Surveys used to whitewash nuclear industry

The former WHO director, has acknowledged that the control of WHO by IAEA on nuclear issues was problematic.  Therefore we can anticipate that the survey WHO is planning to conduct on Fukushima may provide the same anodyne conclusions.

Dying for TEPCO? Fukushima’s Nuclear Contract Workers, The Asia Pacific Journal , Paul Jobin 28 April 11“…….What is the objective of epidemiological surveys? An epidemiological survey published in March, just before the catastrophe, was based on a huge cohort of 212,000 persons recorded between 1990 and 1999, out of the total of 277,000 who had worked in nuclear plants. The survey found a significant mortality ratio for only one type of leukemia and judged that other forms of cancer among this population could not be attributed to their exposure to radiation at nuclear plants.

One problem is that the survey only calculates mortality ratios, ignoring people who might have cancer but are still alive at the time of the survey. Such obvious methodological bias is frequent in this sort of surveys. In France and other countries, another bias is the tendency to ignore contract workers, though they receive the highest cumulative radioactive doses. Therefore, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the very goal of these epidemiological surveys is to minimize the risks of nuclear radiation and encourage the nuclear industry’s business as usual.

The same logic has prevailed at WHO and IAEA in their evaluation of Chernobyl’s legacy. Compared to a mere 4000 in the “definitive” United Nations report published in 2005,6 the report published in November 2009 by the New York Academy of Sciences (based on more than 5,000 articles translated from Bielorussian, Ukrainian and Russian) evaluated the total number of victims 985,000.7 Of the 830,000 liquidators mobilized at Chernobyl, the NYAS report estimated that at least 112,000 had already died, compared to some 50 in the UN report. While the conclusions of the two reports remain contested, even Nakajima Hiroshi, the former WHO director, has acknowledged that the control of WHO by IAEA on nuclear issues was problematic.  Therefore we can anticipate that the survey WHO is planning to conduct on Fukushima may provide the same anodyne conclusions.

Paul Jobin, Taipei, April 27

This article draws on previous interviews with Philippe Pons, Tokyocorrespondent for Le Monde, and Pierre-André Sieber for La liberté (Switzerland). Original articles: 12…..

http://japanfocus.org/-Japan-Focus/3523
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