Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Anniversary #27 While Fukushima Keeps Leaking 10 MILLION Becquerels Per HOUR
April 26 2013 marks the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It has been estimated by Dr. Alexei Yablokov et. al., that, so far, about one million people have died premature deaths due to the steam explosion and ten day graphite fire that occurred at nuclear reactor Number Four in Ukraine,
when that nation used to be part of the USSR back in 1986. These deaths
have occurred, and many more will follow, not from just the explosion
itself (‘only 31 died’ many media forums continue to say), but from the
long-lived radioactive contamination of the soil, air and water that
will continue killing and mutating life forms for centuries.
Unfortunately, just as Chernobyl blew radiation all around the globe, similar
to the ‘fallout’ from atomic bombs that continues falling in micro-minute
particles even today to quietly cause lung cancer and other forms of cancer,
the Fukushima disaster is even worse. Though most Americans probably think
Fukushima is ‘over,’ we should be aware that this is far from true. The
groundwaters and rivers are so contaminated from the accident that, as
they continue to run out into the Pacific Ocean to spread the various
500 + radionuclides all around the Pacific basin, all life forms are
threatened by similar mutation and cancerization, for half of our ‘world,’
the Pacific Ocean half of our planet Earth.
How could this be? our champions of denial naively ask.
Radioactivity is something you cannot taste, smell or feel, but by
silently emitting its neutrons and electrons repeatedly over very
long periods of time, striking our and other life forms’ DNA, genetic
sequences are bombarded and changed, sometimes causing harmless
new sequences, sometimes being spontaneously corrected by our
marvelous bodies’ immune systems, but sometimes causing long lasting
mutations, anomalies (e.g., like being born with no brain) and cancers.
Essential to the understanding of how radiation can damage our bodies,
and those of other innocent animals and plants, is that the various
unstable radionuclides go on emitting their becquerels-worth of rays
and beams for sometimes hundreds and thousands of years. The easiest
radionuclide to measure is cesium, which makes up about 40 percent
of nuclear waste from nuclear reactors. The human body takes in cesium,
recognizing it like it is potassium, incorporating it into our cells,
where potassium is the most plentiful electrolyte/element. Cesium has
a ‘half life’ of 30 years during which half of its radioactivity dissipates,
but the other half of it remains, to continue radiating the tissue
surrounding it to possibly cause cancer. In actuality, science has
discovered that a radioactive element like cesium – or strontium
or plutonium or iodine, etc. – continues to be dangerous for 10-20
half lives, what we now call the element’s ‘hazardous life.’ In the
case of cesium, that is 300-600 years.
That is why the area around Chernobyl will be unsafe to live upon
or near for the next 3 to 6 centuries. Similarly, the area around
Fukushima will threaten all life forms for at least the same
period of time. However, with Fukushima, three reactors melted down
and leaked, continuing to be a threat to do so for the next few decades,
while thousands of tons of radioactive water remain in the basements of
the damaged reactors. Then there are the very hot ‘fuel pools’ where
the super-radioactive reactor assemblies have to sit and be covered
by water that keeps them below the boiling point. For otherwise they
will be exposed and emit all the possible 500 + radionuclides into
the air to travel around the Earth and contaminate our lungs or other
parts of our bodies and those of other life forms.
Importantly, TEPCO, the Japanese utility responsible for the Fukushima
Daiichi plant and its March 11, 2011 disaster, notes that reactors 1-3
that melted down, are STILL emitting 10 MILLION becquerels of cesium 134
and 137 PER HOUR.
Be it known that the Chernobyl plant is now leaking again also, due to
a defect developing in its covering sarcophagus. Arnie Gundersen, during
the Helen Caldicott organized 2 year Fukushima Disaster Anniversary
symposium in NYC March 11-12 2013 said that liquid releases from
Fukushima are ten times such releases from the crippled Chernobyl plant.
Alexei Yablokov, during the same symposium, told us that 60% of the
radionuclides released from the Chernobyl accident were deposited
OUTSIDE the USSR. He also noted only 20% of children were healthy
in irradiated zones, where there is often one curie of radiation
measureable per square kilometer of area. Also during the conference
it was noted that the contamination is not uniform, like a blanket, but
patchy and inconsistent. People still live in areas that are dangerously
contaminated, setting themselves and their families and animals up
for the damage and cancers that radiation produces.
Hiroaki Koide, nuclear engineer and specialist in Radiation Safety and Control,
delivered a videotaped address to the symposium, in which he told us
that ten million Japanese people live in the ‘controlled areas’ and are exposed
to radiation every day. He also noted that there are the equivalent of ten
thousand Hiroshima atomic bombs sitting in the dangerously unstable fuel pool of the number 4 reactor, which exists with buttressing one hundred feet above ground level. He also tragically said “I live in a contaminated world.”
Steven Wing noted that the much-heralded Hiroshima/Nagasaki bomb survivor studies are very misleading because they did not start counting cancers until after 1958, 13 years after these cities were a-bombed by Harry Truman and the USA to end World War II. Thus, certain types of cancers may have been underweighted like thyroid and leukemias.
Steven Starr of the University of Missouri stated that 30% of the land in Japan
is contaminated with long lived radiation post-Fukushima disaster. As for high
school graduates due to Chernobyl in affected areas 45-47% have physical
disorders including gastrointestinal disorders, cataracts and weakened hearts.
40% also have chronic blood disorders and malfunctioning thyroids. This was
found to be in direct correlation to the becquerel loads of radiation in their bodies.
As for the bizarre claim by pro-nuclear fantasists that Chernobyl is now
‘a wildlife haven,’ evolutionary biology professor Timothy Mousseau from the
University of South Carolina gave us evidence both statistical and
photographic, of just the opposite being the case. He noted that 40% of
male birds have no sperm, meaning that they are sterile. Fertility rates
and population sizes of bird species are markedly decreased, plus many
local species have gone extinct. Shamefully, Professor Mousseau noted that
the United Nations Chernobyl Forum 2006 IAEA [International Atomic Energy Association – not a ‘watchdog’ agency as the media often proclaims, but really a nuclear power promoting agency] report somehow discovered that the biota around Chernobyl had increased in scope. BUT, NO STUDIES WERE DONE to support this claim.
Bumblebee populations were decreased radically in most highly contaminated areas. Same with spiders and butterflies. As Professor Mousseau stated “there are no cobwebs at Chernobyl.” Also he found that birds have very high cataract rates around Chernobyl. He showed us slides of birds and other animals having strange abnormalities: tumors, bizarre growths on their legs, around their derrieres, unusual colorations; their brains were smaller than normal; cognitive function was lower than normal, which would affect survival likelihood. Trees too were affected, deformed bizarrely, afflicted with mutations and ongoing radiotoxicity.
Professor Mousseau also noted that most organisms show significantly increased rates of genetic damage in direct proportion to the level of exposure to radioactive contaminants. Remember that radiation does not always kill an organism off. Mutations, instead, may be produced in surviving species that are passed along from one generation to the next, and show signs of accumulating over time. These weaken the gene pool of affected animals, and plants. And, with birds and other mobile animals, and pollen, being mutated, mutations are migrating out of affected areas into populations that are not exposed to radiation. This is a long and tragically developing story that we can blame on man’s greed for energy and comfort, at the expense of his/her interdependent co-existence with nature.
Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister during the Fukushima crisis, opened the symposium in NYC, telling us via videotape: “I think that nuclear plants are not, and never will be, justifiable economically, and will not exist in the future…In that sense I believe that nuclear power has only existed as a transitional and temporary energy source, and that the techonology will not and should not exist in the next century…” He also said that safe nuclear policy is not having nuclear power at all – – and that Japan has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world.
Then there was David Freeman, who ran the nuclear power program at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) back in the 20th century. He told us that nuclear power’s middle name should be ‘Cost Overrun.’ Then he told us that its first and last names should also be ‘Cost Overrun.’ He said ultimate cost was never competitive for nuclear power, and that all sorts of documents pertaining to safety were suppressed. He added that the new nuclear plants they are building in Georgia, you guessed it, are already experiencing a cost overrun, which ratepayers will bear with increased utility rates. Mr. Freeman stated that is immoral to continue to accumulate more radioactive waste when we do not know what to do with it. He asked “What about the cost
of monitoring all this radioactive trash for one million years?”
As far as envisioning the toxicity of radiation, think about the long-lived
element plutonium-239, which most Earthlings have heard about, and should
fear essentially forever. it has a half life of 24,000 years, and a hazardous
life of 240,000 to 480,000 years. Only one microgram, or one MILLIONTH of one gram, has been found to be the lung-cancer-causing dose. There are 454 grams in one pound, to give you an idea of plutonium’s potency. Just twenty pounds of plutonium-239 could theoretically cause lung cancer in every human being on Earth. And there is then plenty of plutonium in Fukushima’s nuclear waste, Chernobyl’s nuclear waste (the devastated reactor No. 4 is now leaking through its surrounding sarcophagus), plus the rivers and groundwaters around Fukushima, and now the Pacific Ocean and all the land masses it touches, plus the fish and seaweed, etc., potentially vulnerable to
its contaminating radionuclides’ effects. Every commercial nuclear reactor
produces 400-1000 pounds of plutonium per year.
Last year the most radioactive fish measured until that time was caught in
Fukushima prefecture (a more radioactive fish has been caught since then).
It measured 18,700 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, a
reading over 37 times more than the Japanese government-imposed provisional limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram. A becquerel equals one nucleus decay per second of a quantity of radioactive material – that can strike and mutate your DNA. The rivers around Fukushima are washing out readings up to 20 BILLION becquerels per day of cesium per river, into the Pacific.
And that is just cesium. And these nuclear-plant-produced radionuclides
have been found in whales and other animals higher up the food chain.
Obviously kelp and tuna and other things we would consider eating have
to be seriously weighed for consideration as we have essentially polluted
half of the planet for the next millennia by our stubborn dependence on
nuclear power. Award-winning investigative journalist Michael Collins
reports there is a mass of radioactive Fukushima water the size of the
state of California that will reach southern California during the summer
The next Fukushima or Chernobyl could occur here in America where we
have 104 nuclear reactors, as opposed to Japan which has 54 reactors
(and 52 are still closed today due to irate opposition to their opening
again by the Japanese citizenry).
The much vaunted AP-1000 has been deemed the next infallible version
of nuclear power plant, but it too is just as prone to having an
accident as the other versions of this ultimately dangerous technology
which should have been immediately shut down forever when the Fukushima
disaster started on March 11, 2011, if not on April 26 1986 when
Chernobyl’s plant No. 4 exploded.
….Now, let us go back in time….to the last century…only 26 years ago it
was…Early in the morning. Still dark out. April 26, 1986. Over in the
northern reaches of northern Ukraine. When that country was still part
of the USSR.
Testing was going on at reactor number four at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy
Station. Power output had dropped to 7%, when suddenly it surged to 100 times 100% of full power in less than one minute!!! A catastrophic steam explosion occurred that “flipped the reactor’s massive cap like a coin and left it wedged and hanging askew inside the ruined reactor. The reactor’s core caught fire, leading to the largest single non-military radiation release in history.” [*1]
Here is another description from corpwatch.org:
“The nuclear fuel elements ruptured, and the resulting explosive force of steam lifted off the cover plate of the reactor, releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere. A second explosion threw out fragments of burning fuel and graphite from the reactor core and allowed air to rush in, causing the graphite moderator to burst into flames.”
Just in case it has been drubbed into your brain, NO, Chernobyl was NOT
a “meltdown” like many people continue to say. The core did not simply,
and more innocuously, just “melt” into the ground. Nope. Explosions
occurred, and then the fires.
Estimates vary, but nuclear physicist Dr. Vladimir Chernousenko, who
supervised the clean-up [and subsequently died from cancer] “for a
10-kilometer zone around the exploded reactor, [stated] that 80 per cent
of the reactor’s radioactivity escaped – – something like 7 BILLION curies”
out of a possible 9 billion curies. That is an unbelievable quantity of
radiation. A food irradiation plant theoretically holds up to 10 MILLION
curies of radiation.
Of course, the “Russians and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]
claimed in a 1986 report that 50 million curies of radioactive debris, plus another 50 million curies of rare and inert gases were discharged.”[*2]
Baloney for the nuclear soul, that report was later “condemned as a cover-up.”[*3] Sadly, Soviet authorities cared so much for their people that they
“neither officially acknowledged the explosion, nor warned their citizens
until May 2, 1986.”[*4]
Meanwhile, “the fire in the reactor core burned for ten days,” continuing
to release radioactivity for months afterward.[*5] Yet (from Svetlana
Alexievich’s tragic collection of ‘Voices From Chernobyl’):
“They suddenly started having these segments on television, like: an old
lady milks her cow, pours the milk into a can, the reporter comes over
with a military dosimeter, measures it. And the commentator says, See,
everything’s fine, and the reactor is just ten kilometers away. They show the Pripyat River, there are people swimming in it, tanning themselves. In the distance you see the reactor and plumes of smoke above it. The commentator says: The West is trying to spread panic, telling lies about the accident.”[*6]
Soviet authorities took advantage of their people’s ignorance concerning
radioactivity. The fact that you cannot see, taste or feel radioactivity
contributes to it being kind of unbelievable that it can kill you. Might
I ask: Are Americans any better with their knowledge concerning radioactivity
than the 1986 Soviets?
And what about the nuclear French, with 78 percent of their electricity
produced by 58 nuclear reactors?[*7] In the immediate wake of the Chernobyl
explosion, “France, instead of taking precautions like other European
countries, had its state television stations issue weather reports indicating
that the cloud of radioactivity from Chernobyl had miraculously stopped short at the Franco-German border!”[*8] Amazing how a society or culture, distorted by nuclear power, can have its people sacrificed to the radioactive gods.
(I know a lot of you think that the French are SO HAPPY with their nuclear
power. However, you should know that:
“Even the French are having second thoughts. Less than 31 percent of the
French public favor nuclear energy as a response to today’s energy crisis.
54 percent are now opposed to investing 3 billion euros in the construction
of a new reactor, while 84 percent favor the development of renewable energy.14 But the French are stuck and will be for some time, since they have dug a much deeper nuclear hole for themselves proportionally than the United States.” The reference noted as 14.
is quoted from Science For Democratic Action Vol 15, No. 2, January 2008,
Arjun Makhijani’s magazine).Back at the ole #4 Chernobyl reactor now,
slipping into the time machine…..
According to Sergei Vasilyevich Sobolev, Deputy Head of the Executive Committee of the Shield of Chernobyl Association:
“There was a moment when there was the danger of a nuclear explosion,
and they had to get the water out from under the reactor, so that a mixture of uranium and graphite wouldn’t get into it – with the water, they would have formed a critical mass. The explosion would have been between three and five megatons. This would have meant that not only Kiev and Minsk, but a large part of Europe would have been uninhabitable. Can you imagine it? A European catastrophe.
So here was the task: who would dive in there and open the bolt on the
safety valve? They promised them a car, an apartment, a dacha, aid for
their families until the end of time. They searched for volunteers. And
they found them! The boys dived, many times, and they opened that bolt,
and the unit was given 7,000 roubles. They forgot about the cars and
apartments they promised – that’s not why they dived. These are people
who came from a certain culture, the culture of the great achievement.
They were a sacrifice.
And what about the soldiers who worked on the roof of the reactor? Two
hundred and ten military units were thrown at the liquidation of the fallout of the catastrophe, which equals about 340,000 military personnel. The ones cleaning the roof got it the worst. They had lead vests, but the radiation was coming from below, and they weren’t protected there. They were wearing ordinary, cheap imitation-leather boots. They spent about a minute and a half, two minutes on the roof each day, and then they were discharged, given a certificate and an award – 100 roubles. And then they disappeared to the vast peripheries of our motherland. On the roof they gathered fuel and graphite from the reactor, shards of concrete and metal.
It took about 20-30 seconds to fill a wheelbarrow, and then
another 30 seconds to throw the “garbage” off the roof. These
special wheelbarrows weighed 40 kilos just by themselves. So
you can picture it: a lead vest, masks, the wheelbarrows, and
Karl Grossman has documented, with his EnviroVideo interview of
Dr. Chernousenko, the madness on the roof, each individual soldier’s
run actually lasting up to about 4 to 5 minutes worth of very high
level radioactive exposure, from getting onto the roof, loading the
wheelbarrow, or just a shovel, and then running it to the edge, where
it could be tipped off and dumped over the side, then rapidly as
possible exiting the roof.[*10] Many of these men died, or their
reproductive organs were severely compromised. Soviet wives,
naturally, were averse to have sex with these men for fear
that their babies would be congenitally damaged.
From historian Aleksandr Revalskiy: “A while ago in the papers
it said that in Byelorus alone, in 1993 there were 200,000 abortions.
Because of Chernobyl. We all live with that fear now.”[*11] Of
malformed babies, or stillbirths, or children that will tragically
develop cancer. Like the boy that was born with “a mouth that stretches
to his ears and no eyes.”[*12] Or the girl born, that “wasn’t a baby,
she was a little sack…not a single opening, just the eyes….more simply:
no pee-pee, no butt, one kidney.”[*13] …..
For more on this, and also the reference to the Yablokov et. al., book
reviewing ~5000 articles, concluding that ~ one million premature deaths
have occurred thus far from Chernobyl: two posts here on this website
you may please link to…
(C) April 26 2013 Conrad Miller M.D.
P.S. Look for my upcoming youtube summary of the lectures at the NYC
March 11-12 2013 Fukushima Symposium on my channel conradmillermd