Chernobyl Radiation Still Blows Across Europe http://www.earthweek.com/2015/ew150220/ew150220b.html Lingering fallout in the soil around Ukraine’s crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant is still spreading over parts of Europe when local wildfires lift the contamination into the atmosphere.
Nearly 30 years after arguably the world’s worst nuclear accident, a new study led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research used satellite images from 2002, 2008 and 2010 to detect three fires in the forests of Ukraine and Belarus near Chernobyl.
The findings were then compared with measurements of radioactive cesium-137 deposited on the area, and fed into models of air movements and fires.
Smoke from the fires was found to have carried between 2 and 8 percent of the cesium-137 in the soil as far south as Turkey and as far west as Italy and Scandinavia.
Even though the contamination was at nearly insignificant levels by the time it reached those areas, the researchers said better forest management and construction of fire breaks could help cut down on the Chernobyl area fires.
But they say the radiation seems to be inhibiting the decay of leaf litter on the ground that can help spark the blazes. The contamination may have killed off the key insects and microorganisms that promote natural breakdown of the leaves.
Strong effects of ionizing radiation from Chernobyl on mutation rates, Scientific Reports, Anders Pape Møller& Timothy A. Mousseau Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 8363doi:10.1038/srep08363 Received 25 September 2014 Accepted 16 December 2014 Published 10 February 2015
In this paper we use a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between radiation and mutation rates in Chernobyl across 45 published studies, covering 30 species. Overall effect size of radiation on mutation rates estimated as Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient was very large (E = 0.67; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.59 to 0.73), accounting for 44.3% of the total variance in an unstructured random-effects model. Fail-safe calculations reflecting the number of unpublished null results needed to eliminate this average effect size showed the extreme robustness of this finding (Rosenberg’s method: 4135 at p = 0.05). Indirect tests did not provide any evidence of publication bias.
The effect of radiation on mutations varied among taxa, with plants showing a larger effect than animals. Humans were shown to have intermediate sensitivity of mutations to radiation compared to other species. Effect size did not decrease over time, providing no evidence for an improvement in environmental conditions.
The surprisingly high mean effect size suggests a strong impact of radioactive contamination on individual fitness in current and future generations, with potentially significant population-level consequences, even beyond the area contaminated with radioactive material………http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150210/srep08363/full/srep08363.html
USA and Russia should not ignore Mikhail Gorbachev’s warning on the nuclear war danger of the Ukraine crisis
Gorbachev issues new warning of nuclear war over Ukraine http://www.dw.de/gorbachev-issues-new-warning-of-nuclear-war-over-ukraine/a-18182899 9 Jan 15 Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the crisis in Ukraine could lead to a major war, or even a nuclear war. In an interview with a German magazine, he criticized both Russia and the West. In an interview with the German weekly news magazine Spiegel, 83-year-old former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the crisis in Ukraine could lead to large-scale war in Europe or even a nuclear war. “We won’t survive if someone loses their nerves in the current tension.”
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate decried the “loss of trust” between Russia and the West as “catastrophic,” and said ties must be “defrosted.” Gorbachev accused the West and NATO of destroying the structure of European security by expanding its alliance. “No head of the Kremlin can ignore such a thing,” he said, adding that the US was unfortunately starting to establish a “mega empire.”
The man seen as a key player in the reunification of former East and West Germany in 1990 also accused Germany of interfering in Ukraine’s crisis, saying, “The new Germany wants its hands in every pie. There seems to be a lot of people who want to be involved in a new division of Europe. “Germany has already tried to expand its influence of power towards the East – in the Second World War. Does it really need another lesson?”
He said Western attempts to disempower Russian President Vladimir Putin and destabilize Russia were “very stupid and extremely dangerous.” He defended the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula last year, but criticized the Russian leader’s authoritarian style of leadership. He said Russia needed free elections and “the participation of the people in free elections.
“It is simply not acceptable when someone such as the anti-corruption blogger and politician Alexei Navalny is under house arrest for speaking out.”
Recent warnings Gorbachev has warned of a nuclear war on a number of occasions in recent months. In an article for the Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published on December 11, he warned: “The situation in Europe and the world is extremely alarming … the result of the events that took place in the last months is a catastrophic loss of trust in international relation,” which could lead to war. He urged Russia and the US as well as Russia and the EU to hold talks “without preconditions” and without fear of “losing face.”
“We must think of the future,” the former leader said.
The ministers are expected to discuss the possibility of a summit of the four countries’ leaders in Kazakhstan, which Ukraine had suggested take place on January 15.
Regarding the fragile four-month-old ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, which has been broken on a number of occasions, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter S
What’s profitable for the nuclear industry in the US and Japan is toxic for the EU, particularly its more environmental and anti-nuclear member-nations including Germany and Austria, which will have no choice but to accept this legal precedent for continent-wide fracking and a revival of nuclear power.
Ukraine Energy Wars Are Leading To A Fukushima-Chernobyl Debacle In Europe
By Yoichi Shimatsu. Rense1-5-15
|full article at http://www.rense.com/general96/ukraineenenerg.html|
|Clashes over energy in Ukraine between the West and Russia could prompt another Chernobyl-type accident or a catastrophe on the order of a Fukushima that will complete the nuclear devastation of the Northern Hemisphere. As news media fixate on conflicts over pipelines that supply Europe with Russian gas, another energy war is erupting over control of Ukraine’s nuclear-power industry, which generates half that nation’s electricity.Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuk’s campaign for “energy independence” from Russian-sourced natural gas and nuclear fuel is not a study in cost control, economic security or even national sovereignty. His corporate-giveaway policies are actually a concession to Western energy interests in return for their influence over the EU, which can provide loans to avert an imminent default on Kiev’s debt to the IMF and World Bank. With an annual budget shortfall of $15 billion and a currency collapse, Ukraine is staggering under external sovereign debt estimated at between $140 and $200 billion.
The IMF and World Bank have halted further transfers of loan tranches to Kiev, which is now unable to make payments on its gas imports from Russia. Kiev policymakers are therefore desperately looking to expand their nuclear industry. Unfortunately two recent accidents at its largest nuclear-power plant highlight the serious risks to a nation still grappling with the long-term effects of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. ……….
Preface by Washington’s Blog: Investigative journalism requires asking questions in the face of potential cover-ups. Guest writer George Eliason is asking question, and admitting both that (1) the reports are unconfirmed and (2) he doesn’t have the necessary expertise to render an authoritative opinion on this issue.
By George Eliason, an American journalist living in Ukraine.
Over the last week more publications including Zero Hedge have started reporting on the possibility of a still developing nuclear problem at the largest nuclear plant in Europe. This news has been widely circulated in Eastern Europe over the last few weeks.
The problem in Ukraine has been and remains verification. Ukrainian sources have not been forthcoming. When this first occurred I was contacted through a 2nd party and told directly after the officially reported transformer incident a radiation spike was observed in Crimea which is 140km away from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. This spike was small against background radiation but noticeable on a geiger counter. I was also given hacked files of the emergency conversation that happened at the plant that day. They are included at the bottom of the article. The closeness to what is coming to light makes them too close to be ignored………
Ukraine reported an incident (non-nuclear) which was a transformer short circuiting, not an accident which is used for radiological issues. This was carried across the nuclear industry forums that talked about it. The case was closed on that basis.
As reported at Zero Hedge-Two days ago we reported of the odd coincidence of a 2nd emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear reactor – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant - following our earlier fears of disinformation. Today, we get information of a leaked report sourced from three different place – unconfirmed for now (but RT is trying to verify) - that Ukrainian nuclear scientists misled the public and a radioactive leak has been detected - citing the country’s emergency services claiming that levels of radiation are 16.3 times the legally permitted norm.
What does 16.3 times allowable (legal) mean? In a pre-Fukashima world if any nuclear plant in the US were to report 1X allowable radiation/ steam (contamination) release every major publication in the country would be focused on that event.
Allowable release at nuclear power plants falls under a Zero tolerance policy. At Zaporozhye power plant background radiation before the event registered at 10-12 counts per minute on a geiger counter. At 50 counts it does not cause an alarm but is something to monitor.
At 100 counts the threshold for alarm is reached and radiological personal protective gear might be warranted. Zaporozhye is well beyond that threshold now………..
What We Know about Zaporozhye
We now know that radiation was released and reports of a steam blow off are starting to surface. Unfortunately this is in line with information I was told about a fire in the cooling system and a contaminated side steam pipe burst inside the containment (their word sarcophagus). We know people that have left the area have reported that iodine tablets are being handed out to people that live close to the plant.
We know that the plant shut down all social media for plant workers so they would not talk about the incident. This was a highly unusual move for a transformer problem.
A second reactor(#6) has been shutdown at the same plant and restarted at the same plant on December 28th or has it. This linked document shows that unit #6 is still down on December 29th.
A third at South Ukraine Nuclear Power plant which has been testing Westinghouse fuel assemblies is in an abnormally long shutdown. Normal is 30-40 days. This is predicted at 120 days.
This is not the first time this year Zaporozhye had unscheduled shutdowns.
In the spring Pravy Sektor tried unsuccessfully to storm nuclear power plants 3 times. Later the government of Ukraine ordered that they guard nuclear material, nuclear facilities, and even nuclear waste through their troops in the Ukrainian National Guard.
As surreal as it sounds Poroshenko’s government put the terrorists that tried to take nuclear plants by force in charge…………http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/largest-nuclear-plant-europe-located-ukraine-suffered-major-accident.html
‘Second Chernobyl’ may be underway in Ukraine. Bobby 1’s Blog 30 dec 14 Denis Pushilin, a pro-separatist leader in southeast Ukraine, has said the Ukraine faces a ‘second Chornobyl’ due to Ukraine’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse for its Soviet-built nuclear power plants.
He said radiation has increased to 14 times the acceptable norm at the Zaporizhia nuclear plant. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and the fifth largest in the world.
The Russian news agency Interfax reported that in a statement on December 28, Pushilin said Ukraine faces “a second Chornobyl” due to Kyiv’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse — a reference to the deadly 1986 nuclear power plant accident that spead radioactivity over parts of Europe.
Pushilin said that “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area around the Zaporizhzhya plant and that the problem started November 28 “after an unsuccessful attempt to replace rods in the Russian-made third block (reactor) with the product of the American company Western house.”……….
it seems that all 6 reactors will have their fuel rods replaced with Westinghouse fuel at some point. Crimea is nearby Zaporizhia, and it is now part of Russia. Irradiation of Russian citizens, especially due to a switch in fuel supplier from Russia to Westinghouse, would add even more tension to the Ukraine crisis, which is already threatening to lead to global nuclear war.
The reason Ukraine is switching to Westinghouse fuel is political. Russia has already agreed to supply its fuel to Ukraine, and there are no sanctions involved. Ukraine has become a vassal state to the West after the coup earlier this year. It is being used as a pawn, and a place to deploy missiles near the Russian border, in an encirclement strategy by the US and NATO.
In 2012, during a routine inspection, Energoatom reported that Westinghouse’s assemblies had structural damage. It had to swap those for Russian-made fuel assemblies, which the utility estimated cost it $170 million.
After a suit threatened by Energoatom, Westinghouse tried to make good on its deal and produced modified fuel rods for the Russian built VVER-440 reactors. These, too, were found defective………..http://optimalprediction.com/wp/second-chernobyl-may-be-underway-in-ukraine/
Oliver Stone Says Ukrainian Coup Was Directed by CIA http://sputniknews.com/art_living/20141231/1016415810.html US film maker claims he is currently engaged in production of a documentary about Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. WASHINGTON, December 31 (Sputnik) – US filmmaker Oliver Stone is currently engaged in production of a documentary about Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country following the February coup, according to the post on his Facebook page published Tuesday.
“[I] Interviewed Viktor Yanukovych 4 hours in Moscow for new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians. He [Yanukovych] was the legitimate President of Ukraine until he suddenly wasn’t on February 22 of this year. Details to follow in the documentary,” Stone said.
According to the renowned filmmaker, in the aftermath of the coup, “the West has maintained the dominant narrative of ‘Russia in Crimea’ whereas the true narrative is ‘USA in Ukraine.’ The truth is not being aired in the West. It’s a surreal perversion of history that’s going on once again, as in Bush pre-Iraq ‘WMD’ [Weapons of Mass Destruction] campaign.”
Stone also said that the shooters, who killed killed 14 police officers, wounded some 85, and killed 45 protesting civilians during the clashes in Kiev, were outside “third party agitators.”
“Many witnesses, including Yanukovych and police officials, believe these foreign elements were introduced by pro-Western factions with CIA fingerprints on it,” he stated.
Stone concluded by expressing hope that the truth about the Ukrainian coup would come out in the West soon “in time to stop further insanity.”
Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted late February following mass rallies in Kiev, triggered by the president’s refusal to sign a European Union association agreement. Yanukovych fled the country for Russia, while the protests led to the violent unrest in Ukraine, that dramatically escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Radioactive leak at major Ukrainian nuclear plant – report Rt News, : December 30, 2014 A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. Ukrainian officials have denied the report.
LifeNews published what it claims is a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s authorities that the radiation at the facility is equal to the natural background following an incident on Sunday.
RT is trying to verify the report………..
Two documents released by LifeNews appear to show that the plant’s officials put deliberately misleading information on their website. The documents – both addressed to the head of the regional emergency services – state that radiation levels at the plant on Sunday and Monday were 16.8 times higher than the legally permitted norm.
By Monday, the levels had slightly increased – growing from 16.3 to 16.8 times higher, and Unit 6 was still shut down, the report said, contradicting the plant’s statements that the problem had been fixed and that the plant was operating normally.
On Sunday, one reactor at the plant was automatically shut down after a glitch, becoming the second halt in operations in recent weeks. The reactor was running at 40 percent of nominal power, the plant’s official website said, adding that radiation at the facility being at the level of 8-12 microroentgens an hour……..
Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is one of the four nuclear power plants in the country, which together supply a large part of Ukraine’s energy needs. The Zaporozhye plant alone, Europe’s largest, supplies at least one-fifth of the country’s power needs. It is the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power plant. t.com/news/218807-ukraine-nuclear-plant-leak/
Russia: Ukraine’s Import of US Nuclear Fuel Risky abc news, MOSCOW — Dec 30, 2014, Russia says Ukraine’s deal to buy U.S.-made nuclear fuel for its Soviet-built reactors could trigger a nuclear accident.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine announced Tuesday that his nation has reached a deal on nuclear fuel deliveries with Westinghouse to reduce dependence on Russian supplies.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry deplored the move as a “dangerous experiment that threatens safety and health of the Ukrainian citizens and peoples of Europe.” It said nuclear fuel produced by the U.S. company doesn’t quite fit Soviet-built nuclear reactors that Ukraine has.
The ministry said Ukrainian authorities must take a responsible approach to nuclear safety, or risk disasters such as the 1986 Chernobyl one, which was a result of a flawed Soviet reactor design coupled with serious mistakes made by the plant operators……http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russia-ukraines-import-us-nuclear-fuel-risky-27909998
Nuclear weapons revival talked about by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Inquisitr.com Dec. 14, 2014,The possibility of Urkaine’s nuclear weapons programs being revived has been discussed ever since it was claimed that Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons may have been moved into the Crimean Peninsula. Recently, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko answered questions on whether Kiev is willing to bring back their nuclear status in order to survive the confrontation with Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this year, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Valerii Heletei claimed that Russia was threatening Ukraine with tactical nuclear weapons.
“I am drawing attention to Russia’s threatening Ukraine with the use of tactical nuclear weapons,” Heletei noted. “If we fail to defend Ukraine today, if the world does not help us, we will have to get back to the creation of such weapons, which will defend us from Russia.”
This alleged threat led to the discussion of restoring Ukraine’s nuclear weapons program by Heletei, but only if “the world does not help us.” Recently, both the House and the Senate in the U.S. Congress passed legislation that promised lethal aid to Ukraine. According to the Kiev Post, when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke about Ukraine’s nuclear weapons programs, he declared that Kiev would not pursue that option………..http://www.inquisitr.com/1677316/ukraine-nuclear-weapons-revival-talked-about-by-ukrainian-president-petro-poroshenko/#2ZO69ZkEBcQho87h.99
ECOVIEWS: Chernobyl wolves reveal radiation’s impact, Tuscaloosa News, December 5, 2014 How do scientists determine what the long-term impacts would be to humans living in a radiation-contaminated environment? An ecological study of wolves in the Ukraine may provide the answer……….
Nuclear Accident In Ukraine: Largest Nuke Plant In Europe Shut Down, But ‘No Threat,’ Gov’t Claims, INQUISITR, 3 Dec 14 A nuclear accident at a power plant in Ukraine, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, shut the plant down last Friday, but the Ukraine government did not reveal the alarming mishap until Wednesday, claiming that the accident posed “no threat” to the public from radiation.
The nuclear plant is located just 120 miles from the war-torn eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk, a stronghold of pro-Russian separatist rebels who have battled the Ukraine government in heavy fighting for much of 2014.
Donetsk is the region where on July 17, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by, it is widely believed, a rebel anti-aircraft missile, killing all 298 people on board.
Nuclear experts have raised the alarm that the power plant could be vulnerable to artillery fire from the war zone nearby………http://www.inquisitr.com/1652271/nuclear-accident-in-ukraine/
Aggressive Thyroid Cancers Linked to Radiation Exposure http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/834000 Roxanne Nelson October 28, 2014 Researchers who have followed the children and adolescents exposed to radioactive fallout from the the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident have highlighted the fact that the thyroid cancers seen in these individuals are particularly aggressive. They say their work has implications for individuals affected by the 2011 nuclear reactor incidents in Fukushima, Japan.
The study is published online October 28 in Cancer.
The research team screened nearly 12,000 individuals from Belarus several times over a course of 9 years. Study participants were all under age 18 years when they were exposed to the Chernobyl radioactive fallout.
All individuals underwent up to three cycles of thyroid screening from 1997 to 2008. Radioactive iodine-131 (I-131) thyroid doses were estimated from individual thyroid activity measurements taken within 2 months after the accident, along with dosimetric data from questionnaires.
A total of 158 thyroid cancers were diagnosed in the 11,664-person cohort during 3 rounds of screening, which were conducted at roughly 2-year intervals.
The researchers found that higher I-131 thyroid doses were associated with higher frequency of solid or diffuse sclerosing variants of thyroid cancer (P < 0.01), as well as histologic features of cancer aggressiveness, such as lymphatic vessel invasion, intrathyroidal infiltration, and multifocality (all P < .03).
First author Lydia Zablotska, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, explained that her group has previously shown that radioactive iodine exposure significantly increases the risk for thyroid cancer in a dose-dependent manner. But this new study demonstrates that exposure to I-131 is associated with distinct clinical features indicating more aggressive tumors.
“Our study has very important implications for clinical practice,” Dr Zablotska told Medscape Medical News, especially as they relate to radiation exposure that resulted from the 2011 nuclear reactor incidents in Fukushima, Japan. Continue reading
Funds running out for completion of massively expensive cover over crumbling Chernobyl nuclear reactor
Funding woes delay new Chernobyl cover, DW 17 Oct 14 The casing around the ruined nuclear reactor at Chernobyl is crumbling, causing a renewed radioactive contamination risk. A new cover for the site is under construction – but the project is running out of funding. “There’s no precedent for this anywhere in the world,” Jochen Flasbarth said. “Of course there is uncertainty.”
The German Ministry of the Environment’s senior civil servant was talking about the New Safe Confinement – a new protective cover that is to be built over the stricken reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine: 100 meters high, 165 meters long, built at a safe distance from the still radioactive ruin.
The cover will slide over the reactor on rails. It will be three times as large as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – if it is finished. But at the moment there is no money – that’s the “uncertainty” Flasbarth was talking about.
There will be a shortfall of 600 million euros by the end of the year. Construction is proving to be more expensive than expected, and funding more difficult to obtain. A Ukrainian government construction freeze now threatens the project.
New containment, new money
Flasbarth, who is responsible for energy issues at his ministry, intends to speak with his counterparts from the G7 Group on Nuclear Issues in Bonn in mid-October. The G8 – as it was known before Russia was ejected from the group earlier in 2014 – had promised years ago to help Ukraine build the containment system. Now new money is required……….
The total damage has been estimated at 180 billion dollars. The area around the stricken reactor is still highly contaminated, and the concrete sarcophagus poured over the reactor in a rush after the accident has become unstable.
Years of effort
That’s why a French consortium has spent the last few years building the new protective cover. One part is finished, and a second is still being worked on. Meanwhile, Reactor 4 is crumbling – and threatening to expose 200 tons of highly radioactive material to the environment, including the destroyed fuel rods.
The removal of these materials can begin only when the New Safe Confinement is finished, which means over 30 years will have passed since the accident. No one now expects the construction to be finished next year as planned……..http://www.dw.de/funding-woes-delay-new-chernobyl-cover/a-17997493
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