Fukushima’s Children Are Dying, About 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times normal. More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating. More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project. The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that “not one person” has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30. But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as well as findings at other commercial reactors.
The likelihood that atomic power could cause such epidemics has been confirmed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which says that “an increase in the risk of childhood thyroid cancer” would accompany a reactor disaster.In evaluating the prospects of new reactor construction in Canada, the Commission says the rate “would rise by 0.3 percent at a distance of 12 kilometers” from the accident. But that assumes the distribution of protective potassium iodide pills and a successful emergency evacuation, neither of which happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2