Monday, December 4, 2017

Nuclear Fatigue and the New Paradigm of Radiation Protection/Exposure

Exposure to radiation is known to produce quite a few biological effects, including fatigue, anemia, cancer, reduced sperm, and small heads and brains in offspring, among other effects.

Of course, the battle is over how much and what forms of exposure produce specific effects.

There is a move now to eliminate the idea that any form of increased exposure increases risks for these and other outcomes. This move is organized around a new paradigm of radiation protection.


The new paradigm of radiation protection is organized around a problem-solution exposure frame set at the 100 millisievert threshold for exposure. The new frame argues that population effects for external exposure under 100 millisiverts are impossible to detect and therefore are not significant.

The solution component of this frame strategizes to ADAPT individuals to the new exposure level using individualized risk management protocols symbolically represented as empowering "resilience."

This new paradigm of adaptive or resilient radiation protection is of course fundamentally contradictory because it is actually a rationalized and instrumentalized regime of radiation exposure, rather than protection.

This paradigm stands in direct contrast to the precautionary principle and ignores the massive and scientific controversy over low levels of exposure, particularly under conditions of chronic exposure and through bioaccumulation processes.

The new paradigm of radiation exposure discounts the future vitalities of exposed populations, particularly children, and is promoted by the OECD and is articulated in this article in The Conversation:

Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (2016) Management of Radioactive Waste after a Nuclear Power Plant Accident NEA No. 7305.
Philip Thomas. (2017, November 20). Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is (usually) a waste of time and money, says study. The Conversation,

However, encouraging people to live in environments admittedly contaminated by accident or design raises significant legal and ethical questions, including the transformation of people into test subjects.

The transformation of people into test subjects is being pursued in Japan by the Fukushima Health Management Survey. One might applaud efforts to better understand radiation's effects, but the protocols and authorities associated with the FHMS have been challenged extensively for systematic bias in Japan.

The appointment of Dr. Shunichi Yamashita as Vice President of FMU and director of the Radiation Medical Science Center there represented a flashpoint in the controversy over radiation exposure and its effects. Yamashita is a recognized expert, but his post-disaster reassurances that “smiling” deflects radiation damage generated international controversy, [i] which was amplified by media disclosure of his role in secret meetings allegedly aimed at stage-managing public hearings of the FHMS’ Oversight Committee Meeting.[ii]

Yamashita’s reputation was also tarnished by his admission that he had advised against dispensing potassium iodide tablets to children in the early days of the disaster capable of blocking thyroid absorption of radioiodine. Yamashita stepped down from his post at the end of March 2013.[iii] In subsequent press interviews, Yamashita maintained that excess risks for cancer are low for exposure levels under 100 millisieverts.[iv]

This claim that radiation produces few effects for populations under 100 millisieverts is scientifically controversial and homogenizes types of radiation, forms of exposure (e.g., internal v. external), and affected populations, obscuring known development vulnerabilities.[v] ...

I can drag up research from CT scanning and from ethnobiological field work demonstrating biological effects at levels of exposure far below 100 millisieverts. I've reported on these findings at my blog and covered them in my academic publications.

However, I have this nuclear fatigue against the disorganizing forces of nuclearity whose claims of no effects are not argued and ignore the growing evidence of thyroid abnormalities in Fukushima children.

The forces of nuclearity who aim to eliminate the no-threshold model in favor of the 100 millisievert exposure level seem to have won in the media and public policy.

I have nuclear fatigue.

[i] Democracy Now (3 June 2011) Japan admits 3 nuclear meltdowns, more radiation leaked into sea. Available at (accessed 29 June 2011).

[ii] Williamson, Piers (2014) Demystifying the official discourse on childhood thyroid cancer in Fukushima. The Asia-Pacific Journal 12(49. 2): 1-28.

[iii] Brumfiel, Geoff (20 February 2013) Fukushima health-survey chief to quit post. Nature. Available at (accessed 21 February 2013).

[iv] Studying the Fukushima aftermath: “People are suffering from radiophobia (19 August 2011), Der Spiegel. Available at,1518,780810,00.html (accessed 4 September 2011).

[v] NASA asserts that neurological damage begins for astronauts, extraordinarily healthy adults, above 100 millisieverts. Children are much more vulnerable. See Sieffert, A (2014) Astronaut health & safety regulations: Ionizing radiation. Scitech Lawyer 10(4): 20-22.


  1. People in nuclear shitholes like the Usa, Europe, Russia, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan: would undoubtedly be shocked. They would be shocked, by the number of manmade radionuclides they have biccumulated and, how much they have bioccumulated.

    1. Agreed that people would be unpleasantly surprised

  2. I'm not surprised you have nuclear fatigue Majia.
    You've been at the frontline for a while. Absolutely not to discourage you from fighting the good fight when so few are willing to take up arms against these (insert appropriate derogatory words here), but when you feel you need R&R, for the sake of your own wellbeing, and therefore your ability to fight them, you should take it.

    You're right about this 100 mSv thing though - having appeared to back away from hormesis for now, they seem to be focussing their horrific energy on breaking through the no-threshold line. However, the war will never end until every nuclear plant is shut and every bomb is dismantled.

    Stay strong and be well!

  3. Japan is so contaminated with radionuclides, there are only a few years left for that culture and country. I do not care what and medias asy, a fuel pool went up at fukushima, with reactor enclosures. If the North Koreans bomb the 25 nuclear reactors in South Korea, with even conventional bombs, Japan is through. There will also be a lingering death of China and, the rest of us. Of course, the stupid Japanese, continue to restart old-damaged reactors on faults. Homo sapiens are flawed-insane creatures. Consciousness, and new consciousness will continue in other parts of the universe. Homosapians never learned enough compassion, empathy, or respect for life to survive

  4. trump wants - to build nuclear power plants in the Mideast...hopefully his impeachment will stop the madness.