Windscale fallout underestimated Rebecca Morelle Science reporter, BBC News 6 Oct 2007 The radioactive fallout from a nuclear accident that rocked Britain 50 years ago was underestimated, scientists say.
In 1957, a fire at the Windscale nuclear reactor in Cumbria led to a release of radioactive material that spread across the UK and Europe.
But new research claims the incident generated twice as much radioactive material and could have caused more cancers than was previously thought.
The research was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. Risky act
The Windscale site was home to Britain’s first two nuclear reactors – the Windscale Piles – which were constructed to produce plutonium and other materials for the UK’s nuclear weapons programme.
But the rush to build them when little was known about nuclear reactors led to what was at the time the world’s biggest nuclear disaster, although it was later dwarfed by Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
On 10 October 1957, a failure to properly control the temperature of the graphite moderator within the Windscale No 1 pile sparked a devastating fire, which caused radioactive contamination to spew into the atmosphere.
The fire was eventually put out by restricting the air flow, and with water – a risky act which could have caused an explosion – but a radioactive cloud was already spreading far and wide.
At the time of the accident the levels and spread of the radioactive materials was estimated, and measures were put in place to limit radioactive contamination. But a new study carried out by John Garland, formerly of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and Richard Wakeford, a visiting professor at the University of Manchester, suggests the contamination of the environment may have been much higher………http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7030536.stm
Windscale Piles: Cockcroft’s Follies avoided nuclear disaster By Duncan LeatherdaleBBC News 4 Nov 14 They were labelled a waste of time and money, but in 1957 the bulging tips of two exhaust shafts rising above Sellafield arguably saved much of northern England from becoming a nuclear wasteland. The towers of Windscale Piles have been a landmark for decades but soon the last of these Cold War relics will be gone.
Cumbria’s skyline will change with the removal of the towers – known as Cockcroft’s Follies – but had they not been in place 57 years ago, the entire landscape may have been drastically different.
Until Chernobyl exploded in 1986, the blaze that ravaged the uranium-fuelled reactor at Windscale Pile One in October 1957 was Europe’s most terrible nuclear disaster. It is still the UK’s worst atomic incident.
Without the filters – installed at the last minute by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir John Cockcroft – the effects of the radioactive dust blasted into the Cumbrian air would have been much more devastating……….
On October 10, 1957, a fire was discovered in reactor one. Uranium fuel cells had ignited with the blaze reaching 1,300 C (2,380 F) and workers battled to stop the whole facility exploding.
Men wearing radiation suits used scaffolding pipes to try and push the burning fuel rods out of the graphite reactor.
The high radiation levels meant they could only spend a few hours at the reactor, more volunteers were sought from a nearby cinema.
Water failed to put out the blaze and the fire was only extinguished when operators closed off the air in the reactor room.
The blaze burnt for three days and significant amounts of radioactive material, most notably iodine-131, were released and spread across the UK and Europe.
It is estimated about 240 cases of thyroid cancer were caused by the radioactive leak and all milk produced within 310 square miles (800 square km) of the site was destroyed for a month after the fire.
The level of radioactive material which did escape is estimated to be 1,000 times less than at Chernobyl……….
he decision of health chiefs to order the destruction of milk contaminated by radioactive iodine, which has been linked to thyroid cancer, also prevented these cancers.
“They did some quick calculations and ordered the milk produced in a certain area be destroyed,” he said.
“It would have been a courageous decision but, ultimately, proved to be right, as it stopped a lot of children consuming the radioactive iodine.”
After the fire the chimneys were sealed off. Indeed, 15 tonnes of uranium fuel remains inside still………
Cockcroft’s Follies prevented a catastrophe, but the 1957 fire was nevertheless a dark hour for nuclear in the UK……..http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-29803990
57 years ago today in 1957 :The Windscale Fire, Radiation Free Lakeland, 10 oct 14 ” ……..10th Oct marks 57 years since the worst nuclear accident in the UK. The bravery of those who fought the 1957 blaze was without question and they are remembered with our gratitude for preventing the far greater catastrophe of a full on Lake Counties nuclear sacrifice zone.
Official estimates point to a possibility of 240 additional cancer cases as a result of the Windscale fire. Studies reveal that the impacts of nuclear accident and routine emissions may be far wider reaching than the public is led to believe. One such study in 1995 by Dr John Bound, a former paediatrician at the Victoria Hospital, Blackpool; Brian Francis, of the Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster; and Dr Peter Harvey, pathologist at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary found that the Windscale fire
was followed by a surge in cases of Down’s syndrome. Their studies were poo poohed to protect the vested interests of the nuclear establishment.
This pattern has been repeated time and time again. History is now repeating itself with the plan for untried and untested new build near Sellafield.
The ruthless push towards new nuclear build on the beautiful coastline of West Cumbria mirrors the rush to build Windscale in order to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb. While “safety features” like the last minute addition of filters on the Windscale chimney helped mitigate the impact of the inevitable fire, the dangers from nuclear are inherent and accumulative. Nothing it seems is being learnt from history. The same old uranium burning technology is being proposed now for new build. The reactors being proposed are AP1000, a scaled up version of the commercially unattractive AP600. The AP1000 boasts higher efficiency, in other words it burns the uranium harder and longer producing much hotter wastes, reactors under construction now in America and China have cooling towers 600 – 800 ft. high. The other “alternative” is direct cooling with huge sea installations.
Sellafield is dangerous enough and a big enough terrorist target without putting untried, untested nuclear reactors next to it with the possibility of enormous cooling towers the size of New York sky scapers or huge sea installations.
Please remember the Windscale fire on the 10th. Remember the voluntary bravery of the Windscale workers and the involuntary bravery of all those unacknowledged babies, children, men and women who have died, or suffered health consequences as a result of the Windscale accident. The still highly radioactive chimney which stands 350ft tall has also claimed the life of steeplejack Neil Cannon who died after falling from the ongoing ‘decommissioning’. The death toll will continue without end if new build goes ahead. Surely the time has come for Cumbrians to say enough is enough and to join the resistance to new and more dangerous nuclear build.There is a petition here:
http://gizmodo.com/the-abandoned-communist-reactor-that-could-have-killed-1644415889The Abandoned Communist Nuclear Reactor That Could Have Killed Us All (Great pictures) Gizmodo 10 Oct 14
Ashley Feinberg Just 90 miles off the tip of Florida lies a half-baked, abandoned relic of the Cold War-era arms race—what was once going to be a joint Cuban-Soviet nuclear reactor. And thank god it never panned out. Because not only do we now have these incredible shots from photographer Darmon Richter, but every last aspect of this thing would have been a total and utter disaster………the whole project spent nearly a decade in limbo, until finally, in 2000, Fidel Castro told Vladamir Putin that he was done with the two countries’ former joint-dream. Now, the power plant at Juragua was officially little more than a testament to what could have been—which is a very good thing. Because as it turns out, “what could have been” basically entailed wildly dangerous conditions and potentially a whole mess of destruction.
a sadness that still hangs over Tularosa.
“Whole families have died here,”
Decades After Nuclear Test, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout http://online.wsj.com/articles/decades-after-nuclear-test-u-s-studies-cancer-fallout-1410802085
Examination Will Probe Radiation Exposure Near 1945 Trinity Blast in New MexicoBy
DAN FROSCH Write to Dan Frosch at firstname.lastname@example.org Sept. 15, 2014 TULAROSA, N.M.—Nearly 70 years after the U.S. conducted the world’s first atomic-bomb test here in the New Mexico desert, federal researchers are slated to visit the state this month to begin studying whether some residents developed cancer due to the blast.
As part of the long anticipated project, scheduled to start Sept. 25, investigators with the National Cancer Institute will interview people who lived in the state around the time of the 1945 Trinity test and assess the effects of consuming food, milk and water that may have been contaminated by the explosion.
For years, residents of the rural, heavily Hispanic villages near the test site have claimed that a mysterious wave of cancer has swept through this dusty stretch of south-central New Mexico, decimating families and prompting calls for the government to determine whether radiation exposure played a role. Continue reading
Workers enter dangerous ‘Atomic Man’ room at Hanford Nuclear Reservation http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/09/workers_enter_dangerous_atomic.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+oregonlive%2FkRom+%28Oregon+Local+News%29&utm_content=IceRocket+Blog+SearchSPOKANE, Wash. — Workers have entered one of the most dangerous rooms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The so-called McCluskey Room in the Plutonium Finishing Plant is named after worker Harold McCluskey. He was covered with radioactive material in 1976 when a glove box exploded. McCluskey, who was 64 at the time, lived for 11 more years and died from causes not related to the accident. He became known as the Atomic Man.
Hanford, located near Richland, Washington, for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons. The site is now engaged in cleaning up the resulting radioactive mess.
Cleaning up the McCluskey Room is expected to take a year. A crew with contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co. donned specially designed radiation suits before entering the McCluskey Room earlier this week. One of their first tasks was improving ventilation to better protect workers from airborne contamination as they clean out its equipment.
“This was the first of multiple entries workers will make to clean out processing equipment and get the McCluskey Room ready for demolition along with the rest of the plant,” said Bryan Foley, project director for the Department of Energy. “It has taken a year to prepare for this first entry.”
The room was used to recover americium — a plutonium byproduct — during the Cold War.
McCluskey was working in the room when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode. He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard.
Covered with blood, McCluskey was dragged from the room and put into an ambulance headed for the decontamination center. Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank.
During the next five months, doctors extracted tiny bits of glass and razor-sharp pieces of metal embedded in his skin.
Nurses scrubbed him down three times a day and shaved every inch of his body every day. The radioactive bathwater and thousands of towels became nuclear waste.
McCluskey also received about 600 shots of zinc DTPA, an experimental drug that helped him excrete the radioactive material.
He was placed in isolation in a decontamination facility for five months. Within a year, his body’s radiation count had fallen by about 80 percent and he was allowed to return home.
The day the bomb fell on Nagasaki BRIAN MCKENNA The Globe and Mail Aug. 07 2014, The atomic bomb destined for the ancient trading port of Nagasaki was called Fat Man. Sister Regina McKenna, my grandfather’s sister, was close enough to ground zero to feel the death wind on her face. She might have preferred another name: Terror. Or, as the Japanese call it: Slaughter.
As the mayor of Hiroshima said last August on the anniversary of the bombings, “Nuclear energy and humankind cannot coexist.” the nuclear age is a suicidal age. We’ve had several near misses Fukushima highlighted the dangers of accidents, and nuclear waste can never be truly safely stored. This Aug. 6th, let us remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and let us finally get out from under the nuclear shadow. On Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversary, let’s end the nuclear age http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion/columns/article/772925–on-hiroshima-nagasaki-anniversary-let-s-end-the-nuclear-age Darryl Lorenzo Wellington Aug 04 2012 On the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we need to call an end to the nuclear experiment. At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing around 140,000 people. The death toll included men, women and children who died instantaneously, and thousands who died within months from the lingering radiation sickness. The U.S. attack on Nagasaki three days later took the lives of 75,000 more. To these numbers should be added the plight of the Hibakusha: survivors of the nuclear bombings. The Hibakusha, who suffered lifelong diseases, including cancer, have been unwavering in their demand to ban nuclear weapons. Hiroshima-Nagasaki Memorial Day is an occasion to ponder the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, as well as the wisdom of all uses of nuclear energy — particularly given the spectre cast by the meltdown of the reactors in Fukushima, Japan, last year. Continue reading
The Untold Story of China’s Forgotten Underground Nuclear Reactor, FP BY JEFFREY LEWIS JULY 8, 2014 How social media and a little sleuthing turned up a Mao-era nuclear program. “……despite official secrecy about China’s production of plutonium for nuclear weapons, my colleague Catherine Dill and I discovered an underground nuclear reactor that China attempted to construct near Yichang in Hubei province during the 1960s and 1970s……..
In the early 1960s, China had one plant to make highly enriched uranium near Lanzhou and was completing one nuclear reactor to produce plutonium at Jiuquan. In 1964, China began the “Third Line” effort — a massive construction effort to relocate all of China’s heavy industries, nuclear and otherwise, in the interior of the country. Often these factories, including things as mundane as steel mills, were placed underground to protect them from Soviet or American attack. As you might expect, the disruption of attempting to relocate the country’s heavy industries to underground caverns in the rural interior was a complete and total cluster… well, you know. Wikipedia calls the Third Line “an economic fiasco,” which seems to me to be an example of the wisdom of crowds.
As part of the Third Line effort, China’s nuclear engineers were supposed to build a copy of the first reactor — the one where Cui worked — in an underground cavern being dug near Fuling. But placing a nuclear reactor under a mountain is about as slow and arduous as you might expect. At some point in 1969, with relations between Moscow and Beijing collapsing, Beijing decided it could not wait for the engineers to finish Fuling. The first proposal suggested physically picking up and moving the reactor near Jiuquan somewhere else. Eventually the technical personnel convinced the Chinese leadership this was total madness. So, instead, China started building a temporary replacement above ground, near a place called Guangyuan in Sichuan.
I always wondered how, in the middle of the paranoia associated with the Cultural Revolution, Chinese leaders came to their senses and ditched the underground reactor at Fuling in favor of the above-ground copy at Guangyuan. It turns out they didn’t. Instead of replacing one crazy project with a more sensible one, the Chinese doubled-down on crazy — continuing the reactor project at Fuling, starting a new one at Guangyuan and, we now know, starting the underground reactor at Yichang. … As best we can tell, China never finished the heavy water at Yichang, just as it never finished Fuling or any other number of wildly implausible Third Line projects. Construction at Yichang lumbered on through the 1970s, before being shut down around 1980 or so. At this point, the Chinese government took a number of steps to transition its nuclear industry to civilian power generation, converting and eventually decommissioning the reactor near Jiuquan, as well as giving up on Fuling and Yichang. China would not build a heavy water reactor until it bought CANDU heavy water reactors from Canada, one in 2002 and another in 2003. (CANDU is a portmanteau of “Canada” and “deuterium oxide,” better known as heavy water.) Yichang is just a footnote. A crazy, implausible footnote…….
Of the two plutonium production reactors that China finished, Jiuquan closed in the late 1980s and Guangyuan closed sometime in the 1990s. China never finished the reactors at Fuling or Yichang. China’s surprisingly small stockpile of plutonium isn’t so surprising once we know this historical context. They tried to make more. They just couldn’t…..
There will be more disclosures. Like yet another unfinished secret underground nuclear reactor that I haven’t mentioned. That’s right, there is a third underground nuclear reactor project that we’ve found. …..http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/07/08/the_untold_story_of_chinas_forgotten_underground_nuclear_reactor_yichang_827_plant
Indications that the U.S. Is Planning a Nuclear Attack Against RussiaBy Eric Zuesse (about the author) OpEdNews Op Eds 6/14/2014 “………Some historical background is necessary here, so that a reader can understand why this is happening — the switch to an objective of actually winning a nuclear war (as opposed to deterring one). One cannot understand what’s happening now in Ukraine without knowing this bigger picture.
(This account is written under the assumption that the reader already knows some of the allegations it contains, but not all of them, and that the reader will click on the link wherever a given allegation requires documentation and support.) I have previously reported about “How and Why the U.S. Has Re-Started the Cold War (The Backstory that Precipitated Ukraine’s Civil War),” and, “Do We Really Need to Re-Start the Cold War?” I pointed out there that we don’t really need to re-start the Cold War, at all, since communism (against which the Cold War was, at least allegedly, fought) clearly lost to capitalism (we actually won the Cold War, and peacefully) but that America’s aristocracy very much does need to re-start a war with Russia — and why it does. (It has to do withmaintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, something that benefits America’s aristocrats enormously.)
Consequently, for example, a recent CNN Poll has found that Americans’ fear of Russia has soared within just the past two years. Our news media present a type of news “reporting” that places Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, into a very bad light, even when it’s unjustified by the facts.
The situation now is thus rather similar to that right before World War I, when the aristocracy in America decided that a pretext had to be created for our going to war against Germany. That War had already started in Europe on 28 July 1914, and President Wilson wanted to keep the U.S. out of it, but we ultimately joined it on the side of J.P. Morgan and Company. This was documented in detail in an important 1985 book,Britain, America and the Sinews of War, 1914-1918, which was well summarized in Business History Review, by noting that: “J.P. Morgan & Co. served as Britain’s financial and purchasing agent, and the author makes especially good use of the Morgan Grenfell & Co. papers in London to probe that relationship. Expanding British demand for U.S. dollars to pay for North American imports made the politics of foreign exchange absolutely central to Anglo-American relations. How to manage those politics became the chief preoccupation of Her Majesty’s representatives in the United States,” and most especially of Britain’s financial and purchasing agent in the U.S…………http://www.opednews.com/articles/Indications-that-the-U-S–by-Eric-Zuesse-Nuclear-Weapons_Obama-Administration_PNAC-Neocon-Project-For-A-New-American-C_President-Barack-Obama-POTUS-140614-352.html?show=votes
The nuclear charm offensive New Statesman, by Jonathan Leake 23 May, 2005 We are all being taken in by a carefully planned public relations strategy. Its mission: to push nuclear power
In the plush surroundings of the Army & Navy Club on London’s Pall Mall, Mike Alexander, chief executive of British Energy, was holding court. Assembled before him were more than a hundred leading figures from the UK’s energy industry – all there at the behest of the Energy Industries Club, an industry body that keeps its membership secret.
The point of the event, held just a few weeks ago on 15 March, was to hear a keynote speech, to be delivered by Alexander, with the title “UK Nuclear Energy: fuel of the future?” It was not, however, a purely private affair. Around the room were a selection of top opinion formers: analysts, corporate traders and members of the media. The journalists could not report the event directly – the invitations were based on so-called Chatham House rules, meaning it was for “background use only”. What they were meant to take home was a message: nuclear power is coming back. Alexander’s speech itself was simple. Within the next 20 years, he said, Britain’s nuclear power stations will come to the end of their operating lives. To meet the country’s climate-change targets, they must be replaced with some form of power generation that does not produce the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Anywhere else, that line might have prompted some sharp questions. But for Alexander, whose company owns two-thirds of Britain’s nuclear power stations, the audience was an unusually receptive one – and not just because of the fine wines. Continue reading
A Peace Ship’s Challenge to Nukes, Consortium News.com April 10, 2014In the 1950s, as the United States obliterated Pacific islands to test hydrogen bombs, anti-nuclear activists challenged this devastation by trying to sail a ship, The Golden Rule, into the test zone, a protest that helped create political pressure for a nuclear test ban, as Lawrence S. Wittner recalls. By Lawrence S. Wittner
Is there an emotional connection between the oceans and the pursuit of peace? For whatever reason, peace ships have been increasing in number over the past century. Probably the first of these maritime vessels was the notorious Ford Peace Ship of 1915, which stirred up more ridicule than peace during World War I.
Almost 40 years later, another peace ship appeared ― the Lucky Dragon, a Japanese fishing boat showered with radioactive fallout from an enormous U.S. H-bomb explosion on March 1, 1954, in the Marshall Islands. By the time the stricken vessel reached its home port in Japan, the 23 crew members were in advanced stages of radiation poisoning. One of them died.
This “Lucky Dragon incident” set off a vast wave of popular revulsion at nuclear weapons testing, and mass nuclear disarmament organizations were established in Japan and, later, around the world. Thus, the Lucky Dragon became a peace ship, and today is exhibited as such in Tokyo in a Lucky Dragon Museum, built and maintained by Japanese peace activists.
Later voyages forged an even closer link between ocean-going vessels and peace. In 1971, Canadian activists, departing from Vancouver, sailed a rusting fishing trawler, the Phyllis Cormack, toward the Aleutians in an effort to disrupt plans for a U.S. nuclear weapons explosion on Amchitka Island. Although arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard before they could reach the test site, the crew members not only mobilized thousands of supporters, but laid the basis for a new organization, Greenpeace.
Authorized by Greenpeace, another Canadian, David McTaggart, sailed his yacht, the Vega, into the French nuclear testing zone in the Pacific, where the French navy deliberately rammed and crippled this peace ship. In 1973, when McTaggart and the Vega returned with a new crew, French sailors, dispatched by their government, stormed aboard and beat them savagely with truncheons.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, peace ships multiplied. At major ports in New Zealand and Australia, peace squadrons of sailboats and other small craft blocked the entry of U.S. nuclear warships into the harbors. Also, Greenpeace used the Rainbow Warrior to spark resistance to nuclear testing throughout the Pacific.
Even after 1985, when French secret service agents attached underwater mines to this Greenpeace flagship as it lay in the harbor of Auckland, New Zealand, blowing it up and murdering a Greenpeace photographer in the process, the peace ships kept coming.
Much of this maritime assault upon nuclear testing and nuclear war was inspired by an American peace ship, the Golden Rule. The remarkable story of the Golden Rule began with Albert Bigelow, a retired World War II U.S. naval commander. Appalled by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, he became a Quaker and, in 1955, working with the American Friends Service Committee, sought to deliver a petition against nuclear testing to the White House……..
Even as test ban negotiations proceeded fitfully, leading to the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 and, ultimately, to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996, the Golden Rule dropped out of sight. Then, in early 2010, the vessel was discovered, wrecked and sunk in northern California’s Humboldt Bay.
Contacted by historians about preserving the Golden Rule for posterity, officials at the Smithsonian Museum proved uninterested. But peace activists recognized the vessel’s significance. Within a short time, local chapters of Veterans for Peace established the Golden Rule Project to restore the battered ketch.
Thanks to volunteer labor and financial contributions from these U.S. veterans and other supporters, the ship has been largely rebuilt, and funds are currently being raised for the final stage of the project. Veterans for Peace hope to take the ship back to sea in 2014 on its new mission: “educating future generations on the importance of the ocean environment, the risks of nuclear technology, and the need for world peace.”
As a result, the Golden Rule will sail again, restored to its role as America’s most important peace ship.
Lawrence Wittner (http://lawrenceswittner.com), syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is What’s Going On at UAardvark? (Solidarity Press), a satirical novel about campus life. http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/10/a-peace-ships-challenge-to-nukes/
Bernt Carlsson lays down the lawThe man responsible for Namibia under international law, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, spoke about these prosecutions.
It was on his way to the signing of the agreement at UN headquarters in New York, that UN Commissioner for Namibia Bernt Carlsson became the highest profile victim of the Pan Am Flight 103 crash at Lockerbie on 21st December 1988.
Following Bernt Carlsson’s untimely death in the Lockerbie bombing, the case against URENCO was inexplicably dropped and no further prosecutions took place of the companies and countries that were in breach of the United Nations Council for Namibia Decree No. 1.
The Downing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie: It was the Uranium, The Ecologist, Mystery continues to surround the 1988 downing of Panam Flight 103 at Lockerbie. Who did it, how, and why? UN Assistant Secretary-General and Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson Died in the Crash By Patrick Haseldine, 7 Jan 14 Patrick Haseldine is a former British diplomat who was dismissed by the then foreign secretary, John Major, in August 1989. He is often referred to as the “Emeritus Professor of Lockerbie Studies”.
After 25 years study of the topic Patrick Haseldine reveals the shocking truth…….
United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was Lockerbie’s highest profile victim, yet the authorities and the media never mention him. Why?
As comedian Kenneth Williams used to say: “I think the answer lies in the soil.”
More specifically, I believe the answer lies in the processed uranium ore (Yellowcake) that was illegally extracted from Namibia in the period 1976 to 1989. A TV documentary film in March 1980 described succinctly what was going on: Continue reading
Fukushima Meltdowns: A Global Conspiracy of Denial By William Boardman Global Research, Reader Supported News January 05, 2014 “…….Chernobyl 1986 and Fukushima 2011 are not really comparable Chernobyl is the closest precedent to Fukushima, and it’s not very close. Chernobyl at the time of the 1986 electric failure and explosion had four operating reactors and two more under construction. The Chernobyl accident involved one reactor meltdown. Other reactors kept operating for some time after the accident. The rector meltdown was eventually entombed, containing the meltdown and reducing the risk. Until Fukushima, Chernobyl was considered the worst nuclear power accident in history, and it is still far from over (albeit largely contained for the time being). The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone of roughly 1,000 square miles remains one of the most radioactive areas in the world and the clean-up is not even expected to be complete before 2065.
At the time of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima plant had six operating reactors. Three of them went into meltdown and a fourth was left with a heavily laden fuel pool teetering a hundred feet above the ground. Two other reactors were undamaged and have been shut down. Radiation levels remain lethal in each of the melted-down reactors, where the meltdowns appear to be held in check by water that is pumped into the reactors to keep them cool. In the process, the water gets irradiated and that which is not collected on site in leaking tanks flows steadily into the Pacific Ocean. Within the first two weeks, Fukushima radiation was comparable to Chernobyl’s and while the levels have gone down, they remain elevated.
The plant’s corporate owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), in turn effectively owned by the Japanese government after a2012 nationalization, began removing more than 1,500 fuel rod assemblies from the teetering fuel pool in November, a delicate process expected to take a year or more. There are additional fuel pools attached to each of the melted down reactors and a much larger general fuel pool, all of which contain nuclear fuel rod assemblies that are secure only as long as TEPCO continues to cool them. The Fukushima Exclusion Zone, a 12-mile radius around the nuclear plant, is about 500 square miles (much of it ocean); little specific information about the exclusion zone is easily available, but media coverage in the form of disaster tourism is plentiful, including a Google Street View interactive display.
Despite their significant differences as disasters, Chernobyl and Fukushima are both rated at 7 – a “major accident” on the International Nuclear Event Scale designed in 1990 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That is the highest rating on the scale, a reflection of the inherent denial that colors most official nuclear thinking. Designed by nuclear “experts” after Chernobyl, the scale can’t imagine a worse accident than Chernobyl which, for all its intensity, was effectively over as an accident in a relatively short period of time. At Fukushima, by contrast, the initial set of events was less acute than Chernobyl, but almost three years later they continue without any resolution likely soon. Additionally Fukushima has three reactor meltdowns and thousands of precarious fuel rod assemblies in uncertain pools, any of which could produce a new crisis that would put Fukushima clearly off the scale.
And then there’s groundwater. Groundwater was not a problem at Chernobyl. Groundwater is a huge problem at the Fukushima plant that was built at the seashore, on a former riverbed, over an active aquifer. In a short video, nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson makes clear why groundwater makes Fukushima so hard to clean up, and why radiation levels there will likely remain dangerous for another hundred years……..http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-meltdowns-a-global-conspiracy-of-denial/5363827
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