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

COVID-19 sheds doubts on Tokyo Olympics 2021

June 20, 2020 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment

Covid-19 pandemic – ‘fire drill’ for effects of climate crisis

June 16, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health | Leave a comment

Radioactive cloud over Europe in 2017 came from a civilian nuclear reactor

June 14, 2020 Posted by | environment, EUROPE, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Russian city Severodvinsk, (near site of nuclear accident) sealed off due to Covid-19

Coronavirus seals off city near secret Russian nuclear accident site, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/2020/06/coronavirus-seals-city-near-secret-russian-nuclear-accident-site The Moscow Times 05, 2020, Authorities have blocked access to Severodvinsk, the north Russian city located near the site of last year’s mysterious nuclear testing accident as the coronavirus outbreak there intensified.The governor of the Arkhangelsk region signed an order to close public access to Severodvinsk this Saturday, the city’s press service said Thursday. Severodvinsk is near the Nyonoksa testing site where an August 2019 explosion during a rocket engine test killed five Russian nuclear workers and led to a radiation spike.

Severodvinsk will set up checkpoints Friday and restrict entry and exit starting midnight Saturday to everyone except workers and people attending funerals, going to country houses or transiting through the city.

“The measure remains in effect until special orders,” the city’s press service said in a statement.

Around 700 people have been infected with Covid-19 at two of the city’s major shipyards since April, an unnamed shipbuilding industry source told the Vedomosti business daily. The Sevmash and Zvezdochka shipyards reportedly saw more than 200 new cases in the past week alone.

The outbreak has prompted federal health officials last week to order enterprises in Severodvinsk to limit their activities.

The Arkhangelsk region has confirmed 2,496 coronavirus infections since the start of the outbreak. Severodvinsk accounts for roughly half of the region’s overall cases.

Last August, a missile exploded during what is believed to have been a recovery operation. The secrecy surrounding the accident has led outside observers to speculate that the explosion involved the Burevestnik nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile, dubbed the SSC-X-9 Skyfall by NATO.

President Vladimir Putin later said the accident occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | health, Russia | Leave a comment

High rate of cancers among Mururoa nuclear veterans’ families

June 6, 2020 Posted by | health, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Now with the pandemic, it is a free-for-all for the nuclear operators 

COVID Infects World Nuclear Plants, May 27, 2020, by Alex Smith,  Radio Ecoshock, “……….During this pandemic, the nuclear industry is another disaster not just waiting to happen, but already dancing with it. Some reactors have been shut down due to the pandemic. But most atomic companies demanded to stay open.

They call themselves essential services, despite a glut of electricity priced well below what the nuclear industry can match. In many countries, taxpayers are paying billions for mal-investments in nuclear power. In America, the private operators and their investors demanded the federal government top up user bills in order to compete with electricity from cheap wind and natural gas. They want safety regulations cut back, inspections and rules developed after major nuclear accidents to be relaxed.

In America, the Trump Administration is ready to help. Three of the 5 commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were nominated by President Trump. Along with other environmental protection rules, the Trump Administration has been dropping safety requirements at nuclear plants. Now with the pandemic, it is a free-for-all for the nuclear operators – as they struggle to avoid painful bankruptcies across the nation.

In just one small example, the former on-site nuclear plant inspectors, found in all nuclear power plants by law, are now making their “inspections” over the phone. There is fear of massive absenteeism of nuclear employees as the pandemic infects workers and their families or contacts. In Georgia, 120 nuclear plant workers had to quarantine. American companies admit they have plans to keep emergency staff, thousands of them, at the reactors in a 24/7 lock down, sleeping on cots. But they won’t say if that is already happening or where. During this pandemic, a nuclear reactor in the United States is sunk down in ground flooded in Michigan. You probably did not hear about that. We will ask big questions about nuclear safety during the pandemic with our guest Grant Smith, Senior Energy Policy Advisor with EWG, the Environmental Working Group.

But it is not just America. The international scene is just as scary. Many companies said they had pandemic plans, but few did, or no plan on this scale. A few reactors in the UK and France were closed down because they could not be operated safely during a pandemic. Almost all the rest stay on, full power, despite workers getting infected, and essential supply chains in doubt. The Russian state atomic company Rosatom brags “Nuclear Is Not Afraid of COVID-19”. Construction on the first nuclear power plant in impoverished Bangladesh is continuing, they say, even though a few hundred Russian nuclear construction experts were called home during the pandemic. I guess it is up to the Bangladeshis to build it completely safely. Rosatom reports construction of new reactors in Egypt and Turkey continues through the pandemic.

Russian nuclear operators have been infected with this virus. Probably every country with a reactor or nuclear weapon has these infections and risks, without reporting it. What could go wrong? I summarize carefully worded reports that explain so much. A nuclear accident during a pandemic would be a dire twist in history. Maybe with a bit of sunlight and public voice, we can avoid that?

The industry reports terrorists threatened to attack nuclear facilities during this plague. Experts point to spikes in attempts to hack nuclear control systems, even while some reactor employees work from home computers. I hope they are not using Windows 10 with botched and hackable updates.. In all countries, from Finland to Canada to Australia, the problems or policies meant to cope with nuclear-sized risks during this pandemic are shrouded in secrecy.

A watchdog group reports major decisions approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission require, by law, public consultation and information. The pandemic has excused all that, the brakes are off, the deregulators are not regulating. The NRC claims it rules the operation of nuclear plants, but not worker health. The NRC has not provided a public plan for nuclear plants during COVID-19. Other national governments are distracted. They are already politically and financially enmeshed in the nuclear game. That leaves safety up to nuclear plant owners and investors, the unseen wealthy and their CEOs, the ones already facing oblivion as dangerous aging reactors shut down one after another, and wind power blows them away.

I’m Alex Smith. This is Radio Ecoshock. Before I cover the convergence of a pandemic, climate change, and grave nuclear risks in many countries, let’s start out with our guest in America. …… https://www.ecoshock.org/2020/05/covid-infects-world-nuclear-plants.html

June 1, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, health, politics, safety, USA | 1 Comment

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY STRUGGLES WITH PANDEMIC, also threatened by climate change

June 1, 2020 Posted by | climate change, health, Russia, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

PANDEMIC STRIKES NUCLEAR WORKERS IN AMERICA

June 1, 2020 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Coronavirus pandemic hampers Japan’s nuclear regulators’ probe into Fukushima disaster

Nuclear regulators’ Fukushima crisis probe hit by coronavirus,   https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200530/p2g/00m/0na/054000c May 30, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)  TOKYO (Kyodo) — A probe by nuclear regulators into the causes of the March 2011 Fukushima crisis has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, with the dispatch of staff from Tokyo postponed for fear of spreading infection among the some 4,000 on-site decommissioning workers.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority had resumed its investigation last October, deeming radiation levels in some areas of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had lowered sufficiently enough, nearly a decade since the disaster.

NRA officials had repeatedly traveled to the site from Tokyo and succeeded last December in filming scattered debris and a damaged ceiling on the third floor of the No. 3 reactor building, where a hydrogen explosion occurred during the crisis triggered by the quake-tsunami disaster.

In late March, the watchdog set seven priorities in conducting the probe for the time being, including checking the radiation levels on the fourth floor of the No. 3 reactor building, and radiation contamination levels at the No. 2 reactor facility.

The NRA originally intended to send its staff to the plant every one or two weeks in April and May, but the plan came to a halt following the government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the coronavirus on April 7 for Tokyo and six other prefectures, which was expanded nationwide on April 16.

“It would be impermissible should the virus be brought from Tokyo in any case” to the Fukushima complex, NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa said.

The nuclear watchdog was compelled to cancel the planned dispatch of its staff for the probe because any coronavirus infection among the employees at the plant could stop their decommissioning work.

The state of emergency declaration was lifted on Monday for the entire nation, but the NRA fears it may take even more time before staff can enter the site again.

Further delays in the resumption of the probe could affect the NRA’s goal of compiling a report by the end of the year.

“We can’t do it during the summer period,” a senior NRA official said, as it will be impossible to carry out an investigation under the summer heat wearing heavy radiation protection gear.

The NRA is looking to restart sending the staff from the fall, according to sources close to the matter.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | health, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear emissions cause cancer

Irvine Community News 30th May 2020, While we agonize over the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps it is also appropriate to consider another medical enigma which kills far more. Cancer is the number one killer in California. This year, cancer deaths are expected to
exceed 60,000 in California and 600,000 nationwide.

Radioactive discharges from nuclear power plants are viewed by many as a contributing factor. Over 100 million Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Our
very own San Onofre has been regularly releasing low-level radiation into
the ocean and atmosphere for more than a half-century.

Although it is listed as “low-level,” the destructive biological effects of radiation
are cumulative. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, even small
doses of ionizing radiation increase risks to humans.

Air ejectors blast dozens of radionuclides into the prevailing winds which generally blow over
the populated cities of Orange County. Giant pipes that are 18 feet in
diameter discharge liquid releases into the ocean, up to a million gallons
per minute. Radionuclides are mixed with sea water in discharges that can
go on for more than a day. The theory is simple: The solution to pollution
is dilution.

Do these emissions increase cancer risk? The shocking answer
is that no one knows for sure, mainly because of lack of research. The
public would like to know more but nuclear industry wants to know less. The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission likes to cite a heavily flawed study from 30
years ago which failed to find an answer. It studied only where people
died, not where they lived or worked. It also failed to study cancer in
children, the most vulnerable group.

More recently, scientific studies in Europe have reported an increase in cancer risks, especially in children.

https://irvinecommunitynewsandviews.org/guest-article-do-emissions-from-nuclear-power-plants-cause-cancer/

June 1, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment

Research is needed into health effects of 4G and 5G radiation

Professor Kromhout: ‘Research into future exposure to 4G and 5G radiation is warranted’  https://innovationorigins.com/professor-kromhout-research-into-future-exposure-to-4g-and-5g-radiation-is-warranted/  This week and next week, Innovation Origins is looking at the growing influence of wireless communication within today’s society and in particular at data transmission via electromagnetic with ever-higher frequencies, such as 5G.

Research is needed to map out exactly what the exposure to electromagnetic fields is as soon as the new frequencies come into effect for communicating data wirelessly with 5G. In the interim, 4G will coexist with 5G. This means that levels of electromagnetic fields might experience an overall increase. So says Professor Hans Kromhout, who is chair of the Exposure Assessment and Occupational Hygiene group at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Kromhout is also chair of the Committee Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Health Council of the Netherlands. This committee is investigating the possible health risks associated with 5G at the request of the Dutch House of Representatives. The advisory report is due by the end of July, as stipulated by the Health Council of the Netherlands.

“The level of expected exposure to radiofrequency fields can be easily mapped out. The people who devised the technology for 5G are very smart physicists. They should be able to do this.”

Resistance to 5G

Several individuals and groups in The Netherlands are actively opposing the introduction of 5G because they are convinced that radiofrequency waves are harmful. Some claim that there is a conspiracy to harm the population. Over the past few months, it has frequently been reported in the news that activists had set fire to telecom companies’ masts. Some of these new 5G antennas will have to be placed on the same masts that are currently used for 4G.

Another group has filed a preliminary injunction against the government which is to auction off the new frequencies starting this summer.

Several documents circulate among activists, such as a pamphlet written by Martin Pallan, an American emeritus professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington. The pamphlet claims that electromagnetic fields used for 5G can lead to, among other things, damage to DNA, increased risk of infertility, cancer, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

No scientific evidence linked to cancer

According to Kromhout, there isn’t any substantiated evidence-based scientific research that proves that such diseases are caused by the use of mobile phones and exposure to radiofrequency fields from transmission masts. Kromhout himself participated in research into the effect that mobile phone usage might have on the onset of headaches, tinnitus (a hearing disorder whereby you constantly hear peeping sounds in your ear when in reality there’s no sound), hearing impairment and insomnia. This study did not show a connection between the radiofrequency fields and the health complaints that were studied. Although it did show a connection with the (excessive) use of a mobile phone.

Kromhout also took part in a study into the effect of electromagnetic fields on people who consider themselves to be ‘electrohypersensitive.’ This experimental double-blind study showed that the test subjects were unable to perceive whether or not they were exposed to electromagnetic fields. This made the claim that their complaints were related to these fields far more improbable.

Research into the effect of static magnetic fields from MRI scanners on nurses and workers in the production of MRI scanners showed that after prolonged exposure, they are more likely to suffer from dizziness, abnormal bleeding in the uterus, and an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. “The levels of radiation to which these people are exposed are significantly higher than those of people using a mobile phone,” Kromhout adds. “You cannot use those tests to determine any potential effects of 4G or 5G on health.”

Absence of test procedures for determining health effects stemming from 5G

In spite of this, Kromhout thinks it is appropriate to carry out research into any eventual effects. “When a company introduces a new medicine, it has to go through all kinds of test procedures to be certain that they are safe to public health. This hasn’t taken place at all here.”

It is difficult to establish with 100% certainty that there is no damage to health without scientific research because you just don’t know exactly what the influence of 4G and 5G is. “But I don’t think it’s likely that the damage could be more severe as a result of the use of these higher frequencies. Electromagnetic fields with lower frequencies are able to penetrate deeper into your head. These seem to me to be more dangerous than high frequencies like 5G. Research should, therefore, focus more on the skin. Skin is what is most likely to come into contact with electromagnetic fields at higher frequencies.”

The fact that there will be more transmission masts as a result of 5G does not necessarily lead to more exposure, Kromhout believes that as the increasingly higher frequencies that will come into use have a shorter range than existing lower frequencies. “Exposure to radiation in the times of 1G and 2G was many times higher than it is now.”

Yet as 5G will become active alongside 4G, and in light of the fact that there will be a greater number of applications, the total amount of exposure to radiation is still likely to increase for today’s user.

Read other IO articles about 5G via this link.

May 30, 2020 Posted by | radiation | Leave a comment

Nuclear deregulation threatens workers at Pennsylvania plants and nationwide

May 28, 2020 Posted by | health, safety, USA | Leave a comment

During pandemic, U.S. military runs the largest maritime war games in the world

COVID-19: US Military Pursues War Games Amid Contagion, Consortium News, May 26, 2020  A robust schedule of military maneuvers and exercises is either underway or planned for Europe and the Pacific this year, with more in store for 2021, Ann Wright reports.   During the pandemic the U.S. military is running the largest maritime military maneuvers in the world, with Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) coming to the waters off Hawaii Aug. 17-31, bringing 26 nations, 25,000 military personnel, up to 50 ships and submarines and hundreds of aircraft.Hawaii hasstringent measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, with a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons arriving in the state; returning residents as well as visitors. This quarantine is required until at least June 30, 2020.

The U.S. Army is also pursuing a 6,000-person war game in Poland, June 5-19, with a Polish airborne operation and a U.S.-Polish division-size river crossing.

If these weren’t too many military operations during an epidemic in which personnel on 40 U.S. Navy ships have come down with the hyper-contagious virus and during which military personnel and their families have been told not to travel, plans are also underway  for a U.S. Army division-sized exercise in the Indo-Pacific region  in less than a year.  Known as Defender 2021, the U.S. Army has requested $364 million to conduct the war exercises throughout Asian and Pacific countries.

The pivot to the Pacific, begun under the Obama administration, and maintained by the Trump administration, is reflected in a U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) that sees the world as “a great power competition rather than counterterrorism and has formulated its strategy to confront China as a long-term, strategic competitor.”

Earlier in May, the U.S. Navy sent at least seven submarines, including all four Guam-based attack submarines, several Hawaii-based ships and the San Diego-based USS Alexandria to the western Pacific in what the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force announced as simultaneous “contingency response operations” for all of its forward-deployed subs. This was all in support of the Pentagon’s “free and open Indo-Pacific ” policy — aimed at countering China’s expansionism in the South China Sea — and as a show of force to counter ideas that the capabilities of U.S. Navy forces have been reduced by Covid-19…….

In May, 2020, the Australian government announced that a delayed six-month rotation of 2,500 U.S. Marines to a military base in Australia’s northern city of Darwin will go ahead based on strict adherence to Covid-19 measures including a 14-day quarantine. The Marines had been scheduled to arrive in April but their arrival was postponed in March because of the pandemic.

The remote Northern Territory, which had recorded just 30 Covid-19 cases, closed its borders to international and interstate visitors in March, and any arrivals must now undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.  U.S. Marine deployments to Australia began in 2012 with 250 personnel and have grown to 2,500.    The Joint U.S. Defense facility Pine Gap— the U.S. Department of Defense, Five Eyes and CIA surveillance facility that pinpoints airstrikes around the world and targets nuclear weapons, among other military and intelligence tasks — was also adapting its policy and procedures to comply with Australian government COVID restrictions.

As the U.S. military expands its presence in Asia and the Pacific, one place it will NOT be returning to is Wuhan, China.  In October 2019, the Pentagon sent 17 teams with more than 280 athletes and other staff members to the Military World Games in Wuhan. Over 100 nations sent a total of 10,000 military personnel to the games in Wuhan last October.

The presence of a large U.S. military contingent in Wuhan just months before the outbreak of the Covid-19 in Wuhan in December 2019, fueled a theory by some Chinese officials that the U.S. military was somehow involved in the outbreak, which now has been used by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress and the media that the Chinese deliberately used the virus to infect the world and adding justification for the U.S. military build-up in the Pacific region.

Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a colonel.   She was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the U.S. government in March 2003 in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. She is co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”  https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/26/covid-19-military-pursues-war-exercises-amid-contagion/

May 28, 2020 Posted by | health, OCEANIA, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The danger to children of low level nuclear radiation has been underestimated

May 25, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | 2 Comments

Michigan flooding: a warning on potential triple disaster – climate, pandemic, and nuclear radiation

Michigan floods expose impossible challenges of mass evacuations during Covid-19 https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/2720846982 By Paul Gunter 24 May, 20  Two dam failures and major flooding in central Michigan, which also prompted a low-level emergency notification (scroll to NCR event #54719) at a nearby nuclear research reactor in Midland, have exposed the almost impossible challenge of evacuating people to safety during simultaneous catastrophic events.The sudden need to evacuate large numbers of people from severe flooding — also threatening to compromise a Dow chemical facility that uses a research reactor — during a time of national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, raises serious questions and concerns about the emergency response readiness and the viability of evacuation that might simultaneously include a radiological accident.

Michigan authorities were forced to face a “no-win compromise” between protecting the public from exposure to Covid-19 while at the same time moving people out of harm’s way after heavy rains caused failures at the Edenville and Sanford dams, leading to devastating floods.

The Dow plant insists there have been no chemical or radiological releases, but the situation will be evaluated once floodwaters recede. Fortunately, no full-scale commercial nuclear power plant was in the path of the Michigan floods.

Operating nuclear power stations are required by federal and state laws to maintain radiological emergency preparedness to protect populations within a ten-mile radius from the release of radioactivity following a serious nuclear accident. These measures include mass evacuations.

However, many communities around the nation’s 95 commercial reactors are presently sheltering-in-place at home as a protective action during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Michigan flooding has forced the relocation of thousands of citizens from their stay-at-home lockdown into the social distancing challenges of mass shelters. Evacuating tens of thousands from a likely more far-reaching radioactive cloud to mass shelters, as is presently planned during a nuclear emergency, raises difficult if not impossible choices under pandemic conditions.

In fact, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (Sect.03.02 p.2) between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) already obligates the federal government to re-exam radiological emergency plans around nuclear facilities specifically in response to a pandemic, and to identify any shortcomings, deficiencies and enhancements that might be needed under such conditions.

But to date, neither agency has taken the initiative to do so. In fact, the NRC actions are focused on relaxing safety measures required by operating licenses, resulting in extended work hours for reactor operators and security guards, and deferred safety inspections and repairs for as much as another 18 months. This makes an accident more likely.

Given what we are now seeing in Michigan, the NRC and FEMA should lose no time in reviewing their MOU and the viability of their radiological emergency plans, and take action to make any necessary enhancements or shut these nuclear facilities down.

Beyond Nuclear has identified two such actions under the MOU as vital to public health:

  • The NRC and FEMA must conduct a “Disaster Initiated Report”, as mandated by the MOU, on the adequacy of offsite radiological emergency response plans during the pandemic, and;
  • Federal and state response plans need to be bolstered by the immediate pre-distribution of potassium iodide (KI) tablets by direct delivery to every resident within the ten-mile radius of U.S. nuclear power stations, now, before any accident occurs. This is in accordance with disaster medicine expert recommendations including from the American Thyroid Association (ATA).
  • KI, if taken promptly in advance or shortly after exposure to radioactive iodine, is recognized by the US Food and Drug administration as a safe, inexpensive and effective prophylactic prevention for thyroid cancer and other developmental disorders caused by exposure to highly mobile iodine-131. Radioactive iodine is a gas released early in a serious nuclear accident.
  • KI is particularly important for the protection of infants, young children and pregnant women and should be readily on hand, according to the ATA and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    The ATA further recommends stockpiling KI tablets in schools, hospitals, police and fire stations from 10 miles out to 50 miles from every nuclear power plant. These institutions could then serve to pre-distribute KI free through the mail upon request to every home and business within 50 miles of an operating nuclear plant.

    KI is commonly used to iodize table salt in concentrations. When taken in tablet form, it saturates the thyroid with stable iodine and blocks the absorption of radioactive iodine into the thyroid gland.

  • KI only protects the thyroid. It does not protect other parts of the body, or prevent damage from other radioactive isotopes released during a nuclear power plant accident, such as cesium-137 or krypton or xenon gases. Ideally, it is used to provide protection to the thyroid — because iodine-131 can be the large and early radioactive exposure first to arrive — while people are still evacuating out of the oncoming radioactive fallout pathway.

    KI is a critical adjunct to evacuation, but it should not replace evacuation from a nuclear accident, even during a viral pandemic. If faced with an immediate threat to life, perhaps even a triple threat such as an extreme flood, a nuclear accident and Covid-19 exposure, evacuation must be the immediate decision.

    However, at least having KI tablets on hand provides for a reasonable protection from the radioactive iodine, a fundamental human right while seeking to shelter farther away from a nuclear accident.

    The prospect of a nuclear disaster prompting a mass evacuation during a viral pandemic reinforces the need for an energy policy focused on safe, clean and affordable renewable energy. It’s time to remove the added and unnecessary danger presented by the 95 nuclear reactors still operating in the US today and transition to a rapid phaseout before a nuclear emergency during a pandemic becomes a nightmarish reality.

May 25, 2020 Posted by | climate change, health, USA | Leave a comment