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Intrigue as authorities tried to cover up danger of Three Mile Island nuclear accident

Gordon MacLeod had, in his words, “recommended and, on the next day, urged the governor in the strongest possible terms to call for the departure of pregnant women and young children from an area within five miles of the Three Mile Island plant.”

`Gordon,’ the governor said, `I’m going to have to ask for your resignation.'”

People Died at Three Mile Island    http://www.ratical.org radiation/KillingOurOwn/KOO14.html   Gordon MacLeod sat across from the governor of Pennsylvania. It was October 9, 1979. MacLeod had been state secretary of health since twelve days prior to the accident at Three Mile Island.

A tall, trim Bostonian, MacLeod was a lifelong Republican who had served in Richard Nixon’s Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. As both a medical doctor and an engineer he had moved from a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School to a chairmanship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

In 1979 Governor Richard Thornburgh, a neighbor of MacLeod’s, had urged him to take charge of the state’s Department of Health, which was in disarray. MacLeod had resisted, but finally agreed, with the understanding he would serve just two years, then return to academia.

Now, eight months later, as controversy still raged over how much radiation had been released at Three Mile Island, the governor’s office called the secretary of health for a conference. The meeting began with some small talk, MacLeod told us a year later. And then Thornburgh got to the point. “`Gordon,’ the governor said, `I’m going to have to ask for your resignation.'”

“I just sat there,” MacLeod told us, “stunned. After going to all that trouble to get me to come on board, he was now telling me to leave after just eight months because things were `just not working out.'”[1]

Thornburgh’s public explanation for MacLeod’s firing was a “difference in institutional style.” But the state media had other ideas. As the UPI reported it, MacLeod had been “state government’s harshest critic of the way the Thornburgh administration responded to the Three Mile Island accident. And that may have been why he was fired.” Indeed, MacLeod’s problems with Thornburgh had begun on March 29, the day after news of radioactive releases from TMI began to spread. MacLeod had, in his words, “recommended and, on the next day, urged the governor in the strongest possible terms to call for the departure of pregnant women and young children from an area within five miles of the Three Mile Island plant.” MacLeod told us later that if he had a chance to do it over, he would also have urged the departure of children in puberty, who are also extraordinarily radiation-sensitive.

But the state’s nuclear engineers and radiation health physicists disagreed with MacLeod, and they told the governor there was no need for an evacuation. Initially Thornburgh advised area residents to stay indoors, but said nothing about evacuating.[3]

Meanwhile Dr. Ernest Sternglass had gone to Harrisburg the day after the accident. After testing on his own and finding high radiation levels, he urged that the state evacuate pregnant women and small children. He was worried in particular that I-131 doses could prove devastating to the small children and infants in utero who were particularly vulnerable to miscarriages, stillbirths, malformations, childhood leukemias, and other radiation-linked problems. Thornburgh publicly charged Sternglass with being an alarmist and stood firm in his refusal to call for an evacuation.

That night the state’s Department of Environmental Resources announced that because the holding tanks at TMI were overloaded with radioactive liquids, Met Ed had been flushing them for hours into the Susquehanna River. No one had bothered to notify communities downstream that were continuing to draw their drinking water from the river.[4]

Finally Thornburgh asked NRC chairman Joseph Hendrie, a nuclear engineer, what he would do if he had a pregnant wife in the area. Hendrie replied that he would get her out “because we don’t know what is going to happen.”

Thornburgh then decided to do what MacLeod had quietly urged and what he had attacked Ernest Sternglass for publicly suggesting. At noon on March 30–two days after the start of the accident–he announced that he was “advising those who may be particularly susceptible to the effects of radiation, that is, pregnant Women and pre-school-age children, to leave the area within a 5-mile radius of the Three Mile Island facility until further notice.”

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September 28, 2012 Posted by | history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

272 violations against journalists, and the government introduces more. – Iraq

ImageApril 2012 (Approx)

” journalists were exposed to a series of attacks after the American invasion in 2003, so far leading to the death of 259 Iraqi and foreign journalists, 146 of them it can be clearly demonstrated were killed due their journalistic work, plus 52 technicians and media assistants. In addition to that, 64 journalists and assistants were kidnapped, most of them being killed, and 14 of them still missing,”

JFO has documented a noticeable increase in the rate of violence against journalists/media workers and restrictions imposed on their work. A striking increase in both can be observed in the period between May 3, 2001 and May 3, 2012. Multiple bills are being introduced by the government, which threaten to severely limit freedom of the press, general freedom of expression, and internet use. The work of journalists/media workers, particularly when carrying a camera, has become a very complicated matter. Authorities have limited the permits of the movement of journalists, which must be obtained by the military and other security leadership in all Iraqi cities.

 

 

More and more, journalists find themselves banned from covering an event if they haven’t obtained security permits, the explanation of which changes regularly and arbitrarily, depending on whichever security forces happen to be present on the scene. When the type of permit is actually made clear, obtaining one is complicated in most cases. Security forces deals with a journalist holding a camera in the same way the way it deals with those they find possessing car bombs or unlicensed weapons.

Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nuclear company Exelon’s amazing influence over President Obama

Exelon, “Obama’s Utility” Has Amazing Influence in the White House- Energy the “Chicago Way” Against Crony Capitalism,  August 23, 2012 by Nick Sorrentino “……Exelon, the nuclear electrical utility based out of, you guessed it- Chicago, has the inside track at the White House. This special access appears to have influenced regulation which has hammered competitors of Exelon, helped Exelon garner very favorable DOE loans, and may have even influenced whether Exelon competitors were able to build power plants. (From The New York Times)

“Exelon’s top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. John W. Rogers Jr., a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers, is an Exelon board member. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime political strategist, once worked as an Exelon consultant, and Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, helped create the company through a corporate merger in 2000 while working as an investment banker.

With energy an increasingly pivotal issue for the Obama White House, a review of Exelon’s relationship with the administration shows how familiarity has helped foster access at the upper reaches of government and how, in some cases, the outcome has been favorable for Exelon.”  http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/2012/08/exelon-obamas-utility-has-amazing-influence-in-the-white-house-energy-the-chicago-way/

September 28, 2012 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Nuclear lobbying might succeed in resuscitating the dangerous Monju dream

The [nuclear industry] lobbying has also forestalled scrapping a controversial, 25-year-old fast breeder reactor on the country’s western coast in Fukui prefecture.

25 years and $13 billion after construction began, the Monju fast breeder reactor has managed to produce electricity for only one hour.

“What’s frightening is that it has the property that once it starts running out of control it can’t be stopped,….  What no one can ignore is that Monju is located adjacent to an earthquake fault.

Japan Plans Restart of Controversial Reactor VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was given unprecedented access inside Japan’s Fast Breeder Reactor Research and Development Center at a time when the country is debating its future energy policy in wake of last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.
kui Pref., Japan.  Steve Herman September 25, 2012 TSURUGA, JAPAN — There has been an ongoing debate in Japan on the best way to obtain a safe and affordable energy supply for the island nation.  The nuclear option suffered a setback in March, 2011, when a massive earthquake and devastating tsunami caused a meltdown in reactors at Japan’s main Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Youtube – Living Under Drones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yMOzvmgVhc   Living Under Drones  Sep 24, 2012 by       http://www.warcosts.com Since 2004, up to 884 innocent civilians, including at least 176 children, have died from US drone strikes in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. A new report from the Stanford and New York University law schools finds drone use has caused widespread post-tramatic stress disorder and an overall breakdown of functional society in North Waziristan. In addition, the report finds the use of a “double tap” procedure, in which a drone strikes once and strikes again not long after, has led to deaths of rescuers and medical professionals. Many interviewees told the researchers they didn’t know what America was before drones. Now what they know of America is drones, death and terror. Follow the conversation @WarCosts #UnderDrones

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Nuclear and coal power plants the victims of global warming

As the U.S. Warms, Power Plants Face New Water Limits Climate Central,By Andrew Freedman, 25 Sept The power sector is responsible for a large share — about 40 percent — of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., particularly thermoelectric-generating stations, such as coal-fired power plants. And so it is not without a hint of irony that a recent study concluded that the effects of global warming, particularly drought and heat waves, will increasingly limit the generating capacity of these power plants — thereby making them both contributors to and victims of global warming…

… In the U.S., power plant operators must comply with laws such as the Clean Water Act, as well as state regulations that prohibit nuclear and other plants from operating once water temperatures go above a certain threshold, Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

US drones in Pakistan – counterproductive

Pakistan Drone Study Finds ‘Damaging And Counterproductive’ Consequences From U.S. Policy HUFFINGTON POST 09/25/2012  A new study conducted by law professors at Stanford and New York University contends that the U.S. use of drones to target suspected militants in Pakistan has had a “damaging and counterproductive effect” on the country and has killed far more civilians than previously acknowledged. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Pakistan, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste problem slams the brakes on USA’s nuclear ndustry

 “You can’t store this waste in a region where there’s intense local opposition to it.”

 the used fuel will sit, in the “backyard” of nuclear plants, likely for several years, because of the federal court ruling.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently announced it will start a two-year environmental review of temporary waste storage, even as it refuses to grant permits for any new reactors

Nuclear industry slowed by its own waste By Kristi Swartz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 23 Sept 12,  Just as the nuclear industry is starting to build reactors after a 30-year drought, it faces another dry spell.
The industry thought it had what it needed for its rebirth: federal loan guarantees; a uniform reactor design; a streamlined licensing process. The nightmares from the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, 1,000 new safety regulations and cost overruns would be left in the past, industry officials believed.
But what never came together was a long-term plan for how to store the used radioactive fuel. As a result, judges and regulators have slammed the brakes on new reactor projects — with two exceptions, one of those in Georgia Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

VIDEO: USA militarism in the Pacific – Australia’s role questioned

VIDEO Malcolm Fraser: Australia – US Relations in the Asian Century MELBOURNE, 25 September 2012 – Former Prime Minister of Australia The Right Honorable Malcolm Fraser AC CH has questioned the nature of Australia’s relationship with the United States in a broad-ranging speech to an audience of over 400.

Fraser describes US policy towards China as “containment” and praised the measured response from Beijing:

“China has refused to be provoked, and that is not surprising because they are well aware that this is an election year in the United States.  We need to be aware that China can be profoundly measured in international affairs.” http://asialink unimelb.edu.au/video/politics/malcolm_fraser_australia_-_us_relations_in_the_asian_century

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Government secrecy on the litany of nuclear accidents

Windscale nuclear reactor, U.K. (1957); Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, U.S. (1961); Three Mile Island power plant, U.S. (1979); Chernobyl power plant, Russia (1986); Seversk, Russia (1993); the Tokai-Mura nuclear fuel processing facility, Japan (1989); Mihama power plant, Japan (2004); Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Japan (2011) and the Marcoule nuclear site, France (2011).

All these incidents and many more unreported ones including from India have obviously raised questions about the desirability of nuclear energy and any real possibility of it being “safe.”

Desirability of nuclear power is the real question, THE HINDU, 28 Sept 12 MADHUMITA DUTTA “….. The claim [is that]modern technology, maintenance and safety standards will make it “safe.” Notwithstanding of course the ideal scientifically “controlled” conditions vs ground realities.
If one looks at the dubious track record of nuclear power plants across the world and its horrendous reputation of regularly exposing its workers and residents to dangerous levels of ionising radiations, the disconnect is pretty obvious.

In 1957, a fault in the cooling system in Kyshtym nuclear complex in Russia led to a chemical explosion and the release of 70-80 tonnes of radioactive material into the air, exposing thousands of people and leading to the evacuation of thousands more. Major accidents, which have killed, maimed and exposed large populations of worker and local
residents, have been reported from various other nuclear facilities — Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, safety | 2 Comments

Australia’s former conservatve Prime Minister warns on danger of USA militarism

An Australian General, Major General Richard Burr, has become a deputy commander of United States Army Pacific. He will be responsible for planning and advising on the further expansion of American armed forces throughout the Western Pacific.

Australia hostage to the politics of the US in the Asian CenturyThe Drum, MALCOLM FRASER, 27 Sept 12,  This week Malcolm Fraser delivered a speech on Australia-US relations in the Asian Century. In this edited extract, the former prime minister says our Government has made us hostage to the politics of the United States. Australia has, under this Labor Government and with apparent consent of the Coalition, become the southern bastion of America’s re-arming in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia. This is an extraordinary consequence of Australian Government ineptitude and of military planning, which might recognise America’s interest, but pays little account of our own.

It makes us complicit in any military activity that the Americans might undertake. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Julian Assange speaks out on Obama’s hypocrisy about freedom of speech

Assange Mocks Obama In Video At UN Event HUFFINGTON POST, (includes video  (stupid advertisements  interrupt  this video) Reuters  |   
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26  – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking via a choppy video feed from his virtual house arrest in London, lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday for supporting freedom of speech in the Middle East while simultaneously “persecuting” his organization for leaking diplomatic cables. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

The nuclear company Exelon’s ties to Obama

Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility, NYT  By ERIC LIPTON August 22, 2012  WASHINGTON Early in the Obama administration, a lobbyist for the Illinois-based energy producer Exelon Corporation proudly called it “the president’s utility.” And it was not just because it delivers power to Barack Obama’s Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.

Exelon’s top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. John W. Rogers Jr., a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers, is an Exelon board member. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime political strategist, once worked as an Exelon consultant, and Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, helped create the company through a corporate merger in 2000 while working as an investment banker. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Green party’s Jill Stein spells out he facts on drone warfare

Stein says report shows urgent need to end drone warfare BY JILL STEIN FOR PRESIDENT 1364.80PC ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2012   Speaking before an audience of nearly 400 last night at a campaign stop at Humboldt State University in Eureka, California, Green Party candidate Jill Stein cited a report on drone warfare published today from Stanford and NYU researchers as evidence that her intention to stop drone warfare was the right course for America. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK military chiefs lack confidence in expensive Trident nuclear missiles

Top military chiefs go cold on nuclear deterrent, The Independent, OLIVER WRIGHT   , KIM SENGUPTA     26 SEPTEMBER 2012 Senior military commanders have privately questioned whether Britain needs to maintain its current level of nuclear deterrence when the country’s ageing Trident submarines are decommissioned. Continue reading

September 28, 2012 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment