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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Naomi Klein’s new book challenges the climate deniers

global capitalism has “from its very first moments, systematically sabotaged our collective response to climate change”.

Book-Naomi-Klein

More than Dangerous: Naomi Klein takes on climate deniers  September 20, 2014  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The disturbing implications of climate change are rarely taken to their logical conclusions in public discussion.

Scientists who spend their careers researching the climate system and publishing findings in professional journals are typically far more candid in private than in their scholarly publications.

The human-generated surge in greenhouse gas emissions is accelerating, they note, altering the chemistry of the biosphere and, ultimately, the conditions for life.

“People are not being told the truth,” one scientist told Fairfax Media this week. “It’s an event to which species will struggle to adapt. This is more than dangerous.” Continue reading

September 20, 2014 Posted by | resources - print | 2 Comments

Environmental causes of cancer: dispelling the “inheritance myth”

cancer_cellshighly-recommendedThe Inheritance Myth Time to Talk Frankly About Cancer CounterPunch, by KRISTINE MATTIS SEPTEMBER 17, 2014  In a September 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Mary-Claire King – the woman who first discovered the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1 – and her colleagues suggested that all women should undergo routine medical screening for this gene as well as BRCA2.  Of course, it seems reasonable that women should know if they carry these mutant allele forms of these genes, because the mutant genes confer a greater risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer in women who have the mutants than in women who do not.

There has been some discussion about Dr. King’s proposal in newspapers and on the radio, but the dialogue inevitably has two tremendous pieces of the cancer puzzle missing: cause and prevention. In fact, too much cancer information tends to be myopic, neglecting to mention essential elements of the global portrait of cancer etiology. Conventional wisdom about cancer tends to end up promulgating misinformation and misinterpretations, not sound science. Dr. King’s piece, as well the highly publicized bi-annual Stand Up to Cancer celebrity charity telethon, which raises money for cancer treatment, have done nothing to provide more clear information to the public that could help avert this all-too-common but potentially highly preventable scourge that has caused suffering upon and taken the lives of so many of our friends and family.

First and foremost, it is important to emphasize that cancer is NOT heritable. Actor Piece Brosnan proclaimed on the aforementioned telethon that cancer was a “wretched inherited disease.” It certainly is wretched, but is not inherited nor is it really a single disease……..

the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutant genes do not cause cancer; they merely make it more difficult for your cells to repair damage done to your DNA. When your cells are exposed to a cancer-causing agent (i.e., a carcinogen) such as ionizing radiation, certain natural and synthetic compounds, certain viruses, and some endocrine disrupting chemicals, to name a few, they have mechanisms to repair the damage that agent may cause to your DNA. But if the damage is too severe or widespread, or if the cell lacks that mechanism for repair, as in the case of those who have the “breast-cancer genes,” your risk of contracting cancer is increased.

It is basic scientific knowledge that cancer is not inheritable, but in light of the discovery of various genes that confer increased susceptibility to cancer, this fact is not always well understood by the population at large. Only 5-10% of people who contract any type of cancer have any sort of inherited genetic susceptibility. Therefore, the focus on inherited mutant alleles leaves out the majority 90-95% of people suffering from cancer. While it is true that the minority 5-10% who do have these mutant alleles have a much greater risk for disease than the rest of us, they do not have an inherent “predisposition” to cancer. Labeling these genes as “cancer genes” or even “genetic predispositions” is a terrible misnomer. These genes increase susceptibility to cancer when exposed to cancer causing agents……….

More and more we are learning that many of the over 80,000 synthetic chemicals that humans have constructed over the course of the last century or so not only directly cause DNA mutations that lead to cancer, but mimic estrogen in our bodies, which indirectly lead to cancer. These chemicals are in food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the endless industrial products we produce and consume. They are quite often the products and processes of industry, and are not essential to maintain a comfortable life on this planet. In addition, the radiation we receive from sources such as diagnostic exams via x-ray, CT scan, and other radiologic medical procedures are being shown to contribute to excess cancers. For example, the UK Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment recently stated that one out of 2000 people will contract cancer due to abdominal CT scans – otherwise known as an iatrogenic cancer. This may seem a fairly small risk, unless you are that one person who has had an unnecessary CT scan and then is diagnosed with a preventable cancer because of it……

for some reason, this plain and simple fact that exposure to carcinogens can and does lead to cancer is always absent in the medical discussion of cancer. Part of the reason may be that medical practitioners are rarely, if ever, versed in environmental health, so they are not even educated about environmental toxicology and the myriad diseases caused by environmental exposures. But part of the reason is likely political and economic. Real biological causes of cancer seem to be verboten because scientists and scholars who speak these truths are condemned, defamed, and discredited by the powerful industrial public relations machine, which has multi-billions of dollars worth of revenue to protect, as it maintains the businesses and industries that introduce so many of the carcinogenic products in our world.

Another important clarification in discussing cancer is that diagnosis does not equal prevention. In an Orwellian twist of double-speak, health care professionals have delineated different forms of “prevention” and have decided that the diagnosis and screening for cancer is what they deem “secondary prevention.” In truth, diagnosis is not prevention at all and should not be termed as such. …….

When discussing cancer, the lack of conversation about our ubiquitous exposures to carcinogens is highly negligent. ……http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/17/time-to-talk-frankly-about-cancer/

September 20, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Reference | Leave a comment

The Fukushima nuclear emergency DID cause radiation sickness

radiation-warningVIDEO: Gov’t experts highly suspicious of Japan’s claim that nobody suffered acute radiation syndrome after Fukushima — So many workers were ill they had to lay on cardboard after running out of beds — Officials “repeatedly talked of death” — CBS: There were reports of people with radiation sickness http://enenews.com/video-foreign-govt-very-suspicious-japans-claim-suffered-acute-radiation-syndrome-after-fukushima-many-workers-ill-lay-cardboard-after-running-beds-officials-repeatedly-talked-death-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Japan Times, Sept. 17, 2014 (emphasis added): [Deceased Fukushima Daiichi chief Masao Yoshida] repeatedly talks of “death” in the initial days of the crisis as the realization sinks in that the nuclear fuel had already started to melt.

Mainichi, Sept 12, 2014: “Nobody came to help us. I am still full of resentment and bitterness,” Yoshida said… heaping scorn on [the] TEPCO President… and calling him ”that man.”

Xinhua, Sept 11, 2014: Masao Yoshida [revealed] the government had utterly failed to understand the gravity of the workers’ situation at the plant… three days into the crisis the chief had lost hope and was losing his grip on the situation… politicians and TEPCO officials at the headquarters were clueless as to the dire predicament he and his workers were in, including those who had been exposed to potentially lethal levels of radiation.

Kyodo News, Sept 14, 2014: [Satoru] Hayashizaki and his coworker opened the door to the [No. 3] suppression chamber’s room… “My hands, covered by rubber gloves, instantly got hot”…Hayashizaki felt groggy… he put his right foot down on it only to see the rubber sole of his shoe melt instantly, leaving a black smear… He was alarmed to see [his dosimeter number] rising rapidly, even though he was [back] in the control room… everyone else’s dosimeters were rising… [He] thought he might die… and started writing a farewell letter.

Kyodo News, Sept. 14, 2014: Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, 47, was outside during both explosions… he [became] unable to believe anyone or any of the information he received. “I completely lost my will to fight”… Many [workers] had already absorbed more than 100 millisieverts… A man injured by the rubble was soon brought in on a stretcher… there were no doctors… Another man [was] in a state of panic… Those feeling ill were taken to a meeting room… Tepco quickly ran out of mattresses and had to put down cardboard for them to lie on…  the door closed behind [Yumiko Kato and a reactor operator] shouted: “Is that an explosion? Again?” He then clasped his arms around his knees and trembled, muttering “I am afraid, afraid, afraid.”… “I want to go home,” a young female Tepco employee said as she started to cry…[Kato] said, “Let’s believe in our people, because they are working very hard.” The situation, however, only got worse, cornering everyone at the plant.

IRSN, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (at 11:00 in): “At first sight there was no acute radiation syndrome observed in the weeks following the accident, , as was the case of the first rescue workers during the Chernobyl accident. These figures are to be taken with great caution because of severe degradations due to the tsunami… Medical checkups are now implemented by the Japanese authorities.” >> Watch the video here

Contrary to IRSN’s claim about medical checkups, NHK recently reported, “Screening of workers is left up to the contractors […] they’re not obliged to submit data. [A gov't adviser says they need] a centralized system to collect health data right away.” And according to the Asahi Shimbun, “Many companies involved have failed to conduct medical examinations.. [It's now] impossible to check whether workers have suffered health problems.”

CBS News discussed radiation sickness after the explosions: Prof. Cham Dallas, a nuclear energy expert, you’ve been in contact with both the Japanese and the US government throughout this process… Let’s talk about radiation exposure… Dallas: “There’s some disconnects here. We’re being told by the Japanese government that the radiation levels are very low… We have reports of people with radiation sickness. That’s the disconnect, usually it takes days for radiation [sickness]” >> Watch the broadcast here

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment | Edit

How Australians pay twice over for electricity infrastructure

DORC rort: The art of getting energy infrastructure paid for twice, SMH,  September 19, 2014  Business columnist “……..you will hear how you have been paying for something, on a quarterly basis for the past 10 years, which you have already paid for. We are all victims of a high-brow rort by governments and energy companies.

While the consulting industry thrives on selling so-called expert valuations to justify this rort, Sydney University finance professor David Johnstone says it should end…….

energy companies are valuing old assets such as gas pipelines – things that consumers have already paid for – as if they were brand-spanking new. We, the mug punters, are lumbered with the cost on our power bills.

This is the DORC rort (depreciated optimised replacement cost), its moniker alone sufficient to discourage further inquiry.

Suffice to say that a reasonable thing for regulators to do might simply be to value assets at their cost, or to recognise only what their owners actually spend. Suffice to say that in Singapore and Hong Kong they would not be silly enough to use DORC, yet large corporations from these places are here enjoying riskless 10 per cent returns by stinging we mug Aussies twice for access to old gas pipelines, things that were paid for, and privatised, years ago……

why are assets that are already in private hands given the same favourable regulatory treatment? “I think it comes down to ideology as well as vested interests,” Johnstone says. “Economists fall in love their own models and crave the authority of being scientists.”  http://www.smh.com.au/business/dorc-rort-the-art-of-getting-energy-infrastructure-paid-for-twice-20140919-10jega.html#ixzz3DuqE0nIm

September 20, 2014 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011 | Leave a comment

Obama to press for climate action, at UN Climate Summit

Obama-and-windAt UN, Obama to urge nations to go big on climate SF Gate, By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press , September 18, 2014 WASHINGTON (AP) — Having spent political capital fighting climate change at home, President Barack Obama will turn his sights overseas next week, urging fellow heads of state to be as ambitious as possible as they negotiate a make-or-break global treaty to be finalized in Paris next year.

Obama will attend a United Nations climate summit where he will announce new U.S. commitments, aiming to ramp up the pressure on other major polluters like India and China to demonstrate they’re not laggards in the global campaign against climate change.

White House officials said the U.S. will offer tangible contributions such as American technology to help vulnerable populations deal with food security, sea level rise and other negative effects of climate change.

“Our hope is that others will do the same and that can build momentum toward an agreement in Paris,” Dan Utech, Obama’s top adviser on climate and energy issues, said in an interview…….

By taking time out at the U.N. for climate change, Obama is working to keep the issue at the top of the global agenda even after the crises of the day recede from memory. More than 100 heads of state will join Obama at the summit, which U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting…….http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/At-UN-Obama-to-urge-nations-to-go-big-on-climate-5765158.php

September 20, 2014 Posted by | climate change, USA | 2 Comments

Citizens’ groups call for ombudsman in battle over planned Lake Huron area nuclear waste dump

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-OLake Huron nuclear waste battle: Citizen groups want ombudsman called in http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/lake-huron-nuclear-waste-battle-citizen-groups-want-ombudsman-called-in-1.2015050#ixzz3Dt9SdLgr Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press September 19, 2014 TORONTO – Groups fighting a proposed nuclear waste storage site on the shores of Lake Huron called on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on Thursday to establish penalties for municipalities who break the law by holding secret meetings.

In addition, the groups — Save our Saugeen Shores and the Southampton Residents Association — called on Ontario’s ombudsman to review the circumstances that led to a report critical of Bruce County council for meeting nuclear waste representatives without telling anyone or documenting the discussions.

“This was a major error of provincewide importance in light of the evidence of an 8.5-year egregious disregard of the law and the public’s right to open and transparent government,” Rod McLeod, the group’s lawyer, said in a statement. The current end result trivializes important provincial legislation designed to preserve transparency in municipal government.”

Last month, an outside investigation concluded the municipal politicians in the region that is home to one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants violated provincial law.

However, the report concluded the officials did not violate the Municipal Act deliberately, something the groups said was nonsense.

“The evidence was overwhelming that the mayors knew exactly what they were doing and that it was unlawful,” their statement said.

Overall, McLeod said, the investigation failed to treat the violations with the seriousness deserved and the lack of sanctions for a breach in the Municipal Act is not good enough. Wynne had no comment but a spokesman for the Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin suggested changing the current legislation was not in the cards because municipalities already have the power to establish penalties for failing to follow the rules.

“Ultimately, all elected officials have a responsibility to follow provincial legislation and are accountable to the people who elected them,” Mark Cripps said in an email.

Ombudsman Andre Marin said there was nothing he could do under current legislation but called the report “flawed.”

Ontario Power Generation is proposing to build a massive underground nuclear waste site at the Bruce nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ont., a plan that has drawn opposition from environmentalists, aboriginal groups and legislators in Michigan.

At issue were numerous meetings of the “community consultation” advisory group, comprising the mayors who sit on county council and representatives of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and Ontario Power Generation, that began in 2005.

The citizen groups alleged the discussions were kept secret because the politicians feared damaging their electoral fortunes and pointed to informal notes from one meeting in February 2010 that showed a mayor fretting about “a negative backlash at the polls.”

The probe by Amberley Gavel — a company based in London, Ont., that helps municipalities with closed-meeting procedure investigations — concluded the public never knew about any of the meetings.

It also found the discussions had a marked influence on the mayors’ decisions regarding the radioactive waste project despite their contention the meetings were simply information sessions at which they passed no motions.

The citizen groups said the province should be reviewing the conduct of Ontario Power Generation.

They also said the county response — to ask staff to provide annual reminders about the law requiring open meetings — was “appallingly weak.”

Council members have “thus far show defiance with no hint of remorse,” the statement said

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium munitions threaten anyone near to them for a long period

depleted-uranium-weapon

Radiation Being Emitted by Consolidated Quantities of Concentrated “Depleted” Uranium Ammunition Not Yet Used in Battle Affects:

1. Workers in ammunition manufacturing facilities, military and civilian.

2. Truck drivers, both military and civilian who transport these munitions.

3. Anyone else military or civilian who must spend long hours in close proximity of

stockpiled concentrated “depleted” uranium ammunition.

4. Workers, military and civilian engaged in demilitarization of DU munitions.

A few examples of those who are likely to be at high risk are:  anyone who sat on ammo boxes for long periods of time; pilots of A-10 Thunderbolt Warthogs and Apache Helicopters, as they sat right over their payloads of 30mm concentrated DU munitions while on sorties.

 

highly-recommended         DU – You Don’t Have To Inhale Or Ingest It For It To Make You Sick, Veterans Today, by Elaine A. Hunter Concentrated “Depleted” Uranium Munitions Emit: Alpha + Beta + Gamma rays + Neutrons + X-rays, Can Wreak Havoc in the Human Body While Waiting to be Used in Battle!

From Multiple Horses’ Mouths:  More, Much More on Ignored and Suppressed US Government and Military Data that Show the Threat of Harmful Effects of “Consolidated Quantities” of Concentrated “Depleted” Uranium (DU) Munitions

Heads up people concerned about the harmful effects of concentrated “depleted” uranium munitions, this is very important. This article is not an easy read.  If you or anyone you know and love has been around “consolidated quantities” of concentrated  “depleted” uranium (DU) munitions please read it anyway. They are a threat to the health of workers, military and civilian, national and international while they are in fabrication, transit or just sitting around waiting to be used in battle. The concentrated DU in munitions is not inert; it does not suddenly become radioactive only when it is fired in battle.

When I plugged in to what is broadcast on the internet, I was mystified that all the concern was about DU inhaled, ingested or embedded as fragments. Those aspects ARE important, without a doubt, and the most obvious. Yet unless the rest of the story is made known, the rest of the causes of illnesses and deaths of those exposed to concentrated DU will continue to be ignored. The rest of the story is this: it is not necessary for the munitions to be used in combat for them to make a person sick, even sick unto death…….. Continue reading

September 20, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, depleted uranium, Reference | Leave a comment

Major impediments to re-opening New Mexico nuclear waste dump

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAEnergy Dept. faces major hurdles to reopen New Mexico nuclear dump LA Times, By RALPH VARTABEDIAN 18 SEPT 14The Energy Department has identified 7,000 steps needed to reopen its badly damaged nuclear waste dump in New Mexico, but cannot say how long it will take or how much it will cost.

The agency was expected to release a written recovery plan Thursday, but instead provided a few details about the plan, which awaits formal approval by the department.

Outside experts say that the dump will probably not reopen until well after the start of 2016 and that the cost of the accident will approach $1 billion. Although they didn’t talk about the cost, Energy Department officials reiterated at a briefing in Carlsbad, N.M., on Thursday that there was “strong support” in Congress for putting up the unspecified amount of money required to restart the plant. A Senate aide declined a request by the Los Angeles Times earlier this month for details about the cost negotiations……..

Don Hancock, nuclear waste program director at the Southwest Research Institute, a watchdog group, said the system of isolating the waste by spraying water on the salt is unproven.

Hancock said the Energy Department has repeatedly told state regulators that the dump would not reopen before early 2016, but he said that estimate is highly optimistic because so much remains unknown about the recovery.

Even if the dump reopens by then, the two-year shutdown would have consumed two years’ worth of the annual budget for the operation, amounting to about $400 million, and at least another $300 million of additional appropriations that have been discussed for repairs.

But that is unlikely to cover the full cost of the repairs, Hancock said. In addition, tons of waste are backing up across the nation, forcing laboratories and other cleanup sites to store radioactive material longer, at an unspecified cost…..http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nuclear-waste-dump-20140919-story.html

September 20, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Financial problems for South Africa in planned nuclear deal

nukes-hungryflag-S.AfricaNuclear economist warns SA will ‘run into problems’http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2014/09/19/nuclear-economist-warns-sa-will-run-into-problems BY CAROL PATON, 19 SEPTEMBER 2014,  SA’s last tender to build nuclear power stations was canned in 2008 after credit rating agencies made it clear that they would downgrade Eskom to junk if it went ahead, Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich said in a lecture on nuclear economics at the University of Cape Town on Thursday.

Details of Eskom’s nuclear tender in 2006 have not been fully disclosed, except that Eskom dropped it for being too expensive.

Eskom had expected a construction price of $2,500/kW but bids came in at $6,000/kW. It was also made clear, said Prof Thomas, that ratings agencies demanded “unconditional, timely guarantees” across all Eskom’s debt stock for it to maintain its credit rating.

Prof Thomas, visiting as guest of antinuclear lobby group EarthLife, said he expected SA’s nuclear endeavour to run into the same problems. Financing of nuclear projects had become highly risky and was regarded as credit-negative by ratings agencies.

“In the past, financing was not a problem. Utilities were blue-chip stock. They built plants and the costs were passed on to consumers. From a banking point of view this was ideal,” he said.

But accidents such as Chernobyl had led to increased costs in nuclear construction as additional safety measures must be included. Cost and time overruns had led banks to see nuclear power as too risky.

New regulatory approaches, in which prices are set by an independent regulator that assesses their fairness, have made it more difficult for utilities to pass on price increases to consumers.

“Of 70 nuclear power plants under construction, 50 are significantly late and the odds are against you to build to time and cost. So if banks won’t take the risk, then consumers must. But regulators are less likely to say consumers should sign a blank cheque. “For most countries that is not a viable option,” he said.

The remaining option was for taxpayers to provide the guarantees, should the nuclear vendor or utility go bankrupt.

n the UK, where a new plant is under construction at Hinkley Point, the British government has provided £10bn in loan guarantees, equal to 62% of the estimated cost.

“Unless SA consumers or taxpayers can guarantee the loan, a nuclear deal will not be financeable.”

September 20, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa | Leave a comment

Finland’s government at risk, over Russian-backed nuclear-power project.

flag-Finland Nuclear Project Threatens Finland’s Government, WSJ,  JUHANA ROSSI  Sept. 18, 2014 HELSINKI—Finland’s ruling coalition looks closer to breaking up after the head of the Green League said he would ask his party to leave the government over a controversial Russian-backed nuclear-power project.

logo-Finland-GreensAn exit by the Green League won’t trigger an immediate government collapse or snap elections, but will make it tougher for the four remaining coalition partners to pass confidence votes and have draft laws approved in Parliament. The Green League will make its formal decision this weekend.

If the party members back their leader Ville Niinisto’s proposal, as is widely expected, it will leave Prime Minister Alexander Stubb’s alliance with only 101 votes, the thinnest possible majority in Finland’s 200-seat Parliament……..

the project has been struggling to attract funding as concerns over nuclear power’s operating economics and safety have grown within the European Union……

Rosatom’s central role has sparked controversy in light of the geopolitical tensions caused by the Ukraine crisis and the economic sanctions the European Union has imposed on Russia for its role in the crisis.

Write to Juhana Rossi at juhana.rossi@wsj.com   http://online.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-project-threatens-finlands-government-1411046734

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Russian strategic nuclear bombers fly across Northern Europe

Russian Nuclear Bombers Buzz Northern Europe, Washington Free Beacon  BY: Bill Gertz   September 19, 2014   Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out air defense zone incursions across Northern Europe this week in the latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.

Two Bear H bombers conducted practice strategic bombing runs on Tuesday and were met by interceptor jets from Norway, Denmark, Britain, and Netherlands, defense officials told the Free Beacon……..http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russian-nuclear-bombers-buzz-northern-europe/

September 20, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Limerick Nuclear Plant threatens drinking water of thousands of people

water-radiationNuclear plant is polluting our drinking water The Mercury, DR. LEWIS CUTHBERT http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20140917/op-ed-nuclear-plant-is-polluting-our-drinking-water  09/16/14,  Clean safe water is not a luxury. It’s essential for survival, including personal hygiene, food preparation and cooking. Allowing the intentional destruction of a vital water resource supplying almost 2 million people, for the profit of a multi-billion dollar corporation, is a moral, ethical disgrace. Why should one business, Limerick Nuclear Plant, be permitted to run the Schuylkill River dry and poison it to such a degree that it can become unusable for other businesses and residents?

It is infuriating and unacceptable that our politicians, agency officials, other leaders, and water companies would allow such injustice to continue. Deafening silence continues, while almost two million people from Pottstown to Philadelphia, face a water and public health crisis.

NRC and DEP might as well be working for Exelon.

• Instead of stopping Limerick’s unprecedented threats and harms to the Schuylkill River, NRC plans to relicense Limerick.

• DEP plans to issue an NPDES water pollution permit with dangerous exemptions and loopholes for Limerick’s radiation and cooling tower toxic discharges, and overheating the river.

PA DEP is allowing Limerick to violate federal protective water law and standards. DEP has the power to deny Limerick an NPDES pollution permit renewal. Instead, DEP plans to approve a permit with shocking exemptions. Instead of exemptions from compliance, Exelon, Limerick’s owner, should be required to filter Limerick’s dangerous discharges to meet Safe Drinking Water standards. Exelon is profiting and should be accountable to minimize damage.

Clean water is the law of the land since 1972. Why would PA DEP ignore protective federal clean water laws? Because it saves Exelon the cost of filtration. Governor Corbett appointed Michael Krancer, a former Exelon attorney, to head DEP. Krancer stayed long enough to assure Limerick’s exemption from federal water laws. DEP’s unethical negligence has health and financial consequences.

• Suffering and health care costs will increase. DEP plans to allow unlimited amounts of Limerick’s broad range of radionuclides and toxic cooling tower chemicals to be discharged into the river every day with up to 14.2 million gallons of wastewater.

• It’s cost prohibitive for water companies to monitor or filter Schuylkill River water intake for all Limerick’s cancer causing radionuclides and other toxics.

• Increasing costs to water companies for Limerick’s massive Total Dissolved Solids discharges will ultimately be passed on to their customers. Example: Norristown shut down water distribution for four days recently, resulting in costly plant upgrades. Limerick uses two chemicals that can cause brown water (NPDES Permit).

• Rather than requiring Exelon to slow operations when Limerick discharges overheat the river, DEP plans to eliminate river temperature restrictions that protect aquatic life, public health, and safety.

How can NRC relicense Limerick? There isn’t enough water in the Schuylkill River to sustain daily operations, much less for meltdowns.

• Limerick withdraws over two and a half times more water than the combined withdrawal for Pottstown and Norristown water customers, returning just one quarter to the river. The rest goes into the air as steam from the cooling towers.

• Limerick’s cooling towers depleted the river since the late 1980s. By 1999, DEP reported that it reached record low flows. It’s getting worse. Where you once needed a boat to cross, you can now walk across. Tributaries are even drying up.

If your water is coming from the Schuylkill River through PA American Water, Aqua PA, or your municipality, know your risks. Visitwww.acereport.org. Section #6 “Schuylkill River – Limerick’s Operations Threaten A Drinking Water Disaster” and Video Blogs Updates.

Safe drinking water must be the legacy we leave our children. To save the Schuylkill River and restore an ample, safe water supply for almost two million people and other businesses, Limerick must close. Otherwise, unprecedented threats and harms will increase, expediting a drinking water disaster.

Final permits are pending. Contact elected and agency officials today. For more information: www.acereport.org. To join the fight:aceactivists@comcast.net or (610) 326-2387.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | USA, water | Leave a comment

Photographic exhibition of Kazakhstan’s secret atomic bomb test sites

see-this.way(Photographs) These Are The Secret Sites Where The Soviet Union Exploded Atomic Bombs And Tested Radiation On Unsuspecting Russians, Business Insider 19 Sept  HARRISON JACOBS Nuclear testing, primarily at sites in the former Soviet Union, left behind a trail of radiation, chemical debris, and poisoned citizens. The locations, many of which were in Kazakhstan, were some of the most secret and well-guarded locations in the Soviet Union, until its collapse in 1991.

While researching a project on large Russian cities, photographer Nadav Kander discovered some of the testing sites on Google Earth. Fascinated by their secrecy, Kander set out to find what was left. There wasn’t much. Most had been destroyed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Kander shared a number of the photos with us here, but you can see the rest on display at the Flowers Gallery in London. “Dust,” a book of the photographs, will be released on October 31st.

Kazakhstan-secret-Soviet-mi

Kurchatov in Eastern Kazakhstan used to be the center of operations for the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. It was a “closed city,” meaning no one could enter or exit the city without proper authorization. Kurchatov was also a “science” city, built by gulag labour and named after the Russian physicist tasked with producing the atomic bomb. At its heyday, the population was over 20,000, composed of scientists, engineers, physicists, military personnel and those who worked at the nuclear facilities. It was one of the most secretive places in the Soviet Union. The Semipalatinsk Test Site, also know as “The Polygon,” was the primary testing site for Soviet nuclear weapons. Located near Kurchatov, the Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests in the area from 1949 to 1989, with little regard for radiation exposure to citizens.

The Soviet Union never informed nearby citizens of the nuclear tests or their potential exposure. Instead, scientists secretly observed the effects of radiation on people in the area. To this day, the area near the Polygon has one of the highest occurrences of cancer in the world.
Though the site was closed in 1992, large amounts of radioactive material were left behind, virtually unguarded. Over the course of 17 years, Kazakh, Russian, and American scientists completed a $US150 million operation to secure the material.
Lake Chagan, also called Atomic Lake, is a lake created by the Chagan underground nuclear test in 1965. The water from the lake comes from the Chagan River. It is still radioactive……http://www.businessinsider.com.au/photos-of-secret-soviet-sites-where-radiation-was-tested-on-unsuspecting-russians-2014-9

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy Revolution is happening faster than expected

renewable_energyTwo Big Trends Will Fuel The Renewable Energy Boom For Years, Business Insider 20 Sep 14 ELENA HOLODNY THE RENEWABLE ENERGY REVOLUTION IS HAPPENING FASTER THAN MANY EXPECTED.

According to recent report from Citi Research, renewables will continue their market share grabs from coal and gas for two reasons.

First, renewables are rapidly becoming cost-effective, and second, environmental restrictions are becoming an increasingly high hurdle.

Renewables Are Getting Cheaper

Thanks to tech advances, the cost of renewables is finally dropping to affordable levels, which is allowing them to proliferate, according to Citi.

“Costs for solar and wind energy are falling rapidly, with learning rates of around 30% for solar and 7.4% for wind,” the report states.

Wind power has already achieved cost parity with the most expensive coal power plants in Europe (slightly above $US80/MWh), and by the end of the decade it’s expected to reach cost parity with the majority of plants (around $US70/MWh).

Solar is still the most expensive major electricity source at the moment (around $US160/MWh), but Citi is projecting that by 2020 solar will drop to wind’s current prices (slightly above $US80/MWh).

“Natural gas has already eroded coal’s cost competitiveness in the US, with decreasing costs for wind, solar and ex-US natural gas to follow,” according to Citi……..

Coal power plants are increasingly being pushed into “retirement.”

Most people have been expecting natural gas to be coal’s major substitute. However, Citi’s forecast suggests that growth in natgas demand is going to be way less than previously anticipated.

Renewables should take ever-increasing amounts of market share in an environment like this, according to the report……http://www.businessinsider.com.au/trends-fueling-renewable-energy-2014-9

 

September 20, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Iran continues to meet its commitments under the accord with world powers

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran moving to comply with extended nuclear deal with powers-IAEA BY FREDRIK DAHL VIENNA Fri Sep 19, 2014, (Reuters) Iran is taking further action to comply with the terms of an extended interim agreement with six world powers over its disputed atomic activities, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report obtained by Reuters on Friday showed.

The findings in a monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – though no major surprise – may be seen as positive by the West as negotiations resumed in New York this week on ending the decade-old nuclear stand-off.

The IAEA document made clear that Iran is continuing to meet its commitments under the preliminary accord that it reached with the United States, FranceGermany, Britain, China andRussia late last year and that took effect in January.

In addition, as agreed when the deal was extended by four months in July, it is using some of its higher-grade enriched uranium in oxide form to produce fuel – a step that experts say would make it more difficult to use the material for any bombs……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/19/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUSKBN0HE1R820140919

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

World powers and Iran hold constructive talks

diplomacy-not-bombsFlag-USAflag-IranU.S. Official Says Nuclear Talks With Iran Were Constructive‘,  WSJ, 18 Sept 14 It Is Clear That Everyone Here Has Come Here to Go to Work,” a Senior U.S. Official Said by
LAURENCE NORMAN NEW YORK—The U.S. team negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran were “not very optimistic” about the chances of a breakthrough in the talks, a senior U.S. official said Thursday, but bilateral discussions with Iran over the last 24 hours have been “constructive.”

“Coming into New York, many of us were not very optimistic,” the official said. However, after discussions with Iran Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, “it is clear that everyone has come here to go to work.”

The official said U.S. President Barack Obama is “open to” meeting with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week but that there was no meeting scheduled…….http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-official-says-nuclear-talks-with-iran-were-constructive-1411088628

September 20, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

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