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Trump’s ?ultimatum piece of paper to Kim Jong Un – insulting and provocative

US asked North Korea to hand over all nuclear weapons: Report.  Donald Trump reportedly gave Kim Jong Un a document in Hanoi calling for the transfer of nuclear materials to the US. Aljazeera, 30 Mar 2019 On the day their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, US President Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to a document seen by Reuters news agency.

Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the US position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on February 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearisation directly to Kim, the source said.

On the day their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, US President Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to a document seen by Reuters news agency.

Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the US position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on February 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearisation directly to Kim, the source said.

A joint lunch for the two leaders was cancelled the same day. While neither side has presented a complete account of why the summit collapsed, the document may help explain it.

The document’s existence was first mentioned by NSA John Bolton in television interviews he gave after the two-day summit. Bolton did not disclose in those interviews the pivotal US expectation contained in the document that North Korea should transfer its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the US.

The document appeared to represent Bolton’s long-held and hardline “Libya model” of denuclearisation that North Korea has rejected repeatedly. It probably would have been seen by Kim as insulting and provocative, analysts said.

Trump had previously distanced himself in public comments from Bolton’s approach and said a “Libya model” would be employed only if a deal could not be reached.

The idea of North Korea handing over its weapons was first proposed by Bolton in 2004. He revived the proposal last year when Trump named him as his national security adviser.

The document was meant to provide the North Koreans with a clear and concise definition of what the US meant by “final, fully verifiable, denuclearisation”, the source familiar with discussions said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the State Department declined to comment on what would be a classified document.

After the summit, a North Korean official accused Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “gangster-like” demands, saying Pyongyang was considering suspending talks with the US and may rethink its self-imposed ban on missile and nuclear tests.

The English version of the document, seen by Reuters, called for “fully dismantling North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure, chemical and biological warfare program and related dual-use capabilities; and ballistic missiles, launchers, and associated facilities”.

Aside from the call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel, the document had four other key points.

It called on North Korea to provide a comprehensive declaration of its nuclear programme and full access to the US and international inspectors; to halt all related activities and construction of any new facilities; to eliminate all nuclear infrastructure; and to transition all nuclear programme scientists and technicians to commercial activities.

The summit in Vietnam’s capital was cut short after Trump and Kim failed to reach a deal on the extent of economic sanctions relief for North Korea in exchange for its steps to give up its nuclear programme. ……… https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/asked-north-korea-hand-nuclear-weapons-report-190330093325886.html

April 1, 2019 Posted by | politics international, USA | 1 Comment

15 USA senators re-introduce bill to promote new nuclear reactors

Senate re-introduces bill to help advanced nuclear technology, Legislation was praise by Bill Gates, who has funded an advanced nuclear company. Ars Technica, MEGAN GEUSS – 4/1/2019, 

Last week, a bipartisan group of 15 US senators re-introduced a bill to instate the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), which would offer incentives and set federal goals for advanced nuclear energy. A smaller group of senators originally introduced the bill in September of last year, but the Congressional session ended before the Senate voted on it.

Specifically, the bill authorizes the federal government to enter into 40-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with nuclear power companies, as opposed to the 10-year agreements that were previously authorized. Securing a 40-year PPA would essentially guarantee to an advanced nuclear startup that it could sell its power for 40 years, which reduces the uncertainty that might come with building a complex and complicated power source.

……. In addition to supporting a 40-year PPA to improve the economics of advanced nuclear reactor research from the private market, the bill directs the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy to develop a 10-year strategic plan to support advanced nuclear reactor research. The DOE must also “construct a fast neutron-capable research facility” if the bill passes, which Senate materials say “is necessary to test important reactor components, demonstrate their safe and reliable operation, and ultimately license advanced reactor concepts.”

The bill also directs the federal government to make available some “high-assay low-enriched uranium” for research and testing in advanced reactors. Traditional light-water reactors use low-enriched uranium in which the active U-235 isotope constitutes 3 to 5 percent of the nuclear fuel, according to the World Nuclear Association. High-assay low-enriched uranium, on the other hand, pushes enrichment levels to about 7 percent of the fuel and, in some cases, can go as high as 20 percent.

Finally, the bill directs the DOE to create “a university nuclear leadership program” to train the next generation of nuclear engineers.

On Thursday, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates tweeted his support for the bill. Gates is currently the chairman for an advanced nuclear reactor company called Terrapower, which is developing a traveling wave reactor that uses depleted uranium as fuel (depleted uranium is a by-product of uranium enrichment). Terrapower suffered a political setback earlier this year, as US rules against sharing nuclear technology with China forced the company to abandon its plans for conducting preliminary trials of its technology in that country.

Gates praised this new bill, writing “I can’t overstate how important this is.”

…….. NuScale Power, a company that has made significant progress toward building a small modular reactor in Idaho, also praised the bill. In a statement to a market research company called The Morning Consult, chief strategy officer of NuScale Power Chris Colbert said that “the bill would ‘absolutely’ make it easier and more certain to reach deployment.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/senate-re-introduces-bill-to-help-advanced-nuclear-technology/

April 1, 2019 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

The very dangerous history of making plutonium weapons triggers – “pits” at Rocky Flats

Dangerous history of pit production  https://www.aikenstandard.com/opinion/guest-column-dangerous-history-of-pit-production/article_a22aa6b8-4ab2-11e9-83dc-7b695e05d8a7.html Dr. Rose O. Hayes

Recent comments on the proposed pit production at Savannah River Site warrant a cautionary comment. All is not wonderful news where pit production is concerned. It has a very dirty past. Awareness of that past is paramount to the protection of CSRA public health and safety.

The primary U.S. plant to smelt plutonium, purify it and shape it into “triggers” (pits) for nuclear bombs was Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Site. From 1952 to 1989, Rocky Flats manufactured more than 70,000 pits at a cost of nearly $4 million apiece. Each one contained enough breathable plutonium particles to kill every person on earth. Virtually all of the waste produced there remains on-site. As we have learned through the SRS waste storage struggles, there is no place for it to go and no government plan to develop a repository. What’s made at a nuclear processing plant, stays at the nuclear processing plant.

Much went wrong at Rocky Flats due to mismanagement, criminal government indifference and public complacency. It took more than 30 years for the public to become so concerned with the pollution hazards issuing from the plant before the Department of Energy (DOE) was forced to hold a public meeting in 1988 to address the problems. One example: The plant produced one boxcar a week packed with 140 drums of radioactive waste. They were parked on site. Moisture penetration of a drum could have triggered an explosion. Ground water, soil and air pollution were also major hazards. A subsequent DOE study indicated that Rocky Flats was the most dangerous site in the country.

On June 6, 1989 more than 70 FBI and EPA agents raided the plant to begin an official investigation of the contractor and DOE for environmental crimes. The plant manager acknowledged that problems were solved “when DOE wanted to pay for them.” The final FBI/EPA allegations included concealment of environmental contamination, false certification of federal environmental reports, improper storage and disposal of hazardous and radioactive waste, and illegal discharge of pollutants into creeks flowing to drinking water supplies. Another independent study found there was enough lost plutonium in the plant exhaust ducts to create the possibility of an accidental nuclear reaction. According to a later DOE report, about 62 pounds of plutonium was lost in the plant air ducts; enough for seven nuclear bombs.

A grand jury was convened to hear the case on Aug. 1, 1989. The contractor argued in court that it could not fulfill its DOE contract without also violating environmental laws. In order to remediate the damage, on Sept. 28, 1989, EPA added Rocky Flats to its Superfund cleanup list. The grand jury worked until May 1991, then voted to indict the plant contractor, five employees and three individuals working for DOE.

The Department of Justice refused to sign the indictments despite more than 400 environmental violations that occurred during the decades of pit production at the plant. All charges were dropped. A settlement guaranteed the contractor and all indicted individuals immunity. Although the contractor pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the federal hazardous waste law and the Clean Water Act, the fine was only $18.5 million, less than the corporation had collected in bonuses for meeting production quotas that year. The contractor’s annual fee to run the site was estimated at $10 million, with an additional $8.7 million paid from DOE for management and safety excellence.

The contractor was also allowed to sue for reimbursement of $7.9 million from taxpayers for fees and costs related to its case. In addition, the contractor’s plea agreement indemnified it from further claims and all future prosecution, criminal or civil. The trial records are permanently sealed. Further, the contractor argued that everything it did at Rocky Flats was at the behest of DOE and maintained the right to receive future government contracts.

Grand jury members asked to write their own report but the judge refused to read it or release it to the public. Not surprisingly, the report was leaked to the press and printed in a Denver newspaper and Harper’s magazine. In January 1993, a Congressional committee finally issued a report revealing evidence of high-level intervention by Justice Department officials for the purpose of reducing the contractor’s fines.

DOE has estimated that it will take until 2065 to clean up Rocky Flats, at a cost to American taxpayers of more than $40 billion. One DOE official testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that some weapons plants, like Rocky Flats, may never be cleaned up because we lack the technology to do so at a reasonable cost. Another investigator, testifying before the U.S. Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee, stated he did not believe it possible to reverse the harm done at Rocky Flats.

Could this history repeat itself at SRS? Without a comprehensive cradle to grave plan with built-in irrevocable government funding and independent oversight, including citizen stakeholder input, SRS could become the next Rocky Flats. How likely is the government to attach such planning and funding to an SRS pit processing campaign? Past experience at SRS includes years of having to do best guess planning under continuing resolution funding and government failures to pass a budget, decades of “temporarily” storing deadly radioactive waste due to the government’s failure to meet off-site disposition commitments, budget reductions, program cancellations (most recently, the MOX project), and more.

Plutonium pit production waste is not just radioactive. It is nuclear waste on steroids. If produced here, it will likely remain in our backyard, along with all the decades old waste at SRS. There is no place for it to go. Looming large as examples of the dangers and difficulties SRS will face in having pit production waste moved off-site are the explosion and prolonged closure at the New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (the government’s only operating repository) and the abandonment of the Yucca Mountain project.

Is it the CSRA’s responsibility to take on this mission? Pit production, while bringing jobs to the Aiken/Augusts area, will add to the decades old SRS hazards waiting for DOE remediation. SRS is already part of the DOE nuclear complex cleanup program. That mission, 30 some years old, drags on under the burden of DOE mismanagement and variable federal funding. Estimates are it will take another 70 years to clean up the DOE nuclear complex and cost about $500 billion more. Celebration of plans to add U.S. pit production to SRS is a rush to judgement. Only the usual corporations, living large off gigantic federal awards, stand to benefit.

Dr. Rose O. Hayes is a medical anthropologist who spent her career in public health. She holds a B.S., M.S., M.A., and Ph.D. from SUNY and completed post-doctoral work in skeletal biology at The George Washington University. From 2009 to 2015, she served on the U.S. Department of Energy Site-Specific Advisory Board for the Savannah River plant, chairing its Nuclear Materials Committee. 

April 1, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, history, legal, Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Why Low dose radiation can be more dangerous- more cancers per person than at high doses

LeRoy Moore: Low-dose radiation can be more dangerous,  http://www.dailycamera.com/letters/ci_32543151/leroy-moore-low-dose-radiation-can-be-more 31 Mar 19  Though Maddie Nagle’s beautifully written column of March 8 criticizes me, more important is that she downplays the significance of low-dose exposure to the alpha radiation of plutonium at Rocky Flats. This could harm people unaware of the danger. Carl Morgan, the “Father of Health Physics,” studied the effects of radiation for those building Manhattan Project nuclear weapons. He knew that the alpha particles released by plutonium cannot be harmful unless inhaled or taken into the body through an open wound.

Toward the end of his life he spoke to Robert Del Tredici. He said “down at the low doses you actually get more cancers per person rem than you do at the high doses … because the high levels will often kill cells outright, whereas the low levels of exposure tend to injure cells rather than kill them and it is the surviving injured cells that are the cause for concern.” The effects of a small exposure “will be much more severe than had been anticipated.”(Del Tredici, “At Work in the Fields of the Bomb,” 1987, p. 133)

Nagle also makes misleading remarks about Tom K. Hei of Columbia University. Hei and colleagues demonstrated that a single plutonium alpha particle induces mutations in mammal cells. Cells receiving very low doses are more likely to be damaged than destroyed. Replication of these damaged cells constitutes genetic harm, and more such harm per unit dose occurs at very low doses than would occur with higher dose exposures. “These data provide direct evidence that a single alpha particle traversing a nucleus will have a high probability of resulting in a mutation and highlight the need for radiation protection at low doses.” (Hei et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 94, April 1997, pp. 3765-3770.)

April 1, 2019 Posted by | radiation, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Rick Perry Just Agreed To Sell Saudi Arabia Our Nuclear Tech

Rick Perry Just Agreed To Sell Saudi Arabia Our Nuclear Tech

Rick Perry Just Agreed To Sell Saudi Arabia Our Nuclear Tech,   Ring of Fire, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVqpge-onuI  For decades. The US government, the military industrial complex has been warning us of the dangers of what could happen if just one bad actor in the Middle East got their hands on nuclear weapons. It would be in times folks who would be Armageddon. We have got to go to war to stop these countries in the Middle East from getting their hands on nuclear technology. They’ve told us that we’ve done that. You know, weapons of mass destruction. We can’t let these idiots have those. They’re horrible people over there. And so what has this administration done this week? While nobody was paying attention, they approved the sale of us nuclear technology and secrets to Saudi Arabia, one of the countries that may actually be one of the worst actors over there in the Middle East. Effectively beginning this week, Rick Perry with the Department of Energy has a proved a deal that will allow six currently unnamed US firms to start selling technology secrets, documents, everything that Saudi Arabia needs to start allegedly building their nuclear reactors.

Now, don’t worry, folks, because we’re not going to sell them any information on how to enrich uranium. You know, because it’s not like they could just turn to somebody else once they have all the raw materials and get that information from them. Right. They wouldn’t ever do that. Now the group that’s being totally honest about the journalists, they just murdered, they wouldn’t try to circumvent this deal we have with them, even though they’ve literally been circumventing the other deals we have with them for weapons where they’ve turned around and sold them to groups that want to kill United States as citizens and soldiers and our allies over there in the Middle East. No, they totally mean it this time. They’re not going to screw up this deal. And yes, one of the most oil rich countries in the world totally is serious about switching to nuclear power. You would have to be the dumbest person in this country to think that Saudi Arabia wants to actually build nuclear reactors.

Oh, I’m sorry. This was Rick Perry. So he is, this is what happens folks. This is what happens when you think intelligence doesn’t matter in Washington DC. This is what happens when you elect a president who had no political experience, no foreign policy experience, had a hell of a lot of experience with bankruptcies and failures. And yet you look at him and say, Hey, that’s my guy. I think he could really do some good in Washington DC. We’re selling nuclear secrets to one of the worst countries on the planet in terms of human rights violations, in terms of aggression, other countries, but just because they sell us a lot of oil and they’re not even our, our number one oil, uh, seller, by the way, we hit most of ours from Canada, but we get a little bit from Saudi Arabia and they, you know, have a good pull on global markets. So we have to appease them. So we’re going to give them the technology that with a little bit of tweaks, could be used to wipe out entire populations. What’s the worst that could happen? Right? I think we all know the answer to that.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The insanity of building Sizewell nuclear power station on the beach

April 1, 2019 Posted by | climate change, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Research group finds that ending the USA-Russia arms pact will bring about a nuclear weapons race

April 1, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Three Mile Island nuclear accident exposed residents to far more radiation than officials claimed

MELTDOWN AT THREE MILE ISLAND” (1999 DOCUMENTARY)

Residents around TMI exposed to far more radiation than officials claimed 

Researchers under gag order couldn’t investigate true health impacts after Three Mile Island nuclear disaster

Residents around Three Mile Island were exposed to much more radiation from the nuclear disaster than was claimed by officials, a fact that was kept from researchers and the public for years.

After the Three Mile Island reactor core melted and radioactivity was released to the surrounding population, researchers were not allowed to investigate health impacts of higher doses because the TMI Public Health Fund, established to pay for public health research related to the disaster, was under a research gag order issued by a court. If a researcher wanted to conduct a study using money from this Fund, they had to obey two main parameters set forth by Federal Judge Sylvia Rambo, who was in charge of the Fund.*

  1. Those studying the health impact of Three Mile Island radiation emissions were prohibited from assessing “worst case estimates” of radiation releases unless such estimates would lead to a conclusion of insignificant amount of harm — that being “less than 0.01 health effects”. 
  2. If a researcher wanted to claim more harm or investigate a worst-case scenario, an expert selected by nuclear industry insurers would have to “concur on the nature and scope of the [dosimetry] projects.”

We don’t know how much radiation was released because monitors were non-functional

Data from radiation monitors from the time were unreliable. The Kemeny Commission concluded “An exceptional percentage (well over half) of health physics and monitoring instruments were not functional at the time of the accident . . .” (from Beyea) Without properly functioning monitoring equipment, dose reconstruction —  the method used to figure out how much radiation people were exposed to —  is at best unreliable, at worst, deceptive. 

Luckily, biology doesn’t lie

Biological data show some residents’ exposures were much higher — 60–90 rads — than officials or industry admitted at the time. To arrive at these doses, researchers (see the Wing study, below) used meteorological data to establish where the radiation plumes traveled that were released from TMI. Researchers then drew blood from people in these plume pathways who complained of symptoms associated with higher radiation exposure: vomiting, diarrhea, skin reddening (erythema). Using a chromosome test initially established in the 1960s and honed during examination of Chernobyl liquidators, researchers determined that the public in these plumes received 600-900 milligrays of radiation exposure — thousands of times higher than annual natural background doses; and very much higher than research paid for by the Fund could ever have assessed. Where mechanical dosimeters failed, residents’ blood did not.

Increases of disease with no cause

Studies conducted by three universities (ColumbiaPittsburgh, North Carolina Chapel Hill) on the impacts of the Three Mile Island disaster show breast, lung, leukemia and general cancer increases, some associated with proximity to the reactors, some in the pathways of the radioactive plumes. However, because of the proscriptive court order governing the TMI Public Health Fund, the two studies that were funded by it (Hatch, et al. from Columbia and Talbott, et al. from Pittsburgh) were unable to associate the disease increases in their studies to radiation exposure. These two investigators were forced to conclude “Radiation emissions, as modeled mathematically, did not account for the observed increase.” (emphasis added) Their compromised study conclusions help to prop up the continuing mirage that TMI did not damage health.

Independent research pointed to radiation as culprit

Only the research paper by Wing, et al., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, was able to associate the cancer increases of lung and leukemia to radiation from Three Mile Island. These researchers had obtained independent funding, allowing them to not only investigate health outcomes, but to correlate them with radiation exposure, rather than rely on court-ordered restraints and industry-collected data. Lending further credibility to their research, Wing et al., examined bioindicators in the blood of residents. (See above).

Health studies need to focus on health outcomes, not dose

As demonstrated by the TMI Health Fund debacle, the starting point for any health study should NOT have been an assumption of dose, but an examination of disease increases in the surrounding community after TMI’s radiation releases. Assumptions, codified in the Fund, that doses were too low to cause health impacts were proved wrong by blood examinations. Yet, Judge Rambo decided, against this blood evidence, that higher doses from TMI were not worthy of study because they didn’t happen. This placed the researchers taking Fund money in a position of compromising their scientific integrity, and allowed the TMI Public Health Fund to serve as an instrument of obfuscation, rather than information.

Recent research points to continued concern

Current research has found that thyroid cancers in members of the TMI community carry a biological mark specific to radiation exposure, are more aggressive and appear earlier, than thyroid cancers outside of the TMI community. Although research is ongoing, these studies reveal that radiation from TMI may be implicated in thyroid disease – a correlation never admitted to by officials or industry.

Compromised science still with us

Despite the evidence in human blood, lived experience of the exposed, recognition of faulty monitors, and increases of cancers, the constant false narrative that TMI caused no harm remains. The faulty science that plagues the residents around TMI also pervades other radiation studies assessing health impact, including those following explosions at Chernobyl and Fukushima. We are still all impacted by this scientific and legal failing surrounding TMI, which makes it much harder to assess radiation’s impact on human health.

*“Radiation doses were calculated under an order from the court governing the TMI Public Health Fund. This order prohibited ‘upper limit or worst case estimates of releases of radioactivity or population doses . . . [unless] such estimates would lead to a mathematical projection of less than 0.01 health effects’. The order also specified that ‘a technical analyst . . . designated by counsel for the Pools [nuclear industry insurers] concur on the nature and scope of the [dosimetry] projects’” from Wing, 1997.

Cindy Folkers is the radiation and health specialist at Beyond Nuclear.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

The argument that nuclear energy “has always been inherently safe” is absolutely wrong.

Fukushima, Chernobyl, And Three Mile Island Prove Why Nuclear Power Will Never Be Inherently Safe    https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/nuclear-power-will-never-be-inherently-safe, March 22, 2019 By Grayson Webb, Maggie Gundersen, Blog Editor Recently, after Forbes Magazine published an opinion piece entitled, It Sounds Crazy, But Fukushima, Chernobyl, And Three Mile Island Show Why Nuclear Is Inherently Safe, a number of Forbes’ readers called and continue to write Fairewinds Energy Education to ask us if this opinion piece is true. Quite frankly, the article is an infomercial for the nuclear industry: it twists data in order to paint a rosy picture of nuclear energy.

Before we delve into the article itself, note that the author of the article, Michael Shellenberger, has a degree in cultural anthropology, not nuclear science or nuclear engineering, environmental science, or any other educational background related to the energy production methods and their impact on the environment, human lives, or the global economy. He is not a scientist or a doctor (don’t be fooled by his twitter handle @shellenbergerMD).

Mr. Shellenberger is the president of a pro-nuclear lobbyist group called Environmental Progress that advocates for extending the life of the old and soon-to-be-retired nukes for an additional 40-years, even though each atomic power reactor was only designed for a 40-year lifespan. On its website, in addition to its pro-nuke work, Environmental Progress claims that they are independent and not funded by the nuclear industry because their only funders are Rachel and Roland Pritzker, of the Pritzker Innovation Fund (PIF). For those that are unaware, the large and extremely wealthy Pritzker family includes 11 billionaires. All together the various family members have a net worth of more than $30 billion!

The Pritzker Innovation Fund backs various pro-nuclear ventures and supporting nuclear energy is part of its mission. In fact, Rachel, the president of the fund, gave a pro-nuclear TED talk in 2015 using many of the recycled arguments the nuclear industry and the Forbes article relied upon. While Environmental Progress (EP) likes to claim it is independent of any financial manipulation, receiving money from a pro-nuclear foundation paints a quite different picture. While Environmental Progress is listed as a nonprofit, it just became a 501c3 nonprofit during the fall of 2017. Since it incorporated as a nonprofit so recently, there are no public financial 990s available to delineate what other corporations may underwrite EP’s astroturfing pro-nuke posture with large sums of nuclear industry money, and of course many individual nuclear employees may be donating with the encouragement of their employer incorporation and then could write it off as a tax-deductible donation.

Now that we’ve addressed the lapses in Mr. Shellenberger’s nuclear power engineering and environmental science education, let’s look at the false facts raised in his pretend science article.

First, this puff piece for Forbes Magazine tries to discredit the assessment of noted pediatrician and children’s advocate Dr. Helen Caldicott, who projected close to 1 million people died due to the Chernobyl meltdown. Mr. Shellenberger uses nuclear industry numbers to attempt to claim that the impact of Chernobyl on the environment and to all species involved was minimal, a typical follow the playbook created by industry lobbyists. However, independent scientific research published by the New York Academy of Science in a book entitled Chernobyl: Consequences of a Catastrophe for People and the Environment proves that Dr. Caldicott’s estimate is far more accurate than the fake data that Forbes Magazine allowed Shellenberger to promote. In Chernobyl: Consequences of a Catastrophe for People and the Environment the New York Academy of Science confirms and discusses the real scientific data as it was prepared and studied by Dr. Alexey Yablokov, Dr. Vassily Nesterenko, and Dr. Alexey Nesterenko.

A separate scientist, Dr. Yury Bandazhevsky, was jailed after publishing his scientific report on radiation induced heart disease in children. The disease, aptly named Chernobyl Heart, brought to light the cover-up by the Government of Belarus and has taught doctors around the world about the impact of Cesium, which is absorbed into muscles and damages children’s hearts and other muscles. Cesium also crosses the placental barrier and damages babies in utero. Dr. Yury Bandazhevsky was imprisoned for four-years in Belarus until the public outcry from the European Union sparked his release. He currently lives in the Ukraine where he continues his work.

An entirely different scientific study conducted by noted United Kingdom scientist Dr. Ian Fairlie, who completed his PhD at Princeton University, shows that 5-million people still reside in highly radioactive areas and that there has been an increase of 700% in cases of thyroid cancer and a 200%-500% increase in Leukemia cases. All one needs to do to see the lingering effects of Chernobyl and the damage that radiation has caused in Chernobyl is to look at the haunting photo gallery entitled Chernobyl Legacy: Radiation Poisoning taken by photographer Paul Fusco a little more than a decade after Chernobyl. Mr. Fusco also narrates a video of his photographs from his trip to help to provide context. There is also a short documentary by the name of Chernobyl Heart which chronicles the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the health of children in the area of the plant. The film won the Best Documentary Short Subject award at the 2004 Academy Awards. You can watch the heart wrenching film above. Unfortunately, instead of speaking truth to power, Forbes Magazine has allowed self-promoting industry data to be used in this infomercial while actually discarding real scientific independent peer-reviewed research.

Another discordant note that appears in the Forbes accepted opinion piece ­discredits real medical science in its attack on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimate of premature deaths caused by Chernobyl. In his published opinion in Forbes, Shellenberger claims that because the WHO uses the “linear no threshold” (LNT) model, its estimates are exaggerated. In a rush to meet the desired growth of major nuclear corporations, there has been a recent push by a fringe group of pro-industry scientists to change the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules away from LNT, thereby increasing the amount of toxic chemicals and radiation that industries in the United States would be able to place in products and dump into the environment. Unfortunately, this ill-informed science is popular with the current U.S. Administration. However, according to a recent story in the LA Times,

This view — that pollution and radiation can be beneficial — has many experts worried. The fact that such a position may become EPA policy, they say, portends a future in which corporate desires outweigh public and environmental health.

“Industry has been pushing for this for a long time,” said David Michaels, former assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who’s a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. “Not just the chemical industry, but the radiation and tobacco industries too.”

If the EPA ultimately adopts Calabrese’s proposed new regulations, researchers say it could change decades of standards and guidelines on clean air, water and toxic waste. It could also fundamentally alter the way the government assesses new chemicals and pesticides entering the marketplace.

“This is industry’s holy grail,” said Michaels.

Later in the Forbes Magazine nuclear industry sponsored opinion piece by Shellenberger asserts another falsity when it asks:

Why were they destroying Fukushima’s precious topsoil in order to reduce radiation levels that were already at levels far lower than posed a danger? Why was the government spending billions trying to do the same thing with water near the plant itself? Was nobody in Japan familiar with mainstream radiation health science?

The soil is being removed and the water is being purified because it is highly radioactive. The pro-nuke Environmental Progress organization claims it endorses mainstream radiation health science, yet it does not. The LNT (Linear No Threshold) model is mainstream science that has been repeatedly endorsed by scientific bodies like the National Academy of Sciencesthe National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and  the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

The next fallacy Forbes Magazine continues to market in this fake news pro-nuke industry promotion is calling the meltdown at Three Mile Island (TMI) a dream,

What about Three Mile Island? After the accident in 1979, Time Magazine ran a cover story that superimposed a glowing headline, “Nuclear Nightmare,” over an image of the plant. Nightmare? More like a dream.

The 40th observance of the March 28, 1979 meltdown at TMI begins tomorrow, Saturday March 23rd at the Pennsylvania State House and culminates in a presentation at Penn State on March 27th. The first of the commercial nuclear power meltdowns was anything but a dream for the real people living nearby. Many residents were exposed to high levels of radiation because the plant owners outright lied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, President Carter, and Pennsylvania’s own governor, so that all those government officials failed to issue a timely evacuation because they did not know that a meltdown was even in progress!

While the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission data claims that no one died from radiation emanating from TMI, independent research shows this is simply not true. Studies by epidemiologist Dr. Steve Wing show that cancer rates in the surrounding area significantly skyrocketed following the meltdown at TMI. You can listen to Dr. Wing talk about his studies and the implications from a video taken at the Pennsylvania State Capitol on March 26, 2009. Fairewinds Energy Education also has a video of the 38th commemoration presentation Arnie Gundersen gave in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on its website [fairewinds.org]. In this video, Mr. Gundersen discusses the significant errors in data claimed as accurate by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Yet Shellenberger relies upon the scientifically refuted data promoted by the NRC for his Forbes Magazine nuke power promotion piece.

The U.S. government was the first agency in the world to call for people within a 40-mile radius surrounding Fukushima Daiichi to be evacuated, which again the Forbes’ Shellenberger pro-nuke industry fiction claims was unnecessary. This unscientific hit piece by Shellenberger in Forbes Magazine goes even further to blame the evacuation itself for the resulting misfortune of the refugees – instead of accurately reporting that the nuclear power industry, the government of Japan, and atomic power with its daunting risks are to blame for the hardships faced by refugees and the communities surrounding the Fukushima site.

“While some amount of temporary evacuation might have been justified, there was simply never any reason for such a large, and long-term, evacuation. About 2,000 people died from the evacuation, while others who were displaced suffered from loneliness, depression, suicide, bullying at school, and anxiety.” The victims of Fukushima Daiichi and the hardships that they have endured during the past 8-years, as well of the physical and emotional traumas they have suffered, are facts the refugees will live with for the remainder of their lives. The fact that the triple-meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi was foreseen and preventable and proves that the blame should be firmly placed on TEPCO and the nuclear power industry for allowing TEPCO to get away without constructing the government mandated seawall. More than 1,000 years of documented history about tsunamis were ignored when an entire mountain side was cut down so the Fukushima atomic power reactors could be built near the shoreline giving them easier access to cooling water. Now tens of thousands of refugees are facing decimated cities and farms, and the destruction of their families and communities as they struggle daily to protect themselves, their children, and even their grandchildren from extensive radiation exposure. As Fairewinds peer-reviewed research shows, as well as a separate study, highly radioactive hot particles that are severely dangerous, are present in many parts of Japan and continue to be inhaled. As discussed in our recent blogpost Atomic Balm Part 2, even after areas have been cleaned of radioactive material, it is only a matter of time before radioactive particles born on the wind or washed down from radioactively contaminated areas migrate back.

The first problem is with the government of Japan’s clearance criteria that only areas in and around homes have been allegedly decontaminated. I measured radiation along highways and then 50-feet into the surrounding woods, only to find that the woods remained highly contaminated, so that when it rains or snows, or the wind blows the dust or pollen from the woods, that radiation migrates back to people’s supposedly clean and radiation-free homes. I went to the top of 4-story high rooftops in Minamisoma that had been completely cleaned and repainted following the meltdowns. These rooftops were recontaminated by dust on the wind, blowing in radiation from the surrounding mountains. Peoples’ homes and communities that were claimed to be clean are indeed being recontaminated every day.

Why on earth would someone willingly want to live with their families in an area known to have high levels of radiation that damage DNA and cause cancers and other long-term illnesses?

The nuclear power that originated with President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace Program is not what many people envisioned when the concept was first created in the early 1950s. Atomic or nuclear power, whichever moniker you want to give it, is extremely expensive, takes a long time to build, releases small amounts of radiation into the environment daily during normal operation, produces highly toxic waste with no proven technology for storing it for more than 100-years, and must be stored for 250,000-years until it becomes safe as normal soil.

For the last 70-years using nuclear power to produce electricity has unveiled all of its flaws and proven that it is not an energy source for the future of humankind because it simply is not up to the task.

The argument that nuclear energy “has always been inherently safe” is absolutely wrong. There have been five meltdowns during the last 40-years resulting in a ratio of one meltdown every eight years. Look at TMI, Chernobyl, or Fukushima; people have died, each disaster has been worse than the one before it, and at Chernobyl and Fukushima, once pristine farmland and entire cities will never be habitable again.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Women of Three Mile Island tell their story — Beyond Nuclear International

Documentary uncovers the lies and legacy and the women who sought the truth

via Women of Three Mile Island tell their story — Beyond Nuclear International

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The even madder plan to build a new nuclear plant on the beach — Beyond Nuclear International

What fools these mortals be

via The even madder plan to build a new nuclear plant on the beach — Beyond Nuclear International

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Concerns in USA Congress as the Trump administration OKs nuclear energy transfers to Saudi Arabia

April 1, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Trump budget for fiscal year 2020 to sepnd up big on nuclear weapons

Trump Budget Boosts Nuclear Efforts   Arms Control Association, By Kingston Reif April 2019, Consistent with the recommendations of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget request would continue plans to expand U.S. nuclear weapon capabilities.

The ultimate fate of the request, submitted to Congress March 11, remains uncertain as Democrats, particularly in the House, have signaled strong opposition to several controversial funding proposals. Their concerns include administration plans to develop two additional low-yield nuclear weapons and two conventionally armed, ground-launched missiles currently prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The budget submission illustrates the rising cost of the nuclear mission and the challenge those expenses may pose to the administration’s other national security priorities.

A Congressional Budget Office report in February estimates that the United States will spend $494 billion on nuclear weapons from fiscal years 2019 through 2028. That is an increase of $94 billion, or 23 percent, from the CBO’s previous 10-year estimate of $400 billion, which was published in January 2017. (See ACT, March 2019.)

The Trump administration’s budget proposal contains increases for several Defense and Energy department nuclear weapons systems. The request does not change the planned development timelines for these programs.

The largest increase sought is for the nuclear weapons account of the Energy Department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The budget request calls for $12.4 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion above the fiscal year 2019 appropriation and $530 million above the projection in the fiscal year 2019 budget request.

The request includes funds for the continued development of two missile systems with ranges prohibited by the INF Treaty, but despite numerous queries by Arms Control Today and other outlets, the Pentagon has yet to divulge the amount.

Defense Department officials told a group of reporters March 13 that the Pentagon is planning to test a ground-launched cruise missile and a ballistic missile by the end of this year.

The announcement came just over a month after the Trump administration announced on Feb. 2 that it would withdraw from the treaty on Aug. 2 unless Russia corrects alleged compliance violations with the agreement. (See ACT, March 2019.)

The budget request for nuclear weapons programs is part of the overall $750 billion request for national defense. That figure includes the Defense Department’s regular budget activities and the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs.

New Nuclear Capabilities

The budget request would finish development of a small number of low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and begin studies of a new fleet of sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs)…….. https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2019-04/news/trump-budget-boosts-nuclear-efforts

April 1, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Earthquake dangers near nuclear materials store at Nevada National Security Site

Las Vegas Review Journal 29th March 2019 A defense safety board is concerned the Department of Energy has failed to
address a vulnerability to earthquake hazards at a Nevada National Security
Site facility where nuclear materials are stored — including a recent
shipment of weapons-grade plutonium. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety
Board outlined its concerns to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and issued a
report that pointed out the safety risks to workers and the “offsite
public” due to seismic hazards to structures at the Device Assembly
Facility at the Nevada security site, located about 90 miles north of Las
Vegas.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/rick-perry-warned-about-quake-hazards-at-nevada-nuke-storage-site-1629429/

April 1, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Denver-based Professional Case Management suing federal govt over delaying process in nuclear workers’ access to care

Denver company sues over changes to nuclear workers’ access to care  https://kdvr.com/2019/03/30/denver-company-sues-over-changes-to-nuclear-workers-access-to-care/  MARCH 30, 2019, BY ALEX ROSE DENVER — Janet Cook worked in the lab at Rocky Flats for 17 years and is now dealing with a laundry list of health problems.

“I see doctors two, three times a week, most the time. That’s my job now, going to the doctor,” Cook said. “There’s like 62 diseases that I have. It’s unreal.”

She lost her hearing, part of her vision, had multiple surgeries and strokes, and is now worried about how she is going to pay for it all.

In 2001, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act went into effect, allowing compensation for nuclear workers facing certain health issues. Cook has been filing claims through a division of the Department of Labor since that time, but says the process was long, stressful and lacked communication.

Cook reached out to Denver-based Professional Case Management to help with in-home health care. They provide services for nuclear workers and founded the Cold War Patriots, which advocates for workers.

Oftentimes, they didn’t know that the work they were doing was so dangerous and [so] harmful to their health,” said PCM president Greg Austin.

PCM is now suing the federal government over rule changes set to take effect April 9, saying they violate constitutional rights, among other legal issues.

“Under the new rules, there’s a lengthy, roughly 36-step process that involves filling out forms, mailing them back and forth, before that care can start,” Austin said.

“Program that takes years to get compensation, they want us to die before they pay us?” Cook said.

The Problem Solvers reached out to the Department of Labor for comment about why the rule changes were necessary and was referred to OSHA, but have yet to hear back.

Austin says the process could take former workers more than 60 days just to file a claim.

A judge will hear arguments in federal court in Denver on April 4 to determine whether the rule changes should stay or go.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, Legal, USA | Leave a comment