Saturday, April 30, 2011

Losing My Religion

I grew up in a household that respected science and believed in the objectivity of the scientific method. Science was one of my strong subjects and I particularly enjoyed the romance of particle physics in college. However, the real-world problems of politics and the fun of rhetorical analysis pulled me away from the scientific enterprise.

Still, I had my religion. Science and the scientific method were objective, non-partisan, and neutral.
Over the last 20 years I lost my religion. Science began to look less objective.

I saw as an insider within the university how grant funding dictated the types of questions scientists asked.

I saw how the profession would occasionally act unethically by forcing graduate students into the position of low-paid laborers denied the opportunity to graduate by major professors who relied on their expert labor.

I also saw how chemistry departments dumped their research by-products in the environment at a certain prestigious mid-western university (this practice was supposedly discontinued but the pollution remains).

As public funding for universities dried up, the problem of grant money driving research became much worse. I saw in the social sciences how academics became business-people more interested in getting the next grant than any other priority and how these grants reflected political priorities that were biased, prejudicial, and class-biased.

Even worse, I saw how science was fundamentally corrupted by money and politics. Pharmaceutical research and testing by universities illustrate how science is corrupted by money. Recall that Ivy League child psychiatrists who was on the take for money from a large pharmaceutical company and returned the favor by coining new syndromes such as “biopolar disorder” that was best treated by the said pharmaceutical company’s drug.

Look also at the historical research record on the subjects of lead poisoning, the health effects of pesticides, the health effects of radiation. Industry and corporate sponsored university scientists denied for decades that lead paint could hurt children, that pesticides could produce birth defects and cancer, and that low-to-medium level exposures of radiation could cause cancer and birth defects.

Effects that occurred years after exposure or from years of low-level exposure were denied over and over again by industry scientists and by university scientists with grants that incentivized finding no effects.
Scientists were willing to deny effects and manipulate how they framed problems and how they interpreted results in order to bolster the legitimacy and neutrality of polluters.

Today scientists bemoan the scientific ignorance of the public. However, the public has good reason to be skeptical of scientific authority. The public has good reason to question the neutrality of scientific research. The public has good reason to be skeptical of the academic-industrial complex.

I still believe in the possibility and practice of good science. Good science isn’t neutral in its problem-solution frames. Good science seeks out problems that address human concerns and needs. Good science looks to understand and explain free of economically-based prejudices. Good scientists are willing to publish their findings and fight-back against those who deny them because they call into question relations of wealth and privilege and/or that discomfort corporate and government agendas.

Good science is losing ground because it is often not funded. However, the research scientists who persevere to help improve the human condition should be recognized and applauded.

Conversely, those of us who challenge scientific biases and prejudices should not cower or be concerned by those who deny our skepticism. We should not be cowed by those who would respond to our critiques by calling us ignorant or unscientific because we see long term implications whose patterns are rendered invisible by incentivized data manipulation and selective interpretation.

Government and industry paid scientists denied that nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s caused cancer.

Government and insdustry paid scientists denied that lead in the absence of extremely high levels of exposure could cause health and cognitive effects

Government and industry scientists have denied and manipulated data for personal gain.
see "How Drug Company Money Has Corrupted Psychiatry"

Links for Today

On bio-accumulation

On children's risk of cancer

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fukushima Updates and Surplus Populuations

As of April 27, radiation at the Fukushima plant was up significantly

"Radiation readings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi station rose to the highest since an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, impeding efforts to contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

"Two robots sent into the reactor No. 1 building at the plant yesterday took readings as high as 1,120 millisierverts of radiation per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said today. That’s more than four times the annual dose permitted to nuclear workers at the stricken plant...."

The handling of this ongoing disaster, which the media are quickly forgetting, led Dr Toshiso Kosako to resign in protest:
"UPDATE, 12:30 pm, Friday, April 29, 2011. Toshiso Kosako, a University of Tokyo professor and radiation expert, resigned as a special nuclear advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan today, in protest over the government’s handling of the Fukushima crisis. Kosako was appointed as an advisor on March 16. He told a news conference—apparently holding back tears-- that ''The prime minister's office and administrative organizations have made impromptu policy decisions, like playing a whack-a-mole game, ignoring proper procedures.'' Kosako specifically pointed to the government’s decision to increase allowable exposures to workers from 100 to 250 MilliSieverts/year (from 10 to 25 rems/year; U.S. allowable level for workers is 5 rems/year) and to the decision to allow schoolchildren in Fukushima Prefecture to be exposed to 20 MilliSieverts/year (2 rems/year; 20 times higher than international standards)..."

Particularly disturbing is the lack of regard for the safety of Japanese children. It is outrageous and sickening. See the story here by Robert Alvarez at Counterpunch

Arnie Gunderson makes a similar critique in a RT video posted at energy news

Yesterday I spoke to someone from Arizona's radiation emergency management about efforts to monitor radiation accumulation in food, water, and air in Arizona. I learned that no efforts will be made to monitor accumulation other than to take protective action if safety levels are exceeded.

What this means is there is no effort being taken to monitor the accumulation of radiation in our bodies as a result of continuous low-level exposure. Safety levels are set very high for food and milk so we can be assured of lots of cumulative exposure

This is unbelievable. The most charitable interpretation is that there is no precedent for handling continuous low-level exposure.

However, there is in fact precedent in the years of nuclear testing that occurred in the US southwest. Like then, it appears that the human health effects are irrelevant, collateral damage.

We are in effect surplus populations. Our welfare matters not...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why I'm NOT Buying the Argument that Discovery of Strontium in Milk in Hawaii is Safe

Jeff McMahon of Forbes has a very interesting post titled: "Radioactive Strontium Found in Hilo, Hawaii Milk"

I like Jeff's analysis and am grateful for his reporting.

However, I’m not buying the “Its safe because of trace levels.”

The US Government has a long and documented history of lying about the effects of radioactive contamination. Read Miller’s Under the Cloud or Fradkin’s Fallout.

Miler's Under the Cloud describes how radioactive fallout was re-defined as “sunshine units” to alleviate public concern about testing in the 1940s and magazines such as US News and World Report were given “inside stories” that depicted fallout as a mild nuisance.

An article published in 1956 in US News and World Report titled, “The Facts About A-Bomb ‘Fall-Out’: Not a Word of Truth in Scare Stories Over Tests” claimed:

“Particles of strontium-90 in the air form the greatest long-range danger to humans from the A-bomb tests. Yet, after all of these tests to date, the mount of this substance in the air in the U.S. is only one one-millionth of the level that would produce harmful effects in people” (cited in Miller, page 200).

Miller writes that nuclear physicists and weapons assured public authorities and the public that no risks were posed from fallout, denying even evidence of livestock deaths. Tests checking for radioactive contamination in milk were not pursued for fear of alarming the public (page 203).

The reality, was and is, that Strontium-90 is a killer.

"Studies of baby teeth have documented the impact of low-level exposure to strontium 90. Why study baby teeth?"

"Since their inception, nuclear power plants and bomb facilities have been emitting fission products through accidental releases and through regular allowable emissions that the government classifies as below regulatory concern.

"Radioactive Strontium-90 (Sr-90) is one of these elements, and one of the deadliest. The chemical structure of Sr-90 is so similar to that of calcium that the body gets fooled and deposits Sr-90 in the bones and teeth where it remains, continually emitting cancer-causing radiation.

"Most of the strontium in the baby teeth is transferred to the fetus by the mother during pregnancy. Because we know when and where the baby was born, and where the mother lived while carrying, we can accurately determine when and where radioactivity was absorbed from the environment...."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Was Unit #3 Explosion Nuclear?

I posted this question earlier. Last week blogger Ex-SKF, translating a Japanese news report, suggested that unit #3's explosion was not a hydrogen explosion.

This week Dr. Chris Busby also raised this question.

Today enews has a post considering this possibility.

One of the comments recommends this 3 minute video at youtube that compares the explosions at the plant and considers the evidence of a nuclear explosion. I think the video is a must watch.

Now Arnie Gunderson weighs in on the debate, suggesting criticality occurred in spent fuel pool #3
Does it matter now? I am not sure how much it matters now but I will read more to find out the fallout implications.

I do know that it probably mattered A LOT in March for the people in Japan and the US west coast who were subject to radioactive fallout.

Further, if the explosion was in fact nuclear we have further reason to doubt the pronouncements of TEPCO, the Japanese government, and our political and regulatory authorities.

This disaster is not over yet so don't let disaster fatigue distract you. We must pay attention and demand our voices be heard. I've already called state officials and my school district demanding to know what plans are in place to protect our kids from fallout.

I think we all need to follow Gunderson's urging and call our Congressional representatives and demand that no new licenses be given for new nuclear power plants and demand that old plants be thoroughly reviewed before having their licenses extended.

Do you realize that spent fuel rods must be continuously cooled for up to 5 years before they can be stored somewhere (where is still not clear)? What happens if electricity is interrupted for any length of time for the nuclear plants we have?

Holy @#$%% we could have fuel rods burning all over the country...

Nuclear power is more dangerous than I ever understood or could imagine.

It could be the death of us all....

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Dispersion Map and TEPCO Data

Enews is posting a new map from Norwegian Institute for Air Research Flexpart Forecasts, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU);O=D
The map is scary despite its pretty colors.

Apparently we on the US west coast are being exposed to more than just "low" level radiation if that map is correct.

Blogger EX-SKF has an interesting post today about the amount of radiation increasing at Fukushima:

"#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 4 Turbine Bldg Basement Contaminated Water Rising Rapidly, Cesium Increased 250-Fold from 1 Month Ago"

"From Yomiuri Shinbun (10:57PM JST 4/25/2011) reporting on the first "joint" press conference of Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Nuclear Safety Commission, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Tokyo Electric Power Company including Mr. Hosono, Secretary General of the Unification headquarters of measures for Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident…

"…TEPCO announced on April 25 press conference of the Unification headquarters for the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant accident that the water in the Reactor 4 turbine building basement at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant has 250 times more radioactive cesium than a month ago. ..

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bob Nichols at Veterans Today: FUKUSHIMA = 2,000 Atomic Bombs

April 22, 2011 posted by Bob Nichols

Killer Contamination Spreads Worldwide Without Opposition

(San Francisco) – Radioactive contamination equivalent to the Fukushima, Japan disaster in terms of the hated “Mushroom Cloud” Atomic Bombs is two thousand (2,000) 500 Kiloton Atomic Bombs.* Each 500kt Atomic Bomb is 33 times bigger than the American Bomb that destroyed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945....


I'm Trying to Calculated REM Dose.

Please, please let me know if I've made a mistake here.

The highest reading for milk from Phoenix was 48 picocuries liter. 1 liter is 33.8 ounces.

75 picocuries equals 100 mrem/yr (This is from a conversion chart for 1-131 I found in an article written by Chris Busby )
48 picocuries equals 62.4 mrem
So, 1 liter of milk is 33.8 ounces which is 62.4 mrem

So, if you drank 365 ounces of milk you’ve consumed 673 mrem

Help please! Is this correct?

The EPA guide I’m looking at figures that if
10,000 people are exposed to 1 rem of radiation over a lifetime, cancer rates from that exposure will be 5 to 6


Friday, April 22, 2011

Lab Rats and Fukushima

Radiation lab rates. That is what we are. No one knows what the long term effects of 9 months of exposure to low-level radiation from Fukushima.

We can extrapolate from the data collected on Chernobyl’s effects, the bombs dropped in Japan, and US “downwinders” exposure to nuclear testing in the US in the 1940s and 1950s.

These bodies of data indicate increased risks of cancer and other diseases.

However, each of these incidents is distinct. Nothing like our current situation has occurred before.

Our government agencies and authorities are ill-advised when it comes to this unprecedented disaster.

The EPA will not issue warnings about radiation in air until limits of 1000 are reached.

We may never reach those limits under Fukushima’s conditions (indeed, we hope not to).

Instead, we will simply be exposed to months and months of low-level ionizing radiation that will cumulate in our bodies as we inhale and ingest radionuclides.

What will our cumulative exposure be? No one yet knows.

How many of us will develop cancer? No one knows.

I plan to start collecting data on current rates of cancer and autism diagnoses in AZ and will track them across time in order to document effects.

Still, despite the unknowns and the lack of policy and will to protect us against cumulative exposure, there are steps we can all take to reduce our individual risks. I’ve mentioned some below and also provided links where more information can be gathered.

For the record, the downwinders were approved for settlements from the following cancers
The following are Primary cancers that are covered under this program: Bile ducts, Bladder, Brain, Breast(male and female), Colon/Rectal, Esophagus, Gall Bladder, Leukemia’s(other than CLL or chronic lymphocytic leukemia), Liver(except if there is evidence of cirrhosis or Hepatitis B), Lung, Multiple Myeloma, Nasal Pharynx, Lymphomas(other than Hodgkin's disease), Ovary, Pancreas, Salivary Gland, Small Intestine, Stomach and Thyroid

50,000 is the price the government put on the head of all those who have suffered from these terrible cancers...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is Cancer from Fukushima Inevitable or Unpreventable?

Today's dialogue between Arnie Gunderson and epidemiologist Dr. Steven Wing was very disappointing. Dr. Wing essentially said there would be increased rates of cancer in the U.S. from the Fukushima radiation but that the public's energies would be better spent preventing more plants from being built rather than trying to protect against Fukushima radiation exposure.

I fundamentally disagree with Dr. Wing's position and even Arnie seemed rather nonplussed.

We do not have to accept inevitability because there are steps we can take to reduce our risks.

First, the research I examined asserted that the effects of radionuclides are moderated by the presence or absence of other chemicals. So, for example, although nuclear plant workers have higher rates of cancer, those who smoke while working at a nuclear plant are really likely to die from cancer.

So, you can reduce your personal risk level by removing known toxins from your daily habits and eating practices. Now is a great time to stop smoking and to reduce your processed food intake. Switch to organic now if possible. Pesticides and radionuclides are not a good combination.

Second, sugar may feed tumor growth. I've seen new research on the role of corn syrup in particular  We could all increase our health and reduce our risk for cancer by reducing our intake of processed sugar. That sucks I know.

Third, radiation contamination bio-accumulates in milk. The lesson is obvious, even if hard to implement for those of us who love ice cream.

Fourth, I've read that reverse-osmosis systems help filter water and reduce impurities, including certain forms of radiation. I really don't know if this is true or not but reverse-osmosis does reduce impurities that might increase your overall susceptibility. Our water is contaminated with perchlorate and other chemicals so filtering it can only help.

Fifth, there are many radiation networks out there including the EPA's radnet. It seems like a good idea to check air levels if you plan on spending alot of time outside. Here is a link for an article that discusses these sites

Sixth, avoid being caught in the rain since rain washes out contamination.

Seventh, cover your home garden when it rains to protect from contaminated rainwater.

Eighth, consider consuming more food products that help boost your immune system.

I believe that we can take steps to reduce our risks and I believe we have a moral responsibility to do this for our children who are typically more biologically vulnerable than we are as adults.

If you read this, please add in the comment sections your ideas and links you have found to be helpful for offering advice that makes sense and that does not require individuals to purchase high-priced products.

here are a couple links to start the conversation

A general discussion of how to avoid radioactive contamination

An article about herbs and foods that may combat the effects of radiation contamination

An article on how to protect your garden from rainwater

Do not panic, but be prudent.

Do not fear, but be watchful.

Do not despair for the lesson of our vulnerability is to better appreciate and improve our lives and our communities...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dr Helen Caldicott on Scope and Severity of Fukushima

Helen Caldicott explains scope and severity of Fukushima situation

There have been 3 hydrogen explosions

2 cooling pools are dry and burning because the casing for pellets burns when exposed to air

Each cooling pool has 10 to 20 times as much radiation as in the reactors

In each reactor core is 1000 times as much long lived radiation as produced by the Hiroshima bomb

1 millionth of gram of Plutonium will give you cancer if inhaled

There are 250 kilograms of Plutonium in each reactor (only 2.5 kilograms needed to make a bomb)

Plutonium is escaping into the atmosphere
MAJIA HERE: THIS UPDATE FROM The Low Level Radiation Campaign
"Elevated levels of Uranium have been found in air samplers (filters) operated by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the north Pacific. Recent data for the Mariana Islands (2800 km south of Fukushima) Hawaii, California and Seattle have been found in the RADNET EPA website.
The graph left has been created from the very limited data provided. It shows that uranium (and probably also therefore plutonium) particles have been or are being released by the Fukushima catastrophe..."

MAJIA: I did find the EPA sample results and saved them so I can confirm that uranium was found. I cannot speak to its concentration or risks, although Caldicott speaks to those...

Was the March 12 Fukushima Explosion Something More than Hydrogen

This blogger is in Japan and has offered excellent reporting. This is a must read story posted there today...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gunderson: Unit 2 Producing An Enormous Amount of High Level Radioactive Waste

Arnie Gunderson on Democracy Now

9 months for controlling Fukushima (cold shutdown) is a "really optimistic schedule"

Fukushima "radiation is leaking everyday now" both airborne and liquid (liquid into the ocean). The clouds of smoke we see being released are "radioactive steam."

Also, Unit 2 reactor has a hole and so does its containment and water being poured on it is producing "an enormous amount of high-level radioactive waste"

Is Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation from Fukushima a Risk to Health?

The answer is yes but the unknown is how much of a risk because there are so many variables ranging from exposure level, exposure type, internal versus external, and health and age of the person exposed.

I am going to post some research findings on this subject:


Old model assumed only cells directly subject to radiation were damaged.

New model emphasizes how low-dose radiation can cause indirect damage to cells through the bystander effect and through genomic instability.

The effects of low-dose ionizing radiation are variable and can reduce DNA repair mechanisms, operate lethally on cells or some instances activate them depending upon type of radiation, chemical environment, etc.

“In recent years, several lines of evidence have been accumulating that low-dose effects of ionizing radiation involve formerly unexpected cellular phenomena such as non-targeted and delayed radiation effects. These effects clearly contradict the classical paradigm of radiation biology saying that all radiation effects on cells, tissues and organisms are due to the direct action of radiation on DNA…. As another low-dose non-linear radiation response can be added the phenomenon of low-dose radiation hypersensitivity (LDRH) [68] and [69] that has been observed in many cell types. It manifests itself by high lethality”

Dietrich Averbeck, a, Towards a New Paradigm for Evaluating the Effects of Exposure to Ionizing Radiation Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis Volume 687, Issues 1-2, 1 May 2010 pages 7-12

Low-Dose radiation suppresses the body’s adaptive response against genomic instability

Huang L, Kim PM, Nickoloff JA, Morgan WF. 2007. Targeted and nontargeted effects of low-dose ionizing radiation on delayed genomic instability in human cells. Cancer Research 67:1099–1104.

“The demonstration of a bystander effect in 3D human tissues and, more recently, in whole organisms have clear implication of the potential relevance of the non-targeted response to human health. The observations that the progeny of non-targeted cells show an increase in genomic instability as evidenced by an increase in delayed mutations and chromosomal aberrations many generations afterwards indicate the need for a comprehensive assessment of the bystander issue, particularly among genetically susceptible populations….” (


“Overall, the evidence from the studies conducted following the Chernobyl accident, nuclear tests, environmental radiation pollution and indoor accidental contamination reveals consistently increased chromosome aberration and micronuclei frequency in exposed than in referent children…. Future research in this area should be focused on studies providing information on: (a) effects on children caused by low doses of radiation; (b) effects on children from combined exposure to low doses of radiation and chemical agents from food, water and air; and (c) specific effects from exposure during early childhood (radioisotopes from water, radon in homes). Special consideration should also be given to a possible impact of a radiochemical environment to the development of an adaptive response for genomic damage”

Fucic, A.; Brunborg, G.; Lasan, R.; Jezek, D.; Knudsen, L.E.; Merlo, D.F..Genomic damage in children accidentally exposed to ionizing radiation: A review of the literature. By: Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, Jan2008, Vol. 658 Issue 1/2, p111-123, 13p;


“In a recent paper (Wakeford et al 2009 Leukaemia 23 770–6) we stimated the proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain attributable to natural background radiation to be about 20%. In this paper we employ the two sets of published leukaemia risk models used previously, but use recently published revised estimates of natural background radiation doses received by the red bone marrow of British children to update the previous results. Using the newer dosimetry we calculate that the best estimate of the proportion of cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain predicted to be attributable to this source of exposure is 15–20%...”

Mark P Little1,4, Richard Wakeford2 and Gerald M KendallUpdated estimates of the proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionising radiation Journal of Radiological Protection Volume 29 Number 4 467 10.1088/0952-4746/29/4/001


It is simply untrue that there are no health risks from Fukushima radiation.

However, it is almost impossible to model those health effects directly because of the complexity of the situation and the variation in individual susceptibility based on their level of exposure, their general health, the other chemicals they are exposed to, and their age, among other factors.


Pay attention to radiation results of food testing since internal emitters pose the greatest risk.

Increase overall health by avoiding chemicals that increase susceptibility (known or suspected carcinogenic chemicals) and by eating foods that boost immune response.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fracking Nightmare


Chemicals Were Injected Into Wells, Report Says By IAN URBINA

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats

The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground.

The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas. Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water....

Fukushima Updates 4/18

TEPCO REPORTS IN JAPAN TIMES (hat tip energy news 4/18:

In the No. 3 reactor building, the robots detected a radiation level of 28 to 57 millisieverts per hour on the ground floor.

In the No. 1 reactor building, radiation was measured at between 10 and 49 millisieverts per hour. On Saturday, workers detected 270 millisieverts per hour on the south side of the same floor in the No. 1 unit, Tepco said

Data summary available here

Japan is reporting the disaster will be ongoing for 9 months

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Images of Fukushima: Smoke or Steam Present

These images are worth looking at.

I wish I knew whether or not more explosions are probable.....

BBC is reporting that the Fukushima nuclear nightmare with be over in 9 months

9 more months of radiation contaminating the entire northern hemisphere?

The World Bank is issuing a dramatic warning that the world is 1 shock away from a dramatic food crisis.

This is one reason (aside from the profit imperatives) that no truths will be spoken by US state or federal officials about the true level of contamination of US soil, rainwater, and crops.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

fFukushima Data: Is it Worse Than Reported? Am I Over-Reacting?

I have been watching this map of Cesium release for a month. Take a look at it and watch the dates over the map, on the right side.Radiation is still being released and is travelling across the northern hemisphere.

In fact, courtesy of Energy News I found a USA report that increased spikes of radiation are being found in seawater in Japan

Karl Grossman, an academic critic of nuclear energy, was interviewed yesterday and stated: "U.S. mainstream media has, indeed, downplayed, minimized -- indeed, has been in denial -- regarding the not even fallout possibilities, the fallout realities that have been occurring. This is not in the best interest of anyone because not telling the truth is never good. The media should fully report what the fallout is and how no amount of radioactivity is safe -- any amount can cause cancer. ..."

I noted in my post yesterday that the White House lied about the severity and ongoing contamination of the Gulf of Mexico, as documented in emails posted by The Guardian. Why would this situation be any different? There is no safe level of radiation and we are being subject to continuous low-level radiation with some spikes that are not so low-level and this will continue for months. How safe is that?

Want to take precautions? Milk bio-accumulates radiation from the grass, hay or corn(!) eaten by the cows.

Here is a post by Washington's Blog that offers some suggestions for how to protect your health.

I have a friend who lived in Easter Europe at the time of Chernobyl. Her health has suffered as a result of her exposure to radiation. Some of us will be impacted also.

We should act prudently to minimize our risks.

Friday, April 15, 2011


The Guardian is reporting on how BP and the White House tried to hide scientific findings on the scope of the Gulf disaster.

Here is the link to the memos that the Guardian is posted. They were obtained using the U.S. Freedom of Information Act

Here is the Guardian's story

"Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists...

"Other documents obtained by Greenpeace suggest that the politics of oil spill science was not confined to BP. The White House clashed with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last summer when drafting the administration's account of what has happened to the spilled oil. On 4 August, Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator, demanded that the White House issue a correction after it claimed that the "vast majority" of BP oil was gone from the Gulf. A few days earlier, Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA, and her deputy, Bob Perciasepe, had also objected to the White House estimates of the amount of oil dispersed in the gulf...."

Majia here: maybe we should take anything the Gov says about Fukushima with a grain of salt...

TEPCO Announces Increased Radiation Releases April 14

Also, the Wall Street Journal reports today 4/15/2011 page 10 in print issue that "A new concern arose late Wed. with the discovery that water in reactor No. 4's spent fuel pool was vastly more radioactive than normal."

Arnie Gunderson expressed concerns that at least some of the fuel rods in #4's spent fuel pool were undergoing re-criticality or fission.

Gunderson will be speaking live today at 6:00 p.m Eastern Standard Time.

Fukushima Radiation Questions and Links

Sorry these links are not live so you will need to paste them into your browser.


Karl Grossman says: “Yes, there is naturally occurring “background radiation” of various sorts—and that causes a level of cancer. As the Nuclear Information and Resource Service ( states: ‘Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers. Additional exposures cause additional risks.’ Cited is a 700-page 2005 National Academy of Sciences report, ‘Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation,’ that concluded that: ‘There is no safe level or threshold of ionizing radiation exposure.’ There have been numerous similar reports.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster at One Month: The Explosion of Nukespeak by Karl Grossman

As I’ve cited previously in my blog, the research I found using the scientific index, Science Direct, confirms the assertion that no level of ionizing radiation is safe. However, measuring risk is tricky because of individual differences and because the thresholds that most of us are exposed to cause no immediate, discernable harms but rather increase our long term risks for cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.


Ask how much and for how long?

Also, your response depends upon your approach to risk management.

If you adopt the precautionary principle, the answer is that increased ionizing radiation in milk poses small but detectable long-term risks and thus should be avoided to prevent any level of future harm.

If you take a cost benefit analysis, the answer depends on what you see as the costs for avoiding milk relative to the benefit of the definite but really miniscule threat posed by low levels of radioactive contamination in milk.

A good blog that has discussed the issue of milk safety is Jeff McMahon’s at Forbes. The article is “Why Does the FDA Tolerate More Radiation Than EPA” available at the link here. Read the comment section as well. The comments are very informative.


I think that you should start with what is clearly established.

No level of ionizing radiation is considered safe but we are also exposed to radiation throughout our lives.

Increased amounts of radiation not normally found in our environments such as Iodine and Cesium should cause us to take notice but not panic. It does make sense thought to monitor the situation to assess how long the increased radiation exposure will last and how much of an increase in radioactive nucleotides we are being exposed to.

Radiation that is inhaled or ingested is more dangerous than radiation we are exposed to externally. So it makes sense to monitor carefully radiation in our food and water and to evaluate our consumption of those products using either a precautionary approach or a cost-benefit analysis approach.

The EPA makes this information available, although their data are not always current.


I think it makes sense to evaluate the motives and potential conflicts of interest of the sources of our information.

Nuclear physicists who have PhDs but have worked for the nuclear industry and/or have received grants or other funding from the nuclear industry may have conflicts of interests that skew their judgments or advice.

Also, I’ve noticed that many people working directly with advanced technology believe in the infallibility of their technology and/or have faith in their own ability to monitor and manage any problems with technology. I think Fukushima has demonstrated the folly of that point of view. Fat tails, or extreme events, do happen.

People who are seeking to sell us products to “protect” us from lurking or imminent dangers should also be regarded with some skepticism.


I try and get information from a variety of sources, including the EPA, scientific journals, and through the internet.

When I read something posted in a blog that makes a declarative statement—e.g., “there is no safe level of radiation” I try and test the claim by searching out evidence that would confirm or disconfirm the claim.

Since I’m an academic I like to look at academic research but I’m also increasingly sensitive to the biases that can inflect research that is paid for by industry or some other agent with particular agendas.

I have to come to my own conclusions based on testing the credibility of the sources and be open to new interpretations when I find new, relevant information.

For news updates I like the following

The EPA’s radnet (down now so I cannot get the link)

For interpretation and opinion I like among other sources

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fukushima Risk: How Do Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation Increase Cancer Risk?

I was curious about this question.

So, I used my library's Science Direct data base to find the answer.

Here is what i found.

1. Ionizing radiation is a protoypical DNA-damaging agent. (Wilson et al, 2010)

2. Cancer risks increases with iodizing radiation exposure even at low doses

3. Ionizing radiation damages DNA repair mechanisms. Thus, bodies lose the capability to repair DNA damaged by the radiation or by other mutagens

4. Cancer, birth defects, and immunological problems can thus result from the effects of exposure to low-level ionization

5. There appears to exist individual differences in the susceptibility to the damage causes to DNA repair mechanisms with the possibility being that some subset of the population is particularly vulnerable



Wilson et al in 2010 essay "Inter-Individual Variatin in DNA Double-Strand Break Repair in Human Fibroplasts..." Mutation Research/Fundamental Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, vol 683, pp. 91-97

A.M. Kellerer, Risk estimates for radiation-induced cancer–the epidemiological
evidence, Radiat. Environ. Biophys. 39 (2000) 17–24.

D.J. Brenner, R. Doll, D.T. Goodhead, E.J. Hall, C.E. Land, J.B. Little, J.H. Lubin, D.L.Preston, R.J. Preston, J.S. Puskin, E. Ron, R.K. Sachs, J.M. Samet, R.B. Setlow, M.Zaider, Cancer risks attributable to low doses of ionizing radiation: assessing
what we really know, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100 (2003) 13761–13766.

R. Wakeford, The cancer epidemiology of radiation, Oncogene 23 (2004)

P. Bhatti, J.P. Struewing, B.H. Alexander, M. Hauptmann, L. Bowen, L.H. Mateus-
Pereira, M.A. Pineda, S.L. Simon, R.M. Weinstock, M. Rosenstein, M. Stovall, D.L.
Preston, M.S. Linet, M.M. Doody, A.J. Sigurdson, Polymorphisms in DNA repair
genes, ionizing radiation exposure and risk of breast cancer in U.S. radiologic technologists, Int. J. Cancer 122 (2008) 177–182.

An Essay Explaining Why Fukushima Matters to You

Global Research has an essay (linked above) posted on how Fukushima radiation is spreading worldwide. It is a nice overview.

Levels of radiation outside of Japan are still "low" but cumulative exposure from air, food, water, etc will increase risks for cancer, birth defects, immunological problems, etc.

The cummulative and damaging effects of ionizing radiation have been well documented. Here are some relevant cites:

Overview discussions:

Site dedicated to the subject

Research studies

Effects of Low Doses and Low Dose Rates of External Ionizing Radiation: Cancer Mortality among Nuclear Industry Workers in Three Countries

here is a link to a research study on the dangers of mixed-oxide fuel

Phoenix Level Radiation High Again

162 Beta this morning with a normal level of about 30. One day's exposure is not the real problem. The problem is the accummulation of high levels of exposure across time.

My Letter to the EPA on Fukushima Radiation

Dear Ms. Jackson

As an educated person and a mother I am outraged that the EPA is responding to the Fukushima crisis with an increase in the allowable level of radiation in our food.

I am outraged that our schools are not being instructed to keep kids inside on days with very high radiation from Fukushima. Levels reached in Phoenix have repeatedly exceeded levels considered "safe" when annualized.

Fukushima is going to continue releasing radiation for some time. How many months will it be before the EPA takes action to protect our most vulnerable citizens?

A PLAN must be put in place that instructs schools on how to deal with ongoing radiation. Days with high spikes should be treated like rainy day schedules with the kids kept inside.

Continued levels of contamination in milk should lead the EPA to warn expectant mothers and parents of small children.

After the handling of the BP Gulf corexit debacle, I have come to expect the EPA to place industry profit over human health. The EPA has made a mockery of its charge.

Now is the time for the EPA to redeem itself and to act in accord with its mission to protect human health from the future cancer, birth defects, and immunological problems caused by extended exposure to ionizing radiation. Let us not kid ourselves. This problem is ongoing with no easy resolution....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TEPCO Official: Radiation Release From Fukushima May Eventually Be Worse Than Chernobyl

TEPCO: Radiation From Fukushima May Be Worse Than Chernobyl Apr. 12 2011 -

"An official of Fukushima nuclear power plant operator TEPCO concedes that “the amount of (radioactive) leakage could eventually reach that of Chernobyl or exceed it.”
"The statement followed an announcement yesterday by the Japanese government that it was raising the “significance level” of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDI) to a 7 on the International Nuclear Events Scale — a classification previously only assigned to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.... ...

"The statement by TEPCO underscores that the fact that the situation at FDI is still in flux; radiation is still entering the environment from some of the reactors, and more explosions with even greater releases of radioactivity are possible. A complete resolution to the crisis is likely several months away...."

Majia Here: The amount released may already have exceeded Chernobyl levels (although claimed to be at 10%) for all we know since governments are not forthcoming with the extent and forms of radiation being detected...

Tue April 12 Phoenix Beta Radiation High

This is the highest reading I've detected from the EPA RADNET database so far at 167. Prior to this disaster our normal beta background was around 30. Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Yuma and outher SoCal readings have been "Under Review" since Saturday. You can bet that 3 days of under review really means the readings have deliberately been withheld to avoid public alarm. The greatest risk from these levels of radiation is not external exposure. The greatest contamination risk comes from consuming in food or drink contaminated products such as milk. Unfortunately today Fukushima was hit by yet another earthquake and the plant evacuated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Consumption of Low Levels of Radiation is Dangerous
The entire article written by Helen Caldicott should be read at the Guardian.

Here is an excerpt: "Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow's meat and milk, then humans). [2]

After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer.

Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time. The grave effects of internal emitters are of the most profound concern at Fukushima.

It is inaccurate and misleading to use the term "acceptable levels of external radiation" in assessing internal radiation exposures...

Nuclear industry proponents often assert that low doses of radiation (eg below 100mSV) produce no ill effects and are therefore safe. But , as the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report has concluded, no dose of radiation is safe, however small, including background radiation; exposure is cumulative and adds to an individual's risk of developing cancer....

Radioactive Milk In Hawaii

On Sunday, EPA released data showing milk in Hilo, Hawaii with 24 pCi/L of cesium-134, 19 of cesium-137, and 18 of Iodine-131

Fukushima Developments are Scary

Arnie Gunderson explains that at least in reactor #2 (and maybe #3) the fuel pellets are melting THROUGH the bed of the nuclear reactor
I do not know what that means but it doesn't sound good and seems to portend continued and perhaps increased releases of radioactive steam that will circulate around the northern hemisphere.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting more earthquakes in Japan on Monday (Japan is ahead of the U.S. time zone):

By Kenji Hall and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times April 11, 2011, 8:06 a.m. Reporting from Tokyo and Rikuzentakata, Japan— "Three powerful aftershocks struck already jittery northeastern Japan within the span of 10 minutes on Monday, as the government announced new plans to expand the evacuation area near a stricken nuclear plant due to high radiation levels...

"The first of Monday's tremors, which trapped some victims in collapsed homes and vehicles, hit at 5:16 p.m. near the coast in Fukushima prefecture, registering a magnitude 7.1 at a depth of 6 miles underground, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency...

"The quakes temporarily knocked out the power to the Fukushima nuclear power plant and led to a 50-minute stoppage in the water-spraying operations to cool four of the plant's six reactors. Highways were closed, bullet train services to the region were halted briefly, and as many 220,000 homes in Fukushima prefecture were without power....,0,2410014.story

MEANWHILE Japan plans on raising the level of nuclear disaster from a 5 to a 7

"Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5 TOKYO, April 12, Kyodo

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11. The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe

Saturday, April 9, 2011

EPA Finds Iodine Radiation in Phoenix Milk

The level found of I-131 in Phoenix milk was 3.2 Litre (pCi/L).

This level exceeds the federal limit for I-131 in drinking water
, at least as reported by Business Insider at 3 pCi/L

Information on other forms of radiation that might also be present was not available.

A website linked below that interprets the contamination data found and published by the UC Berkeley nuclear engineering lab found a high of 5.9 pCi/L which they translated into a 0.011 mRem dose for an infant

Keep in mind that the effects of radiation from internal emitters is very different from the external exposure of having an XRay or flying in an airplane
. I would be concerned about giving milk to small children if elevated levels of radiation continue to contaminate our milk. The

Physicians for Social Responsibility have clearly stated that there is no level fo safe exposure for radiation, particularly when consumed and particularly for children

Friday, April 8, 2011

What Have We Done????

Mad Max comes to life with Fukushima as documented in this amazing 12 minute youtube video taken by 2 people who venture into the contaminated exclusion zone

California produce, rainwater, topsoil, and milk all contaminated with low levels of radiation

Arnie Gunderson a nuclear engineer of Fairewinds Associations and Washington's Blog, an online analyst, examine the ongoing cover-up of the scope and severity of the Fukushima disaster

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arnie Gunderson: Lies and Censorship of the Scope of Concerns About Fukushima

Arnie Gunderson's latest video, expressing concern that TEPCO has been equivocating and/or outright lying.

Same goes for the NRC and a report produced by the French nuclear energy agency AREVA.

Gunderson says that the NRC privately fears the building's weight might be a problem in an earthquake, leading to re-criticality.

The NRC also fears buildup of hydrogen again, leading to another explosion

Additionally, Gunderson says the NRC is concerned about plutonium ejected several miles from reactor.

Gunderson claims the AREVA report has fallacies in it but the main take away point is that the person who presented the report finds this to be one of the greatest disasters in modern time

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Radiation Plumes Link

I'm not a big fan of youtube but this guy has the latest NOA and EPA charts on radiation plumes plus European ones in this worthwhile 10 minute video

Russian PM Putin Says Fukushima Plant Situation NOT Improving "

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the situation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is not improving
and has instructed his government to continue closely monitoring radiation levels in areas near Japan.

"Putin said this at a meeting on disaster measures with Emergency Ministry officials and meteorological experts on Tuesday. "He said the situation at the nuclear power plant has not improved and that his country must be absolutely sure of the reliability of information concerning Russian territories. "Putin also said Russia must monitor the situation closely...."

Fukushima Truth or Consequences?

Earlier today Reuters reported that Congressman Markey disclosed that a fukushima reactor had melted through the reactor pressure vessel.

Washington's Blog reports on the story, which has since been taken down from Reutuers:

REUTERS REPORTED: "The core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey told a hearing on the nuclear disaster on Wednesday. 'I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the core of Unit Two has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel,' said Markey, a prominent nuclear critic in the House of Representatives."

REUTERS now has taken down the story and reports that it is unconfirmed whether or not Markey is correct or not.

Washington's blog also has a video posted from NHK showing a TEPCO official crying while discussing the nuclear situation
. This cannot be good.

How much is being censored/hidden from the public?

MEANWHILE NHK reporting Plutonium detected again: "Plutonium detected again in Fukushima plant soil Tokyo Electric Power Company has again detected a very small volume of plutonium in soil samples from the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The operator of the plant collected samples from 4 locations at the compound of the plant on March 25th and 28th for analysis by an outside organization. The utility says the radioactive substance was detected on the soil about 500 meters west-northwest of the No.1 reactor and a site near a solid waste storage facility 500 meters north of the reactor. The first sample measured 0.26 becquerels of plutonium-238 per 1 kilogram of soil, down about 50 percent from the volume found earlier."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tepco Dumping Radioactive Water 7.5 MILLION Above Normal

ZERO HEDGE reports

The story can also be found at NHK news

NHK also reports that radioactivity levels cannot be measured at the plant because they are so high and workers cannot enter some reactor buildings:

"Plant radiation monitor says levels immeasurable A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.

"The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant's No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places. Pools and streams of water contaminated by high-level radiation are being found throughout the facility..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

American Workers' Wages Falling

The Wall Street Journal reports today that American workers' wages are actually falling when increasing living costs--food, gas, and health care costs--are included in calculations of wage levesls:

"Average hourly earnings were flat in March for the 4th time in five months. Their 1% annualized growth during that period is the weakest such stretch in 25 years...It is bad enough that salaries are basically stagnant; it is worse that it comes as living costs are climing. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, real wages are actually falling..." (Evans, p. C1)

Robert Reich contends in his recent essay that we are headed for a double-dip. My feeling though is the economy never really recovered but was merely papered over...

"The Truth About the Economy That Nobody in Washington or on Wall Street Will Admit: We're Heading Toward a Double Dip: The economy is slowing ominously, and the booster rockets are disappearing..."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fukushima Power Plant: Unit 1 May be Enaging in Criticality April 2, Sunday. Gunderson explains that reactor 1 of the Fukushima plant is very likely engaged in periodic criticality, exposing workers to dangerous but unmeasurable neutron radiation

Real News: What is Japan's Worst Case Scenario

Bob Alvarez reports that the worst case scenario involves "catastrophic" releases of radiation from multiple sources causing lethal levels of radiation. He says he is not "yet" worried about significant radiation contamination on the US west coast but has not ruled out that possibility. He urges the US Government to be "candid."

>April 6th forecast for radiation plumes over the US are concentrated in north west.

And the New York Times Reports that the Japanese are "blind"

A European atomic official monitoring the Fukushima crisis expressed sympathy for Japan’s need to rely on forensics to grasp the full dimensions of the unfolding disaster. “Clearly, there’s no access to the core,” the official said. “The Japanese are honestly blind"....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chris Martenson's Analysis of the Fukushima Plant

This is a must read analysis available at Zerohedge.

He has some important conclusions he and his "expert" sources have concluded:

"The detected presence of neutron beams, I-134, and radioactive chlorine are all strongly supportive of the idea that criticality has resumed. Our best guess is that these are localized pockets, probably of short duration, and do not involve the entire core mass of any particular reactor conflagrating in some gigantic, greenish blob of uncontrolled fission....

"...It has been my suspicion, which contradicts the official story, that the concrete containment vessel was what actually blew up in reactor #3 and I have been looking for evidence of in the form of large, heavy chunks of concrete (especially the refueling plug) lying about. I don't know what made this hole in the roof of the turbine building, but it was heavy...

"Reactor #4 provides us with proof that serious damage can result from the effects of an overheated spent fuel storage pool...

"...The efforts at Fukushima are probably weeks away from even basic stabilization and we are years away from any sort of a final resolution. This crisis is going to be with all of us for a very long time. Radiation will continue to escape from the complex into the environment for weeks at best, months or years at worst. The chief concern here is that things might still take a turn for the worse whereby radiation spikes to levels that prevent humans from getting close enough to perform meaningful operations and work on the site.


as reported by Washington's Blog Thursday, March 31, 2011 EPA: Radioactive Iodine Exceeding Maximum Contaminant Levels for Drinking Water Found in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts ... But It's Safe
Washington's Blog previously reported that the Japanese and US Governments are in the process of changing their levels of SAFE radiation exposure