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How nuclear war could wipe out the human race

Atomic-Bomb-SmUS-Russia nuclear war to end human race: Study http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/12/10/339285/usrussia-nuclear-war-to-extinct-human-race/ 12 Dec 13, “With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race,” Helfand, the co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said in a report released on Tuesday.

“In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen,” he added.

There are currently more than 17,000 nuclear warheads which have been ignored since the Cold War ended in 1991, according to the study called “Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk?”

Helfand said modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the atomic bombs the US used against Japan in 1945 which killed more than 200,000 people.

The scientist warned that even a limited nuclear war– involving just less than 0.5 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal– would put 2 billion lives at grave risk with more than 20 million people losing their lives within the first week of the explosions.

The ecological consequences of a nuclear war would put the survival of the entire planet at risk, according to the study. The firestorms caused by such a war would send approximately 5 million tons of soot into the atmosphere, blocking out sunlight and dropping temperatures across the planet.

Helfand painted a scenario where this climate hazard would cause “a nuclear famine” across the world. Hundreds of millions of people would face severe food shortages for years.

Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority of them. Israel is the Middle East’s sole possessor of nuclear weapons. In 2009, Washington pledged to work toward the abolition of its nuclear weapons, but said it would keep them so long as others keep theirs.

In May 2012, seventeen nations issued a joint statement called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. By this fall the number rose to 125 nations.

December 13, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

More USA sailors afflicted by exposure to Fukushima radiation

thyroid-cancer-papillaryAnother 20 Navy Sailors: USS Ronald Reagan crew with thyroid cancers, leukemia, brain tumors, bleeding, blindness after Fukushima disaster — Young kids developing problems — Gov’t and Tepco involved in major conspiracy (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/another-20-navy-sailors-uss-ronald-reagan-crew-with-thyroid-cancer-leukemia-brain-tumors-bleeding-blindness-children-becoming-sick-after-responding-to-311-crisis-japan-govt-and-tepc

Nuclear Hotseat #129, Dec. 10, 2013:

Charles Bonner, attorney representing sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan: They’re not only going to the rescue by jumping into the water and rescuing people out of the water, but they were drinking desalinated sea water, bathing in it, until finally the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan alarmed people that they were encountering high levels of radiation. As a result of this exposure, the 51 sailors that we represent right now have come down with a host of medical problems, including cancers and leukemias, all kinds of gynecological problems […]  people who are going blind, pilots who had perfect eyesight but now have tumors on the brain. These service men and women are young people 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever (inaudible) any of these kinds of illnesses before…

Bonner: These sailors had none of these kind of medical problems, now they have back pains, memory loss, severe anxiety. They have testicular cancer, they have thyroid cancers, they have leukemias, they have a host of problems, rectal and gynecological bleeding, a host of problems that they did not have before […] And it’s only been 3 years since they went in. […] The Japanese government is in a major conspiracy with Tepco to hide and conceal the true facts….

Bonner: We’ll be adding approximately 20 sailors, bringing the total number in the lawsuit to 70 to 75…

Bonner: 21 and 22 year-olds who are just beginning to start their lives, start their families, and many have little children and now they’re sick. They are going constantly to the doctors, their children are sick — we even have small children as some of our plaintiffs, because they too have developed problems.
Full interview available here

December 13, 2013 Posted by | health, Japan, Legal, radiation, USA | 1 Comment

India is sticking to its Nuclear Liability Law

flag-india No proposal to relax liability clause in nuclear act: Govt http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/no-proposal-to-relax-liability-clause-in-nuclear-act-govt_896399.html  13 Dec 13 New Delhi: The government on Thursday said there was no proposal to relax the liability clause of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act 2010, as demanded by foreign collaborators assisting the country in its nuclear power generation pursuit. Responding to questions over the issue, V Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said there is no proposal to relax the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 to benefit American firm Westinghouse Corporation or any other company.  The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is negotiating with Westinghouse Corporation to build nuclear plant reactors in Mithi Virdhi, Gujarat.

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Many foreign collaborators, like France and Russia, have been pressing for relaxation of the liability clause of the act, which enables the operators (NPCIL) to sue the suppliers (the foreign collaborators) in case of any nuclear disaster.

December 13, 2013 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

Japan’s anti-nuclear politicians are urged to speak out

Naoto Kan demands anti-nuclear LDP politicians make their views public  Julian Ryall in Tokyo South China Morning Post, 13 Dec 13 Naoto Kan, the former Japanese prime minister who has become a vigorous campaigner against nuclear power, yesterday called on members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who share his convictions to state them openly.

Leader of the nation on March 11, 2011, when a massive earthquake struck northeast Japan and triggered the second-worst nuclear accident in history, Kan stepped down in August of that year and has since travelled the globe promoting his vision of a world that does not require nuclear energy.

Even though he is no longer in government, after his Democratic Party of Japan suffered a drubbing in a general election last December, Kan continues to push his belief that humankind cannot completely control nuclear energy and that we therefore need to harness power from renewable sources to ensure our future.

Many people in Japan share that opinion, he believes, including a substantial proportion of the LDP. But they are being prevented from speaking their minds, he charges.

“I would say that more than 50 per cent of LDP members share my position on nuclear energy,” Kan said during a speech in Tokyo. “And if that is so, I hope to be able to encourage them to express their thoughts in public.”

He singled out Taro Kono and Seiichiro Murakami, both of whom are long-standing and fairly senior members of the party, for having spoken against Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy in contravention of the LDP’s official line.

Other party members, he says, along with the majority of the media, academics, regional leaders and Japanese society at large, have been cowed by the all-pervasive power of the companies, politicians, industrial bodies and other vested interests that make up the “nuclear village”.”To me, the reason they say nothing is quite clear,” he said. “It is the influence of the ‘nuclear village’, which means that anyone who speaks out against nuclear energy comes face-to-face with a system that stops them from rising through the ranks of their organisation.

“Unfortunately, that system is still in place today.”

Kan believes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is part of the problem and has started legal action against him for comments made on Abe’s personal blog during the 2012 campaign…….http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1379345/naoto-kan-demands-anti-nuclear-ldp-politicians-make-their-views-public

December 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Approval for Tokai nuclear reprocessing plant BEFORE safety screening!

NRA to approve restart of reprocessing facility  http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20131211_29.html Japan’s nuclear regulator plans to approve a partial restart of a facility for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel before it clears safety screening under new regulations.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority says it’s allowing the restart to make plutonium and other highly radioactive waste in the facility solid and more stable.

The authority said on Wednesday that it plans to allow the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency to operate part of the plant in Tokai Village, about 100 kilometers north of Tokyo.

The decision comes after the agency sought permission to restart the facility soon, saying that keeping the waste in liquid form involves high risks.

NRA commissioners said the facility’s stockpiles of plutonium solutions and other liquid waste will be made safer when reprocessed into solids.

They came up with a plan to allow part of the facility to run for 5 years before checking is done under the enhanced regulations.

The facility stores 3.5 cubic meters of solutions containing plutonium and more than 400 cubic meters of highly radioactive liquid waste. NRA secretariat officials say reprocessing the plutonium solutions into powder will take about 2 years, and turning other liquid waste into glass 21 years.

The new regulations are to take effect on December 18th. The NRA is to give formal approval after confirming that the agency can ensure stable reprocessing at the plant.

December 13, 2013 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing, safety | Leave a comment

Scrutiny of UK’s nuclear subsidy will delay Hinkley nuclear plant

UK-subsidyBrussels ‘state aid’ inquiry to hit Hinkley Point new nuclear plans An investigation by the EU into new £16bn Somerset plant could delay development for a year Telegraph, By , Energy Editor 11 Dec 2013 Britain’s £16bn plans for its first nuclear plant in a generation could be delayed or derailed by an EU investigation into possible illegal state support, which is likely to be launched within days.

European Commission officials are expected to publish a strongly-worded list of potential breaches of state aid laws in the funding arrangements for the Hinkley Point project, in an initial decision as early as Wednesday.

Under a deal struck by the Government with French energy giant EDF in October, UK energy bill-payers would be committed to paying billions of pounds in subsidies for the plant in Somerset for 35 years…….http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10512279/Brussels-state-aid-inquiry-to-hit-Hinkley-Point-new-nuclear-plans.html

December 13, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

US govt chooses small Oregan company for grant for small nuclear reactors

Small Oregon Nuclear Power Plant Company Gets Massive Federal Backing OPB | Dec. 12, 2013   Portland, Oregon NuScale Power, a spin-off business out of Oregon State University, will receive up to $226 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

NuScale Power is designing a small nuclear reactor — about the size of a semi-trailer standing on its head.

Chief commercial officer Mike McGough says the money will be spent getting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to certify the design — a task that’s expected to cost about $1 billion……

If NuScale secures certification, a reactor isn’t expected to be up and running until at least 2023.It would be built in Idaho.

Oregon has tight restrictions on the construction of nuclear power facilities. For example, it would have to be approved by voters and builders would need to be able to demonstrate the safe disposal of high level waste….http://www.opb.org/news/article/small-oregon-nuclear-power-plant-company-gets-massive-federal-backing/

December 13, 2013 Posted by | politics, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear accord being worked on by world powers

Iran, world powers work on how to implement nuclear deal VIENNA Thu Dec 12, 2013 Reuters) – Experts from Iran and six world powers labored for a fourth day on Thursday to work out exactly how to implement last month’s breakthrough deal for Tehran to curb its nuclear program in return for limited sanctions easing.

The length of the closed-door discussions at the Vienna headquarters of the U.N. nuclear watchdog indicated the complexity of the task, not necessarily any major disagreements.

Diplomats said it showed the parties were determined to ensure that there would be no misunderstandings in the implementation of the November 24 interim agreement. It is a “good sign” they are taking their time to get it right, one said……http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/12/us-iran-nuclear-experts-idUSBRE9BB0VR20131212

December 13, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New plan to clean up Hanford radioactive site

Feds adopt plans for disposing of nuclear waste Seattle Pi, By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press, December 12, 2013 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy intends to retrieve nearly all the highly radioactive waste stored in underground tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and convert it into a glass-like substance for permanent disposal, according to a decision that will be published Friday.

The decision covers the nation’s biggest collection of radioactive waste, held in 177 underground tanks at the sprawling reservation near Richland that has been engaged in environmental cleanup for the past two decades. The material is left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. The document said the Energy Department intends to retrieve 99 percent of the stored waste and close up the tanks. Some of the tanks date back to World War II and have leaked.

Hanford-waste-tanks

It’s necessary to remove the radioactive material to avoid future leaks into groundwater and other safety concerns, the decision says……..

The watchdog group Hanford Challenge criticized the decision to leave some 1 percent of the highly radioactive waste in the tanks.

“That’s 500,000 gallons or more,” said executive director Tom Carpenter. “We expect all of the waste from the tanks to be removed.”

The Energy Department said it also intends to dismantle the aboveground portions of the Fast Flux Test Facility reactor and “entomb” the underground portions of the closed research reactor……

The state agency and the EPA have a legal agreement with the Energy Department that sets deadlines to clean up the Hanford site, which is half the size of Rhode Island……http://www.seattlepi.com/business/energy/article/Feds-adopt-plans-for-disposing-of-nuclear-waste-5059175.php

December 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fracking as a solution for nuclear waste – not really feasible

Scientist sees fracking as the way to dispose of nuclear waste Tia Ghose LiveScience 13 Dec, SAN FRANCISCO — Nuclear waste could one day be disposed of by injecting it into fracking boreholes in the Earth, at least if one scientist’s idea takes hold.

The method, presented here Monday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, would mix nuclear waste with other heavy materials, and inject it a few miles below the Earth’s surface into drilled holes. …….But the idea is still theoretical, and at least one expert thinks there are too many practical and safety concerns for the scheme to work.

“I can’t see it being a feasible concept, for many reasons,” said Jens Birkholzer, head of the Nuclear Energy and Waste Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Continue reading

December 13, 2013 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

US government not funding Westinghouse, Ameren , for little nukes

Small-modular-reactor-dudWestinghouse, Ameren lose out in nuclear reactor funding  By Tim Bryant tbryant@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8206 Government funding of up to $226 million to develop small modular nuclear reactor technology will go to an Oregon firm instead of a group that included Ameren Missouri.

The Energy Department funding was awarded Thursday to NuScale Power of Portland, Ore.

NuScale and the government will move next to negotiate an agreement that lays out a five-year funding program………

Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse said in April they would pursue federal funding of a small-scale nuclear reactor that could be built in central Missouri. The companies sought a similar grant last year. But the Energy Department chose then to fund a consortium led by Babcock & Wilcox, known for making nuclear reactors for ships and submarines.

December 13, 2013 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

US Navy deception over Treasure Island radiation danger

Navy Subcontractor Breaks Silence About Treasure Island Radiation, NBC Bay Area 13 Dec 13, A radiation expert among the first to sound the alarm about radiation at Treasure Island speaks publicly for the first time about the Navy’s attempts to conceal information from the public A health physicist commissioned to survey San Francisco’s Treasure Island for radiation has revealed for the first time to the Investigative Unit his belief that people never should have been allowed to live there.

Radiation expert Don Wadsworth was hired on a multimillion dollar contract to perform routine tests for radiation on the former naval station beginning in 2007. He says Navy officials told him they didn’t expect to find any radiological contamination on the island beyond what the Navy had already identified. But Wadsworth said he found radioactive material on sites throughout Treasure Island, including locations adjacent to occupied residences.

“My job is to protect the people and the environment and it’s not getting done,” Wadsworth said.   ……Wadsworth warns that the radiological material must be dealt with and cleaned up correctly.

“It’s a very nice location,” he said. “I can see why people want to develop it. But, having people live there and just cover it over, it’s going to have a significant impact on people’s health.” http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Navy-Subcontractor-Breaks-Silence-About-Radiation-Contamination-at-Treasure-Island–235499911.htm

December 13, 2013 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launches global cost/analysis program

logo-IRENAIRENA Launches Global Renewable Energy Cost Analysis Program, Clean Technica 13 Dec 13,Full disclosure: I love IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency). With that said, I’m   thrilled to share with you the news that IRENA has launched a global renewable energy cost analysis program aimed at being the go-to source for renewable energy cost information. The website for the program is: costing.irena.org

The bottom line is that cost is now on the side of renewables in a ton of locations, and that will become the case in more and more locations as clean energy costs continue to go down and dirty energy costs continue to go up. However, while this is common knowledge to CleanTechnica readers, most people — even experts in related fields — don’t realize this.

Here’s more from IRENA:……. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/12/irena-launches-global-renewable-energy-cost-analysis-program/#S0PhYb7TK4wTXpqr.99

December 13, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Aging nuclear power plants very costly to ratepayers

nukes-sad-Report: Ratepayers Could Save $1.7 Billion If Aging Nuclear Plant at Hanford, Washington Is Closed By: Washington and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility Yuba Net.com SEATTLE/ PORTLAND – December 11, 2013 Ratepayers could save at least $1.7 billion over the next 17 years if the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is closed according to a new report by McCullough Research of Portland, Oregon.

The report can be found online at http://www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/news/new-report-ratepayers-could.html.

The Columbia Generating Station, the only nuclear plant completed of the five plants begun by the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS), contains a General Electric boiling water reactor similar to those destroyed during Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

“We believe this report demonstrates clearly that aging nuclear reactors, in addition to having safety problems, are having trouble competing in the electric power market,” says Dr. Catherine Thomasson, PSR national executive director. The report was commissioned by the Washington and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility local affiliate chapter.

The report makes four recommendations: the plant should be displaced by less expensive market solutions; Bonneville Power Administration should ask suppliers for firm bids to displace the plant; the displacement power should be purchased by plant owner Energy Northwest and supplied to BPA under an existing contract; and Energy Northwest should use a combination of training and employing current workers in plant decommissioning…….http://yubanet.com/usa/Report-Ratepayers-Could-Save-1-7-Billion-If-Aging-Nuclear-Plant-at-Hanford-Washington-Is-Closed.php#.UqtFG9JDt9U

December 13, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Trafficking of radiological materials

Dirty bombs, Glowing in the dark, The Economist 14 Dec 13 In the fight against trafficking in radiological materials, experts see some cause for cautious optimism

“………Nuclear and radiological materials slipped out of regulatory control 2,331 times between 1995 and the start of this year, according to the Incident and Trafficking Database compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The materials are widely used in industry, agriculture and medicine. They are kept in many poorly guarded X-ray and cancer-treatment clinics. Such places are often not overseen with terrorism in mind. They have even been bought by crooks as front operations, says Rajiv Nayan, of India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Raids on abandoned uranium mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo are more frequent, according to that country’s General Atomic-Energy Commission. The problem is most acute in the former Soviet Union: in Ukraine alone, roughly 2,500 organisations use radiological materials……..

Russia and other countries have greatly tightened control over radiological materials since thefts peaked in the early post- Soviet years. No highly enriched weapons-usable uranium or plutonium has been reported stolen since the 1990s, according to Ms Zaitseva. (The small amount intercepted since then appears to have been stolen earlier.) Losses of less hazardous low-enriched fissile material have fallen sharply. Employers are getting better at identifying potential risks, says Ray Landis of the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, DC. ……….http://www.economist.com/news/international/21591614-fight-against-trafficking-radiological-materials-experts-see-some-cause

December 13, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment