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New UNSCEAR Report on Fukushima actually Show ~40,000 cases of cancer in Europe from Chernobyl “Not stated before”

On April 2, UNSCEAR published its long-awaited Report on Fukushima. Of prime importance are its estimates  of collective doses to the Japanese population.

Page 60 of Annex A of the UNSCEAR report contains the following table 8 on estimated collective effective doses and collective absorbed doses to the thyroid for the population of Japan (approximately 128 million in 2010).

Exposure duration Over first year Over ten years Up to age 80 years
Collective effective dose 18,000 man-Sv 36,000 man-Sv 48,000 man-Sv
Collective absorbed dose to thyroid 82,000 man-Gy 100,000 man-Gy 112,000 man-Gy

These estimates are slightly higher than in the draft UNSCEAR report in November 2013. For example, the 80 yr whole body dose was 41,000 man Sv and thyroid dose was 110,000 man Sv in last year’s draft.

In an early preliminary view, these are realistic collective doses, as they are relatively consistent with some independent estimates in Europe. For example, the most detailed model used by the Report published by IPPNW Germany in late March 2013 estimated 95,000 man Sv: ie the UNSCEAR 48,000 man Sv estimate is within a factor of 2 of this, which is good agreement given the uncertainties in the IPPNW’s methodology and in this area generally.

My own estimate in early March 2013 for Fukushima Prefecture (the most contaminated region) alone was 34,000 man Sv.  If I were to add an estimate for the rest of Japan of ~13,000[1] man Sv, this would total 47,000 man Sv – very close to UNSCEAR’s estimate of 48,000 man Sv. In fact, the agreement is slightly unnerving! :-)

In terms of the fatal cancers these doses would cause, the new  UNSCEAR estimates imply (via the LNT theory) that in future ~5,000 people in Japan will die from Fukushima’s fallout, if we applied a fatal cancer risk of 10% per Sv. (This is because the UNSCEAR report like the previous WHO reports no longer applies a DREFF of 2 to risk estimates.)

However a more detailed scrutiny will be required of the methodologies and assumptions used in the new UNSCEAR report before a final view can be given.

PS. The UNSCEAR report on page 60 adds that “The collective effective dose to the population of Japan due to a lifetime exposure following the FDNPS accident is approximately 10-15% of the corresponding value for European populations exposed to radiation following the Chernobyl accident. Correspondingly, the collective absorbed dose to the thyroid was approximately 5% of that due to the Chernobyl accident.”

From this, one can work out what UNSCEAR now thinks the whole body collective dose to Europe was from Chernobyl: ie 320,000 to 480,000 man Sv, leading to ~32,000 to ~48,000 fatal cancers. This has never been stated before by UNSCEAR. These estimates are close to the 2006 independent TORCH report’s estimates of 30,000 to 60,000 fatal cancers.


[1] UNSCEAR estimates the average whole body dose to the rest of Japan outside Fukushima Prefecture was ~0.1 mSv. Multiplied by 126,000,000 people outside Fukushima gives a collective dose of 12,600 or 13,000 to 2 sig figs.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The permanent hazard of nuclear radiation to global health

Caldicott,-Helen-4The impact of the nuclear crisis on global health Australian Medical Student Journal By Helen Caldicott in Volume 4, Issue 2 2014

“………Conclusion In summary, the radioactive contamination and fallout from nuclear power plant accidents will have medical ramifications that will never cease, because the food will continue to concentrate the radioactive elements for hundreds to thousands of years. This will induce epidemics of cancer, leukemia and genetic disease. Already we are seeing such pathology and abnormalities in birds and insects, and because they reproduce very fast it is possible to observe disease caused by radiation over many generations within a relatively short space of time.

Pioneering research conducted by Dr Tim Mousseau, an evolutionary biologist, has demonstrated high rates of tumors, cataracts, genetic mutations, sterility and reduced brain size amongst birds in the exclusion zones of both Chernobyl and Fukushima. What happens to animals will happen to human beings. [7]

The Japanese government is desperately trying to “clean up” radioactive contamination. But in reality all that can be done is collect it, place it in containers and transfer it to another location. It cannot be made neutral and it cannot be prevented from spreading in the future. Some contractors have allowed their workers to empty radioactive debris, soil and leaves into streams and other illegal places. The main question becomes: Where can they place the contaminated material to be stored safely away from the environment for thousands of years? There is no safe place in Japan for this to happen, let alone to store thousands of tons of high level radioactive waste which rests precariously at the 54 Japanese nuclear reactors.

Last but not least, Australian uranium fuelled the Fukushima reactors. Australia exports uranium for use in nuclear power plants to 12 countries, including the US, Japan, France, Britain, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, China, Belgium, Spain, Canada and Taiwan. 270,000 metric tons of deadly radioactive waste exists in the world today, with 12,000 metric tons being added yearly. (Each reactor manufactures 30 tons per year and there are over 400 reactors globally.)

This high-level waste must be isolated from the environment for one million years – but no container lasts longer than 100 years. The isotopes will inevitably leak, contaminating the food chain, inducing epidemics of cancer, leukemia, congenital deformities and genetic diseases for the rest of time.

This, then, is the legacy we leave to future generations so that we can turn on our lights and computers or make nuclear weapons. It was Einstein who said “the splitting of the atom changed everything save mans’ mode of thinking, thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.”

The question now is: Have we, the human species, the ability to mature psychologically in time to avert these catastrophes, or, is it in fact, too late?

May 2, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s children thyroid cancer and justifiable anxiety over radiation

thyroid-cancer-papillaryThyroid cancer cases rise near Fukushima as schoolchildren flee radiation

Thursday, May 01, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer (NaturalNews) Disillusioned by the government’s questionable position on radiation dangers throughout the region, many Japanese families living in and around the Fukushima prefecture where a large nuclear power station sustained three full meltdowns back in 2011 are deciding to send their children away to greener, safer pastures.

Associated Press (AP) reporter Yuri Kageyama reports that many families living within the so-called “no-go zone,” which covers a six-mile radius surrounding the plant, are not so sure that their children are safe there. At least 33 children throughout the region have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer since the Fukushima disaster, and many more are suffering from other symptoms possibly caused by radiation.

This is why Yukie Hashimoto and her husband decided to send their 12-year-old daughter 200 miles away to a resort town in central Japan. Concerned that the girl might eventually develop symptoms from perpetual exposure to low-dose radiation, the Hashimotos decided to take advantage of an offer by the town’s mayor to take in, educate and care for young Fukushima refugees.

“The low-dose radiation is continuing,” stated Hashimoto to reporters about the decision. “There is no precedent. We don’t know what effect that will have on our children.” 

Local leader says radiation levels four times higher around Fukushima than after Chernobyl

And the Hashimotos aren’t alone. The families of at least seven other children near Fukushima have reportedly decided to do the same thing to protect their children from long-term harm. This comes as local leader Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near Fukushima, recently issued a warning about radiation levels near Fukushima being four times higher than they were near Chernobyl.

“It is by no means safe, no matter what the government says,” he is quoted saying to

Many residents in the area feel the same way, having expressed concerns about the validity of government reassurances that radiation levels are too low to be harmful. If recent radiation readings are any indication, it is clear that things are hardly as rosy as the world is being led to believe.

“I didn’t really believe things are as safe as the government is telling us,” Hashimoto said to AP reporters. “We made our decision with her future, 10 years and 20 years later, in mind.”

Thyroid-cancer-surgeon-turned-mayor to care for refugee children

In Matsumoto, the ski town where their daughter and a handful of others have now been sent, the children will receive an education and be cared for by local families. If complications should arise from earlier radiation exposure, the children will have access to the town’s mayor, a medical doctor who previously performed more than 100 thyroid cancer surgeries following Chernobyl.

“If my fears turn out to be unfounded, nothing would be better news,” stated Akira Sugenoya, the mayor in question, to the AP last fall when he first announced taking in refugee children living near Fukushima. “But if they become reality, then there is little time before it’s too late.”

For the Hashimotos, not everyone in the family is necessarily on board with this precautionary measure. The young girl’s older brother and grandmother both think her relocation is extreme, and she herself is worried about her leaving her six-year-old brother behind, since he is too young to be accepted into the program. But at the end of the day, her parents are certain that the decision is sound.

“The bottom line is: No one knows for sure,” stated Hiroshi Ueki, a former Fukushima resident who moved with his wife and two children to Matsumoto to lead the project. “What we do know is that the cases of cancer are up, and so naturally we are worried.”


May 2, 2014 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2013, Japan | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s ‘safety’ ice wall will not work according to PRO NUCLEAR Dale Klein and Barbara Judge

Nuclear expert doubts ice wall will solve Fukushima plant leaks

KYODO An international nuclear expert expressed skepticism Thursday over Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s plan to set up an ice wall to ultimately stop radioactive water from further increasing at the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex.


“I’m not convinced that the freeze wall is the best option,” former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Dale Klein, who heads a supervisory panel tasked with overseeing the plant operator’s nuclear safety efforts, said in an interview with Kyodo News.

“What I’m concerned about is unintended consequences,” Klein said.

“Where does that water go and what are the consequences of that? I think they need more testing and more analysis,” he said.

Former British Atomic Energy Authority Chairwoman Barbara Judge, who was also present at the interview in Tokyo and is part of the panel, said there is a need to assess during summer whether the ice wall method would be effective. The remarks by the two overseas experts came at a time when concerns over the plan are being raised by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and engineering experts. Their opinions may cast a shadow on Tepco’s plan to begin operating the ice wall by the end of next March.

“No one has built a freeze wall this long for this period of time. Typically, you build a freeze wall for a few months,” Klein said.

Faced with a string of problems including radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima plant, Tepco is attempting to freeze 1.5 kilometers of soil around the basement areas of the Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings.

The ice wall is envisioned to block groundwater from seeping into the reactor buildings’ basement areas and mixing with highly toxic water used to cool the plant’s three crippled reactors.

“I am much in favor of the bypass system,” Klein said, referring to the groundwater bypass system in which Tepco pumps groundwater at the Fukushima plant to direct it into the sea to reduce the amount of water seeping into the reactor buildings.

“The freeze wall is expensive,” he said, urging Tepco and the government to look at the cost of building one and whether the plan is making the “best use of limited resources.” “I would encourage them to get international advice a little bit more,” Klein said about Tepco, in terms of its decontamination work and future plans to scrap the plant.

Klein also urged the company to work with and share information with relevant authorities in the United States and Britain given that those nations are experienced in water management and decontamination efforts at former military or weapons-related sites.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, safety | 1 Comment

Tomioka a radioactive dead town in Fukushima Prefecture

AP: “This town is dead”… Locals feel Fukushima plant could explode any minute; Yearly ‘safe’ radiation levels exceeded “in a matter of a few hours” — TV: “Fukushima evacuees complain of health problems”; Nearly 70% of households affected

NHK WORLD,, Apr. 30, 2014: Fukushima evacuees complain of health problems […] nearly 70 percent of households that evacuated after the March 2011 disaster have members who complain of health problems. The prefecture polled more than 62,800 evacuee households. About one-third responded. [68%] said one or more of their members complain of health problems such as lack of sleep or depression.

AP,, Apr. 30, 2014: […] It’s difficult to imagine ever living again in Tomioka, a ghost town about 10 kilometres from the former Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear plant. […] The streets were abandoned […] The neighbourhood was eerily quiet except for the chirping of the nightingales. […] The long-term goal is to bring annual exposure down to one millisievert […] considered the safe level before the disaster, but the government is lifting evacuation orders at higher levels.

CNN: Fukushima’s Exclusion zone a Ghost Town

It says it will monitor the health and exposure of people who move back to such areas. In the yellow restricted zone […] a visitor exceeds one millisievert in a matter of a few hours. […] “The prime minister says the accident is under control, but we feel the thing could explode the next minute,” said Michiko Onuki, who ran a ceramic and craft shop out of their Tomioka home. “We would have to live in fear of radiation. This town is dead.” […] “I can survive anywhere, although I had a plan for my life that was destroyed from its very roots,” said [Tomioka city assemblyman Seijun] Ando, tears welling up in his eyes. […]

See also: Fairewinds Video: Many in Fukushima told me of family or friends dying suddenly — “I sense something grave is happening” — People are sicker in Tokyo as well — I also experienced unusual symptoms when in Japan recently

And: NY Times in Fukushima: “It’s all lies” from gov’t about radiation — They are forcing us to come back and live 10 miles from leaking nuclear plant — “This is inhumane” — “I want to run away, but… we have no more money” — Radiation still 300% previous levels

May 2, 2014 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2014, Japan | 2 Comments

Japan’s Prime Minister Abe hastens sale of nuclear power plant to UK

flag-UKAbe’s visit spurs signing of deal to build nuclear plant, By Kiran Stacey and Guy Chazan 2 May 14, Britain’s nuclear power industry was given a boost on Thursday as one of Japan’s largest companies flag-japantook a step closer to building a £10bn nuclear power plant in the north-west.

Toshiba, the engineering and technology company, signed an agreement giving it the right to build at Sellafield, in west Cumbria, during a visit by Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister, to London, in an effort to boost trade and investment between the two countries.


The land option agreement for the new nuclear site will involve total payments by Toshiba and its partners to Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of over £200m by the time the option is exercised, the energy department said……….

The NuGen consortium, a joint venture between Toshiba/Westinghouse and France’s GDF Suez, owns a site near Sellafield in west Cumbria that has been earmarked for three new reactors. …….

The leaders of the two countries also agreed to launch negotiations on sharing supplies and transport services between their militaries, as well as accelerating a plan to jointly develop military equipment.

Mr Abe’s willingness to discuss military co-operation is a sign of his efforts to make Japan a more significant player on the world stage, something he refers to as making a “greater contribution to peace”.

But while officials in both countries welcomed the deal as a sign of healthy trading ties, the warm words mask deeper Japanese unease about Britain’s role in Europe. Mr Abe used his visit to Downing Street to press home the urgency of signing a trade agreement between Japan and the EU, something he wants to achieve by 2015……….

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

TEPCO makes $4.3 Billion Profit

uranium-enrichmentflag-japanFukushima Nuclear Plant Operator Tepco Books $4.3 Billion Profit By Agence France-Presse  Apr 30, 2014 The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Wednesday it booked a $4.3 billion annual net profit owing to an electricity rate hike and a massive government bailout following the 2011 disaster.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) was teetering on the brink as cleanup and
New! Worker has minor injury at Fukushima Nuclear site due to snow build up - Tepco reportcompensation costs stoked huge losses and threatened to collapse the sprawling utility until Tokyo stepped with a multi-billion dollar rescue.

The company at the center of the worst nuclear accident in a generation said it earned 438.65 billion yen ($4.3 billion) in the fiscal year to March, compared with a net loss of 685.3 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

Sales rose 11.0 percent to 6.63 trillion yen, it said.

The company’s results got a boost from a rate hike, and helped offset a decline in the amount of electricity Tepco sold owing to warmer-than-usual winter weather, it said.

It also booked a special gain of 1.8 trillion yen based on funds the company received from a government-backed bailout fund as well as asset sales.

But it added that rising fossil fuel costs after Japan switched off its nuclear reactors were pressuring its bottom line.

“The business environment that surrounds us remains very serious,” Tepco president Naomi Hirose told a news conference.

The Fukushima plant’s cooling systems were swamped by the 2011 tsunami, sparking reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from around the plant with decommissioning of the site expected to take decades.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Don’t bring more radioactive trash to South Carolina

Oscar-wastes Don’t bring more nuclear waste to SRS, Greenville Online,  May 1, 2014

State should be wary of plan for more nuclear waste to SRS after years of broken promises. Plans for reprocessing, permanent storage in Nevada all have fallen by the wayside as waste piles up. The Savannah River Site near Aiken was not designed as a permanent or even a long-term storage site for high-level nuclear waste. Yet, because of broken promises and foot-dragging by the federal government, SRS has become just that. Now, there is word that the United States and Germany are in discussions about bringing even more nuclear waste to the site. Such a proposal should be met with extreme circumspection.

The United States Department of Energy is evaluating a plan to accept waste from a German prototype reactor, according to a recent report in The Greenville News. The talks began in 2011, and there is no agreement in place. However, it is troubling that there would even be discussion about bringing in more nuclear waste even as material that was supposed to be temporarily stored at SRS continues to sit with no viable plan in place to move it or process it.

The discussions are over approximately 1 ton of nuclear material that would be transported in canisters to SRS.

There already is a great deal of high-level nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site, including 37 million gallons of liquid radioactive waste that the government promised would be cleaned up by the mid-2020s. Instead, in some cases, the containers holding the waste are leaking, creating a dangerous situation. Much of the waste at SRS was brought in under the promise that it would be reprocessed and then removed from the state. That has yet to happen. Until it does, South Carolina should resist plans to bring more nuclear waste to the Savannah River Site. The arrival of the German waste is far from imminent, and it should stay that way until promises already made are being fulfilled. That day right now seems to be a long way off.

The broken promises for South Carolina have come over the course of several years.

SRS was supposed to be home to a fuel reprocessing plant that would have turned much of the waste at the site into fuel for nuclear power plants. The Obama administration now is strongly urging that the proposed reprocessing plant be put on hold. Given that there are no apparent buyers for the fuel, it is difficult to challenge the administration’s decision on a practical level while at the same time it is completely reasonable to expect the administration to make good on promises to South Carolina.

It stands as a deplorable failure of the federal government to deliver on promises made when former Gov. Jim Hodges unsuccessfully fought efforts to ship plutonium to South Carolina. Work on the Mixed Oxide reprocessing plant began in 2007. Years of delays and cost overruns have contributed to the apparent demise of this facility. Initially estimated to cost $3.8 billion, the budget has surged past $7.5 billion and the facility remains unfinished……….

The federal government has not been a trustworthy partner when it comes to shipping radioactive material to the Savannah River Site. As a spokesman for Gov. Nikki Haley told The News, the federal government has failed to live up to long-standing promises to this state. Until it begins to fulfill those promises, there should be strong opposition to bringing any more of this dangerous waste to a facility the government seems willing to turn into a de facto nuclear waste dump.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

World’s Five nuclear weapons-free zones

peace-1Nuclear weapon free zones and banning nuclear weapons May 1, 2014  

This publication, issued by Article 36 at the 2014 Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, sets out a summary of the prohibitions and other obligations contained in the five Nuclear Weapon Free Zone treaties. It discusses the relationship between these treaties and a proposed new international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

There are five Nuclear Weapon Free Zone treaties (NWFZs) covering the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean (the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco), the South Pacific (the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga), South East Asia (the 1995 Treaty of Bangkok), Africa (the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba) and Central Asia (the 2006 Treaty of Semipalatinsk). These zones combined comprise 115 states, accounting for 60% of all UN Member States, and cover the entire southern hemisphere. The NWFZ treaties are all structured and drafted slightly differently but they share many key characteristics. They all prohibit nuclear weapons in their respective regions. Globally, they provide important contributions towards the rejection and stigmatization of nuclear weapons and a strong basis for developing an international prohibition on nuclear weapons. Through their preambles these treaties envision a global prohibition on nuclear weapons, alongside all weapons of mass destruction, that provides a framework for their elimination.

This paper argues that NWFZ agreements are important building blocks that should be expanded upon through an international ban treaty. Just as groups of states within these regions worked together to develop regional agreements to prohibit nuclear weapons, so a group of likeminded states can work at the global level to achieve an international ban treaty.


May 2, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN conference brings together antinuclear leaders of world’s major religions

Religion-&-nuke-1Anti-Nuclear Weapons Team of Religious Leaders Unite at UN; Catholic Leader Calls Them ‘Useless’ in Fight Against Poverty BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER May 1, 2014 NEW YORK – Members of several of the world’s main religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, warned that the grave prospect of a nuclear weapons catastrophe looms dangerously over the world, and urged leaders to move toward disarmament at a United Nations conference on Wednesday.

Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that although religious leaders are not experts on nuclear weapons, they still have the responsibility to speak out and take the floor on this particular issue.

“We know that we are not experts on disarmament, we do not have technical solutions, but we do have a voice to act,” Chullikatt said, adding that the group of religious leaders have taken on the subject partly so that future generations do not accuse them of not doing anything.

The archbishop noted that the Roman Catholic Church warns that nuclear war is a crime both against God and against man himself. “It is past time for this plan (nuclear disarmament) to be given the serious attention that it deserves. The centerpiece is the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention or a framework leading directly to a global ban on nuclear weapons,” Chullikatt said.

“Nuclear weapons are useless in addressing current challenges such as poverty, health, climate change, terrorism or national crime. The only way to guarantee that these weapons will not be used again, is through a common, irreversible, and verifiable elimination under international (law). He stated that the use of nuclear weapons will be a great moral crime against humanity, and insisted that now is the time to “renew the moral call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” because in the event of a nuclear war, there will be “no victors, only victims.”

The Rev. Tyler Wigg Stevenson, representing the World Evangelical Alliance, noted that evangelicals are “late in coming to the trenches where our brothers and sisters of the Roman Catholic Church and World Council of Churches, including members of other world religions, have labored long and faithfully.”

He shared his hopes, however, that the evangelical “lack of moderation” will “make up for our tardiness.”……….

“In Buddhist ethics, protecting innocent life is a high value. Nuclear weapons offend this value. According to Buddhist understanding, everyone and everything in the world are interconnected and interdependent,” said Ven. Dr. Chung Ohun Lee of Won Buddhism International, to the U.N., adding that people have a responsibility to take care of the world and oppose nuclear weapons out of respect for all human beings.

“Nuclear weapons are immoral. Let us work together to rid the world of all of them,” Dr. Chung Ohun Lee remarked.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of Fiqh Council of North America said that according to the Islamic position, nuclear weapons “pose a grave danger to all of humanity” and called on the international community to work together to remove this danger.

“Islam teaches that God is the creator and master of everything in this world. All human beings are one family. Human beings must honor each other and live in peace,” Dr. Siddiqi continued.

“Nuclear weapons do not come anywhere in the concept of just war. Nuclear weapons are by nature weapons of mass destruction. They make no distinction between combatants or noncombatants.”

Rabbi Peter Knobel of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, who was the final speaker, drew an example from the story of Noah and the Great Flood in the Bible, when God promises to never destroy creation again, and gives people hope symbolized by a rainbow.

“It is not enough to merely stop proliferation, we are compelled to eliminate nuclear weapons, it is our duty to cherish and protect creation, to learn to love and care for one another, it is time to beat our nuclear swords into plowshares, and not stop beating until they are musical instruments.” 

May 2, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Island goes 100% renewable energy – a world first


With the opening of a new wind farm next month, El Hierro, population just over 10,000, will become the first island in the world to be fully energy self-sufficient through combined wind and water power. The five wind turbines will provide 11.5 megawatts of power, enough to meet the demand of the population and the desalination plants on this small crop of land off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.

When the wind isn’t blowing, hydropower will fill the void. When the wind is blowing, power will be used to pump water into a reservoir in a volcanic crater about 2,300 feet above sea level. Then when power is needed, that water will be released down to a lower reservoir and used to generate electricity on the way. This process is known as pump-storage hydroelectricity, and is used in many other countries across the globe — including the world’s largest outside of Washington, D.C.

“This system guarantees us a supply of electricity,” said the director of the Gorona del Viento wind power plant, Juan Manuel Quintero.

With the $75 million project set to come online, El Hierro will no longer have to rely on costly and dirty diesel generators for electricity — although it will maintain an oil power station just in case. According to, the island’s transition to renewable energy will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20,600 tons per year and save the island from using 40,000 barrels of oil a year.

Other islands are taking advantage of renewable resources to become wind- and solar-powered, but El Hierro is believed to be the first to do so exclusively with wind and hydro power and without having any connection to an outside electricity grid.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear news for the past week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Our website   Some good news from co-editor ‘Arclight’.  He has been experiencing tribulations – which is what happens to  investigative reporters in UK. Moving to Ireland, Arclight was in dire straits.  But he has been helped first by anonymous donors, tiding him over, and then , in his passport status, by Jennifer Schweppe, Head of the School of Law, Limerick University. Arclight might not be ‘out of the woods’ yet, but isn’t it great that some people help out in time of need?

Taiwan28,000 anti nuclear demonstrators met with water cannons. But people power brings the government to halt the new nuclear reactor

Ukraine. One result of the political change there is a covert agreement that radioactive trash from European Union will now be stored in Ukraine

Chernobyl. The new 2 $billion sarcophagus slowly going up, will last only 100 years – the radioactive reactor wreck requires cover for many thousands of years.  It’s  a stop-gap measure, but the best that they can come up with.

USA.  A challenge to governments ruled by corporate greed. A challenge to the Trans Pacific Partnership, to nuclear power, and militarism.  Ralph Nader’s new book shows that corporate control of politics is opposed by both Left and Right. “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. ”    Nuclear front groups exposed – Nuclear Matters and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) getting far too much coverage in media.

Dead nuclear reactors – the funerals are getting more expensive. USA, home of nuclear power, is first to realise this. And there are more nuclear power deaths on the way.

Japan  The Tenacious Mari Takenouchi persists in her anti nuclear activism, despite the techniques used against her. This is detailed by Arclight.

Ecological effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima. Timothy Mousseau clarifies this complicated issue. Much publicity has appeared about how birds have adapted to ionising radiation. Mousseau explains how negative pressures on birds have indeed brought about adaptations. – we see these interesting adaptive responses in the birds that are remaining (i.e. those that haven’t perished…).

France.  A new poll finds that the  vast majority of French people prefer renewable energy, would not invest in nuclear power

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Dr Helen Caldicott explains the facts on radiation

Caldicott-2013The impact of the nuclear crisis on global health highly-recommendedAustralian Medical Student Journal By Helen Caldicott in Volume 4, Issue 2 2014  “…….Types of ionizing radiation 

  1. X-rays are electromagnetic, and cause mutations the instant they pass through the body.
  2. Similarly, gamma radiation is also electromagnetic, being emitted by radioactive materials generated in nuclear reactors and from some naturally occurring radioactive elements in the soil.
  3. Alpha radiation is particulate and is composed of two protons and two neutrons emitted from uranium atoms and other dangerous elements generated in reactors (such as plutonium, americium, curium, einsteinium, etc – all which are known as alpha emitters and have an atomic weight greater than uranium). Alpha particles travel a very short distance in the human body. They cannot penetrate the layers of dead skin in the epidermis to damage living skin cells. But when these radioactive elements enter the lung, liver, bone or other organs, they transfer a large dose of radiation over a long period of time to a very small volume of cells. Most of these cells are killed; however, some on the edge of the radiation field remain viable to be mutated, and cancer may later develop. Alpha emitters are among the most carcinogenic materials known.
  4. Beta radiation, like alpha radiation, is also particulate. It is a charged electron emitted from radioactive elements such as strontium 90, cesium 137 and iodine 131. The beta particle is light in mass, travels further than an alpha particle and is also mutagenic.
  5. Neutron radiation is released during the fission process in a reactor or a bomb. Reactor 1 at Fukushima has been periodically emitting neutron radiation as sections of the molten core become intermittently critical. Neutrons are large radioactive particles that travel many kilometers, and they pass through everything including concrete and steel. There is no way to hide from them and they are extremely mutagenic.

So, let’s describe just five of the radioactive elements that are continually being released into the air and water at Fukushima. Remember, though, there are over 200 such elements each with its own half-life, biological characteristic and pathway in the food chain and the human body. Most have never had their biological pathways examined. They are invisible, tasteless and odourless. When the cancer manifests it is impossible to determine its aetiology, but there is a large body of literature proving that radiation causes cancer, including the data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Tritium is radioactive hydrogen H3 and there is no way to separate tritium from contaminated water as it combines with oxygen to form H3O. There is no material that can prevent the escape of tritium except gold, so all reactors continuously emit tritium into the air and cooling water as they operate. It concentrates in aquatic organisms, including algae, seaweed, crustaceans and fish, and also in terrestrial food.  Like all radioactive elements, it is tasteless, odorless and invisible, and will therefore inevitably be ingested in food, including seafood, for many decades. It passes unhindered through the skin if a person is immersed in fog containing tritiated water near a reactor, and also enters the body via inhalation and ingestion. It causes brain tumors, birth deformities and cancers of many organs.
  • Cesium 137 is a beta and gamma emitter with a half-life of 30 years. That means in 30 years only half of its radioactive energy has decayed, so it is detectable as a radioactive hazard for over 300 years. Cesium, like all radioactive elements, bio-concentrates at each level of the food chain. The human body stands atop the food chain. As an analogue of potassium, cesium becomes ubiquitous in all cells. It concentrates in the myocardium where it induces cardiac irregularities, and in the endocrine organs where it can cause diabetes, hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer. It can also induce brain cancer, rhabdomyosarcomas, ovarian or testicular cancer and genetic disease.
  • Strontium 90 is a high-energy beta emitter with a half-life of 28 years. As a calcium analogue, it is a bone-seeker. It concentrates in the food chain, specifically milk (including breast milk), and is laid down in bones and teeth in the human body. It can lead to carcinomas of the bone and leukaemia.
  • Radioactive iodine 131 is a beta and gamma emitter. It has a half-life of eight days and is hazardous for ten weeks. It bio-concentrates in the food chain, in vegetables and milk, then in the the human thyroid gland where it is a potent carcinogen, inducing thyroid disease and/or thyroid cancer. It is important to note that of 174,376 children under the age of 18 that have been examined by thyroid ultrasound in the Fukushima Prefecture, 12 have been definitively diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 15 more are suspected to have the disease. Almost 200,000 more children are yet to be examined. Of these 174,367 children, 43.2% have either thyroid cysts and/or nodules.
    In Chernobyl, thyroid cancers were not diagnosed until four years post-accident. This early presentation indicates that these Japanese children almost certainly received a high dose of radioactive iodine. High doses of other radioactive elements released during the meltdowns were received by the exposed population so the rate of cancer is almost certain to rise.
  • Plutonium, one of the most deadly radioactive substances, is an alpha emitter. It is highly toxic, and one millionth of a gram will induce cancer if inhaled into the lung. As an iron analogue, it combines with transferrin. It causes liver cancer, bone cancer, leukemia, or multiple myeloma. It concentrates in the testicles and ovaries where it can induce testicular or ovarian cancer, or genetic diseases in future generations. It also crosses the placenta where it is teratogenic, like thalidomide. There are medical homes near Chernobyl full of grossly deformed children, the deformities of which have never before been seen in the history of medicine.
    The half-life of plutonium is 24,400 years, and thus it is radioactive for 250,000 years. It will induce cancers, congenital deformities, and genetic diseases for virtually the rest of time.
    Plutonium is also fuel for atomic bombs. Five kilos is fuel for a weapon which would vaporize a city. Each reactor makes 250 kg of plutonium a year. It is postulated that less than one kilo of plutonium, if adequately distributed, could induce lung cancer in every person on earth………..

May 2, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 2 Comments

Censorship of science writer on Fox News- mustn’t mention climate change

2013 study also found that the more time viewers spend watching conservative media, the more skeptical they become of climate science.

civil liberties USAScience Editor: Fox News Told Me Not To Talk About Climate Change The Huffington Post  | by  Dominique Mosbergen 04/30/2014  This week, a science writer was asked to appear on Fox News to discuss the future of science and technology. However, he says there was one caveat: The issue of climate change would be off-limits.

On Wednesday, Michael Moyer, an editor at Scientific American, described his experience with the news outlet this way:

Michael Moyer @mmoyr

climate-changeFox & Friends producer wanted to talk about future trends. I said #1 will be impacts of climate change. I was told to pick something else.

In a blog post on Scientific American, Moyer explained that he had offered to discuss what he foresees as the “trends for the future” on “Fox & Friends.” In a blog post on Scientific American, Moyer explained that he had offered to discuss what he foresees as the “trends for the future” on “Fox & Friends.”

“About the only interesting thing that the scientific community is sure will happen in the next 50 years is that climate change is going to get worse, and that we’re going to have to deal with the impacts. So I put that as one of my talking points,” he wrote.

But Moyer says a producer of the show soon reached out to him to tell him explicitly to not discuss climate change during the segment. Not wanting to back out of an opportunity to “share cool science with whomever will listen,” Moyer agreed to still appear on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

That, however, will likely be the last time Moyer will appear on the show.

“I found the tone and topics of coverage while I was sitting in the green room this morning to be not something that I wanted to be a part of in the future,” he told Talking Points Memo of his “Fox & Friends” experience. “I didn’t realize that the drumbeat of conservative propaganda was so ubiquitous on the show.”……

Moyer, however, insists that the Fox producer wrote this in an email: “[C]an we replace the climate change with something else?”

This wouldn’t be the first time that Fox News’ coverage of climate change has beencalled into question. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the conservative news outlet covers climate change inaccurately 72 percent of the time.

2013 study also found that the more time viewers spend watching conservative media, the more skeptical they become of climate science.

“There are some things that in science and scientific discourse are not controversial at all,” Moyer told Talking Points Memo in light of his Fox News experience. “I hope that we can all as a society agree to at least discuss them and come up with good solutions. Just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t make it not true.”

According to a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, about four in 10 Americans said “they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases,” per the AP. That’s in stark contrast to the97 percent of climate scientists who say global warming in the last 100 years has very likely been caused by human activity.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Brain damage risk to astronauts from radiation

Could deep space cause BRAIN DAMAGE? Radiation could permanently destroy an astronaut’s attention span

  • Rats were exposed to radiation levels similar to that found in deep space
  • Serious lapses in attention occurred in 64% of the sensitive animals
  • Increase in impulsiveness took place in 45% and slower reaction in 27%
  • Difference based on a rat’s specific resilience after exposure to radiation
  • If same proves true in humans, scientists could identify those more susceptible to radiation before the brain becomes permanently damaged

Daily Mail, By ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD, 30 April 2014 Researchers came to the conclusion after exposing rats to high-energy particles that simulate the conditions astronauts could experience in deep space.

After exposure, a team at John Hopkins University in Maryland made the rats perform a fitness test similar to the ones astronauts, pilots, and soldiers have to take prior to a mission. …....‘In our radiated rats, we found that 40 to 45 percent had these attention-related deficits, while the rest were seemingly unaffected,’ said study leader Dr Robert Hienz……The radiation-sensitive animals all showed evidence of brain damage that began at 50 to 60 days after exposure…..


Currently, astronauts are not as exposed to the damaging effects of radiation because the International Space Station flies in an orbit low enough that the Earth’s magnetic field continues to provide protection.

But several years ago brain scans of Nasa astronauts who spent more than a month in space revealed damage to their eyeballs and brain tissue.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | radiation, USA | 2 Comments