Archive for May, 2012

Dismantle the power of the “Nuclear Village” : Naoto Kan

May 29, 2012

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/28/world/asia/japan-nuclear/index.html?iref=allsearch

Tokyo (CNN) — Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he was overwhelmed and afraid during last year’s nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, acknowledging that little has been done since then to ensure that another nuclear disaster will not occur.

Sounding like a fiery anti-nuclear activist, Kan Monday testified before a panel appointed by parliament to investigate the nuclear disaster.

“There wasn’t much information coming to me” from the government regulatory agency, NISA, or the plant’s operator, TEPCO, Kan said. “I thought I couldn’t make any countermeasures in this crisis. I felt fear.”

During his testimony, Kan turned a critical finger on himself, Japan’s bureaucrats and TEPCO, saying all were hoping the situation would not spiral more out of control. He said all often were more worried about protecting their jobs and turf than public safety.

Nuclear disaster spreads to houses, food
Japan tsunami debris hits U.S.

Kan specifically pointed to a request from TEPCO to evacuate the Fukushima plant — a request he refused.

“The worst case scenario was that 30 million people would have to evacuate from the capital (Tokyo),” Kan told the panel. “That would come to within one inch of the end of this nation.”

Kan said he did his best to share information with the public, but admitted there weren’t many verified facts to share.

Over the weekend, Yukio Edano, Kan’s former chief cabinet secretary, testified that his office rejected a U.S. offer to supply nuclear experts, saying it was “not appropriate.” Kan told the panel that he heard about the U.S. offer after the fact, but supported Edano’s decision.

Kan also spoke about Japan’s so-called “nuclear village.” That’s the term used to describe the utilities, nuclear regulators, bureaucrats and academics who support the usage of nuclear energy in Japan. It’s a group Kan said shows no remorse for the disaster.

The first priority of Japan’s new nuclear policy should be to dismantle the power of the nuclear village, along with all nuclear power plants, Kan said.

“I would like to say to the Japanese and to the world — the safest nuclear policy is not to have any nuclear plants.”

end quote.

Turning away US help was not very bright imo.

A Lesson from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident 福島原発事故の教訓 Yuki Tanaka Japan Focus

May 29, 2012

http://japanfocus.org/events/view/149?utm_source=May+28%2C+2012&utm_campaign=China%27s+Connectivity+Revolution&utm_medium=email
please use the link above to view the original page and all content, including videos.
A Lesson from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident  福島原発事故の教訓
May. 21, 2012

Yuki Tanaka

At 3:36 pm on March 12, 2011, the day after the mega earthquake and tsunami hit northeast Honshu, Japan’s main island, the No.1 reactor building of the Fukushima No.1 Power Plant exploded. Soon after, an order for 77,000 residents from 28,000 households within 20 km of the power plant was issued, instructing people to evacuate to areas outside a 20km zone around the plant. However, this official command was never received, as the electricity and all communication lines, including telephone and internet, had been cut by the earthquake. Nevertheless, rumor spread quickly that the radiation emitted by the explosion was so deadly that it would kill everyone in the vicinity unless they escaped immediately.

Many people from within the 20 km zone, as well as vast numbers of residents from outside the area, began to flee. Mothers with babies and small children were the first to leave. No one had anticipated a nuclear accident of this magnitude and no one was prepared for the ensuing crisis. People did not have enough drinking water, baby food, nappies, medicine and other essentials. They did not have enough petrol to travel long distances. Yet they grabbed what they could and tried to flee by car. Traffic jams soon created further chaos and in parts cars moved only 50 meters in an hour. Many cars queued to purchase petrol, further delaying the escape of those inside and increasing their exposure to the radiation.

Much later, elderly people, hospital patients and physically and mentally handicapped people were evacuated. A lack of suitable accommodation for these unfortunate souls meant that they were transferred from one place to another, sometimes spending long hours in cars. Some were moved to large cities hundreds of kilometers away. By March 15, 50 elderly people had died. On that day, the No 2 and No 3 reactor buildings also exploded, causing anxiety among people in other regions of Fukushima prefecture, as well as neighboring prefectures and even Tokyo. In addition, 1,800 people were missing as a result of the tsunami, but high levels of radiation prevented search and rescue work. The bodies of these people have never been retrieved. Many children were left orphaned by the disaster.

This Fukushima experience demonstrates that no evacuation plan could prepare a community for a major nuclear power accident like this or the one that occurred at Chernobyl. Evacuation drills will never ensure order when a nuclear accident causes mass panic, brought about in part because we cannot see, smell or touch radiation. Fear leads to confusion, disorientation and inevitably irrational behavior.

Between March 1 and December 31 last year, 21,000 people died in Fukushima Prefecture. This was 9,000 more than in the previous year. Official reports put the number of deaths due to the earthquake and tsunami at 3,400. The remaining 6,600 deaths resulted from the devastating effects of the aftermath of the earthquake and the nuclear power accident. Many people committed suicide, like the 64-year-old farmer, who had produced organic cabbages for more than 30 years in Sugagawa, 70 km away. He took his life on March 24.

Prior to the disaster, Fukushima Prefecture had 150,000 hectares of rice and vegetable fields and 80,000 farming households. As the seventh largest agricultural prefecture in Japan, 40 per cent of its production was rice, with fruits such as peaches, pears and cherries making up the remainder. The area was also known for good quality fish, like bonito and saury, as well as dairy farms and mushroom forests in the mountains. The nuclear explosion subjected the entire region, as well as areas far beyond, to radiation levels equivalent to 20 times that inflicted on Hiroshima by the atomic bomb. Radiation continues to permeate the surrounds. The damage to the agricultural and fishery industries is beyond speculation. In addition to the initial destruction, “hot spots” – places contaminated with high levels of radiation, such as the village of Iidate – outside the 20km zone continue to cause great concern. It is most unlikely that those who lived within the 20km zone or in these hot-spot areas will ever be able to return to their homes and resume their interrupted lives.

Among the “voluntary evacuees” from outside the 20km zone, only those whose homes were in hot spot areas were entitled to receive government assistance. All the others had to find their own temporary accommodation. Many drove long distances to cities like Saitama and Tokyo to seek refuge in the homes of relatives and friends. Some moved from one place to another before eventually returning home, when they felt they could no longer impose on other people.

For those who have relocated, there are often family problems, particularly for young couples with small children. In many cases the husband has remained in Fukushima because of his job, while the mother and children have moved away, for fear of the effects of radiation upon the children. This arrangement often necessitates the additional burden of paying for rent on the new accommodation. If the children attend new schools, they must be registered as residents and local council taxes must be paid. Weekend visits by the husband to see the family inevitably involve expensive fares among other things. The financial burden of this stressful arrangement, together with the psychological trauma, is causing friction between couples, and it appears that divorce rates are increasing. Scores of evacuees who moved into small, prefabricated houses provided by the government suffer isolation and depression, due to a completely changed life style and lack of communication among the new residents. In addition, many suffer the deep sorrow of losing kin and close friends in the earthquake and tsunami.

The nuclear power accident, compounding the earthquake tsunami disaster which rocked the Tohoku region, is thus destroying many traditional farming and fishing communities as well as families. Large numbers of people, particularly children, are suffering deep psychological trauma resulting from the fear of radiation and separation from fathers and friends. Parents worry constantly about whether or not the food they feed their children is safe, how long they should allow the children to play outside, how often they should take them for medical checks and so on. For years to come, they will live with the fear that they or their children may develop leukemia, cancer or other illnesses suffered by many atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thus, for the foreseeable future, psychological depression, associated with radiation problems will continue to be a serious problem for many victims of the Fukushima nuclear power accident.

People in Fukushima are also facing “social discrimination,” in the same way that atomic bombing survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have done for decades. In Japan it is widely believed that many children born to victims of the atomic bombings carry genetic defects, caused by their parents’ exposure to high levels of radiation. As yet there is no clear medical or scientific evidence to prove such claims. However, many people still try to avoid marrying the descendants of atomic bomb survivors. Sadly, this same myth is now emerging with regard to Fukushima. Such discrimination is also happening in schools, where children from Fukushima are being bullied by their classmates, who think radiation is contaminating.

Today, radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident is at the heart of myriad problems – physical, psychological, social and inter-personal – that would never have been contemplated before. There is no effective and immediate solution to the difficulties caused by this invisible, frightening and deadly substance. One thing seems certain. We must endeavor to avoid such a catastrophe in the future and spare our loved ones the immeasurable agony that has been caused. We must stop using nuclear power, either in the form of energy or weapons. The governments and people of Australia and Canada must also consider seriously the irreversible damage that has been caused by exporting uranium to many countries including Japan.

please go to the original link to see the videos and other content.
Eyewitness Fukushima Symposium
Yuki Tanaka was a guest at the Eye Witness Fukushima Symposium held at Manhattanville College on March 5, 2012. We are pleased to present video of the event in two parts below.

MAKE AGENT ORANGE HISTORY

May 28, 2012

https://www.facebook.com/MakeAgentOrangeHistory

A must read, if you want.

A most important paper regarding the extent of Fukushima Emissions . Stohl et. al.

May 27, 2012

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/2313/2012/acp-12-2313-2012.html

at the bottom of the page there is a download button. click it and you get options.

Check out Fukushima Diary for the latest post. Captive politicians.

Big Tobacco had nothing on the Nuke gang.

If you feel like it, google Armand Hammer Robert Gale Chernobyl Then Robert Gale Japan

Big Energy. They are of course all the same.

Quote from Stohl et al:

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 2313–2343, 2012
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/2313/2012/
doi:10.5194/acp-12-2313-2012
© Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the
Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the
source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition

A. Stohl1, P. Seibert2, G. Wotawa3, D. Arnold2,4, J. F. Burkhart1, S. Eckhardt1, C. Tapia5, A. Vargas4, and
T. J. Yasunari6
1NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
2Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
3Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna, Austria
4Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE), Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
5Department of Physics and Nucelar Engineering (FEN),Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
6Universities Space Research Association, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology and Research, Columbia,
MD 21044, USA
Correspondence to: A. Stohl (ast@nilu.no)
Received: 8 October 2011 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 20 October 2011
Revised: 1 February 2012 – Accepted: 23 February 2012 – Published: 1 March 2012

Abstract. On 11 March 2011, an earthquake occurred about
130 km off the Pacific coast of Japan’s main island Honshu,
followed by a large tsunami. The resulting loss of electric
power at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant developed
into a disaster causing massive release of radioactivity
into the atmosphere. In this study, we determine the
emissions into the atmosphere of two isotopes, the noble
gas xenon-133 (133Xe) and the aerosol-bound caesium-137
(137Cs), which have very different release characteristics as
well as behavior in the atmosphere. To determine radionuclide
emissions as a function of height and time until 20
April, we made a first guess of release rates based on fuel
inventories and documented accident events at the site. This
first guess was subsequently improved by inverse modeling,
which combined it with the results of an atmospheric transport
model, FLEXPART, and measurement data from several
dozen stations in Japan, North America and other regions.
We used both atmospheric activity concentration measurements
as well as, for 137Cs, measurements of bulk deposition.
Regarding 133Xe, we find a total release of 15.3 (uncertainty
range 12.2–18.3) EBq, which is more than twice as
high as the total release from Chernobyl and likely the largest
radioactive noble gas release in history. The entire noble gas
inventory of reactor units 1–3 was set free into the atmosphere
between 11 and 15 March 2011. In fact, our release
estimate is higher than the entire estimated 133Xe inventory
of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which we
explain with the decay of iodine-133 (half-life of 20.8 h) into
133Xe. There is strong evidence that the 133Xe release started
before the first active venting was made, possibly indicating
structural damage to reactor components and/or leaks due to
overpressure which would have allowed early release of noble
gases. For 137Cs, the inversion results give a total emission
of 36.6 (20.1–53.1) PBq, or about 43% of the estimated
Chernobyl emission. Our results indicate that 137Cs emissions
peaked on 14–15 March but were generally high from
12 until 19 March, when they suddenly dropped by orders of
magnitude at the time when spraying of water on the spentfuel
pool of unit 4 started. This indicates that emissions may
not have originated only from the damaged reactor cores, but
also from the spent-fuel pool of unit 4. This would also confirm
that the spraying was an effective countermeasure. We
explore the main dispersion and deposition patterns of the radioactive
cloud, both regionally for Japan as well as for the
entire Northern Hemisphere. While at first sight it seemed
fortunate that westerly winds prevailed most of the time during
the accident, a different picture emerges from our detailed
analysis. Exactly during and following the period of
the strongest 137Cs emissions on 14 and 15 March as well
as after another period with strong emissions on 19 March,
the radioactive plume was advected over Eastern Honshu Island,
where precipitation deposited a large fraction of 137Cs
on land surfaces. Radioactive clouds reached North America
on 15 March and Europe on 22 March. By middle of
April, 133Xe was fairly uniformly distributed in the middle
latitudes of the entire Northern Hemisphere and was for the
first time also measured in the Southern Hemisphere (Darwin
station, Australia). In general, simulated and observed
concentrations of 133Xe and 137Cs both at Japanese as well
as at remote sites were in good quantitative agreement. Altogether,
we estimate that 6.4 PBq of 137Cs, or 18% of the total
fallout until 20 April, were deposited over Japanese land areas,
while most of the rest fell over the North Pacific Ocean.
Only 0.7 PBq, or 1.9% of the total fallout were deposited on
land areas other than Japan.

end quote.

In January this year a member of the Queensland Sunshine Coast Computer Club reported a large detection of a large radioactive cloud. See this post: https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/arpansa-responds-to-a-citizens-detection-of-a-radiation-spike-in-queensland-january-2012/

The Stohl paper indicates that the source of the reading in Queensland this year could have been airborne Xenon from Fukushima. I think that the Lucas Heights research reactor emits Xenon, krypton and other substances during it’s frequent refueling. As a result the reactor should be shut down and Australian nuclear medicines must be obtained by some form of modern method. Fission is not a modern method, it is not a safe method. The emissions from Lucas Heights reaches South Australia, Victoria, the whole of New South Wales and parts of Queensland.

The Stohl paper gives clear evidence of government and corporate suppression of information and down right lying. The US government agency NOAA has published a paper which uses pure modelling theory based up fractionation – a method of fallout prediction applied to bomb fallout. Bomb fallout is instanteously created. In the case of extended periods of reactors however, fractionation seems to me to apply only to the emission cloud’s front. The body of the cloud would be subject to mixing as faster substances continually overtake the slower ones. NOAA content on the basis of their model that their finding of half that of other reports (I think, meaning mainly Stohl) reports. The NOAA method is merely a model. Stohl used measurements in Japan, USA and Europe as well as credible modelling. The Stohl paper is peer reviewed. The NOAA paper grinds the US government axe.

It would be wise for the people of the world to read Stohl and on this occassion to consider the NOAA paper as a advert for Nuke. Fukushima was not a bomb, it is a gaggle of reactors which nuke authorities pretend they are controlling, which actually has actually controlled Japanese authorities since March 2011. This is the fundamental truth. Authorities have no control.

Fukushima Diary

And they hide this fact for as long as they can.

Kanagawa Notebook

May 25, 2012

http://notesfromhadano.wordpress.com/tag/hiroaki-koide/

New York Times reports on TEPCO “Underestimate” of Reactor radioactive chemical pollution.

May 25, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/world/asia/radioactive-release-at-fukushima-plant-was-underestimated.html?_r=4
Quote:
Utility Says It Underestimated Radiation Released in Japan
By REUTERS
Published: May 24, 2012

TOKYO (Reuters) — The amount of radioactive materials released in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost two and a half times the initial estimate by Japanese safety regulators, the operator of the crippled plant said in a report released on Thursday.

The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the meltdowns it believes took place at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances into the air during March 2011. The accident, which followed an earthquake and a tsunami, occurred on March 11.

The latest estimate was based on measurements suggesting the amount of iodine-131 released by the nuclear accident was much larger than previous estimates, the utility said in the report. Iodine-131 is a fast-decaying radioactive substance produced by fission that takes place inside a nuclear reactor. It has a half-life of eight days and can cause thyroid cancer.

It is difficult to judge the health effects of the larger-than-reported release, since even the latest number is an estimate, and it does not clarify how much exposure people received or continue to receive from contaminated soil and food. Experts have been divided on the health impacts since the disaster because the studies of assessing radiation risks are based mainly on a different type of exposure — the large doses delivered quickly by the atomic bombs in Japan in 1945.

Although people who lived closest to the plant were evacuated, many people remain in areas with significantly higher radiation levels than normal.

Tokyo Electric said it had initially been unable to accurately judge the amount of radioactive materials released soon after the accident because radiation sensors closest to the plant were disabled in the disaster.

“If this information had been available at the time, we could have used it in planning evacuations,” a spokesman for Tokyo Electric, Junichi Matsumoto, said at a news conference.

More than 99 percent of the radiation released by the accident came in the first three weeks, the utility company added.

The newly released information is likely to add to concerns among many Japanese that they were never told the extent of the accident or the risks it posed.

A terabecquerel is a trillion becquerels, a commonly used measure of the radiation emitted by a radioactive material.

Fukushima meltdowns’ March 2011 fallout higher than estimated, near 900,000 terabecquerels: Tepco

May 25, 2012

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120525b6.html

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fukushima meltdowns’ March 2011 fallout higher than estimated, near 900,000 terabecquerels: Tepco
Kyodo

An estimated 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere in March 2011 by the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.

The figure is higher than projections previously released by the government’s nuclear bodies, but less than a fifth of the 5.2 million terabecquerels thought to have been emitted by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Some 4,600 terabecquerels of radioactive substances were discharged when an explosion ripped through the reactor 1 building March 12, and another 1,060 following an explosion at reactor 3 two days later, according to Tepco’s study of the fallout emitted by the plant’s three crippled units between March 12 and March 31.

The emissions peaked March 15 and 16, possibly because the primary containment vessels of the three reactors degraded due to high temperatures and released massive amounts of fallout and steam from their upper part.

In the following months, however, the amount of radioactive substances spewed by the three reactors was less than 1 percent of the levels seen in March, Tepco’s study showed.

Reactors 1 to 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 power station suffered meltdowns after the March 2011 quake and tsunami knocked out almost all of the facility’s power sources, preventing Tepco from maintaining the fuel inside them in a cool state.

Hydrogen explosions erupted in all three units in the early days of the crisis, blowing away their outer walls and roofs and releasing radioactive fallout into the environment.

The government last year acknowledged that the severity level of the Fukushima nuclear crisis registers a maximum 7 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s scale based on the amount of radioactive materials released — a ranking equivalent to Chernobyl.

“TEPCO Japan utility ups estimate of radiation released in Fukushima disaster” By the CNN Wire Staff

May 25, 2012

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/24/world/asia/japan-nuclear-disaster/

Japan utility ups estimate of radiation released in Fukushima disaster
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 24, 2012 — Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)

Tokyo (CNN) — Japan’s largest utility said Thursday that more radiation than previously thought was released into the atmosphere in March 2011, in the days after the nuclear disaster that followed an earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) estimates about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials were released between March 12 and March 31, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

This is more than the estimates issued by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan or the government’s nuclear safety agency, the news agency said.

The utility said the release of radioactive material after March dropped sharply.

Hard lessons for U.S. nuclear safety from Fukushima meltdown

The latest figures from TEPCO come a day after the World Health Organization released a report on radiation doses that said infants living in the communities worst affected by the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were exposed to much higher than normal levels of radiation.

In one town in the Fukushima area, the estimated thyroid doses to infants are within a dose band of 100 to 200 millisieverts (mSv), the preliminary report said. This level of radiation exposure could be associated with an increased likelihood of developing cancer.

However, in the rest of Japan, the estimated thyroid doses are within a dose band of 1 to 10 mSv, the report said.

Outside the country, the estimated thyroid doses are less than 0.01 mSv, and are usually far below this very low level, it said.

Scientists looked at radiation doses to the thyroid, among other measures, because radioactive iodine-131 tends to accumulate in the thyroid, the most exposed organ in the body.

After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, a higher incidence of thyroid cancer was found in people who were children at the time of the accident, previous studies have found.

In Japan, people were chiefly exposed externally through radioactive material in the air and deposited on the ground, and internally through inhalation of radioactive particles and their ingestion in foodstuffs and water, the WHO said.

Wednesday’s report is the first international effort to assess global radiation doses resulting from the nuclear disaster, the WHO said. Its estimates will help the WHO draw up a report into the likely health risks resulting from the radiation exposure.

Japan has set a goal for cleaning up all areas where radiation levels are 1 millisievert over normal background, based on an estimate of eight hours a day spent outdoors.

Cleanup efforts in the first year focused on areas where annual doses of radiation were between 20 and 50 mSv a year — 7 to 16 times the typical amount a resident of an industrialized country receives in a year, but below the threshold for an increased risk of cancer.

TEPCO was effectively nationalized earlier this month after the government approved a request for a 1 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) injection of capital.

The company, which was left reeling by the disaster last year, needs government help to stay solvent as it faces enormous compensation costs.

The tsunami that followed the magnitude-9 quake on March 11 last year swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant, knocking out power to cooling systems and leading to meltdowns in its three operating reactors.

The resulting release of radioactivity forced residents of several towns near the plant to flee their homes, and a 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) zone around the plant remains closed to the public.

CNN’s Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

Oral histories from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

May 23, 2012

http://nyecountyhistory.com/fallini.pdf

Specific section i from the bottom of pdf page 21.

Also:

http://digital.library.unlv.edu/objects/nts/1340

At that page click on item number 2 and download the oral history pdf.

I remain convinced that these and other oral histories are crucial to the understanding of the
experience of the victims of compulsory exposure to radioactive contamination everywhere.

I believe that the process of denial of victims and the inculcation of as yet unaffected
majorities began in New Mexio and Japan in 1945 and continued unabated nuclear activities
spread within the USA and around the world.

The most recent populations similarly afflicted by this denial, isolation and exclusion include the populations afflicted by reactor accidents.

A reading of the oral histories of the people who witnessed and experienced both the reality and the official response of deliberate contamination (Nex Mexico, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nevada, Utah) in the first instances were in a position to compare the truth of what actually happened with the official lies told in response.

The oral histories are an antidote to the lies.

The time may approach when all people have their eyes opened by personal experience. By then, it will be too late. The oral histories are therefore a warning.

An Australian Oral History:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/?rzv88z7oczvicb9

Moral obligations, international law and the US Atomic Energy Act provisions

May 21, 2012

In 1994 President Clinton established the Advisory Committee for Human Radiation Experiments.
(ACHRE) The ACHRE final report was presented in 1995 and a Presidential apology to the people of the United States followed.

The Chair of ACHRE, Ruth Faden, gave a speech in Italy after her tenure at ACHRE had concluded. Her comments regarding the suppression of information by the US government and its agencies warrant repeating in the light of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The following is a brief set of quotes from her speech. The speech is dated as taking place on 12/5/98 in the course of PARTECIPANTI ALLA TAVOLA ROTONDA , in Milan, Italy. The full text can be viewed at http://www.cesil.com/0798/enfade07.htm

Quote:
“It’s a great honour to be able to give this lecture in this important context, so I would like very much to thank my hosts. This lecture is perhaps somehow different from what is typically presented in this context. I’m neither a physicist nor a physician, and I’m not an expert in radiological science; what I would be speaking about is the story, and more importantly, the ethics of the enterprise of human research on which advances in the radiological science, and indeed in many sciences, have so often depended.
As it has already been mentioned, I will be giving an account of an American Presidential Commission that I chaired; this Commission is called The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments.”….

“First let me tell you about the story. In the autumn of 1993, in a very obscure local newspaper in New Mexico, a reporter whose name is Eileen Welsome published a series of investigations in which she claimed that there had been secret experiments conducted by the American Government in the 1940s in which unsuspecting hospital patients had been injected with plutonium.
She identified who these victims, as she called them, were, she interviewed their families and included photographs in the report; she essentially put the human faces in this accusation. For this report she subsequently won the highest prize for journalism in the USA, the Pulitzer Prize.
When the report came out, it captured the imagination of the national press. The stories appeared in the major newspapers of all the USA, and also in the TV news.
The accusations extended not only to these plutonium experiments, but also to claims that there had been experiments involving retarded children, pregnant women, and prisoners.”

“The response from President Clinton to decrease public outrage was to establish an independent National Commission, and this is the Commission I had the opportunity to chair.
President Clinton appointed fourteen members, four of whom had expertise in radiological science.
My other colleagues had expertise in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Law, Ethics and History. The President gave us four charges.”….”We were to open the secret reports of Federal agencies to the American public. We had responsibility over six ministries: Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Space Agency NASA, and also the CIA. In addition to our authority to demand from these agencies that we reviewed the reports, the agencies were also required to respond immediately to any request that we might have made for the declassification of secret documents.” “All together we had 18 months. Then we published the final report that I would have brought with me but it was too heavy (900 pages long).”

“We were also requested by the President to investigate whether there had been accusations of secret intentional releases of radiation into the environment, or espionage experiments. We also investigated the experiences of what we call in the USA the Atomic Veterans; these were soldiers who in some respect participated in the atomic bomb testing, primarily in the 1950s. We also investigated the experience of the USA’s involvement in testing in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, and also the experience of miners in Uranian mines in the South West of the USA in the 1950s and 1960s.”

…”We were especially disturbed about research that was not therapeutic in any respect; by this I mean research that even at that time offered no prospect of medical benefit to the subject. In such research, even at that time it would have been unethical in terms of the rules of the American Medical Community to conduct such research without express consent.
And yet, this kind of non-therapeutic research was not only conducted on patients without their acknowledge nor their consent, but in a few cases there was a deception to patients and their families about the purpose of the research.”

“We were also very concerned about the selections of subjects for this research, as far as we could discover that research in which the subjects were children was not connected with military objectives.
Much of this research in fact was directed to objectives in nutrition. What disturbed us was not the purpose but the fact that the children that were the subjects were institutionalized, mentally retarded children and children abandoned by their parents.
The rational for selecting these children was that they needed a group of children whose dignity could be controlled, so that the serial could have tracers. However, one of my colleagues said: “Why didn’t they select children institutionalized in selected private schools?”

So although doses were very low, relatively speaking, the concern about ethics come from the selection of the powerless, and the misrepresentation to the children and their parents of what was going on.
Let me quickly tell you about the intentional release of radiation in the environment. When we were commissioned, it was suspected that perhaps there had been six or seven of these releases from the State of Washington, in which there is a very important factory which produces material that supports weapon. In fact there were several hundreds of such releases, but they were not for the purpose of studying the effects of radiation on human beings.
Rather, as I mentioned earlier, their purpose was to establish whether we could detect what the Soviets were producing; if we knew how much we were releasing we could, by spying plans, correctly detect the amount and correctly infer production of the plants in the Soviet Union.
We are currently engaged in carrying out a dose reconstruction research. It’s extremely unlikely however that members of the public were harmed as a consequence of these releases; it must be remembered that these plants continued in their release to contaminate the environment.

What was deeply disturbing, however, was the fact that these releases were not only being conducted secretly, which might have been justifiable at that time, but that they were being kept secret for forty or fifty years, despite repeated attempts by the local community to establish what had happened. Indeed, we concluded that the secrecy with which some of these human radiation experiments and also these intentional releases were conducted was responsible for most of the serious negative consequences in this period of the American history.
And these consequences were primarily the distrust and suspicion that they engendered among the American public.

When we uncovered that in most cases this secrecy was not required for national security, but rather was maintained to prevent legal consequences and also to prevent bad press, it only added to a sense of scepticism and distrust, and this distrust is a great concern to all of us who believe in the importance of the advance in science.

As I’ve mentioned to you, there were already regulations and directives in the 1940s and 1950s and 1960s at the Defence Department and the Atomic Energy Commission requiring consent, but these requirements were never followed.
We have learned from this story that the Government can write the most elaborate regulations, but there are human limits that must be set by ethics; and a good ethics in a professional context most come from within the profession, and so our major recommendation had to do with changing education and the incentives for scientists and medical investigators, so as to make ethics central to their profession.
We had some success from these recommendations, but we still have a long way to go.
Thank you very much.” Ruth R. Faden

I believe that there is further to go now than there was in 1998.

It is often proposed by nuclear industry and its advocates that the only ones entitled to speak on matters relating to unconsented public exposures to ionising radiation are industry qualified nuclear experts.

Nuclear experts, history reveals, do not, by dint of their understanding of the atom, have any more or less native insight into the ethics of their undertakings than other person who is a layperson in the realm of ethics.

If I want electricity, I am not consenting to the compulsory inclusion of Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 into my food and drink. I am not consenting to the undisclosed emission of inhalant reactor created and released radionuclides.

I am not not consenting to government funded deceptive animal experiments which aim to falsely show that alpha and beta emitters embedded into human tissue as a result of compulsory nuclear emissions, merely act in a way similar to that of the ultra low dose external photon radiation.

I would, if I had the rights of an American, demand the establishment of a permanent ethics committee to ensure that critical radiological information was released to the people of America and the world. And to ensure that never again would citizens be kept in the dark to save nuclear authorities time, trouble, humiliation or profit. And I would press for the amendment of the applicable laws so as to ensure that if there is right to self determination in the USA, that right should extend to the right to know one’s exposure dose from nuclear industry emissions. No matter where in the world the point of origin of those emissions lies.

I would also push the United States to ensure that countries with which it has relationships involving nuclear treaties and technical exchanges be pressured to adopt the same level of openness.

The question is not technical. It is moral.

To which the NRC would reply “Give us a break, Japan is trying its best to resolve a crisis.”

But I thought the reactors are in Cold Shut Down? What’s the full story?

“Sorry we can’t tell you.”

How does zirconium behave in the plasma state?

“Find out for yourself”.

OK.