As promised in the last post, here are the policy recommendations formulated by Helen Caldicott from the symposium held Sunday, July 7, 2013, at the International House of Japan in Roppongi, Tokyo. These recommendations followed Caldicott’s presentation, “The Medical Implications of Fukushima” (contained in the previous post).
- Japan must make public health and safety its highest priority above any economic or business interests
- There must be regularly updated and communication emergency response plans for any radioactive emissions, and immediate public release of information related to any disaster
- An absolute imperative that Japan and the international community co-operate immediately to prevent as much as possible more radioactive releases from Fukushima
- That all schools and populations in proximity to nuclear facilities in Japan be provided with potassium iodide tablets with directions about their use in the event of another nuclear emergency
- Urgent consideration should be given to evacuate populations, particularly children and women of childbearing age living in radiation zones greater than 1 milliseivert/year
- Currently about 1,800 square km, including substantial areas of the cities of Fukushima and Koriyama, are so contaminated that over 600,000 people will and are being exposed to 5 milliseiverts per year, and people are actively being encouraged by the government to return to areas emitting 20 milliseiverts per year. This is medically extremely irresponsible.
- Parts of Tokyo, Tochigi, Miyagi, Gunma, Chiba, Nagano, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures have also been contaminated but government programs responding to the nuclear disaster are artificially confined only to the Fukushima prefecture
- That expenses for relocation and accommodation be provided by the Japanese government
- That a population register must be established for all people that have been exposed to radiation, and they must be monitored for the rest of their lives for all types of cancer, particularly thyroid cancer and leukemia, congenital abnormalities, birth outcomes, diabetes and other diseases related to radiation
- Comprehensive detailed mapping of estimated total radiation exposures (Both external and internal – by whole body monitors) for all people living in affected areas. This has not yet been done by the government.
- All food grown in affected areas plus fish and seaweed must be continually tested for specific isotopes and labeled accordingly. Radioactively contaminated food must not be sold or eaten.
- Children must not be fed any radioactive food
- The government plan for Fukushima farmers to start growing food must be immediately ceased
- Comprehensive long term health screening for all diseases related to radiation exposure for everyone living in radiation areas emitting more than I milliseivert per year and mental health services be provided for all evacuees and residents
- Health monitoring plans and results must be independently monitored and peer reviewed and published as quickly as possible in Japanese and English
- That all people within the exposed population must be informed of their health information, particularly mothers who are desperately in need of information about what radiation exposure could do to their children and what symptoms to look for
- A cancer registry must be initiated in all Japanese prefectures – in 2012 only 10 of Japan’s 47 prefectures had cancer registries
- Treatment for all radiation related diseases must be provided free of charge by the government
- All educational material issued by the nuclear industry to schools must be removed immediately and students must be taught the true facts about the medical consequences of nuclear power and radiation exposure and internal emitters, including cancer, congenital abnormalities and genetic diseases
- Already at least 24,000 workers have participated in the Fukushima disaster remediation, and it is expected that tens of thousands more will be needed over the coming decades. These people have not been adequately monitored or followed up medically. They urgently require adequate radiation protection and monitoring, and ongoing health care for the rest of their lives.
- A national registry for all nuclear workers must be established as it is in other countries which must include utility employees and subcontractors, and workers must have ready access to all their results. There have been cover-ups related to worker exposure and this must not be allowed to occur. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-in/9084151/How-the-Yakuza-went-nuclear.html
- That, beginning with the oldest first, all nuclear reactors, including reprocessing facilities and fast reactors be permanently shut down, as most have been for the last two years.
These recommendations, formulated by Helen Caldicott, have been derived from the following sources:
From a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Fukushima, Rapporteur Anand Grover, on Fukushima: The report by UN special rapporteur Anand Grover
and from the Statement by the International Physicians Board of Directors on the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan related to the Report by the UN Special Rapporteur: Statement by IPPNW Board of Directors
Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health to the UN Human Rights Council