PSR, IPPNW Germany: Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report “Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami” / UNSCEAR報告書「2011年東日本大震災後の原子力事故による放射線被ばくのレベルと影響」の批判的分析

Physicians for Social Responsibility, USA
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War / Physicians in social responsibility, Germany
Physicians for Global Survival, Canada
Mexican Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Mexico
Association of Guatemalan Physicians and Scientists for the Prevention of War, Guatemala
Physicians for Social Responsibility / IPPNW, Switzerland
Danish Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (DLMK), Denmark
Medical Association for the Protection of the Environment and Against Nuclear and Biochemical Threat, Greece
French Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (AMFPGN), France
Physicians Union Lege Artis, Serbia
Dutch Medical Association for Peace Research (NVMP), The Netherlands
Irish Doctors Environmental Association, Ireland
Association of Physicians and Medical Workers for Social Responsibility / IPPNW, Kenya
Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind, Nigeria
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Egypt
Physicians for Peace and Preservation of the Environment, Israel
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), India
Physicians for Peace and Social Responsibility, Malaysia
Austrian Physicians against Violence and Nuclear Dangers (OMEGA), Austria


I) Introduction

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is a global federation of doctors working towards a healthier, safer and more peaceful world. In more than 60 countries, our national affiliates are acting as advocates of nuclear abolition and proponents of a nuclearfree world. For its work, IPPNW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

In 2011, the IPPNW Board of Directors unanimously agreed to adopt a more encompassing stance towards the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world by addressing the strong interdependency between the military and civilian branches of the nuclear chain. A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.  As physicians, we are also concerned about the environmental and health implications of all aspects of the nuclear chain – from the public health impact of uranium mining and the creation of large amounts of radioactive tailings, the inherent dangers of processing and transporting fissile material around the globe, the uncontrollable risks attached to the civil use of nuclear energy, the dual use capability of fissile material for both civilian and military purposes and the ensuing proliferation risk, all the way to the global health impact of nuclear weapons testing and the unsolved problem of nuclear waste.  Every human being has the right to live in an environment free of radioactive contamination, compatible with health and well-being.

After the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns in March of 2011, IPPNW physicians were approached by many affected families, local politicians and doctors in Fukushima and were asked for their expertise on the health effects of radioactive fallout.  In the past three years, IPPNW physicians have been helping the people of the contaminated regions gather valid scientific information and protect their children from the harmful effects of radiation.  In many instances, IPPNW has had to confront and publicly criticize attempts by the nuclear industry and its lobby groups to downplay the consequences of the catastrophe.  We supported the families, doctors and scientists who opposed the government’s decree to raise the permissible annual radiation exposure level for children from 1 to 20 mSv and took a strong stance against the proponents of the Japanese “nuclear village” who publicly proclaimed that the increased radiation exposure would pose no harm to human health.

After the IPPNW World Congress in Japan in August of 2012, IPPNW physicians visited the contaminated regions in Fukushima and participated in scientific conferences, public meetings and university lectures. Like Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health to the Human Rights Council, we are concerned that the people affected by Fukushima radioactive fallout are systematically deprived of their right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being.

On April 2nd, 2014, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) published its complete report “Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great east-Japan earthquake and tsunami”. In its press release,  UNSCEAR uses the following phrase to sum up its findings:  “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases are expected due to exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident” This echoes the UNSCEAR press release from May 31st, 2013, which stated: “Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers”.

Publications and current research give no justification for such apparently optimistic presumptions. Although many of UNSCEAR’s evaluations of the extensive and complex data presented in their report will be useful in assessing the consequences of the nuclear catastrophe on public health and the environment, we also feel that the report does not reveal the true extent of the consequences of the Fukushima disaster. The Belgian Association for Radiation Protection, which is a member of UNSCEAR, criticized that the report has even retreated from the lessons of Chernobyl.  The report draws mainly on data from the nuclear industry’s publications rather than from independent sources and omits or misinterprets crucial aspects of radiation exposure. Also, we question some of the assumptions used as the basis for calculations in the report.  Even a month after publication of the report, the important appendices containing the raw data have still not been made accessible, preventing independent verification of UNSCEAR’s conclusions.

We are concerned that the apparently systematic underestimations and questionable interpretations in the report will be used by the nuclear industry to downplay the expected health effects of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima.  Furthermore, public authorities need reliable interpretations of scientific data in order to act in the best interest of the public, as well as an honest assessment of the limitations and uncertainties of available data and assumptions.  The “precautionary principle” as defined by the Declaration of Rio in 1992 dictates, that in situations of scientific uncertainty, the worst possible outcome should be presumed and acted upon. However, we feel that the UNSCEAR report, which will most likely be considered by most public authorities as a reliable and scientifically sound basis for their policies, is over-optimistic and misleading. This could negatively affect future public policy, scientific research, social support and health services for the affected population in Japan. We are also worried that the unsubstantiated and unreliable conclusions of the UNSCEAR report could have negative long-term impacts on international radiation safety standards and emergency response guidelines and risk higher exposure to future generations. For these reasons, we present our medical and scientific insight on the UNSCEAR report, noting first the points with which we agree, followed by our ten main points of criticism.



I) はじめに

II) UNSCEAR報告書の同意点
1 日本全体の集団実効線量を計算したこと
2 避難区域外と近隣県での放射線被ばく量を推定したこと
3 過去に報告されたよりもはるかに大きな海洋放出量に言及したこと
4 フクシマ大惨事が単一の事象でなく進行中のプロセスであると正確に描写していること

III) 批判の主要点
1 UNSCEARのソースターム推定値の妥当性は疑わしい
2 内部被ばく量の計算に大きな懸念がある
3 フクシマ作業員らの線量評価は信用できない
4 UNSCEAR報告書は、フォールアウトの人間以外の生物相への影響を無視している
5 胎芽の放射線への特別な脆弱性が考慮されていない
6 非癌疾患と遺伝的影響はUNSCEARに無視されている
7 核フォールアウトと自然放射線との比較は誤解を招く
8 UNSCEARのデータ解釈には疑問がある
9 政府によって取られた防護措置が誤って伝えられている
10 集団線量推計値からの結論が提示されていない
IV) 結論
V)  頭字語と略語のリスト
VI) 参考文献