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Afraid about radiation, but afraid to speak out: Fukushima mothers

chld-Japan-medicalReluctant to speak, Fukushima moms admit fear of radiation, pressure from families, Japan Times, BY , 29 Sept 15 STAFF WRITER To stay or to flee. Mothers in Fukushima Prefecture had to make harsh decisions for their families after the nuclear disaster of March 2011. More than four years on, they still have to.

Those who remain there live in constant fear for their children’s health. But choosing to flee opened them to accusations of being bad wives who abandoned their relatives, community and husbands tied to jobs.

It is a no-win situation for those who face the decision to stay or go, because they may be unable to live up to the ideal of a ryosai kenbo (good wife, wise mother).

“Consciously or subconsciously, women are aware of the role we are expected to play in a family. After the earthquake and nuclear disaster, however, everything changed,” said Yukiko (not her real name), a mother and voluntary evacuee in her 30s. “I can’t live up to those expectations any more, and society judges me.”

All women interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity.

As the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant began to play out, Tokyo Electric Power Co. established a 20-km no-go zone around the site, outside of which the government said conditions were safe. Many did not believe the assertion.

Yuriko, a woman in her 70s who lives in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, believes the zone restrictions divided the community.

“Some people trusted the government’s word and continued to live here, but others couldn’t stand living every day in fear and moved out,” Yuriko said. “Nobody knew what to believe and communities have fallen apart.”

The fear of radiation, rumors and media reports about the safety of local food prompted many mothers just outside the no-go zone to evacuate voluntarily for the sake of their children’s health. Some moved to neighboring prefectures, including Iwate and Miyagi, and others made the great leap south to Tokyo.

“To be honest, I didn’t have much knowledge about the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. But I did know how deadly high exposures of radiation could be,” said Yuko, in her 30s, who has a 6-year-old daughter. “I evacuated to Tokyo within a week of the disaster. My husband stayed in Fukushima, but I was determined to leave to prioritize the safety of my daughter.”

In many cases, voluntary evacuees like Yuko are mothers who fled with their children while their husbands remained in Fukushima to work…………..

September 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

NBC4 investigates cover-up of Southern California nuclear disaster

“The radiation in that building got so high, it went clear off the scale,” Pace recalled to NBC4. “They were not able to contain the radiation that was leaking from the reactor.”

whistleblowerAs NBC4 documents, “Pace says that dangerous radiation was released for weeks and went whichever direction the wind was blowing. Pace says the large door in the reactor was opened so they could vent the radiation from inside the building. He also remembers that the exhaust stack of the reactor was opened so that radiation could be released from inside the damaged reactor straight into the atmosphere.”

“Each time they started and stopped the reactor . . . radiation from the reactor was released,

Pace said he and all of the other workers were “sworn to secrecy” and his boss “[got] right in his face” to make it clear. He says he and his coworkers were “just following orders.” “Nobody knows the truth of what actually happened,”

The Atomic Energy Commission reported to the public six weeks after the incident that a “fuel element failure” — a minor accident — had occurred but that no radiation had leaked to surrounding communities

The Worst Nuclear Disaster in US History That You’ve Never Heard About   Carey Wedler September 28, 2015 (ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — The United States government deliberately hid “the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history,” according to experts and an in-depth investigationby NBC4 Southern California. Whistleblowers have also come forward to expose the little-known catastrophe, which occurred north of Los Angeles in 1959 and leaked over 300 times the allowable amount of radiation into surrounding neighborhoods. That contamination is now linked to up to a 60% increase in cancer in the area, but the government still refuses to acknowledge its colossal mistake.

The ongoing tragedy was driven by America’s darkest demons, from dogmatic militarism to aggressive corporatism, and ongoing government and corporate efforts to cover-up the disaster are nothing short of staggering. Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Still possible to contain climate change: Paris UN conference will be critical

United Nations: ‘Too late’ for world if no climate deal in Paris, French president Francois Hollande says 
Reaching a successful climate deal in Paris at the end of the year is the last chance to save the planet, France’s president Francois Hollande has warned.

Without “this decision in Paris … it will be too late for the world,” Mr Hollande said in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

The UN-led conference in Paris, which starts at the end of November, aims to seal a wide-ranging agreement to limit the worst effects of climate change.


Key points:

  • Hollande optimistic after China, US sign “joint vision” ahead of Paris summit
  • India to unveil its climate strategy on Thursday
  • UN talks a key precursor to Paris summit at end of November

Despite the warning, Mr Hollande sounded a note of optimism after China and the United States signed a “joint vision” ahead of the Paris summit, and China committed to a domestic cap-and-trade carbon exchange.

“We have moved forward over recent months,” Mr Hollande said.

“Very strong declarations were made by those countries who are most responsible for global warming … the United States and China, which undertook commitments towards changing the situation.”

He also pledged that France would increase its financial commitment on climate from 3 billion to 5 billion euros ($4.8 billion to $8 billion) between now and 2020.

A week of climate events in New York ahead of the annual UN summit brought out new promises from governments and the private sector to slash greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

The United Nations offers one of the last opportunities for high-level talks before the Paris conference opens on November 30.

Still possible to contain climate change: experts Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

USA nuclear fans trivialise effects of nuclear bombing

In view of the fact that the Manhattan Project’s atomic bombings of Japanese cities were not merely unnecessary but known in advance not to be necessary, the United States should be making formal apologies to the victims and their survivors in Japan, and offering reparations to them, not glorifying the planning, preparation and commission of mass destruction.
U.S. should apologize for nuclear arms, not glorify them  Plutonium was named after Pluto, “god of the underworld,” Hades or hell. It was created inside faulty reactors, concentrated and machined by U.S. scientists into the most devastating and horrifying of all weapons, September 28, 2015

Photos of what the Manhattan Project’s plutonium bomb did to human beings at Nagasaki prove the point. There is radioactive blowback in the fact that the thousands of tons of plutonium created since 1945 is so dangerously hot and long-lived that, like the underworld itself, nobody knows how to handle it at all — except maybe to trivialize it.

Hoping perhaps to show that the bomb from hell can be transformed from a vengeful, self-destructive, nightmare demon, into a benign, peace-loving, fairy-tale prince, nuclear propagandists and their friends in Congress are establishing nuclear war theme parks — without the taint of mass destruction — at former bomb factories and nuclear weapons launch pads all across the country: Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International experts report on increasing risk of nuclear weapons use

Atomic-Bomb-Smantinuke-worldSmLeading U.S., Russia, European Experts Say Risk of Nuclear Use Rising, Ten Factors Heighten Risk 28 Sep 15,  The risk of nuclear weapons use in the Euro-Atlantic region is on the rise—and it is higher today than it has been since the end of the Cold War, according to a new study and report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

The report, Rising Nuclear Dangers: Assessing the Risk of Nuclear Use in the Euro-Atlantic Region, was based on the results of a survey of leading security experts from the United States, Russia, and Europe who responded to a questionnaire from NTI. Nearly all shared the view that the significant deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia has led to dangerous conditions that make nuclear weapons use more likely—although the probability remains low.

“The United States and Russia are on an increasingly dangerous path. Weak channels of communication, close military encounters, and the other factors described in this report have increased the likelihood of misunderstanding and the possibility that a significant escalation in tensions could lead to catastrophe,” said NTI Co-chairman and CEO Sam Nunn.

The report cites 10 contributing factors to the heightened risk: Competing, irreconcilable narratives that drive heightened threat perceptions; a deficit of trust; domestic political imperatives; alliance politics; close military encounters; broken channels of communication; failing safeguards to prevent nuclear use; conventional force disparity; reckless nuclear saber rattling; and lack of nuclear experience.

The NTI report comes as President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin prepare this week to address the United Nations General Assembly. The presidents, who have not met one-on-one in more than a year, are scheduled to meet today in New York.

Report authors Robert Berls, NTI senior advisor for Russia and Eurasia, and Leon Ratz, also a Russia nuclear security expert at NTI, cited the risk of miscalculation as being of greatest concern. “It is the possibility of a major transformative event, such as a mid-air collision (between NATO and Russian warplanes) or a skirmish along NATO or Russian borders, that is on the rise,” the report says. “Such an incident involving the world’s two largest nuclear powers could plausibly shift alert postures and lead to a rapid series of escalatory measures precipitated by miscalculation and exacerbated by mistrust.”

September 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Medical and Media Manipulation by Boeing, in cover-up of USA Nuclear Disaster

The Boeing Corporation may not have caused the spill, but it has long been a key player in the military-industrial complex.

America’s worst nuclear disaster happened in 1959, two years before President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of an emerging military-industrial complex that would entangle the nation in endless war. While he was still president, corporations were laying a foundation of corporatocracy and militarism that would allow Boeing to amass monumental power throughout the 20th century. It is that power and influence, fueled by war and the profits it yields, that has made a full cleanup impossible.

After countless lies, cover ups, and overwhelming collusion, however, instead of taking responsibility for the cleanup, Boeing has added insult to injury by moving to construct a recreational park near SFFL

see-no-evilFlag-USABoeing Helped Government Cover Up Worst Nuclear Disaster in US History ,   Carey Wedler September 28, 2015 (ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — A year long, two-part investigation by NBC affiliate NBC4 Southern California revealed last week that the United States government hid what experts call “the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history.” Part 1 detailed how the catastrophe occurred and how the leaked radiation might be affecting the health of nearby residents. Part 2 investigates how in 1996, the Boeing Company — a behemoth corporation with deep roots in America’s military industrial-complex — acquired ownership of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). And how since, the corporation has resorted to bribery, manipulation, and deceit — all to avoid cleaning up a mess it is legally obligated to remedy.  Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Environmental racism by USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission

nuke-indigenousAmerican Indians accuse NRC of ‘environmental racism’ By Keith Rogers Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 26, 2015 

The feds call it “environmental justice.”

Western Shoshones say it’s really “environmental racism.”

Whatever words apply, a challenge by American Indian tribes on that subject in the latest Nuclear Regulatory Commission report for disposing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain could slam the brakes on the project.

This month, because of a 2013 federal appeals court decision, the commission rejuvenated proceedings on the Department of Energy’s license application to build and operate a repository for the nation’s highly radioactive waste at the mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The project was mothballed in 2010 when the Obama administration decided not to fund it and instead pursue another path that favors a willing state or tribe to host a repository. Neither Nevada nor the Shoshones want it.

The NRC’s draft, 173-page supplemental environmental impact report released in August shows radioactive particles from the planned repository would contaminate groundwater. That means it also would affect purity of traditional American Indian springs in Death Valley, Calif.

While that translates to only a “small fraction” increase in the dose people receive from normal background radiation, according to the NRC staff’s report, project opponents say it could be enough to disqualify the site for licensing on grounds of environmental injustice.

That’s because burying 77,000 tons of highly radioactive defense wastes and spent fuel from power reactors there coupled with past episodes of fallout from nuclear weapons tests amounts to “environmental racism,” according to the Western Shoshone and Timbisha Shoshone tribes and a Reno lawyer.

Western Shoshone Ian Zabarte, a board member of the Native Community Action Council, a party with standing in the NRC’s licensing proceedings, was blunt in his public comments at an NRC panel meeting this month in Las Vegas.

“From our perspective the processes employed by the DOE is environmental racism designed to systematically dismantle the living ‘lifeways’ of the Western Shoshone people in relation to our land,” he said.

Timbisha Shoshone tribe member, Joe Kennedy of Fish Lake Valley, backed up Zabarte’s claim that the heritage of low-income Native Americans will be compromised if nuclear waste is entombed in Yucca Mountain — a more likely prospect under a Republican-controlled Congress that could try to reverse the Obama administration’s mothballing of the project. DOE has spent roughly 25 years and $15 billion trying to determine whether the site and design are safe for long-term nuclear waste storage.

At the Sept. 15 meeting, Kennedy told a story about how his father taught him that all the springs that his tribe relies on for traditional and subsistence purposes are connected.

Contaminating the purity of one downstream of the planned Yucca Mountain repository site could pollute all of them, he said.

“The Earth can live without us. But I don’t think we can live without the Earth,” he told the NRC panel.

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe Chairman George Gholson said the tribe will submit comments on the NRC’s report. “The tribe vehemently opposes the storage of radioactive waste in our backyard,” he said Thursday.

Radioactive particles that will cause that “small fraction” dose increase to humans many years in the future is not background radiation that exists worldwide from natural sources such as cosmic rays and granite formations.

In the future, among the most hazardous radioactive particles to human health that will eventually escape Yucca Mountain is neptunium-237 — a mobile, artificially produced alpha particle emitter with a half-life of 2.14 million years, the time it takes for half its atoms to decay………

“They lied about the health effects of atmospheric testing. They lied about radiation on the ground when they were going to set off that 700-ton bunker-buster bomb. Now they’re lying about the type of radiation that is going to be dispersed from nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain,” Hager said Wednesday.

Richard Miller, an expert witness in the Divine Strake case, said the NRC report’s conclusion on “environmental justice” misses the mark.

“It’s a very clever statement that obscures the facts,” said Miller, an industrial hygienist who has written six books on nuclear testing and co-authored three peer-reviewed papers.

“The first thing they’re doing is trying to tie particulate exposure with background radiation. They’re apples and oranges, actually apples and toxic oranges. These can wind up inside you, and that’s a (cancer) risk increase,” he said Thursday.

Contact Keith Rogers at or 702-383-0308. Find him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2

September 30, 2015 Posted by | indigenous issues, USA | Leave a comment

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There were other choices

IT WAS NOT INEVITABLE  None of these factors justifies the bombing as inevitable…..

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There were other choices , NAPSNet Special Reports, September 28, 2015, Nautilus Institute,  by Peter Hayes

 INTRODUCTION There is no single compelling factor to justify the bombings as inevitable, argues Peter Hayes. Rather, a series of decisions and events cumulatively drove the bomb forward from development to deployment at Hiroshima. The later nuclear attack on Nagasaki, moreover, was gratuitous. This report was initially published in the Fall 2015 issue of Global Asia. Peter Hayes is Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University, Director of the Nautilus Institute and a Global Asia editorial board member.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There Were Other Choices

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain within living memory. The mayors of these two cities, the first to be annihilated by nuclear weapons, have invited the Group of 7 leaders to meet with Japanese hibakusha(bomb survivors) after their May 2016 summit in Ise-Shima.

If they go — as they should — the question of whether the bombings were necessary should be uppermost in their mind. “Yes” would mean that nuclear deterrence, and its spawn, nuclear extended deterrence, have historical underpinnings justified in universal morality and international law, starting with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “No” would commit them to abolishing nuclear weapons, however long it takes, as the necessary redemption for needlessly sacrificing these two cities.

Today, this choice is starkly binary, albeit complex. In 1945, the decision to use the bomb was not obvious or even well understood by many of the key players. Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s coastal population: risks from radiation ignored by govt and IAEA

UK research clearly shows that coastal zone populations are exposed to doses of marine radioactivity under the following set of environmental parameters:

  1. resident in coastal zones up to at least 200kms downstream of a source of liquid radioactive discharges to sea
  2. resident in coastal zones adjacent to coastal waters with high suspended sediment loadings
  3. resident in coastal zones adjacent to extensive fine sediment inter tidal/sub tidal sediment deposits (salt marsh, mud flats etc)
  4. resident in coastal zones subject to prevailing onshore winds and storm or tidal conditions generating marine aerosols, sea spray and coastal inundation
  5. resident in coastal zones where such parameters (A to D above) have, elsewhere, been shown to enable/facilitate the penetration of marine radioactivity for across the shoreline and up to 10 miles inland from the coast.


Fukushima: Japanese government and IAEA ignore radiation risks to coastal population Tim Fukushima toiletDeere-Jones 28th September 2015 

Radiation can be carried long distances by marine currents, concentrated in sediments, and carried in sea spray 16km or more inland, writes Tim Deere-Jones. So Fukushima poses a hazard to coastal populations and any who eat produce from their farms. So what are the Japanese Government and IAEA doing? Ignoring the problem, and failing to gather data.

Review of the official Japanese marine monitoring programme reveals that the Japanese government is turning a blind eye to the risks of marine radiation from the stricken Fukushima site.

The strategy it has adopted, with the support of the IAEA, consistently ignores the latest evidence about the way marine radioactivity behaves in inshore marine environments and the potential radiological risks to coastal populations.

This strategy is based on a flawed hypothesis, developed by the nuclear industry through the late 1940s and early 1950s, when both oceanography and the study of the behaviour and fate of radioactivity in marine environments were in their absolute infancy.

As a result, the principal conclusions on the marine impact of the Fukushima event put forward in recent reports from the IAEA, the Government of Japan and it’s relevant agencies, minimise the environmental and public health negatives and emphasise a range of hypothetical ‘positives’.

This is a major flaw because the empirical evidence from ‘non-aligned’ research in the UK is that coastal communities are subjected to highly enriched doses of marine radioactivity through pathways of exposure, and from environmental parameters, which will not be analysed and researched under current Fukushima monitoring plans.

As a result, significant public health impacts of the event will not be documented, nor will important data about the way Fukushima marine radioactivity behaves at the coastline.

Failing to gather the evidence of coastal radiation Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | Japan, oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

Mururoa Nuclear Radiation Report Scheduled for October

Mururoa-test-1971Mururoa Nuclear Radiation Report Scheduled for October
30 September 2015,

An independent report into likely exposure and risk from radiation during the New Zealand government’s 1973 two-frigate protest against French nuclear testing at Mururoa is expected to be released to MNVG Inc in October. 42 years after the event.

The report was commissioned by Veterans Affairs New Zealand (VANZ) in August and is being carried out by Crown research agency Environmental Science and Research Ltd, .it is addressing three issues:• the external dose rate to veterans from nuclear testing; • the internal (perhaps also external) dose rate from seawater used in ships; • hereditary effect on offspring.

Described as “a scientific report written with consideration of a non-specialist/technical audience”, the report is the result of sustained efforts over the last two years by the Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group Inc (MNVG Inc) MNVG Inc President, Wayne O’Donnell, says the group – formed in 2013 and registered as a legal society – has been monitoring the health of the veterans, their children and grandchildren, and is establishing a trust fund to enable the medical testing of the veterans’ children and grandchildren, and to help those in need.

He says the report stems from the MNVG Inc’s meetings with Veterans Affairs Minister Craig Foss and VANZ in May. Following that meeting, Foss directed VANZ to commission an independent examination of the issues.

O’Donnell says Foss and Head of Veterans Affairs New Zealand, Jackie Couchman – both relatively new to their positions – have proved far more receptive and open to looking at the issues than their predecessors.

He says the group hopes the results of this work “will establish the truth of the genetic transfer of illnesses related to the nuclear exposure encountered by the crews”.

“We wanted to get it recognised as an issue, and ideally, to get help from the Government in funding research and establishing a Health Trust Fund.”

New Zealand’s protest in 1973 attracted international attention and helped force the French to switch to underground testing.

Around 500 crew, observers (including a government minister, Fraser Colman) and news media sailed aboard HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago to witness two atmospheric nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll. HMAS Supply, with a crew of 200 plus, was also deployed into the radiated waters by the Royal Australian Navy to replenish the frigates with Fuel and Food during the deployment. To date these Australian Sailors have not been recognised or offered Health Assistance in relation to their deployment by the Australian Government.

A number of Mururoa veterans – and some of their children – have died at an early age.

MNVG Inc says there has also been a significant number of miscarriages, stillborn children, and children born with deformities or health problems.

The group has been searching for veterans and their descendants to contribute to the research. However, the search has been complicated by the lack of complete data on who was on board the frigates. While MNVG Inc have a full list for Canterbury, no such list can be found within NZDEF Records or archives for Otago.

Contact has been lost with some of the widows and children of those who have died, says O’Donnell. “We need to make contact with these people so that they can be informed of any findings, be part of the testing but most of all receive the duty of care they are entitled to. We also need to record any medical issues suffered by the generational children of the nuclear veterans. Not just now but in future generations.”

At the end of June 2015, 93 veterans who served at Mururoa were receiving a War Disablement Pension under the Veterans’ Support Act. A list of “conclusively presumed conditions” supports veterans of Pacific testing. A veteran diagnosed with a disability on the list is entitled to free medical treatment.

“This number of 93 is minimal, why ?, simply because many Veterans do not know what they are entitled to and there has been no proactive action taken to locate and inform them in the past. Some of our shipmates are simply living with their health issues and eventually dying, totally unaware of the Duty of Care they are entitled to”, Says O’Donnell.

Until now the New Zealand government has taken the position that the available evidence indicated Mururoa veterans were not exposed to harmful doses of ionising radiation in the frigates, neither of which came within 20 nautical miles – the minimum safe distance – of a detonation. However they did sail thru the contaminated cloud and fallout on more than one occasion and drew contaminated water into the ships.

O’Donnell, who was a navy marine engineer and diver, says it is not just a matter of direct exposure to radiation. He says seawater was collected and desalinated to provide drinking water, and food was stored in lockers on the upper deck in direct exposure to any and all fallout and salt water contamination..

“This water had been radiated for years and years. The testing of samples showed that it had high levels. We were ingesting it”.

He says the concern should be whether radiation was involved, not how much: “Any radiation is too much.”

Mururoa Nuclear veterans and families have been waiting 42 years and look forward to the report and further communications with both the Government and VANZ.

September 30, 2015 Posted by | health, New Zealand | Leave a comment

Renewable energy headlines Sept 30th


7 Signs Renewable Energy Is Here to Stay

EcoWatch-9 hours ago
A new Greenpeace report shows how the world can move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The bad news? It needs political will.
100% Renewable Energy by 2050? Why wait?
Greenpeace International (blog)-

Why renewable energy offers long-term stability

GreenBiz-13 hours ago
“Renewable energy can reduce your energy costs — full-stop,” said Blaine Collison, managing director of Altenex. He was joined last week by …
One Step Off The Grid (blog)-27 Sep 2015
A state agency has moved to procure 100% renewable energy for state buildings in the capitol, with plans to expand this to government …

Sri Lanka Considering 20% Renewable Energy In Power Generation

CleanTechnica-13 hours ago
Sri Lanka is looking to increase the installed renewable energycapacity by over four times over the next two decades, as the country’s power …

China shows business case for green energy

MacroBusiness (blog)-17 hours ago
The narrative around renewable energy sources is typically framed almost entirely in terms of their contribution to reducing carbon emissions …

Religious leaders back renewable energy use

Jakarta Post-12 hours ago
Religious figures have called on world leaders and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make a bold pledge of 100 percent renewable …

September 30, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Chernobyl nuclear station nearly 3 decades on

Experiencing the Chernobyl nuclear power plant nearly 30 years after the disaster. Enformable, Lucas W Hixson, 28 Sep 15 “………Though the new confinement structure may not be the biggest project ever constructed, it is incredibly massive, large enough to allow enormous cranes and gantries to move freely under its steel roof.  The cover is being built on a large concrete pad, which is designed not only to carry the weight of the building, but also the supplies, hydraulics, and heavy industrial equipment moving in and out of it every day.  From under the new confinement structure we had our first up-close introduction with the Unit 4 sarcophagus.

Looking east from the new confinement structure we faced the western wall of the sarcophagus, which barely peaks over enormous concrete walls used for reinforcing portions of the sarcophagus and shielding workers below.  Running over, in, and around these walls was a network of steel walkways, platforms, and stairs.  The roof of the sarcophagus was visible and the new ventilation stack.  At ground level we could see workers moving in and out of the base of the wall and an adjacent portion of the reactor building, where openings allowed them access.  The radiation levels in the new containment structure I measured were between 291-919 uR/hr depending on how close I was to – and whether or not I was facing the sarcophagus.
The sarcophagus was a hastily built structure under extreme conditions and time constraints which was designed to stem the on-going release of radioactive materials into the environment.  (In Ukraine, they don’t call it the sarcophagus, it is called Объект “Укрытие” which means Object Shelter.)  Construction started within 3 weeks after the reactor exploded and was completed in a little over 200 days in November 1986.  The engineers who designed it said that the structure could be expected to stand for 20 years, it has been nearly 30 years and with some modifications and maintenance the structure is still standing.  Work has been done to deal with issues with the roofing and reinforcing portions of the structure……
At the end of every day workers go back to their changing rooms where they have the ability to shower and change back into their personal clothes.  Before you can get back to the train platform, you have to pass through two contamination monitoring portals, which ensure that you aren’t carrying unknown external contamination off of the plant site.  If one of the portals alarms there is a dosimetrist on hand who will come over and re-inspect you and instruct you on follow up activities you may need to take…….

September 30, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Death of heroic anti war photographer Kikujiro Fukushima

Renowned Anti-War Japanese Photographer Kikujiro Fukushima Dies at 94, Peta Pixel,  September 28, 2015 by Michael Zhang Acclaimed Japanese photojournalist Kikujiro Fukushima passed away on September 24th, 2015, after suffering a stroke at the age of 94. Fukushima was known for his criticism of Japan’s decision to go to war in World War II, and he spent decades documenting both the war and the aftermath of it in his homeland.

In the early years of his career, Fukushima pointed his camera at survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. The work was published in an award-winning 1961 photo book titled “Pika Don: Aru Genbaku Hisaisha no Kiroku” (which translates to “Atomic bomb: Records of one atomic bomb survivor”).

He went on to create projects, books, and exhibitions about subjects that were off the beaten path: Japanese military secrets, social injustices, feminist movements, industrial pollution, the fight against nuclear power plants, and more.

Fukushima is the only photographer who documented the aftermaths of both the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

Both are nuclear crises but different kinds,” Fukushima told the New York Times in an interview published last year. “Hiroshima’s crisis was caused by the bomb dropped by the enemy during the war. Fukushima’s crisis, though initially triggered by the earthquake and tsunami, was not really natural. It was caused by Japan’s nuclear industry whose interests more lie in their financial gain rather than the safety of the public.”

“In Hiroshima, I photographed people who were dying. In Fukushima, it looked normal but nobody knows what is going to happen in long term. I didn’t know where to begin.”……..


September 30, 2015 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Shetland Islands Council endorses Mayors for Peace call for nuclear weapons free world

Convener calls time on nuclear weapons 29/09/2015 , by 

The council’s convener has backed international calls for a world free of nuclear weapons.

A joint statement from mayors, religious leaders and parliamentarians from across the world was adopted in Hiroshima in August and presented to the United Nations on Saturday, the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Malcolm Bell is a member of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which works internationally to raise consciousness around nuclear weapons abolition. It also seeks lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

Shetland Islands Council is also a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group, which works to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy, identify the impact of that on local communities, and to minimise nuclear hazards and increase public safety.

The statement:

· Highlights the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.

· Notes that ‘mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages’.

· Deplores the nuclear weapons budget of ‘$100 billion annually’, and says such funds could be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.

· Affirms ‘UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order”.

Mr Bell said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to endorse the joint statement of fellow civic heads, religious leaders and parliamentarians which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age, and the foundation of the United Nations.”

September 30, 2015 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saskatchewan plan to clean up neglected Gunnar uranium mine site

Plan for cleaning up uranium tailings ready for approval BY ALEX MACPHERSON, THE STARPHOENIX SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 The cleanup of a derelict northern Saskatchewan uranium mine could move one step closer this week.

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) — which is overseeing the multi-million-dollar Gunnar Remediation Project on behalf of the provincial government — will present its plan to cover the site’s three tailings deposits at a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hearing in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Canada’s nuclear watchdog will consider evidence presented by all interested parties, including the SRC and northern First Nations, before making its decision, which is expected in about six weeks, a CNSC spokesman said Monday…..

After Gunnar ceased production in 1963, the open pit and underground works were flooded with water from Lake Athabasca. The mine was abandoned the following year with little other decommissioning work.

“There was no Department of Environment when those mines were abandoned,” said Ann Coxworth, a nuclear chemist and member of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society board. “At the time, there was, I would say, rather limited understanding of the hazards of leaving those tailings in an unmanaged condition.”

The absence of baseline studies and the insidious effects of radioactive contamination make assessing the Gunnar site’s environmental impact difficult, but it’s clear the work needed to be done, Coxworth said.

“We know that it can’t be cleaned up. (But) the situation can certainly be improved.”……..

Jack Flett, regulatory affairs coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said he hopes work on the Gunnar site continues.

“For me, it’s water,” he said, noting that the northern Alberta First Nation is downstream of the Gunnar mine. “Water is everything. Water is life.”…..


September 30, 2015 Posted by | Canada, environment, Uranium | Leave a comment