Massive criticism of UN cancer study on Fukushima

Massive criticism of UN cancer study on Fukushima

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UN report on Fukushima criticized

According to the UN, the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan three years ago did not increase the cancer risk for the population. There is sharp criticism of the UN report. Experts speak of downplaying and covering up, and doctors even call the study "untrustworthy".

Increased risk of thyroid cancer The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan three years ago did not increase the risk of cancer for the population. This is the assessment of the United Nations Committee for the Effects of Radiation (UNSCEAR). They also do not see the surge in thyroid cancer in children as a result of the radiation released. A total of 75 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed in screenings of 250,000 children and adolescents. The report states that the increased rate of cysts, nodules and cancer cases could have been expected "due to the high efficiency of the examination method". At the same time, it is conceded that "an increased risk, especially for thyroid cancer in infants and children, can be assumed."

Sharp criticism since the announcement of the report In addition, an increased risk of cancer is expected for the personnel who were involved in the rescue and clean-up work. On the other hand, the report sees practically no risk for the majority of the Japanese population, even in the prefectures around the broken nuclear reactors. The final report, which was presented last week in Geneva, states: "The estimated effective radiation dose from the accident can be compared with the consequences of radiation from natural sources." According to the UN, rapid evacuation is a factor in the light outcome of the catastrophe in the region around the damaged nuclear power plant in March 2011. The report has received harsh criticism since it was announced.

Study talks dangers small Greenpeace nuclear expert Heinz Smital sees no reason to give the all-clear and speaks of a cover-up. "The study talks the dangers down," the environmentalist told "Deutsche Welle" (DW). The evacuations were sometimes too late and areas outside the originally evacuated 20-kilometer radius were also heavily contaminated. These zones were only cleared a month later. "This is so long that people have received the full dose of radioactive iodine 131," said the expert.

Nuclear expert speaks of trivialization According to the UN experts, the radiation dose in Japan was only a fraction compared to the reactor catastrophe in Chernobyl in 1986. In this context, Smital speaks of playing down with people in Japan. He said that the Russian government adhered to international guidelines much more strictly at the time. In Russia these were complied with beyond the requirements, but in Japan people, including pregnant women and families with children, lived in areas with radiation levels that are significantly too high. The nuclear expert is outraged: "The whole thing is now legitimized by the UN report, which says there are no health consequences."

Scientifically dubious study The international medical organization for the prevention of nuclear war (IPPNW) speaks of a "scientifically dubious" study. The data on which it is based came from the atomic operator Tepco, the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA in Vienna and the Japanese atomic authorities. The risks would be "covered up, played down and kept secret". In the case of thyroid cancer, the rate of new cases rose from 0.35 cases per 100,000 children to 13.0, which is almost a forty-fold increase. The medical organization estimates that there will be tens of thousands of additional cancers in Japan.

Number of stillbirths increased by 13 percent. Smital also criticizes the methodology used to calculate the likelihood of cancer in the UN study. He also speaks of trivialization: "The conclusions reached are in the direction of a trivialization." For a more objective evaluation, data from doctors, hospitals and deaths would have to be systematically evaluated and published. But this data remained under wraps in Japan. There is even a confidentiality law in this regard. The Japanese publicist Fukumoto Masao told the newspaper “Neues Deutschland” that the Japanese government does not publish all data, especially that on contamination with radioactivity. The measured values ​​from official measuring points are always lower than if you measure them yourself. The publicist suspects manipulation. According to his research, the number of stillbirths in the most affected prefectures rose by around 13 percent.

People in Japan also suffer psychologically and socially The UN scientists at least admit that people in Japan suffer psychologically and socially from evacuation or stigmatization, for example. The impact of the accident on health is not limited to the radiation sequences. The report also recalls that 50 hospitalized patients died during the evacuation of the area. According to the "taz", the President of the Society for Radiation Protection, Sebastian Pflugbeil, said that it was "daring" to give the all-clear just three years after the disaster. (sb)

Image: Thommy Weiss /

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