There are countries who are selling nuclear reactors all around the world, which means they are not only selling cancer and leukemia to the future generations, but also atomic bombs, anti-nuclear advocate Dr. Helen Caldicott said in RT’s Google Hangout.
During the hangout, Helen Caldicott, answered a variety of RT readers’ questions on topics, ranging from those of immediate importance, like the Fukushima crisis, to the prospects of humanity living through the nuclear age.
Q: Should we all move to Africa in case TEPCO fails to remove the spent fuel rods?
Helen Caldicott: Number one: this is an impossibility. There are billions of people in the Northern Hemisphere and what happens is that if there is a huge release of radiation from Fukushima by accident or by the fuel rods burning, or a fission reaction taking place, the radiation will circulate from west to east around the Northern Hemisphere, but as air masses at the equator, the Northern and Southern Hemisphere air masses do not mix, so most of the fallout in the air will occur in the Northern Hemisphere. And it’s a physical impossibility, of course, to move people to the Southern Hemisphere. Some people might do that, but it’s a terrible situation, because there’s nothing medical people can do about decontaminating people, you can’t decontaminate food, you can’t decontaminate the air that people are breathing.
So we’re facing a potential catastrophe in terms of public health. People should know, though, that it takes a long time to get cancer after you’ve inhaled, breathed in or eaten radioactive materials, like, anytime from two to 80 years. But it is a very serious situation.
'No food testing in Japan, govt lying to you’Q: I live in Tokyo and worry about health impact. When it comes to only cesium, soils here contain 100 becquerels per kilogram of cesium-134 and 137, and about 20 per cent of foods have a few becquerels per kilogram to 10 becquerels per kilogram. Please let me know your opinion on health impact and the reasons you think so.
HC: First of all, parts of Tokyo are extremely radioactive. They’ve taken dirt from the streets, moss from the roofs, and dust from vacuum cleaners inside apartments. And in some cases there are very high measurements of cesium and strontium and other such elements, literally over a hundred elements in the fallout apart from cesium-137 and 134. People in Tokyo, actually, many of them, are at great risk. That’s number one.
Number two, it’s very difficult to know what to eat in Japan because you can’t taste or smell or see radioactive elements in your food. And each dose of radiation that you get adds to the risk of getting cancer. And as you eat more and more radioactive food, more radioactivity builds up in various organs of your body. There is little testing of food in Japan, the government is lying to you, and they are encouraging the farmers in Fukushima to grow their food, which is really criminal because there’s a hell of a lot of fallout on the ground, in Fukushima, and the radiation concentrates back from the soil into rice, green vegetables, milk, meat, and the like.
They are even promoting the Fukushima food in Korea when I was there, and in Taiwan, but also in Tokyo and other places, also in markets in England, so the situation is very grim. And I think if I lived in Tokyo, I would move south. And I would be very, very careful about what I eat. I would only eat food coming from the south of Japan, and I wouldn’t eat any fish because they are pouring huge amounts of radiation into the Pacific Ocean every day. And you don’t know which fish are radioactive and which are not.
Q: Chernobyl happened in 1986, with very radioactive rain over Europe. 40 percent of European area is now covered with radiation.
HC: 40 per cent of the food in Europe is radioactive. I do not buy European food or Japanese food. Luckily, I live in Australia, but if you live in America, you need not to eat Japanese or European food because you don’t know what food is radioactive and what is not. And medically, you mustn’t eat any radiation in food! And what’s more, Europe will remain radioactive for hundreds or thousands of years!
And that’s so, too, with Fukushima. And the report of the national Academy of Sciences in New York about Chernobyl says [that] by now, about over a million people have died, not only of cancer and leukaemia, but from other diseases from the radioactive fallout, in Europe, as well as in Ukraine and Russia. And if you extrapolate that data to Japan, [which is] much more densely populated, we’re going to see a lot of cancers. Already, in two-and-a-half years, they’ve diagnosed, or suspectedly diagnosed, 44 cases of thyroid cancer, and thyroid cancer is extremely rare, one in a million children get thyroid cancer. So this indicates [that] those children and everyone else have received extremely high doses of radioactive iodine and lots of other elements, so that bodes very badly for the future, for the Japanese people.
Q: We have learnt there were soya plants beginning to grow in Chernobyl. Why can’t we do genetic studies on them and adopt them in stable food crops to deal with radioactive exposure in farmlands?
HC: Let me tell you there’s a wonderful scientist called Timothy Mousseau, who is an evolutionary biologist, who is going into exclusion zones, very radioactive zones around Chernobyl and Fukushima, to the detriment of his own health. He is looking at the birds and the insects, and the wildlife, plants in those areas, and [found], first of all, that birds he was looking at have smaller than normal brains because developing brains are very sensitive to the effects of radiation. Many of the male birds are sterile which means that they will die out. They are covered with mutations, they have crooked tails, crooked wings, white patches on them. Many of them have cataracts in their eyes.