Japan Focus? Japan Fookoos would be more appropriate

 In the history of this site looking at Japan Focus, this article by Adam Broinowski entitled Fukushima: Life and the Transnationality of Radioactive Contamination is the worst I have seen. VK took a preliminary peek, and here I’ll examine some of the details that tell me the peer reviewers are peers in the Fookooshimar teepee commune, not peers in science. To save time, I’ll just look at the most egrerious passages in the article.

miracle cures for cancer

As VK pointed out, the cryogenic treatment has nothing to do with Fukushima. And talking of people pimping miracle cures:roll:

natural background potassium K40 radiation in bananas is 0.0117 Bq/kg

While the Banana Equivalent Dose is perhaps a dodgy measure, did no reviewer stop and think that the figure looks a little small? Like four orders of magnitude too small? Fun fact: Carbon-14 from the sugar in a kilogram of fresh bananas is around 250 grams of sugar * 40% carbon * 0.25 Bq/g, or 25 Bq/kg.

1 mSv = 1 X-ray

Nope, that’s getting into CT territory; however, being out by two orders of magnitude is an improvement, I suppose.

Although some authorities now recognize that this measurement [negligible risk from 100mSv/year] understates risk by between 100 and 1000 times

Weasel words! Which authorities? I think we can all guess.

Caesium has been detected in 70% of 85 children measured in the Ibaraki Prefecture Cooperative Association study

This links to what seems to be an anecdote at the end of a news piece. Googling didn’t turn up anything bar the usual suspects. Has anyone further information?

On 12 September 2013, a local diver witnessed large numbers of sunflower starfish (Pycnopodia helianthoides), that feeds mostly on sea urchins and snails, in various stages of disintegration on the sea floor [near Vancouver island].

Similar incidents occurred on the Atlantic coast of Canada, so it seems a bit premature to associate with Fukushima radiation.

UPDATE: I forgot this one:

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announce that radiation dispersed from Chernobyl […] had caused chronic illness in 7 million more people, and the premature deaths of 3 million children.

The footnote points to not a primary source, but to an anti-nuclear blog where we see what Mr Annan said was:

Second, more than seven million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened 14 years ago. 

No mention of chronic illness or of 3 million dead children. To me it reads like mention of the mental scars, scars that the likes of that blogger and Japan Focus’s writer keep picking at to further their own objectives.

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  1. @J O’Reilly:

    When you baldly state that this does not augur well, are you going to make a prediction that people will fall ill because of this caesium? If so, how many (within a rough range, if you like; stochastic events are not, by their nature, perfectly predictable). What research are you basing that on?

    (If you are not going to make a prediction that something bad will happen, perhaps you should go to a dictionary and look up the word “augur”.)

    I am of course, assuming that you understood the Japanese text. :wink:

  2. @VK:

    I am not able to read the future unfortunately.

    I am sorry that you don’t understand the word augur. It is fairly simple even for someone with limited intelligence.

  3. @J O’Reilly:

    So, I cite two sources who are far more likely than not to highball the figures for morbidity and mortality from radiation implying these levels are of little concern.

    You respond by clearly saying bad things are going to happen to these children – and you mean it, given you’re sure of your use of words. No equivocation. No uncertainty expressed.

    Why go beyond the views of these people? You provide no basis for it, despite being asked. I’m struggling here to avoid the conclusion that somewhere inside of you there is a part of you that actually wants some of these children to fall sick and if possible die. It would be convenient for your politics.

    Or perhaps you really ought to check your dictionary. Your English-English dictionary.

  4. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    “It’s all theoretical, with no empirical backing.”

    That’s his point isn’t it? With only three previous nuclear disasters there are only a few epidemiological studies, and none that take into account doses as low as Fukushima. There is no evidence, so we have to estimate, based on a range of different models. His estimates spit out a calculation of around 500 deaths in Japan, which should be significant for those handling policy, but is not particularly significant for individuals leading their own lives.

    Anyway, look! Here’s the IAEA in action telling everybody that the government is right on Fukushima and that we have nothing to worry about. Proof of that big conspiracy!


    Seriously though, have you guys considered giving that JF article a sound but polite fisking in their comments section?

  5. Actually, there have been a total of eleven criticality accidents worldwide since 1957 — six of which took place in Japan. I’m not saying that this is a lot (most of them were trivial incidents) and I’m not saying that there’s cause for alarm, but the reason most people only mention Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986 and now Fukushima was because of the extensive media exposure and the evacuation scare.

    This review essays touches on the other accidents.


  6. @VK:

    What I said was, 70% of children tested in areas around Tokyo showing positive for caesium in their urine is not a good sign.

    Or would you say that it is a good sign? A sign that the radioactive fallout is under control?
    I recommend you watch this documentary once you have finished your hiragana study for the day

  7. I’d first like to say thank you to J O’Reilly for finally giving us a link. I have read the original Asahi article, but I find about 1 Bq/l difficult to relate to, especially what that indicates might be left behind in the body. The only data I could find suggested that it might indicate around 250 Bq (per kg? whole body?) of caesium remaining.

    I also noticed that a certain Katsuma Yagasaki is quoted in the Asahi as saying:


    However, a quick Google also turns up this: 「1mSvでも、死亡。」矢ヶ崎克馬教授 インタビューまとめ


    I’m afraid comments like that put him into the crank category. :sad:

  8. @Whatever:

    “there have been a total of eleven criticality accidents worldwide since 1957 — six of which took place in Japan”

    I know that Scalise is sourcing this to one of the books he’s reviewing, but I’m not sure this is true. There have been far more accidents than that around the world, and there have been more than five criticality accidents in the US alone.

    I read an argument a while back that TMI gets mentioned because the actual next worst accident after Chernobyl, Kyshtym in 1957, doesn’t work so well for impact because it was a long time ago.

  9. @J O’Reilly:

    Even according to pessimists, it’s almost certainly not a problem at that level. Personally, I’m always relieved to hear that children are probably not going to get cancer. Clearly you’re cut from a different cloth.

    As for Chernobyl Heart, I’m sure the people who made it are very well-meaning, but are you seriously asking me to take a documentary film over the work of international epidemiologists? Some film-makers found kids with deformities in the former Soviet Union. What they didn’t do is show that these deformities were the result of exposure. When epidemiologists try that, they don’t come up with a relationship. Although we know that radiation can cause foetal abnormalities, in real life it actually takes a very large acute dose.

    On the other hand, there is evidence of increased deformities through foetal alcohol syndrome and poor diet. Amongst the many causes of increased alcoholism in the area at the time was the belief that the effects of radiation were going to be far worse than they turned out to be. Oh, and a very large number of abortions. I’m not going to give you links to pictures of aborted foetuses because I have just a bit more class than that.

    That’s why it’s important not to exaggerate the risks but report them as accurately and as honestly as possible. What you and your idol Helen Caldicott do by not showing the slightest bit of interest in whether or not your fearmongering causes real-world damage, is pretty ghastly. It makes you Not A Very Nice Person. At All.

  10. Hang on, I think I missed something. Dolphins got outed? As who? Not the mental patient, was it?

  11. @VK:

    Helen Caldicott is not my idol and I never said so. You seem to enjoy making things up VK. Do you often make things up VK? Is making things up something that you often try to do to win arguments? How do you feel about fabricating online? etc. ad nauseam (inspired by your posting :razz: )

    Are you really going to stoop so low as to suggest that the people who made Chernobyl Heart were in some way mistaken in their findings? I suppose they made it up to scare people did they? The Chernobyl Heart condition is just a psychosomatic stress-induced condition right?

    You will go to extreme lengths to pretend Fukushima is under control and perfectly safe, just for the sake of argument.

  12. @Simon: Where? I’m still waiting for that video proving he played Fujirock. Until I see video, I’m chalking it up to a middle aged man’s confabulation. His band was busking in the park when a homeless man set up a tent and he thought “This is just like Fujirock!” And the legend was born.

  13. @J O’Reilly:

    Why did you copy and paste without comment from a Helen Caldicott article if you don’t think she’s right? If you don’t even know what it is you’re copying from, are you really in a position to tell others what is and isn’t good information?

    I’m not “stooping” by saying the Chernobyl Heart makers are mistaken. Here’s how it works. Birth defects rose at the same rate in areas of both high and very low contamination (and no contamination). The birth defects are consistent with foetal alcohol syndrome, poor diet (particularly a lack of folic acid causing Spina Bifida). All attempts to find a link between exposure and rate of defects come up with nothing.

    By suggesting I’m stooping, you think there is something morally wrong with looking at scientific research when it comes to the disabled. I should just look at these poor people and give in to your agenda. In other words, you’re exploiting these people’s suffering for your own politics. That’s really terrible. It’s striking you’re not remotely interested in the actual research.

  14. @VK:

    of course VK, those birth defects in Belarus are just coincidental. Nothing to do with Chernobyl. Probably just like the caesium found in Kanto children’s urine. A coincidence ! and in Russia and Japan. Fancy that.

  15. @J O’Reilly:

    No, Chernobyl and birth defects rises are not just coincidental. Being told that because of the radiation they were going to die soon and that their baby was going to be deformed led people to depression and drink. It also led an awful lot of women to have unnecessary abortions right across Europe.

    I don’t think this is too difficult for you to understand. Last time in Chernobyl an awful lot of scientists expected to find much higher levels of cancers and birth defects among those populations with higher levels of exposure compared to those in the same region with less or no exposure. however, with the exception of thyroid cancer, they didn’t find this. Instead they found a whole lot of health problems associated with adverse psychological reactions, which affected both those in the region who were actually exposed more, and those who received little or no exposure but presumed they had had severe exposure.

    What’s different about Fukushima is that following Chernobyl we now know that the effects of radiation are less than we had once presumed (the bomb survivor data was already telling us this, but it was only one set of data, and we hadn’t had experience of such a widespread release since then.) We also know better just how the fear of radiation can cause serious widespread health problems.

    I stress, this isn’t difficult to understand. You are not rejecting it based on any kind of rational evaluation. Instead, you’re just refusing even to contemplate the possibility that its true.

    On my side I have a whole load of international scientific research. On your side is anecdote and incredulity. Think on that.

  16. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Mr. O’Reilly doesn’t seem to understand that the scientific method is all about doubt and criticism of any conclusion, particularly those without strong evidence.

    In any case, I repeat: have you guys considered giving that JF article a sound but polite fisking in their comments section?

  17. @The Chrysanthemum Sniffer:

    I get the impression they moderate comments very heavily. There’s nothing worse than spending time on a crafted comment for it to disappear in the ether.

    And frankly, the whole philosophy of that pretentious little e-rag is so genetically chauvinist I’d rather not help them improve their presentation on their own site. I’d rather poke fun at them.

  18. Actually, there’s lots worse in life, but you know what I mean.

  19. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    I don’t know. I’m pretty sure you can phrase your comments in ways that they wouldn’t be sure if they were being complemented, engaged, or insulted. I’ve been doing quite for quite a while now elsewhere.

  20. @The Chrysanthemum Sniffer:

    On second thoughts, it’s a Caldicott clan member; it would be good to point out what tripe their work is.

    A simple list of footnote/sourcing errors might be interesting (source doesn’t say that; wrong citation; dubious reference; source contradicts statements in the article).

    For example:


    Note 3 claims a source article from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is entitled “‘Absurd’: Intentionally dumping Fukushima nuclear material into ocean from land “is not considered dumping” — Allowed under international law?”

    However, the source is actually titled “Seafood Safety and Policy: What’s safe to eat? How can we know?”. The “Absurd…” title (and the date of publication) comes from a summary of the article on an anonymously run and controversial news blog called ENEnews. It looks as if the author has not actually read the source he is directly citing, which is clearly discouraged in all major citation styles.

    The failure to give proper citation matters in this case particularly not only because the given title misrepresents the general content and particular detail of the article (where the “absurdity” is explained) but this original source from a respected scientific institution directly contradicts the author’s own unsourced and unsubstantiated scientific inference about American coastal marine life made in the last two paragraphs of section V.

    Note 9 supports the sentences “As contractors continue with ‘decontamination’ projects, the initial strategy adopted by TEPCO to cool the melted fuel with constant hydration and filtering of contaminated water stored in tanks (with the Advanced Liquid Processing System provided by French nuclear technology specialist company AREVA) has been constantly hampered by problems. It has also been the target of criticism by Gregory Jaczko, former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as groups such as Greenpeace and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), for its inability to thoroughly remove radioactive isotopes.(9)”

    However, the link provided there, although hosted to a PSR website, is to a document from an entirely different American anti-nuclear group (Beyond Nuclear) about nuclear power in France. It makes no mention of the PSR stance, nor of Greenpeace, nor of Gregory Jaczko. Nor does it mention anyone’s inability to thoroughly remove radioactive isotopes in decontamination, nor TEPCO’s post-Fukushima efforts, perhaps not surprisingly because the document was last updated in 2008.

    Note 10 is missing.

    Note 11 cites an AP story to support the statement that “The adoption of the decontamination method without planning the logistics for permanent storage facilities at the NPP, suggests that eventual discharge of contaminated water into the ocean or air has been and remains anticipated by TEPCO.(11)”

    However, there is nothing in the AP story that mentions any anticipation by anyone of any such eventual discharge. I’m not aware that there even is such an industrial procedure as aerial discharge of waste water.

    etc. etc.

    That kind of thing? Anyone want to chip in?

    This would be non-partisan documenting of straightforward errors and clear misrepresentations. They’d publish that, surely.

  21. while you make a compelling case, frankly I have to side with Jill O’Reilly on this one. While I haven’t seen the aforementioned Chernobyl Hearts, I was able to watch Chernobyl Diaries on a recent long-haul flight. If the assertions made in that film are anywhere close to accurate, we are seeing only the tip of an iceberg and things are going to get much worse.

  22. @iago:


    Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my head around this particular radiation safety story:


  23. Just worked out that Broinowksi is citing someone who thinks the Jews control international nuclear power and have hushed up the real problems at Chernobyl to protect their control of international finance.

    To be fair, he’s not the only hack who hasn’t done the background check on this individual.

  24. @VK: And of course a pack and a half a day of fags even without the Caesium gives you (perhaps, figures vary widely!) a localised HOT PARTICLE dose of 160 mSv/year in the bronchial tubes. An increase in smoking (and drinking as we saw earlier) due to the stress and worry caused by the Fookoo-fearmongers is, in my opinion, a more significant cancer risk to the vast majority of Fukushima residents! :evil: And I wonder if we can quantify the radioactive second-hand smoke threat to kids? :sad:

  25. On a related note, Japan Times stretches the definition of “news” yet further.

    BTW, I looked at that Global Research site – the one article I picked to read mentioned both Tesla’s free energy and contrails. :headdesk:

  26. @Ken Y-N:

    It’s something of a NWO theory site. It carries a lot of troofer stuff, HAARP, and breathless anti-GMO material. It’s had run-ins with Jewish groups.


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