Sudan: Govt Urged to Investigate ‘Nuclear Waste Dumping’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201511170207.html Khartoum / Merowe — The Sudanese Parliament and the Communist Party of Sudan (CpoS) have called on the government to “immediately investigate the burial of nuclear waste” from China in the Northern State. The director of the governmental Dams Implementation Unit has strongly denied the “presence of containers with chemicals or harmful substances to Sudan from any other country”.
The former director of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission in Sudan, Mohamed Siddig, said at a conference in Khartoum last Tuesday that 60 containers with nuclear waste were brought from China to Sudan during the construction of the Merowe Dam in the Northern State.
Siddig told the audience that 40 containers were buried in the desert not far from the Merowe Dam construction site. Another 20 containers were disposed of in the desert. He did not mention the date the waste was dumped, however China worked on the dam between 2004 and 2009. On Sunday, the spokesman for the caucus of the independent MPs, Mubarak El Nur, called for an immediate investigation into the alleged crime. The perpetrators should be brought to justice, he stressed.
The chairman of the Northern State’s parliamentary Services Committee, Ali Hassan Bateik, said that the northern MPs will also demand an investigation into the rapid rise of cancer and kidney failure in the region
Medics The medical contingent of the Communist Party demanded that the government disclose the exact sites of the 60 Chinese containers.
In a statement on Sunday, the doctors emphasise the need for holding those involved in the operation accountable: “Charge them with murder, and sentence them to maximum penalties”.
The medics also blame the government for keeping silent on the growing number of people in the area who suffer from kidney failure or cancer.
Rumours The director of the governmental Dams Implementation Unit, Jaafar Mohamed Hammad, however, strongly denied the “presence of containers with chemicals or harmful substances to Sudan from any other country”.
He told the Sudan News Agency (Suna) in Khartoum last week that he will take legal action “against those who spread the rumours” about the dumping of Chinese nuclear waste in the Northern State.
In Japan the propaganda warfare took a more sinister turn blaming the victims for their predicament. Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that is closely connected to Japan’s ruling elite has run a series of articles on “radiophobia”, attributing health complaints of the affected to psychological and emotional stress.
The long standing and corrupt practice of “amakudari” -“descent from heaven” which led to the capture of regulators by the regulated in form of career revolving doors has made any meaningful reform a pipe dream.
The Fukushima disease: Creation of virtual world based on radioactive reality,Rt.com 24 Nov 15 Derek Monroe “…………”We are in a difficult position that we made ourselves reliable on nuclear energy first and then were hurt by it,” said a local Minamisoma city employee who asked to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to talk to the media. “Many people here had good jobs and good lives and when the nuclear accident happened this came to a complete halt,” he said. The city’s website now is very optimistic in its proclamation of moving forward without nuclear power, despite the central government’s move to the contrary. The government in Tokyo has decided what is best for the citizens of Minamisoma and all of Japan.
Furthermore, nuclear power is back in charge as if it never left. Nationalist Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s administration is another one anointed by “kempatsu mura” – “the nuclear village”, power and money complex that has been a steady fixture in the history of modern Japan. In 2012, Tokyo’s Waseda University researcher Tetsuo Arima disclosed declassified CIA documents dating to the 1950s. It was revealed that the long time kingmaker of Japanese politics, Matsutaro Shoriki and head of the country’s most powerful Yomiuri Shimbun media empire, worked hand in hand with the CIA to popularize nuclear energy as way for the future. Despite its peaceful angle and spin thrown onto the Japanese public that was still traumatized within a generation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Shoriki insisted the way to a successful future would have to include Japan’s nuclear armament………..
The long standing and corrupt practice of “amakudari” –“descent from heaven” which led to the capture of regulators by the regulated in form of career revolving doors has made any meaningful reform a pipe dream. This ultimately allowed the Tokyo Power Company (TEPCO), Japan’s largest utility, to defeat any efforts to improve plant safety as it would cost it too much money to comply with increased regulatory requirements. ………..
In Britain the government together with the industry decided on a strategy to spin the information released to the public as to avert a backlash against nuclear energy experienced in Germany as result of the disaster in Japan.
In Japan the propaganda warfare took a more sinister turn blaming the victims for their predicament. Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that is closely connected to Japan’s ruling elite has run a series of articles on “radiophobia”, attributing health complaints of the affected to psychological and emotional stress. Ironically the same took place during a period of “radiophobia” scare doled out by medical professionals and nuclear experts in the Soviet Union after the Chernobyl disaster. Their fears and concerns were met with explanation that the victims were subjected and suffered from fear of radiation rather than the radiation itself. University of California anthropologist Adriana Petryna’s ethnographic study of the Chernobyl medical assessment and compensation system shown it was biased against the victims and politically manipulated. The same now applies to the case of Fukushima disaster victims as the more sophisticated forms of manipulation employing intrinsically Japanese traits of shame and group think are now used to shift the effects of the disaster onto victims’ own sense of responsibility. This allows the system to move on and not take responsibility for what transpired while using the cultural trait of the population’s acquiescence as a catalyst for its de facto forced amnesia.
Looking at the Japanese media and governmental space that work hand in hand to obfuscate its responsibility to inform, the truth of the matter is : the technology to decommission melted reactors doesn’t exist and the most optimistic scenario of final solution to the crisis is pure fiction.
As the country’s political establishment is readying itself to host the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for which there is no public money or popular support whatsoever, the nuclear sword of Damocles will be hanging over it. The negligence and incompetence bordering on willful disregard for lives of its citizens makes the Japanese government a perfect candidate for prosecution under the crimes against humanity statues. Its handling of the Fukushima crisis puts into doubt Japanese credentials as a real democracy that is able and willing to address its citizens’ needs instead of using them as fodder for obscene corporate profits and foreign policy gamesmanship.
As a result Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl in many respects, making the difference between both political systems only a semantic one at best.
Japan Red Cross declined to be interviewed for the story.
Japanese Government did not respond to questions about its propaganda funding.
Chicago Tribune did not respond to request for interview.
Greg Burns did not respond to request for interview.
TEPCO did not respond to request for interview.
Japan Times did not respond to request for interview. https://www.rt.com/op-edge/323105-japan-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/
LA’s Nuclear Secret: Camp Cover-Up Nov. 10, 2015. The popular 2,800-acre Southern California camp sits just over the hill from the Santa Susana Field Lab
Tens of thousands of children who attended a popular camp in the hills northwest of Los Angeles over the last 65 years may have been exposed to radioactive waste and toxic chemicals from a former nuclear and rocket testing facility right next door, the Santa Susana Field Lab, according to documents and scientific studies obtained by the NBC4 I-Team. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/I-Team-LAs-Nuclear-Secret-Camp-Cover-Up-344006382.html
LA’s Nuclear Secret: Part 2 Sept. 23, 2015. The Santa Susana Field Laboratory, tucked in the hills between the San Fernando and Simi valleys, might be putting the health of thousands of Los Angeles and Ventura County residents at risk http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/LA-Nuclear-Secret-Part-2-328640391.html
LA’s Nuclear Secret: Part 1 Sept. 22, 2015. Tucked away in the hills above the San Fernando and Simi valleys was a 2,800-acre laboratory with a mission that was a mystery to the thousands of people who lived in its shadow
The U.S. government secretly allowed radiation from a damaged reactor to be released into air over the San Fernando and Simi valleys in the wake of a major nuclear meltdown in Southern California more than 50 years ago — fallout that nearby residents contend continues to cause serious health consequences and, in some cases, death. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/LA-Nuclear-Secret-327896591.html
Fuel For a Nuclear Bomb Is Probably on the Black Market Right Now http://www.maxim.com/maxim-man/article/black-market-nuclear-fuel-2015-11
And it often originates from one site in Russia.
MAXIM MAN, November 12, 2015 By STEVE HUFF
It’s the kind of scenario that fueled the novels of the late Tom Clancy: fuel that could form the core of a nuclear weapon
on the black market, for sale to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, as a joint report from The Center for Public Integrity
and Vice News
has revealed, this fictional scenario is very real — and U.S. security officials have been in a constant state of concern about it for years.
The detailed report begins with an account of a failed attempt that occurred in Moldova in 2011 to pass off 22 pounds of highly enriched uranium for a few hundred thousand dollars. The transaction was actually a sting, and it ultimately led to the imprisonment of a Moldovan lawyer named Teodor Chetrus for attempting to smuggle the material. Chetrus’s arrest, however, did nothing to ease Western worries about a terrorist group or rogue nation acquiring the ability to make their own nuclear bomb:
Instead, it stoked them, because the resulting international probe into the case has sparked fresh, and previously unreported worries, that thieves inside of Russia somehow made off years ago with a full bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium. Western spies fear the thieves have been doggedly looking for a buyer for the past sixteen years, by repeatedly dangling in front of them identical, genuine samples of that highly valuable material.
Five current or former U.S. officials who have tracked nuclear smuggling, and who declined to be named because this assessment is classified, said it is now a consensus view within the intelligence community.
But wait, it gets worse! According to this report, Western intelligence has no idea “exactly who has this nuclear explosive material, and where they may be.”
Journalists Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith write that the anxieties regarding nuclear materials in the wild go back some 16 years. Since 1999, there have been at least three incidents in which “identically packaged containers of highly-enriched uranium have been seized by authorities outside of Russia.”
All those packages have been forensically traced to the early 1990s and one source: the Mayak Production Association, a giant nuclear facility in the Ural Mountains.
One quote from the report ratchets up the pucker factor considerably while emphasizing exactly why this is the stuff of military suspense fiction:
While seven of those involved in the smuggling have so far been prosecuted in Bulgaria, France and Moldova, officials say they are just low-level members of a shadowy international ring with Moldovan and Russian connections, all working for a person or persons whose identity remains cloaked.
So far, efforts at stopping the spread of these materials has only taken small-time go-betweens out of commission. The masterminds are still out there.
Reading the report in full is worth the time, if you don’t want to sleep well for a while. It will make you wish James Bond was real.
LA’s Nuclear Secret: Camp Cover-Up, The popular 2,800-acre Southern California camp sits just over the hill from the Santa Susana Field Lab NBC News By Joel Grover and Matthew Glasser Tens of thousands of children who attended a popular camp in the hills northwest of Los Angeles over the last 65 years may have been exposed to radioactive waste and toxic chemicals from a former nuclear and rocket testing facility right next door, the Santa Susana Field Lab, according to documents and scientific studies obtained by the NBC4 I-Team.
LA’s Nuclear Secret: Timelines, Maps, Documents, Interviews
Families who sent their kids to the camp, as well as former camp staff and board members, say top leadership, including a famous TV personality, covered up evidence of the risk and continue to hide important information.
“It’s criminal not to disclose this,” said Erwin Sokol, a counselor at the camp in the 1950s, who later sent his own kids there, and whose wife Caren served on the board of directors. “There are people’s lives at risk.”
Sokol is referring to the Brandeis-Bardin Institute next to Simi Valley, a world famous center for Jewish learning, which runs Camp Alonim for kids and teens and hosts retreats for college students and adults. Purchased in 1947, the 2,800-acre camp is believed to be the largest piece of Jewish-owned land outside of Israel. It sits just over the hill from the Santa Susana Field Lab.
Former Santa Susana Field Lab workers told NBC4 during our LA’s Nuclear Secret investigation that for years, barrels of radioactive waste were burned in a pit right above the Brandeis property, and the radioactive smoke often blew toward the camp.
Workers also told the I-Team how they were ordered to secretly release radioactive gases into the air from crippled nuclear reactors, often when the wind was blowing the gases toward Brandeis and Simi Valley. John Pace, who worked the controls of one of the reactors, told NBC4, “The truth needs to be told” about the secret releases of radiation.
Families Ask I-Team to Investigate Over a dozen former Brandeis senior staff, camp families and board members told the I-Team they tried for years to find out the truth about potential contamination at Brandeis, but were stonewalled by the Institute’s top leaders.
“This is about protecting the health of children,” said Erwin Sokol.
So they asked the I-Team to investigate. Contamination at Brandeis
The I-Team found reports, studies and tests that show campers and staff could have been exposed to radioactive materials and toxic chemicals from the Santa Susana lab that migrated onto the Brandeis property through groundwater, surface water and wind.
Buried away at a National Archives warehouse in Riverside County, the I-Team found a 1997 report done by a scientist, Joel Cehn, who has worked for by Brandeis for years to monitor contamination on its land.
In the report, Cehn writes that after reviewing studies of Brandeis, in his opinion, “Brandeis property is contaminated… with radiological and chemical contaminants. Contaminated groundwater is moving toward the center of the Brandeis property (from south to north).”
Cehn also says, “Surface water, when present, also moves toward the center of Brandeis… some of this water is contaminated with tritium, strontium-90 and dioxins. Soil on the Brandeis property is contaminated… During rainwater runoff events, this soil is carried… to central and northern areas of the Brandeis property. Vegetation on the Brandeis property is contaminated.”
“If I had seen this document, I would not have taken the job,” said Rabbi Lee Bycel, who became president of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in 2000 and served until 2003………
Toxic Soil Brandeis own internal 1997 report, written by their consultant Joel Cehn, said “soil on the Brandeis property is contaminated with tritium, strontium-90, cesium-137, PCB, dioxins, toluene, and petroleum hydrocarbons.”…..
Brandeis Declines to Speak to NBC4 The I-Team requested an interview with the current owners of Brandeis, the American Jewish University, to discuss the contamination.…… Brandeis Withholds Key Documents……. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/I-Team-LAs-Nuclear-Secret-Camp-Cover-Up-344006382.html
Published by Arclight2011
9 November 2015
With some 18,000 subscribers Dana has been touted as a “leader” of the anti nuclear movement but as Fukushima 311 Watchdogs on Facebook gets some 11,000 subscribers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK has some 30,000 members and this does not include a recent surge in membership from Scotland, Wales and England due to the promotion of no nuclear by The extremely popular Jeremy Corbin. I also do not include the tens of thousands Taiwanese activists, Indian activists, Japanese activists etc etc who visit many of the more moderate anti nuclear web pages and social media formats.
Dana Durnsford occupies a small part of the nuclear debate. When his You Tube channel began streaming his show and saying that the west coast of Canada was a dead zone, to say the least I was a bit concerned! I was on the Rainbow Warriors on Facebook and we crowd sourced an investigation with some Canadian colleagues (including First Nations) to find out what the situation was. We quickly discovered over a couple of days that the coast was still the same as it was in previous years. This was testimony from witnesses that I have grown to trust so I was distrustful as to Danas Claims but decided to see what evidence he could supply.
Over the coming months he sought Funding for a boat and camera equipment but no radiation detectors of any sort. Further videos of people showing a thriving environment on You Tube made me doubt further the veracity of his claims. Also, his aggressive stance and lack of multiple sources for news weakened my interest and I quickly moved on.
A right to speak
My general attitude to Dana was that he was providing a service to those that thought that the effects from Fukushima were dire. Of course there are many viewpoints to the ultimate effects from the Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster in march 2011.
My view was that there is room for debate on this issue. I also thought that the debatably entertaining way that Dana discusses nuclear matters might encourage people to learn more on the nuclear issue so the show had a more serious educational aspect to it (even though some of the science and posits might be questioned).
Sentenced to what?
So, to the issue of what might happen to Dana? The use of harassment is a thorny issue on social media. In the UK Chris Spivey was recently charged for a similar style of blogging. Leaving aside the issues on free speech for the moment I will quickly describe his present situation.
Chris has a short suspended prison sentence hanging over him and is under instruction to not have on his website any information related to the court case (Lee Rigby) nor can he discuss this news publicly. Chris has continued his blogging as normal, still using an aggressive style but with some sensible caution. So Dana should take heart. My co host Jimmy Hagan contacted Chris Spivey for a statement and he said that if it is a first offence a prison sentence is unlikely and a suspended sentence with blogging restrictions would apply.
Of course the Pro nuclear media is trying to milk this for everything it is worth but we need to bear in mind that Dana`s views only represent a small fraction of the worlds anti nuclear campaigners. In the diverse world-wide web there is room for many opinions and views.
What learning can we all take from this?
There is an important point to be had here for bloggers more generally and that is the need for caution considering that harassment cases are an effective tool for corporate and government interests and we as bloggers should be mindful to avoid such pitfalls. We should be prepared to adapt to this sort of pressure on our freedom of speech. The main points we have to raise do not include personal attacks but science based evidence and personal testimonials and independent science research where science research is being suppressed.
How can you help Dana?
By following this link;
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has turned the spotlight on foreign charities since he took office last year, accusing some of trying to hamper projects on social and environmental grounds.
Last year, Modi government withdrew permission to Greenpeace to receive foreign funding, saying the money was used to block industrial projects.
Under the latest order issued by authorities in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where Greenpeace is registered, the government said it had found the organisation had violated the provisions of law by engaging in fraudulent dealings.
Greenpeace denied any wrongdoing and said the closure was a “clumsy tactic” to silence dissent. “This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbour,” Vinuta Gopal, the interim executive director of Greenpeace, said in a statement on Friday.
A government official confirmed the closure order had been issued on Wednesday but did not elaborate.
Greenpeace India has campaigned against coal mines in forests, genetically modified crops, nuclear power and toxic waste management.
In recent months the federal government has toughened rules governing charities and cancelled the registration of nearly 9000 groups for failing to declare details of overseas donations.
After the elections in TANZANIA last Sunday, 25. Oct. 2015, the situation is not very good.
Among other things, we were informed that the LHRC – Legal and Human Rights Center, one of our partner NGOs in Tanzania and host of the 2013 Uranium Conference – has been raided by police, and – according to a newspaper article, staff has been arrested. http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Police-raid-observers–office–arrest-staff/-/1840340/2935620/-/3i6896z/-/index.html
Earlier this week, offices of CHADEMA, the oppostion party, have obviously been raided by police
But, wait a moment, where’s the corium?
Corium is a lava-like radioactive hot molten mix of a nuclear reactor core formed during a meltdown. The corium is missing at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant No. 2. Nobody knows where it is. Nobody knows! Better yet, or rather worse yet, finding No.2’s melted core is an ongoing challenge of enormous, humongous proportions, kinda like hovering at the edge of a Black Hole. What’s next?
Fukushima – a Hushed Up Catastrophe, CounterPunch, by ROBERT HUNZIKER , OCTOBER 30, 2015 The Fukushima disaster is radiantly exposed in the Pacific Ocean, but as for people behind the disaster, it is treated like the Manhattan Project, circa 1942… Top Secret!
Still, “Its against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but that is precisely what is happening on a daily basis,” according to Dr. Keith Baverstock, former regional adviser for Radiation and Public Health, World Health Organization (“WHO”), speaker at the Citizen-Scientist International Symposium on Radiation Protection, October 23, 2015.
As intimated by Dr. Baverstock, inexplicably Fukushima is immune to international law, standards, and conventions, and nobody cares enough to do anything about it.
Surely, nobody intentionally caused the disaster behind the meltdown, similar to a chain reaction of falling dominoes: an earthquake, tsunami, massive flooding, black-outs, loss of power, hydrogen explosions, nuclear meltdown, and four years of highly radioactive water spewing into the Pacific Ocean, and who knows what else or where else?
But, “cause” is not the issue with Fukushima. The issue is whether nuclear power is a satisfactory source of energy, whether it is safe. In that regard, Angela Merkel (61), PhD physics, University of Leipzig and current chancellor of Germany is shutting down all nuclear reactors because of the Fukushima incident. Germany favors renewable sources of energy like solar and wind. Meanwhile, Japan’s PM Abe (61), a graduate in political science from Seikei University, is reopening nuclear power plants as quickly as possible, proving that politics overrides science. Continue reading
Turbulent Times for Brazil’s Nuclear Projects, Carnegie Foundation, TOGZHAN KASSENOVA October 29, 2015 “……….Othon was at the heart of Brazil’s nuclear program during the military government that lasted until 1985, and he remained indispensable for the decades that followed. In 2005, he became the chief executive of Eletronuclear, an operator of nuclear power plants and a subsidiary of Eletrobras, a state-controlled power company. Eletronuclear operates Brazil’s two nuclear power plants—Angra 1 and Angra 2—and is building a third plant in the picturesque region of Angra dos Reis, not far from Rio de Janeiro. Work on Angra 3 began in 1984. But after two years and the amassing of 70 percent of the equipment at the site, construction was suspended. Only after twenty-four years, in 2010, did construction resume on Angra 3.
The corruption charges against Othon stemmed from the construction of Angra 3. It was while he headed Eletronuclear that Othon was accused of receiving bribes from companies vying for Eletronuclear’s contracts. He was arrested on July 28 as part of an operation called Radioactivity, the sixteenth stage in Operation Car Wash.
Othon is currently accused of receiving 4.8 million Brazilian reais (or approximately $1.2 million) in bribes through Aratec Engenharia, a company he owned. Brazilian media report that Othon’s company accepted payments for the development of turbines that generate electricity using river flow.
Othon’s arrest is not the only nuclear dimension of Brazil’s corruption scandal. Marcelo Odebrecht, whose eponymous company is Brazil’s largest construction conglomerate, was arrested on corruption charges in June. His company is accused of paying bribes to Petrobras executives to gain lucrative contracts, overcharging Petrobras for construction projects, and siphoning off illegal profits to politicians who, in turn, facilitated the conglomerate’s operations.
Odebrecht is one of the largest companies in South America. With operations in 21 countries and a workforce of 168,000, the equivalent of the population of a medium-sized U.S. city, it has been involved in major infrastructure projects in places as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Angola.
Odebrecht is the main contractor for Brazil’s nuclear submarine program. In 2009, when Brazil and France signed a cooperation agreement to build five submarines—four conventional and one nuclear—together, Odebrecht received a contract worth $1.9 billion to construct a new naval shipyard in Itaguaí. In 2013, Brazil’s then president Dilma Rousseff attended the shipyard’s inauguration ceremony. With Odebrecht’s CEO under arrest, the immediate future of the company is uncertain.
Brazil’s Nuclear Ambitions ………..
Funding was pouring steadily into the nuclear submarine program. Since 2009, Brazil has spent $3.2 billion to build a submarine shipyard and a naval base. Brazil’s leaders promoted the program as one that would once again prove Brazil’s technological might—just as Embraer planes did decades earlier.
In 2010, construction of the Angra 3 nuclear power plant resumed, and while the government never touted nuclear energy as its priority, commitments were made to build up to four to eight new nuclear power plants.
Five years later, a very different Brazil has emerged. Foreign policy, let alone nuclear diplomacy, has decreased significantly on the ladder of Brazilian government priorities. Unlike Lula, President Dilma from the very beginning was less inclined to invest in an active foreign policy. Now she is too preoccupied with domestic problems to spend time on diplomacy. With her approval ratings hovering at 8 percent, foreign policy is unlikely to become a priority for the current government in the near future. The possibility that the government will actively pay attention to matters of global nuclear politics is even less likely.
National fiscal limitations and now the problems with Odebrecht will potentially slow down the nuclear submarine program. The broader challenges in Brazil’s energy sector, economic problems, and the investigation of Angra 3 contractors means that nuclear power plant construction might be further delayed. As a result of an ongoing corruption investigation, Eletronuclear suspended contracts with two Brazilian consortiums slated to work on certain parts of the construction process….http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/10/29/turbulent-times-for-brazil-s-nuclear-projects/ikk6
Two decades of legal harassment dissolve Bellona Murmansk as a Russian NGO – but it will continue its work, Bellona, October 12, 2015 by Charles Digges Twenty years ago this month, Bellona’s still nascent offices in Murmansk were raided by the FSB, the successor organization to the Soviet KGB, setting in motion a legal Rube Goldberg machine that led to treason allegations against the Bellona’s Alexander Nikitin, and charges against the Bellona itself.
In those two decades, Nikitin beat his espionage wrap, and Bellona Murmansk became a vital force in attracting international funding for dismantling Russia’s nuclear naval legacy and spearheading renewable energy efforts on Russia’s Kola Peninsula.
But, the group again faces a vague future after it was declared in March to be a “foreign agent” by Russia’s Justice Ministry, showing that official spy-mania directed against non-profit groups demanding transparency on nuclear and environmental issues is again on an upswing.
On Monday, it surfaced that the group would be forced to stop operating as an NGO, and group chairman Andrei Zolotkov confirmed that Bellona Murmansk was “at a cross roads” and that its eventual liquidation as a non-profit had been announced as early as April.
Bellona Executive Director Nils Bøhmer confirmed Monday that as of Monday Bellona Murmansk is no longer a Russian non-profit, but would still continue its present functions under different auspices. Continue reading
Instead of treating cancer as a scientific issue, the nuclear industry treats it as a PR challenge. Frequent attempts are made to trivialize the dangers of radiation. Often this involves the Radiation- Is-Everywhere tactic complete with ludicrous examples (“It’s just like eating a banana,” or “It’s just like flying to Denver”). They like to show how little radiation is in an average X-ray but they are careful not to mention that radioactive exposure is cumulative: every dose adds.
The dirty little secret of the nuclear industry is that all NPP regularly discharge radiation into the environment. Nuclear power plants cannot operate without these discharges, and the NRC sets standards for what is allowable.
The push by the nuclear industry to block cancer research demonstrates their true colors.
NRC Blocks Cancer Study Near San Onofre and other Nuclear Power Plants http://voiceofoc.org/2015/10/nrc-blocks-cancer-study-near-san-onofre-and-other-nuclear-power-plants/
By Roger Johnson October 14, 2015 Do the regular radioactive emissions from nuclear power plants (NPP) increase the risk of cancer? No one knows for sure whether living near a NPP can cause cancer, but on Sept. 8 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) terminated a study designed to find out. It would have been carried out by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences which spent 5 years planning the study.
One of the six locations chosen for study was our own San Onofre. The medical records of everyone living within 31 miles of San Onofre (a circle from Huntington Beach around to Solana Beach) would have been part of the study. The research proposal is entitled Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations near Nuclear Facilities.
The NRC logo is “Protecting People and the Environment” but many wonder if it should read “Protecting the Nuclear Industry and Its Profits.”
The NRC said it could not afford the $8 million, but no one swallows this since the NRC has an annual budget of over $1 billion (90 percent of which comes from the industry it is supposed to be regulating).
The NRC also said that it already knows the answer: low-level radiation coming from NPP is harmless. It continues to cite a now thoroughly discredited study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) which examined this issue a quarter of a century ago and failed to find cancer streaks. The nuclear industry prefers this study because it likes the results.
We now know that the NCI study failed because it studied only cancer deaths, not incidence, and it studied only where people died, not where they lived or worked. It also averaged people living very near a NPP with those who lived far away. Also worrisome are recent studies in Europe which discovered that children who live near a NPP double their risk of cancer. The NAS is well-aware of this and designed part of the study to focus on children.
Instead of treating cancer as a scientific issue, the nuclear industry treats it as a PR challenge. Continue reading
Inside the ‘clandestine world’ of SNC-Lavalin’s fallen star Riadh Ben Aissa, Financial Post, Brian Hutchinson, Financial Post Staff | March 18, 2015 “……..This is one of the details revealed in a 98-page document prepared by Swiss prosecutors (called an acte d’accusation en procédure simplifiée, it is comparable to a North American plea bargain agreement) and obtained by the Financial Post. It brings to light previously unknown details of how Mr. Ben Aissa, a 56-year-old citizen of both Tunisia and Canada, and now facing charges in Canada on a different matter, directed 12.5 million euros and US$21.9 million into Swiss bank accounts controlled by Saadi Gaddafi, from 2001 to 2007.
These were kickbacks, paid to Saadi by Mr. Ben Aissa in return for certain Libyan contracts awarded to SNC. According to Swiss authorities, tens of millions more dollars moved through Mr. Ben Aissa’s own Swiss accounts, from September 2001 to March 2011. The money came from SNC……..
the Swiss proceedings raise new questions about SNC, its vulnerability, and its future, which even its current CEO, Robert Card, has publicly worried may be at risk of either breaking up, ceasing to exist or being taken over. Since it found itself embroiled in scandal, the company has seemed in perpetual crisis, with more drama this week in its boardroom, with the sudden resignation of its chairman, and in a Montreal courtroom, where Mr. Ben Aissa and another former SNC executive began a preliminary hearing over allegations of bribery in a Canadian hospital deal.
While some might question how SNC did not know about Mr. Ben Aissa’s conduct in Libya, some insiders still seem inclined to blame him alone for setting into motion the company’s stunning fall from grace.
“Good luck sorting out Riadh Ben Assia’s clandestine world,” former SNC chairman Gwyn Morgan wrote in a brief response to questions put to him by email about certain activities that allegedly took place during his leadership……..
SWwiss authorities identified five specific areas of corruption where SNC cash was used to obtain contracts in Libya. ……
Last month, the RCMP laid criminal charges against SNC Lavalin itself, in connection to allegedly corrupt activities in Libya. The charges came as a blow; sources claim the company’s management and its lawyers had negotiated with Canadian authorities for two years, in an attempt to avoid prosecution. A criminal conviction for corruption could result in the company being prohibited — “debarred” — from bidding on public works projects in Canada…….
On Monday, SNC announced the resignation of Ian Bourne, its board chairman, effective immediately. He’d been in the position just two years, having replaced Mr. Morgan in 2013. SNC did not give specific reasons why Mr. Bourne decided to leave.
The same morning, two former SNC executives walked into a Montreal courtroom for the start of a preliminary hearing on other corruption-related matters. One was Pierre Duhaime, SNC’s former CEO and president. The second was Mr. Ben Aissa, back in Canada after his Swiss incarceration and extradition. Both are charged with fraud, related to alleged construction bid-rigging in Montreal, in what one police investigator has called the “biggest corruption fraud in Canadian history.”
Mr. Duhaime, Mr. Ben Aissa, former SNC controller Stéphane Roy and five other men, among them Canada’s former spy watchdog, Arthur Porter, allegedly participated a corrupt scheme that saw an international consortium led by SNC win a $1.34-billion hospital construction and maintenance contract for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), in 2010. Dr. Porter has publicly refuted the allegations and none have been proven in court. Mr. Duhaime has pleaded not guilty. Mr. Ben Aissa is also in court fighting the allegations………. http://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/inside-the-clandestine-world-of-snc-lavalins-fallen-star-riadh-ben-aissa
Revealed: British government’s plan to play down Fukushima Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan
• Read the emails here Guardian , Rob Edwards, 1 July 2011
British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.
Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companiesEDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.
“This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.”
Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power.
The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who sits on the Commons environmental audit committee, condemned the extent of co-ordination between the government and nuclear companies that the emails appear to reveal.
“The government has no business doing PR for the industry and it would be appalling if its departments have played down the impact of Fukushima,” he said.
Louise Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, said the emails looked like “scandalous collusion”. “This highlights the government’s blind obsession with nuclear power and shows neither they, nor the industry, can be trusted when it comes to nuclear,” she said…….
Tom Burke, a former government environmental adviser and visiting professor at Imperial College London, warned that the British government was repeating mistakes made in Japan. “They are too close to industry, concealing problems, rather than revealing and dealing with them,” he said.
“I would be much more reassured if DECC had been worrying about how the government would cope with the $200bn-$300bn of liabilities from a catastrophic nuclear accident in Britain.”……http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/30/british-government-plan-play-down-fukushima
Wikileaks release of TPP deal text stokes ‘freedom of expression’ fears, Guardian, Sam Thielman , 9 Oct 15 Intellectual property rights chapter appears to give Trans-Pacific Partnership countries’ countries greater power to stop information from going public Wikileaks has released what it claims is the full intellectual property chapter ofthe Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the controversial agreement between 12 countries that was signed off on Monday.
TPP was negotiated in secret and details have yet to be published. But critics including Democrat presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders,unions and privacy activists have lined up to attack what they have seen of it. Wikileaks’ latest disclosures are unlikely to reassure them.
One chapter appears to give the signatory countries (referred to as “parties”) greater power to stop embarrassing information going public. The treaty would give signatories the ability to curtail legal proceedings if the theft of information is “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” – in other words, presumably, if a trial would cause the information to spread.
A drafter’s note says that every participating country’s individual laws about whistleblowing would still apply.
“The text of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter confirms advocates warnings that this deal poses a grave threat to global freedom of expression and basic access to things like medicine and information,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of internet activist group Fight for the Future. “But the sad part is that no one should be surprised by this. It should have been obvious to anyone observing the process, where appointed government bureaucrats and monopolistic companies were given more access to the text than elected officials and journalists, that this would be the result.”
Among the provisions in the chapter (which may or may not be the most recent version) are rules that say that each country in the agreement has the authority to compel anyone accused of violating intellectual property law to provide “relevant information […] that the infringer or alleged infringer possesses or controls” as provided for in that country’s own laws.
The rules also state that every country has the authority to immediately give the name and address of anyone importing detained goods to whoever owns the intellectual property…….
TPP is now facing a rough ride through Congress where President Obama’s opponents on the right argue the agreement does not do enough for business while opponents on the left argue it does too much.