Epidemiological studies also helped clarify the dangers of radiation exposure. First, studies of fruitflies in the 1920s indicated that ionizing radiation, X-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet light could cause genetic mutations. Then, in the largest epidemiological study of the effects of radiation on humans, researchers began following Japanese survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War.
Since the war, researchers have been comparing the number and type of cancers in the Hiroshima survivors with similar people not exposed to the bombs. They found that the Hiroshima survivors are at greater risk for cancer than the general population.
One way to prevent cancer is to limit exposure to a carcinogen.
Cancer: Solving an age-old problem, Nature, Barbara Dunn, Nature 1 March 2012 “……..Some scientists consider cancer to be a recent phenomenon, arguing that it was relatively rare in ancient times. Over the past century, population-based cancer incidence has increased dramatically.
These higher rates are probably due to two factors: first, we are living longer; and second, our modern age has increased our exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in our environment and to radiation through X-rays, plane travel and other sources….. Read more »
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for February 28th – March 1st, 2012, Greenpeace by Christine McCann - March 2, 2012 “……..Contamination (Includes Economic Impact and Human Exposure) A study by the Meteorological Research Institute estimates that 40,000 trillion (or 40 quadrillion) Becquerels of radioactive cesium were released as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last March. That amount is two times what scientists originally estimated.
Consumers are expressing concern about cesium contamination in rice, in light of a government decision to relax new rules about contamination levels of planting soil after local farmers exerted pressure on the government to do so. In December, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries ruled that rice could not be planted in land where cesium exceeding 100 Bq/kg was discovered last year. However, it now says that rice may be planted in land where cesium measures between 100 Bq/kg and 500 Bq/kg, provided that the land is decontaminated and every bag of rice is tested. Many residents remain unconvinced that the rice will be safe for consumption. The chair of a national consumer advocacy association noted, “There have already been cases of rice with contamination over the government limit being shipped, even though it was promised that it wouldn’t happen. Won’t some sneak through this time as well?….” http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-update-for-february-/blog/39340/
Why nuclear is in meltdown, Telegraph UK, Britain’s atomic plants will be cut from 10 to just one in little more than a decade. By Geoffrey Lean 02 Mar 2012 This week the world’s longest-running nuclear power station ran out of steam. At 11am on Wednesday, the appropriately named Oldbury in Gloucestershire – once a location for a Doctor Who storyline – was switched off after 44 years, as part of a wider shutdown that will cut Britain’s 10 atomic plants to just one in little more than a decade.
That same morning, just down the Severn Estuary, protesters were evicted from a deserted farmhouse on the site of the first of the new reactors designed to replace them. But the original start-up date for the plant – to be built by the French firm EDF at Somerset’s Hinkley Point – has already slipped by two years, from 2017 to 2019, and this week it emerged that the Office for Nuclear Regulation is delaying its safety approval.
It’s an ominous picture as next weekend’s anniversary of the Japanese tsunami and the disaster at Fukushima approaches – yet Britain is supposed to be one of the world’s few nuclear bright spots……
Elsewhere, the “nuclear renaissance” before Fukushima – which saw more than 400 reactors in construction or in the pipeline – has gone into reverse. Read more »
NRC should immediately withdraw its absurd SOARCA report, and get about the business of protecting public health, safety, and the environment — its mandate — rather than doing the nuclear power industry’s bidding by downplaying risks as at Peach Bottom 2 and 3
“Demonic” reality of Fukushima, versus absurdity of NRC Beyond Nuclear 2 Mar 12, I”……..On March 13, 2011, even as Fukushima Daiichi’s reactors were melting down and exploding, and its storage pools at risk of boiling or draining dry and the high-level radioactive waste catching fire, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provided false assurance to the U.S. public and news media, that no harmful levels of radioactive fallout would reach U.S. territories. However, at the very same time, we now know, NRC was itself worried about potentially hazardous levels of radioactive Iodine-131 reaching Alaska.
Just last week, NRC held public meetings about its newly unveiled, so-called “State of the Art Reactor Consequence Analysis” (SOARCA). One meeting took place near the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, not far from Philadelphia or Washington D.C., where two General Electric Boiling Water Reactors of the Mark I design (GE BWR Mark I) operate. Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear’s Reactor Oversight Project Director, attended and testified. Read more »
AUDIO Iran unlikely to use nuclear weapon unless it is attacked – Israeli expert March 03, 2012 http://news.am/eng/news/95743.html YEREVAN. – Iran is unlikely to use nuclear weapon if it had it, Israeli expert Vanessa Seyman told Armenian News-NEWS.am.
“You can see a lot of things about the Iranian leadership but they are not stupid. The strength of having a nuclear weapon is much stronger than using it. They will use it only if they are attacked,” said Seyman, head of training and R&D at Israeli NEST Consulting center. The expert considers that the situation over Iran resembles Cold War between U.S. and USSR.
“It is more a psychological war than an actual weapon war,” she emphasized. Speaking about the Iranian nuclear problem in the context of the Middle East processes, Seyman said the Iranian issue is much bigger than only the Middle East. “Right now the most important thing is to keep the international efforts in order to prevent Iran from getting obtaining nuclear weapon,” she added.
N. Korean nuclear official to attend U.S. conference, Philly.com, By Jean H. Lee Associated Press, 2 March 12, SEOUL, South Korea - In another sign of warming relations between two wartime foes, a senior North Korean nuclear negotiator will attend a security conference in the United States, a U.S. official confirmed Thursday Word of Ri Yong Ho’s visit to the forum held by Syracuse University comes on the heels of a breakthrough agreement that will provide much-needed U.S. food aid to North Korea in exchange for a rollback of its nuclear programs.
The agreement announced Wednesday sets in motion a plan laid out by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il before his death in December: to improve relations with the United States and to get back to six-nation disarmament-for-aid negotiations. Significant challenges remain, however, in achieving the long-term goal of the United States and other nations: to persuade Pyongyang to end its nuclear ambitions altogether…
.. In a possible sign of things to come, Ri, North Korea’s vice foreign minister and envoy to nuclear-disarmament negotiations, has been cleared to travel to the United States to attend the Syracuse University forum…. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/141133413.html
On Monday, WikiLeaks began releasing more than 5 million Stratfor emails which it said showed ”how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients”.
Revealed: US plans to charge Assange, SMH, Philip Dorling, February 29, 2012 UNITED STATES prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to a confidential email obtained from the private US intelligence company Stratfor.
In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ”We have a sealed indictment on Assange.”
He underlined the sensitivity of the information – apparently obtained from a US government source – with warnings to ”Pls [please]
protect” and ”Not for pub[lication]”. Read more »
Analysts Say Efficiency Key to Clean Energy Future in Australia Voice of America, Phil Mercer March 02, 2012 Sydney International experts meeting in Australia say global carbon emissions can be reduced by more than 50 percent through simple energy saving measures. Attendees at a conference in Australia, which increasingly relies on coal for power, say that reducing power consumption is an affordable way to both cut energy costs and reduce pollution.
While many nations turn to cheap and dirty energy sources, such as coal, to meet their increasing energy needs, analysts in Australia say the best way to meet those needs is to improve energy efficiency
.A range of simple solutions include using energy-efficient homes, household appliances and lighting, and driving electric cars.
Encouraging homeowners and office workers to switch off their televisions and computers at the end of the day is also seen as an effective way to save electricity.
Cutting consumption Grayson Heffner, from the Paris-based International Energy Agency, says curbing consumption could significantly cut global carbon emissions. He calls efficiency strategies the “soft giant” of clean energy.
“We forecast that energy efficiency will deliver something like three-quarters of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the
next 20 years. So in the short term energy efficiency is the main way that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions but oftentimes it is no so prominently featured in the discussions,” said Heffner.
Energy conservationists working in China say authorities there are making significant cuts in power usage. ….
Obama warns Iran he’s not bluffing over nuclear weapons, Herald Sun, by: By Mark S Smith & Anne Gearan in Washington From: AP March 03, 2012 US President Barack Obama warned that he is not bluffing about attacking Iran if it builds a nuclear weapon, in an interview published overnight
In his most expansive remarks on the issue so far, Mr Obama told The Atlantic magazine that Iran and Israel both understand that “a military component” is among a mix of options for dealing with Iran, along with sanctions and diplomacy. Read more »
NAM approves statement in support of Iran’s nuclear program http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/96006 Tehran Times, 2 march 12, TEHRAN – The Non-Aligned Movement member states approved a statement in support of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program on Thursday. Read more »
Asked if he will voluntary go to the U.S. to answer the current allegations Mr. Levick said, “would you?”
“If convicted, Mr. Levick faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison for each count of violating IEEPA,” the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement
“The U.S. is now likely to seek his extradition from Australia to the U.S., if they have not done so already,”
U.S. Accuses Australian Man of Selling Arms Parts to Iran By ENDA CURRAN and JAMES GLYNN, WSJ, March 2, 2012,
SYDNEY—An Australian charged in the U.S. with participating in a scheme to export sensitive technology to Iran says he was unaware the equipment was destined for Tehran until he was warned by Australia’s spy agency.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has indicted David Levick, 50 years old and general manager Sydney-based
electronics company ICM Components Inc., for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and both the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, and Arms Export Control Act as well as four counts of illegally exporting the equipment that could be used for a range of military purposes including missiles, drones and torpedoes. Read more »
Stuxnet was ‘good idea’: former CIA chief, Google News, (AFP) – 3 Mar 12, WASHINGTON — The Stuxnet computer virus sabotage of Iran’s nuclear program was a “good idea” but it lent legitimacy to the use of malicious software as a weapon, according to a former CIA director.
“We have entered into a new phase of conflict in which we use a cyber weapon to create physical destruction,” retired general Michael Hayden said in an interview with the CBS television show “60 Minutes” to be aired on Sunday. Read more »
Australian miner hacked, WA Today, Rania Spooner February 27, 2012 In a show of opposition to a near-complete rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, the website of Australian miner Lynas Corporation has been hacked. WAtoday.com.au understands the miner’s website was brought down on Sunday as reports emerged of more than 5000 protestors converging on the seaside city of Kuantan, near the site of the controversial facility.
The Lynas website was still down at 7.30pm (EST) Monday, with a message from the company advising: “We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
A hacker, using the name “4z1″ and claiming to be a Malaysian citizen, has taken credit for bringing the site down in a statement on a personal blog.
In a rough translation of 4z1′s statement from Chinese into English, internal Malaysian race issues and fear of radiation from the plant was the explanation for the hacking….
A group of Kuantan residents have launched court proceedings against Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board, the Malaysian Department of Environment and Lynas Malaysia over the plant, the company reported on Thursday. The group has sought a review of the plant’s temporary operating license granted by the AELB early this month and a halt to the commencement of operations, due in the coming weeks, while such a review is undertaken….
The plant would be used to process concentrate from the Mount Weld deposit in Western Australia’s Goldfields region, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. The company previously announced plans to transport the concentrate from Mount Weld to Malaysia via road and sea. http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/australian-miner-hacked-20120227-1tyn0.html#ixzz1o5i4ZS2d
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for February 28th – March 1st, 2012, Greenpeace by Christine McCann - March 2, 2012“”…..Reactor Status The Fukushima Daiichi plant chief, Takeshi Takahashi, admitted this week that the plant is fragile, and its reactors remain highly vulnerable to ongoing earthquakes and the risk of a tsunami. “I have to admit that it’s still rather fragile. Even though the plant has achieved what we call cold-shutdown conditions, it still causes problems that must be improved,” Takahashi said.
TEPCO is continuing to struggle with how to handle large amounts of radioactive water, the byproduct of keeping nuclear fuel in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactors cool. The utility is pumping several hundred thousand gallons of water into the reactors each day; the water then becomes contaminated. Experts estimate that 10,000 tons of radioactive water leak from the reactors each month; in January and February alone, 28 new leaks were discovered. TEPCO says it will take at least six years to repair the leaks, and approximately 25 years to remove the fuel. Storage of the radioactive water is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. TEPCO currently has space to store 165,000 tons; 125,000 tons are already being stored. The utility has destroyed nearby forests to create room for more storage containers.
TEPCO announced that Quince II, a Japanese-made robot, has discovered radiation levels measuring 220 millisieverts per hour in reactor #2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The robot, which was designed by researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology, was created to explore the interior of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, where radiation levels remain too high for humans to enter. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-update-for-february-/blog/39340/
But to see that this has risen to almost almost 86% of overall DECC spending seemed incredible.
DECC must tell us the truth about nuclear waste, Energy and Environmental Management David Thorpe, 1st November 2011 It’s shocking but true: we are not, as I had always understood, investing in a fund to manage our current nuclear waste in the future.
We are paying lip service to it and dodging the question at the expense of future taxpayers.
Moreover, there is total confusion about what provisions are being put in place to manage any future waste from any new nuclear power stations.
Will the real DECC budget please stand up?
Last week, the Guardian published on its website figures which appeared to show that spending by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on nuclear waste management has risen by an astonishing 81%, as part of an overall budget increase from last year of over 146%.
In trying to find out whether this is true I have found out a truth worse than this, as well as an admission that any new nuclear operators are allegedly being asked to contribute to a fund not only to pay for management and disposal of the new nuclear waste which their plants will create, but also for that of existing nuclear waste!
According to the Guardian, in 2009/10 DECC’s entire spend totaled £3.18bn, but in 2010/11 it is spending £8.06bn, an increase of 146.02% that is largely due to nuclear liabilities.
This spending, according to the Guardian, breaks down as follows:
|DECC spending: £ per topic and change from last year|
|Topic||Amount||% increase or decrease|
|Nuclear Decommissioning Authority||£6.9bn||+81.12%|
|Committee for Climate Change||£4.4m||+12.12%|
|Low carbon UK||£622.7m||-29.8%|
|International agreement on climate change||£5.4m||+22.42%|
|Promoting low carbon technologies
in developing countries
|Professional support and infrastructure||£117.7m||-7.62%|
|Historic energy liabilities||£104.5m||-106.8%|
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