Health Defects Found In Children Living Near Quake-Stricken Fukushima Prefecture

The Fukushima plants, which were severly damaged by a mag 9 quake on March 11

The Fukushima plants, which were severly damaged by a mag 9 quake on March 11

Thyroid gland irregularities have been detected in a number of young children and teenagers evacuated from Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture following its nuclear plant crisis.

According to a study, 10 out of 130 children evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture showed hormonal and other irregularities in their thyroid glands, the Kyodo news agency reported. The investigation was done by a charity dedicated to help victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

The Japan Chernobyl Foundation, which is based in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, carried out the study in cooperation with the Shinshu University Hospital, taking blood and urine samples from individuals up to 16 years old and infants as young as one month old.

The tests took place through the end of August in Chino, Nagano, where the children were housed temporarily following their evacuation from Fukushima, where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled and caused the country’s ongoing nuclear crisis.

The study revealed that one child had a thyroid hormone level lower than normal while seven had above average thyroid stimulation hormone levels. In addition, two of the tested youths were diagnosed with slightly high blood concentrations of a protein called thyroglobulin, possibly caused by damage to their thyroid glands.

However, Japan Chernobyl Foundation chief Minoru Kamata underlined that no clear link was found between the radiation released from the nuclear plant and the children’s health condition. Nonetheless, Minoru stressed that long-term observation is necessary and key to finding any possible impact on human health due to the nuclear crisis.

Last Friday, the government of Japan lifted its evacuation advisory in certain areas within a 20 to 30 kilometer (12.4 to 18.6 mile) radius from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The lifted advisory had covered the entire towns of Hirono and Naraha, the village of Kawauchi, and parts of Minamisomo and Tamura, all located in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture which was hit hard by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.

Also last Friday, plutonium was detected at six locations in Fukushima Prefecture, including in the village of Iitate which is located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Japanese science ministry official said the plutonium was detected as a result of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant. This was the first time the government confirmed the spread of plutonium to the village. However, officials said the amount of detected plutonium was low and poses no danger to health.

Japan has been facing an ongoing nuclear crisis since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was severely damaged on March 11 when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami devastated the country. The disaster disabled the cooling systems of the plant and radioactive elements leaked into the sea and were later found in water, air and food products in some parts of Japan.

At least 15,813 people were killed as a result of the earthquake and tsunami while 3,971 others remain missing. There are still more than 88,000 people who are staying in shelters in 21 prefectures around Japan.

By PAUL VAUGHAN – Thu Oct 06, 3:28 pm


Fukishima Update

Situation Update No. 118
On 24.05.2011 at 13:30

Seventy thousand people living beyond the 20-kilometre
no-go zone around Fukushima should be evacuated because of radioactivity
deposited by the crippled nuclear plant, a watchdog said. Updating its
assessment of the March 11 disaster, France's Institute for Radiological
Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant
that lies beyond the 20-km (12 mile) zone whose inhabitants have already been
evacuated. Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred
becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per
square metre, the IRSN report, issued late Monday, said. Around 70,000 people,
including 9,500 children aged up to 14, live in the area, "the most contaminated
territory outside the evacuation zone," the agency said. "These are people who
are still to be evacuated, in addition to those who were evacuated during the
emergency phase in March," Didier Champion, its environmnent director, told

Staying in this area means the inhabitants would be exposed to
radiation of more than 10 millisieverts (mSv)in the year following the disaster,
according to the IRSN. This level is used in French safety guidelines for
protecting civilian populations after a nuclear accident. In France, 10 mSv is
three times the normal background radiation from natural sources. "Ten mSV is
not a dangerous dose in and of itself, it's more a precautionary dose," said
Champion, noting however that this figure that does not include any additional
doses from contaminated food or water. The 10 mSV derives from a calculation of
exposure to at least 600,000 becquerels per square metre, emitted by caesium 137
and 134, which are long-lasting radioactive elements. Of the 70,000 people in
the zone identified in the IRSN report, more than 26,000 could be exposed to
doses of more than 16mSv in the first year after the disaster. On May 15, Japan
began to evacuate 4,000 residents of the village of Iidate-mura and 1,100 people
in the town of Kawamata-cho, 30 kms from the plant. The two locations had
consistently received high amounts of radioactive dust due to wind patterns. The
IRSN report is based on data for radioactivity reported by the Japanese
authorities and from US overflights of the zone.

EPA ends special monitoring for Fukushima radiation despite continued rise in nuclear fallout, increased threats to US

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday that it is
ceasing its special monitoring protocols in the US for radiation from the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, despite the fact that no real
progress at the plant has been made, and threats to the US are persistent. At
the same time as the EPA announcement, foreign reports also indicate that levels
of radiation in Pacific waters near the Fukushima plant are now up to 1,000
times normal levels, with no real indication of where this radioactive water is

The EPA has stated that radiation levels in the US
related to the Fukushima
incident have been “consistently decreasing,” and that the agency no longer
needs to regularly test food, air, and water for radiation in the
manner that it has been. In fact, the agency is so confident that it states in
its announcement that “[t]he next round of milk and drinking water sampling
will take place in approximately three months.”

But just a few weeks ago,
EPA data revealed that several
milk and water samples from across the country were testing positive with
dangerously high levels of radiation. Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137 —
all of which are being emitted from Fukushima — had been turning up in the US
in escalating amounts (…).

On top of
this, the EPA was never
even testing for all the different types of radiation being emitted from
Fukushima in the first place. EPA data sheets reveal that the agency was never
testing for uranium or plutonium, and none of its water supply tests involved
testing for anything other than radioactive Iodine-131. But everything is just
fine, they say, and further testing is unnecessary.

Meanwhile, foreign
reports reveal that water samples recently taken from the Pacific Ocean near
Fukushima are testing up to 1,000 times normal radiation levels, and at depths
of nearly 100 feet.

It has also been revealed that up until yesterday,
the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the crippled Fukushima
plant, as well as the Japanese government, had been concealing crucial radiation
information to
allegedly avoid mass panic (…). Part of this
information shows radioactive Cesium-137 and Iodine-131 spreading all across the
US Pacific Northwest on May 5.