Archive for July, 2011

Fukushima: Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama of Tokyo University Tells the Politicians: “What Are You Doing?”

July 30, 2011

quote (partial) :

Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama is the head of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo. On July 27, he appeared as a witness to give testimony to the Committee on Welfare and Labor in Japan’s Lower House in the Diet.

Remember Professor Kosako, also from the University of Tokyo, who resigned in protest as special advisor to the prime minister over the 20 millisievert/year radiation limit for school children? There are more gutsy researchers at Todai (Tokyo University) – the supreme school for the “establishment” – than I thought. Professor Kodama literally shouted at the politicians in the committee, “What the hell are you doing?”

He was of course referring to the pathetic response by the national government in dealing with the nuclear crisis, particularly when it comes to protecting children.

Even if you don’t understand the language, take a look and listen. He sounds sincere, and his voice is literally shaking with anger. end quote

The video of Prof. Tatsuhiko Kodama is one of the most important pieces of information from Japan. It is historic, courageous, technically qualified and accurate, insightful, and powerful. It is the Japanese equivalent of Dr Gofman’s testimony to the US Congress (re bomb fallout), which took place after AEC had threatened to “get him”, in 1957. It took until 1963 for the bombs to stop.

How long will it take to change the direction of the Japanese government regarding the radio-protection of the Japanese people?

They can start by evacuating Fukushima City. By issuing imported and clean potassium rich rations to diplace the cesium present in Japanese food stuffs. By removing all children from hotspots.

The irresponsible statements of Dr Pamela Sykes of Flinders University (DOE funded advocate of radiation hormesis – an international speaker and writer for the Radiation Hormesis Society) should be confronted head on by citizens and experts.

Her opinion of the Japanese nuclear disaster is here:

She writes:

“We need radiation in our environment,

“Chernobyl was obviously a disaster but there was no increase in leukaemia, solid tumours or birth defects among the 335,000 people who were evacuated and who received less than 100 milliSieverts of radiation – that’s five times the dose I’m allowed as a radiation worker.

“There was an increase in thyroid tumours but we’re not sure how much that related to the fact that everyone was screened for thyroid tumours, which wouldn’t normally happen.

“It’s now been accepted that they should not have evacuated so many people because the biggest detriment from Chernobyl was that they were dramatically disadvantaged, both economically and socially. Many suffered depression thinking they were going to die of cancer.”

In previouus posts I have tried to show that her views on the effects of radiation are controversial, contested and rely on the study of one specific chemical reaction at the cellular to the exclusion of all others. Her view that there is a threshold dose below which no harm occurs and that “benefits” occur without a threshold dose is deeply flawed. Her view is not modern. It is based upon the deliberately overblown statements made by Marshall Brucer, statements which date from the 1950s.

Flinders University web published Syke’s article and invite comment. However, comments which present evidence which contradicts Sykes are being blocked by Flinders University.

Its time Australian Universities supported people such as Prof Tatsuhiko rather than intefere with the health and safety of the Japanese people in such a profoundly negative way as Dr Sykes.

The DOE agenda behind its funding of Dr Sykes is to provide a quasi-scientific basis for the proposal that the cost:benefit of the current clean up of contaminated sites in the US is “too expensive”, that a more “cost effective” alternative would be to allow contaminated sites to remain. The claim is that such sites would then present an alleged “health benefit” to the public.

Just as, according to Sykes, the Fukushima reactor disasters present an alleged “health benefit” to the Japanese people. Radio nuclides, internal emitters, are, according to Sykes, needed just like we need vitamins and minerals..” Crap. Strontium 89 and 90 act just like the mineral calcium. Cesium acts just like the mineral potassium. When we eat foods contaminated with these things, we are weaving these radionuclides into the fabric of our tissues. In a chroncially contaminated environment like Japan, they stay in the tissues in an equilibrium dose (uptake – excretion = a postivie value, an amount in tissue, irradiating surrounding tissue with tracks of radiation far in excess of the rate of radioactivity of radium.)

Sykes is plainly wrong. Her statements plainly and flatly contradict Prof. Tatsuhiko. He is correct. He is the one qualified to fight for and protect the Japanese people. Dr Sykes and the Radiation Hormesis lobby within US DOE are not.

Shut up Pam.

St George, 1953. How does the lesson relate to Fukushima?

July 29, 2011


“…..But “Turning Point” recounts one blast in 1953, Shot Harry, which recently released records show was 32 kilotons – almost three times bigger than what the Atomic Energy Commission’s own chief medical officer recommended. In the aftermath, the AEC produced a film – shot in St. George with local residents – to calm fears among those locals.

The film was a sham and a travesty. It goes so far as to show a young mother smiling when a warning is issued on the radio assuring her that “Parents need not be alarmed about children at school.”

According to Frank Butrico, who monitored the fallout in St. George for the AEC, his instruments showed dangerously high levels of radiation. When he alerted those at the test site, it was a full hour before any kind of warning was issued.

“And most distressing, when we passed a grade school we noticed that the children were still on their morning recess, the teacher having not received the information to take cover,” he says.

Butrico was instructed to discard his clothing and “be sure to keep showering until I reduced the amount of radiation on my body.” But when he asked if a similar warning should be issued to residents, “. . . of course the answer was a resounding no because this would create a panic situation.”

As for that AEC film, “Ironically, a good share of the people who were used in that film have died from cancer since that time,” Butrico said.

The hour includes chilling comments from Norris Bradbury, the onetime director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who is now 84.

“Radiation is not a good thing, but I don’t know of any death that’s been caused by it,” Bradbury says. “Now I can’t prove nor can anybody else that somebody who died at 80 would have lived to 82 if he hadn’t been exposed to a little radiation.”

He later refuses to discuss the fallout and becomes even more uncomfortable when his former daughter-in-law recounts what Bradbury told her to move from her home in Zion National Park in the 1950s because of the danger from testing.

“I don’t remember anything about that,” Bradbury said. “I don’t remember doing it and I don’t think I did, but maybe I did.”

Other residents, of course, received no such warning.

“Turning Point,” which is slated to become a weekly series this spring on ABC, also goes through the battle for compensation, not only for downwinders but for soldiers exposed to radiation during bomb tests and workers exposed while setting up those tests.

“Turning Point” succeeds in personalizing this issue. In putting names and faces to a tragedy the government is still trying to deny ever existed.

This isn’t always an easy program to watch. But it is an important one.

Evacuate Fukushima.

July 28, 2011

Low-dose ionizing radiation exposure: Understanding the risk for cellular transformation L. DE SAINT-GEORGES

July 28, 2011

Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents

Low-dose ionizing radiation exposure:

Understanding the risk for cellular transformation


SCK•CEN, Department of Radiobiology, Mol, Belgium

ABSTRACT: Radiation is energy transfer. When radiation has sufficient energy to remove an orbital electron from its atom, an ionized atom is formed, and radiation with the capacity to do this is called ionizing radiation. The primary effect of radiation is the induction of free radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). All the molecules in every cell of the body are potential targets, but the final effect of radiation will be mainly of concern if the molecule impaired is a molecule critical for life. ROS are also generated as a result of the aerobic respiration (metabolic ROS) in much larger quantity than from the natural radiation background. During evolution, life has developed powerful control and repair

mechanisms that greatly contribute to minimize the risks associated with the generation of free radicals and ROS. Atlow irradiation doses the probability of the risk is therefore proportional to the dose, and the ALARA (As Low As Reasonable Achievable) principle seems to be a valuable goal in radioprotection policies. (J Biol Regul Homeost

Agents 2004; 18: 96-100)

KEY WORDS: Ionizing radiation, Risk, Threshold dose, Hormesis

Received: May 15, 2004

Accepted: June 26, 2004

Radiation dose: Threshold or no threshold?

An important question is about a hypothetical dose

threshold. Does a threshold dose, below which the

risk is nil, exist? According to what has been

previously said on, the essentially random interaction

of radiation with various biological molecules, it

appears to make sense to consider a decrease of the

risk with a decrease of the dose. However, no data

exist which allows us to define a threshold value.

However, at low dose not only harmful effects but

also possibly beneficial effects of radiation could

occur. Here it is essential but not always evident, to

clearly differentiate possibly beneficial effects from the

lack of noxious effects.

Adaptive response and hormesis are often

mentioned to minimize the risk of radiation or

sometimes to deny any adverse outcome below a

dose threshold, as detailed below.

Hormesis is a hypothesis that emphasises the

possible beneficial effect of low doses of radiation and

claims the necessity of a low-dose exposition to get

some benefits while excluding any risk. However, this

concept is controversial. According to the hormesis

model, people should be exposed to low radiation

dose unless it is demonstrated with certitude that

there is no benefit from such exposure. The possibility

of adverse effects is not even considered.

We may wonder why the proponents of the

hormesis model acknowledge a radiation threshold

value for harmful effects, but reject it for beneficial

effects. Considering the essentially random interaction

between radiation and target molecules leading to

unpredictable molecular damage, it appears

surprising that at low doses only beneficial effects

would occur while noxious effect would require a dose

above a certain threshold. To consider hormesis as an

argument against actual dose limits would only be

valid if the efficacy of hormesis could be demonstrated

for the effects against which one wants to

protect at low radiation doses, i.e. cancer and genetic

damages. Unfortunately this is not yet demonstrated

in an unequivocal way. Therefore, the hormesis model

is currently not considered in radioprotection.

The theory of “adaptive response”, (not to be

confused with hormesis) shows that a low dose can

reduce the effect of a higher dose when administered

after a short time delay. This theory is based on

substantial evidence. To reduce a risk appears

beneficial, but it does not mean that the risk is

eliminated. According to the “adaptive response”

model, a first low dose (conditioning dose) is

considered to stimulate the DNA repair mechanisms

that contribute to reduce the effect of a subsequent

higher dose. But the initial low dose can only stimulate

the limited number of cells actually hit, the total of

which in function with the dose. This situation never

excludes the possibility of a transformation of one of

the cells. The next higher dose concerns all cells.

Some of them having the repair mechanisms

stimulated by the first conditioning dose, and may

repair the damage more easily. The other cells, that

were not previously hit, are not protected. The total

damage can be reduced by a factor depending on the

number of the cells conditioned but will always be

dependent on the total number of the cells exposed to

both doses.

Would the conditioning of all cells solve the

question? No, because to reach such a goal we have

to increase the conditioning dose and the risk remains

proportional to the dose and to the number of cells


Therefore the adaptive response does not appear

to be a relevant mechanism for radiation protection

because the (low) conditioning dose that defines it,

also generates a risk of transformation. On the other

hand the challenging dose is not a low dose. We

suggest that natural background irradiation and

metabolic ROS are already stimulating toward some

adaptive response by a constant stimulation of the

repair mechanisms. Then it would appear that there is

no need to add to this radiation burden.

Evolution, in our natural radioactive environment, is

often used as an argument to support such beneficial

effects of low-dose radiation. We should remember

that if Evolution has led to the current scala of

successfully living species, the eliminated species are

unavailable to analyse the non-beneficial aspect of


end quote

I sent the above quote to Dr Pamela Sykes of Flinders University together with :

“People who wish to leave areas adjacent to the Fukushima reactors should be free to do so without the social pressure induced by DOE funded research aimed at producing an “economic” decontamination regime within the US.”

I sent this in response to her article “Radiation response a meltdown in reason” which was published on the Flinders University Homepage
on July 14th, 2011 by Marketing and Communications section of that university. Sykes is DOE funded.
Her article can be viewed at

Nuclear test veterans set for Supreme Court appeal bid

July 28, 2011

BBC News
28 July 2011 Last updated at 03:33 GMT

Veterans involved in Britain’s nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s are taking their case for compensation to the Supreme Court.

More than 1,000 ex-servicemen say exposure to radiation during tests conducted between 1952 and 1958 left them with ill health.

A lower court said nine out of 10 lead cases were brought too late to be considered.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contested the claims since 2004.

Veterans have been battling for recompense and a recognition of their claim that their poor health was caused by radiation exposure.

Chronic health problems cited by them include cancers, skin defects, fertility problems and birth defects in their children.

But the MoD has always denied any link between the veterans’ exposure to radiation and any illnesses.

The UK carried out a series of nuclear weapons tests in mainland Australia, the Montebello islands off the west Australian coast and on Christmas Island, in the Pacific in the 1950s.

Those tests were conducted against a backdrop of decolonisation and the growing Cold War threat, with the UK desperate to establish and show herself as a nuclear power.

Ken McGinley, a veteran from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, told the BBC: “On Christmas Island I witnessed five bomb tests. Basically we had no protection and warnings at all.

“All we were told to do was to stand and look at the bomb [and] cover our eyes up in case we got blinded by the flash.”

In June 2009, the High Court gave the current group of veterans the right to sue the Ministry of Defence.

Veterans who served in the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force – as well as personnel from New Zealand and Fiji – were all exposed to radiation.

In 1998, research from Durham University suggested that one-in-three servicemen died from bone cancers or leukaemia linked to the atomic and hydrogen bomb tests.

Last year the appeal judges said nine test cases were launched outside the legal time limit and so stopped them from proceeding.

Regarding the latest legal bid by UK veterans, BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said: “Britain’s nuclear veterans are dying at a rate of around three every month but those who remain say they are determined to continue this battle.”

Caroline Wyatt Defence correspondent, BBC News

Campaigners – and many MPs – say the British government owes its atomic veterans a ‘debt of honour’. Yet, while acknowledging their service, the MoD has long fought the compensation claims.

Its lawyers have argued that no causal link can be proved between the veterans’ cancers, infertility and skin defects or genetic damage, and their exposure to radiation during the UK’s nuclear tests.

They have also sought to prevent the cases being heard in full in court by arguing that the compensation claims should be time-barred.

It would be hard for the veterans to prove a conclusive and direct causal link between their illnesses and the nuclear tests, not least because many have no proof of what dose of radiation they were exposed to, while scientific opinion remains divided on the issue.

Veterans believe the MoD is hoping to outlast them and deny them their day in court although campaigners say their battle will continue.

The main problem for veterans is that fighting the case is becoming increasingly costly. Legal aid was withdrawn several years ago, and the legal firm representing them has already spent millions on the case – as has the MOD.

see also

Arkaroola uranium mining ban – nukers threaten legal action

July 26, 2011

MARATHON Resources has left open the possibility of continuing uranium exploration in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, despite the Rann government yesterday announcing a ban on mining in the area.

Premier Mike Rann travelled to Arkaroola to declare that the pristine 226sq km area in the state’s north would be protected under the Mining Act, and an application would be made to have it World Heritage-listed.

The decision ended 40 years of debate over mining in Arkaroola.

“This area is very important for our state and our nation,” Mr Rann said. “It helps define us as a state. Its pristine beauty — it’s an area we want to protect forever. Any reasonable person would say we’re making the right decision.”

But Marathon Resources chief Peter Williams would not rule out further activity in the area, saying the company had time remaining on its exploration licence.

“The licence will run to its expiry date in February,” Mr Williams said. “We’ve spent a considerable amount on the capitalised costs . . . we raised more money for our drilling program, which was our flagship project, and were intending to start work in the next couple of weeks.

“This was by far the most outstanding tenement we had and we concentrated our resources on it.”

Mr Willams said Marathon would consider every alternative available, including legal action, and had called a trading halt to protect the interests of shareholders in the meantime.

Mr Rann said Marathon was eligible to apply for compensation as a result of the ban, while Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the company could legally operate in the area while its licence was current.

“Marathon Resources can continue to explore the area provided the company adheres to the stringent environmental regulations set by the department,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“However, I would find it strange the company would choose to spend its board’s money exploring this tenement, given the government’s clear intentions.”

Marathon’s activities in the Flinders Ranges were suspended after the company was found to have improperly disposed of waste in 2008, but it was awarded a conditional exploration licence late last year.

The Premier and Mr Koutsantonis denied suggestions that the decision to ban mining at Arkaroola had caused division in the Labor Party. “If you talk to the other ministers you’ll find there is strong support for what we’re doing,” Mr Rann said.

Two Labor powerbrokers, senator Don Farrell and Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes, both supported mining in the area.

Neither man would return The Weekend Australian’s calls about the announcement yesterday.

Jason Kuchel, the chief executive of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, condemned the decision.

“We are deeply disturbed by the precedent of banning mining under the very act that exists to enable mining,” Mr Kuchel said.

“For a government that claims to be pro-mining and pro-innovation, this announcement does not even contemplate obvious future advances in technology and processes.”

But the campaign manager for the Wilderness Society, Peter Owen, welcomed the government’s decision and said the region was worthy of the highest possible natural protection.

* Rebecca Puddy and Mark Schliebs
* From: The Australian
* July 23, 2011 12:00AM

Send a Postcard to Japan

July 25, 2011

Here’s something I’d like to ask you to do…

At the northernmost tip of Japan’s Honshu Island, J-Power EDPC is in the process of building a new nuclear power station (NPS). If built, it will be a 1380 megawatt pluthermal BWR and currently it is scheduled to be completed in 2014. There’s only one problem. There are two plots of land, about one hectare in all, in the NPS site that are owned by a private individual, and she doesn’t have any intention of selling the land to J-Power.

The land was originally owned by Asako Kumagai. When J-Power was buying land for the NPS project, several of the landowners refused to sell at first, but eventually sold out leaving only the land owned by Asako unbought. Asako and her daughter, Atsuko, built a log house on one part of the property, but unfortunately Asako passed away in 2006, before she could move into the house. Atsuko, who lives in Hakodate, on the other side of the Tsugaru Strait, visits the house a few times each week.

There is a map of the NPS site. This page is in Japanese. The map is at the foot of the page and is not very clear, but Atsuko’s land is within the area marked by the red squares. In fact the two blue areas show how the position of the reactor had to be moved from within Atsuko’s land to a position about two hundred meters south (to the left on the map). If the reactor is finally built while Atsuko is still occupying the land, the log house will be a mere 300 meters from the reactor.

J-Power has provided an unpaved access road, fenced in on both sides, to the property. When mail arrives addressed to ‘Asako House,’ as the log house is known, the mail carrier has to tramp the one-kilometer road to the house to deliver the mail. This proves to everyone that the house and land are not abandoned. WE WOULD BE EXTREMELY HAPPY IF YOU WOULD HELP ATSUKO BY SENDING HER POSTCARDS!

Any postcard is OK. How about sending Atsuko a picture postcard of your town? Please write just a few sentences of support for Atsuko – in any language.

Please send postcards to:

Ms. Atsuko Ogasawara, c/o Asako House,
396 Aza Ko-okoppe, Oh-aza Ohma, Ohma Machi, Shimokita Gun, Aomori Prefecture, JAPAN 039-4601

Japan Offspring Fund

July 25, 2011

Censorship in Japan: The Fukushima Cover-up

July 25, 2011

Japanese social pressure impeding radiological protection knowledge in Japan

July 25, 2011

Tokyo Kids and Radiation, Facebook:

Japanese government killing its own people in Fukushima″>

Quote Tokyo Kids and radiation facebook comments:
Nelson Surjon I am sure … they are censoring left and right! They have spent millions to monitor Twitter and other social networks ! But they cannot stop the inevitable … It is going to blow up in their faces!
10 hours ago · LikeUnlike
Paul Langley Causing division among the vulnerable populations, labelling “complainers’, questioning national loyalty, etc are old tricks used against victims of the bomb tests. Nuclear industry has old habits and no imagination. Community spirit wins over government dictates.

Tokyo Kids & Radiation I fear we won’t win here. Hopefully some people will be spurred to do more than they are, but people don’t even whisper behind your back, it is right to your face. If you leave, you are called a coward. If you are informed and share, you are a fear monger. The proof will be in the putting and we are in the midst of repeating history in a grave way. There is not any need to censor anything when people don’t want to hear it.