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14,000 deaths in the us from Fukishima Fallout


dragonstar57
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One of the problems with obvious garbage like Fukushima radiation klling thousands of US babies within days of the meltdown, is that it allows a foothold for misleading and deceptive "authoritative" manipulations like this link in reasonable people's minds.

 

The article is written by a guy who presents himself as a nuclear physicist, but in fact is a nuclear power promoter and businessman rather than a working researcher. His paycheck depends on his promoting the spread of nuclear power into Africa.

 

The publication site also features articles disparaging the myth of anthropogenic global warming. We aren't dealing with a full deck here.

 

But since it is superficially persuasive, let's go through a few quotes - he leads with trivia, and misses in odd ways:

There are Hollywood movies and TV programmes about space travellers or alien invaders who use time travel and quantum forces, and then battle to evade the dangerous intergalactic nuclear zones.

I haven't seen those movies - "intergalactic nuclear zones"? What movies featured that? Not many very famous ones, or seen by many people. I think he made that up - it's the kind of thing he wants anti-nuke folks to have said.

 

 

A consequence of all this is that internationally the public is now really ‘spooked’ when it comes to the topic of nuclear power. A real ‘fear factor’ looms over the mere word ‘nuclear.’ Newspapers love this, and really push imagery like; ‘nuclear leak’ or ‘radiation exposure.

Those terms he puts in quotes are standard words for actual things - why the quote marks? And no, newspapers do not often use the term "nuclear leak" - once again, he is inventing what he wants to have read.

 

And this may seem trivial, but it is a warning - this guy is willing to bend stuff to create the impression he wants.

 

On to more substance:

 

The dismay reaction is that there is a body of anti-nuclear activists who do not want the public to know the truth,

That's a slander. He's outed himself. It gets worse:

 

Firstly let us get something clear. There was no Fukushima nuclear disaster. Total number of people killed by nuclear radiation at Fukushima was zero. Total injured by radiation was zero. Total private property damaged by radiation….zero. There was no nuclear disaster. What there was, was a major media feeding frenzy fuelled by the rather remote possibility that there may have been a major radiation leak.

The last estimate I ran across for the likely eventual number of radiation caused thyroid cancers in Japanese people exposed to Fukushima's Iodine 131 emissions as children was around 6000, starting in three or four years. There is good hope it will be lower, because the ordinary Japanese diet is rich in iodine, which is protective, but nobody is predicting 0 or anything near 0.

 

And of course the possibility of a major radiation leak from three nuclear reactors in uncontrolled meltdown was (and is) not "rather remote" - never mind the spent fuel pools etc. So he's obviously full of shit here.

 

The question is of his integrity: any sane person is going to regard a bunch of people whose chance of contracting thyroid cancer in a few years has just been boosted several hundred percent as "injured"; the question is Did he know about that?

 

 

 

The plant overheated, suffered a core meltdown, and is now out of commission for ever. A financial disaster, but no nuclear disaster.

The financial disaster was directly caused by the hazards and properties of nuclear reactors. That kind of financial disaster is among the problems and hazards of nuclear power - it's one of the very few types of industrial investment in which one's entire bankroll and infrastructure can in a few minutes, without warning, not only be converted to worthless and unrecoverable debris but then remain as an ongoing and bankrupting liability for years to come.

 

The Japanese government introduced a forced evacuation of thousands of people living up to a couple of dozen kilometres from the power station. The stress of moving to collection areas induced heart attacks and other medical problems in many people. So people died because of Fukushima hysteria not because of Fukushima radiation.

Anyone who thinks the Japanese government was being hysterical when it evacuated the kill zone of the several reactors entering meltdown at Fukushima, is not thinking very clearly. Neither is anyone who thinks like this:

At Fukushima a couple of weeks ago, some mildly radioactive water leaked into the sea. The volume of water was about equal to a dozen home swimming pools. In the ocean this really is a ‘drop in the ocean.’

The radiation was hot enough to endanger plant workers, and it didn't leak into the whole ocean - it leaked into one small patch, and what happened and will happen to it then is anybody's guess. It may have settled out and been captured in concentration by seafloor sediment nearby, may have formed a plume and been carried away in a fairly high concentration (eventually ending up, still somewhat concentrated, between Hawaii and California), may or may not be taken up and concentrated in living beings of the area. And you'd have to think a nuclear power promotor would have run across this before.

 

So the "drop in the ocean" business is a sign - this guy is not dealing honestly with us. Because of that, we can't tell what to make of this:

The Tritium heavy water is very mildly radioactive and is found normally in the sea all over the world all of the time. This Tritium concentration in the one thousand storage tanks at Fukushima is higher than that found naturally in the sea, but is still so low as to pose no real danger at all.

The first part is a con - what is found naturally in ocean water doesn't matter. The second part is a claim, and from the stuff so far we have no reason to take this guy's word for anything - I'll bet money there are hazards associated with ingesting or releasing this concentration of tritium into an ocean ecology. But this guy presumes otherwise:

 

As soon as the spillage occurred they fixed the problem. But the rules require the incident to be reported, even though the spillage was not of any biological consequence to anyone, or to any fauna or flora

As readers know, the "problem" is not fixed - the tanks are outliving their reliable use time, but hundreds more of them are expected to leak in the next couple of years. And the biological consequences are as yet unknown.

Fukushima showed that a nuclear power plant can take the maximum punch of nature’s brutality, and yet the surrounding population does not fry and die as so often dramatically predicted by the fear factor enthusiasts.

Why no - they get thyroid cancer from childhood exposure, they suffer and even die in emergency evacuations under difficult conditions, they may or may not suffer the miscarriage and stillbirth rates indicated in other near misses like this,or the cardiovascular problems, or loss of livelihood from the economic effects of contaminated sea floor beings, but as long as they didn't fry like in a bomb blast, why they're just fine thank you.

 

Nuke proponents are not reliable sources of info on anything nuclear. They just can't seem to think straight on the topic.

Edited by overtone
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I think that fanatics on either side can't be trusted. Once you are defending an ideology, the facts don't seem to matter.

 

When someone claims zero injury from Fukushima, I would be suspicious he is underselling the scope of the problem. But, by the same token, " it leaked into one small patch, and what happened and will happen to it then is anybody's guess" is as well. What happens is a matter of science, which is not "anybody's guess".

 

So how about addressing factual issues here, instead of vague assertions?

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Doesn't this belong in the unsupported fanatical bullsh*t forum?

I suppose an argument could be made for the idea that it should be in speculations because the topic is centered around pseudoscience but it is in more of fact cheeking capacity than which typically is in the speculations section.

also I have a question.

could someone compare and contrast fukshima and chernobyl?

if there was a hydrogen explosion which breached the containment building isn't it the same?

 

Edited by dragonstar57
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Well, the number is based on a published article, albeit in a journal with a really low impact factor. That said the study was done shoddily.

I should also add that it is not a medical journal but more health service related. It may be one of the reasons why there was less scrutiny during peer-review.

Edited by CharonY
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I think that fanatics on either side can't be trusted. Once you are defending an ideology, the facts don't seem to matter.

The difference being that even the most foolish and fanatical nuke proponents have access to "respectable" media, jobs with power and authority, and social status as "scientists" or representatives of "science".

 

The point is that while the OP is wildly foolish and fanatical, it is recognized as such by the calm and standard people who are running things. That second link, to this bizarre crackpottery:

 

Total number of people killed by nuclear radiation at Fukushima was zero. Total injured by radiation was zero. Total private property damaged by radiation….zero. There was no nuclear disaster. What there was, was a major media feeding frenzy fuelled by the rather remote possibility that there may have been a major radiation leak.

somehow passes muster as reasoned discourse.

 

It is not. It is every bit as foolish and fanatical as - and a good deal more sinister than - the OP link. They are equally whack (both off by about the same number of obviously and seriously injured/uninjured people, for example) but unequally disrespected.

 

 

But, by the same token, " it leaked into one small patch, and what happened and will happen to it then is anybody's guess" is as well. What happens is a matter of science, which is not "anybody's guess".

 

So how about addressing factual issues here, instead of vague assertions?

There's nothing vague about it, and the assertion is one of of ordinary, uncontroversial physical fact.

 

Of course the actual, eventual fate of the leaked bad stuff is a matter of science to settle, if and when it is settled, but meanwhile - when the inadequate science being done is incapable of settling matters even approximately - the phrase "anybody's guess" is a reasonable description of the situation.

 

Right now, as far as I can discover (mostly internet searches) no scientist knows to an order of magnitude the distribution of the leaked radioisotypes among the various destinations possible - bottom sediments, general radiating diffusion into the nearby ocean at this or that depth, biological sequestration in various organisms, wind transport somewhere, plume transport to specific current destinations, something not thought of yet, etc etc etc.

 

And this uncertainty is not neutral with respect to the discussion: those who claim safety based on no information indicating harm are falsely reassuring from a state of ignorance, those who claim risk from the existence of harmful possibilities are correctly asserting from a state of ignorance.

Edited by overtone
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At about 1 minute 20 it talks about radioactive iodine affecting the thyroid of immunocompromised people such as thevery young, the elderly and those with AIDS.

 

That's clearly bollocks. Nuclear radiation doesn't care about the immune system.

Then it says

"So they can't defend themselves against common influenza..."

Nope, they already couldn't that's what immunocompromised means.

 

Then he pulls a statistic about Chernobyl from somewhere- an it seems to be from his ass.

Then he says that the amount of material released by Fukushima is 7 times more than was released at Chernobyl

I'd like to know how he came to that conclusion.

This asertion

"According to one expert, the release of radioactivity is about one-tenth that from the Chernobyl disaster and the contaminated area is also about one-tenth that that of Chernobyl"

from wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_from_the_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster#Total_emissions

has a reference you can check if you don't mind paying, or if your organisation has a subscription.

http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/5/27.full

 

So, by two and a half minutes into the 30 minute video they have said pretty much nothing that's actually right. Will you forgive me if I don't watch the rest?

.

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Disclaimer: I thought the video there looked like incoherency and misconception in a particularly annoying format, so I haven't bothered with it - these replies are to thread posts only.

 

 


At about 1 minute 20 it talks about radioactive iodine affecting the thyroid of immunocompromised people such as thevery young, the elderly and those with AIDS.

 

That's clearly bollocks. Nuclear radiation doesn't care about the immune system.

Nuclear radiation particularly damages dividing cells, and cells that frequently and rapidly reproduce (hence its usefulness in cancer suppression). That includes various cells of the immune system and its supporting structures such as the blood and lymph - including those targeted by HIV. It also includes the somatic cells of rapidly growing organisms, such as human children.

 

So that assertion in the video is not bollocks, but as far as quoted here reasonably accurate.

 

 

 

So, by two and a half minutes into the 30 minute video they have said pretty much nothing that's actually right. Will you forgive me if I don't watch the rest?
I would recommend against watching any such videos at all - the format lends itself poorly to sober analysis and accuracy of technical communication.

 

But once again: the next llink here, to the nuke proponent's little essay, is fully as worthless, every bit as foolishly fact free and bizarre contention ridden. Why is the disparagement focused on the anti nuke idiocy only?

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That second link, to this bizarre crackpottery:

 

Total number of people killed by nuclear radiation at Fukushima was zero. Total injured by radiation was zero. Total private property damaged by radiation….zero.

somehow passes muster as reasoned discourse.

 

It is not. It is every bit as foolish and fanatical as - and a good deal more sinister than - the OP link. They are equally whack (both off by about the same number of obviously and seriously injured/uninjured people, for example) but unequally disrespected.

How can they both be off by the same number?

 

You claim that the number of people killed by radiation was not zero. Can you provide a reference to support that? Because I have heard of no radiation-related deaths so far.

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But once again: the next llink here, to the nuke proponent's little essay, is fully as worthless, every bit as foolishly fact free and bizarre contention ridden. Why is the disparagement focused on the anti nuke idiocy only?

Because the OP was about the anti-nuke idiocy, perhaps?

Of course the actual, eventual fate of the leaked bad stuff is a matter of science to settle, if and when it is settled, but meanwhile - when the inadequate science being done is incapable of settling matters even approximately - the phrase "anybody's guess" is a reasonable description of the situation.

 

Right now, as far as I can discover (mostly internet searches) no scientist knows to an order of magnitude the distribution of the leaked radioisotypes among the various destinations possible - bottom sediments, general radiating diffusion into the nearby ocean at this or that depth, biological sequestration in various organisms, wind transport somewhere, plume transport to specific current destinations, something not thought of yet, etc etc etc.

No, "anybody's guess" is not a reasonable description. People study diffusion and mixing and ocean currents. The input they have is better than a random guess by "anybody". The implication that because we don't know everything, thus we know nothing (which is a prerequisite to permit random guessing) is a charade.

 

And this uncertainty is not neutral with respect to the discussion: those who claim safety based on no information indicating harm are falsely reassuring from a state of ignorance, those who claim risk from the existence of harmful possibilities are correctly asserting from a state of ignorance.

I therefore assert from my state of ignorance of structural engineering that you are in grave danger of tall buildings collapsing on you. Somehow I don't think this is a correct assertion, or that it should be taken seriously. Except by people who insist that it is correct to make risk assertions based on ignorance.

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Perhaps you should have watched the video.

It clearly says that the radioactive material affects those with diminished immune function, but radio-iodine isn't that fussy- it does not check the state of your immune function- it just trashes the thyroid.

So the video is wrong.

 

It sets up the idea that immune suppressed people are particularly susceptible to radiation- without any basis.

Then it says that this exposure makes those people more susceptible to things like 'flu.

But that group is already at greater risk from 'flu.

 

It just doesn't make sense.

 

Perhaps you would like to point out the errors of fact and of logic in the sci am item cited in the second post.

That will give us some insight into whether it's " every bit as foolishly fact free and bizarre contention ridden."

That might in turn lead to an answer to "Why is the disparagement focused on the anti nuke idiocy only?"

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I think the video is a bad foundation for this discussion considering that the inteview seems like a second-hand rehash of an actual study.

The study in question being this here. I have posted a rebuttal (in a blog) earlier in this thread. he mix. The parts relating to immune systems in the paper are only speculative (i.e. more an impact point rather than something actually being investigated) and the reasoning is that radiation could further worsen issues in people who are already immune-comprised.

 

But again, the study is purely looking at death rates and not at mechanisms of any kind.

Edited by CharonY
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Because the OP was about the anti-nuke idiocy, perhaps?
No, the OP was anti nuke idiocy.

 

And it is correctly described - agreed by most everybody "scientific" here - that it is flawed to the point of absurdity.

 

But subsequent posts of pro-nuke idiocy are treated as if respectable, by these same "scientific" types. That is a poor way to argue against anti-nuke idiocy. We are not supposed to be creating dueling idiocies, and settling things by adopting an aura of "science" for the one we favor, surely?

 

 

 

No, "anybody's guess" is not a reasonable description. People study diffusion and mixing and ocean currents. The input they have is better than a random guess by "anybody".
Of course expert and well prepared people can make better use of information than "anybody" - if they have it. If they don't have it, their expertise is of much less value.

 

In the case of Fukushima, the specific areas of ignorance I listed apparently exist (at least, anywhere I can look), and if so that forestalls the sound application of such expertise. Nobody seems to know, for example, the quantity or location of any of the leaked radiation that has ended up in sediments somewhere - the possible range of quantity is almost 0 to 100%, of location a good share of the Pacific ocean bottom - with various probabilities depending on model, and completely insufficient data.

 

Unless you are claiming that it takes an expert to narrow the field to the current fed areas of the northern Pacific ocean and some quantity less than the total emitted, it's anybody's guess. It won't be anybody's discovery, of course - we look to the experts for better information and we will look to the experts to evaluate it - but right now we have people claiming reassurance and safety who do not know enough to make those claims.

 

The key point here is that the unjustified pretention to informed assessments and expertise so clearly illustrated by a claim of "no evidence of radiation hazard" from this ocean dumping and leaking is endemic to the nuke industry in general. We simply can't trust what they say - their track record for claiming to know stuff they don't know, and for biasing their ignorant assessments in favor of reassurance and nuke promotion, is far too well and flagrantly established.

 

 

 

I therefore assert from my state of ignorance of structural engineering that you are in grave danger of tall buildings collapsing on you. Somehow I don't think this is a correct assertion, or that it should be taken seriously. Except by people who insist that it is correct to make risk assertions based on ignorance.
It is always correct to make risk assertions based on ignorance in situations of actual ignorance of state, coupled with knowledge of threat. If you know there are tigers around, and you don't know where they are, you make an assertion of risk. You don't make a claim of safety based on the fact you have no evidence of a tiger right nearby, or the fact that no one has been eaten recently, especially when you haven't even looked.

 

I am not making assertions from my own state of ignorance. I am observing a state of ignorance and a track record of irresponsibility in others, and calling them on their assertions.

 

You are comparing people who have time tested reliable expertise and thoroughly acquired information both, who have a long track record of reliable truthtelling - structural engineers, familiar with tall buildings and well supplied with data - with people who have neither, but make assurances as if they did, in circumstances where they have been consistently wrong (and even flatly dishonest) before - and in the course of making these assurances say things that are at best dubious, and often presumptively false. (No radiation injuries from Fukushima? Really: you accept that as a reasonable thing to say? ).

 

 


It clearly says that the radioactive material affects those with diminished immune function, but radio-iodine isn't that fussy- it does not check the state of your immune function- it just trashes the thyroid.

So the video is wrong.

You're telling me the video says that damaging the thyroid by irradiating it hurts people with diminished immune system function more than other people. How is that wrong?

 

 

It sets up the idea that immune suppressed people are particularly susceptible to radiation- without any basis
Oh please - you know that radiation damages the immune system (by damaging especially cells that are reproducing, among other stresses), and you know that people whose immune systems are already compromised are particularly vulnerable to even small additional damage, and you know that a damaged immune system increases one's susceptibility to many cancers as well as a host of other diseases, and you know that radiation exposure creates cancers de novo. So what is this "without any basis" garbage? I mean, I'm never going to watch that video, but you haven't posted anything from it that a reasonable person would have the smallest objection to.

 

 


How can they both be off by the same number?

That's "about" the same number, and it's an observation - direct your inquiries to the authors.

 

 

 

You claim that the number of people killed by radiation was not zero.
No, I didn't.

 

I claimed that the likely number - best estimate - of people who will die of the various effects of radiation released is far from zero, but whether any of them have died yet I don't know and haven't guessed. Has anybody, after noticing the statistical bumps in the aftermaths of TMI and Chernobyl, been counting stillbirths and documenting the comparative exposure regimes of the mothers? Nobody I can find. But plenty of people have been asserting "no harm".

 

I also pointed out that the effects of radiation - even severe effects of serious exposure, as at Castle Bravo and the like - are difficult to establish and years in the tracing, especially without very detailed and focused studies that in particular begin with detailed and thorough documentation of the actual exposures. As always in nuke accidents, that basic first step is only partly accomplished at Fukushima - so once again we will be guessing and estimating even basic data.

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I claimed that the likely number - best estimate - of people who will die of the various effects of radiation released is far from zero, but whether any of them have died yet I don't know and haven't guessed.

 

The numbers I have seen of expected extra deaths from radiation around Fukushima are indistinguishable from noise compared to the normal number of deaths.

 

Has anybody, after noticing the statistical bumps in the aftermaths of TMI and Chernobyl, been counting stillbirths and documenting the comparative exposure regimes of the mothers? Nobody I can find. But plenty of people have been asserting "no harm".

I don't think anyone is asserting no harm from Chernobyl. There have been a large number of deaths attributed to the accident although the estimates vary enormously.

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The numbers I have seen of expected extra deaths from radiation around Fukushima are indistinguishable from noise compared to the normal number of deaths.
So? That's easily a pretty big number, especially considring the numerous and subtle ways radiation affects health and wellbeing. Since the exposure regimes were not actually measured, the statisticians are going to have to try to tease the signal out from unnecessarily large and noisy groups, also - a circumstance that proved critical in the aftermath of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and is still valuable to nuke promoters trying to avoid the issues of Sellafield and Hanford and the like.

 

The various recorded anecdotal bumps in stillbirths and miscarriages in the seventh through eleventh months after the events at TMI, Chernobyl, Castle Bravo, Ivy Mike, and so forth, have never been tied to those events, and whether that means actual coincidence or an inability to trace exposure history is simply unknown. For nuke proponents, that ignorance is yet another opportunity to repeat the cherished assertion: "no evidence of harm" indicating "no harm".

 

What percentage of the extra thyroid cancers from Fukushima, which are not expected to show up for a while yet, will contribute to a shortening of the victims's lifespans, for example - whether the actual cause of death whenever it occurs is thyroid cancer or not?

 

Notice the careful delimitations: radiation caused deaths only (not casualties of the mitigation responses intended to reduce radiation exposures, not contributions of care for radiation caused disorders, not sub-lethal radiation injury, not harms from other causes made worse by radiation effects, etc), not regions distant from Fukushima (no one is tracking the actual plumes north into the fishing grounds or east across the Pacific, apparently), and so forth.

 

 

 

 

I don't think anyone is asserting no harm from Chernobyl.
Plenty of people are asserting no stillbirths or miscarriages in the outer fallout zones supplied by Chernobyl - no harm of the kind being discussed in the paragraph quoted. That is, they are publishing estimates of the casualties of Chernobyl that count the contribution from that set of causes as 0.
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