All energy systems have their downside and every one is a ‘genie in a bottle’ that if released, attacks us. Hydropower: dams break, coal is very dirty, oil is even dirtier than coal in many ways being liquid coal, so to speak. The list goes on with one form of energy being the worst genie in the bottle: nuclear energy. It is extremely destructive but is, when not blowing up, notoriously invisible as is CO2 gases. Only CO2 is food for plants whereas nuclear filth attacks all living things at the cellular level.
When handling the particularly dangerous genie in the bottle, the smallest mistakes quickly mushroom into explosive power. Yet again, the careless handling of nuclear energy has caused another disaster in Japan: Researchers hurt at Ibaraki nuclear facility | The Japan Times
Officials from the Ibaraki Prefectural Government raided the complex Saturday afternoon to investigate the delay in reporting the incident. A malfunction occurred at 11:55 a.m. Thursday during an experiment to produce elementary particles by aiming a proton beam at a target made of gold, the agency said.
An alarm went off shortly afterward and the experiment was halted. But a researcher in charge of the equipment restarted it at 12:08 p.m., despite not having pinpointed the cause of the alarm, sources familiar with the investigation said.
As a result, the proton output jumped unexpectedly, causing part of the gold to evaporate and the generation of radioactive substances that leaked out of the controlled area, according to the agency…The level of radioactive contamination at the facility stands at as much as 40 becquerels per square centimeter
Huge parts of the former Soviet Union have been rendered nearly uninhabitable due to careless handling of nuclear materials or ridiculous experiments that failed such as the stupidity at Chernobyl. I was wondering why the Japanese were performing this experiment and looked up similar information.
I am puzzled as to why articles don’t tell people why these experiments are happening. It appears to me that this is all about cancer treatments. One of the more bizarre aspects of nuclear power and the cosmos is, the cure for many cancer tumors is to hit them with nuclear radiation. My ex-husband’s melanoma of the eye was treated this way but the treatments using nuclear photons caused more harm than good and he lost his eye.
It seems a number of researchers are seeking ways of using photon lasers on cancer victims and they use gold as a ‘marker’ to zero in on the tumors: AbstractID: 7179 Title: Influence of implanted gold markers on the dose distributions for therapeutic proton beam
PURPOSE: The aim of this work is to examine the influence of implanted gold markers on the dose distributions in proton therapy and to investigate the dependency on the marker position in Spread Out Bragg Peak (SOBP) proton beam.
RESULTS: Gold is high-Z material, which is good for CT marker but give more proton beam divergency and more under-dosed volume. The under-dosed volume of cold spots due to the single gold marker is measured to be 0.035 cc which has less than 80% of a prescription dose. The effect on the volume-dose relation has been studied. Monte Calro simulation made us enable to study the various conditions of marker position.
From Wikipedia: Radiation protection
Graded-Z shielding is a laminate of several materials with different Z values (atomic numbers) designed to protect against ionizing radiation. Compared to single-material shielding, the same mass of graded-Z shielding has been shown to reduce electron penetration over 60%.
In a typical graded-Z shield, the high-Z layer effectively scatters protons and electrons. It also absorbs gamma rays, which produces X-ray fluorescence. Each subsequent layers absorbs the X-ray fluorescence of the previous material, eventually reducing the energy to a suitable level. Each decrease in energy produces bremsstrahlung and Auger electrons, which are below the detector’s energy threshold. Some designs also include an outer layer of aluminium, which may simply be the skin of the satellite.
So it appears that this accident in Japan was due to seeking ways of blasting at gold film while recording the power of the photon beams being used for cancer therapies. Whew.
It seems there is some controversy about the efficiency of using photon beams on cancer tumors: https://www.astro.org/uploadedFiles/Content/Clinical_Practice/ProtonBeamReport.pdf
We are not the first to attempt to answer these important questions. In 2007, two systematic reviews of the literature were performed in Europe and published in Radiotherapy and Oncology. Olsen et al.  summarized that in all disease sites, including pediatric, ocular, gastrointestinal (GI), lung, and base of skull, the evidence for the efficacy of proton therapy is low.
They did comment that there is more support for its use in prostate cancer as a method of dose escalation, but no conclusions could be drawn regarding the preference of protons over photons as a method of dose escalation. Lodge et al.  similarly reviewed the literature in addition to studies of ion therapy. They concluded that there is no evidence for the use of protons in GI, pelvis, head and neck, lung, and sarcoma. They conclude that in prostate cancer protons are an option but not superior to photons.
Here is another study on this issue: Activation of Implanted Gold Markers in Therapeutic Proton Beams
J. J. Wilkens from the Northeast Poton Therapy Center Report 2004:
Implanted gold seeds are frequently used as markers for patient set-up in radiotherapy. In this work we study the activation of these gold seeds in clinical proton beams, and we investigate the potential use of this effect as an in vivo dosimeter. We irradiated gold seeds at the Northeast Proton Therapy Center in phantom experiments and measured the gamma spectra of the activated seeds with a germanium detector.
This sounds an awful lot like the Japanese experiment. I wish we had more detailed information.
Japan is a first world nation that supposedly is very scientific and careful about handling dangerous tools and materials only Japan treats these things like a third world nation which incidentally, the US did in the past, too and continues to do as does Russia and others: Expand health survey beyond Fukushima: UN Strict radiation reference levels shunned to stem Fukushima exodus as Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant struggles to keep staff.
The government of Japan wants rice to be grown in the vicinity of the nuclear debris zone. The government decided to make all of Japan contaminated by deliberately shipping the debris to all parts and burning it releasing the toxins into the atmosphere. Workers at the nuclear power plant are abused and ill-fed, ill-housed and cast aside after reaching the limits of exposure.
Instead of monitoring things closely, the government has to be pressured to do any record keeping about health problems and this goes ditto for the US government which has steadily refused to accurately track the dire side effects of nuclear pollution and it is ironic that this disaster this week in Japan was in pursuit of therapy for cancers which are caused by exposure to nuclear contamination!
Tepco Leads Declines in Utilities After Report on Fukushima Bill which allows more claims against the utility.
Then there is this news today: S. Korea Suspends Operations at Reactors Over Faked Documents – Bloomberg
South Korea’s nuclear regulator began its investigation in April following information from a whistle-blower, according to the ministry’s statement. An earlier probe into faked certificates led to the suspension of two reactors in November. Korea Hydro Chief Executive Officer Kim Kyun Seop said at the time he would resign once the certificates “mess” was fixed.
And in the US, Boxer wants US probe on San Onofre for the exact same reason, the falsification of records, the hiding information which is RAMPANT with all nuclear facilities. The Hanford nuclear weapons site faces radiation cleanup challenges exactly like all other nuclear process points in the past! They pollute for generations and cleaning up is nearly impossible.
We have no idea what disasters are lurking in Pakistan or Israel or for that matter, India’s nuclear programs. And nuts want to spread this all across the planet in ever-wider circles into countries that are third world through and through. We can’t trust first world nations to control this dangerous genie!
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