Thursday, 17 March 2011

alert: tokyo withholds key radioactivity data


Nuclear? No! thank you! Giannelli
Corriere della Sera
14 marzo


It is feared that some cities may have to be evacuated if winds blow inland from the the Fukushima Daiichi plant; the people working at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are risking their lives with their heroic efforts to limit the scale of the damage. The accident should be classified at Level 6 right under Chernobyl (Level 7). The authorities are withholding vital data about the internal exposure to radiations and no data has been released about the volumetric contamination of the air (Bq/m3). Soil contaminations will affect the food chain, fish and sea food will need to be tested in some areas.

It cannot be excluded that the nuclear experts and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are lying to the politicians about the real extent of the contamination.

It is possible that some people in the affected areas who have been given iodine tablets but not yet told to use them should start administrating them if there are enough reasons to suspect an Iodine-131 contamination in the area, yet no relevant data asserting such levels have been disclosed. Especially concerned are the children, pregnant woman and breastfeeding women.

People need to drink preferably bottle water and tinned milk. Fresh garden produce in the contaminated area (which can be hundreds of miles from the source) should not be consumed. Green vegetables such as spinach are very risky. The next rice and tea crops in the affected areas may also have to be sacrificed. This will have a tremendous impact on a country almost self-sufficient for food.

The very scarce amounts of data about the levels of radioactive contaminations bears similarities to the situation in France, days after the Chernobyl accident, when the French were told that high atmospheric pressure blocked the contaminated clouds at the german border. At the time it was the french minister for Industry who was telling the minister for health what to do and what to say.

Politicians may have prefered not to alarm the population with orders to evacuate major cities while american and british citizens have been advised to leave an 80 km wide perimeter round the Fukushi Daiichi plant.

This friday Yukio Edano, the Chief Cabinet Secretary reiterated his plea for american help. Japan lacks of equipments and of qualified personnel to deal with a radiological emergency of such a scale and the tools of the japanese army (SDF) are inadequate to deal with such high rates of radiation.

If the spent rods ignites, in particular the rods containing Plutonium, extremely harmful radionuclides will be spread and severely contaminate the environement. Tokyo should implement immediately the evacuation of a larger perimeter - 30 or 40 km from the plant- to keep the situation under control before the circumstances degenerate and then plan for a full evacuation of a 60-80km radius. The peoplee who have been told to stay home need to know that homes aren't airtight and offer only a very temporary and limited protection. They should leave as soon as possible the 20-30 km security perimeter. Some are advocating the evacuation of the island of Honshu, an extreme measure to face the likelihood of a full blown Level 7 catastrophe of an epic proportion. Nevertheless the governement ought to consider now - in the event of a disaster similar or worse in scale than Chernobyl- to organize the evacuation of the Kantō region conurbation (42 million inhabitants) and warn the population about the eventuality of such an exodus. Some western countries governement have already told their citizens to consider leaving Tokyo. People are hungry, thirsty, dirty, homeless, worried, wounded or ill, they have lost their homes, some have no clothes or are mourning their relatives, their gardens have been soiled and the governement isn't telling them the truth. Urgent civil defence is required immediately.

Japan needs you premier Naoto Kan, the whole of yourself and of your government, your enemy is the nuclear industry, not the people it has betrayed.

Alexandre de Perlinghi

March 19th

...In the area of the Fukushima Daiichi plant samples of milk and spinach showed level of radioactivity superior to the legal limit. The Health minister has forbidden the sale of food coming from the Fukushima prefecture...small amounts of radioactivity have been found in water in Tokyo and Gunma.. (Corriere della Sera)

March 18th:

...Italy: 40 Bq of Iodine-131 have been found in urine samples from people coming back from Japan...(Corriere della Sera)

WMR has been told by informed Japanese sources that the close relationship between TEPCO and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) neutered effective oversight of TEPCO's safety problem-ridden reactors for a number of years. The lack of effective contingency planning and TEPCO's overriding interest in it's corporate bottom led to the post-quake/tsunami Level 5 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant. The lack of effective NISA oversight is a direct result of the cozy relationship between the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency, according to our sources.
One of the major reasons why the Japanese Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has not been fully informed of the dire situation at the Fukushima reactor facilities is that Chief Cabinet Secretary, attorney Yukio Edano, cut his teeth in politics as an outspoken opponent of Japan's nuclear power industry.
WMR has been told that TEPCO and NISA, skeptical of Edano's past anti-nuclear stance, feared that Edano stands to amplify the threat posed by the current nuclear disaster at Fukushima. TEPCO and NISA has, therefore, acted to limit what information has been passed to Edano to avoid the Cabinet Secretary heightening fears during his many news conferences. Edano has been the chief Japanese government's face in televised news conferences on Fukushima's nuclear meltdown and radiation release....(WMR)
...number of dead and missing after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened Japan's northeast coast a week ago has topped 16,600, with 6405 confirmed dead, police say.(

The Sun 17 march

Japan Nuke Disaster Could Be Worse Than Chernobyl

Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 17, 2011 (IPS) - A global nuclear disaster potentially worse than Chernobyl may be under way in Japan as hundreds of tonnes of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel are open to the sky, and may be on fire and emitting radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Many countries have advised their citizens in Japan to leave the country. "This is uncharted territory. There is a 50-percent chance they could lose all six reactors and their storage pools," said Jan Beyea, a nuclear physicist with a New Jersey consulting firm called Consulting in the Public Interest.

"I'm surprised the situation hasn't gotten worse faster... But without a breakthrough it's only a matter of days before spent fuels will melt down," said Ed Lyman, a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and an expert on nuclear plant design.

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged by a powerful earthquake and tsunami on Mar. 11. It has an estimated 1,700 tonnes of used or spent but still dangerous nuclear fuel in storage pools next to its six nuclear reactors, according to Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, a U.S. anti-nuclear environmental group.

The storage pools holding 30 to 35 years worth of spent fuel at reactors No. 3 and No. 4 have lost containment and most if not all of their coolant water. They may be on fire, venting radioactive particles into the atmosphere, Kamps told IPS.

..."If some of the spent fuel ignites and propagates throughout the rest of the fuel enormous areas of Japan could be contaminated by radioactive caesium 137 for 30 to 50 years," Beyea told IPS.

Caesium 137 remains radioactive for more than a hundred years and is a known cause of cancer and other health impacts. Once released, it is very difficult to cope with. Caesium is why a large region around the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster remains uninhabitable 25 years later...

"Caesium particles were blown hundreds of miles away during the intense fire at Chernobyl," Kamp said... Chernobyl held 180 tonnes of nuclear fuel. Fukushima Daiichi has 560 tonnes of nuclear fuel in its reactors along with 1,700 tonnes of spent fuel.

"The nuclear industry in Japan and the U.S. knew the loss of coolant at spent-fuel storage pools would be a big problem but they simply said it couldn't happen," said Beyea, who is a co-author of a 2004 study on this very topic for the U.S. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Having worked in the industry, Beyea says it is run by overconfident engineers who minimise or ignore low- probability disasters even if they might have huge consequences.

Nuclear reactors generate enormous amounts of heat and must be constantly cooled to keep the metal fuel casing from catching on fire and the fuel from melting. Since a nuclear reaction cannot be turned off, when spent fuel is removed from a reactor it still generates a great deal of heat and must be cooled underwater for five to 20 years. All reactors have storage pools with thick reinforced-concrete walls and are about 15 metres deep, containing around 1.5 million litres of water. This water soon warms and must be constantly replaced with cooler water.

The loss of electricity and failures of backup generators at Fukushima Daiichi has meant little water has been pumped through the storage pools or into the reactors. Radiation levels inside the plant have now climbed so high that it is hazardous for workers to try to keep jury-rigged pumps pumping sea water. Normally only fresh water is used because sea water contains salts that eventually degrade the metals.

Radiation levels are deadly when there is not enough water to cover a spent fuel pool, said Kamps. "It will be very difficult to get close enough to cool these pools down," he noted. "If the worst happens, and the six pools burn, it will be an unimaginable disaster. It could be worse than Chernobyl."

The amount of caesium that could be released at Fuskushima is many thousands times that from the Hiroshima atomic bomb during World War Two, acknowledged Beyea. However, it was the bomb blast that killed over 120,000 people in the immediate months afterwards, he said.

"Japan is facing enormous potential impacts on its economy, its society and on the health of its people," he said, adding that people will be worried sick about the potential impacts on their health for decades to come.

"We recommended that the nuclear industry move spent fuel into dry storage containers after five years to reduce this risk but they said a loss-of-pool coolant event would never happen," said Beyea.

The status as of Thursday, 4 pm EST according to Tokyo Electric, the owner and operator of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant:

Reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 nuclear cores have partially melted as they lost cooling functions after the quake.

Reactor No. 2 containment vessel suffered damage and has been breached.

The buildings housing the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and storage pools have been severely damaged by apparent hydrogen blasts. Water levels and temperatures at storage pools of the Nos. 1 to 4 units are unknown. Temperatures at storage pools at No. 5 and No. 6 are climbing.

Fukushima Daiichi
...The radiation reading came to 279.4 microsievert per hour at the point roughly 1 kilometer west of the No. 2 reactor at 5 a.m. Friday, compared with 292.2 microsievert per hour at 8:40 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the SDF discharged water from fire trucks, according to the agency...up to 64 tons of water was discharged by helicopters and fire trucks of the SDF as well as a water cannon truck of the Metropolitan Police Department into the pool at the No. 3 unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima plant Thursday...The government has set the exclusion zone covering areas within a 20 kilometer radius of the plant, and urged people within 20 km to 30 km to stay indoors. (Kyodo)
...the radiation reading at 5 a.m. Friday came to 279.4 microsievert per hour, compared with 292.2 microsievert per hour at 8:40 p.m. Thursday...(Kyodo)

March 17th

Frustrated with TEPCO, Kan turns to SDF in nuclear crisis

"In the worst case scenario, we have to assume that all of eastern Japan would be wrecked. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has almost no sense of urgency whatsoever."
So said Prime Minister Naoto Kan at a meeting with special advisor to the Cabinet Kiyoshi Sasamori on the night of March 16. Handling of the crisis had been entrusted to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and plant operator TEPCO. However, with the reactors' immediate surroundings now being bombarded with high radiation levels and the "worst case scenario" just on the horizon, the prime minister has turned the dangerous mission over to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).
The SDF used Chinook heavy transport helicopters to dump water primarily on reactor No. 3, which may have a damaged reactor vessel. Reactors No. 3 and No. 4 are in the most dangerous condition. The helicopters swooped low over the reactor housings and released their load from a special bucket as they passed over reactor No. 3. Originally, the SDF considered hovering directly over the stricken reactors, but decided against the plan as it would have exposed the helicopter crews to radiation for too long.
"This is a battle against radioactivity," a senior Defense Ministry official stated. "Unfortunately, with the pass-over method, the water dissipates and there isn't much of a cooling effect," he added with concern.
At the beginning of the nuclear crisis -- set off by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami -- the Defense Ministry and the SDF had said they did not have the know-how to deal with it.
"We have protective clothing for after a nuclear attack, but it was not made to withstand the high radiation levels (emitted by a nuclear reactor)," one senior SDF officer stated. Another staff officer voicing deep concern over participation in the cooling operation said recently, "We can't guarantee the lives of our personnel. This is an extremely dangerous mission."
The same staff officer added that "if it's nuclear power know-how that's needed, then there's no-one to turn to but the U.S. military," hoping U.S. forces would join the SDF in dealing with the overheating reactors.
However, the U.S. military -- which has nine navy vessels in the area including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan assisting with quake relief and search and rescue operations -- is openly worried over radiation exposure. The U.S. military contributed two pumper trucks to TEPCO for use in the cooling effort, but has not joined the operation on the ground. Furthermore, the U.S. Navy is shifting the position of its fleet off the east coast of the disaster zone to avoid fallout carried by wind.
"We can't ask the U.S. military to take on the most dangerous duty before the SDF even tries," said one SDF staff officer on March 16, adding, "This is an emergency. Decisions are up to the most senior officer, the prime minister, and if he says 'Do it,' then we must obey." (Mainichi)
Fukushima City (60km W) 21.4 uSv/h
Onagawa (120km NNE) 4.8 uSv/h
Kohriyama City (58km W) 3.18 uSv/h
Kita Ibaraki City (75km SSW) 15.8 uSv/h ***
Shinjuku (inner Tokyo, 220km SW) 0.16 uSv/h
Yokosuka (260km SSW) 0.182 uSv/h

...170 uSv/h (ionization chamber) at 30km NW, measured by MEXT mobile off-site monitoring team, no rain, 2pm 17 March. (K. Hosokawa, MagpieNews)
The relatively high figure of Kita Ibaraki could be due to Tokai-II nuclear power station (south of the city).
Off-site figures at 20-60km:
(measured by a mobile team of the Ministry of Education and Science)
highest: 80 uSv/h at 25km WNW
second highest: 58.5 uSv/h at 30km NW
lowest: 26.5 uSv/h at 25km SW
(measured 8:15am-14:15 on 16 March, at 14 points within 20-60km)
There was reportedly a dispute between the science ministry and the Cabinet over whether to publicize these figures. Now it’s open and the mobile team continues to work.
Low concentrations of radioactive particles from Japan's disaster-hit nuclear power plant have been heading eastwards and are expected to reach North America in days, a Swedish official said on Thursday...(Reuters).

Gov't must provide accurate information on nuclear disaster risks
Japan's nuclear power plant disaster is widening. The water level in a pool for spent nuclear fuel at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima No. 1 plant has dropped, creating the possibility of a meltdown.
The container of the No. 3 reactor at the plant has possibly been damaged and the fuel in the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors is no longer fully covered with cooling water. If no countermeasures are adopted the fuel will melt, which could result in a large radiation leak. Workers handling the disaster must unite their efforts to secure a water supply as quickly as possible and cool the fuel.
Equally important as bringing the nuclear power disaster under control is a proper response to the threat of radiation.
It goes without saying that people's health must be protected. At the same time we must ensure the well-being of people put at risk and ease people's anxiety.
It is only natural that people living within a 20 kilometer radius of the nuclear power plant have been evacuated. People living between 20 and 30 kilometers from the plant have been ordered to stay indoors, but is this an appropriate response?
Even though the risk may be low in this area at present, the government should consider ordering evacuations in the outer ring as well to ease people's anxiety and ensure that they can get back to life as normal. We also call on local government bodies around the nation to consider accepting people from these areas.
Even in areas located far away from the plant, people have started evacuating. With only limited information available, it is only natural that they feel uneasy. But if people in areas that face an extremely low risk start evacuating, confusion will arise, and this could hinder efforts to aid the people who really need help. What is important is for people to have a "healthy" measure of fear.
At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, fission reactions were brought to a halt immediately after the earthquake struck, so the situation is fundamentally different from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. But could the situation worsen to a level on par with Chernobyl, and if so what kind of risk would people across Japan face? Many people want answers.
When calling for a calm response, authorities must assess not only the current risk, but also the risks in a worst-case scenario, and provide people with accurate information, including the probability of such a scenario.
The government is unequivocally responsible for establishing guidelines. We want the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission and other related bodies to actively carry out their responsibilities. At the same time it is also probably necessary for academic committees and other expert organizations to analyze the risks, support the government and provide information to residents.
We have pointed out in the past that establishing a reliable and consistent source of information is an important part of crisis management. But the government must not go too far in controlling information. To cover the mouths of people in specialist fields will only harm the nation's interests. We call for combined wisdom that will enable Japan to overcome this crisis. (Mainichi)
The US state department has urged Americans living within 80km (50 miles) of Fukushima Daiichi, which lies 220km from Tokyo, to leave the area - a much wider exclusion zone than the 20km advised by the Japanese government. (BBC)
The radiation level rose at the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant Thursday after the Self-Defense Forces' helicopters dropped water at its crisis-hit No. 3 reactor...The level around the plant's administration building rose to 4,000 microsievert per hour at 1:30 p.m. from 3,700 in the morning. It was unchanged shortly after the choppers dumped seawater onto the reactor ...The level around the plant's quake-proof building at which workers are standing by had risen to about 3,000 microsievert per hour, it said in the morning... (Kyodo)
Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told a congressional hearing, ''There is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.''...Based on the NRC's finding, the U.S. Embassy in Japan has asked American citizens living within an 80-kilometer radius of the Fukushima No. 1 power station to evacuate as a precautionary measure. The Japanese government is currently setting the evacuation zone as areas within a 20-km radius of the plant and advises people outside the zone but within a 30-km radius to stay indoors. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said it believes the U.S. evacuation recommendation is ''not appropriate'' and will bolster information sharing with U.S. authorities so as not to cause misunderstandings. Edano said that after the NRC chief made the remarks, the Japanese government provided U.S. experts with more detailed data. (Kyodo) the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as the radiation level was 4.13 millisievert per hour at an altitude of 1,000 feet. The level comes to 87.7 millisievert at 300 feet, the minister also said. (Kyodo)
...A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday. (peak of oil)


14-16 of march 2011

The french NGO Commission de Recherche et d'Information Indépendantes sur la Radioactivité, (CRIIRAD) reports:
14-16 of march 2011

map of Japan with significant radioactivity measurments
live data from the Oganawa plant (nGy/h) 120km N of Fukushima Daiichi

snippets from the french text

...Potentially lethal doses of radioactivity
Still no data about the air contamination when the radioactivity blatantly is not negligible.
The data released only concern the dose rate which only provide information about the external exposure...

Internal contamination by inhalation: the air is filled with radioactive elements (rise of the dose rate). Simple dust masks do not provide adequate breathing protection, They are only efficient if regularly changed against radioactive dust and warm particles.

To evaluate the dose levels thus the risks run by the population and the workers, internal and external exposure have to be added. The intensity of soil depositions need also to be worked out...

230,000 iodine tablets have been distributed but no order to use it has yet been given. To protect efficiently the thyroid they need to be intaken not later than at the beginning of the iodine contamination ( and they will only protect the thyroid gland if well administered)...

Weather is a key element. Wind blows contaminated air masses and rain can intensify soil depositions...

The situation has greatly deteriorated:

14th march 6h20 am local time:

1/ Explosion on reactor #2. Loss of containment. The problem originates in the pressurization chamber connected to the reactor where the pressure has decreased...rejections of radioactivite now become important and continuous;

2/ Radioactive emissions arising from the spent fuel pool containing the irradiated combustibles from reactor #4 are released straight into the athmosphere (lack of containment).

The increase of the dose level proves the transit of contaminated air masses.


16th march 5 pm local time: 1.1 and 3.6 μSv/h (chart below)


Results given for 3 neighboring towns Kitaibaraki and Takahagi, coastal towns and Daigo 30km inland. The dose rate are multiplied by 100 reaching 4 to 5 μSv/h between 4 am and 10 am local time. Levels then decrease regularly still remaining 10 times over the normal level...

230 KM SOUTH: TOKYO (update)

16th march 6h10 pm local time: 1,1 μSv/h at Hiroguchi

Still no public release on the volumic activity in Bq/m3 of the appearing radionuclides. The lack of data about the air contamination...precludes assessing the real level of risk faced by the population...

Even more worrying is the increase of the dose rate which can - and probably does - correspond with levels of air contamination that are not negligible contrary to the official declarations, and that require safety measures. The people have the right to this information.

People are living for days under the threat of a nuclear catastrophe without knowing practically nothing about the levels of radioactivity to which they are exposed.

of march 2011

The CRIIRAD denounces the underevaluation of the severity of the accidents that occured at the nuclear plant of Fukushima Daiichi and the crucial lack of information as much about the amounts of radioactive rejections since friday as of the levels of air contamination. Without these data it is impossible to estimate the levels of radiological risks. The few figures available preclude in any case qualifying the rejections as "minor" (level 4 on the INES scale) or "low".

A premature classification
Saturday 12 march, the japanese authorities have ranked at level 4 on the INES scale the accident of reactor #1 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant while the accident was still in progress and while several other reactors faced a state of radiological emergency. The workforce of the plant continues exposing itself to very high levels of radiations to avoid a cooling system failure of reactors #1, #2 and #3 becoming a nuclear catastrophe. Extreme steps have been taken to cool the reactors at any price such as the injection of sea water despite the inherent risks. [By wednesday this job was being undertaken by air with helicopters].

The AIEA has registered the level 4 ranking without any correction. To this day as we know no nuclear safety authority has put it into question.

The International Nuclear and radiological Event Scale (INES) classifies nuclear accidents according to their consequences on site or oustside of the nuclear site. Concerning the consequences inside the site, level 4 corresponds to an important damage to the core of the reactor or the radiological barriers; when the damage is severe the classification reaches level 5, 6 or 7 according to the importance of the radioactive rejections outside of the plant which obviously conditions the level of the exposure risk of the population.

Level 4 corresponds to a minor rejection of radioactivity in the environment;

Level 5 to a limited rejection capable of generating a partial implementation of preplanned countermeasures;

Level 6 to an important rejection capable of requiring a full implementation of the preplanned countermeasures;

Level 7 to a major rejection with significant effect on health and the environment.

To support the classification to level 4 (important damage but not severe to the core of the reactors and minor rejections of radioactivity) neither the japanese authorities, nor the IAEA have released figures; neither on the scale of the rejections, nor their isotopic composition (nature and ratio of the appearing radionuclides that work out the radiotoxicity of the radioactive emissions) nor on the levels of the air contamination at various distances from the plant.

Suprisingly too are the televised declarations about the radioactive rejections described as "minor" by the minister for Ecology sunday morning, even though she admitted having no data at her disposal. Was this description based on the appraisal given by the french experts from the Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN), the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) and Areva that she had brought together earlier to evaluate the situation? It would be interesting to know if the minimization is imputable to the official experts [as it happened in France in 1986 during the Chernobyl accident] or to the politicans. [...Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of France's Nuclear Safety Authority, said today he thought it was "worse than Three Mile Island but not as great as Chernobyl". ... "We have the feeling that we are at least more than level five and probably at level six," Mr Lacoste said. "I say this after speaking to my Japanese counterparts."... (]

According to the CRIIRAD the rejections are neithe "minor" nor "low".

Based on the too rare measures available the CRIIRAD refutes categorically this classification...

A terrible lack of transparency

If the authorities maintain that the rejections are minor or low they have to justify this based on objective and verifiable figures.

The CRIIRAD asks for the estimates on the total amount of the rejection of radioactivity for every accidented reactors, and for the isotopic composition of the rejections, to be made public. The CRIIRAD calls also for the publlication of the levels of the air contamination: cartography of the volumic activity (Bq/m3) for the key radionuclides functions of distance and time. It is important to work out the intensity and the movements of the contaminated air masses. Available data suggest indeed that radioactive rejections from Fukushima Daiichi have reached the Onagawa plant located 110-120 km to the North.

...If the informations on the size of the activities, the concentrations and the doses are not released during the crisis phase, we fear it will be very difficult to work out afterwards the real nature of the levels of exposure.


15 of march 2011

Japan is threathened by a nuclear catastrophe, very little is known about the level of radioactivity to which people are exposed the Fukushima Daiichi plant worker's health is endangered..

12 march: dose levels next to the plant reached 1.5 milliSievert per hour (1.5 mSv/h), 10,000 times the normal 40 minutes one absorbs the maximum level acceptable in a year for members of the public: 1 mSv ( 0.11 µSv/h) ..

[the most exposed workers can reach in normal circumstances an upper limit of 20 mSv / year] The admissible risk for the public at 1mSv / year corresponds to 5 radio-induced cancers per 100,000 population...
Following the explosion of the building of reactor #2 the japanese authorities have disclosed extremely high level of exposure ( one million times the level of natural background radiation) :

Réacteur n°3 : 400 mSv/h (milliSieverts par heure)
Réacteur n°4 : 100 mSv/h
Réacteur n°2 et 3 : 30 mSv/h
Such values are very far from low levels of radiations with pathologies such as cancer occuring after decades...these high doses of irradiation generate massive amounts of cell destruction and the effects are tangible after hours, days, weeks or months depending on the level of exposition... a couple of hours the most radiosensitive cells are severely damaged: bone marrow cells, bowel lining, skin cells..nervous syndroms.. plus cancers keeping their pace...

We don't know how the rotation of workers is organized in order to understand the exposure levels,... we only know for sure that they risking their lives to avoid a catastrophic situation...

[the levels of admitted exposure for people working during a radiation emergency can been raised from 20 mSv/y to 100 and even to 500 mSv/y in case of a radiological emergency. The maximum ceiling is 500 mSv/y. Many lives may be lost among workers as a consequence.]
The Internation Agency (for the promotion of) Atomic Energy (AIEA) in a press release underlines that the value of 400 mSv/h was...a « local value at a single location and at a certain point in time »..., without documenting their evidence...100 mSv/h and 30 mSv/h remain highly elevated proof that 400 mSv/h was the the highest value in loco, just three results have been published ...they need valuation considering the surface of the area.

At 1 am CET the AIEA declares that at the main gate the level was 11,9 mSv/h and six hours later 0,6 mSv/h equal to well over 1.000 times the normal level...

...doses accumulate hour after hour
, ... we are days since the start of the emergency situation.

Radioactive spill and air contamination: no data!
The figures made public only consider the absorbed dose through external exposure to radiations resulting from the disintegration of radioactive atoms at a distance from the organism, a bit like UV sun exposure.

Internal doses of exposure, absorbed by internal contamination when gas, halogen or radioactive aerosols are inhaled, have to be added. This is true evrywhere in Japan where high dose rates have occured [A slow rate of an identical exposure dose has a lesser impact than a quick one].

Therefore it is indispensable to know the levels of the air contamination: the volumic activity in becquerel per volume [ Bq/m3 ] for each radionuclide present or at least the most significants sanitarywise.

We ought to know the activity of... Iodine-131, Caesium-137, Krypton and Xenon isotopes...and the transuranians (Plutonium and Americium isotopes)...

The intensity of the soil depositions, is the second key parameter that works out the level of of the contamination of the food chain and the risks for population.

To this day the quantity of radioactivity leaked in the environment is still a mistery. Official communiqués mention willingly controlled discharges relating to depressurization operations dictated by necessity otping for the lesser of two evils, none of which can control the radioactive emission .

Moreover the emissions associated with fires, broken pipes, or other incidents that are totally out of control need to be added.

What are the level of exposure 100 or 200 km from the Fukushima plant?
Chart: Oganaka contamination µSv/h 12- 15 march 2011

The dose rates above put in µSv/h (microSieverts hour) or µGy/h (microgray hour) reports the external level of exposure. The results need to be compared to the natural background level ( background noise) which is lower than 0.1 µSv/h ( around 0.03 to 0.06 µSv/h ) in the zones we examined.


Onagawa plant sits some 120 km NNE from Fukushima Daiichi...6 detectors are installed around
the site.
12th march: ... 7 pm local time ( 11.oo am CET ) the dose levels seem to rise. ... midnight levels rise a hundredfold, overshoots 10 µSv/h ...peak at 21 µSv/h on the 13th near 2 am local time ( 500 times the normal level) then levels diminish significantly... ( up again at 8,3 µSv/h around 10 am )...but slowly.

This tuesday 15th at 4 pm local time ( 8am CET) the results read between 1,1 and 5,4 µSv/h. These later values, at nearly 100 times the normal level, assert the persistant presence of contaminated air masses and/or rays emitted by ground depositions of radioactive particles.

The weather conditions should become favourable within hours probably for 24 hours with winds blowing from the NW pushing contaminated air masses emigrating from Fukushima Daiichi towards the SE.


Tokyo stands 230 km SW of the Fukushima Daiichi.

march 14th: available results show normal levels of radiation fluctuating around 0.05 µSv/h

Tokyo's municipality declares dose rates of 0.81 µSv/h between 10 and 11 am local time,
16 times the background noise. Levels decreased to 0.075 µSv/h afterwards. These results are related to incoming flows of contaminated airmasses.

In the nuclear site of TOKAI, 115 km SSW of Fukushima Daiichi, the increase has been slightly more important this morning reaching 1.2 µSv/h. The preceding evening these levels were at 0.03 and 0.005 µSv/h. This was forcastable given the wind changed direction.

The values disclosed are generally labelled as negligible by the authorities in charge despite a lack of precision about the nature and the concentration of the radioactive elements, generating the elevation of the dose rate. To evaluate the level of air contamination and advice judiciously the affected people about the control of the contamination, one needs to know the level of the air contamination.

Specifically, the level of radioactive contamination of Iodine-131, -132...ought to be known. Emergency management plans require the distribution of stable Iodine tablets only at levels deemed to high for the CRIIRAD. In France e.g., tablets are distributed only if the authorities forecast dose to the thyroid equal or superior to 50 mSv. This figure is 5 times higher than the dose recommended by the WHO for children, pregnant women and breast feeding women. A total transparency about these values is indispensable to establish if the protection of people is provided or not, and at which level - be it in Tokyo or even more in the areas located nearer to the source of the radioactive of Japan with significant radioactivity measurments

Bruno Chareyron, responsable du laboratoire de la CRIIRAD
Roland Desbordes, Président de la CRIIRAD

471 avenue Victor Hugo
26000 Valence
Tel : 04 75 41 82 50
Fax : 04 75 81 26 48

Translation and [comments]

Alexandre de Perlinghi (copyleft)

march 15

Animated map of air masses (12 am - 3 pm)

Us Navy detects levels of 0.5 millirems of radiation at Atsugi and Yokosuka (near Yokohama).

march 13
Fukushima risks

Potential health consequences of the explosion at the Fukushima reactor in Japan
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. A 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

...Hebrew University Professor Menachem Luria, an expert on air quality and poisoning, told Channel 2 on Saturday: "This is very worrying. There is no doubt that we have not seen anything like this in years, perhaps ever since nuclear experiments were conducted in the atmosphere in the 1950s. From what we can gather, this disaster is even more dangerous than Chernobyl, both from the standpoint of the population's exposure to radioactive material and the spread of radioactive contamination in the area."...(Haaretz)


Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

According to Wikipedia

Telco owns of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

On August 29, 2002, the government of Japan revealed that TEPCO was guilty of false reporting in routine governmental inspection of its nuclear plants and systematic concealment of plant safety incidents. All seventeen of its boiling-water reactors were shut down for inspection as a result. TEPCO's chairman Hiroshi Araki, President Nobuya Minami, Vice-President Toshiaki Enomoto, as well as the advisers Shō Nasu and Gaishi Hiraiwa stepped-down by September 30, 2002.[6]
The utility "eventually admitted to two hundred occasions over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities".[7] Upon taking over leadership responsibilities, TEPCO's new president issued a public commitment that the company would take all the countermeasures necessary to prevent fraud and restore the nation's confidence. By the end of 2005, generation at suspended plants had been restarted, with government approval.
In 2007, however, the company announced to the public that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of unreported incidents. These included an unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which had not been uncovered during the 2002 inquiry. Along with scandals at other Japanese electric companies, this failure to ensure corporate compliance resulted in strong public criticism of Japan's electric power industry and the nation's nuclear energy policy. Again, the company made no effort to identify those responsible.
In France the decommissionning costs of the nuclear power plants are estimated at 60 billion euros (source), in the United Kingdom at £73 million (source).


Measuring radioactivity can be confusing: various units coexist for different purposes. Different units allow measurement of the exposure intensity, the activity of the source, the absorbed dose and the effective biological dose. The main units in use are rem, gray, rad, sievert and becquerel. This summary intends to ease understanding the values. The natural background radiation, like radon gaz and high altitude exposure with air travel shouldn't be added to the calculus in most instances or has to be stricly differentiated.

A war is ongoing between scientists concerning the doses and the model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). One side pulls the concept of "there is no safe dose" which could put an end to nuclear electricity production as well as some medical radiations and nuclear weapons (see ECRR and ECRR Risk Model and radiation from Fukushima) because if there is no safe dose, no one can be exposed and thus cannot maintain the equipments. While the big biz side hums the tune "despite Chernobyl and Fukushima, it's safe".

The units used to measure ionizing radiation are rather complex. The ionizing effects of radiation are measured by units of exposure.

The roentgen (symbol R) is the amount of radiation required to liberate positive and negative charges of one electrostatic unit of charge (esu) in 1 cm³ of dry air at standard temperature and pressure (STP). It is not itself an SI unit and continued use is "strongly discouraged" by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Its value is expressed in terms of the SI units electric charge divided by unit mass: coulomb per kilogram (C/kg).

1 R ≈ 0.258 mC/kg
1 mC/kg ≈ 3.88 R
1 R/h = 71.7 nC/kg.s
1 nC/kg.s = 0.014 R/h

Roentgen/hour (numerical equivalent)=0.12 gray (Wr=1, X-ray, gamma ray, electrons) 1 Roentgen/hour (numerical equivalent)=0.006 gray (Wr=20, alpha particles)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Old Unit: the curie (symbol Ci) is roughly the activity of 1 gram of the radium isotope 226Ra or 15g of 239Pu . New SI unit: the becquerel (symbol Bq) is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second .

1 Ci = 3.7×1010 Bq
1 Ci = 37 GBq
1 μCi = 37,000 Bq 1 Bq = 2.70×10−11 Ci 1 Bq =2.70×10−5 μCi
1 GBq = 0.0270 Ci
1 TBq = 27 Ci

The typical human body contains roughly 0.1 μCi (=37,000 Bq) of naturally occurring potassium-40
Activity of one ton of Uranium 238 = 0.3 Ci = 11.1 GBq
Activity one gram of plutonium 239 = 2.3 GBq

Definition of
contaminated zones after the Chernobyl disaster: 37 kBq/m2 of Cs-137 (= 1 Ci/km2)
Natural radioactiviy

Rain water: 0.3 à 1 Bq/L
River water : 0.07 Bq/L (226Ra et descendants) ; 0,07 Bq/L (40K) ; 11 Bq/L (³H)
Sea Water: 14 Bq/L (40K mainly)
Mineral Water : 1 -à 2 Bq/L (226Ra, 222Rn)
Milk: 60 Bq/L
Human body: 8,000 to 10,000 Bq



Old unit: the rad or rd (Radiation Absorbed Dose)

New SI unit: the Gray (Gy) measures the deposited energy of radiation.

1 Gy = 1 Joule of ionizing radiation per kilo of body tissue
100 rad = 1 Gy
1 rad = 0.01 Gy

A whole-body exposure to 5 or more Gy of high-energy radiation at one time usually leads to death within 14 days. Hair loss may be permanent with a single quick dose of 10 Gy.

A slow rate of an identical exposure dose has a lesser impact than a quick one.



Old unit: the rem [Roentgen (or rad) equivalent in man (or mammal)]

New unit: the Sievert (Sv) attempts to quantitatively evaluate the biological effects of ionizing radiation as opposed to the physical aspects, which are characterised by the absorbed dose, measured in gray. The equivalent dose to a tissue is found by multiplying the absorbed dose (Gy) by a "quality factor" Q, dependent upon radiation type, and by another dimensionless factor N, dependent on all other pertinent factors.N depends upon the part of the body irradiated, the time and volume over which the dose was spread, even the species of the subject. Together, Q and N constitute the radiation weighting factor, WR (1)

1 Sievert = 100 rem
1 rem = 0.01 Sv
The conversion from rad and Gy to rem and Sv, depends of the level of Linear Energy Transfer (LET), a measure of the energy transferred to material as an ionizing particle travels through it (2). The biological effects of alpha particles and neutrons (high LET radiation) are in general much greater than the effects of beta particles and gamma rays (low LET radiation) of the same energy. The Radiation Weighting Factor wR is introduced to take account of the different biological effectiveness of alpha and beta particles, neutrons, X and gamma rays. (TORCH)

For alpha particles and neutrons (which have a HIGH LET):
"Roughly" (I don't want to detail everything here this post is long enough already)
1 rad = 20 rem and 1 Gy = 20 Sv

For beta particles, gamma rays and X-rays (which have a LOW LET)1 rad = 1 rem, 1 Gy = 1 Sv

The international limit for radiation exposure for member of the public is 1 mSv per year, for nuclear workers it is 20 mSv per year, averaged over five years, with a limit of 50 mSv in any one year,[198] however for workers performing emergency services EPA guidance on dose limits is 100 mSv/y when "protecting valuable property" and 250 mSv/y when the activity is "life saving or protection of large populations." The limit to certain parts of the body can reach 500 Sv/y.

The ICRP sets the admissible risk for the public at 1mSv / year which corresponds to 5 radio-induced cancers per 100,000 population.

European Committee on Radiation Risk recommends that the total maximum permissible annual dose limit to members of the public involving releases of anthropogenic isotopes or natural isotopes delivered in a novel fashion should be kept below 0.1mSv (nuclear workers should be 2mSv) as calculated using the ECRR model.

The ICRP cancer risk coefficient is about 0.05 per Sievert and that of the ECRR is 0.1 per Sievert. (ECRR)

It is complicated to convert Bq in Sv, (see links below and ECRR ). To eat 80,000 Bq of wildboar meat (= 2 kg in certain occurences in Bavaria [TORCH]), corresponds to 1 mSv.

Telco in Japan has hiked the radiation exposure limit for its workers at the plant from 100 millisieverts per shift to 150 millisieverts.

Exposure (unprotected) begins to be lethal at 2 Sv/y. Vomiting and hair loss occur at 70 rem and 75 rem respectively, while exposure to 400 rem can mean possible death in two months. (WSJ)

Exposure limits in France:

Medical Scanner: lowest estimates 0.05 mSv ( local), 25 mSv (head), 150 mSv (whole body) according to Wikipedia. The Wall Street Journal says a computer tomography scans, which emit roughly 1,500 microsieverts of radiation, or a full set of dental X-rays, about 400 microsieverts.

The CRIIRAD assesses that in France, 5 to 10,000 people die each year of medical irradiations. (Trait d'union , Criirad, n°6, decembre 1997).


1950-1970: The total radioactivity caused by atomic weapons in the world: +/- 30,000,000 Sv
Chernobyl: 600.000 Sv

Dose is meaningless
Cerrie Majority report says

..... There are important concerns with respect to the heterogeneity of dose delivery within tissues and cells from short-range charged particle emissions, the extent to which current models adequately represent such interactions with biological targets, and the specification of target cells at risk. Indeed, the actual concepts of absorbed dose become questionable, and sometimes meaningless, when considering interactions at the cellular and molecular levels.(CERRIE Majority Report Chapter 2.1 paragraph 11).

In other words, where hot or warm particles or Plutonium or Uranium are located in body tissue
or where sequentially decaying radionuclides like Strontium 90 are organically bound (e.g. to DNA) “dose” means nothing.
This is massively significant. Official radiation risk agencies universally quantify risk in terms of dose. If it means nothing the agencies know nothing and can give no valid advice.Their public reassurances fall to the ground. They can no longer compare nuclear industry discharges with the 2 millisieverts we get every year from natural radiation, or the cosmic rays you’d receive flying to Tenerife for a holiday.Dose is meaningless ... emerging consensus



Russia, Belarus and Ukraine received the highest amounts of fallout while former Yugoslavia, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Norway, Rumania, Germany, Austria and Poland each received more than one petabecquerel (10E15 Bq or one million billion becquerels) of caesium-137, a very large amount of radioactivity.

In the particular case of thyroid cancer, there is evidence that the risk is directly proportional to dose, down to doses as low as 10 mSv

CRIIRAD maintains that as a result of the Chernobyl accident there are still ‘accumulation points’ above 1 500 metres altitude across the entire alpine arc where the soil presents such high levels of radioactivity that it must be considered low‑ to medium‑level radioactive waste(1). In some places in France, CRIIRAD has taken caesium 137 soil contamination readings of over 500 000 Becquerels per kilo...(question of MEP Marco Cappato to the European Commission)

Restrictions on Food Still in Place In many countries

Restriction orders remain in place on the production, transportation and
consumption of food still contaminated by Chernobyl fallout: 22% of the surface of Belarus and 6% of Ukraine have been contaminated with levels of Cs-137 superior to 40,000 Bq/m2

In the United Kingdom restrictions remain in place on 374 farms covering 750 km2 and 200,000 sheep.
In parts of Sweden and Finland, as regards stock animals, including reindeer, in natural and near-natural environments.
In certain regions of Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland wild game (including boar and deer), wild mushrooms, berries and carnivore fish from lakes reach levels of several thousand Bq per kg of caesium-137.
In Germany, caesium-137 levels in wild boar muscle reached 40,000 Bq/kg. The average level is 6,800 Bq/kg, more than ten times the EU limit of 600 Bq/kg.

Cotterill et al (2001) reported an increasing incidence of thyroid cancer in the North of England, particularly Cumbria one of the two areas in the UK receiving the heaviest fallout. They pointed out that iodine-131 concentrations in rainwater were as high as 784 Bq/litre and in goat’s milk as high as 1,040 Bq/litre. These concentrations are higher than the EC’s Community Food Intervention Levels shown in table 4.2.(TORCH)

Food contamination limits in Europe (2004)
.............................................................................Cs-134 Cs-137 ....Cs-134 Cs-137
CEE/EU internal production ................................(import) ...... [during a radiological emergency]

dairy products:
..........................................370 Bq................ (600 Bq/kg)...... [1,000 Bq/l]
milk and baby food: ................................
370 Bq/l ...............(370 Bq/l)...... ...[370 Bq/l]
fruits and veg. :
........................................600 Bq/kg............ (600 Bq/kg)...... [other food: 1,250 Bq/kg]other products: ........................................600 Bq/kg............ (600 Bq/kg) .......[liquids 1,000Bq/l other products 600 Bq/kg]
...............................................................................................................................[condiments 12,500 Bq/l]

dairies 1
Bq/kg id.
baby food 20
Bq/kg id.
other 80
Bq/kg id

dairies 150
Bq/kg id.
baby food 500
Bq/kg id.
other 2,000
Bq/kg id
dairies 75
Bq/kg id.
baby food 125
Bq/kg id.
other 750
Bq/kg id

bread and potatoes 20 Bq/kg
milk: 100 Bq/l
meat: 200 Bq/kg

The above map results for France and Corsica are fake. (see question by MEP Marco Cappato to the European Commission). The Atlas of Caesium Deposition on Europe after the Chernobyl Accident is available online. Full Version (English and Russian)

Compared with other nuclear events: The Chernobyl explosion put 200 / 400 times more radioactive material into the Earth's atmosphere than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima; atomic weapons tests conducted in the 1950s and 1960s all together are estimated to have put some 100 to 1,000 times more radioactive material into the atmosphere than the Chernobyl accident. (source IAEA)

The Cold War

One of the episodes of the Cold war was the Chernobyl meltdown (April 25, 1986). It was never properly investigated, as the Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, at that time in power only about a year, blamed the meltdown on the previous administration and 'malaise' of the Soviet society he wanted to reform with his perestroika. He announced the meltdown as follows:

All of you know that there has been an incredible misfortune -- the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. It has painfully affected the Soviet people, and shocked the international community. For the first time we confront the real force of nuclear energy, out of control.

Western media repeated Gorbachev's interpretation of this meltdown as an 'accident,' and obscured the 'qui bono' question with verbiage about the environmental impact of this catastrophe. At that time Gorbachev still did not know that this event will be a significant factor in the fall of his government that preceded the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Increasing doubts

Years later, Russian people began to grasp the impact of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and realized who likely benefited from it. Also, with the passage of time, the naive belief of Russian people in the benevolence of the United States, nurtured for decades by the Cold War propaganda, had to face the reality of the Bush I, and later Bush II foreign policies, abnegating on assurances given and treaties concluded with the Gorbachev administration prior to withdrawal of Soviet armies from the Eastern Europe. About that time, articles about the possibility that Chernobyl 'accident' was staged by foreign secret service agencies started to emerge in the Russian press (Sovietskaya Rossiya, June 16, 1992, April 25, 1996, Za Ruskoe Delo 6, 38, 1996, Trud, April 26, 1995) and elsewhere, recently reappearing on (February, 2004) . These allegations were based on observations that, under scrutiny, "It is unlikely that the sequence of events that led to the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor could have been accidental" and that "Technicians which disconnected the safety mechanisms of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, Alexandrov, Feinberg, Sagdeev, Zaslavsky, are now living in comfort abroad."
Technologies with hidden malfunctions
In the late 1960's Western intelligence agencies started to sabotage the Soviet Union's economy through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions. On June 3, 1973, Russia's supersonic rival to Concorde, the TU-144, crashed during the air show at the Le Bourget airport. Pilot of the Tupolev's supersonic plane Mikhail Kozlov and his five crew died in the crash. The wreckage of the plane which looked so like the British-French machine that it was dubbed Concordski hit the village of Goussainville, killing eight persons. Unknown to the public at that time, the French intelligence agency sent a Mirage III jet on a collision course with the TU-144. To avoid collision, the pilot of the Soviet aircraft took an evasive action during which his airplane with the built-in construction flaw, broke apart in midair. The press, as in the numerous other staged "accidents," blamed the crash on the pilot error.
The Ronald Reagan's initiative
In 1982, US president Ronald Reagan officially approved the covert transfers of technologies that contained hidden malfunctions, including computer software, to the Soviet Union (Washington Post, February 26, 2004). This program, among other "accidents," triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline. Thomas Reed, former member of the National Security Council, Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and a Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Policy described this episode in his (2004, Presidio Press) book At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War. His narrative is complemented by the Gus Weiss (1996) article The farewell dossier, published in now declassified CIA journal Studies in Intelligence, 39, 5. Also, two years prior to the Chernobyl disaster, a US computer software consulting agency won the contract on the upgrade of Chernobyl’s nuclear plant software. We might as well to add in passim that in China, before 1911, anyone who passed the Imperial Examinations could become a Mandarin with a single exception of actors, as the nature of their profession is to pretend and to deceive.
On July 25, 1986 New York Times published Serge Schmemann's Chernobyl Fallout: Apocalyptic Tale where he claims that a 'prominent Russian writer' said that Chernobyl means wormwood. This led some to believe that the Chernobyl's nuclear plant meltdown was predicted in the Biblical Revelation 8:10-11, abstracted as 'the third angel sounded and there fell into water a great meteorite called Wormwood. Many people died drinking this bitter-tasting poisoned water.' Chernobyl (chornyi, black + [byl]inka a blade of grass, a herb) was likely named after some 'black herb' growing at that locale. While a 'black herb' could be translated into English as wormwood, the linguistic controversy that developed around this issue markedly added to the plethora of disinformation surrounding the nuclear meltdown of the Chernobyl power plant, diverting attention from the relevant issues into the trivia. Serge Schmemann is son of Alexander Schmemann, a collaborator of 30 years of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), an organization which receives its funds from the US Congress passed through CIA. After the fall of the Soviet Union, this organization started to broadcast to Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, prior to military invasions of these countries. Recently, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/ started its Persian service beamed at Iran. Surrounded by concrete barricades and circled by armored vehicles, it is now located in Prague, Bohemia (Czech Republic). While the second allegation might have been a happenstance, perusing the sequence of events that led to the Chernobyl nuclear explosion leaves one with a doubt that these events could have been unintentional or accidental.

Chernobyl and the Nevada test site.
The overwhelming attention the media paid to Chernobyl nuclear incident can be contrasted with the virtual media blackout on the nuclear contamination of the American Southwest from more than four decades of the above-the-ground testing of the nuclear bombs on the Nevada Test Site. The fallout clouds from these over 400 nuclear explosions floated across the American Southwest.
Comparisons of radiation level released at Chernobyl with radiation level of the Hiroshima bomb vary substantially, a reasonable estimate is that the Chernobyl radioactive release was equivalent to ten Hiroshima atomic bombs.[200 to 400 times see below].
The aftermath of these nuclear explosions is described by Carole Gallagher (1993, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press) in her book American Ground Zero. Carole Gallagher spent several years interviewing people who live in Nevada, Utah and Arizona, including Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, professors, housewives, soldiers and artists. What they had in common were leukemia, brain tumors, birth defects, sterility, miscarriages, thyroid cancers ...

WHO is submitted to IAEA censorship

As stated in our letter of 24 March 2007 (attached), the Agreement (WHA 12-40 signed on 28
May 1959) between WHO and the IAEA, prohibits the international health authority from undertakingactivities prejudicial to the interests of the IAEA. WHO thereby loses its freedom and its authority to control and coordinate matters relating to radiation and health. The terms of this Agreement run counter to the constitutional obligations of WHO.

Early in 1990, WHO was invited by the Soviet Ministry of Health to set up an international aid
programme. According to the chronological memorandum issued by Dr Nakajima (Director-General of WHO at the time) during the conference that he convened in Geneva, 20 – 23 November 1995, the international project was undertaken and completed by the IAEA in May 1991. Hence, it was the IAEA, rather than WHO, that provided the information and other aspects of the assistance requested by the Ministry of Health of the USSR.

Oliver Tickell
28 May 2009

...the scientific case against the agreement is building up, most recently when the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) called for its abandonment at its conference earlier this month in Lesvos, Greece.
At the conference, research was presented indicating that as many as a million children across Europe and Asia may have died in the womb as a result of radiation from Chernobyl, as well as hundreds of thousands of others exposed to radiation fallout, backing up earlier findings published by the ECRR in Chernobyl 20 Years On: Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident. Delegates heard that the standard risk models for radiation risk published by the International Committee on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and accepted by WHO, underestimate the health impacts of low levels of internal radiation by between 100 and 1,000 times – consistent with the ECRR's own 2003 model of radiological risk (The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses and Low Dose Rates for Radiation Protection Purposes: Regulators' Edition). According to Chris Busby, the ECRR's scientific secretary and visiting professor at the University of Ulster's school of biomedical sciences:
"The subordination of the WHO to IAEA is a key part of the systematic falsification of nuclear risk which has been under way ever since Hiroshima, the agreement creates an unacceptable conflict of interest in which the UN organisation concerned with promoting our health has been made subservient to those whose main interest is the expansion of nuclear power. Dissolving the WHO-IAEA agreement is a necessary first step to restoring the WHO's independence to research the true health impacts of ionising radiation and publish its findings."

Parliamentary questions
29 April 2009

WRITTEN QUESTION by Marco Cappato (ALDE) and Marco Pannella (ALDE) to the Commission (edited version)


Levels of uranium in the air over the territory of the European Union
According to data published by the Atomic Weapons Establishment,(1) levels of uranium considerably higher than normal were detected in the air in Berkshire (UK) in March and April 2003 and were reported to the Environment Agency because they exceeded the 1 000 nBq/m3 threshold value for notification. According to Professor Chris Busby, these levels can be linked to the use in Iraq during the same period(2) of weapons containing uranium. It had already been shown, in an EU‑wide report in 1999 by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, that wind-borne particles of uranium could travel hundreds of kilometres.
Can the Commission forward to Parliament all the data it possesses on uranium levels in the air over the entire territory of the European Union in the years 1998‑2005, and ask all the agencies and bodies responsible to supply corresponding data in their possession for the same period?
Did the Atomic Weapons Establishment, the Environment Agency, the Defence Procurement Agency or any other competent body alert it to the fact that warning levels had been exceeded in the UK and, if so, how did the Commission and the UK authorities act on the information?
Is the Commission minded to authorise a study on possible contamination of EU territory, and specifically airspace, resulting from the use of weapons containing uranium?
(2) ‘Did the use of uranium weapons in Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK’, C. Busby and S. Morgan, January 2006, European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics.

6 July 2009

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission
The Commission notes that the data reported in the cited publication by the United Kingdom (UK) Atomic Weapons Establishment are referring to ‘total uranium’; they do not distinguish between the various isotopes. Thus, a distinction between depleted uranium (as used in the Iraq war) and natural uranium is not possible. Furthermore, the Commission is not aware of studies that would prove, with scientific evidence, significant dispersion of battlefield depleted uranium over several thousand kilometres (as would have to be the case for a transport from Iraq to the UK).
Data on uranium concentrations in air are available as part of the information submitted by Member States under Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty. However, such data are not relevant to the issue raised by the Honourable Member, since they either relate to uranium mining or milling sites or are below detection limits.
The Commission has not been notified by the UK authorities; indeed, exceeding a notification threshold established by a national authority does not constitute an alert in the sense of the Council decision of 14 December 1987 on Community arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency(1) — the ECURIE Decision.
The Commission is of the opinion that continuous monitoring of radioactivity in air as performed in the Union Member States is generally sufficient to detect any contamination significant from a radiological point of view.
(1)87/600/Euratom: Council decision of 14 December 1987 on Community arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency, OJ L 371, 30.12.1987.


useful links:

2010 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR)

map of Japan in english

updated map of japanese nuclear power plants

Guidance for Radiation Accident Management

Rapid internal external dose magnitude estimation

Radiations: definitions

Types of radiation exposure

Japan Times emergency assistance in english, resources for foreigners residing in Japan

BBC Edited Guide Radioactivity

BBC EG The measurement of radioactivity


Online unit converter

Activity Conversions

Beta Emitter Dose-Rate <--> Activity Calculations

Gamma Emitter Point Source Dose-Rate <-to-> Activity and Shielding Calculations (In Air)

ALARA Calculations (Time, Distance and Shielding)

WISE uranium calculator

About Geiger counter

NEWS SITES in english and french

CRIIRAD France fr

The Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC)

Fukushima Green Action Japan en

Nuclear information and resource service en

Peak of oil

European Committee on Radiation Risk

ECRR Risk Model and radiation from Fukushima


Kyodo news agency en

Nikkei en

Jiji Press en (via Google News)


The Manichi Daily News en

The Japan Times en

Yomiuri Shimbun en

The Asahi Shimbun en


World Information Service on Energy (WISE)

Green Action Japan en

Greenpeace Fukushima

Exposure limits in France:

International Nuclear and radiological Event Scale ( INES )

map of Japan with significant radioactivity measurments

winds observations for south Tohuku

12 days wind forecast Japan

Global Jetstream Wind
Atlas of Caesium Deposition on Europe after the Chernobyl Accident online.
Full Version (English and Russian)

Live and archived radioactivity

Fuel rod fires plume map
15 march

Northen hemisphere radioactive plume map
15-18 march

USA radioactivity Counts Per Minute (CPM): 60 CPM = 1 Bq

Atlas of Caesium Deposition on Europe after the Chernobyl Accident online.
Full Version (English and Russian)

BibliographyContamination radioactives: Atlas France et Europe, CRIIRAD and André Paris, Editions Yves Michel, 2002, ISBN 2913492150.

(1) Atlas of Caesium Deposition on Europe after the Chernobyl Accident, Eur 16733, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1998, ISBN 92-828-3140-X (PDF)
Full Version (English and Russian)

THE OTHER REPORT ON CHERNOBYL (TORCH) , Ian Fairlie, PhD, UK. David Sumner, DPhil, UK, Prof. Angelina Nyagu, Ukraine Berlin, Brussels, Kiev, April 2006 COMMISSIONED BY Rebecca Harms, MEP, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament WITH THE SUPPORT OF The Altner Combecher Foundation

Radioprotection 2003, Vol. 38, No 4, pp. 529-542, ‘The Chernobyl fallout in France, critical review measurement-results obtained at that time and lessons learned for crisis management’, Ph. Renaud and D. Louvat (PDF)

2010 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, The Health Effects of Exposure to Low Doses of Ionising Radiation, Chris Busby, with Rosalie Bertell, Inge Schmitz Feuerhake Molly Scott Cato and Alexey Yablokov, Green Audit Press, Castle Cottage, Aberystwyth, SY23 1DZ, United Kingdom 2010 (PDF)

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Alexandre de Perlinghi


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