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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Chronology of the radioactive thorium pollution, Bukit Merah, Malaysia

The Star has discovered that 80,000 200-litre drums containing radioactive waste are currently being kept at the dump located in the Kledang Range behind Papan town. The site is about 3km from Bukit Merah and Papan and about 15km from Ipoh. And the waste is thorium hydroxide, not amang.

ThoriumChronology of events in the Bukit Merah Asian Rare Earth development http://www.consumer.org.my/index.php/health/454-chronology-of-events-in-the-bukit-merah-asian-rare-earth-developments Eight men — a welder, a shoemaker, a general worker, a pensioner, a barber, a tractor driver, a crane-operator and a cancer victim who was to die shortly — sued Asian Rare Earth in 1985 on behalf of themselves and 10,000 other residents of Bukit Merah and the environs in Perak. They wanted to shut down this rare earth plant in their village near Ipoh because its radioactive waste was endangering their lives.

When the Mitsubishi joint venture plant opened over 1982, the villagers soon began complaining of the factory’s stinging smoke and bad smell which made them choke and cry. Worse was to come. Their health began failing, indicated not only by frequent bouts of coughs and colds, but a sharp rise in the incidence of leukaemia, infant deaths, congenital disease and lead poisoning.

For the first time in Malaysian legal history, an entire community has risen to act over an environmental issue, to protect their health and environment from radioactive pollution.

Below is the chronology of what happened when a radioactive rare earth plant was set up in Bukit Merah. Today, about 30 years later, the Government is allowing a new rare earth plant to be set up by Lynas in Gebeng, Kuantan. This new project should be scrapped if the Malaysian Government puts the health of Malaysians before profits. Continue reading

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Malaysia, Reference, thorium | Leave a comment

The quietly covered up story of thorium toxicity, leukaemias and birth defects, in Malaysia

ThoriumMitsubishi Quietly Cleans Up Its Former Refinery  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/business/energy-environment/09rareside.html?_r=0 By  : March 8, 2011 BUKIT MERAH, Malaysia — Hidden here in the jungles of north-central Malaysia, in a broad valley fringed with cave-pocked limestone cliffs topped with acacia and durian trees, lies the site of the largest radiation cleanup yet in the rare earth industry.

Residents blamed a rare earth refinery for birth defects and eight leukemia cases within five years in a community of 11,000 — after many years with no leukemia cases. Seven of the leukemia victims have since died.

The Bukit Merah case is little known even elsewhere in Malaysia, and virtually unknown in the West, because Mitsubishi Chemical quietly agreed to fix the problem even without a legal order to do so. Local protesters had contacted Japanese environmentalists and politicians, who in turn helped persuade the image-conscious company to close the refinery in 1992 and subsequently spend an estimated $100 million to clean up the site.

Image-burnishing was important because the company is part of the Mitsubishi Group of Companies, which has long made Malaysia the cornerstone of its southeast Asian operations. The group has dominant positions in manufacturing a range of products, including air-conditioners and cars.

Mitsubishi Chemical also reached an out-of-court settlement with residents here by agreeing to donate $164,000 to the community’s schools, while denying any responsibility for illnesses.

Osamu Shimizu, the director of Asian Rare Earth, the Mitsubishi Chemical subsidiary that owns the mine, declined to discuss details of the factory’s operation before it closed in 1992. But he said that the company was committed to a safe and complete cleanup.

Workers in protective gear have already removed 11,000 truckloads of radioactively contaminated material, hauling away every trace of the old refinery and even tainted soil from beneath it, down to the bedrock as much as 25 feet below, said Anthony Goh, the consultant overseeing the project for one of Mitsubishi’s contractors, GeoSyntec, an Atlanta-based firm.

To dispose of the radioactive material, engineers have cut the top off a hill three miles away in a forest reserve, buried the material inside the hill’s core and then entombed it under more than 20 feet of clay and granite.

The toughest part of the Bukit Merah cleanup will come this summer, when robots and workers in protective gear are to start trying to move more than 80,000 steel barrels of radioactive waste from a concrete bunker. They will mix it with cement and gypsum, and then permanently store it in the hilltop repository.

The refinery processed slag from old tin mines — material rich in rare earth ore. The company and Malaysian regulators said that it was statistically possible that the leukemia cases were a coincidence because tin mining towns tend to have above-average levels of background radiation. But an academic study of another tin mining town suggested that communities of Bukit Merah’s size should only have one leukemia case every 30 years.

Lai Kwan, aged 69, still recalls how she cheerfully moved in the 1980s from a sawmill job to a better-paying position in the refinery that involved proximity to radioactive materials. She remembers that while pregnant, she was told to take an unpaid day off only on days when the factory bosses said that a particularly dangerous consignment of ore had arrived.

She has spent the last 29 years washing, dressing, feeding and otherwise taking care of her son from that pregnancy, who was born with severe mental and physical disabilities. She and other local residents blame the refinery for the problems, although birth defects can have many causes.

“We saw it as a chance to get better pay,” Ms. Lai recalled. “We didn’t know what they were producing.”

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Malaysia, rare earths, Reference, thorium | Leave a comment

US Navy knew that sailors on USS Reagan received dangerous radiation

highly-recommendedDocuments Say Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/26/navy-knew-fukushima-contaminated-uss-reagan/ | February 26, 2014

A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.
The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode.
In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste. Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea. The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout.
Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. A similar metallic taste was described by pilots who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by central Pennsylvanians downwind of Three Mile Island. Some parts of the atolls downwind from the South Pacific bomb tests remain uninhabitable six decades later.

Continue reading

February 20, 2015 Posted by | Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Chernobyl radiation still causing mutations in plants and animals

butterflies-mutant-0812highly-recommendedStrong effects of ionizing radiation from Chernobyl on mutation rates, Scientific Reports, Anders Pape MøllerTimothy 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

February 18, 2015 Posted by | environment, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Exploring molten cores of Fukushima nuclear reactors by means of cosmic ray particles

Cosmic Ray Particles Will Reveal the Molten Hearts of Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactors  http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/energy/nuclear/cosmic-ray-particles-will-reveal-the-molten-hearts-of-fukushima-daiichis-reactors By Eliza Strickland 13 Feb 2015 In the radioactive ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, engineers are testing a new sensor technology. The goal is to see through layers of steel and concrete to determine the location of nuclear fuel at the hearts of three melted-down reactors.

The sensor technology makes use of muons, subatomic particles generated when cosmic rays collide with molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere. About 10,000 muons reach every square meter of our planet each minute, and they whiz through most substances largely unimpeded. However, their progress can be blocked by heavy elements like uranium and plutonium.

Based on this discrepancy, several research teams around the world are developing systems that use muons the same way your dentist uses x-rays. By placing muon detectors near a Fukushima reactor building and determining where the particles’ progress is being blocked, researchers can produce a map of the globs of melted uranium fuel inside the reactor.

There’s a critical need for such maps. The 40-year decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is well underway: Robots are busily surveying and decontaminating the shattered reactor buildings, and workers are removing spent fuel rods from pools. But the hardest step is yet to come. Someday, TEPCO workers will have to remove the melted nuclear fuel that glooped at the bottom of the three reactors’ pressure vessels, leaked through fissures and weak spots, and pooled in unknown nooks and crannies.

Before TEPCO can remove this highly radioactive fuel, the company must first figure out its exact location inside the melted-down reactors. That’s a big challenge, as it will be many years before robots or heavily protected humans are able to remove the tops of the reactor vessels to drop down radiation-shielded cameras. What’s more, those cameras still won’t be able to locate the fuel that seeped out through the bottoms of the presure vessels.

That’s where the muons come in. TEPCO is first testing a system developed by Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, putting the device near the heavily damaged Reactor 1. This system uses a “muon permeation” method; essentially just determining where muons are blocked in their progress by uranium. According to an email from TEPCO, this first test is just to serve as a proof of principle, and won’t produce detailed maps of the melted fuel’s location.

Another system is under development by the U.S. company Decision Sciences, using a “muon scattering” method invented at Los Alamos National Lab in the early 2000s. This method places muon detectors on two sides of an object of interest, and tracks the trajectory of muons as they enter and leave the object. Because some muons interact with uranium nuclei and ping away in new directions, mapping this scattering can create a more precise map of a uranium blob’s location and contours.  Toshiba, a contractor for TEPCO, has enlisted Decision Sciences to develop its system for Fukushima Daiichi. That device will be tested later this year at Reactor 2.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

A field guide to “nuclear environmentalists”

globalnukeNOFormer Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner and state regulator Peter Bradford sees the finance issue as the nuclear industry’s Kryptonite.

“Trying to solve climate change with nuclear is like trying to solve world hunger with caviar,” he said

Straight.com. Peter Dykstra, 9 Feb 15  “…In recent years, some major science and environmental players have come forward to endorse nuclear power. Former EPA administrator and Obama climate czar Carol Browner is one of the glitziest.

Browner signed up for the newest and shiniest effort to sell nuke plants, the year-old Nuclear Matters, founded by electric giant Exelon in 2014.

Nuclear Matters is run by public relations agency Sloane & Associates. Critics call it a nuclear front group, but Sloane prefers to bill it as “starting a national conversation on nuclear power,” and adds that other utilities, nuke builders and suppliers have joined Exelon as sponsors.

The group recruited several other bipartisan political heavyweights as paid spokespeople but none that are catnip for the environmental community, where opposition to nuclear power is the rule, not the exception.

So when Nuclear Matters hauled in Browner as a spokesperson of its Leadership Council last year, she was a big catch.

Browner said she typically devotes a few hours a week to Nuclear Matters and is compensated for her time, but neither she nor Nuclear Matters will discuss her fee. Continue reading

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is simply NOT “low carbon”

Greenhouse gases are emitted in all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear reactor: construction, operation, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal. Leaving out any of these five stages will bias estimates towards lower values.

The last two contributions, dismantling and waste disposal are particularly difficult to estimate. Not many commercial reactors have been fully decommissioned. Also there is still no scientific or political consensus on the approach to be used for the long-term storage of waste.

The fuel preparation contribution is also problematic. Considerable amounts of carbon are released in the mining, milling and separation of the uranium from the ore. Also the carbon emitted is very dependent on the concentration of uranium in the ore.

It’s important to appreciate that these three problematic contributions, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal are either non-existent or small contributions in the case of electricity generation by renewable technologies. Estimates of the carbon footprint of renewably generated electricity therefore should be much more reliable than those for nuclear.

global warming A
A False Solution Why Nuclear Power is Not “Low Carbon”, CounterPunch,  by KEITH BARNAM, 5 Feb 15  The UK government is committed to massively subsidising new nuclear reactors, based on the claim that they generate ‘low carbon’ electricity.

But what is the carbon footprint of nuclear power? I have trawled the literature and found that there is no scientific consensus on the lifetime carbon emissions of nuclear electricity.

Remarkably, half of the most rigorous published analyses have a carbon footprint for nuclear power above the limit recommended by the UK government’s official climate change advisor, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

According to the CCC, if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, by 2030 all electricity should be generated with less than 50 grams of carbon dioxide emitted for each kilowatt-hour (50 gCO2/kWh).

Since all new generators have lifetimes well over 20 years, I believe this limit should be imposed on all new electricity supply systems here and now – and all the more so for those with lifetimes spanning many decades.

Note that thanks to long construction times for the EPR design and a forthcoming legal challenge, it’s entirely possible that the planned Hinkley C reactor will not be completed until 2030 or beyond. It will then be subsidised for the first 35 years of its projected 60 year lifetime – taking us through until 2090.

What is the carbon footprint of renewable electricity? Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

The true carbon footprint of nuclear power – the ‘Third Generation’ reactor at Hinkley Point C?

Hinkley-nuclear-power-plant

 As we have seen, the EPR’s very high cost suggests considerably higher emissions in the construction stage. So too does the fact that, over its projected 60-year lifetime, it will be using uranium from very low quality ores.

The likely delay due to the Austrian appeal against the European Commission’s decision on the EPR subsidy offers an opportunity for a full, independent and peer reviewed assessment of the environmental impact of this complex and expensive new technology.

A False Solution Why Nuclear Power is Not “Low Carbon”, CounterPunch,  by KEITH BARNAM, 5 Feb 15 

“………..Using 0.005% ore, nuclear has higher carbon emissions than gas

Nuclear fuel preparation begins with the mining of uranium containing ores, followed by the crushing of the ore then extraction of the uranium from the powdered ore chemically. All three stages take a lot of energy, most of which comes from fossil fuels. The inescapable fact is that the lower the concentration of uranium in the ore, the higher the fossil fuel energy required to extract uranium.

Table 12 in the Berteen paper confirms the van Leeuwen result that for ore with uranium concentration around 0.01% the carbon footprint of nuclear electricity could be as high as that of electricity generation from natural gas.

This remarkable observation has been further confirmed in a report from the Austrian Institute of Ecology by Andrea Wallner and co-workers. They also point out that using ore with uranium concentration around 0.01% could result in more energy being input to prepare the fuel, build the reactor and so on, than will be generated by the reactor in its lifetime.

According to figures van Leeuwen has compiled from the WISE Uranium Project around 37% of the identified uranium reserves have an ore grade below 0.05%.

A conservative estimate for the future LCA of nuclear power for power stations intended to continue operating into the 2090s and beyond would assume the lowest uranium concentration currently in proven sources, which is 0.005%.

On the basis that the high concentration ores are the easiest to find and exploit, this low concentration is likely to be more typical of yet to be discovered deposits.

Using 0.005% concentration uranium ores, the van Leeuwen, Berteen and Wallner analyses agree a nuclear reactor will have a carbon footprint larger than a natural gas electricity generator. Also, it is unlikely to produce any net electricity over its lifecycle.

What is the carbon footprint of the ‘Third Generation’ reactor at Hinkley Point C? Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

A pro nuclear expert bemoans the fact that their “climate” propaganda is not working!

The nuclear industry giving credence to climate change from fossil fuels has simply led to a stronger renewables industry.
globalnukeIs climate change the worst argument for nuclear? Nuclear Engineering International 21 January 2015  Jumping on the environmental bandwagon may not be the best choice for the nuclear industry….. By Steve Kidd

My articles over the past three months have covered the failure of nuclear advocates to make much progress with gaining public acceptance over the past few years, with the prime need now to undertake a serious effort to gain better public understanding…

…….There remains one piece in the jigsaw and that is to abandon climate change as a prime argument for supporting a much higher use of nuclear power to satisfy rapidly-rising world power needs…….

We have seen no nuclear renaissance (instead, a notable number of reactor closures in some countries, combined with strong growth in China) the story has not changed very much. The 2014 edition of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook shows nuclear playing a small but indispensable part in those scenarios maintaining greenhouse gas emissions at much lower and environmentally safer levels to 2030 and beyond. ……….

The International Atomic Energy Agency has also just released the 2014 edition of its publication Climate Change and Nuclear Power which addresses the perceived need for a lot more nuclear power for this reason, together with the range of issues which inevitably surround this transition.

The problem is that the hoped-for process is not working. Countries such as Germany and Switzerland that claim environmental credentials are moving strongly away from nuclear. Even with rapid nuclear growth in China, nuclear’s share in world electricity is declining. The industry is doing little more than hoping that politicians and financiers eventually see sense and back huge nuclear building programmes. On current trends, this is looking more and more unlikely. The high and rising nuclear share in climate-friendly scenarios is false hope, with little in the real outlook giving them any substance.

Far more likely is the situation posited in the World Nuclear Industry Status Report covered in September’s article (September 2014, ‘The world nuclear industry – is it in terminal decline?’). Although this report is produced by anti-nuclear activists, its picture of the current reactors gradually shutting down with numbers of new reactors failing to replace them has more than an element of truth given the recent trends………

….The nuclear industry giving credence to climate change from fossil fuels has simply led to a stronger renewables industry. Nuclear seems to be “too difficult” and gets sidelined – as it has within the entire process since the original Kyoto accords. And now renewables, often thought of as useful complements to nuclear, begin to threaten it in power markets when there is abundant power from renewables when the wind blows and the sun shines.

Climate change is also an issue now seemingly irretrievably linked to some combination of higher taxes and prices, bigger and more intrusive government intervention, lower economic growth, and less disposable income. The nuclear sector doesn’t want to be associated with any of this. ……Nuclear should not be cosying up to anything that costs money. It should promote itself as inherently cheap energy, vital for economic growth…..http://www.neimagazine.com/opinion/opinionis-climate-change-the-worst-argument-for-nuclear-4493537/

February 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Documents reveal America’s Doomsday Plan To Declare Martial Law

text-relevantPlan C: America’s Nuclear Doomsday Plan To Declare Martial Law http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/01/plan-c-americas-nuclear-doomsday-plan-to-declare-martial-law/  31 JANUARY 2015
Muckrock has obtained these new Cold War-era documents detailing the doomsday scenario through Freedom of Information Act requests sent to the FBI.

Plan C evolved and changed as different people in the chain of command got involved. At one point, Plan C was envisioned as a measure that would be implemented before any potential war might start. In other iterations, it was to be the course of action only after nuclear war with the Soviets had begun.

On November 22, 1955 the Soviet Union first successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, finally catching up to the United States with its nuclear tech capabilities. The H-Bomb was roughly 1000 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that had been dropped on Japan a decade earlier, and more than ever, the US was concerned about the prospect of worldwide nuclear annihilation. By April of 1956 it had drafted its new emergency response.

civil liberties USAreleased in 2009.

As Muckrock notes, Plan C was never distributed widely and details of the plan were ordered destroyed in July of 1957. Only about 30 pages about Plan C have been released so far. There are roughly 150 more pages that are still being processed. Some of the remaining unreleased documents are being looked over by FEMA.

We’re no longer embroiled in the middle of a Cold War. Or at least we’re not supposed to be. But you can bet that the US government has all kinds of contingency plans in place in the event of nuclear war or the like. Do those plans include martial law and the rounding up of people considered subversive? I suppose we’ll find out in another 60 years. Provided we’re lucky enough to avoid nuclear war in the first place.

You can read all of the documents released by the FBI about Plan C over at Muckrock.

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Zealand steadfastly maintains its Nuclear Ban

“There is only one thing more dangerous than being attacked by nuclear weapons and that is being protected by them.”

text-relevantNEW ZEALAND ROBUSTLY DEFENDS NUCLEAR BAN Eurasia Review  FEBRUARY 1, 2015 BY NEENA BHANDARI The small Pacific island country of New Zealand has punched above its weight in the international disarmament debate. For nearly three decades it has pursued an active nuclear free policy, banning entry of US warships carrying nuclear weapons or propelled by nuclear power into its ports despite being part of the ANZUS Treaty.

N.Zealand

NZ, along with the United States (US) and Australia, was amongst the three original signatory governments to the ANZUS treaty, a trilateral framework for security arrangements and cooperation, which was concluded in 1951.

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, New Zealand opposed French nuclear tests in the Pacific. In 1983, the visit of the nuclear-powered frigate USS Texas sparked protests. Ordinary people spurred an anti-nuclear movement, which reached its peak in the mid-1980s and shaped NZ’s foreign policy and identity as a nation.

“It was an extremely broad campaign, which included professionals, neighbourhood groups, students, religious, non-religious, young and old. In many ways, it was the diversity and the non-hierarchical nature of the movement that was part of its appeal and strength. At one point there were over 300 local activist groups across the country,” says Marie Leadbeater, the author of `Peace, Power and Politics: How New Zealand became nuclear free

The defining moment came in July 1985 with the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, which had been involved in protests over French nuclear testing. Continue reading

February 4, 2015 Posted by | New Zealand, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Navajo community – a case study on deadly effects of uranium mining

The studies have found considerably increased rates of death by lung cancer and other lung or related diseases

“Navajo is a non-smoking population. That’s why the Navajo underground miners were such an important sub-unit of the cohort,” Shuey said. “The Navajo cohort debunks the whole notion that the uranium miners’ lung cancer relates to smoking.”

NavajoRadon’s Deadly Connection With Uranium Mining As Seen From Navajo Nation, Indian Country,  Konnie LeMay 2/2/15  Where you live may increasingly become as important as how you live in determining your health as we continue to recognize how environmental factors affect our lives and may hasten our deaths.

“No longer can we just kind of sit back and say those are all just lifestyle (influences) … just stop eating frybread and throw some vegetables in there,” said Chris Shuey, director of the Uranium Impact Assessment Program for theSouthwest Research and Information Center.

For more than three decades, Shuey has tracked the environmental influences on long-term health for the Navajo people linked to the region’s past uranium mining. He foresees growing acknowledgment of how human-caused environmental changes and naturally occurring threats may affect our health. Continue reading

February 4, 2015 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear expert rubbishes the advertising movie “Pandora’s Promise”

Book-PandoraReportCoverexclamation-Is climate change the worst argument for nuclear? Nuclear Engineering International 21 January 2015 Jumping on the environmental bandwagon may not be the best choice for the nuclear industry….. By Steve Kidd

 ……..Fair-weather friends?

While it is true that some previously anti-nuclear activists and advocates have moved over to the nuclear side on account of their new conviction that nuclear is essential to curb climate change, these are very uncomfortable bedfellows.

They are likely to do as much damage to the nuclear case as good. The industry has hailed the recent “Pandora’s Promise” movie, but the five new nuclear disciples look rather like enemy turncoats in a war-time propaganda movie, trying to urge their former colleagues also to “see the light”. Why, after so many years of being “wrong”, should anyone have faith in the new (and apparently deeply-held) convictions of these people? Will they not change their minds again once the wind changes?

Why on earth would one cosy up to the very people who killed your market in the first place because their foolish advocacy led to much higher costs? Their general lack of soundness is invariably amplified by attaching themselves to next generation reactor technologies, thorium or whatever. …….

The other issue with those who belatedly come to endorse nuclear is that it becomes a “last resort” technology. Once everything else has been tried and found lacking, we simply have to use nuclear, or the world will risk coming to an end. Even though they still believe that nuclear has the same host of problems, they also now believe we need it badly. But this won’t work for one minute. As soon as anything goes wrong, the support of these people will melt away. Nuclear needs a strong positive endorsement from supporters who recognise that the arguments marshalled against it were always phony…..http://www.neimagazine.com/opinion/opinionis-climate-change-the-worst-argument-for-nuclear-4493537/

February 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

UK Tax-payers fleeced by the nuclear industry – Sellafield the perfect example

This is an extraordinary and detailed article. I regret that I have here just picked out significant parts and headings (in order to get across the main points) . This is a perfect example of how a government can be captured by vested corporate interests.  This process is certainly not new  – for Sellafield, for Britain, for the world. The author has carefully researched and detailed the way the government, Parliament, UK

fleecing-taxpayer-1“The use of cost reimbursement contracts for Sellafield Limited and its subcontractors means the financial risks are borne by the taxpayer.”

Sellafield – how the nuclear industry fleeced taxpayers, Ecologist, David
highly-recommendedLowry 19th January 2015  Last week the consortium holding a £22bn contract to clean up the Sellafield nuclear site was sacked, writes David Lowry.  But this is just the end of a long and scandalous tale of corporate
flag-UKprofit at taxpayers’ expense, and the active collusion of ministers and senior officials in fighting off Parliamentary scrutiny. Continue reading

February 2, 2015 Posted by | politics, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation in Pacific monitored by Canadian citizen scientists

flag-canadaB.C.’s citizen scientists on alert for radiation from Japan, Vancouver Sun  BY AMY SMART, TIMES COLONIST JANUARY 25, 2015 Since October, citizen scientists have been dipping buckets into the waters of B.C.’s coast, looking for fallout from the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Japan.

At the centre of the search are two man-made isotopes, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137, which act as “fingerprints” for radiation specific to the Japan disaster. Both isotopes were released when the reactors failed in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami, just as they were during nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.

Cesium-137While Cesium-137 has a half-life — the time it takes for the radioactivity to fall to half its original value — of 30 years, Cesium-134’s is only two years. That means that if Cesium-134 is found in a sample, scientists can be certain it came from Fukushima.

“It’s been sufficiently long since atmospheric weapons testing last century or the Chernobyl disaster that we don’t see traces of [Cesium-134 from those sources] anymore,” said University of Victoria ocean chemist Jay Cullen. “So if we detect it in seawater or an organism, then we know that sample has been affected by Fukushima.”

The radiation is as close as 100 kilometres, with levels expected to peak over the next two years. But so far, members of the InFORM Network — citizen scientists, and representatives from academia, government and non-governmental organizations — haven’t found anything in seawater samples collected by volunteers at 14 coastal locations.

“The models of ocean circulation that the physical oceanographers have put together suggest that we are going to see it along the coast and we can expect it to arrive over the next couple of years, the heart of that contaminated plume,” said Cullen, who leads the network.

InFORM is also monitoring marine life, which can absorb radiation. The first results, from sockeye salmon and steelhead trout selected for their known migration paths, showed traces of Cesium-137, but no Cesium-134……….

John Smith, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, agrees that the health risks are likely to be “extremely low.” At its peak, the radiation in the plume is expected to be three to five becquerels per cubic metre of water. Canadian guidelines for safe drinking water impose a limit of 10,000 becquerels per cubic metre, he said.

For Smith, who began monitoring the plume’s spread in 2011, it provides a “dye test” for testing theories about ocean currents. The results will have implications for all kinds of models, including understandings of climate change, he said.

“This was a unique oceanographic event in that a large quantity of radioactivity was deposited into the ocean off Japan at a given moment in time and at a given location. It was a tremendous disaster. But it has provided an oceanographic tracer for currents that has never occurred before.”…….. www.vancouversun.com/health/citizen+scientists+alert+radiation+from+Japan/10758982/story.html

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Canada, oceans, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

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