Radiation Exposure and Risk

Ionizing radiation damages living things and contaminates the environment, sometimes permanently. Studies have shown increases in cancer around nuclear facilities and uranium mines. Radiation mutates genes which can cause genetic damage across generations.



Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear's Founding PresidentTeaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets welcomes Helen Caldicott, editor of the new book,

Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

 introduced by Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 

6:30 to 8:00 PM

Busboys and Poets - 14th & V, N.W., Washington, D.C.



Physicians for Social Responsibility 

Beyond Nuclear 

Teaching for Change 

Busboys and Poets


Beyond Nuclear's Cindy Folkers and Kevin Kamps presented at the 2013 symposium which led to this new book. Summaries of their presentations are included.


Families sue government for Fukushima radiation exposure

"A group of parents and children who were residing in Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear disaster unfolded in March 2011 is suing the central and prefectural governments for failing to take sufficient steps to protect children from radiation exposure during the crisis.

"In a written complaint, they said the central and prefectural governments failed to promptly release accurate data on airborne radiation levels after the nuclear crisis, neglecting their duty to prevent residential radiation exposure as much as possible, and exposing children to radiation."

"As a result, the parents and children are seriously worried about their health down the road and are suffering from mental distress, they said in the complaint." One woman's child became ill after the initial radiation releases.

"Of the 88 plaintiffs, 24 children who live in Fukushima and are still attending school there are demanding that local municipal offices affirm their right to receive education in a safe environment." The Japan Times

Radiation is known to cause various diseases. The information sharing and evacuations following Fukushima were clearly botched and some people were exposed to radiation because of this incompetent handling of the crisis.

Children are particularly vulnerable to radiation exposure, so these families are not waiting until someone has taken ill to sue for compensation. This lawsuit implies that exposure to radiation against their will, and due to government incompetence, is enough to allow them compensation since their risk of contracting certain diseases has been increased.



Doctors want to see a drop in radioactivity

Pediatrician Dr. Alex Rosen"Nuclear bomb tests contaminate soils, while nuclear accidents and X-rays are a direct threat to our health. At a world summit this week, doctors called for more protection and awareness...

"It was a central theme at this year's world congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) - the consequences of nuclear testing.

The participants gathered in Kazakhstan to see the consequences first-hand at Semipalatinsk - a Soviet-era test site which was active between 1949 and 1989...

" 'All around the world, you can find small traces of the radioactive Cesium-137 in soil samples and food," says the pediatrician Dr Alex Rosen...

"He says the levels of Cesium-137 are lower than the legal threshold.

'But you've also got to say that any amount of radioactivity can lead to higher risks, and that statistically, hundreds of thousands of people have died prematurely from cancer because of these same levels," Rosen says...

" 'We have to tell people: don't let your child have an X-ray unless it's absolutely necessary, don't eat that jam from that contaminated region," Rosen says, "and don't move close to a nuclear power plant.'" Deutsche Welle



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.


Cover up and play down a disaster

An International Conference on Fukushima and Chernobyl was held 4-7 March 2014, hosted by the German chapter of IPPNW and local chapters of the Protestant church.

"The nuclear disasters of Fukushima and Chernobyl seriously affect humans, nature and society. Opinions on the dimension of the damage differ considerably. Representatives of UN Organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) claim that there is no danger for the health of the affected population. In sharp contrast, studies conducted by physicians and other independent scientists have led to the conclusion that ionising radiation has indeed resulted in a great deal of impairment to health.

Physicians, scientists and journalists from Japan, Belarus, Germany, the USA, France and UK will meet at an international conference on the effects of nuclear disaster on nature and humans from March 4-7 in Arnoldshain to compare notes on the effects of ionising radiation. The conference is organised by IPPNW and the protestant church in Hesse and Nassau." View the presentations on their website.


Dr. Keith Baverstock

Fukushima: the roles of WHO and IAEA


Dr. Larisa Danilova

Endocrine Diseases in Post-Chernobyl Period in Belarus


Dr. Winfrid Eisenberg

Leukämie bei Kindern und andere biologische Indikatoren für Niedrigdosisstrahlung


Dr. Ian Fairlie

Fukushima and Chernobyl: Comparison of Source Terms and Health Effects


Furitsu Katsumi M.D. Ph.D.

A Critique of the radiation standards of ICRP, and the health risk assessments of severe accidents by WHO and UNSCEAR on Chernobyl and Fukushima


Dr. Ulrich Gottstein


Dr. Kaoru Konta


Akari Konta


Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Körblein

Infant mortality in Japan after Fukushima


Prof. Dr. Mikhail Malko

The Chernobyl Accident and its Consequences


Dr. Eisuke Matsui

People of Futaba-machi and “Low Dose” Internal Radiation Exposure


Timothy A. Mousseau & Anders P. Møller

Biological Consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima


Oshidori Mako


Dr. Martin Repp

Religion, Medicine and Nuclear Disaster


Prof. Dr. Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake

Genetische Folgen ionisierender Strahlung im Niedrigdosisbereich


Dr. Dörte Siedentopf


Isamu Takamatsu M.D.

Health problems after the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Outbreak of childhood thyroid cancer in Fukushima


Dr. Olga Zubets

Cancer Epidemiology in the Republic of Belarus