Friday, January 17, 2014

Fukushima Doomsdayers




A Mr. Nicholas Wright left a pointed argument to my ‘Fukushima doomsdaying’:

OK, here are a few facts that need to be considered by Fukushima doomsayers, and which I haven’t seen front and centre in the debate as yet….(here).

Majia here: I decided to post my response here for everyone to read:

I wish I had the time to engage with you fully because I adore a lively debate and I think I can win this one.

Unfortunately, I can only make a quick rebuttal and reference you to my book, Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk. Chapter Four examines the history of radiation research, focusing on the 1956 BEAR report in the context of contemporary knowledge about epigenetic processes.

I concluded from my research on the ‘history of radiation’ that commonly used radiological and chemical dose models are invalid. Specifically, I found they lacked ecological validity because they were politicized from the start, failed to address bio-accumulation, failed to address bio-magnification, and failed to address transmission of genetic and epigenetic damage across generations.

So, we simply cannot predict effects using these dose models. Furthermore, we cannot predict the synergistic effects of Fukushima radiation on stressed eco-systems and animal genomes.

I have published extensively in the social sciences on autism and genomic science. I’m certain the study of environmental genomics is going to explain how our chemically and radiologically engineered world is destroying our health.

For example, neurological disorders are increasing in incidence in children and adults. Most scientists believe the environment is to blame. The main culprit in some disorders, such as autism, appears to be micro-deletions and other base mutations in the genome, rather than heritable alleles. Micro-deletions in DNA coding for glutathione, for example, can allow elements such as lead and mercury to build up in the brain, impairing neuronal development. Autism could also derive from damaged mitochondrial DNA, which is especially likely to mutate when exposed to increased levels of radiation, even among people conditioned to it (please see chapter four of my book).

Our rate of mutation may have increased beyond our capacities for repair, especially to germ-line (i.e., reproductive) cells. It is our progeny who will suffer most from increased rates of germ-line cell damage.

Scientists predicted this would occur in the 1956 BEAR report. We’ve produced quite a lot of genotoxic elements and chemicals since then. Now we are going to get an extra-big dose. 

We live a long time compared to most animals. We have no idea yet what our arrogance and disregard have done to our genome, but it is pretty obvious what it is doing to the rest of the earth's eco-systems.

The ocean eco-systems were highly stressed before Fukushima. They are going to be further stressed. We’ve already seen adverse mortality events along the entire North American west coast, indicating tipping points reached in susceptible populations. Radiation need not be the direct culprit. Taxed immune systems become more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

I do grant that the ocean will be far more contaminated than land, for many reasons I’ve explored on this blog. 

But can the genome of our children survive an ocean eco-system collapse?

Let us look at the big picture and recognize that there is no certainty that Fukushima will not be a tipping point.

I am not a doomsday person. I’m a realist. Let us get real about what we are doing to our eco-system before we engineer our own self-destruction.

Let me end with the last paragraph of my book:
Mikhail Gorbachev noted in his Memoirs that prior to the Chernobyl disaster there had been 151 significant radiation leaks at nuclear power plants around the world.[i] He warned that one or two more accidents would produce contamination far worse than after a nuclear war.[ii] Russia and parts of Europe remain contaminated from that disaster, with parts of the Bryansk Region of Russia with median radiation levels of Cesium-137 two orders of magnitude higher than current levels of deposition from nuclear weapons fallout.[iii] Chernobyl, Gorbachev wrote, ‘was a bell calling mankind to understand what kind of age we live in. It made people recognize the danger of careless or even criminal negligent attitudes toward the environment.’[iv] Fukushima illustrates that bell call was not heard. How many more bells will ring before humanity has destroyed its eco-system and genome beyond repair?


[i]           M. Gorbachev (1995) Memoirs. (London: Doubleday), p. 191.
[ii]               C. Neef (24 March 2011) ‘This Reactor Model Is No Good' Documents Show Politburo Skepticism of Chernobyl’, Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/this-reactor-model-is-no-good-documents-show-politburo-skepticism-of-chernobyl-a-752696.html
[iii]              V. Ramzaev, H. Yonehara, R. Hille, A. Barkovsky, A. Mishine, S. Sahoo, K. Kurotaki, and M. Uchiyama (2006) ‘Gamma-Dose Rates from Terrestrial and Chernobyl Inside and Outside Settlements in the Bryansk Region, Russia in 1996-2003.’ Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 85, 205-227, 217.
[iv]          Gorbachev Memoirs p. 193.

18 comments:

  1. Yes, right on, Maija. Scanning the news online today, I saw articles on a baby born in PA with a 7-pound growth on its head (CBS), young pelicans in Florida dying en masse from "starvation" (NBC), and twice as many children dying from the flu so far this year (the CDC in Atlanta). Always it is, and will be, blamed on everything else but radiation.

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  2. Excellent response. The corporations create this barrier to the intelligence which is why for example prescription medicine is often very deadly. A great example is psychiatric medication. It is like tuning up a brand new Mercedes with a hammer. I believe the original model produced in the late '40's completely overlooked the fact that people might breath in or swallow radioactive material. It ought to have been modified but was not for as you say political and monetary reasons. I am not sure how we get this element in society to see reason on many issues. Perhaps we just can't. Is it utopic to imagine a transformation?

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  3. Occam's razor is on your side, Majia.
    Doomsayer?
    Nay; Truth-sayer.

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  4. The fix is in. The Navy assures Congress that no sailors on the USS Reagan were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation--on the contrary. A UC Berkeley professor has now announced there is no radiation from Fukushima in CA, so have some fish, take a deep breath and embrace a bit of amnesia. We shall even have our own name. I rather like 3/11 Doomsayers.
    After 9/11 the EPA told people in NY that the air was fine. What happened to the asbestos that had turned the WTC into a white elephant? Somehow or other a ship so near the destroyed reactors was shielded from radioactive material--a secular miracle.
    We are definitely in for years of deception. At some point groups will form, hopefully, of professionals like AE911Truth and maybe there will be some more Loose Change.
    Apparently some emeritus professor from Arizona has discovered a way to greatly speed up nuclear decay. That would be wonderful if true. Confronting people with the truth would not create panic worth mentioning, but it would put some real pressure on gov and corporations to get busy and take action. And that would be a real good. But it is the short term gain versus the long term disaster; and we know all too well what these psychopathic characters tend to choose. Still fate is not fixed. Or is it by now? I think we have a chance.
    Likely the first Americans to die will be some or all of the 71 sailors. Not a very sensational number. Of course the poor Japanese are not going to do very well. But eventually it may be us. Prematurely into a grave. Just how fast all the nuclear material will spread around I do not know. Another big earthquake will speed things up. And we probably will have several more nuclear accidents in the meantime.
    Inevitably the planet is going to get contaminated.

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  5. Thanks Majia, I shall certainly look at your book. Three comments:

    1. I agree completely that the methodology for setting radiation standards are completely up the spout. It is ridiculous to not provide any toxicity weighting based on biological halflife.

    2. If there was, such weighting, then Strontium 89 and 90 would show up as being appoximately 1000 times more significant than Caesium137, with double the decay energy output, and biological residence times of 400 times higher than Cs.

    3. However, it is also ridiculous that radioisotope concentrations are not adjusted to account for the ratio between radioisotope/isotope of a given element. Ratios of Cs137 to Cs in the marine environment average around 5 x 10-9 in the literature, and can spike to 1 x 10-8 in the case of extreme contaimination.
    Ratios of Sr90 to Sr are about five orders of magnitude lower. Even when there are massive point source inputs of Sr90 into the ocean, that ratio stays very low, because it gets lost in the vast quantity of natural Sr in water.

    That is why they rarely find high concentrations of Sr90 in fish, even when the levels in water are highly elevated.

    I agree that radioisotopes on land are a serious health issue. I just think that the research, and facts, point strongly away from either Sr or Cs being particularly ecotoxic, or bioaccumulative to the point that consumption of fish from water contaminated with low concentrations of radioisotopes statistically increasesthe chances of cancer.

    Again, for 30 years between 1950 and 1980, levels of Sr90 in the oceans was highly elevated, right throughout the North Pacific, and particularly around testing areas. No long term teratogenic or mutagenic patterns have been discovered to have resulted in marine eco-systems.

    This must surely be at least significant cause for hope, and focus in further studies.

    Nick

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    1. tell that to the grey whale/conjoined twins which were found down along the baja coast of mexico a month or so ago. never before seen mutagenic/malfomed young seen in grey whales.

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    2. Nick
      Who is looking for long term effects?

      Science follows funding

      Regarding strontium levels: atmospheric testing ratios are not likely to predict Fukushima ratios for the reason I explored in my post linked above that I responded to with this post

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  6. The first example of a "tipping point event" that I'm aware of has occurred at Fukushima. Reports indicate a 30 cm hole with radioactive water leakage, but the radiation level is so high that workers cannot be sent in to investigate. We're still OK (15 to 20 CPM) here in Oceanside, CA and I will be going to San Diego this afternoon to verify published radiation numbers there.

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    1. fuk-us-all-shima!......the prime mover for obamacare

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  7. Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk.

    Tanks to refection in my mind.

    Sculptor. Roman Segura Olmedo

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    1. Do you find chapter four compelling as a scientific basis for the assertion that Strontium 90 is a significant eco-contaminant in the marine context? I remain open minded about Fukushima having potentially devestating marine ecology impacts, particularly given that modelling shows a likely seven order of magnitude increase in the concentration of Sr 90 in groundwater discharges from Fukushima, climbing rapidly over the next 80 years. But the toxicity studies show no alarming generational effects from massive strontium 90 doses. We have been studying the effects of large scale Sr 90 and Cs 137 discharges in the marine environment for over 50 years. The truth is, other than special advantage leading to changes in diversity patterns at the epicentre of discharge points, there aren't any studies that I can locate through online searching that show radioactive discharges are harmful to marine ecosystems. I have found a few conjectures based on broad empirical observations, a seal colony die off, polar bears with lesions, mass sea star die off etc, but there are many other health vectors at play in all cases.

      To the contrary, the studies I have read show that large scale radionuclide discharges do not produce significant adverse effects within marine ecosystems.

      Perhaps if this is the case, we should roll Fukushima Dai in a big concrete bubble and sink it in the deep ocean. With huge sea water scrubbers for the emissions. The priority has to be keeping Sr90 and Cs137 out of the atmosphere, where it can have devestating and long term impacts upon everything.

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  8. The Fukushima nuclear reactor failure only poses a threat to Japan. It does not pose a threat to America at all. Numerous pseudo-conservative websites (Rockwell, Before Its News, Infowars) are claiming there is a “secret cover-up” of the dangers to America. Cesium-137 and all other radioactive metals are far too heavy to travel. They fall to earth, not ride the clouds. They fall to the ocean floor, not ride the waves. Heavy isotopes cannot travel thousands of miles to our west coast. Anyone who tells you "Fukushima radiation is coming" is a liar and/or a fool. We have enough real problems, without making up ones that don't exist. There are radiation hotspots on the California coast though. Where is the radiation on the west coast coming from then? The 47,800 barrels of radio-active waste dumped in the Pacific Ocean between 1946 and 1970 at the Farallon Island Radioactive Waste Dump (near San Francisco). This is right from the U.S. Geological Survey and you can verify it at the government website www.usgs.gov. That is the source of the radiation on the California coast. You can also Google “Farallon Islands nuclear dump” and learn all about this. “Our” government caused this radiation. They dumped entire old nuclear reactors from submarines, along with tons of radioactive waste right in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco for a quarter century.

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    1. If you look at the mutually assured destruction models from the cold war, you will find a great number of US war heads were aimed to the west of Moscow.
      Why?

      Because the prevailing winds would blow easterly and "rain" OR "FALLOUT" the resulting radiation in the direction of the city. Ensuring maximum contamination and distribution of isotopes.

      Your premise and logic are proved wrong by the history of nuclear weapons themselves.

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    2. Radiation from nuclear power plant accidents is not dispersed in the same way as a nuclear weapon.

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    3. you sir, are the liar and fool. i live in dallas tx. and on march 20,2011 we had a yellow rain event that fell all over the dfw area. i had several samples tested and they were all radioactive. the lab would NOT classify the specific radio-nuclide, except to ask quite aggressively where the samples came from. i wiped them from the hood of my truck just post of the yellow rain event.

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    4. I think that you are correct about this. It is another "doom, calamity, we are terribly governed, please NWO will you form a wise world government to reside over all and fix Fukushima and everything else, we trust you to do right for all of us" scenario. Caveat emptor everyone...

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  9. http://www.live-counter.com/nuclear-power-station-cooper/

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