It has been 3515 days since the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The casualty count from atomic radiation is today exactly what it was the day before the Great East Japan Earthquake launched a tsunami that killed thousands and wrecked three reactors at the nuclear plant.
That is, the number of radiation casualties is still zero.
(Evidently a Japanese member of parliament believed Dr. Boice. To watch a YouTube video of this politician drinking decontaminated water from the basement of one of the Fukushima reactor buildings, click here.)
His testimony is extremely clear, well informed, and matter of fact. It should be required reading.
Among other points, Dr. Boice told the representatives this:
The health consequences [of the meltdown] for Japanese workers and public appear to be minor.
This is something that a lot of people (including me; see article) predicted on the first day of the nuclear situation. Nuclear meltdowns have never lived up to their pop-culture billing. In the west, the three major meltdowns in the history of the nuclear age—Chalk River in 1952, Three Mile Island in 1979, and of course Fukushima—resulted in zero casualties and negligible environmental damage. This is because they simply did not release enough radiation to kill anyone or harm the environment.
I should point out that the same cannot be said of the nuclear program of the USSR. A partial meltdown at a nuclear power plant in Leningrad killed three people.
Nevertheless, the term “nuclear meltdown” holds irresistible drawing power for media headline writers. Why is this? Because very few people understand nuclear radiation, much less its units of measure. So when faced with a barrage of reporting about radiation measurements—expressed in terms of picocuries, becquerels, rads, and microsieverts—most people have no way of evaluating that information. Therefore it all sounds kind of scary.
This may be why Dr. Boice also told the representatives this:
There is a pressing need to learn more about the health consequences of radiation in humans when exposures are spread over time at low levels and not received briefly at high doses such as in atomic bomb survivors.
When he gives radiation measurements, Dr. Boice oscillates between common and international (SI) units. When describing radioactivity, e.g. in bananas, he uses becquerels (SI units). When describing absorbed dose measurements, Dr. Boice uses millirems, which are common units. Most people use sieverts to describe absorbed dose. To convert millirems to microsieverts, multiply by ten. Click here for an excellent web-based radiation unit coverter.
Reading Dr. Boice’s testimony will take around ten minutes of your time. It is well worth your while.
Here is part of Dr. Boice’s summary:
The lasting effects [of the Fukushima meltdown] upon the Japanese population will most likely be psychological with increased occurrence of stress-related mental disorders and depression associated not necessarily with the concern about reactor radiation, but with the horrific loss of life and disruption caused by the tsunami and earthquake.
In the headline-driven hysteria that has characterized coverage of the Fukushima issue, the tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands made homeless by the quake and tsunami have been all but forgotten by the western media.
Lest we forget:
Once again, you can read Dr. Boice’s testimony by clicking here.