Tag Archives: fukushima - Page 2

Probable Fookooshimar nonsense on infant thyroid issues

There has been a lot of buzz in the tinfoil hat community about a paper entitled "Elevated airborne beta levels in Pacific/West Coast US States and trends in hypothyroidism among newborns after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown", published in a newish journal, Open Journal of Pediatrics, and written by Joseph J. Mangano and Janette D. Sherman, who have Fookooshimar form. Furthermore, the publisher, Scientific Research Publishing, does not get a terribly good write-up on Wikipedia.

I’m not able to comment on the content of their paper, but I see that the Alaska Dispatch has already questioned the validity, and from a simple sniff test if there really was a 20% increase in hypothyroidism from just one week’s worth of minimal exposure, I would have expected the recent surveys of Fukushima thyroids to have shown something statistically significant.

BTW, RT (Russia Today) gets its headline spectacularly scaremongeringly wrong!

Daily Express prints Fookooshimar utter tripe

This article in today’s Daily Express (UK) is even worse than EneNews!

First up, we have a composite picture (I thought newspapers were supposed to indicate when they used them?) of the tsunami aftermath with two boys (there might be a third at the bottom) cut and pasted in. I wonder if they or their parents are aware how their photo is being used?

No one has so far died as a result of radiation from Fukushima, insist the authorities.

Yay FUD!

Most worrying are the results of tests carried out on more than 130,000 children who lived around Fukushima. More than 40 per cent have the early signs of thyroid cancer

We’ve dealt with this before.

Many more, living up to 25 miles away, were not moved away until six weeks after the radiation escaped.

The evacuation zone was only 30 km. Or are they talking about Iitate and Kawamata, etc?

the new sea wall that has been built against future tidal waves hardly inspires confidence.

Is there actually a new seawall?

While the 12-mile zone closest to the plant will remain off limits to all but the brave or foolhardy,

Aren’t they busy removing the restrictions of many of the towns?

According to one scientist the radiation released was about 10 per cent of the Chernobyl disaster, which may have caused up to a million premature cancer deaths.

Is that one scientist or two scientists?

Another expert claims the true figure is nearer to 40 per cent.


Dr Rianne Teule, a radiation expert with Greenpeace, says: "The potential effects of radiation from Fukushima have been shamelessly down played. It could be many years before we discover the real impact and some of the risks are being ignored."

I think that is quite impressive weasel wording. "potential", "could", "risks" – I cannot argue with what this expert says as they do not actually say anything…

Yet on an agreed international scale of one to 10 for nuclear accidents, Fukushima is rated seven.


There are false rumours spreading about birth defects among Fukushima babies

So why mention them?

Doctors handed out iodine tablets to residents to limit absorption of radiation.

No. Well, yes, some were handed out well after the event, but no-one was supposed to take them as it was far too late to "save[…] countless lives" with them.

Japan, which is close to a geological fault line

Slightly more than one…

two have reopened to help the struggling economy.

That’s not why they reopened Ooi!

A fried rat and a love rat

Here are two stories that caught my eye. First we have mutant rodents sabotaging Fukushima. Many of the TV reports I saw pointed out that (a) they still only have a lorry on site with all the switching gear on it, and (b) there is no built-in redundancy in their power supply and they are all interconnected, so when one popped a fuse making rat toast, they all fell over in succession on detecting an anomaly in the power lines, or something like that.

Second, we have a child custody battle between Australia and Japan, with the rodent this time being what appears to be a love rat:

According to the judgment, he convinced the mother, who he met while his first wife was pregnant, with the promise of a reconciliation to their own troubled marriage on arrival in Australia.

But that didn’t happen. Pregnant and alone, she was convinced to hand her in-laws legal guardianship of the boy while she returned to Japan, where her ex-husband was working, to sort out her affairs.

While she was there, she caught him cheating with his now fiance. When she called her mother-in-law to declare she wanted her son back, she was told the boy was going to New Zealand to live.


This story also has a little bit of Fookooshimar:

He granted the mother sole parental responsibility, finding the boy was not at "unacceptable risk" from radiation exposure back in Japan.

Looking at the court judgement (PDF), it appears that the mother lives in Tokyo, and paragraph 191 says:

Each country has risks. In Australia, there are risks from venomous spiders, sharks, bushfires, floods and other natural or man-made dangers. In the Court’s view it is not a matter of placing a child in a position where the risks of the ordinary exigencies of life are non-existent.

Thyroid abnormalities all across Japan

The latest news via NHK will probably surprise few if any of my regular readers, namely that kids outside of Fukushima were found to have an even higher rate of thyroid nodules!

70% more Fukushima kids will die of cancer!

This Associated Press article was widely syndicated, and Washington Post was the first hit I got from Google:

Two years after Japan’s nuclear plant disaster, an international team of experts said Thursday that residents of areas hit by the highest doses of radiation face an increased cancer risk so small it probably won’t be detectable.

But then:

In fact, experts calculated that increase at about 1 extra percentage point added to a Japanese infant’s lifetime cancer risk.

That, to me, is written to suggest that all Japanese infants have a one extra percentage point, but we see further down:

Normally in Japan, the lifetime risk of developing cancer of an organ is about 41 percent for men and 29 percent for women. The new report said that for infants in the most heavily exposed areas, the radiation from Fukushima would add about 1 percentage point to those numbers.

It seems clear to me that this one percentage point refers to those directly exposed, not to Japan as a whole, and common sense would suggest that given an evacuated population of a few hundred thousand, or less than 0.5% of the population, just about everyone from that sample would have to get cancer to influence the national figures by one percentage point. Therefore I conclude that the one percentage point refers to those most directly affected, and the general population will see no effect.

More extracts:

“This will fuel fears in Japan that could be more dangerous than the physical effects of radiation,” she [Gerry Thomas, a professor of molecular pathology at Imperial College London] said, noting that people living under stress have higher rates of heart problems, suicide and mental illness.


Kanno [Norio Kanno, the chief of Iitate village] accused the report’s authors of exaggerating the cancer risk and stoking fear among residents.

My headline is of course a total lie and distortion of the report, but I am sure some people will use it, if they are not too busy discrediting the WHO.

Don your lead-lined tinfoil hats – Fukushima children’s thyroid cancer

Japan Times is one of the many newspapers to carry this Kyodo report on "three young people have thyroid cancer". The fact of the matter is:

A Fukushima Prefectural Government panel said Wednesday that two people who were 18 or younger when the triple-meltdown crisis started at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic complex in March 2011 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, bringing the total cases to three.

Kyodo also reports that a professor on the panel said:

Reporting at a meeting on the health impact from the catastrophe, professor Shinichi Suzuki of Fukushima Medical University said it is too early to link the cases to the nuclear disaster, because it took at least four to five years for thyroid cancer to be detected after the Chernobyl meltdown calamity that started in 1986.

However, if we look what might be the Japanese version of the Kyodo story on Yahoo! via the Mainichi, we see:


That’s quite a different emphasis. However the same professor also said this:


Surely the prof would have an exact figure, rather than passing on "one in a million"?  A comment on Japan Times provides a link to UK child data, so taking the 15 to 19 year old band, it is about sixteen in a million. However, scaling up the tests in Fukushima, 3 in 38,000, we get about eighty in a million. This is about five times higher than the expected UK rate, but if we stick with three people instead of perhaps zero or one people in an "average" year, the change may be either an expected statistical fluctuation (I don’t know the maths to do to demonstrate that!) or caused just by the increase in thyroid tests.

It’s also interesting to note that there has already been 43 retweets of this article, many of them the usual anti-nuclear crowd.

A reading from the Gospel according to Saint Kan

The Japan Times printed a two-part review of a book by Naoto Kan explaining his role in the Fukushima disaster. See part 1 and part 2.

What I disliked most about the articles was this assumption:

Yet the record is unequivocal: Tepco found itself unable to control events as they took one turn after another for the worse; and had the prime minister not intervened to consolidate decision-making and expedite emergency measures, a pall of radiation may very well have descended over the entire Kanto region, where the capital is located.

How is the record unequivocal? Assuming there is a true record, "may very well have" is hardly unequivocal, and we know that within TEPCO the central management and the plant manager were at odds, so there is not a singular TEPCO. The various inquiries into the disaster have not found a single narrative, not least because TEPCO "lost" a soundtrack and Kan’s cabinet ordered minutes not to kept of their meetings.

Even now, nearly two years after the fatal calamity

One person at the power station died from the earthquake, but no-one from the various meltdowns and explosions.

Though opinion polls conducted since the accident have shown a distinct majority of Japanese in favor of the methodical abandonment of nuclear power, a similarly distinct majority opted to vote in a government last December that is openly dedicated to the resurrection of nuclear power generation.

Such conflicted majorities attest to a lack of resolve in the populace, a condition that is easily exploited by powerful interests and a media who meekly follow their lead.

I thought the preferred story was that if you also count those who did not vote the LDP only got a tiny percentage, and of course a majority did not vote for the LDP anyway; New Komeito had a platform of phasing out nuclear power, so we cannot add their votes in. Furthermore, it was a lack of resolve in the political parties and activists, not the populace – Mirai no To got the kicking they deserved – and I would argue that a lot of media is anti-nuclear.

the contaminated soils of the northeastern Tohoku region of Honshu

:roll: (And I know it’s for the benefit of an international audience (who know where Honshu is…), but I’ve always thought the north-east really is the most appropriate area to locate Tohoku)

Assorted stuff (Fookooshimar-free)

Where to begin… How about the Prime Minister’s speech, which according to the NHK coverage I watched focused on economic recovery, Tohoku reconstruction, restoring Japan’s strength, and education reform, but the main focus was on the economy. However, I then saw a Reuters article that decided it was half about invading China, judging by the column-inches used, despite the DPJ’s Kaieda complaining that China and Korea were never mentioned, and Ishihara bemoaning the lack of talk on rewriting the constitution and upgrading the SDF to a real armed force. I’ve seen people writing in English saying that he is keeping it quiet until he wins a two-thirds majority in the upper house.

Talking of invading China, Abe sent in an advance force of New Komeito’s Yamaguchi to sweet-talk Xi Jinping, and he seems to have been quite well received. That’s another conspiracy theory to write off.

Talking of conspiracy theories, I remember when the DPJ set up the Nuclear Regulation Authority people complained that it was loaded with industry-friendly faces who would just rubber-stamp restarts. However, they have been busy finding faults – anything that might have moved within the last 400,000 years is grounds for concern – and even recently added a new qualification of reactors being terrorist-proof. Godzilla attack is next on the list, but the conspiracy theorists are already postulating that they are putting these restrictions in place to force the government to disband them.

OK, I lied – here is a poster I found through this reddit thread:

Searching the text, we get this entertaining fellow, who is less Fookooshimar and more just FOOOOOOOK!

English subtitles by, apparently, Benjamin "Putting the fool into" Fulford.

Fookooshimars: bigger murderers than TEPCO

Nature prints an interesting article that puts hard facts behind what I have suspected, that the fallout from fear is most likely a greater risk than that from Fukushima Daiichi. (Note that the picture at the head is rather confusing; it is a snapshot from early 2011 yet a casual reader might take it as current radiation levels.)

It is true that the government did not handle the initial reaction very well (which is understandable to some extent), but they then compounded the problem by not being more proactive at explaining the issues, nor promptly setting up comprehensive monitoring schemes to reassure the public, thus leaving a gaping hole that scaremongers have been more than happy to jump into.

A further problem is that people are very bad at risk perception; take the above article:

The children carry dosimeters provided by the health survey to collect radiation data and to calm public concerns. But Yuka wonders whether they will one day develop cancer.

[I’ll bet that line will be quoted on many Fookooshimar sites] On the other hand, we have real, measurable risks that Fookooshimars seem to care little about:

The 39-year-old father of three spends hours each evening playing video games and drinking shochu

These days, he exercises less and rarely socializes. He drinks more and has put on weight.

Yuka is prone to public outbursts of anger

Kenichi was in the smoking room at the plant when he felt the ground shudder for several minutes. [Implying he smokes]

Roughly 15% of adults showed signs of extreme stress, five times the normal rate, and one in five showed signs of mental trauma

Two decades after the accident, those who had evacuated [from Chernobyl] as children complained of physical ailments more often than their peers, even though there was no difference in health. And the mothers of those children suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder at about twice the rate of the general population

Other studies of Chernobyl’s aftermath found that evacuees had elevated rates of depression and that a subset of clean-up workers committed suicide at a rate about 1.5 times that of the general population.

76% of Japanese people believed that food from Fukushima was not safe

Yuka got a flyer in the post inviting her to talk to someone over the phone. She thought about it but decided not to.

It really does annoy me when I see Fookooshimar voices of doom casually talking about stuff like the irradiated food chain (at a level that would be safe in just about every other country in the world, and that is based on eating the foodstuff three times a day for a year) as they are yet another voice adding to the stress that will kill people in measurable quantities.

Tokyo is not Fukushima; Fukushima is not Fookooshimar

When I started off Japlogism.com I did state that I would not cover individual posts on Debito.org, but a recent comment thread has convinced me to break my promise, but I’ll not make a habit of it, I promise!

The comment from Mr Arudou was:

The logic becomes, “Radiation? Well, it must be safe, as all those other athletes are risking it. And I’m not losing my opportunity for a medal to some other jackasses who are willing to risk it.”

Unless they introduce Gutter Silt Swimming or fill the long jump pit with incinerator ash (in the first few months there was a definite problem with radioactive residue in Tokyo, but the current burning of residue from prefectures other than Fukushima has little more than just normal background as far as I am aware) anyone talking about radiation risk in Tokyo now, let alone 7 years later is either a scaremonger or ignorant, or both. That goes for both Mr Arudou and the athletes he imagines might consider this.

As for Fukushima not being Fookooshimar, Japan Times does a good article on the lack of exposure in everyone tested.

Oh, and as for the main reason for the thread, Hidehiko Nishiyama does appear to be an idiot, although one bureaucrat uttering "an incredibly racist insult" (I think that’s an over-reaction myself) doesn’t somehow prove that "racism being endemic in the heart of the Japanese state".