On the Anniversary of the Japanese tragedy and the Fukushima Reactor Disaster which keeps it going: Hot Particles.

Its mind blowing. Australia puts up warning signs,while the Japanese government would have people hike through the crap and recommends eating it. As soon as Australian civil authorities realized in the 1980s that Britain had been lying for decades about the extent of plutonium contamination in sections of the Maralinga nuclear test site, steps were taken in consultation with the land owners. Funds were extracted from the British government and Australian taxpayers contributed to the Taranaki, Maralinga, plutonium dust cleanup.

Recently, the land cleaned up to a point, the last parcel of the afflicted land was handed back to the owners of the land. Owners who had been denied access and use since the 1950s.


In the interim, the nature and extent of the hazard had been mapped, warning signs erected and safety protocols imposed. One can and does argue about the details. But not today.

ARPANSA states: “What is the risk from plutonium contamination?

Of the long-lived radionuclide contaminants at the Maralinga site, plutonium-239 presents the most significant radiological hazard. Other isotopes of plutonium contribute ~15% additional dose. The most important pathway for exposure is by inhalation. The aim of the recent rehabilitation of the Maralinga range was to reduce the risk arising from radiation exposure of individual Aborigines, living an outstation lifestyle, to a level that was acceptable to the Aboriginal community and the Australian Government.

Plutonium, being an alpha emitter, presents a health risk only if it enters the body. Of the three pathways for entry into the body (inhalation, ingestion, or through cuts and wounds), inhalation of plutonium and subsequent retention in the lungs gives rise to a risk of lung cancer. However, if the plutonium enters the body through one of the other pathways the greater risk is of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) or cancer of the liver. The degree to which each of these exposure pathways contributes to potential dose depends on the type of lifestyle practised by occupants of the land…” (refer to the above link).

In contrast, the Japanese government today refuses to monitor, measure, define, explain, respond, plan, and deal with the widespread plutonium deposition which has occurred as a result of the constant emissions from the failed Fukushima reactors and the failures of the spent fuel pools.

Though maps have been made, one is reproduced within this blog, https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/taranaki-dead-zone-maralinga-map-vs-fukushima-plutonium-map/ , the refusal of the Japanese government to act is beyond belief.

Treating adults like children and inflicting, initially, adult radiation exposure doses to Fukushima children, the Japanese government has acted to preserve its place in the nation under the guise of preserving the nation.

In doing so it has chosen to place the health and welfare of the people living in radiation hot particle fallout zones at enhanced risk. This is inequitable and callous. Placing civilians at risk, regardless of any model predicting outcomes, is unacceptable. At the very least an honest and open disclosure has to be admitted into the utterances of government. Having fully informed people, the government must allow those who want to stay do so, with assistance in protective measures and harm minimisation methods. Those who want to leave should be likewise equitably assisted to carry out their wishes.

The blind faith the Japanese government seems to place in the industry view of the hazard without any regard for the contrary view which has stood in competition to the industry view since the the Manhattan Project scientists’ protest, (for the first anti-nukers were bomb makers) is totally unscientific.

There is in science always an opposing view. To ignore it is to court trouble and to compound disaster.

The Japanese government is wrong if it thinks that parents won’t forget. Nor will children forget.

The apparent slumber one senses in the ranks of the Japanese elite is a selective sleep. A blind eye to the reality of reactor emissions which belched in March 2011. The cocktail of radionuclides, the plume of micron scaled particles from transmuted fuel so radioactive they are called “hot” particles.

That they exist at all seemingly surprised the Japanese government, seduced as it was by the 1950s nuclear elite.

What then is the fuss about hot particles? The following is an attempt to partially, at least, explain the controversy and the techniques used to ensure the issue, which actually is clear cut, remains foggy.

John Gofman was one among many who held the view that the effect of hot particles embedded in tissue had very bad effects in cells in the vicinity of those hot particles. If this view held, then nuclear technology would be too expensive to use. If any methods and mechanisms could be perfected to truly “seal the sources”. (eg if the shit was contained properly it wouldnt be a problem, but it cant be contained, so the industry had a problem) The AEC commissioned Union Carbide to write a report on the Gofman-Tamplin view.

The source document for the following can be downloaded at http://www.osti.gov/bridge/purl.cover.jsp?purl=/4147691-U2rGE2/

C. R. Richmond Biomedical and Environmental Sciences
OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830**

(*Portions of the information contained in this paper were part of testimony presented at the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy Subcommittee to Review the National Breeder Reactor Program, June 1975.)

(**Operated by Union Carbide Corporation for the U. S. Energy Research and Development Administration.)

Selected quotes:

The recent revival of interest in the ‘hot particle’ problem, especially as regards particulate plutonium and other actinide elements in the lung, has stimulated a great deal of thought on this subject during the past several years. Non-uniformity of dose distribution has been of interest to standards-setting bodies and other groups, such as the National Academy of Sciences, and to health protectionists for many years. In fact, interest in the subject as regards alpha-emitting radio-nuclides predates the discovery of plutonium in 1941.

“Because of the Energy Reorganization Act of1974 which resulted in the formation of the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the federal response to the NRDC petition is now the responsibility of the EPA and the NRC. Although many organizations have considered the hot particle problem for decades, there has been considerable reassessment of the problem since February 1974. I should point out that no final response to the NRDC’s petition has been made to date by either the EPA or NRC. There have been, however, discussions and correspondence among the involved parties and the NRDC has presented testimony on hot particles at AEC, EPA and ERDA hearings since submitting the petition.”

‎”The NRDC petition states (page 4) that in its view the present radiation standards when applied to hot particles are too high by a factor of 115,000. In addition, the petition states that each of the NRDC’s individual members is a potential victim of exposure to hot particles. The document supporting the petition, prepared by Tamplin and Cochran, proposes that a single radioactive particle in the lung capable of delivering a local radiation dose of 1000 or more rem per year will produce local tissue damage. The local tissue damage in turn produces a risk of lung cancer of one in 2000 (5 x 10 to -4 power). Put another way, exposure to 2000 such hot particles would produce one lung cancer.”

the stuff is weenie, so they had a problem….continuing the nugget quotes from the Union Carbide document.

‎”A short critical review of the NRDC petition was prepared by the United Kingdom’s National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) [2]which concludes, “It is noted that the basis of ICRP recommendations is the average radiation dose to an organ and not the number of radioactive particles in the organ. This dosimetric basis of radiological protection has been established for many years by observation of humans and experimental work with animals. A better evaluation than offered by Tamplin and Cochran would be needed for this system to be set aside in favor of the hot particle concept. Their estimate that there is a risk of cancer being generated in cells surrounding a hot particle of one in 2000 cannot be substantiated by our present knowledge.”

And so they define the problem THEY have, and conclude, in league with HRH, that its not a problem because Gofman and Tamplin are wrong they claim and claim studies as evidence that the tissue damage from resident hot particles is borne not by lcoal cells, but ALL THE CELLS OF THE ORGAN IN QUESITON. So what do the animal studies show? logic or magic?

You see the range in tissue of alpha emissions from hot particles is very limited. Its about the equivalent to the thickness of a piece of writing paper. So how does the dose from a Hot Particle lodged in the top of the lung get shared to the entire lung? Magic.

The entire, seminal, document spends the rest of its time going through the magic findings which claim the local dose doesnt exist, that only the organ wide dose does.

So anyway, there is a very long history of injecting Beagles, rats, you name it, humans, with plutonium to see what happened. Was the effect local dose or was it whole body? If it were local the industry would be in deep shit. So they found otherwise of course, but the actual experiments carried out by the Manhattan Project and carried on by the AEC (and buried within project sunshine for some fission products too secret at the time to mention) and they reveal Gofman and Tamplin and others of the same view were right and that the AEC and other authorities were fudging, to be kind.

Its interesting to note that Union Carbide in its report chose to cite an off shore authority, the nuclear authorities of the United Kingdom. A country subject to the US Official Secrets Act pertaining to nuclear knowledge originated during World War 2 in the US at Los Alamos and Berkeley. (Oliphant).

An example of the closed loop. They cited a controlled authority. imo, and animal experiments
show that the AEC and other nuclear authorities err in the matter of hot particles for instance:

Some Beagle experiments. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7597146

Hematological effects of inhaled plutonium dioxide in beagles.

Weller RE, Buschbom RL, Park JF, Dagle GE, Ragan HA.

Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.

“Cumulative dose and dose rate appeared to act together to produce initial effects on lymphocyte populations, while dose rate alone appeared to be responsible for the maintenance and subsequent cycles of lymphopenia seen over the life span. No primary tumors were associated with the thoracic lymph nodes in this study, although 70% of the lymphopenic dogs developed lung tumors.”
end quote. Very short quote from abstract. See original site.



Health Phys. 1984 Jul;47(1):73-84.
Plutonium-induced wounds in beagles.
Dagle GE, Bristline RW, Lebel JL, Watters RL.


Beagle dogs were given subcutaneous implants of plutonium in their forepaws to mimic hand wounds received by workers accidentally contaminated with plutonium…….The injected paws sequestered 21 and 16%, respectively, of the injected activity from plutonium oxide and plutonium nitrate in hypocellular scar tissue. The highest concentrations of translocated radionuclides were found in the regional lymph nodes. ….. Osteosarcomas and hepatomas were present in one dog injected with plutonium oxide. There does not appear to be any unique risk for dogs related to the subcutaneous route of exposure to plutonium.
end quote. Brief quote from abstract.


Health Phys. 1975 Apr;28(4):395-8.
Translocation kinetics of plutonium oxide from the popliteal lymph nodes of beagles.
Dagle GE, Lebel JL, Phemister RD, Watters RL, Gomez LS.


Plutonium-Induced Popliteal Lymphadenitis in Beagles1
by GE Dagle – 1975


google book
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Sep 1976 – Google Books Result
48 pages – Magazine
The most extensive studies of inhaled plutonium have been on beagles at Battelle’s … 40 percent was in the thoracic lymph nodes, 15 percent in liver, …

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View

W. J. BAIR and J. F. PARK
Biology Department, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Battelle Memorial Institute,
Richland, Washington, U.S.A.
Abstract-Groups of three dogs were given single inhalation exposures to dry aerosols of one
of four different plutonium dioxides to compare retention, translocation, and rates of excretion.
The lung retention half-time of the oxalate calcinedat 350C was about one year, half that of the other oxides. This was due to greater accumulation of plutonium in the bronchial lymph nodes rather than greater clearance via the mucus-ciliary
pathway or a relatively high rateof solubility. The metal oxidized at 450C was cleared via the
mucus-ciliary route to a lesser extent than the other oxides. This same oxide also showed a
selective loss of Am 241, relative to Pu239, in lung and bronchial lymph node tissue which was
not evidenced by the other oxides. The oxalate calcined at 1000C showed the least translocation
to tissues outside the respiratory tract. These results indicate that the physical-chemical state
of inhaled plutonium dioxide influences its disposition in the body.
end quote of partial abstract.

The effect is local according to the site of deposition.

The dose cannot be assigned to the whole organ with any certainty of safety. The only possible motivation for such a risky optimisim is economy.

In an environment which is constantly being re-contaminated, in a biosphere where food constantly contains substances of concern, the routes of entry are both oral and inhalation. Also the concept of “equilbrium dose” arises – uptake minus excretion = body burden. The resultant body burden is the maximum body burden expected due to the biological half life (residence time) of the substances prior to excretion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_half-life – again these concepts arose in order to convince government that nuclear activity could predictably be regulated and safely undertaken (despite the evidence to the contrary). What is the biological half time of plutonium? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium it is 200 years. This is extra ordinary.

Note the avid reluctance to say ” dose to cells”. It is always “dose to organs”. Technically, as evidenced by the Union Carbide document, a very important point of departure between the AEC and Gofman and Tamplin. They emphasise the reality of cellular insult. Local, concentrated damage. The AEC claims diffuse weak damage averaged over the whole organ.

Note also the important point about plutonium. It is its very long biological half time that makes it a very dangerous alpha emitter. In a continously contaminated environment, its equilibrium dose gets very high, for uptake continues, but excretion is virtually nil. The situation continues for years. This is the danger of plutonium as an internal emitter. Once it is there, it stays there.

It is important to understand that the rate of radioactivity of most the plutonium isotopes is very low. Lower than radium, much lower. I’ll rustle up the data in a sec. It is the time it stays the body and the accretion of it which is the danger. And plutonium can only come from one source. Nuclear industry. If one can prove one is Pu contaminated, nuclear industry has a problem. They are the only dispensers of it.

The risk from plutonium is both in the moment and over time. It increases with time, due both to the present body burden (number of particles) and due to future additions to that body burdern.

One day nuclear industry might succeed at breeding plutonium resistant humans. If they do, it will have been at the expense of the rest of us.

rate of radioactivity of the plutonium isotopes Table 4-3. Radiological Properties of Plutonium Isotopes is available on page 150 of the Toxicological Profile of Plutonium.

The table lists 9 isotopes of Plutonium.
Isotope of Pu Curies/gram
Pu 236……….540
Pu 237…..12,000
Pu 238…………17
Pu 239…………..0.063
Pu 240…………..0.23
Pu 241……….100
Pu 242…………..0.0040
Pu 243…………. 2.6 x 10 to the 6 power
Pu 244…………..1.8 x 10 to the -5 power
There is a great variety of rates of radioactivity between the isotopes of Plutonium. the curie rate is a measure from which the number of alpha particles fired per second from the particle of plutonium can be calculated. As you can see Pu 239 is not the most radioactive of the PU isotopes. In comparison, the rate of radioactivity of radium is 1 curie per gram.

As I mention for comparison (or addition where people are subject to more than one radiochemical), the rate of radioactivity of 1 gram of Sr89 is 27,800 curies per gram.

It can be seen that if there is a diffuse – in “normal’ terms, field of plutonium specks (sub micron in size, more on that later) in a living space, then routine surface monitoring is not going to pick up much of a deviant above background. But once inside the body, the insults to cells accumulate and a clear danger exists.

The biochemistry of the radionuclide is important. So too is its rate of radioactivity and the type of radioactivity emitted by the fleck, speck, mote, particule.

The response of the individual is unique to such insults at the cellular level.

If damaged cells survive, the individual may die.

Due to the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, everyone alive on the planet today has a body burden of plutonium. Early in the Fukushima crisis, Japanese authorities tried to hide behind this fact. Today, it refuses to measure the plutonium released and deposited in Japan by the Fuk reactors.

The British Chief Scientist predicted a deposition radius of a few hundred meters if, at the time, (when the facts were suppressed re the molten cores) the cores melted. Pu fallout maps of Japan resultant from the Fukushima disaster show Pu deposition miles from the reactors, and if far greater concentrations than that delivered by nuclear weapons testing. (which is averaged to a world wide reading of : Average plutonium levels in surface soil from fallout range from 0.01 to 0.1 picocuries (pCi) per gram of soil (1 picocurie equals one-trillionth [10-12] of a curie).)

The British Chief scientist in March 2011 urged people to compare Fukushima with Chernobyl. I chose rather to compare Fukushima to an Australian nuclear test site – small beer comparatively, but considered lethal enough by Australian authorities to spend millions of dollars on after discovering that England had lied to Australia about the true state of plutonium residue at the test site known at Maralinga as Taranaki. Nearly one hundred million dollars was spent cleaning it up in a compromised manner before the land could be used for human habitation. Given the Japanese government’s refusal to monitor plutonium deposition in Japan resultant from the Fuk reactor disaster, I wonder what the government is so very frightened of. Government measure everything. Apparently not plutonium deposition though.

The British Chief scientist in March 2011 urged people to compare Fukushima with Chernobyl. I chose rather to compare Fukushima to an Australian nuclear test site – small beer comparatively, but considered lethal enough by Australian authorities to spend millions of dollars on after discovering that England had lied to Australia about the true state of plutonium residue at the test site known at Maralinga as Taranaki. Nearly one hundred million dollars was spent cleaning it up in a compromised manner before the land could be used for human habitation. Given the Japanese government’s refusal to monitor plutonium deposition in Japan resultant from the Fuk reactor disaster, I wonder what the government is so very frightened of. Government measure everything. Apparently not plutonium deposition though.

Here’s my comparison of Fukushima and Taranaki. Bit hard seeing as Japan refuses to measure the deposition in Japan. https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/taranaki-dead-zone-maralinga-map-vs-fukushima-plutonium-map/

So is it clear that the industry deception amounts to dividing the dose over all the cells in the organ, and ignoring the actual dose to the cells actually invovled? Gofman, Tamplin vs the AEC.

The anniversary of the great disasters is not only one of tragic and brave recollection. The anniversary is solemn validation of continuing deprivation. Deprivation and communal suffering which has been greatly amplified by the consequences of multiple reactor failures which led to a continuing rate of emissions from the reactors which continues today.

Meanwhile, more and more people believe less and less of the government edicts. Dose Response is an individual response.

Blanket Statements are invalid and unscientific.

Wake up Noda. HPs exist and have been a “problem” for the industry since 1944. And this is why the news is skewed to pretend that only CT scans escaped Fukushima. Bull. Radionuclides escaped. There is an internal hazard potential in reactor fallout zones in Japan.

It is a sad and solemn anniversary.

On this day one year ago the nation and people of Japan suffered a major natural disaster.

The consequences of that disaster were amplified by the avoidable one caused by the deadly decision to surround the Japanese people with 54 nuclear reactors, none of which are sustainable, emission and waste free, safe or economic.

The collective amnesia suffered by the Japanese industry and political elites can be tracked back decades to the obligation felt by the Manhattan Project and the AEC to cash up after bomb expenditure with the invention of the nuclear power industry. Its industry partner, Union Carbide, was happy to help bury the “Hot Particle Problem”.

That company’s attitude to dangerous chemicals and its attitude to civil populations is now well known.

The company provides its history here: http://www.unioncarbide.com/history

Today though belongs to the memory and current experience of the people of Japan. Who will overcome and again flourish in peace.

It may take awhile.

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