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Fukushima Radiation

December 21, 2012

Fukushima was the world’s largest nuclear power accident with all four reactors probably experiencing a meltdown, the kind of event where extremists said the melted reactor rods would melt through the bottom of the reactor to create a nuclear disaster. This was the premise behind the movie China Syndrome.

As we all now know, and as any reputable nuclear scientist knew all along, the China Syndrome has always been a fiction created by those trying to scare people from adopting nuclear power.

The latest news form Fukushima is that there were no health effects in the surrounding population from the Fukushima disaster.

Wolfgang Weiss, Chairman of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), said the latest UN report shows “that no radiation health effects had been observed in Japan among the public, workers or children in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

The UNSCEAR report went on to say that low doses of radiation probably couldn’t be seen as a health threat. Specifically it said:

“Uncertainties at low doses are such that UNSCEAR does not recommend multiplying low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or below natural background levels.”

UNSCEAR also said: “it was not possible to attribute increases in health effects across populations to long-term exposure at radiation levels typical of the global average background levels (about 2-20 mSv per year).”

The UNSCEAR report makes it clear that low doses of radiation should not be feared.

This flies in the face of the anti-nuclear groups, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace, which have been scaring people about nuclear power.

Nuclear power is safe.

With respect to the workers trying to save the reactors at Fukushima, as opposed to the nearby population, UNSCEAR said, “Six workers received total doses of over 250 mSv during their time tackling the emergency, while 170 received doses over 100 mSv. None of these have shown ill effects, and radiation played no role in the coincidental deaths of six Fukushima workers in the time since the accident.” (Emphasis added.)

So, what is the bottom line with respect to the world’s largest nuclear accident?

There have been no health problems in the population surrounding the Fukushima power plant, and none of the workers inside the plant have died, or even shown health effects, from their radiation exposure.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2012 8:57 pm

    The sad thing is that hundreds of thousands of people and their lives disrupted and being driven from their homes for no good reason. Now, millions and millions of dollars are being spent “cleaning up” areas where the radiation is so low as to be completely harmless.

    All this money would have been better spent looking after the people who really suffered – those who were devastated by the tsunami itself which killed 25,000 people.

  2. December 22, 2012 9:37 am

    Thanks Bryan:
    What you say is so true. Public hysteria and ignorance cause great harm.
    If only we could reach more people with the facts, without having the media, that lacks scientific training, amplifying misinformation.

  3. December 25, 2012 6:56 pm

    You write, “The UNSHEAR report went on to say …” Please correct “UNSHEAR” to “UNSCEAR”.

    Please provide a link to the UNSCEAR Report. Is this just leaked portions of a draft report?
    I did not find the report at the UNSCEAR website.

    http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/fukushima.html

    The most recent report I can find is the Backgrounder for Journalists, Interim Findings dated May 23, 2012 at

    http://www.unis.unvienna.org/pdf/2012/UNSCEAR_Backgrounder.pdf

    Page 4 states, “Although there were several workers whose skin was irradiated by contamination, there were no reported or clinically observable effects. Accordingly, from the currently available literature, there has been no evidence of acute radiation injury in any of the workers.”

    The USSCEAR report to the 59 UN Session, May 2012

    http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/V12/553/85/PDF/V1255385.pdf?OpenElement

    Page 4, paragraph 9 a states, “To date, there have been no health effects attributed to radiation exposure observed among workers, the people with the highest radiation exposures. To date, no health effects attributable to radiation exposure have been observed among children or any other member of the population”

  4. December 26, 2012 10:06 am

    Thanks for seeing the typo.
    The report was referenced by the World Nuclear News web site, and included the quotations I had in my article. Here is the link to the WNN site.

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_UN_approves_radiation_advice_1012121.html

    Thanks for your quotations from the background for journalists as they support the information in my article. I usually look at the source documents, but in this case I did not.
    Having written on this subject previously with information quoted from UN reports, including the analysis of Chernobyl, I felt comfortable with the information from the WNN site.
    Bottom line: Radiation at low doses should’t be feared.
    Again, thanks for your interest, and let me know if you have additional information on the subject.

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