Many people think Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan should resign. He has bungled everything. He is an international fool.
The only slightly logical reason I can think of for him not to resign is it would, of course, add to Japan’s chaos. But his support for nuclear power before Fukushima Daiichi, and his ongoing failure to inform the Japanese people — and the world — properly about the dangers they/we are facing, and his continued support for nuclear power throughout the rest of Japan even now, are each good enough reasons for him to resign in shame.
As shown in the quote below, PM Kan wants everyone in Japan to share in the radioactive misery of the northern prefectures by throwing caution to the wind (literally) and pretending everything is okay.
So what will happen is, for example, they’ll take a farm’s vegetables that are known to be highly irradiated, and mix them with vegetables from other farms that were not so badly hit, until the average level of radiation in the larger batch is low enough to pass inspection. Because inspections will be looking for averages: “Becquerels per kilogram.”
The Japanese people are being encouraged — made to feel its their patriotic duty — to slip as much of the hot stuff through as possible! Based on Kan’s remarks, and on what happened (and still happens) throughout Ukraine after Chernobyl, and what happened after Three Mile Island to milk supplies (including for chocolate bars sold all around the world from nearby Hershey, Pennsylvania), that’s what they will be doing — are already doing — in Japan.
And you can be sure of another rule of thumb, thank’s to Kan’s pronouncements: Sell the “hot” produce to foreigners, especially! Why? Because after all, the more you spread it around, the safer it is, right? If it’s below legal limits, it’s safe, right? So spread it around! Especially to countries that don’t have a good inspection program in place. Or that just don’t care.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan calls it a “sacrifice” while at the same time assuring everyone it’s harmless. Eat some plutonium. Plutonium-laced spinach will make you strong. Enjoy it, even!
This “dilution solution to pollution” will not only be legal, it will be encouraged. Everyone is expected to figure that yes, they will get some poisons one day, but other days they won’t. So it won’t matter.
But it does matter.
Scientists agree that radiation is a “Linear, No Threshold” poison, so spreading the doses out among many people doesn’t stop a single death (though it makes those deaths much harder to prove statistically, a phenomenon which the nuclear industry finds very useful). Lest you think LNT is fringe science, you should know that the US National Academy of Sciences has accepted the LNT threshold “theory” of radiation damage for many decades.
Linear no-threshold means that if one person receives one fatal dose of radiation, that person will presumably die. But if the same amount of radiation is spread out among a hundred people, or, say, a hundred thousand (a small city), or a million (a large city), divided out and distributed to everyone somehow (diabolically), one person (on average) will die from what would have been one fatal dose if given entirely to one person.
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if the total quantity is divided evenly or unevenly — that only determines an individual’s risk, not the total “communal” risk. According to the LNT theory, the total risk for the community — one death — remains unchanged regardless of how the dose is distributed. (NOTE: This theoretical example does NOT consider dilution in the environment, in which even more people will be exposed to the poison, but some of it will not come in contact with humans at all. By the same token, it also does not consider the billions of fatal doses that are being released from Fukushima Daiichi, it only considers the effects of ONE theoretical fatal dose. And it doesn’t account for the many additional, non-fatal health effects of radiation such as inflammation, dementia, deformities, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many others.)
We don’t purposefully, (at least, not often) experiment on humans even with tiny radiation doses, but the LNT data line has been indicated in thousands of different studies involving millions of lab animals who were “sacrificed” for science.
Sacrificed and apparently then utterly forgotten by society, along with the results of the studies they died so painfully for (the normal technique, when experimenting with dogs, for instance, is to remove their vocal cords first).
Because of the statistical nature of radiation doses (and many other poisons), even a so-called “fatal” dose may not be fatal. So for that reason, it’s usually called a “normally fatal dose.” And also for that reason, nearly all radiation damage approximations attempt to discover, not the fatal dose, but instead, the exact dosage that will be lethal for 50% of any exposed population (of beagles, fish, fruit flies, or whatever). That level known as the LD/50, and that method is used for studying many poisons besides just radiation.
Data from animal experiments, is compared against some very imprecise studies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims, and then used to estimate the damage that will be caused by any particular human exposure to radiation.
However, in those original Hiroshima and Nagasaki studies, damage to humans was grossly underestimated, especially for the very young. It was politically expedient to do so. Radiation damage estimates, especially for low levels of exposure, have been grossly (and correspondingly) underestimated ever since.
In the Hiroshima and Nagasaki studies, stillbirths and spontaneous abortions were not counted for the first five years after the bombings. This was a rather crucial oversight! For Chernobyl, actual doses were so poorly recorded or estimated, that all studies since then have been both difficult to design and easy to criticize as inaccurate. Instead the original bomb studies are still used as if they were unbiased and reasonably accurate.
(Eminent physician and nuclear physicist, Dr. John Gofman, used statistical studies of x-rays and subsequent patient health effects to study low level radiation damage to humans, but the larger health establishment, heavily reliant on x-rays and CT scans for their income, has ignored the late scientist’s (and other’s) findings. However, his results are available for consideration in several books he published during his long and distinguished career.)
With a poison which behaves according to the LNT model, dilution is the ONLY solution offered for such pollution, and it’s not a very good one. Spreading LNT poisons into the environment IS premeditated murder, so you better have a pretty good reason for doing so, if you plan to do it. The nuclear industry excuses itself as “vital” because they produce electricity, which most certainly is very important.
But electricity — and mountains of nuclear waste — is ALL nuclear power plants produce. (One or two of them also produce a few medical isotopes, but that could be done just as well with a much smaller and safer reactor — and ONE such reactor would be sufficient for the entire world. And, there are often other ways to obtain those isotopes or better yet, other medical procedures (such as MRIs) that can be done. So let’s not get sidetracked…).
The promise from the nuclear power industry was NOT that “a little radiation is harmless” or that it’s good for you. Those are excuses, and poor ones, that they like to use and want you to believe. The promise was that accidents like Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl simply could not happen. They promised the public, the regulators, the investors and the legislators that they had built enough safeguards into the system to make such accidents impossible.
Nuclear power is just one broken promise after another, yet even in the midst of a tragedy as large as Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi, statisticians and government officials can hide the deaths in reams of bad statistics.
Using their methods, nothing subtle can ever be statistically proven, or uncovered, or noticed, or anything — the deaths are real, the cause may even be statistically obvious, but there will still be no “PROOF”.
Scientists had to work very, very hard to prove the “LNT” theory — it took 30 or 40 years for it to be accepted. Some highly qualified scientists still don’t accept it. Still others believe that when microscopic clumps of billions of radioactive atoms known as “hot particles” irradiate a small area of living tissue, the harmful effect is greater than “merely” linear, and is “supra-linear”.
Because Fukushima Daiichi is releasing trillions and trillions of “hot particles” every hour, and because these particles can travel all over the globe, the scientific debate about whether such particles actually cause a supra-linear effect is very important. But it doesn’t negate the fact that “merely” a linear, no-threshold (LNT) rate means Fukushima Daiichi is the largest disaster in history, and will continue to kill for billions of years.
As will Chernobyl. As will Three Mile Island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the uranium used in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Palestine and elsewhere. As will the testing of such weapons in Guam, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, California, Hawaii, etc..
As will uranium mining. As will bomb testing. As will the entire nuclear industry.
Those who are in denial of the dangers of radiation poisoning should not be in charge of how MUCH radiation the rest of us are poisoned with!
But they are.
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN is author of The Code Killers: An Expose of the Nuclear Industry. Free download: acehoffman.org. He lives in Carlsbad, California, 25 miles south of the San Onofre nuclear generating station and runs a blog: acehoffman.blogspot.com