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Reflections on the past week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

It has been a week of protests – so intense that the mainstream media has felt obliged to actually cover them.  In Australia, the Lizards Revenge  brought hundreds of protestors travelling hundreds, even thousands of miles. for a festival of music, entertainment and information  –  to the very heart of the uranium industry – BHP’s Olympic Dam mine in South Australia. A massive police and security presence did not bring about the violence (that the media might have enjoyed).

The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia led the protest in Fremantle, targeting the Australian uranium conference, and particularly, Toro Energy.

In Japan,  in the sweltering heat,  170,000 people  rallied outside Prime Minister Noda’s residence peacefully voicing their protest at the restart of one nuclear reactor.  As in Australia, this protest was peaceful.

In other developments, the rise of thyroid abnormalities in Fukushima children indicates the continuing seriousness of the health effects of Fukushima.   The nuclear lobby continues to push the completely unproven and scientifically unaccepted theories of low doses of radiation being “good for you”, or at least harmless.   The USA’s nuclear revival well and truly stalled, due to the growing recognition that “new nuclear” can’t go ahead without a real plan for waste disposal. Meanwhile Britain struggles with the unacceptable costs of its planned nuclear expansion, and even more, with its dilemma over what to do with its huge plutonium waste pile at Sellafield.


July 20, 2012 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Media’s strange silence on thyroid abnormalities in Fukushima children

We also spoke with Dr. Bryan Haugen, president-elect of the American Thyroid Association and head of endocrinology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who hadn’t heard of the report before we contacted him.

Haugen agreed with the Caldicott’s assessment that it is surprising for kids to “have this many nodules and cysts seen, especially this soon after the accident,” and the fact that “this something that is not more widely known.”

The New York Academy of Sciences estimates that nearly one million people around the world have died from exposure to radiation released by the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor.

CONFIRMED: 36 Percent Of Fukushima Kids Have Abnormal Thyroid Growths And Doctors Have Been Left In The Dark   Michael Kelley | Jul. 19, 2012 A few days ago we reported that 36 percent of Fukushima children have abnormal thyroid growths likely from radiation exposure, based on the “Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey.”

We got in touch with Australian pediatrician Dr. Helen Caldicott, who has spoken about the growths, to ask her about the implications of the study.
After confirming the validity of the report, Caldicott reinforced the alarming nature of the findings:
1. “It is extremely rare to find cysts and thyroid nodules in children.”
2. “This is an extremely large number of abnormalities to find in children.”
3. “You would not expect abnormalities to appear so early — within the first year or so — therefore one can assume that they must have received a high dose of [radiation].”
4. “It is impossible to know, from what [officials in Japan] are saying, what these lesions are.”
Doctors worry about these abnormal growths because even though thyroid nodules are relatively common, they are not common in children and some of them could become cancerous. When asked why these results haven’t been widely reported, Calidcott noted that Japanese officials are not sharing ultrasound results with foremost experts of thyroid nodules in children and accused the media of “practicing psychic numbing,” saying that she doesn’t understand why media outlets are choosing to ignore the nuclear fallout. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Japan, media | 1 Comment

Japan now has to take its anti nuclear movement seriously

Hemmed in by police in the sweltering heat, the demonstrators are mostly
good-natured. But for how long?

Japan’s anti-nuclear protests The heat rises The restart of two nuclear reactors has belatedly lit a fuse under the Japanese, The Economist Jul 21st 2012 | TOKYO |  PEOPLE power is not a phrase usually associated with Tokyo. A famously buttoned-up city, epitomised by its obedient ranks of identikit commuter salarymen, Tokyo rarely hosts serious protests…Suddenly, what had looked like the waning cause of a core of diehard liberals has become a protest movement.  . … on July 16th tens of thousands braved 30-degree heat in a central Tokyo park to attend a “Sayonara Nukes” rally.

The generous sprinkling of ordinary families, as well as the 7.5m signatures that Mr Oe and company claim to have gathered, gave the protest more than nostalgic value. Its fuel was anger. Recent reports into last year’s triple Fukushima meltdown 210km (130 miles) away have shown that the world’s most crowded metropolis narrowly avoided

Though many worry about the economic cost of scrapping nuclear power, others belatedly question the logic of having 54 commercial reactors in a country with one-fifth of the world’s strong earthquakes.
Even worse, people said, was that the government had restarted at least one nuclear reactor (a second was switched on again on July 18th) while questions still remain about the safety of nuclear power, and about a regulatory structure that took the threat of natural
disaster too lightly. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

USA sparking ‘missile envy’ with expanding missile defence system

The United States is spending about $10 billion a year to develop, test and deploy missile defences, which would include a European shield as part of a layered system. The defences would also include ship-based interceptors that could be deployed in the Middle East and
Asia-Pacific – for instance as a hedge against North Korea – plus ground-based missile interceptors in silos in Alaska and California.

Missile defences, however benign they appear to the side building them, always force others nations to improve and increase their offensive weapons,” 

Missile shield may spark China nuclear upgrade-officer  By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA   Jul 19, 2012   (Reuters) China may need to modernise its nuclear arsenal to respond to the destabilising effect of a planned U.S.-backed missile defence system, a senior Chinese military officer said on Wednesday. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Abnormal thyroid growths in 36% of Fukushima children

36 Percent Of Fukushima Children Have Abnormal Growths From Radiation Exposure  Michael Kelley | Jul. 16, 2012,  Of more than 38,000 children tested from the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, 36 percent have abnormal growths – cysts or nodules – on their thyroids a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as reported by ENENews.

The shocking numbers come from the thyroid examination section of the “Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey,” published by Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Symptoms Research (FRCSR) and translated by the blog Fukushima Voice.   Shunichi Yamashita, M.D., president of the Japan Thyroid Association, sent a letter to members in January with guidelines for treating thyroid abnormalities. In 2001 Yamashita co-authored a study that found normal children in Nagasaki to have 0 percent nodules and 0.8 percent cysts. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, health, Japan, Reference | 1 Comment

Japan’s politicians starting to worry about (their jobs) and anti nuclear protests

as numbers swell there are indications the country’s usually inflexible politicians are getting worried and just might start paying attention.

they [protestors] are very ordered: protesters stick to the anti-nuclear message and go home in an orderly fashion at the appointed time.

But the demonstrations’ regularity and sheer size – – is giving the government pause for thought in a country where for decades the political elite has largely ignored popular opinion…..

Nuclear fears galvanise Japan’s sedate society Channel News Asia: 20 July 2012 TOKYO: Japan’s usually sedate societyis angry and getting organised against nuclear power, with the kind of snowballing protest movement not seen for decades. Weekly demonstrations outside the prime minister’s residence attract tens of thousands of people and a rally in west Tokyo this week drew a crowd organisers claimed at 170,000, demanding an end to atomic power in post-Fukushima Japan.

And as numbers swell there are indications the country’s usually inflexible politicians are getting worried and just might start paying attention….. “No one used to care before (the disaster),” said
Masaki Yoshida, a mother-of-three who was forced from her Fukushima
home by the radiation-spewing plant. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Lengthy and dangerous process to remove nuclear fuel rods

The pool at No. 4 was behind the secret worst-scenario mapped out by the government, which warned millions of people might have to flee from spewing radiation, including parts of the Tokyo area, which has a population of 35 million people. U.S. authorities have also repeatedly expressed worries about the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4.

“If we are asked whether things are completely safe, we cannot say that,”  “If there is another major earthquake, we don’t know what may happen,

Japan removes two nuclear fuel rods from Fukushima plant Times Live Sapa | 18 July, 2012  A giant crane removed two rods packed with nuclear fuel from the Fukushima nuclear plant. This is the beginning of a delicate and long process to deal with a remaining risk of more radiation escaping from the disaster-struck plant.

All of the 1,535 rods next to reactor No. 4 at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in northeastern Japan must eventually be removed from a spent-fuel pool to safer storage – an effort expected to take through the end of next year, according to the government. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, Reference | Leave a comment

Revelations of UK government’s deceit over true state of its nuclear energy programme

 “The government has been colluding with the nuclear industry to try to media manage the collapse of their hopes,”

 “In reality the cost of new nuclear power has doubled in recent years and continues to rise. Instead of trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes, the government should accept their nuclear dream is over and back renewable energy.”

Emails reveal UK government’s moves to protect nuclear power from bad news
Government officials worked closely with E.ON and RWE to soften the impact of a major blow to plans for a new nuclear programme Rob Edwards,  19 July 2012 Government officials worked closely with two energy companies to soften the impact of a major blow to ministers’ plans for a new programme of nuclear power stations, internal emails reveal.

The revelation is further evidence of how Westminster has collaborated with the industry to try and protect nuclear power from bad news, first exposed by the Guardian in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident in Japan last year. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Young Americans not well educated? Ignorance about Climate Change

“Most Generation Xers are surprisingly disengaged, dismissive or doubtful about whether global climate change is happening “

“The results of this report suggest that better educated young adults are more likely to recognize the importance of the problem”

Uninformed Generation X are unconcerned about climate change, Click Green, 19 July 12, As the United States suffers a summer of record-shattering heat and the UK experiences record summer rainfall, a University of Michigan report finds that Generation X is lukewarm about climate change – uninformed about the causes and unconcerned about the potential dangers Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

USA’s AirSea Battle (ASB) plan brings serious risks of nuclear weapons escalation

serious risks to this approach, including the danger of nuclear escalation if AirSea Battle is ever implemented in a shooting war with China.

Three Paths to Nuclear Escalation with China The National Interest, Joshua Rovner | July 19, 2012 The U.S. military has enjoyed extraordinary freedom of maneuver since the end of the Cold War. The fall of the Soviet Union meant that no one else was left to seriously challenge the United States when it decided to act abroad. Today, however, strategists worry that U.S. rivals are developing weapons that will make it difficult or impossible to gain access to contested areas. Dealing with the so-called “anti-access” problem has become a central task for civilian and military planners—and something close to an obsession for the navy.
One popular solution is AirSea Battle (ASB). Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Dispute over UK plan for underground nuclear waste bunker

Kent and Shepway councils in Romney Marsh nuclear waste row, BBC News 19 July 12 The facility would have nuclear waste underground with research facilities at ground level Two council leaders have clashed over a report opposing plans for a nuclear waste facility on the Romney Marsh. The report, co-authored by Kent County Council leader Paul Carter, has been criticised by Shepway council leader Robert Bliss as emotive and inaccurate.

Mr Carter said he believed the report, which said the facility would blight the area, was factually correct but Mr Bliss said it was a knee-jerk reaction.

Earlier, Kent County Council voted to “totally oppose” the facility. The area is already the site of Dungeness nuclear power station, where Dungeness A is being commissioned and Dungeness B is due to stop generating power in 2018 or 2023…….

Public consultation On Thursday, Kent County Council voted to oppose the establishment ofa nuclear research and development facility in the county. It also agreed that if Shepway council decided to progress the proposal further, Kent council should review whether or not to hold acounty-wide referendum…

The facility would place nuclear waste in secure containers underground in vaults and tunnels, and at ground level, buildings would house research, office, transport and other facilities. The Shepway consultation is asking people whether it should find out more information about a possible facility on the Marsh.

July 20, 2012 Posted by | politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

In last 24 hours – 3 earthquakes hit Fukushima

M4.5 quake hits Fukushima — Third M4 in last 24 hours  July 19th, 2012  By ENENews  Title:   : Earthquake Information 
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency Date: July 20, 2012

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, safety | Leave a comment

Earthquake fault line under Japan’s only operating nuclear reactor?

Japan nuclear watchdog probes claims that country’s only working reactor sits on active fault line Warning comes just 18 months after tsunami wiped out Fukushima plant  DAILY MAIL, 19 July 2012 Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog has ordered an investigation into claims the country’s only active nuclear power station is positioned above a tectonic fault line.

Geologists believe the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture is at real risk of earthquake if the tectonic plates it sits on suddenly shift.
The news comes at a sensitive time for the Japanese nuclear industry – less than 18 months after a tsunami struck the nuclear power station at Fukushima, causing a meltdown…

The first reactor was fired up a few weeks ago and a second is planned to restart later in July. The power company insists it won’t alter its schedule, despite the order to examine the earth under the huge plant…. Experts reporting to the safety watchdog have also recommended tests are carried out at the nearby Shika plant, claiming both sites could be sitting on active fault lines.

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

High cesium levels in migratory fish in Pacific: Is Fukushima still leaking radiation?

the persistently high cesium numbers may be a sign that the Fukushima plant is still leaking radiation into the ocean.

Lead scientist surprised by Japan data: Fukushima plant still leaking radiation into ocean?  By ENENews Title: Post-Fukushima, Japan’s irradiated fish worry B.C. experts Source: Vancouver Free Press Author: Alex Roslin Date: July 19, 2012

The numbers show that far from dissipating with time, as government officials and scientists in Canada and elsewhere claimed they would, levels of radiation from Fukushima have stayed stubbornly high in fish. Continue reading

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

TEPCO covering seafloor with enormous amounts of concrete. Why?

Tepco completes covering seafloor with layers of cement mix — More coating used at Reactors 5 & 6 than for Reactors 1, 2, 3 & 4 combined (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)  July 19th, 2012   By ENENews

And all those funny looking black containers which were placed/dropped into the water..just COVER those things up with LAYERS of CONCRETE. Next generation can worry about it. Sadly, Mr. TEPCOman, one has to ask WHAT next generation will be healthy enough to work the problem?

One question to ask..what happened at Reactors 5 and 6 to require as much concrete or MORE than Reactors 1-4? Were more containers dumped into the ocean? More meltdown corium heading for the ocean..or is the ground so unstable..I hope its not the last. Subsidence(loss of ground HEIGHT) could be raising its ugly head. That is bad– almost as bad as Reactor 1-4 “payloads.”

Also note the non-concern of “radiation” going out into the OCEAN. What do they think the ocean is? An endless pit? Its not.

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, Japan, oceans, Resources -audiovicual, wastes | Leave a comment