by Helen Caldicott, M.D.
(1) There is no way to separate tritium from contaminated water. Tritium, a soft beta emitter, is a potent carcinogen which remains radioactive for over 100 years. It concentrates in aquatic organisms including algae, seaweed, crustaceans and fish. Because it is tasteless, odorless and invisible, it will inevitably be ingested in food, including seafood, over many decades. It combines in the DNA molecule – the gene – where it can induce mutations that later lead to cancer. It causes brain tumors, birth deformities, and cancers of many organs. The situation is dire because there is no way to contain this radioactive water permanently and it will inevitable leak into the Pacific Ocean for over 50 years or longer along with many other very dangerous isotopes including cesium 137 which lasts for 300 years and causes very malignant muscle cancers –rhabdomyosarcomas, strontium 90 which also is radioactive for 300 years and causes bone cancers and leukemia, amongst many other radioactive elements.
(2) All cancers can be induced by radiation, and because much of the land in Fukushima and beyond is contaminated, the food – tea, beef, milk, green vegetables, rice, etc. – will remain radioactive for several hundred years.
(3) “Cleanup” is a misnomer, radioactively contaminated soil, timber, leaves, and water cannot be decontaminated, just possibly moved to another site there to contaminate it.
(4) Incineration of radioactive waste spreads the cancer-inducing agents to other areas including non-contaminated areas of Japan.
(5) Cancers have a long incubation period – 2 to 80 years after people eat or breath radioactively contaminated food or air.
(6) The IAEA says that decommissioning of these reactors will take 50 to 60 years and some people predict that this mess will never be cleaned up and removed.
(7) Where will Japan put this highly radioactive melted fuel, fuel rods and the like? There is absolutely no safe place to store this deadly material (that must be isolated from the exosphere for one million years according to the US EPA) on an island that is riven by earthquakes.
(8) As these radioactive elements continually seep into the water and the ocean and are emitted into the air the incidence of congenital deformities, cancer and genetic defects will inevitably increase over time and into future generations.
(9) Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults (little girls are twice as sensitive as boys) and fetuses are thousands of times more sensitive – one X ray to the pregnant abdomen doubles the incidence of leukemia in the child.