The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The nuclear lobby LIES ADOUT IONISING RADIATION – theme for OCTOBER 2015

As the world prepares for the Paris Climate Talks, th nuclear lobby aims to get its status approved there as clean, green and the solution to climate change.

In September we pointed out that new nuclear reactors do NOT solve the radioactive trash problem, despite the nuclear lobby’s pretense on this.

banana-spinIn October we point out that the nuclear lobby is intensifying its lies about ionising radiation, with the cruel lie that it is harmless, even beneficial. The nuclear liars claim that radioactive isotopes like Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are the same as the harmless Potassium 40 in bananas. They espouse the quack science of “radiation homesis”  – i.e. a little more ionising radiation is good for you.


Ionising radiation is the most proven cause of cancer. The nuclear industry from uranium mining through nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, is the planet’s recent new source of ionising radiation.  Even medical radiation has its cancer risk. Radioactive minerals left in the ground are a minor source.


September 28, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Congressional Hearing: Areva MOX-Plutonium Horror Story; Joker Witnesses Kowtowing to Russia

Originally posted on Mining Awareness Plus:

Audio-Video doesn’t start until after 30 minutes in.
Oct 07 2015 3:30 PM
Plutonium Disposition and the MOX Project
Rayburn HOB – 2118
Frank G. Klotz, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration
Mr. John J. MacWilliams, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Thom Mason, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
For more information and witness testimony click here. (Nothing there yet).

One of the Congressmen states that CBI-Areva’s US MOX project is a taxpayer horror story and it’s almost Halloween. However, all of the proposed plutonium options are also health and safety horror stories in the making. They need to find a place to put 34 metric tonnes of weapons grade plutonium. Their proposal is to dilute it and place it in WIPP, which is still closed due to an accident, which ejected plutonium and americium throughout the facility and even into the outer…

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October 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 8 Energy News

Originally posted on geoharvey:


¶ Scotland has reached and surpassed its target of generating 500 MW of locally and community owned renewable energy five years early. Scotland’s Energy Minister announced that Scotland has already installed an estimated 508 MW of community and locally owned renewable energy capacity, well in advance of its target of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Whitelee's wind farm with Arran in the background. Photo by Bjmullan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. Whitelee’s wind farm with Arran in the background. Photo by Bjmullan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Scotland’s onshore wind industry is pulling ahead of England’s, but England is focusing a lot of its attention on its offshore industry. These are the key findings from a new report from the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, RenewableUK, which published its annual Wind Energy in the UK report this week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Sterling and Wilson is planning to construct 300 MW of solar plants in Egypt. The company already won two solar PV…

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October 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Change: The Next Generation: Amazon carbon sink is in decline as trees die off faster

Originally posted on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi):

What?s pulling the plug on the world?s carbon sink? Geoff Gallice, CC BY
Oliver Phillips and Roel Brienen, The Conversation, March 18, 2015.

“Tropical forests are being exposed to unprecedented environmental change, with huge knock-on effects. In the past decade, the carbon absorbed annually by the Amazon rain forest has declined by almost a third.

“At 6m km2, the Amazon forest covers an area 25 times that of the UK, and spans large parts of nine countries. The region contains a fifth of all species on earth, including more than 15,000 types of tree. Its 300 billion trees store 20% of all the carbon in the Earth?s biomass, and each year they actively cycle 18 billion tonnes of carbon, twice as much as is emitted by all the fossil fuels burnt in the world.

“The Amazon Basin is also a hydrological powerhouse. Water vapour from the forest nurtures agriculture to…

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October 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Astronauts would get cancer from ionising radiation in space

text-relevanttext ionisingMovie fact check: Could Martian explorer survive radiation?, Genetic Literacy Project, 
 | October 5, 2015 |  In the newly released The Martian, a stranded astronaut must figure out how to survive on the Red Planet after being accidentally left behind when the rest of his crew escapes a violent dust storm. Explorer Mark Watney spends many months trying to make water, grow food and send an SOS signal back to Earth. Most of the tools he uses in the film are based on existing or in-development technology.

The one major exception is the radiation-blocking material that allows Watney to spend much of his days outside his habitat, on the surface of a planet that lacks Earth’s atmosphere and is thus bathed in significantly higher levels of damaging radiation.“In the book they have this really thin, light, flexible material that blocks all radiation,” says Andy Weir, author of the book The Martian on which the film was based. “There’s nothing even remotely like that in the real world. That was the magic I gave him so the story would progress. Otherwise Mark would have different kinds of cancer.”…….

October 7, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Comfortable culture of denial about risks of cyber attacks on nuclear station s

see-no-evilNuclear power plants in ‘culture of denial’ over hacking risk,, 6 Oct 15Nuclear power plants around the world are harbouring a “culture of denial” about the risks of cyber hacking, with many failing to protect themselves against digital attacks, a review of the industry has warned.

A focus on safety and high physical security means that many nuclear facilities are blind to the risks of cyber attacks, according to the report by think-tank Chatham House, citing 50 incidents globally of which only a handful have been made public.

cyber-attackThe findings are drawn from 18 months of research and 30 interviews with senior nuclear officials at plants and in government in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, Ukraine and the US.

“Cyber security is still new to many in the nuclear industry,” said Caroline Baylon, the report’s author…….

Ms Baylon said there was a “culture of denial” at many nuclear plants, with a standard response from engineers and officials being that because their systems were not connected to the internet, it would be very hard to compromise them.

“Many people said it was simply not possible to cause a major incident like a release of ionising radiation with a cyber attack . . . but that’s not necessarily true.”

Ms Baylon described how systems and back-ups powering reactor cooling systems could be compromised, for example, to trigger an incident similar to that seen at Fukushima Daichi in Japan in 2011, the worst nuclear failure since Chernobyl.

Dozens of nuclear power stations have control systems accessible through the internet even though many plant operators believe a persistent “myth” that their facilities are “air gapped” with physically separated computer networks, the report says.

It points to a 2003 incident at the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, when an engineer accessed the plant from his home laptop through an encrypted VPN connection. His home computer had become infected with the nuisance self-replicating “slammer” worm. The trojan infected the nuclear plant’s computer system, causing a key safety control system to be overwhelmed with traffic from the worm and trip out.

A more serious 2006 incident occurred at Browns Ferry in Alabama when a key safety system was similarly overwhelmed with network traffic and nearly led to a meltdown.

The report points to a 2008 incident at the Hatch plant in Georgia to illustrate how vulnerable plants could be to deliberate digital disruption: though not an attack, when a contractor issued a routine patch to a business network system, it triggered a shutdown…….

Companies that own plants are also increasing the number of digital “backdoors” into facilities by putting in more monitoring systems to gather data and try to become more efficient businesses.

Engineers and contractors at facilities around the globe also routinely bring their own computers into nuclear plants to perform their jobs, officials told Chatham House. One described the control room at his nuclear plant as routinely having external laptops plugged in to its systems — sometimes left there overnight.

“It would be extremely difficult to cause a meltdown at a plant or compromise one but it would be possible for a state actor to do, certainly,” said Ms Baylon “The point is that risk is probability times consequence. And even though the probability might be low, the consequence of a cyber incident at a nuclear plant is extremely high.”


October 7, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

San Onofre site to get “concrete monolith” for high level radioactive trash – spent nuclear fuel

radioactive trashWatchdog: Nuclear waste can be stored at new San Onofre site, Coastal Commission says, Orange County Register, by Teri Sforza, Oct. 6, 2015  The California Coastal Commission on Tuesday approved construction of a controversial “concrete monolith” to bury spent fuel at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant, despite many unknowns — including precisely how the casks containing the deadly waste will be monitored.

The permit is only for 20 years, but critics fear it could be forever.

Opponents blasted the plan, saying it creates “America’s largest beach-front nuclear waste dump” just 100 feet from the plant’s sand and sea wall, and vowed legal action to block it.

Instead, opponents said, the Coastal Commission should demand that Southern California Edison – majority owner of the closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station – move spent fuel to the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona. Edison is a co-owner of that plant. Or, opponents say, the fuel should be moved to a remote spot in the desert, or to a private waste storage facility planned in Texas.

San Onofre’s waste would be safer there, critics insisted. There are simply too many unknowns attendant to burying it for decades in thin, hard-to-monitor steel canisters next to the beach in a densely populated area vulnerable to earthquakes and flooding…….

October 7, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

St Louis landfill fire: risk to nearby nuclear waste prompts plan for disaster

safety-symbol-Smwastes-1Disaster plan developed for use if St. Louis landfill fire reaches buried nuclear waste US News  By JIM SALTER, Associated Press ST. LOUIS (AP), 6 Oct 15,  — Beneath the surface of a St. Louis-area landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste, separated by no more than 1,200 feet.

Government officials have quietly adopted an emergency plan in case the smoldering embers ever reach the waste, a potentially “catastrophic event” that could send up a plume of radioactive smoke over a densely populated area near the city’s main airport.

Although the fire at Bridgeton Landfill has been burning since at least 2010, the plan for a worst-case scenario was developed only a year ago and never publicized until this week, when St. Louis radio station KMOX first obtained a copy.  County Executive Steve Stenger cautioned that the plan “is not an indication of any imminent danger.” “It is county government’s responsibility to protect the health, safety and well-being of all St. Louis County residents,” he said in a statement.

Landfill operator Republic Services downplayed any risk. Interceptor wells — underground structures that capture below-surface gasses — and other safeguards are in place to keep the fire and the nuclear waste separate……….

Directly next to Bridgeton Landfill is West Lake Landfill, also owned by Republic Services. The West Lake facility was contaminated with radioactive waste from uranium processing by a St. Louis company known as Mallinckrodt Chemical. The waste was illegally dumped in 1973 and includes material that dates back to the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb in the 1940s.

The Environmental Protection Agency is still deciding how to clean up the waste. The landfill was designated a Superfund site in 1990.

The proximity of the two environmental hazards is what worries residents and environmentalists. At the closest point, they are 1,000 to 1,200 feet apart.  If the underground fire reaches the waste, “there is a potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region,” according to the disaster plan……..

The plan calls for evacuations and development of emergency shelters, both in St. Louis County and neighboring St. Charles County. Private and volunteer groups, and perhaps the federal government, would be called upon to help, depending on the severity of the emergency………Last month, Koster said he was troubled by new reports about the site. One found radiological contamination in trees outside the landfill’s perimeter. Another showed evidence that the fire has moved past two rows of interceptor wells and closer to the nuclear waste…….

October 7, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Time to give up the irrational doctrine of ‘nuclear deterrence’

a doctrine of mutual assured destruction…… the case of nuclear arms, retaliation – whereby, in response to half the world being destroyed, you decide to destroy the other half – would not only be morally inexcusable, but irrational. Welcome to the nuclear hall of mirrors…..

 there’s one thing that deterrence doesn’t protect against – the possibility of nuclear accident.

If a world without nuclear weapons is achievable, it will require political leadership. A country giving up its own would be a rare and shining thing: an altruistic act in world affairs. The cost would be minimal, the savings great, and it would make us far more convincing when trying to dissuade others from acquiring nuclear capability. Britain should do it.


flag-UKIt’s time to leave the nuclear hall of mirrors, 
Guardian, David Shariatmadari, 6 Oct 15 
Deterrence isn’t enough to keep us safe: the prospect of a nuclear accident alone justifies ridding the world of these weapons. Britain should lead the way 
“Nuclear weapons can wipe out life on Earth, if used properly.” Despite being found in the liner notes of a Talking Heads album, this is the sentence I think best captures the bizarre contradictions of the atomic age. Human beings have manufactured bombs explicitly designed to unleash destructive forces equivalent to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of TNT. Deploy them and millions die; civilisation as we know it could disappear. And yet, they’re not actually supposed to be used. In fact, their proper function is to remain in the ground, or at sea, or in the air. Launch, fire or drop ‘em and the whole system has failed. Is there any other device so intricately constructed in order to decrease the likelihood of its own use?

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn, a man with at least a chance of being entrusted with the launch codes for 225 British warheads, stated that he would never press the nuclear button. I asked philosopher Jonathan Glover, whose book Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century, includes a study of the Cuban missile crisis, about the comments. He confirmed most analyses so far. “On the assumption that if he’s PM he has full say, that would indeed get rid of any deterrence”. In other words, were Corbyn to gain power, those weapons would become immediately impotent. His shadow defence secretary, Maria Eagle, called the remarks “unhelpful”.

Corbyn had let the air out of the nuclear balloon, given the game away. Continue reading

October 7, 2015 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Serious questions about China’s involvement in Britain’s new nuclear power projects

dragon-3flag-UKSerious issues for George Osborne on China’s role in the UK’s nuclear future  The Conversation,  Professor of International Development, University of Bristol October 5, 2015 George Osborne will address the Conservative party conference on Monday fresh from a sales trip to Beijing. His efforts to drive more trade between the two nations saw Chinese state-owned companies invited to participate in the development of nuclear generating plants in Britain. They will have the chance to work with French state-owned company, EDF at Hinkley Point, Somerset and will be the sole operators at Bradwell, Essex. The move has already attracted doubts but there are other vital issues that have yet to be aired. These can be crystallised into five clear questions that Osborne and his government must answer.

Safety concerns

Two Chinese companies are involved with Hinkley Point: China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN). The latter was responsible, under its previous guise (China Guangdong Nuclear Power) for building and running China’s first nuclear station, Daya Bay, near Hong Kong. It was initially improperly built – with reinforcement rods missing from the concrete base under the reactor – and there have since been reports of minor leakages of radioactive materials (though this is difficult to check, given China’s lack of transparency).

The deeply corrupt environment in which many Chinese companies operate compounds the possibility of these companies being lax on safety measures and it’s simply not good enough to say that Britain has one of the tightest nuclear safety regimes in the world. Confronted with the power of the Chinese government and the British government’s enthusiasm for unceasing flows of Chinese investment, the risk must be that the regulatory agency will be sidestepped or unable to cope………

Who builds what and with which workers?

The public needs to know whether Chinese construction companies will be involved in building Hinkley Point and other power stations and, if so, whether they will seek to use workers from China. ……..

One of the companies involved at Hinkley Point – China National Nuclear – produces China’s nuclear weapons. This means that as well as the Communist Party, CNNC is almost certainly controlled by the People’s Liberation Army (as all Chinese military-related companies are). Given geopolitical uncertainty (with rising tensions between China, Japan and the US over China’s territorial claims in the East and South China Seas), allowing such a company anywhere near Britain – not to mention in an industry as strategic as power generation – verges on the insane. Has MI5 been consulted on this, and if it has, what was its advice?

At its heart, the question of Chinese state (and thus Communist Party) involvement in Britain’s power generation, is a matter of national security. In its desire to help financial services (the only economic sector it privileges) penetrate the Chinese market, the government’s nuclear quid pro quo means it is set to embark on a potentially very dangerous path. Had this deal been negotiated by Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, the media would have been wondering if he were in the pay of the Chinese government. But George Osborne? Surely not.

Osborne may address some of these concerns in Monday’s speech, but it seems unlikely. In any case, before any binding commitments are made, it’s vital that the government’s proposal be opened up to public debate and subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

October 7, 2015 Posted by | China, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Trans-Pacific Partnership – just what do the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (or I.S.D.S.) provisions mean?

logo-anti-TPP“The rights given to investors are so open-ended and ambiguous that they allow for a lot of creative lawyering.”

Germany is in the midst of a $4.7-billion lawsuit occasioned by its decision to phase out nuclear power.

There’s nothing wrong with domestic courts reviewing government regulations, but outsourcing the responsibility to international tribunals is troubling

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Good? or bad?, leisure guy, 6 Oct 15  “……James Surowiecki in a brief New Yorker column describes some drawbacks:……….The case has yet to be decided, but the concerns it raises help explain President Obama’s embarrassing setback last week, when the House failed to give him fast-track authority over one of two big trade agreements that had been envisaged as a key part of his legacy. Both agreements—the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with eleven Asian and Pacific countries, and an agreement with Europe called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership—include provisions very like the ones at the heart of Australia’s fight with Big Tobacco. Known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (or I.S.D.S.) provisions, they typically allow foreign investors to sue governments when they feel they have not received “fair or equitable treatment,” and to have their cases heard not by a domestic court but by an international arbitration tribunal made up of three lawyers.
These provisions have been opposed by an unusual coalition of progressives and conservatives, who contend that they will let multinationals override government policy, and, as Senator Elizabeth Warren put it, “undermine U.S. sovereignty.” On the other side, the Obama Administration and business groups insist that this is just fear-mongering. ………

these days signing such agreements is risky for countries. I.S.D.S. lawsuits used to be rare, but they’re becoming a growth industry. Nearly a hundred have been filed in the past two years, as against some five hundred in the quarter century before that. Investor protection, previously a sideshow in corporate law, is now a regular part of law-school curricula. “We’ve also seen an expansion in the types of claims that have been brought,” Lise Johnson, the head of investment law and policy at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, told me. I.S.D.S. was originally meant to protect investors against seizure of their assets by foreign governments. Now I.S.D.S. lawsuits go after things like cancelled licenses, unapproved permits, and unwelcome regulations.
This mission creep has been abetted by the fact that the language of I.S.D.S. provisions is often vague. Jason Yackee, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in international-investment law, told me, “The rights given to investors are so open-ended and ambiguous that they allow for a lot of creative lawyering.” Canada lost a case where it had rejected, after an environmental study, a proposed mining and marine-terminal project. The country was also sued when Quebec imposed a moratorium on fracking. Germany is in the midst of a $4.7-billion lawsuit occasioned by its decision to phase out nuclear power. Uruguay is facing a lawsuit from Philip Morris International, much like the one brought against Australia.
There’s nothing wrong with domestic courts reviewing government regulations, but outsourcing the responsibility to international tribunals is troubling. …………

FROM The Financial Page JUNE 22, 2015 ISSUE Trade-Agreement Troubles BY JAMES SUROWIECKI

October 7, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Cyber security danger to nuclear stations

Nuclear power plants ‘highly vulnerable’ to cyber-attacks,  6 Oct, 2015  British nuclear power plants are at risk of cybe-attack, thanks to a “culture of denial” regarding the risks, a report by security think tank Chatham House claims.

The “Cyber Security at Civil Nuclear Facilities: Understanding the Risks” report involved a study of cyber-security at plants across Europe and interviews with 30 senior officials in the nuclear industry and the governments of Japan, France, the UK and the US.

Cyber security is still new to many in the nuclear industry,” Caroline Baylon, the report’s author, told the Financial Times. “They are really good at safety and, after 9/11, they’ve got really good at physical security. But they have barely grappled with cyber,” she said, adding the industry suffers from a “culture of denial.

The security issues stem from the increasing digitization of nuclear facilities by using relatively easily available technology to trim expenditure.

The cyber security risk is growing as nuclear facilities become increasingly reliant on digital systems and make increasing use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ software, which offers considerable cost savings but increases vulnerability to hacking attacks,” the report argues.

Meanwhile, hacking is becoming ever easier to conduct, and more widespread: automatic cyber-attack packages targeted at known and discovered vulnerabilities are widely available for purchase.

The report says there is a real risk of a devastating incident like the one which occurred at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011, when an earthquake and resulting tsunami hit and badly damaged the facility………

October 7, 2015 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Residents and activists oppose plan to store radioactive trash at closed San Onofre nuclear station

san-onofre-deadfCoastal Commission to Discuss Storing Nuclear Waste at San Onofre Residents and activists are protesting Southern California Edison’s proposal to store nuclear waste on the Pacific Coast By Kristina Bugante, 5 Oct 15  The California Coastal Commission met Tuesday in Long Beach to discuss the possible storage of nuclear waste at the now-inoperative San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in San Diego County.

In December 2014, Southern California Edison proposed the construction of an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI), a dry underground storage facility for San Onofre’s used nuclear waste, sparking protest from activists and residents.

Anti-nuclear activists at Tuesday’s meeting want the waste permanently moved to the desert, away from populated areas. They said there are concerns that the storage at San Onofre will turn into a permanent situation.

“They have not attempted to do anything except the path of least resistance, which results in nuclear waste being stored right on the coast in an area where no one would choose to put it,” said Ray Lutz, coordinator at Citizens’ Oversight Projects. “Construction of the ISFSI at this location will likely mean it will stay right here for hundreds of years.” The issue had not come up for discussion as of midday.

According to the Decommissioning San Onofre report, Edison has selected Holtec International to design and build the ISFSI. Nuclear waste will be stored in stainless steel modules in a concrete-filled monolith. Approximately one-third of the waste is already in storage, and Holtec plants to transfer the rest of the waste by mid-2019.

In April, Southern California taxpayers were left with paying $3.3 billion for SONGS’ closure in 2013 that followed radiation leak damage to hundreds of the plant’s tubes. State energy regulators came under fire for secretly negotiating that settlement in a foreign country.

The California Coastal Commission plans and regulates land and water use and public access in California’s coastline. It will vote on whether or not to allow expanded storage of nuclear fuel at San Onofre.

October 7, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

On the trip to Mars, astronauts’ brains would experience lethal levels of cosmic radiation.

radiation-warningAn Inconvenient Radiation By David Galbraith  THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR , 5 Oct 16 Mars waxes large in our current imagination. Matt Damon provides a compelling performance as an astronaut botanist stranded on the Red Planet, in a Ridley Scott film lauded for its scientific accuracy. The future in space shines bright, it seems. But is this really so?……..

Cosmic rays are a puzzle. They are the remnants of atoms hurtling through the galaxy at inconceivable energies. Inconceivable is not used lightly here: the most energetic cosmic rays have energies roughly 40 million times greater than the particles we can produce in the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. We do not know how they can be formed. And yet they exist, and they permeate the universe, continuously bathing the earth.
A major part of the magic of life on earth is associated with the atmosphere. Not only do we breathe it, but it also acts as a vital shield against cosmic rays since, when they hit the atoms in the atmosphere, their energies are converted into the harmless light that my father detected.

Why do we need protection? The most energetic cosmic rays pack a punch of a 56 mile‐per‐hour baseball. Just as a body can be damaged by a baseball, so a cell can be damaged by a cosmic ray. How much damage can it do? Scientists have recently tested this question, exposing mice to amounts of radiation that would be experienced by astronauts during a trip to Mars which has very little atmosphere and minimal protection from cosmic rays. Extensive destruction of the brains of these mice was seen, with drastic deterioration in cognitive tests.

Our astronauts have already described interactions with cosmic rays during brief trips to the moon, reporting random flashes of light, a consequence of the explosive interaction of a cosmic ray with the cells in the retina. During the much longer trip to Mars, and the establishment of a permanent colony there, the brains of the astronauts will experience lethal levels of cosmic radiation.

 So why not simply provide protection against cosmic rays? It’s easy to calculate the screening provided by the earth’s atmosphere at the surface. It’s equivalent to a 400-ton sphere, with the astronauts placed in the center. We cannot raise that amount of mass to earth orbit, or move it to Mars, or land it on the Martian surface. Plus, it is improbable that we will ever have that capability. Sending humans further into the solar system and beyond becomes impossible. The inconvenient conclusion is that humanity, in its biological form, is restricted, through the grand, inevitable, and total progression of time, to this planet only……..

An alternative, and very simple explanation of Fermi’s paradox, is that the universe is a sterilizing system: cosmic rays prevent access of living organisms, alien or human, to our immediate space neighborhood and beyond. Accepting and coming to terms with this disturbing concept will have far‐ reaching consequences, both practical, political, philosophical, and, perhaps, theological. The only things that remain shining, as we keep looking up, are the inaccessible stars, and my father’s ironic gift, the faint Cerenkov radiation in the night sky formed by cosmic rays.

October 7, 2015 Posted by | radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Gangs of smugglers tried to sell nuclear materials to ISIS

Smugglers Have Tried to Sell Nuclear Materials to ISIS and Other Terrorists, Report Says Desmond Butler, Vadim Ghirda / Associated Press   6 Oct 15 In one case, man expressing hatred for the U.S. tried to sell bomb-grade uranium to a Sudanese buyer. (CHISINAU, Moldova) — The Associated Press has learned that gangs with Russian ties are driving a thriving black market in nuclear materials in eastern Europe, often with the explicit intent of connecting sellers to Middle Eastern extremist groups.

Authorities working with the FBI have interrupted four attempts by gangs shopping radioactive material in Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe. The latest known case came in February, when a smuggler offered radioactive cesium, specifically seeking an Islamic State buyer.

The most serious case came in 2011, when a man expressing hatred for the U.S. tried to sell bomb-grade uranium to a Sudanese buyer.

Successful busts were compromised by striking shortcomings: Key suspects got away; prison sentences were surprisingly short; and gang leaders may have escaped with the bulk of their nuclear contraband.

October 7, 2015 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

South Africa’s govt will face massive resistance if it continues with nuclear power plans

text-Noflag-S.AfricaANC warned: Abandon nuclear plans, or else, Mail & Guardian,  06 OCT 2015 MATTHEW LE CORDEUR
Greenpeace has warned the ANC that civil society will mobilise against it if the ruling party does not take nuclear energy off the table. 
Greenpeace has a message for the ANC ahead of its National General Council (NGC) meeting starting on Friday: drop nuclear energy, or face massive resistance.

Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo said on Monday that the ANC should “take nuclear off the table”.

“The ANC needs to know that if it does go for the nuclear option as part of the (energy) mix, then they are on a collision course with the broader spectrum of the South African civil society,” he said.

“The faith organisations are mobilising and elements in the trade union federation are mobilising in the broader NGO spectrum.

“So the ANC can make that decision knowing full well that they will be blocked in the court,” he said. “There will be a robust campaign against any financial option. Any lending institution will come under tremendous pressure.”……..

Naidoo said South Africa should not be investing in nuclear at all, because it is “too expensive and too dangerous”.

“As a solution to our energy crisis, it will be delivered too little too late and will take 10 to 15 years to build one single plant.”

The Energy Department has signed agreements with several countries as part of its Nuclear Build Programme to build 9 600 MW of nuclear energy by 2030……

October 7, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment


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