Conference Highlights Fukushima Consequences
ENERGY, 15 Apr 2013
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” – Mark Twain
“In America you have a right to be stupid.” – John Kerry, US Secretary of State (1)
“I live in a contaminated world.” – Hiroaki Koide
“Control of the nuclear fission process is the use of science and technology for political power.” – S. G. Vombatkere (2)
Two years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Although Chernobyl was probably the worst nuclear accident in history, in the days just after the March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.03 earthquake and 40.5 meter high tidal wave that smashed Japan, the Fukushima nuclear crisis nearly burst into simultaneous multiple nuclear failures at several power stations in northeastern Japan (3). Had the worst case outcome occurred, one of the world’s largest cities, Tokyo, would have been rendered a highly contaminated radiation zone and 35 million people would have been forced to evacuate. The logistics of that scenario are hard to imagine, yet the Japanese prime minister at the time, Naoto Kan, seriously considered the possibility.
There is now the beginnings of a small but growing consensus of the gravity of the Fukushima nuclear situation. What happened, what could have happened, what need not have happened, and what is still to come.
Caldicott Versus The Nuclear Industry
Long time activist and medical doctor, Helen Caldicott, recently assembled some of the world’s top experts to enlighten us about the situation:
“The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,” a two-day conference is now posted online (4). Held at the New York Academy of Medicine on March 11 – 12, 2013, the meeting was “a unique, two-day symposium at which an international panel of leading medical and biological scientists, nuclear engineers, and policy experts” made presentations on the “bio-medical and ecological consequences of the Fukushima disaster.” The conference was “a project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation” and was “co-sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility.”
Noel Wauchope of the highly recommended “nuclear-news.net” website (5) attended the conference and has a background in science, is someone who knows the nuclear issues, and has a special understanding of Australian culture and politics. Bear in mind that one of Australia’s major economic sectors is the uranium mining business. Wauchope has followed Caldicott’s career and remarked that “she was quite famous and was a hero in Australia in 1971. Caldicott became a household name because she was the force for getting the Australian government to successfully push for France to stop atmospheric nuclear testing” (6;7).
Wauchope noted that because of superior knowledge on nuclear issues Caldicott is often seen by the Australian political establishment as a threat to their power. Her outspokenness is dismissed as being outside the perimeters of polite and acceptable discourse.
”This view is held even by much of the environmental movement. Australia is such a conformist country. The anti-nuclear and environmental people really bend over backwards to show themselves as correct, academically well qualified, and professional – with the result that much of what they write or say is unintelligible to the ordinary person. Caldicott doesn’t fit in.” (Wauchope, personal communication, 3/30/13).
The nuclear awareness-raising conference included two speeches from the moderators, twenty one presentations and lengthy question and answer periods.
* There were four Japanese speakers, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan who spoke by video and explained the dire situation that Japan coped with during the 3/11 catastrophe.
* Kyoto university nuclear engineer and specialist in radiation safety and control, Hiroaki Koide, offered an authoritative analysis of the failure of Japan’s nuclear technocracy, the process of the nuclear meltdowns and their effects on the country. Koide is pushing for total abolition of nuclear power in Japan and stated that “even the data from the Japanese government itself clearly show that there would be no problem with electric power supply if Japan were to abolish all of its nuclear power plants.”
* Hisako Sakiyama summarized the many effects of the nuclear disaster, including the political fallout. For example, secondary school textbooks for Japanese public school students that were published after the 3/11 incident only mentioned the nuclear disaster in the introduction to the books and gave no details in the body of the texts. They ignored how the reactors melted down and where radiation was spread. Sakiyama’s presentation laid bare the propaganda and lies the government relied on to persuade the nation that they were in no danger from radiation.
* Akio Matsumura is a well known international diplomat and known for exposing the ongoing dangers at the Fukushima nuclear disaster site. He raised the issue of national security from a political perspective and described how radioactive accidents threaten international security. The world’s governments are now taking a very dangerous tack by burying their heads in the sand and ignoring the atomic dangers.
Fukushima Disaster Made In America
* Retired nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, noted that Fukushima was a disaster “made in America” due to the shoddily designed type of reactors that were sold to Japan. He posited that a “prompt moderated criticality” and a “detonation” occurred at reactor No. 3. Reactor No. 3, as you may recall, is the one that blew sky-high with the famous picture of the demon-like face emerging from the mushroom cloud of smoke. Most scientists believe that all of the explosions were “hydrogen explosions,” which is somehow perceived as more benign. Yet Gundersen shows with irrefutable forensic evidence that No. 3 became so hot in the days after the explosion that it released cesium in amounts far beyond what Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and the Japanese government have so far acknowledged.
During the Q&A period Gundersen noted that Tepco would be able to stop the leakage of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, but to do so would have to build a zeolite-filled trench around the site of the reactors and that ground water would have to be sucked out from under the plant before it became contaminated. While a technically viable option, Tepco has stated that it is too expensive and therefore admits that ocean contamination will continue indefinitely.
The Power Of Prevention
* David Lockbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists made a strong case that the disaster could have been easily prevented had Tepco taken any number of fairly simple and straightforward steps. In other words, greed, stinginess and stupidity caused the accident. However, Lockbaum does not take into account the fact that reactor No. 1 was shown to be damaged by the earthquake far ahead of the tsunami.
* Steven Starr of the Physicians for Social Responsibility discussed cesium contamination and noted that “less than two grams of cesium 137, a piece smaller than an American dime, if made into micro particles and evenly distributed as a radioactive gas and distributed over one square mile will turn that square mile into an uninhabitable radioactive exclusion zone.” Cesium 134 and 137 are two of the main elements released by the accident and scattered across Japan and into the ocean.
Don’t Eat The Worms
* Tim Mousseau offered irrefutable and conclusive data proving the effects of the radioactive linear low-dose on wildlife at Chernobyl. In other words, the greater the dose, the greater the evidence of harm. His team continues to investigate the effects in Fukushima on wildlife and have found disturbingly similar results including birth defects, genetic mutations and tumors. If it can happen to bugs and birds, it can happen to humans.
* Renowned oceanographer Ken Buesseler spoke about the effects of Fukushima radiation, from the initial blasts, to the continuing liquid leakage from the damaged Fukushima site. Although much of the radiation has now sunk to the ocean floor, there is a wall of radiation that is washing its way via ocean currents toward the US Pacific coast. The flux and flow of radiation in the ocean is a complex process, much of which is still uncharted and therefore not yet clearly understood.
* David Brenner of Columbia University– while representing the apologist, establishment view on radiation risk models– did acknowledge that 500 out of one million people exposed to radiation in Fukushima could get cancer. While individual risk due to radiation exposure may be relatively small, the risk to population is disturbingly high. Brenner called the Hiroshima A-bomb studies the “gold standard” for understanding radiation epidemiology, but as we will see below, Dr. Steve Wing rips the Hiroshima study apart as a highly flawed model for understanding radiation effects.
* Russian scientist Alexey Yablokov presented an overwhelming case for the devastating health effects from the Chernobyl accident. Yablokov’s critique obliterates the official version of events as championed by United Nations agencies as “based on methodologically invalid” assumptions. In science, bad assumptions which use invalid data create bad results. The Yablokov book is the most inclusive collection of data to date and posits over a million cancer incidences due to the radioactive fallout. The terrible health effects on infants and children in Russia and Europe have been heavily documented and linked to the fallout.
The Rape Of Womanhood
* Medical geneticist Wladimir Wertelecki exposed the propaganda of the World Health Organization, which has pre-prepared talking points for nuclear disasters wherever they may crop up. For example, the famous phrase “no immediate health risk” is used no matter how dire the nuclear releases, without any investigation whatsoever, as soon as an accident occurs, in order to assuage public fears. Wertelecki’s epidemiological studies on Chernobyl fallout the contradicted the WHO’s findings and proved the genetic effects on children and women, and early mortality rates in not only Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, but in many European countries as well.
* Radiation biologist Ian Fairlie noted that 3,000 people in Japan could die from cancer due to Fukushima. Fairlie attacked the WHO radiation risk science as highly flawed yet takes a conservative view of mortality rates. He admitted his calculations do not include internal consumption of isotopes in food and water. Fairlie showed a map based on official data comparing the area and radiation density from Chernobyl fallout with Fukushima. While the area and intensity of the Fukushima map was vastly smaller than Chernobyl it did not include radiation that went into the ocean. An expansive map would have shown both disasters to be more similar in size.
* Public health expert Steve Wing puts the Fukushima health dangers into the context of the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters and does an outstanding job of explaining the complexities of radiation biology to the lay person. Wing deconstructed the Hiroshima atomic bomb studies as being overly optimistic in terms of detrimental health effects from radiation due to exclusion of data. Wing emphasized that science, ethics and policy must be considered in context and that the pronouncements of scientific experts should always be scrutinized. The “lack of critical thinking” and “a failure to question authority” by the public has led to the dismal state of modern science.
* Joe Mangano, also discussing radiation dangers, showed how infant mortality on the west coast of the USA rose just after the Fukushima disaster. Mangano emphasizes a vigorous approach to research science that weds critical thinking to civic action in order to safeguard the public. Mangano echoed Wing by warning that “the greatest challenge to the research community [is] – corruption – the corruption of the scientific method.”
Humanity At The Height Of Folly
* On the technical matter of nuclear spent fuel and the issue of how waste is temporarily stored at power plants, Robert Alvarez showed how the Fukushima spent fuel pools continue to pose a terrifying threat to public safety in the event of another large earthquake. The massive quantities of radiation stored in those pools could be released by a radiological fire and result in catastrophic consequences. Fuel pools in the US and Japan are prone to the same dangerous and short sighted plant designs where the fuel rods are crammed together in order to save space and money.
Conspiracy To Intentionally Poison Humanity
* Cindy Folkers spoke on behalf of the group Beyond Nuclear. Folkers emphasized the lack of regulations for radiation in our food supply and recommends we allow no more than 5 becquerels per kilogram in food, but even at that level we cannot consider it safe. Amazingly, the United States allows 1200 becquerels per kilogram in food as a safety starting point, and can even allow higher levels in food. Cesium accumulates in the human body at a rate faster than it is expelled, therefore even consuming a few becquerels per day can up to hundred or thousands over time. In fact, Folkers uncovered a deliberate conspiracy on the part of the government and nuclear industry to intentionally poison the public with radioactive food with the goal of making “contaminated food acceptable.” Folkers noted that points of concern include: cesium biomagnifies in the environment; historic and continuing releases of cesium insure all humans have been exposed to it; studies show damage to children at very low doses from cesium; lack of publicly available information on cesium levels in food.
* Mary Olson showed how data on effects of radiation exclude the effects on women, children and girls. The effects of radiation on young girls are proportionally more dangerous than on older men, for example. And yet this information is systematically ignored by the radiation industry.
Waste A Lot Want Not
* Kevin Kamps who is one of the anti-nuclear movements most knowledgeable and articulate voices explained the history of nuclear power and compared accidents that have occurred in the US and Japan and how they seem to occur with uncanny regularity. He also raised many disturbing economic and logistical problems regarding the storage of nuclear waste which can remain dangerous for a million years. Even short term storage of waste is proving too costly and difficult.
Wake Up Call
* David Freeman is a veteran analyst of the energy industry and was chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1970s. The TVA grew out of the Great Depression and is famous for electricity generation and economic development in the southeast of the US. Freeman noted that the nuclear industry started out as a blatant pretext for the development of hydrogen bombs, and in the early years was never taken seriously as a method for reliable power generation. Only in the 1960s was the first civilian power plant started, but nuclear power has never been cost efficient in comparison to other traditional sources of energy. The “cost overrun” has been and always will be the name of the game for the nuclear industry. As long as private companies can line their pockets with taxpayer subsidies, and externalize the costs of dealing with “nuclear trash” onto future generations, the scam will only continue. Freeman described with frankness to the audience of about 200 people that the anti-nuclear movement is presently dead in the water and having no effect on changing attitudes in mainstream culture. He noted that if the anti-nuke activists cannot even get the mainstream environmental movement to take nuclear dangers to health and ecology seriously, how on Earth can it expect to reach the average person? He encouraged nuclear activists to speak in plain language in order to make more people aware of the grave threats we face from the cult of nuclearists.
* Herb Abrams rounded out the presentations with further information about the history and science of radiation risk assessment models and the biases in the establishment models.
The Toxic Soup We Swim In
* The conference moderator, Donald Louria MD, made an observation about a holistic approach to assessing the bioaccumulation of assaults on human health. It is not only radiation hazards that must be calculated separately, but in conjunction with other threats on our immune system. Louria suggested that poverty, malnutrition and mutagenic pollutants must also be considered in relation to dangers from radiation. In addition, we can add synthetic chemicals used by industry that contaminate the environment and exist in everyday products; chemical additives in processed foods (8); genetically modified foods that can harm and even program the DNA of living organisms (9); aerosols from atmospheric geoengineering spraying (i.e., chemtrails) (10); and man-made sources of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., cell phones, wireless technology) (11).
All presentations from the symposium are available as video and by clicking on the participant’s name you can go directly to their presentation. Bullet points of key information can also be downloaded for study. The entire conference can be viewed at this web address:
Wauchope of “nuclear-news.net” mentioned to me that in the future she hopes other conferences will explore nuclear weapons; the secrecy, censorship and lies of the nuclear industry; nuclear related politics and economics; environmental and climate effects; and the effects on indigenous people’s cultures from the uranium mining industry that occurs in Australia, Canada and the United States.
The Caldicott conference is a first step toward opening the dungeon door to the dark and unspeakably evil secrets of the nuclear industry, and putting the stake in the heart of the radioactive vampire that is sucking life out of the planet.
1. Gerald Celente – Trends In The News – “Air Strikes For Peace!” – (3/25/13)
2. Nuclear Power: The Politics of Power and Control
3. Fukushima Nuclear Situation ‘Deteriorating’
4. The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
6. Helen Calicott biography
7. Helen’s War: Portrait of a Dissident (2004)
8. Peter Montague, The Environmental Causes of Cancer
11. Cell Phone Carriers & the FCC: Cozy & Colluding – An Industry Insider Speaks Out
Richard Wilcox holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from a social science, holistic perspective. He teaches at a number of universities in the Tokyo, Japan area. His articles on environmental topics including the Fukushima nuclear disaster are archived at http://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com/ and are regularly published at Activist Post and Rense.com. His interviews with Jeff Rense are available at the website http://www.rense.com. Wilcox can be contacted at email@example.com
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