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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

WORLD CANCER DAY 4th FEB- JOIN US SAY NO TO MOORSIDE and NUCLEAR DUMPING

government-warning

GREAT NEWS – TOSHIBA’s foray into nuclear ventures has resulted in them experiencing a gigantic financial black hole which means that their nuclear construction business is in tatters.

It is however way too soon to call time on Moorside as our nuclear obsessed Govnt will be pulling out all stops to stay with the plan …Toshiba was always going to pull out after construction of the diabolic reactors (Nuclear Engineering International 16th September 2014 Toshiba planning to sell some of its stake in the venture “within the first year of plant operations”).  

The South Koreans (KEPCO)  have been in talks with NuGen to try to keep the whole shebang going.

Also not in the mainstream press is the fact that Toshiba have a 150 year lease on the Springfields nuclear fuel site at Preston providing nuclear fuel for the UK and around the world.

Join us on 4th Feb…

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January 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 31 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Industry roundtable: The forecast is for strong wind” • Wind energy is an abundant resource in Australia but expansion in projects has been limited over recent years. As costs fall and the air is slowly cleared on policy, the wind sector is set for strong growth. EcoGeneration asked four industry experts for their projections. [EcoGeneration]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image) Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Mountains Beyond Mountains: How Green Mountain Power Became More Than An Electric Utility” • Green Mountain Power does some cool things. They once helped expand net metering in the state. They retrofit homes with solar and energy efficiency products through on-bill financing, saving customers money. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ Expansion of renewable energy cannot stave off catastrophic climate change by itself, scientists warned. Even if solar and wind capacity continues to grow at breakneck speed, it will not be fast enough to cap…

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January 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 30 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “California’s Grid Geeks: A beacon of hope” • This is the last segment of an exclusive six-part series that takes an in-depth look at California’s transition to over 50% renewable electricity. In the face of President Trump’s apparent indifference to global warming, the state has become a beacon of hope for climate activists. [GreenBiz]

A beacon of hope (Photo: Lucky Photographer / Shutterstock) A beacon of hope (Photo: Lucky Photographer / Shutterstock)

¶ “The Exxon Tillerson left behind: hidebound, secretive, and wedded to tradition at a time of mind-boggling change” • Exxon is doubling down on tradition, with a zeal that harkens back to a time when oil was the undisputed commodity of the moment and the future. In the face of changing times, it will bound to its outdated ways. [Quartz]

World:

¶ The French energy giant Engie announced it had secured financial close for the $1.2 billion gas-powered cogeneration plant on…

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January 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Footage points to difficulty in removing possible melted fuel at Fukushima plant

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The footage released on Jan. 30 by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) showing what could be melted fuel inside the No. 2 reactor at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has highlighted the difficulty of salvaging the object, which is apparently stuck to footholds and other equipment at the facility.
TEPCO took the footage as part of its in-house probe into the No. 2 reactor and found that black and brown sediments — possible melted fuel — are stuck inside the reactor’s containment vessel over an extensive area.

“If what was captured in the footage was melted fuel, that would provide a major step forward toward trying our hand at unprecedented decommissioning work,” said Yoshiyuki Ishizaki, head of TEPCO’s Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters, during a press conference in the city of Fukushima on Jan. 30. “The finding may provide a major clue to future work to retrieve the object,” he added.

At the time of the March 2011 meltdowns at the plant, there were 548 nuclear fuel rods totaling some 164 metric tons inside the No. 2 reactor, but they apparently melted down after the loss of power sources for the core cooling system, with part of the melted fuel penetrating through the pressure vessel before cooling down at the bottom of the containment vessel. The temperature of the reactor core topped 2,000 degrees Celsius at the time of the accident, melting metals including nuclear fuel inside the reactor.

The melted fuel has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side, generating radioactively contaminated water every day. In order to dismantle the reactor, it is necessary to take out the melted fuel, but high radiation levels inside the reactor had hampered work to locate the melted debris.

On Jan. 30, apart from the footage, TEPCO also released 11 pictures taken inside the No. 2 reactor. The images show the sediments in question stuck to metal grate footholds and water is dripping from the ceiling. Further analysis of those images may provide information on the current status of the disaster and positional clues to decommissioning work.

The in-house probe, however, has only focused on the No. 2 reactor, and there is no prospect of similar probes into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors starting anytime soon as they were severely damaged by hydrogen explosions following the 2011 meltdowns.

In April 2015, TEPCO introduced a remote-controlled robot into the No. 1 reactor by way of a through hole in its containment vessel, but the device failed to locate melted fuel inside due to high radiation levels. While the utility is planning to send a different type of robot into the No. 1 reactor this coming spring, it would be difficult to carry out a survey similar to that conducted at the No. 2 reactor, as radiation levels are high around the through hole in the No. 1 reactor’s containment vessel, from which a device could access to right below the No. 1 reactor.

The No. 3 reactor, meanwhile, holds roughly 6.5-meter-deep contaminated water inside its containment vessel, a far larger volume than that accumulated at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. TEPCO has thus been developing a robot that can wade through water.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170131/p2a/00m/0na/007000c

 

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Possible nuclear fuel find raises hopes of Fukushima plant breakthrough

30 jan 2017 guardian.jpg

Material found below the damaged No 2 reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant, believed to be melted fuel, from footage taken on 30 January.

Operator says it has seen what may be fuel debris beneath badly damaged No 2 reactor, destroyed six years ago in triple meltdown

Hopes have been raised for a breakthrough in the decommissioning of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after its operator said it may have discovered melted fuel beneath a reactor, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said on Monday that a remote camera appeared to have found the debris beneath the badly damaged No 2 reactor, where radiation levels remain dangerously high. Locating the fuel is the first step towards removing it.

The operator said more analysis would be needed before it could confirm that the images were of melted uranium fuel rods, but confirmed that the lumps were not there before Fukushima Daiichi was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.

The tsunami, triggered by a 9.0-magnitude quake, killed more than 18,500 people along the coast of north-east Japan and destroyed the backup power supply at Fukushima Daiichi, triggering the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years earlier.

Meltdowns in three of the plant’s six reactors forced about 160,000 people to evacuate and sent plumes of radiation across the Fukushima region. Many of the evacuees are unlikely to return home.

If Tepco can confirm that the black mass comprises melted fuel, it would represent a significant breakthrough in a recovery effort that has been hit by mishaps, the buildup of huge quantities of contaminated water, and soaring costs.

This is a big step forward as we have got some precious data for the decommissioning process, including removing the fuel debris,” a Tepco official said.

Using a remotely controlled camera attached to the end of a 10.5-metre-long telescopic arm, Tepco technicians located black lumps on wire-mesh grating just below the reactor’s pressure vessel, local media reported.

The company plans to send a scorpion-like robot equipped with cameras, radiation measuring equipment and a temperature gauge into the No 2 reactor containment vessel next month, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

Three previous attempts to use robots to locate melted fuel inside the same reactor ended in failure when the devices were rendered useless by radiation.

Developing the means to remove the fuel – a task Tepco has said will become easier once it can gauge its condition – would be the biggest step forward in the mission to clean up Fukushima Daiichi since the removal of hundreds of spent fuel rods from a damaged reactor building in late 2013.

The delicate, potentially dangerous task of decommissioning the plant has barely begun, however.

Japanese media said last week that plans to remove spent fuel from the No 3 reactor building had been delayed, while decommissioning the entire plant was expected to take at least 40 years.

In December, the government said the estimated cost of decommissioning the plant and decontaminating the surrounding area, as well as paying compensation and storing radioactive waste, had risen to 21.5 trillion yen ($187bn), nearly double an estimate released in 2013.

A government committee estimated that 2.4 trillion yen of the total cost would be passed on to consumers through higher electricity bills.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/31/possible-nuclear-fuel-find-fukushima-plant

 

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Genetic radiation risks: a neglected topic in the low dose debate.

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate the accuracy and scientific validity of the current very low risk factor for hereditary diseases in humans following exposures to ionizing radiation adopted by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The value is based on experiments on mice due to reportedly absent effects in the Japanese atomic bomb (Abomb) survivors.

Methods

To review the published evidence for heritable effects after ionising radiation exposures particularly, but not restricted to, populations exposed to contamination from the Chernobyl accident and from atmospheric nuclear test fallout. To make a compilation of findings about early deaths, congenital malformations, Down’s syndrome, cancer and other genetic effects observed in humans after the exposure of the parents. To also examine more closely the evidence from the Japanese A-bomb epidemiology and discuss its scientific validity.

Results

Nearly all types of hereditary defects were found at doses as low as one to 10 mSv. We discuss the clash between the current risk model and these observations on the basis of biological mechanism and assumptions about linear relationships between dose and effect in neonatal and foetal epidemiology. The evidence supports a dose response relationship which is non-linear and is either biphasic or supralinear (hogs-back) and largely either saturates or falls above 10 mSv.

Conclusions

We conclude that the current risk model for heritable effects of radiation is unsafe. The dose response relationship is non-linear with the greatest effects at the lowest doses. Using Chernobyl data we derive an excess relative risk for all malformations of 1.0 per 10 mSv cumulative dose. The safety of the Japanese A-bomb epidemiology is argued to be both scientifically and philosophically questionable owing to errors in the choice of control groups, omission of internal exposure effects and assumptions about linear dose response.

Keywords: Congenital malformation, Down´s syndrome, Environmental radioactivity, Internal radiation, Low level effects, Sex-ratio, Still birth

Introduction

The most serious effects of ionizing radiation–hereditary defects in the descendants of exposed parents–had been already detected in the 1920s by Herman Joseph Muller. He exposed fruit flies–drosophila–to X-rays and found malformations and other disorders in the following generations. He concluded from his investigations that low dose exposure, and therefore even natural background radiation, is mutagenic and there is no harmless dose range for heritable effects or for cancer induction. His work was honoured by the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1946. In the 1950s Muller warned about the effects on the human genetic pool caused by the production of low level radioactive contamination from atmospheric tests [1].

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recently decreased its risk estimate for heritable damage in 2007 [2,3]. Its Detriment Adjusted Nominal Risk Coefficient for radiation heritable effects in an exposed population was reduced from the previous 1990 value of 1.3% Sv-1 to 0.2% Sv-1 a greater than 6-fold reduction. The ICRP approach is based on a linear relation between dose and end-point, measured as heritable disease at or before birth. Evidence and arguments which we will present suggest that this linear assumption is invalid and that the ICRP value is unsafe when applied to the chronic low dose internal exposure range.

The belief that heritable consequences of radiation were negligible followed from studies of the Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb (A-bomb) explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The American-Japanese Institute in Hiroshima, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), did not apparently find mutations in the descendants of the survivors. Therefore the ICRP derive its current risk figure from experiments in mice. The result corresponds to the evaluation by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR committee) [4].

We will show that the current model for genetic effects of exposure is unsound and we present a more realistic one based on data. We will begin by pointing to some serious problems with the ABCC studies of genetic effects in the A-bomb survivors. These may be classed under four Error Types.

Type 1. The dose response problem. For genetic damage, increasing dose will not linearly increase effects since at high doses there will be sterility or fetal loss [5].

Type 2. The external/internal problem. The dose of interest is the energy delivered to the germ cells and their precursors. This may be much higher for internal radionuclides with affinity for DNA (strontium-90 [Sr-90], barium-140, uranium) [6].

Type 3. The philosophical method problem. If data is interpreted though a particular scientific model, evidence which cannot fit the model will be ignored, dismissed or invisible [7,8].

Type 4. Bias in the analysis of or presentation of data from the ABCC results. There have been a number of serious criticisms of the ABCC and later studies of cancer effects. The genetic studies were criticised by De Bellefeuille [9] who demonstrated the existence of significant genetic effects including sex-ratio and malformations which had been “lost” through the choice of analysis. However, De Bellefeuille’s observations were ignored by the risk agencies. The issue will be returned to in the discussion section.

Together these raise major doubts over the belief, expressed in ICRP103, Appendix B.2.01 [2], that “Radiation induced heritable disease has not been demonstrated in human populations.”

Effects in populations exposed to Chernobyl fallout are excluded by the official committees, which claim that doses are too low to generate statistically observable increases (the philosophical method problem: Error Type 3). This, however, is certainly wrong, because we know from many studies of chromosome aberrations, either that the doses calculated by UNSCEAR are much too low or that there is an enhanced radiobiological effectiveness (RBE) in the type of internal exposures or chronic delivery received by the Chernobyl groups. In other words, the biological or genetic damage from unit internal dose e.g., from a radioactive atom bound to DNA is far greater than for the same dose delivered externally. This is Error Type 2: internal/external problem. The doses upon which the ICRP risks are based, either from humans or mice, are external doses. There are significant issues regarding the equivalence for causing genetic damage of internal and external dose calculations [6]. Internal exposure to uranium by inhalation, for example, has been associated with significantly high genotoxicity resulting in anomalously high excess levels of chromosome damage and birth defects in a number of different groups [10]. Uranium binds to DNA, a fact that has been known since the 1960s [1113]. Other group II calcium mimics and DNA seekers include the nuclide Sr-90 which causes significant genetic effects [1417]. All epidemiological studies of radiation and health which define risk factors have been subject of this Error Type 2: external/internal problem, and have generally also defined risk in terms of cumulative integrated equivalent dose, and so real effects have been ignored or dismissed, the Error Type 3: philosophical problem.

Findings in Children Born After the Chernobyl Accident and in Kazakhstan

We previously published findings about fetal deaths, perinatal mortality and congenital malformations (CM) after Chernobyl [18]. Table 1 shows results for CM after Chernobyl. These appeared not only in the area of the exploded reactor but also in Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Germany. Our criteria for inclusion of this evidence was originally to present only observations which disagreed with the current ICRP/UNSCEAR paradigm but following questions by a reviewer we include discussion of one of the few studies with contemporary data which claims to have shown that there were no measurable heritable effects [19].

Table 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870760/table/t1-eht-31-e2016001/

Increase of congenital malformations after exposure by the Chernobyl accident

The EUROCAT Europe-wide Study

The study of Dolk and Nichols [19] is widely cited as evidence for no effect. The authors examined Down’s syndrome, neural tube defects (NTD), microcephaly, hydrocephaly, anopthalmos and congenital cataract in 16 EUROCAT registers. There were 231401 births in the areas in 1986. The 16 registries were divided into three groups of high (200 to 800 μSv), medium (97 to 190 μSv) and low (29 to 55 μSv). Three comparison cohort periods were defined as E (conception May 1986), T (conception May 1986 to April 1987 contains E), and C (control: conception May 1987 to April 1989). Authors concluded “no evidence of a generalised detectable increase in the prevalence of congenital anomalies in the first month or first year following Chernobyl.” But the choice of the cohort periods for a study of “heritable effects” is interesting. On the basis of whole body monitoring results, genetic damage to the germ cells from internal exposures will have continued well into the control period C and damage will have been cumulative [44]. We have reanalysed their data for combined NTD hydrocephaly, microcephaly and anopthalmia in all their exposure groups using their periods. A test of T vs. C cohorts showed a significant effect with odds ratio (OR) of 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.4; p=0.014). This was apparent in the test of E vs. C though the numbers were smaller. However, there was no increasing monotonic relation between assumed “dose” category and effect and this clearly influenced the authors’ conclusions. This is the common response to the finding of high risks at low doses and represents a good example of the Error Type 1 referred to above. It appears that the results actually show an increased risk if we combine all the exposure levels.

Chernobyl Effects in Belarus

Belarus received most contamination from Chernobyl. A central registry for CM existed from 1979 and rates of CM before and after the Chernobyl accident could thus be compared. A number of studies are listed in Table 1. Comparison of legal abortuses in 1982 to 1985 and 1987 to 1994 showed combined CM increases of 81%, 49%, and 43% in regions of high (>555 kBq/m2), medium (>37 kBq/m2), and low (<37 kBq/m2) contamination, the effect being significant at the 0.05 level in all three [22]. The genetic origin is confirmed in those anomalies which are combined with a recognized mutation that is not present in either of the parents [18].

A study [23] confirmed the CM excess in the Strict Registration of Malformations System finding 86% increase in 1987 to 1996 vs. 1982 to 1985 (high contamination) and 59% (control regions) (p<0.05). The same authors reported significant excess chromosome aberrations of dicentric and centric rings rates of 0.39±0.09% (n=91) in Gomel and Mogilev (>555 kBq/m2) compared with a control region of Minsk, Grodno and Novopolotsk (<37 kBq/m2) (n=118; CM=0.09±0.04) [23].

To 2004 there was no decrease in these rates [45]. The authors think these effects are genetically induced because it is not plausible that doses in pregnant females rose in the period of decreasing environmental contamination and decreasing food contamination after the accident. A Belarussian-Israeli group [46] found the following increased polygenetic disease rates in children of Chernobyl- exposed parents: hematological diseases (6-fold), endocrine diseases (2-fold), diseases of digestive organs (1.7-fold).

A 1994 study compared Gomel (high exposure) with Vitebsk (presumed low exposure) for mortality in children zero to four finding absolute CM rates of 4.1% vs. 3%, respectively [24]. Savchenko [25] writing for the United Nations reported frequency of CM in regions of Gomel between 1982 to 1985 and 1987 to 1989 ranging from 170% in Dobrush to 680% in Chechersk.

Petrova et al. [27] compared two high and two low contaminated regions of Belarus for a number of indicators of pregnancy outcome and child health. For CM, before and after Chernobyl increases for all CM were: Gomel 150%>Mogilev 130%>Brest 120%>Vitebsk 110%, the rank of their contamination levels. Kulakov et al. [26] examined 688 pregnancies and 7000 births in Chechersky (Gomel, Belarus) and Polessky (Kiev, Ukraine). Sharp reductions in birth rates in both regions after Chernobyl were ascribed partly to abortions. High perinatal mortality was ascribed partly to congenital malformations. Incidence increased by a factor of two following the accident for congenital heart disease, esophageal atresia, anencephaly, hydrocephaly and multiple malformations. Total number of neonatal disorders increased in Polessky (Ukraine) from 1983 to 1985 to 1986 to 1990 from 6.81 to 21.32 (313%) and in Chechersky from 5.15 to 10.49 [26].

Chernobyl Effects in Ukraine

The studies by Wertelecki and colleagues [29,30] were valuable for quantifying the effects. The Pripyat region of Ukraine on the border of Belarus was significantly contaminated. Populations are dependent on local produce. Internal contamination was quantified for two groups, a high and lower dose group by whole body monitoring for caesium-137 (Cs-137). In addition, local produce was analysed for both Cs-137 and the DNA seeking Sr-90. The Sr-90/Cs-137 ratio was between 0.5 and two, so Sr-90 (with its DNA affinity and anomalous RBE) represented a significant internal exposure.

Other Reports of Chernobyl Effects on Birth Defects; Soviet Nuclear Test Site

Down´s syndrome as a certain genetic effect increased in several contaminated European countries [18,48]. An example is shown in Figure 1. In West Berlin, which was a kind of closed island at that time, the geneticist Sperling registered a sharp and significant increase in cases exactly nine months after the accident, also in Belarus [49]. UNSCEAR [4,20] dismissed these findings (and similar reports from Scotland and Sweden) on the basis that the doses were “below background.” The EUROCAT combined registry study [19] did not find an increase in Down’s syndrome, neither in the authors’ analysis nor in our reanalysis. Other evidence is presented in Table 1 of increased CM rates after Chernobyl in Germany, Turkey, Croatia and Bulgaria [21,3237,50].

 

eht-31-e2016001f1.jpg

Figure 1.

Down’s syndrome before and after the Chernobyl accident (A) West Berlin and (B) Belarus. From Scherb H, et al. Naturwiss Rundsch 2011;64(5):229-239, with permission from Stuttgart [47].

Congenital effects were found near the former Soviet nuclear test site in Kazakhstan near Semipalatinsk. Sviatova et al. [51] studied CM in three generations of inhabitants, investigating births between 1967 and 1997. They found significantly increased rates of CM combined, including Down’s syndrome, microcephaly and multiple malformations in the same individual.

 

Hereditary Effects in Children of Exposed Mothers

If a population is exposed, genetic effects will occur in the gonads of mothers as well as of fathers. A German investigation of occupationally exposed females showed a 3.2-fold significant increase in congenital abnormalities, including malformations, in offspring [52]. The authors interpret the effect as generated in utero but do not prove such a connection. In our opinion, this appears to be improbable given the short sensitive phase in pregnancy and the ban on pregnant females working in high risk environments.

The findings confirm early results in the Department of Medical Genetics of Montreal Children’s Hospital where the genetic effects of diagnostic X-rays were investigated [53]. The author observed the offspring of mothers who had been treated in childhood for congenital hip dysplasia since 1925 and were X-rayed for several times in the pelvic region. The ovarian dose was estimated to lie between 60 mSv to 200 mSv. In 201 living births of these females there were 15 individuals with severe malformations and other congenital distortions or Down’s syndrome and 11 cases with other abnormalities (all congenital abnormalities 12.9%) while the control group showed less than half of this rate. The latter was chosen from a large group of descendants where the parents were unexposed siblings of the study group.

Taken together with other evidence from sex-ratio (discussed below) these studies indicate that hereditary effects exist in the children of exposed mothers.

Findings in the Descendants of Occupationally Exposed Men Including Nuclear Test Veterans

Congenital Malformations

Studies in children of exposed men where the mothers were not exposed will show definite hereditary effects. A compilation of results for CM in offspring of exposed fathers is given in Table 2.

Table 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870760/table/t2-eht-31-e2016001/

Congenital anomalies, especially malformations, in descendants (1st generationa) of occupationally exposed men

The anomalies seen in the descendants of Chernobyl liquidators (Nos. 5-7) also indicate unexpectedly high radiation sensitivity.

Three studies of nuclear test veterans have shown large increases in congenital effects in children and one study has found similar levels of congenital conditions in the grandchildren (Nos. 8-10). The British carried out nuclear weapon tests and activities in Australia (Maralinga) and Christmas Island in the Pacific between 1952 and 1967. More than 20000 young national servicemen and other military personnel were stationed at the test sites. The sites were contaminated with fission fallout and nanoparticles of uranium and plutonium from the weapons, tritium and carbon-14. Urquhart [61] analysed data in children from 1147 veteran families. Two hundred and thirty-three out of them had illnesses or defects (cancer, malformations, mental retardation) that could have a genetic origin: one in five families. They registered a 7:1 rate of abnormal children conceived before the tests vs. those conceived after the tests.

Two further studies of the offspring of a group of veterans have been published. Roff [62] carried out a questionnaire study of members of the British Nuclear Test Veteran Association (BNTVA) and reported excess rates of cardiovascular disorders, spina bifida, hydrocephalus and hip deformities. Busby and de Messieres [63] examined a different sample of the BNTVA, employed controls and compared with the European EUROCAT rates. Based on 605 veteran children and 749 grandchildren compared with 311 control children and 408 control grandchildren there were significant excess levels of miscarriages, stillbirths, infant mortality and congenital illnesses in the veterans’ children relative both to control children and expected numbers. There were 105 miscarriages in veteran’s wives compared with 18 in controls (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.56 to 4.91; p<0.001). There were 16 stillbirths; three in controls (OR, 2.70; 95% CI, 0.73 to 11.72; p=0.13). Perinatal mortality OR was 4.3 (95% CI, 1.22 to 17.9; p=0.01) on 25 deaths in veteran children. Fifty-seven veteran children had congenital conditions vs. three control children (OR, 9.77; 95% CI, 2.92 to 39.3; p<0.001) these rates being also about eight times those expected on the basis of UK EUROCAT data for 1980 to 2000. For grandchildren similar levels of congenital illness were reported with 46 veteran grandchildren compared with three controls (OR, 8.35; 95% CI, 2.48 to 33.8; p<0.001).

Cancer and Leukemia

In 1984, an exceptionally high level of leukaemia cases in children and juveniles was reported in Seascale, near the nuclear reprocessing plant in Sellafield in Cumbria, UK. The authors explained this as a hereditary effect, because the fathers of the patients had worked in the plant [64]. The authorities argued that the doses were too low. The effect, however, had been described in principle already in experimental studies [65], and also after X-ray diagnostic exposures (Table 3). A significant number of other child leukemia and cancer studies have been carried out and are listed in Table 3.

Table 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870760/table/t3-eht-31-e2016001/

Cancer in children after preconceptional low-dose exposure of parents

The research of Hicks et al. [66] concerned exposed servicemen (Table 3). McKinney et al. [67] found a 3.2-fold increase in leukaemia and lymphomas in children of occupationally exposed men in three British regions in a case-control study.

Sex-ratio and X-linked Lethal Factors

Normally, it is not possible to study how many inseminated oocytes (zygotes) will be aborted after irradiation of the gonadal cells in humans. But it is observed that males who were exposed have fewer daughters than sons i.e., the male/female sex-ratio increases with dose.

Gene mutations may be responsible for the death of the zygote and will also occur in the sex chromosomes where they will predominantly affect the greater X-chromosome which can only be transmitted to a daughter. A dominant lethal factor will then lead to the death of the female zygote. Recessive lethal factors in the X-chromosome are much more frequent than dominant ones [74]. They affect only female births.

An impressive result was obtained in workers of the British nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield in West Cumbria [75]. The county sex-ratio was 1055 boys/1000 girls, the normal value. For the children of fathers employed at Sellafield the ratio was 1094. For those with recorded doses greater than 10 mSv in the 90 days preconception period it was 1396, significant at the p<0.01 level. A similar effect was detected in cardiologists, who undertook interventional angiographic procedures involving X-ray exposures [76].

Scherb and Voigt studied different groups of inhabitants in a variety of countries after the Chernobyl accident for hereditary effects and found radiation-induced foetal deaths and early mortality, Down’s syndrome and alterations of the birth sex-ratio. They examined nuclear tests above ground which affected US inhabitants, Chernobyl emissions in Europe, and those living near German and Swiss nuclear plants. Results showed significant reduction in the female birth rate in all these [77,78].

The ABCC studies overall involve all the types of research error listed in the introduction, which we believe is the explanation for the failure to see excess heritable damage. The main problem was choice of controls. The sex-ratio studies were abandoned due to seemingly anomalous effects. De Bellefeuille [9] re-examined the issue in 1961 and found that results were biased by employing sex-ratios of children of parents who had both been exposed. Any effects, being in opposite directions, would therefore cancel out; his re-analysis based on children with only one exposed parent showed a clear effect in the expected direction. Padmanabhan [79] recently re-examined the issue using the original controls (abandoned by ABCC). Using the two not in city (NIC) groups Padmanabhan showed significant sex-ratio effects in the expected directions.

Sex-ratio is a very relevant parameter. It shows that genetic alterations are induced in the germ cells of males by very low doses, and it proves to be a sensitive indicator for exposures of the population.

Atmospheric Weapons test Fallout

The most significant global incident in terms of human exposure has been the atmospheric nuclear testing fallout which peaked between 1959 and 1963. It was this testing which worried Muller [1]. The tests increased the rates of neonatal and infant mortality in the US and the UK [80,81]. An interesting insight comes from a Canadian study of CM during the fallout period. le Vann [82] was concerned to examine the link between congenital malformation and the use of the drug thalidomide. He found that in Alberta there was no relation between the use of thalidomide and congenital birth outcomes but noted a strong association with precipitation; areas with high radioactive fallout had high levels of birth defects. Whilst we are not alleging that thalidomide does not have teratogenic effects, since many females in the le Vann study who never took any drugs gave birth to the typical “thalidomide spectrum” babies it seems that exposure to the fallout may have, as Muller [1] feared, have caused an effect. Ignoring this and the infant mortality findings involved a Error Type 3.

Genetic vs. Genomic, Mendelian vs. In Utero

We have not distinguished between Mendelian genetic effects involving the transfer of specific gene mutations to the offspring and effects consequent upon the operation of genomic instability, whereby the offspring inherit a tendency to apparently increase rates of all mutation above the normal rate for that population [83]. For the purposes of the arguments relating to radiation risk of harmful heritable conditions in the first generation such a discussion is unnecessary but needs to be revisited if multi-generational effects are being discussed. The question of germ cell damage in parents vs. in utero damage to development, though important, seems to us to be beside the point. All these CM effects are caused by mutation of DNA whether in the parental germ cells and precursors or from implantation to birth. Our aim is to assess the genetic risk based on observations. However, from the sex-ratio results it would seem that parental exposure is a dominant cause of radiation induced CM.

How Is It That the ICRP Risk Coefficient Is Wrong?

A reviewer asked us to address this question and to provide a brief account of biological mechanism. We begin with mechanism. The ICRP risk model is based on two big ideas: absorbeddose, which is average energy per unit mass of tissue, and the linear no threshold (LNT) response. For internal exposure to substances like Sr-90 and uranium, which both have high affinity for DNA, the concept of dose is meaningless [loc.cit. 6,10]. For CM as an outcome, it is also clear that the LNT model is unsustainable [5], because as the “dose” is increased from zero there are many blocks to the successful journey from germ cell to infant, the CM end point. Biological plausibility would predict an increase in damage and thus CM at very low dose, followed by a drop in CM due to failure to implant, early miscarriage, abortion. This would result in a saturation or “hogs-back” dose response in the lowest dose region. Only the survivors would make it to be registered as CM. The dose response would look like that in Figure 2 where A is the initial outcome and B is where the foetus dies or there is no implantation. The region C would relate to in utero effects later in gestation. There would be a fall in birth rate associated with region B and C; there usually is. You can see this effect most clearly in the EUROCAT studies where relative risk rises and then falls as dose increases [19]. It is perfectly clear in many other studies. It is clear in in analysis of infant leukemia after Chernobyl in 5 countries shown in Figure 3 [84] and the study of cleft palate in Bavaria [38,39] analysed by Korblein [40].

 

eht-31-e2016001f2

Figure 2.

Regions of interest in a theoretically predicted dose response relation (see text and ECRR 2010). Exactly this dose response is seen in infant leukemia rates after Chernobyl in Greece, Germany (three dose regions) Wales, Scotland and Belarus [84]. From

 

3.jpg

Figure 3.

Dose response for infant leukemia in the countries examined in meta-analysis of five reports in Busby 2009 [84] (UK data from Childhood Cancer Research Group Oxford). Effect is fractional excess relative risk, and dose is given by UK National Radiological

 

What Is the Correct Risk Coefficient?

The Chernobyl studies presented in Table 1 may be used to obtain an approximate risk factor for all CM in those exposed to fission spectrum radionuclides as assessed by Cs-137 area contamination. We can employ the data from Wertelecki et al. [30] on internal contamination to assess doses from Cs-137 and Sr- 90. The excess relative risk (ERR) for all CM follows a “hogsback” shaped response and is about 0.5 per mSv at 1 mSv saturating at between 0.1 to 0.2 per mSv at 10 mSv based on cumulative dose as assessed by ICRP models using Cs-137 area contamination as a basis of calculations. This means that the background rate will double or treble up to 10 mSv exposure and thereafter flatten out or fall. But it also results in a 50% excess risk at doses as low as 1 mSv. This ERR and dose response model accommodates all the observational data from Chernobyl and also elsewhere. We must make it clear that this model is for mixed internal and external exposure to fission product contamination doses as employed by UN agencies and may not necessarily apply to pure external exposures (e.g., X-rays, gamma- rays). However, it should be noted that Stewart’s finding of a 40% excess risk of childhood leukemia after a 10 mSv obstetric X-ray dose [71] is comparable with what is found at these higher doses in this review.

Conclusion

Genetically induced malformations, cancers, and numerous other health effects in the children of populations who were exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation have been unequivocally demonstrated in scientific investigations. Using data from Chernobyl effects we find a new ERR for CM of 0.5 per mSv at 1 mSv falling to 0.1 per mSv at 10 mSv exposure and thereafter remaining roughly constant. This is for mixed fission products as defined though external exposure to Cs-137. Results show that current radiation risk models fail to predict or explain the many observations and should be abandoned. Further research and analysis of previous data is suggested, but prior assumptions of linear dose response, assumptions that internal exposures can be modelled using external risk factors, that chronic and acute exposures give comparable risks and finally dependence on interpretations of the high dose ABCC studies are all seen to be unsafe procedures.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Marvin Resnikoff and Rick Haaker for running the Microshield program for dose rates over contaminated areas.

Footnotes

The authors have no conflicts of interest associated with material presented in this paper.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26791091

January 31, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , | Leave a comment

Thousands Who Left Fukushima Face Hardship

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Noriko Matsumoto who fled with her children from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture after the nuclear disaster, cries during a news conference in Tokyo, Jan. 17, 2017.

Nearly six years after Noriko Matsumoto and her children fled Japan’s Fukushima area, they face a new possible hardship: cuts to government assistance for housing.

People who lived near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear center feared for their health after a powerful earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

The nuclear center’s reactors released high levels of radiation. It was the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet republic of Ukraine in 1986.

Matsumoto is among nearly 27,000 people who left areas that the government did not identify as required evacuation zones.

Now, the Fukushima local government is preparing to cut unconditional housing assistance at the end of March. Many people will face the choice of returning to places they fear are still unsafe or learning to deal with financial hardship.

“Because both the national and the local governments say we evacuated ‘selfishly,’ we’re being abandoned. They say it’s our own responsibility,” Matsumoto, who is 55, told reporters, her voice shaking.

“I feel deep anger at their throwing us away.”

A local official noted that while the housing assistance ends on March 31, smaller amounts of aid will still be provided, if needed. The official spoke on the condition that media not identify the official by name.

At the time of the earthquake, Matsumoto lived with her husband and two daughters in Koriyama city, about 55 kilometers west of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Japanese officials declared a ‘no-go’ zone 30 kilometers around the plant, but Koriyama was outside of that area.

When her younger daughter, then 12, began suffering nosebleeds and diarrhea, Matsumoto and her children moved to Kanagawa, near Tokyo.

Her husband, who operates a restaurant, stayed behind in Koriyama to ensure they could make payments on their home loan and other bills. But, because of travel costs, the family can only meet every one or two months, and they face social pressure.

“People like us, who have evacuated voluntarily to escape radiation, have been judged by our peers as if we selfishly evacuated for personal reasons,” said Matsumoto.

She feels her only support is housing aid that the Fukushima government gives to voluntary evacuees, who numbered 26,601 by October 2016.

The payment is generally about 90,000 yen, or $795, for a family of two or more in Matsumoto’s area, a Fukushima official said. He added that full rental payments on housing are covered until March 31.

“Things here now are safe, but there are people who are still worried about safety and we understand that,” he said.

The housing assistance will no longer be given to all families. Instead, officials will consider the needs of individual families.

A city official said radiation levels in Koriyama are now safe, that they have decreased by time and clean-up efforts.

But areas where radiation is high remain, say activists, and Matsumoto still worries.

“I’m a parent, and so I’ll protect my daughter,” she said. “Even if I have to go into debt, I’ll keep her safe from radiation.”

http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/thousands-who-left-fukushima-face-hardship/3690289.html

 

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

America’s 2 new nuclear projects might never be completed, as Toshiba exits nuclear construction

radiation-sign-sadFlag-USAToshiba Likely To Exit Nuclear Plant Construction Business, Forbes,  Rod Adams ,  29 Jan 17 
Westinghouse is “unlikely to carry out actual construction work for the future nuclear power plant projects to eliminate risk.”

Satoshi Tsunakawa, President and CEO of Toshiba, the Japanese company that owns Westinghouse and its CB&I Stone Webster subsidiary, made that statement during a recent press conference. The event, held on January 27, was called to provide a status report for restructuring actions first announced on December 27, 2016.

Computing Magnitude Of Lost Goodwill

The restructuring is required as a result of the growing realization that the value of Westinghouse’s CB&I Stone and Webster subsidiary is probably several hundred billion yen (several billion dollars) less than its current book value. Adjusting the company’s stated value with its real value will require taking a write off of “goodwill.”

The reduction in goodwill value is based on CB&I’s existing and predicted future liabilities associated with completing four nuclear plant construction projects, two at Plant Vogtle in northeast Georgia and two at the V.C. Summer site in northwest South Carolina. ……..

There is even a significant possibility that the projects will fail to be completed at all.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

Joint Statements on Climate Change from National Academies of Science Around the World

climate-change
Skeptical Science 27 January 2017  This is a re-post from Significant Figures by Peter Gleick

National academies of sciences from around the world have published formal statements and declarations acknowledging the state of climate science, the fact that climate is changing, the compelling evidence that humans are responsible, and the need to debate and implement strategies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Not a single national science academy disputes or denies the scientific consensus around human-caused climate change. A few examples of joint academy statements since 2000 on climate are listed here. Many national academies have, in addition, published their own reports and studies on climate issues. These are not included here.

The Science of Climate Change (Statement of 17 National Science Academies, 2001)

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/292/5520/1261

Following the release of the third in the ongoing series of international reviews of climatescience conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chang (IPCC), seventeen national science academies issued a joint statement, entitled “The Science of Climate Change,” acknowledging the IPCC study to be the scientific consensus on climate changescience.

The seventeen signatories were:

  • Australian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
  • Brazilian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Caribbean Academy of Sciences
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • French Academy of Sciences
  • German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Indonesian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Irish Academy
  • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy)
  • Academy of Sciences Malaysia
  • Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Turkish Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society (UK)

Joint science academies’ statement: Global response to climate change(Statement of 11 National Science Academies, 2005)

http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf

Eleven national science academies, including all the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, signed a statement that the scientific understanding of climate change was sufficiently strong to justify prompt action. The statement explicitly endorsed the IPCC consensus and stated:

“…there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001). This warming has already led to changes in the Earth’s climate.”………

Joint science academies’ statement: Global response to climate change(Statement of 11 National Science Academies, 2005)

http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf………

 

Joint science academies’ statement on Growth and responsibility: sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection (Statement of 13 National Science Academies, 2007)

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/aktuelles/nachrichten/dateien/G8_Academies%20Declaration.pdf……..

A joint statement on sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate change(Statement of 13 individual National Science Academies and the African Academy of Sciences, 2007)

http://www.interacademies.net/File.aspx?id=4825………..

 

Zmian klimatu, globalnego ocieplenia i ich alarmujących skutkow: “Climate change, global warming and its alarming consequences” (Statement of the Polish Academy of Sciences, December 2007)

http://bit.ly/2jwgtNL………

 

Joint Science Academies’ Statement: Climate Change Adaptation and the Transition to a Low Carbon Society (Statement of 13 National Academies of Sciences, June 2008)

http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/climatechangestatement.pdf……..

 

Climate change and the transformation of energy technologies for a low carbon future (Statement of 13 National Academies of Sciences, May 2009)

http://www.leopoldina.org/en/press/press-releases/press-release/press/713/………

Health Effects of Climate Change (Statement of the Inter Academy Medical Panel/42 National Academies of Sciences, 2010)

http://www.leopoldina.org/de/publikationen/detailansicht/publication/health-effects-of-climate-change-2010/………

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes (Joint Statement of the Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, February 2014)

http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/……..

Position de l’Académie sur les Changements Climatiques (Statement of the Académie Royale des Science, des Lettres & des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, November 12, 2014)

https://t.co/SZT9VvU8vx………

 

U.K. Science Communiqué on Climate Change (Joint Statement of the Royal Society and member organizations, July 2015)

https://royalsociety.org/~/media/policy/Publications/2015/21-07-15-climate-communique.PDF…….

 

Facing critical decisions on climate change (Joint Statement of the European Academies Science Advisory Council and its 29 members, 2015)

http://www.leopoldina.org/de/publikationen/detailansicht/publication/facing-critical-decisions-on-climate-change-in-2015/

Facing critical decisions on climate change in 2015

The science of climate change reported by the IPCC Fourth Assessment (2007) and Fifth Assessment (2014) have been thoroughly evaluated by numerous national academies (e.g. Royal Society/National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) and by international bodies. Advances in science and technology have increased our knowledge of how to mitigate climate change, uncertainties in the scientific analysis continue to be addressed, co-benefits of mitigation to health have been revealed, and new business opportunities have been found. EASAC remains concerned, however, that progress in turning this substantial evidence base into an international policy response has so far failed to match the full magnitude and urgency of the problem

Even if emissions of GHG stopped altogether, existing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere would continue to exert a warming effect for a long time. Whatever measures are put in place to reduce the intensity of global human-induced climate forcing, building resilience through adaptation will be necessary to provide more resilience to the risks already emerging as a result of climate change…

Signatories/Members of the European Academies Science Advisory Council

  • Academia Europaea
  • All European Academies (ALLEA)
  • The Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
  • The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • The Czech Academy of Sciences
  • The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
  • The Estonian Academy of Sciences
  • TheCouncil of Finnish Academies
  • The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • The Academy of Athens
  • The Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • The Royal Irish Academy
  • The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
  • The Latvian Academy of Sciences
  • The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  • The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
  • The Polish Academy of Sciences
  • The Academy of Sciences of Lisbon
  • The Romanian Academy
  • The Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • The Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
  • The Royal Society
  • The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) (Observer)

 

[This list is not a complete summary of the many individual or joint statements of national academies of sciences. Please send additions and corrections to pgleick@pacinst.orghttps://www.skepticalscience.com/joint-statements-on-climate-change-from-nas-around-world.html

January 30, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

European Union will remain top investor against climate change, regardless of Donald Trump

poster-climate-Francehttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-eib-idUSKBN1581IT BFrancesco Guarascio | BRUSSELS, 29 Jan 17   The European Investment Bank, the EU’s lending institution, will maintain a target of investing around 20 billion dollars a year to fight climate change over the next five years, it said on Tuesday, sending a warning to climate skeptics.

Climate investment is already about a quarter of EIB total loans. Last year the bank lent 83.8 billion euros ($90 billion), of which 19 billion went to projects to counter climate change.

“We, Europeans, must lead the free world against climate skeptics,” the EIB president Werner Hoyer said at a news conference in Brussels.

While he did not mention Donald Trump directly, the new U.S. president has promised to bolster the U.S. oil, gas and coal industries, in part by undoing federal regulations curbing carbon dioxide emissions. He has also suggested pulling out of a global climate change pact signed in Paris in 2015, calling it expensive for U.S. industry.

World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, the World Meteorological Organisation said last week.

Hoyer said the bank would maintain ambitious targets against global warming. “We aim to provide $100 billion for climate action over the next five years, the largest contribution of any single multilateral institution,” he said.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is adding to EIB’s concerns, as it is one of the four main shareholders of the bank, holding about 16 percent of its shares.

Only EU member states can be EIB shareholders. Hoyer said the Brexit impact on the bank “is completely unclear” but he did not rule out the possibility of changing rules to allow Britain to remain a shareholder even after Brexit – an option that would need approval from London and the other 27 EU capitals.

Hoyer said in the two years of Brexit negotiations, expected to start in March, the bank will remain in “limbo”.

“We will be missed in the UK if we had to reduce our business there or disappear completely,” Hoyer added. Last year, the bank lent to Britain more than 7 billion euros.

He said that, contrary to other large EU states, Britain has no national promotional bank and “relies heavily” on EIB funding for certain investments in infrastructure and other projects. The EIB already now invests outside the EU, but its lending is mostly concentrated on Europe. Hoyer said Britain could remain a recipient of EIB lending after leaving the EU, but “it is a question of dimension”.

He urged negotiators to be constructive and avoid “further damage” to existing projects funded by the bank in Britain.

($1 = 0.9312 euros)   (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alison Williams)

January 30, 2017 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Health and safety win , in the battle of Indian Point

reactor-Indian-PointThe battle of Indian Point http://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com/2017/01/29/column-battle-indian-point/ by  “It is a huge step forward in protecting the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”

So said State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-SagHarbor) on the agreement to close the Indian Point nuclear power plants, which sit 30 miles from Times Square, less than 50 miles from western Suffolk and 84 miles from Shelter Island — as the crow flies and radioactivity spreads.

These aged, problem-plagued nuclear plants have constituted a huge danger for the most densely populated area of the United States.

“This closure will put New York State on the fast track to expanding its renewable energy portfolio,” Mr. Thiele said. “By shifting our focus to green, renewable energy, we can grow our economy, create jobs and safeguard the health and safety of residents and state’s natural resources for generations to come.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has long been calling for the plants to be shut down, and in announcing the agreement on January 9, he called the two-reactor Indian Point facility a “ticking time bomb.” Under the agreement, Indian Point 2 will close by April 2020 and Indian Point 3 by April 2021.

For decades, environmentalists and safe-energy organizations have been active in working to shut down the plants. Riverkeeper, the environmental organization, has been deeply involved. Its president, Paul Gallay, along with top New York State officials led by the governor, signed the agreement with the nuclear plants’ owner, New Orleans-based Entergy.

After the signing, Mr. Gallay described Indian Point as the “biggest existential threat to the region.” These strong words were confirmed years ago by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an analysis of the consequences of a meltdown with breach of containment (a “China Syndrome” accident) at every nuclear power plant in the U.S.

The 1982 report, “Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences” or CRAC2 (it’s available on-line), considers “peak early fatalities,” “peak early injuries,” “peak cancer deaths” and “scaled cost billions in 1980 dollars.”

For Indian Point 2, the analysis, done at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, projects peak early fatalities — 46,000; peak early injuries — 141,000; peak cancer deaths — 13,000; and scaled cost in billions — $274 billion, which in today’s dollars would be $1 trillion. For Indian Point 3,  it calculates peak early fatalities — 50,000; peak early injuries — 167,000;  peak cancer deaths — 14,000; scaled cost in billions — $314 billion. “Scaled cost” includes “lost wages, relocation expenses, decontamination costs, lost property” and a portion of the U.S. rendered uninhabitable for centuries because of radioactivity.

These aren’t just numbers, but represent people’s lives lost, injuries, those left with cancer and part of the planet ruined.
Said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., vice chairman of Riverkeeper: “The agreement marks a milestone in America’s historic transition from a dirty, dangerous energy system to clean, safe, wholesome, local and patriotic power supply.”

New York State and the environmental and safe-energy groups won the battle of Indian Point by using a similar tactic we on Long Island used to prevent the Shoreham nuclear power plant from going into commercial operation, and to prevent the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) from building seven to 11 nuclear plants here. The strategy involved getting around federal “pre-emptions” on nuclear power.

The promoters of nuclear power arranged in the 1950s for a supportive federal government to have “pre-emption” over states and localities on most nuclear plant issues. On Long Island, a strategy of grassroots activists with support of elected officials was to use the state’s power of eminent domain. The Long Island Power Act was enacted in 1985 giving the state the authority, if LILCO persisted with Shoreham and its other nuclear plant projects, to seize its assets and eliminate it. There was no federal “pre-emption” preventing that. And LILCO gave up.

On Indian Point, environmental activists and the state zeroed in on denying Entergy the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit that allowed the plants to discharge 2.5 billion gallons of water a day into the Hudson. This “once-through” cooling system released radioactive poisons into the river and has been killing massive amounts of fish. There was no federal “pre-emption” preventing this SPDES strategy. Another important factor causing Entergy to give up is that competitive power systems are now less expensive than nuclear, including renewable energy with safe solar and offshore wind power playing a huge role.

There are post-agreement complaints by some about replacing the electricity Indian Point generated. That’s baloney. There are alternatives. We can easily have energy we can live with.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

Greenland – environment future threatened by mining for uranium and rare earths

greenland-johan-petersen-fjordYou can’t live in a museum’: the battle for Greenland’s uranium, Guardian, Maurice Walsh, 28 Jan 17  A tiny town in southern Greenland is fighting for its future. Behind it sits one of the world’s largest deposits of uranium. Should a controversial mine get the green light?

………….Since 2009, the island has been an “autonomous administrative division” within Denmark, giving its 56,000 inhabitants control over local resources. The idea of full independence within a generation or two is the dominant theme of local politics – even if the price of breaking free would be an annual Danish subsidy worth some £7,500 a head……
 in 2013, the government granted four times the number of exploration licences approved in 2003 – so has the pressure to repeal a 1988 ban on uranium mining: this prevented the extraction of uranium, as well as any minerals that might have uranium as a byproduct. In 2013, after a debate that divided the country, Greenland’s parliament voted narrowly to repeal the ban.
Kvanefjeld, near Narsaq, is one of many potential mines. Last month, an Australian company was given the green light to begin construction of a zinc and lead mine on the northern coast; there are currently 56 active licences to exploremining for gold, rubies, diamonds, nickel, copper and other minerals elsewhere.

But uranium has made Kvanefjeld the most controversial project, and the focus of a debate about whether this is the economic path that Greenland should pursue. (The most common argument raised against is the danger that radioactive dust will fall on neighbouring settlements and farmland.) An Australian-owned company, Greenland Minerals and Energy (GME), has spent nearly £60m developing a plan for an open pit mine here. It was due to submit an environmental impact assessment by the end of 2016, but the deadline has been extended……….

In a move that sounds counterintuitive, GME is promoting its mine as a contribution to the new global green economy. According to the company, 80% of the commercial deposits in Kvanefjeld are rare earth minerals, commonly used in wind turbines, hybrid cars and lasers; uranium accounts for only 10%. “The market for rare earth minerals is deciding this,” says operations manager Ib Laursen. “Everybody is looking for them. Instead of Greenland being a passive receiver of global warming from the western world, it could contribute to green technology.”

It is a clever pitch. Greenland’s ice sheet has become the benchmark measurement for the march of global warming; research published in September showed that ice loss is accelerating more rapidly than previously feared. Greenland is also the emblematic victim of climate change: Inuit hunters and fishermen are called on in international conferences, to describe how their traditional lifestyles are being destroyed by warming seas.

But what the rest of the world see as creeping ruination, local politicians see as an opportunity. The melting ice sheet will make some minerals more accessible, and reveal others that are so far unknown.

……….Most of the world’s rare earth minerals come from China (six state-owned enterprises control nearly 90% of the planet’s supply), and the scale of environmental degradation there has given open pit mining a bad reputation. Concerned locals in Greenland invoke images of wasted landscapes and pools of toxic and radioactive waste, gleaned from a Google search. Similarly, the history of uranium mining has been one of blithe disregard for the environment……

Laursen.presents his mine as an environmentally friendly alternative to Chinese mines, modelled on international standards of best practice. He says the fears of radioactive dust floating over south Greenland are groundless. The crushed rock discarded once the minerals have been extracted, known as tailings, will be turned into slurry and carried in a pipeline to the bottom of a nearby lake. “It would never surface as dust,” Laursen says: the lake will be sealed in perpetuity by an impermeable dam……..

Frederiksen (sheep farmer) was alert to the dangers of radioactive dust because he had studied sheep farming in Norway in the mid-90s, when animals there were still affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. The scientists said they would remove dust from the mine by sprinkling it with water. “Well, water is usually frozen here in the winter,” Frederiksen tells me now, “so I asked them, ‘How are you going to have water to sprinkle then?’ And they said they would answer that when the environmental impact assessment arrived. When someone asked if it was possible to have no pollution in a mining area, the elderly man told us there had never been mining without pollution.” Frederiksen and Lennert believe most of the sheep farmers oppose the mine, but they avoid too many conversations about it just in case: polarisation risks harmony, and they might need each other in difficult times……….

In the past two elections, the people have decided, by voting for parties that support the uranium mine. Now, Qujaukitsoq says, it is a decision for the government. “Are we hesitant? No. We have no reservations about creating jobs.” For him it is the only way of saving Narsaq from stagnation. Whatever image the rest of the world cherishes, one thing is clear: Greenland will make its own way in the age of climate change.

 Maurice Walsh travelled as part of the Arctic Times Project, an international team exploring the transformation of the Arctic.more https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/28/greenland-narsaq-uranium-mine-dividing-town

January 30, 2017 Posted by | ARCTIC, environment, RARE EARTHS | Leave a comment

Trump versus Prince Charles in the climate change wars?

Trump and Charles in climate row.  President ‘won’t take lecture’ from prince Tim Shipman and Roya Nikkhah January 29 2017, The Sunday Times Donald Trump is engaged in an extraordinary diplomatic row with the Prince of Wales over climate change that threatens to disrupt his state visit to the UK.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Mordechai Vanunu Israeli nuclear whistleblower still not freed from captivity after 31 years! As UN ignores transparency on nuke program!

16265918_10206985613233880_2526238349894929756_n.jpg

It is coming up to 31 years since Mordechai Vanunu was dramatically kidnapped in Italy for his part in letting the world know about Isreals nuclear bomb activities. The information was known about by the UK and USA at the very least.

Since then groups like the IAEA have discovered that Isreal will not co-operate on the safety of its nuclear program and a recent push for Isreali transparency on this issue is underway by alternative media.

A recent resolution was beaten back (in December 2015)  by pro nuclear countries but the game is on for the IAEA to push for transparency Arclight aka Shaun McGee

Here is a brief plea for help and statement Mordechai made after todays “final”court session in Tel Aviv concerning his bid for freedom and justice;

Nothing Changes,today the court heard my appeal, asking the the 3 judges to intervene to allow me to leave this country.

The israel government  via its lawyers repeated the same accusations “that I am a security risk for them because of all the nuclear secrets from 35 years ago”.

The court will make its decision in the coming weeks. No change as I continue to wait for;

Freedom Now!

Time spent in prison and under house arrest 1986-2017 Mordechi Vannunu 30 January 2017 https://www.facebook.com/vanunumordechai?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

Israel Must Now Open Its Nuclear Program to IAEA Inspection, or Face Sanctions

Iran has currently met its obligations to the IAEA under the 2015 US-­led agreement with the UN and now IT is the time for Israel to submit its nuclear program to UNSC inspection or face international sanctions. The imperative is for:

1. The Negev Nuclear Research Center at Dimona to be fully opened to inspection by the IAEA and its estimated undeclared stockpile of up to 400 nuclear warheads be put under UN supervision for eventual destruction other than those required for legitimate defence purposes, estimated not to exceed five warheads (5) in total.

2. Israel’s capacity for uranium enrichment to be severely limited for a minimum of 15 years and that all its centrifuges in excess of 5000 to be dismantled under IAEA supervision

3. That all supplies of heavy water be shipped to the US or other approved recipient, apart from the minimum required for legitimate medical isotopes

4. That inspections teams from the IAEA continuously monitor all Israeli nuclear sites and to verify all fissile materials thereupon.

5. That the state of Israel to become a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with immediate effect.

The timescale for all such specified actions to be approved by the United Nations Assembly in General Session.

Note

1. http://fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/farr.htm
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Anthony Bellchambers, Global Research, 2016

http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-must-now-open-its-nuclear-program-to-iaea-inspection-or-face-sanctions/5502024

‘Great victory’? Israeli nuclear program resolution voted down by IAEA

A resolution calling for the inspection of Israeli nuclear sites has been defeated at the IAEA General Conference, with Tel Aviv, which led an intensive campaign against the Arab states’ proposal, hailing the result of the vote as a “great victory” in the international arena.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) General Conference voted 61-43 against the resolution put forward by Egypt and backed by Turkey, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Iraq, as well as Russia, China. And South Africa.

The resolution called for the international monitoring of the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona which is suspected of developing fissile material for Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal that poses “a permanent threat to peace and security in the region.”

Israel’s long term allies such as the US, some EU members, Australia, Japan South Korea and Canada voted against the motion calling for nuclear inspection. Tel Aviv and pro-Israel states worked endlessly behind the scenes to sway the votes in Israel’s favor on the subject of “Israel’s nuclear capabilities” ahead of the IAEA vote.

https://www.rt.com/news/315787-israel-iaea-nuclear-inspection/

Foreign Ministry bans contact between diplomats, local press

Prohibition issued following leak about Arab states’ decision to refrain from crackdown on Israel’s nuclear program
By Stuart Winer August 18, 2016

…….The prohibition came after Haaretz reported earlier in the day that Arab states were planning, during the upcoming general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in September, to refrain from an annual vote on monitoring Israel’s nuclear program.

The information was leaked to Haaretz by Foreign Ministry officials, who put the development down to the recent warming of ties between Israel and Egypt.

According to a senior source in the Foreign Ministry, Gold was furious over the leak and called an urgent meeting, after which a communication was sent to all Foreign Ministry employees in Israel and abroad detailing the new procedures……..

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-prohibits-contact-between-diplomats-local-press/

Israel presents: Rays of Hope

Israel Atomic Energy Commission highlights its work in nuclear applications at the IAEA General Conference in Vienna.

Contact Editor

Arutz Sheva Staff, 28/09/16 03:12

….The pavilion, entitled Rays of Hope, presents the work of the State of Israel in the field of nuclear applications. This is the first time that Israel has made an international presentation in this area.

The Israeli pavilion highlights innovative research capabilities and their uses in various nuclear-related fields for educational, scientific and agricultural purposes, as well for the production of clean energy…..

….”The Israeli developments in the nuclear field have led to ‘Rays of Hope’ and have inspired many people. In nuclear science we are exporting essential know-how and equipment for medical treatment, agriculture, security and safety around the world….

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/218411

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fukushima governor rebuts minister’s 3/11 recovery claim

fukushima governor 30 jan 2017.jpg

Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura addresses an official conference on the reconstruction and rebuilding of Fukushima Prefecture in Fukushima city on Jan. 28.

FUKUSHIMA–Using marathon analogies, opinions on the current state of Fukushima Prefecture almost six years after the 2011 nuclear accident were running far apart between a national minister and local officials at a conference here to discuss the recovery process.

If this is a marathon, Fukushima’s recovery is 30 kilometers into the race,” said Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura at the beginning of the conference on reconstruction of quake damage and rebuilding in the prefecture on Jan. 28. “Now, we have come to the crunch.”

A disgruntled Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori refuted Imamura’s optimistic analogy when he was interviewed by reporters after the conference’s close.

Some regions in the designated evacuation zones are not even at the starting line,” said Uchibori. “Even in the areas where the designation is already lifted, recovery has only just begun.”

The evacuation order in most of the surrounding area of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is scheduled to be lifted at the end of March, apart from some “difficult-to-return zones” where radiation readings remain high.

The affected municipal governments are concerned that the central government’s understanding of areas affected by the 2011 disaster has been fading as the sixth anniversary approaches in March.

Aside from the opening, the conference, chaired by Imamura, was closed to the media.

According to one attendee, Imamura told conference delegates that he put “Fukushima first.”

Aping the catchphrase style of U.S. President Donald Trump and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Imamura apparently meant he prioritizes the recovery of the disaster-hit area of Fukushima Prefecture, but his choice of words failed to impress local officials.

The head of one municipal government said: “It is not a very good catchphrase to use here as it reminds us of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.”

I would like him to be more sensitive about expressions he uses,” another complained.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701300051.html

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment