Editor’s note: This is the eighth part of a new series that has run in the past under the title of The Prometheus Trap. This series deals with how pets and livestock fared in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The series will appear on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
After the government on April 22, 2011, banned entry into a 20-kilometer radius from the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, declaring it to be an evacuation zone, many people still began to enter the area illegally to rescue pets left behind.
One of them was Mieko Yoshida, a 63-year-old cram school teacher who lived in Odaka Ward in the city of Minami-soma…….
Yoshida started a one-woman campaign for the rescue and protection of pets left behind in the no-go zone. When she stood in front of the city office, carrying a placard reading, “Give me back my family,” many pet owners approached her, saying, “The same here.”
Yoshida compiled a list of some 80 houses in the off-limits zone where pets had been left behind. She secretly went to these houses to feed and rescue the animals. Her concern for the lives of these vulnerable animals outweighed her fear of radiation.
Police kept bolstering the barricades erected to keep people from entering the zone, but that didn’t deter Yoshida from her stealth animal rescue mission…… http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/life_and_death/AJ201305080006
Security dogs overworked at nuclear site, report says http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-bomb-dogs-overworked-20130426,0,7319317.story By Julie Cart April 26, 2013 Dogs trained to search for explosives and other substances were pushed “beyond their physical capacity” while working last year at a federal facility that handles, processes and stores highly enriched uranium, according to a report released this week.
The Energy Department’s inspector general found that canine security teams at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., were overworked, citing an instance in which a handler and a dog conducted 102 vehicle searches over a two-hour period.
Workers for the private contractor providing the dogs told investigators that requests for breaks were ignored by supervisors. The highly sensitive site is patrolled by human-dog teams that search for explosives, drugs and intruders. The facility was broken into last year by antiwar activists, prompting questions into the security at Energy Department installations.
Investigators were unable to corroborate reports that some dog competence testing had been rigged, but the report did find that “half of the canine teams we observed failed explosive detection tests, many canines failed to respond to at least one of the handler’s commands, and that canines did not receive all required training.”
The Three Nuclear Poisons, HUFFINGTON POST, David Loy, 1 April 13, David Loy, Zen Teacher, dscusses nuclear power as itrelated to Buddhist teachings about greed, aggression and delusion. “……..Today we have not only more powerful technologies such as nuclear power (and nuclear weapons), but also much more powerful institutions that control them, which are socially structured in such a way that they take on a life of their own. And if institutions attain a life of their own, does it also mean that they have their own motivations? That brings us to the crucial question: Can we detect institutionalized greed, aggression, and delusion in the promotion of nuclear power? Read more »
Paladin, which has been the subject of some controversy in Malawi over job cuts, was last year linked to a funding application through its employees’ charity – Friends and Employees of Paladin for African Children.
Paladin’s (African) Ltd general manager, international affairs, Greg Walker, who was invited late last year to be Australia’s honorary consul to Malawi, was involved in the process, according to 2012 correspondence from Australia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, to Mr Walker. The letter obtained under freedom of information confirmed Mr Walker’s successful application for the employees’ charity funding proposal.
Firms use tax money for aid projects : http://www.smh.com.au/money/tax/firms-use-tax-money-for-aid-projects-20130129-2ditd.html#ixzz2Jbp0RzOT January 30, 2013 Rory Callinan
WEALTHY resource companies operating overseas are tapping into Australian taxpayer funds to set up aid projects potentially benefiting their corporate social responsibility credentials.
Aid and mining watchdogs have expressed concerns about the practice, arguing the corporations are wealthy enough to bankroll their own aid and that linking donations to controversial mine operations is a conflict of interest.
Nine mining companies all operating in Africa have been linked to the successful applications via the Foreign Affairs Department’s Direct Aid Program – a scheme that allows heads of missions to give up to $30,000 to local causes.
About $215,000 of taxpayers’ money went to the mining company-conceived projects last financial year, including a school for the deaf, providing trade skill training to local workers, establishing women’s groups and digging wells. Two applications involved uranium mining companies, Paladin Energy in Malawi and Bannerman Resources in Namibia. Read more »
Japanese nuclear regulators present new safety measures THE HINDU, TOKYO, JAN 21: Japan’s nuclear regulators on Monday presented a draft outline of new safety measures to prevent or minimise the consequences of severe accidents like Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Among other features, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said utilities will be required to build a special safety facility housing a secondary control room for reactor operations to guard against accidents from natural disasters or acts of terrorism, such as intentional aircraft crashes.
Japan’s new nuclear safety standards are expected to come into force in July, replacing the current ones that proved insufficient in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The implementation of new safety standards is a major precondition for Japanese power companies to apply for government permits to put their idled reactors back online…… Read more »
Iran: Religious decree against nuclear weapons is binding TEHRAN, IRAN http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57564199/iran-religious-decree-against-nuclear-weapons-is-binding/ 15 Jan 13,
Iran sought Tuesday to spell out in its clearest terms yet that it is not seeking nuclear weapons, highlighting a religious decree issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that bans nuclear weapons. Read more »
it would be a tragic mistake for the Virginia General
Assembly to even consider allowing Virginia Uranium Inc., or whater
it’s called today, to open a uranium mine in our beautiful but
frequently flooded Southside Virginia
Seventeen black ministers signed a resolution requesting a permanent
ban on uranium mining in Virginia.
Roanoke pastor: uranium mining is bad news for Va.By Ralph Berrier
Jr.The Roanoke Times January 4, 2013
A coalition of black ministers from the Roanoke Valley and Southside
Virginia spoke out today in Roanoke against lifting Virginia’s ban on
uranium mining, citing what they believe would be disproportionate
negative consequences on minority populations should the ban be
State lawmakers are considering ending the 30-year moratorium on
uranium mining, as Virginia Uranium Inc. hopes to mine one of the
world’s largest known uranium deposits in Pittsylvania County. Read more »
HMS Astute nuclear submarine officer shot tackling gunman BBC News 2
Jan 13, A navy officer was shot in the head as he tried to stop a
junior rating killing others on a nuclear-powered submarine, an
Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux, 36, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, was shot at
close range on board HMS Astute while docked in Southampton in 2011.
The inquest into his death heard he would have fallen unconscious
immediately and died shortly after.
Able Seaman Ryan Donovan was jailed for at least 25 years for murder.
The navigator yeoman also pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Lt
Cdr Christopher Hodge, 45, who he shot in the stomach, Petty Officer
Christopher Brown, 36, and Chief Petty Officer David McCoy, 37.
Donovan’s attack, on 8 April 2011, was only stopped when the then
leader of Southampton City Council, Royston Smith, and its chief
executive, Alistair Neill, wrestled the weapon from
Radiation leaking from the damaged power plants has laid bare national policies and economic choices that have long gone unquestioned in Japan. “Please imagine!” one man told a priest. “A rural town, where there were no jobs, no money and no industries, was able to receive a chunk of money suddenly just by welcoming the construction of nuclear power plants.”
The conferees pledged “to pray for and with the people of Fukushima and other communities suffering the harms caused by nuclear power” and to send the conference’s final statement to next year’s WCC Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea.
Nuclear tragedy finds a human face in Fukushima, Insights, ON 19 DEC 2012 BY STEPHENW “……..Christian and Buddhist clergy, as well as laypersons, told the 87 conferees from Asia, Europe and North America of their struggle to support families and communities, to cope with the disaster themselves and to challenge the official disaster response.
Conference participants resolved to initiate discussions in faith communities about “civilian and military uses of nuclear energy”, and to develop plans of action “including lifestyle changes”.
The conference began in the city of Koriyama, 100 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and well beyond the official disaster exclusion zones. Radiation hotspots there—created when a reactor building exploded and contamination was spread by prevailing winds—are as dangerous as areas in the town nearest to the nuclear plant. Read more »
The international community should affirm Iran’s “right to enrich uranium” in exchange for an Iranian commitment to “limit enrichment convincingly short of weapons-grade potential, as confirmed by verifiable inspections,” he said.
U.S. Bishops Call for Nuclear Negotiations With Iran http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/u.s.-bishops-call-for-nuclear-negotiations-with-iran/ Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of USCCB’s justice and peace committee, voices ‘deep concern’ over the current ‘dangerous situation.’ 20 Dec 12, ASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ leader on international peace issues said that dialogue is the path to a peaceful resolution of nuclear concerns between the United States and Iran.
“Bold steps must be considered to counter this unfortunate and continually rising tide of aggressive posturing between our own nation and Iran,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. In a Dec. 18 letter to Thomas Donilon, national security advisor to the Obama administration, he explained that a “peaceful resolution will require direct, sustained negotiations over a considerable period of time.”
The bishop, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, voiced “deep concern” over the “dangerous situation facing our nation, the international community and Iran.”
Speaking on behalf of his committee, he urged the U.S. to immediately begin direct negotiations with the nation in order to avoid further escalation. “Initiating such talks should be done without preconditions and might include extending to Iran some relief from current international sanctions,” he said. Read more »
Conflict of interest in Japanese scientists on International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
The doctor on the parliamentary panel, Hisako Sakiyama, is outraged about utility funding for Japan’s ICRP members. She fears that radiation standards are being set leniently to limit costly evacuations.
“The assertion of the utilities became the rule. That’s ethically unacceptable. People’s health is at stake,” she says. “The view was twisted so it came out as though there is no clear evidence of the risks, or that we simply don’t know.”
Japanese Radiation Regulators Admit Conflict of Interest, Laboratory Equipment, 12 Dec 12 Yuri Kageyama Influential scientists who help set Japan’s radiation exposure limits have for years had trips paid for by the country’s nuclear plant operators to attend overseas meetings of the world’s top academic group on radiation safety.
The potential conflict of interest is revealed in one sentence buried in a 600-page parliamentary investigation into last year’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster and pointed out to The Associated Press by a medical doctor on the 10-person investigation
Some of these same scientists have consistently given optimistic assessments about the health risks of radiation, interviews with the scientists and government documents show. Their pivotal role in setting policy after the March 2011 tsunami and ensuing nuclear meltdowns meant the difference between schoolchildren playing outside or indoors and families staying or evacuating their homes.
One leading scientist, Ohtsura Niwa, acknowledged that the electricity industry pays for flights and hotels to go to meetings of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and for overseas members visiting Japan……… Read more »
India’s nuclear fallout: Raise the bar to political level, The Sunday Times, 28 Oct 12 The Indian Government’s plans to expand its nuclear energy programme by establishing 48 new reactors throughout the sub-continent, more
than double of what it has, is already causing ripples within that country.
It will also be cause for concern for Sri Lanka whose population is less than 160 kms from India’s southern-most plant at Kudankulam and not too far away from the Kalpakkam plant. Read more »
Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Lies The International News Magazine , 22 September 2012 David Swanson USA Our government likes to lie to us about nuclear weapons. This poor impoverished nation halfway around the world is about to nuke us. No, that one is. The result, of course, is mass murder. But there’s another result potentially even worse. We begin to think there’s something wrong with being terrified of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.
There isn’t. This stuff should scare the hell out of us. And the arrogant lunacy of imagining that even an honest and accountable authority, much less our government, could set up a commission to regulate the winds of hell and deadly substances with a half-life as long as the age of the Earth must give us serious pause.
What are we thinking? How are we thinking? Are we thinking?
One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years so far — near misses, near apocalypses.
Soldiers in war sometimes learn to accept the senseless risk to their lives. But need our whole species and all the other species that we write off as collateral damage accept catastrophic risks as part of a permanent state of war? Or has accepting that risk in fact facilitated our acceptance of this permanent state of war? If nuclear weapons and nuclear energy were done away with, imagine the space that would open up in our minds for the possibility of living in peace and looking back on war as we look back on more small-scale forms of human sacrifice, and on cannibalism, slavery, or duelling. Read more »
On a Pedestal of Nuclear Immorality, Counter Punch by SAUL LANDAU, 21 Sept 12, ”…….Western leaders did not predict, however, the political turnaround that occurred with the Iranian revolution. The fiercely pro western orientation of the Shah quickly turned as millions of Iranians backed a nationalist and anti American ideology in which the country’s leaders rejected both western ideology and the legitimacy of its regional representative, Israel.
Teheran denounced the very idea of a Jewish state and began to refurbish the old plans to produce nuclear power, which the U.S. and Israel now claim is a cover for a nuclear weapons program. The Ayatollah Khamenei, however, has condemned nuclear weapons and denies nuclear weapon ambitions. Read more »
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