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Indian Point Nuclear plant at risk, as UN downplays Fukushima effects

Critics have dubbed Indian Point, which sits on two fault lines, as “Fukushima on the Hudson”, in reference to the nuclear disaster in Japan that was sparked by an earthquake and a tsunami.

However, there are a few differences between Fukushima and Indian Point. “Fukushima was directly over the ocean, and the winds were favourable. They were blowing most of the radiation out to sea,” said Manna Jo Greene, environmental director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, noting that the remaining radiation was still disastrous.

But the winds in New York would blow plumes of radiation from north to south and from east to west. “There are 20 million people living within [100 kilometres], and there are 9 million people between Indian Point and the nearest ocean,” Greene told IPS.

“If there was a problem at Indian Point,” she added, “there’s a very good chance that the radiation could move in a southeasterly direction and expose millions of people to radiation before it blew out to sea.”

U.N. Downplays Health Effects of Nuclear Radiation, IPS, By George Gao, 26 June 13  UNITED NATIONS, – The United Nations has come under criticism from medical experts and members of civil society for what these critics consider inaccurate statements about the effects of lingering radioactivity on local populations. Scientists and doctors met with top U.N. officials last week to discuss the effects of radioactivity in Japan and Ukraine, and the U.N. has enlisted several of its agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), to address the matter.

In May, UNSCEAR stated that radiation exposure following the 2011 Fukushima-Daichii nuclear disaster in Japan poses “no immediate health risks” and that long-term health risks are “unlikely”.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Helen Caldicott, an Australian doctor and dissident, in response to the UNSCEAR report.

WHO-and-IAEA

“There have been health effects. A lot of people have experienced acute radiation illness, including bleeding noses, hair loss, nausea and diarrhoea,” she told IPS……. Asked why UNSCEAR and WHO released such statements if they were medically inaccurate, Caldicott referred to a 1959 WHO-IAEA agreement that gives the IAEA – an organisation that promotes nuclear power – oversight when researching nuclear accidents.

“The WHO is a handmaiden to the IAEA,” said Caldicott, who engaged in a 2011 debate on the subject with The Guardian’s George Monbiot. Monbiot had argued that nuclear plants are a viable alternative to coal plants.  “It’s a scandal which has not really been exposed in general literature and to the public,” said Caldicott of the WHO-IAEA agreement.

Caldicott said of WHO, “They didn’t do any studies of Chernobyl, they just did estimates.” She cited a 2009 report by the New York Academy of Sciences, which painted a different picture. …….

Meanwhile, two nuclear plants at Indian Point Energy Centre – just 60 kilometres upriver from U.N. headquarters in New York – are fighting for new licences, making the health and radiation question more relevant to diplomats from the 193 U.N. member states who live and work in the area.

Critics have dubbed Indian Point, which sits on two fault lines, as “Fukushima on the Hudson”, in reference to the nuclear disaster in Japan that was sparked by an earthquake and a tsunami.

However, there are a few differences between Fukushima and Indian Point. “Fukushima was directly over the ocean, and the winds were favourable. They were blowing most of the radiation out to sea,” said Manna Jo Greene, environmental director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, noting that the remaining radiation was still disastrous.

But the winds in New York would blow plumes of radiation from north to south and from east to west. “There are 20 million people living within [100 kilometres], and there are 9 million people between Indian Point and the nearest ocean,” Greene told IPS.

“If there was a problem at Indian Point,” she added, “there’s a very good chance that the radiation could move in a southeasterly direction and expose millions of people to radiation before it blew out to sea.”http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/06/u-n-downplays-health-effects-of-nuclear-radiation/

June 27, 2013 - Posted by | general

1 Comment »

  1. […] Indian Point Nuclear plant at risk, as UN downplays Fukushima effects (nuclear-news.net) […]

    Pingback by Fukushima disaster and health | Dear Kitty. Some blog | July 10, 2013 | Reply


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