“The doses to the representative person from consuming sheep meat from each monitored farm
range from <0.05mSv to 0.21mSv per year with a mean of <0.09mSv per year. The doses are
considerably below the 1mSv per year limit established underArticle 48 of Council Directive
96/29/Euratom for members of the public exposed to radiation from routine planned exposures and
the 1mSv per year reference level typically used in existing exposure situations (ICRP, 2006 & 2007).
Doses are also well below 0.26mSv, the dose the Representative Person would receive, if they
consumed all their meat at the 1,000 Bq/kg limit.
The mean radiocaesium activity concentration in sheep on each restricted farm ranged from <160
Bq/kg to 739 Bq/kg and the maximum from <160 Bq/kg to 1433 Bq/kg. Only 4 out of 78 farms
recorded sheep above 1,000 Bq/kg. No more than 2.5% percent of sheep on each of these four
farms exceeded this limit.
Although low levels of radiocaesium persist throughout the restricted areas of Cumbria and North
Wales, the level of consumer risk, if control measures were removed, is considered to be very low.
With very few sheep exceeding the 1,000 Bq/kg limit when activity concentrations are at their peak,
the Mark and Release monitoring programme is having a negligible impact on reducing consumer
doses. end quote from the above source.
This being the results 25 years after the contaminating event deposited the cesium fission isotope on area of North Wales.
It is hard to imagine how a solar or wind or any other form of fuel-less renewable could create such a cesium contamination event over a number of nations in Europe. Pursuant to the generation of electrical power.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 is widely believed to have caused the death of at least 4,000 people, with a further untold number of children born with abnormalities.
The explosion forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 Ukrainians and Belarussians, laying waste an area measuring 3,000 sq miles (7,769 sq km) that remains uninhabitable to this day.
Within weeks of the fire that started at about 01:30 BST on 26 April, 30 years ago, hill farmers across north Wales were also dragged into the developing crisis.
Heavy rain in April and May drenched higher ground with alarming quantities of radioactive caesium and iodine. The authorities reacted by imposing a blanket ban on the sale of all farm animals. Panic spread.
Glyn Roberts, now the president of the Farmers Union of Wales, said: “At the time we were worried what effect the fallout would have on our health. My wife was expecting and we were worried what effect it would have on our children, that was the prime issue.
“The news was difficult to believe, and it made you think ‘how safe is nuclear energy production?’.
“I remember I was in Ruthin market when we were told that we could not sell any of our lamb or beef. That was when it hit home, and there was quite a bit of accumulative cash flow problems.”
Mr Roberts, and others at the time, felt the government’s response was too slow, and matters came to a head at a public meeting in Llanrwst, Conwy county, when representatives of the Welsh Office were not allowed to leave until firm promises of compensation were given.
“When someone said that the issue was not going to be addressed that night, the crowd outside went a bit wild,” he said.
“Following that, Nicholas Edwards the Secretary of State came to this farm and we explained our situation.
“From there things did move on a bit and we were told that there was going to be some compensation.”
In total, 344 Welsh farms were put under restrictions, with animals’ radiation levels monitored before they were allowed to be sold at market.
The number of failing animals peaked in 1992, but some still recorded higher levels of caesium as recently as 2011.
A year later, the authorities decided the numbers were then insignificant and there was no reason to continue the monitoring. This saved the taxpayer about £300,000 a year.
Some farmers were in favour of further monitoring, if only to maintain the public’s trust in Welsh meat, but the majority approved and welcomed the end of a long saga that started 1,500 miles (2,414km)away deep, in the former Soviet Union.
The following years were still full of concern for many Welsh hill farmers.
“Every farm has some abnormal lambs born, but I believe that for the first years after Chernobyl there were more abnormalities in the lambs,” Mr Roberts said. “I have no evidence, but that is what I feel.”
But at least the Welsh farmers were able to stay in their homes and keep their livestock and livelihoods.
It was a different story in northern Ukraine, where anyone living within a 30-mile (48km) radius of the power plant had to leave their homes.
As well as the cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat, that meant the emptying of villages and hamlets.
One of the largest was Parashev, some 10 miles (16km) east of the power station.
Maria Adnamova was born there and, after a few years of enforced exile, she, her husband and a few other unhappy souls decided to return.
But the world had moved on, and Parashev with its hundreds of empty homes, shops, schoolroom and council offices rotted away before their eyes.
Today, the widowed Mrs Adnamova, 81 years old and with failing health, is one of just five people existing in Parashev.
A translator for Mrs Adnamova explained why the threat of Chernobyl’s poisoned legacy was not enough to keep her from her home.
“They were evacuated late on 3 May. They were given a house some place in the Kiev region, quite far from here, but she did not like the climate. She decided to return, because her parents and grandparents live here. She will die on her own land.”
The power station stands at the centre of a sprawling complex of buildings and can be seen from many miles away.
The fourth reactor, the cause of so much suffering, is encased in a crumbling concrete shell, built in the years immediately after the disaster.
end partial quote, source as above.
It is hard to envisage technically how solar, wind, solar/wind/battery, hydrogen, hydro, biomass etc could produce such risk, harm, cost and disruption as nuclear reactors repeatedly do.
Far from being a once in a 1000 year event, as claimed by the industry in 1974, it was re estimated to be a once in 30 year event by Toshiba in 2012. Toshiba claimed then that the industry could easily afford such consequences. Toshiba/Westinghouse nuclear divisions are now bankrupt.
Source: Fukushima Prefectural Government. 10 Oct 2018
Transition of evacuation designated zones
Currently, the evacuation designeted zones (371km2) occupy 2.7% of areas of Fukushima Prefecture (13,783km2).
On April 01 2017, most of the evacuation orders issued to the evacution-designated zones (excluding the Difficult-to-Return zones) have been lifted.
The Difficult-to-Return zones have beeen recognized in the Plans for Reconstruction and Revitalization for Special Zones. Accordingly, reconstruction and revitalization even in the Difficult-to-Return zones are already showing steady progress with remediation and construction underway.
In the difficult-to-return zone
Following the revision of the Act for Special Measures for the Reconstruction and Revitalization of Fukushima (May, 2017), the national government was able to designate special zones for reconstruction and revitalization(SZRR).
Plans by the following municipalities were recognized by the national government in the Plans for Reconstruction and Revitalization for Special Zones which stipulated SZRR.
The revised act will concentrate on carrying out decontamination and infrastructure development of the designated zones in order to create an environment which people can return to.
end quote. source as above.
Map presumably showing the remaining “difficult to return to” zones in Fukushima Prefecture. Source as above.
It is rational to expect that the catching of game and the collection of food in those areas still described as “difficult to return” is not recommended.
It can also be expected that the people who have returned to previously evacuated lands have a diversity of views on the matter.
It can also be expected that the people of Japan as a whole possess and should be free to express a diversity of views upon the events since 3/11.
Perhaps the last thing the people of Japan need is yet another Englander telling them that their Peaches are massive while she implies that as of today anything grown or caught in the still existing un-remediated zones can be eaten without reference to qualified Japanese scientific advice. For clearly, in reference to food grown and caught in the existing exclusion zones have produced measured degrees of internal cesium contamination in those hunter-gatherer consumers.
And that’s a fact. This commonly known and easy to access information was not included in Episode 34 of “60 Minutes”, yet it is critical to know in the context of considering technical information relevant to the Australian nuclear debate. It is also important to know from the perspective of the sociological threads which determine the quality of sophisticated life in the context of a nuclear powered nation.
If Australia becomes a nuclear powered nation, have our media barons demonstrated an attitude marked by full disclosure? Or is current affairs in the mass media in Australia today merely the PR tool used at the behest of corporate interests, such as Imperial College London. That specialist centre of British Design and Marketing?
The method of radiological protection called displacement relies upon people subject to nuclear contamination being properly nourished.
This is because of the rules of bio-chemistry. There are various nutrients that a person must have for health. These include Iodine, Potassium, Calcium and Phosphorous.
The fission process produces two types of chemicals of interest to the displacement method of radio protection. These are: 1. Radioactive isotopes (versions) of nutrients. 2. Radio chemicals which are radio active and which behave in the body in a similar way to essential nutrients. These substances are called bio-chemical analogues of nutrients. Similar to the actual nutrients, but not the same as the actual nutrients. These analogues can’t do the same job as the actual nutrients do when used by the body.
Radium is a natural radioactive substance which is a calcium analogue.
Strontium is a fission product which is a calcium analogue.
Radio Isotope is a fission product which a radio active version of the stable iodine needed by the body.
Cesium is a potassium analogue which is produced in radioactive form by reactors. 100% of fission cesium is radioactive. 0.01% of normal potassium is the radioactive K40, which has less radioactivity and less energy than radio cesium. The use of potassium fertiliser can, in sandy soils, reduce the radioactivity of crops by displacing cesium from plants.
There is another way, apart from fission, by which nuclear reactors create a radioactive version of a normal nutrient: That is, by neutron created activation products. The most important os these includes P32, a radioactive version of phosphorous. It is not normally a substance of concern unless fission takes place in the open air. Unlike Chernobyl, Western reactors have pressure vessels which contain fission processes, including neutron radiation to the insides of that pressure vessel.
So in the context of Japan we are left with three chemicals which are of primary concern in the matter of diet and where to grow food and how to grow it in Japan post a nuclear disaster. Iodine radio isotopes. Cesium radio isotopes and strontium isotopes.
Today the primary hazard remains the radio isotopes of cesium in some areas of Japan. This has been true except for the early days of the disaster. The risk of radio iodine no longer present in Japan, the risk of radio cesium continues to exist in some areas, and the risk of strontium and other radio chemicals released by the reactors pale into relative insignificance compared to cesium.
Cesium 137 is a gamma emitter. As gamma can deeply penetrate the body from the outside, it poses a hazard to radio sensitive tissue such as the thyroid gland.
As the population of Japan has one of the highest levels of daily stable iodine uptake from diet in the world, it can reasonably be guessed that Japanese children enjoyed far greater protection from radio Iodine uptake than Chernobyl did. There are a number of reasons why Chernobyl children were far more vulnerable post Chernobyl than Fukushima children were. The chernobyl children were not evacuated from the close in fallout area for 2 weeks or more and they continued to eat milk etc contaminated with fission products, importantly radio Iodine. The Chernobyl children lived in an entirely different economy from Japan’s and as a result the Chernobyl children did not enjoy as much chance as Japanese children of being properly nourished all the time.
Displacement works because the body tends to control what nutrients passes through the gut wall according to the degree of biological needs for the nutrient in question. Further, in a well nourished person, the body’s discrimination against biological analogues (such as cesium) and discrimination for the actual nutrient is increased.
A poor homeless person in either Chernobyl at the time of disaster, and a poor homeless (totally unsheltered) person in Japan at the time of disaster were the most vulnerable to uptake of radio cesium, radio iodine, and were it was a concern, if it was, radio strontium. This is because when people who do not regular eat a proper and full diet and when they live out in the open, they are very vulnerable to nuclear fallout both externally and internally.
I do not know how children of poor families faired in these regards post Chernobyl. I hope there were no children of as poor families in Japan.
I have a view – which may be right or wrong – that poverty due to the Soviet system was a problem in Chernobyl. The sociology – the radio-sociology – of Japan and the Soviet territories were completely different. Ukraine today and Japan today are completely different in character.
That is the first thing I would like to say. About the risk of food immediately post Chernobyl compared with immediately post Fukushima.
There were vulnerabilities present in the Chernobyl cohort in the immediate aftermath which were not present, to any great degree (I think, believe and hope) in Japan. I am pretty sure I’m right. I could be wrong. I don’t know, I can’t prove it myself.
There is radioactive chemical and then there is the person. Only when the radioactivity of the chemical interacts with the person’s tissue does an absorbed dose occur. This may be an external dose or an internal dose.
Living things tend to concentrate specific radio active chemicals from fission releases. The main substance of concern now is radio cesium.
The decontamination of affected areas has continued for about 7 years. Priority in decontamination is given to what is called “high value land”. Low value land can be left for later and people are excluded from it. Food cannot be grown there. And people should not go to areas which have been labelled exclusion zones in search of wild game and wild fruit, wild vegetables and so on.
Such considerations are matters of actions currently being undertaken by the Japanese government. And as I understand it, the declaration of where food is to be grown and where it should not be obtained from is a matter of both law and warning in Japan.
Where food has been declared safe to eat by relevant authorities, individuals may and can disagree and obtain their food from other sources. However, it has been proven that food obtain from Japan’s exclusion zones in Fukushima Prefecture produce elevated cesium readings in the bodies of at least one relevant population. Yet that same population source shows no abnormal cesium uptake where those people have eaten only “food from approved sources”.
The sociological impact of these things is pretty clear. Obviously some people would rather continue traditional hunting and gathering than worry about or consider government warnings about the need to only eat approved food.
I now refer again to Channel 9 (Australia) TV’s “Sixty Minutes” program, episode 34 and will continue the partial transcript I have made of that program. Channel 9, in this partial transcript, is interviewing Prof Gerry Thomas of Imperial College London. This is how Prof Thomas defines the precise areas where food growing and meat etc raising is approved (she does not in fact explain this reality that some areas in Fukushima remain unapproved for these things. Both science and Japanese government authorities warn against obtaining non approved food from non approved areas by any means.):
Narrator: “Is it a safe area?” Prof Thomas: “Yea,absolutelly. I’ve been there many times myself. And I would have no hesitation in going back. It’s a beautiful part of the country.” Narrator: “You would not have any problems eating lettuce from the ground or whatever it may be?” Prof Thomas: “Actually if you go to Fukushima the food there is fantastic. They grow massive peaches.”
The following extract from a recent scientific paper relating to the reality of approved and non approved food growing areas, and the actual result of eating unapproved food adds information which is very critically MISSING, OMITTED, LEFT OUT, by the narrator in his questions about food in Fukushima, which is a whole Prefecture – Fukushima is equivalent to that of a state as we have in Australia.
South Australia itself has a huge variety of foods grown here in very many different areas.
Please read the complete document at the download link for the pdf document above.
A brief quotation from this paper follows:
“More than 5 years since the disaster, internal exposure levels on the order of several thousand or several tens of thousands of becquerels are still being detected in those who regularly consume wild boar, wild birds, wild vegetables, or mushrooms that are highly contaminated, with a frequency of about several persons per 10,000 people (Tsubokura et al., 2014). However, internal exposure levels are not likely to increase for those who consume foods distributed through regular channels. External exposure levels have also been maintained at low levels. ”
Source: Takamich et al as cited above.
Clearly, while food obtained at the retail level which is produce from regular and regulated agriculture is of no concern to Japanese authorities and other authorities, food which is sourced from the un-remediated exclusion areas produces internal contamination of “internal exposure levels on the order of several thousand or several tens of thousands of becquerels are still being detected in those” (citation as above) ……(who consume contaminated food resultant from the remaining contaminated land).
While it can be said most people eat the food from conventional sources in Fukushima with no concern, Japanese scientists point out that food obtained from contaminated areas (the exclusion zones) imparts a far higher internal dose to those people who hunt and gather their own from those contaminated biospheres.
Biospheres extend beyond human boundaries, so I would keep my chooks in a chook yard and I would consider very carefully the source of my potting mix and organic fertiliser if I lived in the region of Fukushima described by Takamicho.
Keeping up radiological hygiene measures is a matter of common sense. One never knows where or how big one’s next dose is going to be.
I knew a man who had to receive treatment dose radiation exposures to fight cancer. When he returned to work, our employer, upon the urging of the man’s medical team, replaced the man’s Cathode Ray computer monitor with an LCD monitor. This was sensible but at the time quite expensive for the employer.
No doubt the same man would be well advised, should he visit Fukushima and enjoy shooting and enjoying his meat and collecting his mushrooms , to eat food only sourced from reputable and regulated retail outlets.
In the age of personalised medicine, where the circumstances of each person’s unique radiological history must be taken into account, it is quite appalling, given how frequently treatment dose radiation features in the lives of Australian, that Imperial College London is more interested in selling reactors than it is in transmitting as a set of facts as possible.
The food grown and meat and milk produced from decontaminated areas in the State of Fukushima is very likely to be of no health consequence in the mind of science. But science continues to show how dirty the remaining exclusions zones are. They produce wild game and wild food which is not fit for human consumption.
There is nothing hard about this. It is simple. These are facts. Don’t go hunting or collecting food in the contaminated zones of Fukushima. The exclusion zones are VALID.
Fear is not the driver behind the professional need to keep the dose down. There are reasons why the dose must be kept down. It is unprofessional to suggest otherwise. It is merely technically correct.
Unless you have been inculcated by the Brucer/Goldman school of fallout is good for you, for the industry runs a smaller loss post emergency.
None of things apply to wind solar or hydro, so why is that esoteric and old technology still getting air time.?
Because Imperial College London want to design a reactor for Australia perhaps? It’s the home of reactor design in the UK.
1/4 of all Australians will die from cancer. Many of them will experience at least one, maybe more, rounds of fractionated treatment doses of radiation.
For the sake of their survival, civil authorities need to keep any additional dose which may add to the individual dose down as low as possible.
Ask a competent oncologist about these things.
Dont eat wild boar who lived in the Fukushima Exclusion zones. Unlikely for Australians, quite likely for a traditional rural Japanese lifestyle.
Imagine being warned against fishing from the sea at Port Noarlunga. Would we be thrilled? That’s the Japanese hunters must feel. Pretty angry at the nuclear industry. They keep hunting and so produce the above figures. Does not sound like radiophobia afflicts the wild boar hunters of Fukushima Prefecture. Though Thomas admits the fear got too much for her, so she swapped ideologies and read Brucer and Goldman, I presume.
At least Prof Thomas admits it was she herself who was driven by fear into the arms of the industry. However, her simplistic rendering of the reality of clean and dirty places in Fukushima Prefecture and her ignorant assertion that all food which can, by all means, be considered uncontaminated is wrong by omission.
The wild food sources obtained from the Fukushima exclusions zones should not be eaten anyone who. Certainly, all people should be warned that if they hunt and gather game and other food which lives within the exclusion zones biospheres, then consumption of those foods will, as proven by scientists and medicos in the relevant area, increase your radio cesium body burden. Clearly this is the reality, a reality omitted because it does not meet the requirements of Imperial College London, and it does not meet the requirements of Channel 9 TV Australia.
I presume therefore Channel 9 would like all Australians to chip for the cost of a dozen or so British designed reactors. Prof Thomas may well get to enjoy our “Sunshine”. If we do cough up the required filthy lucre.
Nuclear power sales staff are facing a rapidly closing window of opportunity, low credibility in many afflicted nations, and increasing competition from new technologies. Hence the increasing desperation on the part of the nuclear sales staff. In the 1950s they promised to save us from the Soviets. Now they promise to save us from climate change. Yet nuclear is a minority player in global energy production. It owns many unsolved problems and promotes the idea that there has never been a nuclear reactor disaster anywhere in the world, and that no nuclear evacuation zone is needed in Japan, Ukraine or anywhere else. (Brook, Sykes, Heard, and Scott (Uni Tasmania, Flinders Uni, Adelaide Uni, LANL, USA.)
Long term readers may recall my preference for renewable power generated hydrogen. There are many ways, including artificial photosynthesis, to produce hydrogen. I have long thought that hydrogen fuelled thermal power plants, co-located with PV solar and wind generators, could provide 24/7 power. Further, such a complex could produce desalinated water, oxygen and other industrial and medical gases.
Modern techniques of hydrogen storage and transport render hydrogen no more dangerous than natural gas in the same scenarios.
Dr Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, recently released a major press release on Hydrogen as a fuel:
Dr Alan Finkel, Chair of the Hydrogen Strategy Group and Australia’s Chief Scientist, said that hydrogen’s time has come.
“Hydrogen produces only water vapour and heat when burned. When produced from water using renewable electricity, or from coal or methane combined with carbon capture and storage, it’s a close to zero-emissions fuel. With appropriate safeguards, it’s just as safe as natural gas, and just as convenient for consumers.
“In Australia, we have all the necessary resources to make hydrogen at scale: wind, sun, coal, methane, carbon sequestration sites and expertise.
“It’s simply never been commercially viable. Now, the economics are changing.”
Dr Finkel explained that the key developments were the falling costs for renewable energy and Japan’s commitment to be a long-term, large-scale customer for hydrogen produced through low-emissions methods.
“Japan currently imports 94% of its energy in the form of fossil fuels. To reduce its emissions, government and industry have put ambitious hydrogen uptake targets at the heart of a comprehensive energy transition plan,” Dr Finkel said.
“We’re not alone in this race. Norway, Brunei and Saudi Arabia are all boosting their credentials as future hydrogen suppliers. This is the time for Australia to stake its claim as supplier of choice not just to Japan, but to other nations like South Korea, hungry for a twenty-first century fuel.”
With the right policy settings, Australian hydrogen exports could contribute $1.7 billion and provide 2,800 jobs by 2030, according to a recent report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Many of the opportunities will be concentrated in regional communities, where proof-of-concept hydrogen trials are already underway.
Hydrogen could also be introduced in the near-term into Australia’s existing gas network for heating and cooking, and as a low-emissions alternative to diesel for long-distance heavy transport.
The COAG Energy Council agreed that Dr Finkel, in close consultation with officials, will bring back a proposal for the development of a national hydrogen strategy to its December 2018 meeting.
Dr Finkel thanked the members of the Hydrogen Strategy Group and taskforce for their work in developing the briefing paper.
Although costings are not available, it seems to me Australia would be foolish not to take up the ideas Dr. Finkel has proposed.
It also seems to me that scaled PV/Wind hydrogen generators, co-located with hydrogen powered turbine generators could quickly render regional towns zero CO2 emitters 24/7. Upscaled units could quickly service suburbs and major cities. Australia could produce a domestic and international product of great value to the nation and the world.
While there might be some delays and cost over runs, such PV/Wind/Hydrogen plants would not, it seems to be have cost blow outs of million of dollars and completion date delays which vary from half decade to decade or more periods which the nuclear industry is so expert at producing.
Dr Marvin Goldman has had an illustrious life in the service of nuclear power both for military purposes and civilian ones.
He was one of many people who were interviewed as part of the disclosure process that the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was mandated to perform. The list of people interviewed in this process can be viewed here: https://ehss.energy.gov/ohre/roadmap/histories/index.html
Dr. Goldman is credited by the USA as being the first person to isolate a hot particle in living tissue. (The British have chosen another person for the equivalent honour). To quote the transcript : “In 1951, Goldman began his career working at the Nevada Test Site on the Buster-Jangle Series to determine the inhalation pathway in animals of hazards from fallout of nuclear weapons tests. That same year, he detected the first “hot particle” of plutonium in lung tissue. Subsequent to his work at the Nevada Test Site, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, where he studied under Dr. Newell Stannard.” Source: ACHRE, The Roadmap to the project, interviews at https://ehss.energy.gov/ohre/roadmap/histories/0468/0468toc.html
Dr. Goldman makes the observation that the plutonium was still in the sheep’s lung only because the sheep was dead. Had it been alive, the sheep would have, according to Dr. Goldman’s view, been exhaled. Another dogmatic binary logic expressed by a nuclear advocate. In my opinion. He does not consider hot particles to be a big deal apart from the dose calculated from the movement of such contamination in and then out of the lungs in a contaminated environment.
At some diameters of particle he might be right I think, but he isn’t right about that in all such events. If he was right then coal miners would not suffer black lung disease for example, and asbestos would be perfectly safe just as Lang Hancock maintained. In any event the concommitted dose must still be reduced as far as reasonably achievable.
The sheep in question in the Goldman interview was tethered at the Nevada nuclear test site and subjected to nuclear fallout before killed and examined by Dr. Goldman.
Dr. Goldman was among the last nuclear industry advocates who claimed that the Chernobyl nuclear disaster did not produce any radiation caused illnesses among the civilian populations adjacent to the burning reactor core. Which was made of graphite. This is attested to by the following :
” New York Times, Sept 3, 1992, A CANCER LEGACY FROM CHERNOBYL, By GINA KOLATA
“Children who were exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster are developing thyroid cancer sooner and in larger numbers than expected, researchers report.
“The results are the first reliable data in the population downwind of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, said Dr. Marvin Goldman, a radiation biologist at the University of California at Irvine who was not involved in the new study.
“An increase in thyroid cancer had been reported earlier, but some Western health officials had expressed concern about the reliability of the data.
Today however, any such reminders of the period immediately post Chernobyl in which purportedly scientific and rational “experts” made pronouncements about the rates of disease resultant from Chernobyl radioactive fallout and contamination should be enough to cause the industry to cringe. Such is the nature of the beast that it does not cringe.
Repeatedly it merely repeats the past.
I refer to the paper
“The Russian Radiation Legacy: Its Integrated Impact and Lessons, by Marvin Goldman
Professor of Radiobiology Emeritus, University of California,Davis, California
Environmental Health Perspectives * Vol 105, Supplement 6 * December 1997
available for download as a pdf at:
“Chernobyl…The most intense part of the radioactive
footprint left a unique environmental
We were able to use satellite images
to delineate the Chernobyl damage to the
adjacent radiosensitive pine forest that runs
8 to 10 km west of the Chernobyl reactor
Infrared images were taken weekly by
the Landsat 4 Thematic Mapper Satellite
as it passed over most of the Earth.
Images from the Chernobyl region were used and
by enhancing the infrared reflectance wavelengths
for those bands corresponding to
chlorophyll and moisture, it was possible to
discern living from dead pine trees.
Thus, from an altitude of about 700 km, a crude
spatial and temporal map of the heaviest
hit region was developed.
Because pine trees have about a median lethal dose of 6
Gy (6), the images, beginning approximately
3 weeks after the accident, indicated
a western swath of dying and dead
trees, the so-called red forest.
It was later learned that the map was correct but the
doses were not. The trees actually had
received doses of over 100 Gy (7), but
regardless of the dose, the technique
showed where the doses exceeded a 6-Gy
Over the next 10 years, much of the damaged forest left
standing has shown major regrowth and
“The more resistant deciduous trees
showed significantly less radiation damage
than other types of trees.” Source, as cited above, page 1386.
How the written words of Dr. Goldman, which celebrate the cleverness of
science and satellites and his own expertise, reveal, not horror at being a witness to the death of a forest, but satisfaction and wonder at his own ability
to perceive the events from afar!. How differently a Ukrainian patriot would have viewed the results of this most blatant evidence of the consequence of the occupation of a nation by a foreign and accursed power! The Soviet reactors. Celebrated as being perfectly by the IAEA only a few years prior.
Of the ordinary people who lived within the immediate vicinity and further away, Dr. Goldman wrote:
“Another consequence of the accident is
related to communication, miscommunication,
and lack of communication. A serious
cloud of doubt arose, especially about the
manner in which the initial official information
“Fear precipitated by
exaggeration in the popular press was mixed
with public pronouncements attempting to
minimize the risks.
“This contributed to a
resulting widespread radiophobia. An
underlying assumption of this condition
gives credibility to the notion that many
adverse health conditions stem from hidden
radiation exposures, sometimes synergistically
interacting with chemical
now is no dosimetric support for this
belief, its consequent psychological stress is
quite real to many of the residents near and
far from the reactor. The effects of this
widespread stress may have ramifications
beyond the area of psychology; whether it
exacerbates a wide spectrum of adverse
consequences has yet to be proven.
of thousands of premature deaths, especially
among the liquidators, may be only
anecdotal and have not yet been subjected
to rigorous analysis or shown to be related
to radiation exposure. Caution should be
taken to avoid over interpreting these
“Most of the population who experienced
stress and feelings of anxiety after
the accident have not received consistent
and credible assistance in either understanding
their stress or mitigating it. It
remains a challenge for the scientific and
the political community to address jointly.” Source: as cited above, page 1387
It must be remembered that Dr. Goldman is remembered as one of the last scientists to refute the fact of radiation induced increase in Childhood thyroid cancer due to the Chernobyl disaster. ( New York Times, Sept 3, 1992, A CANCER LEGACY FROM CHERNOBYL, By GINA KOLATA as given above, in this it is written that: “As recently as May 1991, Dr. Goldman took part in an International Atomic Energy Agency study that concluded that there were “no health disorders that could be attributed directly to radiation.” By 1992 then science had proven Goldman’s awe and wonder at dying trees and denial of human health effects to be completely wrong headed. He was one of the last nuclear advocates to be proven wrong about Chernobyl induced thyroid cancer. People do make mistakes. I know of no link proven link between alleged “Radiophobia” and Thyroid cancer in Chernobyl children or adults.
By 1997, the date of his paper “he Russian Radiation Legacy:…..” as cited above, was still able to relate in that paper his wonder at watching a forest die in 1986 and over the years since. He was able to ponder what health effects people may have suffered due to anxiety and fear, which he labelled radiophobia. Yet his main point to ponder about fear and health was that radiophobia had not been proven to cause specific health effects. And here the modern nuclear industry says “Well today we know much more about it”.
The thing I would point out to such nuclear experts is this:
If it were you who were an ordinary person in Ukraine in 1986 who was watching a formerly blessed and healthy and very large forest die from radiation poisoning, how would you feel and what would your anxiety and fear do to you sir and madam?
Goldman communicates no remorse about the death of the forest. From 1986 until 1992 Dr. Goldman denied any link between Chernobyl and thyroid cancer in the affected populations. In those 6 years he advocated most strongly for the industry perception that there could not be any link between Chernobyl fallout and disease of any kind.
And that’s a fact.
Of those industry advocates who follow in Goldman’s footsteps today, such as Prof Pam Sykes at Flinders University, Bedford Park SA (see her paper here: https://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/) I say to them: remember how Goldman claimed, in his testimony during the ACHRE interview how the population of the high radiation area of Kerala, India were protected by that radiation? I remind you again now of a portion of my submission to the recent Royal Commission against you all.
I remind you that various regions of Kerala, India, particularly those where background readings are among the highest in that state of India. The rate of various cancers in those places are among the highest in world, and certainly the highest in all India. I refer you all the recent Indian press about this situation which the state government of Kerala called a “crisis”. And I remind you all again that in direct contradiction to Goldman’s testimony the ACHRE committee, where he stated much was known about these diseases in relation to children in Kerala, in fact, today’s expert Indian scientists, researchers and doctors lament most strongly the very deep lack of knowledge held in relation to childhood cancers in Kerala. The assertions of Goldman made for decades, from the bomb age to the reactor age, have been well and truly demolished in large part by science and by the experience of veterans of both those accursed bombs and the fallout from nuclear reactors.
Page 43: Media, Academic Papers and Qualified Sources relating to Public Health in Kerala, India. Highest rate of cancer cases in Kerala: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
Page 44: Down’s syndrome and related abnormalities in an area of high background radiation in coastal Kerala
Page 45: Morbidity Study – Incidence, Prevalence, Consequences
Page 46 : All-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in Kerala state of
India: results from a 5-year follow-up of 161,942 rural community dwelling adults. REPORT ON MEDICAL CERTIFICATION OF CAUSE OF DEATH 2008
OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL, INDIA GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF
HOME AFFAIRS, Background radiation and cancer incidence in
Kerala, India-Karanagappally cohort study
Page 48: Socio-economic factors & longevity in a cohort of Kerala State, India.
I conclude that there is no health benefit to living in areas of higher than normal radiation dose areas. In fact, those same areas show higher rates of diseases that both experts and lay people associate with radiation doses considered higher than normal. These findings fly in the face of Goldman and his neophytes.
Many nuclear advocates who claim to be scientists in the relevant areas and indeed work within it hold Dr. Goldman in high regard. They emulate both he and Marshall Brucer in the tone of their statements. They follow his findings and repeat them, sometimes as their own. But Goldman himself was inculcated by older nuclear advocates. It is time someone either brought the Goldman era either to date or confined it to the dustbin of Cold War propaganda from whence it originated. Goldman and his type were expert at convincing US Downwinders they had nothing to fear from the fallout from the Nevada nuclear test site. Goldman thought himself an expert when he witness via satellite images the death of the Chernobyl forest. He thought he was expert when, for nearly a decade he denied any negative health effects from Chernobyl fallout. He was one of the last hold outs against the idea that thyroid cancer greatly increased in Chernobyl affected populations. The Goldman view of the Chernobyl effects cannot deny that there is an increase in the rate of thyroid cancer related to it. But the Goldman view is that no other health consequence, what ever it is, can be admitted as being radiation related. However, the Goldman view ponders the link between the experience of living through or adjacent to a nuclear emergency.
And this raises an important series of points. South Australian schools have never, at the primary or secondary level, taught radiological safety or health physics as a subject. Consideration of teaching such subjects in Japan from 1969 on never to took place. While the nuclear industry bemoans the lay person’s sense of relative risk that industry makes things worse with its use of the mass media to bombard South Australians with Brucer’s and Goldman’s pet none sense, the idea that high radiation areas have lower radiogenic disease rates. They don’t in Iran, and they don’t in India.
Japan is different to Ukraine for many reasons in terms of expected radiological outcomes. The Japanese population are blessed with one of the richest diets in stable Iodine. Most people in Japan are much wealthier than most people were in the Ukraine at the time of the Chernobyl disaster. The children of Chernobyl were far more likely to be stable iodine deficient in stable Iodine than the children of Japan. And the children of Chernobyl continued to drink contaminated milk for weeks and were not evacuated for about 2 weeks. The fallout was not the same, and so on and on and on. But the population of Ukraine were aware, at least at the level of folk lore, of the USSR’s previous nuclear disasters such as Mayak. The Japanese people until 3/11 had be told that there was “good radiation” and “bad radiation” and that reactors were not like bombs. They were not told though that reactors could spew forth radio Iodine and cesium and some other substances as if reactors were factories for fission products, which Sziliard’s patent papers say they are. And the inventor is correct. Yet for a long time, the nuclear has stated that the bombs and the reactors must not be conflated. Even though in terms of fallout effects, it is the reactors in failure modes which produce the risk of local fallout. The components of bomb fallout and bomb fallout are the same in terms of fission produced. They differ in ratios between substances, the release of different substances, the amounts per unit of fission fuel immediately released and global and local concentrations of contamination. Even so Fukushima fallout was detected globally. The ability to detect fallout is a function of the sensitivity of the detecting equipment and does not constitute a health finding in and of itself. But once calculated, the potentially absorbed dose has to be admitted and shared honestly by nuclear authorities and not hidden by media blackout by those authorities. As it happened in Japan. Following Chernobyl, despite knowing the potentially absorbed dose, the best Goldman and his ilk could do was deny the facts for nearly a decade. Then over scientists effectively out voted him. It is a pity Goldman was not a radiophobe like he thinks we all are. The people downwind of both Nevada and Chernobyl would have been safer. The bomb test era at Nevada in air produced, over the period of about a decade, the fallout equivalent of 10 Chernobyl disasters (Gallagher). And Goldman maintains there was no health effects from that fallout suffered by American downwinders. What utter rubbish!! Of course there were negative health effects downwind of Nevada’s test site. Just as there were down wind of Chernobyl. And of course the evacuations and exclusion zones in Japan were and are valid. I have no motivation to become like Goldman. The only means by which I can achieve such a likeness would be to cut half my brain out. The wonder of democracy was Goldman’s lament. I should be banned from reading and thinking. The nukers have actually put that to me in person. I am according to one such person “non qualified” to read and learn and certainly not qualified to remember what I was taught and trained to do as a teenage soldier whose job included twice daily monitoring, recording and reporting workplace radiation readings. It was a dream job. Especially compared those who served in the jungles of Vietnam at the time. At the same time, the Australian Army helped record the fallout from the French emissions from the Pacific nuclear tests as it arrived and deposited in Australia.
Dr. Goldman’s Monsters are many then, and centre around denial and dictating to the ordinary people of the who they MUST perceive things unquestioningly when nuclear industry issues its edicts and its narratives. In these days, the motivations behind the industry revolve around financial imperatives which increasingly weigh upon the nuclear industry. Well might TEPCO be the financial giant which was too big to fail in Japan. But fail it did, and because of the nature of its enterprise, the ghost of TEPCO still walks and still demands taxes in huge amounts in order that the Japanese people might remediate the affected living space. The nuclear events could have bankrupted Japan and that prospect was the time an existential threat to the independence of Japan. As it is Master Crafts people in Vienna and Brussels tell the afflicted people where to leave, where to go and how long to stay. They dictate from the rule books of the world nuclear organisation and tell the ordinary people of the world who are not not involved and so who have no direct experience of what is actually go on and what has been done that there is “nothing to see here”, “no negative consequences here.”
The monster demand de regulation and continued unaccountability. As it has enjoyed for decades, first in order to defeat a threatened Soviet nuclear attack which was never going to occur and in order to “normalise” its specific pollution, and then simply to make money. Japan was chosen many decades ago as the place in which to produce strategic stockpiles of plutonium. Just in case Americans rebelled against nuclear reactors in the 1950s. Japan now still on many tons of the stuff and US Forces are quite happy with that.
Episode 34 of Australian “Sixty Minutes” (Channel 9 TV Australia) shows us one of the people inculcated in the ways of Goldman et. al. She works at Imperial College London, home of reactor design in the United Kingdom.
The following is a partial transcript I made from this “60 Minutes” (Australia) TV program which contains Prof. Thomas’ interview responses in relation to the program. The intent of the program was to discuss Nuclear Power in Australia from the pro side of the debate.
Narrator: “Professor Gerry Thomas, from London’s Imperial College, runs the Chernobyl Tissue Bank. She is a world authority on the health impacts from radiation. She discovered that the final death toll from cancers caused by the 1086 Chernobyl nuclear disaster will eventually lie between 40 and 160 people.”
Prof. Thomas: “That’s around about the figure we are looking at. Not the 1000s that you will hear totted around.”
end partial transcript.
The Chernobyl Tissue Bank, mentioned in the 60 Minutes program, and to which Prof Thomas contributes her effort, is of world importance. Its homepage can be found here: https://www.chernobyltissuebank.com
“About the Project
Introduction to the project
The CTB (Chernobyl Tissue Bank) is a unique venture. It is the first international cooperation that seeks to establish a collection of biological samples from tumours and normal tissues from patients for whom the aetiology of their disease is known – exposure to radioiodine in childhood. The project, which started in October 1998, has been supported by a number of sponsors including the European Commission, the WHO, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the USA and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation of Japan (SMHF). The project is currently jointly funded by the NCI and the SMHF. The project is coordinated from Imperial College, London and works with Institutes in the Russian Federation (the Medical Radiological Research Centre in Obninsk) and Ukraine (the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism in Kiev) to support local scientists and clinicians to manage and run a tissue bank for those patients who have developed thyroid tumours following exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. Belarus was also initially included in the project, but is currently suspended for political reasons.Â
The project has the full support of the Governments of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.Â
The large number of thyroid tumours that have occurred in areas exposed to high levels of fallout from the Chernobyl accident raises important problems in the areas of public health, regulation of exposure to radionuclides and in the understanding of the molecular changes involved in their genesis. The over-riding priority must go to matters such as diagnosis, treatment of those affected, and prevention. International Agencies have given and are giving financial and material help in these areas. However, providing the needs of the patient are not compromised, it is very important to ensure that information that may be of value to the health of future generations is not lost. Although the post Chernobyl thyroid tumours are associated with a particular aetiology, they may also provide clues to the pathogenesis and molecular biology of thyroid carcinoma in general.” end partial quote, source as above.
While Prof. Thomas provided answers to Channel 9 TV (Australia) and as usual in such interviews, was constrained by time. Therefore if one were to sit in on a lecture provided by Prof Thomas, one might expect to be able to ask any question of her. And for the Professor to have freer reign and wider context into which her answers could be framed.
For example, I am in no position to question her death toll estimate related to Chernobyl civilian deaths from thyroid cancer. If caught early early enough the disease has, as a general rule, a high survival rate compared to other cancers.
It is important to note the implications and conclusion Channel 9 presents in Episode 34 of Sixty Minutes (Australia) is that the Chernobyl experience demonstrates the safety of nuclear power should it arrive as a form of electricity generation in Australia.
However, quoting again from the Chernobyl Tissue Bank inscription at its web site : “The large number of thyroid tumours that have occurred in areas exposed to high levels of fallout from the Chernobyl accident raises important problems in the areas of public health, regulation of exposure to radionuclides and in the understanding of the molecular changes involved in their genesis.” Source: Chernobyl Tissue Bank, website, About the Project at https://www.chernobyltissuebank.com/about-us.htm
Aa Prof Thomas will acknowledge if asked by a reasonable person in a situation which is acceptable, far more people have and will contract thyroid cancer due to exposure to Chernobyl released radionuclides and attendant radiation as absorbed dose to thyroid (either internally direct to thyroid tissue or as an external dose to thyroid tissue via gamma emitters such as fission cesium) than will die from the disease. Her view is that between 40 and 160 people will die from cancer due to exposure to Chernobyl emissions.
How many people are estimated to contract Chernobyl related thyroid cancer though? What is it like to contract thyroid cancer and to live with the results of successful treatment? Are the exclusion zones around Chernobyl and the Fukushima reactors valid in Prof Thomas’ view and opinion?
Are there other scientists and doctors (Prof Thomas is not as far as I know licensed as a surgeon) who have views and qualified opinions which vary from the views of Prof. Thomas?
These questions and facts immediately sprung to my mind as Prof. Thomas was used by Channel 9 to conclude the section of the program devoted to the Fukushima Nuclear disaster. Chernobyl’s lack of containment pressure vessel, Fukushima’s reality of containment pressure vessels, the reality of Chernobyl’s weeks of core graphite burning and so on render Fukushima as a Three Mile on steroids, not a muted Chernobyl. The reactor designs are too different to compare when one views Chernobyl with Fukushima.
There is no doubt that Fukushima’s disaster heavily contaminated areas of land in Japan, there is no doubt in the mind of science about that, and that the last land to be decontaminated will be “low value land”, which according to international guidelines may take 30 years to clean up. Hence the exclusion zones, a main aim of which is to prevent re-suspension and transport of radionucildes by human activity.
Chernobyl, Fukushima, 3 Mile Island, Windscale, Sr-1 are all reactor disaster involving release of fission nuclides from reactor cores. There are others.
Given the modern competition as it presents to nuclear power, which energy source should we turn to? Does the existence of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank aid the case for the sale of reactors in preference to alternative non fuel renewables more or less attractive?
Less attractive. Which is the reverse of the point Channel 9 was trying to make. solar and wind would produce zero radio nuclide related thyroid deaths in the course of generating wind and solar power. Zero cases of radiogenic cancers.
Given that thyroid doses from nuclear emissions are indeed a public health matter, and given that government must monitor dose in any case according to international agreement, is the added public health preventative burden which results a benefit of nuclear power? No, its an cost which is not borne by the nuclear industry. Australian taxpayers fund ARPANSA and ANTSO, the relevant regulatory bodies. The cost of funding the regulators if nuclear power will increase if nuclear power arrives in Australia. Nuclear power = bigger government.
Solar and wind will are subject only to EM regulations and electrical regulatory requirements.
Solar and wind do not have radioactive cores which may emit radionuclides if containment fails.
Keep the dose down as far as possible, because you don’t know when the next dose is coming nor do you know what that dose will be.
There are 55 reactors in Japan, including the hulks.
This is all too much for channel 9 to cope with. The advertisers were quite happy though. It remained funded for Episode 35.
“The CTB includes material and information from all patients with thyroid carcinomas and cellular follicular adenomas from the contaminated oblasts of the Russian Federation (Bryansk, Kaluga, Tula and Oryol) and Ukraine (Kiev, Kiev city, Cherkasse, Chernigov, Rovno, Zhitomyr and Sumy) who were born after 26th April 1967 (i.e. aged under 19 at the time of the Chernobyl accident) and operated on or after the 1st October 1998.” Source: Chernobyl Tissue Bank as cited above.
How many people are thyroid cancer patients due to Chernobyl and hence included in the above definition?
“The CTB contains 4,288 cases of thyroid cancer and cellular follicular adenoma from patients who were under 19 at the time of the Chernobyl accident, of which 3 566 (2 267 from Ukraine and 1 299 from the Russian Federation) are available to researchers. Frozen material is available from 2 744 of these cases, and DNA and RNA has already been extracted from approximately 25 %.” Source: CTB Report Summary
Project ID: 211712
Funded under: FP7-EURATOM-FISSION
Country: United Kingdom
Final Report Summary – CTB (The Chernobyl tissue bank – coordinating international research on radiation-induced thyroid cancer)
Executive summary at https://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/58776_en.html
I watched the Channel 9 Australia presentation and immediately recalled the PR techniques of Dr. Goldman, bomb advocate first, reactor advocate second and one of the last “scientists” to demand the world bend to the idea that Chernobyl fallout caused no disease at all among affected people. That was 1991-92.
Nuclear power can have severe health consequences. In my view those consequences range far wider than thyroid and endocrine diseases. It ranges far wider than cancers.