In Libya now being recorded by the WHO (world health organization), the highest deformation in fetuses inside Libya and reached 23% of newborns and also the high incidence of new forms of cancer that were not known among ordinary Libyans and now amounting to 18% of the total of cancers that have been diagnosed by the organization’s branch in Libya .
Despite this serious health disaster countries involved with NATO are now demanding that Libya pay them one billion seven hundred million dollars for their help in toppling the Gaddafi regime.
NATO War Crimes In Libya: Deformities of Newborns Because of Depleted Uranium Bombs http://libyanfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/nato-war-crimes-in-libya-deformities-of-newborns-because-of-depleted-uranium-bombs/ Libyans knew that depleted uranium was being used by NATO in their bombing raids and they were very concerned.
There is no doubt that NATO/US broke every agreement imposed by the Geneva Convention.
War crimes against humanity in Libya by NATO and its member countries is unmatched in the world. Continue reading
Niger fails to reach uranium mining deal with French nuclear firm Areva Deadlock over royalties as Oxfam points out Areva’s global turnover is more than four times Niger’s entire annual budget Guardian Celeste Hicks in Niamey, 28 Feb 14, Another deadline has passed without agreement in Niger in the government’s ongoing negotiations with the French nuclear company Areva on the renewal of the company’s license to operate in the country.
After months of discussions, the mining minister, Omar Tchiana, said last week that Friday would be the final deadline for the two sides to strike a deal. Now it has been agreed that talks will continue without a fixed deadline.
The negotiations are deadlocked on the issue of the royalties Areva pays Niger for the rights to two large uranium mines, Somair and Cominak in the arid north of the country. The terms of the original deal struck in the early 1970s have never been made public, but government sources say the company pays about 5.5% of its revenues in royalties. Niger wants the terms of a new mining code passed in 2006 to be implemented, which would force Areva to pay between 12% and 15% in royalties, and end a number of tax breaks on materials and equipment.
“Niger has not benefited at all from uranium production for 40 years. These contracts need to be win-win for Niger and not just for the benefit of France and Areva” said Ali Idrissa, the executive co-ordinator of the civil society group Rotab. The issue is of huge significance to the country, which ranks bottom of the UN’s human development index. According to Oxfam, Areva’s annual turnover of €9bn ($12.4bn) is more than four times Niger’s entire annual budget of €2bn…….
the current negotiations between Areva and the government are still less than transparent, and steps towards establishing a FGF and prioritising its spending have not been implemented…….
It is likely that Niger will be able to leverage a better deal from Areva, despite the company’s claims that a higher royalty rate could make the operation prohibitively unprofitable……http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/28/niger-fails-uranium-mining-deal-french-firm-areva
World’s Poorest Suffer From Radioactive Sickness as Areva Mines for Uranium http://ecowatch.com/2014/01/24/worlds-poorest-radioactive-areva-uranium/Brandon Baker | January 24, 2014 More than 60 percent of Niger’s population lives on less than $1 per day, and even more have no electricity.
Still, French company Areva keeps contaminating those residents and their environment while mining away for uranium—one of the few resources the world’s poorest country still has. Continue reading
There are few studies to verify the impacts of radiation poisoning on communities because no one with power will fund them, and those impacted are unable to fight corrupt politicians and corporations on their own because they’re poor, isolated, sick, or dead. It apparently doesn’t matter anyway because our County Commissioners and other uranium advocates disregard facts and personal experience as “anecdotal evidence.”
Uranium mining decimates economies and communities Post Independent Citizen Telegram, Robyn Parker, 23 Jan 14 On Jan. 14, Mesa County Commissioners unanimously voted to permit a uranium mine near Gateway Canyons Resort and John Brown Road, a popular public lands access route. They argued that uranium mining will create a new tourism and recreation industry. Commissioner Justman explained how New Yorkers will appreciate an opportunity to brag to their friends about seeing a real uranium mine.
“How cool would that be?” he asked.
As a person who grew up in a community so contaminated by the uranium industry that the area was declared a Superfund site shortly before I graduated from high school, I can’t help but disagree with Mr. Justman and say it wouldn’t be cool at all. Virtually every point made at the permit hearing last week in favor of a new Mesa County uranium mine should have been used as argument to deny the permit, yet Commissioners perceived those weaknesses as assets. Continue reading
Low uranium prices take toll on African exploration, Ft.com Jan 21, 2014 Low uranium prices, especially in the post-Fukushima era, are taking a toll on African exploration.
Between 2005 and 2007, the uranium price increased steeply from $20 per pound ($44 per kg) to almost $140 per pound ($311 per kg) during what came to be described as a ‘nuclear renaissance’……
But the spot price decreased after 2007. By late 2013 it had dropped to $35 per pound ($78 per kg), a challenge for an industry characterised by long timelines and heavy investments. Countries keen on building new nuclear capacity seemed to stall, including the US and the UK. Then came the Fukushima crisis, which “raised questions in the public mind about the feasibility and desirability of nuclear. It came on top of already negative market developments,” according to Ian Anthony, a nuclear expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Finally, the shale boom brought gas into the spotlight, and nuclear lost a little of its shine.
Low price trends also caused a delay to a feasibility study of Zambia’s Chirundu mine, and Areva was forced to postpone work on its Bakouma project in the Central African Republic for the same reason. The country’s serious conflict since has undermined the investment case further.
This has left companies in the lurch. In June 2013, Paladin boss John Borshoff warned that a minimum $70 per pound price level was necessary to justify investment and give risk reward to shareholders, adding that such a price appeared to be “a long way away”.
Big players are struggling too, with the likes of Areva left holding significant extraction investments which turned out to be commercial white elephants when there was no short term demand. Similar challenges have faced BHP Billiton and Canada’s Cameco in other regions…..http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/01/21/low-uranium-prices-take-toll-on-african-exploration/#axzz2rFiM1T6k
Urenco hit by slowdown in uranium enrichment market By Sylvia Pfeifer Ft.com 22 Jan 14 Urenco, the uranium enrichment company being privatised by its government and utility owners, expects revenues for the past 12 months to be down “around 5 per cent” on record levels of €1.6bn in 2012.
It blamed a continued slowdown of the enrichment market but stressed that despite the expected drop for the year to end December 2013, there had been “a substantial rebalancing of revenue” in the second half of the year.
Thorium Nuclear Information Resources http://kevinmeyerson.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/thorium-nuclear-information-resources/ There is a rash of misinformation on the net about the supposed merits of the ‘new’ nuclear energy source on the block, thorium. I am sure that in a perfect world where nobody lies, thorium would be the perfect answer to the world’s energy needs as is claimed. This is unfortunately not the case.
Apparently, every time there is a new nuclear catastrophe, the thorium ‘miracle’ is promoted again as the ‘savior’ for the world. The Fukushima nuclear radiation catastrophe was not unique and the thorium misinformation artists have come out in droves. It’s the nuclear industry’s defense mechanism – create a new ‘safety myth’ that regular people can latch onto.
In reality, the thorium nuclear fuel cycle has been under development since the very early days of the nuclear industry. India, for example, has spent decades trying to commercialize it, and has failed. The US, Russia, Germany, and many others tried and failed as well. At best, thorium based nuclear power generation may be commercialized in a few decades.
I doubt it.
Fortunately, there are a number of independent trustworthy and expert sources of information on the internet regarding thorium nuclear. Here they are: Continue reading
Niger uranium mining dispute a test case for use of African natural resources by Mark Tran Friday 10 January 2014 theguardian.com The wrangle between Niger and a state-owned French firm over payments for uranium extraction has wider ramifications
The protracted negotiations on uranium mining between Niger andAreva, the French energy multinational, are not just a trial of strength between an African government and a big company. The face-off will also test whether there is more than just pious sentiment to the notion that African countries should derive greater benefit from their natural resources.
Areva, which owns stakes in the Somair and Cominak mines, has been negotiating with Niger over new uranium mining contracts for two years. The mines’ 10-year licences expired on 31 December without a new agreement, although Niger issued a decree on 27 December providing a legal framework under the 2006 mining law for operations to continue.
The company is tight-lipped on discussions……..
The mines have been closed since mid-December for what Areva describes as routine maintenance. Some see the move as hardball tactics by the company to put pressure on the Nigerien government.
At heart of the matter is the country’s desire for a better deal. Niger accounts for more than a third of Areva’s uranium production, and President Mahamadou Issoufou’s government wants to increase the royalties the company pays from 5.5% of revenues to 12%, officials told Reuters…….
Niger is desperately poor, ranking last of the 187 countries in the 2012 UN Human Development Index. Three-quarters of its people live on less than $2 a day and malnutrition is rife, with the country beset by droughts. Although mining made up 70.8% of Niger’s exports in 2010, it contributed only 5.8% of the country’s gross domestic product.
According to a report from Oxfam France and the Niger arm of Publish What You Pay, the transparency group, Areva’s two mines produced uranium worth more than €3.5bn (£2.9bn) in 2010, but Niger received just €459m, or 13% of this amount. In 2012 Areva received tax exemptions worth €320m, the report says….http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/jan/10/niger-uranium-mining-dispute-african-natural-resource
Ankara ‘adds’ uranium clause in nuclear deal with Tokyo, Hurriyet Daily News, 9 Jan 14 ISTANBUL/TOKYO Ankara demanded allowance for uranium enrichment and plutonium extraction in a nuclear export deal inked with Tokyo, a Japanese daily quoted as a Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying.
A clause, which was added in the nuclear agreement signed by the two nations, upon Turkey’s demand prompted concerns over a possible proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The clause at issue allows Turkey to enrich uranium and extract plutonium, potentially creating nuclear material for weapons, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported on Jan. 8…..http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nuclear-deal-with-turkey-stirs-concerns-in-japan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60729&NewsCatID=34
Niger and France reach impasse on uranium talks EurActiv 7 Jan 14 Negotiations between Niger and the French nuclear energy conglomerate Areva have hardened as the two sides seek to reach an agreement on uranium extraction in the Western African country. EurActiv.fr reports.
The talks are still ongoing despite a 31 December deadline, with fiscal matters seen as the most sensitive issue.
Discussions centre on the implementation of Niger’s 2006 mining law that allows Niamey to increase taxes on uranium extraction. Areva refuses to comply with the taxation rules and wants to conserve the fiscal exonerations foreseen by the previous extraction agreement.
Although uranium represents 70% of Niger’s exports, it only contributes 5.8% to its GDP, according to Oxfam, the development NGO. …….
“The mines are under maintenance until mid-January,” Areva says, refusing to link the progress in the negotiations with the current maintenance operations.
For Oxfam, this is no less than blackmail. “This is typical for this kind of trade negotiations: laying-off employees temporarily, thereby raising the spectre of unemployment,” claims Anne-Sophie Simpere, an advisor at Oxfam.
Areva is also using another lever in the negotiation, warning about the drop in global demand for uranium since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. According to the French multinational, the Japanese nuclear disaster has put the profitability of the two mines in Niger at risk…..http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy/negotiations-niger-france-areva-news-532604
Uranium mining: everything about it is negative http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674uranium_mining_everything_about_it_is_negative/ Dale DewarWynard, Sask.3 Jan 14, “There is probably fairly low probability that mining will even occur” NUNATSIAQ NEWS Youth should be congratulated on tackling the issue of uranium mining in Nunavut.
Both sides sound as though they did their research thoroughly. Unfortunately the “economic benefit” argument is based upon promise and not fact. What little research that has been done does not support the argument for local benefit. The few unskilled jobs that go locally provide money that accrues to individuals, not communities. The government of Nunavut may benefit from royalties — but as Saskatchewan recently discovered, even that was banked in Switzerland to avoid taxes.
What kind of legacy does uranium mining leave? The natural situation can never be restored; 85 per cent of the nuclear radiation bound up in the rock will be left on the surface.
The industry speaks of “reclamation” but even that is more an unfulfilled promise than fact. The area can never be normal again. Mines in northern Saskatchewan still spill toxic tailings into waters bound for the Arctic Ocean. Mining in Niger (North Africa) has been going on since 1968 with not a whisper of reclamation. Two million tonnes of radioactive tailings were dumped into local surface waters in Gabon (also Africa.)
Containment in Australia recently ruptured and is still spreading into the surface waters of the surrounding Indigenous lands. The mining company in Navajo Territory in the south-western United States transferred its assets and then declared bankruptcy.
Reclamation, such as it is, is extremely expensive. Germany began reclamation of a collection of mines referred to as WISMUT in the 1990s —to date, close to twelve billion dollars have been spent and the job is not complete.
The tailings from a proposed mine in Tanzania expected to produce uranium for 20 years has a clean-up price tag of four billion dollars.
Given that uranium has only two end uses — nuclear power and nuclear bombs — no renaissance for the first and no desire for the second, there is probably fairly low probability that mining will even occur.
The industry and the argument will serve only to divide a community that needs to work together to tackle challenging times.
Reuters Breakout Series Focuses on China’s Interest in Thorium, The Energy Collective December 23, 2013 Reuters is running a series titled Breakout: Inside China’s Military Buildout. Installment number 6 is titled The U.S. government lab behind Beijing’s nuclear power push. The title is misleading; it is not about China’s world-leading, multibillion-dollar program. That program includes 29 large commercial nuclear plants currently under construction. Instead, the article focuses on a $350 million research program to evaluate the use of thorium as an alternative nuclear fission fuel source.
The Reuters piece includes a number of statements about the comparison between thorium and uranium that are debatable, at best, but whose source should be obvious to anyone that has been involved in any discussions with thorium advocates. It neglects the fact that uranium and thorium produce approximately the same mix of radioactive fission products. Systems using thorium need to pay just as much attention to decay heat removal as systems using uranium.
The article partially blames Admiral Rickover for the nuclear industry’s initial focus on uranium, without ever mentioning that the single most impressive use of thorium in an operating reactor took place under Admiral Rickover’s direction………
There is not a single mention in the article that Rickover’s Shippingport nuclear power plant was the site of the successful test of the Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR)between 1977 and 1982. That demonstration plant…..used a carefully engineered nuclear reactor core with uranium-233 as the fissile material and thorium-232 as fertile material…….detailed destructive post irradiation testing determined that the core contained about 2% more U-233 at the end of operation than it did at the beginning.
Uranium – the ‘demon metal’ that threatens us all, Ecologist, Chris Busby, 1st January 2014 Ingested Uranium is linked with health impacts far greater than is explained by orthodox risk models. Chris Busby explains how the ‘demon metal’ does its damage – and why the nuclear industry is desperate to hide the truth. I am going to ramble about a bit here, but it’s a bit of a rambling tale, which I hope will come together at the end………
Fallujah – shake, bake, irradiate In 2009 I helped organize the first study of cancer and infant mortality in Fallujah Iraq – a paper which has now had 27,000 accesses and 18,000 downloads from the journal website and has been something of a phenomenon in the media (though not of course the BBC).
The results showed an enormous increase in cancer, and this was most clear for in children (0-14) where the rate was 12.6 times the expected and in leukemia in young adults 0-34 where the rate was 38 times the expected.
Now these are pretty astonishing findings. The biggest leukemia increase in Hiroshima was about 17-fold, and this was ascribed to radiation exposures. But whatever caused this in Fallujah, also increased rates of congenital defects in the newborn and altered the sex ratio at birth.
The sex ratio, the number of boys born per 1000 girls, fell from 1050 to about 800, a signal of genetic damage. We looked for the cause of this genetic damage in the hair of the mothers of the birth defect children and found a huge excess of Uranium. This result also caused a splash, with 16,000 accesses to the paper since its publication in 2011.
Uranium weapons cause genetic damage Of course, these Fallujah studies just confirmed what the Iraqi doctors had been saying ever since Gulf War 1 when the US vapourised about 350 tons of the stuff over the Iraqi population. Uranium weapons were causing the genetic damage.
There were reports of similar effects in the Balkans and in Gulf war veterans and their children. Discussion can be found in these papers and the third one, where the congenital malformation rates are calculated.
The UK Gulf veterans are now in their 40s and are beginning to develop cancer. There are studies showing that US veterans have had children with birth defects. I have been involved in a number of Gulf war cancer cases in Ministry of Defence Pensions appeals, and notably in a coroner inquest in 2009 into the death of Gulf Veteran Stuart Dyson.
He died from colon cancer at the young age (for that disease) of 40, and the jury concluded that his cancer was caused by Depleted Uranium exposure, a finding that caused severe headaches for the Secretary of State for Defence.
The UK Grapple Y 3 megaton test on Christmas Island in 1958 (video here ~ 1 minute) involved a 4 ton lump of the stuff that was atomized by the explosion and created a black rain of Uranium oxide nanoparticles that fell from the sky (along with fish that had been sucked from the sea into the cloud).
The nuclear test veterans have suffered all the same effects: cancers and a whole range of health problems. And birth defects in the children. I know about the birth defects as a result of an epidemiological study I carried out with Mireille de Messieres in 2007. This showed a 9-fold excess risk of a congenital defect in the children and an 8- fold excess in the grandchildren.
And I know about the Uranium in the bombs and the black rain as it is evidence in the case I am currently fighting in the Royal Courts of Justice in a nuclear test veteran Pensions Appeal……..http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2205213/uranium_the_demon_metal_that_threatens_us_all.html
Uranium – the ‘demon metal’ that threatens us all, Ecologist, Chris Busby, 1st January 2014 Fatally flawed – the concept of ‘dose’ “………..We can go back now and ask about the health effects following the Hiroshima bombs. The increase in cancer in the group of Japanese survivors has been and still is the foundation of the current radiation risk model. Of course, the cancers have been correlated with the radiation dose, a huge acute sudden gamma ray dose from the A-bomb.
But what if ‘dose’ is not the correct quantity to predict or explain the cancers? What if the internal exposures to the fallout caused much bigger effects?
Then the ‘control group’, those who were not there at the time of the detonation would also be affected, and the differential cancer yield based on ‘dose’ would be meaningless. There is recent interest in this and in the link between the ‘black rain’ and the cancers.
I jump now to France in 2010 where I am at a big meeting on radiation and health at the University of Paris Sud. I talk with Dr Irina Guseva Canu who has spent several years studying the French Uranium workers. She can’t get her results published, could she cite me as a referee to the journals?
When her findings finally appear in the literature in a rather diluted form they show that the Uranium workers suffer excess risk of leukemia and lymphomas, and also heart disease.
The ‘doses’ are very low, but are not given, though by a forensic analysis of her three papers, they can be deduced. On the basis of the current risk model they are 2,500 times too small to account for the cancers.
There is plenty of other published work that points to the dangers of Uranium exposures, mainly from inhalation of dust particles. There is chromosome analysis of Gulf War Veterans, of New Zealand Test veterans, and of Uranium workers in Namibia. There are laboratory studies of genetic and genomic effects in cell cultures, and there are the cancer rates in North Carolina by Uranium content in soils.
How did the experts get it so wrong?
Apart from the ‘skullduggery argument’, here is a possible answer. There are two things about Uranium which were known since the 1960s but not assembled into a health hazard argument.
Perhaps because of the agreement signed between the WHO and the IAEA in 1959. Perhaps because the scientists in the area were mainly physicists and not interested in the biology of internal exposures. Who knows? Maybe no-one thought of it.
First, Uranium has enormous chemical affinity for DNA and binds to chromosomes. This was discovered in 1961 and ever since then Uranyl salts have been the electron-microscope stain of choice for imaging.
The reason they create such clear, sharp images is that Uranium has the highest atomic number (92) of any natural element. Its 92 electrons block the passage of the electron microscope beam.
But that’s not all they do. They also block gamma rays. The absorption of gamma radiation (natural background radiation) by any element is proportional to roughly the fifth power of the atomic number Z .
So clearly Uranium (like lead (Z = 82), but considerably more so) blocks the passage through the body (the oxygen in water has Z=8) of background gamma radiation.
Uranium in tissues acts as a gamma ray damage multiplier
The energy from the gamma rays, absorbed by the Uranium, is therefore converted into fast photoelectrons – and these smash through the nearest tissue. And of course, the nearest tissue is the DNA in the chromosomes and in mitochondria or any other tissue that the Uranium is bound to.
This idea, as an explanation for all the anomalous biological effects of Uranium was advanced by me first in the CERRIE conference in 2004 and next in a series of papers and reports from various conferences, and an outline can be found on the web. The theory was also reported in New Scientist in 2008 in How war debris could cause cancer.
So if you have Uranium inside you, a lot of it is on the DNA (nuclear scientists say its on the phosphate in the bones, but DNA is phosphate also). And it then acts as an antenna sitting on the DNA – converting background radiation into photoelectrons which smash up the chromosomes like an egg whisk.
Note that to do this the Uranium does not need to be radioactive – just to have a very heavy nucleus with a high atomic number. Of course all isotopes of Uranium are radioactive as well, but the main natural isotopes, U-238 and U-235, are only mildly so. Their health impacts are far, far greater than can be accounted for by its own emissions of radiation.
Hence the chromosome damage found in the miners, the test veterans and the Gulf veterans and the Chernobyl liquidators, all disproportionate by large multiples to their radiation doses…….http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2205213/uranium_the_demon_metal_that_threatens_us_all.html
History shows uranium mine could face voter whims, Argus Leader, 28 Dec 13 Statewide initiated ballot measures previously defeated plans to develop former munitions depot near Edgemont The opponents of a uranium mining proposal in the southern Black Hills say they have an ace in the hole if efforts to block the project at the state and national levels are unsuccessful.
That ace in the hole? The people of South Dakota.
The opponents of Powertech Uranium Corp.’s application to mine about 15 miles northwest of Edgemont have vowed that they will take the issue directly to the people in the form of an initiated measure. That would happen if Powertech wins the appropriate permits to begin a process known as in-situ leach mining.
It’s not an idle threat.
Three times in the past 30 years, opponents of controversial projects near Edgemont have collected enough signatures to force statewide votes. The results in each case have favored project opponents…….
Powertech has applied for a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to recover uranium at the Dewey-Burdock site, which was the location for uranium pit mining in the 1950s until 1973. The company also has applied with the Environmental Protection Agency for a permit to inject water used in the mining process into deep underground wells.
The company also must get mining and water rights permits from the state. Hearings for those permits started earlier this fall, but both state boards decided to postpone any further hearings until after the EPA and NRC have made determinations about Powertech’s proposal.
In-situ leach mining is a process in which oxygenated water is injected into underground geologic formations that contain uranium. The water solution dissolves the uranium, and the uranium laden water is pumped back to the surface where the uranium is extracted and sent for processing to become nuclear fuel.
The water is re-injected into the geologic formation, and the cycle continues until there is no longer enough recoverable uranium in the well area.
Opponents fear that the in-situ leach well fields will contaminate drinking water with radioactive uranium and other chemicals freed by the mining process…..
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