Gov’t nuclear adviser “flabbergasted” that Japan failed to distribute iodine pills after meltdowns

Published: September 29th, 2011 at 8:37 am ET
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19 comments


Japan Failed to Hand Out Radiation Pills, Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2011:

Government officials failed to distribute to thousands of people pills that could have minimized radiation risks from the March nuclear accident, government documents show. […]

Though Japan’s nuclear-safety experts recommended dispensing pills immediately, Tokyo didn’t order pills be given out until five days after the March 11 accident, the documents show. By then, most of the nearly 100,000 residents evacuated […]

[The pill] has little effect when administered days after the release of radiation. […]

NISA issued an instruction March 16 for residents of towns within 20 kilometers of the plant to take KI pills, nearly four days after the government issued an evacuation order for those same towns. […]

“Most of our residents had no idea we were supposed to take medication like that […] By the time the pills were delivered to our office on the 16th, everyone in the village was gone.” –Juichi Ide, general-affairs chief of Kawauchi Village, located about 20 miles from the plant

“I had simply assumed local residents had been given potassium iodide [… I was] flabbergasted [when learning recently that wasn’t the case].” –Gen Suzuki, a physician specializing in radiation research and adviser to Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission

Published: September 29th, 2011 at 8:37 am ET
By

19 comments

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19 comments to Gov’t nuclear adviser “flabbergasted” that Japan failed to distribute iodine pills after meltdowns

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    He’s shocked!?! Who is running the show there, the Stooges?? Thanks Enenews. Posted here
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/nuclear-power-protests-tokyo-japan_n_969385.html

    • many moons

      Hey Whoopie, that’s kinda insulting to the Stooges don’t ya think?

    • Steven Steven

      Don’t forget they had just suffered a massive earthquake and tsunami Whoopie. I’m not sure the human mind can be relied on for consistency or logic under those circumstances, no question the authorities have made some dreadful choices since then but events during those early days might be beyond judgement. Just seeing the news footage of the survivors wandering around in areas no longer recognisable as ‘home’ to them, well… just saying, let’s not forget the initial disaster and it’s impact 🙁

      • Let us also not forget that tepco.gov has had 6.5 months to ante up. Steven, do you think they have done that?

        • Steven Steven

          TEPCO had nothing to do with distribution of iodine tablets. This more likely would have been a local government responsibility, and I would imagine the local government staff would have been just as floored by events as everyone else living in the area.

  • many moons

    This sounds like a learning moment. I hope goverments are taking notes, updating strategies and manuels for handling future nuclear accidents.

    1) Hand out KI pills in the first 24 hrs after a significant radation release…!

    2) Lets not forget to distribute those cheap paper masks to keep out the fuel fleas!

    3)Tell folks to take frequent showers ( provided the water they are using isn’t contaminated)

    4)stay out of the rain-bring an umbrella with you everywhere!!

    -these tacktics will keep you completely safe from those insignificant amounts of radiation-remember 100,000 cpm is the new limit!!!!!So get out there and produce/consume!

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Brand New Report from ABC news:
    Japan ‘scared’ of telling truth to Fukushima evacuees
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-28/fukushima-residents-unable-to-return-home/3026496?section=world

  • voltscommissar

    Thw WSJ article contains this sickening line: “[people] in Miharu took the pills [early], leading later to a reprimand from prefectural officials.

    Wake up Japan: FEUDALISM SUCKS, that’s why the West got rid of it, some time back. Think for yourselves, be proactive and angry, not passive and subservient to your evil masters, the Grand Poobahs of Prefectural Protocol. OTOH most western citizen/consumers act very passive in our work/shop brain-dead cycle. Do as you’re told, just go shopping.

    • Don’t ever listen to prefectural offices. I know of one which took a week to say ANYTHING at all to it’s foreign employees about the situation and then the message only mentioned not trusting the “foreign media which was misrepresenting the situation.”

      Welcome to Japan, enjoy your stay and your cancer.

      • acid Lab acid Lab

        @voltscommisar

        lol… as much as modern city life tries, that society remains utterly ancient.

        @wmilberry

        long before chalmers johnson wrote “Blowback” he was writing extensively about japan. his books, in particular, are virtual manuals on how a country goes about conducting itself with the utmost intrasigence and double speak.

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    “Most of our residents had no idea we were supposed to take medication”

    New in schools: Things to do in a nuclear accident..

  • arclight arclight

    bit quitearound here then? see if we cant liven it up a smidgin….
    WHEN ARE LIES OK? EVEN IF IT UTS CHILDREN IN DANGER OR MITIGATES THAT DANGER UNJUSTIFYABLY!
    at least now we know where the nuclear experts get thier script…………

    “There’s very little leakage now,” says Thomas. “The Japanese did the right thing at the right time, providing stable iodine to ensure that doses of radioactive iodine to the thyroids of children were minimal,” she says.””

    and she was WRONG””””!!!!
    ” August 29, 2011
    By YURI OIWA / Staff Writer

    “People living near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant should have taken iodine tablets to protect them from radioactive fallout, according to a member of an advisory panel of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.”

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201108298140

    from a previous thread, click here for context…
    http://enenews.com/london-professor-weve-stop-sorts-reports-coming-intl-conference-warns-talk-fukushima-health-effects-be-harmful/comment-page-1#comment-125810

    new un report full of lies and deception!!
    in the report they say they gave pottasium iodide out…didnt we bust that lie?? wow!!

    …………….Full summary here

    http://nuclear-news.net/2011/09/22/un-report-pro-nuclear-yet-with-many-warnings/

    and heres the report

    http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/energy/hlm/UN-system-wide-study.pdf

    and this is the same un that continues to ignore the situation in fukushima and ignore the petition for the children of fukushima under the human rights charter…check out the websites if you don’t believe me!! Heres a link that will open your eyes if you haven’t seen it here already!! Scroll down and check out them links!!

    http://enenews.com/oregon-paper-radiation-fukushima-exceeds-chernobyl-level-unknown-humans-machines-august-leakage-maxed-measuring-equipment/comment-page-1#comment-135525

    just my take on it… from a lemmings eye view, sort of thing!!

  • dpl dpl

    Amerika should have acted and airlifted them some duct tape. This works for anthrax attacks so should be good to go for radiation as well. For the ones without shelter just duct tape your bodies and shelter/evacuate in place and add an extra wrap for the kids since they are more sensitive to exposure.

  • OlympicLight OlympicLight

    Way back in march when japan was first dealing with this situation, at every turn they were downplaying the events.

    Of course they wouldn’t send out pills so soon, they didn’t even think evacuating was necessary at the time.

    “Officials have ordered people evacuated but say the risk is “quite low.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said residents within about 12 miles of the Daiichi plant were ordered to evacuate as a precaution, and the radioactivity released into the environment so far was so small it didn’t pose any health threats.”

    At the time, they believed this crises would be short lived. For the sake of tepco’s reputation and preserving positive views on nuclear power, they would not acknowledge to the public just how big the risks of radiation exposure were.

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/story/2011/03/Radiation-health-risk-in-Japan-called-low/44841120/1

  • The time to have potassium iodide pills distributed is *before* there is a meltdown because there isn’t enough time to properly distribute potassium iodide pills to everyone, who needs them, after a meltdown.

    Also, by distributing potassium iodide *before* there is a meltdown, people would have enough time to be properly instructed and to learn who should take the potassium iodide pills, and why, when, and how to, take the potassium iodide pills.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Eight-prefecture plan for radioactive dumps
    Tokyo included in temporary soil storage sites

    By NATSUKO FUKUE
    Staff writer

    The Environment Ministry has revealed a controversial plan to build temporary storage facilities for soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in eight prefectures in the Tohoku and Kanto regions.

    The eight are Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Tokyo, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki and Gunma, Vice Environment Minister Hideki Minamikawa told reporters Wednesday after visiting Fukushima Prefecture for talks with local leaders.

    The volume of contaminated soil and waste, estimated at 28.79 million cu. meters, is enough to fill the Tokyo Dome 23 times over, according to a recent ministry survey.

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110929x1.html