nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Some conservation scientists misinformed by the nuclear lobby- Jim Green busts the spin

nuke-bubbleEndorsing the wishful thinking and misinformation presented in the Brook-Bradshaw journal article is no substitute for an honest acknowledgement of the proliferation problems associated with nuclear power, coupled with serious, sustained efforts to solve those problems.

‘Wishful thinking and misinformation': An open letter to nuclear lobbyists   http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/12/18/energy-markets/wishful-thinking-and-misinformation-open-letter-nuclear-lobbyists

JIM GREEN 18 DEC,  A group of conservation scientists has published an open letter urging environmentalists to reconsider their opposition to nuclear power. The letter is an initiative of Australian academics Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw.

The co-signatories “support the broad conclusions drawn in the article ‘Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation’, published in Conservation Biology.” The open letter states: “Brook and Bradshaw argue that the full gamut of electricity-generation sources − including nuclear power − must be deployed to replace the burning of fossil fuels, if we are to have any chance of mitigating severe climate change.”

So, here’s my open letter in response to the open letter initiated by Brook and Bradshaw:

– – –

Dear conservation scientists, Continue reading

December 19, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, AUSTRALIA, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Declaration by 50 Japanese NGOs to protest the CSC which protects the nuclear power industry

flag-japan50 NGOs in Japan released a declaration to protest the CSC which protects the nuclear power industry http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/wordpress0/index.php?p=119

カテゴリー: December 6, 2014

50 non-governmental organizations in Japan released a declaration to protest the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) which protects nuclear power technology vendors from responsibility for reparations and does not protect the victims of nuclear power accidents.

Declaration

To protest The Japanese Diet’s over-hasty approval of the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) , which heavily protects the nuclear power industry and encourages nuclear exports

On November 19, the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) was ratified by the House of Councilors. We strongly object to today’s vote to approve this treaty, without any discussion of its numerous problems, which was rushed through to accommodate the Abe administration’s schedule for dissolving the Lower House of the Diet.

The treaty promotes the export of nuclear power technology while ignoring the lessons of the Fukushima accident.

Specifically, we raise the following issues:

1) The exemption of nuclear power technology vendors from liability/responsibility for reparations. This will result in increased exports of nuclear power technology.

2) The use of international funds for nuclear accident damage compensation above a fixed amount. This will serve to benefit any nuclear technology vendor who causes an accident.

3) As a result of items 1 and 2, parties involved in the nuclear energy business only profit, without taking any risk – leading to moral hazard and the acceleration of nuclear exports. Continue reading

December 19, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is a distraction from the urgent task of tackling climate change

globalnukeNOflag-UKNuclear damages attempts to tackle climate change nuClear News Dec 14 It is now almost 15 years since Tony Blair asked the Number Ten Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) to carry out a thorough review of energy policy. That review ultimately led to the 2003 Energy White Paper which concluded that the current economics of nuclear power make it an unattractive option, and that there are still important issues about nuclear waste which need to be resolved.
In launching the White Paper in Parliament the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry at the
time, Patricia Hewitt, said: “It would have been foolish to announce …a new generation of nuclear power stations, because
that would have guaranteed we would not make the necessary investments in energy efficiency and renewables.”
Unfortunately, as we know, the nuclear lobbyists got to work straight away and this policy was
eventually reversed. (1)
When the Nuclear White Paper was published in January 2008 giving the go-ahead to new reactors, Professor Gordon Mackerron, who had been a prominent member of the PIU Energy Review team and went on to Chair the first Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), expressed concern that nuclear investments would ultimately stall. But the
expectation that new reactors would be built would hold back investment in the alternatives. So we could get to 2020 and find that neither nuclear, nor other forms of carbon abatement technology had been built. (2)
Regrettably, now we are 7 years closer to 2020, it looks as though Hewitt and Mackerron’s worst fears are coming true.
Nuclear power is a distraction from the urgent task of tackling climate change for five main
reasons.
Firstly, nuclear power provides quite a small percentage of the UK’s energy needs, so it is
important that we don’t allow plans to build new reactors to disrupt plans to introduce other
forms of low carbon energy.
Secondly, Funding is limited. Even in boom times there is a limited supply of money, so we need
to maximise the carbon savings achieved from every pound spent. But, as we shall see, nuclear
is probably the most expensive way to save carbon.
Thirdly, there is a serious risk that nuclear will soak up all the funds available for low carbon
energy.
Fourthly tackling climate change is urgent, the sooner we can start making savings, the bigger the cumulative impact. New reactors at Hinkley are not expected to start operating until about 2023 at the earliest, whereas other forms of carbon abatement could start making savings now.No2NuclearPower
Finally, global markets are moving rapidly towards more decentralised low carbon energy
systems. But by promoting nuclear power, the UK will be bucking this trend and prolonging the
life of outmoded, centralised utility models. Andy Blowers, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, and
another former CoRWM member says it is this “Business As Usual” aspect of nuclear power

 

December 17, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

US government planning to spend $1 trillion on upgrading nuclear weapons

burning-moneyThe nuclear money pit, The Economist  Does America really need a new plutonium production line? Dec 15th 2014 | LOS ANGELES THE RECENT sabre rattling by Vladimir Putin may have unwittingly done what the United States Congress has failed to do for decades: refocus attention—and billions of additional dollars—on overhauling America’s nuclear arsenal. The $585 billion defence bill for the next fiscal year sailed through the House of Representatives last week with broad bipartisan support, and then did the same in the Senate on December 12th, despite all the fractious squabbling over the $1.1 trillion government funding measure.
More pertinently, the $11.7 billion request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a branch of the Department of Energy that oversees nuclear weapons, naval reactors and nonproliferation activities on behalf of the military, represents a 4% increase over the previous year. The biggest chunk of that—covering work on modernising the country’s nuclear weapons—is to increase by 7%. All this at a time when mandated “sequestration” cuts are supposed to be reducing military spending.

All told, the federal government intends allocating up to $1 trillion to upgrade the country’s missiles, bombers and submarines over the coming decades. Continue reading

December 17, 2014 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

UK farmers could generate renewable energy better and sooner than nuclear power could

flag-UKHinkley Point C – A Review of the Year, nuClear News   Dec 14  “……..Meanwhile a new report from Forum for the Future, Nottingham Trent University and Farmers’ Weekly estimates that UK farms could have a generating capacity of 20GW by 2020 compared with Hinkley’s 3.2GW capacity which won’t be available until 2023 at the very earliest. (30)
Now former Government Chief Scientist, Professor Sir David King who was instrumental in
persuading Tony Blair to ditch the 2003 Energy White Paper, which argued against supporting
nuclear power and go for new reactors now says we might be able to do without them if we can
develop energy storage. (31) He obviously knows a dead horse when he sees one.
On 8th October 2014 following the European Commission’s decision to approve subsidies to
Hinkley, Allan Jeffrey a spokesperson for the Stop Hinkley Campaign appealed to EDF Energy
and the UK Government to examine in detail the flurry of recent reports from investment and
energy analysts predicting a bright future for solar energy and other renewables as well as
energy storage. (32)
“The technology proposed for Hinkley Point C is well past its sell-by-date. It’s time for Somerset to
look to the future and develop a locally-controlled sustainable energy industry which doesn’t
involve leaving a toxic legacy for our grandchildren’s children and which can tackle climate
change and fuel poverty in a much more cost effective way.”
The reports highlighted by the group suggest that the old centralised utility model is becoming
increasingly redundant and decentralised energy supply will become increasingly important in
the future.
Former Labour MP Alan Simpson says the place which scares the Big 6 energy companies  the
most is Germany. Already, 50 per cent of Germany’s electricity generating capacity comes from
renewables. But big energy companies only own about 5 per cent of this generating capacity
95% is owned by farmers, small businesses, local authorities, community co-operatives and
individuals. Overall 50% is owned by citizens. And now local authorities are beginning to take
back control of the grid to help this energy revolution along. (33)
graph-Germany-wind
The question for 2015 is whether South-west England will join the renewables revolution or
whether it will struggle on with redundant technology………..http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo69.pdf

December 17, 2014 Posted by | decentralised, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear too slow to be effective, and will soak up all the UK climate change funds

climate-change-timeNuclear damages attempts to tackle climate change nuClear News Dec 14 
“……….You might say “well climate change is urgent, so why don’t we do nuclear as well as all the other
stuff”. But there is a limited supply of funds and the way the Government has organised thesubsidy schemes at the moment it looks as though nuclear will use up all of those funds.
The Treasury’s so-called Levy Control Framework limits the amount of money which can be
collected from consumers’ bills. This year the pot of money available will be £3.5bn. This will
increase to £6.45bn by 2018/9. But because subsidies to low carbon energy are an ongoing
commitment, £3.55bn of that will go to projects already running and only £2.9bn will be
available to new schemes. The total pot will go up to £7.6bn in 2020/21, an increase of just over
£1bn. We don’t know the exact figure for 2023/24, but we do know that Hinkley will require
around £1bn, so it will probably use up all the money for new projects. (4)
And there isn’t expected to be any more money for new projects until 2027, by which time
Sizewell C could be ready to start gobbling up cash.
Nuclear is too slow
The sooner we make carbon savings the greater the cumulative impact by, say, 2025. Nuclear
takes a long time to build. Hinkley is expected to take about eight years, so there won’t be any
carbon savings until at least 2023. The two other reactors being built in Europe at the moment
are both late – Olkiluoto in Finland is 7 years late and Flamanville in France is 4 years late.
Hinkley might save a million tonnes of carbon per year in eight years time, whereas a re-booted
energy efficiency programme could have already saved 14 million tonnes by then. (5)
Centralised utilities – a dying model
Former Government Chief Scientist, Professor Sir David King who was instrumental in
persuading Tony Blair to ditch the 2003 Energy White Paper and go for new reactors now says
we might be able to do without them if we can develop energy storage. (6)
He’s probably been reading the financial press. The 21st November might go down as the day the
nuclear renaissance finally died in Britain. Look at UK Nuclear News for that day and you will
discover that:
Consumers could be on the hook for £37bn worth of undiscounted subsidies to Hinkley over its
lifetime.
The cost of Hinkley has gone up from £9bn in 2011 to £24.5bn now.
Reactor builder – Areva – which was expected to take a 10% stake in Hinkley is in the midst of a
financial crisis.
The Treasury is re-examining the Hinkley project.No2Nuclear http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo69.pdf

December 17, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Pacific Ocean is still the sewer for the nuclear industry’s wastes

TV: Plutonium being pumped into ocean through miles of underwater pipes — Nuclear waste left lying on beach — Kids playing on sand where machines scoop up plutonium each day — Alarming test results 1,000% legal limit (VIDEO & PHOTOS)http://enenews.com/tv-plutonium-being-pumped-ocean-miles-underwater-pipes-nuclear-waste-left-lying-beach-kids-playing-sand-machines-scoop-plutonium-day-video-photos?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Pacific-Ocean-drain

SWR (German public television broadcaster), 2013 (emphasis added):

  • 25:00 in — The dumping of nuclear waste in the sea was banned worldwide in 1993, yet the nuclear industry has come up with other ways. They no longer dump the barrels at sea; they build kilometers of underwater pipes through which the radioactive effluent now flows freely into the sea. One of these pipes is situated in Normandy [near] the French reprocessing plant in La Hague… The advantage for the nuclear industry? No more bad press… disposal via waste pipes remains hidden from the public eye, quite literally.
  • 28:30 in — 400 km from La Hague [as well as] Holland [and] Germany… we find iodine… 5-fold higher tritium value than [reported] by the operator Areva. It’s now obvious why citizens take their own measurements.
  • 30:15 in — Molecular Biologist: “The radioactive toxins accumulate in the food chain. This little worm can contain 2,000-3,000 times more radioactivity than its environment. It is then eaten by the next biggest creature and so on, at the end of the food chain we discovered damage to the reproductive cells of crabs… These genetic defects are inherited from one generation to the next… Cells in humans and animals are the same.”
  • 32:00 in — The 2nd disposal pipe for Europe’s nuclear waste is located in the north of England… Radioactive pollution comes in from the sea. Their houses are full of plutonium dust… The pipe from Sellafield is clearly visible only from the air… nuclear waste is still being dumped into the sea. Operators argue this is land-based disposal… It has been approved by the authorities.
  • 35:45 in — Plutonium can be found here on a daily basis, the toxic waste returns from the sea… it leaches out, it dries, and is left lying on the beach. The people here have long since guessed that the danger is greater than those responsible care to admit… Every day a smallexcavator removes plutonium from the beach… In recent decadesthe operator at Sellafield has tossed more than 500 kg of plutonium into the sea.
  • 42:00 in — We take a soil sample… The result turns out to be alarming. The amount of plutonium is up to 10 times higher than the permissible limit.

Yahoo News, Dec 5, 2014: All this radiation from the [Fukushima] disaster has definitely not been isolated to just Japan. Researchers monitoring the Pacific Ocean, in which much of the radiation spilled into, have detected radioactive isotopes this past November just 160 km [100 miles] off the coast of California. So this story will continue to unfold for many years to come.

Watch SWR’s investigative report here

December 8, 2014 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD, oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

Fast breeder nuclear reactors: Russia the only country with one in commercial operation

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY OVERVIEW, Earth Life Johannesburg Vladimir Slivyak Russian environmental group, Ecodefense National Research University Higher School of Economics Moscow December 2014

“………..Fast breeders

The nuclear industry started to promote the so-called closed nuclear fuel cycle with fast breeder
reactors some 50 years ago. The idea was to develop a technological cycle that would involve
reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, extracting plutonium from it, and then “breeding” this nuclear
material in commercial reactors in order to provide the nuclear power industry with a virtually
inexhaustible source of fuel while also eliminating the problem of managing the highly toxic
nuclear waste. No country in the world, however, has since been able to introduce a closed fuel
cycle successfully. All breeders that were brought online in Western countries that attempted to
close the nuclear cycle stopped their commercial operation long before their designed lifetime
periods expired, for economic, safety, and technical reasons. As of 2014, Russia remains the only
country with a fast breeder reactor in commercial operation, a BN-600 operating at Beloyarsk
Nuclear Power Plant.

Continue reading

December 8, 2014 Posted by | Reference, reprocessing, Russia | Leave a comment

Troubled story of Russia’s new nuclear reactors plan

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY OVERVIEW, Earth Life Johannesburg Vladimir Slivyak Russian environmental group, Ecodefense
National Research University Higher School of Economics Moscow December 2014
“…….New reactors
In 2008, the Russian government approved the “General Layout Plan for Siting Power Generation
Facilities for the period until 2020.” It included construction of 13.2 GW in new reactor capacities
within the next five years. By March 2010, this goal had been downscaled to just 5.2 GW. After
auditing the Ministry of Energy in March 2010, the Russian Audit Chamber announced it would
not be possible to achieve the target outlined in the plan. As a result, only about 40% of planned
reactors were expected to come online by 2015.11
In July 2012, Russia’s overall nuclear power development target for 2020 – 44 GW – was again
reduced, to 30.5 GW.12 The new target remains a pie-in-the-sky figure because the Russian
industry is unable to produce more than one reactor per year, according to the industry’s top
officials.
As of today, Rosenergoatom – Rosatom’s reactor-operating branch – lists ten new reactors as under
construction: eight VVER units, one fast breeder that is approaching the 30-year anniversary of
its construction, and a small floating nuclear plant.13
At least two of the VVER projects on this list have seen no progress since mid-2013 – the two units
of a planned Baltic NPP in Kaliningrad Region. A variety of reasons caused the construction to
freeze indefinitely, including the limited market for the future electricity and harsh criticism
by environmental movements on the project’s safety and financing issues. Rosatom sought
funding for this project in European Union countries, in hopes to involve foreign investors and
energy companies in building the plant and exporting its energy to Europe. These negotiations
took three years and proved unsuccessful. Russia’s neighbor and EU member, Lithuania, also
repeatedly criticized Rosatom over the project’s safety and lack of transparency. Environmental
groups from both Russia and Europe successfully campaigned against this project by pushing
European banks and companies to stay away. In 2013, the German Hypovereinsbank and the
French BNP Paribas announced in written form that they would not join the project. Earlier, the Italian energy giant ENEL had stated that it was doing its assessment and looking into the
possibility of investing in the Kaliningrad project. That led to heavy criticism by Russian and
Italian environmental groups in 2011-2012. The company never announced its decision. The
French bank Société Générale was under heavy pressure from Russian and French campaigners
in 2013 over its possible involvement in the Kaliningrad project. Société Générale’s managers
said in the beginning of 2013 that the bank planned to assess the possibility of joining the project
in Kaliningrad by providing the funds for turbine manufacturing by the French firm Alstom. No
decision was announced before the Russian government put the project on hold in June 2013.
Two more VVER-1200 reactors are currently under construction at the Leningrad nuclear plant;
construction started in 2008 and 2010, respectively. The units were slated for grid connection
by 2013 and 2016. Both projects, however, hit delays with grid connection dates pushed back
to 2016 and 2018, partly on account of a major accident that occurred at the construction site on
July 17, 2011. A 600-800-ton reinforcement cage of the containment building fell on its concrete
frame. The weight of the cage caused the concrete frame to crack and the entire structure had to
be replaced, leading to massive additional costs.14
Another two units on Rosenergoatom’s current construction list are so-called “floating reactors”
(Akademik Lomonosov 1, 2), 32 MW each. Rosatom began this project in 2007 with plans to
complete it by 2010. As of 2014, the completion date had been revised to 2019.15 Among the major
concerns with the project are the high risk of accidents, vulnerability to piracy and terrorism
threats, and the increased risk of proliferation of nuclear materials, if the project is taken to serial
production and floating nuclear power plants are deployed on a wide international scale.16
However, two units each at the Novovoronezh plant, Novovoronezh-2 (VVER-1200, under
construction since 2007, delayed for 2-3 years), and Rostov (VVER-1000, under construction
since 1983) are close to completion. Russian media repeatedly reported on corruption and safety
concerns related to the Novovoronezh-2 construction, but there was no investigation of these
claims by Rosatom.17
Another unit that is nearly completed is the fourth unit at Beloyarsk. This is a fast breeder r of the
BN-800 design; construction started back in 1986. So far, the only commercial breeder reactor
in operation in the world is the highly problematic Beloyarsk-3, of the BN-600 design. It was
passing its 30-years-in-operation mark back in 2013 and got its license extended for another 15

December 8, 2014 Posted by | politics, Reference, Russia | Leave a comment

In 1920s fruit fly experiments showed the insidious harm done by ionising radiation

text ionisingMiningawareness, 8 Dec 14 The fruit fly experiments showed that it was dangerous in the 1920s! They were damning enough. It showed that it took multiple generations for the genetic damage to show up, because it was often recessive! But, they knew it was dangerous for people from the advent of x-rays and radium a couple of decades prior. They did human nuclear experiments too. In the 1950s or 60s scientists started worrying about what if radiation impacted intelligence more than fertility so that there was a prolific, dumb population. Is this why no one wonders this anymore? They also worried about radiation damaged DNA of nuclear workers merging into the general population. Why do few wonder anything intelligent anymore? Corrupt academia or damaged DNA, damaged intelligence? Ravens have more sense than the pro-nuclear lobby. Ravens look before they cross the road.

December 6, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Hanford nuclear site area has dramatically high rate of babies born without brains

New data shows babies missing brains at 2,500% national rate in county by nuclear site — Mother: Officials “shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford!… WE NEED ANSWERS!” — Experts: No birth defect is more extreme; It’s the most significant impact of radiation on developing embryos (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/79334?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

anencephaly

“Nothing [is] more extreme than anencephaly” -Dr Michael Grodin, Boston U. School of Medicine

‘Fatal Birth Defects Surge’ – Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington Dept.of Health (emphasis added): Anencephaly is a rare birth defect in which the brain and the skull of the baby do not fully form [and is] not compatible with life… The most well known risk factor… is a deficiency in folic acid… that’s one of the possibilities we’re looking into [note that mothers in the birth defect cluster had much higher rates of folic acid consumption than the control group chosen by officials]…Hanford nuclear facility has been one concern of the community. We worked really closely with our radiation experts… who work closely with… Hanford. There have been no recent releases [note how she rephrases this] — no recent CHANGE in radiation releases. We can’t really determine any pathway by which radiation could affect all the women in the 3-county area [note all 3 counties surround Hanford]… We’re working with the doctors to make sure we’re identifying all the cases… It’s very important to figure out the rates.

Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki, MD, (Chair of Medical Genetics at U. of S. Alabama), Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Crisis Without End, Oct 2014: “The most significant negative impact of radiation on a developing embryo includes anencephaly… Two US studies… sponsored by the[CDC and published in 1988] sought to determine the… impact of ionizing radiation nearHanford… One study detected higher neural tube defect rates [e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida] in two counties near the nuclear complex and the other demonstrated higher rates of neural tube defects in parents exposed… to low levels of radiation.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Hanford documents [reveal] incredible contamination of the environment and exposure of large numbers of citizens to dangerous amountsEight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia... [In 1949] 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were [secretly] released [over] an area o 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given…  [`400 times TMI’s release of] 15 -24 curies — PSR: Contamination has not and will not stay inside Hanford’s boundaries… Over 300 miles of the Columbia… are threatened… [Fires in] 2000… burned three radioactive waste sites [and] plutonium was detected in nearby communities. — PSRHanford is the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere… At least 200-square miles of groundwater… is contaminated and migrating to the Columbia.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 34:00 in): Birth defect issues occur in the 2nd [generation after radiation exposure]  — especially the 3rd and 4th.

Washington Anencephaly Investigation, Oct 2014:

CDC 2010 statistics, released 2013: Anencephaly 313 cases; RATE0.73 per 10,000 births.

Instead of using the 0.73 rate, officials claim the national rate is 2.1, nearly 3 times  higher. The rate of 2.1 is from a study using data from 2004-2006 that estimates the anencephaly rate, andonly uses data from less than 15 states — unlike the CDC report above which is based on the most current data, uses data from all 50 states, and is not an ‘estimate’.

Nikki Shelton, mother of baby w/ neural tube defect (e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida) 13 mi. from Hanford, Nov 6, 2014: This is not something that is going away… the numbers are increasing. The last teleconference I was in shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford! … let’s not let the department of health just sweep this under the rug…WE NEED ANSWERS!

Interview with Gundersen here | KUOW broadcast here

December 3, 2014 Posted by | children, health, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

“Radioactive Berkeley: No Safe Dose

radiation-warningfrom Kay, 2 Dec 14 The video of Dr. Gofman is excellent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xddNmNR0hG4 Someone at ENENEWS transcribed some of what Dr. Gofman had to say, and his words are so important that I think it’s important to post it here, too, for safekeeping. (It’s a little long, sorry)

Dr. John Gofman:

“What’s the order of magnitude of the problem that’s been created by radiation in the 20th century? Today manmade activities added up in total exceed the dose from natural radiation.”

“Every increment that we add to that natural radiation will exact its price in human health, and human health with respect to some very miserable diseases such as the genetic disorders and heart disease and cancer.”

“50% of all cancers in the 20th century have been caused by ionizing radiation of the type we would call low-level.”

“Recently I wrote a book on the subject of breast cancer and stated that my best estimate backed up by considerable evidence is that about ¾ of all the breast cancers of the 20th century were induced by ionizing radiation of one sort or another, including medical. This is not a small problem and we there therefore need to give attention to every source of low-level radiation exposure to the public.”

“In the early days of the post-war period when radioactivity became available in large quantities as the result of the existence of nuclear reactors, many of the people working in the field said, ‘Well, what dose can we allow people to have which will be safe?’

“I wrestled with that question for over 20 years, and in 1986 on a talk about Chernobyl, I presented to the American Chemical Society, my initial calculations which said:

There cannot be a safe dose, because at the lowest possible dose, which is one radiation track through the cell, I have proved that cancer is the result.”

–> Regarding Tritium:

“Many people thinking about Tritium say ‘oh we don’t have to worry about tritium; the energy of the radiation is so low that we don’t even need to think about it.’ But that is a cardinal error! It is true that the energy of each beta particle emitted by tritium is very low, BUT there’s another problem. When you have a very low energy beta particle interact with biological tissue to produce the damage to genes, the damage to chromosomes, and the risk of future cancers, the lower the energy of the radiation, the WORSE it is in terms of biological hazards. Tritium is FIVE TIMES as hazardous as bomb radiation for the same total amount of energy delivered. And that’s a general law, a rule of physics. I don’t think any person who is reasonable at all can doubt that I have demonstrated THERE IS NO SAFE DOSE because I have shown with a multitude of studies that we get cancers down at the lowest doses. Now that’s been resisted… but the United Nations scientific community in 1993 has come out and joined me in exactly the same kind of analysis. Their conclusion: THERE IS NO SAFE DOSE.”

“Children are most sensitive with respect to the generation of cancer and leukemia from radiation. The study of breast cancer in Hiroshima with radiation from the bomb has shown that children under 20, women under 20, are the most sensitive; that from 20 to 40, they are less sensitive to the breast cancer generation, and beyond 40 even less sensitive. That’s not theory. That’s not speculation. That’s a fact. And the sensitivity of the young being greater means we should exercise every precaution that we protect our children from sources of radiation no matter how small.”

December 2, 2014 Posted by | radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Sound reasons for co-operation and a nuclear deal with Iran

highly-recommendeddiplomacy-not-bombs7 reasons not to worry about Iran’s enrichment capacity, ALMONITOR  5 Nov 14 Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are aiming to end the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program by Nov. 24. Iranian and US officials have confirmed that progress was made in the extremely complicated nuclear talks in mid-October in Vienna. …………The following are seven reasons not to be too overly concerned about Iran’s breakout capability:
  1. Under the current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules and regulations, the maximum level of transparency for nuclear activities would be secured by the implementation of its three arrangements: the Safeguard Agreement, Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1 and the Additional Protocol. The world powers negotiating with Iran have a clear understanding that Iran is ready to commit to all three arrangements in a final comprehensive agreement.
  2. Iran would be cooperative in capping its level of enrichment at 5% for the duration of the final agreement to assure non-diversion toward weaponization. The fissile uranium in nuclear weapons contains enrichment to 85% or more.
  3. To ensure that Iran’s enrichment activities do not lead to a bomb, Tehran would be willing to synchronize the number of centrifuges or their productivity to its practical needs and convert the product to oxide for a number of years. Iran’s major practical need is to provide fuel for the Bushehr plant in 2021, when its fuel-supply contract with Russia terminates. Practically, out of the current 22,000 centrifuges, Iran would need around 9,000 to 10,000 to provide enough fuel annually for the four fuel elements (out of a total 54 fuel elements) for Bushehr that Russia is contractually required to supply.
  4. Regarding the heavy water facility at Arak, Iran would be cooperative in placing greater monitoring measures and modifying the reactor to reduce the annual enriched plutonium production capacity of 8-10 kilograms (18-22 pounds) to less than 0.8 kilograms (1.7 pounds). Furthermore, the 0.8kg of material will be 78% fissile, which is too low for the production of nuclear weapons, and the timeline for redesigning and building the reactor will require another five to six years.
  5. Secularizing the supreme leader’s fatwa banning the production and stockpiling of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction would be a strong objective guarantee. Once the fatwa is secularized and operationalized, violation would be a criminal matter for the courts to pursue and punishable by law. Iran’s history makes it hard to dismiss the fatwa. After all, despite an estimated 100,000 deaths from Iraqi use of chemical weapons against Iran, it was a fatwa issued by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that kept Tehran from retaliating during the Iran-Iraq war.
  6. Iran has paid a high price for its nuclear program, having endured a barrage of draconian multilateral and unilateral sanctions to date. The sanctions imposed against Iran are far beyond those imposed on North Korea, which does possess nuclear weapons. The fact is that Iran has already paid the price for making a bomb, but neither wants nor has one, a clear indicator of its steadfastness on nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
  7. If anyone were going to have made the decision to build nuclear weapons, it would have been former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet, during his eight years in the presidency, the IAEA found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear program geared toward weaponization, and his administration sought to normalize bilateral relations with the United States more than all his predecessors.

I am confident that Iran, the United States and the world powers genuinely seek to reach a deal and that there is no reason to extend the deadline beyond late November. The best strategy is to pursue a broad engagement with Iran to ensure that the decision to pursue a nuclear breakout will never come about. Iran and the United States are already tacitly and indirectly cooperating in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). A nuclear agreement would be a great boost to mutual trust and provide greater options for dealing not only with IS and the Syrian regime but also Afghanistan and Iraq — where both Washington and Tehran support the new governments in Kabul and Baghdad. Rather than focusing onenrichment capacity, Washington should weigh its capacity for relations with Iran.  http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/iran-nuclear-enrichment-uranium-iaea-fatwa-sanctions.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=a39e197e64-November_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-a39e197e64-93115393##ixzz3IKFLTdR3

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

Climate change is slowing the recovery of the hole in the ozone layer

Ozone-depleting chemical hydrogen chloride found to be on the rise http://www.smh.com.au/environment/ozonedepleting-chemical-hydrogen-chloride-found-to-be-on-the-rise-20141105-11h1hl.html November 6, 2014  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald  Atmospheric levels of a key ozone-depleting chemical are on the increase but the rise appears to be a symptom of climate change rather than additional sources of the destructive substance, according to international researchers including three from the University of Wollongong.

Investigations were prompted when scientists identified levels of hydrogen chloride had began rising in 2007 – but only in the northern hemisphere – when they should have been falling because of curbs agreed under the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer.

Hydrogen chloride releases chlorine in the stratosphere, depleting ozone and allowing more ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth, increasing skin cancer and damaging crops and other species.

Findings based on that satellite observations and model simulations and published in Nature on Thursday rule out any “rogue” source of emissions from undisclosed sources because the abundance of the chemical is falling at other layers of the atmosphere and in the southern hemisphere.

“The overall burden of chlorine is still decreasing,” said David Griffith, director of the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, and a co-author of the report. “It’s a good news story about ozone.”

It’s not so positive news on the climate change front, however, since the increased abundance of chlorine in the northern hemisphere’s stratosphere is attributed to a slowdown in atmospheric circulation leading to slower mixing at some levels.

Climate change, through increased greenhouse gas emissions, “is changing the way radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere and distributed, which would drive things such as this circulation,” Professor Griffith said.

Although it was beyond the scope of the paper to examine how long the circulation slowdown will last, or other possible consequences, Professor Griffith said the study showed the recovery of the ozone layer wouldbe a slow process, taking decades.

“Our results show that atmospheric variability and perhaps climate change can significantly modify the path towards full recovery,” he said. “It will be a bumpy ride rather than a smooth evolution.”

Professor Griffith said the work also underscored the general success in tackling ozone depletion and a range of chemicals that were phased out in a matter of years in contract to dealing with global warming. For ozone, it was a “problem created by man, problem recognised, solution proposed, solution implemented,” he said. “For climate change, the culprits have been recognised but no-one’s prepared to stop producing [carbon dioxide].”

November 6, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion requires more energy to set up, than the amount obtained from it

Why We Will Never Make A Nuclear Fusion Reactor As Good As The Sun, Business Insider,  JESSICA ORWIG OCT 17 2014 “…………..combine four hydrogen atoms and you get a burst of energy that can destroy entire islands and did on Nov. 1, 1952. That day the US tested the first hydrogen bomb on the now-nonexistent Pacific island, Elugelab.……… Clean, limitless energy is the real holy grail. Combine that desire with the awesome power we first saw with the< H-bomb, and we’ve been dreaming of a way to harness nuclear fusion of the sun as a source of clean, endless energy.

But so far, only Hollywood has managed…….. The amount of energy we need to produce the conditions for nuclear fusion is more than the energy we get out. And we’ve been coming up short for decades with little signs of improvement, according to Charles Seife,author of the book “Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking“who has written about the turtle-paced race for nuclear fusion for Slate.
Unfortunately for us, it is incredibly difficult to fuse hydrogen atoms together. It takes extreme pressure and heat, something that the sun’s strong gravitational force does naturally in its core. But we don’t have access to this kind of gravity here on our comparatively tiny Earth, and the only way to manufacture it is to expend a ton of energy to create it.
nuclear-fusion-pie-Sm

For about the last 70 years, we’ve slowly developed ways of producing the extreme pressure and heat necessary for nuclear fusion. Today, the most promising methods use containment vessels called tokamaks that can sustain hot plasmas that produce nuclear fusion but require lots of energy and space to function. The other way is using powerful lasers to fuse hydrogen atoms together.

Both of these methods, however, still have a long way to go despite what you might read from the occasional headlines on the latest breakthroughs in new nuclear fusion technology………http://www.businessinsider.com.au/we-will-never-have-sun-like-nuclear-fusion-2014-10

October 21, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

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