- Fukushima risks
- Potential health consequences of the explosion at the
Fukushima reactor in Japan
- Below we offer basic advice for people living downwind
of the releases of radioactivity.
- On BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, 13th March,
Dr. Chris Busby spoke about the potential health effects of the Fukushima
explosion. Listen here (the site may prompt you to download software to
enable you to listen. Dr. Busby's interview is 9 minutes into the broadcast).
- Dr. Busby said the reassurances being issued now by official
sources and by apologists for the nuclear industry are exactly the same
as those issued 25 years ago, at the time of Chernobyl. Risks were understated,
as show by subsequent epidemiological studies.
- Statements about allegedly low health risks are based
on rates of gamma radiation measured at the site perimeter. These take
no account of radiation from alpha-emitting radionuclides such as Uranium
and Plutonium. It is of particular concern that the number 3 reactor at
Fukushima which is now in a problematic condition is fuelled with Mixed-Oxide
fuel containing Plutonium.
- The health consequences of exposure to radioactive releases
from nuclear plant cannot be accurately assessed by making radiation measurements
based on absorbed dose. The authorities already downplay risks on the basis
of the false radiation risk model advised by the International Commission
on Radiological Protection (ICRP). This is an exact replication of the
responses to the similar Chernobyl explosion. The effects of the Chernobyl
accident have been devastating and continue to affect the health of the
exposed populations as far away from Chernobyl as Europe and the USA. 1A
major volume published in 2010 by the New York Academy of Sciences reveals
a death toll of approaching 1 million persons by 2005.
- Absorbed dose readings (milliSieverts) cannot be employed
as measures of risk because some radioactive substances act from within
the body, with especially high risk imparted by those that bind to DNA
(e.g Strontium-90 and Uranium). Dose to the local tissue or DNA can be
enormous while the average dose recorded by a Geiger counter may be barely
detectable. (More information)
- If significant amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima
plume approach populated centres in any country (e.g. the western USA)
the European Committee on Radiation Risk advises:
- Do not believe assurances from radiation protection advisors
working for any government. They are based on an obsolete model. This is
a potential Chernobyl level event and must be seen as extremely serious.
- If possible obtain a Geiger Counter or a similar radiation
detector or readings from someone who owns one. If the readings increase
to more that twice the normal background in your area or to a level of
more than 300nSv/h (300nGy/h) then:
- Get away as soon as possible to a clean area. If it is
not possible to evacuate, stay indoors and keep all the doors and windows
closed for as long as the radiation levels are higher than normal. Try
to keep the house sealed as far as possible.
- Drink bottled water, use only tinned milk. Avoid fresh
garden produce. (We acknowledge that this is difficult advice for the people
of Japan, where local produce is economically important.) Await further
bulletins on this site and ECRR