“Danger of huge radiation leak remains at Fukushima”


The Mainichi Daily News
13 April 2011

Danger of huge radiation leak remains at Fukushima plant, expert says

As work to get the situation at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under control continues, the possibility of a huge leak of radiation from the reactors still remains.

“After the earthquake and the accidents at the plant, the reactors have been damaged and the equipment has become more fragile. We can’t say what will happen from now. If the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels fall out as a result of the continuing aftershocks, it is possible that large amounts of the radioactive material contained within could be released,” warns Michio Ishikawa, top advisor at the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute.

“It’s necessary to get cooling water circulating again and cool the nuclear fuel more strongly than is being done now. The radioactive material needs to be solidified as soon as possible so it is less likely to leak,” he said. Work to cool the reactors has been stymied by highly radioactive water found collected in the facility and continuing aftershocks.

In its announcement, the Japanese government said that 370,000 to 630,000 terabecquerels of radiation are estimated to have been released from the Fukushima plant. Regarding that amount, Toru Kikuchi, general director of the Japan Association on Radiological Protection in Medicine, said that “compared to contamination caused by atmospheric nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States and the Soviet Union since the 1950s, the amount of radiation is very small.”

(Paul’s Note: Well, if Toru Kikuchi is happy to confuse local fallout with global fallout, let him. There is a big difference though as the gentleman would know. He’s attempting here to average out the emissions form Fukushima over the entire planet, as the AEC did with fallout. Tell it to the Marshall Islanders, Mr Kikuchi.)

Executive director of the Japan Radioisotope Association Yasuhito Sasaki said, “The scale of the explosions at the Fukushima incident was smaller than that of Chernobyl (where a reactor itself exploded), and the amount of radioactive material emitted has been less, so the scale and degree of contamination have been smaller.” He also called it “hard to imagine” that there will be an increase in cancer because of the incident.

However, he also said, “To predict any possible harm to residents’ health, it is important that their radiation dosages be measured. Their activities since the accident should also be recorded.”

Although the Chernobyl incident was mostly brought under control after about 10 days, the Fukushima plant is still leaking radioactive material with no end in sight one month after the earthquake and tsunami.

According to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., it is estimated that under normal circumstances the No. 1 through 3 reactors and their spent-fuel pools at the Fukushima plant would have held around 85 million terabecquerels’ worth of radioactive material as of April 11. In a hypothetical scenario, if all of the radioactive material in the No. 1 through 3 reactors was to be released into the environment, the amount would be over 10 times the amount released in the Chernobyl incident.

end quote

Here we go again.
That there are hot spots withn areas of Japan adjacent to and downwind of the Fukushima reactor reservation is indisputable. The US DOE aircraft maps and the independent Greenpeace maps confirm this. The hot spots are discrete areas of higher contamination due to deposition of emissions of radionuclides sourced from the Fukushima reactors. This is indisputable.

It is totally inappropriate for anyone to take these discrete hot spots and to abstractly average the discrete radioactivity over a wider area than actually exists in an attempt to achieve a constructed lower dose scenario. The people, livestock, drinking water and crops within the hotspots are more vulnerable to the emitted radioactivity than the people, livestock, drinking water and crops outside of the hotspots.

Over time however, as conventional authorities will concur, “leaching” of radionuclides from the hotspots into previously untained areas will occur. Movement through the food chain will occur. This is the reality of the situation as confirmed by many surverys over many years in many countries. In South Australia, Maralinga nuclear test site remained for many years more tainted than areas not in direct deposition paths (eg Perth.) Even after the cleanup, an area of Maralinga remains out of bounds. The use by nuclear industry – such as Toru Kikuchi – continue to average out the Fukushima fallout over the entire area of Japan and the globe, they will do global agriculture a disservice rather than attend to the needs of the actually affected populations of the current Japanese hotspots.

The fate of the Pacific Ocean biosphere is however a different matter. The reality of that remains unknown to me as information is not yet released. It is not yet known how long – many months apparently – into the future uncontained water will need to be pumped over the overheating reactors. Water which will end up carrying radionuclides and which will re enter the biosphere probably by continual dumping into the Pacific.

Toru Kikuchi should know better.

Cancer is not the only possible health outcome of radionuclide contamination of the environment and foodchain.

Once again, an event has occurred which invokes the debate as to how to consider highly radioactive small flecks of radionuclides in the biosphere. When ingested and absorbed into the body. does one treat the radioactivity to adjacent cells as tracks of energy and ionisation to those cells only or does one average out the dose over the whole tissue mass?
Authorities in favour of nuclear power average out the dose over the whole tissue mass. Authorities who observe surveys of populations in contaminated areas and observe specific increased trends in specific diseases. Ascribing the presence of radionuclides in tissue, these authorities maintain that whole body and tissue type dose averaging is insufficient as a method by which risk may be assessed.

A classic example of this is the work of Doctor Carl Johson.
His surveys of high fallout counties adjacent to Nevada Nuclear Test Site revealed higher childhood leukemia deaths than occurred prior to and after the era of nuclear weapons tests. Nuclear test authorities and nuclear industry dispute his findings. Noone else does. Similarly, Johnson seminal work on respirable plutonium in dust on the surface of soils at Rocky Flats remains critically important even though pro nuclear authorities dispute his findings. Fact is Rocky Flats is contaminated. Averaging to reduce the apparent is merely an old trick played by nuclear authorities. Be aware of it.

New York Times.
Dr. Carl J. Johnson Is Dead at 58; Opposed Nuclear Weapons Tests
Published: December 30, 1988

Dr. Carl J. Johnson, a public health official who attacked the Federal Government over the potentially dangerous effects of nuclear weapons testing, died of complications from heart surgery yesterday at Lutheran Memorial Hospital in Lakewood, Colo. He was 59 years old and lived in Lakewood.

Dr. Johnson, an epidemiologist and radiation specialist, was the public health director in Jefferson County, Colo., the site of the Government’s Rocky Flats Plant, from 1973 to 1981. Rocky Flats, 16 miles northwest of Denver, shapes plutonium into triggers for thermonuclear weapons. The plant opened in 1953.

Dr. Johnson was an early critic of the way the Government ran its weapons plants, concluding that they presented substantial health risks to the public and to workers. Backed by Medical Journal

In 1984 Dr. Johnson’s views attained considerable credibility after after The Journal of the American Medical Association published his study, ”Cancer Incidents in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind from the Nevada Test Site.” At that time, The Journal’s editor said that because of the study’s sensitivity, he had subjected it to several reviews before printing it.

Dr. Johnson published the study while he was a consultant at the Medical Care and Research Foundation in Denver, which had gathered the data for use in a lawsuit brought against the Government by 1,200 residents of southern Utah and the surrounding region. The suit eventually failed.

The study found that radioactive fallout from nuclear bomb tests in Nevada caused an excess of cancer among Mormons in southern Utah. Previously, Dr. Johnson said, leukemia deaths among children in Jefferson County increased to twice the national rate from 1957 to 1962. Opposed Rocky Flats Housing

In 1974 Dr. Johnson opposed housing developments in farmland adjacent to Rocky Flats because of heavy concentration of plutonium there.

He said that in 1975 and 1976 his staff found 44 times more plutonium in soil near the plant than had been reported by the Government. Concentrations in the air and in drinking water were also found to be high. The plant has since ceased most of its operations.

Carl Johnson, born in Sims, Ind., graduated from Michigan State University and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He had a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley.

He was an associate professor of pathology at the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine and a district health officer of the Seattle-King County Health Department. From 1985 to 1988, he served as medical officer in the South Dakota Department of Health.

Surviving are his wife, Kathryn; three sons, Frederick, of Denver, Kendrick, of Golden, Colo., and Peter, of Fremont, Calif.; a sister, Sarah Mort, of Lafayette, Ind., and two brothers, George, of San Francisco, and Gary, of Miami, Fla.
end quote

I formally say to Mr Toru Kikuchi, Sir, we dont all have the memory of a goldfish. You are pulling an old stunt. Stop acting like a bombardier and start acting in the interest of public health.

In the end, the Rocky Flats plutonium emissions facility was forced to close.

In the end the actual consequences of the Fukushima Event will be observed. Not on the basis of mental games but on the basis of the real experiences of real people really affected by the event. Whatever the real outcome may be.

Average this out Mr Kikuchi:


One Response to ““Danger of huge radiation leak remains at Fukushima””

  1. Al Jazeera: Japan Radiation Levels to Exceed Chernobyl Disaster | News Says:

    […] Mainichi Daily English article dated 4/13/2011,which has since been removed;I got the copy from this blog):In its announcement,the Japanese government said that 370,000 to 630,000 terabecquerels of […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: