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Fukushima workers with high internal radiation doses

radiation-warningHigh thyroid radiation doses in 178 Fukushima workers Asahi Shimbun, December 01, 2012
By YURI OIWA Dozens of workers received potentially cancerous doses of radiation to
their thyroid glands during recovery work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to data submitted to the World Health
Organization.

Tests on workers suspected of having high whole-body internal doses
found 178 individuals whose thyroid glands displayed doses greater
than 100 millisieverts, the generally accepted threshold for a raised
risk of thyroid cancer.

The highest recorded dose was 11,800 millisieverts, a level that would
give a correspondingly high probability of thyroid cancer.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. submitted the data on thyroid
tests for 522 workers—both its own staff and contractors—to the WHO
upon request. ….
The WHO assessed the probability of these people developing thyroid
cancer by reviewing medical records from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki
atomic blasts. It calculated the risk for people in three separate age
categories—aged 20, 40 or 60 at the time of exposure.

It said a 20-year-old who receives a dose of 11,800 millisieverts will
be 34 times more likely to develop thyroid cancer within 15 years.
…..
“Some epidemiological studies suggest that radiation exposure can
increase the risk of thyroid cancer for people aged 40 or older, too,”
said Yoshio Hosoi, a professor at Hiroshima University’s Research
Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine. “In addition tochildren, adults need to receive continued tests if their thyroid
gland radiation doses are 100 millisieverts or higher.”

TEPCO said it plans to offer workers thyroid gland ultrasound
examinations free of charge if their whole-body radiation doses are 50
millisieverts or higher.

However, at least one expert said that may not include all people at risk.

“There is a possibility that the thyroid gland radiation dose is 100
millisieverts even if the whole-body dose is only 5 millisieverts,”
said Saburo Murata, deputy director of Hannan Chuo Hospital.

Murata called on TEPCO to release all past test results—and those of
tests in the future.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/life_and_death/AJ201212010050

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, health, Japan | Leave a comment

“Green Run” – deliberate radiation experiments on USA citizens

eyes-surprisedCOMMENTARY: 1949 nuclear experiment is an ugly legacy of Hanford
http://www.registerguard.com/web/opinion/29097307-57/green-hanford-run-nuclear-iodine.html.csp
BY SUSAN CUNDIFF AND PATRICIA HOOVER The Register-Guard  December 2, 2012 
Many of us in the timber-rich Northwest are familiar with such terms
as “pulling the green chain” and fresh-cut “green” wood. But how many
know the term “Green Run?” Never heard of it? That’s because it was a
secret.

text-historyOn Dec. 2, 1949, officials at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in
southeastern Washington deliberately experimented on residents in the
area by releasing raw, irradiated uranium fuel. It was the largest
known single incident of intentional radioactive contamination ever.
It’s come to be known as the Green Run; in this case “green” meant
“uncured.”

Normally, radiated fuel would be cooled for 83 to 101 days to allow
some of the short-lived radioactive materials to decay before
releasing those materials into the environment. For this test,
officials waited a mere 16 days and did not filter the exhaust.

Over a seven-hour period, 7,780 curies of iodine-131 and 20,000 curies
of xenon-133 were released. To put these numbers in perspective, the
Three Mile Island accident released between 15 and 24 curies of
radioactive iodine. Women and children were evacuated, and milk was
impounded.

During the Green Run, Air Force planes measured the deposits of
iodine-131 on ground vegetation within a 200- by 40-mile plume that
stretched from The Dalles to Spokane. Vegetation samples taken in
Kennewick, Wash., revealed nearly 1,000 times the acceptable daily
limit of iodine-131.

Citizens in the area routinely accepted unusual practices devised by
Hanford officials as natural and patriotic: urine samples were left on
porches for pick-up, schoolchildren went through whole-body counter
scans, and men in white coats palpated students’ throats around the
thyroid gland.
As thyroid disease and cancer rates rose among the populations of
Richland, Wash., The Dalles, Hermiston and the surrounding
countryside, the public began to question the safety of Hanford’s
practices. They were assured that “not one atom” had ever escaped from
Hanford and that it was as “safe as mother’s milk.” Of course, if
mother is contaminated, her breast milk is, too — as is the milk from
dairy cattle in the area, the salmon in the river, and vegetables and
fruit from the farms and ranches nearby.

With all their collected data, officials had to know the health
consequences. And still the deception continued. Press releases
recommended iodized salt and trucked-in pasteurized milk, but only as
mere suggestions. In fact, all public health records from Hanford were
sent only to Walla Walla, Wash., and never recorded at the state
Capitol, thus ensuring that health research would not contain damning
statistics.

The Green Run was only part of a much larger pattern of contamination.
From 1944 to 1957 a total of 724,779 curies of iodine-131 were
released into the atmosphere.

Why conduct an experiment such as the Green Run? Were the military and
the Atomic Energy Commission trying to develop a method for
determining production rates in the Soviet Union? Were Hanford
officials attempting to speed up their own production? Or was
something more sinister going on?
We may never know, because specific reasons for the experimentation
remain classified. It took 37 years for the public to learn anything
at all about the Green Run, and only then because grass-roots groups
forced the release of documents through the Freedom of Information
Act.

According to Michele Gerber, author of “On the Home Front,” “…the
question of whether the Green Run was a radiological warfare
experiment, designed to test harm to foodstuffs and living creatures,
is still open.”

Hanford continues to pose risks. Radioactive contaminants leak into
the water table and the river. Cleanup efforts stall.

Vitrification, the process of turning waste into glass, was supposed
to be the answer to the problem. In 2010, a whistle-blower warned that
the $12.2 billion plant under construction might be seriously flawed.
He was pushed aside for his ethical stand. Recent announceinclude the hiring of a new manager to take over the “problem-plagued
construction at the Hanford vitrification plant” (Register Guard, Nov.
25).

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Oregon’s Ron Wyden
spoke of nuclear weapons production as “the largest, most
ultra-hazardous industry of its kind in the world.” Wyden’s concerns
about Hanford continue now that he is in the Senate, and he has
traveled to Japan to learn more about the disastrous nuclear plant
site at Fukushima.

Today, Dec. 2, is a time to remember the atrocities of the Green Run
and renew our call for transparency in the secretive nuclear industry.
As we search for viable solutions to our energy needs, we must insist
on openness, truth and safety, striving together for real green
solutions.

December 3, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, history, Reference | 1 Comment

Radioactive material disposed of in Louisiana sinkhole – cover up?

text ionisingLouisiana sinkhole radiation abuse and cover up continue The Examiner, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 BY: DEBORAH DUPRE  As human rights to health abuses continue in the giant Louisiana sinkhole area, with its dangerous radiation levels released for over four months, state officials say they are investigating how Texas Brine Co. LLC managed the naturally occurring radioactive material there and whether it illegally disposed of the “non-dangerous” radioactive material under Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou communities that are above the Napoleonville Dome in the mid-1990s. Radiation, a grave human right to health violation at Louisiana sinkhole

After four months of dangerous levels of radiation being released at Louisiana’s giant sinkhole, impacting lives of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people, finger-pointing has begun regarding whose fault it is that the naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is there.

NORM is a common petrochemical industrial complex waste problem potentially negatively impacting the human right to health.

NORM is a frequent byproduct of oil and gas drilling processes. It creates wastes that industry has often dumped improperly – in water, on land, by burning and in “accidents” – to prevent storing it illegally.

Oil and gas drilling processes can concentrate naturally occurring radioactive isotopes underground at various levels, sometimes posing health threats, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Brine production, such as in Texas Brine’s operations, are included in those that can concentrate NORM. Some oil and gas service companies are contracted to store NORM for oil and gas companies. Texas Brine is an oil and gas service company.

Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) confirmed last week that a 1979 state statute prohibited disposing NORM in large underground salt deposits like Napoleonville Dome until 1999 legislative changes made such disposal legal.

“What we’re going to do is investigate this thing the best we can with the information from 1995 and move forward as appropriate,” said DEQ spokesman Rodney Mallett.

In August 1995, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Office of Conservation did not object when Texas Brine considered putting up to 20 cubic feet of NORM in an underground company cavern in the Napoleonville Dome and in another salt dome in Lafourche Parish, according to DEQ and state Office of Conservation records.

It is unclear if Texas Brine followed through on those plans, according to the Advocate.

Texas Brine officials said in a statement last week that they did not put NORM into its caverns but that it remains onsite under a standing license that DEQ gave to it……..
As early as August, a non-government group, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, began urging Bayou Corne sinkhole area residents to use a new record log. At that time, a veteran radiation expert said Louisiana environmental officials were “in denial” over hazards posed by elevated radium levels that were actually fifteen times higher than the state limit, a “worst nightmare coming true” in the sinkhole vicinity, according to environmental attorney Stuart Smith.

Stanley Waligora, a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on health risks of NORM confirmed that radium levels at Bayou Corne’s sinkhole are not within safe limits, but instead, roughly 15 times higher than the state’s acceptable level, Smith had said. The information about radium had been buried in a state news release, had been poorly written, and had gone “out of its way to downplay the results,” Smith had said.
In 1979, the state Legislature prohibited disposing “radioactive waste or other radioactive material of any nature” in salt domes. That la took effect Jan. 1, 1980 during controversy over U.S. Department of Energy plans to store high-level radioactive waste, such as from nuclear power plants, in salt domes.

The salt dome ban for radioactive waste remains. In 1999, however, the Louisiana Legislature exempted oil and gas exploration and production wastes, including NORM, from the statutory definition of “radioactive waste,” DEQ officials said.

Before that, NORM was under the definition of “radioactive waste” and, therefore, prohibited from salt dome disposal in 1995, DEQ officials said in an email to the Advocate…….

Sonny Cranch, spokesman for Texas Brine, said last week that officials “misspoke” then in their attempt to respond to questions about NORM and that it was never put in the cavern.

“This is a very confusing saga — when you get to the end of the (Advocate) piece, it’s unclear just what exactly Texas Brine did or didn’t bury at the sinkhole,” Smith stated in his blog post Tuesday. “But that is the broader point — neither the company nor state regulators have been clear about has or hasn’t been taking place at this site for years.”Smith added, “And they haven’t been either honest or forthcoming with the people of Louisiana now, in this hour of crisis for displaced families and for the worried residents still in the area.”

What is also confusing to some is just how dangerous NORM is, a confusion caused by what Smith refers to as corporate and government dose dancing.

Dose dancing, a radiation psychological operation citizens need to know: Even small radiation doses that are harmful

Low-level, even natural radiation is potentially damaging, according to scientific studies, including a newly released study report.

Smith refers to corporate and government hiding the truth about radiation as “dose dancing.”

“‘Dose dancing’ is a load of baloney,” Smith stated Tuesday. “My experience as a lawyer has shown me that even exposure to levels of radiation that are considered low can in fact be harmful. And increasingly there is scientific research backing this up. http://www.examiner.com/article/louisiana-sinkhole-radiation-abuse-and-cover-up-continue

December 3, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Is USA’s drone weapons use legal?

drone-aircraftAmerica’s Use of Drones: The Legality Issue http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/opinion/americas-use-of-drones-the-legality-issue.html  November 30, 2012 SUZANNE NOSSEL Executive Director
Amnesty International USA “Election Spurred a Move to Codify U.S. Drone Policy” (front page,
Nov. 25) raises the issue of the legality of the United States’ ever-changing drone policy.

As his first term in office draws to a close, and with a vacancy to
fill at the top of the Central Intelligence Agency, President Obama
has an opportunity to press the reset button on American drone policy.

Over the last four years the use of drones has become ever more
permissive. Lethal strikes are no longer restricted to “high-value
targets,” Guilt, not innocence, is the apparent presumption.

Administration sources have told the media that in the tribal areas of
Pakistan, men of fighting age are assumed to be combatant targets in
the absence of intelligence to the contrary. If true, this is both
unconscionable and a violation of the laws of war.
This can’t go on. American drones have taken lives in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. Meaningful public review
of this most secretive of government programs is long overdue. We
don’t need a new rule book; we just need the existing rules —
international human rights and humanitarian law — to be applied.

COLEEN ROWLEY ( The writer is the retired F.B.I. agent who exposed intelligence
failures before the 9/11 attacks.)You report that President Obama is finally expressing some “wariness
of the powerful temptation drones pose to policy makers. ‘There’s a
remoteness to it that makes it tempting to think that somehow we can,
without any mess on our hands, solve vexing security problems,’ he
said.”

What an understatement of the “mess on our hands” given how 76
countries now possess drones, having discovered how cheap and easy
they are to develop and use! Whose hands will they fall into? More and
more people in foreign countries living under American drone strikes
have understandably become radicalized. Didn’t anyone consider how
they would make the perfect weapon of asymmetrical warfare?

Pandora’s box has opened wide, adding to our “vexing security
problems.” We should never have forgotten what Sir Peter Ustinov is
credited as saying: Terrorism is the poor man’s war, and war is
terrorism of the rich.

December 3, 2012 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The cost of cleaning up after uranium mining and milling

dollar-2The Curse of the Yellow Powder, Bacon’s Rebellion, by Rose Jenkins   December 2, 2012 Is it possible to restore a landscape damaged by uranium? Ask the Navajo in New Mexico. “…….The Navajo Nation was the fourth uranium clean-up site I visited in the West.

In Cañon City, Colo., where a uranium mill shut down last year, the state of Colorado has estimated that a clean-up will cost $43 million, but it allowed the Cotter Corporation, which is responsible, to put up less than half of that amount in surety bonds, according to the Denver Post. Unless plans change, groundwater below the site will stay contaminated, leaving many private wells unusable.

Elsewhere in Colorado, the clean-up of uranium mills after the companies went bankrupt has cost taxpayers $950 million, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. At one of these sites, in Uravan, Colo., both the mill and the town around it were dismantled, buried, and permanently fenced off. That clean-up, or eradication, cost taxpayers $120 million.

The Atlas Mill, in Moab, Utah, which closed in 1984, is one of a few sites where tailings are being relocated, because contamination from them was leaching into the Colorado River, the source of drinking water for Los Angeles and other cities. A suitable repository was located just 30 miles away—but the clean-up will still cost taxpayers a solid $1 billion…….” http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2012/12/the-curse-of-the-yellow-powder.html

December 3, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

USA- Pentagon expanding its global spy network

secret-agentPentagon reportedly planning to double size of its worldwide spy network
More than 1,600 new Defense Department agents will collect intelligence and report findings to CIA, said to be overstretched Dominic Rushe in New Yorkguardian.co.uk,   2 December 2012 The US military plans to send hundreds more spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan that will more than double the size of its espionage network, it was reported Sunday.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon’s military intelligence unit, is aiming to recruit 1,600 intelligence “collectors” – up from the several hundred overseas agents it has employed in recent years, sources told The Washington Post.

Combined with the enormous growth in the CIA since 9/11 attacks, the recruitment drive will create an unprecedented spy network. “The stars have been aligning on this for a while,” an anonymous former senior US military official involved in planning the DIA transformation told the Post.

The news is likely to heighten concerns about the accountability of the US military’s clandestine programmes amid mounting concerns about the CIA-controlled drone programme.

The United Nations said last month that it intends to investigate civilian deaths from drone strikes. The US has refused to even acknowledge the existence of a drone programme in Pakistan. The US military is not subject to the same congressional notification requirements as the CIA, creating yet more potential controversies….. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/pentagon-double-spy-network-cia?CMP=twt_gu

December 3, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The truth about low level radiation is covered up by governments and corporations

secret-agentLouisiana sinkhole radiation abuse and cover up continue The Examiner, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 BY: DEBORAH DUPRE Low-level, even natural radiation is potentially damaging, according to scientific studies, including a newly released study report.

Smith refers to corporate and government hiding the truth about radiation as “dose dancing.”

“‘Dose dancing’ is a load of baloney,” Smith stated Tuesday. “My experience as a lawyer has shown me that even exposure to levels of radiation that are considered low can in fact be harmful. And increasingly there is scientific research backing this up.

The latest study on this subject is what Smith calls “a bombshell.” He quotes about the new study:

“Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health.
The review is a meta-analysis of studies of locations around the globe that have very high natural background radiation as a result of the minerals in the ground there, including Ramsar, Iran, Mombasa, Kenya, Lodeve, France, and Yangjiang, China. These, and a few other geographic locations with natural background radiation that greatly exceeds normal amounts, have long drawn scientists intent on understanding the effects of radiation on life. Individual studies by themselves, however, have often only shown small effects on small populations from which conclusive statistical conclusions were difficult to draw.

Smith says that what these researchers learned “is alarming indeed”:

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.
‘There’s been a sentiment in the community that because we don’t see obvious effects in some of these places, or that what we see tends to be small and localized, that maybe there aren’t any negative effects from low levels of radiation,’ said Mousseau. ‘But when you do the meta-analysis, you do see significant negative effects.’
‘It also provides evidence that there is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation,’ he added. ‘A theory that has been batted around a lot over the last couple of decades is the idea that is there a threshold of exposure below which there are no negative consequences. These data provide fairly strong evidence that there is no threshold — radiation effects are measurable as far down as you can go, given the statistical power you have at hand.’”

“I cannot understate the importance of this: “Long-term exposure to radiation is not safe, even at so-called low levels,” Smith asserted. “”This simple fact needs to inform our quest for environmental safety and justice on many levels — whether the issue is as high-profile as the lingering aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, or as down-to-earth as radioactive pipe from the oil patch that’s been used to build a school playground, as we discovered during that Chevron case.

“All citizens need to learn about the risks, the remedies, and the potential recourse,” Smith states……….http://www.examiner.com/article/louisiana-sinkhole-radiation-abuse-and-cover-up-continue

December 3, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The accursed stuff – yellowcake uranium

NavajoThe Curse of the Yellow Powder, Bacon’s Rebellion, by Rose Jenkins   December 2, 2012 Is it possible to restore a landscape damaged by uranium? Ask the Navajo in New Mexico. “………. a Navajo legend.

The story goes that when the People were entering this world, they had a choice between two yellow powders. One was life-giving corn pollen; the other, in the legend, is unspecified. Shuey said, “They could choose the way of the corn pollen, which is balance and harmony, or they could choose the way of this other yellow stuff, which is the way of disharmony, imbalance, and upsetting.” Uranium, which is ground into a yellow powder, acts that way, he said.

“When you take this stuff out of its resting place, it moves easily in the environment, especially in water, and you can’t put it back in the earth,” he said. “Now… even if it’s managed in some state-of-the-art facility, it’s still got to be managed. Anything in the nuclear fuel cycle has to be managed because it’s full of impact. Setting aside all of the risks — all of the health risks, all of the environmental risks — that management requires societal dedication, including financial resources. And it will never be put back.” http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2012/12/the-curse-of-the-yellow-powder.html

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Confusion in Japan over nuclear policies

Japan grapples with nuclear question, Ft.com 2 Dec 12 By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo Japanese voters hoping to use December’s election to cast a ballot for or against nuclear power – the most emotionally charged issue in the
country since the Fukushima disaster – are getting little help from mainstream politicians.

Over the weekend, Japanese lawmakers across the political spectrum suggested in televised debates that the leading parties had converged on something close to a consensus – but their comments left plenty of room for confusion.

“Saying you can achieve zero nuclear in ten years or something is like
selling bananas in the street,” said Toru Hashimoto, the mayor
governor and founder of the upstart Restoration party, referring to
the way Japanese supermarkets used to sell cheap bananas in front of
their stores to draw in customers.

In September, the Democratic Party of Japan – which polls suggest will
be ousted on December 16 – unveiled a plan to abandon nuclear power by
2040. But it contained big loopholes and Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Noda’s administration watered it down days later by promising
“flexible” implementation.

Since Fukushima, Japan has grappled with whether to abandon nuclear
power, which previously provided 30 per cent of its electricity.Politicians have been seeking to balance unresolved safety concerns
with warnings from business about the high cost of abandoning atomic
energy.

Mr Hashimoto’s comments illustrate how far some parties have travelled
to join the emerging consensus. The former Osaka governor gained
attention after Fukushima as one of the most vocal critics of the
nuclear industry, accusing power companies of “lying” about the need
to keep atomic plants running to avoid electricity shortages.

His Restoration party is polling in second place, slightly ahead of
the DPJ with about 15 per cent support. Its campaign platform promises
to uphold the target for eliminating nuclear power by 2040. But Mr
Hashimoto said at the weekend that the timeline was a “starting point”
for policy rather than a hard-and-fast promise…..
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/75d1540c-3c60-11e2-a6b2-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2E1TCQFJH.

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Iran shuts down nuclear reactor after finding debris inside
First Post. Dec 2, 2012 Iran’s nuclear chief says fuel was removed
from the country’s sole nuclear reactor in October because debris had
been left behind during its construction.

The Sunday report by several Iranian newspapers quotes Fereidoun
Abbasi as saying that bolts and welding material left inside the
Russian-built Bushehr reactor had led to abnormal readings during
operation…. http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/iran-shuts-down-nuclear-reactor-after-finding-debris-inside-542380.html

December 3, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s growing arsenal

Nuclear nightmare: Book hints at disturbing conclusion that Pak’s arsenal will continue to grow without restraint India Today 2 Dec 12, This is the definitive study of the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme written by a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army who has worked in the Strategic Plans Division, the secretariat of that country’s National Command Authority, and who has had unprecedented access its top personnel.

Its title comes from the famous statement of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, undoubtedly the key architect of programme, who had famously declared that if India makes an atom bomb, then “even if we have feed on grass and leaves”, Pakistan will follow suit. :http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/manoj-joshi-eating-grass-the-making-of-pakistani-bomb/1/235680.html

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment