23 August 2011

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Japan Set to Declare Wide Area Uninhabitable Due to Radiation

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Japan Set to Declare Wide Area Uninhabitable Due to Radiation
Aug. 22, 2011

By Greg Mitchell

The worst nuclear disaster to strike Japan since a single bomb fell over Nagasaki in 1945 occurred in the spring of 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the epic tsunami.  On August 22, The New York Times reports (in submerged fashion, headlining Gaddafi’s imminent fall in Libya) the disturbing news that a wide area around the Fukushima plant "could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels.”

According to The Times, "The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months." Just two weeks ago, it was reported that radiation readings at the site had reached their highest points to date.

As Winifred Bird and Elizabeth Grossman report, moreover, radiation risks have been compounded by severe chemical contamination throughout the Fukushima area and its peripheries as a result of earthquake tsunami destruction of petro-and agrochemical plants, iron foundries, steel works, automotive, electronics, plastics and pharmaceutical plants among others. Toxic Watch Network posted a map of 130 such facilities throughout the Northeast Region (http://japanfocus.org/-Winifred-Bird/3588).

Above all, the wide release of radiation, and fear of same, has forced the Japanese and others all over the world to reflect on what happened to the country in 1945, and the continuing (but usually submerged) threat of nuclear weapons and energy today.

In its main story marking the sixty-sixth anniversary of the atomic bombings, the New York Times highlighted the new activism of survivors of the bombing (the hibakusha): campaigning against nuclear power, which has provided most of their country’s energy needs. No one in the world can better relate to the fears of a wide populace terrified that they (and perhaps the unborn) may be tainted forever by exposure to radiation.

As Kodama Tatsuhiko, head of the Tokyo University Radioisotope Center has pointed out, the Japanese government has both concealed and distorted the true dimensions of radioactivity released following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Kodama observes that, “according to what we know so far, when we compare the amount of radiation that remained after the a-bomb and that of radiation from the nuclear plant, that of the former goes down to one-thousandth after one year whereas radioactive contaminants of the latter are reduced to only one-tenth.” (http://japanfocus.org/-Kodama-Tatsuhiko/3587) Zeroing in on the critical dangers to pregnant women and infants, he shows the extremely high risk of cancer in areas of radiation concentration in the form of Iodine and Cesium isotopes. Above all, Kodama shows that, given the vagaries of wind, rain, and terrain, the danger zone is by no means limited to the proposed evacuation zone.

My colleague Robert Jay Lifton in an op-ed for the New York Times titled “From Hiroshima to Fukushima,” pointedly asked “how it is possible that Japan, after its experience with the atomic bombings, could allow itself to draw so heavily on the same nuclear technology for the manufacture of about a third of its energy.” His answer was that there was “ . . . a pattern of denial, cover-up and cozy bureaucratic collusion between industry and government, the last especially notorious in Japan but by no means limited to that country.” [Yuki Tanaka explains why, before 3.11, with very few exceptions, there was little Hibakusha resistance to nuke power.]

The Mainichi Shimbun sought out Taniguchi Sumiteru, now 82, and currently director of the Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors Council, for comment. It noted that while he normally talks quietly and haltingly, “when the conversation turns to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant it is as if the floodgates open, and his tone suddenly turns harsh.” Taniguchi said: “Nuclear power and mankind cannot coexist. We survivors of the atomic bomb have said this all along. And yet, the use of nuclear power was camouflaged as ‘peaceful’ and continued to progress. You never know when there’s going to be a natural disaster. You can never say that there will never be a nuclear accident.”

As it happens, I have interviewed Taniguchi three times, in the United States and in Japan. He is perhaps the iconic symbol of the hibakusha today, thanks to footage of him taken after the bombing, showing him, months after the attack, still on a floor, spread-eagled, his entire back an open wound, flaming red. It was part of footage shot by a US film crew, and suppressed for decades, as I probe in my new book Atomic Cover-Up. (You can see some of the Taniguchi footage here.)

In April, 2011, five survivors’ organizations including Taniguchi’s Nagasaki group submitted a statement to the Japanese government declaring the collapse of the “safety myth” around nuclear power and demanding a change in the government’s energy policy to prevent creating any more hibakusha. And Hidankyo, the nationwide organization of hibakusha, where Taniguchi still serves on the board, “has sent a statement to the government,” Mainichi Shimbun reported, “demanding that it distribute health record booklets—similar to the ones that are distributed to atomic bomb victims and can be used as proof of radiation exposure—to nuclear power plant workers and residents living close to them, and also provide periodic health examinations to those populations.”

Taniguchi pointed out that numerous A-bomb survivors over the decades had sought help from the government after falling ill or suffering cancer and other diseases, allegedly from radiation exposure, but had been “abandoned.” The Mainichi article closed with this question: Will the people who are suffering from invisible dangers in Fukushima be subjected to the same treatment?

Of course, the Fukushima disaster forced me to relive my own experiences in visiting the atomic cities, and research into the significance of their bombing and the American “cover-up” since. I was hardly alone. Writing in a New York Times op-ed after Fukushima, Nassrine Azimi, a senior adviser at a United Nations Institute, observed: “When it comes to nuclear issues—from atomic weapons to nuclear power—no two nations could be more irredeemably intertwined. After the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, despite dissenting voices of some of its own citizens, America drew mostly wrong conclusions as it plunged into nuclear expansion.” She cited the book Lifton and I wrote several years ago, Hiroshima in America, for its painstaking account of “the relentless public relations campaign—unleashed by the Truman administration almost within hours of the Hiroshima bombing—that led to the Faustian bargain that blinded the Americans (and later the Japanese) to the insidious, long-term damage of radiation. Prominent journalists and media outlets of the time embraced, with enthusiasm, the ‘Dawn of the Atomic Age’ and America fell, in the authors’ words, into the ‘nuclear entrapment’ that is with us to this day.”

The 3.11 earthquake tsunami and nuclear meltdown have opened the way for hibakusha and the Japanese people to revisit the decision to predicate their energy future on nuclear power. While it would be premature to judge the outcome, critics of the exorbitant human, natural and financial costs of nuclear power in earthquake prone Japan, have begun to make their voices heard. Official recognition of the contamination of Fukushima will strengthen their convictions.

This is a slightly revised and expanded version of an article by Greg Mitchell at The Nation, August 22, 2011. Greg Mitchell’s new book is “Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and The Greatest Movie Never Made.” Email: epic1934@aol.com.
Authors: Greg Mitchell

21 August 2011

Fukushima: Pacific Ocean Radiation Over 3,000 Times Normal — Doctors Refusing To Treat Radiation Poisoning

  Posted by - August 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm - Permalink - Source via Alexander Higgins Blog

Fukushima nuclear radiation is being detected in the Pacific Ocean at levels 3,000 times normals as doctors refuse to treat people for radiation poisoning.


The Canadian reports:
Japan’s nuclear accident has caused radiation levels in the Pacfic Ocean to rise over 3,000 times normal. Say what?
Top scientists in the field of Marine Chemistry, have done the testing and research and the result is not good. Fukushima’s poison radiated water spewn into the pacific ocean will cause malformations in ocean life as well as the resulting food chain [ that's us], from platunium, I131 and ZM133 in the ocean.
It is very important that you see the ending result of this testing. You and I will be affected by the radiation as well as our farm animals, food supply and air. Yes our air.
Where do you think the condensation from the ocean goes? Remember the ol’ saying by Newton.. what goes up, must come down.
Dr. Chris Busby in the video above also indicates that doctors are refusing to treat patients for radiation sicknesses. That is apparently because these doctors are concerned that treating them would make that vulnerable to radiation sicknesses.
Source: The Canadian

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'People Are Suffering from Radiophobia'

Fukushima Nuclear CatastropheRSS

08/19/2011 Studying the Fukushima Aftermath

'People Are Suffering from Radiophobia'

Photo Gallery: 'People Have To Decide for Themselves Whether to Stay or Leave'
Japanese scientist Shunichi Yamashita is a leading expert on the effects of nuclear radiation. In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses his work in communicating the potential dangers of exposure to residents living near the Fukushima nuclear plant. The professor says many suffer from severe radiation anxiety. 

How dangerous are low doses of exposure to radioactivity to humans? This question is heatedly debated within the scientific community. But it is not an easy time to convey details of that debate to the people in Japan living near the Fukushima nuclear plant who have now been exposed to the dangers of radiation.

Radiation-protection specialist Shunichi Yamashita, 59, has made significant contributions to what is known about the effects of radioactive radiation. He has studied the survivors of the World War II atomic bombing of Nagasaki as well as the consequences of the 1986 reactor accident at Chernobyl, which he has visited nearly 100 times as part of a Japanese scientific envoy. He is currently researching the effects of the Fukushima catastrophe -- though his efforts are meeting with much resistance from local residents.

SPIEGEL interviewed Yamashita about the expected effects of exposure in Fukushima and his plans to conduct one of the largest scientific studies even undertaken in the region. As part of the study, he hopes to examine the health effects of the nuclear disaster on some 2 million people.

SPIEGEL: The government of the Fukushima prefecture has invited you to inform people in the affected region about radiation risks. Right at the beginning, you said: "The effects of radiation do not come to people who are happy and laughing, they come to people who are weak-spirited." What did you mean by that?

Yamashita: That was on March 20 during the first meeting. I was really shocked. The people were so serious, nobody laughed at all.

SPIEGEL: These people's villages and home towns are contaminated. Nobody knows about the invisible dangers. What did you expect?

Yamashita: The mood of the people was really depressed. From animal experiments with rats we clearly know that animals who are very susceptible to stress will be more affected by radiation. Stress is not good at all for people who are subjected to radiation. Besides, mental-state stress also supresses the immune system and therefore may promote some cancer and non-cancer diseases. That is why I told people that they also have to relax.
SPIEGEL: And to help people relax, you also said that doses of 100 millisievert per year would be fine? This is normally the limit for nuclear power plant workers in emergency conditions.

Yamashita: I did not say that 100 millisievert is fine and no reason to worry. I just said that below that threshold we cannot prove a higher risk for cancer. That is the evidence from research in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl.

SPIEGEL: But you didn't understand that your reassurances would make people even more angry and frightened?

Yamashita: I think it really contributed to the confusion that the Japanese government decided to set the standard for yearly maximal dose at 20 millisievert. The International Commission on Radiological Protection suggests a limit between 20 and 100 millisievert in a situation with a nuclear emergency. Which threshold you pick is a political decision. You must weigh the risks and benefits, because any evacuation will also have risks. The Japanese government chose the most careful radiological approach. That made people more confused and insecure.

SPIEGEL: Your comments have made you a controversial figure. A Japanese journalist wants to sue you. Anti-nuclear activists ..
Yamashita: ... they are not scientists, they are not doctors, they are not radiation specialists. They do not know the international standards, which researchers worked on very hard. It makes me sad that people believe gossip, magazines and even Twitter.

SPIEGEL: Why should the people trust experts who have been telling them for decades that nuclear power plants are 100-percent safe?

Yamashita: I was surprised when I arrived in Fukushima that nobody was prepared for such a disaster. I used to advise China and states of the former Soviet Union on radiation protection. Now we have a tremendous accident in my own country and are not prepared. People in Fukushima did not even know that there are 11 reactors in their region. The medical faculty of the University of Fukushima didn't have a single specialist in radioprotection medicine.

SPIEGEL: Would you address the people affected by the accident in a different manner today?

Yamashita: In a situation where people had no understanding of radioactivity at all, I wanted to be very clear. I have now changed my communications approach from black-and-white to gray scale.

SPIEGEL: People want clear answers. Where is it safe? And where is it not?

Yamashita: We don't have those answers. When people ask me: "Are doses below 100 millisievert 100 percent safe?" Then I have to answer as a scientist: "I don't know."

SPIEGEL: From previous studies we have learned that if 100 people are exposed to levels of 100 millisievert, statistically speaking, one person will get cancer because of the radiation. Is it possible to project the level of danger of lower doses?

Yamashita: That could be. The problem is that to estimate the risk for disease we use the so-called linear-nonthreshold dose-response model, which assumes that even a small additional radiation dose would cause a small increase in cancer incidence in an exposed population. Such an increase is theoretically measurable, but with the doses below 100 millisievert it is statistically insignificant and thus cannot be considered as an argument in support of excessive risk. Also, with a tumor we do not know what caused it. Radiation does not leave a diagnosable signature. From radiation biology we also know that smaller doses can damage human DNA. But the human body can effectively repair those injuries within a short time; this is a natural intrinsic protective mechanism. That is what I am trying to tell the people.

SPIEGEL: And what should people do with this kind of information?

Yamashita: With low radiation doses the people have to decide for themselves whether to stay or to leave. Nobody can make that decision for them. They have to weigh the risks and benefits: Moving can mean a loss of jobs and having to change schools for the children. These factors cause stress. On the other hand, this family might be able to avoid the risk of cancer, even if it is only minimal.

SPIEGEL: That families affected by the nuclear accident are being forced to make any such decision is a terrible burden.

Yamashita: Yes. Therefore Tepco and the Japanese government should support people in their decisions. They should support those who want to stay as well as those who think even more than one millisievert is too high.

SPIEGEL: What kind of health risk from the radiation will the people around the plant in Fukushima have to face?

Yamashita: I do not think there will be any direct effect of the radiation for the population. The doses are too small.

SPIEGEL: So you don't think there will be any cases of cancer or cancer deaths?

Yamashita: Based on the data, we have to assume that. Of course, the situation is different for the workers in the plant.

SPIEGEL: Now you are already talking about something you actually intend to research. You plan to monitor the health condition of the residents of Fukushima for the next 30 years.

Yamashita: In the current situation, it is very difficult for us to be accepted by the local residents. We have to make the best medical care possible for these people the first priority.

SPIEGEL: Do you think adopting a more understanding tone than you have up until now would help you to gain acceptance?

Yamashita: Because of the accident, Tepco and the Japanese government have lost the trust of the people in Fukushima completely. The people are suffering, not only because of the earthquake and the tsunami, but also from severe radiation anxiety, real radiophobia. Therefore we have to lower the anxiety (and) give them some emotional support. And, later, we can open the discussion about epidemiological studies. Without the support of the local people, we cannot do anything. In this situation it doesn't even help that I am the expert from Nagasaki and Chernobyl. This is why I moved to Fukushima.

SPIEGEL: Who do you want to examine in your study?

Yamashita: There are three groups. The workers, the children and the general population. The workers are exposed to high-dose radiation. We surely need to monitor them to follow the effects concerning cancer and other diseases. The general population would be divided into two groups: One that was exposed to relatively low radiation and one that was exposed to relatively high radiation. The Fukushima government health office is just finishing a pilot study with which they have questioned 26,000 people.

SPIEGEL: But the people don't know how much radiation they were exposed to.

Yamashita: That is what we have to find out. We ask where the people were on March 11 at what time and then we ask those questions for every day in March. We also ask what people ate the first two weeks after the accident, what material their house or apartment is built out of. We want to connect these data with information of the distribution of the radioactive cloud and calculate the dose after the fact.

SPIEGEL: How many people should participate?

Yamashita: All 2 million residents of Fukushima prefecture. It is a big task and would set a science record. The government just decided about compensation payments for people affected by the nuclear accident. Through such applications we want to try to contact also those who moved outside of Fukushima.

SPIEGEL: What about the children?

Yamashita: We want to test the thyroids of all children under 18, altogeher 360,000 children, with ultrasound. After exposure to radiation it takes about five years until thyroid cancer first develops. We know that from Chernobyl.

SPIEGEL: Are you also researching the mental effects of the disaster?
Yamashita: Of course. We know from Chernobyl that the psychological consequences are enormous. Life expectancy of the evacuees dropped from 65 to 58 years -- not because of cancer, but because of depression, alcoholism and suicide. Relocation is not easy, the stress is very big. We must not only track those problems, but also treat them. Otherwise people will feel they are just guinea pigs in our research.

Fukushima Now Radiating Everyone: ‘Unspeakable’ Reality ‘Will Impact All Of Humanity’

CBS 60 Minutes – Fukushima Now Radiating Everyone: ‘Unspeakable’ Reality ‘Will Impact All Of Humanity’

Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:29

Australia’s CBS exposed the “unspeakable” realities of the Japanese catastrophe in its 60 Minutes program Sunday night during which leading nuclear scientist Dr. Michio Kaku said radiation from Fukushima will impact of all of humanity.

The Examiner
August 16, 2011

CBS exposes extreme Fukushima radiation human rights violations while U.S. media remains silent.

Australia’s  CBS exposed the “unspeakable” realities of the Japanese catastrophe in its 60 Minutes program Sunday night during which leading nuclear scientist Dr. Michio Kaku said radiation from Fukushima will impact of all of humanity. The nuclear energy power industry violation of the right to health is apparent throughout the new Australian report.

“In fact the whole world will be exposed from the radiation from Fukushima,” Dr. Kaku told CBS reporter Liz Hayes

“We are already getting radiation from Fukushima,” Dr. Kaku said.

Just as Australia’s SBS exposed in depth the reality of the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico catastrophe unlike any U.S. mainstream news station, Sunday, Australia’s CBS has now exposed in depth the Fukushima catastrophe.

Quotes From Liz Hayes 60 Minutes Blog

Liz Hayes: Fallout

Liz Hayes From CBS TV Show 60 Minutes
Liz Hayes From CBS TV Show 60 Minutes

Chernobyl is about three-and-a-half hour’s drive from Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, a country still carrying the scars of a human and environmental catastrophe.
In April, 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, ironically during a safety test. What followed affected the world. A massive plume of smoke and a cloud of radiated particles swept across Europe and around the globe.
Frank was our radiation expert, because after Chernobyl we travelled to Japan and the contaminated territory of Fukushima.
Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima is ongoing. There is an exclusion zone and thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes.
These are not earthquake or tsunami victims. These are radiation refugees – people who miraculously survived the horrors of that dreadful natural disaster in March, only to be made homeless by the meltdown of nuclear reactors in their region.

Much of the region is rural and deceptively peaceful. A Geiger counter the only indication radiation, the invisible enemy, is present.

The human face of this dreadful situation can be seen in shelters in public buildings. It’s where you’ll find families, old and young, struggling to retrieve their lives – a near impossibility when all you have is a cardboard box to mark out your spot, your home.

I don’t know how Japan will recover, and how these refugees will survive. Like Chernobyl, Fukushima could well become a dead zone, where no one will ever be able to return.
Read The Entire Article

“The Fukushima crisis is far from over. The crippled nuclear power plant is still leaking; and, judging from Chernobyl, recovery will not be measured in years, more like centuries,” reported the Australian presenter Liz Hayes.

Best known in Australia for reporting on 60 Minutes, Hayes is also known as former co-host of Australia’s Today, a position she held by popular demand for a decade.

As Hayes traveled through now deserted areas of rubble, that were once houses, toward Fukushima, the silence was shattered by the beeping of deadly gamma radiation fallout 40 kilometers from the crippled nuclear power plant.

“Gamma radiation is a stronger form of radiation and will go through most things apart from lead,” warned Frank Jackson, refusing to to drive Hayes any further.

Hayes stated after the Fukushima assignment, ”When I realised my only safety devices on my latest assignment were a couple of Geiger counters, some pretty flimsy pieces of protective clothing and a burly bloke named Frank, I must say I feared this was one of those times when the risks didn’t add up.”

Introducing Dr. Kaku on the Fukushima 60 Minutes programHayes said, “If you thought nuclear power had been averted in Japan, then meet physicist Michio Kaku.”

Dr. Kaku told Hayes, “If you’ve been exposed to Cesium because you’re a nuclear power worker, even after your long dead and buried, your grave site will be radioactive.”

“Your great grand kids can come to your grave site with a Geiger counter and see that great granddaddy still has radiation at his grave site.”

Unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe: Nuclear refugees

So far, over 135,000 Japanese people have been forced to evacuate according to Hayes.
Riding toward Fukushima, through piles of rubble for stretches where homes once stood, documented in CBS  program, Hayes said, ”Streets and towns and villages are deserted.”

“And locals have been told their food and water may be contaminated.”

Stopping along the way, the Geiger showed that a head of cabbage registered as much radiation as an X-ray.
“So every time you have a cabbage, you have an X-ray,” said Hayes.

Radiation refugees by the thousands, wearing masks, live in cardboard shelters, sleeping on the floors of public buildings, with few possessions and little to no privacy, as Hayes saw first-hand and was documented by CBS.

“People have gone to a lot of trouble to make cardboard box into their home.”
Many Japanese people fear their country will never fully recover.

“Do you think you’ll ever be able to take food, water and air you breathe for granted again?” Hayes asked Chia Maxamoto.
“Ah, knowingly? I don’t think so.”
Dr. Kaku asserted about the Japanese people, “These are guinea pigs, absolute human guinea pigs.”
Chernobyl plant and people still crippled and crippling Hayes of CBS went to Chernobyl to document the scene there that is still “incredibly radioactive.”
“It is a terrible reminder of the horrors those rescue workers faced of not just a fire, but an invisible enemy.”
With what she called her “trusty producer, Phil Goyen, and crew, Scott Morelli and David Ballment, in toe,” Hayes “headed into the exclusion zone of Chernobyl, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.”
Hayes wrote about the Chernobyl dead zone, “where remnants of lives once lived can be seen everywhere. Homes and schools and playgrounds frozen in time from the day workers and their families were ordered out, never to return.
“We entered a hospital where the first fire fighters to attend the exploding nuclear plant were taken. Their uniforms are still in the basement, and still highly radioactive.”
She said that entering the radiation hospital was a moment she will never forget, furthering, “For the first time I had a sense of the fear and horror those rescue workers must have felt. A terrible death from something they couldn’t see or touch or smell, but certainly felt.”
Children born years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster still develop cancer from it, as documented by CBS when Hayes was at Kievis Radiation Hospital built specifically for Chernobyl victims, some of whom Hayes interviewed.
These children are “battling cancer and other illnesses believed to be caused by the contamination,” she said.
Children over 32 miles from Fukushima ground zero are already suffering fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds, the three most common of eight radiation sickness signs, the three in the earliest stage of the disease. Five hundred Fukushima children already have radiation in their thyroids.
Explaining that 5,000 tons of Boric acid, concrete and sand were used to bury Chernobyl’s reactor, Dr. Kaku added, ”It took years to do this and created a sarcophagus.”
“We all have Chernobyl radiation in our bodies.”
With the Chernobyl power plant in the background, Hayes said there “now a mere band aid over a molten core that is still hot and some still fear is still melting.”
A new sarcophagus has to built because the original one is breaking down.
“The Chernobyl nuclear disaster is still far from over,” said Hayes, reporting that to this day, there is still a 30 kilometer exclusion zone around the nuclear energy plant.
Since 1986, over 5 million people have been affected around Chernobyl according to scientist Iryna Lubunska, interviewed by Hayes.
“One of the things I feel I should know now is where a nuclear reactor is in any country, anywhere in the world, because it might affect me even if I don’t live in that country,” said Hayes.
Today, people as far away as in England are still being affected by Chernobyl.

Fukushima radiation is now combined in the U.S. with toxic radioactive tritium leaking from three-quarters of United States nuclear power plants, radiation from fracking, and radiation from the 2010 BP Gulf oil catastrophe.

Although a tight lid on Fukushima fallout information is keeping Americans in harms way after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a secret pact with Japan to continue importing its untested food, and government agreed to downplay the fallout lethality, the nuclear energy silent killer continues devouring its victims, now and will for generations, as CBS documented.

Source: CBS 60 Minutes – Fukushima Now Radiating Everyone: ‘Unspeakable’ Reality ‘Will Impact All Of Humanity’ ©
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