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/
Don’t nuke the climate! James Hansen’s nuclear fantasies
exposed http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986335/dont_nuke_the_climate_james_hansens_nuclear_fantasies_exposed.html Dr Jim Green 20th November 2015
NASA scientist James Hansen is heading to COP21 in Paris to berate climate campaigners for failing to support ‘safe and environmentally-friendly nuclear power’, writes Jim Green. But they would gladly support nuclear power if only it really was safe and environment friendly. In fact, it’s a very dangerous and hugely expensive distraction from the real climate solutions.
James Hansen will be promoting nuclear power – and attacking environmental and anti-nuclear groups – in the lead-up to the UN COP21 climate conference in Paris in December.
The press release announcing Hansen’s visit to Paris berates environmentalists for failing to support“safe and environmentally-friendly nuclear power”.
It notes that the Climate Action Network, representing all the major environmental groups, opposes nuclear power – in other words, efforts to split the environment movement have failed.
Hansen won’t be participating in any debates against nuclear critics or renewable energy experts. His reluctance to debate may stem from his participation in a 2010 debate in Melbourne, Australia.
The audience of 1,200 people were polled before and after the debate. The pre-debate poll found an 8% margin in favour of nuclear power; the post-debate poll found a margin of 24% against nuclear power.
The turn-around was so striking that Hansen’s colleague Barry Brook falsely claimed the vote must have been rigged by anti-nuclear and climate action groups. “I can think of no other logical explanation – statistically, such a result would be nigh impossible”, Brook claimed.
‘Nuclear safety’ – a contradiction in terms?
An article co-authored by Hansen and Pushker Kharecha, published in the Environment, Science and Technology journal, claims that between 1971 and 2009, “global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning”.
Kharecha and Hansen ignore renewables and energy efficiency, setting up a false choice between fossil fuels and nuclear. Even as an assessment of the relative risks of fossil fuels and nuclear, the analysis doesn’t stack up. Kharecha and Hansen cite a UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) report to justify their figure of 43 deaths from the Chernobyl disaster.
But the UNSCEAR report did not attempt to calculate long-term deaths from radiation exposure from Chernobyl, citing “unacceptable uncertainties in the predictions”. Thecredible estimates of the long-term cancer death toll from Chernobyl range from 9,000 (in Eastern Europe) to 93,000 (across Eastern and Western Europe).
Hansen states: “No people died at Fukushima because of the nuclear technology.” The impacts of the disaster are more accurately summarised by radiation biologist Dr Ian Fairlie: “In sum, the health toll from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is horrendous. At the minimum:
- “Over 160,000 people were evacuated, most of them permanently.
- “Many cases of post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders arising from the evacuations.
- “About 12,000 workers exposed to high levels of radiation, some up to 250 mSv
- “An estimated 5,000 fatal cancers from radiation exposures in future.
- “Plus similar (unquantified) numbers of radiogenic strokes, CVS diseases and hereditary diseases.
- “Between 2011 and 2015, about 2,000 deaths from radiation-related evacuations due to ill-health and suicides.
- “An, as yet, unquantified number of thyroid cancers.
- “An increased infant mortality rate in 2012 and a decreased number of live births in December 2011.”
There are many reasons to conclude that Kharecha and Hansen’s figure of 4,900 deaths from nuclear power from 1971 to 2009 is a gross underestimate, yet they claim that the figure “could be a major overestimate relative to the empirical value (by two orders of magnitude).” In other words, they think the real figure may be as low as five.
‘Nuclear power has the best safety record of any energy technology’
However a realistic assessment of nuclear power fatalities would include:
- Routine emissions: UNSCEAR’s estimated collective effective dose to the world population over a 50-year period of operation of nuclear power reactors and associated nuclear fuel cycle facilities is two million Sieverts. Applying a risk estimate of 0.1 fatal cancers / Sievert gives a total of 200,000 fatal cancers.
- Radiation exposure from accidents, including Chernobyl (estimated 9,000 to 93,000 cancer fatalities) and Fukushima (estimated 5,000 long-term cancer fatalities), and thelarge number of accidents that have resulted in a small number of fatalities.
- Indirect deaths.
In relation to indirect deaths at Fukushima, Japanese academics state: “for the Fukushima coastal region, no-one, not even Self-Defense Forces, could enter the area for fear of exposure to radioactive materials, and the victims were left in the area for a long period of time.
“This resulted in so-called indirect fatalities, people who died due to difficult and long-term evacuation, or those who committed suicide, lamenting the radioactive pollution of their farm lands and farm animals and who had lost hope to ever rebuild their lives.
“These are considered as fatalities related to the nuclear accident, and their numbers have risen to 1459 as of September 2013, according to the Fukushima Prefectural Office. Though they are considered indirect deaths, they would have not died if there had been no nuclear accident.”
Kharecha and Hansen ignore non-fatal impacts. For example, the permanent relocation of 350,000 people in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster was associated with a great deal of trauma. Four and a half years after the Fukushima disaster, over 110,000 of the original 160,000 evacuees remain displaced according to the Japanese government.
Using those figures (350,000 + 110,000), and the global experience of around 16,000 reactor-years of power reactor operations, gives a figure of 29 ‘nuclear refugees’ per reactor-year.
Nuclear power is safer than fossil fuels when considering accidents and routine emissions (by a wide margin, though not as wide as Kharecha and Hansen claim) – but we also need to consider the unique WMD proliferation risks associated with the nuclear industry as well as related security issues such as attacks on nuclear facilities.
But of course the ‘nuclear versus fossil fuels’ argument is a false one. When accidents and routine emissions are considered, renewables are clearly safer than either nuclear power or fossil fuels, and of course nuclear power’s proliferation and security risks don’t apply to renewables.
Yet Hansen falsely claims that “nuclear power has the best safety record of any energy technology.”
Nuclear WMD proliferation – there’s no way to stop it
Kharecha and Hansen correctly state that “Serious questions remain about [nuclear] safety, proliferation, and disposal of radioactive waste, which we have discussed in some detail elsewhere.” However the paper they cite barely touches upon the WMD proliferation problem and what little it does say is a mixture of codswallop and jiggery-pokery:
- It falsely claims that thorium-based fuel cycles are “inherently proliferation-resistant”. Irradiation of thorium produces fissile uranium-233 which can be – and has been – used in nuclear weapons.
- It falsely claims that integral fast reactors (IFRs) “could be inherently free from the risk of proliferation”. Dr George Stanford, who worked on an IFR R&D program in the US,notes that proliferators “could do [with IFRs] what they could do with any other reactor – operate it on a special cycle to produce good quality weapons material.”
- And the paper states that if “designed properly”, breeder reactors would generate “nothing suitable for weapons”. India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor will be the next fast neutron reactor to begin operation. India refuses to place it under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
John Carlson, former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office,describes the risks associated with India’s plans: “India has a plan to produce [weapons-grade] plutonium in fast breeder reactors for use as driver fuel in thorium reactors. This is problematic on non-proliferation and nuclear security grounds.
“Pakistan believes the real purpose of the fast breeder program is to produce plutonium for weapons (so this plan raises tensions between the two countries); and transport and use of weapons-grade plutonium in civil reactors presents a serious terrorism risk (weapons-grade material would be a priority target for seizure by terrorists).”
Hansen and his colleagues argue that “modern nuclear technology can reduce proliferation risks”. But are new reactors being made more resistant to weapons proliferation? In a word: No. Fast reactors have been used for weapons production in the past (e.g. by France) and will likely be used for weapons production in future (e.g. by India).
Thorium – another not-so-modern ‘modern’ nuclear technology – has also been used to produce weapons (e.g. by the US and India) and will likely be used for weapons production in future (e.g. India’s breeder/thorium program).
It is disingenuous – and dangerous – for Hansen to be waving away those problems with the claims that modern nuclear technology can somehow be made inherently proliferation-proof.
False hope: Generation IV nuclear technology
Here’s Hansen’s take on Generation IV nuclear technology – hyped up for it’s claimed ability to burn up nuclear waste. Nuclear waste “is not waste”, he writes. “It is fuel for 4th generation reactors! … The 4th generation reactors can ‘burn’ this waste, as well as excess nuclear weapons material, leaving a much smaller waste pile with radioactive half-life measured in decades rather than millennia, thus minimizing the nuclear waste problem.”
Hansen’s views take little or no account of the real-world experience with fast neutron reactors (and Generation IV technology more generally). That real-world experience is littered with accident-prone, obscenely expensive reactors (and R&D programs) that have worsened waste and proliferation problems. Most countries that have invested in fast reactor R&D programs have decided not to throw good money after bad and have abandoned those programs.
Hansen’s views are also at odds with reports published this year by the French and US governments. The report by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) – a government authority under the Ministries of Defense, the Environment, Industry, Research, and Health – states:
“There is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors, as well as for the fuel cycle and the associated waste management which depends on the system chosen.”
IRSN is also sceptical about safety claims: “At the present stage of development, IRSN does not notice evidence that leads to conclude that the systems under review are likely to offer a significantly improved level of safety compared with Generation III reactors, except perhaps for the VHTR [Very High Temperature Reactors] … “
Moreover the VHTR system could bring about significant safety improvements “but only by significantly limiting unit power”.
‘Technical challenges may result in higher-cost reactors than anticipated’
The US Government Accountability Office released a report in July on the status of small modular reactors (SMRs) and other ‘advanced’ reactor concepts in the US The report concluded:
“While light water SMRs and advanced reactors may provide some benefits, their development and deployment face a number of challenges. Both SMRs and advanced reactors require additional technical and engineering work to demonstrate reactor safety and economics …
“Depending on how they are resolved, these technical challenges may result in higher-cost reactors than anticipated, making them less competitive with large LWRs [light water reactors] or power plants using other fuels …
“Both light water SMRs and advanced reactors face additional challenges related to the time, cost, and uncertainty associated with developing, certifying or licensing, and deploying new reactor technology, with advanced reactor designs generally facing greater challenges than light water SMR designs. It is a multi-decade process … “
The glum assessments of the US and French governments are based on real-world experience. But Hansen prefers conspiracy theories to real-world experience, claiming that an IFR R&D program in the US was terminated due to pressure from environmentalists with devious motives.
The real reasons for the termination of the IFR program were mundane: legitimateproliferation concerns, the already-troubled history of fast reactor programs, the questionable rationale for pursuing fast reactor R&D given plentiful uranium supplies, and so on. But Hansen has a much more colourful explanation:
“I think it was because of the influence of the anti-nuclear people who realised that if this newer technology were developed it would mean that we would have an energy source that is practically inexhaustible – it could last for billions of years – and they succeeded in getting the Clinton administration to terminate the R&D for the fourth generation nuclear power plants.”
Wrong, stupid, and offensive: Hansen lines up with far-right nuts who argue that environmentalists want everyone living in caves. No wonder he is having so little success winning the green movement over.
Renewables and energy efficiency
“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future?”asks Hansen. “It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
But there are credible studies for the countries that Hansen mentions:
- USA: The Nuclear Information & Resource Service maintains a list of reportsdemonstrating the potential for the US (and Europe) to produce all electricity from renewables.
- China: A 2015 report by the China National Renewable Energy Centre finds that China could generate 85% of its electricity and 60% of total energy from renewables by 2050.
- India: A detailed 2013 report by WWF-India and The Energy and Resources Institute maps out how India could generate as much as 90% of total primary energy from renewables by 2050.
There is a growing body of research on the potential for renewables to largely or completely supplant fossil fuels for power supply globally.
The doubling of global renewable energy capacity over the past decade has been spectacular, with 783 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable power generation capacityinstalled from 2005 to 2014 – compared to a lousy 8 GW for nuclear.
As of the end of 2014, renewables supplied 22.8% of global electricity (hydro 16.6% and other renewables 6.2%). Nuclear power’s share of 10.8% is less than half of the electricity generation from renewables – and the gap is widening.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipates another 700 GW of new renewable power capacity from 2015-2020. The IEA report also outlines the spectacular cost reductions: the global average costs for onshore wind generation fell by 30% from 2010-2015, and are expected to decline a further 10% by 2020; while utility-scale solar PV fell two-thirds in cost and is expected to decline another 25% by 2020.
There’s also the spectacular potential of energy efficiency that Hansen sometimes ignores and sometimes pays lip-service to. A 2011 study by University of Cambridge academics concluded that a whopping 73% of global energy use could be saved by practically achievable energy efficiency and conservation measures.
Making nuclear power safe … how would you do it?
But let’s go with Hansen’s argument that renewables and energy efficiency aren’t up to the job of completely supplanting fossil fuels. It’s not an unreasonable place to go given that the task is Herculean and urgent.
What would make nuclear power more palatable, reducing the risk of Chernobyl- and Fukushima-scale catastrophes and reducing the WMD proliferation risks? ‘Super-safe’, ‘proliferation-resistant’ Generation IV reactor technology that’s both unproven and grossly uneconomic? Not likely.
So how about improved safety standards and stricter regulation? That’s something that really would reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents. A strengthened – and properly funded – safeguards system would reduce the WMD proliferation risks.
And therein lies the greatest irony of Hansen’s nuclear advocacy. Many of the environmental and anti-nuclear groups that he attacks have a commendable track record of campaigning for improved safety and regulatory standards and for improvements to the safeguards system.
Hansen has said little and done less about those issues.
Nuclear Monitor has been publishing deeply researched, often strongly critical articles on all aspects of the nuclear cycle since 1978. A must-read for all those who work on this issue! firstname.lastname@example.org
Petition for organizations: ‘Don’t nuke the climate – COP21!‘
Join our campaign to keep nuclear power out of COP21.
- Jusen Asuka, Seung-Joon Park, Mutsuyoshi Nishimura and Toru Morotomi, 31 Jan 2014, ‘Reply to the letter from Dr. Hansen and others‘.
- Nuclear Information & Resource Service, 2013, ‘Why Letter by Hansen et al Misses the Mark on Nuclear Power and Renewables‘.
Complimentary Event Features Industry Leaders, Policy Experts and Members of Academia Discussing Challenges and Opportunities for Nuclear Energy in Texas ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Bloomberg BNA today announced that it is hosting Nuclear Energy,Texas and the EPA Clean Power Plan, an afternoon conversation exploring the future role of nuclear energy in Texas. The fourth in a series of nationwide events underwritten by Nuclear Matters, the discussion is being held in Austin on Thursday, December 3 from3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Driskill Hotel Austin. ……
Medical radioactive wastes — the nuclear industry fig leaf, Independent Australia, 17 Nov 15 With modern developments in the non-nuclear production of medical isotopes, perhaps it’s also time to shut down the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and stop producing dangerous radioactive trash, writes Noel Wauchope.
Watching the Australian media last week, you would be sure that the government’s hunt for a nuclear waste disposal site was solely to do with medical wastes. Rarely do they mention the real impetus for this hasty search, which is Australia’s current obligation to take back processed nuclear wastes from France. Later, we will have to receive similar wastes returning from UK. …..
the vast majority of medical radioisotopes have very short half-lives, so there’s no need for them to be moved beyond the site of use…. The real problem is the returning intermediate level wastes from Australia’s used nuclear fuel rods reprocessed overseas….
it must be acknowledged that the medical radioisotopes produced at Lucas Heights do have their valuable uses in diagnostics and in the treatment of cancers.
However, it also must be recognised that all these radioisotopes can be produced without use of a nuclear reactor. This is happening increasingly and, rather like the distributed renewable energy boom, the world could be on the brink of a distributed medical radioisotope boom.
Canada and some in the USA certainly think so, judging by recent reports. The World Nuclear Association reports on University of British Columbia’s success in quadrupling the rate of production of medical radioisotopes using a (non-nuclear) cyclotron. Nova Scotia’s QEII Health Sciences Centre’s cyclotron was granted a Drug Establishment Licence (DEL) from Health Canada in June 2015
In USA, Niowave Inc, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and SHINE Medical Technologies, are competing in the market for medical isotopes, produced in a (non-nuclear) linear accelerator.
The non-nuclear production of medical isotopes has it all over the centralised production by nuclear reactor. This is not just because it eliminates the obvious dangers of nuclear wastes, weapons proliferation, terrorism risks, disastrous accident, and radiation emissions.
It’s because the greatest uses of medical radiopharmaceuticals involve very short-lived isotopes…….That makes them much better suited to localised production, in or near hospitals. The delivery of pharmaceuticals to patients is much more secure. In addition, the risk of transport accidents is close to zero……..
With all the fuss about finding a dump sites for ‘Olympic sized pools of medical radioactive waste‘, it is time for the government and media to fess up to the real purpose of this hunt. And with modern developments in the non-nuclear production of medical isotopes, perhaps it’s also time to shut down the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and stop producing dangerous radioactive trash.https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/medical-radioactive-wastes–the-nuclear-industry-fig-leaf,8384
Nuclear Power: Dead in the Water it Poisoned, CounterPunch, by JOHN LAFORGE NOVEMBER 5, 2015 On Feb. 11, 1985, the cover page of Forbes thundered, “The failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale.…”
Fourteen months later, reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl exploded and burned for 40 days, spreading radioactive fallout across the entire Northern Hemisphere, depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milkand Japan’s topsoil.
So how is it that Congressional representatives, TV network pundits, FOX ditto heads and even CNN program directors still promote nuclear power?
Part of the answer comes from American University researcher Judy Pasternak and her students. According to Pasternak’s 2010 study, the nuclear industry spent $645 million over 10 years lobbying Capitol Hill, and another $63 million in campaign contributions over the same period. Between 1999 and 2008, these millions manufactured the canard that nuclear power is “carbon free,” “clean” and can “help fend off climate change.” Prior to this spending blitz, the US nuclear power program was, because of the shock of accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, “pretty well dead in the water” — in the words of economist and author Jeremy Rifkin.
The lobbyists and check writers worked hard spinning the yarn that the richest and most pollution-intensive industrialists on earth were concerned about climate change and wanted to cut carbon emissions — but they didn’t convince everybody.
Independent scientists, free of corporate blinders and the market imperative of short term profit, scoff at “green nuke” propaganda. Continue reading
The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCPR) says, “…the Council assumes that, for radiation-protection purposes, the risk of stochastic [random] effects is proportional to dose without threshold…” (Emphasis added) In other words, “… every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer.”
Nuclear Power: Dead in the Water it Poisoned, CounterPunch, by JOHN LAFORGE NOVEMBER 5, 2015 “……….Another part of reactor greenwashing is the powerful influence of mis- and disinformation following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the resulting tsunami, and the catastrophic Fukushima radiation gusher that began March 11, 2011.
In reporting on the contamination of soil, tap water, rain water, groundwater, breast milk, vegetables, fish, baby food, animal feed, beef, and incinerator ash, radiation was and is almost always said to pose little or no “immediate” danger. This minimization is designed to and quite successfully does ease public concern and push Fukushima’s ongoing radio-contamination from public consciousness.
Contaminated spinach and milk “do not pose an immediate health threat,” NPR’s Giles Snyder reported April 19, 2011. The Agence France-Presse reported October 6, 2011, “An exposure of 100 millisieverts per year is considered the lowest level at which any increase in cancer risk is evident.” However, as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, “…any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.”
An April 11, 2011 Forbes report flatly misstated the US EPA’s published public warning about radiation. Noting that a Phoenix, Arizona, drinking water sample contained 3.2 pico-curies per liter of radioactive iodine-131 from Fukushima, and that the EPA’s maximum contaminant level is 3.0, the writer concluded, “EPA does not consider these levels to pose a health threat.” In fact, the EPA officially warns that “there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.”
This pattern of misstatement and official falsehood went to the very top of the food chain. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano famously declared March 11, 2011, “Let me repeat that there is no radiation leak, nor will there be a leak.” He later asked the public not to overreact to reports of radioactively contaminated food, saying, according to the BBC, “Even if you eat contaminated vegetables several times, it will not harm your health at all.”
President Obama followed suit. Continue reading
Exxon Sowed Doubt About Climate Science for Decades by Stressing Uncertainty
Collaborating with the Bush-Cheney White House, Exxon turned ordinary scientific uncertainties into weapons of mass confusion. Inside Climate News, David Hasemyer and John H. Cushman Jr. 23 Oct 15 As he wrapped up nine years as the federal government’s chief scientist for global warming research, Michael MacCracken lashed out at ExxonMobil for opposing the advance of climate science.
His own great-grandfather, he told the Exxon board, had been John D. Rockefeller’s legal counsel a century earlier. “What I rather imagine he would say is that you are on the wrong side of history, and you need to find a way to change your position,” he wrote.
No wonder: in the opening days of the oil-friendly Bush-Cheney administration, Exxon’s chief lobbyist had written the new head of the White House environmental council demanding that MacCracken be fired for “political and scientific bias.”
Exxon was also attacking other officials in the U.S. government and at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), MacCracken wrote, interfering with their work behind the scenes and distorting it in public.
Exxon wanted scientists who disputed the mainstream science on climate change to oversee Washington’s work with the IPCC, the authoritative body that defines the scientific consensus on global warming, documents written by an Exxon lobbyist and one of its scientists show. The company persuaded the White House to block the reappointment of the IPCC chairman, a World Bank scientist. Exxon’s top climate researcher, Brian Flannery, was pushing the White House for a wholesale revision of federal climate science. The company wanted a new strategy to focus on the uncertainties.
“To call ExxonMobil’s position out of the mainstream is thus a gross understatement,” MacCracken wrote. “To be in opposition to the key scientific findings is rather appalling for such an established and scientific organization.”
MacCracken had a long history of collaboration with Exxon researchers. He knew that during the 1970s and 1980s, well before the general public understood the risks of global warming, the company’s researchers had worked at the cutting edge of climate change science. He had edited and even co-authored some of their reports. So he found it galling that Exxon was now leading a concerted effort to sow confusion about fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect.
Exxon had turned a colleague into its enemy.
It was a vivid example of Exxon’s undermining of mainstream science and embrace of denial and misinformation, which became most pronounced after President George W. Bush took office. The campaign climaxed when Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Taking the U.S. out of the international climate change treaty was Exxon’s key goal, and the reason for its persistent emphasis on the uncertainty of climate science.
This in-depth series by InsideClimate News has explored Exxon’s early engagement with climate research more than 35 years ago – and its subsequent use of scientific uncertainty as a shield against forceful action on global warming. The series is based on Exxon documents, interviews, and other evidence from an eight-month investigation………. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/22102015/Exxon-Sowed-Doubt-about-Climate-Science-for-Decades-by-Stressing-Uncertainty
Engineers seek to educate about role of nuclear energy, Technican, North Carolina, October 22, 2015 Alex Kanora, Correspondent
Participating in the National Nuclear Science Week for the fifth time, NC State’s nuclear engineers are spending this week educating fellow students about the everyday presence of nuclear science, from electricity to textiles.
The primary goal of National Nuclear Science Week is to demystify what it means to study nuclear engineering and celebrate its role in society, according to Lisa Marshall, director of Outreach, Retention and Engagement for the department of nuclear engineering. ……..
Tuesday evening at Talley Student Union, nuclear engineering students showed “Pandora’s Promise,” a documentary that explains misconceptions and why skeptics were turned into believers in nuclear power. …..“Many people think of nuclear science as a weapons technology, which in turn keeps people from believing that nuclear energy is a great source of renewable energy,” Marshall said. …… http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_b2d156e8-7873-11e5-8076-5ff13e669dad.html
IAEA to boost nuclear education in Europe and Asia http://www.energylivenews.com/2015/10/19/iaea-to-boost-nuclear-education-in-europe-and-asia/ An agreement has been signed by 12 universities to improve regional co-operation in transferring nuclear knowledge.
It aims to bring together universities from six countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
It is the fifth regional network launched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It aims to collaborate in nuclear education programmes and nuclear industry-oriented training centres.
Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General, said: “This translates into a rising demand for nuclear educational and training programmes to meet a continued necessity for highly qualified nuclear professionals.”
The IAEA recently inspected the safety of a Japanese nuclear plant.
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 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
A decline in nuclear power has been ongoing in the United States. There are 99 nuclear reactors in operation in 30 states, but the industry’s growth has stalled significantly. In 2013, four reactors went out of service, and another was shut down in December 2014. Two nuclear reactor licenses were approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012, which was a bright point for the industry. But those were the first nuclear licenses approved since 1978………
Dr Lawrence Lindsey spoke during a conference of nuclear power industry leaders gathered Wednesday at the Westin Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Called “Nuclear Going Forward” and underwritten by the advocacy group Nuclear Matters, the power brokers were there to discuss the industry’s future…….
“This is the time we need to start making decisions and start providing some certainty for the industry………
it’s a matter of extolling the virtues of nuclear — and staying course………
Photos of what the Manhattan Project’s plutonium bomb did to human beings at Nagasaki prove the point. There is radioactive blowback in the fact that the thousands of tons of plutonium created since 1945 is so dangerously hot and long-lived that, like the underworld itself, nobody knows how to handle it at all — except maybe to trivialize it.
Hoping perhaps to show that the bomb from hell can be transformed from a vengeful, self-destructive, nightmare demon, into a benign, peace-loving, fairy-tale prince, nuclear propagandists and their friends in Congress are establishing nuclear war theme parks — without the taint of mass destruction — at former bomb factories and nuclear weapons launch pads all across the country: Continue reading
Cancer, Coverups and Contamination: The Real Cost of Nuclear Energy 27th September 2015 Andreas Toupadakis Ph.D Contributing Writer for Wake Up World “…….many nuclear industry advocates actually maintain that low-dose nuclear radiation is in fact beneficial to human health. Their theory, known as the “Hormesis Effect”, is deliberate industry propaganda. The human body perceives radiation as a threat to its existence, which results in an intense immune response. The short term result of this immune activity can be a short-term improvement of other existing ailments, however the immune system cannot work permanently in such a state of stress, and as environmental exposure continues, human health inevitably deteriorates. This is also the conclusion of the ECRR which concludes that…
“… hormesis may exist, but if it does exist its long-term effects are likely to be harmful… [When exposed to radiation] immune system surveillance is being potentiated in the short term … [however] the existence of radiation-inducible repair means that the repair systems themselves may be open to attack, also by radiation… If cells were induced into a state of high sensitivity for repair replication, then the cell line would undergo a greater rate of replication throughout the period of stress, and… the consequence of the short-term advantage conferred by hormesis is… accumulated DNA damage caused by high numbers of replication-copying processes.”
Over fifty years ago, questions on radiation and toxicity hazards were raised by at least three groups – the the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP), and the Federal Radiation Council (FRC). Continue reading
International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fukushima Report puts the interests of the nuclear industry first http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/IAEA-Fukushima-Daiichi-accident-report/blog/54198/?__surl__=Ig26R&__ots__=1443134068370&__step__=1 t by Justin McKeating – 24 September, 2015
The report draws conclusions when it should be highlighting major uncertainties and a lack of data surrounding the Fukushima disaster. It downplays the ongoing environmental and health effects of the disaster and misrepresents the current radiological crisis in the Fukushima region.
It’s clear that the IAEA is putting the interests of the nuclear industry before those of the disaster’s many victims. Its report does not accurately reflect the utter failure of the nuclear industry, and most nuclear regulators globally, to learn and implement the lessons of the Fukushima disaster. Not only that, it glosses over the seriously flawed nature of nuclear safety regulation in Japan right now.
And so Greenpeace Japan, together with Japanese civil society organisations, has sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano, challenging the conclusions of the IAEA’s Fukushima report as inadequate and flawed.
The IAEA says no discernible health consequences are expected as a result of the Fukushima disaster. This, while it admits uncertainties about both radiation exposure and its long-term effects. The recently released IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Accident Report on Japan’s on-going nuclear disaster in the wake of the 2011 triple reactor core meltdowns and catastrophic containment building failure reads more like nuclear industry propaganda than the so-called authoritative and balanced scientific assessment the agency attempts to claim it is.The truth is that nobody knows how much radiation citizens were exposed to in the immediate days following the disaster. If the IAEA can’t give accurate figures about radiation exposure, how can it say there won’t be any consequences? This is political spin and PR, not science.
Not only that, but the report supports the Japanese government’s agenda to make it appear that things can return to normal after a nuclear disaster.
Why else would the IAEA seek to justify Japanese government policy of lifting evacuation orders in increasingly contaminated areas in Fukushima? This strips returning evacuees of much needed and deserved compensation and may force many to return to areas where radiation levels remain dangerously high.
This is all part of the propaganda push to overcome huge public opposition in Japan to restarting Japan’s 42 shutdown nuclear reactors. It’s about normalising the Fukushima disaster. There is nothing normal about the exposure rates that former Fukushima citizens are being asked to return to.
Only a truly independent international commission that can investigate the causes, consequences, and implications of the accident can provide the Japanese people and the wider world with the unbiased information and accountability they need.
The nuclear industry will continue putting profit before people and safety – that’s what it does. But the IAEA should begin protecting people from the nuclear industry, not acting as its PR company. Justice demands it.
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