Monthly Archives: November 2014

Fukushima “like a CT Scan” – Tepco, 2011. American College of Surgeons on CT Scans.

Question: is Tepco or other nuclear electricity generators or mining operators licenced to practise medicine? Are routine mass CT Scans safe, and equally safe for all people of all ages and all previous exposure histories? Going on the following, apparently, No.

Avoid the routine use of “whole-body” diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scanning in patients with minor or single system trauma.

Aggressive use of “whole-body” CT scanning improves early diagnosis of injury and may even positively impact survival in polytrauma patients. However, the significance of radiation exposure as well as costs associated with these studies must be considered, especially in patients with low energy mechanisms of injury and absent physical examination findings consistent with major trauma.

Avoid admission or preoperative chest X-rays for ambulatory patients with unremarkable history and physical exam.

Performing routine admission or preoperative chest X-rays is not recommended for ambulatory patients without specific reasons suggested by the history and/or physical examination findings. Only 2 percent of such images lead to a change in management. Obtaining a chest radiograph is reasonable if acute cardiopulmonary disease is suspected or there is a history of chronic stable cardiopulmonary diseases in patients older than age 70 who has not had chest radiography within six months.

Don’t do computed tomography (CT) for the evaluation of suspected appendicitis in children until after ultrasound has been considered as an option.

Although CT is accurate in the evaluation of suspected appendicitis in the pediatric population, ultrasound is the preferred initial consideration for imaging examination in children. If the results of the ultrasound exam are equivocal, it may be followed by CT. This approach is cost-effective, reduces potential radiation risks and has excellent accuracy, with reported sensitivity and specificity of 94 percent in experienced hands. Recognizing that expertise may vary, strategies including improving diagnostic expertise in community based ultrasound and the development of evidence-based clinical decision rules are realistic goals in improving diagnosis without the use of CT scan.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

How this list was created: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) solicited recommendations for the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely® campaign from the Commission on Cancer, Committee on Trauma, and the Advisory Councils for Colon and Rectal Surgery, General Surgery, and Pediatric Surgery. The committees were provided with a description of the campaign’s initiative, a link to the Choosing Wisely website, and published recommendations from organizations already participating in the campaign were referenced and reviewed during discussions. All of the recommendations collected from the ACS committees were reviewed, and five items were identified. The ACS’ disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at

Participating ACS Committees:

Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery

Chair: Thomas E. Read, MD, FACS, Burlington, MA

Advisory Council for General Surgery

Chair: E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, Columbus, OH

Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery

Chair: Mary E. Fallat, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY
Immediate Past Chair: Thomas F. Tracy Jr., MD, FACS, Providence, RI

Commission on Cancer

Chair: Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, Greenville, OH

Committee on Trauma

Chair: Michael F. Rotondo, MD, FACS, Greenville, NC


Krag DN, Anderson SJ, Julian TB, Brown AM, Harlow SP, Costantino JP, Ashikaga T, Weaver DL, Mamounas EP, Jalovec LM, Frazier TG, Noyes RD, Robidoux A, Scarth HM, Wolmark N. Sentinel lymph-node resection compared with conventional axillary-lymph-node-dissection in clinically node-negative patients with breast cancer: overall survival findings from the NSABP B-32 randomised phase 4 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2010 Oct;11(10):927-933.

Giuliano AE, Hunt KK, Ballman KV, Beitsch PD, Whitworth PW, Blumencranz PW, Leitch AM, Saha S, McCall LM, Morrow M. Axillary dissection vs. no axillary dissection in women with invasive breast cancer and sentinel node metastasis: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2011 Feb 9;305(6):569-5.

Ashikaga T, Krag DN, Land SR, Julian TB, Anderson SJ, Brown AM, Skelly JM, Harlow SP, Weaver DL, Mamounas EP, Costantino JP, Wolmark N; National Surgical Adjuvant Breast, Bowel Project. Morbidity results for the NSABP B-32 trial comparing sentinel lymph node dissection versus axillary dissection. J Surg Oncol. 2010 Aug 1;102(2):111-8.

Giuliano AE, Hawes D, Ballman KV, Whitworth PW, Blumencranz PW, Reintgen DS, Morrow M, Leitch AM, Hunt KK, McCall LM, Abati A, Cote R. Association of occult metastases in sentinel lymph nodes and bone marrow with survival among women with early-stage invasive breast cancer. JAMA. 2011 Jun 27;306(4):385-393.

Weaver DL, Ashikaga T, Krag DN, Skelly JM, Anderson SJ, Harlow SP, Julian TB, Mamounas EP, Wolmark N. Effect of occult metastases on survival in node-negative breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2011 Feb 3;364(5):412-421.

Huber-Wagner S, Lefering R, Qvick LM, Körner M, Kay MV, Pfeifer KJ, Reiser M, Mutschler W, Kanz KG; Working Group on Polytrauma of the German Trauma Society. Effect of whole-body CT during trauma resuscitation on survival: a retrospective, multicentre study. Lancet. 2009 Apr 25;373(9673):1455-61.

Stengel D, Ottersbach C, Matthes G, Weigeldt M, Grundei S, Rademacher G, Tittel A, Mutze S, Ekkernkamp A, Frank M, Schmucker U, Seifert J.Accuracy of single-pass whole-body computed tomography for detection of injuries in patients with blunt major trauma. CMAJ. 2012 May 15;184(8):869-76.

Ahmadinia K, Smucker JB, Nash CL, Vallier HA. Radiation exposure has increased in trauma patients over time. J Trauma. 2012 Feb;72(2):410-5.

Winslow JE, Hinshaw JW, Hughes MJ, Williams RC, Bozeman WP. Quantitative assessment of diagnostic radiation doses in adult blunt trauma patients. Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Aug;52(2):93-7.

Lieberman DA, Rex DK, Winawer SJ, Giardiello FM, Johnson DA, Levin TR; United States Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after screening and polypectomy: a consensus update by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastroenterology. 2012;143(3):844-57.

Warren JL, Klabunde CN, Mariotto AB, Meekins A, Topor M, Brown ML, Ransohoff DF. Adverse events after outpatient colonoscopy in the Medicare population. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(12):849-57.

U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(9)627-37.

Qaseem A, Denberg TD, Hopkins RH, Humphrey LL, Levine J, Sweet DE, Shekelle P; Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Screening for colorectal cancer; a guidance statement from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(5);378-86.

Mohammed TL, Kirsch J, Amorosa JK, Brown K, Chung JH, Dyer DS, Ginsburg ME, Heitkamp DE, Kanne JP, Kazerooni EA, Ketai LH, Ravenel JG, Saleh AG, Shah RD, Expert Panel on Thoracic Imaging. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® routine admission and preoperative chest radiography [Internet]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR). 2011. 6 p.

Gomez-Gil E, Trilla A, Corbella B, Fernández-Egea E, Luburich P, de Pablo J, Ferrer Raldúa J, Valdés M. Lack of clinical relevance of routine chest radiography in acute psychiatric admissions. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2002;24(2):110-3.

Archer C, Levy AR, McGregor M. Value of routine preoperative chest x-rays: a meta-analysis. Can J Anaesth. 1993;40(11):1022-7.

Munro J, Booth A, Nicholl J. Routine preoperative testing: a systematic review of the evidence. Health Technol Assess. 1997;1(12):i-iv:1-62.

Grier DJ, Watson LF, Harnell GG, Wilde P. Are routine chest radiographs prior to angiography of any value? Clin Radiol. 1993;48(2):131-3.

Gupta SD, Gibbins FJ, Sen I. Routine chest radiography in the elderly. Age Ageing. 1985;14(1):11-4.

Amorosa JK, Bramwit MP, Mohammed TL, Reddy GP, Brown K, Dyer DS, Ginsburg ME, Heitkamp DE, Jeudy J, Kirsch J, MacMahon H, Ravenel JG, Saleh AG, Shah RD, Expert Panel on Thoracic Imaging. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® routine chest radiographs in ICU patients. [Internet]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2011. 6 p.

Wan MJ, Krahn M, Ungar WJ, Caku E, Sung L, Medina LS, Doria AS. Acute appendicitis in young children: cost-effectiveness of US versus CT in diagnosis-a Markov decision analytic model. Radiology. 2009;250:378-86.

Doria AS, Moineddin R, Kellenberger CJ, Epelman M, Beyene J, Schuh S, Babyn PS, Dick PT. US or CT for diagnosis of appendicitis in children? A meta-analysis. Radiology. 2006;241:83-94.

Garcia K, Hernanz-Schulman M, Bennett DL, Morrow SE, Yu C, Kan JH. Suspected appendicitis in children: diagnostic importance of normal abdominopelvic CT findings with nonvisualized appendix. Radiology. 2009;250:531-7.

Krishnamoorthi R, Ramarajan N, Wang NE, Newman B, Rubesova E, Mueller CM, Barth RA. Effectiveness of a staged US and CT protocol for the diagnosis of pediatric appendicitis: reducing radiation exposure in the age of ALARA. Radiology. 2011;259:231-9.

Rosen MP, Ding A, Blake MA, Baker ME, Cash BD, Fidler JL, Grant TH, Greene FL, Jones B, Katz DS, Lalani T, Miller FH, Small WC, Spottswood S, Sudakoff GS, Tulchinsky M, Warshauer DM, Yee J, Coley BD, Expert Panel on Gastrointestinal Imaging. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® right lower quadrant pain — suspected appendicitis. [Internet]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2010. 7 p.

Frush DP, Frush KS, Oldham KT. Imaging of acute appendicitis in children: EU versus US or US versus CT? A North American perspective. Pediatr Radiolol. 2009;39(5):500-5.

Saito JM, Yan Y, Evashwick TW, Warner BW, Tarr PI. Use and accuracy of diagnostic imaging by hospital type in pediatric appendicitis. Pediatrics. 2013;131(1):e37-44.

Kharbanda AB, Stevenson MD, Macias CG, Sinclair K, Dudley NC, Bennett J, Bajaj L, Mittal MK, Huang C, Bachur RG, Dayan PS, and for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Interrater reliability of clinical findings in children with possible appendicitis. Pediatrics. 2012;129(4):695-700.

The unauthorised use of human body parts by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd – The Redfern Report.

Nuclear Workers – Statement to the House

Nuclear Workers – Statement to the House

The Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, Former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
House of Commons, 18 April 2007

With your permission Mr Speaker, I should like to make a short statement on the examination of tissue taken from some individuals who had worked in the nuclear industry and who died between November 1962 and August 1991.

Mr Speaker having regard to the feelings of the families of those concerned and because it is in the public interest, I want to provide the House with the information available from BNFL who now operate the Sellafield site where these examinations were carried out. I shall then set out how I intend to proceed with this matter.

Most employees worked at Sellafield but one individual worked at the Capenhurst nuclear site in Cheshire, and had transferred from Sellafield.

In addition, there is data but not medical records at Sellafield relating to an employee at the Springfields nuclear site in Lancashire and 6 at Aldermaston.

BNFL which holds the relevant medical records tell me that to date they have been able to identify 65 cases in which tissue was taken from individuals which was then analysed for the radionuclide content of organs.

It is important to tell the House the limited nature of the records that are held by BNFL.

These are medical records which show what analysis was done on organs removed following post mortem examination.

Because they are medical records which dealt with the analysis carried out at Sellafield they do not provide an audit trail which would show in every case who asked for such an examination under what authority and for what purpose. Nor do they disclose whether or not the appropriate consent from next of kind was received.

Some records have more information than others, but at this stage it is simply not clear what procedures were followed in every case.

From the information I have I can tell the House that 23 such requests for further examination and analysis were made following a coroner’s inquest. A further 23 requests appear to follow a coroner’s post mortem. 3 requests were made associated with legal proceedings and there was 1 request made associated with legal proceedings and there was 1 request made by an individual prior to death.

It is assumed, therefore, that these requests were made to help establish the cause of death in the normal way. In many cases this would be part of the coroner’s inquiry. But we cannot be sure of that because there is not an audit trail to establish that as a fact.

Mr Speaker there was a further single request made following a biopsy of a living individual.

In respect of a further 4 causes I understand that the records do not record by what mechanism the request for the analysis was made.

It is clearly important to establish why these requests were made and for what purpose.

It is also clear that the data obtained from these examinations has been used in other studies which were subsequently published.

One of the questions that arise is therefore whether or not it was appropriate to use the data gathered for this purpose.

Mr Speaker it follows from what I said that the records held by BNFL do not disclose whether or not the next of kin knew of these examinations and analysis. That is something that needs to be established.

Most cases appeared to come following a coroner’s request. It is possible therefore that in some cases there was such knowledge. But it is not at all clear that even if they had known about the analysis they would have been aware that data gathered was then used as part of wider research studies. However, it will be necessary to examine the coroner’s records to find out what the position was.

Mr Speaker, BNFL tell me that they believe that the tissue would have been destroyed. Certainly, BNFL tell me that no such tissue exists today. However, they are not certain at this stage what procedures were followed.

The House will appreciate that some of these cases go back 45 years. It is simply not possible therefore today to be sure whether procedures were carried out properly. The information held by BNFL as I have said necessarily limited and a full investigation is therefore necessary.

I believe that it necessary to establish why these examinations were carried out and whether or not the next of kin were informed and consented to this analysis.

It is also necessary to establish whether or not these examinations were carried out following the correct and proper procedures and whether the data obtained was used appropriately and with the necessary consents.

The families and the public will want to know the answers to all these questions.

I have therefore asked Michael Redfern QC, who conducted the ‘Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry at Alder Hey’ to carry out an independent investigation into this matter. I have asked him to establish the facts, and to report to me. This report will be published. I will inform the House of the full terms of reference shortly.

Mr Speaker this is clearly a difficult situation covering events that took place up to 45 years ago. Nonetheless we owe it to the families as well as to the general public to find out what happened and why.

Crown copyright 2007

BBC on the Scandal

16 November 2010 Last updated at 19:07 GMT
Sellafield body parts families given government apology

The Redfern Inquiry was ordered when it emerged in 2007 that tissue was taken from 65 workers at Sellafield in Cumbria between 1962 and 1992.

Publishing the report, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said it was “regrettable” that organs were taken

Mr Huhne told the Commons the inquiry found there was a “lack of ethical consideration of the implications of the research work” carried out by the nuclear industry.

end quote.

The same the world over.

The USA:
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Volume 234, Numbers 1-2, 171-175, DOI: 10.1007/BF02389767

Actinides in Biological and Environmental Systems
Analysis for actinides in tissue samples from plutonium workers of two countries

R. E. Filipy, V. F. Khokhryakov, K. G. Suslova, S. A. Romanov, D. B. Stuit, E. E. Aladova and R. L. Kathren


Radiation research on humans staged in Richland
By Annette Cary, Herald staff writer

RICHLAND — The rows of freezers in a new metal building near the Richland airport hold tissue samples from the women who used radioactive radium in the 1920s to paint the glow-in-the dark dials of watches and clocks.

With them are organs waiting to be processed and tissue samples from their more recent counterparts — former DOE nuclear weapons workers, including those at Hanford, who were exposed to radioactivity on the job and later volunteered to donate their bodies to science when they died.

Shelves hold boxes filled with organ samples dissolved in acid and preserved for future research. Other boxes hold bones, potentially contaminated, that have been turned to ash

It’s the nation’s collection of physical evidence amassed to provide clues to how exposure to actinides such as plutonium and uranium affect the human body — the goal of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries.

The program is operated by the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and paid for with grants from the Department of Energy. Programs at different DOE sites were consolidated in Washington in 1992

The sociology of cancer epidemiology – are dissenting voters “conspiracy nuts” or is the government – industry alliance actually innocent?

How accurate are cancer stats and studies issued by government, industry and dissenters?

Should one trust the government without question?

Are voters who disagree with government and industry statements really conspiracy nuts?

Are nuclear veterans who claim they have been wronged by the omissions of government (and consequently, by industry which cites the government military data in its own defence) conspiracy nuts and actually unjust in their legal cases against government, both now and in the past?

I am I actually going to live longer than I would have because I was exposed to ionising radiation in the course of my duties as an Australian soldier? As claimed by various government paid and subsidized researchers working for the US Department of Energy Low Dose program (including contractors in Australia – Sykes et al) ? How would they know about my case?

Hard questions to answer.  I found the following review of a relevant book. Actually it is a review of a review of a relevant book.

The book being reviewed is entitled “The Secret History of the War on Cancer”
by Devra Davis

New York:Basic Books, 2007. 505 pp. ISBN: 978-0-465-01566-5

The review of the review of the book is here: , entitled “Conflicts of Integrity” by Martin Walker MA. The conflict among experts ignited or reiginited by Davis, might be summed up by Walker in the following quote: “Boyle’s review begins with an insulting dismissal of Davis as a conspiracy theorist:

Devotees of conspiracy theories and aficionados of gossip and innuendo will be drawn towards this book like wasps to a juicy piece of meat. It has many of the necessary ingredients: Big Industry cover-ups, hidden consultancies, secret documents exposed, tittle-tattle, and accusations about the conduct of famous names. It only lacks the steamy sex section, but perhaps this is being held back for a further volume.

It’s difficult to understand the use of the term ‘tittle-tattle’, the second reference to ‘gossip’ in the paragraph above. What is Boyle trying to say here; these things are all only the subjects of gossip, or that accusations of such things as ‘big industry cover ups and hidden consultancies’ are without any foundation. One thing is for sure, being clearly unconcerned about descending to personal insult, and therefore a bit of a tosser, Boyle would be amongst the first to queue for the second ‘steamy sex’ volume were it to be published.

The review ends with a description of Davis as a third-rate investigative journalist (‘Accuracy with the facts is a sine qua non in investigative journalism’), while labeling her again as a purveyor of ‘gossip and tittle-tattle’. Readers of the Lancet might have been forgiven for thinking that Boyle was referring to another Davis, an investigative journalist, and not this particular highly regarded academic in the field of cancer epidemiology.

There is more than a hint of misogyny in Boyle’s remarks, and out of the corner of one’s eye, one can see him flexing his macho scientific muscles while he disputes Davis’s subjective style of writing. In fact, Davis writes beautifully, and like many other female academics, manages to make her highly-crafted text passionate, pleasing and personally involving….” end quote. In this Walker explains how Boyle’s review is in error, in his view.

Here’s another review of the same book, published in a peer reviewed journal:

The Secret History of the War on Cancer
Reviewed by James Huff
Author information ► Copyright and License information ►

by Devra Davis

New York:Basic Books, 2007. 505 pp. ISBN: 978-0-465-01566-5, $27.95

The secret of The Secret History of the War on Cancer is prevention, an acutely recognized but long neglected solution to workplace-, environmental-, and public health–associated cancers. Davis begins by asking what we know and how much we need to know about suspected carcinogens before taking the actions necessary to reduce or eliminate exposures to known and suspected carcinogens. Hence prevention.

This assured strategy of preventing cancer versus treating cancer has been virtually ignored by national health and regulatory agencies, writes Davis, whereupon she describes the interconnections of industry, science, and government to maintain the status quo. Few of the hundreds of known carcinogens have been banned from use. Occupational exposure standards have been established for only a relatively small number of chemical carcinogens, and even here the chemical industry wields considerable and influential political power. Pioneering public health–minded individuals such as Lorenzo Tomatis and David Rall made great strides in primary prevention of diseases from chemicals, but their efforts were met with overwhelming resistance by government and industry to their relatively simple strategies for reducing cancer burdens. Davis presents in detail primary prevention tactics that could be easily implemented.

For example, Davis chronicles prevention efforts from the Surgeon General’s 1965 declaration that smoking causes cancer to the present, as well as feeble efforts to thwart tobacco smoking. She writes that the strength of the tobacco industry and the malfeasance of politicians and regulatory agencies combined to prevent public health action, thus condoning nearly 500,000 preventable deaths each year. She describes similar failures to prevent exposure to asbestos, lead, and industrial chemicals.

Davis details with striking historical perspective how those with interests in maintaining the use of carcinogens in industry cast doubt on epidemiologic research. Industry considers only epidemiologic evidence as potential proof of harm, even though the evidence is always vociferously challenged; conversely, industry promotes “the absence of human studies [as] proof that there was no harm.” But animal studies are rarely considered by industry or regulatory agencies as sufficient evidence to prove harm, because in their view the similarities and extrapolation to humans are not valid. As amply illustrated by Davis, these debates have intensified over time, as have the attempts to control scientific information: “What information is permitted to get to the marketplace, who decides when to release findings about public health hazards, all these things are not determined by scientific inquiry but by the social and economic realities that constrain them.” For example, in the mid-1970s when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) used incontrovertible human evidence of benzene-induced leukemias to reduce workplace exposures to benzene, a known carcinogen since the late 1920s, industry was able to thwart these reductions because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that OSHA did not consider the benefits versus risks in their evaluation. Ten more years went by before the standards were strengthened.

Clearly, Davis writes, profit is the key issue. Reducing exposures reportedly costs the affected industries more money than they can afford or want to spend and still make profits. For example, workers cleaning vinyl chloride (VC) reaction vats developed the same rare form of liver cancer (hemangiosarcoma) as first seen in animals, and the plastics industry was ordered to reduce/eliminate exposures to VC—but was not required to initiate any changes until there was verifiable evidence of cancer in humans. Instead, industry stated that the risks were “small” and that the plastics industry would not survive. Losing this argument and using their ingenuity rather than further litigation, industry automated the process and eliminated the need to manually clean VC reaction vats, actually making the process more streamlined and safe as well as more cost-effective and concomitantly reducing the workers’ risks of cancer.

The real debates and struggles arise when animal data show unequivocal carcinogenicity, but with no studies available in humans. Davis notes the considerable evidence that animal cancer data do indeed predict carcinogenic risks to humans. Scientists such as Davis and regulators who believe in the value of bioassays for public health cite at least five reasons supporting the continuation of bioassays and using this information to protect the public from unnecessary exposures to carcinogens: there are more similarities among mammals (humans and rodents) than differences; all accepted human carcinogens are also carcinogenic in animals; there are common cancer sites between animals and humans; nearly one-third of the identified human carcinogens were discovered first in animal bioassays; and findings from independently conducted adequate bioassays on the same chemicals are consistent.

The Secret History of the War On Cancer, exhaustively researched and deftly written, illuminates more of the truth about chemicals and cancer and the relatively simple means of preventing or reducing cancer burdens. Davis emphasizes that “It’s time to admit that our efforts have often targeted the wrong enemies and used the wrong weapons.” This exposé should be required reading in toxicology courses and also be made available in high school, college, public health libraries, and libraries in general. The message is clear: To reduce cancers, one need only reduce unnecessary exposures to mutagens and carcinogens as well as to chemicals in general. end quote. Source: ” Environmental Health Perspectives are provided here courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Science, Environ Health Perspect. Feb 2008; 116(2): A90.
PMCID: PMC2235200.

It can be seen at least that Davis, contrary to Boyle’s assertion, is more than a hack journalist interested only in gossip. Unless by the word gossip, Boyle means the awareness needed to prevent the cancers caused by the actions of industry in society.

I point out that radioactive chemicals used, created and released into the biosphere by nuclear industry are acknowledged toxic carcinogens and mutagens. They are regulated. It is the regulations which allow their use. Special security laws (eg the US Atomic Energy Act) defines criminal pentalies for unauthorised disclosures about them (ie “special nuclear fuels”.)

So, is Davis a conspiracy nut? Or is Boyle in the above example? To help my consideration of the matter, I ask myself, “Has government ever hidden anything from voters merely protect the interests of the government tax base and the profits of industry?”

As an associate of the Atomic ExServicemen’s Association of Australia, I laugh loud and long at that one. Imagine for a minute how likely nuclear power would be had it been the first means by which nuclear exhaust was spread across the globe. Not likely at all. The slow motion era of nuclear war known as the operation to kill ourselves was worth at least 4 Chernobyls in Nevada and the other downwinder states in the US alone. Over a decade. Today a blanket of radioactive noble gas from nuclear installations sits over the Northern arctic region. Without the base line (the normalisation) provided by bomb fallout, voters would have zero tolerance for nuclear exhaust. And governments keep lying about the bombs, and industry cites those lies in relation to reactor exhaust. imo. Are trained servicemen, though retired, all dangers to the national rationality Mr Boyle?

Proximity to the Irish Sea and Leukemia Incidence in Children at ages 0-4 in Wales from 1974-1989

Proximity to the Irish Sea and Leukemia Incidence in Children

at ages 0-4 in Wales from 1974-1989

First Report of the Green Audit Irish Sea Research Group August 1st 1998

Chris Busby, PhD
Bruce Kocjan, BSc
Evelyn Mannion
Molly Scott Cato MA, MSc

Green Audit Aberystwyth, Wales SY23 1PU
Occasional Papers 98/4; August 1998

1. The Green Audit Irish Sea Study

This study began in December 1997 as part of the research effort associated with the legal case, Short and Others vs BNFL. It was a contention of the litigants that radioactive pollution of the Irish Sea by the BNFL nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield in West Cumbria was a danger to the health of persons living near the east coast of Ireland.

There has been anecdotal evidence of increases in cancer, leukemia and other genetic-based illness near the Irish and Welsh coasts. Because the Irish have had no national cancer registry over the period of operation of Sellafield, it was of interest to look for any sea proximity effect that might support the plaintiffs’ claims.

Cancer registry data covering small areas is seldom made available to independent researchers. Between 1992 and 1996, the publication of three books on the effects of low-level radiation from man-made fission-product pollution and cancer in Wales (Busby 1992, 1994, 1995) advanced the thesis that a comparison of cancer incidence across two countries, Wales and England, that were differentially polluted by radioisotopes from the early 1960s global weapons-testing fallout suggested that it was internal exposure to such man-made radiation that was the main cause of the sudden increases in cancer in Wales relative to England, twenty years after the exposure. The resulting controversy put pressure on the Wales Cancer Registry to allow Green Audit access small area data which they had hitherto refused to release. Immediately following this the registry was closed down by the Welsh Office and responsibility for cancer intelligence was handed to a new Wales Cancer Intelligence Unit.

The data obtained by Green Audit was for 230 areas of residence in Wales, based on pre-1974 local authority boundary administrative areas. The period covered was 1974 to 1989 and incidence data was by sex, site and five-year age-group. This level of resolution permits the examination of the health effects in Wales of proximity to the Irish Sea. This part of the Irish Sea Study examines the appropriate age- standardised incidence of twelve different types of cancer as a function of distance from the Irish Sea.

We report here preliminary results for childhood leukemia age 0-4.

See above link for full paper

Plutonium from Sellafield in all British children’s teeth

Let’s all trust the government . No?

Government admits plant is the source of contamination but says risk is ‘minute’
, public affairs editor,The Observer, Sunday 30 November 2003

Radioactive pollution from the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria has led to children’s teeth across Britain being contaminated with plutonium.

The Government has admitted for the first time that Sellafield ‘is a source of plutonium contamination’ across the country. Public Health Minister Melanie Johnson has revealed that a study funded by the Department of Health discovered that the closer a child lived to Sellafield, the higher the levels of plutonium found in their teeth.

Johnson said: ‘Analysis indicated that concentrations of plutonium… decreased with increasing distance from the west Cumbrian coast and its Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant – suggesting this plant is a source of plutonium contamination in the wider population.’

Johnson claimed the levels of plutonium are so minute that there is no health risk to the public. But this is disputed by scientists, MPs and environmental campaigners who have called for an immediate inquiry into how one of the world’s most dangerous materials has been allowed to continue to contaminate children’s teeth. There have long been claims of clusters of childhood leukaemia around Sellafield.

In the late 1990s researchers collected more than 3,000 molars extracted from young teenagers across the country during dental treatment and analysed them. To their surprise they found traces of plutonium in all the teeth including those from children in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Alarmingly, they discovered that those living closer to Sellafield had more than twice the amount of those living 140 miles away.

Plutonium is a man-made radioactive material and the only source of it in Britain is from Sellafield. The plant, which reprocesses nuclear fuel from reactors, still discharges plutonium into the Irish Sea.

The original research was carried out in 1997 by Professor Nick Priest who was working for the UK Atomic Energy Authority. At the time the conclusions of the research received little attention because the study concluded that the contamination levels were so minuscule they were thought to pose an ‘insignificant’ health risk.

But earlier this year the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters, looking at health risks posed by radioactive materials, examined Priest’s study. Some of the committee’s members have now cast doubt on the conclusions that plutonium in children’s teeth posed no health risk.

Professor Eric Wright, of Dundee University Medical School, is one of the country’s leading experts on blood disorders and a member of the committee. He believes that the tiny specks of plutonium in children’s teeth caused by Sellafield radioactive pollution might lead to some people falling ill with cancer.

He said: ‘There are genuine concerns that the risks from internal emitters of radiation are more hazardous [than previously thought]. The real question is by how much. Is it two or three times more risky… or more than a hundred?’

Wright believes that, while the plutonium contamination is unlikely to pose a health risk to much of the British population, it might be a problem for some individuals.

He said: ‘If somebody has a bad collection of genes which means their body cannot deal with small levels of internal radioactive material, then there could be an issue.’

Wright’s comments, coming on top of the admission from the Health Minister, have led to calls for an independent inquiry. Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Norman Baker said: ‘[This] stinks of a cover-up. They have known for six years that Sellafield has contaminated the population with plutonium but done nothing. Yet the plant continues to discharge plutonium into the Irish Sea. It shows the wanton disregard the nuclear industry has for public health and there needs to be an independent inquiry.’

Janine Allis-Smith of the campaign group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment said: ‘There is no safe amount of plutonium. The plant must be closed down immediately.’

However, Priest, who is now professor of environmental toxicology at Middlesex University stands by his original conclusions. He said: ‘[The plutonium in teeth] was at such low levels that it was toxicologically insignificant. There really is nothing to worry about.’

A spokesman for BNFL, which runs Sellafield, said: ‘What is not clear is whether the plutonium recorded in this study originated [from Sellafield] or from nuclear weapons testing fall-out.’ end quote.

And that ladies and genetlemen reveals quite plainly the other reason for atmospheric nuclear nuclear testing. The normalisation of nuclear exhaust and the cover for the emissions of nuclear industry exhaust. Nuclear weapons fallout vs reactor emissions contributes to reasonable doubt on the part of a judge or jury as which emissions caused the harm, including the involuntary body burden.

Karen Silkwood – PBS Frontline

Question : are civilians radiation workers, including little children? If so, where are the wages to come from in Japan, England, US, France, etc etc etc?

Karen Silkwood died on November 13, 1974 in a fatal one-car crash. Since then, her story has achieved worldwide fame as the subject of many books, magazine and newspaper articles, and even a major motion picture. Silkwood was a chemical technician at the Kerr-McGee’s plutonium fuels production plant in Crescent, Oklahoma, and a member of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers’ Union. She was also an activist who was critical of plant safety. During the week prior to her death, Silkwood was reportedly gathering evidence for the Union to support her claim that Kerr-McGee was negligent in maintaining plant safety, and at the same time, was involved in a number of unexplained exposures to plutonium. The circumstances of her death have been the subject of great speculation.

After her death, organs from Silkwood’s body were analyzed as part of the Los Alamos Tissue Analysis Program at the request of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner. Silkwood’s case was important to the program because it was one of very few cases involving recent exposure to plutonium. It also served to confirm the contemporary techniques for the measurement of plutonium body burdens and lung burdens. The following account is a summary of Silkwood’s exposure to plutonium at the Kerr-McGee plant and the subsequent analysis of her tissues at Los Alamos.

In the evening of November 5, plutonium-239 was found on Karen Silkwood’s hands. Silkwood had been working in a glovebox in the metallography laboratory where she was grinding and polishing plutonium pellets that would be used in fuel rods. At 6:30 P.M., she decided to monitor herself for alpha activity with he detector that was mounted on the glove box. The right side of her body read 20,000 disintegrations per minute, or about 9 nanocuries, mostly on the right sleeve and shoulder of her coveralls. She was taken to the plant’s Health Physics Office where she was given a test called a “nasal swipe”. This test measures a person’s exposure to airborne plutonium, but might also measure plutonium that got on the person’s nose from their hands. The swipe showed an activity of 160 disintegrations per minute, a modest positive result.

The two gloves in the glovebox Silkwood had been using were replaced. Strangely, the gloves were found to have plutonium on the “outside” surfaces that were in contact with Silkwood’s hands; no leaks were found in the gloves. No plutonium was found on the surfaces in the room where she had been working and filter papers from the two air monitors in the room showed that there was no significant plutonium in the air. By 9:00 P.M., Silkwood’s cleanup had been completed, and as a precautionary measure, Silkwood was put on a program in which her total urine and feces were collected for five days for plutonium measurements. She returned to the laboratory and worked until 1:10 A.M., but did no further work in the glove boxes. As she left the plant, she monitored herself and found nothing.

Silkwood arrived at work at 7:30 A.M. on November 6. She examined metallographic prints and performed paperwork for one hour, then monitored herself as she left the laboratory to attend a meeting. Although she had not worked at the glovebox that morning, the detector registered alpha activity on her hands. Health physics staff members found further activity on her right forearm and the right side of her neck and face, and proceeded to decontaminate her. At her request, a technician checked her locker and automobile with an alpha detector, but no activity was found.

On November 7, Silkwood reported to the Health Physics Office at about 7:50 in the morning with her bioassay kit containing four urine samples and one fecal sample. A nasal swipe was taken and significant levels of alpha activity (1,000 to 4,000 dpm on her hands, arm, chest, neck, and right ear). A preliminary examination of her bioassay samples showed extremely high levels of activity (30,000 to 40,000 counts per minute in the fecal sample). Her locker and automobile were checked again, and essentially no alpha activity was found.

Following her cleanup, the Kerr-McGee health physicists accompanied her to her apartment, which she shared with another laboratory analyst, Sherri Ellis. The apartment was surveyed. Significant levels of activity were found in the bathroom and kitchen, and lower levels of activity were found in other rooms. In the bathroom, 100,000 dpm were found on the toilet seat, 40,000 dpm on the floor mat, and 20,000 dpm on the floor. In the kitchen, they found 400,000 dpm on a package of bologna and cheese in the refrigerator, 20,000 dpm on the cabinet top, 20,000 dpm on the floor, 25,000 dpm on the stove sides, and 6,000 dpm on a package of chicken. In the bedroom, between 500 and 1000 dpm were detected on the pillow cases and between 500 and 2,000 dpm on the bed sheets. However, the AEC estimated that the total amount of plutonium in Silkwood’s apartment was no more than 300 micrograms. No plutonium was found outside the apartment. Ellis was found to have two areas of low level activity on her, so Silkwood and Ellis returned to the plant where Ellis was cleaned up.

When asked how the alpha activity got into her apartment, Silkwood said that when she produced a urine sample that morning, she had spilled some for the urine. She wiped off the container and the bathroom floor with tissue and disposed of the tissue in the commode. Furthermore, she had taken a package of bologna from the refrigerator, intending to make a sandwich for her lunch, but then carried the bologna into the bathroom and laid it on the closed toilet seat. She remembered that she had part of her lunch from November 5 in the refrigerator at work and decided not to make the sandwich, so returned the bologna to the refrigerator. Between October 22 and November 6, high levels of activity had been found in four of the urine samples that Silkwood had collected at home (33,000 to 1,600,000 dpm), whereas those that were collected at the Kerr-McGee plant or Los Alamos contained very small amounts of plutonium if any at all.

The amount of plutonium at Silkwood’s apartment raised concern. Therefore, Kerr-McGee arranged for Silkwood, Ellis, and Silkwood’s boyfriend, Drew Stephens, who had spent time at their apartment, to go to Los Alamos for testing. On Monday, November 11, the trio met with Dr. George Voelz, the leader of the Laboratory Health Division. He explained that all of their urine and feces would be collected and that several whole body and lung counts would be taken. They would also be monitored for external activity.

The next day, Dr. Voelz informed Ellis and Stephens that their tests showed a small but insignificant amount of plutonium in their bodies. Silkwood, on the other hand, had 0.34 nanocuries of americicium-241 (a gamma-emitting daughter of plutonium-241) in her lungs. Based on the amount of americium, Dr. Voelz estimated that Silkwood had about 6 or 7 nanocuries of plutonium-239 in her lungs, or less than half the maximum permissible lung burden (16 nanocuries) for workers. Dr. Voelz reassured Silkwood that, based upon his experience with workers that had much larger amounts of plutonium in their bodies, she should not be concerned about developing cancer or dying from radiation poisoning. Silkwood wondered whether the plutonium would affect her ability to have children or cause her children to be deformed. Dr. Voelz reassured her that she could have normal children.

Silkwood, Ellis, and Stephens returned to the Oklahoma City on November 12. Silkwood and Ellis reported for work the next day, but they were restricted from further radiation work. After work that night, Silkwood went to a union meeting in Crescent, Oklahoma. At the end of the meeting, at about 7 P.M., she left alone in her car. At 8:05, the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol was notified of a single car accident 7 miles south of Crescent. the driver, Karen Silkwood, was dead at the scene from multiple injuries. An Oklahoma State Trooper who investigated the accident reported that Silkwood’s death was a result of a classic, one-car sleeping-driver accident. Later, blood tests performed as part of the autopsy showed Silkwood had 0.35 milligrams of methaqualone (Quaalude) per 100 milliliters of blood at the time of her death. That amount id almost twice the recommended dosage for inducing drowsiness. About 50 milligrams of undissolved methaqualone remained in her stomach.

At the request of the AEC and the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner, Dr. A. Jay Chapman, who was concerned about performing an autopsy on someone reportedly contaminated with plutonium, a team from Los Alamos was sent to make radiation measurements and assist in the autopsy. Dr. Voelz, Dr. Michael Stewart, Alan Valentine, and James Lawrence comprised the team. Because Silkwood’s death was an accident, the coroner did not legally need consent from the next of kin to perform the autopsy. However, Silkwood’s father was contacted and he gave permission for the autopsy over the telephone. The autopsy was performed November 14, 1974, at the University Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Appropriate specimens were collected, preserved, and retained by Dr. Chapman for his pathological and toxicological examination. At the request of the coroner and the AEC, certain organs and bone specimens were removed, packaged, frozen, and brought back to Los Alamos for analysis of their plutonium content. Because Silkwood had been exposed to plutonium and had undergone in vivo plutonium measurements, her tissue was also used in the Los Alamos Tissue Analysis Program to determine her actual plutonium body burden, the distribution of the plutonium between different organs of her body, and the distribution within her lung. On November 15, small samples of the liver, lung, stomach, gastrointestinal tract, and bone were selected and analysed. The date, shown in Table 1, indicated clearly that there were 3.2 nanocuries in the liver, 4.5 nanocuries in the lungs, and a little more than 7.7 nanocuries in her whole body. These measurements agreed well with the in vivo measurements made before Silkwood’s death (6 or 7 nanocuries in the lung and a little more than 7 nanocuries in the whole body).

There was no significant deposition of plutonium in any other tissues, including the skeleton. The highest concentrations measured were in the contents of the gastrointestinal tract (0.05 nanocurie/gram in the duodenum and 0.02 nanocurie/gram in a small fecal sample taken from the large intestine.) This demonstrated that she had ingested plutonium prior to her death.

With the exception of the left lung, the remaining unanalyzed tissues were repackaged and kept frozen until it was determined whether or not additional analyses were required. The left lung was thawed, inflated with dry nitrogen until it was approximately the size that it would have been in the chest, and re-frozen in that configuration. It was packed in an insulated shipping container in dry ice and sent to the lung counting facility at the Los Alamos Health Research Laboratory. The data were then compared with the in vivo measurements made prior to her death. As expected, without the ribs and associated muscle attenuating the x-rays from the americium-241, the results for the left lung measured postmortem were about 50 per cent higher, but not inconsistent with the in vivo result.

Some of the most interesting observations made during Silkwood’s tissue analysis were: 1) the distribution of plutonium-239 within her lung and 2) the concentration of plutonium in the lung relative to that in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes (TBLN). After the frozen left lung was returned to the Tissue Analysis Laboratory, the superior lobe was divided horizontally into sections. Those sections were further divided into two parts: the outer layer of the lung (pleura and sub-pleural tissue) and the inner soft tissue of the lung (parenchyma). The plutonium concentrations in the inner and outer parts of Silkwood’s lung were about equal, in stark contrast with another case examined under the Tissue Analysis Program in which the concentration in the outer part of the lung was 22.5 times higher than that in the inner part. That difference was an indication that Silkwood had probably been exposed within 30 days prior to her death, whereas the other case had been exposed years prior to death. Furthermore, the concentration of plutonium in Silkwood’s lung was about 6 times greater than that in the lymph nodes, whereas in typical cases that ratio would be about 0.1. Both of those results indicated that Silkwood had received very recent exposure and supported the view that the plutonium tends to migrate from the inner part to the outer part of the lung and to the lymph nodes over time.

The saga of Karen Silkwood continued for years after her death. Her estate filed a civil suit against Kerr-McGee for alleged inadequate health and safety program that led to Silkwood’s exposure. The first trial ended in 1979, with the jury awarding the estate of Silkwood $10.5 million for personal injury and punitive damages. This was reversed later by the Federal Court of Appeals, Denver, Colorado, which awarded $5000 for the personal property she lost during the cleanup of her apartment. In 1986, twelve years after Silkwood’s death, the suit was headed for retrial when it was finally settled out of court for $1.3 million. The Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel plants closed in 1975.

Let’s make some more contaminated land – in England’s Lake District.

Oh what a jolly good idea. Absolutely no carbon (apart from all the machinery and transport and digging etc). Oh yea, nuclear waste and the crown of Britain’s natural realm – what a glorious mix. Besides there’s nowhere else to put it.

So much for “zero emissions nuclear”. Tom Bawden, Friday 13th 2013.

Lake District threatened by nuclear waste again

Controversial plans to bury highly toxic nuclear waste under the Lake District are back on the table just eight months after being conclusively rejected.

The proposals were dismissed by Cumbria County Council in January – but now the Government has enraged opponents by proposing to switch the final say to the district council.

The county council’s decision to abandon plans for the underground radioactive wastage storage centre near Sellafield was a major blow to government ambitions to build new nuclear power plants. Cumbria had been the only area to show an interest in storing such waste.

But a new consultation launched by the Government could sidestep the problem, by shifting the final say on whether an area can house a deep storage facility for nuclear waste from the county to the district council.

Cumbria County Council voted by more than 2 to 1 to pull out of feasibility studies into such a facility, following expert critiques of the fractured local geology and an international outcry over the threat to the Western Lake District. That vote over-ruled votes by the local Copeland and Allerdale District Councils to proceed.

The Government is selling its proposed change to the voting rule on the basis that it “represents an additional layer of consent – giving local communities the opportunity to decide whether or not they wise to proceed with the development of a GDF [geological disposal facility]”.

Geoff Betsworth, a local activist, disagrees. “It is a shock. It is undermining democracy to remove a layer of government in Cumbria county council. It is Orwellian and they will push it through regardless.”…..
Lake District National Park
Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Consultation

Between 2009 and 2013 Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council, and Cumbria County Council were in discussions with the Government about potentially hosting a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). We were one of the members of the partnership which gathered and considered information about the facility and the process.

In January 2013 the decision was taken by Cumbria County Council to not proceed with investigations for a Geological Disposal Facility in West Cumbria, and the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely process came to an end.

The government has just undertaken a consultation on proposed amendments to the siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility.

Radiation Free Lakeland
Preventing the Lake District from becoming a nuclear sacrifice zone.

Geological Disposal Facility – Two Popular Myths

Retrievability – An understandable misconception or wishful thinking?

A GDF is not for the storage of nuclear waste. We must all understand, the aim of the facility is purely, once and for all, disposal. Other than for a number of years* whilst the facility is filled, the waste will not and can not be retrievable.

It is accepted that the containers the waste is buried in, will degrade and leak. The nuclear waste can only be contained, for the length of time to ensure that it will no longer be a risk to life, by a geological barrier. No engineered structure has ever been designed to last for a fraction of that time.

That is why the Nation must have the safest and best geological barrier to contain the facility. The clue is in the name, a GEOLOGICAL Disposal Facility.

The Legacy Waste is already here! – Misunderstanding or sleight of hand?

When the original MRWS process was proposed, it was to be constructed to hold existing waste. Time and time again it has been said that, “as Sellafield hosts 75% of the Nations existing High Level Waste, Cumbria is the best place for a GDF as we shouldn’t ship the waste around the country. It just isn’t safe”.

The NDA clearly think it is safe as they proudly boast of millions of incident free miles of nuclear waste transport since the early 60s.

If we forget the fact that waste is continually being moved into Sellafield, we must not miss the fact that the government has now moved the goalposts with MRWSII. The new proposals are for a GDF to hold new build waste from the proposed new reactors, as and when they come on line. This means that:-

• The GDF needs to be many times the size that was originally proposed

• There will be more new build waste in the GDF than the “legacy waste” already here**

• This new waste will come from all over the nation

And so……why should we accept that Cumbria will become the nation’s nuclear dustbin, just because it is politically expedient.
The waste isn’t already here and the geology is safer elsewhere!
*This would probably be around 100 years without new build and potentially 200 or more with it, to allow highest activity waste to cool
** in terms of radioactivity, but not volume. Radioactivity dictates GDF size to allow heat dispersal
Ever wondered if we should have faith in our politicians?

draft in progress.