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New report links thyroid cancer rise to Fukushima nuclear crisis

Kyodo

Thyroid cancer in local children and adolescents following the Fukushima nuclear disaster was probably caused by radiation released in the accident, four researchers said Tuesday in a report.

Annual thyroid cancer incidence rates in Fukushima Prefecture from March 2011 through late last year were 20 to 50 times the national level, said a team led by Toshihide Tsuda, professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University. The findings were published in the electronic edition of the journal of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

The finding, based on screenings of around 370,000 Fukushima residents aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident, “is unlikely to be explained by a screening surge,” the researchers said, pointing to radiation exposure as a factor behind the rise in thyroid cancer cases.

But their conclusion is refuted by other epidemiology experts, including Shoichiro Tsugane of the National Cancer Center, who said the results are premature.

“Unless radiation exposure data are checked, any specific relationship between a cancer incidence and radiation cannot be identified,” said Tsugane, director of the Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening. He said there is a global trend of over-diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

As of late August, the Fukushima Prefecture Government identified 104 thyroid cancer cases in the prefecture.

But the prefectural government and many experts have doubted whether these cases are related to the nuclear disaster, as the amount of radioactive iodine released during the crisis was smaller than that following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

  • Marushka France

    The global trend responsible for an increase in chronic diseases and cancers is global fallout from atomspheric atomic bomb tests!
    The relationship between radioisotopes – poison – and damaging health effects has been known and proven over decades!

    Herman Joseph Muller 1927 paper, 1946 Nobel prize
    radiation exposure causes genetic mutations — the resulting increase in damage to cell lines leads to extinction

    ” When you are talking about constant low radiation exposure, what you
    are doing is introducing mistakes into the gene-pool. And those mistakes will eventually turn up by killing that line, that cell line, that species line. The amount of damage determines whether this happens in two generations or in seven generations or 10 generations. So what we are doing by introducing more mistakes into the DNA or the gene pool is we are shortening the number of generations that will be viable on the planet.” ~ Dr. Rosalie Bertell 2010 Interview

    “… there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose.
    Radiation, in its simplest terms – figuratively, literally and chemically – is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal.”

    ~ John F. Kennedy (US President, Jan ’61 – Nov ’63) April 1960

    • Starviking

      Some of Muller’s work has been called into question, Bertell believed in Chemtrails, and JFK has no scientific standing.

      • PacE

        Is that an attempt at an ad hominem?

    • Krockcfd

      The hypothetical risk based on Muller’s theoretical model (the linear, no-threshold model) of cancer risk at low radiation doses has been challenged by scientists many times in the past, and its legitimacy is under intense scrutiny at the present time. In fact there was, at the time, strong empirically verifiable evidence indicating that Muller was wrong and even knew about it, before he accepted his Nobel prize. At the time, a scientist by the name of Ernst Caspari, had demonstrated that there was indeed a threshold in which radiation was harmful.

      If radiation is as potent as you make it out to be, then we’re all screwed. Anyone who’s ever had a CT, X-ray, radiation therapy, chemo, nuclear stress test, and especially those performing the images, nuclear workers, and all those who live where background radiation reaches levels that are several 100 times greater than any found in North America…

      The tension created by such worry is probably a greater health risk than the radiation itself.

  • Marushka France

    The global trend responsible for an increase in chronic diseases and cancers is global fallout from atomspheric atomic bomb tests!
    The relationship between radioisotopes – poison – and damaging health effects has been known and proven over decades!

    Herman Joseph Muller 1927 paper, 1946 Nobel prize
    radiation exposure causes genetic mutations — the resulting increase in damage to cell lines leads to extinction

    ” When you are talking about constant low radiation exposure, what you
    are doing is introducing mistakes into the gene-pool. And those mistakes will eventually turn up by killing that line, that cell line, that species line. The amount of damage determines whether this happens in two generations or in seven generations or 10 generations. So what we are doing by introducing more mistakes into the DNA or the gene pool is we are shortening the number of generations that will be viable on the planet.” ~ Dr. Rosalie Bertell 2010 Interview

    “… there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose.
    Radiation, in its simplest terms – figuratively, literally and chemically – is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal.”

    ~ John F. Kennedy (US President, Jan ’61 – Nov ’63) April 1960

  • Sam Gilman

    I’ve had a quick look at the paper, and there’s something very odd about it. It suggests that the latency period for thyroid cancer is 4 years. That is, the screening effect will pick up the next four years’ worth of thyroid cancers.

    But it isn’t 4 years. That’s the minimum latency period. The latency period is 4 to 30 years.

    If you take the latency period to be four years only, then of course the screening programme results look high. If you extend the average period (so that we take into account adult levels of thyroid cancer) then the numbers start to look a lot like the screening effect.

    But this seems such an obvious error, I find it hard to believe it wasn’t picked up.

    Another thing to notice is that these results appear to be more striking than the effects at Chernobyl. That makes no sense. The paper does not use dose assessments (it uses distance as a proxy) but the highest dose assessments found in Fukushima are ten times lower than the average dose assessment at Chetnobyl. In addition, the Fukushima population should be less at risk because of their high iodine vs Chernobyl’s low iodine diet.

    It also doesn’t explain the tumour biopsies done which have found no indication of radiogenic origins and most have indications of adult thyroid tumours.

    So I think this is a very suspect study.

    • Sam Gilman

      The more I look at this paper, the more suspect it seems to be.

      It says things like:

      Here, we assumed 4 years for a latent duration of childhood thyroid cancer,
      corresponding to the time between the Fukushima accident and thyroid cancer detection, for which the maximum duration was 3 years and 10 months.

      That looks to me like assuming the short latency period directly in order to produce a result that links Fukushima to the tumours. But this seems like such a gross error, I’m confused how it wasn’t picked up.

      It also says this:

      The screened population may not be fully representative of the exposed population. The proportion of examinees among eligible persons gradually declined in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, mainly in the stratum of those age 16–18 years in 2011, and half of the cancer cases (55 of 110) were detected in this stratum.

      If half of the cancers are in this oldest group, then it doesn’t look like radiation is the cause. In Chernobyl, thyroid cancers appeared most in the youngest groups, of 0-4 and 5-9, as can be seen in this paper (Table 2 shows the ages at the moment of exposure). In the age group 15-18 at time of exposure there were very few cancers discovered. This is in keeping with what everyone doing this kind of research should know: younger children are more at risk.

      It also makes the claim that

      Furthermore, we could infer a possibility that exposure doses for residents
      were higher than the official report or the dose estimation by the World Health Organization,4 because the number of thyroid cancer cases grew faster than predicted in the World Health Organization’s health assessment report.5

      But the WHO reference – which looks at risk over 15 years after the accident thereby makes it clear that the latency period can be longer than 4 years. It does not anywhere say what the results of a screening programme should look like.

      There is also no mention of the UNSCEAR dose surveys, which came out lower that the WHO estimates (which were deliberately and openly highballed.)

      Perhaps I’m missing something, but there seem to be all kinds of odd things about this study.

      • Sam Gilman

        And it seems like Toshihide Tsuda has been here before:

        http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201312220021

        In 2013 he was trying to compare annual cancer registry statistics for thyroid cancers with the results of the screening programme. That is, he didn’t appear to know about (or believe in) the screening effect.

        For someone employed as an epidemiologist, this is really worryingly dumb. It’s a fundamental part of epidemiology that you are aware of how your numbers are being generated, so that you don’t make false comparisons. You can’t compare aggressively counting even the smallest of tumours picked up by highly sensitive scans to counting the number of people with tumours large enough to prompt them to visit the doctor complaining of problems.

    • Sam Gilman

      The more I look at this paper, the more suspect it seems to be.

      It says things like:

      Here, we assumed 4 years for a latent duration of childhood thyroid cancer,
      corresponding to the time between the Fukushima accident and thyroid cancer detection, for which the maximum duration was 3 years and 10 months.

      That looks to me like assuming the short latency period directly in order to produce a result that links Fukushima to the tumours. But this seems like such a gross error, I’m confused how it wasn’t picked up.

      It also says this:

      The screened population may not be fully representative of the exposed population. The proportion of examinees among eligible persons gradually declined in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, mainly in the stratum of those age 16–18 years in 2011, and half of the cancer cases (55 of 110) were detected in this stratum.

      If half of the cancers are in this oldest group, then it doesn’t look like radiation is the cause. In Chernobyl, thyroid cancers appeared most in the youngest groups, of 0-4 and 5-9, as can be seen in this paper (Table 2 shows the ages at the moment of exposure). In the age group 15-18 at time of exposure there were very few cancers discovered. This is in keeping with what everyone doing this kind of research should know: younger children are more at risk.

      It also makes the claim that

      Furthermore, we could infer a possibility that exposure doses for residents
      were higher than the official report or the dose estimation by the World Health Organization,4 because the number of thyroid cancer cases grew faster than predicted in the World Health Organization’s health assessment report.5

      But the WHO reference – which looks at risk over 15 years after the accident thereby makes it clear that the latency period can be longer than 4 years. It does not anywhere say what the results of a screening programme should look like.

      There is also no mention of the UNSCEAR dose surveys, which came out lower that the WHO estimates (which were deliberately and openly highballed.)

      Perhaps I’m missing something, but there seem to be all kinds of odd things about this study.

    • Jag_Levak

      But it isn’t 4 years. That’s the minimum latency period.

      The latency period is 4 to 30 years.

      Here’s a quote from Toshihide Tsuda:

      “Although we cannot say anything for certain based on numbers from a single round of tests, this is important information for looking into the causal relationships between the spread of radioactive material (iodine-131)
      and the incidence of thyroid gland cancer.”

      That quote was reported in April, 2013. By 2014:

      “Okayama University professor Toshihide Tsuda, purported that the frequency of child thyroid problems in Fukushima Prefecture is “several tens of times” higher than before the accident. He said national
      statistics between 1975 and 2008 showed a variance of between 5 to 11 cases per million people. Tsuda concluded that 59 cases out of ~240,000 Fukushima children is so much higher than national registry data, that the possibility of Fukushima radiation as a cause cannot be dismissed. However, most medical experts said that Tsuda’s conclusion was non-scientific because it was based on national statistics covering all age groups and should not have been compared to the 18-and-under cohort alone. Tetsuya Ohira of Fukushima Medical School said it is not scientifically appropriate to compare the Fukushima child numbers with the national cancer registry.”

      http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-child-thyroid-issue.html

      That also doesn’t take into account that the national cancer registry was based on established cases of medical significance, vs the results of a high resolution form of screening which may be picking up anomalies which never would have reached medical significance. The proper comparison was against distant populations of children using the same high-resolution screening–a comparison which found that the average anomaly rates were actually higher far from Fukushima.

      Tsuda has been criticized for the dubious assumptions and methodology behind his conclusions before, and better measurements went contrary to his conclusions. Now that a couple of years have passed, it looks like he is doubling down on his position in an attempt to vindicate his prior views.

      • Sam Gilman

        I am really surprised to see him employed as an epidemiologist, and worried that this passed peer review. I am only assume it was not given to anyone familiar with thyroid cancer to review.

    • Enkidu

      I’m with you Sam. Although it’s important that we have scientists parse the numbers from the screening programs to detect any increase, this report raises more questions for me than it answers. I read this quickly, but my initial thoughts are as follows:

      (For those who don’t want to read the report that Sam helpfully linked to, the basic idea is this: the authors took the data from the Fukushima screening program and compared it to two separate datasets: an “external” set, which uses the Japanese mean annual incidence rate from the Japan National Cancer Center; and an “internal” set, which is based on one of four Fukushima areas subject to the screening program and classified by the authors as a “least contaminated area”. The “internal” dataset yields a slight increase, roughly speaking, of somewhere less than 2-fold. The “external” dataset set yields the 20 – 50 fold increase mentioned in the newspaper article.)

      1. The main concern to date with using the JNCC’s “external” dataset is that it represents cancers typically diagnosed symptomatically (e.g., through trouble swallowing or a byproduct of another test) and not through a comprehensive screening program like that introduced in Fukushima (the often referred to “screening effect”). Of this, the paper says the following:

      One concern is that the approximately 30-fold increase
      observed in the number of thyroid cancer cases in external comparison might be the result of a screening effect. This concern is based on the potential presence of silent thyroid cancer among children and adolescents in the unscreened regions of Japan. However, the magnitude of the IRRs was too large to be explained only by this bias.

      This is the million dollar question, the one that parents in Japan (like me) really want to know, and it is dismissed in one sentence, with no source and very little additional discussion. I don’t think a 30-fold increase due to the screening effect is out of the question here. Thyroid cancer is
      an extremely slow-growing cancer (which is one reason the survival rate is so high) so a significant screening effect would be expected. South Korea, for example, has seen a 15-fold increase in thyroid cancer diagnosis over the past two decades, chiefly due to the screening effect. (See NYTimes, Nov. 5, 2014)

      • Enkidu

        2. On a related point is the JNCC background incidence rate used by the authors. Again, from the paper in applicable part:

        For the external comparison, we used the Japanese mean annual incidence rate estimates for thyroid cancer among persons ages 19 years old and younger (i.e., two per 1,000,000) and 5–24 years old (6.5 per 1,000,000) from 2001 to 2008 reported by the Japanese National Cancer Center, then employed three per 1,000,000 as the reference incidence and estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% CIs in the nine districts.

        Again, I would like to see more explanation as to how they arrived at 3 per 1,000,000, especially given the outsize impact the choice of this number has on their final result. (For instance, if they used 4, rather than 3, the observed increase shrinks by 25%.) As part of that, I would like to know how they handled the fact that this sample group is aging, and, at this point, is much closer to the 5-24 year old age group (i.e., 6.5) than they are to the 19 and younger age group. Obviously, the answer is somewhere in the middle and we have to take into account older individuals dropping out of the sample population as they head off to school, but there is precious little discussion of this extremely important number.

        Finally, given the importance of age in the incidence rate of
        thyroid cancer (as you can see from the two JNCC rates above, there is a major increase in the late teens/early twenties), I find it curious that the authors did not use any of the age-based data that has been produced from the Fukushima sample. For example:

        In addition, a likely underestimated but
        clear increase (eight cases: IRR = 12 with 3 years as a latent duration) of thyroid cancer incidence was observed in the second round screening among cases who were screened and cancer free in the first round. This result cannot be explained by the screening effect because most occult thyroid cancer cases would have been harvested in the first round screening.

        They are correct that this second screening should help negate the screening effect. However, age could very likely explain it and the paper doesn’t bother to mention that as a possible factor even though we have the age data available. For the record, more than 50% of the thyroid cases identified so far have been in children 18 or older.

      • Enkidu

        3. As for the “internal” comparison, the authors designated four least contaminated districts, and used the Southeastern district as their reference point resulting in a slight increase of nearly two-fold for the more heavily contaminated districts. However, had they used the Northeastern least contaminated district, the increase would have been infinity (i.e., n/a); the Western least contaminated district, a slight increase; the Iwaki City least contaminated area, a slight decrease. In other words, they chose the area which would show the highest increase (ignoring infinity) as their baseline and didn’t explain why. I’d like to know why.

        Also, the Fukushima screening program included children in the Aizu region of Fukushima, which is west of the areas compared in this paper and had extremely little fallout. The authors of the study chose to ignore this area and its data for some reason. Again, no explanation, but if you review the screening program data, the Aizu area had an incidence rate on par with the other districts, even though the exposures were negligible. It would be great to see the authors explain why an area with virtually no exposure has incidence rates that are nearly 30 times “external” background if it’s not the screening effect.

      • Sam Gilman

        This is looking “seriously flawed”, to use a euphemism. I can’t work out how it got published in an epidemiology journal.

        Do you have a link to the screening data?

      • Starviking

        Sounds like there should be some “Comment on…” letters going to the journal.

      • Enkidu

        2. On a related point is the JNCC background incidence rate used by the authors. Again, from the paper in applicable part:

        For the external comparison, we used the Japanese mean annual incidence rate estimates for thyroid cancer among persons ages 19 years old and younger (i.e., two per 1,000,000) and 5–24 years old (6.5 per 1,000,000) from 2001 to 2008 reported by the Japanese National Cancer Center, then employed three per 1,000,000 as the reference incidence and estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% CIs in the nine districts.

        Again, I would like to see more explanation as to how they arrived at 3 per 1,000,000, especially given the outsize impact the choice of this number has on their final result. (For instance, if they used 4, rather than 3, the observed increase shrinks by 25%.) As part of that, I would like to know how they handled the fact that this sample group is aging, and, at this point, is much closer to the 5-24 year old age group (i.e., 6.5) than they are to the 19 and younger age group. Obviously, the answer is somewhere in the middle and we have to take into account older individuals dropping out of the sample population as they head off to school, but there is precious little discussion of this extremely important number.

        Finally, given the importance of age in the incidence rate of
        thyroid cancer (as you can see from the two JNCC rates above, there is a major increase in the late teens/early twenties), I find it curious that the authors did not use any of the age-based data that has been produced from the Fukushima sample. For example:

        In addition, a likely underestimated but
        clear increase (eight cases: IRR = 12 with 3 years as a latent duration) of thyroid cancer incidence was observed in the second round screening among cases who were screened and cancer free in the first round. This result cannot be explained by the screening effect because most occult thyroid cancer cases would have been harvested in the first round screening.

        They are correct that this second screening should help negate the screening effect. However, age could very likely explain it and the paper doesn’t bother to mention that as a possible factor even though we have the age data available. For the record, more than 50% of the thyroid cases identified so far have been in children 18 or older.

      • Sam Gilman

        Thank you for a very clear description of how the study was done.

        The internal district comparison seems haphazard in what they deem highest and lowest exposure.

        They (appear to) use distance as a proxy for exposure, and then explain away variations in their results that go against the Fukushima-as-cause theory as a result of non–uniform distribution. And the distribution seems to contradict their zoning. They say iodine flowed mainly in a southerly direction, but the maps I can find suggest that their “least contaminated” areas were actually caught up in a flat sideways V emanating NW (most strongly) and SSW. Iwake was clearly hit more than Koriyama and the “central middle” areas, for example.

        http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201307020068

        This is beginning to look very dodgy indeed.

      • Sam Gilman

        Thank you for a very clear description of how the study was done.

        The internal district comparison seems haphazard in what they deem highest and lowest exposure.

        They (appear to) use distance as a proxy for exposure, and then explain away variations in their results that go against the Fukushima-as-cause theory as a result of non–uniform distribution. And the distribution seems to contradict their zoning. They say iodine flowed mainly in a southerly direction, but the maps I can find suggest that their “least contaminated” areas were actually caught up in a flat sideways V emanating NW (most strongly) and SSW. Iwake was clearly hit more than Koriyama and the “central middle” areas, for example.

        http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201307020068

        This is beginning to look very dodgy indeed.

  • Sam Gilman

    Thanks – I’ll have a look at that this weekend.

    Did you see that there was a oddly non-committal companion comment about the article in the same issue?

    http://pdfs.journals.lww.com/epidem/9000/00000/Screening_For_Thyroid_Cancer_after_the_Fukushima.99114.pdf

    To my eye, it reads terribly like someone trying to quietly say that this study isn’t up to much (it is gently insistent about what the study does not show), although that may be me reading too much into it. The thing is, on another site someone has noticed that the period between submission and final acceptance for Tsuda’s study was rather long, suggesting some extended wrangling over the content. I wonder if this companion article was a deal struck.

    • Enkidu

      Yes, I did see that commentary and my impression was the same as yours. I thought the following quote was somewhat indicative:

      Similary, these findings do not add anything new regarding radiation-induced (or related) thyroid cancer.

      That’s very dismissive in this context as if you think their results are correct, you’ve just blown a hole through the traditional view that the dose-response relationship is linear. In other words, they believe they have shown massive (20 – 50 times) increases in Fukushima, virtually over the entire prefecture, from their least contaminated areas to their most contaminated areas, even though doses would have varied dramatically as you work yourself away from the plant, starting to the NW corridor and then down towards Tochigi. If thyroid cancer were truly as sensitive as they say it is, it should have followed an easily discernable progression along that path towards Tochigi. And then we have the latency period issue that you have mentioned. Their assertions would completely upset what we know about latency periods in thyroid cancer.

      The more I read this study the more fed up I become. Note the following statement they used to dismiss the screening effect:

      Furthermore, according to the data data reported by Fukushima Prefecture, positive lymph node metastases were observed in 40 of 54 cases (74%) operated at the Fukushima Medical University Hospital. This finding indicates that cancers detected by screening were not at a particularly early stage.

      First of all, the positive lymph node metastases would only lead to clinical diagnoses if the kids were receiving regular exams for this. They don’t. The number one trigger is difficulty swallowing and that depends on the size of the thyroid tumor, not whether it metastasized to the lymph nodes. They are clearly hiding the ball here.

      Moreover, this information directly refutes their assumptions regrading latency! Conveniently, they seem to have forgotten that these cancers “were not at a particularly early stage” when coming up with their latency assumptions.

      Every which way you look at it, from them deliberately ignoring contradictory evidence in the Fukushima screening program (i.e., Aizu), to using a baseline that fits their narrative without explanation, to unreasonable assumptions about latency periods, etc., etc., this study stinks.

      • Sam Gilman

        I get fed up with the role of journalism in propagating bad science.

        It is pretty clear that several prominent scientists when approached cast very serious doubt on this paper. We already have Shoichiro Tsugane condemning this, as well as the paper from Scott Davidson, and previous criticism of this approach from Shinichi Suzuki and Tetsuya Ohiru from Fukushima Medical University. Then in NPR:

        http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/08/446873871/fukushima-study-links-childrens-cancer-to-nuclear-accident

        Other researchers are skeptical of the new result. Geraldine Thomas, a professor at Imperial College who has studied thyroid cancer from Chernobyl, says the analysis incorrectly compares the screening in Fukushima to clinical cases of thyroid cancer in which patients are already sick. The comparison falsely suggests thyroid cancer in Fukushima is elevated by as much as 50 times compared with the general population. “This is not a very good paper to be basing opinions on,” she says.

        David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, adds that the study makes no effort to trace the exposure of patients. “It’s simply relating geographic regions to cancer risks and not looking at individual radiation doses,” he says, adding that without that information, it’s virtually impossible to connect the screenings to the accident.
        “It really doesn’t tell us the whole story,” he says.

        The story really should be “Study claims of extremely high rates of thyroid cancer from Fukushima criticised by experts”, and questions asked of the journal editor about the review process. After all, we’re interested in the truth, aren’t we?

        Alas, that’s not how journalism works. From the openly anti-nuclear AP journalist Yuri Kageyama (“scientists are divided on this issue”) we have this quote, allegedly also from David Brenner:

        David J. Brenner, professor of radiation biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center, took a different view. While he agreed individual estimates on radiation doses are needed, he said in a telephone interview that the higher thyroid cancer rate in Fukushima is “not due to screening. It’s real.”

        http://apnews.myway.com/article/20151008/as–japan-nuclear-childrens_cancer-1ded32614b.html

        I very much doubt, in the light of the quote cited by science journalist Geoff Brumfiel in NPR, that David Brenner meant what Kageyama presents him as meaning.

  • Starviking

    It’s because they were rapidly evacuated. The medications were held by the municipalities.

    • BacSi

      X Howdy Starviking. Once again, the devil is in the details. Yes, the area was evacuated. But let’s look at your descriptive word, “rapidly”.

      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.

      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.

      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.

      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.
      I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.

      • Starviking

        Yes, let’s look at my word “rapidly”.

        A 3 km zone evacuation order around 9pm on the day of the disaster, a 10 km order close to 6 am the next day, and a 20 km order around 6 pm that day.

        I think that qualifies as rapid.

        As for the shelter-in-place zone, that means: stay in your house. Why? To avoid exposure.

        The Potassium Iodine tablets were held by the municipalities, so for most of the residents they would be inaccessible, unless they wanted to risk getting exposed to get them.

        Many people might argue that Plant 1 did not explode until day 2, and so the magnitude of the disaster could not have been predicted so quickly. I will simply say that all three of the plants that were operating exploded within 4 days, and that these explosions were known to be mathematically certain by the operators to occur within a few hours, given that the reactor vessels were partially contained and there was no chance to be able to cool the reactors for several days. Any Plant manager in the world would know this and would have conveyed that information to the government.

        I see, so you were unaware of measures like using fire engines to pump water into the reactors to cool them?

        You were also unaware that damage to the plants was uncertain, and so talking of mathematical certainty is unwarranted.

        Maybe you were also unaware that there was massive death, injury and destruction on the Pacific Coast of Tohoku that also had the government’s attention?

      • BacSi

        Howdy again Starviking. This is an interesting and stimulating discussion and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

        As you know, the word, “rapidly” is a relative term. We obviously disagree on its use, and I can accept that. Knowing that, and without intending any offence to you at all, I will not hire you as a crisis manager for my city.

        March 11 at about 2:45 pm an earthquake struck Japan and the reactors 1, 2, and 3 are shut down.

        At about 3 pm, reactor 1’s emergency cooling system is manually turned off.

        At about 3:45 pm, the tsunami hits the Fukushima power plant and the backup diesel generators are put out of action.

        After about 3 and a half hours without any coolant, at 6:18 pm, the emergency coolant system for reactor 1 is back on line.

        About 1 hour later, at 7:30 pm, the reactor 1’s core is fully exposed and the fuel rods begin to melt to the bottom of the reactor vessel.

        At about 9pm, roughly five hours into the plant crisis, people were evacuated from a 3 km (1.8 miles) area around the plant, and people 10 km (6.2 miles) were told that they could either evacuate or stay indoors. The Iodine supply was not made available to anyone.

        The decision to evacuate the population 3 km from the power plant only 5 hours after the plant went into crisis sounds fast. But it was not.

        Well before the evacuation order was given, the plant manager knew the Reactor 1 fuel rods were melting to the bottom of the vessel. He knew this because he knew the reactor had almost no coolant for about 3 hours, the water level, the temperature, and the pressure. The figure attached shows how much of reactor 1 fuel had melted at this point.

        There is no ambiguity here. The reactor vessel will have to be depressurized before the hydrogen explodes. Even releasing the hydrogen at this point is very dangerous, especially if you release it into the reactor building instead of straight into the outside air.

        Given the bureaucracy involved, I can accept that the evacuation order was done within a reasonable time for those people within the 3 km area. But it was ridiculously late for the people 16 km (10 miles) from the plant because they knew that a large radioactive release had to happen, and that a hydrogen explosion was dangerously possible.

        You made several other references to my last post. Access to the iodine. Mandatory evacuation means they leave the area and pick up their iodine tabs when they reach a safe zone. People in areas considered “safe” enough to stay in their own homes must go get the iodine.
        The probability of exposure to Radioactive Iodine should be very low in their area.

        The fire engines did not help to cool any of the reactors. The pipes that they used had no access to any of the reactor cores because of the number of systems out of operation. Given the amount of time that was spent on this failed attempt to cool the reactors, its not hard to conclude that the plant manager must have been mentally overwhelmed with the technical complexities of this crisis. This is actually good evidence that the magnitude of the crisis was not being translated into taking the proper protective steps to safeguard the people near the plant.

        The uncertainty of the damage to the reactors is devastating to any argument not to initiate the Evacuation Plan on a large scale. But they had water level, pressure, and temperature data available to them. And like I said, the decision to evacuate was reasonable for the people within the 3 km zone. But not for all the people in danger.

        Take a good look at the attached figure. THAT damage, known 5 hours after the earthquake and 4 hours after the tsunami, translates to a mathematic certainty that radiation must be released. Nothing could be more obvious. If radiation must be released, then you must evacuate the area. One does not need to study the works of George Boole to help with that decision.

        You seem to be arguing that the plant manager’s confusion about the complexities of the damage to the plant does not amplify the immediate necessity to order the mandatory evacuation of an area at least 10 miles from the plant.

        You might unrealistically argue that the plant manager simply did not know his job. That he did not realize that the water level standing well below the core and the rising temperature and pressure meant that the core was melting. If the plant manager was that untrained and that mentally unstable, then the evacuation order should have been given the day he was hired for the job. I dismiss this argument as completely unrealistic and anyone who supports it must take a good look at the training that plant managers must go through before becoming a plant manager.

        Several electrical sensors were put out of action when the backup generators failed. But the manual readouts of water level, temperature and pressure on the reactor vessels still worked.

        Your “embarrassing” comment that I might be unaware of all the death and destruction the tsunami caused is pointless to this discussion. The decision to implement the Evacuation Plan is in the hands of the plant manager. The government may decide to alter or even refuse to implement the Evacuation Plan. If they do, then the government is to blame for placing so many people at higher levels of risk. But if the plant manager never ordered the implementation of the Evacuation Plan, then he is responsible. I assure you, the plant manager may have been extremely empathetic to the death and the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami. But his whole attention was focused on the plant crisis and its repercussions.

        Oddly enough, the earthquake and tsunami would have shortened the reaction time the government would have needed to evacuate the population around the plant. The emergency services were already called up and organized to help the population.

      • BacSi

        It seems that I cannot attach a figure to a response. So I will describe it as a core with 60 percent of its fuel melted toward the bottom. The core melts from the center downward.

  • Starviking

    “Smaller Iodine release than Chernobyl. Who has said that?”

    The authors of the study…

    The radiologic equivalence to 131I International Nuclear Event
    Scale was approximately one-sixth of the 5,200 petabecquerel
    calculated to have been released by the Chernobyl accident.

  • BacSi

    Howdy Starviking. Once again, the devil is in the details. Yes, the area was evacuated. But let’s look at your descriptive word, “rapidly”.

    Immediately after the accident, the government ordered residents to evacuate in only a 3 km (1.86 mi) radius around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant.

    The earthquake occurred at 14:46 on Friday, 11 March 2011. The earthquake triggered a 13-to-15-metre (43 to 49 ft) maximum height tsunami that arrived at approximately 15:36 – 50 minutes later. The Cooling system for the plant failed at that same time.

    The government initially set in place a 4-stage evacuation process: a prohibited access area out to 3 km (1.86 mi), an on-alert area 3–20 km (1.86-12.4 mi) and an evacuation prepared area 20–30 km (12.4 – 18.6 mi). On day one nearly 134,000 people were evacuated from the prohibited access and on-alert areas.

    It would have been difficult to administer medication to the 134,000 people who were within the 3 to 20 km (1.86-12.4 mi) “prohibited” and “alert area” on day one as they were being evacuated. However, it would not have been difficult to administer medication to the 354,000 people who were not evacuated until four days later.

    It most certainly would not have been difficult to administer the medication to the people who had been advised to stay indoors in the “prepared area” and later advised to evacuate 14 days later on March 25.

    Many people might argue that Plant 1 did not explode until day 2, and so the magnitude of the disaster could not have been predicted so quickly. I will simply say that all three of the plants that were operating exploded within 4 days, and that these explosions were known to be mathematically certain by the operators to occur within a few hours, given that the reactor vessels were partially contained and there was no chance to be able to cool the reactors for several days. Any Plant manager in the world would know this and would have conveyed that information to the government.

    I understand that the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry; the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy were later fired. Is it possible that these individuals minimized the nature of the disaster and intentionally withheld the medication from the children? If that is true, I would ask how many years in prison they each received? If they were never charged or arrested, then I would have to repeat my assertion; I admit that I am not familiar with Japanese culture. To say the least, I am shocked.

    • Starviking

      The reason why not would be because of side effects.

      From the US Centers for Disease Control:

      What are the side effects of KI (potassium iodide)?

      Side effects of KI (potassium iodide) may include stomach or gastro-intestinal upset, allergic reactions, rashes, and inflammation of the salivary glands.

      When taken as recommended, KI (potassium iodide) can cause rare adverse health effects related to the thyroid gland.

      These rare adverse effects are more likely if a person:

      Takes a higher than recommended dose of KI

      Takes the drug for several days

      Has a pre-existing thyroid disease.

      Newborn infants (less than 1 month old) who receive more than one dose of KI (potassium iodide) are at risk for developing a condition known as hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone levels that are too low). If not treated, hypothyroidism can cause brain damage.

      Infants who receive more than a single dose of KI should have their thyroid hormone levels checked and monitored by a doctor.

      Avoid repeat dosing of KI to newborns.

      • BacSi

        Howdy again Starviking. It’s good to hear from you, I appreciate your comments.

        There are many indications why a person should not take large doses of Iodine. The CDC lists some, but certainly not all the possible side effects. It stimulates the activity of the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) enzyme, which triggers thyroid hormone production. If a patient suffers from either Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, or a number of other autoimmune diseases the patient’s condition will dramatically worsen over time.

        However even in these severe cases, taking one tablet 30 minutes prior to evacuation will do no harm to even a child, especially if the parent administers the correct dose to the child based on the child’s age – as indicated on the bottle.

        You have listed several possible side effects – none of which are dangerous assuming the patient is under the care of a doctor. Giving a child the proper dose of iodine in an environment permeated by radioactive Iodine 131, so the family can quickly evacuate the area, is like immunizing yourself for cholera prior to going into an area rampant with the disease. You wouldn’t refuse the immunization because you might have a mild stomach upset or diarrhea. The reason you wouldn’t is because although the side effects might be uncomfortable, untreated cholera will very likely kill you.

        The fact is that there isn’t a single medication or food that an individual can ingest that does not have possible side effects, including a Placebo. You must balance the risk with the benefits. There are plenty of medical side effects when you add salt to your food; and since we are talking about damaging the thyroid, drinking a glass of Fluoride dosed green tea.

        From your last post, I get the impression that you are suggesting that the side effects of taking Iodine are more dangerous than the radioactive Iodine.

        Please be assured that it has been “Standard Medical Practice” for well over 55 years now. Adult dosage 130 mg; age 3 to 18 yr, 65 mg; age 1 to 36 mo, 32 mg; age < 1 mo, 16 mg. I can tell you that treating patients exposed to radioactive fallout is extremely intensive. And in the case of the Fukushima accident that exposed several million people to radioactive fallout, completely impractical. But the one thing that all nuclear plant evacuation plans include (even the one the Fukushima plant had), is a large and readily available supply of Iodine tablets and a planned distribution system. Why do you think that several hundreds of thousands of Iodine tablets were already available for distribution immediately after the accident?

        So just for clarification, are you arguing against the long standing “Standard Medical Practice” of distributing Iodine tablets to a population exposed to radioactive Iodine?

        Personally, I refuse to believe that you are more concerned with gastro-intestinal upset, allergic reactions, and rashes vs. thyroid carcinoma, unless you specifically tell me so. I think that you are trying to rationalize a decision made by respected administrators that violated the Fukushima Emergency Evacuation Plan that was based on long standing medical practice.

        Please be assured. The next time a nuclear plant melts down in Japan, they will distribute the Iodine. The decision by trained people knowledgeable about nuclear power and the effects of radiation, not to distribute the Iodine, is simply unsupportable.

      • Starviking

        Here’s what you wrote earlier:

        I see no reason why non-radioactive iodine was not administered to the all the Japanese children in the country for 4 months.

        Here’s what the CDC says:

        Infants (particularly newborns) should receive a single dose of KI. More than a single dose may lead to later problems with normal development.

        You say:

        You have listed several possible side effects – none of which are dangerous assuming the patient is under the care of a doctor.

        Do you know that there are a lot of children in Japan? Fukushima had 300,000 in a population of 2,000,000. That’s 15 percent. Japan has a population of around 127 million, so a ballpark figure for children would be 19 million. You seem to be suggesting that you would dose 19 million kids daily for 4 months, under medical supervision. That’s not only insane from the personnel aspect, but also from the side-effects aspect.

        So just for clarification, are you arguing against the long standing “Standard Medical Practice” of distributing Iodine tablets to a population exposed to radioactive Iodine?

        No, but I am against you suggestion that they should be used freely without any reference to medical authorities – which you seem to be proposing.

        Personally, I refuse to believe that you are more concerned with gastro-intestinal upset, allergic reactions, and rashes vs. thyroid carcinoma, unless you specifically tell me so. I think that you are trying to rationalize a decision made by respected administrators that violated the Fukushima Emergency Evacuation Plan that was based on long standing medical practice.

        Personally, I am against the armchair generaling that you are engaging in. I accept the recommendations of authorities like the CDC and others who told me to wait for authorization before taking KI.

        As usual, you fail to take on board key aspects of the tsunami and disaster:

        1) The KI was held by the municipalities, and distributed by them.

        2) These municipalities were in a sorry state from the earthquake and tsunami.

        3) Electricity, communications, transport, water, petrol, kerosene, food and other supplies were limited or not available – the main ports were smashed, rail links were cut, and roads were damaged. The only thankful thing we had were boondoggle airports on the Japan Sea side of Tohoku which could accomodate aid and rescue flights.

        4) There were multiple priorities, most notably the people having to shelter in the open. Many people died of exposure as it unseasonally started to snow the night of the disaster. Other places, like Kessenuma, has to fight raging fires that threatened to finish what the tsunami had started.

        You ignore facts that are inconvenient to your argument, and preach from a high pulpit. As someone who lived through the disaster – no electicity, no heat, limited supplies – and had to process a lot of FUD and hype from people overseas who seemed to think Fukushima Daiichi was the extent of the problem – I find that despicable.

      • greenthinker2012

        BacSci also ignores that the population of Japan already has a diet with sufficient iodine to ensure their thyroids are not starved for iodine.
        This is in direct contrast to the low-iodine diet and thyroid loading in Chernobyl.

      • greenthinker2012

        BacSci also ignores that the population of Japan already has a diet with sufficient iodine to ensure their thyroids are not starved for iodine.
        This is in direct contrast to the low-iodine diet and thyroid loading in Chernobyl.

      • BacSi

        Howdy greenthinker2012. Thank you for your comment.

        THYROID
        Volume 18, Number 6, 2008
        Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
        DOI: 10.1089=thy.2007.0379

        Japan Radioisotope Association
        2-28-45 Honkomagome
        Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
        113-8941 Japan

        “The Average of Dietary Iodine Intake due to the Ingestion of Seaweeds is 1.2 mg a day in Japan.”

        “Adverse effects of Konbu ingestion was reported as costal goiter in one area of Hokkaido where the average daily intake of iodine from Konbu was 20mg.”

        The AMA recommended dose of Iodine in anticipation of exposure to a radioactive Iodine environment is:

        Adult dosage 130 mg; age 3 to 18 yr, 65 mg; age 1 to 36 mo, 32 mg; age < 1 mo, 16 mg.

        That would mean that an average adult in Hokkaido would probably be consuming enough Iodine to protect a child less than 1 year old.

        That brings up an interesting question. How has the consumption of Konbu changed since the Fukushima accident? Are the people avoiding the seaweed since they started dumping the radioactive coolant into the Pacific Ocean near Japan?

      • greenthinker2012

        I sure hope people are not afraid to eat the seafood and seaweed in Japan.
        There is no danger, but there is a lot of misinformation and fear.

      • BacSi

        Howdy again greenthinker2012

        No, I do not want to frighten anyone if they have no options available to them. Do the Japanese people have any options available to them? They couldn’t import all their food if they wanted to. And I do not see an alternative to the 55 nuclear power plants Japan needs for energy.

        I see your point, meaning absolutely no sarcasm at all.

      • Sam Gilman

        You’re confusing your units: total dose and dose per day.

      • BacSi

        Howdy Sam Gilman. Thank you for pointing out an error that I made. I do not want to draw conclusions from incorrect data, much less share them. But there has been several comments about data. Could you please be more specific? Again, I appreciate your attention in this matter.

      • Sam Gilman

        The issue is whether a high iodine diet over of a period of time leads to the equivalent or near equivalent saturation of the thyroid brought by a one time supplement.

        I don’t know, but I do know that experts in the field constantly point to the high iodine diet as a reason, in addition to the low doses received, for saying that there will likely be no genuinely detectable increase in thyroid cancers.

      • BacSi

        Howdy again Sam Gilman. Again, thank you for your comment. I understand your post and I certainly hope that analysis is correct. However, I am still concerned about the error that you spotted in my figures. I truly do not want to post an error or draw erroneous conclusions from it. Or are you saying that it wasn’t a total dose vs a dose per day issue, but rather the conclusion that differs with the experts that you referenced in your last post? Again, I appreciate your attention in this matter.

      • Sam Gilman

        It’s the total dose vs dose per day issue.

        I can see where you’re coming from about whether the government did or did not take appropriate action in the circumstances. The argument here is that for iodine supplements in any case, it probably was not as crucial an issue as you may think. What the government apparently did get right was the control of foodstuffs. In Chernobyl, no effort was made (if anything there were virtual counter-efforts) to stop children from consuming contaminated food, particularly milk. The dosimetry surveys suggest that iodine exposure was successfully limited here following the Fukushima releases.

      • BacSi

        Howdy again Sam Gilman. Thank you for your comment, and I understand. I offer my sincere condolences to the Japanese people for all the pain and suffering that they endured. Take care Sam Gilman.

      • BacSi

        Howdy again Starviking. When you inject terms like “despicable,” I’m concerned that you might be getting too emotional to have a serious conversation. Please do not think that because I am limiting this conversation to the plant crisis that I am not intensely empathetic towards victims of tragedy anywhere in the world. When I was much younger, I was the Non Commission Officer in Charge of the MASH Operating Room; standing by for emergencies anywhere in the North West portion of the US – attached to Madigan General Hospital. I got that job because of my personal experience in every aspect of trauma surgery and crisis management in South East Asia.

        Much of my life was in direct contact with people who were victims of tragedies under the most primitive conditions.

        The odd thing about our discussion, is that I am arguing that the Fukushima Power plant and or the Japanese government acted in a way that did not properly protect the nearby Japanese population. Meanwhile, you are arguing that limiting the evacuation to just 3 km was “rapid”; and that the government was correct in withholding Iodine from the population, which contradicts every aspect of emergency planning and the American Medical Association – using quotes from the CDC that are out of context with respect to a radiologic environment.

        This next section is a quote from the CDC regarding the consumption of Iodine in a RADIOACTIVE environment.

        XXXXX

        “Who can take KI (potassium iodide)?

        The thyroid glands of a fetus and of an infant are most at risk of injury from radioactive iodine. Young children and people with low amounts of iodine in their thyroid are also at risk of thyroid injury.

        Infants (including breast-fed infants):

        Infants have the highest risk of getting thyroid cancer after being exposed to radioactive iodine. All infants, including breast-fed infants need to be given the dosage of KI (potassium iodide) recommended for infants.

        Infants (particularly newborns) should receive a single dose of KI. More than a single dose may lead to later problems with normal development. Other protective measures should be used.

        In cases where more than one dose is necessary, medical follow up may be necessary.

        Children:

        The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that all children internally contaminated with (or likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine take KI (potassium iodide), unless they have known allergies to iodine (contraindications).”

        XXXXX

        Let’s also look at the Merck Manual under Radiation; protection from.

        “If there is exposure to radioiodine (which is presumed after a reactor incident or nuclear detonation), the patient should be given K iodide (KI) as soon as possible; its effectiveness diminishes significantly within several hours after exposure.”

        The Merck Manual goes on to detail specific doses based on age, which I described in an earlier post.
        (Adult dosage 130 mg; age 3 to 18 yr, 65 mg; age 1 to 36 mo, 32 mg; age < 1 mo, 16 mg.) Note that the Manual specifies that children less than one year old should receive a 16 mg of Iodine.

        If, after reviewing detailed instructions from both the CDC and American Medical Association on Iodine consumption in a radioactive environment, you still argue the population of Japan was better served by not providing Iodine to its exposed population; we are at an impasse. I can only assume that your perception of the risks of contracting cancer from radiation is different from just about every professional medical organization that I can think of.

        By the way, when a government does issue any drug in response to a specific emergency, the government has previously received authorization from the proper medical authorities. In this case, the government chose to disregard those recommendations. Yes, by not issuing the Iodine tablets to the population in danger of being exposed to radioactive Iodine (and the Prussian Blue tablets to those people not evacuated early enough to avoid being directly exposed to radioactive Cesium and Thallium) the Government disregarded medical advice from the CDC and the AMA.

        You will note that part of emergency planning includes instructions on how often Iodine should be consumed. My reference to 4 months was a physics reference only. Radioactive Iodine only lasts about 4 months. Assuming that populations are properly evacuated from the dangerous areas, the consumption of Iodine need not be continued. Each bottle of Iodine provided to the population contains a small pamphlet that provides additional instructions.

        Typical is this one:

        “Administered KI is effective for about 24 hours. The State or local health department will issue instructions regarding how long to continue taking KI. Once individuals are removed from the areas affected by the release, there is no need to continue taking KI.”

        I respect your empathy for the people of Japan being subjected to “armchair generaling” that you say that I am engaging in. I will accept your embarrassing remark because I’m sure the Japanese people are pained by the attention it has attracted. However, the errors made at the Japanese people’s expense, call out for comment. Especially when good intentioned people like yourself are supporting their harmful decisions.

        If you think that either you or the Japanese government followed the recommendations of the CDC you are sadly mistaken. And I would suggest that before you make a statement like the KI was distributed by the municipalities, you might mention that there were only two instances where Iodine was released, and in both cases it was unauthorized by the government.

        According to a March 17, 2014 article from a Swedish publication called FBL.FI; Dr. Syunichi Yamashita (vice president of Nagasaki University), who now belittles the significance of the 300 percent increase in cancer incidence in children saying that it is only a function of the focused cancer screening program that they are receiving, was instrumental in the blocking of the distribution of iodine pills in the days after the disaster. He publicly announced that iodine distribution to the Fukushimans was unnecessary, even in the areas that had to be evacuated.

        The article goes on to say that there were only two instances where Iodine was distributed. The town of Miharu, 50 km away from the crippled reactors, where the mayor made his own decision to provide iodine tablets to all residents. At the time, he got a lot of criticism for this, because no go-ahead had been given by higher authority. Later it became clear that the distribution of pills was the right decision.

        The other example was the Fukushima Medical University (FMU) employees. All the employee of the Medical University, their families, and the students took Iodine right after the March 12 explosion of reactor 1. Because this was not in line with the authorities’ recommendation, all employees were ordered to keep the matter secret.

        Dr. Syunichi Yamashita later admitted in an interview that he had significantly underestimated the radiation level and it would have been better if medical iodine had been given to residents in the entire region.

        This is exactly why Emergency Evacuation Plans are drawn up in advance of nuclear accidents. Obviously Dr. Syunichi Yamashita was not aware that 5 hours into the emergency, Reactor 1 was melting down and producing a vessel full of radioactive Hydrogen that would have to be vented into the air.

        If my concern and comments in support of the safety of the Japanese people warrants an apology, then I freely give it. The Japanese people and culture are beautiful and respected throughout the world.

  • greenthinker2012

    David,
    It is the personal website of PacE, alias NukePro, alias FrankEnergy, alias Steve, alias SteveO etc etc.
    He has been caught in the past posting altered documents on his website claiming they were originals.
    The site is basically garbage.