In yet another incident of supposedly objective professionals being paid by the nuclear power utilities, two ICRP scientists were exposed by the Associated Press.
The news piece found that scientists influential in setting national radiation safety standards had a conflict of interest by taking power utility money from the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan for travel expenses to ICRP meetings. This is apparently the same group of scientists involved in briefly setting the acceptable level of radiation exposure for children in Japan at 20 mSv/year. That level was aggressively fought by parents and health advocates.
Some of the scientists involved were interviewed and gave some rather enlightening statements about their views.
Ohtsura Niwa st:atements and background:
- “Those who evacuated just want to believe in the dangers of radiation to justify the action they took,”
- “Niwa, a professor at Fukushima Medical University, said that residents need to stay in Fukushima if at all possible, partly because they would face discrimination in marriage elsewhere in Japan from what he said were unfounded fears about radiation and genetic defects.”
Kazuo Sakai statements and background:
- “said he was interested in debunking that generally accepted view. Known as the “linear no threshold” model of radiation risk, the ICRP-backed position considers radiation harmful even at low doses with no threshold below which exposure is safe.”
- “Sakai called that model a mere “tool,” and possibly not scientifically sound.”
- “He said his studies on salamanders and other animal life since the Fukushima disaster have shown no ill effects, including genetic damage, and so humans, exposed to far lower levels of radiation, are safe.”
- “No serious health effects are expected for regular people,”
- Sakai received utility money for his research into low dose radiation during a 1999-2006 tenure at the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, an organization funded by the utilities.
Yoshiharu Yonekura made this statement:
- “Low-dose radiation may be even good for you.”
These statements out of scientists require some fact checking. Butterflies in Fukushima were found to have genetic mutations. Bird populations in Fukushima have dropped, many have genetic mutations and insect populations have dropped. Spiders in Iitate were found with hyper concentrations of radioactive silver. Lizards and earthworms were found with hyper concentrations of cesium and radioactive silver.
The LNT radiation model is the accepted science. The idea that low dose radiation is good for people, called Radiation Hormesis has been widely debunked and only lives on in the domain of medical quackery.
Niwa indulged in a game of “blame the victim” to justify his scientific opinions.
The AP article also mentions this:
“The parliamentary investigation found that utilities have repeatedly tried to push Japanese ICRP members toward a lenient standard on radiation from as far back as 2007. Internal records at the Federation of Electric Power Companies obtained by the investigative committee showed officials rejoicing over how their views were getting reflected in ICRP Japan statements.”
These are the scientists charged with deciding people’s fate in Japan. Niwa, the scientists who indulged in blame the victim works at Fukushima Medical University, the institution calling the shots on who gets treatment or tests and who doesn’t
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