Neutron Radiation and Fission Fallout, Hiroshima 1945

For Hiroshima Day August 6, 2012.

Radiat Res. 2012 Mar;177(3):229-43. Epub 2011 Dec 15.
Studies of the mortality of atomic bomb survivors, Report 14, 1950-2003: an overview of cancer and noncancer diseases.
Ozasa K, Shimizu Y, Suyama A, Kasagi F, Soda M, Grant EJ, Sakata R, Sugiyama H, Kodama K. Department of Epidemiology, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 5-2 Hijiyama-koen, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815, Japan.

This is the 14th report in a series of periodic general reports on mortality in the Life Span Study (LSS) cohort of atomic bomb survivors followed by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation to investigate the late health effects of the radiation from the atomic bombs. During the period 1950-2003, 58% of the 86,611 LSS cohort members with DS02 dose estimates have died. The 6 years of additional follow-up since the previous report provide substantially more information at longer periods after radiation exposure (17% more cancer deaths), especially among those under age 10 at exposure (58% more deaths). Poisson regression methods were used to investigate the magnitude of the radiation-associated risks, the shape of the dose response, and effect modification by gender, age at exposure, and attained age. The risk of all causes of death was positively associated with radiation dose. Importantly, for solid cancers the additive radiation risk (i.e., excess cancer cases per 10(4) person-years per Gy) continues to increase throughout life with a linear dose-response relationship. The sex-averaged excess relative risk per Gy was 0.42 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.32, 0.53] for all solid cancer at age 70 years after exposure at age 30 based on a linear model. The risk increased by about 29% per decade decrease in age at exposure (95% CI: 17%, 41%). The estimated lowest dose range with a significant ERR for all solid cancer was 0 to 0.20 Gy, and a formal dose-threshold analysis indicated no threshold; i.e., zero dose was the best estimate of the threshold. The risk of cancer mortality increased significantly for most major sites, including stomach, lung, liver, colon, breast, gallbladder, esophagus, bladder and ovary, whereas rectum, pancreas, uterus, prostate and kidney parenchyma did not have significantly increased risks. An increased risk of non-neoplastic diseases including the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems was observed, but whether these are causal relationships requires further investigation. There was no evidence of a radiation effect for infectious or external causes of death.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

See also

The Franck Report of 1945 urged that the atomic bomb be demonstrated to the enemy. The report anticipated a nuclear arms race between nations and of world revulsion and horror at the actions of the United States if it used the atomic bomb against Japan : “Thus, from the “optimistic” point of view – looking forward to an international agreement on prevention of nuclear warfare – the military advantages and the saving of American lives, achieved by the sudden use of atomic bombs against Japan, may be outweighed by the ensuing loss of confidence and wave of horror and repulsion, sweeping over the rest of the world, and perhaps dividing even the public opinion at home.” Report of the Committee on Political and Social Problems
Manhattan Project “Metallurgical Laboratory” University of Chicago, June 11, 1945, (The Franck Report). Members of the Committee: James Franck (Chairman)
Donald J. Hughes J. J. Nickson Eugene Rabinowitch Glenn T. Seaborg J. C. Stearns Leo Szilard.

Although the secret suggestion of a demonstration of the bomb was rejected by the United States, the idea that the United States might do all it could to avoid appalling and horrifying the rest of the world is a logical one. The occupation of Japan by the USA and British Commonwealth Forces would provide an ideal opportunity to impose censorship upon the Japanese people so as to conceal the full facts of the effects of nuclear weapons used in 1945. Both the United States and the government of Japan imposed this censorship.

The more the atomic bomb could be presented as a weapon just like any other, that is an explosive device rather than a radiological weapon, the better the chance the United States had of becoming a “nuclear leader” rather than an international outcast.

To conceal the nature of the weapons obviously means concealing the nature of the injuries and the causes of death suffered by the victims of the weapon.

On 12 September 1945, the New York Times published a story claiming that the reports of illness among Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings of their cities were false. The reporter, Laurence, wrote: “the Japanese described ‘symptoms’ that did not ring true.” Groves was quoted as saying: “The Japanese claim that people died from radiation. If this is true, the number was very small.” Source: Laurence, W. L., New York Times, 12 September 1945, as related by Amy Goodman and David Goodman in “Hiroshima Cover-up: How the War Department’s Times man Won a Pulitzer” at News Centre

In response to similar press reports, Dr Robert Stone, head of the Manhattan Project’s Metallurgical Division’s Health Program wrote the following to Colonel H.L. Friedell, U.S. Engineer Corps, Manhattan District, on 9 August 1945: “I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a series of news releases said to be quoting Oppenheimer, and giving the impression that there is no radioactive hazard. Apparently all things are relative.” Source: US Department of Energy Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project, Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE) : Introduction The Aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Emergence of the Cold War Radiation Research Bureaucracy” (ACHRE No. DOE-121494-D-1).

Today no one in their right mind would suggest that the number of people who suffered the horrors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and who suffered radiation related deaths and injury were “very few”. See Radiat Res. 2012 Mar;177(3):229-43. Epub 2011 Dec 15. “Studies of the mortality of atomic bomb survivors”, Report 14, 1950-2003: an overview of cancer and noncancer diseases. Ozasa et al.

The United States claimed for many years that there was no fallout deposited in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Stone, head of the Health Division, as quoted above, clearly disagreed with statements maintaining that there was no radiation hazard in the bombed cities.

There was fallout in Japan from those two bombs. Some of it fell upon the cities. The acknowleged Black Rain area was not the only area of fallout deposition (wet or dry).

We know that the B29s which delivered the weapons to target were not the only ones in the air over Japan after the bombings. See “Height Estimation of Hiroshima A-bomb Mushroom Cloud from Photos”, at File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
by M Baba.–tKmiwQTvwtPdEUBC5JL5HWbpg

“The estimated height of the mushroom cloud that formed after the A-bomb
explosion at Hiroshima has been a controversial issue for many years. In this work, we have attempted to measure the cloud height from existing photos taken at the time from airplanes and from the ground. First, we determined the precise locations where the pictures were taken. Next, we approximated the three dimensional shape of the cloud using multiple spheroids. Finally, we obtained measurements of the height and
width of the mushroom cloud from the approximated cloud shape. Our experimental results suggested that the height reached a maximum of about 16 km…..Photos taken with known altitude – These are images that have no clues specifying the location, yet the horizon is clearly indicated and the altitude is known, as shown in Figure 2. These photos were taken from the airplane that followed the bomber Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb. Testimony about the altitude at the time of the photography was obtained from the photographer. From this testimony, the horizontal distance between the hypocenter and the airplane has been estimated.” Ibid.

A cloud observation aircraft was in the air over Hiroshima subsequent to the delivery of the bomb to the target. The US studied the cloud. It seems logical to me that the aircraft, or others like it, should in fact have been given the mission to track the Hiroshima bomb cloud. The same holds for the Nagasaki bomb. And I believe they probably were. Is my belief correct or

I have found the following document, which gives a complete list of all US atmospheric nuclear detonations and all US cloud tracking aircraft missions. A truncated version is reproduced below:



FORWARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .i

INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii

LIST OF CHARTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . .v

CHRONOLOGY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii

I.TESTS PRECEDING MANNED SAMPLING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Operation TRINITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Operation CROSSROADS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Sampling CROSSROADS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Evaluation of CROSSROADS Sampling . . . . . . . 13
Note the gap between Trinity and Crossroads.

Who were the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bomb Downwinders? What impact did the fallout from these two bombs have on the control population used by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission for comparison with the Atomic Bomb Survivor studies?

“The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth’s atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth’s surface, which is cooler higher up and warmer farther down. The border of the troposphere and stratosphere, the tropopause, is marked by where this inversion begins, which in terms of atmospheric thermodynamics is the equilibrium level. The stratosphere is situated between about 10 km (6 mi) and 50 km (30 mi) altitude above the surface at moderate latitudes, while at the poles it starts at about 8 km (5 mi) altitude.”

The Hiroshima bomb cloud topped out at about 16km.(Baba) I conclude from this that the bombs used against Japan in 1945 produced hemispheric fallout.
The experience of global fallout reported for fission bombs reported during the testing period of the 1950s and 1960s holds true for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. A key to this the Stratospheric storage and transport of the bomb residue. A proportion of the 1945 fallout caught in the Stratosphere would have taken days, weeks, months and years to have been deposited on the earth. It can be expected to have been deposited thousands of miles away from Japan. However, also as normal, carpets of fallout would have deposited as the clouds traversed Japan. Local, national and international fallout would have occurred.

The paths taken by the fallout clouds generated by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs is important to the full understanding of the effects of the first two nuclear weapons used against a populated target. The close in targets were the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The downwind areas traversed by the two fallout clouds of August 1945 remain undefined as of August 2012.

To say there was no fallout from these bombs is not permissible. These two bombs, far being unique in history, were in fact the prototypes for thousands of other bombs which were, from my stand point as a layman, just like them. The inaccuracy of these weapons was anticipated. The inaccuracy is in large part due to the characteristic deposition of radio-chemicals far from the assigned the target. As a result authorities downplay this fallout. Whereas opponents demand the truth regarding this radio-chemical deposition.

Fallout in Hiroshima

The August – September radiological surveys performed in Hiroshima by Japanese scientists produced records and evidence which were confiscated by the Occupation Forces under General Farrell (Shimizu, 1982). The material confiscated included body parts, soil samples and objects rendered radioactive by neutron radiation activation.

This material was not returned to Japan until the 1970s. ( )

On May 1973, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a ceremony for
the return of Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb records confiscated by the U.S.
during Occupation (1945-52). (Source: Atomic Bomb Museum – “The Pursuit
of Peace”.

In 2003 Yoko Fujikawa, Kiyoshi Shizuma and Satoru Endo, of the Research
Reactor Institute, Osaka, reported their study of samples of previously
returned 1945 Hiroshima soil. Their paper, entitled “Investigation of the Fate of U-235 from the Hiroshima A Bomb”, is available at:

On 9 August 1945 Yoshio Nishina and his companions from the Institute of
Physical and Chemical Research collected soil samples in Hiroshima. These
samples were used in the 2003 study. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Museum account of the collection of the soil samples is given at:

Those who say that the bombed cities did not suffer neutron activation product creation and did not suffer fallout are incorrect.

Since the 1970s, a number of surveys have been conducted in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which confirm the presence of fallout due to deposition from the August 1945 atomic bombs. Some of these surveys include:


Cesium-137 in Placentae, Urine, Food and Rain in Hiroshima. Papers, Health Physics. 22(3):251-256, March 1972. Takeshita, K.; Antoku, S.; Sunayashiki, T.; Tabuchi, A. Health Phys. 1989 Dec;57(6):1013-6.

Fallout in the hypocenter area of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.Shizuma K, Iwatani K,
Hasai H, Hoshi M.Faculty of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Japan.
Health Phys. 1990 May;58 (5):591-6.

Measurement of 239Pu in soil and plants in the Nishiyama District of Nagasaki. Okajima S, Shimasaki T, Kubo T.Atomic Disease
Institute, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.
J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 1991 Mar;32 Suppl:32-9.

Studies of radioactivity produced by the Hiroshima atomic bomb: 2. Measurements of fallout radioactivity.Hasai H, Hoshi M, Yokoro K.Faculty of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Japan.

137Cs Concentration in Soil Samples from an Early Survey of Hiroshima Atomic Bomb and Cumulative Dose Estimation from the Fallout. Papers, Health Physics. 71(3):340-346, September 1996.
Shizuma, Kiyoshi; Iwatani, Kazuo; Hasai, Hiromi; Hoshi, Masaharu; Oka, Takamitsu; Okano, Masaharu

Nippon Genshiryoku Kenkyujo JAERI,Conf(2003) Uranium isotope analyses of soil samples collected from Nisshoen, Hiroshima-Implication on the fate of U-235 discharged from the Hiroshima A-bomb Accession number;03A0757641 Author; FUJIKAWA Y(Kyoto Univ., Osaka, Jpn) SHIZUMA K(Hiroshima Univ., Higashihiroshima, Jpn) ENDO S(Hiroshima Univ., Higashi-hiroshima, Jpn) IKEDA E(Kyoto Univ., Osaka, Jpn) FUKUI M(Kyoto Univ., Osaka, Jpn) Journal Title;Nippon Genshiryoku Kenkyujo JAERI,Conf Journal Code:L2150A ISSN: VOL.;NO.;PAGE.314-319(2003) Figure&Table&Reference;FIG.5, REF.8 Pub. Country;Japan Language;English.

No nuclear weapon detonated in air has simply deposited its fallout close in to the target. There is close, local, fallout, there is more distant fallout, there is hemispheric and global fallout. (Report on Project Gabriel, AEC, 1954.)

Are we to believe that of all the nuclear weapons ever detonated that the only two that did not exhibit the characteristic of generating fallout which descended as a “trailing curtain” from the fallout clouds over tens, hundreds and thousands of miles from shot point? No. It is merely propaganda that there was no fallout in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The only fallout map, a proposed one, that I have ever seen which attempts to plot the possible full fallout field, as traversed by a bomb cloud generated over Japan in 1945 is here:

Wind sheer exists. As the Hiroshima, and presumably the Nagasaki, clouds rose to 16km in altitude, one would expect secondary fields of deposition in directions differing from the proposed primary cloud track.

The results of the Trinity, New Mexico, nuclear blast in July 1945 caused grave concern among Manhattan Project safety staff.

A Top Secret Memo dated 21 July 1945 by Shields Warren to Groves details radioactive contamination of people, animals and land by fallout from the 16 July 1945 explosion. Warren expressed his opinion that the test site was too small. Fallout dust was detected 200 miles from Trinity. Warren recommended any future test site be sited within a 150 mile radius devoid of any population. Source:
Memo, From Colonel Stafford L. Warren Chief of Medical Section Manhattan
District To: Major Gen. Groves, SUBJECT: Report on Test II at Trinity, 16 July 1945, U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, TS Manhattan Project Files, folder 4, “Trinity Test.” 21 July 1945. Available at: Leo Szilard Online.

The weapon effect most like the gas warfare of World War 1, nuclear fallout, was proving, like its early ‘counterpart’, to be very inaccurate; it could not be contained to the confines of small, defined targets. It was indiscriminate and the fission products are deadly chemicals in such circumstances.

From July 1945, the Manhattan Project nations, UK and USA, knew that when used against a target, the effects of a nuclear weapon would felt by people in a radius of at least 150 miles from ground zero beneath the hypo-centre. (there are no people at the hypo-centre.) The higher the hypo-centre, the larger the area on the ground subject to immediate radiation, the greater the area subject to fallout. Trinity was a tower shot. Little Boy and Fat Man were detonated at much higher altitude.

Neutron Radiation and activation products, Hiroshima 1945 on.

The Australian Department of Veterans Affairs states:
15.21 The main body of Australian troops arrived in Japan on 21 February 1946, some six months after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. DVA’s long-standing position is that the level of radiation had fallen to acceptable levels by the time the Australian BCOF contingent arrived in Japan. This stance is based on advice from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and its predecessors.” (Source: Report of the Review of Veterans’ Entitlements, Chapter 15 British Commonwealth Occupation Forces In Japan” , Department of Veterans Affairs, Australia.

In this statement the Australian Department of Veterans confirms the existence of residual radiation in Hiroshima for a period after the atomic bombing.

The salient question this policy stance raises is: “What is an “acceptable level” of radiation exposure?” In terms of internalised radionuclides of high activity but of minute size (that is, Hot Particles), many consider even levels equivalent to “background” external levels unacceptable. But this question takes us back to square one, and is the question which the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and its successor organisation attempts to answer in its long running survey and reporting on the effects suffered by the people of Hiroshima who experienced the 1945 nuclear weapon burst.

The ABCC always ignored those people who entered Hiroshima after the bomb. The ABCC was not interested in any survey of the people who lived in the area of Hiroshima affected by the rain out fallout known as the Black Rain.

As recently as 2012, the Japanese dismissed the recommendation of the courts that the Black Rain area be officially expanded. The view of the Japanese Government today of a primary symptom suffered by the affected people, intense and profound fatigue, (Bura Bura disease) is a psychosomatic illness, related to experience, memory and stress rather than to radiation exposure via internal emitters. Yet radiation fatigue is a recognised illness, well documented in medicine. The work of Dr Hida continues in this regard today, advocate for, and caring for these victims.

The bomb experts employed to track the effects of the Hiroshima bomb on its victims for the United States are only interested in the effects of immediate radiation burst effects. ie Gamma and Neutron radiation.

The dose response charts produced from the study of Hiroshima bomb victims by authorities focus mainly upon gamma radiation to the exclusion of neutron radiation – it seems to me – and to the exclusion of the effects of fission fallout and neutron activation products (which were present where ever neutron rays penetrated into the afflicted city.)

As an associate of the Australian Atomic ExServicemen’s Association I can say that the Association holds the view, on the basis of the evidence it has to hand, that by the 1990s 90 percent of the people who served as part of the Australian contingent of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan has died. Many, many of these people died very young and now, a long time ago. Many were, and still are, afflicted by disease the Association holds were caused by their service in radiation areas of Japan.

The main area of operation to which the Australian troops were assigned was that of Hiroshima and Kure.

Here we have, in Australia, a vastly reduced cohort of people who entered Hiroshima after the bomb. And who lived and worked there in order to carry out their assigned duty. The Association’s magazine contains photographs of the Hiroshima ground zero (the area beneath the hypo-centre, the hypo-centre containing no people) (apparently it is an academic convention that in relation to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the term “ground zero” is not to be used. I am not an academic. Ground zero is on the ground, where the people were. The hypo-centre is the burst point of the bombs. The point of interest to me is the place where the people were.)

In relation to its occupation veterans who saw service in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States today does have a more accurate and more compassionate view of the reality of conditions in those cities after the bomb. This more accurate view should be extended to the Japanese people by the United States. In my opinion, as I understand the situation.

It is probably true that neutron activation products provided a substantial post bomb exposure dose to people in the bombed cities.
What Hersey was told and what Shimizu Found

In 1946 John Hersey reported that one week after the atomic bomb had flattened Hiroshima, “Already Japanese physicists had entered the city with Lauritsen electroscopes and Neher electrometers”. [1]

Reporting on the early radiation surveys conducted by Japanese scientists from very soon after the bombing, Hersey also writes, “ Japanese physicists, who knew a great deal about atomic fission (one of them owned a cyclotron), worried about lingering radiation at Hiroshima..” [2]

There were a number of such radiation surveys, many commencing prior to the
announcement by President Truman that confirmed the bombs used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki were indeed atomic bombs. [3]

By the evening of the 6th August 1945, 10,000 victims of the atomic bomb had arrived at the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima. The building itself had suffered damage from the blast of the atomic bomb. [4]

Hersey relates how Dr Sasaki and his colleagues working at the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital began to recognise the apparently mysterious and in-congruent illness that now afflicted so many people in Hiroshima, including those who had escaped any other consequence of the bomb. “The apparently uninjured people who had died so mysteriously in the first few hours…” [5]
The Hiroshima doctors ascribed three stages to the disease. Each stage was carefully noted. [6]

The physical symptoms of the disease’s early stages gave way to sudden and wild changes in the blood of victims. Commencing 25 to 30 days after the bomb, the white cell count dropped. Bleeding occurred and infection set in. The fever and the blood changes gave the Hiroshima Doctors the evidence they needed to make a diagnosis. It became clear that key aspects of the illness resembled that of “over exposure to X rays”.

The doctors may have had no training in gamma and neutrons rays; they related the effects of the weapon to the effects of excess exposure to X Rays. These are all forms of ionising radiation of course. So their observations led them to the most correct diagnosis and treatment of which they were capable, in the absence of any other information. “..the white blood cell count dropped sharply.” [7] (Leucopenia).

They began the standard treatment for that illness. As far as they could, they gave patients liver extracts, blood transfusions, and vitamins, especially vitamin B1. They suffered a severe lack of supplies. [8]

“Since the blood disorders were, in the long run, the predominant factor in the disease, some of the Japanese doctors evolved a theory as to the seat of the delayed sickness. They thought that perhaps gamma rays, entering the
body at the time of the explosion, made phosphorous in the victims’ bones
radioactive, and that they in turn emitted beta particles, which, though they could not penetrate far through flesh, could enter the bone marrow, where blood is manufactured, and gradually tear it down. …Not all the patients exhibited all the main symptoms. People who suffered flash burns were protected, to a considerable extent, from radiation sickness. Those who had lain quietly for days or even hours after the bombing were much less liable to get sick than those who had been active. Gray hair
seldom fell out. And, as if nature were protecting m an against his own ingenuity, the reproductive processes were affected for a time; men became sterile, women had miscarriages, menstruation stopped.” [11]

The findings of the Hiroshima doctors predate and confirm the findings of the US studies of the A bomb survivors made at the time of the Occupation of Japan by US forces.

In August and September of 1945, the Kyoto University undertook radiological surveys of Hiroshima. One of the participating scientists in these surveys was Prof. Shimizu. Among other things, he found the following:

The strongest source of beta radiation detected by the Kyoto University team, from samples taken from Hiroshima and studied at the Kyoto Laboratory, was that measured from horse bone. This returned a reading of 637 counts per minute per minute. The Kyoto University finding of August 1945 attributes this radioactivity to the horse bone tissue reacting to the neutron radiation which bombarded it. The resulting phosphorous 32 (P32) and to a lesser extent radio calcium produced the radiation readings. [14]
“On in the night of the 19th I spat out much bloody sputa, and I was forced to lie on a bed for about 13 months.” [15] Nuclear weapons are inaccurate over time as well as over area of effect.

Prof Shimizu describes the radiation sickness he suffered as a result of his visits to Hiroshima. He arrived in Hiroshima some days after the bombing. His radiation sickness commenced after Japan had unconditionally surrendered.
Nuclear weapons are also inaccurate in time as well as over area of effect.

At around the same time as Professor Shimizu was coughing up blood, General Groves was proclaiming, and the New York Times reported, that such illness was merely enemy propaganda. God knows how many others in Japan were suffering this illness under the suppression of the ordered censorship.

The illness suffered by Prof. Shimizu appears to be the result of his exposure to Hiroshima dust and debris. The Shimizu reading of 600 + counts per minute Beta for horse bone is probably indicative of the intensity of the radioactivity induced in all bone, human or animal, at the same distance from the hypocenter at the moment the bomb detonated, flooding the city with neutron and gamma rays.

Allied Occupation Forces arrived in Hiroshima via the Atsugi Air Base and the Chugoku Military District on September 8, 1945. Under the command of General Farrell the immediate actions of these Forces resulted in the interruption of the Japanese radiation surveys, and the start of US command and control of relevant Japanese research and
publication. After arrival, the Red Cross ordered the US to issue a portion of its supplies to the victims of Hiroshima. The resulting release of 15 tons of medical supplies took place early that September. [16]

“With the initial declassification of MED (Manhattan Engineering District Declassified Documents), D. Anthony revealed that the LD50 of intravenous P-32 for man (derived from animal data) was in the range of 270 mCi (10 GBq).” [21]

As Brucer explained: “Lawrence had been treating leukemia patients with P-32 for almost 7 years. His P-32 was made at the University until the Manhattan Bomb Project pre-empted their cyclotron to make the first Plutonium. In order to keep the new work secret, John (Lawrence) was instructed to continue his P-32 work with lots of papers and talks. P-32 would be supplied in lavish amounts – one curie per month – from the new reactor at Oak Ridge.” [22] In respect to neutron radiation, to the extent that Dr Stone
published knowledge on the immediate and late effects of this form of ionising radiation, the Manhattan Project had prior knowledge.

The Allies possessed at least partial insight into what those within range of the neutron radiation, initiated at the instant of the atomic detonations, would, in part, suffer, including the delayed effects of the exposure to neutron rays as described by Stone in 1940. One of the causes of A bomb disease was neutron induction of P32 in the bones of the exposed people. This is radio-chemical warfare. [23]

The Hiroshima Doctors had already suffered under the Japanese Totalitarian Regime. Confined to their field of treating patients, their written records, created in 1945 and in the Japanese language, may still survive as a record of the events that did occur. The informal reports, issued doctor to doctor, likewise might form an “underground record” of events which escaped the Japanese and American censorship regimes. I hope this is so.

It can be shown that the same considerations that applied to the neutron activation chemical P32 also apply to the fission products in the case where there was a pre war medical knowledge of a specific radioisotope. Two examples of this are Strontium 89 and Iodine 131.

The US survey of A-Bomb survivors conducted in 1945 agrees with the findings of the Hiroshima doctors’ opinions, as recounted by Hersey. The following official Manhattan Project report came as no surprise to those who ordered the atomic attacks:

“Blood counts done and recorded by the Japanese, as well as counts done by the Manhattan Engineer District Group, on such patients regularly showed leucopenia (low-white blood cell count). In extreme cases the white blood cell count was below 1,000 (normal count is around 7,000). In association with the leucopenia and the oropharyngeal lesions, a variety of other infective processes were seen. Wounds and burns which were healing adequately suppurated and serious necrosis occurred. At the same time, similar ulcerations were observed in the larynx, bowels, and in females, the genitalia. Fever usually accompanied these lesions.” [32]

Quotations and Sources for this section were taken from “Medicine and the Bomb”, P. Langley, 2009 – 2012 as follows:
[1] Hersey, “Hiroshima”, 1946, First Vintage Books Edition, February 1989,
ISBN 0-679-72103-7, pp 63.
[2] Ibid. pp 72.
[3] Shimizu, S., “Historical Sketch of the Scientific Field Survey in Hiroshima
Several Days after the Bombing”, published by Bulletin of the Institute for
Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Volume 60, (2), 1982.
[4] Hersey, “Hiroshima”, 1946, First Vintage Books Edition, February 1989,
ISBN 0-679-72103-7, pp 46.
[5] Ibid. pp 76.
[6] Ibid. pp 76.
[7] Ibid. pp 77.
[8] Ibid. pp 77.
[9] Brucer, Source: Brucer, Marshall, “A Chronology of Nuclear Medicine,
1600 – 1989”, 1990, Heritage Publications, St. Louis, Missouri, ISBN 0-
9625674-0-X pp 51.
[10] For an explanation of the modern unit of dose equivalent, see the
explanation of the Sievert Unit at
[11] Hersey, “Hiroshima”, 1946, First Vintage Books Edition, February 1989,
ISBN 0-679-72103-7, pp 78.
[12] Shimizu, S., “Historical Sketch of the Scientific Field Survey in Hiroshima
Several Days after the Bombing”, published by Bulletin of the Institute for
Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Volume 60, (2), 1982, reference 13,
citing Hubbell Jr et al 1969. Shimizu places other early Japanese sources as
placing the hypocenter 130 metres North West.]
[13] Ibid. pp 45.
[14] Ibid. pp 46 – 50.
[15] Ibid. pp 50.
[16] Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum virtual display.
[17] Alexander, Peter, “Atomic Radiation and Life, 1957, Penguin Books,
Chapter 4, “Protection”, Para Heading “OXYGEN EFFECT”, Chester Beatty
Research Institute, Institute of Cancer Research: Royal Cancer Hospital,
London, S.W. 3, pp 166 – 167.
[18] Ibid. pp 188.
[19] Brucer, Marshall, “A Chronology of Nuclear Medicine, 1600 – 1989”,
1990, Heritage Publications, St. Louis, Missouri, ISBN 0-9625674-0-X, pp
[20] Brucer, Marshall, “A Chronology of Nuclear Medicine, 1600 – 1989”,
1990, Heritage Publications, St. Louis, Missouri, ISBN 0-9625674-0-X, pp 258
– 259.
[21] Ibid. pp 263.
[22] Ibid, pp 263.
[23] Sessler, A. M., “An Introduction to Cancer Therapy With Hadron
Radiation”, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley, CA 94720 May,
2008: “J.S. Stone and John Lawrence (both MDs) used neutrons for therapy
in patients, starting in late 1938, with a major program (250 patients) starting
in 1940. Quoting Stone: “Distressing late effects” and “Neutron
therapy…should not be continued” . “No further neutron work for 25 years…”]
[24] Albert Einstein, letter to President Roosevelt, August 2, 1939. A scanned copy of the letter is available at the Argonne National Laboratory Website at:
[25] “Uranium Isotopes in Hiroshima “Black Rain” Soil”, written by JUN
SAKANOUE, was published in the “Journal of Radiation Research”, Vol.24 ,
Vo.3(1983)pp.229-236. This text is available for download at:
[26] Ibid.
[27] Lennon, Jessie, “I’m the One that Know this Country-The Story of Jessie
Lennon and Coober Pedy” Compiled by Michele Madigan, ISBN 0 85575 351
X, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS.
[28] Clark, J. C., “Operation Sandstone Radiation Injuries”, 27 July 1948,
LASL document released through US Dept Energy. Document number
0403351 Pdf download at
The document describes the fractionalized fallout deposits and the beta burn
injuries suffered by US service Personnel after contact with fractionated fallout condensate from Aircraft filter pads.
[29] Laurence, W. L., New York Times, 12 September 1945, as related by
Amy Goodman and David Goodman in “Hiroshima Cover-up: How the War
Department’s Timesman Won a Pulitzer” at News Centre
[30] US Department of Energy Openness: Human Radiation Experiments:
Roadmap to the Project, Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments (ACHRE) : Introduction The Aftermath of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki: The Emergence of the Cold War Radiation Research Bureaucracy”
(ACHRE No. DOE-121494-D-1).
[31] Pecher, C., “Biological Investigations with Radioactive Calcium
and Strontium, Preliminary Report on the Use of Radioactive Strontium in the
Treatment of Metastatic Bone Cancer”, Contributed from the Radiation
Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley University of California
Publications in Pharmacology. Editor: C. D. Leake, G.A. Alles, T.C. Daniels,
M.H. Soley. Volume 2 No 11, pp. 117-150, plates 6-9, 3 figures in text.
Submitted by Editors July 21, 1942, Issued October 23, 1942, University of
California Press, Berkeley, Cambridge University Press,
[32] “The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, “Radiation Injuries”,
by The Manhattan Engineer District, June 29, 1946 . Sourced from “Atomic” at

Imagine my surprise to read yesterday, in the course of research for this post, that the very idea of the presence of neutron radiation in Hiroshima is controversial today and in Nagasaki is totally denied by many scientists.

I am a layman. Such confusion and denial by modern science seems incredulous to me as I contemplate the contribution of harm and suffering made by neutron radiation and neutron activation products – including the one born as an internal emitter, Phosphorous 32, within the bones of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I gain the impression that the matter, at least in the minds of nuclear experts, is considered unresolved. There remains disagreement about it in qualified circles. Stone was under no such illusion in 1943. He and his staff were busily at work predicting, on the basis of actual experience, the “radiations needed to be effective against the enemy.” (Scope 4, Compton to Stone, 1943. Declassified M.E.D. document.)

The Hiroshima Doctors might have found this modern confusion on the part of particularly US experts worthy of some comment. Of course, both Japan and the USA prevented those doctors from publishing much of what they knew in the immediate post war years. The Peace Treaty was not signed until the Occupation ended in 1952. People became freer to publish, but there was the language barrier, and the survey soil and human samples were not returned to Japan for decades.

Not withstanding the fact that Hersey reports radio phosphorous from gamma as being contemplated by the doctors, when in fact the report should have been P32 from neutron rays, as in fact confirmed by Shimizu, 1982. (recollecting his August 1945 survey – as confiscated by the USA. (and never returned.) )

An example of the modern confusion which surrounds the reality of neutron rays and its activation products can be seen in the following references:

The New York Times
New Study Questions Hiroshima Radiation
Published: October 13, 1992
(This piece is too long to paste in full here. It is a fascinating article.)

“THE atomic explosion that leveled Hiroshima 47 years ago is turning out to be far more subtle and mysterious than scientists ever suspected, raising important new questions about radiation and its health effects.

New evidence suggests that an important ingredient of the bomb’s radiation was more prevalent than generally believed, and that finding has touched off a rush of disbelief, rethinking and new studies. ….

The survivors of the Hiroshima bomb and the nuclear blast at Nagasaki are the main source of data about the effects of low-level radiation. The belated injuries they suffered because of the explosions’ rays, including cancers and genetic damage, have been scrutinized for decades in an effort to gauge the danger of all radiation doses, including quite small ones. Any reassessment of Japanese data could affect worldwide estimates of safety risks for the nuclear industry and medicine, where radiation is used in such applications as X-rays.

In the first years after the war, biophysicists used computers and the scant available data to try to fathom the mysteries of the Hiroshima bomb, calculating that it emitted primarily neutrons. But they readily admitted that their dose estimates might be off by 400 percent. …

Such uncertainties were troublesome because radiation standards were quite sensitive to changes in the Hiroshima data, even when the Nagasaki data remained constant. For one thing, the greater number of Hiroshima survivors meant they carried greater statistical weight. Another factor was that the Nagasaki bomb was known to have produced mainly gamma rays, leaving the Hiroshima weapon the main source of information about the biological effects of neutrons.

“There is a discrepancy of up to 10 times between the numbers of low-energy neutrons that have been measured and those that are estimated by the current dosimetry system,” Dr. Straume said. “This is a discrepancy that we have to resolve.”

On Oct. 1, the first detailed review of his team’s work was published in the journal Health Physics. Dr. Straume’s colleagues in the study were Dr. Stephen D. Egbert and Dr. William. A. Woolson of the Science Applications International Corporation in San Diego, Dr. Robert C. Finkel of Livermore, Dr. Peter W. Kubik, Dr. Harry E. Gove and Dr. Pankaj Sharma of the University of Rochester, and Dr. Masaharu Hoshi of Hiroshima University in Japan.

Experts now agree that the data are nearly indisputable, but disagree over its significance. At the center of the debate is the question of what is the link, if any, between the slow neutrons found at Hiroshima and their fast, biologically damaging cousins, which have not been measured.

Dr. Straume’s guess is that the slow neutrons were originally fast ones that were slowed down just before being captured in a chlorine nucleus a few inches inside a concrete wall, for instance. That would mean the citizens of Hiroshima were mainly hit by fast neutrons.

But Dr. Loewe of Livermore, the revisionist leader of the 1980’s, said that assumption could prove false. Some of the neutrons might have been slowed in the atmosphere or nearer to the bomb itself, before reaching humans, weakening them as a damaging force. There was probably a spectrum of neutron energies at work, he said.

But Dr. Loewe conceded that “somewhere there is something wrong” because of the gap between calculated and measured neutrons. If it turns out that fast neutrons were indeed widely present, he added, it would mean the old dose estimates of the 1960’s were “almost right by accident.”

Dr. Paul P. Whalen, a physicist at Los Alamos who aided the 1980’s revision, said he thought the low-energy neutron issue would prove minor and not affect dose estimates. But he added, “The hooker is we can’t calculate where they came from.”

Dr. Straume of Livermore said he and his colleagues were searching for new isotope reactions that for the first time in nearly half a century would give direct evidence of fast neutrons that were captured in the debris and citizens of Hiroshima, and thus give the first accurate answers to the mystery of what caused their crippling diseases.

“We have a couple of potentially useful reactions,” he said, declining to name them.

Dr. Warren Sinclair, chairman of the Board on Radiation Effects Research at the National Academy of Sciences, said he was closely monitoring the research.

“There’s a mystery here,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. My hunch is that its effect on risk estimates is not going to be that large. But we are pressing forward as fast as we can on this problem.”

end selected and partial quotes.

The head of the Manhattan Project Health Division was Dr Robert Stone, the only man who had, up until that time, administered neutron rays as a therapy to humans. In the 1930s. He had to stop this therapy urgently. Due to the very distressing late effects.

The late effects of neutron radiation include the additional dose burden delivered by Phosphorous 32, the radioactive chemical created in bone by the passage of neutron rays through that bone. In 1945 this effect can be seen to have been known by Japanese scientists. Shimizu reported it in August 1945. He found P32 in horse bone and so concluded in a report confiscated by the USA in September 1945, that neutron rays were present in Hiroshima when the bomb detonated. No question in his mind. No question in mine either. If it were in horse, it would be in human bone. The Hiroshima doctors were confirmed by Shimizu. He looked, found and reported.

There was neutron radiation at Hiroshima. Now I learn from the above New York Times piece that there was no neutron radiation at Nagasaki. Possibly. But possibly there was. I have yet to be convinced by nuclear experts that what was confirmed in 1945 by the Hiroshima doctors and Prof Shimizu does not also hold true for Nagasaki.

I think Shimizu’s horse bone should be the last word here, as it was one of the first confirmations that neutron radiation was in fact inflicted upon the people of the bombed cities of Hiroshima, and in my view, Nagasaki. P32 does not exist in nature. It is produced in bone by activation due to irradiation via neutron radiation. I do not understand how anyone could argue that neutron rays and activation products were not of signifance in Hiroshima, given the findings of Shimizu. The USA after all confiscated his report and his samples, including the horse bone. The last I heard, it was laying uncatalogued among other documents at the library of Congress. It has never been returned to Japan. It is time that it was. It deserves to see the light of day.

You do not need fallout in order to create an internal emitter within the target population. Neutron radiation does that by direct creation of a radioactive substance within living bone.


The fact is however there was fallout in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and over an unknown area of Japan. The paths taken by the atomic bomb clouds over Japan is still unreleased.

If the dose contributors are poorly understood, the certainty of modern experts is seen to be a false certainty, for they cannot, it seems, understand fully what they are looking at.

There is no basis for optimism. It must be realized that the Hiroshima data is data gained from a human experiment. Had Nazi Germany produced the data, its use would today be banned under the Nuremberg Principles. Yet we have today an entire industry which uses this data set unashamedly as the basis for its regulations. That industry is the nuclear industry. That industry today stridently claims that the LNT model derived from the Hiroshima is too expensive, that nuclear industry radio-chemical pollution is a health benefit and that the standards should be lowered so as to enable the nuclear industry to become the savior of world.


No dose of radiation is safe. The latest findings from the Hiroshima cohort study shows increasing harms with time and increasing harms even at so-called “low doses”. As the cohort study excludes those people who were not subject to the bomb burst, the health effects suffered by those who entered the bombed cities after the bomb are ignored. The people of the Black Rain suburbs are ignored. The people who lived down wind and who were blanketed by fallout at greater distance are ignored.

I see no reason to trust nuclear authorities. I can say it is true that nuclear veterans in the 1950s suffered a fate akin to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The close in populations suffered in a manner similar to that suffered by the people of the Black Rain suburbs. And that today in Fukushima, the TEPCO workers are at risk from alpha, beta, gamma, neutron and P32, the people offsite are, again, in a position similar to that of the people of the Black Rain suburbs. Or indeed, in the same position as that suffered by Australian troops assigned to the city of Hiroshima during the Occupation of Japan.

I hope and pray that the nuclear occupation of Japan, will, one day in the near future, end for all time.

History has it that the Manhattan Project’s Health Division (M.E.D. Met. Lab, Health Division, University of Chicago), headed by Stone, had the sole task of worker safety. This is false.

“I. Scope of the Health Division Responsibility ….4. Evaluation of Effectiveness of Radioactive Materials as a Military Weapon. A) Defence -Tolerance of and protection of troops and civilians. B) Offence – Radiations needed to be effective.” Source: “Metallurgical Project, A.H. Compton, Project Leader, Health, Radiation and Protection, R.S. Stone, M.D., Division Director, Health Division Program, May 10, 1943”, document number 717325, Report CH-632 55-A, Originally Secret.

Stone and others knew from very early on that, if the weapon was used against people, then various “radiations would be effective against the enemy”. One of these was neutron radiation. He wrote the early book on that form. Another would be the neutron activation product, P32. John Lawrence and L.A. Erf had, likewise, written the book on that one.

The modern world has forgotten too much for its own safety.

Cobalt 60 is a neutron activation product. Was it present at Hiroshima?

Yes it was:

J Radiat Res. 1991 Mar;32 Suppl:20-31.
Studies of radioactivity produced by the Hiroshima atomic bomb: 1. Neutron-induced radioactivity measurements for dose evaluation.
Hoshi M, Hasai H, Yokoro K. Research Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Biology, Hiroshima University, Japan.

“This review summarizes measurements made of 152Eu and 60Co radioactivity induced by neutron radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb (A-bomb) with the goal of estimating the neutron dose released by the bomb. Prior to these measurements, A-bomb-irradiated specimens such as rocks and pieces of concrete, which had not been shielded were collected. ”

One of the horrors of Hiroshima is the fact that the Manhattan Project knew very precisely what it was doing. And that it did what it did anyway.

Scientists, even today, remain confused over what was known and when. As a result specific harms suffered by people in the afflicted remain under appreciated.

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