The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Discussion on nuclear weapons, between Trump and Putin

May 4, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Listing the companies that make nuclear weapons

May 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Reference, weapons and war | 1 Comment

High blood pressure risk from prolonged exposure to low-dose ionising radiation

Prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation may increase the risk of hypertension, a known cause of heart disease and stroke

May 3, 2019
American Heart Association
A long-term study of Russian nuclear plant workers suggests that prolonged low-dose radiation exposure increases the risk of hypertension. This study is the first to associate an increased risk of hypertension to low doses of ionizing radiation among a large group of workers who were chronically exposed over many years. The higher the cumulative dose of radiation, the greater the risk, the study showed.

Prolonged exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation increased the risk of hypertension, according to a study of workers at a nuclear plant in Russia published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Uncontrolled hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can to lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health problems.

Earlier studies linked exposure to high doses of radiation to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and death from those diseases. This study is the first to find an increased risk of hypertension to low doses of ionizing radiation among a large group of workers who were chronically exposed over many years.

The study included more than 22,000 workers at the first large-scale nuclear enterprise in Russia known as the Mayak Production Association. The workers were hired between 1948 and 1982, with an average length of time on the job of 18 years. Half had worked there for more than 10 years. All of the workers had comprehensive health check-ups and screening tests at least once a year with advanced evaluations every five years.

The researchers evaluated the workers’ health records up to 2013. More than 8,400 workers (38 percent of the group) were diagnosed with hypertension, as defined in this study as a systolic blood pressure reading of ?140 mm Hg, and a diastolic reading ? 90 mm Hg. Hypertension incidence was found to be significantly associated with the cumulative dose.

To put it in perspective, the hypertension incidence among the workers in the study was higher than that among Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II, but lower than the risk estimated for clean-up workers following the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

The differences may be explained by variations in exposure among the three groups, according to the researchers. Following the atomic bombing, the Japanese experienced a single, high-dose exposure of radiation, the Chernobyl workers were exposed to radiation for a short time period (days and months), while the Mayak workers were chronically exposed to low doses of radiation over many years.

While the development of cancer is commonly associated with radiation exposure, “we believe that an estimate of the detrimental health consequences of radiation exposure should also include non-cancer health outcomes. We now have evidence suggesting that radiation exposure may also lead to increased risks of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease, as well,” said Tamara Azizova, M.D., lead author of the study at the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute in Russia.

Azizova pointed out that in recent years, the number of people exposed to radiation in everyday life, such as during diagnostic procedures, has increased. “It is necessary to inform the public that not only high doses of radiation, but low to moderate doses also increase the risk of hypertension and other circulatory system diseases, which today contribute significantly to death and disability. As a result, all radiological protection principles and dose limits should be strictly followed for workers and the general public.”

How radiation exposure may increase the risk of hypertension is still a question, according to Azizova. “So far, the mechanisms remain unclear, not only for certain cohorts but also for the general population. One of the main tasks for the coming decade is to study the mechanisms of hypertension and heart and brain atherosclerosis occurring in people who are — and who were exposed — to radiation.”

The authors note that their study is a retrospective one, and while many health conditions and behaviors were documented in the medical records of the workers (such as age, smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index), other factors, such as stress and nutrition, were unavailable for researchers to be taken into account in this study.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Heart Association.

Journal Reference:

  1. Tamara Azizova, Ksenia Briks, Maria Bannikova, Evgeniya Grigoryeva. Hypertension Incidence Risk in a Cohort of Russian Workers Exposed to Radiation at the Mayak Production Association Over Prolonged PeriodsHypertension, 2019; DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11719

May 4, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Reference | Leave a comment

USA Defense Dept knew that radiation causes birth defects. Now nuclear test veterans worry

May 4, 2019 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | Leave a comment

Trump administration re-ignites the political issue of nuclear waste and Nevada’s Yucca Mountain

In Nevada, Trump administration revives a radioactive campaign issue, CBS News, BY ALEXANDER TIN,  MAY 2, 2019 /Last year, the Trump administration faced a dilemma: where could the Department of Energy stow a metric ton of surplus, weapons grade plutonium?

Efforts to recycle thousands of pounds in unwanted radioactive material had been crippled by cost overruns. Now the government faced a court ordered deadline to remove the plutonium from South Carolina, where it had been stockpiled.

For the plutonium’s new home, the administration turned to Nevada. Over the state’s objections, authorities planned to ship some of the radioactive material to a site adjacent to Yucca Mountain, where the federal government has long sought to store dangerous nuclear waste. ……

The state fought for months in court to block the new plutonium delivery, until a bombshell revelation in early 2019 that the administration had already quietly trucked in much of the plutonium, with details kept secret for “operational security.”

The response from Nevada’s government was swift.

“They lied to the state of Nevada, misled a federal court, and jeopardized the safety of Nevada’s families and environment,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement. Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen slammed the move as “deceitful” and “unethical.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry then struck a deal with Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, and department has since promised to pull out the plutonium. But the shipment has added fuel to a political firestorm in Nevada over recent efforts to resurrect Yucca Mountain, sowing mistrust over a key issue for the state, which is home an early and important presidential primary contest.

On Wednesday, the administration’s push to reopen Yucca Mountain that drew a forceful condemnation from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“The proposal by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to send our nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain would be a geological, environmental, and social disaster,” the presidential candidate said in a statement.

Sanders joins a long list of fellow White House hopefuls in questioning the project’s future, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Obama HUD secretary Julián Castro.

Opponents have long cited the risks of seismic activity under the site, and its proximity to an aquifer and a military test range. They have rejected arguments that Yucca Mountain would hasten the transfer to a more environmentally friendly economy, warning of the risks for communities through which waste would pass through……

Testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Rosen — Heller’s successor — joined Cortez-Masto in calling on Congress to help Nevada block Yucca Mountain. Their bill would require consent from state and local authorities before storing nuclear waste in their respective jurisdictions.

Only six other senators have so far cosponsored the proposal: Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

May 4, 2019 Posted by | election USA 2020 | Leave a comment

Rivetting new documentary series on the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe

Chernobyl (2019) | What Is Chernobyl? | HBO

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Trump’s hypocrisy – talks of nuclear disarmament while spending $megabillions on new nuclear weapons

Trump to begin nuclear bomb-reduction talks with Russia, maybe China, ‘very shortly’ Washington Examiner, by Steven Nelson, May 03, 2019  President Trump said Friday that he expects to begin brokering a nuclear disarmament deal with Russia “very shortly,” with a possible addition of China later.

May 4, 2019 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA renews waivers of Iran sanctions for civilian nuclear work

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

The Blue Pacific and the legacies of nuclear testing 

The Strategist 1 May 2019| Patrick Kaiku States in the Pacific islands are small in landmass and population. Their limited terrestrial resources and lack of comparative advantage are compounded by their remoteness from global centres of commerce. This obviously has impacts on the costs of doing business and integration into global trade relations. Their invisibility in international relations means that small states must creatively frame their presence in the global community.It’s against this backdrop that the ‘Blue Pacific’, which is touted as an empowering worldview, should be understood. The core principles of the Blue Pacific must be read together with recent developments in the region. In 2017, Pacific Islands Forum leaders endorsed the concept as a ‘driving force’ connecting Pacific peoples ‘with their natural resources, environment, culture and livelihoods’. The Boe Declaration of 2018 formally recognised Pacific islanders’ stewardship over the Pacific Ocean.

While big states such as the US and China are competing for influence in the region, the Boe Declaration makes a case for prioritising the concerns of Pacific island communities. The strategic confrontations of big powers do not feature in the daily lives of Pacific peoples. What’s important to the survival of island states is their environment and the capacity of their resources to meet present needs and the needs of future generations. This logic is seen with the proposed Pacific Resilience Facility, which is a regional pool of resources to manage or mitigate the adverse effects of environmental challenges in the region.

….. a  sticky issue in the region is the potential effects of nuclear contamination of the Pacific Ocean. The legacies of nuclear tests in the Pacific islands include highly radioactive waste materials stored on vulnerable atolls.

In the 1950s, the Pacific Ocean was considered an empty space by the Euro-American powers. With the onset of the arms race during the Cold War, some of the colonial powers used the Pacific as a testing ground for their nuclear weapons. More than 300 nuclear tests were conducted in the Pacific Ocean. Atolls in the Marshall Islands, Johnston Island, Christmas Island and French Polynesia were used as nuclear test sites, casting long shadows into the present.

On one low-lying Pacific island atoll, the toxic legacy of the nuclear tests remains. In 2017, Mark Willacy from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation investigated the nuclear-waste storage facility on the remote atoll of Enewetak in the Marshall Islands. It was there that the US conducted its series of tests of nuclear weapons, including the first full-scale hydrogen bomb. Before it abandoned its nuclear testing program in the 1970s, the US buried contaminated material on Runit Island.

An estimated 85,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste is buried on Runit Island, including some of the world’s most toxic materials. It will take more than 24,000 years for the waste to disintegrate. It’s buried in porous coral and sand and capped by a concrete dome. Marshallese and international non-government organisations are concerned that sea-level rise and major typhoons will destroy the dome, resulting in the contamination of not only the Marshall Islands but the wider Pacific Ocean. Since the sea is a free-flowing matrix of currents and borderless movements of water, a Pacific-wide disaster is a plausible scenario…….

The Pacific island states have an illustrious record in employing collective diplomacy to tackle difficult issues. Since the 1980s, the high-water marks of collective diplomacy have been the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, the 1985 Rarotonga Treaty and the global moratorium on drift-net fishing. Currently, small states in the Pacific islands are actively engaged in framing the narrative on global cooperation to deal with climate change challenges.

The Blue Pacific is a timely framework, emphasising a Pacific islands worldview, and is an alternative to the zero-sum confrontations of big powers in the region. More importantly, it stresses the importance of cooperation on Pacific terms in dealing with transnational challenges. The various major powers embroiled in their great-power confrontations in the Pacific ought to be educated about the significance of the Blue Pacific and their participation in advancing the goals of that paradigm. After all, the Pacific Ocean connects all the large landmasses on the Pacific Rim. The state of affairs in the islands is a microcosm of the planet’s chances of surviving global environmental challenges.

Patrick Kaiku is a teaching fellow in the political science department at the University of Papua New Guinea.

May 4, 2019 Posted by | OCEANIA, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nevada presidential candidates have legislation planned to block nuclear waste dump for Yucca Mt

May 4, 2019 Posted by | USA | Leave a comment

 Senator Chris Van Hollen on Gorging at the Nuclear Buffet Table

REMARKS: Gorging at the Nuclear Buffet Table  Arms Control Association,   May 2019
By Sen. Chris Van Hollen  “…….we gather here at another urgent moment. It has been important work all along, but we are in an urgent moment now. Because with the Trump administration, all signs indicate that we’re jettisoning, we’re abandoning what has been a bipartisan tradition of recognizing that we need to modernize our nuclear forces, we need to modernize our triad, we need to make sure its survivable and resilient, but that we should do it within the framework of an arms control architecture that leads to predictability, stability, and transparency. That has been an important formula even as relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, now Russia, have gone up and down. We have still maintained that conversation, we have still maintained that structure, and that structure has helped keep the peace.

Now with this new administration, with [National Security Advisor] John Bolton in the White House, we are in a very different world. He has not found a nuclear arms agreement or, as far as I can tell, any multilateral agreement or international agreement that he likes.

But when it comes to arms control, despite his being a foe, he has never explained how an unconstrained nuclear arms race would actually make us any safer. He can never answer that argument. He just tells us what he doesn’t like, but he doesn’t tell us what is better, that would make us more stable.

That’s where we are right now. The tearing up of the INF Treaty was an early indication of where this administration is going……

The notion that we should therefore just proceed with developing not just one, but multiple noncompliant INF missiles makes no sense. We already have a robust capability when it comes to responding to anything in the European theater. We already have dual-capable bombers with gravity bombs, we have air-launched cruise missiles, we have a range of weapons that already serve as a deterrent. So, just building more for the sake of building more doesn’t do us any good, and it creates more instabilities.

In addition, I don’t buy the argument that we need to have an intermediate-range missile on Guam with the purpose of holding the Chinese in check. There are lots of things we need to be doing in that region, but I don’t think a missile on Guam does the job. As you know, our other allies, Japan and South Korea, have made it very clear they won’t deploy this kind of missile.

There is really no good argument for rushing to tear up the agreement. …….

The other issue I want to focus on has to do with the overall nuclear posture that this administration is pursuing when it comes to nuclear weapons. I think we all agree that we need to modernize our nuclear forces, but we don’t need to add on every single, conceivable new capability.

It’s like showing up at a buffet and, instead of having a balanced meal, you say, “I will just gorge on every single capability that is out there.” When you only need a balanced meal to do the job, you don’t need to eat everything at the nuclear buffet table, including offensive and defensive weapons.

Unlike a dinner buffet where it’s “all you can eat at a fixed price,” the nuclear buffet table requires you to pay for everything. With the current spending plan, that is right now estimated to be $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years by the Congressional Budget Office. If you add on all the other capabilities this administration apparently wants to add on, you’re talking about an even bigger price tag.

So, in addition to having a big price tag, you’re also talking about building additional capabilities that are not only unnecessary, but can be very destabilizing. That is especially true when it comes to the administration considering two new capabilities with submarine-launched ballistic missiles, putting a low-yield warhead on some, as well as resuscitating the nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missile.

I think that if you look at the direction we’re going, it is very worrisome from a price tag perspective when we have so many other national requirements and priorities. But also, we are going to be spending taxpayer money on something that actually makes us less, not more, safe by lowering the threshold of use of nuclear weapons. Therefore, we’re increasing the risks of an all-out
nuclear war……..

May 4, 2019 Posted by | election USA 2020, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

13 exposed to radiation at hazmat incident in Seattle 

May 4, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

No evidence for this, but a Republican lawmaker says Russia has nuclear weapons in Venezuela

May 4, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Southern Company says – no more nuclear projects after the costly Vogtle project in Georgia

May 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Prince William booed and heckled at service to mark 50 years of Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines

May 4, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment