Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report
“Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami”
On April 2nd, 2014, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) published its complete report “Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great east-Japan earthquake and tsunami”.
The report draws mainly on data from the nuclear industry’s publications rather than from independent sources and omits or misinterprets crucial aspects of radiation exposure. Also, we question some of the assumptions used as the basis for calculations in the report.
We are concerned that the apparently systematic underestimations and questionable interpretations in the report will be used by the nuclear industry to downplay the expected health effects of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima.
For these reasons, we present our medical and scientific insight on the UNSCEAR report, noting first the points with which we agree, followed by our ten main points of criticism.
Three years ago, thousands of people died and almost half a million lost their homes in Japan's worst peacetime disaster. But the catastrophe isn't over as experts still struggle to contain radioactive leaks from the stricken plant. DW spoke to Angelika Claußen of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
IPPNW-Report: Health consequences resulting from Fukushima
By Henrik Paulitz, Winfrid Eisenberg, Reinhold Thiel
[March 6 2013] On 11 March 2011, a nuclear catastrophe occurred at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan in the wake of an earthquake and due to serious safety deficiencies. The initial health consequences of the nuclear catastrophe are now, two years after the incident, scientifically verifiable. Similar to the case of Chernobyl, a decline in the birth rate was documented in the nine months following the nuclear catastrophe. In the Fukushima Prefecture alone, some 55,592 children were diagnosed with thyroid gland nodules or cysts. In the long term there are many expected cases of cancer due to Fukushima.
WHO data predicts between 22,000 and 66,000 incidences of cancer in Japan
By Henrik Paulitz, Winfrid Eisenberg, and Reinhold Thiel
[March 14 2013] On 28 February 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its "Health risk assessment" from the nuclear accident of Fukushima. On 6 March 2013 Soon afterwards, on 6 March 2013, the IPPNW, a medical organization critical of nuclear power and weapons, released its dissenting report "Health consequences resulting from Fukushima". The availability of reliable information and comparable assessments on the consequences of such a nuclear catastrophe are essential for the political policy making process. An IPPNW information is therefore intended to show that utilizing the WHO data and assumptions, one arrives at comparable figures for the incidence of illness as those arrived at by the IPPNW.
Critical Analysis of the WHO’s health risk assessment of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe
By Alex Rosen
[March 1 2013] On February 28th, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its „Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami“. This report concluded that “for the general population inside and outside of Japan, the predicted risks are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated.” This analysis discusses the eight main objections to the current WHO report and shows why it should not be considered a neutral scientific assessment of the actual health risks of the affected population, nor a valid basis for future decisions and recommendations.
Appeal to the World Health Organisation
[November 5 2012] IPPNW Germany appeals to the World Health Organisation to substantially expand medical research on the health effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Analysis of WHO report on Fukushima catastrophe
[August 3 2012] On May 23rd, 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) published what it called a „Preliminary dose estimation from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami“. Dr. Alex Rosen analyzes the WHO report by attempting to answer three simple questions: What does the report say? What does the report not say? Who wrote the report?
Effects of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns on environment and health
By Alex Rosen
[March 9 2012] Preliminary tests have shown internal radioactive contamination of children with iodine-131 and caesium-137. It is too early to estimate the extent of health effects caused by the nuclear disaster. Taking into consideration the studies on Chernobyl survivors and the findings of the BEIR VII report, scientists will be able to estimate the effects once the true extent of radioactive emissions, fallout and contamination are better studied. Large-scale independent epidemiological studies are needed in order to better help the victims of this catastrophe. Claims by scientists affiliated with the nuclear industry that no health effects are to be expected are unscientific and immoral.
Setting official radiation value limits for foodstuffs does not offer enough health protection to the population
[September 2011] Current radiation value limits for contaminated foodstuffs in the European Union and in Japan do not offer enough health protection since they permit the population to be unnecessarily exposed to high health risks. This is the conclusion reached in the report, Calculated Fatalities From Radiation: Officially Permissible Limits for Radioactively Contaminated Food in the European Union and Japan, released in Berlin today by the consumer advocacy organization foodwatch and the German Section of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). The report is based on a study by Thomas Dersee und Sebastian Pflugbeil (German Society for Radiation Protection).