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Children and Health

Children are among the most vulnerable to - and least protected from - radiation exposure. Current "acceptable" exposure standards in the U.S. are based on "Standard Man" - i.e., a robust young male. This does not take into account the more serious effects of radiation exposure to pregnant women and children in particular, including to the unborn. Beyond Nuclear supports efforts to change these standards.

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Thursday
Oct022014

India’s nuclear nightmare: The village of birth defects

Mithun suffers from physical deformities widely seen among others in the village"Indian court trying to unravel mystery of sick and disabled children, miscarriages and fatal cancers around the country's first uranium mine...

"When mining started in Jadugora, workers went into the bowels of the earth and came up with uranium ore. They dug with shovels, hauled the ore back to the surface in pails. Despite new technologies, hundreds of workers still do that...

"When people began to notice that young women were having miscarriages, witches and spirits were blamed. Prayers were said to ward off the “evil eye.” But people had lesions, children were born with deformities, hair loss was common. Cows couldn’t give birth, hens laid fewer eggs, fish had skin diseases..." The Star

Thursday
Aug282014

Childhood leukemias increased 37% near nuclear power facilities

An examination of over 60 epidemiological studies confirms the link between increases in childhood leukemia and proximity to a nuclear power reactor. Seventy percent of these studies indicate this link, including studies from the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland. 

Difficulty arises when trying to link this leukemia to radiation exposure from these nuclear facilities because the amount of radiation the reactor operators claim these populations are receiving should not, according to current risk models, be high enough to cause health impacts. In fact, the discrepancy is 10,000 fold between official dose estimates and the increased risks which are so clearly shown in these studies.

The author, Ian Fairlie, (interviewed on Nuclear Hotseat) suggests the following explanations:

  • First, the cancer increases may be due to radiation exposures from NPP emissions to air.
  • Second, large annual spikes in NPP emissions may result in increased dose rates to populations within 5 km of NPPs.
  • Third, the observed cancers may arise in utero in pregnant women.
  • Fourth, both the doses and their risks to embryos and to fetuses may be greater than current estimate.
  • And fifth, pre-natal blood-forming cells in bone marrow may be unusually radiosensitive. The Ecologist

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) first suggested in 2012 that refueling outages at reactors could be causing in utero health problems because reactors release radiation in larger batches during the year, but get to average this larger dose over the year, making the dose appear to be smaller.

In the US, the National Academy of Sciences is currently determining how best to assess cancer risks from radiation exposures around nuclear facilities here. this meta analysis should provide insight into how to look for such impacts.

The meta analysis, "A hypothesis to explain childhood cancers near nuclear power plants" published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity Volume 133, July 2014, Pages 10–17, has not yet received any letters pointing out omissions or errors.

Friday
Mar142014

Fukushima Medical University handed out KI tablets to its staff, students, but not to public

In a hugely hypocritical move, Fukushima Medical University (FMU), allowed its staff and students to take

potassium iodide tablets in the initial days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster began, but refused to hand them out to members of the public, stating that the radiation doses would not be high enough to warrant such action.

Now, as thyroid cancers and suspected cancers are increasing among children who were possibly exposed to radioactive iodine from the triple meltdown, experts from FMU, particularly Dr. Shunichi Yamashita, are claiming these increases are from increased medical screening for such conditions. Dr. Yamashita is dubbed "Dr. 100 mSv" because he has claimed that anything under this dose is not linked to disease when, in reality, there is no safe dose of radiation according to many experts.

However, FMU's and Dr. Yamashita's tragic decision to withhold KI from the public, while giving it to those associated with the university, could easily be influencing their conclusions regarding the cause of these apparent thyroid cancer increases.

Clearly an independent medical group or institution needs to investigate the causes of thyroid cancer increases, not the institution that could hold some culpability for not preventing them in the first place. Save Children from Radiation

Thursday
Feb202014

Beyond Nuclear/PSR speaking tour across MI a big success!

Alfred Meyer, PSR board memberAlfred Meyer (photo, left), national board member of Physicians for Responsibility (PSR), spoke throughout Michigan on a tour organized by Beyond Nuclear from Feb. 12-17. His presentations of "Nuclear Power: What You Need to Know about Price, Pollution and Proliferation" were dedicated to the memory of Dr. Jeff Patterson, PSR's Past-President.

Mr. Meyer is Past-President and Secretary of the board of Friends of Chernobyl Centers U.S, which works with Chernobyl Centers for Psycho-Social Rehabilitation (including for children) in five Ukrainian communities greatly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, that began on April 26, 1986.

Alfred's first stop on Feb. 12, at Grand Rapids' Fountain Street Church, drew 35 attendees, despite the wintry weather. Corinne Carey of Don't Waste MI video-recorded the talk, and will post it to cable access t.v. in the near future.

Alfred had a productive day in Kalamazoo on Feb. 13th. His presentation at Western Michigan University (WMU) was attended by over 50 people, and garnered an extended interview by Gordon Evans on WMUK Radio, as well as an article by Yvonne Zipp in the Kalamazoo Gazette. Alfred also spoke at a press conference held at WMU's impressive solar panel array, launching a campus climate campaign to divest the university from fossil fuel investments. Alfred was also interviewed by Dr. Don Cooney, WMU Social Work professor and Kalamazoo City Commissioner, and Dr. Ron Kramer, WMU criminology prof., on "Critical Issues: Alternative Views" t.v. program. The interview will be aired on Kalamazoo cable access in the near future, as well as posted to YouTube.

The tour stop in South Haven (4 miles from Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor) on Feb. 14 drew 25 attendees, despite it being Valentine's Day. Kraig Schultz of Michigan Safe Energy Future--Shoreline Chapter video-recorded the talk, and will post the recording to the MSEF YouTube channel in the near future.

Ferndale in Metro Detroit on Feb. 15 drew 75 attendees. Damon J. Hartley of the Peoples Tribune did a write up and took lots of photos.

Monroe's event (within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone from the GE BWR Mark I, Fermi 2, as well as the proposed Fermi 3) on Feb. 16, drew 30 attendees, and garnered coverage in the Monroe News (text, PDF). The Ann Arbor (home base for PSR's new MI chapter) event on Feb. 17 also drew an audience despite an impending winter storm.

Beyond Nuclear has been honored and privileged to work with the following groups to make this speaking tour a success: Michigan Physicians for Social Responsibility; Sierra Club; Fountain Street Church; WMU Lee Honors College; WMU Environmental Studies program; WMU Institute of Government and Politics; Michigan Safe Energy Future (both Kalamazoo and South Haven chapters); Don't Waste Michigan; Ferndale Public Library; Alliance to Halt Fermi 3; Ellis Library; Don't Waste Michigan; Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes; and the Ecology Center.

Monday
Dec022013

First public meeting for cancer risk study announced

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee tasked with planning the pilot study of Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations near Nuclear Facilities is scheduled to hold the first public meeting and Beyond Nuclear wants you to participate. If you live in the Washington, DC area, please attend the meeting in person:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 2-4pm, National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW (Room 125)

Seating is limited so reserve your seat ASAP.

You may also participate in the meeting remotely by calling in or viewing the meeting by WebEx.

Email crs@nas.edu or call 202 334 3066 to either reserve your seat or participate remotely.

NAS will perform the pilot study of cancer risks in populations near seven U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.NRC)-licensed nuclear facilities using two epidemiologic study designs: (i) an ecologic study of multiple cancer types of populations of all ages and (ii) a record-linkage-based case-control study of cancers in children. The pilot study will have two steps: Pilot Planning and Pilot Execution. NAS has started the Pilot Planning step which is estimated to take one year to complete. For more information on the Phase I process and report, click here.

The seven nuclear facilities that are part of the pilot study are:

Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Morris, Illinois

Millstone Power Station, Waterford, Connecticut

Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, Forked River

New Jersey Haddam Neck, Haddam Neck, Connecticut

Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant, Charlevoix, Michigan

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Clemente, California

Nuclear Fuel Services, Erwin, Tennessee

The study is sponsored by the U.S. NRC. It is a continuation of a previous study that was completed in May 2012.