Forbes: Biophysicist casts critical light on gov’t assurances that Americans were never at risk from Fukushima fallout — I watched officials attempt to minimize public alarm

Published: July 10th, 2011 at 7:23 am ET


Harm from Fukushima Radiation: A Matter Of Perspective, Forbes, July 9, 2011:

A leading biophysicist has cast a critical light on the government’s reassurances that Americans were never at risk from Fukushima fallout, saying “we really don’t know for sure.”

When radioactive fallout from Japan’s nuclear disaster began appearing in the United States this spring, the Obama Administration’s open-data policy obligated the government to inform the public, in some detail, what was landing here.

Covering the story, I watched the government pursue what appeared to be two strategies to minimize public alarm:

1. It framed the data with reassurances like this oft-repeated sentence from the EPA: “The level detected is far below a level of public health concern.” The question, of course, is whose concern.

2. The EPA seemed to be timing its data releases to avoid media coverage. […]

Published: July 10th, 2011 at 7:23 am ET


Related Posts

  1. US Department of Energy lab in Pacific Northwest has “declined” to make nuclear fallout results public, after initially releasing data April 6, 2011
  2. California Nuclear Plant Engineer: We were hit by explosion at Fukushima Unit 3 (MAP) — “The public started to freak out” — Tell colleagues what radioactive material is coming their way… don’t notify public — Don’t release initial data to officials until they’re ‘on board’ September 3, 2014
  3. Officials: “Historic crisis” along US West Coast… “We’re facing a fishery disaster”… “Very never-seen-before things”… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Extinction threat for salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more February 23, 2016
  4. EPA radiation monitoring exists so Feds can say they have a system — Not to report data that would undermine public support for nuclear power, thinks watchdog June 25, 2011
  5. Independent French radiation commission warns Europe that health risk from Fukushima fallout is “no longer negligible” — Says US west coast has 8-10 times more contamination April 11, 2011

76 comments to Forbes: Biophysicist casts critical light on gov’t assurances that Americans were never at risk from Fukushima fallout — I watched officials attempt to minimize public alarm

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Just came through Twitter:
    Report: North Carolina nuclear facility with superheate­d uranium leaking ten gallons of radioactiv­e cooling water per hour

    • arclight arclight

      did you hear that sheep farmers of scotland!! (theyve only this year managed to free themselves from the effects of chernobyl..oops) and i presume all this highly uranium saturated water will be taken up and washed down again and fujushima? scotland is downwind i presume? i think so…and on behalf of all sheep farmers everywhere EXCEPT NEW ZEALAND of course, i would like to ask politely if you could stop boiling water in this way…its just not working out very well! i know you had to invest all your money in the new green hope! but youve been sold a rotten kipper!…to put it as politely as i can…pull out your money and invest it elsewhere if you have or know of any children, think of them as you withdraw your funds from this vile smelling kipper and think sustainability and inheritance like a mantra,,,and you will become richer than your wildest imaginings! love from the sheep farmers of scotland…note… stocks of post chernobyl and pre fuku/carolina prime scottish lamb on request for a limited time only

      • odylan

        The Wildschwein (wild pigs) of Bavaria, Germany are a favourite traditional dish are even today still banned from the table.

        And Bavaria, like Scotland, is 1,000’s of miles from Chernobyl.

    • gerryhiles

      Love you Whoopie.

      I do not post a lot, but I read a lot and you are “good folk” – same with nearly everone posting here; I love you all, albeit from the distance of Australia.

      I have hesitated, Whoopie, from telling you of my experience with HP.

      You put a lot of faith in that org, but I have been banned twice.

      First time was when I called myself “keyhoti” and questioned 911.

      Recently I re-registered under my real name “gerryhiles”. Or Gerry Hiles.

      I am again banned, this time for my comments about Fuc(k)ushima.

      Go figure my friend, that HuffPuff person sold her ’empire’ to AOL.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        THAT WILL TEACH ME to Scroll up and see new comments. 🙁

        Gerry, I’ve been BANNED a lot but keep going back. So have other Japan Regulars. WE were just talking about that yesterday. Nuclear Cheerleaders wait for certain WORDS then FLAG a commenter. At least that’s what we think. So we dont reply DIRECTLY anymore.
        WHY anyone gets banned IS BEYOND ME.
        So TRY AGAIN! We need more voices in the WILDERNESS, eh? Sure. Don’t take it personal, and come back again. That’s my advice…or don’t. It IS frustrating I know.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Ariana Huffington is definately illuminati. She gives her opinion a lot on the MSM political talk shows. You have to already be illuminati to be on political talk shows on MSM. They leak the information they want you to have, while at the same time trying to make it not really so. As if that is a dialogue. And if they can control the dialogue they can nullify any information outside the dialogue.

        Still, any information released is a good thing, and Whoopie, you are doing a wonderful thing. However, arguing for safety is an oxymoron. They can NEVER be any safety with nuclear. There is no such thing as nuclear for peaceful means. The nuclear plants are the weapons themselves. The use of depleted uranium for production of gas is the weapon itself. Fracking is the weapon itself.

        Didn’t we learn anything from 9/11?

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          You are so right!! THERE IS NO SAFE REACTORS. I slept through the buildup, BUT I’M AWAKE NOW.

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            From this Thread I’m getting the impression many of you aren’t getting to TRANSLATE certain links. I use Google Chrome and have it set to AUTO translate. Maybe that will help you guys.

            It is confirmed that Fukushima is the worst catastroph­e of the industrial civilizati­on
            “We have 20 cores exposed fuel tanks have multiple cores each, ie a potential that should release 20 times the Chernobyl …”
            Great Read. Talks about what Gundersen has reported and MORE.

          • The translator is a good feature but Google’s browser tracks you unmercifully. The Chromium engine is not just Google’s, though. I use SR Ware Iron, which has a bit cleaner relationship to the web, and in my opinion is faster, too. Extremely stable. Available in German and English. Free.

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Thanks for the Suggestions. I think I’ll try something better then.

          • NoNukes NoNukes

            Thanks, risabee! NoNukes now is coming to you by SR Iron. Those ads are really creepy. It was the easiest thing to do, Whoopie, I recommend it.

        • Haven’t tried this translator yet, especially with Japanese, so not sure if it works any better than the Google translator:

          Generally, I try to stay away from Microsoft (including the horrible MS Office, and the horrible IE).

        • Dr Thorndyke

          Yes Anne – you get it. Spot on. Thw word “prgramming” has so many nuances. If you haven’t already try a little of for some additional perspective on the power elite and their Hegelian Dialectic. Framing and controlling both sides of the argument is quite effective method of keeping the sanctimoniously self interested happy with themselves that they are rooting for the “right” team. We see this in Republican vs Democrat, also in Too Big To Fail banking discussion, the “War on Terror”/Your Safety vs 4th amendment and it abounds in “environmental” debates (i.e. “anthropogenic global warming”, peak oil)

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            I saw this article on
            Ron Holland on the Inevitability of Societal Chaos, How the Elites Will Try to Maintain Control
            It reminded me of the following news article and comment (Some people also comment that NASA isn’t trying to drug the whole planet):
            NASA Rocket Launches Scheduled July 5 – 23
            RE: NASA Plans To Release Lithium Into the Ionosphere
            I was thinking about this more

            I found a book which had a section called the effect of the lithium cloud on solar wind

            It is talking about changes in solar winds, velocity and momentum, magnetism and that lithium as the solar wind velocity changes that is shared among the lithium ions created in that second and therefore giving each ion a huge increase in velocity. if the electric field is know then the distance traveled can be worked out… they conclude in this experiment with what happens to changes in the solar wind that the electric field in solar wind charges the lithium ions and the lost energy from changes in solar wind compresses the magnetic field and heats the lithium ions.

            Interesting as we know that:
            ionospheric heating is done
            points out lithium can be used to draw energy and compress magnetic field

            Now what uses could NASA have for doing this.. seeding the ionosphere with lithium.. Maybe they are helping another military program???

            Also turns out back in 2007 the Japanese already did this so watch out UFO watchers the lithium may explain some of the videos we have seen!!!

            Imagine walking on the street like any other afternoon. Perhaps you may of been looking up at the clouds and enjoying the sky on a particular evening. All of a sudden the calm and quiet is destroyed by a loud bang and the appearance of giant red balls of light in the sky. This is what happened earlier this month when Japan launched a S-520 rocket into the sky. A team of researchers were conducting an experiment to assist them in the study of the atmosphere. The team of scientists conducting the research had to launch the S-520 rocket into the sky in order to make there study come out as accurate as possible.

            The rocket was launched into the sky loaded with lithium vapor. Once the rocket reached the proper point in the atmosphere, it released the lithium vapor into the what is described as the ionosphere. This reaction created the three huge red balls of light that I spoke about earlier. Each of these big red balls of light were as bright as the moon. The scary part was that they remained in the sky for nearly two minutes. So, if you were not one of the citizens who knew of this experiment being conducted, you probably thought you were being attacked by an alien invader of some sorts.

            You might also be wondering what caused the balls of light. They were caused when sunlight struck the lithium vapor clouds as they disperse, resulting in the big red flashes that gave so many people nightmares that night.

            This is only one example of many of the experiments that Japan has been conducting to understand the link between our atmosphere and space. Experts believe the country is doing these studies in order to gather the proper amount of data for a much bigger experiment. Currently, it is unknown what that may be or what it revolves around. Rumors have experts believing that the country is ready to try an experiment in space.

        • Terranigma1 Terranigma1

          What about Alex Jones? I was listening to his show today and he did mention Fukushima and Chris Busby. What does Busby believe? That these nuclear disasters are being perpetrated to reduce fertility. Again, it’s the “global warming,” population control, illuminati, globalist immoral freaks who have a hand in this. Busby has received a lot of criticism at this forum.

          Something is going on. Recently I called my senator’s office and gave them a real tongue lashing about Fukushima and the nuke disasters in the U.S. We have been lied to. This is genocide. If you want more of the same, vote for Obama, because he’s the big nuke, clean energy, population control advocate. MSM has been using the phrase, “nuclear option.” Interesting..

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi Whoopie

      Thank you for the report.

      Quote: discovered that the plant has been leaking about ten gallons of nuclear cooling water per hour for at least the past week.

      It Took Them This Long To Discover This?!?!?

      Aren’t they, checking these plants day and night???

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        I don’t know WSP. They should be on top of these Reactors 24/7! Why is this news coming out now? Because they aren’t WATCHING.

        • WindorSolarPlease

          If it took them that long, then they are not watching. These plants are seriously dangerous.

          They are falling down on their job, they are not kept up, they are all old, and it sure doesn’t look like they are watching them closely.
          This also should be investigated and things should change.

          Better yet..CLOSE THEM ALL DOWN!!!!

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Boy, you’d think with all the news coming out about Tepco’s failures, our own regulators would be watching these plants like HAWKS. Dont they know ALL EYES are on them now?

          • WindorSolarPlease

            Maybe it has to do with corporation cut backs?

            Things are not going to change, and these plants are dangerous.

            Since they are dangerous, and earth is changing, only solution is to close them all down.

            They have not proven to me that they can control or take care of these plants.

          • Corporations are here to make money.

            Safety? Costs too much.

            But, aren’t we now killing millions of people?

            Corp: Yes, but can we do it under cost?

          • StPaulScout StPaulScout

            Corporations are only here to make their investors as much money as possible. Once the companies that own these reactors quit making money they will be shut down, the companies that is. They will then turn the entire mess over to the local government(s) and let THEM deal with it. Remember, companies are only their to make money. Being resposible? Thats not in their job description.

  • milk and cheese milk and cheese

    I am shocked. Shocked.

    Actually I am not shocked, just insulted.
    They must consider us to be easily distracted dull-witted children.

    They are probably right.

    Now back to Will and Kate.

    • fuckyoushima

      we’re fluoridated dim wits being led to our death.

      • odylan

        Will meets Dave, Posh and can’t make it. She’s tired.

        Debilitation is a classic symptom.

        In fact I don’t know what the Beckham’s are even thinking of – Posh is a woman who likes to have babies. They should get away to Tasmania.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    1395 EQ’s since 3/11 with 7 TODAY!

  • arclight arclight

    Teeth grinding quote ftom this article

    “Should this worry us? We know that the extra individual cancer risks from this long-term exposure will be very small indeed. Most of us have about a 40 percent chance of getting cancer at some point in our lives, and the radiation dose from the extra radioactive cesium in the food supply will not significantly increase our individual cancer risks
    But there’s another way we can and should think about the risk: not from the perspective of individuals, but from the perspective of the entire population. A tiny extra risk to a few people is one thing. But here we have a potential tiny extra risk to millions or even billions of people. Think of buying a lottery ticket — just like the millions of other people who buy a ticket, your chances of winning are miniscule. Yet among these millions of lottery players, a few people will certainly win; we just can’t predict who they will be. Likewise, will there be some extra cancers among the very large numbers of people exposed to extremely small radiation risks? It’s likely, but we really don’t know for sure.”
    Why is this idiot talking about only cancer and lottery tickets…?????? Didn’t he get the memo from the EU??? REPOST “Radiation risks from Fukushima no longer negligible”(best to save the web page cos u never know? Eh!)

    “ We know that the extra individual cancer risks from this long-term exposure will be very small indeed”……who is “we” exactly?? What report??

    and hes only talking about cesium!!

    ” Yet among these millions of lottery players”….. billions actually!!

    “but we really don’t know for sure.” ….. How true and it should have been left it at that!!!

    • Steven Steven

      “The NGO is advising pregnant women and infants against “risky behaviour,” such as consuming fresh milk or vegetables with large leaves.”

      Argh….. who’d have thought that the definition of ‘risky behaviour’ would ever involve drinking milk or eating large leafy vegetables.

      “What’s that you’re eating, James?”

      “Why it’s a lettuce leaf Miss Moneypenny… (munch, munch)… the name’s Bond, James ‘risky behaviour’ Bond. Glug glug….”

      “No james, not the fresh milk…..!”

      • arclight arclight

        if you are qouting from the eu article they arent an ngo they are the european government!! thats why its so wrong..

    • odylan

      There have been 517 nuclear explosions in the air since 1945 – some of them 1,000’s of times bigger than Hiroshima. One bomb even vaporised 3 islands in Bikini Atoll. These military toys might also be responsible for some of the 40% cancers.

      In addition of course there’s now a folg depleted uranium all over places like Iraq and Libya and the result is that children being born in Iraq with all kinds of strange abnormalities.

      • arclight arclight

        odylan point taken…the new background radiation with particulates…this stuff is getting everywhere

        • Good point. Let’s say we’re only getting “background radiation” levels right now.

          Well, it’s a different background radiation than we had before – far more isotopes and more avenues for dispersal.

          So, let’s call it “background radiation” (with attitude, ie. greater killing potential).

    • Steven Steven

      Ach du lieben! Donner und blitzen! Es ist in Deutch, Voopie Ich nicht spreken….


      • Whoopie Whoopie

        I’ll take that as a FAVED comment, right? 🙂

        • Steven Steven

          Awww now you’ve made me look stupid. I don’t know what FAVED means… but just in case, it was a friendly attempt at humour (emphasis on attempt).

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Look stupid? Don’t you learn something NEW everyday? Sure you do!
            FAVE is what we do at HP when we like a link or comment.

          • CaliMom

            What the heck??? These are some seriously Looooong words! I’m glad I don’t understand this article, as it surely has no good news.


          • Whoopie Whoopie

            A small snip:
            The environmen­tal group warns GLOBAL 2000: 99 million gallons of highly radioactiv­e water in the basement of the four wrecks in Fukushima nuclear threat, despite the efforts of the operators to come out. “For four months now destroyed nuclear reactors in Fukushima set uncontroll­ed release of radioactiv­ity.

    • arclight arclight

      i luv the germans…there doing so many things right….

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    The March 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, has overtaken Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island in its severity, according to The Nuclear Policy Program.
    Spokesperson James Acton said, “Fukusihima is the most complicated and dramatic nuclear accident ever.”
    It topped the International Nuclear Events Scale, scoring a record-breaking “7″ out of 7 for “serious accident.”

    THE GRAPHIC LAYS IT ALL OUT – And the numbers aren’t GOOD:

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    CONSTANTLY UPDATED – BY Japan Regulars. It’s Moderated though. But still, you can see new news coming in at a good CLIP

  • girlygrrll

    Anyone have good, historical data about rates of cancer, maybe from 1900 onwards?

  • byron byron

    Whoopie, is there a follow-up graphic? They did a good job but more has happened since. Anyone know the status of number 4 SFP yet? More leaks? TEPCO isn’t going to say of course.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I don’t know. And yes, it’s much much worse NOW. That came through a tweet. Wish they’d UPDATE it.

  • Hot Tuna Hot Tuna

    Just got back from a week on the Oregon Coast. Damn nice weather they have up there. Sunny everyday. I guess the water system at Fuky is still full of holes.

  • aloha2

    In Hawaii, the EPA and the local DOH had announced the deployment of additional fallout monitors, including the North Shore of Kauai. Over recent weeks, private citizens have posted high geiger counter radiation spikes in Hawaii, see:
    On July 6, after the 3rd spike was posted (with others in Oahu and Maui noting similar spikes) and a pattern of increasing detection was noted, the Hawaii Dept. of Health released a new update, explaining that the EPA and the DOH have removed the additional monitors from those locations permanently, (see their statement here):
    This means that as private citizens began to note increasing levels of radioactivity, the agencies that claimed they would be posting their results for Hawaii every three months decided to remove their detection equipment after less than the initial three month period. It is an open question now if health risks in Hawaii may actually be on the increase

  • heading south

    “Americans were never at risk from Fukushima fallout”

    unhuh. Tell that to the mothers of infants who died in Denver or Kansas City.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      That IS a good one. Posted to HP. TY

    • arclight arclight

      nice link lked these qoutes….
      “From a sociological point of view, at least in Europe but in many other countries as well, in the 19th century, we developed a system of rules in order to cope with the uncertainties and risks produced by modernity. It includes the exchange of money against loss of an eye, or loss of an arm, or loss of the whole body or loss of the whole city. The relationship between risk and insurance was actually a system of norms, or you could even say a social contract of progress.
      But if you run atomic industries, you don’t have to have insurance. It’s a mixture of private and state insurance. But actually, all the amount of money, which is prepared to react to this situation, is much less than what is needed. So actually, it is beyond insurance.”

      And this
      “(German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, for example, made the decision to still have atomic energy (a year from now) as a basic option for politics, in order to solve, for example, the problems of climate change and so on. But during the Fukushima (crisis), she experienced, I think, that she, as a politician, was a prisoner of the industry.
      For the first time, she is really taking civil society movements seriously; she has created committees and spaces where these public discussions can happen. This is a conflict with the industry itself, but revitalizes politics and revitalizes the democratic issue of technology.
      How to make decisions of industries and experts more accountable, more transparent, how participation of the people can be organized, and things like that. I think this is quite an issue.
      The industry and the technical experts, so far, believe that they have the rational monopoly on saying what is a risk and what is not a risk, and what decision has to be taken. And they don’t want to get the lay person and the public involved in this.”
      i love the germans!

    • TraderGreg

      Newton – good article. We have significant problem with so called ‘scientist’. They are flashing their diplomas, and making crooked statement, trying to sugarcoat the nuclear industry, and their disasters.

      I think, there should be an authority somewhere, to strip these ‘scientific’ a-holes of their diplomas, after making a series of stupid comments.

  • JoeNeubarth

    I do not trust the EPA any more. I am a former Nuclear Reactor Plant operator. Right after the multiple explosions in Fukushima, the EPA announced that something like 23 out of the 27 monitors that they were running on the west coast were inoperative. A bunch of private individuals put together a replacement Internet site, but within days one after another of the geiger counters(sensors) in that grid strangely went off line. Most curious! When the EPA finally got their network back up the sensors would go down for three days at a time and then be turned back on. The charts that had not been graphed for those three days of non operability were suddenly drawn in with low readings. Ironically, in San Diego where I live, every time there was supposed to be a high particulate reading (according to the charts that tracked the contaminated air movements across the Pacific) the sensors were turned off. It was so damn obvious that the EPA was up to shenanigans that I do not accept any of their readings. Everything they do is bogus and designed to defend the Nuclear Power Industry. Why has this story not been researched and reported to the American Public????