nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

– Civil liberties – China and USA

CIVIL LIBERTIES and NUCLEAR POWER     China and USA

CHINA It is scandalous that France, USA, Russia, in their desperation to somehow make money out of their failing nuclear industries are now both (a) flogging their nuclear technology to China, and (b) touting China as a great leader in nuclear power.  All this while knowing how very dangerous is the nuclear industry, and how China is both excessively secretive and  tramples on dissent and curtail civil liberties. - Christina Macpherson


The people’s Republic of China is the most populous nation on Earth, and the sole remaining Communist superpower. Like its Stalinist predecessor, the Soviet Union, it is also repressive. Its history is of a radical Communist autocracy that has, over time, shifted to a more open market and a legal system that has greater respect for the rule of law, a system that is less restrictive than it once was but far, far more restrictive than it should be Human Rights in China – History of Human Rights in the People’s Republic of China

…..one area of significant environmental concern in China and occupied territories such as Tibet and East Turkestan which Greenpeace-China does not campaign upon is nuclear issues. It would appear that Greenpeace does not recognise the existence the considerable ecological damage caused by nuclear production, and uranium mining and the disposal of radioactive waste within China and the occupied territories of Tibet and East Turkestan……….

destruction is being visited upon the Tibet and East Turkestan (Between 1964 and 1996, China used East Turkestan [so-called Xinjiang] for all of its nuclear testing. The Christian ScienceMonitor reported that the 45 official nuclear tests led to radiation poisoning that resulted in an estimated 210,000 deaths. However, it has been reported that secret nuclear testing has also been going on with grave effects on the health of the people in the surrounding areas. An investigative report by London’s newspaper, The Independent, revealed that the areas surrounding the Lop Nor nuclear test site—on the eastern edge of the Taklamakan Desert—have a cancer rate that is 35 percent higher than the rest of China and higher than average rates of Leukemia, tumors, and birth defects such as cleft palates. …….A UK television documentary ‘Death on The Silk Road’ (Channel Four 1998) secretly filmed inside East Turkestan documented a range of illnesses linked to radiation exposure………

People can get cancer when exposed to certain types of radiation, said Liu Ying, who works for the Chinese Center for Medical Response to Radiation Emergency under the National Institute for Radiological Protection.

“The laborers have no understanding of health protection or prevention.Those kids sit on the uranium ore to smoke and eat their steamed buns, and at night they even set up their cots insideand sleep in the uranium caves. I’ve told them that stuff could give people lung cancer, but they don’t understand any of it.”.

(Comments of mine employee working at No. 792 Mine located in Gansu’s so-called Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, one of China’s most important bases for uranium. This area was historically part of Tibet’s Amdo Region)…………Greenpeace Ignores Tibet’s Nuclear Poisoning « Tibettruth

For blue skies, first clear the air on human rights The Washington Post By Zhang Zuhua and Jiang Qishen, Nuclear critics imprisoned in China November 22, 2009 “………………Sun Xiaodi, in Gansu province, complained for years about pollution from a uranium mine and recently accused local officials of fraud. In July he was sentenced to two years in a labor-reform facility for “illegally providing state secrets overseas” and “rumor-mongering.” His daughter Sun Haiyan was sentenced to 18 months on the same charges………Zhang Zuhua and Jiang Qisheng — To help fix the climate, fix human rights in China – washingtonpost.com
Uranium policy a hypocrisy The Age David Noonan 5 Oct 09 “..…Sun Xiaodi is a former worker at No. 792 Uranium Mine in Gansu province in north-west China. Since 1988, the whistleblower has travelled repeatedly to Beijing to petition the Government to end corruption in China’s nuclear industry and to speak out for the rights of uranium mine workers. According to Chinese court documents, the crimes Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai are guilty of include inciting the public with libellous slogans including “nuclear pollution” and “human rights violation”. In reality, Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai are paying a very high price for speaking out…..”Uranium policy a hypocrisy

USA . I have several times mentioned, on this site, that the USA at least does have freedom of speech.  In contrast to China, in America Nuclear incidents, safety lapses, dissent – do get a public airing. But then, America prides itself on its values of freedom, and civil liberties. And with a new nuclear America, civil liberties, already curtailed, will all but disappear.- Christina Macpherson

Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.– Fourth Amendment To The United States Constitution

While all all uranium and nuclear industry activities make it necessary to curtail civil liberties, the particular dangers of plutonium and reprocessing technologies make this even worse:
Since the beginning of the atomic age thirty years ago, the awesome power of nuclear weapons has been perceived as an unprecedented threat to human liberty as well as to human life. [1] Most speculation about life in this country in the aftermath of a nuclear attack assumes that personal freedoms would be sharply curtailed. [2]On the other hand, the development of atomic power for peaceful purposes, primarily for the generation of electricity, has proceeded without much concern about its impact on civil liberties.This peaceful coexistence between the civilian nuclear power industry and civil liberties interests may be profoundly disturbed by the expanded use of the man-made element plutonium…. Both the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] and its critics agree that plutonium is one of the most dangerous substances in existence [15] due to its extremely high toxicity [16] and its potential for use in nuclear explosives. [17] Therefore any system which produces and uses large quantities of plutonium must adopt measures designed to prevent its appropriation by persons bent on destruction. [18]
Most discussions of this question deal with such ”safeguard” measures in terms of their practicality, their economic costs, and their effectiveness in reducing the risk of theft or sabotage. [19] Less often taken into account is the inevitable impact almost all safeguards [will] have on the civil liberties of persons both within and without the nuclear power industry. [20]

POLICING PLUTONIUM: THE CIVIL LIBERTIES FALLOUT

Civil Liberties in the United States: Trend toward Surveillance Will Contine…….. The PATRIOT Act, passed by Congress in October 2001, expanded the ability of the government to watch private Americans’ activities and collect information about them, and strengthened barriers against aliens’ entry to the country, including through indefinite detentions……
A certain degree of increased government and private sector cooperation on sharing information about private individuals, and increased government surveillance of its citizens, is here to stay, however. No government will roll back trends in surveillance technology, and government surveillance habits, that began well before 2001…. Obama Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy — What Can We Expect from Obama on Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy
Alvin Martin Weinberg (April 20, 1915 – October 18, 2006) was an American nuclear physicist who was the administrator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) during and after the Manhattan Project period. He came to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1945 and remained there until his death in 2006.Weinberg was fired by the Nixon Administration from ORNL in 1973 after 18 years as the lab’s director because he continued to advocate increased nuclear safety Alvin M. Weinberg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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