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Review of book on Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Review: Crisis without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, Helen Caldicott et al. 4.0 out of 5 stars Vital Detailed Truth, Lacks Compelling Visualization, July 9, 2015 This review was written by Robert David Steele and has been reposted with permission. The original page can be found here.   This book stems from a conference and is a very nicely presented double-spaced precis of the world-class contributions from the conference.

HELEN CALDICOTT QUOTE (3): The Fukushima disaster is not over and will not end for many millenia. The radioactive fallout, which has covered vast swaths of Japan, will remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.”
NAOTO KAN QUOTE (19): Considering the risk of losing half our land and evacuating half our population, my conclusion is that not having nuclear power plants is the safest energy policy.
DAVID LOCHBAUM: Fukushima was result of multiple foreseen but dismissed hazards. The cost of the recommended safety measures would have been a tiny fraction of the final cost of the total disaster that will be adding costs for a century into the future.
HISAKO SAKIYAMA: Virtually all hospitals included in today’s nuclear reaction plans are themselves so close as to be rendered victims themselves in the event of any real nuclear disaster.
STEVEN STARR: 13% of the Japanese mainland has been contaminated with cesium-137 while the Pacific Ocean and its seafood have been widely contaminated.
AKIO MATSUMURA: Fukushima could explode again and double-down on threat to humanity. Meanwhile, US stands silent, Japanese government is covering everything up, and no reporters, scientists, or other governments are demanding any form of transparency.
TIMOTHY MOUSSEAU: Roughly a third of wildlife disappears from radiated areas — but the studies are not being done or if done not published because no government, no university, no foundtion, wants to pay for bad news.
ALEXEY YABLOKOV: WHO, IAEA, ICRC have falsified just about everything about Fukushima specifically and nuclear risks generally.
ARNOLD GUNDERSEN: Fukushima was made in USA, with GE knowingly repressing risk information, cutting corners, and failing to provide all of the safety features known to be needed (including provision for a 46 foot tsunami correctly forecast).
ROBERT ALVAREZ: Because US has dithered on a “permanent” nuclear waste solution, the “temporary” pools are now holding five times their planned capacity. A standard US nuclear storage pool fire would be sixty times worse than Chernobyl.
KEVIN CAMPS: CIA helped fund the post-war politicians in Japan, and part of CIA’s mandate was to ensure they all bought into nuclear power.
CINDY FOLKERS: US manipulating radiation standards in post-Fukishima era to allow twelve times more radiation poisoning of children than now allowed in Japan, and to explicitly cover-up the radiation in agricultural and seafood products that would otherwise sharply constrain those markets.
DAVID FREEMAN: Risks aside, nuclear power is unaffordable. QUOTE (217): Even with the latest improvements, the cost overrun is abvout one or two billion dollars.” Nuclear power is now an “existential threat” but the public is completely ignorant of the fact that they have 30 years of nuclear waste piled up in their backyard waiting to be set on fire.
HELEN CALDICOTT: Absent public education, we appear bent on self-destruction.
The book could have been improved with a bibliography and some visualization, but I certainly found it very informative and troubling. In combination, public ignorance, government and corporation corruption, and complacency among academics, media, and think tanks, have allowed the creation of an aging nuclear industry certain to explode in our face again.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, resources - print | Leave a comment

Three Republican former EPA administrators deplore President trump’s environmental policies

Three Republican EPA administrators: Trump is putting us on a dangerous path,  May 26

William D. Ruckelshaus was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1970 to 1973 and 1983 to 1985. Lee M. Thomas was EPA administrator from 1985 to 1989, and William K. Reilly was EPA administrator from 1989 to 1993.

 More than 30 years ago, the world was faced with a serious environmental threat, one that respected no boundaries. A hole in the ozone layer was linked to potential increases in skin cancer and blindness from cataracts. The ozone layer is a thin band of gas in the stratosphere that protects the Earth and humans from dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and it was slowly being destroyed by chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are man-made gases used as aerosol propellants and in refrigeration and cooling.

Despite early skepticism, the risk of a thinning ozone layer was such that an international U.N. conference was convened in Vienna to address this problem. The participating countries and international bodies, including the United States, the European Union and other major producers and users of CFCs, afterward met in Montreal to negotiate an agreement setting out a specific program to reduce the production and use of CFCs.

The Environmental Protection Agency, with strong support from President Ronald Reagan, led the international effort that resulted in a treaty that contained an aggressive schedule of reductions known as the Montreal Protocol. It remains in effect today and has resulted in significant improvement in the ozone layer and greatly reduced the threat to human health. An element critical to the success of the effort was strong reliance on the shared science of the impact of CFCs and a willingness of the countries of the world to work together. They accepted that the risk of not acting was simply not acceptable.

Today, presented with the undeniable warming of the planet, we are faced with a global environmental threat whose potential harm to people and other living things exceeds any we have seen before. The Paris climate agreement is the international response to that threat.

In his April 22 Earth Day message, President Trump stated, “My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.”

Yet when confronted with broad-based evidence of planetary warming and the almost daily emerging evidence of the impacts of climate change, Trump’s March “skinny” budget and this week’s final 2018 budget plansay we should look the other way; he has chosen ignorance over knowledge. The need for extensive and accelerated scientific research about the nature of the problem and its possible policy solutions should be beyond question. Not to get more information is inexcusable.

Trump’s budget proposals have scrubbed every agency and department of expenditures that would provide us with vital information about the pace and impacts of climate change. Among those severely cut or eliminated altogether are programs in the departments of Energy, State, Interior and Homeland Security, and at the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and EPA.

The EPA budget released this week cuts science and technology spending by more than $282 million , almost a 40 percent reduction. The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program is zeroed out; air and energy research are cut by 66 percent. Programs targeted at specific areas with significant climate vulnerabilities, such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and Puget Sound, have been eliminated.

The destruction of irreplaceable research would be staggering. It would put us and the rest of the world on a dangerous path. If our president is wrong about the reality of climate change, we will have lost vital time to take steps to avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet. If those urging collective worldwide accelerated action are wrong, we will have developed alternative sources of clean energy that will enhance our green energy choices for the foreseeable future.

We can see already, in many places here and around the world, concrete evidence of what climate change means. Sea-level rise along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States has increased, and with it have come significant increases in coastal erosion and flooding. Glacier ice melt in the Antarctic and Greenland is increasing. Arctic sea ice is at its lowest level since measurements began. The past three years have been the hottest on record; the 10 hottest years all occurred since 1998. When Glacier National Park in Montana was established in 1910, it contained 150 active glaciers; today there are 26.

With no seeming clue as to what’s going on, the president seems to have cast our lot with a small coterie of climate skeptics and their industry allies rather than trying to better understand the impact of increased greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere. His policy of willful ignorance is a bet-the-house approach that is destructive of responsible government.

The consequences of the president’s being wrong are hard to imagine. All the more reason to respect science and continue the work that better defines the problem and the diminishing options for coping with it.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | climate change, environment, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Legal appeal against extension of time for Flamanville nuclear construction

La Manche Libre 26th May 2017, two associations filed an appeal to the Council of State for excess of power in the file of the EPR Flamanville (Manche). On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the State had authorized the construction site of the Flamanville EPR for three years more than the initial period of 10 years.

A decision today challenged by two associations, the Crilan (Committee for Reflection, Information and Anti-Nuclear Struggle) and Our Affair to All. On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, they appealed to the Conseil d’Etat for an abuse of power. The application relies on two points of the law of 13 June 2006 on transparency and security in nuclear matters: The fact that the law imposes a time limit for such a project and that it has not been respected. “There are no regulations that allow the state to change the duration of a decree,” advocates the lawyer of Caen Gervais Doutressoulle.

According to him, a new decree should have been taken, but this would have led to a new public consultation. The law also states that, in the event of a “significant” or”substantial” change, the authorization decree then lapses. A new text is needed. The recourse lists nine sets of modifications in relation to the project presented initially. He cites, for example, the composition of the tank, whose fate is expected to be known this summer, the cost spent from 2.8 billion euros to more than 10 billion euros, or the choice of fuel.

The Council of State must now determine when it will consider this appeal. “If he has an important file, it is this one”, judge Gervais Doutressoulle who considers the reasonable time between three and six months. In early 2016, a similar appeal was filed. It has not yet been examined.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

Polynesia vastly affected by radioactivity from French nuclear bomb testing

French nuclear tests ‘showered vast area of Polynesia with radioactivity’
Declassified papers show extent of plutonium fall-out from South Pacific tests of 60s and 70s was kept hidden, says French paper,
Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis in Paris, Thursday 4 July 2013, French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents which have angered veterans and civilians’ groups.

The papers, seen by the French paper Le Parisien, reportedly reveal that plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted. Tahiti, above, the most populated island, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact spread as far as the tourist island, Bora Bora.

Thousands of veterans, families and civilians still fighting for compensation over health issues have insisted France now reveals the full truth about the notorious tests whose impact was kept secret for decades.

From 1960 to 1996, France carried out 210 nuclear tests, 17 in the Algerian Sahara and 193 in French Polynesia in the South Pacific, symbolised by the images of a mushroom cloud over the Mururoa atoll. For decades, France argued that the controlled explosions were clean. Jacques Chirac, the French president, controversially resumed nuclear atoll explosions in the South Pacific shortly after being elected in 1995.

Le Parisien said the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army”. It said papers showed that on 17 July 1974, a test exposed Tahiti to 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout.

Bruno Barillot, who has investigated the impacts of the nuclear tests for the Polynesian government, complained of the high levels of thyroid cancers and leukaemia in Polynesia. He said the declassified documents revealed Tahiti had “literally been showered with plutonium for two days” during the Mururoa test; from the outset France knew the impact spread further than it publicly admitted. But of the 2,050 pages declassified, 114 remained blacked out.

Richard Oldham, a member of the Polynesia nuclear workers’ association Mururoa e Tatou, told Radio New Zealand International : “It’s the right for our future generations to know what has happened in this country.”

In 2006 a French medical research body found nuclear testing had caused an increase in cancer on the nearest inhabited islands. The French judiciary began investigating health implications. It was not until 2010 that France acknowledged that there could be a compensation process for veterans and civilians. But that is complex and limited to a small geographical area and certain ailments.

About 150,000 veterans and civilians worked on, or were present during, nuclear tests, including 127,000 in Polynesia. But of 800 dossiers, only 11 people have received compensation.

Troops who worked on the tests have described a staggering lack of precaution for workers. During the Mururoa tests in French Polynesia in the late 1960s, one veteran described how he was stationed in shorts and a T-shirt on a boat only about 15 miles from the explosion before having to sail immediately to the area of the vast mushroom cloud to examine the damage.

Others on different tests wore shorts and had no sunglasses; they were told simply to shield their eyes and turn their backs at the time of the explosion.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear executives’ excessive pay

US News 27th May 2017 Executives of a company financing construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia continue to be awarded millions of dollars in incentives, despite it being behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Southern Company, the parent firm financing Plant Vogtle’s two new reactors, held its annual shareholders meeting recently to give investing companies and others the chance to discuss issues with executives. Some shareholders are not happy about the board of directors’ decision to award incentives to executives in light of losses at two of the company’s major projects:
Kemper Plant in Mississippi and the Vogtle expansion in Georgia’s Burke County, the Georgia newspaper reported.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India’s Nuclear Weapons

This Is Why the World Should Fear India’s Nuclear Weapons, National Interest, Kyle Mizokami, 28 May 17, India, the world’s most populous democracy, occupies a unique strategic position flanked by powerful adversaries. As a result, its 1.3 billion people are guarded by an arsenal of approximately one hundred nuclear weapons deployed on land, at sea and in the air. Despite its status as a Cold War holdout, the country was forced to develop its own nuclear weapons…….

Today India is estimated to have at least 520 kilograms of plutonium, enough for, according to the Arms Control Association, “between 100 and 120 nuclear devices.” New Delhi describes this a “credible minimum deterrent” against neighboring nuclear powers China and Pakistan. By comparison, China—which must also contend with nuclear rival the United States—has enough fissile material for between 200 and 250 devices. Pakistan is thought to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 devices. India has a firm No First Use policy with regards to nuclear weapons, vowing to never be the first to use them in any conflict and only use them to retaliate in kind.

As a result India has built its own “triad” of land, sea and air forces, all equipped with nuclear weapons. The first leg to develop was likely tactical nuclear devices for strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Today, India possesses more than two hundred Su-30MK1 twin-engine fighters, sixty-nine MiG-29s and fifty-one Mirage 2000 fighters. It is likely at least some of these aircraft have been modified and trained to carry nuclear gravity bombs to their targets.

The land-based missile leg of the triad consists of Prithvi tactical ballistic missiles. First produced in the late 1990s, Prithvi initially had a range of just ninety-three miles, but future versions increased their range to 372 miles. Despite this, Prithvi is still firmly a tactical weapon, while the Agni I-V series of missiles, with ranges from 434 to 4,970 miles, are strategic weapons with the ability to hit foreign capitals—as well as all of China.

The third leg of the triad is new, consisting of nuclear ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) of the Arihant class. Four submarines are planned, each with the ability to carry twelve K-15 Sagarika (“Oceanic”) short-range ballistic missiles with maximum range of 434 miles, or K-4 medium-range ballistic missiles with a 2,174 mile range. Using the Bay of Bengal as a bastion and protected by assets such as India’s carrier INS Vikramaditya, the Arihant SSBNs can just barely reach Beijing.

India’s nuclear buildup has been relatively responsible, and the country’s No First Use policy should act to slow escalation of any conventional conflict into a nuclear one. As long as India’s nuclear deterrent remains credible, it should cause rational adversaries to think twice before edging to the nuclear threshold. Still, the country’s volatile relationship with Pakistan, which has no such policy, as well as its “Cold Start” blitzkrieg plan of action against its neighbor, means nuclear war cannot be ruled out.

 Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami

May 29, 2017 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Why is Trump claiming, (with no evidence) that Iran is developing nuclear weapons?

What’s Behind Trump’s ‘Baseless Claims’ About Iran’s ‘Nuclear Weapons’, Sputnik, 27 May 17, Commenting on the recent remarks of Donald Trump regarding Iran, which Tehran labelled as ‘Iranophobia’, Iranian political analyst Ali Reza Rezakhah explained to Sputnik Persian what the real purpose behind the comments of the US leader is and who he’s really talking to.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump promised that Tehran will never develop a nuclear weapon.”Iran will never have a nuclear weapon that I can tell you,” Trump told reporters before the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump’s remarks came the day after the Arab Islamic American Summit was held in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where the US president said that Iran has been supporting terrorists, militias and extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the Middle East.

Tehran was quick to label Trump’s remarks as “Iranophobia,” accusing the US and its leader of “repetitive and baseless claims” about Iran.

“The American president tried to encourage the countries of the region to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia,” spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Bahram Qassemi said a day after the US President finished his trip to Saudi Arabia.

Sputnik Persian sat down with Iranian political analyst and expert in American studies Ali Reza Rezakhah to talk on the war of words between the US administration and the Iranian government.

“Tehran has never voiced its intention to possess any nuclear arms,” Ali Reza Rezakhah reminded Sputnik.

Moreover, he further explained, Iran has announced that the use of any weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear arms in particular, is banned by Islam. A corresponding fatwah (a legal opinion in the Islamic faith) on the ban of stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons has been issued by Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Besides, the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program and the absence of any intentions to possess nuclear arms have been stipulated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as Iran’s nuclear deal.

“Donald Trump’s remarks, therefore, are nothing but pure PR and bait for the mainstream media. The words have been said to please the Israeli Prime Minister,” Ali Reza Rezakhah told Sputnik.

He echoed the words of Bahram Qassemi, saying that Trump’s visit to both Riyadh and Tel Aviv and his rampant remarks are the new wave of “Iranophobia”, which the US leader is trying to spread.

He further noted that regardless his low ratings, Donald Trump might get certain success in his efforts.

“‘Iranophobia’ might become a basis for creation of a new terrorist coalition of an international caliber. And Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel come as a proof to it,” he said…….

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment