Friday, April 5, 2019

Raining out Radionuclides after Chernobyl (and Fukushima)?


I mentioned in a previous post that I'm enamored with Kate Brown's Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (post here).

In an op-ed yesterday in The Guardian, Dr. Brown describes how the Soviets cloud-seeded using silver iodide to wash out the gaseous radionuclides from the plume of pollutants spewed by the meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986:
Kate Brown (2019, April 4). Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/chernobyl-nuclear-power-climate-change-health-radioactivity

In the sleepy towns of southern Belarus, villagers looked up to see planes with strange yellow and grey contrails snaking across the sky. Next day, 27 April, powerful winds kicked up, cumulus clouds billowed on the horizon, and rain poured down in a deluge. The raindrops scavenged radioactive dust floating 200 metres in the air and sent it to the ground. The pilots trailed the slow-moving gaseous bulk of nuclear waste north-east beyond Gomel, into Mogilev province. Wherever pilots shot silver iodide, rain fell, along with a toxic brew of a dozen radioactive elements.

If Operation Cyclone had not been top secret, the headline would have been spectacular: “Scientists using advanced technology save Russian cities from technological disaster!” Yet, as the old saying goes, what goes up must come down. No one told the Belarusians that the southern half of the republic had been sacrificed to protect Russian cities. In the path of the artificially induced rain lived several hundred thousand Belarusians ignorant of the contaminants around them.
This description of cloud seeding to rain out contaminants was also allegedly deployed after Fukushima. This is not a claim made by Brown but rather by someone who told me privately and shall remain unnamed. 

The aim of the rain-out over the Pacific was to spare North America Fukushima's toxic fallout. Much of the fallout did in fact occur over the Pacific.

But unfortunately, violent rain-outs also occurred over California and Arizona that March 2011 (I think the rain out started in AZ 3/18). 

I remember. I had my window open until I thought about what could be in that rain.

The US Geological Survey measured "trace" levels of radionuclides such as Iodine-131, which decays rapidly after Fukushima in the western US.

How much "fallout" produces measurable population level health effects? 

The answer to this question is that there is NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE.

Consider for example that autism rates significantly increased for incoming Kindergarterners in California 5 years after Fukushima (my blog post here):
Reese, Phillip. July 18 2016. Autism rates in California public schools jumped 7 percent in 2016. Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article90300877.html#storylink=cpy
The increase was especially sharp among kindergartners, where autism cases grew by 17 percent last year [2015]. More than one of every 65 kindergartners in California public schools is classified as autistic
To reiterate, the article is reporting that autism cases grew 17% in kindergartners in 2015. Could radioactive isotopes of iodine have played a role given they are bioaccumulated in the milk and thyroid-endocrine systems of mammals?

Or perhaps the excess radiation simply produced more de novo mutations, which are linked to increased risks for autism and congenital heart disorders, which have also been inferred to have increased given the spike in surgeries in Japan (e.g., see here).
 



GENETICS, HUMAN HEALTH AND RADIATION

Chromosome 16 Linked to Human Evolution, Autism, and Susceptibility to Radiation http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/chromosome-16-linked-to-human-evolution.html














Internal emitters: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/on-internal-emitters.html


 

 

38 comments:

  1. Dr. Caldicott talks about Kate Browns book. Kate Brown has a powerful, ojective analysis and examination of Chernobyl.



    Before expanding nuclear power to combat climate change, we need answers to the global health effects of radioactivity
    Thu 4 Apr 2019 01.00 EDT Last modified on Fri 5 Apr 2019 08.12 EDT

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/chernobyl-nuclear-power-climate-change-health-radioactivity?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age
    Kate Brown



    Scientists talk about the annihilation of the microbial environment, that does the break down of dead flora and fauna in the forest surrounding pripyat. Leaves that are on the ground do not decay because there are no microbes to break them down.

    https://www.care2.com/causes/deadly-fungus-has-decimated-more-than-500-amphibian-species.html

    Geez i wonder if the fungus is thriving because all of its mirobial competition has been wiped out by radionuclides

    As Dr Brown and Dr Caldicott point out, that sellafield was worse than Chernobyl. They have detonated 2000 bombs on us too. There are millions of tons of radionuclide waste in the environment that did not exist before.
    Now there is fukushima and donald trump.
    If we do not do something soon it will be an excruciating extinction event for life on earth from the most mutagenic, teratogenic, toxic, carcinogenic, substances in the world.



    ReplyDelete
  2. Moscow's Stray Dogs Master Using the Subways
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxJf2L2B5fY

    In this situation there is something akin to Darwinian selection compared to pets. And these dogs show amazing intelligence.
    We used to be in a situation more like the Metro dogs but are now more like pets of the gov. As a result there is real decline in intelligence which is quite noticeable.

    We know what happens when the popularity of a dog generates puppy mills. And we need to realize that something similar is happening to us as a species. Perhaps we are headed for a "mutational meltdown" . . . we have modern science and technology making life easier and also creating powerful agents that create undesirable mutations. Even if we could subtract nuclear radiation and dangerous chemicals merely our pampered life styles would eventually do us in. And we have the most intelligent women either not reproducing or doing so in later years and then only one or two children. Thus we are naturally increasing the low intelligence genes and loading the mutations.

    As a nation we can not solve real problems like the border or the national debt. And we get into wars which are without benefit.

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    1. U have a high body load of plutonium in your brain and liver from your proximity to rocky flats. Plutonium does accumulate in brain tissue. Plutonium acts as a heavy metal causing plaques in the brain, inflammation and disruption, of important enzyme systems in the brain.
      The units of ‘rem’ and ‘sievert’ relate to biological damage done to human tissue. Plutonium is an extemely powerful alpha emitter. When it is absorbed and does its dirty work the damage compared to external rads is increased by a factor of 20.

      These units factor the differences between types of radiation. A multiplication factor (radiation factor) is used that represents the ‘effective’ biological damage of a given type of radiation. This is the main reason for these units – to factor the differences in damage that is caused from one type of radiation to the next.

      Radiation Factor (QF Quality Factor)
      (1) Beta
      (1) Gamma
      (1) X-ray
      (10) Nuetron
      (20) Alpha

      For example, the list above shows that a ‘rad’ or ‘gray’ unit of ‘Alpha’ energy that is absorbed by soft human tissue does 20 times more damage than a ‘rad’ or ‘gray’ of Gamma, X-ray or Beta radiation.







      You have a higher transuranic brain load from your elevation and proximity to open air testing in Nevada. Higher contamination in the rockies from fukushima from weather patterns and higher elevation is much higher there than other parts of the country


      As busby points out you have an extremely high coefficient of dementia from your body from aging and the accumulation of internal load.
      Because of these factors the population exhibits cognitive and memory impairment by 55 or 60, the cumulated IR dose of neurons due to external can decrease neuron density by 10 percent In your case you because you have an internal load, it is higher.

      This part of the brain produces multipotent stem/precursors that produce cells that migrate away and produce neurons or glia . One theory is that the cellular and molecular mechanism which underlies radiation induced cognitive impairment involves alterations in hippocampal neurogenesis. Data from human patients irradiated for brain tumours shows reduction in neurogenic cells . Laboratory studies clearly indicate that these alterations in neurogenesis (and cognitive impairment) involve inflammation and factors related to ROS levels

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    2. It does not matter how intelligent a woman in the northern hemisphere is. That is because both men and women in the northern hemisphere have radionuclide burdens in their bodies from 10 times to hundreds of times higher than people in the southern hemisphere.

      There are also much highr concentrations of radionuclide pollution there from bomb making, millions of tons of nuclear waste, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear reactors so there are much higher incidences of teratogenic occurances as well.

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    3. I supposed I should have realized that you would come along to illustrate my point. Thanks and my sympathy.

      Delete
    4. The dogs of fukushima and chernobyl only live about 3 years. Dogs by loa alamos new mexico, which is is extremely contaminated by transuranics like plutonium and americium only have life expectancies of 5 years

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    5. And there is a lake in Russia contaminated by radioactive material such that standing by it for an hour will kill you. Further more if you were to travel too close to the sun you would quickly perish. Of course the same goes for dogs. Do you remember the first dog sent into space by the Soviets?

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    6. There are several places in america that are as dangerous as the lake in russia. I wonder what truly happened to the animals murica, and russia sent into space.
      At los alamos they injected dogs with plutonium. The dogs all died from lung cancer from the plutonium.
      The plutonium was in the air. The guy that did the experiments, did not plan to kill the dogs that way.

      There were minute amounts of plutonium in the air from preparing and doing the injections.
      It killed them much faster than the injections would have. The lung cancers deaths were slow and excruciating but, faster than the insidious internal dosing would have been

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    7. Another #Japan famous figure dies of kidney cancer at his age of 39. May RIP...He' been under medical treatment since 2016. headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20190404-… Too many after #Tepco's #Fukushima Dai-ichi #nuclera disaster. 54 nuke reactors operated in California-sized islands before 311. pic.twitter.com/4beG6esjfW

      Delete
  3. This morning (04-06-29) msn.com has an article called,
    “Deadly germs, Lost cures: A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy.”
    It's about a fungus that is spreading across the world. And, as we all know, radiation = fungus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Weez - remember the "black dirt" that was so radioactive in Tokyo after Fukushima?

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Our immune systems being more compromised too. Thanks for this

      Delete
  4. Oh yes, I remember the black dirt. And I just got over a candida infection myself, on my back. I've never had one in my life, but this was awful and lasted six months.
    And Anonymous, thank you for the compliment here the other day. I am so sorry for your suffering and for those you love.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Majia, I inadvertently removed my above comment while attempting to post this. What I wanted to say is that Dr. Goodheart talks about two of your books today on his website, A Green Road Journal. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They did not bother to start a genetic registry in the USA for the Nuclear weapons detonated on its own country. Only a hundred were detonated in kazakhstan. Several hundred detonated in the heart of the US west with fallout that attacked Los Angeles to New York. And now crazy man is spending trilliona on many ore of these things. One reactor explosion apocalyptic.
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      Research on gene mutations caused by nuclear radiation – Kazakhstan
      Over the years, those who sought care from Dispensary No. 4 or the IRME were logged in the state’s medical registry, which tracks the health of people exposed to the Polygon tests. People are grouped by generation and by how much radiation they received, on the basis of where they lived. Although the registry does not include every person who was affected, at one point it listed more than 351,000 individuals across 3 generations. More than one-third of these have died, and many others have migrated or lost contact. But according to Muldagaliev, about 10,000 people have been continually observed since 1962. Researchers consider the registry an important and relatively unexplored resource for understanding the effects of long-term and low-dose radiation2.

      Geneticists have been able to use these remaining records to investigate the generational effects of radiation…….

      In 2002, Dubrova and his colleagues reported that the mutation rate in the germ lines of those who had been directly exposed was nearly twice that found in controls3. The effects continued in subsequent generations that had not been directly exposed to the blasts. Their children had a 50% higher rate of germline mutation than controls had. Dubrova thinks that if researchers can establish the pattern of mutation in the offspring of irradiated parents, then there could be a way to predict the long-term, intergenerational health risks.

      The nuclear sins of the Soviet Union live on in Kazakhstan https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01034-8 Wudan Yan– 3 Apr 19, Decades after weapons testing stopped, researchers are still struggling to decipher the health impacts of radiation exposure around Semipalatinsk. The statues of Lenin are weathered and some are tagged with graffiti, but they still stand tall in the parks of Semey, a small industrial city tucked in the northeast steppe of Kazakhstan. All around the city, boxy Soviet-era cars and buses lurch past tall brick apartment buildings and cracked walkways, relics of a previous regime.Other traces of the past are harder to see. Folded into the city’s history — into the very DNA of its people — is the legacy of the cold war. The Semipalatinsk Test Site, about 150 kilometres west of Semey, was the anvil on which the Soviet Union forged its nuclear arsenal. Between 1949 and 1963, the Soviets pounded an 18,500-square-kilometre patch of land known as the Polygon with more than 110 above-ground nuclear tests. Kazakh health authorities estimate that up to 1.5 million people were exposed to fallout in the process. Underground tests continued until 1989.

      Much of what’s known about the health impacts of radiation comes from studies of acute exposure — for example, the atomic blasts that levelled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan or the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine. Studies of those events provided grim lessons on the effects of high-level exposure, as well as the lingering impacts on the environment and people who were exposed. Such work, however, has found little evidence that the health effects are passed on across generations.

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    2. People living near the Polygon were exposed not only to acute bursts, but also to low doses of radiation over the course of decades (see ‘Danger on the wind’). Kazakh researchers have been collecting data on those who lived through the detonations, as well as their children and their children’s children. The effects aren’t always obvious or easy to trace. But researchers are now starting to see some subtle impacts that linger 30 years after the Polygon closed. Studies show elevated risks of cancer, and one published in the past year suggests that the effects of radiation on cardiovascular health might be passed down from one generation to the next.

      Even as they tease out health impacts from the data, researchers in Kazakhstan also have to navigate the fear that has gripped residents living in the fallout zone. People blame the tests for a range of problems. But these links are not always supported by evidence. Understanding the testing’s dark legacy remains of utmost importance for the families still seeking health-care assistance from the Kazakh government. The latest genetic technologies, such as next-generation sequencing, could assist in this process. And by improving understanding of the risks from long-term exposure, research in Kazakhstan could help to inform current debates about proposals to expand nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions.

      “The Polygon tests were a great tragedy,” says Talgat Muldagaliev, deputy director of the Scientific Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology in Semey, “but we can’t go back. Now we need to study the consequences.”

      Deadly exposure

      Valentina Nikonchik was playing outside in Semey on 12 August 1953 when she heard a deafening boom, fell to the ground and fainted. She had witnessed the first detonation at the Polygon of a thermonuclear device, a second-generation nuclear weapon releasing a force equivalent to 400 kilotonnes of TNT — more than 25 times the power of the bomb dropped at Hiroshima. The 1953 nuclear test is considered to be the most damaging at the Polygon in terms of human exposure (see ‘Blasts from the past’).

      Up to that point, the Soviet Army had already been conducting tests at the site for four years. They had dropped bombs from aircraft and platforms to study the effects of blasts on buildings, bridges, vehicles and livestock. But they were either ignorant of, or indifferent to the idea that the high winds on the exposed Kazakh steppe might carry fallout into neighbouring communities. In 1963, representatives of the Soviet Union signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which ended above-ground testing. The underground tests that continued up to 1989 might have contributed to some exposure risks, but the atmospheric tests during the Polygon’s first 14 years are considered the most dangerous in terms of acute exposure.

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    3. Absorbed doses of radiatbion are often measured in grays. High doses, starting at about 1 gray, are enough to kill cells and damage tissues. People exposed above this level frequently get radiation sickness, a condition characterized by vomiting, diarrhoea or bleeding. Depending on the exposure and the extent of cell death, people can die within hours to weeks of being irradiated. In August 1956, an above-ground test at the Polygon caused more than 600 residents in the industrial city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, approximately 400 kilometres east of the test site, to be rushed to the hospital with radiation sickness. There are no records of how many people in the city died as a result.

      Radiation is also problematic for rapidly dividing cells, such as those in developing fetuses. Women near the Polygon who were exposed to radiation were more likely to give birth to children with chromosomal diseases, including Down’s syndrome and congenital disabilities1.

      But for others, the effects might not show for years or decades. That was the case for Nikonchik. Years after the blast knocked her over, she found out that she had heart disease and thyroid issues that she and her doctors think are linked to the tests. “Back then, when I was a kid, we weren’t thinking about the effects on health that this testing could have,” she said.

      After the August 1956 test that caused radiation sickness in residents of Ust-Kamenogorsk, the Soviet military established a top-secret medical clinic to care for those in need and to serve as a base of operations for researchers collecting health data on those who had been exposed. To hide its purpose, the army named it Anti-Brucellosis Dispensary No. 4, after a bacterial disease spread by farm animals. Those who sought out medical care were examined, but were never told exactly what was wrong.

      In 1991, following Kazakhstan’s independence from the Soviet Union, officials from Moscow sent a special committee to Semey to open up the dispensary. Some records were destroyed. Other classified files were returned to Moscow. Even today’s researchers are unaware of what those records contained. The dispensary was renamed the Scientific Research Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology (IRME), which inherited the remaining classified health-data files. In addition to continuing epidemiological studies on the effects of nuclear radiation on human health, the IRME has a small clinic for treating people whose family members were affected by tests, and a mobile medical unit.

      Over the years, those who sought care from Dispensary No. 4 or the IRME were logged in the state’s medical registry, which tracks the health of people exposed to the Polygon tests. People are grouped by generation and by how much radiation they received, on the basis of where they lived. Although the registry does not include every person who was affected, at one point it listed more than 351,000 individuals across 3 generations. More than one-third of these have died, and many others have migrated or lost contact. But according to Muldagaliev, about 10,000 people have been continually observed since 1962. Researchers consider the registry an important and relatively unexplored resource for understanding the effects of long-term and low-dose radiation2.

      Geneticists have been able to use these remaining records to investigate the generational effects of radiation. In the late 1990s, Kazakh researchers went to Beskaragai, a town in the periphery of the Polygon that had been heavily irradiated. They collected blood samples from 40 families, each spanning three generations, and sent them to Yuri Dubrova at the University of Leicester, UK, for analysis. Dubrova, a geneticist, specializes in studying the impact of environmental factors on the germ line, the DNA found in sperm and eggs that can be passed on to offspring. He was intrigued to study the Polygon families, to start unpicking the appearance of mutations across generations.

      Delete
    4. In 2002, Dubrova and his colleagues reported that the mutation rate in the germ lines of those who had been directly exposed was nearly twice that found in controls3. The effects continued in subsequent generations that had not been directly exposed to the blasts. Their children had a 50% higher rate of germline mutation than controls had. Dubrova thinks that if researchers can establish the pattern of mutation in the offspring of irradiated parents, then there could be a way to predict the long-term, intergenerational health risks. “That’s the next challenge,” he says. “We think techniques like next-generation sequencing could potentially provide us with real information about the impact of human mutations.”

      Heart of the matter

      When Zhanar Mukhamedzhanova was 19, she started feeling weak at work. She thought it was strange — her job as an accountant wasn’t very labour intensive — so she went for a check-up at a regional clinic in Semey. Her systolic blood pressure was above 160, fairly high by medical standards. Although Mukhamedzhanova has lived most of her adult life in the city, she spent her earlier years in the Abai region, an inhabited area close to the Polygon that was one of the most heavily contaminated by the nuclear tests. Both her parents witnessed the tests at first hand; her father died from a stroke at 41 and her mother died from heart issues at 70. Mukhamedzhanova’s older sister has high blood pressure, and her younger sister has cardiac insufficiency, a condition in which the heart is too weak to send enough blood around the body. Although such issues are relatively common in the general population, there is some evidence that the incidence in those exposed to radiation, and their offspring, might be higher.

      For instance, last November, Lyudmila Pivina at Semey State Medical University and her colleagues found that long-term, low-dose radiation can lead to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure. They looked at health outcomes in approximately 1,800 people, including second- and third-generation Polygon survivors. When they focused on individuals whose parents lived in areas that were exposed to radiation from 1949 to 1989, they found that the risks of hypertension went up in correlation with the amount of radiation someone’s parents received — a discovery that they found surprising4. This multigenerational cardiovascular risk has not been clearly established in populations whose parents and grandparents were affected by the blasts at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, says Jim Smith, a radiation researcher at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

      The difference could come down to the pattern of exposure. With long-term, low-dose radiation, cells will accumulate mutations as they constantly try to repair the damage done to their DNA. Bernd Grosche, a retired radiation epidemiologist formerly with Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection in Oberschleissheim, says that’s why it is important to look at populations that have received different kinds of exposure, to understand the full extent of the effects on human health. With the availability of the registry in Kazakhstan, Grosche says, it would be negligent not to analyse it.

      But studying environmentally exposed populations is challenging, says Cari Kitahara, a cancer epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, mostly because of the need to collect detailed exposure data on a large number of individuals. Kitahara is studying the effects of radiation on the health of medical radiation technicians, in whom exposure is easier to track. Others are studying uranium miners and nuclear workers, who are exposed to low doses of radiation over time. Whereas many radiation technicians are women, and most miners and nuclear workers are men, the Polygon population is remarkable in that it represents the general population.

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    5. One of the biggest challenges of studying the effects of radiation on health is that it’s often difficult to attribute a particular health issue solely to radiation, says Yuliya Semenova, a researcher at Semey State Medical University who studies the generational effects of the Polygon tests. Because cancer and high blood pressure are common maladies, cohort studies — which typically follow a population over time — can help to tease out what specific factors might contribute to them, she says. Semenova and her colleagues plan to use the registry to develop epidemiological studies that can better elucidate the connection between radiation and disease.

      Researchers who study the Polygon population, however, don’t yet know the full extent of the damage that long-term and low-dose radiation can inflict on human health. And the more time passes, the more difficult it can become to tease out the effects of radiation from those of other environmental factors. “Every catastrophe has a beginning and end,” says Muldagaliev, “but in the case of radiation, that end is still unknown.”

      Invisible legacy

      Cheerful sculptures made from car tyres greet visitors to a two-storey orphanage tucked away in a residential part of Semey. On the first floor is a room with cream-orange-coloured walls that caretakers call the Sunshine Room. Inside, a three-year-old boy named Artur rolls on the floor and slowly fumbles his way into a chair — he’s had three corrective operations that have just about enabled him to walk. His older brother, born with hydrocephaly (excess fluid in the brain, which enlarges the head), was left at the same orphanage but has since been transferred. In a nearby cradle lies Maria, a two-year-old who cannot walk, crawl or sit up. She snorts and gasps when she cries, as if struggling to breathe. The caretakers don’t know exactly what’s wrong with her, or whether she will live to adulthood.

      The children with disabilities who have passed through this facility and others around the region are often presented as a visible reminder of the Polygon’s legacy. Many of the eight children in the Sunshine Room in November had parents who grew up in highly irradiated villages, says Raikhan Smagulova, a caretaker at the orphanage. And some doctors have recommended that adults who have been exposed to radiation abstain from having children. But there is scant evidence and much debate as to whether past exposures contribute to severe congenital disorders.

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    6. It is a question, like so many others in Semey, that requires more research and will be challenging to answer definitively, says Muldagaliev.
      For many residents of the region, the effects will probably be less visible than congenital disabilities. But they might be more insidious, troubling generations to come with poor health. The focus that others, including researchers and film-makers, have placed on the legacy of the Polygon over the years is a double-edged sword. It brings international attention to the plight of those affected by radiation. But it also engenders stigma, Semenova says. For some, the negative attention can be stifling: rather than being known as the birthplace of some of Kazakhstan’s most famous poets and artists, Semey is known mostly for its dark past.
      Tne of the biggest challenges of studying the effects of radiation on health is that it’s often difficult to attribute a particular health issue solely to radiation, says Yuliya Semenova, a researcher at Semey State Medical University who studies the generational effects of the Polygon tests. Because cancer and high blood pressure are common maladies, cohort studies — which typically follow a population over time — can help to tease out what specific factors might contribute to them, she says. Semenova and her colleagues plan to use the registry to develop epidemiological studies that can better elucidate the connection between radiation and disease.
      Researchers who study the Polygon population, however, don’t yet know the full extent of the damage that long-term and low-dose radiation can inflict on human health. And the more time passes, the more difficult it can become to tease out the effects of radiation from those of other environmental factors. “Every catastrophe has a beginning and end,” says Muldagaliev, “but in the case of radiation, that end is still unknown.”



      Delete
    7. Cheerful sculptures made from car tyres greet visitors to a two-storey orphanage tucked away in a residential part of Semey. On the first floor is a room with cream-orange-coloured walls that caretakers call the Sunshine Room. Inside, a three-year-old boy named Artur rolls on the floor and slowly fumbles his way into a chair — he’s had three corrective operations that have just about enabled him to walk. His older brother, born with hydrocephaly (excess fluid in the brain, which enlarges the head), was left at the same orphanage but has since been transferred. In a nearby cradle lies Maria, a two-year-old who cannot walk, crawl or sit up. She snorts and gasps when she cries, as if struggling to breathe. The caretakers don’t know exactly what’s wrong with her, or whether she will live to adulthood.

      The children with disabilities who have passed through this facility and others around the region are often presented as a visible reminder of the Polygon’s legacy. Many of the eight children in the Sunshine Room in November had parents who grew up in highly irradiated villages, says Raikhan Smagulova, a caretaker at the orphanage. And some doctors have recommended that adults who have been exposed to radiation abstain from having children. But there is scant evidence and much debate as to whether past exposures contribute to severe congenital disorders. It is a question, like so many others in Semey, that requires more research and will be challenging to answer definitively, says Muldagaliev.

      For many residents of the region, the effects will probably be less visible than congenital disabilities. But they might be more insidious, troubling generations to come with poor health. The focus that others, including researchers and film-makers, have placed on the legacy of the Polygon over the years is a double-edged sword. It brings international attention to the plight of those affected by radiation. But it also engenders stigma, Semenova says. For some, the negative attention can be stifling: rather than being known as the birthplace of some of Kazakhstan’s most famous poets and artists, Semey is known mostly for its dark past.

      “It’s a stamp on the city,” says Symbat Abdykarimova, a neuropathologist at the orphanage. “We want to feel proud of Semey, since we live here. But many international journalists come and want to talk about the Polygon. We’re trying to avoid a situation where we are only known for that.”

      Nature 568, 22-24 (2019)



      Doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01034-8
      References

      1.Sviatova, G. S., Abil’dinova, G. Zh. & Berezina, G. M. [in Russian] Genetika 37, 1696–1704 (2001).


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      April 7, 2019

      https://nuclearinformation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/research-on-gene-mutations-caused-by-nuclear-radiation-kazakhstan/

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  7. I think it is important to realize that even if we could vanish radiation and chemical toxins, we would still be in big trouble due to mutation accumulation which once upon a time a high child mortality rate, illness and other disasters cleansed away. Having made life much safer we have made our future much more dangerous.

    I suppose some will argue that we are all genetically equal and so even if the smartest and most successful fail to reproduce adequately it won't make any difference. But high IQ and a decline in fertility of that group does correlate rather well with the decline in 'g'. Yes, we are getting stupider; and that seems really obvious to me. I even really do not like to reflect on it; but I know that the average doctor now seems less astute than he did some decades ago. The specialist must be consulted. And then only after careful research.

    Well, above someone says it is all over for us in the northern hemisphere which if true means the same thing for the southern as the south is not hermetically sealed from the north.

    I am a bit more optimistic. Where are the geniuses that solve these problems hiding? Apparently not in universities which want the well rounded people.

    So it is time perhaps to take in some near death videos and also some on the after life.

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    Replies
    1. What you say makes a lot of sense.
      You undoubtedly have some good solutions.
      Maybe quarentining the mutants or isolating them?

      Delete
    2. The only socially acceptable solution I can think of is to encourage attractive, intelligent and successful young people to have at least three children; and to do so while they are in their twenties. Other solution which might come to mind would probably be dangerous for various reasons and resonate with the wrong areas of history.

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    3. In my opinion the solution to optimize conditions for our "garden" to thrive are both material and social. Nuclear technology is not a technology that promotes life. It promotes death so get rid of it. In particular, we need to find energy forms whose supply chains are as "risk free" as possible, with the ultimate value criterion for weighing risks being "sustainable life."

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    4. I agree, but if we ignore the fact that societies in the West are mostly supportive of lower IQ parties reproducing, telling young school kids that the world is over populated, encouraging the brightest women to either skip reproducing or to keep it to a low number, we will not even have the intelligent persons to initiate your ideas. In fact the West has for some time discouraged geniuses. And we need them now.

      To remove nuclear activity is the work of maybe a century if we are lucky. And where are these 'risk free' energies? While being anti-nuclear is noble I am not sure much can be done there. First find the new energies and then phase out the 'bad' ones.

      I suspect genetics, IQ, reproduction and the like are semi-taboo topics. People are not born with equal abilities and that goes against progressive desires.

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    5. Just diversion from the topic. Nuclear materials are lethal and mutagenic. Not smart at all, to promote them. They do promote death. If you have little science expertise, little mechanical ability stutled creative ability, you could not understand that. You could not understand the myriad of possibilities of alternatives.

      It Could also be a paid shill or bot or a few of them.

      Sweeping generalizations and jingosisms do not conote intelligent discussion of this topic and these topics. The reiteration of these obsessive memes point to mental insufficiences . Manipulations and or mental insufficieny meant to derail intelligent discussion of the topic. One can come to understand this by the repetitive nature and the unintelligibility of the postings.

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    6. People like Weez and Free know more than I do, about these topics in many ways. They are always willing to discuss things and point new things out and that is refreshing

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    7. "Just diversion from the topic." --A

      Your comments always seem a bit short on intelligibility but some seem to take the cake for thorough going misinterpretation. I believe it is a hard, cold fact that the nuclear is very deeply rooted now around the world.

      The first protests came from the scientists that developed the bomb---150 scientists wrote President Truman pleading with him not to use it. Another protest came from USA generals and admirals who also regarded its usage as undesirable! This was almost 75 year ago. So when I say a century I am actually being optimistic.

      "Sweeping generalizations and jingosisms" Where are these? Do you know what jingoism means?

      I suspect you just enjoy expressing whatever enters your mind regardless of whether it has any real value. This might actually be syndrome which exists in certain types of people? Tourette syndrome?

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    8. Gosh, i have met and known multiple victims of chernobyl from the Ukraine mr troll. I know u dont care about them or anyone from fukushima, or any other nuclear tragedies. All u want to talk about are iq and on this blog posting and disrepecting russia. U r a black hearted thing . It is sad there are people like u, in this growingly radioactive world.

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    9. First of all this blog is not exclusively dedicated to nuclear energy issues; at the bottom of the page it reads "This blog focuses on politics, economics, and social criticism".

      Secondly, intelligence is of supreme importance. Once again in 1948 President Trump made another serious blunder by recognizing Israel without very strict stipulations such as end to fighting with Palestinians, staying within the territory allotted by the UN, etc. His own cabinet was against his move, the UN was against it, and finally eminent men like Albert Einstein opposed it. But he stubbornly went ahead. So yes Truman was not as brilliant as he imagined. In 1948 the Jews were not different from ISIS in their behavior. They were veritable terrorists.

      Thirdly, you accuse me of things for which you have no evidence. Perhaps you know someone who matches the person you think I am. What if I accused you of being a bank robber? Of course you would protest and say it was laughable unless of course you are a bank robber. Are you?

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  8. Thanks for the high quality discussion!

    One additional request: Please be careful to avoid reproducing entire article cited in comments so as to avoid any charges of copyright infringement. Thanks!

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  9. It was republished with permission. Strange how the the troll gets away with virulent fascistic rhetoric and hate videos and ythe truth is criticized. Something odd with that

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    1. Watch "Helen Caldicott:  "I Think We [Humans] Are Going to Destroy Most Life on Earth"" on YouTube
      https://youtu.be/1JKItWKvoN8

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    2. Sorry! I'm just trying to avoid getting taken down for copyright violation.

      I try as much as possible to encourage dissenting viewpoints but that doesn't mean I agree with them.

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    3. Take part of the russian test article off, if u want. It is one of the best articles chronicaling nuclear-testing, available. Many have read it by now, I hope. U r right though, they can go to the nature site or another site to see it in full.

      The author should wtite more.

      It is upsetting to see an idiot speaking so cavalierly about radiation victims. I helped a mother take care of her developmentally delayed daughter, that was born in the Ukraine.

      My other friend from the Ukraine has a son who was born with a tumor in his brain that, had to be removed after birth. He has had a very hard life.

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  10. Here is another issue I believe is important. It is standard practice these days to call a person a Nazi if he or she says something you (at least some you's) do not agree with. But never a Communist or a Stalin lover. And yet Stalin killed far more people than Hitler and over a longer period of time. He caused millions of Ukrainians to starve to death for example; and the Gulags were worse than the concentration camps. This strikes me as very unfair! If Stalin were still alive he might even feel slighted.

    Are American so uneducated that they think Communism is good whereas Fascism is bad? I actually think so.

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