’s actual presentation. (All highlighted text in the original PDF – e.g., underlining, italics, bold – is represented below as underlined text.) The slides were generated from copy generously provided by Mr. Starr. I am grateful for the assistance of Steven Starr and Maria Gilardin in assembling this presentation.

http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Fukushima/StevenStarr.html

 

– Comparisons with X-rays and CT scans are “meaningless” — Inhaling particles increases radiation exposure by “a factor of a trillion” says expert

From ENE News
March 22, 2011

Hirose Takashi: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and the State of the Media, Asahi NewStar, March 17, 2011:

Translation by Douglas Lummis

… [Interviewer] Yo: Every day the local government is measuring the radioactivity.  All the television stations are saying that while radiation is rising, it is still not high enough to be a danger to health. They compare it to a stomach x-ray, or if it goes up, to a CT scan.  What is the truth of the matter?

Hirose: For example, yesterday.  Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour.  With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means.  All of the information media are at fault here I think.  They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space.  But that’s one millisievert per year.  A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760.  Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose.  You call that safe?  And what media have reported this?  None.  They compare it to a CT scan, which is over in an instant; that has nothing to do with it.  The reason radioactivity can be measured is that radioactive material is escaping.  What is dangerous is when that material enters your body and irradiates it from inside.  These industry-mouthpiece scholars come on TV and what to they say?  They say as you move away the radiation is reduced in inverse ratio to the square of the distance.  I want to say the reverse.  Internal irradiation happens when radioactive material is ingested into the body.  What happens?  Say there is a nuclear particle one meter away from you. You breathe it in, it sticks inside your body; the distance between you and it is now at the micron level. One meter is 1000 millimeters, one micron is one thousandth of a millimeter.  That’s a thousand times a thousand squared.  That’s the real meaning of “inverse ratio of the square of the distance.”  Radiation exposure is increased by a factor of a trillion.  Inhaling even the tiniest particle, that’s the danger.

Yo:  So making comparisons with X-rays and CT scans has no meaning.  Because you can breathe in radioactive material.

Hirose:  That’s right.  When it enters your body, there’s no telling where it will go.  The biggest danger is women, especially pregnant women, and little children.  Now they’re talking about iodine and cesium, but that’s only part of it, they’re not using the proper detection instruments.  What they call monitoring means only measuring the amount of radiation in the air.  Their instruments don’t eat.  What they measure has no connection with the amount of radioactive material. . . .

http://enenews.com/comparisons-with-x-rays-and-ct-scans-meaningless-inhaling-particles-increases-radiation-exposure-by-a-factor-of-a-trillion-says-expert