nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

– Employment

Renewable energy use tends to be more labor-intensive than are  fossil fuel sources, and so a transition toward renewables promises employment gains.  Globally, about 2.3 million people work either directly in renewables or indirectly in supplier industries. The wind power industry employs some 300,000 people, the PV sector accounts for an estimated 170,000 jobs, and the solar thermal industry accounts for about 624,000. More than 1 million jobs are located in the biomass and biofuels sector. Renewable energy industry – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



A green-collar worker is a worker who is employed in the environmental sectors of the economy. Environmental green-collar workers (or green jobs) satisfy the demand for green development. Generally, they implement environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology to improve conservation and sustainability.

Formal environmental regulations as well as informal social expectations are pushing many firms to seek professionals with expertise with environmental, energy efficiency, and clean renewable energy issues. They often seek to make their output more sustainable, and thus more favorable to public opinion, governmental regulation, and the Earth’s ecology.

Green collar workers include professionals such as conservation movement workers, environmental consultants, environmental or biological systems engineers, green building architects, holistic passive solar building designers, solar energy and wind energy engineers and installers, green vehicle engineers, “green business” owners,[1], organic farmers, environmental lawyers, ecology educators, and ecotechnology workers, and sales staff working with these services or products. Green collar workers also include vocational or trade-level workers: electricians who install solar panels, plumbers who install solar water heaters, construction workers who build energy-efficient green buildings and wind power farms, construction workers who weatherize buildings to make them more energy efficient, or other workers involved in clean, renewable, sustainable future energy development.

There is a growing movement to incorporate social responsibility within the green industries. A sustainable green economy simultaneously values the importance of natural resources and inclusive, equitable, and healthy opportunities for all communities.[2]

In the context of the current economic crisis facing the US and the world, many experts now argue that a massive push to develop renewable sources of energy could create millions of new jobs and help the economy recover while simultaneously improving the environment and strengthening energy security. Green-collar worker – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The comprehensive scientific report is based on research into more than 400,000 radiation workers in 15 countries, including Australia. And it’s found that people who work in nuclear power stations are at a higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population.
It’s the largest ever study of its kind. A French team led researchers from 15 countries tracking thousands of nuclear industry workers. Over an average of 13 years they studied their risk of dying from cancer.

The results, published in the British Medical Journal, found that workers who are exposed to low levels of radiation, that is those people working in nuclear power plants, research centres, waste management facilities or fuel and weapons production plants have a slightly higher risk of dying from cancer.

The World Today – Study finds cancer risk among nuclear power plant workers negligible

Workers involved in the nuclear industry must have their privacy limited. They must be under secret government surveillance both at work, and in their outside work activities. So must all those outside this industry. (Christina M)

Nuclear Workers and Nuclear Wankers

I will be honest and say that I don’t know much about nuclear workers. To me, it seems that they fall into 3 categories.

1. Engineers, physicists, and the much lauded “hard scientists” of various kinds.  They are highly educated but  within narrow disciplines, have technical knowledge and do complex and challenging work. They are very highly paid, because they’re scarce on the ground, (an aging workforce) Also in this category are nuclear operators. also well trained, well-paid. All are well-informed on the complex technicalities of nuclear facilities.  All are subject to secrecy, surveillance

2. Uranium miners and other assorted “blue collar” workers.  Also well-trained, well-paid (in “developed” countries.  I’m not so sure about the training, pay and conditions of indigenous people working in uranium mining. On the whole, these “blue collar” workers are not well informed about their industry.  Also a good deal of surveillance and secrecy surrounds their workplaces.

3. My favourites – the Nuclear Wankers.   These are the salesmen of the industry.  Australia has Ian Hore Lacy, and Ziggy Switkowski.  They can know something about the industry, (Ziggy’s a nuclear physicist), but they can also spruik away about other subjects – such as climate change, or radiation and health.  Doesn’t matter that they have little knowledge of these other areas. They are still listened to with reverence by corporations, governments – who want to hear their message –  and by gullible media and public.  Secrecy exizsts in their work world, too.  But it’s more about concealing information, than about themselves being monitored by their corporate and government bosses.

Health and Nuclear Workers

A comprehensive scientific report was  based on research into more than 400,000 radiation workers in 15 countries, including Australia. And it’s found that people who work in nuclear power stations are at a higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population.
It’s the largest ever study of its kind. A French team led researchers from 15 countries tracking thousands of nuclear industry workers. Over an average of 13 years they studied their risk of dying from cancer.

The results, published in the British Medical Journal, found that workers who are exposed to low levels of radiation, that is those people working in nuclear power plants, research centres, waste management facilities or fuel and weapons production plants have a slightly higher risk of dying from cancer.

The World Today – Study finds cancer risk among nuclear power plant workers negligible

Workers involved in the nuclear industry must have their privacy limited. They must be under secret government surveillance both at work, and in their outside work activities. So must all those outside this industry. (Christina M)

Radiation risks to uranium miners

The link between uranium mining and lung cancer has long been established.ix x xi xii Certain groups of underground miners in Europe were identified as having increased mortality from respiratory disease as early as the 16th century. Lung cancer as the cause was not recognised until the 19th century. The radioactive gas, radon16, was identified as the cause in the 1950’s. Studies of underground miners, especially those exposed to high concentrations of radon, have consistently demonstrated the development of lung cancer, in both smokers and non-smokers. On this basis, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radon as a carcinogen in 1988. In 2009, the ICRP stated that radon gas delivers twice the absorbed dose to humans as originally thought and hence is in the process of reassessing the permissible levels. At this stage, however, previous dose estimates to miners need to be approximately doubled to accurately reflect the lung cancer hazard.

The Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation VI report (1999) reviewed eleven cohort studies of 60,000 underground miners with 2,600 deaths from lung cancer, eight of which were uranium mines17 in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. These found a progressively increasing frequency of lung cancer in miners directly proportional to the cumulative amount of radon exposure in a linear fashion. Smokers had the highest incidence of lung cancer, as would be expected, however, the greatest increase in lung cancer was noted in non-smokers. The highest percentage increase in lung cancer was noted 5-14 years after exposure and in the youngest miners. …….

Radiation risks to nuclear workers. The 15-country study of nuclear industry workers (excluding mining) published in 2005xiii, the largest study of nuclear industry workers ever conducted, was able to arrive at statistically significant conclusions confirming the increased risk of cancer and leukaemia in nuclear industry workers, even at low dose. This involved analysing dosimetric records of over 407,000 workers and correlating with solid cancer and leukaemia mortality with a total followup of 5.2 million person years. The average cumulative dose was 19.4mSv, with 90% receiving less than 50mSv. Recall these are within the current permissible dose limits (50mSv in any one year, provide that there is no more than 20mSv per annum averaged over five years ie 100mSv total). The results indicated that there was an excess risk for solid cancers of 9.7% per 100mSv exposure, and an excess risk of 19% for leukaemia. The risks were dose related and they were consistent with the estimates from the Atomic Bomb studies. They estimated that 1-2% of all nuclear worker deaths were probably radiation related….

mining and miners: http://www.mapw.org.au/download/mapw-briefing-paper-nuclear-power-and-public-health-may-2010.

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