Ozyorsk was and remains a closed town because of its proximity to the Mayak plant,
To consider how insanely radioactive Lake Karachay is, think about this: Chernobyl disaster: 5-12 exabecquerels blown over thousands of square miles Lake Karachay: 4 exabecquerels in this tiny lake, less than a quarter of a mile in diameter. Even approaching the lake will get you a lethal dose within an hour. And they ARE starting to cover it up with concrete and gravel as the water evaporates. As the water recedes, they lay down dirt, gravel and concrete over the area so it can’t fill back in and the sediment doesn’t get disturbed by the wind.
The 10 Worst Civilian Nuclear Accidents in History http://www.neatorama.com/2013/05/21/The-10-Worst-Civilian-Nuclear-Accidents-in-History/ Miss Cellania , May 21, 2013 Quick -how many nuclear accidents can you name? Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima …any more? There have been quite a few nuclear accidents of varying danger that you probably never heard of, including some fatal incidents. For example, in 1957, nuclear waste exploded at a reactor near the Soviet town of Ozyorsk.
One of the storage tanks contained around 70 to 80 tons of radioactive liquid waste, and its cooling mechanism stopped working and wasn’t fixed. The tank’s contents, made up mostly of ammonium nitrate and acetates, began to dry out as the liquid heated up and evaporated. Moreover, the temperature increase caused an explosion whose force was equivalent to 70 to 100 tons of TNT, and this sent huge amounts of radioactivity – roughly 20 MCi (800 PBq) – into the environment. The fallout cloud from the explosion contaminated an area of up to 7,722 square miles (20,000 square kilometers).
Over a period of nearly two years, about 10,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area. In terms of fatalities, the exact cost of the incident is not known, but immediately around the site of the explosion there were 66 diagnosed cases of chronic radiation syndrome.
Large Scale Energy Storage Roundup http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3755 23 May 13,
As the world increasingly moves towards renewable energy; it will need many individual energy storage locations distributed across the grid to address issues of variability in electricity production. The idea of a battery being a relatively small device or a series of small boxes cobbled together with wiring is changing fast. Batteries capable of storing huge amounts of energy are being developed using all sort of materials and technologies.
The following are just a few we’ve reported on in the past; some of which are have now been deployed in commercial applications: Read more »
Scientists detect high levels of uranium contamination that increases cancers, birth defects in Iraq http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130521/Scientists-detect-high-levels-of-uranium-contamination-that-increases-cancers-birth-defects-in-Iraq.aspx May 21, 2013 Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects at local hospitals, highlight the ongoing legacy of modern warfare to civilians in conflict zones. The radioactive element uranium is widely dispersed throughout the earth’s crust and is much sought after as a fuel for nuclear power plants and for use in weapons. Depleted uranium (DU), commonly used in modern munitions such as defensive armour plating and armour-piercing projectiles, is 40 per cent less radioactive than natural uranium, but remains a significant and controversial danger to human health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets a maximum uranium exposure of 1 millisievert (mSv) per year for the general public, but environmental scientists at the University of Mosul and the Institute of Forest Ecology, Universitaet für Bodenkultur (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, led by Riyad Abdullah Fathi have measured significant levels of uranium in soil samples from three sites in the province of Nineveh in the north of Iraq. Writing in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Fathi and colleagues link their findings with dramatic increases in cancers reported to the Mosul Cancer Registry and the Iraqi national cancer registry (which began collecting data in 1975).
They conclude that:
“The Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003 left a legacy of pollution with DU in many regions of Iraq. The effects of these munitions may be affecting the general health of Iraqi citizens, manifesting in an increase in cancers and birth defects.”
They also warn that, even though some of the contamination measured in this study is specifically linked to known sites, it can be easily spread widely in the air, soil and water, particularly as dust in windstorms.
Their report “Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates” begins with a literature review that collates health-related data from a range of sources, including a report by the WHO (in 2003), which states that childhood cancers – particularly leukaemia - are ten times higher in Iraq than in other industrialised countries. Read more »
Safecast’s software and devices are all open source, and anyone can use the data. Franken says it’s being used by researchers around the world and even by the government in some Japanese cities.
you can tie specific medical symptoms to radiation levels.”
In Japan, Citizen Radiation-Tracking Project Goes Big Time, PRI’s The World, BY CATHERINE WINTER ⋅ MAY 21, 2013 ⋅ON A SUNNY SPRING MORNING JUST OUTSIDE TOKYO, JOE MOROSS HOOKS A RADIATION DETECTOR OUTSIDE THE BACK WINDOW OF A LITTLE RED CAR. HE LOOKS AT A MAP OF THE AREA ON HIS LAPTOP COMPUTER, TRYING TO FIND A ROUTE HE HASN’T DRIVEN BEFORE, SO HE CAN TAKE NEW RADIATION READINGS.
“We want to cover every street so people who look at our maps can drill down and zoom in and find out what the measurement is right in front of their house,” Moross says.
Moross is taking measurements for Safecast. Since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daichi two years ago, volunteers like him have been driving around Japan, testing radiation and adding their readings to online maps.
When The World last checked in on Safecast, in May of 2011, the group had just formed and had posted a handful of radiation measurements.
Now, Safecast volunteers have taken close to 10 million separate readings……. Read more »
New Tracking of a Patient’s Radiation Exposure , WSJ, By LAURA LANDRO, 21 May 13, During a four-week hospital stay, 29-year-old Josh Page had so many CT scans that he lost track, kidding with his doctor about how much radiation he was exposed to—though he admits he had “no clue.” Now, Intermountain Healthcare, where he was treated for an inflammation of the pancreas and underwent surgery in February, is keeping track for him.
The Salt Lake City-based nonprofit group of 22 hospitals and 185 clinics is launching the first major system of its kind to measure and report patients’ cumulative medical radiation exposure from tests that deliver the highest amount of radiation. This includes CT scans, nuclear medicine scans and interventional radiology exams for the heart. In addition to educating doctors and patients about the risks and benefits of medical radiation, Intermountain will allow them to access their exposure data via its electronic health record.
While the benefits of tests and procedures usually outweigh the slightly increased cancer risk from exposure due to radiation, “the risks should be considered before these imaging tests are performed,” says Keith White, medical director of Intermountain’s Imaging Services. This is particularly true for younger patients, who have a higher risk because they live long enough to see long-term effects…… Federal data shows that in 2006, Americans received seven times more radiation exposure than in the 1980s, Read more »
WHAT ABOUT THE ONGOING THREAT OF FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT ?, Veterans Today, 14 May 13 The Washington Blog posed that same question on April 13, 2013 ~ Is Fukushima Leaking … Or Are the Reactors Wholly Uncontained?
“You may have heard that Tepco ~ the operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plants ~ announced alarge leak of radioactive water….. You may have heard that the cooling system in the spent fuel pools at Fukushima has failed for a second time in a month.
This is newsworthy stuff … but completely misses the big picture. Associated Press notes: ” Experts suspect a continuous leak into the ocean through an underground water system, citing high levels of contamination in fish caught in waters just off the plant. (Tepco graphics of the Fukushima plants even appear to show water directly flowing from the plant to the ocean. And see this.) In fact, Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day. ”
How much radiation is that? Read more »
The new study provides the only available scientific predictions to date about what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean. Dallas, who was previously the director of the Center for Mass Destruction Defense at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is quick to point out that the study received no U.S. government funding or oversight. “No one wanted this research to happen,” he adds.
Who Will Drop the Next Nuclear Bomb? We ignore the ever-growing global arsenal of nuclear weapons at our peril. The Nation, Nick Turse May 13, 2013 “……. Iranian cities — owing to geography, climate, building construction, and population densities — are particularly vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a new study, “Nuclear War Between Israel and Iran: Lethality Beyond the Pale,” published in the journal Conflict & Health by researchers from the University of Georgia and Harvard University. It is the first publicly released scientific assessment of what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean for people in the region.
Its scenarios are staggering. An Israeli attack on the Iranian capital of Tehran using five 500-kiloton weapons would, the study estimates, kill seven million people — 86% of the population — and leave close to 800,000 wounded. A strike with five 250-kiloton weapons would kill an estimated 5.6 million and injure 1.6 million, according to predictions made using an advanced software package designed to calculate mass casualties from a nuclear detonation.
Estimates of the civilian toll in other Iranian cities are even more horrendous. A nuclear assault on the city of Arak, the site of a heavy water plant central to Iran’s nuclear program, would potentially kill 93% of its 424,000 residents. Three 100-kiloton nuclear weapons hitting the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas would slaughter an estimated 94% of its 468,000 citizens, leaving just 1% of the population uninjured. A multi-weapon strike on Kermanshah, a Kurdish city with a population of 752,000, would result in an almost unfathomable 99.9% casualty rate. Read more »
Who Will Drop the Next Nuclear Bomb? We ignore the ever-growing global arsenal of nuclear weapons at our peril. The Nation, Nick Turse May 13, 2013 “……..Nuclear Horror: Then and Now The first nuclear attack on a civilian population center, the U.S. strike on Hiroshima, left that city “uniformly and extensively devastated,” according to astudy carried out in the wake of the attacks by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. “Practically the entire densely or moderately built-up portion of the city was leveled by blast and swept by fire… The surprise, the collapse of many buildings, and the conflagration contributed to an unprecedented casualty rate.” At the time, local health authorities reported that 60% of immediate deaths were due to flash or flame burns and medical investigators estimated that 15%-20% of the deaths were caused by radiation.
Witnesses “stated that people who were in the open directly under the explosion of the bomb were so severely burned that the skin was charred dark brown or black and that they died within a few minutes or hours,” according to the 1946 report. “Among the survivors, the burned areas of the skin showed evidence of burns almost immediately after the explosion. At first there was marked redness, and other evidence of thermal burns appeared within the next few minutes or hours.”
Many victims kept their arms outstretched because it was too painful to allow them to hang at their sides and rub against their bodies. One survivor recalled seeing victims “with both arms so severely burned that all the skin was hanging from their arms down to their nails, and others having faces swollen like bread, losing their eyesight. It was like ghosts walking in procession… Some jumped into a river because of their serious burns. The river was filled with the wounded and blood.”…… http://www.thenation.com/article/174295/who-will-drop-next-nuclear-bomb#
Hanford Nuclear Cleanup May Be Too Dangerous, Future Of Storage Plant Uncertain http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/hanford-nuclear-cleanup-too-dangerous_n_3246263.html?utm_hp_ref=green | By Valerie Brown 05/09/2013 , Scientific American: (click here for original article)
The most toxic and voluminous nuclear waste in the U.S.—208 million liters —sits in decaying underground tanks at the Hanford Site (a nuclear reservation) in southeastern Washington State. It accumulated there from the middle of World War II, when the Manhattan Project invented the first nuclear weapon, to 1987, when the last reactor shut down. The federal government’s current attempt at a permanent solution for safely storing that waste for centuries—the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant here—has hit a major snag in the form of potential chain reactions, hydrogen explosions and leaks from metal corrosion. And the revelation last February that six more of the storage tanks are currently leaking has further ramped up the pressure for resolution. Read more »
The Navajo people’s struggle to prevent the re-entry of mining corporations has so far been successful. It is fair to assume that as long as valuable resources remain on Indigenous lands profit-hungry corporations will continue to circle like vultures.
Navajo Nation battles uranium corporations, nuclear industry Decades of dealing with environmental degradation, racism, Liberation, By Bethany Woody MAY 8, 2013 “……….In early 2013, uranium companies approached the Navajo Nation in hopes they will allow them to renew mining operations on their land. These companies claim that they have developed newer and safer methods for extracting uranium, after decades of environmental destruction and abuse led the Navajo Nation to officially ban their mining. Read more »
Ocean disposal of radioactive waste http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_disposal_of_radioactive_waste#1946-93 April 2013 (Excellent maps)
From 1946 through 1993, thirteen countries (fourteen, if the USSR and Russia are considered separately) used ocean disposal or ocean dumping as a method to dispose of nuclear/radioactive waste. The waste materials included both liquids and solids housed in various containers, as well as reactor vessels, with and without spent or damaged nuclear fuel. Since 1993, ocean disposal has been banned by international treaties. (London Convention (1972), Basel Convention, MARPOL 73/78)
However, according to the United Nations, some companies have been dumping radioactive waste and other hazardous materials into the coastal waters of Somalia, taking advantage of the fact that the country had no functioning government from the early 1990s onwards. This caused health problems for locals in the coastal region and posed a significant danger to Somalia’s fishing industry and local marine life.
“Ocean floor disposal” (or sub-seabed disposal)—a more deliberate method of delivering radioactive waste to the ocean floor and depositing it into the seabed—was studied by the UK and Sweden, but never implemented.…….
Tokyo’s ability to both enrich uranium and reprocess spent reactor
fuel has allowed it to amass roughly nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium on its soil. Activating the Rokkasho plant would produce
that much each year, said officials and industry experts.
Japan’s Nuclear Plan Unsettles U.S, WSJ, By JAY SOLOMON and MIHO INADA
2 May 13, TOKYO—Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel
reprocessing plant over the objections of the Obama administration,
which fears the move may stoke a broader race for nuclear technologies
and even weapons in North Asia and the Middle East.
The Rokkasho reprocessing facility, based in Japan’s northern Aomori
prefecture, is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium annually, said Japanese officials and nuclear-industry
experts, enough to build as many as 2,000 bombs, although Japanese
officials say their program is civilian…… Read more »
Source: ENVIRON International Corporation
Date: September 10, 2010
This material was prepared at the request of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (“the BRC”).
Disposal by shooting the wastes into deep space or the sun
Cost and the risk of an accident during launch has kept space disposal from being taken seriously. With the current cost of putting objects in orbit at around $10,000 per pound, and given that the U.S. inventory of spent fuel and high-level waste is of the order of 100,000 metric tons, not including the heavy shielding that would be required, the costs with present technology would be prohibitive, even if the risks of radioactive wastes crashing back to earth could be managed somehow.
But if one wanted to dispose of only the very long-lived waste, e.g., technetium-99, cesium-135, iodine-129, and the long-lived actinides, then the amounts are much more manageable, of the order of a few million kilograms for all current U.S. wastes. [...]
Congress needs to focus on how nuclear waste is stored now By Dave Lochbaum and Robert Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists - 05/01/13 U.S. nuclear power plants have been generating electricity for more than 50 years, but the nuclear industry and the federal government have yet to figure out what to do with nuclear waste, which remains dangerously radioactive for thousands of years. On April 25, a bipartisan group of senators — Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — released draft legislation addressing this intractable problem. Read more »
while the new guide will be subject to a 90-day public comment period once it formally is published in the Federal Register, it has been labeled for “interim use,” meaning it is effective immediately
“a recipe for absolute mayhem in the midst of an emergency,” “And that’s because of politics.”
EPA RELAXES PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR RADIOLOGICAL ATTACKS, ACCIDENTS, Next Gov, By Douglas P. GuarinoGlobal Security Newswire April 9, 2013 After years of internal deliberation and controversy, the Obama administration has issued a document suggesting that when dealing with the aftermath of an accident or attack involving radioactive materials, public health guidelines can be made thousands of times less stringent than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would normally allow. Read more »
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