Nuclear power and sea level rise – All reactors on sea coasts endangered by sea level rise Over the next hundred years there will be significant sea rises, one meter or more, and many closed nuclear reactor sites could be flooded, including the stored nuclear waste. That could contaminate much of the coast lines for decades.
Nuclear power and water shortage – Climate Change is already bringing droughts and changed rainfall patterns. Even if the vloume of rain might be the same, or greater, with the warming planet – it’s not much help if it falls in the oceans, or if it falls intermittently – in flooding torrents.
As water becomes scarcer, and more expensive, nuclear power becomes a very uneconomic way to use it.
As temperatures rise, nuclear reactors will more and more often be forced to shut down – adding to the already well known diseconomics of nuclear power
Maksim Viniarski goes on hunger strike-Chernobyl remembrance march – Because of World Hockey match PR
April 24, 2014
Two activists of the Alternatyva opposition movement, Aliaksandr Stsepanenka and Uladzimir Siarheyeu, were detained last evening in Minsk. They were charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced to five days of arrest by the Minsk Tsentralny District Court.
According to Alternatyva leader Aleh Korban, the detentions are primarily related to the forthcoming Chernobyl Way demonstration.
Opposition activist Maksim Viniarski goes on hunger strike to protest sentencing
: . . . He has chosen death:
Refusing to eat or drink, that he may bring
Disgrace upon me; for there is a custom,
An old and foolish custom, that if a man
Be wronged, or think that he is wronged, and starve
Upon another’s threshold till he die,
The Common People, for all time to come,
Will raise a heavy cry against that threshold,
Even though it be the King’s.
– W.B. Yeats, The King’s Threshold
April 23, 2014
Maksim Viniarski, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, was sentenced last evening to 12 days of arrest by the Court of Minsk’s Frunzenski district.
During the trial, an ambulance was called, who said Maksim had to go to hospital because of tonsillitis. However, the police opposed and said he would go to the detention center in Akrestsin Street. In response, Maksim Viniarski declared a dry hunger strike.
Maksim Viniarski was detained by police when leaving the Korona shopping mall in Minsk. The police officers said the activist looked like a criminal.
At the police station he was charged with disobeying police officers.
Coordinator of the European Belarus movement, Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest, said that before the release a police officer offered him to leave the city during the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship.
In response to this warning, Viniarski told human rights defenders that he might be detained to be preventively isolated because of his socio-political beliefs.
Chernobyl pickets banned in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodna
April 22, 2014
Local authorities in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodan have banned a number of awareness-raising pickets, scheduled for April 26 to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the officials, the organizers failed to submit an appropriate application.
Four representatives of the political party Belarusian Popular Front in Vitsebsk sent a request to the administration of the Chyhunachny district to hold a picket in the local park. However, the bid was rejected, as the applicants failed to attach copies of the contracts as required by the City Executive Committee’s decision. It says that the organizers must sign contracts with the police, public utilities and health care departments. But these services refuse to enter into contracts with the activists. So the activists requested that the authorities did not pay attention to the decision of the Vitsebsk City Executive Committee, but were directly guided by the Law “On Mass Events” and the Constitution. They say that the decision actually makes it impossible to exercise people’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Over the past five years, not a single opposition activist has managed to sign agreements required by the Vitsebsk executive officials.
In Hrodna, members of the local Belarusian Popular Front’s office have also received from the executive committee official bans on conducting awareness-raising pickets, scheduled for April 26 to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
Activists threatened with preventive detention ahead of Hockey World Championship
April 16, 2014
Human rights defenders have received information about possible provocations against opposition activists and their preventive detention ahead of the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship, due to open on 9 May. This was confirmed by the coordinator of the European Belarus movement Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest.
According to HRC “Viasna” website, he said that before his release he was offered to temporarily leave the capital. A police officer told him that if he considered himself a reasonable person, he should realize that he had but two options: either to leave Belarus or to go to the country for some time (referring to the time of the Ice Hockey World Championship). Because “the issue with everyone” will be resolved anyway, the detention center employee warned the activist.
In response to this warning, Viniarski said that he did not use drugs, used foul language, was not prone to misbehavior, and so his possible arrest should be regarded as preventive isolation because of his political beliefs.
Maksim Viniarski also says that many administrative detainees held under Articles 17.1 (hooliganism) and 17.3 (appearing drunk in a public place) of the Administrative Code will be sent to active therapy centers.
Thus, the authorities of Minsk are preparing a total cleansing of unwanted persons who may in any way mar the image of Belarus among numerous foreign guests expected during the event.
.. The UK government’s plans to replace Trident make a mockery of its professed belief in multilateral frameworks – and now in addition to huge public opposition in the UK, it will also face an international legal challenge to expose its hypocrisy….
Pacific nation that was site of 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958 accuses states of ‘flagrant denial of human justice’
- theguardian.com, Thursday 24 April 2014
In the unprecedented legal action, comprising nine separate cases brought before the ICJ on Thursday, the Republic of the Marshall Islands accuses the nuclear weapons states of a “flagrant denial of human justice”. It argues it is justified in taking the action because of the harm it suffered as a result of the nuclear arms race.
The Pacific chain of islands, including Bikini Atoll and Enewetak, was the site of 67 nuclear tests from 1946 to 1958, including the “Bravo shot”, a 15-megaton device equivalent to a thousand Hiroshima blasts, detonated in 1954. The Marshallese islanders say they have been suffering serious health and environmental effects ever since.
The island republic is suing the five “established” nuclear weapons states recognised in the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) – the US, Russia (which inherited the Soviet arsenal), China, France and the UK – as well as the three countries outside the NPT who have declared nuclear arsenals – India, Pakistan and North Korea, and the one undeclared nuclear weapons state, Israel.
NPT, which came into force in 1970 is essentially a compact between the non-weapon states, who pledged to not to acquire nuclear weapons, and the weapons states, who in return undertook to disarm under article VI of the treaty.
Although the size of the arsenals are sharply down from the height of the cold war, the Marshall Islands’ legal case notes there remain more than 17,000 warheads in existence, 16,000 of them owned by Russia and the US – enough to destroy all life on the planet.
“The long delay in fulfilling the obligations enshrined in article VI of the NPT constitutes a flagrant denial of human justice,” the court documents say.
The Marshall Islands case draws attention to the fact that the weapons states are currently in the process of modernising their nuclear weapons, which it portrays as a clear violation of the NPT.
The case against Britain, which has an estimated total inventory of 225 warheads and is in the process of replacing its submarine-launched Trident arsenal, states that: “The UK has not pursued in good faith negotiations to cease the nuclear arms race at an early date through comprehensive nuclear disarmament or other measures, and instead is taking actions to improve its nuclear weapons system and to maintain it for the indefinite future.”
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s general secretary, Kate Hudson, said: “The nuclear-armed states continue to peddle the myth that they are committed to multilateral disarmament initiatives, while squandering billions to modernise their nuclear arsenals. The UK government’s plans to replace Trident make a mockery of its professed belief in multilateral frameworks – and now in addition to huge public opposition in the UK, it will also face an international legal challenge to expose its hypocrisy.”
“Since Russian kids have fair skin, people say that is the reason in leukaemia found in children after Chernobyl.” – Health Physics Society Japan
“It is also an historical fact that CIA involvement has been proven in this matter.” – Mari Takenouchi
Image source – http://www.chernobyl-children.org.uk/archives/3138
This article has been arranged from Mari Takenouchi`s Blog
Edited by Arclight2011part2
24th April 2014
On April 15, a foreign reporter tried to interview ETHOS leader Ms. Ryoko Ando, who quickly hung up the phone after she said,
“This is a threat! I will expose your name!”
The reporter had managed to tell Ms. Ando,
“This is a good chance for you to tell people the story from your side.”
She was a gentle female foreign reporter who could speak good Japanese and had already contacted Ms. Ando via FAX and e-mail prior to this telephone call. This was told to Mari by the foreign reporter.
Earlier in the year, Mari received a telephone call notifying her that the leader of Fukushima ETHOS Ms. Ryoko Ando (real name is Yoko Kamata) had filed a legal complaint against her.
The Ethos program supports relocation of residents, including pregnant women and children, to keep living in contaminated areas, justified by decontamination procedures and radiation measurements, and is likely contributing to sickness among majority of the children. This was program was previously conducted in Belarus and now in Fukushima prefecture and is funded by pro-nuclear institutions.
The fight against these pro nuclear international institutions will be long and hard and Mari is going to hire a lawyer with your generous support, here is her Bank details;
RyukyuBank (serial No. 0187) Matsuo Branch (No. 301)
Holder’s name: Mari Takenouchi
Ordinary Account 529695
Aside from receiving threats as the foreign reporter above has, she has received support concerning other litigation against her, here is a recent comment from a lawyer to Mari;
“This case comes under the violation of Article 21, Freedom of Speech. Except that the word “Criminal” was too strong, your words came from a sense of justice to protect countless numbers of children. If this case was indicted, it would be a chance for you to publicise this issue to the rest of society.”
“Probably the reason why the accuser used “criminal contempt” instead of “”defamation of character” is that the latter has the stipulation saying, “If the case is involved for the public benefit, the accused shall not be punished.”
“However, the legal defense would be the same in both case, especially If you can explain that you are trying to prevent massive health damages among the children in the future that no one has been done thus far.”
Here is some other comments on this issue from the parties involved;
Ms. Ryoko Ando, of ETHOS said;
“It is important to establish your own standard of radiation safety to achieve your true sense of security.”
To which Mari commented that she really did not understand what Ms Ryko was trying to say. Mari`s simple point is that children should be relocated away from Fukushima because it is dangerous for them to live there and this is a simple truth!
This is urgent. An Internet censorship plan is being finalized in secret meetings right now. We need all hands on deck at this crucial moment.
Here’s the situation: President Obama himself is in secretive meetings with key political figures and lobbyists in Asia to lock the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Internet censorship plan into place.
We know from leaked documents that this secretive plan will censor your use of the Internet and strip away your rights. If finalized, this plan would force ISPs to act as “Internet Police” monitoring our Internet use, censoring content, and removing whole websites.
It will give media conglomerates centralized control over what you can watch and share online.
We urgently need your help to fight back. Add your voice right now and we’ll project a Stop the Secrecy message on key buildings in Washington D.C. to ensure Obama, the media, and everyone else knows this censorship plan must be stopped.
This is huge: covering 40% of the global economy, the TPP is being called a legal “blueprint” for the rest of the world. Once key leaders finalize TPP Internet censorship plans, those plans will be used to globalize censorship. You will be affected and this may be our only chance to stop it.
Our attention-grabbing message will shine a light on their secret plan and will make clear to Washington lobbyists that the Internet community will never accept the TPP’s secrecy or censorship. The more who speak out, the larger our projection will become, and the more people we can reach.
This is a decisive moment: we need to act right now. Join with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to shine a light on the TPP’s job-killing Internet censorship plan. Let’s send decision-makers and the lobbyists pulling the strings a message they can’t ignore: “Stop the secrecy now.”
Thank you for being a part of history,
After signing the petition, please forward this message to your friends.
– The RootsAction.org team
RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.
 WikiLeaks: Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
 Electronic Frontier Foundation: TPP Creates Legal Incentives For ISPs To Police The Internet
 U.S. “Bullying” TPP Negotiators Amid Failure to Agree. Source: Inter Press Service News Agency.
Tepco received 27th payment of financial support from Nuclear Damage Fund totals 26 Billion Euros, so far
Posted by Mochizuki on April 23rd, 2014
On 4/23/2014, Tepco announced they received the 27th financial support from the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund.
The value of the support is 191.8 billion yen. They have received 3,687,000,000,000 yen of financial support from this fund and 120 billion yen of compensation in accordance with the “Act on Contract for Indemnification of Nuclear Damage Compensation”.
Tepco states the total of the financial support that Tepco has received so far is not sufficient to cover the compensation payouts until the end of May 2014.
The announcement to the press is below.
Press Release (Apr 23,2014)
Financial Support from the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund
Today, we have received 191.8 billion yen from the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund (hereafter the Fund) based on the revised Special Business Plan (New Comprehensive Special Business Plan) approved on January 15, 2014.
This financial support was given in response to the 27th request made in order to cover the compensation payouts up until the end of May 2014, as the sum of the compensation received in accordance with the “Act on Contract for Indemnification of Nuclear Damage Compensation” (120 billion yen) and the financial support provided by the Fund (3.6870 trillion yen) will not be sufficient for the amount of payouts estimated to be required by that time.
With the financial support received from the Fund, we will continue our utmost efforts in implementing the “compensation payouts with courtesy and compassion” in consideration of those afflicted by the nuclear damage.
Iori Mochizuki You read this now because we’ve been surviving until today.
Top Nuclear Official: “Ground sinking” beneath Fukushima reactor buildings a concern — Gov’t experts looking closely at risks from changes to flow of underground water
Disabled lose local support due to Fukushima nuclear disaster
Fukushima evacuees discuss whether to go back home
Residents of a town in Fukushima Prefecture who fled the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011 are considering whether to go back home.
Officials of Naraha have begun hosting town meetings to discuss return, now that the government has finished removing radioactive material from living areas.
The first meeting was held on Monday in Iwaki city, where 80 percent of the town’s residents have evacuated.
Tsunami test facility for nuclear plants
A Japanese research institute has a new facility that can create artificial tsunami waves to test the safety of nuclear power plants.
The new facility at the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry in Abiko City, near Tokyo, features a water pool 20 meters long and 4 meters wide.
The waves it generates can travel as fast as 7 meters per second — the speed of the tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in March of 2011.
It can also create continuous waves as high as 2 meters for 3 minutes and simulate various wave shapes.
Researchers will test several types of breakwaters and study the strength of collisions of objects drifting in tsunami.
They say these experiments will contribute to improved safety at nuclear power plants.
Japanese power companies are learning from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and stepping up safety measures at their nuclear facilities against possible earthquakes and tsumani.
Scientists: Plutonium released from Fukushima “is of radiological concern”; Reactor must be source, not spent fuel pool — Study: Plutonium found 120 km from plant; “Pu and non-natural uranium certainly increased in environment”
Concerned officials now considering ban on Japan food items — Nuclear scientists previously told gov’t to halt all imports after finding high radiation levels — Never implemented due to fear of hurting bilateral relationship
3 radiation monitors down for 3 days in the pool to accept fuel assemblies from reactor4 SFP
Tepco considers to track workers by location information in Fukushima plant having series of suspicious “accidents”
“Mitsubishi Heavy Industries trying to quit being in cooperate with Areva”, a Fukushima worker
Marcellus Waste Radioactivity In Water Leaching From Landfills
Paper: WIPP workers “not permitted to speak” — “Their jobs won’t ever be the same… will face new paradigm” — Concerns plutonium contaminated surrounding salt — Preparing for radiation levels so high, only robots can be used (VIDEO)
WIPP officials close to knowing cause of radiation leak
Please support Libbe Halevey and future Nuclear Hotseat Podcasts here by donating;
Connection DOWNLOAD HERE:
Dr. Janette Sherman on the medical consequences of Fukushima and ;
Dr. Alexey Yablokov, editor of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment
Download his draft copy here;
Bonnie Kouneva, Chernobyl downwinder living in Bulgaria, on the personal impact of the disaster on her life and the lives of her family
“Voices from Japan” features Japanese photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa, the first non-Soviet journalist to document the Chernobyl disaster and one of the first journalists on the scene at Fukushima.
Also, From the JANUK site this;
Chernobyl London meeting (27 April 2013) Speech by Tamara Krasitskava from Zemlyaki
On Sunday the 27 April 2013 in a little room somewhere off Grays Inn road London, a meeting took place. In this meeting was Ms Tamara Krasitskava of the Ukrainian NGO “Zemlyaki”.
In this meeting she quoted that only 40 percent of the evacuees that moved to Kiev after the disaster are alive today! And lets leave the statistics out of it for a moment and we find out of 44,000 evacuated to Kiev only 19,000 are left alive. None made it much passed 40 years old
…..3.2 million with health effects and this includes 1 million children…
“….I was told to not talk of the results from Belarus as the UK public were not allowed to know the results we were finding!….”
A.Cameron (Belarus health worker from UK)
Uploaded on 1 May 2013
* Tamara Krasitskava is a chairperson of Zemlyaki, Ukraine NGO in Kiev to represent those who had to collectively evacuate from Pripyat
* Speech was done by Russian, and interpreted into English.
* Chernobyl Day London Public Meeting was organized by “JAN UK” on Sat 27 April 2013.
* The nuclear accident happened on Saturday 26 April 1986, 1:23am. It was, for the most of he residents, midnight of Friday 25 April.
Rare Birth Defects Still Spiking in Washington State http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/rare-birth-defects-still-spiking-washington-state-n86916 BY JONEL ALECCIA 22 April 14, Seven cases of a rare fatal birth defect were reported in a remote region of Washington state in 2013, making it the fourth consecutive year that rates have more than tripled the national average, health officials said Tuesday.
There’s still no clear reason for the spike in anencephaly, a severe defect in which babies are born missing parts of the brain or skull, according to Washington state health officials. NBC News investigated the issue in February.
But it brings to 30 the number of cases reported since 2010 in the area that includes Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties in central Washington state. The anencephaly rate jumped to 8.7 cases per 10,000 births in the region, far exceeding the national rate of 2.1 cases per 10,000 births.
“We’re really concerned about the fact that the anencephaly rates are still so high,” said Mandy Stahre, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Washington state. “We were sort of hoping that this may have been a statistical anomaly or would go away.”
State and federal officials plan to convene an advisory committee of national experts to review options for investigation and prevention, Stahre said. Next month, they’ll hold “listening sessions” in the community to hear public concerns about the rise in birth defects in the region. “The community members, they live here,” Stahre said. “They may be seeing things that we don’t.”
But that hardly seems like enough, said one mother whose baby was born with spina bifida last year and was considered part of a cluster of cases of neural tube defects in the region.
“It’s good that they want to know everybody’s thoughts, but what are they doing about it?” said Andrea Jackman, 30, who lived in an orchard in Yakima, Wash., while she was pregnant but now lives in Ellensburg. Her daughter, Olivia, is 7 months old.
“Why are they going to put the time and money into chatting with people who don’t know? Do the research.”
Stahre said one of the goals of the advisory committee will be to decide what focus future investigations should take.
“Do we go back and look even further back? Or do we just focus on current conditions and looking foward,” Stahre said.
The new count follows a report last summer that found more than two dozen cases of babies born with anencephaly and other neural tube defects in the region between 2010 and 2013.Researchers found no geographic, seasonal or other type of pattern to the cases, Stahre said.
Medical records indicate low rates of folic acid vitamin supplementation in the region, which has been linked to anencephaly. Other studies have shown ties between the defect and exposure to molds and pesticides. Critics have said state and federal officials need to do detailed interviews and a thorough investigation of the central Washington cluster.
Many local residents are convinced that leaking tanks of nuclear waste from the region’s nearby Hanford nuclear plant must be to blame, but Dr. Edith Cheng, a University Washington Medicine expert on birth defects, said there has not been a good evaluation of the plant’s impact on anencephaly or other problems.
Experts emphasize the need for all women of childbearing age to take folic acid supplements.
Why Ukraine’s nuclear power plant crisis has far-reaching ramifications, Adelaide Advertiser, Jim Green , 22 April 14 IT seems likely that Ukraine’s 15 nuclear power reactors will continue operating throughout the unfolding political crisis, and that there will be no attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear plants despite reported threats. Nonetheless the crisis has wideranging nuclear dimensions and ramifications.
Perhaps the most important is that the nuclear security threats draw attention to a question that may, sooner or later, seal the fate of nuclear power: what happens when nuclear-powered nations go to war? Continue operating power reactors and hope that they will not be attacked?
It’s a huge dilemma. There’s no dispute that most nation-states have the military wherewithal to destroy reactors, resulting in widespread radioactive fallout. But for countries such as Ukraine, with a heavy reliance on nuclear power for electricity supply, shutting down reactors would also be highly problematic.
There is a history of nation-states attacking ostensibly peaceful nuclear facilities, such as the destruction of research reactors in Iraq by Israel and the US.
Ukraine’s 15 power reactors are spread across four sites. Nuclear power supplied 44 per cent of Ukraine’s electricity last year – that heavy dependence presumably explains the decision to continue operating reactors despite security concerns.
Protesters seized the headquarters of Ukraine’s energy ministry on January 25, but left hours later. Eduard Stavitskiy, Ukraine’s then energy minister, reportedly said all the country’s nuclear power facilities were put on high alert after the seizure.
In late January, Ukraine’s Security Service reported “anonymous threats to blow up hydropower and nuclear power plants, damage to which may have unforeseen and extremely serious consequences for the population of Ukraine and neighbouring states.” On March 2, Ukraine’s parliament called for international assistance to protect its nuclear power plants……..http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/why-ukraines-nuclear-power-plant-crisis-has-farreaching-ramifications/story-fni6unxq-1226891431319
7 Interesting Nuclear Energy Graphs http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/22/7-interesting-nuclear-energy-graphs/One of our readers recently passed along a couple of very interesting charts about nuclear energy as well as the nuclear energy report from which they came. The report, World Nuclear Report 2013, is well worth a more careful look, but for those who just love some interesting charts, here are the two that our ever-alert reader shared as well as a few more I pulled out: (more at original site)
As nuclear power dies, solar rises By Denis Hayes and Scott Denman April 22, 2014 (CNN) “………Ironically, Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s greatest capitalist, has emerged as the poster child for this dramatic shift. In June 2013, Buffett’s MidAmerican utility threw in the towel after a failed three-year legislative battle to require Iowa electric customers to foot the bill for the design and construction of a prototype small modular reactor. Mainstream groups like AARP vigorously opposed that fiscally imprudent investment. Earlier, MidAmerican canceled another proposed reactor in Idaho on the grounds it was not worth the money.
What’s significant about this about-face on nuclear by the highly regarded “Oracle of Omaha” is that Buffett instead decided to install656 large wind turbines at a cost of $1.9 billion in Iowa, and has gone “all-in” with multibillion dollar bets on utility-scale wind and solar power and other renewable energy facilities throughout the West. Not just Wall Street wizards are shifting investment outlooks and strategies. Regulators and industry officials alike exude confidence that this is the era for solar, wind and other green energy technologies. In August 2013, John Wellinghoff, then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, observed that “solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything … It could double every two years.”
In his annual State of the Union address in January, President Obama highlighted this auspicious trend by praising solar’s rapid growth, announcing that, “every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar. …”
While nuclear has flat-lined in the marketplace, statistics demonstrating solar’s growth actually underestimate the total contribution to our country’s electrical supply from solar. This is because nonutility and small-scale — residential and commercial rooftop — photovoltaic systems don’t show up as electric generation in the industry’s statistics. The utilities that compile generation statistics view rooftop solar electricity, used on site, not as power generation but as a reduction in demand! If it’s not sold by a utility, it’s not “real” power.
In fact, one of the authors built a six-story office building in Seattlethat produced more electricity on its roof last year than it used. If this can be done in Seattle, the cloudiest major city in the contiguous 48 states, it can be done anywhere.In 2013, America, and the world, crossed the threshold to a sustainable, ultimately nonnuclear, carbon-free energy future. While much remains to be done and there is a long way to go, this Earth Day is especially meaningful and inspiring for those of us who have spent our careers pursuing this essential goal. We can see the clear outline of a sustainable energy future that our children, our economy and our planet can live with. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/22/opinion/hayes-denman-solar-power/
Taiwan anti-nuclear activist starts hunger strike The West Australian, Taipei (AFP) 22 April 14 - Former Taiwanese opposition leader and anti-nuclear activist Lin Yi-hsiung Tuesday launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest at a nearly completed nuclear facility, while some of his supporters clashed with police.”It’s very meaningful to be doing something good for Taiwan — I feel very calm,” Lin told a crowd of reporters and supporters before he began the hunger strike.
He added he had been forced into the situation because the authorities had ignored public opinion on nuclear power. He said the majority of people in Taiwan were against a fourth nuclear power plant.
Lin, who led the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from 1998-2000, has devoted himself to battling the island’s nuclear power policy in the past two decades.
“If anything unfortunate should happen to me, I want my family and friends to know that (those in power) murdered me,” the 72-year-old said before entering a church in Taipei to begin his indefinite fasting.
Outside parliament, dozens of protesters briefly clashed with the police as they attempted to surround the building in a show of support for Lin. They unfurled a large yellow banner reading “Salute chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, stop building fourth nuclear (plant)”, and held placards calling for the project to be terminated.
“If Lin Yi-hsiung loses his life, it is the evil government who have caused it,” said the group’s leader Tsai Ting-kuei………
Uranium kills in Namibia http://www.news24.com/Columnists/AndreasSpath/Uranium-kills-in-Namibia-20140422 2014-04-22 Andreas Wilson-Späth
That uranium is a radioactive and toxic substance with potentially lethal impacts on the people who dig it out of the ground is generally glossed over by those among us who argue for nuclear power as a clean, green, safe and sustainable source of electricity.
Along with other intractable problems faced by the atomic energy industry – like its propensity to lay to waste entire landscapes if and when things go wrong and the fact that we still don’t have a long-term solution for storing its noxious waste products – this is not in dispute. It’s merely a matter of unintended side-effects. Collateral damage.
For uranium miners in Namibia, however, their occupation in proximity to the metal has much more first-hand and personal consequences. A report soon to be released by Earthlife Namibia and the Labour Resource and Research Institute argues that long-time workers at the Rössing uranium mine are routinely exposed to unhealthy working conditions, radiation and dust.
Rössing, which is located in central Namibia and employs over 1500 people, is majority owned (69%) by British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. The next biggest shareholders of the mine are the government of Iran (10%) and our own Industrial Development Corporation (10%).
Rio Tinto officials have consistently denied that they’re to blame for any harm, insisting that their operations at Rössing and elsewhere, including their copper, gold, coal, bauxite, iron ore and diamond mines around the world, are well monitored and run ethically, for the benefit of local communities, respecting human rights and protecting the environment.
But a closer look at the multinational’s global operations reveals that Rio Tinto isn’t quite as squeaky clean as they would like us to believe:
• At the end of last year, radioactive and acidic slurry spilled from a uranium processing tank at Rössing. Two weeks later the damaged rubber lining of a similar tank at the company’s Ranger mine in Australia’s Northern Territory leaked more than a million litres of the stuff.
• In 2013, 33 miners perished when a tunnel collapsed at Rio Tinto’s Grasberg gold and copper mine in Indonesia – the largest portion of the total of 41 deaths at their global operations during that year which international trade union IndustriAll claims the company should have done more to prevent.
• Locals have blamed the Grasberg mine for pollution affecting the environment and population.
• In Madagascar, activists have accused Rio Tinto of “land grabbing and environmental devastation”.
• A lawsuit has been filed against Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon mine in the US state of Utah for five-year breaches in air pollution regulations. The organisations that brought the case claim, that on some days the dust from the mine has a similar “effect on people who are consistently outdoors” as “smoking a pack of cigarettes a day”
• In Mongolia, indigenous nomadic herders have raised concerns that an expansion of Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert would threaten the integrity of the local ecosystem along with their access to fresh water.
Of course Rio Tinto also made over $1 billion in profits last year. I guess in the minds of the company’s executives that justifies the occasional mishap.
- Andreas is a freelance writer with a PhD in geochemistry. Follow him on Twitter:@Andreas_Spath
Protesters urge state to clean up old uranium mines Argus Leader 21 Apr 14 Nora Hertel, Associated Press PIERRE – A South Dakota group says old uranium mines across the state and U.S. are contaminating water and the air with radioactive chemicals. Defenders of the Black Hills is helping to lead an effort to educate people and clean up old uranium mines across the country with an Earth Day event today.
The event is part of a “Clean Up The Mines” project launched on Earth Day. Charmaine White Face, founder and coordinator for Defenders of the Black Hills, said the river, among others, contains runoff from abandoned uranium mines in South Dakota and Wyoming. Most of the 10,000 abandoned uranium mines are in the western U.S., including more than 250 in South Dakota.
White Face, a former science teacher, said the issue came to her attention more than 10 years ago, but she didn’t understand the extent of it.
“We’ve been hollering about this to the state and anybody that would listen,” White Face said. “The state could do quite a bit if they would.”
She said some of the mines in question are on private land and some on federal land, including a large percentage around Mount Rushmore.
“All those 2 million visitors (a year) to Mount Rushmore, they’re breathing in radioactive dust and they don’t even know it,” White Face said.
Mike Cepak, an engineering manager with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the state doesn’t have an abandoned mine program. He said the U.S. Forest Service has reclaimed some mines in the western part of the state, but the process is expensive. It involves rearranging drainage so water doesn’t pass through the mine, filling it in and returning vegetation to the area.
“It’s mainly a funding problem,” Cepak said……….
On the potential health risks of uranium exposure, but White Face attributes it to cases of cancer and brain tumors in the Northern Plains.
She’s concerned that people don’t realize the number of old mines in the state and their potential effects. White Face has given speeches on the East Coast to drum up support for federal legislation that her group is collaborating on.
Defenders of the Black Hills is working with a member of Congress to draft legislation mandating mine reclamation. White Face said they’re on the fourth draft. She hopes it will be complete in a few weeks and sent to Washington, D.C., to be reviewed then presented as a bill for consideration. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/04/22/protesters-urge-state-clean-old-uranium-mines/7995325/
I think that it’s a terrific idea to weaken the radiation standards for people going to Mars. The beauty of this is that the middle-aged white men who plan this know that they themselves will be quite safe from any court action. When the poor sucker Mars -dwellers get their cancer – it’ll be just too hard to mount a legal case from Mars. And they can’t come back anyway, so we can all forget about them
Radiation exposure standards might be relaxed for Mars trip Asbury Park Press, 23 April 14, WASHINGTON — One of many factors complicating a trip to Mars is the space radiation that would bombard astronauts during the approximately two years they would spend getting to the planet, exploring it and returning home……….
NASA is aiming for a landing in the early 2030s. Even with two decades to prepare, such a journey to a planet millions of miles away requires hundreds of steps every day.
One such step involves calculating an acceptable level of radiation for astronauts, a question NASA took to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies.
“We’re pushing not only the technology that helps protect the (astronaut) but also looking at the requirements we have,” Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration told the Humans to Mars Summit. “Are they really realistic requirements? Or has today’s medical environment allowed us to do things differently?”
The institute’s answer, issued by a committee earlier this month, is that current medical standards for radiation exposure should remain in effect, though exceptions could be granted “in rare circumstances.” If an exception were permitted, NASA would be ethically bound to provide astronauts with health care beyond the end of their missions, the committee said…….http://www.app.com/article/20140422/NJNEWS17/304220086/Radiation-exposure-standards-might-relaxed-Mars-trip
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- 2 WORLD
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