The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear Power and the Power of Words – theme for July 2015

dictatorThe nuclear lobby is becoming increasingly sophisticated with the way it pitches its lies,nuclear-fuel-chain3 half-truths and wobbly and weasel words.

Even the environmental movement becomes unconsciously seduced into using the terms that the nuclear industry finds convenient for greenwashing and whitewashing its toxic product.

For example, they talk of : the nuclear fuel cycle.

It’s not  a cycle – it’s  a chain, and  a chain around the global neck, the nuclear fuel chain. 

This terminology is part of their whole strategy to resuscitate their industry . They would have us believe that the nuclear fuel chain ends with  a resource – not with a waste , which it really is   radioactive trash .


wobbly-nuke-wordsThere are heaps of terms that the nuclear lobby uses to confuse people.spin-corporate.

  • Their favourite is, of course, jargon designed to make the ordinary pedestrian decide that it’s all too hard to have an opinion.
  •  Then there are all the words used to confuse people.
  • And still, even in 2015, the lobby finds it effective to use words to belittle their critics -the good old “emotional” and “hysterical”

cartoon- emotional

June 29, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

Book “Atomic Comics” shows corporate influence, glossing over nuclear dangers

text-relevantThree books show how close nuclear catastrophe is, Green Left, , July 4, 2015 By Phil Shannon  “……Altogether more comforting has been the US comics industry. Ferenc Szasz’s history of atomic-themed comics,Atomic Comics starts with Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the 1930s. Then, the assumed technological wonders of peaceful nuclear energy outweighed any anxiety over atomic war.

Dagwood Bumstead, Mandrake the Magician, Popeye and atomic-enhanced cartoon animals, including Donald Duck, have lent an “educational” hand to the task of reassuring readers that any dangers of nuclear fission were manageable.

A flock of caped heroes — Captain Marvel, Captain America, Superman and Wonder Woman — ensured that atomic bombs would not fall into the wrong hands, such as terrorists, evil scientists, unreconstructed Nazis, foreign powers or Reds.

It was assumed that the US hands that held The Bomb were the right hands and that nuclear warfare against the Soviet Union could be limited and winnable.

An “atomic banality”, says Szasz, now reigns in the comics and animation world in which “cynicism, resignation and bland acceptance” of nuclear fission, and the light satire of The Simpsons, coats over the continuing nuclear problems.

Book Atomic Comics

The corporate fingerprint is evident in all this cartoon contentedness. Although Szasz’s book should have developed this crucial issue more, the business giants of the comics industry — Marvel and DC Comics — which control three-quarters of the $700 million a year US comics market, share the supreme value of money-making with those who profit from nuclear energy and weapons.

Capitalism and the nuclear age are no laughing matter.

July 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

Mainstream media is complicit in cover-up of effects of Fukushima radiation

text-relevantHiding behind the glaring omissions of the mainstream press regarding Fukushima is the pressing reality that contamination from the event is severe, continual, on the rise, and already affecting North America.

Independent Media Runs With the Story There is, however, plenty of news coming out about Fukushima and plenty of conversation taking place about the impact on the environment and on human health. It’s just not to be found in the mainstream media, who is unquestionably strongly influenced by the nuclear energy industry and the government, and apparently involved in one of the greatest media cover ups of all time.

media-propagandaCover Up – Mainstream Reporting on Fukushima a Joke  Terence Newton, Staff Writer Waking Times , 5 July 15 It has been over four years since the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and ensuing catastrophic tsunami leveled the Pacific coast of Japan, setting off a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daichi power plant. Radiation has been pouring into the ocean, into the earth below, and into the air for over 1500 days now and there is still zero sense of urgency on the part of the government and world leaders to seriously address this blooming catastrophe. All efforts to stop the meltdown and clean up the radiation have been left in the hands of TEPCO, Japan’s energy company that has been proven time and again to be inept and unprepared to confront a disaster of this sort.

The mainstream media, for its part, appears to be complicit in a cover-up of the effects thatFukushima radiation is already having on our environment and on human and animal health, and instead insists on omitting most news on the matter, or seriously dumbing down reports of the fallout.

For example, Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Revelations on the dirty work given to Windscale nuclear cleanup workers – and at Hanford

BBC: People taken from movie theater by police, forced to go in reactor and deal with burning fuel rods — TV: Military picked men off street to battle meltdown — Women, minorities, homeless, and prisoners used by nuclear industry for most dangerous work (VIDEO)

BBC, ‘Windscale – Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster’ (emphasis added) — Tom Tuohy, deputy manager at Windscale plutonium production plant (at 8:00 in): “We were trying to push the burning fuel into the back of the reactor.” — But the heat had melted the cartridges, so they were stuck in the core… Radiation was so intense they could only work a few hours. They were running out of firefighters. — Neville Ramsden, Windscale health physicist: “The police from the [plutonium] factory had turned up looking for volunteers and they brought a bus. They decided the best way to get the volunteers was to go up to the cinema, and ‘volunteer’ the back 2 rows at the show to go… push the fuel rods out of the reactor.”

Yorkshire Television, ‘Children of Chernobyl’(at 4:00 in): “When the robots broke down because of the extreme radioactivitymen were sent in to cleanup the site. They werenot volunteers. They were picked up off the streets and press ganged [i.e. taken by force] onto the roof… In 90 seconds, they received their permissible lifetime dose of radiation. The men were sent home and forgotten… They do not figure in any official casualty lists.”

Prof. Kate Brown, C-SPAN (at 35:00 in): “When there was an accident [at Hanford],when there was some dangerous groundthat needed to be worked… they sent in these temporary workersprisoners from the camps nearby… minority laborers… basically ‘jumpers’ to work in dangerous ground,unmonitored… and they’d leave with the many possible radioactive isotopes they had ingested… without any epidemiological trace… The plutonium cities presented a picture of healthy pink populations, this was a mirage.”

Prof. Brown (at 42:30 in): “That job [of refining plutonium] was often given to women… it’sone of the dirtiest jobs. At Dupont… they’d write the Army Corps, ‘Maybe since we’re going to make this super-poisonous product, we shouldn’t hire women who were younger than the menopausal age. What about fertility problems? What about mutants and monsters in offspring?’ They were real nervous about it… they knew a great deal, and they were worried.”

DC Bureau: When the enormous problem of high-level nuclear waste became apparent… White workers ordered African Americans to deal with this deadly mess, and disposal involveddumping plutonium straight into the soil…. [Mr. Lindsay] was recruited from his job as a segregated school principal to commute several hours from Greenwood, South Carolina… like thousands of other African American workers, was given the most dangerous jobs andordered to throw his dosimeter in a bucket before going into high risk areas.

Reuters: Police say Japanese gangsters rounded up homeless men to clean up Fukushima radiation… “Many homeless people are just put into dormitories [and] left with no pay at all.”

Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur (at 15:30 in): “These [Fukushima] workers told me, ‘Do you know we’re actually living in a shanty town?’… Literally on the pavement…in Tokyo… They told me that people come take them.”

Channel 4, ‘Nuclear Ginza’ (1995) — Prof. Kenji Higuchi (at 2:00 in): “The scenes I saw, the stories I heard, I found them difficult to believe at first… Workers go near the reactor and get exposed… Many of them become ill sometimes die… [They’re] picked off the street in the slums… I found so many… who didn’t know what had happened to them, or if they did,too frightened to speak… all their stories were the same… People simply don’t believe this could happen in a country like Japan… It’s as if they’re the living dead.”

July 6, 2015 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment

Grim future for France’s nuclear companies AREVA and EDF

Burdened by losses, EDF’s foreign activities are currently unable to finance the increasing requirements at home, where the production costs of nuclear plants are rising by around 5% each year and investment needs are increasing.

The international trend is not for a nuclear renaissance but for a boom in renewable energy, and France will not be able to export significantly more reactors, or to develop new reprocessing contracts abroad under profitable conditions.

To understand just how far the French nuclear industry has fallen in recent years, look no further than the value of EDF and Areva. Since 2007, EDF’s stock price has fallen more than 70%; Areva’s by more than 85%. If Areva weren’t 83% government-owned, it almost certainly would have declared bankruptcy by now.

plants-downnuClear News July 15 The deep crisis which the French nuclear industry is experiencing is not new, although it seems to have shocked some commentators. It actually represents the outcome of a strategy launched at the end of the 1990s which was always flawed. The project involved an aggressive export policy which it was hoped would disguise predictable difficulties at home, according to a report by WISE Paris for Greenpeace. (1)


 Faced with declining overseas markets and increasing expenditure at a domestic level, EDF and Areva appear to be heading for a terminal decline. The recent industrial restructuring will not save the industry. Only a genuine reorientation can prevent further disaster for the French economy.
Areva has now suffered four years of losses, including a record figure of €4.8 billion in 2014 and debts of €5.8 billion against a turnover of €8.3 billion. The group is facing bankruptcy and cannot sidestep a far-reaching redistribution of its business operations. Despite less worrying results, the EDF group, whose fifty-eight nuclear reactors operated in France provide more than 75% of the country’s electricity, is also experiencing difficulties. Boosted by its turnover of €72.9 billion, the electricity company recorded net profits of €3.7 billion in 2014. But its debt situation – now at €34.2 billion – is increasingly a matter of concern.
In the era of the energy transition, in which France has set itself the objective of lowering the share of nuclear power in its electricity generation to 50% by 2025, the future looks grim for the two companies.

Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, Reference | Leave a comment

When France shuts its nuclear reactors, it will be left with a monumental radioactive trash problem

flag-franceFrench nuclear waste will triple after decommissioning: agency
PARIS The amount of nuclear waste stored in France will triple once all its nuclear installations have been decommissioned, which will boost the need for storage facilities, French nuclear waste agency Andra said.

In a report released on Wednesday, Andra estimated that final nuclear waste volumes will eventually reach 4.3 million cubic meters, up from 1.46 million at the end of 2013 and an estimated 2.5 million in 2030.

That is based on an average lifespan of 50 years for utility EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors and including a new reactor under construction in Flamanville. Most of that waste will be only slightly radioactive, such as building rubble and clothing used during decommissioning, but because of its bulk, it requires increasing amounts of space.


Andra, which publishes a nuclear waste inventory every three years, expects its low-level waste facility in Morvilliers, in the Aube region, would fill up between 2020 and 2025.

“We want to warn that the storage centers are filling up and that we need to optimize waste management because storage facilities are a rare resource,” Andra executive Michele Tallec told Reuters.

Volumes of highly radioactive, long-life waste – which represent just 0.2 percent of the volume but 98 percent of the radioactivity – should rise from 3,200 cubic meters at the end of 2013 to about 10,000 cubic meters when all France’s nuclear plants reach their end of life.

This waste is scheduled to be buried in the controversial deep-storage site in Bure, in eastern France, which already has a test facility but has not received any nuclear waste.

his year, Andra plans to present the French government and nuclear regulator ASN a technical dossier on Bure, which aims to bury nuclear waste 500 meters underground in thick layers of argillite rock, which Andra says will prevent most radioactive particles from traveling more than a few meters over hundreds of thousands of years.

Andra plans to put in a formal request to build the 35 billion euro facility – which faces resistance from environmental groups and local residents – in 2017 and hopes to start construction in 2020 with a view to open it for first testing in 2025.(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Michel Rose, writing by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)

July 6, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, France, Reference | Leave a comment

Fukushima is already a global disaster – USA National Lab

exclamation-US Gov’t Contractor: Fukushima so fragile it can turn globally catastrophic at any moment — Concern about impact to West Coast from another meltdown — Danger of something “far worse” than initial event — “Substantial risk to stability of Asia-Pacific” — National Lab: Fukushima already a global disaster (VIDEO)

Banyan Analytics, an institute that assists the U.S. Government in developing strong emergency preparedness and response systems in the Asia-Pacific; Founded by ANSER, a security and defense analysis group that works with the U.S. government and miltary, Nov. 14, 2013 (emphasis added):

Few issues on the Asia-Pacific security horizon are more worrying and potentially more destabilizing to the region than the decommissioning and cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… the situation is dangerous enough that a single mistakecould potentially lead to a radiological disaster far worsethan the initial disaster… That there has not yet been a major disruption in Fukushima that could cause another meltdown and potentiallyaffect the lives of millions in the Asia-Pacific and on the western coast of the United States is an incredible relief to all. But, as some scientists have asserted, the situation in Fukushima is so fragile that a number of things could go wrong at any moment to make the currently risky situation turnglobally catastrophic. An earthquake or severe storm… could cause damage… leading to the massive radiological contamination of the Pacific region, which would endanger the lives of millions of people andforce mass evacuations… In the context of regional security, it is important to acknowledge that the situation in Fukushima poses a substantial risk to the stability of the Asia-Pacific. If an incident occurred during the decommissioning of… the nuclear facility, it would impact systems such as the social and political stability of Japan as well as countries in the region; food security; public health; trade and commerce; the global environment; and regional politics. Governments in the Asia-Pacific would do well to anticipate a variety of emergency scenarios that could unfold during the upcoming and most fragile phases of decommissioning.

Sandia National Laboratories, Nov. 21, 2013: Cleaning Contaminated Water at Fukushima — “As the tragedy unfolded, a unique partnership came together to help solve the problems related to this global disaster.”

Watch Sandia’s video here

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

USA government hid radiation test results in Pacific

see-no-evilJapan Scientists: High radiation levels near West Coast after Fukushima disaster — Almost 30 Bq/m3 of cesium offshore — Secret documents reveal US gov’t previously ordered radiation test results in Pacific be hidden to avoid contamination fears

Michio Aoyama (Fukushima University) et al. (pdf), European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Apr 2015 (emphasis added): The oceanic distribution of Cs-137 and Cs-134 released from [Fukushima Daiichi] were investigated… During the period from end of March to early of April 2011, extremely high activities of Cs-137 and Cs-134 in seawater were concentrated along the coast… The high activities area spread to the region of 165_E with a latitudinal center of 40_N in the western North Pacific Ocean. Atmospheric deposition is also cause to high activities in the region between 180º and 130º W in the North Pacific Ocean. The total inventory of FNPP1-released Cs-134 in the North Pacific Ocean is estimated to be 15.2 +/- 1.8 PBq… Leak of stagnant water induced by heavy rainfall would also cause the increase of the total…

Meteorological Research Institute (further detailed inAoyama et al.): 137Cs and 134Cs activities in the North Pacific Ocean after Fukushima Nuclear power plants accident — MRI (Meteorological Research Institute) measured the concentration of radiocesium (134Cs、137Cs) in the seawater sampled in April – May 2011.

  • May 13 (42.72ºN, 151.12ºW): 27.3 Bq/m3 of 134Cs + 137Cs (13.5 + 13.8)
  • May 14 (40.97ºN, 141.46ºW): 19.3 Bq/m3 of 134Cs + 137Cs (8.1 + 11.2)

Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments(special committee created by Executive Order of the President of the United States), 1994: The [Department of Defense] engaged in fallout data gathering. In the fall of 1954, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project established a “Fall-out Study Group“… A December 16, 1954, memorandum from the chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project stated… “The actual data obtained are SECRET and the sample collection should be discreetly handled.”… Another contemporary instance of selective disclosure of fallout-related research… is discussed in a February 1955 letter… Willard Libby, acting AEC chairman [reporting] on a proposed marine radiobiological survey in the Pacific… “The classification ‘Secret’ Defense Information has been assigned to the surveyin order to avoid… unwarranted recrudescence [i.e. recurrence] of fears in Japan of radioactive contamination of fish… The fact of an oceanographic survey in the Pacific, however, is regarded as unclassified so long as purpose, content, and results are not revealed.”

Note the rather obvious gap in the center of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s map showing test results for the Fukushima radioactive plume from 2011-15. According to the WHOI website, they are attempting to “reveal the ongoing spread of radiation across the Pacific.” Perhaps samples from a location that’s in the projected path of the radiation spreading across the Pacific would help.

See also: NYTimes: Gov’t scientist not allowed to publish findings on Fukushima cesium levels in Pacific — Japan researchers pressured to downplay disaster’s impact — Professors obstructed when data might cause public concern

July 6, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Game Over for UK’s Hinkley Point Nuclear power project?

The UK Government is now said to be deeply concerned about the future of the Hinkley project following revelations about problems at the similar reactor being built at Flamanville

Nuclear needs a blank cheque Now that it is plain that nuclear power has failed miserably to compete with renewable energy even on the somewhat skewed playing field represented by the (proposed) Hinkley C deal, nuclear supporters are trying to engineer a ‘blank cheque’ to be given to nuclear developers

nuClear News, July 15  There is a growing chorus of critics calling for Hinkley Point C to be scrapped altogether, according to the Sunday Times.

It would be one of the most expensive man-made objects ever built in the world. At a cost of £24.5bn it would tie British households into paying for astonishingly expensive electricity subsidies until 2060. The world has changed since 2010 when Hinkley was first named as a site for new reactors. The price of renewables has plummeted.

 Peter Atherton, an analyst at Jefferies and long-time critic is unequivocal: “This project is an abomination,” he said. “It’s going to cost £16bn to build, plus another £6bn in financing costs. Either of those numbers alone should have made this unthinkable. We’re building a power station, not the pyramids.”
 Since 2010 the cost of solar power panels has plummeted by 67%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The price of onshore wind turbines has shrunk by 5%, though the government’s decision to slash subsidies will curtail new developments.

Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Three books showing the close risk of nuclear disaster

book-Command-and-ControlThree books show how close nuclear catastrophe is, Green Left, , July 4, 2015 By Phil Shannon In 2003, half the US Air Force units responsible for nuclear weapons failed their safety inspections.

Command & Control
Eric Schlosser
Allen Lane, 2013
632 pages
A Short History Of Nuclear Folly
Rudolph Herzog
Melville House, 2014
252 pages
Atomic Comics: Cartoonists Confront The Nuclear Age
Ferenc Szasz
University of Nevada Press, 2013
179 pages

Atomic bombs have only been used in warfare twice, but they have nearly been detonated, through accident or mistake, many more times, writes Eric Schlosser in his book on nuclear weapons mishaps, Command and Control. Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

European Commission Subsidizing the building of more nuclear facilities is a bad idea

After Fukushima-Daichi, why is the European commission subsidizing nuclear plants in the UK?, Energy Digital,Tomas H. Lucero, 4 July 15 Greenpeace, a “leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future” ( and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewables announced on Thursday that they will be taking legal action against the European commission’s decision to subsidize the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the United Kingdom.

[Related: [INFOGRAPHIC] Picturing the Complex Nuclear Energy Landscape]

The utilities joining Greenpeace are “Energieversorgung Filstal, municipal utilities (called Stadtwerke) of Aalen, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Bochum, Mainz, Muehlacker, Schwaebisch Hall and Tuebingen and Austria’s oekostrom,” according to Reuters.

Greenpeace, and companies’, rationale for their lawsuit  is that “billions of euros of subsidies for nuclear energy would distort prices in mainland European power markets, which are linked to those in Britain via a small French interconnector,” reports Reuters.

Price guarantees for Hinkley Point C’s output, calculated over 35 years, would amount to 108 billion euros and state guarantees for construction would be upwards of 20 billion euros. Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Sorry, but Nuclear Power just won’t help against climate change – new campaign

globalnukeNOhighly-recommendednuClear News, July edition,    “…. Don’t Nuke the Climate On June 16, seven international clean energy organizations launched a major new campaign aimed at keeping nuclear power out of all negotiations at the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris. The UN Climate Change Conference (‘COP-21’) will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The seven initiating groups are the two organisations behind the Nuclear Monitor − the World Information Service on Energy (WISE-Amsterdam) and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) − along with Sortir du Nucleaire (France), Ecodefense (Russia), Global 2000 (Austria), Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), and Burgerinitiative Umweltschutz (Germany).
Some of the same groups were critical to a similar effort at the UN negotiations in The Hague in 2000, which succeeded in barring nuclear power from the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. And some of the groups also organized the large Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free contingent to last year’s People’s Climate March in New York City.
Peer de Rijk of WISE-Amsterdam said: “We are calling on 1,000 civil society organisations to join us for a campaign to block the nuclear industry’s lobby activities at COP-21 and instead ensure the world chooses clean energy.” 
  • Nuclear Power is Not a Silver Bullet: Nuclear power could at most make a modest contribution to climate change abatement. The main limitation is that it is used almost exclusively for electricity generation, which accounts for less than 25% of global greenhouse emissions. Even tripling nuclear power generation would reduce emissions by less than 10% − and then only if the assumption is that it displaces coal. 
  • Greenhouse Emissions from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Claims that nuclear power is ‘greenhouse free’ are false. Nuclear power is more greenhouse intensive than most renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures. Life-cycle greenhouse emissions from nuclear power will increase as relatively high-grade uranium ores are mined out. 
  • Nuclear Power – A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem: The nuclear industry does not have the capacity to rapidly expand production as a result of 20 years of stagnation. Limitations include bottlenecks in the reactor manufacturing sector, dwindling and ageing workforces, and the considerable time it takes to build a reactor and to pay back the energy debt from construction. 
  • Nuclear Power and Climate Change Countries and regions with a high reliance on nuclear power also tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries are planning to replace fossil fuel-fired power plants with nuclear power in order to increase fossil fuel exports − in such cases any potential climate change mitigation benefits of nuclear power are lost. 
  • Climate Change and Nuclear Hazards Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming No2NuclearPower nuClear news No.75, July 2015 22 water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. ‘Water wars’ − in particular, disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation and agriculture − are becoming increasingly common and are being exacerbated by climate change.  
  • Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter Civil nuclear programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. Nuclear warfare − even a limited nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change. 
  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency: Global renewable power capacity more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 (and non-hydro renewables grew 8-fold). Over that decade, and the one before it, nuclear power flatlined. Global renewable capacity (including hydro) is 4.6 times greater than nuclear capacity, and renewable electricity generation more than doubles nuclear generation. A growing body of research demonstrates the potential for renewables to largely supplant fossil fuels for power supply globally. Energy efficiency and renewables are the Twin Pillars of a clean energy future. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures − making it far easier to achieve a lowcarbon, nonnuclear future.
Sign the Petition Ten Reasons Not to Nuke the Climate

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment | Edit

July 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Canadian Government Inflates “safe” Dosage Radioactive Substances In Water To Calm Down Citizens (INCLUDES VIDEO) 

July 1st, 2015 | by CoNN Man does the math: Canadian govt inflates “safe” dosage radioactive substances in water to 7 MILLION Bacquerels per cubic meter in order to assure citizens that the water is safe, despite “trace” radioactive substances being found off of the BC shore– sent via the ocean current from far-away Fukushima, Japan. It should be noted that CBCNews claims that this is the “first time” such radiation has been detected in North America, but Global Research had reported on this way back in 2013, and this recent “expert” being quoted is likely just there to make soothing noises.

Anyway, according to the Canadian Govt,  the Maximum Acceptable Concentrations for radioactive substances in water are: Total uraniumTable a footnote10.02 mg/LTritium (3H)7000 Bq/LLead-210 (210Pb)0.2 Bq/LTable a footnote2Strontium-90 (90Sr)5 Bq/LRadium-226 (226Ra)0.5 Bq/LIodine-131 (131I)6 Bq/L  Cesium-137 (137Cs)10 Bq/L.

Simply multiply each number by a thousand to get cubic meters.

It should be noted that the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council had released a report recommending that the maximum levels for Trithium be reduced from 7000 to 20 becquerels per litre.

July 6, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

History of safety failures at US nuclear plants

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAHow the next US nuclear accident could happen, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hugh Gusterson 5 July 15 “…….We can learn a lot about the potential for safety failures at US nuclear plants from the July 29, 2012, incident in which three religious activists broke into the supposedly impregnable Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Fort Knox of uranium. Once there, they spilled blood and spray painted “work for peace not war” on the walls of a building housing enough uranium to build thousands of nuclear weapons. They began hammering on the building with a sledgehammer, and waited half an hour to be arrested. If an 82-year-old nun with a heart condition and two confederates old enough to be AARP members could do this, imagine what a team of determined terrorists could do.

We have a detailed understanding of this incident thanks to energetic reporting byFrank MungerDan Zak, and, finally, a recent tour de force account in the New Yorker by Eric Schlosser, who has established himself as the premier reporter on nuclear accidents waiting to happen. Their cumulative reporting suggests that the Achilles’ heel of US nuclear safety culture lies in a fondness for automated security technologies, the delegation of government functions to private contractors, and a predilection for hollow facsimiles of effective audit procedures.

Where some other countries often rely more on guards with guns, the United States likes to protect its nuclear facilities with a high-tech web of cameras and sensors. Under the Nunn-Lugar program, Washington has insisted that Russia adopt a similar approach to security at its own nuclear sites—claiming that an American cultural preference is objectively superior. The Y-12 incident shows the problem with the American approach of automating security. At the Y-12 facility, in addition to the three fences the protestors had to cut through with wire-cutters, there were cameras and motion detectors. But we too easily forget that technology has to be maintained and watched to be effective. According to Munger, 20 percent of the Y-12 cameras were not working on the night the activists broke in. Cameras and motion detectors that had been broken for months had gone unrepaired. A security guard was chatting rather than watching the feed from a camera that did work. And guards ignored the motion detectors, which were so often set off by local wildlife that they assumed all alarms were false positives….

Instead of having government forces guard the site, the Department of Energy had hired two contractors: Wackenhut and Babcock and Wilcox. Wackenhut is now owned by the British company G4S, which also botched security for the 2012 London Olympics, forcing the British government to send 3,500 troops to provide security that the company had promised but proved unable to deliver. Private companies are, of course, driven primarily by the need to make a profit, but there are surely some operations for which profit should not be the primary consideration.

Babcock and Wilcox was supposed to maintain the security equipment at the Y-12 site, while Wackenhut provided the guards. Poor communication between the two companies was one reason sensors and cameras were not repaired. Furthermore, Babcock and Wilcox had changed the design of the plant’s Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, making it a more vulnerable aboveground building, in order to cut costs. And Wackenhut was planning to lay off 70 guards at Y-12, also to cut costs.

Incidentally, we hear similar stories coming out of Los Alamos, where the private contractor responsible for packaging nuclear waste for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project put pressure on an undertrained workforce to pack as many barrels of nuclear waste as possible everyday, if necessary by cutting safety corners to maximize profit.

These are the hazards of outsourcing essential state security functions to private contractors: They prioritize profit and, like the Soviet bureaucratic organizations Sonja Schmid blames for Chernobyl, they often find it hard to work together……

This time the nuclear facility was broken into by highly principled peace activists intent on symbolically spilling their own blood to make a point. Next time the intruders may be more malevolent, intending to spill others’ blood. If there is a next time, be prepared for an inquiry that shows a misplaced faith in automated security technology, private contractors cutting corners to make a buck, and government managers astonished that their reviews didn’t catch the problem.

July 6, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

July 5 Energy News

Originally posted on geoharvey:


¶ “Restore Ohio wind-energy provisions that benefit local students” – By turning to wind power, the Lincolnview Local Schools added a revenue stream of $400,000 annually. But the Ohio legislature added onerous restrictions on wind-energy development, making similar projects difficult. This may be changed. []


¶ The world’s longest underwater electricity cable will soon enable sharing of renewable energy between the UK and Norway. Starting in 2021 power will be able to move as needed, balancing grid loads, thanks to a 730-km (453-mi) underwater cable between Blyth, Northumberland, and Kvilldal in Norway. [Geographical]

A picturesque fjord in Kvilldal, where the Norwegian end of the pipeline will be situated. Credit: Geoffrey Kopp.A picturesque fjord in Kvilldal, where the Norwegian end of the cable will be situated. Credit: Geoffrey Kopp.

¶ Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asserted that the government will prioritize the development of environmentally friendly power plants to meet its target of generating 35,000 MW more electricity by 2019. The country…

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July 5, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ionising Radiation & Risk of Death from Leukaemia & Lymphoma in Radiation-Monitored Workers (INWORKS): an International Cohort Study

Originally posted on Mining Awareness Plus:

Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al., p. 1
Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al., p. 2
Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al., p. 3
Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al.. p 4
Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al., p. 5
Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study, Lancet Haematol 2015;  2: e276–81 Leuraud et al., p. 6 Original pdf found here:
NB: This study is about mortality (deaths) and not morbidity (incidence of disease). Not all cases of leukemia are fatal. So, morbidity would almost certainly be higher. As they point out, since this is external radiation with a weighting factor of one, Gy may be expressed in Sieverts (Sv). Therefore average (mean) annual exposure was only 1.1 mSv. [It appears that the flying dot is a decimal and does not mean to multiply]. 1 mSv is often proposed as exposure-level for individuals in the general population, due to the nuclear industry. US Nuclear workers, and others working with ionizing radiation, are allowed 50 mSv per year exposure and ICRP recommends 20 mSv per year for workers (100 mSv averaged over 5 years). The mean is the arithmetic average. The median is half above and half below. 1 Gy is 1000 mGy and in this context…

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July 5, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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