in progress, incomplete.
Maralinga is an old nuclear weapons test site in Australia. In the 1990s, a flawed clean up took place in which the safety criteria included the following factors:
5 mSv annual dose limit, 10 mSv intervention limit (ICRP 1999) Particle count limit per hectare:
“The dividing line between acceptability and unacceptability of risk [TAG, 1990] was determined to be an annual committed dose of 5 mSv, assuming full time occupancy by Aborigines living an outstation lifestyle. This corresponds to an annual risk of fatal cancer following the inhalation or ingestion of contaminated soil of not more than 1 in 10,000 by the fiftieth year of life [TAG, 1990]. The value of 5 mSv is broadly consistent with the intervention level of 10 mSv that has recently been proposed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection [¤6.1 in ICRP, 1999]…Both of these international bodies are proposing that, in future, a generic reference level of around 10 mSv be set, under which intervention is generally not justified.”
“There were thus two main requirements for defining the criteria for soil removal. The first was the concentration of plutonium in the surface soil, which would be available for resuspension and inhalation. This criterion was stated as the maximum quantity of 241Am per unit surface area, taking account of the Pu/Am activity ratios and the enhancement factors. The second was a limit on the number and activity of contaminated particles and fragments near the surface. These had the potential to be accidentally eaten or to cause or contaminate a break in the skin of a potential inhabitant.”
“Soil-Removal Criteria: At Taranaki, contaminated soil (or the offending contamination itself) was to be removed where the levels of dispersed 241Am exceeded 40 kBq/m2 averaged over 1 hectare (10,000 m2) or where contaminated particles exceeding 100 kBq were found, or where the density of particles exceeding 20 kBq was greater than 1 in 10 m2.
2 Clearance Criteria: Where soil was removed, the residual levels of dispersed contamination in the cleared area was not to exceed 3 kBq/m2 241Am averaged.”
“MARTAC did not specify any averaging criterion for particles of 20 kBq or below, but 0.1 per square metre or 1 per 10 square metres was not very practical. ARPANSA interpreted this criterion as requiring that there be fewer than 1000 particles exceeding 20 kBq 241Am per hectare.”
Source: ARPANSA, http://www.arpansa.gov.au/pubs/basics/maralinga.pdf
In short, after being expelled from their lands by the Australian government in the 1950s to enable to atomic weapons tests at Maralinga, the traditional owners of the land were able to finally return to their land in the 21 century. The cleanup limits were seen as not perfect, but the best to be achieved. The conduct of the cleanup and its results remain controversial.
The limits and consequent risks caused by those limits are, in short:
annual risk of fatal cancer following the inhalation or ingestion of contaminated soil of not more than 1 in 10,000 by the fiftieth year of life
5 mSv annual dose limit
fewer than 1000 particles exceeding 20 kBq 241Am per hectare
The New York Times of June 19, 2012 explains the exposure limits imposed upon the Japanese people as being 20 milliSieverts per year.
The risk of harm imposed by this limit is not given by the Japanese government.
There is no mention of any limit on radioactive particle counts per area of land.
The NYT explains that due to serious omissions in public administration and safety, evacuees were led into paths of airborne fallout, rather than away from the fallout.
“Namie and Iitate were not fully evacuated until months after the disaster.”
“The World Health Organization, which estimated doses received by the public in the first year after the accident, has said that residents of Namie and Iitate received up to 50 millisieverts’ worth of radiation exposure each, more than double a government-set emergency limit for civilians of 20 millisieverts.”
Quotes from Japanese Officials Failed to Use U.S. Data Tracking Radiation After Tsunami
By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: June 19, 2012 , New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/world/asia/japan-did-not-use-us-radiation-data.html?_r=0
The dispossessions suffered by the Maralinga Tjarutja and other Australian Aboriginal people, caused by nuclear undertakings, were and are immense. The process of return of the land is briefly described here: http://www.papertracker.com.au/archived/maralinga-tjarutja-lands-handback-of-section-400/ One person of importance in the winning of government (both British and Australian) acknowledgement of danger present in the lands, acceptance of the demands for cleanup and for the return of the lands to the traditional owners was Doctor Archie Barton. That story is covered briefly here: http://www.abc.net.au/sa/stories/s656146.htm
I think the story of the Maralinga Dispossession is important today for us to think about in the context of the hot zones of Japan, and of the people of Japan who have been dispossessed of their land, and of those people who forced by economics and government decree, to remain within areas which are, at best, four times higher in annual dosage than is suffered now in the Maralinga hot zone, and which is devoid of any hot particle count limit.
The exposure limit set by the `Japanese government may well be hard to prove as an agent of harm in individual cases, as is implied by various UN statements. And the legal ambiguity will take decades to resolve. `Like the Aboriginal people of `Maralinga, the Japanese people have been dispossessed of their normal expectations, have had increased risk thrust upon them (a risk at least 4 times greater than is currently suffered in the Maralinga Lands, and the return was negotiated and agreed).
At four times the dose, the Japanese government persists in claiming that there is no risk to anyone at 20 mSv pa. They mean, as the makers of the law, they deem it so. And they pretend to know in advance that noone will experience any factor which would increase dose or increase dose effectiveness. They know very well that Japanese courts would treat anyone who brought a case against the state for radiation related disease in the same way as the government treated the survivors of the `Hiroshima Black Rain districts in 2013. With dismissal. Despite courts ruling at that time that the 1945 limits to the Black Rain affected districts was plainly wrong and inadequate, and should be expanded, the Japanese government vetoed this finding of many courts, including the highest court.
According to `Japan, no one has suffered any ill health due to radiation or radioactive material released by Fukushima Diiachi as a result of the `March 2011 disaster. No one outside the industry.
Nuclear Refugee Camp, Iwaki (Channel 4, http://www.channel4.com/news/fukushima-and-iwaki-reconstruction-eyewitness-report) There are photographs of the Yalata camp in the 1950s, where the Aboriginal people from Maralinga were trucked and trained and forced to go and stay. But that stage is over now, at long last, and Yalata has been a place of freedom and choice for some time now.
I hope the confinement of the Japanese camps will end sooner than it did for the Maralinga people, though I do not believe it will.
Noone has been harmed by radiation in Japan says the government. Same as Menzies said in the 60s. Same as Frazer said in the 70s. It changed in 84. Took to 2009 and later, for the last bit, for the clean up. The Aboriginal people were denied consideration and inclusion in three health studies. In the last one, the Minister told me they were excluded because the government did not know who they were. Read some books, you idiot.
In Japan, everyone is assumed to have max 20 mSv, and to respond in the same way to it. No matter what the actual facts are. If you get sick it must be your own frailty, not the radiological effects specific to you.
No one has the same disease or outcome. Not in the real world.
The spike in childhood thyroid disease in Fukushima has been hotly debated. There is an increase. Fukushima Medical University says none of the cases, none of the increase in numbers of cases, way above normal rates of the rare disease, are due to Fukushima Diiachi emissions. None.
Despite the escalating numbers of cases, the children of the Fukushima hot zones are forced to live there by economics and government decree.
And they are studied by the Fukushima Medical University. I have heard it said that once you are on the survey, you cannot get a second opinion. Is that true? Reminds me of Lallie Lennon. She and her family were smothered by bomb fallout. Her skin burnt and parts of it turned white. Lallie gave me photos. For 30 years doctors refused to give her a diagnosis. When they did, they forgot about the bombs. They were too young to remember. At the Royal Commission they ignored all the Aboriginal people who had white splashes and necrosis. Beta burns. Same as the Fukushima cattle. IMO. The Royal Commission put it down to measles in the individual interviews. Yea, Lallie had had measles as a kid but it didn’t turn her skin white. Only the bomb dust did that.
I don’t know really what to say to parents of the Fukushima children. It’s too tragic to speak of really, any childhood sickness is. It does happen on its own. But now, with so many? And all of them, the University says, can’t be because of the reactors. Not four or five years yet. Its only going to be three years come March.
Where do they get the four or five year limit from?
You know what’s coming: evidence of the real minimum latent period for thyroid cancer.
The battle of academic papers. How boring that must be if a child is sick. But to know is sometimes worthwhile. Sometimes its better to play stupid too, I agree. But see what happens when the papers are laid on the table and considered. Four, five years minimum? baloney. More like, less than year at minimum. less than 2 years, less than 3 years. Not the most common latent periods, no, but proven latent periods anyway. Should medical science exclude the less common evidence – why? it is still evidence. And it is proven that the latent period can be very short. Even Dr Yamashita said that, in 1998. Before Fuksuhima Diiachi, for some weird reason, caused him to state the opposite to what he had previously published and submitted to his peers around the world.
And many others independently wrote and confirmed the same findings. As follows
Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2007 May;3(5):422-9.
Mechanisms of Disease: molecular genetics of childhood thyroid cancers.
Yamashita S, Saenko V.
Department of Molecular Medicine, Atomic Bomb Disease Institute, Nagasaki University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Japan. email@example.com
“Childhood thyroid cancers are uncommon and have a fairly good prognosis. Papillary adenocarcinoma is the most prevalent malignant tumor of the thyroid in children and adults with radiation-induced or sporadic cancer. The incidence of thyroid cancer in children increased dramatically in the territories affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident; this increase is probably attributable to (131)I and other short-lived isotopes of iodine released into the environment. There was a broad range of latency periods in children who developed thyroid cancer; some periods were less than 5 years.”
Chernobyl Radiation-induced Thyroid Cancers in Belarus
Mikhail V. MALKO
Joint Institute of Power and Nuclear Research, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Krasin Str. 99, Minsk, Sosny, 220109, Republic
of Belarus: firstname.lastname@example.org QUOTE: ” absence of marked latency period is another feature of radiation-induced thyroid cancers caused in Belarus as a result of this accident. “
From the data in the paper.
3. Childhood thyroid cancer: comparison of Japan and Belarus.
Shirahige Y, Ito M, Ashizawa K, Motomura T, Yokoyama N, Namba H, Fukata S, Yokozawa T, Ishikawa N, Mimura T, Yamashita S, Sekine I, Kuma K, Ito K, Nagataki S.
First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.
Endocr J. 1998 Apr;45(2):203-9.
This source states: “The high incidence of childhood thyroid cancer in Belarus is suspected to be due to radiation exposure after the Chernobyl reactor accident” (Abstract) (pdf page 2, journal page 204).
“All of the preceding thyroid carcinomas developed after longer latency periods,
whereas tumors arising in the Chernobyl population began developing with surprising rapidity and short latency.” (pdf page 2, journal page 204).
The authors cite the Chernobyl-Sasakawa Health and Medical Cooperation Project as a source in the Abstract. The public data published by this organization is Chernobyl A Decade – Proceedings of the Fifth Chernobyl Sasakawa Medical Cooperation Symposium, Kiev, Ukraine, 14-15 October 1996 (International Congress S.) Shunichi Yamashita (Edited by), Yoshisada Shibata (Edited by)
The publication is available at : http://www.smhf.or.jp/data01/chernobyl_decade.pdf
4. “Minimum Latency & Types or Categories of Cancer” John Howard, M.D., Administrator World Trade Center Health Program, 9.11 Monitoring and Treatment, Revision: May 1, 2013,
http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pdfs/wtchpminlatcancer2013-05-01.pdf states that the latent period for Thyroid cancer is :
“2.5 years, based on low estimates used for lifetime risk modeling of low-level ionizing radiation studies”, pdf page 1.
5. Latency Period of Thyroid Neoplasia After Radiation Exposure
Shoichi Kikuchi, MD, PhD, Nancy D. Perrier, MD, Philip Ituarte, PhD, MPH, Allan E. Siperstein, MD, Quan-Yang Duh, MD, and Orlo H. Clark, MD
From the From Department of Surgery, UCSF Affiliated Hospitals, San Francisco, California.
“Latency Period of Benign and Malignant Thyroid Tumors
Although some sporadic tumors unrelated to radiation may be included among our patients, the shortest latency period for both benign and malignant tumors was 1 year as occurred in 3 patients, whereas the longest time was 69 and 58 years, respectively (Fig. 1).” As published in Journal List nAnn Surg v.239(4); Apr 2004 PMC1356259, available full text at
6. Thyroid cancers after the Chernobyl accident;
Chernobyl accident; lessons learnt, an update. 2010.
Sir Dillwyn Williams
“Tumours are becoming less aggressive” Williams, as above, 2010. (ie late onset)
ie the earlier the onset, the tendency implied is more aggression, the later the onset, the less aggression in the cancer. Williams also finds, contrary to Yamashita, that the types of thyroid cancer do not vary markedly in radiation induced cases in Chernobyl. (See Yamashita 2007)
ALL of the above papers, and many more contradict Yamashita and Fukushima Medical University in their statements regarding four to five year minimum latency periods for thyroid cancer`:
“Researchers at Fukushima Medical University, which has been taking the leading role in the study, have said they do not believe the most recent cases are related to the nuclear crisis.”
They point out that thyroid cancer cases were not found among children hit by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident until four to five years later.” end quote.
Japan Times. Kyodo. 06/05/2013 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/05/national/fukushima-survey-lists-12-confirmed-15-suspected-thyroid-cancer-cases/#.UbCB7Ovrk7A
Further : “…experts at Fukushima Medical University said that it is too early to link the cancer cases to the nuclear disaster. They said the 1986 Chernobyl accident showed that it takes at least four to five years before thyroid cancer is detected.” Source: Thyroid cancer hits Fukushima 5 Jun 2013, 12:57 pm – Source: AAP, SBS TV Australia, http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1774837/Thyroid-cancer-hits-Fukushima
These two reported statements are plainly refuted by the actual papers dealing with the descriptions of thyroid cancer post Chernobyl. Yamashita and FMU plainly contradict the Yamashita et al papers which describe the latent period as being “surprisingly short”.
There have been spikes in childhood cancers in the past. Fukushima Medical University would have it that the spike in cases today are a coincidence and have nothing to do with radio-iodine exposure.
Is the spike in cases today among the children of Fukushima just another mysterious spike with no known cause? What do the past spikes tell us about cause?
PAST SPIKES IN CHILDHOOD CANCER ILLNESS IN JAPAN’S PAST
1. Incidence and survival trends for childhood cancer in Osaka, Japan, 1973–2001 Sachiko Baba,
1,2 Akiko Ioka, 3 Hideaki Tsukuma, 3 Hiroyuki Noda,1,4 Wakiko Ajiki 5
and Hiroyasu Iso1,6
1 Public Health, Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, and
2 Center for International Relations, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University,
3 Department of Cancer Control and Statistics, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka, Japan;
4 Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Boston, Massachusetts, USA;
5 Cancer Information Services and Surveillance Division, Center for Cancer Control and
Information Services, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan
(Received June 26, 2009 Revised October 31, 2009 Accepted November 6, 2009 Online publication February 2, 2010)
Cancer Science Volume 101, Issue 3, pages 787–792, March 2010 © 2010 Japanese Cancer Association
Full text download available as link on page at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1349-7006.2009.01443.x/abstract
Quote “In Japan there is no nationwide cancer registry, although a large population is needed to monitor childhood trends of cancer. The Osaka Cancer Registry is one of the few registries in the world that has a long history and covers a large-enough population to monitor trends of childhood cancer. Ajiki et al. described incidence trends for childhood cancer based on 12 major cancer classifications from 1971 to 1988 by using data from the Osaka Cancer Registry.” end quote.
Quote from the Abstract of the paper with emphais added: “The age-standardized annual incidence rate of all tumors was highest in 1988–1992: 155.1 per million for males and 135.9 for females. Five-year survival for all tumors improved from 50.1% in 1978–1982 to 73.0% in 1993–1997 for males and from 52.3% to 76.3% for females. Thus, the constant decline in mortality in childhood cancer was primarily due to improved survival between the 1970s and 1980s and reduced incidence after the 1990s.”
“The data presented here from the large-scale and long-term cancer : in Osaka showed a unique trend in the incidence of total childhood cancer: an increase until 1988 with an APC of 1.5% for males and until 1992 with an APC of 1.7% for females,
and then successive decrease with declining APCs of 2.0% for males and 1.9% for females. These trends did not change whenneuroblastomas were excluded from this analysis…..” end quote.
Quote: “The reason why the total childhood incidence in Osaka increased but has declined since 1998 for males and 1992 for females is unknown. That decline is unlikely due to a systematic
drift for collecting data….” end quote.
2. Childhood cancer in Japan: focusing on trend in mortality from 1970 to 2006
D. Qiu1 and
+ Author Affiliations
1Department of Maternal and Child Health, National Research Institute for Health and Development
2National Research Institute for Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan
*Correspondence to: Dr N. Sakamoto, The Division of Epidemiology, Department of Maternal and Child Health, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, 2-10-1 Ookura, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-8535, Japan. Tel: +81-03-3416-0181(4360); Fax: +81-03-5494-7490
source link/ full text download link: http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/1/166.full
Quote: ” A population-based study in Osaka prefecture in Japan indicated that death due to childhood cancer declined from 1972 to 1995, while the incidence increased in the same period . In the United States, an estimated 10 400 new cases and 1545 deaths are expected to occur among children aged 0–14 years in 2007 . During recent three decades, the incidence of childhood cancer increased ∼0.6% annually. In contrast, mortality from childhood cancer declined by 1.3% per year during 1990–2004 . A population-based study among European children since the 1970s showed that the overall incidence of childhood cancer has increased by 1.0% per year, while mortality has declined by 3.6% per year in the past three decades” end quote.
Quote “There is no national childhood cancer registry system in Japan, and recent childhood cancer mortality has not been well characterized in terms of temporal and geographic trends. This paper describes the occurrence of death from childhood cancer at the population level over a 37-year period in Japan using official death certification data, which record 100% of deaths in Japan. The aim of this study was to ascertain the general mortality trend for each sex and to study the moment at which a shift in the trend occurred.”
From Baba et al: The data presented here from the large-scale and long-term cancer : in Osaka showed a unique trend in the incidence of total childhood cancer: an increase until 1988 with an APC of 1.5% for males and until 1992 with an APC of 1.7% for females,
and then successive decrease with declining APCs of 2.0% for males and 1.9% for females. These trends did not change when neuroblastomas were excluded from this analysis…..” end quote.
This can be judged to be a spike of unknown origins.
Is there a dataset which may produce a visualization of it? Yes there is. Is there any justification for any authority referring to this 80s – 90s spike and using it to allege that the spike in childhood thyroid disease is just another mysterious spike ?(as I think they probably will consider doing) No there is not.
The source of the data from which the following chart is derived is:
Center for Cancer Control and Information Services,
National Cancer Center, Japan
Matsuda A, Matsuda T, Shibata A, Katanoda K, Sobue T, Nishimoto H and The Japan Cancer Surveillance Research Group. Cancer Incidence and Incidence Rates in Japan in 2007: A Study of 21 Population-based Cancer Registries for the Monitoring of Cancer Incidence in Japan (MCIJ) Project. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology, 43: 328-336, 2013 Download Source Data as Excel spreadsheets at http://ganjoho.jp/pro/statistics/en/table_download.html
Did any events prior to 1988 present as contributing causes to the plainly visible spike visualized by the graphs provided from the Japanese data? Yes. For instance:
Deposition of gamma-emitting nuclides in Japan after the reactor-IV accident at Chernobyl‘
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Volume 116, Issue 2 , pp 291-306
Cover Date 1987-12-01
M. Aoyama (1)
K. Hirose (1)
Y. Sugimura (1)
1. Geochemical Laboratory, Meteorological Research Institute, Nagamine 1-1, Yatabe, 305, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, (Japan)
The wet and dry deposition of gamma-emitting nuclides are presented for Tsukuba and eleven stations in Japan following the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl’. In Japan fallout from the reactor at Chernobyl’ was first detected on May 3, 1986, a week after the accident. Abruptly high radioactive deposition, which mainly consists of131I,132I,103Ru,137Cs and134Cs, was observed in early May. The cumulative amount of131I,103Ru and137Cs in May at Tsukuba were 5854±838 Bq·m−2, 364±54 Bq·m−2 and 130±26 Bq·m−2 (decay was corrected to April 26), respectively. The monthly137Cs deposition in May corresponds to 2.5% of the cumulative137Cs deposition during the period from 1960 through 1982. Most of the Chernobyl’ radioactivities, especially131I, are scavenged from the atmosphere by the wet removal process. end quote.
It would be tragically ironic if Dr Yamashita and Fukushima Medical University used a past disease spike in Japan which occurred shortly after the documented arrival of Chernobyl fallout in Japan as a reason to dismiss the spike currently underway in Fukushima as a mere accident of nature of unknown origin.
But that is precisely what they have done to date. In my opinion.
The longer they deem the latent period to be, the more teenagers will be adults for the survey purposes and thus excluded from the survey results. I think.