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The true impacts of the 1986 nuclear disaster on people and the environment

The Facts About Chernobyl,    Posted on The true impacts of the 1986 nuclear disaster on people and the environment, By Beyond Nuclear staff

The strategy of the desperate is to downplay and dismiss. A major nuclear disaster is more than just an inconvenient truth for an industry that doesn’t want you to know it kills people. As a result, when a serious nuclear accident happens — arguably always preventable and therefore not strictly an accident — there is a scramble to present the event as largely insignificant.

Many myths are quickly put about, usually centered on how few people immediately died, a completely misleading statistic since nuclear power plant disasters do not usually kill people instantly. But over the long-term, their legacy is indeed both considerable and often deadly.

In the newest edition of our periodic Thunderbird newsletter, we look at the facts about the Chernobyl disaster — and touch on one welcome piece of fiction in the form of a novel.

The disparities over the death count are used to downplay and even dismiss the terrible and long-lasting after effects of Chernobyl. But focusing only on fatalities also serves to diminish the disaster’s impact. It can take years before fatal illnesses triggered by a nuclear accident take hold. This creates a challenge in calculating just who eventually died due to the accident and who suffered non-fatal consequences.

Exposure to ionizing radiation released by a nuclear power plant (and not just from accidents but every day) can cause serious non-fatal illnesses as well. These should not be discounted. Arguably, neither should post accident psychological trauma.

All the populations affected by Chernobyl have been inadequately studied and monitored — whether they lived inside the former Soviet Union or elsewhere in Europe where the radioactive plume also contaminated lands and people.

The Chernobyl liquidators are a group most often cited as they were dispatched to the stricken nuclear plant in the immediate aftermath, as well as for at least the subsequent two years, to manage and endeavor to “clean up” the disaster. They included military as well as civilian personnel such as firefighters, nuclear plant workers and other skilled professionals. More information is still emerging on their fate and that of their descendants.

It is generally accepted that there were about 800,000 liquidators but only a small portion of them were subject to medical examinations. By 1992 it was estimated that 70,000 liquidators were invalids and 13,000 had died. These estimates rose to 50,000 then to 100,000 deaths among liquidators in 2006. By 2010, Yablokov et al. estimated a death toll of 112,000 to 125,000 liquidators.

Even the Russian authorities admit findings of liquidators aging prematurely, with a higher than average number having developed various forms of cancer, leukemia, somatic and neurological problems, psychiatric illnesses and cataracts. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs found a statistically significant increase in leukemia among Russian liquidators who were in service at Chernobyl in 1986 and 1987.

There are similar findings among general populations although, again, these have been hard to track. While countless numbers may have eventually died from Chernobyl-related illnesses, equal or even greater numbers likely survived and were forced to live with debilitating and chronic medical conditions as well as psychological trauma.

The widely debunked 2003-2005 Chernobyl Forum accounting is the record most often quoted, and yet it is utterly compromised. It was produced by the nuclear promoting International Atomic Energy Agency, which ignored its own data that indicated there would be 9,000 future fatal cancers in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The IAEA instead claimed there would be no more than 4,000. Both numbers are gross underestimations.

The report focused only on the most heavily exposed areas in making its predictions. It ignored the much larger populations in the affected countries as a whole, and in the rest of the world, who have been exposed to lower but chronic levels of radiation from Chernobyl.

The later TORCH Report exposed the flaws in the Chernobyl Forum as did IPPNW in its own report. TORCH predicts at least 30,000 and maybe as many as 60,000 excess cancer deaths worldwide due to the accident. An analysis of 5,000 Russian studies, by the late Soviet scientist, Alexey Yablokov and colleagues, puts the number of premature deaths due to Chernobyl as likely to soar as high as one million people.

In other studies, elevated rates of thyroid cancer were discovered in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, particularly among children, where the preventive pill, potassium-iodide (KI), was not distributed. In Poland, where KI was distributed, incidences were extremely low.

Outside the former Soviet Union, impacts were also significant with about 40% of Europe’s land surface radiologically contaminated.

Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki, a physician and geneticist, discovered, alarmingly, that the negative health effects caused by Chernobyl did not stop with those exposed directly. His research, focused in Polissia, Ukraine, noted birth defects and other health disturbances among not only those who were adults at the time of the Chernobyl disaster, but their children who were in utero at the time and, most disturbingly, their later offspring.

Pierre Flor-Henry in his research, even found medical changes resulting from apparent psychological responses. He noted that schizophrenia and chronic fatigue syndrome among a high percentage of liquidators were accompanied by organic changes in the brain. This suggested that various neurological and psychological illnesses could be caused by exposure to radiation levels between 0.15 and 0.5 sieverts.

Nevertheless, the IAEA and the World Health Organization (WHO), given their supposedly august credentials, are cited as the bodies of record on post-Chernobyl fatalities and health impacts. But there is a fundamental reason why the WHO cannot be trusted.

On May 28, 1959, the WHO made an agreement with the IAEA that would effectively gag the agency on any nuclear issue from that day forth. The agreement gave the IAEA a veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power. The IAEA’s stated mission is to “accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.” So clearly, there is a major conflict of interest at work here.

Not only people but animals — both wild and domestic — have been harmed by the Chernobyl disaster. This damage is likely permanent as it has been passed down through generations via DNA. The research by Dr. Timothy Mousseau finds birds around Chernobyl with low to zero sperm counts, cataracts, diminished brain size and truncated longevity. Stray dogs continue to proliferate around the Chernobyl nuclear site. Wild boars in Europe remain too radioactive to eat. Insects have mutated and micro-organisms have disappeared.

There are some bright and hopeful signs however. Much humanitarian work has gone on over the decades to bring relief to those suffering the Chernobyl after-effects. The disaster — and the subsequent one at Fukushima — changed the minds of the leaders in power at the time, Mikhail Gorbachev and Naoto Kan. These men now advocate for an end to the use of nuclear power. Several countries renounced nuclear power in the wake of these disasters or reinforced their policies to phase out nuclear and turn to renewables.

And there is even some welcome fiction about Chernobyl, in the form of a searingly beautiful and haunting first novel by Irish writer Darragh McKeon. We encourage you to read All That Is Solid Melts Into Air for a vivid account of the very real characters he portrays living through the Chernobyl ordeal.

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April 25, 2018 Posted by | health, Reference, Ukraine | 2 Comments

Caring for Chernobyl’s children

Linda Walker’s healing touch,

Her Chernobyl Children’s Project UK helps the young seek respite and joy https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/04/22/healing-chernobyl-kids/, By Linda Pentz Gunter

When a deadly nuclear power plant accident spreads radiation across the world, you can’t take it back.  That contamination, from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, hit neighboring Belarus the hardest. Not only those living there at the time, but children born since, have suffered the health effects of exposure to long-lasting radioactive fallout.

The long-term solution, of course, is to rid the world of nuclear power plants, ensuring that no one need suffer from their deadly poison again. But in the short-term, solutions are also needed to help those suffering today.  That is where Linda Walker stepped in.

Linda started her charity Chernobyl Children’s Project UK in 1995, inspired by Chernobyl Children International, founded in 1991 in Ireland by Adi Roche. Linda quickly realized that in addition to bringing children from Chernobyl-affected areas to the UK for so-called “radiation vacations,” something more was needed. She decided that her group needed to be active on the ground as well, in particular in Belarus.  She has been traveling to the country on a frequent basis ever since.

CCP(UK) began with just two local groups — in Glossopdale, Derbyshire and Littleborough, Lancashire.  In the summer of 1995, the first group of children arrived for a holiday.  Before that, however,  money was raised to send a reconditioned and aid-laden ambulance to Belarus — the first of many to follow.  By the end of the year, CCP(UK) had also sent a 40-foot trailer packed with humanitarian aid to Belarus.

By 1997, Linda’s work had already received such recognition in Belarus that she was made a member of the Order of Franciska Skarina, one of the country’s highest awards.  She was one of the first foreigners to receive it and accepted it on behalf of everyone involved with the work of CCP(UK).

There was much more to come. Under Linda’s leadership, CCP(UK) has supported children’s hospices;  trained orphanage staff; and routinely delivered ambulances and humanitarian aid to Belarus. CCP (UK) runs a foster care training program which has helped to get children out of the orphanages and into local families; and organizes a major program of educational visits to the UK, supported by the Department for International Development and UNICEF.

CCP UK) has worked closely with Zhuravichi Boarding Home for children with disabilities, providing them with toys, wheelchairs and mobility aids, taking their children for an annual holiday within the country and encouraging the authorities to improve the children’s education and care.

In 2000 CCP(UK) set up a home for four young adults with physical disabilities who had grown up at Zhuravichi; two years later CCP(UK) established a foster family home in Rogachev for five young children they had taken from Zhuravichi; and in 2004 Linda and her team opened the Mayflower Centre in Gomel.  This is the first 24-hour respite care centre in Belarus and supports many families with severely disabled children, so they can continue to care for them at home.  CCP(UK) has worked for many years with an association of such families in Rogachev and helped them, with support from the British Embassy in Minsk, to set up a Centre for their children.

The recuperative holiday program for children quickly expanded from Glossopdale and Littleborough to sites around the UK.  At first the program was available only to healthy children, but Linda and her team quickly saw the benefits to two children who participated who were in remission from cancer.  From then on,  children were also invited for recuperative holidays from the Children in Trouble Minsk-based charity which supports the families of children with cancer.

Willing to learn at every step, Linda then recognized that some children who had been ill, but were now well enough to travel to her UK program, were too young to go abroad alone.  So in 1997 a new CCP(UK) initiative was established that allowed the children’s mothers to travel with them.  Linda saw that these mothers had also been through a highly stressful time as their children fought cancer, and were almost if not as much in need of a holiday as the children. The mothers dubbed this the “Dream Come True” program.

Linda and her colleague also recognized that older children are even more refreshed and rejuvenated by her recuperation vacations.  She noted that when children fall ill in their early teens, by the time they are well enough to travel, there are few charities willing to invite them. So CCP(UK) stepped in to accommodate youngsters up to 20 years old as well. For the last 20 years 18 teenagers in remission from cancer have visited the UK every year.

Today, all the children CCP brings to the UK are in remission from cancer.

Linda also saw opportunity for similar respites within Belarus itself. In 1998 she arranged for 50 children from Zhuravichi Boarding Home and 50 from Garadyets Special School who had never had the chance of a holiday before, to travel across the country to a Holiday Camp at Neman, a beautiful site on the Polish border, near to Grodno.

To support this now annual effort, Linda has encouraged specialists to lend their services, sending medical students, physiotherapists, teachers, early years workers and many others who have raised their own air fares and then given two weeks of hard work.

In a March 30, 2006 article in The Guardian, marking the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Linda reminded readers that more needs to be done to address the dreadful legacy left by the nuclear catastrophe.

“Regular visitors to Belarus cannot fail to be aware of the many health problems which, even today, seem to be more acute in the contaminated parts of the country,” she wrote.  “Twenty years on, young parents are giving birth to babies with disabilities or genetic disorders, or who develop serious diseases in their early months. But as far as we know, no research is being conducted into these issues.”

That same year, Linda was awarded a well-deserved MBE.

Linda Walker has not only called out the problems of Chernobyl.  She has come up with practical and meaningful solutions to at least alleviate some of the suffering. In doing so, she has drawn on-going attention to the terrible ravages of nuclear energy and the ever more urgent need to abolish it.

For more, see the Chernobyl Children’s Project UK website.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | children, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Sisters now ill, exposed to Chernobyl radiation, – urge others to get cancer checks 

Sisters urge those exposed to Chernobyl radiation to get cancer checks http://longisland.news12.com/story/38020663/sisters-urge-those-exposed-to-chernobyl-radiation-in-1986-to-get-cancer-checks Apr 24, 2018  WESTBURY –

Two Long Island sisters who were exposed to radiation at Chernobyl in 1986 are urging others exposed to get checked for various types of cancer.

In 1986, Rebecca Sanders and Jennifer Fogarty were in western Germany with their father, who was in the military when Chernobyl exploded. Both were exposed to radiation.

The sisters want to get the word out that those who were exposed to radiation in 1986 should still be checked.

Sanders is now fighting stage 4 bladder cancer and Fogarty has thyroid disease.

Fogarty says that the military did not alert people who lived there at the time of the accident.

“They did not tell us anything for 10 days, and then after that it was martial law for 30 days where we had to stay inside. We could still go to school, and then after the 30 days, we were cleared to be outside and we were told we would be OK and we’re not,” says Sanders.

Fogarty says she and her sister want everyone to know that if they were in western Europe in 1986 when Chernobyl exploded, they are at very high risk of thyroid and or bladder cancer.  She says that both are curable, but people need to get checked and treated.

Fogarty says there are many studies done in Germany that show a link between the Chernobyl incident and people getting sick.

Thursday marks the 32nd anniversary of Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, Ukraine | Leave a comment

“Radioactive Waste and Canada’s First Nations” – perilously close to ruining this Earth

Mother Earth and the “too late” time https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/04/24/radioactive-waste-first_nations/ We are getting perilously close, warn First Nations, By Linda Pentz Gunter

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter refutes the spin and deception in claims that Iran is a nuclear threat

Is Iran really a nuclear threat? https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/iran-nuclear-threat-180423110553667.html Investigative journalist Gareth Porter dispels some of the myths surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme, by Mersiha Gadzo, 24 Apr 2018

“Iran is moving ‘very quickly’ towards production of a nuclear bomb and could have a weapon within two years,” the United Press International reported.

The quote was published in a 1984 article headlined “‘Ayatollah’ bomb in production for Iran” but it might as well have been published today.

For more than three decades Western politicians and the press have been claiming that Iran is a nuclear threat.

Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres echoed this claim numerous times in the 1990s, warning that Iran would build an atomic bomb by the next decade.

In the fall of 2012, Netanyahu declared at the United Nations General Assembly meeting – with his infamous bomb cartoon – that Iran would be able to build a nuclear weapon by June 2013.

The following October, former US President Barack Obama followed with a new deadline – that Iran is a year away from making a nuclear bomb.

Most recently, the press reported earlier this month that Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, stated he is “100 percent certain” that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

And yet, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released eight statements over the years confirming that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.

In July 2015, a landmark nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries: China, France, Russia, the UK, the US plus Germany, in which Iran agreed to reduce its enrichment of uranium, curbing its nuclear programme and ending decades of sanctions on the country.

While Iran has proved to be following its commitments, US President Donald Trump has found a new threat – Iran’s ballistic missile programme – and has threatened to scrap the nuclear agreement, which he has called the “worst deal ever”.

So how much of a nuclear threat is Iran?

Al Jazeera spoke with Gareth Porter, a historian, investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, with more than a decade of research into the topic, to learn more.

Al Jazeera: We heard yet another claim earlier this month, this time from the chief of Mossad, that Iran is planning to build a nuclear bomb. You’ve uncovered a wealth of evidence that proves Iran is not a threat. What are some of the most important pieces of evidence?

Gareth Porter: I think the most important set of documentary evidence is the so-called “laptop” documents. Those were documents that were supposedly [smuggled out] from a covert Iranian nuclear weapons research programme in the early 2000s, but I was able to show in my book that these documents were in fact passed on to Western intelligence by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), who of course were sworn enemies of the regime.

They were considered a terrorist organisation for many years, and most importantly the MEK was working hand in glove with Israel’s Mossad during the period when these documents surfaced.

The Israelis had both the motive and the opportunity to manufacture these documents that Mossad had created, a special programme to circulate “information” about the Iranian nuclear programme to other governments and the news media of the world in 2003. That was just when these documents would have been produced.

There are multiple indications that these documents are forgeries – the most important of which are the drawings of what is alleged to be in the documents, a series of efforts to make a nuclear weapon with the Iranian Shahab 3 missile.

These drawings actually show the wrong missile warhead. It’s a missile warhead that the Iranians are known now to have abandoned by the time these drawings were supposedly brought into existence. It is the most important giveaway that these documents were not genuine; they were fake.

Al Jazeera: You have previously said that to understand Iranian policy towards nuclear weapons, one should refer to the historical episode of its war with Iraq from 1980-1988. What can you tell us about that?

Porter: If you go back to the Iran-Iraq war, what was happening for eight years was that Iraq’s armed forces were hitting both military and civilian targets in Iran with chemical weapons, which caused as many as – if I remember the figure – 110,000 serious injuries and tens of thousands of deaths to Iranians because of the chemicals dropped on them by the Iraqis.

The IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) – in charge of Iran’s defences against the Iraqi attack – wanted Ayatollah Khomeini to agree to go ahead with not just chemical and biological weapons but nuclear weapons, to have programmes to prepare the capability at least to retaliate, in order to try to deter at the very least the attacks of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq.

There were those early in the war and late in the war… who hoped that Khomeini would change his mind; and the reason that he gave in both cases is quite simple – he said Iran cannot possess or use any weapons of mass destruction because it is illegal, illicit under Islam.

He was the person in charge of the interpretation of what Islam meant for policies and laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is an extremely important and supremely convincing argument for the seriousness of the Iranian refusal to have a nuclear weapons programme… There’s no real evidence to the contrary that suggests that Iran ever had a real nuclear weapons research programme.

Al Jazeera: We’ve seen over the years that Iran has acted cooperatively regarding its nuclear programme. However, in the end, there’s always a new accusation that comes up.

This time the US and allies are concerned with Iran’s ballistic missile programme. Why are they focused on Iran’s programme when other countries have ballistic missile programmes as well? Have we seen any credible evidence that proves that Iran is a threat that should be carefully watched?

Porter: It’s absolutely clear that Iran has simply used ballistic missiles as a deterrent far more than any other state in the Middle East because they do not have an air force. They do not have fighter jets or fighter-bombers that could deliver any conventional weapons as a retaliation for an attack on Iran. And that has been the case since the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979.

The other major players in the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, both have ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting Iran. This is very clearly a matter of self-defence in terms of deterrence for Iran. And I think the reason for the United States taking a position that it has, has nothing to do with the reality of the situation; this is pure politics – both international and domestic that have governed the position of US government – not just under Trump but under George W Bush and Obama as well.

Al Jazeera: Some say Iran is a threat because its leaders have allegedly stated their aim is to destroy Israel. How credible are these claims?

Porter: The Iranians have never threatened an aggressive attack on Israel. What they have said is that Israel should cease to exist as a state in which only Jews have full rights, just as South Africa had to cease to exist as a state for whites. It is the same position taken by supporters of Palestinian rights around the world.

This interview has been edited for length.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Iran, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Iran’s warnings if Donald Trump tears up 2015 nuclear deal,

Iran threatens to withdraw from nuclear weapons treaty, Tehran warns US of possible repercussions should Donald Trump tear up 2015 nuclear deal, Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan in London and Julian Borger in Washington DC 25 Apr 2018

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

US President Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called for a “new” deal with Iran

Trump, Macron call for ‘new’ nuclear deal with Iran  US President Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called for a “new” deal with Iran Tuesday, looking beyond divisions over a landmark nuclear accord that now hangs in the balance. SBS News 25 Apr 18  Trump pilloried a three-year old agreement designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program as “insane” and “ridiculous”, despite European pleas for him not to walk away from the accord.

Instead, Trump eyed a “grand bargain” that would also limit Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for militant groups across the Middle East.

“I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger, maybe, deal,” said Trump, stressing that any new accord would have to be built on “solid foundations.”………

Macron, visiting Washington on a landmark state visit, admitted after meeting Trump that he did not know whether the US president would walk away from the nuclear deal when a May 12 decision deadline comes up.

“I can say that we have had very frank discussions on that, just the two of us,” Macron told a joint press conference with Trump at his side.

Putting on a brave face, he said he wished “for now to work on a new deal with Iran” of which the nuclear accord could be one part.

Trump — true to his background in reality TV — teased his looming decision.

…… Neither Trump nor Macron indicated what Iran would get in return for concessions on its ballistic programs or activities in the Middle East.Iran, meanwhile, has warned it will ramp up enrichment activities if Trump walks away from the accord, prompting Trump to issue a blunt warning.

“They’re not going to be restarting anything. If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before. And you can mark it down,” he said…….. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/trump-macron-call-for-new-nuclear-deal-with-iran

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | France, Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

2018 Goldman Environmental Prize goes to South African anti nuclear activists

Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize, South Africa

South African activists awarded Goldman Environmental Prize for fight against nuclear power deal http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-24/two-south-african-women-stopped-international-nuclear-deal/9691528, The World Today By Sally Sara

April 25, 2018 Posted by | legal, opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

Electricite de France (EDF) now recognising the reality that new nuclear power is not economically viable

FT 23rd April 2018 , Nick Butler: In the rapidly changing global energy environment nothing is
sacred, no business model is beyond challenge and no company is safe. The
latest business being forced to rethink and restructure is the French state
group Electricité de France.

EDF has become a symbol of technical weakness
and French decline. But, as with so much else in France since the arrival
of an ambitious president who feels no need to defend decisions of the
past, change is becoming possible.

For all its problems the company could be reborn as a successful player in the new energy economy. But where would
that leave nuclear power? The continuing transformation of the global
energy market is not just about climate change and the move to a lower
carbon economy. It is also about the advance of new technology, the
changing geography of the energy market in favour of Asia and, above all,
the move from a time of scarcity and energy insecurity to an age of plenty.

Nuclear costs remain too high, private investors sensibly run away from the
construction risks involved and, crucially, there are alternatives. Wind
and solar costs have fallen dramatically. In many markets they are now half
the cost per megawatt hour of large-scale new nuclear.

The prospect of commercially viable techniques of grid-level storage opens the way for an
even bigger shift. If the challenges of intermittency can be overcome and
the need for subsidies removed or much reduced, wind and solar can become
the natural economic choice for energy supply.

At last, EDF appears to be recognising reality. There is much discussion of the company being divided
in two, with the legacy nuclear assets held by the French government and
the rest of the business, including a major new division called EDF
Energies Nouvelle, being allowed to operate on proper commercial terms in
the open market, under new management.

The company is also pulling back from further investment in new nuclear. UK chief executive Simone Rossi has
for the first time talked about the possibility of the company dropping its
interest in the next prospective nuclear venture at Sizewell in Suffolk. To
go ahead, he said, would require a new financial deal.

In the absence of enthusiastic private investors that can only mean funding from the French
or British governments – and Mr Rossi should not hold his breath for that
given the state of public finances in both countries. If EDF steps out of
the new nuclear business, it will be the end of European involvement in the
sector. With nuclear power in the US also in real trouble that leaves
Japan, Korea and China as the main players. Such is the tough logic of
globalisation.
https://www.ft.com/content/39f30854-4001-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b

April 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Satellite photos indicate unusual activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Unusual Activity Observed , BY: 38 NORTH, APRIL 24, 2018  , analysis by Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu  (EXCELLENT SATELLITE PHOTOS) 

On April 21, 2018 the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as saying, “under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission.” Commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from April 20, the day before the site’s closure was announced, shows some unusual activity. Most notably, approximately one dozen mining carts—at least eight connected in a long train—could be observed in an unusual arrangement on the spoil pile in the area closest to the West Portal. It is too early to conclude whether this display is related to Kim Jong Un’s announcement………

Conclusion

The appearance of a significant number of mining carts parked out on the West Portal’s spoil pile is unusual and its purpose remains unknown. Given Kim Jong Un’s announcement, it may be the first visible indication that North Korea intends to cease further tunneling at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site. Such an assessment is purely speculative at this point, requiring additional imagery and analysis over the coming days and weeks to determine if this is indeed the case, and whether or not the Punggye-ri nuclear site is actually being closed down. https://www.38north.org/2018/04/punggye042418/

April 25, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump administration considers adding a special new military branch – for weapons in space

Trump considers adding a military branch – for space, News Target , 04/21/2018 / By David Williams  “……..President Trump himself has declared that creating an entirely new branch of the military, one that’s dedicated solely for matters of defense and war in space – is now in the cards.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

High cancer rates in UK’s nuclear test veterans

Mirror 22nd April 2018 , Survivor of Britain’s nuclear tests lost all his teeth, had thyroid tumour
and wife suffered two stillbirths – and he was one of ‘lucky’ ones
EXCLUSIVE: Sixty years ago on Christmas Island, these army veterans had to
put their hands over their eyes as a nuke 100 times more powerful than
Hiroshima was set off – and more than half their unit died of cancer.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/survivor-britains-nuclear-tests-lost-12409628

April 25, 2018 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster – human and animal illnesses and deaths

GHOST TOWN , What was the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, did radiation cause animal mutations and is it safe to go there now? Thirty-two years ago, one of four reactors at Chernobyl exploded in the worst nuclear disaster in human history leaving behind a barren town frozen in time, The Sun UK, By Holly Christodoulou24th April 2018 

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Problem with valve causes shutdown of Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Michigan

Fermi 2 nuclear plant down after valve issue found https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/04/24/nuclear-plant-shutdown-fermi/34193387/, Monroe News 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japanese trading house Itochu ‘pulls out of nuclear plant project in Turkey’

Japanese Itochu ‘pulls out of nuclear plant project in Turkey’http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/japanese-itochu-pulls-out-of-nuclear-plant-project-in-turkey-130811, TOKYO , 24 Apr 18

Japanese trading house Itochu is pulling out of a nuclear power plant project in Turkey due to a surge in safety-related costs, casting uncertainty over the plant’s future as well as the Japanese government’s infrastructure export ambitions, as reported by Nikkei on April 24.

The project was agreed on by the Japanese and Turkish governments in 2013. A consortium including Itochu and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries had been conducting a feasibility study until March for the construction of a 4,500-megawatt plant in the city of Sinop in Turkey’s Black Sea region.

But costs related to safety measures surged after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, and the estimated costs for the project ballooned to more than five trillion yen ($46.2 billion) from two trillion yen in 2013, according to the report.

Itochu, which was jointly conducting the feasibility study with its consortium partners, is expected to avoid involvement in the project. Mitsubishi Heavy and other investors in the consortium have already extended the feasibility study until this summer.

Initially, 30 percent of the project’s cost was planned to be covered by the consortium and 70 percent by loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and other lenders.

The consortium was expected to be 51 percent owned by Mitsubishi Heavy, Itochu and French electric utility Engie, and 49 percent by others entities, including the Turkish Electricity Generation Corporation.

The departure of deep-pocketed Itochu will make the project more risky for Mitsubishi Heavy, which is requesting the Turkish government to change the ownership structure of the consortium.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, Turkey | Leave a comment