Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident

Draft document: Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident
Submitted by Dr. Alex Rosen, IPPNW Germany
Commenting on behalf of the organisation

On what basis do you conclude that "Childhood thyroid cancer cases found in Fukushima Prefecture are unlikely to be the result of radiation exposure after the accident."

The fact is that eight years after the nuclear disaster of Fukushima, people who were children in Fukushima prefecture when the meltdowns occurred, have at least 15 times the risk of developing thyroid cancer than the general Japanese pediatric population. According to the database of the Japanese Cancer Registry, the rate of new cases of childhood thyroid cancer in Japan before the nuclear catastrophe was about 0.35 per 100,000 children per year. With a population of around 360,000 children in the prefecture of Fukushima, about one new disease per year would have been expected, i.e. about eight new cases since the beginning of the nuclear catastrophe in March 2011.

In fact, cancer cells have since been found in 205 children undergoing fine needle biopsy. 167 of these children have had to undergo surgery due to rapid tumor growth, pronounced metastasis or endangerment of vital organs. In 166 cases the suspected fine tissue diagnosis of "thyroid carcinoma" was confirmed, in only one case was a benign tumour present. 38 children are still waiting for surgery. These figures are based on the most recent publications of the Fukushima Medical University (FMU) of 27 December 2018 and include all examination results collected by the end of September 2018.

In the first screening (2011-2014), a total of 101 cancer cases were identified and operated on. In the second screening (2014-2016), an additional 52 cancer cases were identified and operated on (with 19 more still on the waiting list, as cancer cells were found in biopsies in these patients).

This result is highly significant and cannot be explained by a screening effect due to the preliminary examinations of all patients which did not show any signs of cancer. That means all of these 52 cancers have had to develop in the two year span between the 1st and the 2nd screening.

Which explanation do you have to offer for this (highly expected) phenomenon if not the irradiation of the Fukushima population with iodine-131 after the meltdowns? We do recall that NO stable iodine tablets were distributed to the general public in all but one municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture...