Children of Fukushima battle an invisible enemy

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  • 3

    In_japan

    Invisible enemy = TEPCO. They will know once they'll grow.

  • 7

    HongoTAFEinmate

    Will leave politics out of this for a moment. That being said, this is perhaps the saddest tragedy of the whole Fukushima affair. A long time after we (this generation) have shuffled off our mortal coil, future generations of people will have to live with the fallout of this disaster. Even one child suffering from illness as a direct result of this accident is unacceptable.

  • -4

    Disillusioned

    It's always the kids that suffer the most in any disaster. Here we have a whole generation of kids whose lives have been totally screwed by one nuclear disaster and yet, the j-gov is desperately trying to reinstigate nuclear power as Japan's main energy source. Governments have a long history of putting economics over environment, but when they start putting economics over the well-being of the population it is time to change your government and oust its policies. That is the whole point of democracy. Japan is a democracy, isn't it? (Sarcasm) I feel sorry for these kids growing up in a country that doesn't give a shit about anything besides money.

  • -3

    David Foley

    This is the future for all of Japan if people dont get their acts together. You got nuclear power plants dotting the most earthquake prone country in the world. Who were the idiots who that that was safe? The 1 in a million chance of a meltdown has now happened and those chances in retrospect were really 1 in 1 cause its a reality now and the only thing these children know. Japanese elderly politicians may have an apocalyptic Hokuto no Ken style nuclear armageddon fantasy but the younger generation shouldnt have to suffer for that.

  • 5

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Im sorry, I know it is not as simple as this, but If I was living in Fukushima at the time of the quake, with small kids, I would have been OUT of there, taking my children and family with me. You can find new jobs, you can find new houses, but putting kids at risk of radiation induced illness is just incomprehensible to me.

    You need money and resources to relocate, of course, but after 3 years the parents of these children are living there because they choose to. Not because they have to. It baffles me as to why they would want to.

  • 9

    sillygirl

    Get those kids somewhere they can have sunshine. Sunshine is extremely important for physical AND mental health.

  • 0

    Utrack

    The Fukushima adults and children seem to be more aware than the rest of the country. High levels have been recorded as far away as Chiba, with the incineration of waste and debris.

    TV: 70% of children tested are contaminated with radioactive cesium, All of them from outside Fukushima Prefecture (VIDEO)

    http://enenews.com/tv-cesium-contamination-found-in-70-of-children-tested-all-from-outside-fukushima-prefecture-video

  • 5

    papigiulio

    You know what makes me angry.......

    Look at that room!!! Does it make you want to play there? Friggin depressing, no colors of cute drawings, friggin aircon is visible as well and look at the chairs. The government doesn't care at ALL! They cant even spend a little extra making the room more colorful for the kids. disgusting. seriously!

  • 3

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Play room looks like a jail. No efforts to decorate at all. This is going to be one batch of childhood-free kids. How selfish of their parents to not buck up and move far away and start over...lots of countryside places need new families. Why haven't they organized???

  • 2

    Reckless

    you know I understand all that "attached to my ancestors land" and all that, but I moved across a continent when I was a kid and live across the ocean now and it ain't a big deal. large parts of Japan have few young people,,, I think these parents should just move!

  • 4

    taj

    " whose lives have been totally screwed "

    Nice. Way to stigmatize a whole generation. No wonder parents are suffering from stress-related disorders. People like you are telling them their kids lives are ruined beginning to end.

    You are adding to the problem. Please recognize that.

  • 1

    Cricky

    The area is TOXIC, the government should have moved everyone away. The problem has extended well beyond, to areas that are suprising. Yet we are told nothing, actually we are told it's contained? It's not, can not see it can not smell it but it's there. LDP want to start more NPs and continue the population to absorb everything they spew.

  • -1

    Utrack

    This Contamination is serious......

    Weekly Asahi: 70% of children tested in Kanto (a region that includes Tokyo) have radioactive cesium in their urine -Journalist #Fukushima

    http://enenews.com/weekly-asahi-70-of-children-tested-in-kanto-region-including-tokyo-had-radioactive-cesium-in-their-urine-journalist

  • 6

    zichi

    How will the experience affect them by the time of adulthood? Generations learning to cope with and deal with radiation, real and imaginary. Dealing with areas you can go and others you can't? People who you can marry and can't. There will be many major problems developing unless the authority steps in and changes direction and destination.

  • 7

    lostrune2

    Those kids don't know it yet, but if they stay there, there's an even bigger hidden danger - they'll forever be marked for discrimination. Nobody would want to be associated with a Fukushima baby.

  • 1

    Utrack

    Study: Contamination in Tokyo suburb 3 times higher than area 1 mile from Fukushima Daiichi, Nuclear Scientist: Significant contamination in Tokyo, a serious problem (AUDIO)

    http://enenews.com/study-contamination-in-tokyo-suburb-3-times-higher-than-area-just-1-mile-from-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-scientist-significant-contamination-problems-in-tokyo-its-serious-audio

  • -1

    Frungy

    Though thyroid cancer in children was linked to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, the United Nations said last May that cancer rates were not expected to rise after Fukushima.

    How can the U.N. make this statement? Is Japan some sort of magical land where the rules of biology are suspended? I suspect that the U.N. is special place where the laws of cause and effect are suspended for the sake of political expediency.

    We need to see more independent research from international organisations monitoring these kids for the first sign of cancer, followed by aggressive legal action against TEPCO, the Japanese government and the U.N. for giving medical advice that they weren't qualified to give.

  • 1

    kmarr4

    I'm a little confused on one point. I don't know a lot about radiation and how far the effects spread, but I was of the opinion that being inside doesn't change the radiation levels? Do the walls have some form of radiation shielding, or does radiation simply not penetrate indoors?

  • 1

    Utrack

    kmarr4

    See the illustrated chart

    http://www.nucleartourist.com/systems/rad.htm

  • 4

    Heda_Madness

    Frungy,

    It's because of how the Soviets dealt with Chernobyl and how the Japanese dealt with Fukushima. Milk was highly contaminated but was kept in the food chain and was broad leaved vegetables. The soviets allowed their children to continue to drink contaminated milk. This didn't happen in Japan as the Japanese were very quick and pulling contaminated food from the market. And whilst there have presumably been lapses it hasn't been at the same systematic level that the Soviets did.

  • 0

    minello7

    The Japanese government should hang their heads in shame at this article, this is not how children are meant to grow up,or anyone for that matter, aren't those high paid execs at TEPCO or those fat cats in government feeling any remorse.

  • -3

    Mike O'Brien

    Even one child suffering from illness as a direct result of this accident is unacceptable.

    And when that illness is caused by irrational fear who do you blame?

    You got nuclear power plants dotting the most earthquake prone country in the world. Who were the idiots who that that was safe?

    The earthquake didn't cause the meltdowns, how about laying the blame where it belongs?

    TV: 70% of children tested are contaminated with radioactive cesium, All of them from outside Fukushima Prefecture (VIDEO)

    Only 70%? It should be 100% because everyone on the planet has cesium in their bodies from the nuclear weapons testing in the 60's and 70's.

    People who you can marry and can't.

    What?

    How can the U.N. make this statement? Is Japan some sort of magical land where the rules of biology are suspended?

    Well the fact that unlike Chernobyl, Japanese generally did not have iodine deficiencies prior to the accident which greatly limits how much radioactive iodine the body will absorb. And unlike Chernobyl, the people closest to the accident where promptly evacuated and suspect foods were removed from the foodchain. And in the initial phases of the accident much of the iodine was blown out to sea rather than toward populated areas. No suspension of the rules of biology, just different conditions.

    followed by aggressive legal action against TEPCO, the Japanese government and the U.N. for giving medical advice that they weren't qualified to give.

    And if it turns out their medical advice was correct? Oh wait, you already know it wasn't correct and will maintain that belief even if independent medical testing shows nothing.

  • 0

    avigator

    Invisible like government ineptitude.

  • -2

    mitokomonalex

    And what sad fate for these kids and generations to come. And no one has been convicted for this crime to humanity. Until that day comes Japan will never recover.

  • 2

    Fukuppy

    Sudden nosebleeds?!! What in heaven's name are those children (and adults) still doing there? It is obviously far from safe! Get them out of there now!

  • 6

    zichi

    According to a new NHK Survey, 80% of Japanese don’t want nuclear plants anymore......

  • 0

    Clinton Meskanen

    the ex-Priminister now travels the world saying he was wrong? is this correct? "The children should have been evacuated"... as should have been Tokyo....

  • 1

    wipeout

    The earthquake didn't cause the meltdowns, how about laying the blame where it belongs?

    The question is who to believe. TEPCO certainly isn't a credible source of information about the cause, but in the early days and weeks after the earthquake, their version of what happened (the one with the word "unforseeable" in it) is the one that prevailed. That's been questioned much more closely since, and one official investigation has pointed out that it isn't possible to know the full story at this stage. Serious earthquake damage is a possibility. < http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-05/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-was-man-made-investigation-rules.html

    Naturally, it is vociferously opposed in some quarters, because if it were ever shown to be true, it would create an almost impossible obstacle to the resumption of nuclear power generation in this country.

    Another earthquake issue - I get the idea that the risk from earthquakes is something you'd prefer to sweep aside - is that some reactors are now suspected or known to be on active fault lines, as at Tsuruga. There's an interesting summary of the seismology here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuruga_Nuclear_Power_Plant

    Japan has to take the earthquake risk far more seriously than in the past, and it's almost certain that some plants will never generate another watt.

    Unfortunately, your stance simply highlights the fact that - human incompetence and dishonesty aside - nuclear power in Japan faces a double threat that is beyond human control: from tsunami (thanks for your insistence on that, and it's a good point, with all those plants located on the coast) AND from earthquakes.

  • 0

    Alex80

    Nuclear power isn't safe. It's not only a Japanese nuclear village problem, it's a problem of nuclear village worldwide. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: three major nuclear accidents in only 32 years! This is madness! And the list is way longer if we consider the minor accidents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents

    And the governments always minimize and lie to us! Wake up people! We are destroying our lives!

  • 1

    Star-viking

    The enemy is not invisible, as the article title suggests - it is quite visible, and shown by some commenters here:

    fearmongering.

  • 7

    zichi

  • -2

    jerseyboy

    And the impact is now starting to show, with children experiencing falling strength, lack of coordination, some can not even ride a bicycle, and emotional issues like shorter tempers, officials and educators say.

    Meanwhile no one at TEPCO has gone to jail, and TEPCO is now making a profit again. These kids are just viewed as collateral damage to Japan Inc. Sad comment on Japan society and what it values.

  • 3

    Alex80

    fearmongering.

    What? Did you read the link I posted from Wikipedia? And I was wrong, that list isn't even about "minor accidents", but about "notable civilian accidents"...so what about all the minor accidents? Probably we don't even know how many of them happen...it's terrible. I'm Italian, I was 5 years old when Chernobyl happened, and I remember I was not able to understand why my mother didn't want that I played in the grass...It was so weird and surreal. I wonder how much contaminated food I ate, but I could remain to live in my city, at least, since the contamination wasn't that serious. I pity Chernobyl and Fukushima people so much.

  • 6

    YongYang

    Money for the olympics but none for these children to be moved to safety... an absolute disgrace.

  • -4

    Frungy

    Heda_MadnessMar. 10, 2014 - 06:57PM JST Frungy, It's because of how the Soviets dealt with Chernobyl and how the Japanese dealt with Fukushima. Milk was highly contaminated but was kept in the food chain and was broad leaved vegetables. The soviets allowed their children to continue to drink contaminated milk. This didn't happen in Japan as the Japanese were very quick and pulling contaminated food from the market. And whilst there have presumably been lapses it hasn't been at the same systematic level that the Soviets did.

    And what the Soviets did would explain the elevated levels of thyroid cancer in children in countries as far away as the U.K.? Sorry, but your explanation doesn't account for the observed facts.

  • -1

    Mike O'Brien

    Another earthquake issue - I get the idea that the risk from earthquakes is something you'd prefer to sweep aside

    And just where do you get that idea?

    is that some reactors are now suspected or known to be on active fault lines

    And the earthquake that caused the tsunami on 3/11/11 was not actually at Fukushima, it was over 80 miles away.

    Japan has to take the earthquake risk far more seriously than in the past

    Why? Please tell us about a single nuclear plant that was significantly damaged by an earthquake? The nuclear plants at Fukushima Daini where actually closer to the 3/11/11 earthquake and yet survived just fine.

    Unfortunately, your stance

    Unfortunately you have no idea what my stance is.

  • -1

    Utrack

    Available studies estimated the number of fatalities amongst infants as a result of Chernobyl to be about 5000.

    Genetic and teratogenic damage (malformations) have also risen significantly not only in the three directly affected countries but also in many European countries. In Bavaria alone, between 1000 and 3000 additional birth deformities have been found since Chernobyl. We fear that in Europe more than 10,000 severe abnormalities could have been radiation induced. The estimated figure of unreported cases is high, given that even the IAEA came to the conclusion that there were between 100,000 and 200,000 abortions in Western Europe because of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

    http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/HEofC25yrsAC.html

  • -2

    sf2k

    the real definition of Abenomics

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    http://jciv.iidj.net/map/EN

    This is a current radiation level in Japan.

    The most important issue is to deal with this proactively to protect yourself. I have a lot to say, but I keep it simple to bring out the fact findings first.

  • 0

    Mike O'Brien

    According to a new NHK Survey, 80% of Japanese don’t want nuclear plants anymore......

    Except that survey, as reported by NHK themselves, says no such thing.

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140310_09.html

    "Only 11 percent said the reactors should go into operation again. 44 percent said they should not. Another 44 percent were undecided."

    No 80% for eliminating nuclear there.

    "Asked about how the government should deal with existing nuclear reactors, 46 percent said the number of reactors should be reduced. Thirty percent said all of them should be demolished."

    No 80% for eliminating nuclear there either.

    "The survey asked people if they are concerned that an accident may happen at a nuclear plant and affect people living in the area. Thirty-seven percent said they are very much concerned, and 50 percent said they are somewhat concerned. Fourteen percent said they have little or no concern."

    Well 37% + 50% is more than 80%, but being concerned is not the same as 'don't want nuclear plants any more.

    Available studies estimated the number of fatalities amongst infants as a result of Chernobyl to be about 5000.

    And other available studies found the estimate of 5000 to be wildly exagerated, along with the other numbers in the linked study.

  • 3

    zichi

    Survey: 80% want to scrap nuclear power plants http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140310_09.html

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    And the first line of that report shows the deceptiveness of the headline:

    A survey by NHK finds nearly 80 percent of Japanese are in favor of scrapping some or all of the country's nuclear power plants.

    Some OR all.

    Frungy,

    Got a reference for increased thyroid cancer rates in the UK that are definitively linked to Chernobyl?

    Alex80,

    Yes, fearmongering. No one has died from radiation from Fukushima. Many died from a rushed and uncoordinated evacution, and more died from stress from peole telling them they were doomed. I guess more will - when you think you are doomed you make poor lifestyle choices.

  • -3

    Utrack

    Nowhere in Japan is safe, even the Japanese know that... But there are Japanese who want to make Japan safe for folks again.

  • 3

    zichi

    There are many polls and surveys showing strong opposition to the future use of nuclear energy.

    According to this month’s poll published by the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, 69 percent of respondents said nuclear power should be phased out over time or immediately. The March 1 and 2 poll surveyed 3,000 people with a 58 percent response rate.

    http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/politics/news/CK2014030902000128.html

  • -1

    Fukuppy

    It is one grim looking sandpit! Too small as well. And dare I ask where the sand has been brought in from?

  • -1

    Frungy

    Star-vikingMar. 11, 2014 - 01:16AM JST Frungy,

    Got a reference for increased thyroid cancer rates in the UK that are definitively linked to Chernobyl?

    Yes.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959804900004494

  • -3

    Cos

    Thyroid cancers, that may be hard to tell. But the stress of educating kids in that fear, even it's fear of an imaginary risk, it is with no doubt doing them bad. Add to it the lack of exposure to sunlight, good natural ions, weirdness of growing up differently...

    But there are those who can’t leave,

    Everybody CAN leave. 99.999% of Japan is safer. Move the kids, the parents, their jobs, the grandparents,,, ! Let those 2 or 3 towns fall into dust. That would be really nothing to do for government to support their relocation... compared to repairing all the broken stuff around the plants.

  • 3

    zichi

    Mayor of Town That Hosted Fukushima Nuclear Plant Says He Was Told: “No Accident Could Ever Happen” http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/17/mayor_of_town_that_hosted_fukushima

  • -1

    Heda_Madness

    Frungy,

    Google milk and Chernobyl - it's pretty much accepted by everyone that the increased Thyroid cancers in Chernobyl was as a result of the way the Soviets allowed the food to stay in the market. It's without question.

    As for Cumbria... it's interesting. There would appear to be an increase in Thyroid cancer from 1986 but what your article doesn't state is that Thyroid cancer across the UK has increased since the 70s (Cancer Society). Within the UK Cumbria, North Wales, Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland received higher levels of radiation from Chernobyl. Given that it only appears to be Cumbria with higher instances of thyroid cancer it would be very difficult to prove that it was as a direct cause of Chernobyl and not due to other background issues including Sellafield. Though as your article was posted in 2001 it would be interesting to see what has happened there over the past 13 years and whether the pattern was shown over the rest of the UK. In fact from looking at the Cancer Research Website you will see a substantial increase over the past 40 years - with the greatest jump being at the end of the 90's. It has been suggested that this is due to improved testing as opposed to an actual increase. If you look at the Cumbrian data, it would be interesting to see whether the same robust testing was placed over other areas of the UK at the time.

  • -2

    GyGene

    I'm so mad I didn't even read the whole article, nor many comments. I just need to say how much I HATE nuclear anything. Mankind has unleashed an incredible disaster. I need to go cool down a bit...

  • 2

    Mike O'Brien

    @Frungy, from your link

    "although a greater effect in the younger rather than the older age group would have been anticipated. However, factors including improvements in ascertainment and earlier detection of tumours may also have contributed to the increasing incidence."

    So the authors clearly DON'T say that the increase is related to Chernobyl. And thyroid cancer caused by radioiodine generally takes 5-7 years to appear after exposure. The abstract seems to claim the increase started immediately.

    http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v87/n11/full/6600647a.html

    Classification and incidence of cancers in adolescents and young adults in England 1979–1997

    This later study says:

    "We observed an increase in the rates for thyroid carcinoma, particularly in females (data not shown). An increased incidence for thyroid cancer in young adults, has been noted before (Cotterill et al, 2001). Concern was raised that this may be related to radioactive fall-out from the Chernobyl accident, but the observed pattern of thyroid cancer incidence is inconsistent with this interpretation (Stiller, 2001)." (Bold mine)

  • -5

    Frungy

    Mike O'BrienMar. 11, 2014 - 05:37AM JST @Frungy, from your link So the authors clearly DON'T say that the increase is related to Chernobyl.

    From the paper:

    "Regression models showed a significant increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer after the Chernobyl accident (P=0.002). In Cumbria, the area receiving the heaviest fallout in the UK, the increase in incidence was much greater (rate ratio 12.19, 95% CI 1.5–101.2). These temporal and spatial changes in incidence are consistent with a causal association with the Chernobyl accident although a greater effect in the younger rather than the older age group would have been anticipated."

    There's also this paper (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/6/12/3105) which confirms that Chernobyl radiation resulted in higher levels of cancer in the UK.

    Back to my original point though, which is that we can expect to see higher levels of thyroid cancer in the children around Fukushima.

    From another paper: "Reports from studies of survivors of the Chernobyl accident have reported a high risk of thyroid cancer in children as a consequence of exposure to low-dose radiation" (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.24581/full)

    I don't understand why you're attempting to argue this issue, it has been conclusively proven. Children are far more sensitive to radiation than adults. The underlying physiological reasons are known. Iodine (to which radioactive particles bond) is absorbed by the growing body (specifically the thyroid, but also in other places) and not excreted (as in adults). This means that children retain far more radiation than adults per exposure.

    Perhaps you have children and are trying to convince yourself that living in Fukushima won't do them any harm. It is my duty to inform you that it will, and that any parent with the means should evacuate their child from Fukushima as fast as possible and not return.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    And the risk increased if the food is heavily contaminated. Which is why there were so many problems after Chernobyl.

    I don't know why you seem to want to ignore all of the facts on this.

    Why were there so many cases of thyroid irregularities after Chernobyl? Because the food was contaminated. Especially milk and children consume high amounts of milk.

    Find someone who disagrees with that conclusion.

  • -6

    Frungy

    Heda_MadnessMar. 11, 2014 - 09:10AM JST And the risk increased if the food is heavily contaminated. Which is why there were so many problems after Chernobyl.

    Yes, and no. Yes, contaminated food increases the risk. No, it wasn't the ONLY reason there were so many problems after Chernobyl.

    I don't know why you seem to want to ignore all of the facts on this.

    I'm not the one ignoring the facts, you are.

    Why were there so many cases of thyroid irregularities after Chernobyl? Because the food was contaminated. Especially milk and children consume high amounts of milk.

    I think you're trying to attribute a complex phenomenon to a single cause, contaminated milk. This seems to be your pet theory, but frankly it doesn't account for the rise in cancers seen in the U.K. and surrounding European countries where radiation from food was monitored very closely.

    Find someone who disagrees with that conclusion.

    If you're attributing all of the cancer cases from Chernobyl in Europe to contaminated milk then I'm afraid that the list of people who would disagree with you is simply too long to list.

  • 1

    Heda_Madness

    I'm not ignoring anything. I am merely pointing out that the main reason for such a high level of thyroid irregularities in Chernobyl is because contaminated food stayed in the food chain.

    You asked:

    How can the U.N. make this statement? Is Japan some sort of magical land where the rules of biology are suspended?

    I responded with the facts that this was largely due to food. Of course there are other issues but the reason why so few children will be affected in Fukushima (and beyond) is because of the way that contaminated food was removed from the market.

    Now in the UK, you mention that there was increased thyroid issues in Cumbria after 1986. As I mentioned there was increased thyroid issues in the UK from the 1970s, the data in Cumbria is interesting but on it's own it proves nothing. Why weren't there similar increases in North Wales or Northern Ireland. What level of testing was carried on in Cumbria compared to the rest of the UK? And why the jump in numbers at the end of the 90s? And what's the data for Cumbria since 2001?

    Also, given the fire at Windscale and the fact that contaminated food entered in the food chain (it was only after May 1986 they tested) the UK is not the easiest example to pin on Chernobyl. Afterall, it's only been relatively recently that they've allowed all farms to begin farming. No one bothered to check how much contaminated food entered the market in the 50's. That food incindentally came from Cumbria.

  • 2

    Star-viking

    Frungy,

    There's also this paper (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/6/12/3105) which confirms that Chernobyl radiation resulted in higher levels of cancer in the UK.

    Ah, a paper from Chris 'I have some bargain radiation pills to sell you' Busby. Any noticeable paper of his gets ripped to shreds by those who actually work in the field the paper is published in.

    On the subject of thyroid cancer 'Changing trends in incidence and mortality of thyroid cancer in Scotland' concludes thusly:

    Conclusions  Thyroid cancer incidence has increased in Scotland over the past 40 years. This is accompanied by a change in the distribution of histological type with a particular increase in papillary carcinoma. The reasons for this may relate partly to changes in clinical practice and histological criteria. Falling mortality in the face of increasing incidence reflects improvements in survival, which should improve further with the introduction and implementation of standardized treatment protocols.

    Nothing about Chernobyl.

  • 0

    LostSoul45

    Wow. The ignorance and radiophobia on display here are jaw-droppingly shocking.

    Please read this section of the article again:

    Radiation levels around the Emporium Kindergarten in Koriyama were now down around 0.12-0.14 microsieverts per hour, from 3.1 to 3.7 right after the quake.... This works out to be lower than Japan’s safety level of 1,000 microsieverts a year,...

    The immediate post-quake high-end figure of 3.7 uSv/hour works out to 32,434 uSv/year or 32.4 milli-Sv/year (3.7 x 8,766 hours in a year) which might sound scary since it's over 32 times "Japan's safety level", but guess what? It's completely negligible compared with 800 mSv **of natural background radiation in southwestern France, **700 mSv **in parts of Brazil, and **400 mSv in the Ramsar region of Iran. None of these regions have exceptionally high rates of mortality or disease, cancerous or otherwise.

    By the way, following the Chernobyl disaster, the average annual radiation between 1986 and 2005 was 2.4 mSv in Belarus, 1.1 mSv in Russia, and 1.2 mSv in the Ukraine: Again infinitesimal figures by comparison.

    Here's some more facts those of you who prefer to live in a state of fear and ignorance will no doubt dismiss in classic knee-jerk fashion: There have been no confirmed fatalities among the general population as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Fear of thyroid cancers prompted the Soviet authorities to bring in brand new state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies and equipment and implement compulsory annual screening. The sudden use of such high-tech and frequent screening that were not in routine use before the disaster detected 4,000 new thyroid cancer cases among children in Belarus, Russia, and the Ukraine in the vicinity of the Chernobyl plant. But these occult thyroid cancers are extremely common all over the world, with rates of 9.3% in Belarus, 28% in Japan, and 35.6% in Finland. In Finland, occult thyroid cancers are found in 2.4% of children, which is 90 times more than the maximum rate in Bryansk, the most contaminated region of Russia.

    So....based on these facts, the logical conclusion is that thyroid cancers in the regions near Chernobyl only appeared to increase due to the much more frequent and in-depth screening applied, which detected occult cancers that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

    So Fukushima is "toxic" you say? Rubbish! Such irrational and harmful hysteria is the real threat to these innocent children.

    Please give me all the thumbs down you want, but please, please do some basic fact checking before spewing pernicious fear-mongering.

  • -4

    Frungy

    LostSoul45Mar. 11, 2014 - 02:41PM JST Wow. The ignorance and radiophobia on display here are jaw-droppingly shocking.

    Radiation levels around the Emporium Kindergarten in Koriyama were now down around 0.12-0.14 microsieverts per hour, from 3.1 to 3.7 right after the quake.... This works out to be lower than Japan’s safety level of 1,000 microsieverts a year,...

    A radiation safety figure that is based on.... adults. Children are far more sensitive to radiation.

    The immediate post-quake high-end figure of 3.7 uSv/hour works out to 32,434 uSv/year or 32.4 milli-Sv/year (3.7 x 8,766 hours in a year) which might sound scary since it's over 32 times "Japan's safety level", but guess what? It's completely negligible compared with 800 mSv **of natural background radiation in southwestern France, **700 mSv **in parts of Brazil, and **400 mSv in the Ramsar region of Iran. None of these regions have exceptionally high rates of mortality or disease, cancerous or otherwise.

    Oh I see this sort of "logic" all the time. The difference here is one of acclimatisation. People who move to these areas with high background radiation DO suffer from higher mortality rates. People who are native do not. Why? Because all the people with DNA that predisposed them to cancers died off ages ago. DNA analysis has confirmed this hypothesis, and you see more radiation-resistant DNA markers amongst people living in high background radiation locations. Will everyone in Fukushima die? No, but many will develop cancers and die early.

  • -2

    Heda_Madness

    Will everyone in Fukushima die? No, but many will develop cancers and die early.

    Plenty of research disagrees with that. Here's the latest http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2014/02/27/smoking-is-more-dangerous-than-fukushima-radiation/

    This goes on the back of what the WHO have also stated.

    All the evidence suggests that your conclusion is wrong.

  • -1

    Mike O'Brien

    People who move to these areas with high background radiation DO suffer from higher mortality rates.

    And your proof for this claim is?

    No, but many will develop cancers and die early.

    Well since over 30% of all people will develop cancer there is really no arguing with that statement. But tying those cancers to Fukushima is another story entirely

  • 2

    LostSoul45

    Frungy,

    People who move to these areas with high background radiation DO suffer from higher mortality rates.

    I have to echo Mike O'Brien's request: Where's the evidence of this? Can you quote or link to a peer-reviewed study?

    People who are native do not. Why? Because all the people with DNA that predisposed them to cancers died off ages ago. DNA analysis has confirmed this hypothesis,

    Now, I simply must see the studies that suggest this is true since it implies that human DNA can evolve over the span of just a generations, whereas evolutionary biology demonstrates that it takes a hundred thousand to millions of years for even the tiniest changes in existing characteristcs to be made. Please post the links to those DNA analysis studies.

    A radiation safety figure that is based on.... adults. Children are far more sensitive to radiation.

    I'm well aware that children are more susceptible to some complications due to radiation, but primarily thyroid cancers caused by Iodine-131, which collects in the thyroid and children have smaller thyroids. This is not the same as some metaphysical claim of extra "sensitivity to radiation"

    But even so, this has nothing to do with my point: that the levels of radiation cited are totally insignifcant (as in statistically indistinguishable from zero) compared to many orders of magnitude higher levels of natural background radiation in many parts of the world where healthy human communities live.

    Furthermore, even with tens of thousands of rays or particles from natural background radiation hitting the human body per second, this is thousands of times less significant than routine DNA damage normal metabolic oxidation and stress. And even though radiation can cause higher “double strand break” rates in DNA, this damage is still miniscule compared to normal metabolism, heat, or exercise. Then there is also the fact that radiation is shown to stimulate molecular, DNA and cellular repair mechanisms.

    Vitamin D insufficiencies due to deprivation of sunlight exposure would carry far more health risks to these children.

  • 0

    wipeout

    @mikeo'brien

    And just where do you get that idea?

    From your own words. "The explanation is really pretty simple. There was an earthquake, something a seismologist should understand. This caused a tsunami which knocked out all normal supplies of electricity, again something a seismologist should understand. The protective wall at the facility was too short allowing the tsunami into the plant, pretty simple to understand. The backup generators where placed too low and the tsunami destroyed them. thus no electricity to run cooling pumps, thus the fuel overheated and melted...."

    This "pretty simple" explanation you offer here doesn't imply in any way that there was serious earthquake damage at the plant that could have contributed to the meltdowns. It puts it all down to the tsunami. The possibility of quake damage has however been suggested, and the report I have linked to here and in other threads explicitly states that it is not valid or appropriate for TEPCO to say with confidence that there was no significant quake damage.

    If there was (and that has neither been proved nor disproved), it is an absolutely crucial point for the future of nuclear power generation in Japan.

  • -4

    Frungy

    LostSoul45Mar. 11, 2014 - 06:47PM JST I have to echo Mike O'Brien's request: Where's the evidence of this? Can you quote or link to a peer-reviewed study?

    The last time I spent time finding peer reviewed articles proving my points the moderator removed my comments. Apparently quoting peer reviewed articles is offensive to JT readers for some reason.

    Now, I simply must see the studies that suggest this is true since it implies that human DNA can evolve over the span of just a generations, whereas evolutionary biology demonstrates that it takes a hundred thousand to millions of years for even the tiniest changes in existing characteristcs to be made. Please post the links to those DNA analysis studies.

    Melanin. Game, set, match. Have a nice day.

  • -1

    Mike O'Brien

    From your own words

    Sorry but my words don't support your idea that

    I get the idea that the risk from earthquakes is something you'd prefer to sweep aside

    I didn't try and sweep aside anything. The cause of the meltdowns was the lack of power to provide cooling flow. A lack caused by the loss of the backup generators. A loss caused by the tsunami.

    Yes there has been speculation since day one that the earthquake may have caused significant damage to the plant prior to the tsunami. But no evidence of said damage has yet to be found and a number of reports, most recently just this month from the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, have found there was no significant damage to the plants from the earthquake.

    And we must remember that there were 2 other similar units at the power station. Units 5 & 6 have been extensively inspected and no significant earthquake damage was found.

    Then there are the 4 units at Fukushima Daini, just about 7 miles away. Again no significant earthquake damage

    So we know that 6 of 10 units have no significant damage from the earthquake. And we know that the areas of the other 4 units that have been inspected show no significant earthquake damage. And we know that multiple groups of experts using data that we don't have access to have concluded that earthquake damage was not a factor in the meltdowns.

  • 0

    LostSoul45

    Frungy,

    You can't seriously believe that stating one single term, "melanin" somehow proves beyond all doubt your wholly unfounded view while concurrently somehow irretrievably invalidating my critical skepticism of your assertions.

    "Melanin" in the synonymic sense of variation in skin color among human races also took at least 100,000 years to evolve, and even if it didn't your assertion that native peoples living in areas of high natural background radiation undergo rapid DNA adaptation to resist the "harmful" effects is STILL NOT PROVEN. It in fact still lacks any evidence of any kind.

    You claimed with very impressive confidence that "DNA analysis has confirmed this hypothesis", so please tell me where I can read about this pivotal DNA analysis. I won't demand a link to peer reviewed studies (and by doing so save you the embarrassment of calling your obviously flimsy bluff), but if you are so kind as to actually provide just one link AND the moderators actually do delete your post, I will challenge them and request that your post is reinstated. How's that sound? I reckon you got a generous bargain.

  • -4

    Frungy

    LostSoul45Mar. 12, 2014 - 12:21AM JST

    I never stated that "native peoples living in areas of high natural background radiation undergo rapid DNA adaptation". What I stated is that people who had DNA that made them sensitive to radiation died, leaving a group of survivors with less members carrying the genes for radiation sensitivity, and more genes for radiation resistance. Within a few generations you would see a community with a higher than average number of individuals exhibiting the genes for radiation resistance.

    "Melanin" in the synonymic sense of variation in skin color among human races also took at least 100,000 years to evolve, and even if it didn't your assertion that native peoples living in areas of high natural background radiation undergo rapid DNA adaptation to resist the "harmful" effects is STILL NOT PROVEN. It in fact still lacks any evidence of any kind.

    Of course it lacks any evidence, because it is a straw man argument that you constructed. However, melanin is a perfect example of how a pre-existing genetic variable can, in the presence of a strong selection factor, such as UV radiation, result in a quite rapid shift in the genetic profile of a population. There are plenty of examples involving melanin, such as relative suicide rates for darker skinned individuals in northern countries, and likewise skin tone and skin cancer prevalence in southern countries. I could go on, but if you want a lecture on the subject then it is traditional to go to a college and pay huge sums.

    Of course if you were familiar with the subject matter the word "melanin" would have immediately have suggested this to you.

    You claimed with very impressive confidence that "DNA analysis has confirmed this hypothesis", so please tell me where I can read about this pivotal DNA analysis. I won't demand a link to peer reviewed studies (and by doing so save you the embarrassment of calling your obviously flimsy bluff), but if you are so kind as to actually provide just one link AND the moderators actually do delete your post, I will challenge them and request that your post is reinstated. How's that sound? I reckon you got a generous bargain.

    Try Darwin's On the Origin of Species, because obviously you haven't read it or you would understand about selection pressures and their effect on the prevalence of existing genes.

  • 0

    Mike O'Brien

    There are plenty of examples involving melanin, such as relative suicide rates for darker skinned individuals in northern countries, and likewise skin tone and skin cancer prevalence in southern countries.

    All that those examples show is that different melanin levels work best in different environments. it has nothing to do with how long it took for those different melanin levels to be genetically selected for.

    Of course if you were familiar with reality you would have provide real proof instead of a strawman.

    Try Darwin's On the Origin of Species, because obviously you haven't read it or you would understand about selection pressures and their effect on the prevalence of existing genes.

    Again, no one is saying that selection pressure can't lead to genetic differences. The issue is how long it takes for such changes to appear in a human population.

  • -4

    Frungy

    Mike O'BrienMar. 12, 2014 - 05:02AM JST All that those examples show is that different melanin levels work best in different environments. it has nothing to do with how long it took for those different melanin levels to be genetically selected for.

    And if you had read my comment and understood you would have noted that I wasn't the one who said anything about the change happening rapidly, so the issue of rapid change is something that LostSoul introduced, not me. If you have issues with the rapidity of the change then please more correctly address your comments to LostSoul, not to me.

    Of course if you were familiar with reality you would have provide real proof instead of a strawman.

    The straw man argument here is LostSoul's. He's rephrased what I wrote to introduce an element of rapidity. I made no such claim.

    Again, no one is saying that selection pressure can't lead to genetic differences. The issue is how long it takes for such changes to appear in a human population.

    If the issue of time is your objection then, I repeat, please take it up with LostSoul, it his little "edit" that slipped that in. I made no such claim. In fact I stated that the adaptation in populations in high radiation areas happened "ages ago", and that new individuals would suffer "higher mortality rates", indicating that this is a slow winnowing process, not an overnight Angel of Death scenario where anyone lacking the genes for cancer resistance would instantly die.

    Please stop attacking me when it is clear that you've fallen hook, line and sinker for LostSoul's misrepresentation of what I wrote.

    • Moderator

      Frungy and Mike O'Brien, please do not address each other any more on this thread since all you are doing is bickering.

  • 0

    Utrack

    Detection of radioactivity in Fukushima child

    Video: Fukushima child has radioactivity of 6,000 disintegrations per second inside body

    http://enenews.com/video-fukushima-child-has-radioactivity-of-6000-disintegrations-per-second-inside-body

    February 12th, 2013

    Follow-up to: Top Radiation Expert: 50 Bq/kg in humans leads to irreversible lesions in vital organs (VIDEO)

    Title: 福島県伊達市の子供のWBCの結果 6000 Bq/Body 検出 Source: FFTV Author: matufuji1216 さんのチャンネル

    Date: Feb 10, 2013

    Video Description (Google Translation)

    It is a video of a program meeting to consider the aging Fukushima nuclear power plant on February 10th.

    (Kai radioactivity measurement project to consider the aging Fukushima nuclear power plant)

    Mr. Kazumasa Aoki is a result of the child’s WBC Date City, Fukushima Prefecture, 6000 Bq* / to have been detected.

    Summary Translation by Fukushima Diary

    According to citizen’s organization for Fukushima effect, 6,000 Bq/body was measured from a child in Date city. The child has been living in Date city since 311.

    Da-te city government conducted whole body counter test for children.

  • -3

    Mike O'Brien

    Video: Fukushima child has radioactivity of 6,000 disintegrations per second inside body

    Well the average human has 5,000 disintegrations per second(dps) inside their body just from K-40. C-14 adds another 3,000 dps on average. Then there is the natural uranium and thorium and radium and polonium and radioactive lead. We must all be well on our way to a horrible death from cancer.

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