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Scientists used X ray images to prove the ecosystem damage from ionising radiation

highly-recommendedtext ionisingThe X-Ray Images That Showed Midcentury Scientists How Radiation Affects an Ecosystem  By Laura J. Martin In June 1947, biologists from the University of Washington collected a wrasse from the waters around Bikini Atoll, squished it against a photographic plate, and took an x-ray. The resulting image shocked them. Almost an entire year had passed since the United States had detonated “Able” and “Baker,” two fission bombs, at the atoll. The scientists involved in the Bikini Scientific Resurvey were certain that the expansive Pacific Ocean would have quickly diluted and dispersed any radioactive products from the 1946 detonations.

And yet here, in dazzling white, was radiation revealed. Bikini Atoll’s biota had absorbed the products of the explosions. More curious, still: the radioactivity was not distributed evenly across a fish’s body. It seemed to be concentrated in the digestive system.

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was the main funder of ecological research in the United States from World War II until the 1970s. Between 1946 and 1962, the United States exploded 105 atomic and nuclear weapons in these inhabited Pacific atolls, changing their ecology, as well as the science of ecology itself. During this time the Commission continued to contract ecologists from the University of Washington and other institutions to return to the proving grounds.

The first studies done by the University of Washington Radiation Ecology laboratory—assembled by the Manhattan Project under strict confidentiality in 1943—had reflected the Manhattan Project’s belief that the major hazard of atomic technology was prolonged exposure to external sources of highly penetrative gamma radiation. The biologists burned specimens to ash and then passed those ashes through a Geiger counter. But during the Bikini Scientific Resurvey, they decided to employ a relatively new and more efficient method, “radioautography,” based on the assumption that a radioactive sample placed against photographic film would produce a brighter or darker image, depending on how much radiation reacted with the film.

Over the next two decades, such radioautographs led to the emergence of the idea that radiation is “biomagnified” as it moves up the food chain. This concept wouldprove essential to convincing legislators to ban DDT and restrict other pollutants. Interconnections among species—the objects of abstract flow charts in the 1930s —became brilliantly visible.

A number of other photos from the Pacific Surveys can be viewed at the University of Washington’s Digital Collection at this link.

Laura J. Martin is an environmental historian. She is a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and a postdoc in the Department of the History of Science. Visit her website or find her on Twitter.


December 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Are Britain’s nuclear stations at risk from flooding?

text-cat-questionI’m just asking this question. I note that earlier this month, there were all sorts of jolly headlines about a Cumbria Food Festival going ahead, despite flooding. And the nuclear industry sure was looking good – they donated £500,000 of immediate funding to help Cumbria’s flood recovery effort.

Nary a mention in the mainstream media that Cumbria’s flooding might be a worry for Sellafield, and the rest of Cumbria’s toxic nuclear industry plans.

December 30, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Danger of moving plutonium from Dounreay to Sellafield after major flooding in Cumbria

Dounreay-nuclear-power-st-0Concerns over moving of Dounreay material by rail after flooding 14 December 2015 by David Kerr A campaign group has raised new concerns about the movement of waste materials from Dounreay by rail after major flooding in Cumbria.

Spent “exotic fuels” are being moved from the Caithness site to Sellafield in the north of England by rail, as part of the decommissioning process.

The first of a series of loads of unirradiated plutonium fuel from Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor arrived at Sellafield last Monday.

Around 13 tonnes is due to be moved between the north of Scotland and Sellafield over the next few years……

Core spokesman Martin Forwood said: “It beggars belief that the decision to risk the plutonium fuel transport was taken despite the widely-trailed storm evidence and rail warnings.

“We condemn the perverse decision as being dangerously irresponsible and as a blatant breach of the stringent safety and security rules required for such transports.

“Those responsible have shown a level of incompetence that verges on criminal and should be weeded out, so that public and rail safety is not similarly endangered again.

“If any public confidence at all in such transports is to be salvaged, answers on the decisionmaking process must be given and lessons learned.”

The unirradiated plutonium is the latest fuel to be removed from Dounreay as part of a decommisioning program which started in 2001 when the site was closed. ………..


December 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change, safety, UK | Leave a comment

USA: Your town’s radiation levels this week

radiation-warningFlag-USAFukushima Update: “Your Radiation This Week, BEFORE IT’S NEWS, Dec 19 to Dec 26, 2015″ By Bob Nichols

– “Good Day, this is “Your Radiation This Week.” These are the recorded Radiation Highs that affected some people this week around the United States.
 You should compare the Rad numbers directly with the Rad numbers in with my articles listed on the VT Author’s Page here.
These are the American cities that exceeded 1,000 CPM this week. Thirty-two (32) American cities topped 1,000 CPM this week. There were Thirty-one (31) Cities last week.There are Nine American cities between 900 and 999 CPM. Unfortunately, the Rad Contagion has swelled the American cities between 900 and 999 CPM to Eighteen Cities. Stay Alert and take all appropriate precautions.
The Rad poison has spread all over the country and settled in for the long haul. The most prevalent isotope, Cesium 137, takes a daunting 600 years to decay to infinitesimal levels. It is not even particularly long-lived radiation. The Cesium will remain, though; we won’t.
ll Radiation Counts reported are partial Counts. Uncounted types of radiation include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron and X-Ray radiation. Uncounted radiation, if added, makes the actual Count higher and more dangerous. The highest radiation reporting city is listed first, the least radioactive city reporting is listed last. All reporting cities are above normal. I just could not overlook Washington, DC 375 CPM subtotal Gamma and Beta for a High Rad reading. This is not even a low for the District. The low Beta only reading was 0nly 79 CPM. The benefits of living in Washington, DC are never ending and far surpass those of Normal men and women living in other cities, towns and metropolitan areas – even New York. NY City recorded a 764 CPM Radioactive High this week.

Normal Radiation is 5 to 20 CPM. 50 CPM is an alert level.

1,485 CPM,  297 Times Normal,  Miami, FL.  Beta, Gamma.
1,397 CPM,  279.4 Times Normal,  Little Rock, AR  Beta, Gamma.
1,387 CPM,  277.4 Times Normal,  Colorado Springs, CO.  Beta, Gamma.
1,311 CPM,  262.2 Times Normal,  Lincoln, NE  Beta, Gamma.
1,233 CPM,  246.6 Times Normal,  Omaha, NE.  Beta, Gamma.
1,226 CPM,  245.2 Times Normal,  Portland, ME  Beta, Gamma.
1,222 CPM,  244.4 Times Normal,  Spokane, WA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,208 CPM,  241.6 Times Normal,  Amarillo, TX.  Like it Never Existed
1,191 CPM,  238.2 Times Normal,  Bismark, ND.  Gamma, Beta.
1,185 CPM,  237 Times Normal,  Raleigh, NC.  Beta, Gamma.
1,178 CPM,  235.6 Times Normal,  Bakersfield, CA  Beta, Gamma.
1,162 CPM,  232.4 Times Normal,  Navajo Lake, NM  Beta, Gamma.
1,160 CPM,  232 Times Normal,  Billings, MT  Beta, Gamma.
1,153 CPM,  230.6 Times Normal,  Pierre, SD  Beta, Gamma.
1,140 CPM,  228 Times Normal,  Tucson, AZ  Beta, Gamma.
1,133 CPM,  226.6 Times Normal, Idaho Falls, ID  Beta, Gamma.
1,124 CPM,  224.8 Times Normal,  El Paso, TX.  Beta, Gamma.
1,122 CPM,  224.4 Times Normal,  Los Angeles, CA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,122 CPM,  224.4 Times Normal,  San Diego, CA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,119 CPM,  223.8 Times Normal,  Anaheim, CA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,093 CPM,  218.6 Times Normal,  Kearney, NE.  Beta, Gamma.
1,078 CPM,  215.6 Times Normal,  Worcester, MA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,060 CPM,  212 Times Normal,  Kansas City, KS  Gamma, Beta.
1,052 CPM,  210.4 Times Normal,  Louisville, KY  Beta, Gamma.
1,049 CPM,  209.8 Times Normal,  Wichita, KS.  Beta, Gamma.
1,046 CPM,  209.2 Times Normal,  San Bernardino County  Beta, Gamma.
1,044 CPM,  208.8 Times Normal,  St George, UT.  Beta, Gamma.
1,041 CPM,  208.2 Times Normal,  Oklahoma City, OK.  Beta, Gamma.
1,039 CPM,  207.8 Times Normal,  Yuma, AZ.  Beta, Gamma.
1,036 CPM,  207.2 Times Normal,  Laredo, TX.  Beta, Gamma.
1,032 CPM,  206.4 Times Normal,  Memphis, TN  Beta, Gamma.
1,029 CPM,  205.8 Times Normal,  Salt Lake City, UT. Beta, Gamma.
375 CPM,    75 Times Normal,  Washington DC  High Beta, Gamma.
79 CPM,     15.8 Times Normal,  Washington DC  Low Gamma.
Fresno, California has stopped reporting for the time being or permanently; it is not clear which. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime as a reminder, Fresno’s Five year Radioactive High was 2,504 CPM.
Most Radioactive City in America: Miami, Florida wins and is the most radioactive City in the nation this week. There is no prize. Little Rock, Arkansas is close behind in the CPM race to the end.

Baby Pulse Spikes Rad Monitors in US: ..
Yuma, Phoenix and Tucson Go High, Are Shutdown: ……
St. Louis and the Rad problem:………
Amarillo: A word about Amarillo, Texas. Since we all know what was there, there no need to go into all that. The Rad report from EPA and all the historical Rad records are totally gone, totally blown away. There is nothing left to report the Rad numbers now or in the past; the EPA records vanished overnight. The town is fine, omitting the obvious, as far as I know.

December 30, 2015 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

The facts: Fukushima today

The herculean cleanup of Fukushima Prefecture involves 105 cities, towns, and villages. Unlike Chernobyl where authorities declared a 1,000 square mile no-habitation zone and resettlement of 350,000 people, thus allowing radiation to dissipate over decades-to-centuries, Japan is attempting to remake Fukushima back into its old self. But, radioactive material collected in millions of black bags is a vexing problem for the ages.

Adding to the lingering problem of transporting and storing radioactive waste, over time, the bags will likely deteriorate and need to be replaced with fresh bags. It is an endless cycle.

Handling radioactive waste in Japan may become generational employment, similar to how second and third generation workers eventually completed the grand cathedrals of Europe, like Notre Dame de Paris with a cornerstone laid in 1163 resulting in major construction completed circa 1250.

flag-japanFukushima Today, Dissident Voice by Robert Hunziker / December 29th, 2015 Throughout the world, the name Fukushima has become synonymous with nuclear disaster and running for the hills. Yet, Fukushima may be one of the least understood disasters in modern times, as nobody knows how to fix either the problem nor the true dimension of the damage. Thus, Fukushima is in uncharted territory, a total nuclear meltdown that dances to its own rhythm. Similar to an overly concerned parent, TEPCO merely monitors but makes big mistakes along the way.

Over time, bits and pieces of information about Fukushima Prefecture come to surface. For example, Arkadiusz Podniesinski, the noted documentary photographer of Chernobyl, recently visited Fukushima. His photos and commentary depict a scenario of ruination and anxiety, a sense of hopelessness for the future.

Ominously, the broken down Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant looms in the background of everybody’s life, like the seemingly indestructible iconic image of destruction itself, Godzilla with its signature “atomic breath.”

Podniesinski’s commentary clearly identifies the blame for the nuclear accident, namely:………

Within Fukushima, Orange Zones are designated as less contaminated but still uninhabitable because radiation levels run 20-50 mSv/y, but decontamination work is underway. Residents are allowed to visit homes for short duration only during the daytime. However, as it happens, very few people are seen. Most of the former residents do not want to go back and the wooden houses in many of the towns and villages are severely dilapidated.

The lowest radiation areas are designated the Green Zone (< 20 mSv/y), where decontamination work is complete and evacuation orders are to be lifted.

Enormous black sealed bags filled with radioactive soil and all kinds of sizzling waste are stacked across the countryside, as approximately 20,000 workers thoroughly cleanse soil, rooftops, streets, and gutters. House-by-house, workers scrub rooftops and walls by hand.

The radioactive-contained black bags are trucked outside of towns to the far outskirts where thousands upon thousands upon thousands of big black bags are stacked. An aerial view of these temporary storage sites appears like gigantic quilts of rectangular shapes neatly, geometrically spread across the landscape for as far as the eye can see. The government claims the radioactive-contained black bags will be gone from the countryside within 30 years, but where to?………

The herculean cleanup of Fukushima Prefecture involves 105 cities, towns, and villages. Unlike Chernobyl where authorities declared a 1,000 square mile no-habitation zone and resettlement of 350,000 people, thus allowing radiation to dissipate over decades-to-centuries, Japan is attempting to remake Fukushima back into its old self. But, radioactive material collected in millions of black bags is a vexing problem for the ages.

In that regard, Japanese authorities have commissioned construction of a massive landfill just outside of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, expected to contain 16-to-22 million bags of debris, enough to fill 15 baseball stadiums. Unfortunately, bags filled with radioactivity are more than a mere headache; they are more like a severe migraine. A truck can carry 6-8 of the huge bags at a time, and with so many, it could take decades to move the material. Adding to the lingering problem of transporting and storing radioactive waste, over time, the bags will likely deteriorate and need to be replaced with fresh bags. It is an endless cycle.

Handling radioactive waste in Japan may become generational employment, similar to how second and third generation workers eventually completed the grand cathedrals of Europe, like Notre Dame de Paris with a cornerstone laid in 1163 resulting in major construction completed circa 1250.

December 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Thousands of USA’s Oak Ridge nuclear workers sick and dying from cancers and other radiation-caused illnesses

Of the 33,480, the government has specifically acknowledged that exposure to radiation or other toxins on the job likely caused or contributed to the deaths of 15,809 workers. And this tally almost certainly underestimates the total dead among the 600,000 who worked in the weapons program at its peak.

The women who worked at the plant were told to keep their mouths shut, and those
who talked about their jobs were quickly let go.

death-nuclearFlag-USANuclear workers: Projects’ results were worth illnesses, deaths  December 28, 2015 Tribune News Service Editor’s note: This is the third story in a series examining the health problems that afflict the U.S. nuclear workforce as the government launches a $1 trillion plan to modernize the arsenal.

In 1944, when the feds wanted young women to help out with a top-secret project in the hills of Tennessee, they found 19-year-old Evelyn Babb.

She grew up on four acres in Appalachia, where her family had one milk cow and a couple dozen chickens. She jumped at the chance to make 70 cents an hour at the new Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., twisting knobs on dials, with no clue what she was doing. Bosses advised her to tell friends she was making highchairs for infants.

When President Harry Truman dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, Babb learned the truth: She had helped produce the atomic hell that killed thousands of Japanese as one of the climactic acts of World War II.

………. Babb is one of the at least 33,480 deceased Americans who qualified for compensation from the federal government for illnesses linked to their work at 325 current and defunct nuclear sites.

In many cases, the money went to survivors. Of the 33,480, the government has specifically acknowledged that exposure to radiation or other toxins on the job likely caused or contributed to the deaths of 15,809 workers. And this tally almost certainly underestimates the total dead among the 600,000 who worked in the weapons program at its peak.

The plants with the highest number of deaths are the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, with 3,741, and the Hanford Site in Washington state, with 3,461. They’re the sites that provided the plutonium and uranium for the bombs, nicknamed Fat Man and Little Boy, that Truman used to wipe out Hiroshima and Nagasaki as part of the nation’s top-secret Manhattan Project.

“The death numbers tell you something, but they are just a slice of the story,” said Ralph Hutchison, a former Presbyterian pastor who’s coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, a group that has held peace vigils outside the Y-12 plant every Sunday for the last 16 years. “What’s the quality of life for people who have debilitating chronic illnesses?”

The number of dead is sure to grow much higher.

Seventy years after the atomic bombings, thousands of former workers at Department of Energy nuclear sites are sick from cancers and other diseases after being exposed to radiation, a long list of toxins and a brew of other dangerous substances.

Yet more than half of the 107,394 workers who have sought help since 2001 — 51.1 percent — have been denied, TNS’ investigation found.

And many workers have endured years of guilt after they unknowingly helped produce weapons of mass destruction.

“I felt proud until I started realizing that I had a part in killing all those people, and that’s something I didn’t believe in,” said Ruth Huddleston, 90, of Oliver Springs, Tenn., who went to work at Y-12 at age 18. “I had helped kill thousands of people.”……….

December 30, 2015 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

USA planned extensive nuclear bombing of populations – declassified documents reveal

their target priorities and nuclear bombing tactics would expose nearby civilians and “friendly forces and people” to high levels of radioactive fallout.
listed more than 1,200 cities in the Soviet bloc, from Estonia to China, all given graded priorities. Moscow and Leningrad were unsurprisingly priority one and two. Moscow included 179 DGZs and Leningrad had 145 – including “population” targets
atomic-bomb-lFlag-USAStranger than Strangelove: how the US planned for nuclear war in the 1950s,
The Conversation, ,   Senior Lecturer in Journalism, University of Sussex  December 28, 2015 Those who have written about the nuclear Cold War remain grateful to Stanley Kubrick for giving us the satirical 1964 film Dr Strangelove which captures the madness that swept the world for 40 years. The name Strangelove may be overused but the United States has now released a secret file that really does justify the sobriquet: “Stranger than Strangelove”. Almost anodyne in title, Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959 is a truly shocking document, revealing the scale of the holocaust that would have been unleashed in a nuclear war.

Continue reading

December 30, 2015 Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radioactive groundwater accumulating at Fukushima Daiichi No 1 nuclear power station

water-radiationflag-japanFUKUSHIMA NIGHTMARE CONTINUES UNABATED: TEPCO confronts new problem of radioactive water at Fukushima plant by Hiromi Kumagai, The Asahi Shimbun:  Tokyo Electric Power Co. has unexpectedly been forced to deal with an increasingly large amount radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after seaside walls to block the flow of groundwater were constructed in October.

TEPCO completed the walls on Oct. 26 to block contaminated groundwater from flowing into sea. The utility began pumping up groundwater from five wells dug between the walls and the plant’s reactor buildings. The plan called for releasing the less contaminated water into the sea after a purification process, but TEPCO discovered that the water had larger amounts of radiation than it had expected.

TEPCO officials said the situation has left the utility with no option but to transfer 200 to 300 tons of groundwater each day into highly contaminated reactor buildings since November, a move that could further contaminate the water.

Comprised of numerous cylindrical steel pipes measuring 30 meters tall, the seaside walls were installed on the coastal side of the No. 1 to No. 4 reactor buildings to block contaminated groundwater flowing out of the highly contaminated buildings from reaching the ocean.

To control groundwater levels, TEPCO planned to release the less contaminated groundwater from the five wells into sea after a purification process.

However, the water from four of the wells was discovered to have high levels of tritium–a radioactive substance that is hard to remove–at levels higher than 1,500 becquerels per liter, which means the water cannot be released into sea.

To compound the problem, the seaside walls have also significantly raised groundwater levels, forcing the utility to pump a lot more groundwater than it originally planned. Read More @

December 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Fukushima evacuees stay away: population at lowest level since 1945

flag-japanFukushima population at postwar low, down 5.7%, as nuclear disaster evacuees steer clear: census FUKUSHIMA 29 DEC 15 – The population of Fukushima Prefecture fell by 115,458, or 5.7 percent, from 2010 to stand at 1,913,606 as of Oct. 1, marking the lowest level since the end of World War II, the prefecture has said.

The size of the drop, shown in a preliminary report on the census for 2015 released Friday, was the largest on record, due mainly to the evacuation of residents after the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant in March 2011.

The population was zero in the towns of Okuma, Futaba, Tomioka and Namie, all of which were evacuated.

The prefecture’s population fell for the fourth consecutive time in the census, which is conducted every five years.

By municipality, the population plunged 87.3 percent to 976 in the town of Naraha, where the government’s evacuation advisory was mostly lifted in September.

The population dropped 28.3 percent to 2,021 in the village of Kawauchi, where the evacuation advisory for its eastern part was removed in October 2014.

The figures indicate a lack of progress in the return of residents to the two municipalities.

By contrast, the population grew 0.6 to 2.1 percent in the cities of Fukushima, Iwaki and Soma, as well as the town of Miharu, as they accepted evacuees from areas close to the Tepco plant and workers involved in reconstruction-related projects, such as the decontamination of areas tainted by radioactive materials from the plant.

The number of households in Fukushima Prefecture rose 2.2 percent to 736,616, up for the 19th time in a row since the first census.


December 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Growing nuclear dangers are ‘dimly perceived’ by public

Atomic-Bomb-SmFlag-USACrusading former Pentagon chief: nuclear dangers are growing but ‘dimly Book Journey at Nuclear Brinkperceived’ by public, Fox News 29 Dec 15  WASHINGTON –  Late in a life lived unnervingly near the nuclear abyss, William J. Perry is on a mission to warn of a “real and growing danger” of nuclear doom.

The 88-year-old former defense secretary is troubled by the risks of catastrophe from the very weapons he helped develop. Atop his list: a nuclear terror attack in a major U.S. city or a shooting war with Russia that, through miscalculation, turns nuclear. A terrorist attack using a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device could happen “any time now – next year or the year after,” he said in an interview with reporters earlier this month………

“It was, of course, a false alarm,” Perry said, but it was one of many experiences throughout the Cold War and beyond that he says have given him a “unique and chilling vantage point from which to conclude that nuclear weapons no longer provide for our security — they now endanger it.”

His views are remarkable, not least because they strike at the heart of the conventional wisdom about nuclear weapons that has been embraced by both political parties for decades. For example, Perry thinks the U.S. nuclear force no longer needs land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, and can rely on the other two “legs” of the force — bomber aircraft and submarine-based missiles. ICBMs should be scrapped, he says, adding, “I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I think it should happen. They’re not needed” to deter nuclear aggression.

He also opposes the Obama administration’s plan to build a new nuclear-capable cruise missile.

Perry looks at Russia’s nuclear modernization and U.S. plans to spend hundreds of billions to update its nuclear arsenal and sees irrational nuclear competition.

“I see an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets under way again, not just for the cost but for the danger it puts all of us in,” he said……….

“Our chief peril is that the poised nuclear doom, much of it hidden beneath the seas and in remote badlands, is too far out of the public consciousness,” he wrote in his memoir.

In his book’s preface Perry outlines a nuclear terror scenario, which he calls “my nuclear nightmare, born of long and deep experience.”…..

“The danger of a nuclear bomb being detonated in one of our cities is all too real,” Perry writes. “And yet, while this catastrophe would result in a hundred times the casualties of 9/11, it is only dimly perceived by the public and not well understood.”

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

Renewed calls to shut down aging Indian Point nuclear station

reactor--Indian-PointNew calls to shut Indian Point; plant’s critics cite age, proximity to cities, North , DECEMBER 27, 2015BY SCOTT FALLON A nuclear power plant just 15 miles from North Jersey is at a crossroads as federal regulators determine whether to allow Indian Point in Westchester County to continue operating for another two decades in the face of fierce opposition from New York officials.

A series of mishaps this year, including one in which a reactor was shut down this month, has renewed calls by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to close the aging plant on the Hudson River. They come as an arm of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to scrutinize Indian Point’s application to renew the licenses on its two reactors, a marathon process that began eight years ago.

In a scathing letter to the commission last month, a top Cuomo official called the 40-year-old reactors brittle and fatigued, and said the plant’s proximity to a major population center makes it impossible to have an effective evacuation plan.

“Given the deterioration of this aging plant, it should not be permitted to operate for another 20 years,” wrote Jim Malatras, director of state operations in New York.

A spokesman for Entergy Corp., which owns Indian Point, did not respond to a request for comment……

The reactors’ 40-year licenses have expired — Unit 2 in 2013 and Unit 3 on Dec. 12 — but they are allowed to operate while the renewal process continues…….

Evacuation zone

Indian Point has long been a concern of North Jersey officials because Bergen and Passaic counties sit just outside the plant’s federally designated 10-mile evacuation zone, which critics have long said is too small. New Jersey has developed emergency plans, including one to accept thousands of people from Rockland County if need be.

New Jersey has not weighed in on Indian Point’s future. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has not submitted any comments to the NRC because it has “no regulatory role” over the plant, said Larry Hajna, an agency spokesman.

Indian Point’s relicensing saga comes during a relatively quiet time for New Jersey’s own nuclear industry. Three nuclear reactors have been approved to operate for several more decades while a fourth – Oyster Creek in Ocean County – is scheduled to close by the end of the decade. Although Governor Christie has called for  another reactor to be built in New Jersey, plans by the state’s largest electric utility to build one in Salem County are on hold.

In New York, Cuomo is trying disrupt Indian Point’s relicensing efforts by denying a certification under the state’s Coastal Zone Management Plan. In a report sent to NRC last month, New York officials reiterated much of the criticism leveled at Indian Point through the years: That there is no way New York City and its densely populated suburbs could be adequately evacuated if a disaster occurred, the plant is vulnerable because it sits near two fault lines, and a billion fish and other marine organisms are killed annually when they are sucked from the Hudson River into the plant’s intake valves.

Some environmental advocates say the report could disrupt Indian Point’s license renewal. A New York court has said the plant is exempt from the state’s review. That decision is being appealed……..

December 30, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Rejecting nuclear power, Catholic Church in South Africa calls for a referendum

text-Noflag-S.AfricaSouth Africa’s Catholic Church Rejects Nuclear Procurement Plans, Calls For Referendum, IBT  BY  @MORGANWINSOR ON 12/29/15 The Catholic Church in South Africa urged the government Tuesday to suspend its nuclear power procurement plans until a referendum on the issue is held. The Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said in a statement the risks of adding nuclear energy to the national grid outweigh any economic benefits, according to South Africa’sFin24.

“Although the probability of a nuclear accident is relatively low, the consequences of such an accident cause health hazards for thousands of people and render hundreds of kilometers of land uninhabitable and unsuitable for any use for decades,” said Bishop Abel Gabuza, chairperson of the commission. “The commission has therefore appealed to the government to urgently call for a nuclear referendum.”

Gabuza said the South African government, which is struggling with power shortages and an economic crisis, has yet to show evidence that nuclear procurement is affordable to the country and consumers. The Christian-majority nation should instead focus its efforts and financial resources on renewable energy, he added.

“Given the enormity of the risks that the South African government is asking its citizens to bear through the nuclear option, including the enormous safety risks and economic risks, it is only fair that the government directly consults its people on the matter,” Gabuza said in the statement Tuesday. “A referendum is the best instrument for realizing the common good on this important matter.”…….

The Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said the government should look to Italy as a leading example. In June 2011, the Italian government held a similar referendum to poll its citizens on its plans to generate 25 percent of the country’s electricity from nuclear power by 2030. Well over 90 percent of voters rejected the plans for a return to nuclear power generation, the Guardian reported at the time.

“If our government truly believes that its nuclear decision is serving the best interests of the majority of South Africans, it should not be afraid to emulate the Italian example and open up the matter to a national referendum before the formal bidding process commences,” Gabuza said in the commission’s statement Tuesday, according to Fin24.

December 30, 2015 Posted by | Religion and ethics, South Africa | Leave a comment

St. Louis and the Radiation problem – recommendation – Just get out of town!

highly-recommendedFlag-USAFukushima Update: “Your Radiation This Week BEFORE IT’S NEWS, Dec 19 to Dec 26, 2015″ By Bob Nichols  “………St. Louis and the Rad problem: St. Louis, now and forever more, will be remembered as a Manhattan Project nuclear garbage dump. It was for the most poisonous, flammable elements in the universe that just happen to also be radioactive. What will happen to the pieces of the rocks that incinerated Hiroshima, Japan and turned former people into mere shadows on the concrete? Nagasaki was blown away by Plutonium, manufactured by all reactors.
What is going on at the St. Louis City/Federal Nuclear garbage dump is the two have more or less run together 100 to 200 feet below the ground. This is out by the Airport in a poor section of town in a flood plain. As garbage dumps frequently do, it caught on fire. Now that is not very unusual, however hundreds of tons, if not thousands of tons of highly radioactive, flammable rocks mixed with or next to the garbage dump is not solvable in this lifetime; or ever. There is no fix.
landfill West Lake St Louis
As YRTW readers and commentators have pointed out, this nuke fire in St. Louis could be the result of many different things or nothing at all. That is real “plausible deniability” for you; an old term fired President Nixon popularized. The real criminals are the long dead people who thought of digging a plain hole in the ground for the Uranium bomb making left overs from the Manhattan Project in the first place and those workers who buried it many years ago. Their atomic legacy just keeps on killing.
St Louis is certainly not alone in experiencing the reckless disregard for life and health of the powerful federal/private Manhattan Project. The same highly radioactive throw-aways from building the Bomb are used as an under-pavement for roads in Niagara Falls, New York and West Chicago, Illinois. There are no doubt more cities with such a curse from WWII days and the 1950’s.
The St. Louis dump grounds now make up a giant nuclear powered cooking pot because the Uranium brings it’s own heat with it as a free built-in Property. This stuff burns really hot – up to 10,832 D. F. A real devils brew of explosive and poisonous stuff is cooking up in St. Louis. Worse, it is probably already on fire up to 200 feet below ground. The garbage fire is called a “smouldering fire” and is starved for oxygen. Digging it up is not a good idea since that just exposes the burning garbage fire to more oxygen.
The Uranium products don’t require oxygen to burn. Uranium products can burn without oxygen and underwater – it makes no difference. Plus, the fine Uranium particles can catch on fire at room temperature all by themselves. No ignition sources are required. When people use the old expression “It was bound to happen,” this is one of those things.
Now – 70 years later – it is kind of a Perfect Crime. The original Perps are long dead and buried or almost dead. The Feds are using a standard cover story that emphasizes that it was an illegal dumping operation of radioactive waste. Ha! That’s preposterous! The hundreds or thousands of workers, ranging from engineers to laborers digging a huge hole out by the Airport did exactly what they were told to do by the Manhattan Project. The Feds are just trying to escape liability by these idiotic lies. The Feds broke it; they have to pay to fix the impossible situation the folks are in now – It’s theirs! Now – Not 50 years from now.
Uranium is also chemically active. It can and does provoke the creation of explosive and poisonous gases at the St. Louis Garbage/Nuke Dump that migrate through the upper layers of dirt to poison and harm people in St. Louis. That is the natural way of things when substances are exposed to Radiolysis. It is defined by the Free Dictionary as: “Radiolysis – Molecular decomposition of a substance as a result of radiation.” –  Pissin’ On The Roses has a good piece on Radiolysis. It is here.

My recommendation remains the same for healthy,
able-bodied people in St. Louis – Just leave, get out of town……

December 30, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Oak Ridge, USA, dependent on nuclear industry, kept secret about its polluting work

see-no-evilFlag-USANuclear workers: Projects’ results were worth illnesses, deaths  December 28, 2015 Tribune News Service ….”……it’s a sensitive subject in Oak Ridge, with the community so dependent on the still-running Y-12 plant.

And over the years, there have been plenty of secrets to keep.

The women who worked at the plant were told to keep their mouths shut, and those who talked about their jobs were quickly let go.

Huddleston, the calutron girl who said she felt the burden of helping kill Japanese citizens, said she didn’t even tell her son what she was doing at Y-12 until five years ago.

“I was told so long — I just never did talk about it,” she said………..


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

Russia to dump nuclear waste in melting permafrost in Arkhangelsk Region

permafrost thawing eastern-siberia-lgApproves radioactive waste disposal in melting permafrost December 22, 2015

On Monday, the Government of Arkhangelsk Region sent an order to Russia’s national operator for radioactive waste management with the approval to locate a repository for low- and medium level radioactive waste on the south-western part of the southern island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

Novaya Zemlya is geographically part of Arkhangelsk Oblast.

The repository will receive radioactive waste that already are in temporary storages in north-western Russia, including the large quantities stored at the naval yards in Severodvinsk on the coast of the White Sea, reports

The repository will be underground, but near the surface. Novaya Zemlya, like most other places in the High Arctic has permafrost in the ground. With climate changes, scientists fears the top layers of the permafrost could melt. That worries nuclear safety experts.

“It is important to consider the melting permafrost when studying risk-assessments for a radioactive waste repository on Novaya Zemlya,” says Nils Bøhmer, Nuclear Physicists with the Bellona Foundation in Norway.

He says the melting permafrost makes it highly uncertain for how long such waste can be protected.

Low- and medium level waste must be kept safe for hundreds of years according to Russian standards, reports that wrote about the Novaya Zemlya plans on Monday.

Bøhmer says it would be a much better alternative to establish a final repository for low- and medium level radioactive waste on the Kola Peninsula where the rocks are way more stable.

“In addition, it is safer to establish a repository where most of the waste already are located. Sea transport across the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya is a risky business in itself,” Bøhmer argues.

Novaya Zemlya was one of ten different sites in Northwest-Russia studied over the last couple of years to see if it is suited to be repository. Sites on the coast of the Kola Peninsula were also studied.


December 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment