The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster And Carl Sagan's
Baloney Detection Kit
By Mary Hamer, M.D
05 April, 2011
*”The only safe nuclear reactor is 93-Million miles away, the Sun”. Daniel Hirsch, President of Bridge the Gap, a Nuclear policy organization. (1)
*”There is No ‘Peaceful' atomic power. If (you are) promoting nuclear power you are promoting bombs”. David Freeman. (2)
*”There is no safe level of (radiation) exposure & there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is zero”. (3) Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers. (4)
*PURPOSE: The purpose of this essay is to sample some of the articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant disaster in Japan & investigate them for: Irrational, fallacious & fraudulent arguments using critical thinking skills including Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit. (5)
*TABLE of CONTENTS: The key Sections of this paper are: I. Definition of Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit. II. Sampling of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Power plant disaster Internet articles from March & April 2011. III. General Comments Regarding the Dangers of the Nuclear Industry. IV. Recommendations.
*I. CARL SAGAN'S BALONEY DETECTION KIT:
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS: Carl Sagan's book: Demon-Haunted World “Explain(s) the scientific method to laypeople & (it) encourage(s) people to learn critical or skeptical thinking”. “Skeptical thinking is a means to … recognize valid & invalid arguments. Wherever possible, there must be independent validation of the concepts whose truth should be proved.” “Sagan presents a set of tools for skeptical thinking which he calls the ‘Baloney Detection Kit'”. (6) Sagan “Challenges the reader to critically scrutinize information professed by supposed experts & (to) be more of a skeptic. … The demons in this demon haunted world are both those who perpetuate such celebrated fallacies, as well as those who believe them without question”. “Unreason is not just a cultural wrong but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms”. (7)
*HOW to TEST ARGUMENTS for VALIDITY: Some of Carl Sagan's tools for testing arguments & detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments includes: #1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts. #2. Encourage … debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. #3. Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no “authorities”). #4. Quantify, wherever possible. #5. If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work. Common fallacies of logic & rhetoric that Sagan discusses in his book include: Suppressed evidence or half-truths, Weasel words including euphemisms (that downplay the significance of a variable), Observational selection, etc.. (8) Other types of fallacious arguments that can be exploited with the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant disaster include: False or Bad Analogy, (9) Downplaying or Under-estimating Arguments & Conflict of Interest/Biased arguments.
II. ANALYSIS of FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR & MEDIA REPORTS
for FALLACIOUS & FRAUDULENT ARGUMENTS.
*WORSE than CHERNOBYL : CRITICAL ANALYSIS of FUKUSHIMA :
*A Countercurrents.org Reader & Scientist comments on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Unit #3 & the You Tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNIHQvTOzs (10) (11) as follows: “Study the close up views of the #3 reactor explosion & you will see that the blast was not the type of blast one would expect from a hydrogen explosion. The fireball seen in the corner of the plant may have been due to hydrogen, but it was much too small to cause the main blast. … Inspection reveals that this was a directional blast. Much as if a cannon had been fired straight up from inside the reactor building. This is what one would expect if the reactor dome exploded with enough force to take out the removable concrete pads covering it. Injecting sea water into the molten core causes an immediate explosion of steam. If the temperature of the reactor vessel had reached critical temperature, it would not have had the integrity required to withstand this dramatic increase in pressure. If my assessment is correct, the dark colored cloud we witnessed, that was shot approximately 1,000 feet into the air, contained the remains of the MOX (Uranium & Plutonium) core & made this accident worse than Chernobyl . I also suspect that the #1 & #2 reactor vessels have lost their integrity due to the same process. The so called experts that have been downplaying the seriousness of this accident, have an agenda other than disseminating the truth. It is long past time for scientists, other than myself, to speak up. …” (12)
*”WE DO NOT BELIEVE it is ANYTHING SERIOUS”: On 3/23/11 “Smoke poured out of the reactor 3 building & emergency workers were temporarily evacuated. No explanation was given for the smoke at the reactor, which is potentially the most lethal of the six reactors at the site because it is the only one that uses so-called “Mox” fuel, a mixture of uranium & plutonium. Even very small amounts of plutonium released into the environment would be fatal. The statement made at the time by Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of Japan 's Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency, was typical of the attempts by both the government & the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to minimize the dangers to health & safety from the crisis: “We do not believe it is anything serious.” (13)
*PLUTONIUM & “NO IMMEDIATE THREAT to PUBLIC HEALTH: ”Highly toxic plutonium is seeping from the damaged (Fukushima) nuclear power plant in Japan … on to the soil outside, official said … heightening concerns about the expanding spread of radiation.” “Officials said the traces of plutonium posed No immediate threat to public health”. “The failure to keep radioactive substances from seeping out of the facility was ‘Deplorable' said … a spokesman for the Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency.” (14)
*PLUTONIUM FACTS: “When plutonium decays, it emits what is known as an alpha particle, a relatively big particle that carries a lot of energy. When an alpha particle hits body tissue, it can damage the DNA of a cell & lead to a cancer-causing mutation. Plutonium breaks down very slowly, so it remains dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.” (15) Note: The half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. (15)'
*NEUTRON BEAMS: “Tokyo Electric Power Co. said … it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times (at) the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant”. “The utility firm said it will measure uranium & plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam”. “The measured neutron beam may be evidence that uranium & plutonium leaked from the ( Fukushima ) plant's nuclear reactors & spent nuclear fuels have discharged … neutron beams through nuclear fission”. (16)
*RECRITICALITY: “IAEA head of nuclear safety & security Denis Flory says he has heard there might be ‘Recriticality' at the Fukushima plant, in which a nuclear chain reaction would resume … This could lead to more radiation releases, but that it would not be the end of the world.” (17)
*CESIUM: FUKUSHIMA –vs- CHERNOBYL : “The cesium levels were about double the minimums found in the area declared uninhabitable around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine , raising the question whether the evacuation zones around Fukushima should be extended beyond the current 18 miles”. (18)
* FUKUSHIMA APPROACHING CHERNOBLY: Paul Mobbs states: “At this early stage, whilst the mode of the ( Fukushima ) accident may not be the same as Chernobyl , the radiological impacts of the accident may be approaching similar levels”. (19)
*FALLACY: The RADIATION is SAFE ARGUMENT:
*STATEMENT: Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yukio Edano stated: “Please do not overreact (to the Fukushima radiation), & act calmly. … Even if you eat contaminated vegetables several times, it will not harm your health at all.” (20)
*FACT: ”There is No safe level or threshold of ionizing radiation exposure.” “Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers.” “Even low very low doses (of radiation) can cause cancer”. (21)
*FACT: “As the crisis in Japan goes on, there are an increasing number or sources reporting that 100 milliSieverts (mSv) is the lowest dose at which a person is at risk for cancer. Established research disproves this claim. A dose of 100 mSv creates a one in 100 risk of getting cancer, but a done of 10 mSv still gives a one in 1,000 changes of getting cancer & a dose of 1 mSv gives a one in 10,000 risk”. (22)
*CRIMES Against CHILDREN: “ Japan 's damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine … at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986”. (23) “The primary risk of concern with Iodine-131 is thyroid cancer, with children more at risk than adults. A high enough intake of iodine-131 by children can also cause developmental problems & other thyroid diseases. Young girls are at greater risk than boys. Female infants have a risk of thyroid cancer 70 times greater than adult males for the same radiation exposure.” (24)
*BABIES & RADIATION:
*STATEMENT: “Tap water in downtown Tokyo measured 210 becquerels per liter of iodine-131 – more than twice the recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants, officials from the Tokyo Water Bureau said”. “Infants are extremely vulnerable to radioactive iodine, which can cause thyroid cancer, experts say. However, officials urged calm, saying drinking small amounts of tap water was fine for babies & that the current level did not pose an immediate health risk to children or adults.” (25)
*FACT: As stated above: There is No safe level of radiation exposure.
*The NO IMMEDIATE HEALTH RISK PROPAGANDA:
*ALL RADIATION is DANGEROUS: Many of the Japanese officials state regarding the Fukushima Nuclear power plant disaster that there are: No immediate health risks to people. For example, “The latest data shows Iodine-131 at 1,150 times the legal limit has been detected 1&1/2 kilometers to the north of the plant. (A Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency official) says there is No public health risk at this time”. (26) Another article states: “Radioactivity in seawater just outside one ( Fukushima ) unit tested some 1,250 times higher than normal … but (Nishiyama a spokesman for Japan 's Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency) said the amount posed No immediate health risk”. (27) In a 3 rd example, in a discussion about ( Fukushima ) Unit 3 & a possible meltdown, Edano Japan 's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edans says: “If there is an explosion, however, there would be no significant impact on human health”. (28)
*FACT: All radiation is dangerous, even low-dose radiation has risks. (29) Also, Radiation causes damage in both the short-term & the long term.
*FACT: If there is a (nuclear) “Meltdown (& radioactive explosion) then it could result in the release of “Uranium & dangerous contaminants into the environment & pose major, widespread health risks.” (30)
*NO IMMEDIATE DANGER: Officials said that “New readings show that radiation levels continue to rise in the ocean.” “Experts say the (radiation) spike does not pose an immediate danger to human health, but evacuation recommendations need to be conservative”. (31) Question: If a radiation spike does not pose an immediate danger to human health, then why discuss evacuation plans?
*NOT GETTING WORSE PROPAGANDA: “The situation at the earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant in northern Japan is Not getting worse but vigilance is needed, chief Cabinet Secretary Yukon Edano said.” “Four (of the 6 reactors) are volatile, occasionally emitting steam & smoke”. (32) Questions: Isn't nuclear power plant volatility a bad sign? & Aren't nuclear power plant steam & smoke a sign of heat & isn't heat undesirable? How can volatility & heat be a sign of things: Not getting worse?
*NOT URGENT PROPAGANDA: “The overall situation at the Fukushima plant remains of serious concern, the International Atomic Energy Agency said. Levels of radioactive iodine & cesium across 10 prefectures were generally on an upward trend, said (a) senior adviser to IAEA chief Yukiya Amano”. “In Fukushima , nuclear workers have struggled for days to stabilize & cool down the overheated plant. Edano said workers were laboring steadily & the situation was ‘Not urgent'”. (33) Question: How can an upward trend of radioactive substances & an overheated plant be: Not urgent?
*ACUTE RADIATION SICKNESS –vs- CANCER RISKS: In this section, I will define Acute radiation sickness & compare it to the latent effects of radiation exposure.
*ACUTE RADIATION SICKNESS: Acute radiation sickness or syndrome is defined as: “Health effects which occur within several months of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation” & include #1. Gastrointestinal effects such as: nausea & vomiting, #2. Falling blood counts which result in infections & bleeding and #3. Neurological effects & death. (34)
*CHRONIC RADIATION RISKS: The health risks of chronic radiation include: Leukemia, thyroid cancer, and genetic & teratogenic mutations. (35)
*DETERMINISTIC –vs- STOCHASTIC EFFECTS: Radiation “Doses can … cause either Deterministic effects, where X dose causes Y problems or Stochastic effects, where X dose raises the probability of Y or Z amount. The most well-known deterministic effects are what's commonly known as radiation poisoning, while stochastic effects mostly consist of cancer.” (36) The Japanese officials & the media repeated have reported that the Fukushima nuclear power plant events pose “No immediate health risk” – suggesting that deterministic acute radiation sickness is more important than stochastic events such as cancers and genetic & teratogenic mutations.
*ACUTE RADIATION SICKNESS & SIEVERT DOSE: “According to the World Health Organization, acute radiation sickness … may develop after whole-body doses above 1,000 millisieverts.” -- per short-term exposure. (37) “Health authorities say whole-body (radiation) exposure to more than 3,000 millisieverts (or 3 sieverts) in a short period can spur radiation sickness & death”. (38)
*1 SIEVERT/HOUR & INFORMED CONSENT: “The operator of the ( Fukushima ) nuclear complex said it has discovered a … crack in a wall of the No. 2 reactor … where highly radioactive water appears to be seeping into the sea”. “The level of radiation has been measured at over 1,000 millisieverts per hour”. (39) Therefore, Fukushima workers are at risk for acute radiation sickness. Are the Fukushima workers being given Informed consent to work under these dangerous conditions?
*DENTAL X-RAY, CHEST X-RAY & CT SCAN PROPAGANDA:
FALSE or BAD ANALOGY ARGUMENTS
*INTERNAL –vs- EXTERNAL RADIATION: The Fukushima nuclear officials have inaccurately compared the radiation of this nuclear disaster to the radiation of a dental x-ray, chest x-ray or a CT scan. X-rays give an external radiation dose of gamma-like rays; X-ray radiation stops after the x-ray is taken. However, if a person inhales or ingests nuclear waste radioactive particles such as Iodine-131, Cesium-137, Strontium-90 or Plutonium-239, then they have internal radiation with possible alpha, beta or gamma radiation. Internal radiation continues indefinitely -- until the radioactive particle is removed/excreted from the body or decays. (40) (41)
*SPECIFICITY: If a person is going to compare the Fukushima radiation to Medical or dental x-ray or background radiation, then the type of x-ray or other radiation needs to be specified – Since the doses of radiation for these sources varies significantly. For example, “An official at the Science Ministry … confirmed that daily radiation levels … northwest of the ( Fukushima ) plant exceeded the annual limit. But experts say it is still below levels of exposure from Medical x-rays”. (42) In general: If X-ray comparisons are made: Is the Fukushima comparison being made to one bite-wing dental x-ray or to a 4-view full mouth series? Is the Fukushima comparison being made to a Chest x-ray, a Barium enema or an Abdominal & Pelvic CT exam? Is the Fukushima comparison being made to background radiation in the U.S. Gulf region, to Colorado or the Great Plains ? (43) (44) (45) (46) (47)
*The BACKGROUND RADIATION ARGUMENT: “Japanese officials insisted that the danger (regarding contaminated food & water) was minimal. The health ministry claimed that if someone were to eat 4 ounces or 100 grams of the contaminated vegetables every day for 10 days, they would only have been exposed to half the annual level of natural background radiation. But the World Health Organization (WHO) was less sanguine about the health dangers of this environmental contamination. … It is more serious.” (48) Question: How can eating contaminated vegetables be safe – especially for pregnant women or children?
*DOWNPLAYING RISKS, UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM & MINIMIZING CONSEQUENCES: Downplaying is defined as: “To de-emphasize; To present or portray as less important”. (49) “Make trivial or insignificant”. (50)
*INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR EVENT SCALE & CHERNOBYL:
DEFINITION: The International Nuclear Event Scale categorizes nuclear accidents on a safety scale, with 7/seven being the highest level of danger, i.e. a Major nuclear accident.. (51)
*JAPANESE OFFICIALS: ”On 18 march, Japanese officials designated the magnitude of the danger at reactors 1, 2, & 3 at level 5.” (52)
*-VS- The GREENPEACE REPORT: “A new analysis prepared for Greenpeace Germany by nuclear safety expert Dr. Helmut Hirsch shows that by March 23, 2011, Japan's nuclear crisis has already released enough radioactivity to be ranked at Level 7 (by) the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). (Seven) is the scale's highest (Most dangerous) level & equal to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster”. “”The total amount of radionuclide iodine-131- & caesium-137 released between March 11 & march 23 have been so high that the Fukushima crisis already equates to three INES (level) 7 incidents.” (53)
*FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI “As Serious as CHERNOBYL : “The International Atomic Energy Agency website states: High levels of beta-gamma contamination have been measured between 16-58 km from the plant. Available results show contamination ranging from 0.2-0.9 MBq per square metre.” In geographic radiation maps of Chernobyl “Hot spots are defined as greater than 0.55 MBq/sq:m.” The IAEA states that: “Up to 60 km from Fukushima the activity is more than twice the level defined as a hotspot” in the Chernobyl maps. “This (information) means the following: … #2. The accident is as serious as Chernobyl … #4. There is serious contamination of the sea … #5. The health effects will be serious & we must consider that contamination will probably be global … #6. Public within 150 km should leave the area immediately”. (54) Note: 150 kilometers equals about 93 miles. (55)
*WEASEL WORDS: A Weasel Word is a word or phrase “Aimed at creating an impression that something specific & meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated”. Weasel Words include: Euphemisms, Non sequitur statements & Vague generalizations. (56) The E for Event of the INES acronym, the International Nuclear Event Scale – is fraudulent. Chernobyl & Fukushima are more than just nuclear Events – They are nuclear Accidents. I recommend that the INES acronym be replaced with a more accurate abbreviation: INAS or International Nuclear Accident Scale.
*MELTDOWN MYSTERY: “Despite increased radiation reports, fears of a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima plant are receding”. (57) On the other hand, “Japanese officials suspect a partial meltdown of fuel rods is to blame for high levels of radioactive contamination in water inside the Fukushima nuclear power plant. … The water (from reactor #2) is 100,000 times more toxic than water typically found in a reactor core, but how it got that way has been a mystery.” (58)
*COOLING SYSTEMS: ”Officials believe it should only take a day to get the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear (plant) under control once the cooling systems are up & running. But it could take days or weeks to get those systems working”. … “In another setback, the plant's operator said (3/21/11) it had just discovered that some of the cooling system's key pumps at the complex's troubled Unit 2 are no longer functional – meaning replacements have to be brought in. Tokyo Electric Power co. said it placed emergency orders for new pumps, but it was unclear how long it would take for them to arrive”. (59)
*INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS & COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:
*Cognitive Dissonance is the “Conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistencies between one's beliefs & one's actions”. (60)
*MELTDOWN: The Guardian newspaper quotes Richard Lahey, head of safety research (for Fukushima-like reactors) at General Electric says he believes the reactor (#2) core has melted (through the containment vessel) … down to the concrete floor”. “This would mean … the accident is no longer a matter of melting fuel rods, but of Meltdown.”
Also, “Dr. Lahey says there is No danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe because in that case the plant exploded releasing a massive amount of radioactive steam”. (61)
*FOOD: ”Traces of radiation are tainting vegetables & some water supplies, although in amounts the (Japanese) government & health experts say do not pose a risk to human health in the short term. That has caused the government to ban (the) sale of raw milk, spinach & canola from prefectures over a swath from the ( Fukushima ) plant toward Tokyo ”. (62) Question: If there is no risk of radiation, then why ban the food? Also, If food is dangerously contaminated with radiation, then why say that there is no risk to human health?
*EVACUATION: “The UN's nuclear watchdog (International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA) found safe radiation limits had been exceeded at the village of Iitate .” “But the government immediately informed us that there is no immediate harm to human health”. (63) Question: If radiation limits are exceeded in Iitate, then why aren't the people being evacuated?
*DISTANCE: “On March 15 … the (Japanese) government had ordered all resident living within 12 miles of the ( Fukushima ) plant to leave.” “The US has recommended that (the Japanese) citizens stay at least 50 miles from the stricken power plant”. (64)
*LOW-PAID, POORLY TRAINED TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES with INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT/RADIATION CLOTHING: “Three workers seeking to connect electrical cables from the turbine building to the adjacent reactor core building at reactor number 3 stepped into water that proved to be highly radioactive. All three of the workers were among the low-paid & poorly trained temporary employees being supplied to TEPCO by a contractor to serve as emergency workers at the plant. Two of them were not wearing high boots & their feet & ankles sustained radiation burns from the contaminated water.” (65)
*RADIOACTIVE DOSE: “Officials determined that the radioactivity of the water (workers were exposed to) was 10,000 times the level normally seen in coolant water at the ( Fukushima ) plant. The workers were exposed to 2 to 6 sieverts of radioactivity. Two sieverts is eight times the 250 millisieverts annual exposure limit set for workers at the Daiichi complex.”. (66)
*WORKER'S SAFETY: Yukio Edano, the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, “Urges TEPCO to be more transparent after (Japan's Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency) NISA revealed that the plant operator was aware of high levels of radiation in the air in Unit 3 several days before the two workers suffered (radiation) burns there. NISA said it warned TEPCO to improve & ensure workers' safety”. (67)
*CONTAMINATION –vs- RADIATION: “Anti-contamination clothing, … Air respirators & other (measures) offer a great degree of protection against skin &/or internal contamination, but do very little for general radiation”. (68)
*WORKER'S RIGHTS –vs- MAXIMUM RADIATION DOSE: “Two workers were hospitalized after stepping into contaminated water … The two likely suffered ‘beta ray burns' … They tested at radiation levels between 170 & 180 millisieverts, well below the maximum 250 millisieverts allowed for workers. … Their injuries were not life-threatening”. (69) *MAXIMUM RADIATION DOSE: Note: Japan “Raised the maximum radiation dose allowed for nuclear workers, citing the urgent need to prevent a crisis at (the Fukushima nuclear power plant) from worsening. …The Ministry of Health Labor & Welfare raised the maximum allowable exposure for nuclear workers to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. It described the move as ‘unavoidable''. (70) Or was this increase in the maximum radiation dose an exploitation of worker's human rights?
*WORKERS SPLASHED with RADIOACTIVE WATER: WASHED it OFF, NOT INJURED:
*”Three workers … (at) Unite 3 reactor … were splashed by radioactive water … The men were soaked to their underwear with the contaminated water. They quickly washed it off & were not injured, officials said.”. (71)
*FACT: Contact of radioactive substances with the skin can result in the absorption of radiation, including at wound sites. (72) (73)
*Questions: What radioactive substances were present in the radioactive water, in what concentration & what was the overall radioactive dose rate? The type of radioactive isotopes would determine the biological effect of radiation on these workers -- if any of the radiation was internally absorbed, inhaled or ingested.
*JUMPERS: “TEPCO has resorted to looking for ‘Jumpers' – Workers who would rush into highly radioactive areas to do a quick task before racing out as quickly as possible. ‘My company offered me 200,000 yen (US $2,500.) per day', one subcontractor (said)”. “An internal email from a TEPCO employee … gave a glimpse of the stress & trauma being experienced by the workers, many of whom have also lost their homes & loved ones”. (74) Are the stressed workers being exploited to risk acute radiation sickness & death in exchange for money?
*BLAME WORKERS for PROBLEMS: “Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) sad the three injured workers were carrying radiation meters but ignored an alarm when it rang. Engineers would be briefed again on safety”. (75) Were the workers trained in radiation safety before the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster?
*TECTONIC PLATES: “' Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates … & is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan .'” (76)
*The OCEANS are the World's NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP:
*”TOKYO Electric said radioactive iodine about 127 times normal levels & radioactive cesium about 25 times above the norm were detected in seawater 100 yards off the Fukushima nuclear plant”. ”A senior official at the International Atomic Energy Agency said the ocean was capable of absorbing vast amounts of radiation with No effect”. – in a report from 3/21/11 . (77)
*Update: “Radioactive iodine is seawater off Japan 's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant rose to 1,850 times the usual level – (up) from 1,250 times measured on Saturday” ( 3/26/11 ) per Japan 's nuclear safety agency. (78)
*Update: “Ocean “Radiation levels are rising. Seawater … from the shore south of the plant measures 4,385 times the legal limit, up from 3,355 times … the previous day.” “Trace amounts of radioactive cesium-137 have been found in anchovies. Authorities “have repeatedly told consumers that it its perfectly safe to eat fish”. (79)
*III. GENERAL COMMENTS REGARDING the NUCLEAR INDUSTRY:
*TOP TEN MYTHS of NUCLEAR POWER:
*Michael Rose reviews the top 10 Myths of Nuclear power in his paper of the same name including: Nuclear power is safe, Without new nuclear reactors (the U.S.) won't have enough power & Nuclear power won't promote the spread of Nuclear weapons. (80) Dave Freeman (cited in Rose's article) states: “The best way to generate new power for the long term is not to build nukes but to invest in large scale solar & wind (power)”. (81)
*CONSEQUENCES of NUCLEAR POWER: Ralph Nader reviews the consequences of Nuclear power in his article: Nuclear Nightmare including: #1. Wall Street will not finance new nuclear plants without a 100% taxpayer loan guarantee. #2. Nuclear power is uninsurable in the private insurance market – too risky. #3. Nuclear power plants & transports of radioactive wastes are a national security nightmare for the Department of Homeland Security. #4. Guess who pays for whatever final waste repositories are licensed? You the taxpayer & your descendents. #5. Nuclear plant disasters present impossible evacuation (problems). #6. Nuclear power is both uneconomical & unnecessary. (82)
*NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGI is DIRTY, EXPENSIVE, DANGEROUS & CO2 PRODUCING. –vs- Fraudulent Slogan that Nuclear Technology is Clean & Green. The truth is Nuclear technology is Dirty, expensive, dangerous & CO2 producing. (83) (84) There is nothing green about nuclear waste, acute radiation sickness or radiation-induced thyroid cancer in a child.
*NUCLEAR RADIATION CAUSES DNA MUTATIONS & CANCERS:
*Nuclear radiation is dangerous because it can cause changes or mutations in the DNA (molecules), which then can cause cancer”. (85)
*CARCINOGEN: (Nuclear) “Radiation is a proven human carcinogen” i.e. cancer causing agent. The evidence comes from many different sources including the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, people exposed during the Chernobyl nuclear accident, people treated with high doses of radiation for cancer & people exposed to high levels of radiation e.g. uranium miners. “Most scientists & regulatory agencies agree that even small doses of ionizing radiation increases cancer risk. “Ionizing radiation increases the risk of certain types of cancer”. “Some of the cancers most strongly linked to radiation exposure include: Leukemia, Lung cancer, skin cancer, thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma, breast cancer & Stomach cancer”. (86)
NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY: PROPAGANDA Including DENIAL, DECEPTION & SHAME: My observations of the nuclear debate reveal that the nuclear industry: #1. Denies the dangers of nuclear technology & Fails to apply the Precautionary Principle (87), #2. Other nuclear officials Deceive people about the safety of such technology & #3. Some nuclear experts Shame people for being concerned with the health & safety of humans, animals & the Earth. Common phrases used by Radiation Deniers include: “No immediate health risk”, the radiation is less than medical x-rays, We are “Not aware” of any dangers related to depleted uranium, etc..
*BREAKDOWN of HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS: ”Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff mystification, bad faith & subterfuge are acts to (promote) beliefs that are not true or not the whole truth. … Deception can … employ distraction, camouflage or concealment”. “Deception is a major relational transgression that often leads to feelings of betrayal & distrust between relational partners. Deception violates relational rules”. (88)
CONFLICT of INTEREST ARGUMENTS: “A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other”. (89) How many of the “Officials” & “Experts” making pro-nuclear statements to the media: #1. Work for the nuclear industry, #2. Have nuclear technology stocks, bonds or other nuclear investments? Or #3. Are nuclear industry vendors who sell supplies to the nuclear industry?
ARGUMENT from AUTHORITY: is a fallacy which argues that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative”. “The fallacy arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible”. (90) Examples of “Official” statements are provided in this article; When examined critically, the truth of many of these “Expert” claims is weak. How many of these officials have done rigorous research in nuclear accident prevention & problem-solving? How many of these experts understand nuclear technology, radiation physics & Sieverts & becquerels? (91) Chris Busby has written an excellent article titled: Deconstructing Nuclear Experts which addresses the fallacy of authority claims made by many nuclear officials including Fukushima experts. (92)
*NUKESPEAK: “Euphemisms used when discussing nuclear technology or war”. (93) *Euphemism: A euphemism is “A substitution for an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver, using instead an agreeable or less offensive expression”. “Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others are created to mislead”. (94)
The common Nukespeak phrases used by officials regarding the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster include: There is No immediate health risk, Not life-threatening, Not urgent, No danger of contamination, The damage is limited, The radiation is similar or less than a medical x-ray, The radiation is similar or less than background radiation. -- & at the same time officials have told the Japanese citizens: To stay inside or evacuate, Don't give the contaminated water to pregnant women or babies, Don't eat the contaminated food, etc.. (95) (96) (97) (98)
*NUCLEAR ENERGY: PEACEFUL ATOMS?: It is an oxymoron to refer to nuclear energy as: Peaceful atoms (99) Is nuclear waste including I-131, Cesium-137, Strontium-90 or Plutonium-239 (100) & Depleted Uranium -- Peaceful? Are acute radiation sickness, leukemia & birth defects – Peaceful?
*INVISIBLE EVIL: David Sparenberg compares nuclear radiation including the Fukushima nuclear disaster with Bram Stoker's Dracula & the concept of an Invisible evil. (101)
*APOLOGY to the JAPANESE CHILDREN, JAPANESE CITIZENS, the ANIMALS, the JAPANESE ECOSYSTEMS & to the WORLD. I, Mary Hamer, apologize to the Japanese workers, the citizens of the world, the animals & the Earth -- for the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant disaster occurring in Japan in 2011 -- for the many reasons stated in this essay. I am especially concerned about the children who will be developing thyroid cancers or leukemias in the long term & for the Fukushima workers who will be developing acute radiation sickness in the short term. I am sad for the dolphins who swim in the oceans & birds that fly in the skies near Fukushima -- who will die of radiation poisoning.
*ARGUMENTS AGAINST BUILDING NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS:
*Mr. Avery in his paper on the Dangers of Nuclear Power Generation lists arguments against building new Nuclear power stations, including:
#1. The danger of accidents such as Chernobyl , Fukushima , Three Mile Island & Windscale.
#2. The danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons.
#3. The problem of disposing of nuclear waste.
#4. Nuclear Power generation can supply only a small fraction of the world's energy needs.
#5. If careful accounting is made the CO2 emitted by: Constructing nuclear power plants, running them, mining & refining the uranium & decommissioning the plants is comparable to that emitted by coal-fired plants.
#6. Nuclear power generation is heavily subsidized & if it were not for these subsidies, (nuclear power) would not be able to compete with wind energy or solar energy. It is vital that the subsidies be shifted from nuclear power to the development of various forms of renewable energy. (102)
*RALPH NADER'S ACTION PLAN for NUCLEAR POWER ACCOUNTABILITY:
*Ralph Nader in his article Nuclear Nightmare cites an action plan for taxpayers regarding nuclear power accountability including: Demand public hearing in your communities where there is a nuke … to put the facts, risks & evacuation plans on the table. (103)
*PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE: The Human race has a responsibility to humans, animals & the planet Earth to apply the Precautionary principle (104) as it relates to nuclear technology. Homo Sapiens have shown that they have been irresponsible in dealing with nuclear waste. Hence, I recommend a ban on all nuclear power, nuclear weapons & depleted uranium.
*CHILD ADVOCATE on ALL NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMITTEES:
As long as nuclear technology exists, including the problem of nuclear waste: I recommend that a Children's advocate be a voting member of all Nuclear regulatory committees, nuclear funding organizations & other nuclear associations. I also, recommend that this Children's advocate have fair Media representation to voice the concerns of children as it pertains to nuclear waste – such as the risk of thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine & other radiation-induced diseases such as leukemia.
*EARTH & ANIMAL ADVOCATE on ALL NUCLEAR COMMITTEES:
I also recommend an Earth/Animal/Ecosystem Advocate as a voting member on all Nuclear Technology, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons & Nuclear Waste committees. I recommend this Earth Advocate so that the Nuclear corporate/industrial complex will be forced to consider the well-being of the Earth & it's ecosystems -- before profits --regarding nuclear technology decisions. Note: Of all the articles I have studied for this essay, Not one paper discussed genuine, non-profit human concerns over the welfare of animals, ecosystems & the world community exposed to the Fukushima radiation.
Thank you. Respectfully,
Mary Hamer, M.D. U.S.A. is a medical doctor who writes Earth, peace & human rights essays.
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