130 crore people have been killed from Nuclear Energy programme
Up to 130 crore people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear power since it’s inception. The industry’s figures massively underestimate the real cost of nuclear power, in an attempt to hide its victims from the world. For five decades, humanity has been hoodwinked by the most poisonous confidence trick in history. Now, it is time to end the nuclear nightmare for good.
After the Chernobyl disaster, some of the firemen employed to clean up the site after the explosion took huge doses of radiation during the task, and their story is a terrifying one. About 600,000 men were conscripted as Chernobyl `liquidators’ [also called bio-robots’]: farmers, factory workers, miners, and soldiers as well as professionals like the firemen from all across Russia. This was similar to the conscription of thousands of DAE staff from all over India, to work at Tarapur Atomic Power Station where the whole complex was highly radioactive. . Some of these firemen at Chernobyl lifted pieces of radioactive metal with their bare hands. They had to fight more than 300 fires created by the chunks of burning material spewed off by the inferno. They buried trucks, fire engines, cars and all sorts of personal belongings. They felled a forest and completely buried it, removed topsoil, bulldozed houses and filled all available clay-lined trenches with radioactive debris. The minimum conscription time was 180 days, but many stayed for a year. Some were threatened with severe punishment to their families if they failed to stay and do their duty. These `liquidators’ are now discarded and forgotten, many vainly trying to establish that the ill health most have suffered ever since 1986 is a result of their massive exposure to radiation. At the Centre for Radiation Research outside Kiev, there is an organization of former liquidators. This group reports that by 1995, 13,000 of their members had died- almost 20 percent of which deaths were suicides. About 70,000 members were estimated to be permanently disabled. But the members of this organization are the lucky ones. Because many former liquidators are now scattered throughout Russia, they neither have the benefit of the organization’s special hospital, nor of membership of a survivor organization. They are known as the `living dead.’ International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] is the organization charged with promoting the use of atomic energy which, along with the International Commission on Radiation Protection [ICRP] exists in practice largely to play down the effects of radiation on human
health, and to shield the nuclear industry from compensation claims from the public. The IAEA was set up in the late 1950s by he UN, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy. Ironically, these two are contradictory objectives. The ICRP which evolved from the 1928 International Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection, was set up in the fifties to explore the health effects of radiation and [theoretically] to protect the public from it. In fact, both organizations have come to serve the industry rather than the public. The Chernobyl case is a classic example of the IAEA’s inadequacy and questionable science. Despite massive evidence to the contrary, not least from the many thousands of victims themselves, the IAEA insists that only 32 people have so far died as a result of Chernobyl -those who died in the radiation ward of Hospital six in Moscow. All other deaths related to the disaster and its aftermath [and there have been many more than 10,000 in Ukraine alone according to the Minister of Health there] are ignored. Belarus had the highest fallout, and yet there is an international blackout among the IAEA and the rest of the “radiation protection community” on the suffering of its people The essential problem is that both the IAEA and the ICRP are dealing not with science but with politics and administration; not with public health but with maintaining an increasingly dubious industry. It is their interests, and those of the nuclear industry, to play down the health effects of radiation. The main way in which the “radiation protection industry” has succeeded in hugely underrating the ill-health caused by nuclear power is by insisting on a group of extremely restrictive definitions as to what qualifies as a radiation-caused illness statistic. For example, under IAEA’s criteria:
If a radiation-caused cancer is not fatal, it is not counted in the IAEA’s figures If a cancer is initiated by another carcenogen, but accelerated or promoted by exposure to radiation, it is not counted.
If an auto-immune disease or any non-cancer is caused by radiation, it is not counted. Radiation-damaged embryos or foetuses which result in miscarriage or stillbirth do not count A congenitally blind, deaf or malformed child whose illnesses are are radiation-related are not included in the figures because this is not genetic damage, but rather is teratogenic, and will not be passed on later to the child’s offspring. Causing the genetic predisposition to breast cancer or heart disease does not count since it is not a “serious genetic disease” in the Mendelian sense. Even if radiation causes a fatal cancer or serious genetic disease in a live born infant, it is discounted if the estimated radiation dose is below 100 mSv [mSv= millisievert, a measurement of radiation exposure. One hundred millsievert is the equivalent in radiation of about 100 X-Rays]. Even if radiation causes a lung cancer, it does not count if the person smokes — in fact whenever there is a possibility of another cause, radiation cannot be blamed. If all else fails, it is possible to claim that radiation below some designated dose does not cause cancer, and then average over the whole body the radiation dose which has actually been received by one part of the body or even organ, as for instance when radioiodine concentrates in the thyroid. This arbitrary dilution of the dose will ensure that the 100 mSv cutoff point is nowhere near reached. It is a technique used to dismiss the sickness of Gulf War veterans who inhaled small particles of ceramic uranium which stayed in their lungs for more than two years, and in their bodies for more than eight years,
irradiating and damaging cells in a particular part of the body. Despite the authorities’ attempt at concealment, one can still begin to enumerate the real victims of the nuclear age. Although the calculations and statistics given below will show that the methodology is adequate for a first estimate of major damage. The magnitude of the harm already caused is startling, and even more so when we realize many types of damage have been omitted from this first estimate. In estimating cancer, whether fatal or non-fatal [excluding non-fatal skin cancer], genetic damage and serious congenital malformations and diseases will be included in the figures. Other damage is acknowledged but not estimated. Ultimately, whether or not one cares about the damage caused by radiation exposure is ultimately a human, not a scientific question. Damage is damage, and causing an unwanted attack on someone’s person or reproductive capacity is a violation of human rights. Such damage can be rated for importance, but it should not be arbitrarily ignored. “Statistics are the people with the tears wiped away” stated one of the Rongelap people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who `hosted’ the United States Bikini nuclear testing in the 1950s. This is the story of many tears, and of a hard hearted mindset that laid down the degree of suffering and ill-health that would be the `acceptable’ price to pay for the world `benefitting’ from nuclear technology.
Risk Estimates Used in this Analysis
In order to estimate the real victims of the nuclear industry as oppossed to those figures enumerated by the ICRP, IAEA and other nuclear apologists, the adopted customary risk estimates indicate their probable range of error, and then extend the definition to cover related events not recognized as ‘detriments’ by the regulators. For example, while the nuclear regulators only take fatal cancers into consideration as ‘detriments’ by the regulators, others, especially those who endure a non-fatal cancer, may find their suffering equally worthy of consideration. And limiting genetic effects to live born
offspring does not wipe away the tears of a family that has endured a spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth.
Estimating the Fatal and Non-Fatal Cancer Risks
In 1991, the ICRP concluded that the projected lifetime risk of fatal cancer for members of the population exposed Sievert whole-body radiation at a low dose rate, was between seven and 11 excess fatal cancers, and seven to eight excess fatalities for in the nuclear industry aged 25 to 64 years. These estimates are extended to nonfatal cancers by estimating the total number of cancers which were used by the ICRP in order to obtain the number of fatalities. Therefore the estimate 16 fatal and non-fatal cancers if excluded from the non-fatal skin cancers or 36 if it is counted. If the estimate of fatal cancers was off by a factor of two then all those numbers can be doubled. The estimate used for cancer is 16 per 100 Person Sieverts, but the reader can adjust this estimate to suit other inclusions, exclusions or uncertainties.
Estimating Damage to an Embryo or Foetus
According to the Bilogical Effects of Ionizing Radiation or BEIR Committee 1990 report, a dose of 150 mSv to human male testes will cause temporary sterility, and a single dose of 3.5 Sv will cause permanent sterility. According to the ICRP in 1991, just 5 mSv to the testes will cause damage to offspring — yet this dose was permitted yearly to members of the public, and ten times more to nuclear workers, in all countries prior to 1990. It continues today to be permitted yearly for nuclear workers in most countries. Women carry with them all of the ova from birth which they will ever have. The threshold for permanent female sterilisation decreases with age, but in general about 650 mSv is considered to be the threshold for temporary sterility in women. After the Bravo event -the detonation of a hydrogen bomb at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in March 1954 — the women of Rongelap Atoll experienced about five years of sterility. As they regained their sterility, they experienced faulty pregnancies, miscarrigies, stillbirths and damage to their
offspring. Since some radionucleides can be retained in bone or fatty tissues, they are able to cross the placenta barrier and disrupt the developing embryo or foetus. Radionucleides in the mother’s body can also be transferred in her breast milk. In India, under Anil Kakkodkar, women engineers are being posted as Shift Engineers in nuclear installations like CIRUS reactor. Unfortunately India has only idiotic and criminalized politicians in power and promotion to the top positions in many central government establishments are based on caste, ability to pay the political party through the contractors working for the Department, and link to foreign powers.
India is going back to Dark Ages
For decades, women were not allowed to work as shift engineers in the nuclear reactors, but Kakkodkar had allowed this inhuman practice of putting unmarried fertile women in the radioactive environment. Anil Kakkodkar an Engineer, whose first model of the nuclear bomb was a failure, and whose design of the Dhruva Reactor coolant channels was a failure resulting in commissioning delays, was promoted to the post of the director of BARC. This was against the regular norm in which only pure scientists are promoted to become the Director of BARC. BARC being an atomic research centre, always the pure scientific talent is placed at the top to lay down research policies. BARC is not a fabrication workshop to promote Engineers to the very top position as done in the case of Kakkodkar who is a Maharastrian with good local links. From there Kakkodkar was made the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission. Kakkodkar was given three extensions after retirement, which is very unusual, and apparantly CIA had demanded it from Manmohan and others. This has denied the promotions of senior scientists down the line and demoralized the whole Atomic Energy Establishment. Kakkodkar’s link to the Americans and his ability to deliver money to the politicians from the nuclear power plant contractors helped him secure his three extensions which the media has totally ignored. Added to this the American picked Foreign secretary and along with Manmohan Singh who is a blue eyed boy of CIA from his time as Governor RBI (as he permitted the ISI/CIA bank BCCI to open its branch in India), is trying to sell our Nuclear technology to the Americans. America has stopped the construction
of new nuclear power reactors some 30 years back, But a mafia like alliance known as THE EAGLE ALLIANCE was formed in USA a decade back. This group is an avidly pro-nuclear alliance and includes the members of the American Nuclear Society. It is the American nuclear industry’s last shot at promoting a nuclear power revival, at least in third world nations. Eagle Alliance is funded by American nuclear Industry which wants to work in developing nations. The Eagle Alliance worked behind the scenes for the present Indo US nuclear treaty. This mafia group want not only new reactors, but also want massive food irradiation programme, a nuclear cure for cancer (apparently they’re not interested in a cure if it’s non-nuclear), establishment of a scientific basis that proves low doses of radiation aren’t harmful etc. (whereas all studies have shown that even the very low levels of radiation is very harmful and the scientists wants the maximum limit of permissible exposure to be reduced by 90% of the present limit.) and making environmental and anti-nuclear groups “responsible” for their actions.
The official nuclear industry definition of `detriment’ includes only serious genetic disease not judged to be serious, and teratogenic diseases [those which are not passed on to offspring] are not counted. Recently the 1990 BEIR committee made one small concession in recognizing mental retardation in children exposed to radiation during the fifth to 15th weeks of their mother’s pregnancy. Radiation kills brain cells, causing both an underdeveloped brain [microcephaly] and mental retardation. For the individual child, BEIR estimates that a dose in utero of 100 to 500 mSv can cause a range of problems from poor school performance to severe mental retardation. The U.N. Scientific Committee on the effects of Atomic Radiation [UNSCEAR] and BEIR both agree that a population of one million live births exposed to 100 Person Sieverts will result in one to three genetic damage effects to offspring, and so to the human gene pool. The doubling dose for genetic effects [the dose that will cause twice as many genetic effects] is more contentious, with some geneticists claiming that it is 2.5 Sv, and others claiming much greater sensitivity with a 0.12 Sv doubling dose. If the latter is true, then the
increase in genetic effects will be 8.3 per cent for every 10mSv and therefore 83 such effects per million live births when the total averaged dose is 100 Person Sieverts rather than the 4 such effects in the first instance. On the conservative side, we have taken 10 genetic effects to be the number for exposed offspring.
Estimate of `Teratogenic Effects’
The damage to an embryo from ionizing radiation when in the womb is not considered to be genetic. Such irradiation can lead to some 30 different congenital anomolies including permanent damage to the brain, mental deficiency, skull deformities, cleft palate, spina bifida, club-feet, genital deformities, growth retardation and childhood cancer. A total of all those effects, including mortality, amount to 46, of which 25 are live born. Summarise those risk estimates, the result is 16 cancers, 10 genetic effects and 25 congenital effects for one million exposed to 100 Person Sieverts. The task now is to apply those numbers for the global population from industrial nuclear activities, including weapons testing in the fifties, sixties and early seventies and electricity production from nuclear power over the past half century. When we do this we find that weapons testing has lead to nearly 376 million cancers, 235 million genetic effects and 587 million teratogenic effects to give a total of approximately 1,200 million. Meanwhile, electricity production from nuclear plants between 1943 and 2000 may have lead to another million victims, of which as many one-fifth will have been premature cancer deaths. Although not officially accounted for, about 500 million foetuses would have also been lost as stillbirths during that period from radiation exposure while in the womb. Another century of nuclear power, and this carnage would continue with more than 10 million victims a year. An industry which has the potential to kill, injure and maim that number of innocent people -and all in the name of `benefitting’ society, is surely wholly unacceptable. Even the medical radiation exposure by x-rays including fluoroscopy and CT scans is a highly important cause of cancer mortality.
Medical radiation, received even at very low and moderate doses, is an important cause of death from Ischemic Heart Disease; the probable mechanism is radiation-induction of mutations in the coronary arteries, resulting in dysfunctional clones or mini tumors, of smooth muscle cells. Subsidies are keeping nuclear energy afloat across the globe so far. This amount could be spent on renewable form of energy in future. One major problem with nuclear power is the waste. No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of highly toxic radioactive substances which nobody knows how to make “safe” and which remain an incalculable danger to the whole of creation for historical or even geological ages. To do such a thing is a transgression against life itself, a transgression infinitely more serious than any crime ever perpetrated by man. The idea that a civilisation could sustain itself on the basis of such a transgression is an ethical, spiritual, and metaphysical monstrosity. It means conducting the economic affairs of man as if people really did not matter at all. We should move away from nuclear power and look for alternate environmentally friendly technologies.