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They Said It Wasnt Like Chernobyl and They Were Wrong

They Said It Wasnt Like Chernobyl and They Were Wrong

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Published by Michael Collins
"Japan’s damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine and caesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986." New Scientist
"Japan’s damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine and caesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986." New Scientist

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Published by: Michael Collins on Mar 25, 2011
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03/25/2011

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They said it wasn't like Chernobyl and they werewrong
The Money Party
March 25, 2011http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/?p=1519 Michael CollinsAccording to an international scientificgroup monitoring radiation around theworld, the Fukushima reactors areemitting nuclear toxins at levelsapproaching those seen in the"aftermath" of Chernobyl. TheChernobyl disaster began with anexplosion, Fukushima is a smolderingcauldron of toxins. Chernobyl had 180tonnes of nuclear fuel on site.Fukushima has 1700 tonnes of nuclear fuel on site. (Image
 
)This isn't the
beginning of the end 
, as hoped. It's looking like
the end of the beginning.
CounterPunch ran an interview wit Japanese nuclear industry author Hiroshe Takashi justyesterday in which the author lamented the poor reporting of the tragedy in the Japanesepress:"Really, they talk this nonsense, trying to reassure everyone, trying to avoidpanic. What we need now is a proper panic. Because the situation has come to thepoint where the danger is real."Hiroshe Takashi, March 22Just two days later, the "proper panic" is on its way.TheCentral Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamicsof Vienna, Austria has a worldwide monitoring system set up to monitor the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They arewell positioned to monitor the effects of the Fukishima disaster.The group told
New Scientist 
that:Japan's damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodineand cesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobylaccidentin 1986. Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to showthat iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi
 
is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl. New Scientist,March 24The concerns about spent fuel rods and cooling polls in the reactor have materialized.The Chernobyl event was more discrete and identifiable with a major explosion butdamaged reactors at Fukushima are toxic nonetheless. The Austrian scientists point outthat Chernobyl had 180 tons of nuclear on hand while Fukushima has nearly ten timesthat amount at 1700 tons."When the fuel is damaged there is no reason for the volatile elements not toescape," and the measured caesium and iodine are in the right ratios for the fuelused by the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Also, the Fukushima plant has around1760 tonnes of fresh and used nuclear fuel on site,and an unknown amount hasbeen damaged. The Chernobyl reactor had only 180 tonnes. New Scientist, March24In his interview on the 22nd, Takashi was blunt about the health risks. He distinguishedbetween radiation in the atmosphere and radioactive particles carried in the atmosphere,then ingested into the body.
Yoh:
So making comparisons with X-rays and CT scans has no meaning. Becauseyou can breathe in radioactive material.
Hirose:
That’s right. When it enters your body, there’s no telling where it will go.The biggest danger is women, especially pregnant women, and little children.Now they’re talking about iodine and cesium, but that’s only part of it, they’re notusing the proper detection instruments. What they call monitoring means onlymeasuring the amount of radiation in the air. Their instruments don’t eat. Whatthey measure has no connection with the amount of radioactive material.
Yoh:
So damage from radioactive rays and damage from radioactive material arenot the same.
Hirose
: If you ask, are any radioactive rays from the Fukushima Nuclear Stationhere in this studio, the answer will be no. But radioactive particles are carried hereby the air. When the core begins to melt down, elements inside like iodine turn togas. It rises to the top, so if there is any crevice it escapes outside. HirosheTakashi, CounterPunch, March 22The Austrian Institute scientists also pointed out that the spread of radioactive isotopesfrom Chernobyl are still causing thyroid cancer today:While in the body the isotopes' radioactive emissions can do significant damage,mainly to DNA. Children who ingest iodine-131 can develop thyroid cancer 10 or more years later; adults seem relatively resistant.A study published in the US lastweek  found that iodine-131 from Chernobyl is still causing new cases of thyroidcancer to appear at an undiminished rate in the most heavily affected regions of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. New Scientist, March 24
 
National Public Ratio (NPR) ran an interview with Japanese Green anti nuclear activistAileen Mioko Smith yesterday. She brought home the rapidly spreading awareness thenuclear disaster in Japan.She noted that a prominent Japanese scientist reworked the Tokyo Power data on soilcontamination within 40 kilometers of Fukushima and found that the levels of contamination could be twice that of similar areas near Chernobyl:And the soil contamination is really high. Soil found 40 kilometers away—now,remember, it’s still 30 kilometers indoors, stay indoors; 20 kilometers, evacuation.So, beyond that area, for example, north-northwest in Imatate, the levels on thesoil were very high—in fact, a thousand times iodine, 4,000 times the cesiumstandard. And we just got a report from the Kyoto Research Reactor Institute, Dr.Tetsuji Imanaka, that said that—he had to look a little bit more into the samplingof the Japanese government, but depending on how the sampling was done, thislevel of contamination in the soil could be twice the amount that was compulsoryevacuation for Chernobyl.Aileen Mioko Smith, March 24Smith commented on the "travesty" of Japanese earthquake guidelines for reactors. Shesaid:I just want to address that the Japanese government’s earthquake reinforcementrequirements, the standards that are in place, even today, at all the nuclear power plants in Japan, is really a travesty. And actually, the Fukushima plant wasoperating under 1978 guidelines. The new guidelines had been established in2006, but even those guidelines underestimated this earthquake. The earthquakethat happened in Fukushima this time was 140 times or so more than themaximum that was estimated under these new guidelines. And the new guidelinesdidn’t even take into consideration anything beyond the outer containment, and itdidn’t even take into consideration the spent nuclear fuel pools.Aileen MiokoSmith, March 24The Japanese public has awakened to a new world where tap water is a danger to childrenand pregnant women, where food from one of the nation's key agricultural regions maybe toxic, and in which there is little safety offered by the guidelines that put in placeticking time bombs that are subject to inevitable natural catastrophes.The story will continue to unfold and the people of the world will then have to decide onthe wisdom of a laissez-faire energy policy that puts entire regions and nations at risk for health and safety.ENDThis article may be reproduced entirely or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

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