New Norwegian report says Fukushima radiation releases twice initial estimates

From Bellona:

The estimate of much higher levels of radioactive caesium-137 in the atmosphere comes from a worldwide network of sensors that was studied by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in a report authored by Andreas Stohl  .

The Norwegian study says the Japanese government estimate came only from data in Japan, and that would have missed emissions blown out to sea.  Its says that Fukushima Daiichi radioactive releases equal 40 percent of those from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

A study by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety also stated that the amount of caesium-137 that flowed into the Pacific from the coastal plant is some 30 times more than was estimated by the plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).

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Cancer, nuke site study begins; Trying to find risks of living nearby

From USA Today:

As the nation explores whether to invest more in nuclear energy, the National Academy of Sciences has begun a study of  cancer risks faced by people living near nuclear facilities -- a study it admits is worrisome.

A patchwork of state and local mortality reports, inconsistent data on illnesses and pollution combined with an American population that has moved around quite a bit in the past 50 years are just some of the challenges, said John Burris, chairman of the cancer-risk study committee.

Proving scientifically whether long-term exposure to low doses of radiation around the nation's 104 nuclear facilities has meant a higher rate of cancer for those living nearby will be a daunting task, Burris said.

"If you show living near a nuclear facility increases your chances of getting cancer, there will have to be radical changes, but that is not up to the committee," Burris said at a public meeting in Tennessee this month. The study, called for by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is planned to update a 1991 National Cancer Institute study that found no danger in living near nuclear plants. President Obama has called for $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for nuclear power plant construction.

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Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

From Nature:

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.

The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, believes that the analysis is the most comprehensive effort yet to understand how much radiation was released from Fukushima Daiichi. "It's a very valuable contribution," says Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who was not involved with the study.

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Correction Letter for Peach Bottom: Safety Evaluation (ML112911410)



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Panel proposes widening nuclear evacuation perimeter to 30 km (18 miles)

From Kyodo News:

The secretariat of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan proposed on Thursday expanding the maximum evacuation perimeter around a nuclear power plant to a 30-kilometer radius from the current 10 km in the event of a future nuclear accident.

The secretariat also proposed newly designating a 5-km radius around a nuclear plant as a zone from which people should immediately be evacuated following a plant accident.

Susquehanna: Correction Letter RE: Transmittal of Accident Sequence Precursor Analysis


Adams Accession No. ML11286A202

TMI: Decomissioning Funding Status Report - Request for Additional Information

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station Unit 2 - 2011 Decommissioning Funding Status Report - Request for Additional Information, License: DPR-73, Docket: 50-320

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Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women

NIRS has released a new paper that shows that exposure to radiation causes 50% greater incidence of cancer and 50% greater rate of death from cancer among women, compared to the same radiation dose level to men.

We’ve long known that children are much more susceptible to the effects of radiation than adults; now we know that women are more susceptible than men. Yet the world’s radiation standards are determined using a “reference man” as the guide for assessing radiation risk.

Download the full paper here.

Summary of Findings at Three Mile Island: 1979-2005

On March 30, 1979, Governor Richard Thornburgh recommended an evacuation for preschool children and pregnant women living within five miles of Three Mile Island (“TMI”). Data collected since the meltdown clearly demonstrate a significant nexus between radiation exposure and adverse health impacts to women and children.

A great deal of radiation was indeed released by the core melt at TMI. The President's Commission estimated about 15 million curies of radiation were released into the atmosphere. A review of dose assessments, conducted by Dr. Jan Beyea, (National Audubon Society; 1984) estimated that from 276 to 63,000 person-rem were delivered to the general population within 50 miles of TMI. David Lochbaum of the Union of Concern Scientists, estimated between 40 million curies and 100 million curies escaped during the Accident.

  • 1979-1988: Katagiri Health Surveys begin and involve 250 residents living around Three Mile Island. This field research documented increased cancer incidences and moralities in population pockets exposed by radioactive plumes.
  • March, 1982, The American Journal of Public Health reported, “During the first two quarters of 1978, the neonatal mortality rate within a ten- mile radius of Three Mile Island was 8.6 and 7.6 per 1,000 live births, respectively. During the first quarter of 1979, following the startup of accident prone Unit 2, the rate jumped to 17.2; it increased to 19.3 in the quarter following the accident at TMI and returned to 7.8 and 9.3, respectively, in the last two quarters of 1979.” (Dr. Gordon MacLeod, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Health)
  • Penn State Professor Winston Richards reported, "Infant mortality for Dauphin County, while average in 1978, becomes significantly above average in 1980.”
  • 1984: The first Voluntary Community Health Study was undertaken by a group of local residents trained by Marjorie Aamodt. That study found a 600 percent cancer death rate increase for three locations on the west shore of TMI directly in the plumes' pathway. The data were independently verified by experts from the TMI Public Health Fund.
  • 1985: Jane Lee surveyed 409 families living in a housing development five miles from TMI. Lee documented 23 cancer deaths, 45 cancer incidences, 53 benign tumors, 31 miscarriages, stillbirths and deformities, and 204 cases of respiratory problems.
  • By 1985, TMI’s owners and builders had paid more than $14 million for out-of-court settlements of personal injury lawsuits including $12.250 million paid to 280 plaintiffs and Orphans Court Cases.
  • August, 1985: Marc Sheaffer, a psychologist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, released a study linking TMI-related stress with immunity impairments.
  • August, 1987: Prof. James Rooney and Prof. Sandy Prince of Embury of Penn State University-Harrisburg reported that “chronically elevated levels of psychological stress” have existed among Middletown residents since the Accident.
  • April, 1988: Andrew Baum, professor of medical psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda discussed the results of his research on TMI residents in Psychology Today. “When we compared groups of people living near Three Mile Island with a similar group elsewhere, we found that the Three Mile Island group reported more physical complaints, such as headaches and back pain, as well as more anxiety and depression. We also uncovered long- term changes in levels of hormones...These hormones affect various bodily functions, including muscle tension, cardiovascular activity, overall metabolic and immune-system function...”
  • James Fenwick, a researcher at Millersville University, found statistically significant increases of kidney, renal, pelvis and ovarian cancer in women. (April, 1998)
  • June, 1991: Columbia University’s Health Study (Susser-Hatch) published results of their findings in the American Journal of Public Health. The study actually shows a more than doubling of all observed cancers after the accident at TMI-2, including: lymphoma, leukemia, colon and the hormonal category of breast, endometrium, ovary, prostate and testis. For leukemia and lung cancers in the six to 12 km distance, the number observed was almost four times greater. In the 0-six km range, colon cancer was four times greater. The study found “a statistically significant relationship between incidence rates after the accident and residential proximity to the plant.”
  • August, 1996: A study by the University of North Carolina-Chapel-Hill, authored by Dr. Steven Wing, reviewed the Susser-Hatch (Columbia University) study released in June 1991. Dr. Wing reported “...there were reports of erythema, hair loss, vomiting, and pet death near TMI at the time of the accident...Accident doses were positively associated with cancer incidence. Associations were largest for leukemia, intermediate for lung cancer, and smallest for all cancers combined...Inhaled radionuclide contamination could differentially impact lung cancers, which show a clear dose-related increase.
  • By 1996, the plant's owners, codefendants and insurers have paid over $80 million in health, economic and evacuation claims, including a $1.1 million settlement for a baby born with Down's Syndrome.
  • Thyroid cancer, 1995-2002: Dr. Roger Levin, chief division of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg, and clinical associate professor of surgery, Penn State College of Medicine. Findings: In reviewing state health data, Levin found more thyroid cancer cases than expected in York County for every year except one between 1995 and 2002. One plausible reason could be people were exposed to radiation during the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, he said.

Eric Epstein, Chairman, Three Mile Island Alert 4100 Hillsdale Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Mr. Epstein is the Chairman of Three Mile Island Alert,
Inc., (, a safe-energy organization based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and founded in 1977. TMIA monitors Peach Bottom, Susquehanna, and Three Mile Island nuclear generating

Gov't releases new radiation map for Tohoku, Kanto districts

From the Mainichi Daily News:

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has released a new map showing the spread of radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant across 10 prefectures, including Tokyo and Kanagawa.

The map released on Oct. 6 shows levels of radioactive cesium (cesium-137 and cesium-134) that have accumulated in soil in the prefectures of Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and Tokyo.

The map shows 30,000 to 60,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per square meter of soil in the areas of Higashikanamachi, Mizumotokoen and Shibamata in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward, as well as some parts of Kitakoiwa in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward.

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