New Canadian government could derail plans for nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron

The targeted location where the DGR would be built at OPG's Bruce NGS on the Lake Huron shore in Kincardine, ONAs reported by Michigan Radio and the AP, the Liberal Party's decisive election victory on Oct. 19th gives hope to opponents of Ontario Power Generation's proposed Deep Geologic Repository for burying radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario (see photo, left). They hope Prime Minister Trudeau will nip the DUD in the bud (DUD, short for Deep Underground Dump, is the abbreviation coined by David Martin of Greenpeace Canada for the insane scheme). More.


First time worker's cancer is linked to Fukushima radioactivity

"Acknowledging a link between leukemia and exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident, the health ministry has awarded workers' compensation to a former worker at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for the first time.

According to government insurance standards for nuclear industry workers introduced in 1976, the government pays workers' compensation to those who are exposed to 5 millisieverts or higher levels of radiation annually and develop leukemia more than a year after they first engaged in work that could expose them to radiation."

A total of eight workers have applied for compensation. Three have been denied, one withdrew, and three cases are still pending. The Ashahi Shimbun

The now-41-year old worker had been exposed to just about 20 mSv of radiation total over about a-year-and-a-half, the amount of radioactivity allowed for members of the public, including children and pregnant women, in just one year for resettlement of contaminated areas in Japan.

While some contend that this leukemia case is on the early side of the latency period for leukemias, the CDC says the latency for leukemia can be as short as 0.4 years.


Every nuclear reactor routinely releases radioactivity

The latest update to our pamphlet -- Routine Radioactive Releases from U.S. Nuclear Power Plants -- shows you exactly how many nuclear reactors are operating in the U.S.  Every reactor releases radioactivity and our map shows you precisely where and which bodies of water are threatened by radioactive contamination.  Follow the link to our Reactors Are Closing page for an up-to-date listing of nuclear power plants as they close.

Please feel free to download our pamphlet and distribute it widely.


Pilgrim nuke bites the dust….just not soon enough

Beyond Nuclear released the following statement by Paul Gunter, Director of Reactor Oversight at Beyond Nuclear, in response to the decision by Entergy to shut its troubled Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth, MA, but not until as late as June 2019.

“While the planned closure of another outdated and dangerous nuclear power plant is welcome news, the decision to postpone the Pilgrim shutdown until 2019 puts surrounding populations at unacceptable risk.  This is a reactor design with a containment that is guaranteed to fail in the event of a severe accident.  It is a Fukushima waiting to happen on U.S. soil.

“Entergy is going to request that federal regulators waive compliance with critical post-Fukushima safety upgrades that are already part of its operating license.  Pilgrim has deadlines to comply with Fukushima upgrades that are going to come sooner than June 2019.

“If Entergy is going to operate this plant for another three years, and without spending any money on required Fukushima upgrades, then it should close immediately."

Read the full press release.


New study claims a 30-fold increase in thyroid cancer in Fukushima

A study examining thyroid cancer among children 18 years and younger when the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe began, found an increase in thyroid cancers, as predicted by World Health Organization (WHO) initial dose assessments.

However, lead researcher, Toshihide Tsuda an epidemiologist at Okayama University, says “[t]his is more than expected and emerging faster than expected…” by either initial WHO predictions or studies of thyroid cancers after the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986. Tsuda was urged by international experts, and the publishing journal, to publish his study as early as possible, due to its potential implications for public health.

The study, published in Epidemiology, analyzed prefecture data up to December 31, 2014 and pointed out, along with the press conference, these additional observations:

There were no precise measurements of internal or external radiation exposure, so researchers used residential addresses at the time the catastrophe began in 2011 as a surrogate for dose.

A second round of screening, to be completed in March 2016, will include those who were in utero in 2011. Data already show an additional 25 thyroid cancers.

The highest incidence rate ratio was among people whose district was not evacuated, 50 to 60 km (30 to 40 miles approximately) west from the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Data show 605 thyroid cancer cases per million examinees. The expected cases of thyroid cancer for children is 1-2 per year per million.

Ground contamination does not necessarily reflect exposure. Some of the most exposed people came from areas where radionuclide deposition was minimal, but radioactive iodine in the air as a result of the catastrophe still exposed them.

The magnitude of the increase is too great to be explained by increased screening since available data show a 2 to 3- and at most a 6 to 7–fold increase would be attributable to enhanced screening efforts. The data examined by Tsuda show cancer cases an order of magnitude higher.

The cancers found by this screening in Fukushima prefecture had metastasized to lymph nodes in 74% of cases (40 cases out of 54), meaning these cancers were not in early stages of development. Therefore, when interpreting the data, overdiagnosis is also not an issue; a conclusion shared by medical professionals: "However, physicians actually involved with diagnosis during the thyroid examination unanimously agree that 'it is not overdiagnosis.' These physicians include Dr. Akira Miyauchi from Kuma Hospital, one of nation’s top thyroid clinicians, as well as Dr. Shinichi Suzuki from Fukushima Medical University, director of thyroid examination in Fukushima Prefecture." Overdiagnosis "refers to diagnosis of disease that does not require medical treatment, as opposed to screening effect which means early detection of asymptomatic disease that patients are unaware of, and which eventually requires medical treatment."

Contrary to claims that we would not be seeing an increase in cancers this early (within a year after exposure to radioactivity), radioactivity from Fukushima could have caused this increase in thyroid cancers because excess cancers were observed subsequent to Chernobyl in the earlier years. Further, the US CDC recognizes a minimum empirical induction time for thyroid cancer of 2.5 years in adults; and 1 year in kids for all cancers including thyroid. The minimum latency for leukemia is 0.4 years (146 days).

Residents who were older than 18 years in 2011 should also be monitored for thyroid cancers.

In addition to predicting increases in thyroid cancers, the WHO also predicted increases in leukemias and breast cancer among others. The WHO acceded to demands by the government of Japan to reduce estimated doses. As a result, doses listed in the WHO’s report are 1/3 to 1/10th lower than initially drafted.

The study concludes: “In Chernobyl, excesses of thyroid cancer became more remarkable 4 or 5 years after the accident in Belarus and Ukraine, so the observed excess alerts us to prepare for more potential cases within a few years. Furthermore, we could infer a possibility that exposure doses for residents were higher than the official report or the dose estimation by the World Health Organization, because the number of thyroid cancer cases grew faster than predicted in the World Health Organization’s health assessment report.”

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