|Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.
More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000
kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering
reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.
More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three
would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.
The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that “not one person” has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30.
|More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts.|
But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima
is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979
accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as
well as findings at other commercial reactors.
that atomic power could cause such epidemics has been confirmed by
the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which says that “an increase in the risk of childhood thyroid cancer” would accompany a reactor disaster.
In evaluating the prospects of new reactor construction in Canada,
the Commission says the rate “would rise by 0.3 percent at a distance of
12 kilometers” from the accident. But that assumes the distribution of
protective potassium iodide pills and a successful emergency evacuation,
neither of which happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima.
The numbers have been analyzed by Mangano. He has studied the impacts
of reactor-created radiation on human health since the 1980s, beginning
his work with the legendary radiologist Dr. Ernest Sternglass and
statistician Jay Gould.
Speaking on www.prn.fm’s Green Power & Wellness Show, Mangano
also confirms that the general health among downwind human populations
improves when atomic reactors are shut down, and goes into decline when
they open or re-open.
Nearby children are not the only casualties at Fukushima. Plant operator Masao Yoshida has died
at age 58 of esophogeal cancer. Masao heroically refused to abandon
Fukushima at the worst of the crisis, probably saving millions of lives.
Workers at the site who are employed by independent contractors—many
dominated by organized crime—are often not being monitored for radiation
exposure at all. Public anger is rising over government plans to force
families—many with small children—back into the heavily contaminated
region around the plant.
Following its 1979 accident, Three Mile Island’s owners denied the
reactor had melted. But a robotic camera later confirmed otherwise.
The state of Pennsylvania mysteriously killed its tumor registry,
then said there was “no evidence” that anyone had been killed.
But a wide range of independent studies confirm heightened infant
death rates and excessive cancers among the general population.
Excessive death, mutation and disease rates among local animals were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and local journalists.
In the 1980s federal Judge Sylvia Rambo blocked a class action suit
by some 2,400 central Pennsylvania downwinders, claiming not enough
radiation had escaped to harm anyone. But after 35 years, no one knows
how much radiation escaped or where it went. Three Mile Island’s owners
have quietly paid millions to downwind victims in exchange for gag
At Chernobyl, a compendium of more than 5,000 studies has yielded an estimated death toll of more than 1,000,000 people.
The radiation effects on youngsters in downwind Belarus and Ukraine
have been horrific. According to Mangano, some 80 percent of the
“Children of Chernobyl” born downwind since the accident have been harmed by a wide range of impacts
ranging from birth defects and thyroid cancer to long-term heart,
respiratory and mental illnesses. The findings mean that just one in
five young downwinders can be termed healthy.
Physicians for Social Responsibility and the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have warned of parallel problems near Fukushima.
The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic
Radiation (UNSCEAR) has recently issued reports downplaying the
disaster’s human impacts. UNSCEAR is interlocked with the United
Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, whose mandate is to promote
atomic power. The IAEA has a long-term controlling gag order on UN
findings about reactor health impacts. For decades UNSCEAR and the World
Health Organization have run protective cover for the nuclear
industry’s widespread health impacts. Fukushima has proven no exception.
In response, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the German
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have issued a
ten-point rebuttal, warning the public of the UN’s compromised credibility.
The disaster is “ongoing” say the groups, and must be monitored for
decades. “Things could have turned for the worse” if winds had been
blowing toward Tokyo rather than out to sea (and towards America).
There is on-going risk from irradiated produce, and among site
workers whose doses and health impacts are not being monitored. Current
dose estimates among workers as well as downwinders are unreliable, and
special notice must be taken of radiation’s severe impacts on the human
UNSCEAR’s studies on background radiation are also “misleading,” say
the groups, and there must be further study of genetic radiation effects
as well as “non-cancer diseases.” The UN assertion that “no discernible
radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members” is
“cynical,” say the groups. They add that things were made worse by the official refusal to distribute potassium iodide, which might have protected the public from thyroid impacts from massive releases of radioactive I-131.
Overall, the horrific news from Fukushima can only get worse.
Radiation from three lost cores is still being carried into the
Pacific. Management of spent fuel rods in pools suspended in the air and
scattered around the site remains fraught with danger.
The pro-nuclear Shinzo Abe regime wants to reopen Japan’s remaining
48 reactors. It has pushed hard for families who fled the disaster to
re-occupy irradiated homes and villages.
But Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the plague of death and disease
now surfacing near Fukushima make it all too clear that the human cost
of such decisions continues to escalate—with our children suffering
first and worst.
Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org and wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm.Source: Eco Watch