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Physicist Claims Fukushima Disaster Health Risk Grossly Underestimated
The Fukushima Nuclear disaster could affect more people’s health than Chernobyl according to Chris Busby, a chemical physicist who specializes in nuclear radiation. In a recent interview with Asia Pacific Journal he estimates escalated risks due to the proximity of the Fukushima nuclear plant to dense populations combined with the high quantities of low doses of radiation that have spread across the globe. He contends that the ICRP, the International Commission on Radiological Protection, grossly underestimates the risk, which could lead to over 200,000 more cases of cancer in the next 50 years than officially predicted in Japan – and even more worldwide. His findings are startling and controversial, but given the official underestimates of those affected by Chernobyl, his work is not without precedence.
Dr. Busby’s analysis is based on his theory that low dose ionizing radiation causes more cellular damage than the official standards set by the ICRP’s model, which was developed after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His work is on how these low doses of radiation are much more potent when they break down or are excited by Gamma radiation than generally believed, and that the risk of them damaging cells and DNA is therefore underestimated. Given the close proximity of the disaster to Tokyo and the generally high population density of the island nation, the cancer risk would be higher than that of the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown which occurred in a region with a relatively low population.
“I have car air filters from Fukushima and Tokyo. We have found high levels of radioactive particles in these. In my March/April paper I predicted more than 200,000 additional cancers in the next 10 years within a 200 KM radius of Fukushima. I have seen nothing to change my mind. In fact it is worse than I thought then and said on TV.”
He goes on to speculate that Reactor #3 suffered from a nuclear explosion, not just a hydrogen explosion, and that the radioactive cooling water that has spilled into the sea will affect the entire eastern seaboard. His assertion that the health threat of the Japanese disaster is greater than Chernobyl is also based on the much larger amount of exposed nuclear material, although estimates for those sickened by the Chernobyl disaster have reached 1 million.
Much of his work on the danger of low-level radiation has not been peer-reviewed and has been controversial within the radioactive chemistry scientific community. The ICRP however has grossly underestimated those affected by Chernobyl by various studies, and the Japanese government has also underestimated the amount of radiation released.
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