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Thursday, December 29, 2011

TEPCO is washing it’s hands of all ‘Fallout’, ‘It’s no longer our responsibility.’



IN terms of sheer chutzpah, Tokyo Electric Power Co’s claim that it no longer owns the radioactive isotopes that spewed out of its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March takes some beating.
In defending a lawsuit from a Fukushima Prefecture golf club, lawyers said the radioactive cesium that had blighted the Sunfield Nihonmatsu golf course’s fairways and greens was the club’s problem. The utility has taken a similarly hard line defending claims from ryokan (inn) and onsen (spa) owners.
TEPCO’s lawyers used the arcane legal principle of res nullius to argue the emissions that escaped after the tsunami and earthquake triggered a meltdown were no longer its responsibility. “Radioactive materials (such as cesium) that scattered and fell from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant belong to individual landowners, not TEPCO,” the utility told Tokyo District Court.
The court rejected TEPCO’s argument, but ruled it was the responsibility of local, prefectural and national governments to clean it up.more from source

U.S. Fukushima Medical Study Estimates 14,000 Dead U.S. Infants from Fallout

The study is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of the .
In earlier research published five months ago on counterpunch.org the authors noted, “The recent CDC (Center for Disease Control) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicates that eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley) reported the following data on deaths among those younger than one year of age: 4 weeks ending March 19, 2011 – 37 deaths (avg. 9.25 per week) 10 weeks ending May 28, 2011  – 125 deaths (avg.12.50 per week.)This amounts to an increase of 35% (the total for the entire U.S. rose about 2.3%), and is statistically significant.  Of further significance is that those dates include the four weeks before and the ten weeks after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster.”
According to the researchers’ data, on 17 March after Fukushima was impacted, scientists detected the plume of toxic fallout had arrived over U.S. territory and subsequent measurements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found levels of radiation in air, water, and milk hundreds of times above normal across the U.S.
Janette Sherman, MD, said: “Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here may be as high as 18,000, with influenza and pneumonia, which were up five-fold in the period in question as a cause of death. Deaths are seen across all ages, but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults.” Dr. Sherman is an adjunct professor, Western Michigan University and Joseph Mangano is an epidemiologist, and Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project research group
The pair noted, “We recently reported on an unusual rise in infant deaths in the northwestern United States for the 10-week period following the arrival of the airborne radioactive plume from the meltdowns at the Fukushima plants in northern Japan. This result suggested that radiation from Japan may have harmed Americans, thus meriting more research. We noted in the report that the results were preliminary, and the importance of updating the analysis as more health status data become available.”

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