Tag Archives: fukushima

More dodgy science and dodgier Kyodo reporting

Japan Times reprinted a useless Kyodo press release bordering on Fookooshimar. Paragraph two starts:

One of the experts, Timothy Mousseau …

I think I can stop here. The article is here, but I don’t know what is the difference between a full article and a “symposium article” as this is entitled.

There’s also an interesting article on the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly – well, what is more interesting is this criticism – where in a sub-section entitled “Science and Politics” the author rails against the apologists:

The Nature News article (Callaway 2013) may be wrongly interpreted to imply that we (scientists who study this topic seriously) are mad scientists who do not care about people living in the Fukushima area (Steen and Wayne 2013), partly because our data may “scare people” there.

I cannot access the referenced articles, but that smells of a straw man!

More scientific errors from the Japan Times

In an article entitled “Food not checked for radiation poses risk in Fukushima: study“, we once again see a couple of errors in the Japan Times’ reporting.

Researchers followed nine people, who were the only ones out of 30,622 examinees from the city to have internal cesium-137 levels greater than 50 becquerels per kilogram in screenings between March 11, 2012, and March 10, 2013. That’s roughly equal to 0.1 to 0.2 millisieverts per year.

That’s pretty impressively reassuring figures – only 0.03% of the tested population coming up “hot”!

Cesium-137 levels among the nine participants ranged from 3,230 to 15,918 becquerels per body, which corresponds to between 0.07 to 0.53 millisieverts per year

I’m not quite sure why 50 becquerels per kilogram was 0.1 to 0.2 millisievers per year in the first quote, but now 0.07 in the second. Furthermore, the report says the figures were calculated as 0.14 to 0.97 mSv/year, although that figure combined both Cs-134 and Cs-137.

Finally, the introduction to the report itself says:

Accordingly, serious health threats have emerged in radiation-contaminated areas after nuclear accidents such as the Chernobyl accident [2], and similarly, cumulative radiation exposure is currently a serious public health concern in Fukushima [3].

Looking at the two references here, both are not, as the casual reader might suspect, related to contamination, but instead appear to focus on the mental health of people from the worry about radiation. They seem to be odd references to me.

Today’s non-news: yet again, millions still not diagnosed as dead from Fukushima

A not-surprising article from Forbes on a UN report:

Increased rates of detection of [thyroid] nodules, cysts and cancers have been observed during the first round of screening; however, these are to be expected in view of the high detection efficiency [using modern high-efficiency ultrasonography]. Data from similar screening protocols in areas not affected by the accident imply that the apparent increased rates of detection among children in Fukushima Prefecture are unrelated to radiation exposure.

The comments, as ever, are :headdesk:

Fukushima and Garin Dart

Two stories for the price of one today. First, SafeCast has obviously been bought off by the Japanese Government and reports that Fukushima radiation reaching the US Pacific coast is of an insignificant amount. No surprise to us here, of course, but I tried to find out what people like EneNews were saying about it, but the stupidity got too much for me and I had to quit my searching.

Second, you might remember Garin Dart, a guy in Tokyo who suddenly disappeared last May, and who we mentioned once or twice here. He resurfaced in the UK recently, after the Yakuza ate his homework. His story was published by the Daily Fail, but an interesting snippet of news is that he recently friended Richard Lloyd Parry, a The Times (of London) journalist who wrote about his initial disappearance.

Garin and Richard are now friends

And here’s a Facebook thread about his reappearance.

The real health cost of Fukushima

Fukushima schoolkids are fat, according to official figures. These are real, identifiable, quantifiable adverse effects, rather than some wooly “I’m sure it’s 100s times more” that the doom and gloom merchants try to peddle.

NHK covered the news, and in the graphs fatties were double the national average in certain age groups! They also looked at a mother and her three kids living in Fukushima city, and the tone of the interview went that she was blaming herself for keeping her kids indoors and limiting their outdoor play. The kids were sitting around not talking, engrossed in their smartphone games.

It does make me angry that there are still the “evacuate all kids” loons (right up to diet member Taro Yamamoto) on the loose, yet they never take responsibility for their actions.

Let’s green Fukushima with, err, coal!

I’m sure that many of you will have seen the news that Mitsubishi and TEPCO plan to build two new coal-fired IGCC power stations on the Fukushima coast.

I’m sure it’s just due to a lack of space that none of Reuters, Asahi, Japan Times and Japan Today took the opportunity to discuss the demerits of such a scheme, rather that the Nuclear Village bribing them not to show up nuclear :roll: , and I look forward to Taro Yamamoto passing another letter to the emporer to express his worries for the children near that plant, and I expect that there will be calls for Abe to explain to the Diet and IOC how they are tsunami-ready and if everything would really be Under Control and confined to a 1.3 km radius.

Shock report: Fukushima fish FORTY TIMES less DEADLY than a pint of beer

Today’s desperate search for a Man Bites Dog story takes us to Canada, where the Linear No-Threshold Model allows the writer to do some fanciful sums:

About 800 people worldwide will get cancer from radiation due to Fukushima in fish eaten to date, according to Georgia Straight calculations. […] Half the cancers will be fatal. About 500 will be in Japan; 75 will be due to Japanese fish exports to other countries; and 225 will be from fishing in the Pacific by nations other than Japan.

Let’s get rid of the silly figure of 225 from other nations first – this is most likely (they don’t show their sums) by giving everyone in the world two becquerels per kilo of fish eaten and applying the Linear No-Threshold Model to get the answer.

Now, 500 cancers with 250 fatalities from two and a half years fish-eating for the population of Japan would work out as about 1 death in 1.2 million per year or 0.083 cases per 100,000 population, the usual way these figures are quoted. Looking at a random article from a Google search on booze, 20,000 Americans per year keel over from cancer caused by alcohol, and 35% of them are drinking 1.5 standard measures (around about a pint of beer, for instance) or less. Taking 200 million as the adult population of the USA, we get a risk of about 1 in 28,600, or 3.5 cases per 100,000, or 42 times more deadly for even just the moderate drinkers.

There’s also a number of other flaws in their assumptions such as the distribution of caesium testing points that I’ll leave it up to the reader to discover…

Next they interview scientists and “scientists”, including dear old Arnie Gundersen. :roll: Let’s have a look:

“Apologists say it’s a large ocean”

Heh, that word is catching.

“150,000 more people in Germany would die of cancer each year if all food had radiation at the European Union ceiling”

:facepalm: If we perform the same maths, I wonder how many Germans die from cancer from Brazil nuts and bananas every year?

“All this BS about natural radiation is used as an excuse to expose us to more radiation through their nuclear-industry processes”

I make that six people representing various anti-nuclear bodies, versus one not very articulate (or made to look not very articulate) anti-scaremongerer.

Finally, via Eido, here a doctor speaks about the Fookoofrankenfish risk being, err, one in five million!

Japan Times editorial on nuclear power

Japan Times recently published another anti-nuclear editorial that is really rather poor, as usual:

Whatever the exact number, the rally was another expression of deep-seated opposition to nuclear power in Japan. The central government should recognize rallies like this as an important expression of political opinion.

Is this going to be a new measure, how many people organisers can turn out? What if 30,000 people turn up for a "Let’s nuke North Korea!" rally? Will that be another important expression that you will call on the government to heed?

left others living in fear of exposure to radiation

…with newspapers like yourselves being one of the fear mongers.

Power companies and the central government do not seem to be listening to scientists, either.

To take one example, the Nuclear Regulation Authority judged the fault running under reactor 2 at Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga nuclear plant to be active and therefore extremely dangerous.

First off the "therefore extremely dangerous" does not follow, but more importantly, this editorial does not demonstrate how the power companies and central government are not listening. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the central government cannot override NRA decisions, so they play no role here, and of course neither can the power companies.

Objective data and scientific facts from geologists and specialists outside the nuclear power industry clearly point out the danger of operating nuclear power plants in earthquake-prone areas, which pretty much make up all of Japan.

If that was true, then there is no role for the NRA. They would just say "shut them all down." The geologists in the NRA are saying that it is dangerous to operate a reactor on an active fault.

Even former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, giving his first speech abroad since the 3/11 disasters, stated in California last week that the only way to contain the risk of nuclear accidents is to create a nuclear-free society.

I don’t know why that needs to be qualified with an "even", as he has been anti-nuclear ever since 3/11.

it is a healthy change for Mr. Kan to admit being ashamed of his previous role as an apologist for exporting Japanese nuclear technology to developing nations

I just found it quite entertaining that he was called an ex-apologist!

despite the clear public and scientific opinion against nuclear power

There is not one scientific opinion, and as I point out above, the NRA is not anti-nuclear.

In the short run, safety procedures at power plants must be made more stringent and followed scrupulously.

That’s exactly why the NRA was set up, and it’s interesting that you seem to be accepting some reactors will be turned back on; this implies that you believe (or you want to lead your readers to believe) that the Nuclear Village will override the NRA.

South Korean newspaper calls for Japan Jihad

In the Korean JoongAng Daily, and perhaps also in the Korean (and even Japanese?) version of the same paper, one of the top three broadsheets in Korea, I believe, was a perhaps ever-so slightly unbalanced editorial of utter :headdesk: hatred, entitled "Abe tempts God’s vengeance", with this conclusion:

Abe is free to do as he wishes. But God, too, is at liberty. The vindictive spirit of the Maruta has been resurrected thanks to Abe. God may feel that retaliation against Japan hasn’t been complete.

In further news in the same paper, the headline "Prosecutors raid the tax office to probe CJ" proved to be not worth the click.

In yet further news from AP, we have some failure to understand and/or an attempt to mislead issues regarding radiation doses:

His cumulative radiation exposure is at more than 300 millisieverts. Medical experts say a rise in cancer and other illnesses is statistically detected at exposure of more than 100 millisieverts, but health damage varies by individuals. He was exposed to 60 millisieverts of radiation the first year after the disaster and gets a health checkup every six months.

Nuclear workers generally are limited to 100 millisieverts exposure over five years, and 50 millisieverts a year, except for the first year after the disaster when the threshold was raised to an emergency 100 millisieverts.

This person has worked in the industry for 20 years, so at 100 mSv max per five years, 300 mSv seems not unusual, and I don’t believe 100 mSv spread over five years is really that much of a risk – I thought the 100 mSv was for short-term exposure. Furthermore, assuming that a barium meal stomach exam gives a dose of about 10 to 15 mSv, the average Japanese corporate drone sitting behind a desk for 20 years will also get about 300 mSv courtesy of the annual health check-ups (my employer gives them every year to all employees over 40, for instance).

Japan Times on anti-nuclear groups leave questions unanswered

The article "Antinuclear drive in search of new strategies" is, as is common with many anti-nuclear articles, a bit of a mixed bag of interesting reporting but with important information left out, and too much of the writer’s opinion slipped in. It starts from the sub-heading, "Reactor foes risk burnout unless LDP stonewalling can be overcome"; surely they should have chosen meltdown for maximal effect? And the stonewalling appears to be the LDP not wanting to rush into a decision like the DPJ did.

they are struggling to get their views reflected in the policies of the LDP-led administration.

Isn’t that just how democracy works? They were on the losing side, so they should be struggling!

after the Fukushima meltdowns tainted the northeast with radiation.


Hiroyuki Kawai, who represents the commission’s [Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy] main sponsor, a private group.

"A private group"? Can we not get a name? The guy appears to be an anti-nuclear campaigner and lawyer.

"We need to draft a policy that everyone will have no choice but to accept," [Kawai] said.

Hmm, that sounds ominous!

Kondo claimed this prevented atomic energy from becoming an issue in the race [April 28 Upper House by-election in Yamaguchi Prefecture], allowing Ejima to trounce his antinuclear opponents.

I remember at the Yamaguchi governor election last year the green lobby also made excuses when they got defeated then.

They [the LDP] said they will review the DPJ’s policy (of ending nuclear power by 2040), but didn’t say if they will promote nuclear power, so it’s very vague

Well, that’s because they don’t want to bias the review (or at least make it too obvious that they are biasing the review!)

activists launched the advocacy group Ryokucha Kai (Green Tea Party) on April 24 to provide financial support to antinuclear candidates running in national elections.

Hideaki Takemura, an executive at Tokyo-based Energy Green Co. and head of Ryokucha Kai

Looking up Energy Green Co., as you have probably guessed, I see that they are a renewable energy supplier, so no conflict of interest there. :roll: They also seem to have a curious market where you can buy (or should that be "buy") 100 kWh lots of green energy; looking at this page it appears that it is a voluntary carbon offset type of idea, and for your money you get a certificate to download and print off. I cannot find anywhere on the site any information about what they do with your money, though, and considering that they can sell back the generated power at 21 yen/kWh, they are making an extra 50% or even more, if they get over-subscribed! Is some of the money being directed towards sponsoring candidates? How the money is being used should be clearly stated!

it won’t be backing anyone running for the LDP or New Komeito.

New Komeito had a manifesto pledge for phasing out nuclear power.