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The danger of San Onofre’s nuclear wastes – buried over a major fault line — and in a tsunami zone.

Ticking time bomb giant stockpile of nuclear waste endangers USA

A Fukushima waiting to happen? Huge stockpile of nuclear waste on California fault line threatens US https://www.rt.com/usa/444089-california-nuclear-san-onofre/  16 Nov, 2018 Millions of pounds of toxic waste are being buried under the site of a privately owned former nuclear power plant in California. The only problem? Experts warn that it sits on a major fault line — and in a tsunami zone.

The San Onofre nuclear plant, located just 108 feet from a popular beach, was shut down in 2015 after a leak was discovered. Now, the Southern California Edison energy company is burying the nuclear waste at the failed site — a move which has been approved by federal regulator

Charles Langley, the executive director of Public Watchdogs, told RT that the situation at San Onofre is of “grave concern” because spent nuclear fuel and water “don’t mix.”

Langley claimed that research carried out by experts which highlighted the extreme risks of storing the waste at the facility was “suppressed” by the very government agency responsible for protecting public health and safety.

“There are actually fault lines that run underneath the facility. We’ve documented this in geological reports that were suppressed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It’s in a Tsunami zone and it’s also extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks.”

So far, 29 of 73 canisters of waste are below the surface of the ground. Langley warns, however, that the canisters are unequipped to store the toxic nuclear waste. The warranty for the containment system is only for 10 years “and the canisters themselves are only guaranteed to last 25 years,” he said.

Nina Babiarz, a board member at Public Watchdogs, told RT that “there should have been a requirement for an underground monitoring system before one can even went in the ground.”

Babiarz believes the San Onofre plant is a ticking time bomb.

“It’s still very prevalent to me that this not only could happen, but it has happened at Three Mile Island, of course it has happened at Chernobyl, it’s happened at Fukushima — and lest we forget, it could happen at San Onofre,” she said.

Edison refused to answer any of RT’s questions. On its website, however, the company says they are “being proactive in seeking out options for the relocation of the fuel, including an off-site facility.”

But San Onofre is not the only nuclear site causing concern to scientists and environmentalists in California.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory —  a highly classified former nuclear testing site, which was the location of the worst nuclear meltdown in nuclear history —  was scorched in the California wildfires. During the 1959 disaster, 459 times more radiation was leaked there than during the infamous 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.

Physicians for Social Responsibility say that the toxic materials in the soil and vegetation could become airborne in smoke and ash. More than half a million people live within 10 miles of the area.

Investigative journalist Paul DeRienzo told RT that given the site’s classified status, it’s no surprise that Americans don’t know much about the place.

“It was a tremendous accident [in 1959] that gave off more radiation than Three Mile Island did — and other than that, very little is known. It’s a highly classified site and whatever we learn about it, we learn in dribs and drabs over a long period of time,” DeRienzo said.

Asked whether government assurances that the site is safe could be believed, DeRienzo warned against trusting official guarantees.

“You can’t, because it’s classified, because a lot of the things that happened at Santa Susana were classified and therefore there are things that they’re just never going to tell you and only accidentally does it come out,” he said.

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November 17, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Attorneys Implore Judge to Keep Sailors’ Fukushima Case in U.S.

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November 14, 2018
SAN DIEGO (CN) – Former Senator John Edwards and his co-counsel implored a federal judge Wednesday not to dismiss claims from U.S. service members who say they were exposed to radiation while aboard U.S. ships sent to render aid after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan.
“We have 500 sailors who are badly hurt and some of them are dead. We have not been able to ask them a single question under oath … at the end of the day these folks just want their day in court,” Edwards told U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino.
But Sammartino said at the beginning of the nearly three-hour court hearing she was inclined to dimiss the claims against Tokyo Electric Power Co. – or TEPCO – and General Electric for lack of personal jurisdiction.
U.S. sailors filed a class action in the Southern District of California in 2012 claiming radiation they were exposed to following the meltdown of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan while aboard U.S. vessels on a humanitarian mission has caused cancer, brain tumors, birth defects in their children and other rare health problems. Some have even died, according to their attorneys.
If U.S. courts dismiss the two related cases – Cooper et al. v. TEPCO et al. and Bartel et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc. et al. – the sailors could bring their claims in Japan under its Compensation for Nuclear Damage Act.
Sammartino did clarify throughout the hearing that she would not waste her or the attorneys’ time by holding a court hearing if she wasn’t going to consider their arguments.
Class attorney Charles Bonner of Sausalito, California implored the judge not to dismiss the litigation, noting that attorneys have not been able to conduct discovery in the case, and that the defendants’ motions to dismiss were “based on legal arguments,” not facts.
Bonner suggested class counsel needed to obtain contracts between GE, which designed and helped to maintain the nuclear reactors for 40 years in Fukushima, and TEPCO, which operated the plant. Bonner said the contracts likely contain a choice-of-law provision that would indicate whether the parties would agree to litigate in the U.S. or Japan.
“Our sailors have already been here five years. They need some resolution in this court,” Bonner said.
TEPCO attorney Gregory Stone of Munger Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles said the case has seen new developments in the few years since Sammartino found it should not be dismissed – a decision affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
Those new developments include three times as many cases filed in Japan over the nuclear meltdown, which Stone said “demonstrates the Japanese interest in resolving these claims.”
TEPCO has paid 8.163 trillion yen, or $76 billion – one percent of Japan’s total GDP – to resolve claims stemming from the disaster, “a huge amount of money for a government to designate to one incident,” Stone said.
General Electric attorney Michael Schissel of Arnold & Porter in New York told Sammartino Japan’s interest would be most impaired if its laws were not applied to the litigation and that a contract between GE and TEPCO over choice of law “would be completely irrelevant to the government’s interest in having its laws apply.”
If Japanese law is applied to the case, GE would be dismissed.
Edwards again reiterated the class’ desire to begin discovery, saying what they’ve pleaded so far “is what we have read in the newspaper and saw in the news.”
Edwards suggested if the Southern District of California dismissed the cases, the sailors wouldn’t “go to Japan and hire Japanese lawyers.”
Bonner buoyed Edwards’ point, noting a declaration from Japanese lawyers who said the class would not get a fair trial in Japan, where no jury would decide the case’s merits.
“If they want to be fair, let’s have a settlement conference before your honor – the Japanese lawyers representing TEPCO are here,” Bonner said, gesturing to the lawyers in the room.
Stone recognized the recent Veteran’s Day holiday by thanking the handful of service member-plaintiffs present before noting while the “injuries they suffered are unfortunate and regrettable … we don’t think they can prove it.”
Stone also pointed out that the Department of Defense, United Nations and World Health Organization had looked into the health claims on radiation exposure and found the radiation was too low to cause the claimed injuries.
Sammartino took the matter under submission and indicated that she will issue a written ruling.
https://www.courthousenews.com/attorneys-implore-judge-to-keep-sailors-fukushima-case-in-u-s/?fbclid=IwAR3Bhh7MyS0PYcQaa1fqNAGd4agqYnQ7hGF_musSukQCk-s12lx3f_m38vU

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

IAEA urges Japan to reach decision soon on handling of radioactive water at crippled Fukushima nuke plant

n-iaea-a-20181115-870x521The growing number of tanks storing radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant can be seen in February.

 

 

November 14, 2018
The growing number of tanks storing radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant can be seen in February.
A team of nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency urged Japan this week to reach a decision quickly on what to do with treated water that contains low toxicity radioactive tritium, which is accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
“We advised the Japanese government that … (a) decision should be taken very rapidly for the disposition path for water which is stored in these tanks,” said Christophe Xerri, leader of the 13-member team, on Tuesday following a nine-day review of progress on scrapping the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
The facility was damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
“There is space limitation, so some solution has to be decided and implemented,” Xerri said, adding that the volume of treated water containing tritium in tanks is expected to reach the planned capacity within the “coming three to four years.”
As of last Thursday around 970,000 tons of tritium-containing water was stored on the premises of the plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.
The government has studied options for the tritium-containing water, including releasing it into the sea, as it is regarded as not harmful to humans.
The tainted water has been stored in tanks after being produced as a byproduct of cooling the plant’s reactors, which suffered core meltdowns following the 2011 disaster.
But local fishermen and residents have expressed concern about discharging the water, fearing the potential impact on food.
“Controlled discharge to the sea is something which is applied in many nuclear facilities, so it’s not something which is new,” Xerri said.
“Our review was not to advise the Japanese government on one solution or another one,” he added.
“It is up to the Japanese government to decide — in engaging with stakeholders, of course — on the option Japan wants to implement,” he said.
Toyoshi Fuketa, who heads the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has described discharging the water into the sea as the “only” solution.
Tepco has been running the Advanced Liquid Processing System, said to be capable of removing almost all radioactive materials from the toxic water except tritium.
It was the fourth such review conducted by a team of experts from the Vienna-based agency, following two in 2013 and one in 2015.
The IAEA will issue its final report by the end of January 2019.
Xerri said his team was impressed by the progress that has been made at the plant since the previous review, including the full operation of a frozen soil wall around the reactors that has reduced the volume of groundwater that enters the reactor buildings.
But he acknowledged many challenges in the decommissioning process, which is set to take “30 to 40 years or even more,” including the removal of melted fuel from the reactors — seen as the hardest part.
When asked about the possibility of discarding the fuel — the location and volume of which remaining within the reactors is yet to be grasped due to high levels of radiation — Xerri said, “We don’t have enough information to tell you yes or no.”
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/14/national/iaea-urges-japan-make-decision-treated-radioactive-water-crippled-fukushima-nuke-plant/?fbclid=IwAR10h4F1walNk1hOujMjrwNbnuqm7xhkl4Ri91mmLZ6pk-igVMa-TYXvOdE#.W-2FBPZFzIW

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco to temporarily stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor

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November 9, 2018

Tepco to temporarily stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to temporarily stop injecting water into one of its damaged reactors to test the cooling of fuel debris.
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced it will conduct the 7-hour test at the No.2 reactor as early as March next year.
The unit is one of 3 in the 6-reactor facility that suffered a meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The damaged reactors contain a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and structural parts.
TEPCO officials say water injections keep temperatures stable in the 3 reactors at around 30 degrees Celsius.
The planned experiment is aimed at checking how the debris is being cooled. It will be the first time to halt water injections into the reactor since they were stabilized after the accident.
TEPCO’s assessment says the reactor temperature would rise by around 5 degrees per hour if injections were halted by accident. But it says the rise will be limited to about 0.2 degrees per hour when natural heat radiation is taken into account.
TEPCO officials say they will begin cutting back on water injections by around half to 1.5 tons per hour for about a week as early as in January, before halting them completely in March after checking the results.
TEPCO estimates the 7-hour stoppage may raise the reactor temperature by about 1.4 degrees but says water injections will resume if the temperature rises more than 15 degrees.
Company officials say they want to assess changes in the temperature so they can use the data in future emergency cases, including earthquakes and tsunamis.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181109_10/

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese business group decries Taiwan’s continued ban on Japanese food imports in wake of 3/11

 

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November 10, 2018
TAIPEI – The Japanese business community in Taipei on Friday lamented over Taiwan’s continued ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In its annual white paper, the Taipei branch of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the Japanese business community in Taipei is disappointed that the issue has been manipulated into a “political problem.”
“We are deeply disappointed and think it’s extremely dangerous that the (Taiwan) government continues the ban without any support of scientific evidence,” it said.
The local Japanese chamber, with 471 member companies, urged the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen to make a “cool-headed judgment based on conscience to avoid undermining sound Japan-Taiwan relations.”
It also called on the Taiwan government to re-examine the ban based on scientific evidence. As of August, the Taiwan government had conducted inspections on more than 125,000 units of food products imported from Japan since March 15, 2011, with none exceeding the legal limits for radiation, it pointed out.
Other countries and regions such as the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore have relaxed restrictions on food imports from Fukushima Prefecture and other affected areas, it added.
The World Trade Organization has ruled that Taiwan’s continued import ban on seafood from Fukushima and other parts of Japan as “arbitrarily and unjustifiably” discriminatory measures. China and Japan are also in talks about easing the ban, it said.
The Tsai government proposed easing the ban after coming to power in May 2016, only to back away when the main opposition Kuomintang questioned the new government’s ability to ensure the safety of the imported products.
Kuomintang has initiated a referendum seeking to maintain the ban. The initiative, along with nine others on other issues, will be put to a vote in conjunction with the nationwide local elections on Nov. 24.
National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling, who accepted the chamber’s policy proposal Friday, said the Taiwan government must complete all necessary safety assessments and communications with the public before it considers adjusting the policy.
“Then it’ll be just waiting for the right time to lift the ban,” she said.
Despite the absence of diplomatic ties, which were severed in 1972, the unofficial relationship between Taiwan and Japan has remained robust.
Japan is Taiwan’s third-largest trading partner after China, including Hong Kong, while Taiwan is Japan’s fourth-largest trading partner.
Bilateral trade totaled $62.7 billion last year, up about 4 percent from the previous year. Japanese investment in Taiwan last year also increased more than 84 percent from the previous year to $649 million.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/10/national/japanese-business-group-decries-taiwans-continued-ban-japanese-food-imports-wake-3-11/#.W-b_kfZFzIU

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Abe, IOC chief to visit Fukushima venue for 2020 Olympics

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November 5, 2018
TOKYO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach plan to visit the venue in Fukushima for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics later this month, a government source said Sunday.
With a “reconstruction Olympics” being one of the fundamental themes of the Summer Games, the government hopes the visit planned for Nov 24 will increase momentum toward the recovery of the country’s northeastern region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Bach will visit Japan to attend a two-day general assembly meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees starting Nov 28, followed by an IOC Executive Board session, both to be held in Tokyo.
The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26, 2020, with the flame scheduled to be lit in the ancient Greek city of Olympia on March 12 the same year, a day after the ninth anniversary of the 2011 disaster.
The city of Fukushima will host six softball games including a match played by the Japan team on July 22 as the first event of the Olympic Games.
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/abe-ioc-chief-to-visit-fukushima-venue-for-2020-olympics

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive water threatens Fukushima fishery’s fragile gains

 

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November 4, 2018
Plant operator plans to dump contaminated water into the ocean
TOKYO — Since a catastrophic nuclear accident seven years ago, Fukushima fishermen have made painstaking efforts to rebuild their livelihood, assiduously testing the radioactivity levels of their catches to ensure safety. Now, rapidly accumulating wastewater from the crippled power plant is again threatening this hard-won business recovery.
Faced with the prospect that there will be no more space to store tanks containing radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and the Japanese government are considering diluting the water and dumping it into the ocean.
Even though Fukushima’s fishery has been recovering, the haul throughout the entire prefecture amounted to about 3,300 tons last year, just 10% of the average prior to the 2011 disaster. And even reaching there has not been easy.
Fish markets in the prefecture now house testing rooms filled with equipment. Staff members mince seafood caught every morning to screen for radioactivity. Such painstaking efforts gradually enabled fishermen to return to the sea, with all fishing and farming operations resuming in February this year.
But the trend could reverse if the government goes through with plans to release nuclear wastewater into the sea.
Tepco has been cooling down the molten fuel cores by pumping water into the ruined reactors. The tainted water is later taken out and treated, but the system in place does not filter out tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope.
The tritium-laced water is currently stored in tanks within the premises of Fukushima Daiichi, but space is due to run out within five years.
Tritium occurs naturally and is present in rainwater in the atmosphere. The chemical is not known to accumulate within living things, and it is assumed that it can be safely released in the ocean if properly diluted. Nuclear plants in France and elsewhere normally empty treated tritium wastewater into the sea.
Resolving the wastewater issue is a key step in achieving a sustainable fishing revival in Fukushima, according to Shuji Okuda, an official in charge of decommissioning and wastewater management at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
“I understand that we should cooperate for revival,” one Fukushima fisher said.
“But I’m afraid of the damage to our reputation,” this fisher said. “I don’t want them to dump anything into the ocean.”
The waters off the coast of Fukushima teem with about 200 species of fish and shellfish, such as flounder, saury and surf clam.
Despite such abundant marine resources, demand for Fukushima seafood has yet to fully recover. At Tokyo’s Toyosu market, wholesale prices for fish caught in the prefecture sell for about 30% cheaper than product from neighboring areas, according to a major wholesaler. Some distributors do not stock up on the prefecture’s seafood for fear of driving away customers.
Before the nuclear accident, fishing boats from other prefectures would visit Fukushima harbors. Now, “they have all but vanished,” said a representative at the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations.
Japan’s trading partners are slowly normalizing restrictions on Fukushima exports — Russia lifted its remaining ban in March. But despite the scientific verification of safety, many localities still block Fukushima marine products.
In turn, domestic lobbying groups are resisting plans to discharge nuclear wastewater into the ocean — at least not until there is consensus at home and abroad that the practice is safe. “As a national representative of fishers, we oppose it,” said JF Zengyoren, the nationwide federation of fishing cooperatives.
“The reputational risk is still at hand,” said Tetsuji Suzuki, managing director at the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations.
“Revival should come after disaster recovery,” Suzuki said.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Radioactive-water-threatens-Fukushima-fishery-s-fragile-gains

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | 1 Comment

Mike Pence: North Korea sanctions to remain until denuclearization 

Nov. 13 (UPI)  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence vowed to work toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea and fully enforce sanctions during a joint press conference with Japan’s prime minister on Tuesday.

Pence, who is expected to attend the APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea on Saturday instead of President Donald Trump, said the United States stands firmly against countries that threatened freedom and openness in the region, including North Korea, NHK reported……

Pence told reporters economic sanctions against North Korea will be fully enforced until complete denuclearization, and that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before embargoes are lifted. ….https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/11/13/Mike-Pence-North-Korea-sanctions-to-remain-until-denuclearization/8321542114175/

November 17, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

In a Japan court, with no jury, U.S. sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation, would not get a fair trial

U.S. sailors filed a class action in the Southern District of California in 2012 claiming radiation they were exposed to following the meltdown of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan while aboard U.S. vessels on a humanitarian mission has caused cancer, brain tumors, birth defects in their children and other rare health problems. Some have even died, according to their attorneys.

If U.S. courts dismiss the two related cases – Cooper et al. v. TEPCO et al. and Bartel et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc. et al. – the sailors could bring their claims in Japan under its Compensation for Nuclear Damage Act.

Sammartino did clarify throughout the hearing that she would not waste her or the attorneys’ time by holding a court hearing if she wasn’t going to consider their arguments.

Class attorney Charles Bonner of Sausalito, California implored the judge not to dismiss the litigation, noting that attorneys have not been able to conduct discovery in the case, and that the defendants’ motions to dismiss were “based on legal arguments,” not facts.

Bonner suggested class counsel needed to obtain contracts between GE, which designed and helped to maintain the nuclear reactors for 40 years in Fukushima, and TEPCO, which operated the plant. Bonner said the contracts likely contain a choice-of-law provision that would indicate whether the parties would agree to litigate in the U.S. or Japan.

“Our sailors have already been here five years. They need some resolution in this court,” Bonner said……..

Edwards suggested if the Southern District of California dismissed the cases, the sailors wouldn’t “go to Japan and hire Japanese lawyers.”

Bonner buoyed Edwards’ point, noting a declaration from Japanese lawyers who said the class would not get a fair trial in Japan, where no jury would decide the case’s merits……..

Sammartino took the matter under submission and indicated that she will issue a written ruling.https://www.courthousenews.com/attorneys-implore-judge-to-keep-sailors-fukushima-case-in-u-s/

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

California fire near nuclear accident site

 https://thebulletin.org/2018/11/california-fire-near-nuclear-accident-site/ By John Mecklin, November 14, 2018 Call it another sad chapter in the long and depressing book of governmental failures to properly clean up after nuclear research and production efforts. Last week, the Woolsey Fire—one of three major, climate change-charged conflagrations now afflicting California—apparently started on the grounds of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, located just south of Simi Valley and west of Los Angeles. Closed in 1996, the lab site was home to rocket engine and nuclear reactor research; one of the nuclear efforts—the Sodium Reactor Experiment—led to the partial melt-down of a reactor in 1959 and the release of radioactive material. But as the Los Angeles Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility noted, the Santa Susana site is contaminated in a variety of ways: “Decades of nuclear and rocket-engine testing activity, including nuclear reactor accidents and other toxic spills and releases, have resulted in widespread contamination throughout [lab’s] 2,850-acre facility.”

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) quickly announced that it didn’t believe the fire had released significant amounts of toxins. “Our staff were able to access the site Saturday morning and assess damage caused by the fire,” a Tuesday press release said. “We confirmed that the [lab] facilities that previously handled radioactive and hazardous materials were not affected by the fire. Over the weekend our multi-agency team took measurements of radiation and hazardous compounds, both on the site and in the surrounding community. The results from this initial round of testing showed no radiation levels above background levels, and no elevated levels of hazardous compounds other than those normally present after a wildfire.”

Safecast, an international, volunteer-centered organization formed in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, reported Wednesday that it “had no survey data from the immediate [lab] area prior to the fire, but we had a fair amount of data from nearby communities which showed it to be at normal background levels. Our real-time radiation and particulate sensors in the Southern California region, the closet of which is 30km (about 18 miles) away from [the site], have shown no measurable increases in radiation. Safecast volunteers are on the way to the site, however, so hopefully we will have new data to share soon. Though CalFire indicates that the fire danger in the [lab] area has passed, many roads are still closed, making access difficult.”

Local activists were not shy about voicing in their disbelief in governmental pronouncements about contamination and the fire. “We can’t trust anything that DTSC says,” West Hills resident Melissa Bumstead said. “DTSC repeatedly minimizes risk from [the lab] and has broken every promise it ever made about the [lab] cleanup. The public has no confidence in this troubled agency.”

Should it? The Santa Susana Field Laboratory closed 22 years ago, and cleanup efforts remain in the planning stages.

“The Woolsey Fire likely released and spread radiological and chemical contamination that was in [the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s] soil and vegetation via smoke and ash,” said Bob Dodge, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. “All wildfire smoke can be hazardous to health, but if [the lab] had been cleaned up long ago as DTSC promised, we’d at least not have to worry about exposure to dangerous radionuclides and chemicals as well.”

November 17, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear material stored in UK, but owned by EU – poses a Brexit problem

What’s In the 585-Page Brexit Divorce Deal Document?, By November 15, 2018,

“………Nuclear Material

What to do about the fissile material owned centrally by the EU but stored in the U.K. posed a tricky problem for negotiators. The draft agreement will see the U.K. take over ownership after the transition period.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-14/the-brexit-divorce-deal-champagne-banks-data-and-t

November 17, 2018 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Australian population – the guinea pigs for British nuclear scientists in the 1950s

British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga, 

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Radioactive particles may have been spread by fire in area of Santa Susana nuclear lab

SoCal Fire May Have Ejected “Incredibly Dangerous” Radioactive Particles Into The Atmosphere, Zero Hedge, by Tyler Durden, Wed, 11/14/2018 The 95,000 acre Woolsey fire which has coated Southern California with an apocalyptic orange glow may have released a toxic stew of radioactive particles and toxic chemicals into the air, after scorching the land on closed-down government weapons testing facility in Simi Hills known to be heavily contaminated from decades of experiments.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Two Hanford whistleblowers take legal action

2 Hanford whistleblowers sue. They say they lost their jobs for raising safety concerns, Tri City Herald, November 15, 2018 RICHLAND, WA 

The company building the Hanford vitrification plant is defending itself in federal court against two former employers who said they lost their jobs after raising concerns about the plant’s safety.

Bechtel National holds the Department of Energy contract to build and start up the $17 billion plant to turn about 56 million gallons of radioactive waste into a stable glass form for disposal.

The waste is left from the past production of plutonium at the nuclear reservation for the nation’s nuclear weapons program………Annette Cary; 509-582-1533; @HanfordNews  https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article221733825.html

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

USA. Watchdog and Advocacy Coalition Report Warns of Systemic Attacks on Science 

Government Accountability Project USA      https://www.whistleblower.org/blog/034224-urgent-action-requested-sign-petition-below   Watchdog and Advocacy Coalition Report Warns of Systemic Attacks on Science  The Report Exposes Chronic Interference With Federal Science and Public Health and Safety Measures Under the Trump Administration and Makes Critical Recommendations to Congress 

A report released today by a coalition of prominent watchdog and advocacy groups – including Government Accountability Project – chronicles a litany of recent attacks on federal science and scientists by Trump administration officials intent on undermining the critical regulatory role government plays in safeguarding public health and safety. The report, “Protecting Science at Federal Agencies: How Congress Can Help,” arose out of mounting concerns that some of our elected officials are chronically crippling key science programs, and ignoring, suppressing, censoring, and distorting scientific information in order to weaken regulatory functions that serve to protect human health and the environment but disadvantage certain industry interests. Government Accountability Project was the lead contributor to the chapter on whistleblowing and scientific integrity, as well as a contributor to the chapter on reduced communications. The report concludes that widespread, politically-motivated interference in sound science causes unsound policy decisions, and Congress must act swiftly and decisively to reverse this dangerous trend to get the nation back on course.

The new report walks through countless troubling examples of deliberate efforts by Trump administration agency heads and political appointees to dismantle federal science programs, discredit scientific data, disconnect scientific fact from decision-making, and destroy public trust in government. Many current high-level political appointees lack adequate experience and credentials for the positions they are assigned to manage and often bring with them serious conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, Congress has been lax, even negligent, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities. This must change.

The watchdog and public interest groups who authored this report share a strong concern that we are witnessing an epidemic of intentional ignorance and scientific blind spots at the highest levels of government, at a time when all Americans face escalating threats to our health and wellbeing – such as a broken health care system and runaway climate change. Collectively we put forth a set of thoughtful recommendations for the incoming 116th Congress to consider that include specific legislative proposals as well as a call for greatly improved oversight to hold government officials accountable to the public they serve.

The U.S. government invests well over $100 billion a year on scientific research and technology development, and federal agencies have traditionally relied heavily on scientific findings to support complex regulatory and policy decisions. Now, science itself is under attack: this administration is systematically dismantling a host of science advisory committees and hampering them from providing scientific information and guidance to federal regulatory program managers. Blatant disregard of fact-based evidence – even wholesale rejection of facts themselves – fostered by the Trump White House place all of us at greater risk by exposing us to toxic chemicals, polluting our air and water, eroding and blocking access to adequate health care, compromising national security, and raising the risk of exposure to dangerous climate change impacts.

Climate Science & Policy Watch, a flagship program of Government Accountability Project, is especially troubled by the enormous disparity between the alarm bells rung in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and the tepid U.S. response. As President Trump promotes a coal industry come-back and calls for fewer regulatory checks on rampant oil and gas extraction – thereby ramping up carbon emissions when we most need to be making significant cuts – we face the increasingly imminent threat of runaway climate change and its dangerous impacts. Global climate disruption is happening now, as evidenced by western-wildfires-turned-raging-infernos sweeping across California incinerating entire towns and communities; more hazardous hurricanes and unprecedented rainfall and flooding; storm surges and sea level rise inundating coastal areas. Our Environment, Energy, and Climate Change team members are increasingly troubled by the hundreds of regulatory rollbacks of environmental protection provisions across the federal government and the corruption in key agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Interior (DOI), and the National Park Service (NPS). The EPA, FEMA, and NPS have all removed references to climate change on their respective websites. One EPA official has even taken it upon himself to weed out grant proposals with the words “climate change” from those eligible for funding. ………..

 

Contributors to and supporters of the report include:

  • Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Democracy Forward
  • Environmental Integrity Project
  • Environmental Protection Network
  • Government Accountability Project
  • Greenpeace
  • Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health
  • National Center for Health Research
  • National Federation of Federal Employees
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Women’s Health Network
  • Power to Decide
  • Project on Government Oversight
  • Union of Concerned Scientists       https://www.whistleblower.org/blog/092315-watchdog-and-advocacy-coalition-report-warns-systemic-attacks-science

 

November 17, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment