28 May 2016

read it and weep / though not on trial, Henry Kissinger gave his approval to torture and kill

By Santiago Del Carril
Herald Staff

Trial could open the door
to further investigations implicating 
Latin American and US officials
A historic verdict that could for the first time judicially confirm the cooperation between the Southern Cone region’s military dictatorships in eliminating political activists — in what is known as Operation Condor — could be given today, opening the door for further investigations. 

Operation Condor was a plan between military regimes from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay during the 1970s and 1980s to share information, resources and exchange prisoners who would then be secretly tortured and many times executed with their bodies discarded and hidden. “If the court ruling is favourable, this would be the first judicial sentence that addresses and establishes that Operation Condor was an illegal association between different states,” CELS Executive Director Gastón Chillier told the Herald yesterday. The human rights organization was part of a group of plaintiffs who requested that an investigation be opened in 1999, which finally commenced in 2013.

Although 32 former military officers from Argentina and one Uruguayan were originally indicted in the case, only 17 will receive a sentence after the others either died of natural causes or were removed due to health problems. The remaining accused will receive a verdict for the murders of 109 political activists from the region.

CELS and the prosecution are requesting up to 25-year prison sentences for the military officers. The majority of the victims originated from Argentina, while 45 were from Uruguay, 22 from Chile, 15 from Paraguay and 13 from Bolivia.

Part of the investigation focused on a clandestine detention centre known as Automores Orletti, where Uruguay victims who had tried to flee their country or were living in exile in Argentina were detained.

“We’ve had a lot of collaboration from Uruguay, Chile and Brazil in collecting and analyzing specific documents related to the investigation,” state prosecutor Pablo Ouviña told the Herald.

One of the most important pieces of evidence presented in the case is the Archive of Terror from Paraguay’s Museum of Memory that was discovered in 1992. The stash of documents demonstrated how the Paraguayan intelligence agents would cooperate, and the foundation of Plan Condor. “The Terror archive was incorporated in the case, showing how in 1975 they made Operation Condor official, and how the different countries would cooperate, and the phases of the plan in details,” explained to the Herald, CELS lawyer Luz Palma Zuldau, who is representing the human rights organization in the trial. The CELS lawyer was alluding to a secret meeting that occurred on November 28, 1975, held between intelligence heads from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In this meeting, the Intelligence directors signed an act officially establishing Operation Condor. Intelligence agents such as the Argentine Jorge Casas, Bolivian Carlos Mena, Uruguayan José Fons, Chilean Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda, and Paraguayan Benito Guanes Serrano made a pact to eliminate not only political opponents, but also social activists, and union and student leaders. For decades, previous governments in the region denied that a secret operation had existed, until human rights activist Martín Almada discovered the “Archives of Terror” in 1992 in the Paraguayan city of Lambaré.

According to the CELS, Operation Condor was divided into three periods.

The first phase was the creation of a database to track the movements of guerrillas, political parties and leftist groups, union leaders, religious authorities, liberal politicians and anyone perceived as an enemy of the authoritarian military dictatorship.

This was followed by a second phase, where they would begin to identify and attack those political enemies in the region, and even in some cases eliminate those who were residing outside the region such as in the United States or Europe. A notable case is that of former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier under ex-president Salvador Allende’s administration. In 1976, he and his US companion were blown up by a car bomb in Sheridan circle in Washington DC. This was later revealed to be ordered by former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The documents incorporated in the trial also reveal that United States government agencies were aware of the program and some government leaders even secretly approved it.

One of the best-known pieces of evidence is a memorandum of conversation between former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Argentine foreign minister Admiral César Augusto Guzzetti, which was declassified by the National Security Archive (NSA) in 2004. “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you should get back quickly to normal procedures,” Kissinger answers Guzzetti after consulting him about the human rights violations they were committing, in a meeting held in Santiago, Chile in June, 1976.
Although Kissinger’s and the US government’s role weren’t the focus of the trial, Chillier explained to the Herald that there is a possibility that this could lead to other investigations in the region.

“Kissinger’s role in this Operation wasn’t part of the investigation... but it remains clear that they (US government officials) were aware of the plan... An interesting piece of evidence incorporated in the case was that the US had facilitated a communications site based in Panama to help provide intelligence services to the nations involved via the telex system,” said Chillier. He highlighted that more information about the United States role in the operation could be revealed when archives from that period are declassified, as US President Barack Obama promised on his state trip to Argentina last March.

In many countries, such as Paraguay, investigations into crimes against humanity committed by the former military authorities has so far been limited. While former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner and Chilean General Augusto Pinochet had been cited to testify, they died before they could be taken to trial. The only former dictator who is being tried is ex-Argentine general Reynaldo Bignone, who is the highest-ranking surviving ex-military figure.

For many victims from other countries, such as Paraguay, this is an opportunity to receive some type of justice over what happened to them. “This is a trial that will have not only effects in Argentina, but also symbolic and historic effects in countries that participated in Operation Condor... we hope this generates a series of political decisions that leads to more investigations,” said Palma Zardua.

@delcarril

- 30 -

26 May 2016

PizzaQ! new t-shirt / somebody wake Amy / progress in Machine Translation between Natural Languages / Nob schmoz ka-Pop

Click to enlarge maybe

LEAVE A COMMENT if you know what (if anything) my t-shirt means or represents. What is it? What is it trying to say to strangers, kin, police officers, children?

What will my torso say to people I pass? (If anything.)

There's a Face. Say something about that.

Three Words. Each is a valid legal kosher halal even nice polite positive word.

There's a shitload of a gazillion colored little spheres. Somebody wake Amy.

Put them all together, and they tell the world: 
 
_______?___________

What's going on on my public torso in a day or two? What's going on on your public torso in a day or two if you print this out and take it to Paradise Copies, Northampton MA USA and give the clerk some money, and come back the next day and you got a wonderful new t-shirt. (Once or twice I've put it on in the parking lot. I couldn't wait till I got home.)

But making a new t-shirt at Paradise Copies in Northampton (a big heavy fancy smart college/university town with much disposable income) is just goddam fun. I like to do my work and then linger and loiter and gawk. The whole workspace is just buzzing with ideas and goofy images and goofy-looking young and old people and have it tomorrow by noon. It has 5 types of liquid adhesive, it has adhesive tape, double-sided (my fave), staplers, scissors, gang punchers, all free, and it has about 20 self-serve monster computer-controlled photocopy machines. Reductions, Enlargements, you punch in the percentage change you want.

Everything in Northampton, Massachusetts is called Paradise. Paradise Pizza. Paradise Prosthetics. (We have a lot of military veterans because of the Veterans hospital and the USA's longest-ever wars.) Paradise Septic Service. Because [Wikipedia]

In 1851 opera singer Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", declared [at the Academy of Music, still there, box office opens at noon] Northampton to be the "Paradise of America", from which Northampton took its nickname The Paradise City.

Chef on South Park tells the kids:

"Boys, there's a time and a place for everything. It's called college."

Big Pizza with Funghi & Garlic & Shallots for best (true) Comment. But feel free to submit False and/or Not True Comments. 

The Dutch Power Cows are Dutch cows which run very fast and produce milk for delicious cheese on powerful engines (made by Philips in Lightbulbville).

 
15 December 2006 03:19 PM                                                                     User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



GeoffBlackwell

Posts: 3762
Joined: 18 January 2003

 
 This is what my translator gives:


The Dutch Power Cows have been proposed for ISOC (Internet society the Netherlands) award in the categorie best social initiative. The Internet society is an association which in 170 landen active are, and that accessible, stable and safe Internet on world scale pursues. She does that by means of requested and unasked advices, concrete projects and by knowledge available to put for ...........

??????????????

Regards

Geoff Blackwell

25 May 2016

Spring Break! la vie Hellenique / Flaming Youth, Excuse Our Dust / I'm pledging ΛΧΑ! Awesome!




Oregon Fraternities Allegedly Trash California Island

College students visit the island in the middle of Lake Shasta annually.



Cleanup Underway at Lake Shasta After Fraternity Visit
CBS Sacramento


The University of Oregon is investigating allegations that a student trip spearheaded by its fraternities trashed a nearby island.
Up to 1,000 students, on 60 houseboats, are said to have been involved in wrecking Slaughterhouse Island, leaving trash everywhere in a location that has little mechanisms for its disposal. The island has no bathrooms. Park officials found 90 abandoned tents, trash bags, sleeping bag, coolers, and Oregon apparel.

College students visit the island in the middle of Lake Shasta in Northern California each year in May.

"What was different about this one is they left behind an incredible amount of trash," a representative for Shasta-Trinity National Forest told Tribune Media Wire.


The university itself called the scene "disgraceful."


"The manner in which the forest was left was absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful," said Robin Holmes, the vice president for student life.


There are about 4,000 students who are involved in fraternities and sororties at the University of Oregon. This is not the first time they have been implicated in trouble. Last month a report by the school found many of the fraternites and sororities perform hazing rituals where the students are forced to drink an excessive amount.


One photo from over the weekend showed a cooler with Lambda Chi Alpha's letters and the phrase, "Do you wanna do some blow man?"



No arrests have been made.



It was just a typical weekend," says Rob Sandbloom, sergeant in charge of the boating unit for the Shasta County Sheriff's Department. "When the college kids come down here...we have all of our boats out on the water."
Sandbloom did lambast the students, however.


"My personal guess is they have no respect for mankind, but professionally, I don't know," he said.



Park authorities are just trying to get the place back in shape for the holiday weekend.


"It's going to be days until it's cleaned up," Phyllis Swanson, spokeswoman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, said. "We hope to have it done by Memorial Day."


"This type of event puts a great amount of stress on us," she said. "We're low on resources and now we have to pull people from other programs to help with the clean-up."



Curt Mills Staff Writer







28 April 2016

PIZZAQ! VleeptronZ's new flag! (with full provenance and end user authentication) ... so ... who am I?






Click, maybe flag gets bigger


1 large hexagonally tesselated pizza with anchovies & garlic

20 March 2016

on which weekday were you born / deep in night or early morn

click to enlarge

17 March 2016

re-issue Postalo Vleeptron: Very Long Half-Life Ionizing Radiation / funky Flint tap water / Vleeptron Dude could have acquired a Red-Hot Skill Set!


Click to enarge if you need to make it bigger
 to grok what it's trying to tell you.

Doh I can't believe I thought that was a football score. Organized team school sports -- I took a Very Wrong Turn by Age 5 and never found my way back.



Hampshire College nearby, the last of the Alternative Different Little Colleges of the 60s/70s, they're all very big into sports, hackysack, frisbee (one kid wrote his Big Paper on frisbee entrepreneurship), amd they hold a huge summer program for unicycling, juggling, the goofier circus arts. All sports must be non-competitive, no winners, no losers, and the whole point is to include all players and encourage cooperation.



Yesterday at the supermarket I was behind three lovely young women buying a shopping cart filled with hundreds of bananas. I couldn't resist, and they explained they were making banana bread to sell and raise money for their Smith College Frisbee Team.


I also completely spaced on 3/14 until people on chat started chatting about Pi Day around 01:00. A chatter sent me the big Pi(e) image. Tonight I brought home a cherry pie and Cynthia, who'd just returned from visiting an old pal in Maryland, and I ate a slice. The guy who started all this Pi Day stuff was Robert Oppenheimer's brother, he founded and ran a very thrilling science museum in San Francisco. (The FBI thought it best not to invite this brother to work on the Manhattan Project.)



I think from far away reading and TV that Ann Arbor's water is in no way affected by Flint's woes. Apparently your governor has the legal authority to retain and hide official documents (like staff memos about Flint's funky water) and keep them from the media and the public. It takes a pissed-off Big Judge to force government documents out of the governor's office.



Originally I wanted a Geiger counter to survey for uranium in Rock Creek Park near where I lived in DC. Blow me down, the damn place just clicks that Geiger counter enthusiastically, there is indeed uranium in Rock Creek Park!

But the little instruction manual had easy little equations, and if I'd snuck back with shovels, the uranium was worth about 1 cent per dug ton of dirt. Also the Park Police would start to notice me and my buddies digging up their park.



I'm sure I told you that in the List of Army Schools with Openings on the day I got drafted, the nice recruiting sergeant said I could pick any school on his list that struck my fancy, add 1 year to my 2 year active commitment. The only one that caught my fancy -- remember, I was very angry and disoriented that week -- was Nuclear Weapons Maintenance and Repair, in Sandia, New Mexico. I figured I'd learn lots of potentially very useful information.



But if you think about how long the draft lasted, and DoD by 1953 had thousands of A-bombs and H-bombs requiring lots of this arcane MOS/AFS -- well, decades of teaching very angry and possibly unbalanced young men all about nuclear bombs, there's thousands of them out there, old vets like us, young Afghanistan and Iraq guys, but we have a Special Skill Set. Ditto the other big nuclear powers, they put thousands of bright young people on this Career or Home Hobbyist Path, too.



Look, the world is filled with invisible, odorless, colorless, practically imperceivable Toxic Powerful Crap. I've known since my youth prospecting experiences with the $25 PRI portable GC that this box and all its ilk -- well, suddenly I could perceive the imperceivable, I could see the invisible. I know colorless's color.The Deadly Toxins could not sneak past me.



You could be sitting on a chair cushion and inside is a big chunk of radium -- how would you know (other than a warmer than normal ass)?



But I got these gizmos. I know. I know why my ass feels hot. My gizmos tells me to FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE if it ever becomes that kind of situation in the neighborhood. (There are several models that do just that one job: scream that you should FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE NOW BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP .)


Here's the True Story of a Boy Scout (still living, and he eventually attained Eagle Scout) who flipped to the next merit badge in the Manual: radioactivity.


 

When last heard from, he lived in your state. Don't leave him alone with your smoke detectors, he's wild about the chips inside them, Americium-241, it's hot as hell, it pegs the needle and your gizmo makes a lot of noise.



[at top of post] is the recently adapted international symbol for dangerous radioactivity. The idea is that Beavis and Butt-head could understand what the sign means even if it's 190,000 A.D. and nobody knows how to read anymore. Did you read the story of the Goiana Accident in Brazil?
Your old Army pal Joe Schloblodewski

God made me this way, do not criticize or disrespect the work of God.



Oh, thanks for the pie!



Love to Chris and your bairn. Do any of your bairn have bairn yet?

Labels: , , , , ,

14 March 2016

It's Here! It's Now! It's Everywhere in the Universe! It's Pi Day! Eat a Pi(e)!

Click to make Pi(e) bigger.

12 March 2016

ANDY! ANDY McCOY! FLEE FOR WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR LIFE! THAT'S NOT YOUR NORMAL TOILET PUKING!


Click to enlarge important sign.

Geoffrey S. of Jerusalem made my morning with this news tip. Geoffrey and I and about 500 worldwide garage and basement ionizing radiation enthusiasts (mostly, but by no means all, of the male gender) are on the whackiest Yahoo list in c-Space. 

Vleeptron Dude has a couple of Geiger counters. 

And you probably don't have any.

Geoffrey has a lot more than I do.

Agence-Vleeptron Presse assigned our part-tme assistants Lenny & Spike to research IFLScience, the source of this HOT news item. Here is what Lenny & Spike told me they copied and pasted:

[Wikipedia:]

Elise Andrew (born 1989) is a British blogger and science communicator. She is the founder and maintainer of "I fucking love science" (IFLS), a Facebook page on popular science.[1]

Earth, Vleeptron, Yobbo, Hoon, Mollyringwald and Björkguðmundsdóttir are surprisingly Fun Planets. If this Elise Andrew Person should ever take the Zeta Beam to Ciudad Vleeptron, I'll see if she wants to hear who's playing that night at Club Drek. Club Drek is the only music joint in the Dwingeloo-2 galaxy that features musicians both alive and dead, Club Drek does not discriminate.



* * * * * * * * * * *
Chemistry

A Bizarre Spike Of Radiation

Was Detected in Helsinki's Air

Saturday 12 March 2016 
by Tom Hale

An “exceptionally high amount” of radioactivity was detected over Finland's capital on March 3 and 4.


Officials from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) have said their rooftop air sampler in Helsinki detected 4,000 microbecquerels of the radioactive isotope caesium-137 per cubic meter of air. This is around 1,000 times the regular amount they detect.


Oddly, radiation levels on the following two days returned to 12 microbecquerels per cubic meter of air, which is declared a normal level.


Caesium-137 is used for medical devices, industrial processes and in research centers. Although large concentrated exposure to the isotope can cause radiation sickness and even death, the authorities said that levels were never high enough to affect human health.
Radiation is regularly detected above Helsinki, which the STUK says drifts from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant fallout over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away. However, the fact that the sample only contains caesium-137 indicates these exceptionally high levels aren’t linked to any form of nuclear reactor.

For a number of days, the source remained a mystery. On March 8, the STUK released an update that said they had traced the source back to their own building's garage. Their property complex also houses a small radioactive waste treatment facility. The facility has since been isolated, with further investigations underway.  

- 30 - 

ADDENDUM

On the off-chance you don't know any Hot Poop about the nuclide Caesium-137, try a trip to Goiania, Brazil, and take the city bus. See what kind of maguffins are in the laps of the other passengers.

EXTRA CREDIT

Write a new hit folk song, in any language, about the Goiania Accident. Write it in Finno-Ugrik, or Papiemento.

******************

Goiânia accident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates: 16°40′29″S 49°15′51″W

A teletherapy radiation capsule composed of the following:
A.) an international standard source holder (usually lead),
B.) a retaining ring, and
C.) a teletherapy "source" composed of
D.) two nested stainless steel canisters welded to
E.) two stainless steel lids surrounding
F.) a protective internal shield (usually uranium metal or a tungsten alloy) and
G.) a cylinder of radioactive source material, often but not always cobalt-60. In the Goiânia incident it was caesium-137. The diameter of the "source" is 30 mm.

The Goiânia accident was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, at Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, after an old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people, resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination and 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their bodies.[1][2]
In the cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were removed and examined. Time magazine has identified the accident as one of the world's "worst nuclear disasters" and the International Atomic Energy Agency called it "one of the world's worst radiological incidents".[3][4]

Description of the source

The radiation source in the Goiânia accident was a small capsule containing about 93 grams (3.3 oz) of highly radioactive caesium chloride (a caesium salt made with a radioisotope, caesium-137) encased in a shielding canister made of lead and steel. The source was positioned in a container of the wheel type, where the wheel turns inside the casing to move the source between the storage and irradiation positions.[1]

A wheel type radiotherapy device which has a long collimator to focus the radiation into a narrow beam. The caesium chloride radioactive source is the blue rectangle, and gamma rays are represented by the beam emerging from the aperture.

Comparison of radioactivities
Goiânia source TBq
1971 74
1987 50.9
Recovered 44
Unrecovered (c. 1987) 7
Unrecovered (c. 2016) 3.5
Smoke detector 0.000000037
 
The activity of the source was 74 terabecquerels (TBq) in 1971. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) describes the container – 51 millimeters (2 inches) in diameter and 48 mm (1.8 inches) long – as an "international standard capsule". The specific activity of the active solid was about 814 TBq·kg−1 of caesium-137 (half life of 30 years). The dose rate at one meter from the source was 4.56 gray per hour (456 rad·hr−1). While the serial number of the device was unknown, thus hindering definitive identification, the device was thought to have been made in the United States at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was used as a radiation source for radiation therapy at the Goiânia hospital.[1]
The IAEA states that the source contained 50.9 TBq (1,380 Ci) when it was taken and that about 44 TBq (1200 Ci, 87%) of contamination had been recovered during the cleanup operation. This means that 7 TBq (190 Ci) remained in the environment; it will have decayed to about 3.5 TBq (95 Ci) by 2016.

Events

Hospital abandonment


Culture and Convention Center, built on the site where the IGR had been located

The Instituto Goiano de Radioterapia (IGR), a private radiotherapy institute in Goiânia,[1] was just 1 km (0.6 mi) northwest of Praça Cívica, the administrative center of the city. It moved to its new premises in 1985, leaving behind a caesium-137-based teletherapy unit that had been purchased in 1977.[5] The fate of the abandoned site was disputed in court between IGR and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, then owner of the premises.[6] On September 11, 1986, the Court of Goiás stated it had knowledge of the abandoned radioactive material in the building.[6]
 
Four months before the theft, on May 4, 1987, Saura Taniguti, then director of Ipasgo, the institute of insurance for civil servants, used police force to prevent one of the owners of IGR, Carlos Figueiredo Bezerril, from removing the objects that were left behind.[6] Figueiredo then warned the president of Ipasgo, Lício Teixeira Borges, that he should take responsibility "for what would happen with the caesium bomb".[6]

The court posted a security guard to protect the hazardous abandoned equipment.[7] Meanwhile, the owners of IGR wrote several letters to the National Nuclear Energy Commission, warning them about the danger of keeping a teletherapy unit at an abandoned site, but they could not remove the equipment by themselves once a court order prevented them from doing so.[6][7]

Theft of the source

On September 13, 1987, taking advantage of the absence of the guard,[7] thieves Roberto dos Santos Alves and Wagner Mota Pereira illegally entered the partially demolished facility. They partially disassembled the teletherapy unit, and placed the source assembly – which they thought might have some scrap value – in a wheelbarrow, taking it to Alves's home.[1] There, they began dismantling the equipment. That same evening, they both began to vomit. Nevertheless, they continued in their efforts. The following day, Pereira began to experience diarrhea and dizziness and his left hand began to swell. He soon developed a burn on this hand in the same size and shape as the aperture – he eventually underwent partial amputation of several fingers.[8]


On September 15, Pereira visited a local clinic where his symptoms were diagnosed as the result of something he had eaten, and he was told to return home and rest.[1] Alves, however, continued with his efforts to dismantle the equipment. In the course of this effort, he eventually freed the caesium capsule from its protective rotating head. His prolonged exposure to the radioactive material led to his right forearm becoming ulcerated, requiring amputation. [9]

Source is partially broken

On September 16, Alves succeeded in puncturing the capsule's aperture window with a screwdriver, allowing him to see a deep blue light coming from the tiny opening he had created.[1] He inserted the screwdriver and successfully scooped out some of the glowing substance. Thinking it was perhaps a type of gunpowder, he tried to light it, but the powder would not ignite. The exact mechanism by which the light was generated was not known at the time the IAEA report was written, though it was thought to be either ionized air glow, fluorescence or Cherenkov radiation associated with the absorption of moisture by the source; similar blue light was observed in 1988 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory during the disencapsulation of a 137Cs source.[citation needed]

Source is sold and dismantled

On September 18, Alves sold the items to a nearby scrapyard. That night, Devair Alves Ferreira (the owner of the scrapyard) noticed the blue glow from the punctured capsule. Thinking the capsule's contents were valuable or even supernatural, he immediately brought it into his house. Over the next three days, he invited friends and family to view the strange glowing substance.

On September 21 at the scrapyard, one of Ferreira's friends (given as EF1 in the IAEA report) succeeded in freeing several rice-sized grains of the glowing material from the capsule using a screwdriver. Alves Ferreira began to share some of them with various friends and family members. That same day, his wife, 37-year-old Gabriela Maria Ferreira, began to fall ill. On September 25, 1987, Devair Alves Ferreira sold the scrap metal to a second scrapyard.

Ivo and his daughter

The day before the sale to the second scrapyard, on September 24, Ivo, Devair's brother, successfully scraped some additional dust out of the source and took it to his house a short distance away. There he spread some of it on the cement floor. His six-year-old daughter, Leide das Neves Ferreira, later ate a sandwich while sitting on this floor. She was also fascinated by the blue glow of the powder, applying it to her body and showing it off to her mother. Dust from the powder fell on the sandwich she was consuming; she eventually absorbed 1.0 GBq and received a total dose of 6.0 Gy, more than a fatal dose even with treatment.[10]

Gabriela Maria Ferreira notifies authorities

Gabriela Maria Ferreira had been the first to notice that many people around her had become severely ill at the same time.[11]
On September 28, 1987 — 15 days after the item was found — she reclaimed the materials from the rival scrapyard and transported them to a hospital. Because the remains of the source were kept in a plastic bag, the level of contamination at the hospital was low.

Source's radioactivity is detected

In the morning of September 29, 1987 a visiting medical physicist [12] used a scintillation counter to confirm the presence of radioactivity and persuaded the authorities to take immediate action. The city, state, and national governments were all aware of the incident by the end of the day.

Health outcomes

News of the radiation incident was broadcast on local, national, and international media. Within days, nearly 130,000 people swarmed local hospitals concerned that they might have been exposed.[2] Of those, 250 were indeed found to be contaminated— some with radioactive residue still on their skin— through the use of Geiger counters.[2] Eventually, 20 people showed signs of radiation sickness and required treatment.[2]

Fatalities

Ages in years are given, with dosages listed in grays (Gy).
  • Leide das Neves Ferreira, age 6 (6.0 Gy), was the daughter of Ivo Ferreira. When an international team arrived to treat her, she was discovered confined to an isolated room in the hospital because the hospital staff were afraid to go near her. She gradually experienced swelling in the upper body, hair loss, kidney and lung damage, and internal bleeding. She died on October 23, 1987, of "septicemia and generalized infection" at the Marcilio Dias Navy Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro.[13] She was buried in a common cemetery in Goiânia, in a special fiberglass coffin lined with lead to prevent the spread of radiation. Despite these measures, news of her impending burial caused a riot of more than 2,000 people in the cemetery on the day of her burial, all fearing that her corpse would poison the surrounding land. Rioters tried to prevent her burial by using stones and bricks to block the cemetery roadway.[14] She was buried despite this interference.
  • Gabriela Maria Ferreira, aged 37 (5.7 Gy), wife of scrapyard owner Devair Ferreira, became sick about three days after coming into contact with the substance. Her condition worsened, and she developed internal bleeding, especially in the limbs, eyes, and digestive tract, and hair loss. She suffered mental confusion, diarrhea, and acute renal insufficiency before also dying on October 23, 1987, of "septicemia and generalized infection",[13][15] about a month after exposure.
  • Israel Baptista dos Santos, aged 22 (4.5 Gy), was an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source primarily to extract the lead. He developed serious respiratory and lymphatic complications, was eventually admitted to hospital, and died six days later on October 27, 1987.
  • Admilson Alves de Souza, aged 18 (5.3 Gy), was also an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source. He developed lung damage, internal bleeding, and heart damage, and died October 18, 1987.
Devair Ferreira himself survived despite receiving 7 Gy of radiation. He died in 1994 of cirrhosis aggravated by depression and binge drinking.[16]

Other individuals

The outcomes for the 46 most contaminated people are shown in the bar chart below. Several people survived high doses of radiation. This is thought in some cases to be because the dose was fractionated.[citation needed] Given time, the body's repair mechanisms will reverse cell damage caused by radiation. If the dose is spread over a long time period, these mechanisms can mitigate the effects of radiation poisoning.
This is a barchart showing the outcome for the 46 most contaminated people for whom a dose estimate has been made. The people are divided into seven groups according to dose.

Other affected people

Afterwards, about 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination; 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their body.[1] Of this group, 129 people had internal contamination. The majority of the internally contaminated people only suffered small doses (< 50 mSv, less than a 1 in 400 risk of getting cancer as a result).
A thousand people were identified as having suffered a dose which was greater than one year of background radiation; it is thought that 97% of these people had a dose of between 10 and 200 mSv (between 1 in 2,000 and 1 in 100 risk of developing cancer as a result).

In 2007, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation determined that the rate of caesium-137 related diseases are the same in Goiânia accident survivors as they are in the population at large. Nevertheless, compensation is still distributed to survivors, who suffer radiation-related prejudices in everyday life.[17]

Legal matters

In light of the deaths caused, the three doctors who had owned and run IGR were charged with criminal negligence. Because the accidents occurred before the promulgation of the Federal Constitution of 1988 and because the substance was acquired by the clinic and not by the individual owners, the court could not declare the owners of IGR liable. One of the medical doctors owning IGR and the clinic's physicist were ordered to pay R$ 100,000 for the derelict condition of the building. The two thieves were not included as defendants in the public civil suit.

In 2000, CNEN, the National Nuclear Energy Commission, was ordered by the 8th Federal Court of Goiás to pay compensation of R$ 1.3 million (near US$ 750,000) and to guarantee medical and psychological treatment for the direct and indirect victims of the accident and their descendants down to the third generation.[18]

Cleanup

Objects and places

Topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were removed and examined. Those that were found to be free of radioactivity were wrapped in plastic bags, while those that were contaminated were either decontaminated or disposed of as waste. In industry, the choice between decontaminating or disposing objects is based on only the economic value of the object and the ease of decontamination. In this case, the IAEA recognized that to reduce the psychological impact of the event, greater effort should have been taken to clean up items of personal value, such as jewelry and photographs. It is not clear from the IAEA report to what degree this was practiced.

Means and methods

After the houses were emptied, vacuum cleaners were used to remove dust, and plumbing was examined for radioactivity. Painted surfaces could be scraped, while floors were treated with acid and Prussian blue mixtures. Roofs were vacuumed and hosed, but two houses had to have their roofs removed. The waste from the cleanup was moved out of the city to a remote place for storage.
Potassium alum dissolved in hydrochloric acid was used on clay, cement, soil, and roofs. Caesium has a high affinity for many clays.

Organic solvents, followed by potassium alum dissolved in hydrochloric acid, were used to treat waxed/greased floors and tables. Sodium hydroxide solutions, also followed by dissolved potassium alum, were used to treat synthetic floors, machines and typewriters.
Prussian blue was used to internally decontaminate many people, although by the time it was applied, much of the radioactive material had already migrated from the bloodstream to the muscle tissue, greatly hampering its effectiveness. Urine from victims was treated with ion exchange resin to compact the waste for ease of storage.

Recovery considerations

The cleanup operation was much harder for this event than it could have been because the source was opened and the active material was water soluble. A sealed source need only be picked up, placed in a lead container, and transported to the radioactive waste storage. In the recovery of lost sources, the IAEA recommends careful planning and using a crane or other device to place shielding (such as a pallet of bricks or a concrete block) near the source to protect recovery workers.

Contamination locations

The Goiânia accident spread significant radioactive contamination throughout the Aeroporto, Central, and Ferroviários districts. Even after the cleanup, 7 TBq of radioactivity remained unaccounted for.
Some of the key contamination sites:
  • Goiânia’s Instituto Goiano de Radioterapia (IGR) (16°40′29″S 49°15′51″W)[1] suffered no actual exposure or breach of radioactive contents, but the site is noteworthy as the source of deadly, unsecured material. The IGR clinic no longer exists, having been replaced around 2000 with the modernized Centro de Convenções de Goiânia (Goiânia Convention Center).
  • Roberto dos Santos' house (16°40′07″S 49°15′48″W)[1] on Rua 57. The radioactive source was here for about six days, and it was partially broken into.
  • Devair Ferreira's scrapyard (16°40′02″S 49°15′59″W),[1] on Rua 15A ("Junkyard I") in the Aeroporto section of the city, had possession of the items for 7 days. The caesium container was entirely dismantled, spreading significant contamination. Extreme radiation levels of up to 1.5 Sv·h−1 were found by investigators in the middle of the scrapyard.
  • Ivo Ferreira's house (16°39′50″S 49°16′09″W)[1] ("Junkyard II"), at 1F Rua 6. Some of the contamination was spread about the house, causing a fatality. The adjacent junkyard scavenged the remainder of parts from the IGR facility. The premises were heavily contaminated, with radiation dose rates up to 2 Sv·h−1.
  • Junkyard III (16°40′09″S 49°16′48″W).[1] This junkyard had possession of the items for 3 days until they were sent away.
  • Vigilância Sanitária (16°40′30″S 49°16′23″W).[1] Here, the substance was quarantined, and an official cleanup response began.
Other contamination was also found in or on:[19]

  • 50,000 rolls of toilet paper
  • Three buses
  • 42 houses
  • 14 cars
  • five pigs

Legacy

Disposal of the capsule

The original teletherapy capsule was seized by the Brazilian military as soon as it was discovered, and since then the empty capsule has been on display at the Escola de Instrução Especializada ("School of Specialized Instruction") in Rio de Janeiro as a memento to those who participated in the cleanup of the contaminated area.

Research

In 1991, a group of researchers collected blood samples from highly exposed survivors of the incident. Subsequent analysis resulted in the publication of numerous scientific articles.[20][21][22][23]

Film

A 1990 film Césio 137 – O Pesadelo de Goiânia ("Caesium-137 – The Nightmare of Goiânia"), a dramatisation of the incident, was made by Roberto Pires.[24] It won several awards at the 1990 Festival de Brasília.[25]

Foundation

The state government of Goiás established the Fundação Leide das Neves Ferreira in February 1988, both to study the extent of contamination of the population as a result of the incident and to render aid to those affected.[26]

See also

References








  • The Radiological accident in Goiânia (PDF). Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. 1988. ISBN 92-0-129088-8.

    1. Camargo Da Silva, T. (1997). Leibing, Annette, ed. Biomedical Discourses and Health Care Experiences: The Goiâna Radiological Disaster. The Medical Anthropologies in Brazil. Curare Sonderband 12 (Berlin: Verlag für Wissenschaft Und Bildung). pp. 72–73. ISBN 9783861355687.

    External links








  • (Portuguese) Borges, Weber. "O jornalista que foi vítima do césio". Jornal Opção. May 27, 2007.[dead link]

  • Planeta Diário: July 2010

  • Aint No Way to Go: All That Glitters

  • "Brazil Deadly Glitter". Time. October 19, 1987.

  • "2 Die of Radiation Poisoning in Brazil". Los Angeles Times. October 24, 1987.

  • "País está preparado para atuar em acidente radioativo" [Country is prepared to act in radioactive incident] (in Portuguese). Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). 13 September 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2013. Note: person named only as "WF" in the IAEA report.

  • "Vida Verde" (in Portuguese). 1987. p. 15.

  • "Memorial Césio 137" (in Portuguese). Greenpeace.

  • Malheiros, Tania (1996). Histórias secretas do Brasil nuclear (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: WVA. p. 122. ISBN 9788585644086.

  • Irene, Mirelle (13 September 2012). "Goiânia, 25 anos depois: 'perguntam até se brilhamos', diz vítima". Terra. Retrieved 5 December 2013.

  • UOL. Vítimas do césio 137 voltam a receber remédios e pedem assistência médica para todos. September 25, 2012

  • "Case Law and Administrative Decisions, Judgement of the Federal Court in the Public Civil Action concerning the Goiânia Accident" (PDF). OECD. 2000. (Archive)

  • Steinhauser, Friedrich (November 2007). ""Countering Radiological Terrorism: Consequences of the Radiation Exposure Incident in Goiania (Brazil)"". "Volume 29 NATO Science for Peace and Security Series: Human and Societal Dynamics": 7.

  • Da Cruz, AD; Curry, J; Curado, MP; Glickman, BW (1996). "Monitoring hprt mutant frequency over time in T-lymphocytes of people accidentally exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation". Environmental and molecular mutagenesis 27 (3): 165–75. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2280(1996)27:3<165::aid-em1>3.0.CO;2-E. PMID 8625952.

  • Saddi, V; Curry, J; Nohturfft, A; Kusser, W; Glickman, BW (1996). "Increased hprt mutant frequencies in Brazilian children accidentally exposed to ionizing radiation". Environmental and molecular mutagenesis 28 (3): 267–75. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2280(1996)28:3<267::aid-em11>3.0.CO;2-D. PMID 8908186.

  • Da Cruz, AD; Volpe, JP; Saddi, V; Curry, J; Curadoc, MP; Glickman, BW (1997). "Radiation risk estimation in human populations: lessons from the radiological accident in Brazil". Mutation research 373 (2): 207–14. doi:10.1016/S0027-5107(96)00199-6. PMID 9042402.

  • Skandalis, A; Da Cruz, AD; Curry, J; Nohturfft, A; Curado, MP; Glickman, BW (1997). "Molecular analysis of T-lymphocyte HPRT– mutations in individuals exposed to ionizing radiation in Goiânia, Brazil". Environmental and molecular mutagenesis 29 (2): 107–16. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2280(1997)29:2<107::aid-em1>3.0.CO;2-B. PMID 9118962.

  • Césio 137 - O Pesadelo de Goiânia at the Internet Movie Database

  • UraniumFilmFestival.org: Roberto Pires