nuclear-news

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

Radiation from smartphones could be affecting memory performance in teenagers

Study suggests mobile phone radiation could affect teenagers’ memory performancehttps://www.irishnews.com/magazine/science/2018/07/20/news/study-suggests-mobile-phone-radiation-could-affect-teenagers-memory-performance-1388073/, 20 July, 2018 18:31

Radiation from smartphones could be affecting memory performance in teenagers, a new study has warned.

Scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) have found that increased exposure to mobile phones over the course of a year negatively affects the figural memory – which refers to the human ability to understand images, shapes, patterns and objects – of adolescents.

According to the researchers, youngsters who hold their phone next to their right ear are more likely to be affected as figural memory is located in the right hemisphere of the brain.

The Swiss TPH team studied nearly 700 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, looking to see if there was a link between regular exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) – which are produced by mobile phone technologies and other wireless devices – and memory performance.

They found that RF-EMF absorbed by the brain to be associated with a negative effect on figural memory performance.

Sending text messages, playing mobile games and browsing the internet were found to “cause only marginal RF-EMF exposure to the brain and were not associated with the development of memory performance”, the researchers said.

The study follows up a report in 2015 and more recent information on the absorption of RF-EMF in adolescents’ brains during different types of wireless communication device use.

Martin Roosli, head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH, said that further research is needed to rule out other factors.

He said: “For instance, the study results could have been affected by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the participant’s cognitive and behavioural state.”

While the potential effects of RF-EMF exposure to the brain is a relatively new field of scientific research, Dr Roosli advises that using headphones or turning on the phone’s loudspeaker could help reduce the exposure to RF-EMF.

He said: “It is not yet clear how RF-EMF could potentially affect brain processes or how relevant our findings are in the long-term.

“Potential risks to the brain can be minimised by using headphones or the loudspeaker while calling, in particular when network quality is low and the mobile phone is functioning at maximum power.”

The research is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Advertisements

July 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Children’s eyes need protection from ultraviolet radiation

Get Your Sunglasses Out: UV-Radiation and Eye Health https://www.advancedsciencenews.com/get-your-sunglasses-out-uv-radiation-eye-health/ Bette Nijboer  July 19, 2018  

July 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Linear No Threshold the best model for ionising radiation, new research shows

 Implications of recent epidemiologic studies for the linear nonthreshold model and radiation protection https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326387649_Implications_of_recent_epidemiologic_studies_for_the_linear_nonthreshold_model_and_radiation_protection

Article in Journal of Radiological Protection ·
Article in Journal of Radiological Protection · July 2018   Roy ShoreHarold Beck Jr. John D. Boice Lawrence Dauer        DOI: 10.1088/1361-6498/aad348
Abstract
The recently published NCRP Commentary No. 27 evaluated the new information from epidemiologic studies as to their degree of support for applying the linear nonthreshold (LNT) model of carcinogenic effects for radiation protection purposes [1].
The aim was to determine whether recent epidemiologic studies of low-LET radiation, particularly those at low doses and/or low dose rates (LD/LDR), broadly support the LNT model of carcinogenic risk or, on the contrary, demonstrate sufficient evidence that the LNT model is inappropriate for the purposes of radiation protection.
An updated review was needed because a considerable number of reports of radiation epidemiologic studies based on new or updated data have been published since other major reviews were conducted by national and international scientific committees. The Commentary provides a critical review of the LD/LDR studies that are most directly applicable to current occupational, environmental and medical radiation exposure circumstances.
This Memorandum summarizes several of the more important LD/LDR studies that incorporate radiation dose responses for solid cancer and leukaemia that were reviewed in Commentary No. 27. In addition, an overview is provided of radiation studies of breast and thyroid cancers, and cancer after childhood exposures. Non-cancers are briefly touched upon such as ischemic heart disease, cataracts, and heritable genetic effects.
To assess the applicability and utility of the LNT model for radiation protection, the Commentary evaluated 29 epidemiologic studies or groups of studies, primarily of total solid cancer, in terms of strengths and weaknesses in their epidemiologic methods, dosimetry approaches, and statistical modeling, and the degree to which they supported a LNT model for continued use in radiation protection. Recommendations for how to make epidemiologic radiation studies more informative are outlined. The NCRP Committee recognizes that the risks from LD/LDR are small and uncertain.
The Committee judged that the available epidemiologic data were broadly supportive of the LNT model and that at this time no alternative dose-response relationship appears more pragmatic or prudent for radiation protection purposes.

Implications of recent epidemiologic studies for the linear nonthreshold model and radiation protection | Request PDF. Available Implications of recent epidemiologic studies for the linear nonthreshold model and radiation protection | Request PDF. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326387649_Implications_of_recent_epidemiologic_studies_for_the_linear_nonthreshold_model_and_radiation_protection [accessed Jul 20 2018].

July 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Another leap forward for medical diagnosis and treatment with no need for nuclear reactors

NO RADIATION NEEDED: 3D TOOL CREATES MAPS OF PATIENTS’ HEARTS BEFORE PROCEDURES

by Danielle Prieur (WMFE) 16 July 18 

A new mapping technology is helping doctors determine where to place life-saving catheters in patients with irregular heartbeats without the use of radiation. It’s being used at Florida Hospital. One of these patients is 14-year-old Grayson Abraham who has a heart condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes. He credits the procedure with helping him get back on the field.

“I could play sports again and my heart wouldn’t do anything wrong anymore. It was just a week of not doing heavy lifting, it was an easy recovery.”

Mayo Clinic says estimates young athletes account for 1 in every 50,000 sudden cardiac deaths a year.

To listen to the full story, please click on the clip above. (AUDIO on original) http://www.wmfe.org/no-radiation-needed-3d-tool-creates-maps-of-patients-hearts-before-procedures/89334

July 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

UA researchers preparing for quick radiation diagnostic test in case of a nuclear disaster

EurekAlert, 10 July 18

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA HEALTH SCIENCES  Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix are attempting to create a better diagnostic test for radiation exposure that potentially could save thousands of lives.

Jerome Lacombe, PhD, an assistant professor and researcher at the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, recently published a peer-reviewed study in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE.

His study compiled a list of genes reported to be affected by external ionizing radiation (IR), and assessed their performance as possible biomarkers that could be used to calculate the amount of radiation absorbed by the human body.

“In the case of a nuclear event, a lot of people can be radiated,” Dr. Lacombe said. “That is why it’s so important that we can quickly and accurately assess the absorbed radiation so we can give patients the proper medical treatment as fast as possible.”

Jerome Lacombe, PhD, an assistant professor and researcher at the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, recently published a peer-reviewed study in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE.

His study compiled a list of genes reported to be affected by external ionizing radiation (IR), and assessed their performance as possible biomarkers that could be used to calculate the amount of radiation absorbed by the human body.

“In the case of a nuclear event, a lot of people can be radiated,” Dr. Lacombe said. “That is why it’s so important that we can quickly and accurately assess the absorbed radiation so we can give patients the proper medical treatment as fast as possible.”……..https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/uoah-urp071018.php

July 16, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Cancer deaths from radiation due to atomic bomb tests – compensation to families under new Bill

Utahns who say family members died from cancer because of radioactive fallout would be eligible for $150K under new bill  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/07/06/under-bill-compensation/ By Lee Davidson, 6 july 18 

J Truman’s earliest memory is of sitting as a child on his father’s knee in Enterprise, Utah, transfixed by a show in the sky from nuclear-bomb testing in nearby Nevada, including watching pink-gray fallout clouds pass overhead.

“My parents died from cancer,” he says, blaming those radioactive clouds. So Truman, director of Downwinders, Inc., has fought since the 1970s for compensation for victims. A bill by Sen. Orrin Hatch and the late Rep, Wayne Owens in 1990, and expanded in 2000, gave money to victims in 10 southern Utah counties.

Now Truman hails new legislation that proposes finally offering payments to victims in all of Utah — and neighboring states. And payments under the plan would grow from $50,000 for downwind cancer victims to the same $150,000 paid to Nevada Test Site workers. People who received the lower payment could apply to get the additional $100,000.

“Salt Lake County was hit just as hard by fallout” from some nuclear tests as areas in southern Utah that have long qualified for compensation, Truman says. “So was the Uinta Basin,” according to federal fallout studies ordered by the earlier bills.

We need justice. Not ‘just us.’ There must be equal justice for all exposed and sickened,” Truman says. He adds that the $50,000 offered to some through earlier bills “doesn’t even cover the first round of chemo.”

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Rep. Ben Lujan, D-N.M., are sponsoring the new legislation — mostly to help victims in their states that had been excluded. No Utah members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors so far.

Similar bills have been introduced for the past eight years with no action, but Crapo managed finally to win a hearing last monthin the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This hearing has been a long time in coming,” Crapo said there.

The senator complains that 20 of the 25 U.S. counties hardest hit by radioactive Iodine-131 were in Idaho and Montana, where residents received no compensation.

His bill would now cover victims of cancers tied to radiation in all of Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Guam (because of Pacific ocean nuclear tests).

Crapo said he’s talked to many Idaho farmers who awoke after a 1952 nuclear test to “find their pastures and orchards covered with a fine white dust. It seemingly appeared out of nowhere. It looked like frost. But it was not cold to touch.” It was fallout, and he said no one warned farmers about its dangers.

Crapo complained that the government has long known, because of studies in Utah, about unexplained clusters of cancer downwind of nuclear tests. “That was 40 years ago. However, there are still a number of those affected who are still waiting for the government to do the right thing and make them eligible for compensation.”

Eltona Henderson, with Idaho Downwinders, testified that her native rural Gem County, Idaho, has been devastated by cancer that she blames on the nuclear tests — and has collected the names of 1,060 cancer victims from there. “Some entire families have been wiped out by cancer, where there was no cancer before the 1950s.”

She added, “It seems that because of the nuclear testing, our ‘Valley of Plenty’ is now ’The Valley of Death…. I have 38 people in my family that have had cancer, 14 have died from the disease,“ adding most did not have lifestyles that otherwise would have increased their likelihood for cancer.

Earlier bills also never compensated victims downwind of the nation’s first Trinity atomic bomb test in New Mexico, which developed the bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War

II. Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders protested that omission at the hearing.

“The radioactive fallout settled on everything. On the soil, in the water, in the air, on the plants, and on the skin of every living thing,” she said. “The New Mexico Downwinders are the collateral damage that resulted from the development and testing of the first atomic bomb.”

Hatch and Owens in earlier decades said a major problem of passing compensation bills was their cost, and Truman said it is also an ongoing problem with new legislation.

Justice Department data show that more than $1 billion has been paid to 21,649 downwiders through the years, “and that’s just covering some rural counties. If bigger urban areas were added, that number could really take off,” Truman said.

When compensation is added in that was paid to workers at the Nevada Test Site and at uranium mines and mills, the U.S. government has paid $2.26 billion in radiation compensation.

Studies have said radiation from nuclear tests hit virtually every county in the nation to some extent. 

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., whose father, former Interior Secretary Stuart Udall, started early lawsuits seeking downwinder compensation in Utah, said paying some but not other victims is a grave injustice. “We must do everything we can now to make sure the many unwilling Cold War victims and their families are compensated.”

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said the new legislation “is about confronting the dark corners of our country and working to bring on the light,” and is about “making sure we do right by people who were wronged when our nation was building up and testing its nuclear arsenal.”

July 7, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, politics | Leave a comment

Cancer patients in Queensland, Australia, benefit from nuclear medicine, safely produced at the hospital, with no need of a nuclear reactor

Cancer care in Queensland relies on nuclear medicine made in this concrete bunker http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-03/nuclear-medicine-concrete-bunker-central-to-states-cancer-care/9920624  ABC Radio Brisbane By Hailey Renault

Staff at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s nuclear medicine department get to work in the morning around the same time as a baker starts serving up hot bread.

But instead of kneading dough and priming ovens, the labcoat-clad workers manufacture medicines that diagnose and treat cancer.

It’s a delicate operation with rigorous quality control and testing protocols that start deep in the bowels of the hospital behind several layers of thick concrete.

A vault with walls more than a metre thick houses a particle accelerator called a cyclotron.

“It creates a proton beam which bombards oxygen-18 water and turns it into fluorine-18. That’s what we attach to those pharmaceuticals,” Dr Marissa Bartlett, manager of the Radiopharmaceutical Centre of Excellence, said.

The cyclotron is switched on at 4:00am every day to make a new batch of radiopharmaceuticals for lifesaving treatments and therapies.

“We make products that are taken up by cancer cells, so when a patient goes under the [PET] scanner the doctors can see pictures and images of where the cancer cells are,” Dr Bartlett told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Katherine Feeney.

“One of the therapies some patients who have cancer can have is a radionuclide therapy, which goes to the cancer cells and uses radiation to kill those cells.”

There’s no hazmat suits in sight — they’re not needed in a lab largely devoid of dangerous chemicals — but Dr Bartlett said lab workers were protected from radiation by a series of lead, lead-glass and concrete shields.

“When the cyclotron is on it generates very large amounts of radiation so it would be extremely dangerous to be anywhere near it when it’s on,” she said.

“In order to have it on campus we have it inside a concrete room. The walls of that room are thicker than I am tall.”

Medicines go direct to patients

Even though Dr Bartlett described the nuclear medicine department as an “obscure little branch” of hospital operations, many Queenslanders would come into contact with the radiopharmaceuticals it produced.

The Cancer Council of Queensland estimates nearly 27,000 people receive a cancer diagnosis each year.

“One of the things that makes this an amazing place to work is that you literally walk past the patients to get to the lab,” Dr Bartlett said.

“They might get news they really don’t want or maybe they’re coming back to see how their cancer is progressing or responding to treatment.

“We’re very aware of the patients who are lining up every day to get the products we make.”

And what happens to any radioactive materials that aren’t used?

“Everything we make has a very short half-life, so we basically store it until it decays away,” Dr Bartlett said.

“Then it’s completely cold and you wouldn’t know that it had been radioactive.”

July 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, health, technology | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear reports on little known Nigerian town and AREVA’s uranium mining

A forgotten community  The little town in Niger keeping the lights on in France, Beyond Nuclear By Lucas Destrijcker & Mahadi Diouara, 1 July 18 
Reprinted with kind permission from African Arguments

Welcome to Arlit, the impoverished uranium capital of Africa.

From Niamey, the capital of the landlocked West African nation of Niger, we call ahead to a desert town in the remote north of the country.

“Journalists? On their way here? It’s been a while”, we hear down the phone from our contact. “We welcome you with open arms, but only on the pretence that you’re visiting to interview migrants on their way to Algeria. If they find out you’re poking your nose in their business, it’s a lost cause.”

That same evening, the public bus jolts as it sets off. Destination: the gates of the Sahara.

The stuffy subtropical heat gradually fades into scorching drought and plains of seemingly endless ochre sands. About two days later, we pass through a gateway with “Arlit” written on it in rusty letters.

The town of about 120,000 inhabitants is located in one of the Sahel’s most remote regions, not far from the Algerian border. The surrounding area is known to be the operating territory of numerous bandits and armed groups, including Islamist militants. It is like an island in the middle of the desert, an artificial oasis with only one raison d’être: uranium………

approximately 150,000 tonnes of uranium have been extracted by the majority state-owned French company Areva, which is now one of the largest uranium producers in the world. The two mines around Arlit – Somaïr and Cominak – account for around a third of the multi-billion-dollar company’s total global production.

France uses this uranium to generate nuclear power, some of which is sold on to other European countries. According to Oxfam, over one-third of all lamps in France light up thanks to uranium from Niger.

However, in contrast to France, Niger has failed to see similar benefits. The West African country has become the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium, which contributes tens of millions to the nation’s budget each year. Yet it has remained one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, with almost half its 20 million population living below the poverty line. Its annual budget has typically been a fraction of Areva’s yearly revenue.

The main reason for this is the deal struck between Areva and Niger. The details have not been made public, but some journalists and activists such as Ali Idrissa, who campaigns for more transparency in the industry, have seen the agreement. Amongst other things, the documents suggest that the original deal generously exempted Areva from customs, export, fuel, materials and revenue taxes………

Apart from criticising the Nigerien government for not spending its uranium revenue where it is most needed – such as in health care, education and agriculture – Idrissa ( Ali Idrissa, who campaigns for more transparency in the industry ) emphasises the bigger geopolitical picture: “Don’t forget that Niger isn’t just negotiating with a regular company, but with the French state. Their development aid, military and political support means that we cannot ignore our former coloniser. Our dependency from France goes hand in hand with crooked business deals.”

Forgotten in the desert

Exhausted from the long journey to Arlit, we’re received in the dingy office of Mouvement Unique des Organisations de la Société Civile d’Arlit (MUOSCA), a local umbrella group for environmental and humanitarian NGOs.

“If either Areva or the government were to find out you’re poking your nose in their business, they’ll go to any length to make your work very difficult”, says MUOSCA’s director Dan Ballan Mahaman Sani as he wipes the sweat from his brow. “Besides that, Westerners are attractive targets in this region.”

Indeed, there is a history of Islamist militant attacks and kidnappings in the area, including some directly targeting Areva. In 2010, seven of the company’s employees were abducted, including five French nationals. In 2013, an attack on the Somaïr mine left one dead and 16 injured.

While the world held its breath as armed groups stepped up operations in the region, Areva, managed to extract over 4,000 tons of uranium, up from two years before, without too much trouble.

Dan Ballan says this illustrates how far the Nigerien uranium industry stands apart from the country’s social environment and how isolated Arlit has become especially amidst regional insecurity.

“International NGOs or UN agencies don’t exist here, and Areva has nothing to fear from the Nigerien government,” he says. “We’re literally a forgotten community, completely left to the mercy of the multinational.”

Finding water

According to Dan Ballan and others, the uranium mining industry has taken a huge toll on Arlit and the region. While Areva has a multi-billion-dollar turnover, the majority of people here live in a patchwork of corrugated iron shelters on sandstone foundations. Poverty is rife. Power outages lasting two or more days are regarded as normal.

Moreover, while the uranium mines consume millions of litres each day, only a small proportion of Arlit’s Nigerien population enjoy running water. A 2010 Greenpeace study estimated that 270 billion litres of water had been used by the mines over decades of operations, draining a fossil aquifer more than 150 metres deep. The depletion of these ancient water reserves has contributed to desertification and the drying up of vegetation.

The water in Arlit, however, is not only scarce. Researchers over the years also suggest that, along with the soil and air, it contains alarming levels of radiotoxins.

Bruno Chareyon, director of the French Commission for Independent Research and Information on Radiation (CRIIAD), has been measuring radioactivity in and around Arlit for over a decade. His studies from 2003 and 2004 suggested that the drinking water contains levels of uranium at ten to hundred times the World Health Organisation’s recommended safety standards.

“Despite these findings, Areva has stated continuously that they haven’t measured any excess radioactivity during their biannual examinations,” he says.

In 2009, Greenpeace conducted their own tests and found that five of six examined wells – all used to get drinking water – contained excess radioactivity as well as traces of toxins such as sulphates and nitrates.

……… Toxic waste

At the bustling local market in Arlit, down some meandering alleyways, there are the normal wares, but among them one finds some more peculiar items: large industrial cogs; parts of metal cranes; digging equipment; and even a dump truck.

“All of these are cast-downs from the mines,” says Dan Ballan. “Useless material finds its way to local merchants, who recuperate it and sell it on. Most of them have no idea of the risks.”

CRIIRAD readings of goods at the market from 2003 and 2004 showed radioactivity levels at up to 25 times the maximum standards. “People buy radioactive material to cook with, build their homes with, or raise their children with,” says Dan Ballan…….

Greenpeace and CRIIRAD confirm that radioactive dust spreads far and wide, sometimes to hundreds of kilometres away. But contrary to claims of a “superfast decay”, they say that while some products have half-lives of just days, others have half-lives of tens of years.

Furthermore, researchers say that radioactive waste is not simply dispersed. “The same radioactive rubble was used in Arlit on more than one occasion for landfills or building roads and homes”, alleges Chareyron. In 2007, CRIIRAD found that some road surfaces had radioactive values over a hundred times standard values.

………. Living with uranium

It is not difficult to come across Arlit residents suffering from serious health problems. ………..

The only hospitals in Arlit are run by Areva, with all the medical staff on the company payroll. The government provides no healthcare here. At the Cominak facility, Dr Alassane Seydou claims to have never diagnosed someone with a disease that could be linked to radiation or toxins. He says that in more than 40 years, not a single case of cancer has been discovered. “All employees are systematically examined, but we haven’t encountered any strange diseases,” he claims.

In 2005, the French law association Sherpa launched an investigation into Areva’s activities in Arlit. Speaking to them, one former employee at Somaïr hospital alleged that patients with cancer had been knowingly miscategorised as having HIV or malaria. The surgeon-in-chief at the hospital denied those claims.

There have been no official, large-scale health studies conducted in Arlit, but some smaller-scale studies give an indication of the prevalence of illness among residents and former Areva employees.

In 2013, the Nigerien organisation Réseau Nationale Dette et Développement interviewed 688 former Areva workers. Almost one quarter of them had suffered severe medical issues, ranging from cancer and respiratory problems to pains in their joints and bones. At least 125 had stopped work because of these health issues.

A similar survey was carried out on French former employees around the same time. In 2012, Areva was found culpable in the death of Serge Venel, an engineer in Arlit from 1978-1985. A few months before his passing, doctors had found that his cancer was caused by the “breathing of uranium particles”. The case went to court, with the judge ordering Areva to pay compensation for its “inexcusable fault”. Before the court of appeals, only the Cominak mine was found responsible.

Following the verdict, Venel’s daughter, Peggy Catrin-Venel, founded an organisation to protect the rights of former Areva employees. As part of this project, she managed to trace around 130 of about 350 French workers who had lived in Arlit at the same time as her father. 60% of those she was able to find information on had already died, most of them from the same cancer as her father.

Standing up

Catrin-Venel continues to fight against Areva, but she is not alone. As shown in the documentary Uranium, L’héritage EmpoisonnéJacqueline Gaudet is also standing up to the company.

She founded the organisation Mounana after she lost her father, mother and husband all to cancer in the space of just a few years. Her husband and father had worked at an Areva uranium mine in Gabon, while her mother lived there in a house built from mining rubble. Their cancers were reportedly caused by excessive exposure to radon, which is released during uranium extraction. In collaboration with lawyers from Sherpa and Doctors of the World, Gaudet’s organisation works to collect testimonies from former employees in order to build cases.

For Michel Brugière, former director of Doctors of the World, it’s still unthinkable that so many employees of the French state-owned company could fall ill like this. Speaking in the documentary, he commented: “How can one allow one’s staff to live and work in such a polluted environment? This is unbelievable. It’s reminiscent of long gone abuses.”

In the same vein, Greenpeace describes Arlit as a forgotten battlefield of the nuclear industry. “There are few places where the catastrophic effects of uranium mining on nearby communities and the environment are felt more distinctly than in Niger”, said researcher Andrea Dixon.

Back in Arlit, the stories of French former employees standing up to Areva are well-known. But the struggle for Nigerien workers to get recognised is even steeper than in Europe. “Both the legal system and the financial means to stand up for our rights are lacking”, says Dan Ballan. “In a couple of years, the uranium reserves will be depleted and Areva will leave, however the pollution and underdevelopment will stay behind.”

He may be right, but Areva will not be going far. About 80km away, a third and enormous new Nigerien uranium mine called Imouraren is being developed. “Lacking any perspective of another job, the workers will eventually move 

wherever the mine is”, says the local activist……..

……Arlit, the little town that pays the ultimate price to keep the lights on in France. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/1909889644

This story was realised with the support of Free Press Unlimited and the Lira Starting Grant for Young Journalists of the Fonds voor Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten.

The article originally appeared July 18, 2017 on African Arguments

July 2, 2018 Posted by | environment, health, Niger, Uranium | Leave a comment

Federal and tribal officials support proposed amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Officials seek support for radiation exposure compensation amendments https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/navajo-nation/2018/06/30/officials-seek-support-radiation-exposure-compensation-amendments/740239002/Noel Lyn Smith, Farmington Daily Times  June 30, 2018  

July 2, 2018 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, politics | Leave a comment

High cancer rates in flight attendants – effect of ionising radiation

Flight Attendants Have Higher Rates Of Many Cancers, Study Says | TIME 

Why are flight attendants’ rates of cancer spiking? Disrupted sleep and radiation may be to blame https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2018/06/28/why-are-flight-attendants-rates-of-cancer-spiking-disrupted-sleep-and-radiation-may-be-to-blame/23470250/, ABBY HAGLAGE, Jun 28th 2018 

June 29, 2018 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

New report connects cancer increase in north St. Louis County with radioactive pollution from Coldwater Creek

Radioactive St. Louis–Government Nuclear Waste Scandal Exposed with Dawn Chapman

Radioactive waste from Coldwater Creek could have contaminated neighborhoods http://www.kmov.com/story/38525682/radioactive-waste-from-coldwater-creek-could-have-contaminated-neighborhoods  By Russell Kinsaul, Reporter, NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) –

A new report draws a close connection between cancer and Coldwater Creek in north St. Louis County.

A two-year health assessment by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded that radioactive waste in the creek could have increased the risk of developing bone, lung, skin or breast cancer as well as leukemia for those who lived nearby or who played in the creek as children.

“Our street was right next to the creek. My parents moved there when I was two and I moved away as an adult,” said Kathryn Fults Ward.

Ward was diagnosed with leukemia in August.

“I had been healthy all my life but then boom, all of a sudden leukemia,” she said.

Ward was one of many who attended Wednesday’s public meeting at St. James United Methodist Church held by the federal agency, known as ATSDR, to explain the results of the study and answer questions.

Radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project was stored north of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport starting in 1946. Some of it was in piles that were uncovered. It’s widely believed that wind and rain carried some of the radioactive waste into nearby Coldwater Creek. Some of that waste was later moved to another location near the creek on Latty Avenue.

Those contaminated sites have been cleaned up and currently, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is testing for contamination along the creek and removing soil with elevated levels of radioactivity. The contamination removed during the current efforts has been below the surface and not posing a risk to the public.

“I lost my son, he was born with a brain tumor. It’s a brain tumor that occurs in 60-year-old men,” said Kim Visintine.

Visintine was one of the original members of a group of former north St. Louis County residents concerned about the frequency and types of cancers diagnosed in loved ones and former classmates they grew up with. They worried cancer could have a connection to contamination in the creek.

“So what this health assessment is for us is a validation of everything we’ve been working for since 2011,” said Visintine.

The ATSDR health assessment recommended further testing for dangerous levels of radioactive contamination in homes that flooded, along tributaries of Coldwater Creek and areas where likely contaminated soil was taken from near the creek was used at construction sites.

The agency is also recommending those who lived or played near the creek to talk to their doctor about their potential exposure.

Another public meeting will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church at 315 Graham Road in Florissant.

You can read the entire report here.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

USA Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo supports to help veterans affected by nuclear radiation 

Bordallo supports bill aimed at veterans affected by nuclear radiation https://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2018/06/28/nuclear-compensation-bill-receives-support-congresswoman/740639002/, Kevin Tano, Pacific Daily News June 28, 2018 

June 29, 2018 Posted by | health, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Mexico residents testify on atomic bomb fallout

 https://apnews.com/dc5e3c60042741c696dd062462a03cca– 28 June 18, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates for New Mexicans who many believe were sickened by U.S. uranium mining and nuclear weapons testing have urged Congress to acknowledge their sacrifice and authorize compensation for them.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez and the co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium testified during a hearing Wednesday in Washington on a compensation measure.

Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, it proposes expanding eligibility for payouts under the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act of 1990, which currently covers claims from areas in Nevada, Arizona and Utah that are downwind from a different test site.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa consortium, said many who lived in the area weren’t told about the dangers of the Trinity Test on generations of residents.

They could benefit from the proposal, along with post-1971 uranium mine workers in Northwestern New Mexico.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Marshall Islands atomic bombing – the devastation, thde cancer toll

HELL ON HIGH SEAS https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6626017/us-cold-war-nuclear-tests-bikini-atoll-pacific-ocean-video/   EXCELLENT PHOTOS.  Pacific death zone where nuke tests caused thousands of cancer fatalities 60 years after spreading radiation around the world

The US detonated dozens of nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 including a thermonuclear weapon 1,100 times more powerful than Hiroshima

By Mark Hodge, 26th June 2018  

TERRIFYING footage shows a series of nuclear bomb tests unleashing the fires of hell on an idyllic Pacific Ocean paradise.

The video clips, recently released by the US government, give a glimpse into the horror caused by 67 nuke explosions detonated in Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958.

Carried out in the early days of the Cold War, the tests included the 1954 Castle Bravo bomb which remains the most powerful thermonuclear weapon America has ever detonated.

The civilisation-wrecking 15-megatonne explosive, which exploded near Bikini, was 1,100 times bigger than the atomic bomb used to massacre thousands in Hiroshima  in 1945.

Bravo – nearly three times its predicted power – exposed thousands in neighbouring islands to the radioactive fallout despite the 167 residents in Bikini Atoll being evacuated before the first test in 1946.

Fallout from the unprecedented explosion – including radioactive particles – spread around the world.

US government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement in the early 1970s but residents were removed in 1978 when it became clear that they were ingesting dangerously high levels of radiation from the contaminated fish, plants and water.

To this day, the small community remain exiled from their home.

Dubbed the Pacific Proving Grounds, the Marshall Island sites were used to carry out atmospheric nuclear tests – meaning the bombs were dropped from planes or detonated while underwater.

During the first test on July 1, 1946, military scientists wanted to see the impact of the bombs on naval warships and even filled the boats with animals such as pigs and rats to study the effects of nuclear fallout on livestock, reports Atomic Heritage Foundation.

Among the tests carried out in Enewetak was the world’s first hydrogen bomb, nicknamed Mike, which was detonated on November 1, 1952.

Between, 1977 and 1979, 4,000 American troops were taken to the former island paradise to clean up the contaminated remnants of the 43 nuke tests there.

Hundreds of the soldiers sent now complain of health problems including cancer, brittle bones and birth defects in their children while many of the them are already dead, reports The New York Times.

Speaking with ABC, Michael Gerrard, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, explained that one of the explosions on Enewetak “didn’t work” causing devastating damage to the environment.

He said: “The plutonium was just broken apart by the conventional explosion, leading to about 400 little chunks of plutonium that were spread around the atoll.”

The troops sent to Enewetak collected and dumped 85,000 cubic metres of radioactive material – while wearing only shorts and t-shirts.

According to ABC, the plutonium in the area has a radioactive half-life of more than 24,000 years.

Islanders started to show signs of cancer in the 1960s, while residents further afield showed elevated risk of thyroid tumours and leukaemia, according to Georgetown University professor Timothy J. Jorgenson.

Former residents of Bikini Atoll and their relatives were awarded more than £1.5billion by the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal which was established in 1988.

But despite being permanently displaced from their home, the US stopped paying compensation in 2011 after Congress refused to provide additional funds.

Remarkably, marine life in Bikini has flourished, a Stanford University study last year.

Hundreds of schools of fish including tuna and sharks have thrived while swimming around coral as big as “cars”, reports The Guardian.

Professor Steve Palumbi’s team said Bikini’s marine life looks normal and healthy and do not have mutations like animals found at the Chernobyl nuke site, despite the island being declared a nuclear wasteland.

Palumbi believes that the absence of humans has in fact benefited the local wildlife.

He said: “The fish populations are better than in some other places because they have been left alone, the sharks are more abundant and the coral are big.

“It is a remarkable environment, quite odd.”

He added: “This is the most destructive thing we have ever done to the ocean, dropping 23 atomic bombs on it, yet the ocean is really striving to come back to life.”

The scientists believe that the worst-affected fish died off decades ago and the current marine life are only exposed to low radiation levels because they frequently swim in and out of the atoll

However, a 2012 United Nations reports found that the Bikini remains uninhabitable to humans because of “near-irreversible environmental contamination”.

The fish cannot be eaten, the plants cannot be farmed because of the contaminated soil and consuming water would be dangerous.

In his paper Professor Jorgensen writes: “What happened to the Marshall Islanders next is a sad story of their constant relocation from island to island, trying to avoid the radioactivity that lingered for decades.

“Over the years following the testing, the Marshall Islanders living on the fallout-contaminated islands ended up breathing, absorbing, drinking and eating considerable amounts of radioactivity.”

Between 1945 and 1963, the US and the Soviet Union carried hundreds of atmospheric nuclear tests.

Gases and “radioactive particles” from those detonations have been spread worldwide, according to a study carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At least one CDC report claims that radiation deposits from these tests could eventually be responsible for 11,000 cancer deaths in the US alone.

The organs and tissue of anyone who has lived in the US – which carried out atmospheric nuke tests in Nevada –  since 1951, shows signs of being exposed to nuclear fallout.

The fallout from 2,000 nuclear explosions in the 20th Century dispersed into weather systems which slightly raised the risk of cancer worldwide, according to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

A 1991 IPPNW study claimed that particles from all nuclear explosions could be responsible for up to 430,000 cancer deaths globally.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | health, OCEANIA, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Adivasis (indigenous people) in a remote area of India, suffer health effects from the nuclear industry?

News Click 21st June 2018 , Sanjay Gope, a 13-year-old boy from Bango village near Jadugora town in
East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, cannot move or speak because he has
been suffering from muscular dystrophy – a group of disorders that
involves a progressive loss of muscle mass and consequent loss of strength
– for the past nine years. At least one person of his family has to be
with him all the time to look after him. He cannot be left unattended.

Eighteen-year-old Parvati Gope from the same village is suffering from
lumbar scoliosis – a C-shpaed curve formation of her vertebral column.
Rakesh Gope, a 13-year-old school-going boy, is also suffering from
muscular dystrophy. Although he is active and walks with arched feet and
soles, he is unable to speak normally.

A three-year-old child Kartik Gope has been having seizures since birth and is developing muscular dystrophy
too. These examples are not enough; there are hundreds of such cases of
congenital illness and other birth defects in addition to high incidence of
infertility, miscarriages and pre-mature deliveries.

Now, a pertinent question arises here: why are such large number of health hazards being
reported from this remote and overlooked corner of the country? While India
is dreaming to become energy efficient by 2032 by generating 63 Gigawatts
of nuclear power, it is taking a major toll on human lives in a small
township of Jharkhand. Jadugora has the deposits of world’s best quality
uranium ore, magnesium diuranate. It is because of the rich deposits of the
region, India is capitalising its nuclear dreams. The whole belt of the
reactors is affecting the Adivasis (indigenous people) disproportionately
in and around the uranium mining operational area.
https://newsclick.in/uranium-mining-jharkhand-radioactive-poisoning-ravaging-lives-villages

June 25, 2018 Posted by | health, India, indigenous issues | Leave a comment