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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty aimed to protect world from radiation

radiation-warningThe Legacy of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, counterpunch  by JOSEPH J. MANGANO and JANETTE D. SHERMAN, MD, 5 Aug 13,   “…….The treaty is often referred to as a peace treaty, a step against nuclear war. While it was a goodwill gesture between hostile nations, it did nothing to prevent a war, since both sides continued to furiously test weapons underground and add to its already-large stockpiles. Only in the 1970s did non-proliferation treaties begin the process of cutting nuclear arsenals.

The 1963 test ban treaty was actually an environmental and public health action to reduce threats of deadly radiation, especially to the more susceptible infants and children. In a speech urging passage of the treaty, Kennedy – whose prematurely born son died that summer after living only 39 hours – made the case to prevent suffering among the youngest members of society:

“The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard, and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby, who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.” Officials who had downplayed the idea that fallout was causing cancer and other diseases now told the truth. In October 1964, at a campaign stop in New Mexico, President Lyndon B. Johnson triumphantly told a cheering crowd:

“We cannot and will not abandon the test ban treaty to which I just referred, which is the world’s insurance policy against polluting the air we breathe and the milk we give our children.

Already that policy has paid off more than you will ever know, and since this agreement was signed and the tests stopped, the dread strontium-89 and iodine-131 have disappeared from the environment. The amount of strontium-90 and cesium-137 has already been, in a year, cut in half. This is technical language, but what it means is that we can breathe safely again.”

Hiroshima-Never-Again

Johnson was correct. U.S. infant mortality had only dropped 13% in the 14-year period from 1951 to 1965, during bomb testing (the fallout peak was 1964).  The next 14 years showed a decline of about 50% – the same 50% drop during the prior 14 year period. The years 1951-1965 had the poorest improvement in infant mortality during the 20th century. Cancer cases in children under age five in Connecticut, the only state with a cancer registry, plunged from 58 to 30 from 1963 to 1968. Years later, a 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that up to 212,000 Americans developed thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine in bomb fallout. ….. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/05/the-legacy-of-the-comprehensive-test-ban-treaty/

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August 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s radioactive leak now reaches emergency stage

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Contaminated water could rise to the ground’s surface within three weeks, national newspaper Asahi Shimbun said on Saturday. Mr. Kinjo said the three-week timeline was not based on NRA’s calculations but acknowledged that if the water reaches the surface, “it would flow extremely fast.”

A Tepco official said on Monday the company plans to start pumping out a further 100 tonnes of groundwater a day around the end of the week.

Radioactive leak from crippled Japanese nuclear plant creating ‘emergency’ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/radioactive-leak-from-crippled-japanese-nuclear-plant-creating-emergency/article13602630/ ANTONI SLODKOWSKI AND MARI SAITO TOKYO — Reuters  Monday, Aug. 05 2013 Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.

Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the utility that runs Fukushima, are only a temporary solution, he said.

Tepco’s “sense of crisis is weak,” Mr. Kinjo said. “This is why you can’t just leave it up to Tepco alone” to grapple with the ongoing disaster.

“Right now, we have an emergency,” Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, radiation, safety | Leave a comment

British Queen has profitable investments in depleted uranium trade

UK Queen in depleted uranium trade? British anti-war campaign group the Stop the War Coalition has in a video claimed that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is one of the richest women on earth and much of her profits are from arms trade including the notorious depleted uranium trade. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/08/05/317277/uk-queen-in-depleted-uranium-trade/

The video apparently created by anti-monarchy activists and published on YouTube says the British monarch has managed to increase her wealth from £300 million early in her 60-year reign to £17 billion at present thanks to investments in arms firms that produce uranium used in depleted uranium (DU) shells, including Rio Tinto Zinc

DU shells are notorious for their ability to pierce armor and kill targets due to their deadly radioactive features.

The video cites the American nuclear radiation expert Jay M. Gould as saying in his 1996 book titled “The Enemy Within: the High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors” that the British royal family, especially the Queen herself, privately own investments in uranium holding worth some £4 billion through Rio Tinto Zinc.

The mining company, originally named Rio Tinto Mines, was allegedly created for the British Royal family in the late 1950’s by Ronald Walter Rowland, the Queen’s “buccaneer”.

The video argues that the Queen and other royals have been investing in the death trade of depleted uranium globally with little ethical concerns for the consequences of their profiteering.
DU weapons were first used by the US military during the first Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.

The US Defense Ministry estimated that between 315 and 350 tons of DU bombs, shells and bullets were fired during the conflict There are allegations that American and British troops used more than five times as many such weapons as the total number used in the 1991 war in Iraq.

The US has confirmed the use of depleted uranium in both wars but refuses to disclose the scale of the use.

Iraq has seen a sharp rise in the number of children with leukemia and genetic malformation in the decades after the First Persian Gulf War that are attributed to the use of DU weapons.

August 6, 2013 Posted by | depleted uranium, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, Uranium | 1 Comment

Nearly 1000 Fukushima workers have increased risk of getting leukaemia

text ionising9,640 Fukushima plant workers reach radiation level for leukemia compensation   http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201308050104 August 05, 2013 By MIKI AOKI/ Staff Writer Nearly 10,000 people who worked at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are eligible for workers’ compensation if they develop leukemia, but few are aware of this and other cancer redress programs. Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan | Leave a comment

Harvey Wasserman wants copy of “Pandora’s Promise” for review

Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org. His Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm. FilmSOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

The producers of the pro-SMR Pandora’s Promise have refused to send us a review copy; if you have one, please write us at www.nukefree.org

August 6, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

“Nuclear strikes on Syria” – the news item that disappeared from the Web

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 Nuclear strikes on Syria: The genie is already out of the bottle 

Channel 4 News (blog)- 6 August 13,
Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next: “The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear ..

August 6, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Climate change effects are stopping nuclear reactors from functioning

nuke-hotNuclear Reactors Can’t Handle Global Warming , Progressive, By Harvey Wasserman, August 5, 2013 An overheated world now threatens the ability of nuclear reactors to operate at all.

Just as the sales pitch that atomic energy could help with global warming gets its biggest hype, the reactors themselves go very wrong.

And as a “renaissance” turns into a rout, a “new generation” of reactors fades ever-deeper into the realm of expensive fantasy.

The bad news on nuclear power and global warming comes most recently from Cape Cod Bay. All commercial reactors spew huge quantities of waste heat into the rivers, lakes and oceans they use for coolant.

The worst instance (so far) is Fukushima, where hot radioactive effluent still pours into the Pacific Ocean after three explosions the industry claimed could never happen.

Reactors in Alabama, France, Germany, and elsewhere have already been forced to shut because of excess heat.

At Entergy’s Pilgrim, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a global-warmed summer has heated Cape Cod’s waters beyond the legal limit for cooling a “normal” reactor. So in mid-July Entergy was forced to take Pilgrim down to 85 percent power. Entergy may ask regulators to let it operate at full power with overheated water anyway. Such requests–still under official consideration–have been made repeatedly at Connecticut’s Millstone 2, where the Long Island Sound has soared over 75 degrees.

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Cooper and Ft. Calhoun reactors were shut in 2011 by massive global-warmed flooding. As many as three dozen U.S. reactors are at risk from dam breaks and the flooding unleashed by climate chaos. Ft. Calhoun may never reopen.

The irony of reactors closed by the global warming they’re supposed to cure seems lost on their pushers…..   http://www.progressive.org/nuclear-reactors-global-warming

 

August 6, 2013 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Our grandchildren need a Nuclear Guardianship Ethic – NOW!

The Nuclear Guardianship Ethic is proposed as an evolving expression of values to guide decision-making on the management of radioactive materials.

ethics-nuclearOn floating lanterns – and nuclear bombs National Catholic Reporter, Thomas C. Fox  |  Aug. 5, 2013  Kansas city, Mo. “………..And lastly, I would like to tell you about a woman named Joanna Macy and something she’s developed, called a “Nuclear Guardianship Ethic”.  It is basically a bill of nuclear human rights for future generations.  I went to a workshop she gave a couple years ago.  She talked about plutonium as “poison fire” and said it endangers the future because radioactive materials will be deadly for thousands of generations and millions of years.  Future generations have a right to live healthy lives and to have a world left to them in a livable condition.

So I invite you to ponder ideas in the Nuclear Guardianship Ethic and make them your own.  Joanna says everyone on earth must become nuclear guardians.

Nuclear Guardianship Ethic

1. Each generation shall endeavor to preserve the foundations of life and well being for those who come after. To produce and abandon substances that damage following generations is morally unacceptable.

2. Given the extreme toxicity and longevity of radioactive materials, their production must cease. The development of safe, renewable energy sources and non-violent means of conflict resolution is essential to the health and survival of life on Earth. Radioactive materials are not to be regarded as an economic or military resource.

3. We accept responsibility for the radioactive materials mined and produced for our alleged benefit.

4. Future generations have the right to know about their nuclear legacy and the dangers it brings.

5. Future generations have the right to protect themselves from these dangers. Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty did allow people to forget about the continuing nuclear war danger

It is therefore no surprise that anti-nuclear-weapons activism sharply declined immediately after the Test Ban Treaty had been concluded, although the nuclear arms race continued unabated.

A key legacy of the treaty was that it set in motion a process that enabled many Americans and Europeans to live with nuclear weapons, outsourcing the problems to other parts of the globe.

But to get the real picture about the harrowing – and lasting – legacy of nuclear testing, look at the people of the Bikini Atoll, where the US had carried out many tests.

They went back home when they were told it was safe. After many of the women experienced stillbirths, miscarriages and infant deformities, they realised it wasn’t. The island still feels the consequences to this day.

 

Out of sight, out of mind: a nuclear legacy http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/0/2353322  5 August 2013   Fifty years after a significant Cold War ban on nuclear tests was agreed, historian Dr Holger Nehring investigates the treaty that tried to stop nuclear war.

It was a key moment in the Cold War: 50 years ago, on 5 August 5 1963, the US and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Test Ban Treatybanning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater and in outer space (but not underground).

The treaty has since been signed, if not ratified, by most countries around the world and remains in force to this day.

Before the treaty, testing nuclear weapons had been common practice. Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Reactor Decline Means Less Disease

radiation-warningThe Legacy of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, counterpunch  by JOSEPH J. MANGANO and JANETTE D. SHERMAN, MD, 5 Aug 13, “……… Health and safety concerns have plagued nuclear plants for decades. In the 1970s, orders for new reactors stopped as Wall Street investors halted loans for what they saw as poor investments with costly technical problems. However. in the past decade, industry executives promoted nuclear power as an alternative to greenhouse gas emitters (which is a falsehood, since huge amounts of fossil fuel carbon emitters are required to prepare uranium for use), but no new plants were built. The number of U.S. reactors held steady at 104 since 1998 – until earlier this year, when four reactors shut permanently. More closings are expected. Utility companies, facing plunging stock prices and profits, are now laying off workers to cut costs.

Executives claim that reactors are closing because of high costs, higher than other sources such as natural gas and wind power. The full explanation is that costs of these aging, corroding, and leaking units are high because of radiation dangers. Reactors require:

1. Complicated and expensive parts – to ensure dangerous radiation is contained and workers are not exposed

2. Many highly-trained staff – to ensure dangerous radiation is contained, including armed guards.

3. Complex security measures – to keep dangerous radiationaway from the general public and of course, terrorists

4. Replacement of aging, costly parts – to ensure dangerous radiation is contained.

The poor outlook for nuclear power is worldwide. Since the Fukushima disaster over two years ago, only two (2) of 54 reactors in Japan are operating; the others remain closed while safety upgrades are made. In the past few years, 8 of 17 German reactors closed, and the remainder will be shut by 2022. Switzerland has committed to closing its reactors, and Italy scrapped plans to build new ones.

From a health standpoint, reactor shut downs represent preventive health in its purest form, as known poisons are removed from the environment. Journal articles have shown that just two years after reactors closed, local rates of infant deaths and child cancers plunged. A recent study near the Rancho Seco reactor (closed 1989) in Sacramento County, California estimated there were 4,300 fewer cancer cases among county residents in the 20 years after shut down. These findings are similar to what happened nationwide after atmospheric nuclear weapons tests were banned.

The threats to health posed by fallout from bomb tests half a century ago are the same threats from the same radioactive fallout from nuclear reactors today. Bomb tests were banned, health improved, and few would consider resuming such tests. With 116 million Americans living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, history can repeat itself. Like the Test Ban Treaty, closing reactors can prove to be an act to improve health in America and worldwide.

Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA is Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

Janette D. Sherman MD is an internist and toxicologist, and editor of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment  

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/05/the-legacy-of-the-comprehensive-test-ban-treaty/

August 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Catholic Worker activists lead in action to stop nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons are toxic to manufacture. These are hazardous jobs; workers may not make it to retirement and/or they may suffer from serious, chronic health issues.  

They are always saying they’re good, high-paying jobs, but they’re not!  There are hundreds of thousands of sick and dying nuclear workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) administers the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA).  Begun in 2001, the program tends to deny, deny, and deny claims until the worker dies.

On floating lanterns – and nuclear bombs National Catholic ReporterThomas C. Fox  |  Aug. 5, 2013  Kansas city, Mo. Tōrō nagashi is the Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns. This is done based on the belief that this guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world. The ceremony is also done by many peace communities to commemorate those lost in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945.

Those US bombings were the only times nuclear weapons were ever used on human targets. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day.

pray-radIn Kansas City, peace activists gather one evening during the first week of August to float lanterns in a pond in Loose Park to commemorate those deaths.

Last night several dozen once again gathered to remember those who died under the unfathomable fire of nuclear weapons.  The gathering, as it always does, reaches globally to let the human family know that in the middle of the heartland of the United States, some people remember and call out against the building, storage and use of these weapons of mass destruction. Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Polynesians paid the radioactive price of atomic bomb testing

Battle against nuclear risks unending Stuff.co.nz LIZ WILLIS 6 Aug 13, Health problems for people close to atomic bomb testing at Mururoa are a reminder of why public pressure against nuclear weapons is so important, peace campaigner John Buckland says.

New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance is back in the spotlight as navy veterans mark 40 years since two Kiwi frigates sailed to protest against French testing in the Pacific.

Mr Buckland says the veterans deserve to be involved in a comprehensive state-supported investigation into deaths and radiation-linked illnesses.

The Birkenhead resident, who received a lifetime peacemakers award from the Peace Foundation for his education work, gathered information about testing during a holiday in Tahiti.

Tahiti is a dream destination but visitors are often unaware of the darker side of life for French Polynesians – the ongoing medical impact of exposure to radioactive fallout, Mr Buckland says.

He says the extent of deaths and radiation sickness from more than 30 years of testing by the French government has been hidden and locals are scared to talk about it. “It is known that 200 victims of radiation were flown from Tahiti for treatment in French hospitals, but nothing is known of their fate.”…..http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/north-shore-times/9003381/Battle-against-nuclear-risks-unending

August 6, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear reactors (SMRs) – the new “too cheap to meter” con

Small-modular-reactor-dudNuclear Reactors Can’t Handle Global Warming, Progressive, By Harvey Wasserman, August 5, 2013

“…….many are pushing an entirely new radioactive gizmo–a “Small Modular Reactor”–with no working prototypes. True to form, the budget and timetable stretch deep into the unknown.

Lead SMR manufacturer Babcock & Wilcox brought us both Three Mile Island and Ohio’s Davis-Besse, whose pressure head was infamously eaten through to the brink by boric acid. The core SMR technology has already been distinguished by a long line of generic failures.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has just postponed the target date to apply for the first SMR construction license until at least 2015. Ultimate development costs are a giant question mark. The huge Savannah River facility meant to convert weapons-grade materials into nuclear fuel for such projects is on the brink of cancellation, with untold billions already down the tubes.

So as its backers claim an unproven ability to help solve an ultra-urgent climate crisis, there won’t be an SMR prototype deployed for an unknowable number of years, at what is certain to be a staggering cost.

With taxpayer money pouring in, even industry supporters already warn of an “atomic Solyndra.”…..

SMR backers still chant the original “too cheap to meter” mantra, claiming a miraculous but unproven ability to somehow burn up old warheads and avoid small annoyances like TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

But the SMR is already on that familiar atomic go-round of production delays, cost overruns, immediate obsolescence and serious dangers its makers won’t disclose.

Despite a concerted attack from the corporate media, today’s world gets far more usable energy from renewables than SMRs can produce now (none) or for many years to come.

Our sustainable future depends on proven green power, not a supremely expensive failed atomic experiment and its pie-in-the-sky reruns. http://www.progressive.org/nuclear-reactors-global-warming

August 6, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Florida residents to pay more for abandoned nuclear power plants

Fla. regulators OK Duke nuclear rate hike News Observer, : August 5, 2013 By GARY FINEOUT — Associated Press TALLAHASEE, FLA. — Duke Energy’s nearly 2 million customers in Florida will keep paying for the utility giant’s now-shuttered and abandoned nuclear power plants for the next several years.

And on Monday, that cost went up higher. State utility regulators voted to let Duke Energy Florida raise rates 89 cents a month for the average customer to pay for its Crystal River Plant, in Citrus County.

The charge, which would take effect in January 2014, would last up to seven years. It would be in addition to a separate charge customers have been paying to build a nuclear power plant in Levy County in north Florida.

Last week the Charlotte, N.C.-based company announced it was scuttling its plans to build the $24.7 billion plant, citing changes in the energy market and regulatory hurdles at the state and federal level.

The company announced in February that it was closing the Crystal River nuclear plant, located near the Gulf of Mexico. Workers cracked a concrete containment building during an attempt to upgrade the plant in 2009. An attempt to fix the problem in 2011 resulted in more cracks.

State Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, blasted the decision to let Duke — formerly known as Progress Energy — collect even more money for the Crystal River plant.

“Every customer of Duke Progress Energy should be absolutely outraged,” Fasano said…….

Expenses normally cannot be passed on to customers until power plants go into service, but the Legislature made an exception for nuclear reactors in the 2006 law. It was designed to encourage the expansion of nuclear energy. That law was changed this past year…… http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/05/3084374/fla-regulators-ok-duke-nuclear.html

 

August 6, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Global groups join in movement to ban nuclear weapons

world-nuclear-weapons-freeOn floating lanterns – and nuclear bombs National Catholic ReporterThomas C. Fox  |  Aug. 5, 2013  Kansas city, Mo. Nuclear weapons are an extravagant waste of our tax money and resources. They are not good for our economy; they are an unusable, unsustainable product.  We could use those resources for (since I’m a nurse) medical research and health care.

Nuclear weapons are immoral.   Many world religions have made statements condemning nuclear weapons. 

There is a growing international, as well as national, movement to ban nuclear weapons. The majority of people worldwide want to get rid of them. 

A new process has been established by the United Nations,”Open Ended Working Group to Take Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations” (OEWG); it met in May for the first time.  It sponsored the “Open the Door to a Nuclear Free Future” campaign that inspired us to use the symbol of the door in our July 13 action at the KC Plant. 

The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons hosted diplomats from 127 countries who met in Oslo, Norway March 4-5 to examine the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons.  ICAN held a Civil Society Forum to build support for the ban alongside the diplomats’ meeting.  I would like to attend the next one in Mexico.  ICAN sponsored Nuclear Abolition Week July 6-13, which our July 13 action was part of.  ICAN is also sponsoring the “Share Your Shadow” campaign, where people are encouraged to take a picture of their shadow and send it in.  I’m planning on tracing my shadow with black chalk on the sidewalk in front of Zimmer Realty (which owns the new KC nuclear bomb plant) and in from of City Hall and JE Dunn (the construction company which built the new KC nuclear bomb plant), along with an appropriate phrase such as “KC Out of the Nuclear Weapons Business”!  Should be fun!

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The United States Conference of Mayors calls for US Leadership in global elimination of nuclear weapons and redirect nuclear weapons spending to meet the urgent needs of cities.  

United for Peace and Justice is a U.S. group that has designated August as “Nuclear-Free Future” month – a month of education and action for a world free of nuclear weapons

Everyone can do something. Join a group, become informed, write a letter to the editor, call your congressperson, speak up and participate in demonstrations, support elected officials who are doing something. http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/floating-lanterns-and-nuclear-bombs

 

August 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment