Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Peter Saunders

Institute of Science in Society

“We lost Japan,” said Rie Inomata, who works as an interpreter [1].

“I feel guilty and sorry for the children. They did not choose nuclear power plants, they did not choose to be born; but it is them that have to suffer in the future.”

“By not protesting against nuclear power I allowed this accident to happen. If we go in the same direction, I don’t see any future.”

“If we [are to] make a difference, we must decide now, it is now or never.”

Potential future of Fukushima children written in Chernobyl

The potential future for the Fukushima children victims is written starkly in the government birth and death registries of the heavily contaminated regions in the Chernobyl fallout; dedicated doctors, scientists, and ordinary citizens are bearing witness to the humanitarian disaster still unfolding.

There have been at least close to a million excess deaths, with general mortality rates doubled or tripled [2] (Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence, SiS 55). A diversity of illnesses continue to claim lives including those of children: birth abnormalities, cancers, cardiovascular malfunction, premature aging, defects affecting practically every organ system, often multiple illnesses in the same individual, all associated with exposure to radioactivity in the body either inhaled or ingested in contaminated food. The number of children in Belarus has fallen by more than 27% since 2000, despite increasing birth rates. The horrific health impacts of the nuclear accident are still emerging more than 26 years later because the land is still contaminated, and the genetic/epigenetic legacy is just as long lasting.

Many of the deaths and sicknesses could have been avoided had governments not done their best to suppress the evidence from the start, even to the point of persecuting doctors and scientists – who put their lives and careers at risk in trying to save the children -including cutting off major funding for a simple treatment that would have reduced the children’s radioactive burden [3, 4] (Apple Pectin for Radioprotection, The Pectin Controversy, SiS 55).

Fukushima fallout as big as Chernobyl

Chernobyl was generally recognized as the biggest nuclear accident in history. Within days of the first explosion, Fukushima was reclassified by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the highest grade 7 – with “widespread health and environmental effects” – the same as Chernobyl [5] (Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, SiS 50).

But as in Chernobyl, the government has withheld vital information from people, the international regulators are downplaying the health impacts, and to this day, the total radioactivity released from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is still unknown [6] (Truth about Fukushima, SiS 55).

The most authoritative estimates based on measurements carried out by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty monitoring stations around the globe indicate that the total radioactivity released from the Fukushima accident is at least as great as from Chernobyl; some 15 times the official estimate, and much more global in reach [7] (Fukushima Fallout Rivals Chernobyl, SiS 55). The radioactivity in the waste water discharged into the Pacific Ocean is already the single largest release into the ocean in history.

The Japanese government’s own measurements show widespread contamination, with levels of radioactivity outside the official evacuation zone so high that within a matter of weeks, people would have been exposed to 10-200 times the legal limit dose for a whole year [6]. Evacuation especially of children from those areas is a matter of the utmost urgency. Yet the Japanese government is still refusing to do that.

Nuclear reactors to restart despite lag in crisis plan

On 16 June 2o12, Japanese premier Noda ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors amid widespread protest, and new crisis plans drafted after the Fukushima disaster are still to be implemented by any local community living near the nuclear power reactors. The Ohi nuclear reactors to be restarted are a case in point.

If a Fukushima-style meltdown were to happen, the only route for escape or sending help is [8] “a winding, cliff-hugging road often closed by snow in winter or clogged by beachgoers in summer.” Radioactivity from the meltdown could contaminate Lake Biwa, the country’s biggest freshwater source serving 14 million people. The reactors sit on Wakasa Bay, a region home to 13 commercial reactors. Some of the crucial measures designed to protect residents in the new crisis plans are not ready, such as a raised seawall in 2013 and an onsite command centre by March 2o16. And filter vents that could reduce radiation leaks to the environment won’t be ready for three more years.

The Fukui provincial government has only started survey in June 2012 for a multibillion dollar project to repair the sole route to the Ohi nuclear plant and to add a new alternative evacuation road.

Governor Yukuko Kada of neighbouring Shiga province accuses the central government of still ignoring the residents, and says it has still refused to provide radiation simulation data she has asked for in order to compile an evacuation map and to study the impact on Lake Biwa, as another Fukushima-class crisis could “instantly make the lake water undrinkable.”

Public opposition to resuming operations remains high because of the Fukushima disaster and a lingering distrust of the nuclear industry as well as the pro-nuclear regulators and governments.

But the public have good reason on their side.

Big nuclear accidents 200 times more often than previous estimates

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz have calculated that catastrophic nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima may occur once every 10 to 20 years, based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred [9]. This is more than 200 times as often than estimated in the past. The research team also determined that in the event of such a major accident, half of the long-lived radioactive caesium-137 would be spread over an area extending more than 1 000 km away from the reactor. Western Europe in particular is likely to be contaminated about once in 50 years by more than 40kBq of Cs-137 per square metre, a level upwards that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defines as ‘contaminated’.

Their calculations showed that if a single nuclear meltdown were to occur in Western Europe, ~ 28 million people would be affected by contamination of more than 40 kBq per square metre.  In southern Asia, the dense population would put the number of people affected by a major nuclear accident at ~34 million, while in the eastern USA and in East Asia this would be 14 to 21 million.

Fukushima has triggered Germany’s exit from their nuclear power programme. It is to close down all 17 nuclear reactors and replace them with renewable energies, mostly wind and solar, and has invested €200 billion (8 % of the country’s GDP) towards that end [10]. “Germany’s exit from the nuclear energy program will reduce the national risk of radioactive contamination.” said Director and lead author of the Max Planck study Jos Lelieveld, an atmosphere chemist [9]. “However, an even stronger reduction would result if Germany’s neighbours were to switch off their reactors. Not only do we need an in-depth and public analysis of the actual risks of nuclear accidents. In light of our findings I believe an internationally coordinated phasing out of nuclear energy should also be considered.”

Some governments have too cosy a relationship with the nuclear industry

The UK government is chief among those countries with nuclear ambitions undaunted by the Fukushima disaster. It is still determined to go ahead with the construction of at least 10 new reactors, despite plenty of counter-evidence available to it, which include evidence that an adequate supply of low carbon energy could be produced without it, to the point of misleading Parliament by omission of the evidence in order to get the decision through [11] (UK’s Nuclear Illusion, SiS 55), and with a huge public subsidy. Why?

The most likely explanation is a too-cosy relationship between the government and the nuclear industry, which applies in other countries like France [12] (The True Costs of French Nuclear Power , SiS 53) with close links to nuclear weaponry. But times have changed, the nuclear option is a dinosaur, both as far as energy supply and defence is concerned, and it is time to end the nuclear illusion once and for all.

WHO cannot be trusted

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which should have been an independent regulator of nuclear safety, has long abandoned this obligation. In 1959, the WHO signed an agreement (WHA 12-40) with IAEA that effectively gave the IAEA responsibility for health issues arising from the civilian use of nuclear power. The terms of the agreement are freely available to the public [13] but they are still not widely known, with the result that most people are unaware that reports and other documents that purport to have major input from the WHO, the agency set up by the UN in 1948 to deal with international health issues, are actually from the IAEA, the body whose mission is to promote the nuclear industry. The WHO has put its name on documents such as the 2003-2005 report of the Chernobyl Forum [14] that it had little to do with; it could not have because it has no department for nuclear health and no experts in the field. Its report on Fukushima, similarly, cannot be trusted [15] (WHO Report on Fukushima a Travesty, SiS 55)

IndependentWHO, an organisation concerned about the dangers of nuclear power in general and the consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima in particular, demands the revision of agreement WHA 12/40, and has held a vigil outside WHO headquarters in Geneva every working day since April 2007 to draw attention to the crime of non-assistance to the victims of Chernobyl and now Fukushima. (For more, see its web site: http://independentwho.org/en/.)

Thanks to the IndependentWHO, the editors of SiS were invited to the Scientific and Citizen Forum on Radioprotection – From Chernobyl to Fukushima, 11-13 May 2012, Geneva, which the group organized. This led to the series of articles that has been collected into the present report, Death Camp Fukushima Chernobyl.

Death Camp Fukushima Chernobyl is a concise summary of scientific evidence on:

  • The devastating health consequences of the Chernobyl radioactivity fallout suppressed by governments and pro-nuclear regulatory authorities
  • The real extent of the Fukushima fallout and health hazards faced by victims, both downplayed by the Japanese government and the regulatory authorities
  • New findings on the amplified health impacts of low dose ionizing radiation
  • Simple radioprotection measures.

It also shows why the official picture presented by organisations such as the WHO is highly misleading, and why countries still determined to go nuclear are clinging to obsolete energy and defence policies.

The report makes clear that children living in the highly contaminated areas outside the official evacuation zone around Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plants must be evacuated promptly in order to avert a humanitarian disaster on the scale of Chernobyl.  Concerted international effort is needed to provide help for evacuating the children and to continue health monitoring and research on radioprotection. Finally, a global phase out of nuclear power is in order given that a combination of renewable energy options can provide all our energy needs safely, sustainably and at much more affordable costs for all, as we made the case thoroughly in ([16] Green Energies – 100% Renewable by 2050, ISIS Report).

References

  1. Stories from Fukushima, Message in a Bottle, From the kids of Fukushima to the World, accessed 20 June 2012, http://message.in.a.bottle.over-blog.com/pages/STORIES_FROM_FUKUSHIMA_ENGLISH-6985709.html
  2. Ho MW. Chernobyl deaths top a million. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  3. Ho MW. Apple pectin for radioprotection. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  4. Greaves S. The pectin controversy. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  5. Ho MW. Fukushima nuclear crisis. Science in Society 50m 4-9, 2011.
  6. Ho MW. Truth about Fukushima. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  7. Ho MW. Fukushima fallout rivals Chernobyl. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  8. “Crisis plans lag even as Japan’s reactors restart”, Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press, chron.com,  21 June 2012, http://www.chron.com/business/article/Crisis-plans-lag-even-as-Japan-s-reactors-restart-3650896.php#page-1
  9. “Probability of contamination from nuclear accidents is higher than expected” Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, 22 May 2012, http://www.mpg.de/5809418/reactor_accidents
  10. “Germany swaps nuclear for solar and wind power”, Oliver Lazenby, Truthout, 22 June 2012, http://truth-out.org/news/item/9932-germany-swaps-nuclear-for-solar-and-wind-power
  11. Saunders PT. UK’s nuclear illusion. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  12. Greaves S . The true costs of French nuclear power. Science in Society 53, 8-11, 2012.
  13. Agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the  World Health Organisation, IAEA/WHO, 1959, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/inf20.shtml#note_c
  14. Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts and Recommendations to the Governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. IAEA Division of Public Information. Vienna, IAEA, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf
  15. Greaves S. WHO report on Fukushima a travesty. Science in Society 55 (to appear) 2012.
  16. Ho MW, Brett C, Burcher S and Saunders PT. Green Energies, 100 % Renewables by 2050, ISIS/TWN, London/Penang, 2009, http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GreenEnergies.php

If you find this report useful, please support ISIS by subscribing to our magazine Science in Society, and encourage your friends to do so. Or have a look at the ISIS bookstore for other publications

 

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7 Responses to “Nuclear Shutdown Now or Never”

  1. irene says:

    I’m not the one poisoning the oceans or putting weed killer on the lawn. Individualy humans are not that bad, but in groups with a leaders coersion, we committ evil in the sight of EVERYBODY. The misinformation from on high, like the W.H.O. causes us all to drive gas guzzling cars in order to pay highway taxes that continue the distructive cycle of waste and polution instead of allowing Tesla to build free energy; and we all sit in the belljar waiting for our distruction. It’s war everybody, and untill we all realize that corporate government sees the people as expendable units nuclear , biological , and pharmacutical “äccidents” “will continue to impead our evolution.

  2. paschn says:

    Sigh,

    “….And He shall bring to ruin, those ruining the Earth.” Please, Lord, hurry.

  3. Ed stratford says:

    An Israeli spokesman admitted deploying Stuxnet in Iran and they used it on Japan. As the previous poster points out, these people are worse than insane, they are pure evil. How on earth can we get these people, if that’s what they are, to stop this madness? ALL nuclear reactors need to be shut down. What if Stuxnet has ‘escaped’ as the above mentioned spokesman claimed on a Sixty Minutes program a few months ago? Escaped to where? The internet? No reactor is safe while the Israelis have and are willing to use this virus.

  4. ChrisYAHanWatcher4YAH says:

    Many magically appear NOT aware by Design to the Insidious nature of C.I.A. Zion West/ Zion East Mas-sod’s Stux Net Virus / Cyber Weapon of Terrorism, and It’s design capabilities to Seize Control of the Operational Maintenance Control Systems and MIMIC the Normal Operations parameters to On Site Personnel while STEALTHILY as TROJAN HORSE encrypted, Embedded Programs carry OUT the Skulduggerous Espionage; to Bring about the planned Chaotic China Syndrome like Demonically Planned Melt Downs for Evil Purposes of instilling Terror on Global basis? The Stowage of High Level Nuke Arms Wastes within Daichi and the Gorilla military Deployments of ISRAELI Agents, as “Security Forces” with IN the Nuke Plants was a cleverly crafted satanic Plan for Japanese and Global genocide.
    Is NOT the Radio-logic Emissions wafting around the Planet and Black Raining, falling and Snowing Down upon The WORLD? Are ANY Governments ALERTING their PEOPLES to the bona fide HAZARDS of RAD Exposures and likely genetic Mutations to come? What Is the Risk of DEATH by Rad Poisoning to the Worlds Populous? So Many Questions, So LITTLE TIME to Tell the TRUTH?

  5. Lawrence A. Oshanek says:

    Very serious questions arise out of this incident … most participially as to how reactor 4 blew up when the reactor head was off for maintenance and the spent fuel had been removed … how does a hydrogen explosion then come to pass?

    The second most important question had to do with why all of the pressure relief valves “failed” to burst sending reactor overpressure to the post 3 Mile Island installed pressure relief stacks … the story of a electrical assisted manually operated gate valve needing to be opened to correct sudden spikes of overpressure has no credibility at all.

    What exactly did the Israelis install into the reactor walls and control computers in the months just before March 2011 and why did they all leave Japan just before the explosions?

    What role did Japan’s agreement with Iran to supply it with ‘enriched plutonium for oil’ “play” in the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi?

    Lots of other questions should also be asked.

  6. Barbara Talbert says:

    Seems like we are too “intelligent” for our own good any more. And we are far too demanding on our environment. We need to scale down business to a human level and all things to a human level and maybe we’ll just have to have summer and not air-conditioned summer and not all the electrical devices that we have and learn to live in a different way that doesn’t kill the ocean and the land and the people and the little children.

  7. Abe says:

    This mess is far from over. There are a shade under 1600 fuel rods in reactor #4 perched 100 foot off the ground in an unsound stand & pool of water. I’ve found that Arne Gunderson @ fairewinds as a reliable source of info. I’ve been folloing this because I have a General Electric MK-1 reactor 45 miles from me. All these reactors have the same design flaw. I believe there were 26 of these in the USA. It isn’t widely reported, but there are 6 reactors in Fukushima. Only 2 are still intact. If those spent fuel rods was to toppel, it’s possible something could happen to the other 2. I believe a couple use a fuel called MOX. These use uranium thats enriched with Plutonium.
    As far as the WHO goes, I heard last night on the Wall Street Journal, (Murdoch LOL), the WHO claims that the 2009 Swine Flu Epidemic claimed 288K lives. To me the WHO is nothing more than a Judas Goat leading the chattel to the Pharm house.
    Arnes website below. Nuclear power must be abolished world wide!
    http://fairewinds.com/