The long road to full and open disclosure post Fukushima – Japanese people do it on their own.

Despite the billions taxpayers have paid world nuclear industry since 1939, telling the whole truth and nothinhg but the truth remains alien to it.

For that very openness is forbidden to it under the law of various lands, and the prototype is the current US Atomic Energy Act, as amended, from 1954.

So, the people in Japan quickly realised that they would have to do it for themselves.

And they are.

From the moment mothers had to plead in vain for health officials to test their children’s urine in March 2011, with the officials high tailing it down an elevator, no doubt in a hurry to move their own kids to cleaner air, the official grip on secret data stolen from the victims of the disaster was on a very short leash.

So things are happening.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/08/201181665921711896.html
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2011 14:09
Recap

Fukushima radiation alarms doctors
Japanese doctors warn of public health problems caused by Fukushima radiation.

Scientists and doctors are calling for a new national policy in Japan that mandates the testing of food, soil, water, and the air for radioactivity still being emitted from Fukushima’s heavily damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant.

“How much radioactive materials have been released from the plant?” asked Dr Tatsuhiko Kodama, a professor at the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology and Director of the University of Tokyo’s Radioisotope Centre, in a July 27 speech to the Committee of Health, Labour and Welfare at Japan’s House of Representatives.

“The government and TEPCO have not reported the total amount of the released radioactivity yet,” said Kodama, who believes things are far worse than even the recent detection of extremely high radiation levels at the plant.

There is widespread concern in Japan about a general lack of government monitoring for radiation, which has caused people to begin their own independent monitoring, which are also finding disturbingly high levels of radiation.

Kodama’s centre, using 27 facilities to measure radiation across the country, has been closely monitoring the situation at Fukushima – and their findings are alarming.

According to Dr Kodama, the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 “Hiroshima-type atomic bombs” and the amount of uranium released “is equivalent to 20” Hiroshima bombs.

Kodama, along with other scientists, is concerned about the ongoing crisis resulting from the Fukushima situation, as well as what he believes to be inadequate government reaction, and believes the government needs to begin a large-scale response in order to begin decontaminating affected areas.

Distrust of the Japanese government’s response to the nuclear disaster is now common among people living in the effected prefectures, and people are concerned about their health.

Recent readings taken at the plant are alarming.

When on August 2nd readings of 10,000 millisieverts (10 sieverts) of radioactivity per hour were detected at the plant, Japan’s science ministry said that level of dose is fatal to humans, and is enough radiation to kill a person within one to two weeks after the exposure.

10,000 millisieverts (mSv) is the equivalent of approximately 100,000 chest x-rays.

It is an amount 250 per cent higher than levels recorded at the plant in March after it was heavily damaged by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), that took the reading, used equipment to measure radiation from a distance, and was unable to ascertain the exact level because the device’s maximum reading is only 10,000 mSv.

TEPCO also detected 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) per hour in debris outside the plant, as well as finding 4,000 mSv per hour inside one of the reactor buildings.

The Fukushima disaster has been rated as a “level seven” on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). This level, the highest, is the same as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and is defined by the scale as: “[A] major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.”

The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters are the only nuclear accidents to have been rated level seven on the scale, which is intended to be logarithmic, similar to the scale used to describe the comparative magnitude of earthquakes. Each increasing level represents an accident approximately ten times more severe than the previous level.

Doctors in Japan are already treating patients suffering health effects they attribute to radiation from the ongoing nuclear disaster.

“We have begun to see increased nosebleeds, stubborn cases of diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms in children,” Dr Yuko Yanagisawa, a physician at Funabashi Futawa Hospital in Chiba Prefecture, told Al Jazeera.

She attributes the symptoms to radiation exposure, and added: “We are encountering new situations we cannot explain with the body of knowledge we have relied upon up until now.”

“The situation at the Daiichi Nuclear facility in Fukushima has not yet been fully stabilised, and we can’t yet see an end in sight,” Yanagisawa said. “Because the nuclear material has not yet been encapsulated, radiation continues to stream into the environment.”

Health concerns

Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan, reporting from Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, said of the recently detected high radiation readings: “It is now looking more likely that this area has been this radioactive since the earthquake and tsunami, but no one realised until now.”

Workers at Fukushima are only allowed to be exposed to 250 mSv of ionising radiation per year.

Junichi Matsumoto, a TEPCO spokesman, said the high dose was discovered in an area that does not hamper recovery efforts at the stricken plant.

Yet radioactive cesium exceeding the government limit was detected in processed tea made in Tochigi City, about 160km from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, according to the Tochigi Prefectural Government, who said radioactive cesium was detected in tea processed from leaves harvested in the city in early July.

The level is more than 3 times the provisional government limit.

Yanagisawa’s hospital is located approximately 200km from Fukushima, so the health problems she is seeing that she attributes to radiation exposure causes her to be concerned by what she believes to be a grossly inadequate response from the government.

From her perspective, the only thing the government has done is to, on April 25, raise the acceptable radiation exposure limit for children from 1 mSv/year to 20 mSv/year.

“This has caused controversy, from the medical point of view,” Yanagisawa told Al Jazeera. “This is certainly an issue that involves both personal internal exposures as well as low-dose exposures.”

Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director, said: “It is utterly outrageous to raise the exposure levels for children to twenty times the maximum limit for adults.”

“The Japanese government cannot simply increase safety limits for the sake of political convenience or to give the impression of normality.”

Authoritative current estimates of the health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation are published in the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation VII (BEIR VII) report from the US National Academy of Sciences.

The report reflects the substantial weight of scientific evidence proving there is no exposure to ionizing radiation that is risk-free….. end quote

One Response to “The long road to full and open disclosure post Fukushima – Japanese people do it on their own.”

  1. CaptDCaptD Says:

    Great fact filled article, that does much to highlight the Radioactive Cover-Up still ongoing in Japan.

    In many peoples opinions, the Japanese Gov’t. has turned their back on their very own people by doing far more to protect TEPCO and the Utility Gangs than the Japanese People!

    Salute

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