Fears Worse Than Radiation (A Nuclear Rant Brimming With Videos and Links)

In an unlikely place for me, Slate Magazine, what do I spy in the sidebar but:

 I am so heartily sick of this crap that I involuntarily belted expletives when I unexpectedly came across the latest instantiation

Slate Magazine, to whence you must be going should you require working links.
Perhaps you have seen this sort of thing before?  Do you remember where?  The BBC?  Well, yes....

But the BBC and NRC (see video below) take cues from earlier, from the IAEA.

Perhaps it was Nature magazine?

Mental-health experts were among the first responders, reflecting an ongoing change in Japan’s attitudes towards mental health. For many years, Japan’s modest but modern mental health services were geared to help only the most severely mentally ill. The society has traditionally paid little attention to more routine disorders such as depression. In recent years, however, the Japan Medical Association has started educating doctors about depression and suicide, and the national government has conducted public suicide-prevention campaigns.


In the wake of the accident, most of the prefecture’s resources were devoted to helping those with established mental disorders. Yabe, for example, packed his car with antipsychotic and anticonvulsive medication and made runs to Soma City, where many evacuees had ended up. Mental-health professionals visited the cramped shelters elsewhere, but they tended to treat only the most severe cases of delirium and post-traumatic stress disorder.


As the evacuees struggled to adjust, so too did the doctors and psychologists at Fukushima Medical University. By May, the emergency response was mostly over and the hospital had a new job — to assess the public’s radiation dose. The task has proved tricky, says Shunichi Yamashita, a radiation health expert at Nagasaki University, who was brought in to head the Fukushima Health Management Survey. The radiation monitors around Daiichi were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, and the chaotic nature of the evacuation makes it difficult to assess how long and severely each person was exposed.
The few attempts made so far, however, have generally shown minimal risk. The health survey’s latest assessment suggests that the dose for nearly all the evacuees was very low, with a maximum of only 25 millisieverts (mSv), well below the 100-mSv exposure that has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The World Health Organization also issued a reassuring report in May, saying that most evacuees from places like Namie received estimated doses between 10 and 50 mSv. It did note, however, that infants might have received a dose that could increase the risk of cancer in their still-developing thyroids.

Radiation specialists say that it is difficult to predict the health effects from such low doses. “I think it’s likely that there will be increased cancer risks, but they will be very, very small,” says Dale Preston, an independent statistician who has studied atomic-bomb survivors. “If you did a large study, I think your chance of observing a statistically significant radiation-associated risk would be pretty low.”

With that in mind, the health survey decided against following a fixed cohort to study the incidence of disease. Instead, it provides thyroid screening and other health checks to any evacuees who desire them. The hope is that the screenings themselves, along with the data collected, will help to reassure the public that the risks are low, says Yamashita.

Read more.

Ah, there he is, embodying it all, on site at Fukushima, it's Shunichi "Damashita (I fool you)" Yamashita, who has neither retracted his 'No Frown, No Foul" position on the effects of radioactivity, nor been effectively removed from positions of influence.

With A Smile For His Umbrella, with a no-money-back guarantee (to the Japanese government). Damashita knew Japan stood such a huge risk of falling apart that it desperately needed to believe it had hired an expert -- an expert born of parents bombed in Nagasaki, an expert seasoned with success.

They lucked out: this man was at the only other event that could ever be, would ever be, compared to Fukushima --  Chernobyl. He was there when Russia suffered, when Russia fell apart.  He was there, he knew what went wrong, he was known in Russia for being a part of what went "right."

Shunichi Yamashita.  He would know what to do, long before it needed to be done. He had done the research; he would supervise the research. The research was crucial, it could make the all difference.  Shunichi wasn't going to let what happened in Russia happen to his beloved Japan (so kind as it was to not consider him 'affected' by his mothers' Bomb).  Japan could be saved from the nightmare that would surely follow a nuclear accident, if it wasn't handled correctly.

What is the nightmare, exactly? Guess.

Was it Radiation? Cancer? The disappearance or deformation of flora and fauna? The disability, listlessness, learned helplessness, and early death of a youth whose every meal might be poisoned. whose food over time was most certainly, poisoned.

No wait.  Constant fear and doubt?  The guilt of wanting to avoid the food and drink you know had been declared safe? You read the article. Mental anguish? Maybe you are familiar with former instantiations: was it forced evacuation? Continued separation from one's home?


None of these.

The nightmare was litigation.
Yamashita: We might find small cancer, but thyroid cancer can occur at a certain frequency under normal circumstances. We won’t know the conclusive trend until over 10 years later. We cannot get into oppositional relationships with the prefectural residents. I would like to guide them so that Japan as a country will not fall apart. After the Chernobyl accident, many lawsuits happened regarding health effects, with compensatory expenses cut into the national budget. When that happens, the ultimate victims are people of the country.
Read more.
Chris Busby has a theory related to this, at about 3:14 in, but the following video is so excellent, if you haven't seen it you should.

Be seeing you.


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