Posts Tagged ‘nuclear crisis’

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Released
Far More Radiation Than Government Said

Global radioactivity data challenge Japanese estimates
for emissions and point to the role of spent fuel pools

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The analysis also revealed that if it were not for the wind blowing out to sea, the accident could easily have created a more severe radiation emergency.

From scientificamerican.com:

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.

The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, believes that the analysis is the most comprehensive effort yet to understand how much radiation was released from Fukushima Daiichi. “It’s a very valuable contribution,” says Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeler with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who was not involved with the study…

Please click here to read this article in full at scientificamerican.com.

Some IndyCar drivers
wary of heading to Japan

Friday, September 16th, 2011

With the race circuit located just 90 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, some drivers taking potassium iodide pills to offset potential radiation intake.

From indystar.com:

Forgive Ryan Hunter-Reay and other Izod IndyCar Series drivers if they’re not sure what to believe about safety concerns in Japan, a country still reeling from earthquake and tsunami damage six months ago.

On one hand there’s Danica Patrick, who last week brought the issue to the forefront with comments during a NASCAR event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. If radiation exposure isn’t a concern, she said, contaminated food is.

On the other hand is Takuma Sato, a Japanese driver who told IndyCar.com from Tokyo there should be “no hesitation” about making the trip to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit even though it’s located just 90 miles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Then there are MotoGP riders who are concerned and U.S. State Department officials who aren’t. MotoGP postponed its spring race to Oct. 2.

Hunter-Reay said Monday that he is hoping the experts are right…

Please click here to read this article in full at indystar.com.

Quake Renews Call to Enforce Pill Law

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

At least 30 members of Congress have asked the Obama White House to “take a fresh look” at the implementation of a law to distribute potassium iodide pills to those living near nuclear power plants.

From online.wsj.com:

It has been nearly a decade since Congress passed a law promoting distribution of pills to people living near nuclear plants that would minimize one potentially lethal effect of accidental radiation exposure. But the law still hasn’t been implemented.

Now, lawmakers and public advocates are once again urging action, citing Tuesday’s earthquake in Virginia and the much larger temblor last March in Japan as evidence that more needs to be done because, in each case, nuclear reactors temporarily lost grid power, a condition that poses the threat of radiation release if reactors overheat and can’t be sufficiently cooled.

In the case of Japan’s quake and tsunami, there was massive damage to reactors, which overheated when electricity was lost for many days, leading to the release of radiation. Virginia’s 5.8-magnitude quake caused the North Anna nuclear power station to trip out of service, but generators kicked in and normal connections were restored within 24 hours.

U.S. law requires the president to authorize the distribution of pills to people living within 20 miles of reactors to protect them against a type of cancer caused by radiation exposure. The pills—containing inexpensive potassium iodide, which is the substance used to iodize common table salt—can prevent thyroid cancer by saturating the thyroid gland with a harmless type of iodine, keeping it from absorbing radioactive iodine that might be inhaled or ingested after a radiation release. Each 65mg pill provides about a day’s worth of protection…

Please click here to read this article in full at online.wsj.com.

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Impacts
Local Business, Fleming Pharmaceuticals

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

The Webster-Kirkwood Times has an article reporting on the impact the nuclear crisis in Japan has had on Fleming Pharmaceuticals:

Deborah Fleming Wurdack of Wildwood, co-owner of Fleming Pharmaceuticals in Fenton, holds a bottle of the in-demand ThyroShield radiation sickness medicine

Deborah Fleming Wurdack of Wildwood, co-owner of Fleming Pharmaceuticals in Fenton, holds a bottle of the in-demand ThyroShield radiation sickness medicine. Photo by Diana Linsley

Fenton’s Fleming Pharmaceuticals produces ThyroShield, a top medicine for counteracting radiation sickness. As leaks from the Fukushima plant complex continue into their third month, the fallout has included more business for the Fenton company.

“We used to get about 60 phone calls a week at our business,” said Fleming President Phil Dritsas. “When things went bad for the Japanese reactors in March, after the earthquake and tsunami, we started getting 2,000 phone calls a week.

“There were a lot of phone calls for our medicine and calls from the media,” said Dritsas. “CNN and FOX were in our parking lot. We’ve been in papers like the Wall Street Journal and had TV and radio interviews from all over the world.

“We did all that we could to ramp up our production to meet all the demands for ThyroShield,” added Dritsas. “Now we are studying the logistics of how we would ramp up production if there were a nuclear disaster in the U.S. and the demand spiked like it has with Japan.”

Dritsas explained that most of the orders since March for the medicine were from Japan. However, stateside companies with employees working in cities like Tokyo, also ordered lots of ThyroShield for protection of their employee families residing in Japan.

Be sure to read the full article at the Webster-Kirkwood Times website.

IndustryWeek Reports on Fleming’s
Increased Supply of Nuclear Safeguard

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

IndustryWeek reports on Fleming’s efforts to increase supply of ThyroShield®, a potassium iodide oral solution:

Fleming Pharmaceuticals, maker of ThyroShield®– the only FDA approved liquid potassium iodide product indicated for thyroid protection in radiation emergencies — announced on April 21 that it has is now able to ramp up production to meet increased domestic and international demand.ThyroShield® is an over-the-counter iodide solution which, when taken orally, saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed.

“ThyroShield® was developed under the Orphan Drug Act -– a federal law designed to encourage the development of pharmaceuticals that have limited commercial potential,” explains Phill Dritsas, president of Fleming Pharmaceuticals.”It has always been made-to-order, rather than produced in mass quantities like other, more common over-the-counter medications. With the production changes we’ve implemented over the past six weeks, we are confident that we can now fulfill increase in demand for the product.”

Be sure to read the full article at IndustryWeek. Remember that you can find out more about ThyroShield, including how to purchase it, on our website.

Fleming Raises Production of
Nuclear Safeguard, ThyroShield®

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

ST. LOUIS, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ Fleming Pharmaceuticals, maker of ThyroShield®– the only FDA approved liquid potassium iodide product indicated for thyroid protection in radiation emergencies – announced today that it has implemented the changes necessary to ramp up production to meet increased domestic and international demand.

ThyroShield is an over-the-counter iodide solution which, when taken orally, saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed. ThyroShield is especially effective for babies and children, who are most at risk during radiation exposure.

“The March 11 incident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant has increased awareness of the need for preparedness in the event of a major nuclear emergency,” stated Phill Dritsas, president of Fleming Pharmaceuticals. “Based on the number of inquiries we have received in the past month from governments, hospitals and others around the world, it is clear to us that we need to do everything within our power here at Fleming to help meet the need for global and domestic relief. We’ve responded by taking steps to ensure that we can significantly increase production of ThyroShield.”

Working closely with the FDA, Fleming Pharmaceuticals has qualified a new potassium iodide (KI) supplier to ensure a steady supply of quality raw materials to manufacture ThyroShield. The company has also established new agreements with vendors to shorten lead times needed to complete orders for ThyroShield package components such as bottles, caps and droppers. Finally, Fleming Pharmaceuticals has completed a thorough audit to identify production line logistics that can be immediately implemented to fulfill any significant new orders for ThyroShield.

“ThyroShield was developed under the Orphan Drug Act – a federal law designed to encourage the development of pharmaceuticals that have limited commercial potential,” Dritsas said. “It has always been made-to-order, rather than produced in mass quantities like other, more common over-the-counter medications. With the production changes we’ve implemented over the past six weeks, we are confident that we can now fulfill increase in demand for the product.”

For more information, visit www.flemingpharma.com or www.thyroshield.com.

Fleming producing more of radiation drug

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The Saint Louis Business Journal reports on Fleming’s continued production of ThyroShield:

Fleming Pharmaceuticals, which has seen a spike in demand for its potassium iodide product since the nuclear incidents in Japan last month, said Thursday that it is ready to further increase production to meet that demand. Fenton-based Fleming makes ThyroShield, an over-the-counter thyroid-blocking liquid medicine for “radiation emergencies.” Taken orally, the drug saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed.

The company said it has worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to qualify a new supplier for the raw materials to make ThyroShield and struck new deals with packaging and other vendors to shorten lead times to complete orders.

Be sure to read the full article at the St. Louis Business Journal. Remember that you can find out more about ThyroShield, including how to purchase it, on our website.