nuclear-news

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

Hiroshima survivor explains why 75 years of radiation research is so important

Watch: Hiroshima survivor explains why 75 years of radiation research is so important   https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/watch-hiroshima-survivor-explains-why-75-years-radiation-research-so-important  By Joel GoldbergAug. 3, 2020 , 

Seventy-five years ago on 6 August, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Up to 120,000 people died in the bombing and its aftermath. Some of the survivors, known as hibakusha, would eventually enroll in the Radiation Effects Research Foundation’s Life Span Study, which continues to examine the effects of atomic radiation on the human body. The study’s findings have been the basis for radiation safety standards around the world, ranging from power plants to hospitals. Decades of archival footage and images, survivor  drawings, and the testimony of research participant Kunihiko Iida convey the kind of misery that results from an atomic bombing—as well as the message of peace and humanity that can result from scientific research.

August 10, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Racism in nuclear bomb testing, bombing of Japanese people, and nuclear waste dumping

Langston Hughes voiced the opinion that until racial injustice on home ground in the United States ceases, “it is going to be very hard for some Americans not to think the easiest way to settle the problems of Asia is simply dropping an atom bomb on colored heads there.”[25] While his statement was made in 1953, near the eighth anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, it remains equally relevant today, as we approach the 75th anniversary

Memorial Days: the racial underpinnings of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings  , Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Elaine Scarry, Elaine Scarry is the author of Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom and The Body in Pain: the Making and Unmaking of the World. She is Cabot Profess…   By Elaine Scarry, August 3, 2020

This past Memorial Day, a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the throat of an African-American, George Floyd, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Seventy-five years ago, an American pilot dropped an atomic bomb on the civilian population of Hiroshima. Worlds apart in time, space, and scale, the two events share three key features. Each was an act of state violence. Each was an act carried out against a defenseless opponent. Each was an act of naked racism. ……….

Self-defense was not an option for any one of the 300,000 civilian inhabitants of the city of Hiroshima, nor for any one of the 250,000 civilians in Nagasaki three days later. We know from John Hersey’s classic Hiroshima that as day dawned on that August morning, the city was full of courageous undertakings meant to increase the town’s collective capacity for self-defense against conventional warfare, such as the clearing of fire lanes by hundreds of young school girls, many of whom would instantly vanish in the 6,000° C temperature of the initial flash, and others of whom, more distant from the center, would retain their lives but lose their faces.[2] The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki initiated an era in which—for the first time on Earth and now continuing for seven and a half decades—humankind collectively and summarily lost the right self-defense. No one on Earth—or almost no one on Earth[3]has the means to outlive a blast that is four times the heat of the sun or withstand the hurricane winds and raging fires that follow………

Centuries of political philosophers have asked, “What kind of political arrangements will create a noble and generous people?” Surely such arrangements cannot be ones where a handful of men control the means for destroying at will everyone on Earth from whom the means of self-defense have been eliminated……..

When Americans first learned that the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been collectively vaporized in less time than it takes for the heart to beat, many cheered. But not all. Black poet Langston Hughes at once recognized the moral depravity of executing 100,000 people and discerned racism as the phenomenon that had licensed the depravity: “How come we did not try them [atomic bombs] on Germany…  . They just did not want to use them on white folks.”[4] Although the building of the weapon was completed only after Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, Japan had been designated the target on September 18, 1944, and training for the mission had already been initiated in that same month.[5] Black journalist George Schuyler wrote: “The atom bomb puts the Anglo-Saxons definitely on top where they will remain for decades”; the country, in its “racial arrogance,” has “achieved the supreme triumph of being able to slaughter whole cities at a time.”[6]

Still within the first year (and still before John Hersey had begun to awaken Americans to the horrible aversiveness of the injuries), novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston denounced the US president as a “butcher” and scorned the public’s silent compliance, asking, “Is it that we are so devoted to a ‘good Massa’ that we feel we ought not to even protest such crimes?”[7] Silence—whether practiced by whites or people of color—was, she saw, a cowardly act of moral enslavement to a white supremacist. Continue reading

August 4, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, culture and arts, history, indigenous issues, Reference, social effects, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

World is in coronavirus for the long haul

The WHO says coronavirus is a once-in-a century crisis that will impact lives for decades,  SBS World News, 2 Aug 20, The World Health Organization committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”.

The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be “lengthy” after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”, the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of “response fatigue” given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

The panel gathered Friday for the fourth time over the coronavirus crisis, half a year on from its January 30 declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) – the WHO’s highest level of alarm………

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

It called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, including its long-term health effects.

And the committee wanted more light shed on the dynamics of the virus, such as “modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection”.

The near six-hour gathering was hosted at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, with some participants joining via video-link.

The committee will reconvene within the next three months……..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-who-says-coronavirus-is-a-once-in-a-century-crisis-that-will-impact-lives-for-decades

August 3, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Next type of coronavirus may be on its way

August 3, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

The WHO says coronavirus is a once-in-a century crisis that will impact lives for decades

Deaths from coronavirus as at early August 2020

The WHO says coronavirus is a once-in-a century crisis that will impact lives for decades, SBS World News, 2 Aug 20 The World Health Organization committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”.

The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be “lengthy” after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”, the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of “response fatigue” given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

The panel gathered Friday for the fourth time over the coronavirus crisis, half a year on from its January 30 declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) – the WHO’s highest level of alarm………

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

It called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, including its long-term health effects.

And the committee wanted more light shed on the dynamics of the virus, such as “modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection”.

The near six-hour gathering was hosted at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, with some participants joining via video-link.

The committee will reconvene within the next three months……..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-who-says-coronavirus-is-a-once-in-a-century-crisis-that-will-impact-lives-for-decades

August 2, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

The potential for a new coronoavirus, with bats as a possible transmitter

The next coronavirus may already be circulating in bats, study suggests, by Tom Avril, Philadelphia Inquirer,  July 29, 2020   While the exact origin of the coronavirus remains murky, scientists have been racing to determine how it jumped from animals to humans so they can prevent another pandemic.

The next one could just be a matter of time, a study published this week suggests.   The authors said a virus with similar ability to infect humans may already be out there, carried by a type of bats known for having horseshoe-shaped “leafs” on their noses.

Scientists made that prediction after constructing a family tree of the coronavirus — tracing its ancestry by comparing its genetic code with that of other coronaviruses found in bats, humans, and a scaly animal called the pangolin.

The lineage of the virus that causes COVID-19 appears to have branched off from its closest viral relatives about 40 to 70 years ago, the authors wrote in Nature Microbiology. And other viruses in the same branch of the family likely share a similar ability to latch onto cells in human airways, said Maciej F. Boni, a Pennsylvania State University biologist and lead study author.

“It’s very likely there are lots of other lineages that nobody knows about, because nobody has sampled, that are circulating quietly in bats,” he said. “Potentially all of them could have this ability to infect human cells.”……

 by using a battery of statistical techniques, the scientists identified three genetic regions in the coronavirus that appeared to have remained intact for decades. They identified the same three regions in another coronavirus that came from a bat found in Yunnan, a province in southern China near Laos.

That virus cannot infect humans but is otherwise highly similar to the one causing the pandemic, which was first identified in human patients in the city of Wuhan. The two viruses seem to have branched apart in the family tree sometime in the 1960s, and almost certainly have undiscovered cousins with the potential to infect humans, said Boni, who collaborated with scientists in Europe and China…….

By itself, the presence of similar coronaviruses in bats would not mean another pandemic is imminent, said Kevin Olival, vice president for research at EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit that works with scientists worldwide to protect people and animals from infectious disease…….

What is not in dispute is that viruses have been jumping from animals to humans for centuries, and that it will happen again.

And coronaviruses carried by bats are a prime suspect.

Similar predictions have been made before — such as in 2013, when a Science magazine article was headlined “Bats May Be Carrying the Next SARS Pandemic.”

Sure enough, as the world now knows too well, that came true.  https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covd19-bats-china-virus-origin-penn-state-rna-genetics-20200729.html

August 2, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

As Dept of Energy officials enthuse over nuclear in space, they show their disdain for health and safety in pandemic

Here we see 9 DOE officials all close to each other –  bugger social distancing.  Typical nuclear enthusiasts, 7 men confident, think they’re invincible? next to them , the two token women, wearing masks –  they have some grasp of the need for safety and public health measures in the pandemic.

 

US Ramps Up Planning for Space Nuclear Technology  AIP,  NASA and the Department of Energy are expanding their collaboration as part of a broader White House push to develop nuclear power systems for space applications. The initiative comes as NASA faces key decisions on what fuel sources and technology development paths to pursue.

As NASA launched its Perseverance rover to Mars yesterday, senior officials from the Department of Energy were at Cape Canaveral to see it off. Perseverance is the first mission to launch since the Curiosity rover in 2011 that is powered by the radioactive isotope plutonium-238, which is manufactured in DOE facilities.

Now, NASA, DOE, and the White House want nuclear power to play a much larger role in space exploration as plans take shape for a sustained human presence on the Moon and subsequent crewed journeys to Mars……….

The American Nuclear Society hosted a debate on the topic at its annual meeting in June. While the society has generally supported the use of space nuclear power and propulsion in the past, it has decided to develop a position statement by spring 2021 on whether to favor the use of LEU.

Among the participants was Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), a former Fermilab physicist, who argued that proceeding with HEU  (  Highly Enriched Uranium)would set a dangerous precedent. “If all of the spacefaring nations start using HEU reactors in space, then this would involve utilization of a significant amount of weapons grade material,” he remarked…….

Alan Kuperman, a policy scholar affiliated with the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project, pointed to U.S. efforts since the 1970s to minimize the use of HEU in civilian applications, arguing they are “based on the logic of no exceptions.”

“If we say, ‘well, we’re going to have exceptions,’ then other countries are going to say, ‘well, we want exceptions too,’ and then the whole thing falls apart,” he remarked……..https://www.aip.org/fyi/2020/us-ramps-planning-space-nuclear-technology

August 1, 2020 Posted by | health, space travel | Leave a comment

Bill in USA Senate to help nuclear workers made ill by radiation exposure

Bill would expand access to comp for federal nuclear site workers  https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20200731/NEWS08/912335900/Bill-would-expand-access-to-comp-for-federal-nuclear-site-workers#, Angela Childers, July 31, 2020  

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday would help workers at federal radioactive sites obtain workers compensation for work-related cancers and other health issues.

S.B. 4363, introduced Wednesday by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), would establish an occupational disease presumption for employees at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Radioactive Waste Management Complex.

The bill is aimed at helping cleanup workers at Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Site and other nuclear sites more easily claim workers compensation benefits when they suffer from medical conditions as a result of exposure to toxic substances, Sen. Murray’s office said Thursday in a news release.

While the state of Washington created a presumption law for Hanford workers in 2018, the federal legislation would cover workers at other Energy Department nuclear sites. The Hanford site is a 560-square-mile federally operated site known for having manufactured plutonium used in one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in late 2018 over the state’s presumption law, claiming that the law discriminated against the federal government and its Energy Department contractors and aimed to directly regulate the federal government by imposing extra cleanup costs on the decommissioned site. However, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in June 2019.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

August 1, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

Pandemic slows down nuclear construction, increases costs

Coronavirus company news summary – EDF says construction delays likely – Nuclear plant bill ramps up for Georgia Power, https://www.power-technology.com/uncategorised/coronavirus-company-news-summary-edf-says-construction-delays-likely-nuclear-plant-bill-ramps-up-for-georgia-power/  31 July 20

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has increased Georgia Power’s share of the costs for the Vogtle nuclear plant by nearly $150m. However, the company still intends to complete the construction of Units 3 and 4 as per schedule by November 2021 and November 2022, despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

EDF has acknowledged that coronavirus has slowed down construction and maintenance of its nuclear power plant fleet in France and the UK. , A statement by EDF said the risk of delays in commissioning of the UK’s Hinkley Point C plant is “high”. In France, all construction activities at the Flamanville 3 EPR project were suspended between mid-March and early-May, which could result in further delays and additional costs.

Singareni Collieries Company has revealed plans to build 800MW of solar power projects in the southern Indian state of Telangana. The plan encompasses building 500MW of floating solar capacity on large water bodies.

The AES Corporation has made a strategic investment of nearly $8.6m in Australian solar technology innovator 5B to accelerate the adoption of solar energy. It claims 5B’s MAVERICK design allows customers to leverage a higher number of solar resources at three-times the pace, while providing up to two times more energy within the same footprint of traditional solar facilities.

August 1, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, health | Leave a comment

“..clear evidence of excess cancer risk from low dose ionizing radiation…..”              

DCEG 13th July 2020, An international team of experts in the study of cancer risks associated with low-dose ionizing radiation published the monograph, “Epidemiological studies of low-dose ionizing radiation and cancer:  Summary bias assessment and meta-analysis,” in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on July 13, 2020. It is well established that ionizing radiation causes cancer through direct DNA damage. The general public are exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation from medical exposures like computed tomography (CT) scans, naturally occurring radiation (emitted from bedrock with the earth’s crust and cosmic rays emitted by the sun), and occupational exposures to medical, aircrew and nuclear workers.

A key question for low-dose exposures is how much of the damage can be repaired and whether other mechanisms, including inflammation, also play a role. This critical question has been long debated for radiation protection standards. After combing data from 26 epidemiological studies the authors found clear evidence of excess cancer
risk from low dose ionizing radiation: 17 of 22 studies showed risk for solid cancers and 17 of 20 studies showed risk for leukemia. The summary risk estimates were statistically significant and the magnitude of risk(per unit dose) was consistent with studies of populations exposed to higher doses.  https://dceg.cancer.gov/news-events/news/2020/low-dose-monograph?s=09

July 27, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago are still claiming lives and causing suffering.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | Japan, PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New CT scan method lowers radiation exposure

New CT scan method lowers radiation exposure, Science Daily 

Date:  July 23, 2020
Source:  University College London
Summary:
A CT scan technique that splits a full X-ray beam into thin beamlets can deliver the same quality of image at a much reduced radiation dose, according to a new study. The technique, demonstrated on a small sample in a micro CT scanner, could potentially be adapted for medical scanners and used to reduce the amount of radiation millions of people are exposed to each year.

A CT scan technique that splits a full X-ray beam into thin beamlets can deliver the same quality of image at a much reduced radiation dose, according to a new UCL study.

The technique, demonstrated on a small sample in a micro CT scanner, could potentially be adapted for medical scanners and used to reduce the amount of radiation millions of people are exposed to each year.

A computerised tomography (CT) scan is a form of X-ray that creates very accurate cross-sectional views of the inside of the body. It is used to guide treatments and diagnose cancers and other diseases.

Past studies have suggested CT scans may cause a small increase in lifelong cancer risk because their high-energy wavelengths can damage DNA. Although cells repair this damage, sometimes these repairs are imperfect, leading to DNA mutations in later years……… https://www.sciencedaily.com/

July 25, 2020 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Plutonium particles from Fukushima a bigger problem than previously thought

Plutonium Particles Scattered 200km From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site, Scientists Say   https://theswaddle.com/plutonium-particles-scattered-200km-from-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-site-scientists-say/, By Aditi Murti, Jul 22, 2020  Plutonium fragments may have spread more than 200km via caesium microparticle compounds released during the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. These findings are according to research done on the region’s soil samples, published in Science of The Total Environment, by an international group of scientists.
The Fukushima Nuclear disaster occurred when a massive tsunami crashed over the plant’s walls, causing three operating nuclear reactors to overheat and melt down. Simultaneously, reactions within the plant generated hydrogen gas that exploded as soon as it escaped from containment. During the disaster, caesium — a volatile fission product created in nuclear fuel — combined with other reactor materials to create caesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) that were ejected from the plant.
CsMPs are incredibly radioactive, and scientists study them in an attempt to both measure their environmental impact and to gain insight into the nature and extent of the Fukushima disaster. In one such research process, scientists discovered tiny uranium and plutonium fragments within these micro-particles. The range of plutonium particle spread was previously estimated at 50km, and this research changes that number to 230km. This discovery is vital as it provides a reason to extend testing for plutonium poisoning in human-inhabited regions further than before, and helps scientists understand how to decommission the nuclear reactors in the plant.   Decommissioning nuclear plants is extremely important after they cease to function, in order to reduce residual radioactivity in the region to safe levels.
With respect to immediate implications for health, scientists note that radioactivity levels of the plutonium are similar to global counts from nuclear weapons tests. While this means that radioactivity levels may not pose an urgent, critical danger, scientists also note that plutonium poisoning in food items remains a threat. If plutonium were ingested — a possibility in this region — it could create isotopes that significantly increase radioactivity doses, and poison the body
Due to high radioactivity levels, humans are still unable to enter the Fukushima plant nine years after the disaster. Yet, scientists continue to work towards safely decommissioning the reactors within the plant from the outskirts.

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation | Leave a comment

With loss of biodiversity will come new pandemics

July 23, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment, health | Leave a comment

We underestimate the long term effects of the pandemic

July 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment