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Tue Feb 21, 2012, 01:54 PM

No big Fukushima health impact seen: U.N. body chairman

Per Reuters reporting on the investigation by UNSCEAR, the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation:

The health impact of last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan appears relatively small thanks partly to prompt evacuations, the chairman of a U.N. scientific body investigating the effects of radiation said on Tuesday.


Asked whether he was optimistic that the overall health effects would be quite small, Weiss said: "If we find out that what we know now is representing the situation, then the answer would be yes ... the health impact would be low."


No real surprise here to those of us who knew the scientific facts about the situation. Fukushima was never one one-hundredth the danger it was made out to be, particularly by some panic-mongers on the internet spreading absurd claims as "news" about radiation killing babies in Idaho, and contaminated milk in Vermont, telling everyone that Japan was going to become uninhabitable or even that the entire northern hemisphere would be poisoned.

The real tragedy here is that in the cloud of scaremongering over Fukushima, which is going to end up being a non-event in terms of human mortality, the rest of the world seems to have forgotten about the 21,437 Japanese killed or missing in the quake and tsunami, and the estimated $130 billion dollars in damage to Japan. Actual deaths and actual destruction that people are going to be dealing with for decades to come.

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Reply No big Fukushima health impact seen: U.N. body chairman (Original post)
TheWraith Feb 2012 OP
intaglio Feb 2012 #1
TheWraith Feb 2012 #2
intaglio Feb 2012 #3

Response to TheWraith (Original post)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 04:14 PM

1. How nice of you to re-post an article found by Baggins

... without crediting him. For those who are interested here is the link

For those who might take you seriously I will repeat the answer I gave on his OP.


What is actually said that the evacuations have ameliorated the health disaster.

This does not prove nuclear power or radio-nucleotide pollution is safe.

I refer you to the article published in The Independent today.
... The reason is signalled by a symphony of beeping noises from dosimeters on our bus. As we drive through a police checkpoint and into the town of Tomioka, about 15km from the plant, the radioactivity climbs steadily, hitting 15 microsieverts per hour at the main gate to the nuclear complex. At the other end of the plant, where the gaping buildings of its three most damaged reactors face the Pacific Ocean, the radiation level is 100 times this high, making it still too dangerous to work there.

... "The worst time was when the radiation was 250 milisieverts and we couldn't find people to do the work," explains Kazuhiro Sakamoto, an onsite subcontractor. "We could only work in two-minute bursts, when we were extracting caesium from contaminated water."

... Japan's government has admitted that dismantling the reactors and its 260-ton payload of nuclear fuel will take up to 40 years. Many people believe the government and Tepco will eventually be forced to recognise that the people who fled from this plant a year ago may not return for decades. In the meantime, the work at Fukushima Daiichi goes on. And on.

Perhaps this item from Environmental Pollution quoted by Mother Jones might make you question your beliefs;
... Overall, as expected, the bird community in Fukushima declined significantly in the more contaminated areas.
For 14 species of birds that appeared in both Fukushima and Chernobyl, the decline in population size was more pronounced at Fukushima than Chernobyl.
Among all birds, including the species not common to both areas, more birds declined in Chernobyl than Fukushima.

As for thyroid implications the finding that 1/3 of children from the area have thyroid nodules doesn't seem to phase you in the slightest, especially as this is a high figure for children only and (amongst children) greater than 5% with nodules will develop carcinoma. To bring this into perspective the rate expected of thyroid cancer in Japan is 1.1 per 100,000 for men and 3.1 per 100,000 for women ( Source, Pubmed abstract )

Now add in Wartofski's paper from 2010 which implicates increased radiation doses in the worldwide increase in thyroid cancers ( Source pdf )


Now let me deal with this silly implication that you "know the scientific facts ..."; No you deny fact then use ridiculous mendacity and obfuscation to support your belief in the unsupportable industry of nuclear power. This is shown clearly by your deceit in quoting this article which ONLY demonstrates the beneficial effects of early evacuation.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 10:17 PM

2. You seem to be under the mistaken apprehension...

...that using long words makes you intelligent. It doesn't. You're just obfuscating. I'm guessing you also don't know that 15 microsieverts per hour is a negligible dose, barely above the background radiation.

Frankly, I'll take the expert opinion of dozens of UN scientists over your cherry-picking scare quotes out of non-scientific publications.

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Response to TheWraith (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 02:14 AM

3. We've discussed this before

You know I am aware of effective radiation levels. I am also aware that you have been mindlessly supportive of the nuclear industry since day one. Please note it is not I who cherrypicks the figures or quotations to suit my argument. I have quoted not just a journalistic source but also a Pubmed abstract, a paper in "Environmental Pollution" and the pdf of a paper published by Leonard Wartofsky* in "Hormone".

You seem to have completely ignored the thrust of my post, that you quote an article identifying early and rapid evacuation as the cause of the reduction in harm as if the potential for contamination to cause harm was negligible. You also ignore other details that suit your prejudice towards n-power, such as locally (much) higher radiation levels and the probability that the bus will be entering the Prefecture by a path low in contamination. You also ignore the other quoted sources as if they had no bearing on the argument.

Now on to your ad hom about long words, let me use two short ones - grow up. If you have such a poor vocabulary (sorry, memory of word meanings) that you cannot understand (sorry, make sense of) what I am saying then you should think about finding a way to look up the meaning of these long words; perhaps there is a search engine that can help. Use "define" and then the word you do not know in the search bar.


*For the information of those who care Leonard Wartofsky is Chairman, Department of Medicine, Washington Hospital Center,
Professor of Medicine, Anatomy, Physiology &Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland,
Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine

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