How many people will die from Fukushima?

Well, if the latest research is anything to go by, not many, if any.

Andrew Bolt writes:

WHERE are those shameless nuclear hysterics who whipped up the Fukushima panic, now punctured by a United Nations report?

The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation last week found none of the Japanese public is likely to get sick from the 2011 incident, when a tsunami smashed into the Fukushima reactor.

“It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers,” UNSCEAR it said.

“No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers . . . It is unlikely that excess cases of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure would be detectable.” 

Right so no one is going to die because of Fukushima.

Yet remember the free ride the media gave to anti-nuclear alarmists such as Helen Caldicott, who warned Fukushima could make Japan “uninhabitable”?

She told 3AW the reactor could blow (ruled out by nuclear experts), which meant “hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying within two weeks”.

Then there was Crikey writer Guy Rundle panting: “Japanese crews (fighting a fire at the reactor) will slough their skin and muscles, and bleed out internally under the full glare of the world’s media.”

The Nossal Institute’s Dr Tilman Ruff claimed “we might be looking at a Chernobyl-type disaster or worse”, causing mass sickness.

What killed more people than Chernobyl?

But the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl reactor should already have warned us to dismiss such scares.

That disaster was hyped by activists such as Peter Garrett, now a Gillard Government minister, who claimed it “caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people”.

The Australian Conservation Foundation published a paper claiming 250,000 died. Caldicott said it was “nearly a million”.

In fact, the best assessment comes from the Chernobyl Forum, representing Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and relevant UN agencies.

“Claims have been made that tens or even hundreds of thousands of persons have died as a result of the accident,” it said.

“These claims are highly exaggerated.”

It could find only 65 known deaths so far, nearly half from the blast, and said there was no “clear and convincing evidence for a radiation-induced increase in general population mortality”. There was only one exception: thyroid cancer in children, which killed 15. Thankfully, this is treatable.

Fear was more lethal. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimated up to 200,000 European women were made so scared they aborted their babies.

Yes, alarmists are deadlier than radiation.

  • Chad Chambers

    I wonder what the stats would be if those “200,000 women” did not terminate?

    Thyroid cancer in how many children, btw? You dismiss thyroid cancer in a child as if it were a common cold.

    Lol.

    • Dion

      You do realise, don’t you that this post is just a link to an external article?

      • Chad Chambers

        Which the OP endorses, yes.

    • TreeCrusher

      “There was only one exception: thyroid cancer in children, which killed 15. Thankfully, this is treatable.”

      The information you are seeking is right there in the article. Or were you intentionally trying to mislead, hoping the rest of us had not read the whole article???

      • Chad Chambers

        No. It’s you who cannot comprehend. I do know that some of you can read.

        I asked how many children developed thyroid cancer, from which 15 died. 15 dead kids is 15 too many, imo. A lot more would have suffered terribly but that doesn’t rate as important to that particular journalist.

    • Hazards001

      You really are a slimy little toe rag Trevor.

      As a result of the hysteria surrounding Fukushima most of Europe’s reactors have been shut down causing wide spread power price increases and deaths amongst the elderly that cannot afford the power during their recent winter.

      Bags of shit like you don’t care because lefty cunts like you get into power by crying wolf and whipping up shit storms over nothing. I’m still waiting for my nuclear Armageddon my lefty fucking school teachers promised me 40 fucking years ago and had us hiding under desks for,,(and if memory serves me right a few kids followed my lead and refused to hide under their fucking desks!)
      Fuck off back to the standard where you belong!

      • Chad Chambers

        • Hazards001

          You fucking pissant. They shut them down over hysteria manufactured by cunts like you. You are the darkside you fucking maggot!

    • Hazards001

      You really are a slimy little toe rag Trevor.

      As a result of the hysteria surrounding Fukushima most of Europe’s reactors have been shut down causing wide spread power price increases and deaths amongst the elderly that cannot afford the power during their recent winter.

      Bags of shit like you don’t care because lefty cunts like you get into power by crying wolf and whipping up shit storms over nothing. I’m still waiting for my nuclear Armageddon my lefty fucking school teachers promised me 40 fucking years ago and had us hiding under desks for,,(and if memory serves me right a few kids followed my lead and refused to hide under their fucking desks!)
      Fuck off back to the standard where you belong!

  • johnbronkhorst

    Numbers out by a factor of 500…sounds like the same people who estimated the impact of labour/greens economic policy!!!!

  • Col

    Sounds like Russell Norman when he opens his mouth.
    Did you know he was 8 years old (1975) when Muldoon was PM and was 17 years old (1984) when Muldoon retired.
    Like I said Norman speaks shit and tells lies.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Also didn’t become a NZ resident until 1997.

      • Col

        Must be a law to that, “If not why not”
        The trouble is we are nice to Aussies, as well as the other refuges

  • Donovan Jackson

    Pretty amazing that one of the world’s worst ever nuclear incidents came as the result of a medical imaging device being left in an abandoned clinic in Brazil. I can’t pronounce the name of the incident (Goiania), but this makes for astonishing reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi%C3%A2nia_accident.

  • baw

    The only reason I don’t want nuclear power in NZ is the damage to the brand if something went wrong – we export far to much food and have lots of tourism to gamble our image.

    However we have the luxury of holding to this backwards notion of no nukes because we have a small population. If we had 100 million there would be no question over nuclear energy – we would be building.

    • johnbronkhorst

      With lennie browns intensive housing and the rate of expansion of Auckland. Considering the distance to transmit power from the bulk of supply (the south island) to the bulk of demand (Auckland), much more disproportionate population centred this far away from supply…..Nuclear my be come inevitable for Auckland and Northland sooner than you think!

  • Orange

    If a shipment of second hand cars was turned away at the wharf for being incredibly radioactive they would tell us wouldn’t they? If there was highly radioactive materials in the hold of the plane just underneath you on your long trip overseas they would tell you wouldn’t they?

  • Ururoa

    Normal background radiation (global average): 0.27μSv/h avg
    Radiation levels from children’s clothes and hair measured in Fukushima in May 2013
    0.8μSv/h
    i.e. almost triple the normal background dose.

    47% of children (>4 y/old, <18 y/old) examined in Fukushima have thyroid cysts. State medical authorities refused to assess children younger than 4 years old (the most susceptible).

    The Chernobyl forum report actually predicted an extra 9000 deaths attributable to cancer caused by the fallout in the former Soviet Union (excluding non-Soviet states). Of course this does not to count all of the illness that while being non-fatal is no doubt extremely debilitating over the lifetime of the individual.

    Strange how Mr Bolt doesn't mention that.

    This article is a classic case of fact picking to suit a pre-existing opinion.

    "Of course Fukushima will not have any long lasting health effects" makes a great Tui ad.

    This blog normally actually fact checks stuff before posting; seems like someone is just looking for publications to back up their own pre-existing opinions.

    • Orange

      zoom zoom zoom cancer causes can cross to other countries. Maybe the author of the article doesn’t care if his family ends up with a hot ride. Maybe they think that “clear from radiation” sticker is more than just wishful thinking?

    • Hazards001

      Want to explain the post WWII Nagasaki and Hiroshima to me then?

      • Ururoa

        Explain what? The difference between acute and chronic?

        • Hazards001

          Right…good one cock biter. Fucking moron. I see you spend a lot of time in Japan so how is it that those two cities make places like Chicago look like destitute slums? Two cities that are going ahead in leaps and bounds. No lives there of course?

          • Ururoa

            I would get off the turps or get off the forums, one or the other, before you make an even bigger cock of yourself.

          • Hazards001

            Either answer the question or fuck off!

          • Ururoa

            Please head back to school, learn English, and then ask the question in a way that makes sense.

            I’m guessing here, but if you mean “Why are there no more people becoming sick from radiation poisoning in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?”, then I did answer the question. If you understand the medical terms “acute” and “chronic”, as it pertains to disease, then you will understand that is the answer.

    • Col

      So who are you? Or did you read this somewhere?

      • Ururoa

        Kiwi who lived in Japan for over 15 years, and still have two children living there. As such I am keenly interested in this issue and try to sort the wheat from the chaff. I can post you links, but if you can’t read Japanese not much point.

        So who are you?

        • Col

          If I was you and concerned about this matter, I would look at your children and ask them to get out of Japan if it is that bad.
          Who am I? I m a parent just like you.

          • Chad Chambers

            You make it sound so simple.

          • Col

            I was not pointing this question too you Chad, even though it may be open to all comers, best you go chase a minister.

          • Ururoa

            Mate, you have no idea how hard I have tried, unfortunately things are a wee bit more complicated than that.

          • Col

            I think I understand, hang in, keep your head up, think positive, best of luck.

    • Mediaan

      Another study said 36%, not 47%, of Fukushima children had abnormal thyroid growths.

      It was in Business Insider from Australia.

      Quote:
      “Of more than 38,000 children tested from the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, 36 per cent have abnormal growths – cysts or nodules – on their thyroids a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, … from the thyroid examination section of the “Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey,” published by Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Symptoms Research (FRCSR)….

      Shunichi Yamashita, M.D., president of the Japan Thyroid Association, sent a letter to members in January with guidelines for treating thyroid abnormalities. In 2001 Yamashita co-authored a study that found normal children in Nagasaki to have 0 per cent nodules and 0.8 per cent cysts.

      The introduction of the letter, written by Fukushima Voice, states that the results in Fukushima show a “much faster progression compared to Chernobyl” as research done around Chernobyl showed the rate of thyroid nodules in children 5 to 10 years after the accident to be 1.74 per cent.”

      • Ururoa

        I have always found Whaleoil to be practicing real journalism; i.e. vetting and verifying any content before posting. It seems here that they have just picked up an article and posted it verbatim, to confirm their own prejudices.

        Sorry my links are all Japanese, but here is an example on the ground:

        https://twitter.com/tadagonpapa/status/341177239813103617

        First sign reads “This Park is Decontaminated”, second sign reads “Radiation at 0.5μSv/h” (i.e. almost double the normal expected background radiation).

        Tui ad: “Double the radiation ain’t gonna hurt ya kids will it?”
        “Yeah right”

        • Mediaan

          I think most people see the Whaleoil blog as at times setting out to provoke spirited discussion.
          We also have to worry about those Pacific currents washing around the ocean, starting by going over to west coast North America, carrying the sea water that a lot of the waste seems to have entered.
          And in Japan the people in charge have not even stabilised the area yet. The radiation is expected to be still building up.

  • Mediaan

    We have to be a niche market in food exporting, because of our freight-distance handicap. Have to be distinctive and superior. Or our prices will lower and have us all back to second-world stuff.

    Clean, environmentally wholesome, well-trusted food products are our best chance of a prosperous future in food exports. Because they will fetch three or four times the price of the others.

    The biggest risk to us, on this, is our competitors cunningly sabotaging our environment. Which they are already trying to do.

    The Green Party to me are part of the foreign sabotage effort.

    They are NOT “green”. And they will try to force us into nuclear power (hugely mistrusted by food consumers) by spending big on nonsensical “pseudo-green” energy start-ups.

    They will engineer a serious power-supply crisis. The only solution will be nuclear power stations.

  • Mediaan

    The Greens are not Green. They will build slow energy schemes to force NZ into a moment of crisis nuclear-power adoption.

    The “Greens” are put there by foreign saboteurs, competitors of ours, trying to kill NZ’s clean food export advantage.

  • Ururoa

    In the Japanese news today:

    Historical average incidence of thyroid cancer in children in Japan (<18 y/old): 1:2,000,000

    Survey results of 174,000 <18 y/old children who are resident in Fukushima prefecture: 15 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer.

    That gives us a ratio of 1:11600. Now I know that correlation does not prove causation, but I would be pretty concerned if I was living there.

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