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USA reclassifies nuclear waste, with new interpretation, making it easier to move to storage.

The Biden administration has affirmed a Trump administration
interpretation of high-level radioactive waste that is based on the
waste’s radioactivity rather than how it was produced.

The U.S. Department of Energy announcement last week means some radioactive waste
from nuclear weapons production stored in Idaho, Washington and South
Carolina could be reclassified and moved for permanent storage elsewhere.

“After extensive policy and legal assessment, DOE affirmed that the
interpretation is consistent with the law, guided by the best available
science and data, and that the views of members of the public and the
scientific community were considered in its adoption,” the agency said in
a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The policy has to do with nuclear waste generated from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to
build nuclear bombs. Such waste previously has been characterized as high
level. The new interpretation applies to waste that includes such things as
sludge, slurry, liquid, debris and contaminated equipment. The agency said
making disposal decisions based on radioactivity characteristics rather
than how it became radioactive could allow the Energy Department to focus
on other high-priority cleanup projects, reduce how long radioactive waste
is stored at Energy Department facilities, and increase safety for workers,
communities and the environment. The department noted that the approach is
supported by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future,
formed during the Obama administration.

The department identified three
sites where waste is being stored that will be affected by the new
interpretation.

 ABC News 29th Dec 2021

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-affirms-interpretation-high-level-nuclear-waste-81991323

January 1, 2022 Posted by | radiation, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

NASA seems to be struggling with the fact that ionising radiation is a greater risk to women, than to men

The committee also recommended NASA provide all its astronauts with individual radiation risk assessment (based on age and sex), communicate a comprehensive picture of an astronaut’s own cancer risk, and continue to discuss changes in radiation risk during routine health briefings.

New NASA radiation exposure limit would bring equality to female, male astronauts,  Healio.com, Ryan Lawrence    20 Dec 21,
“Experts in oncology help advise NASA on space radiation health standard for astronauts”A committee of experts from science, medicine and academia, among other fields, has recommended NASA proceed with a proposal for a universal, career-long radiation dose limit for all astronauts

The Committee on Assessment of Strategies for Managing Cancer Risks Associated with Radiation Exposure During Crewed Space Missions, convened at the request of NASA, concluded that the career-long dose limit should apply to both men and women, a change from previous standards, and recommended improved communication methods for advising astronauts on cancer risks.

“The old radiation standards were very restrictive for women astronauts,” Amy Berrington de González, DPhil, senior investigator and chief of the radiation epidemiology branch at the NCI and a member of the committee, told Healio | HemOnc Today. “There has been a lot of progress in understanding of radiation risk in the last few decades, so bringing that in to see whether you could make the flying time more equitable for women astronauts, I think was really important.”

Berrington de González said the universal dose was established “for the most protective case” and applied to all astronauts.

As it currently stands, men and women have different allowable doses of radiation in space travel with NASA, which were based on reported relative susceptibilities to different radiation-induced cancers. The report recommends NASA move forward with its proposed single standard dose limit for all astronauts.

“I think NASA got worried because they saw some data from the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, who we use as our primary group for determining [radiation] risk, and it looked like there was an increased risk for lung cancer among women,” committee member Gayle E. Woloschak, PhD, associate dean for graduate student and postdoctoral affairs and professor of radiation oncology and radiology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, told Healio | HemOnc Today. “

 “Then the question was, ‘Should we have a different risk level for women than for men, considering Mars missions might limit a woman from going into space at all?’ And, you can imagine, there are ethical issues with that, too. Basically, we said there should be the same risks across the board for everybody.”

Before these proposals, the current standard set career exposure to radiation to not exceed 3% risk for exposure-induced death (REID) for cancer mortality at a 95 percent confidence level, to limit the cumulative effective dose received throughout an astronaut’s career.

NASA called for an independent review of the validity of the 3% REID, which has been the standard since 1989, because it is for low-Earth orbit missions exclusively. An update was necessary as NASA plans for longer-duration missions farther in the solar system.

“The radiation in deep space is different,” committee member Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, MBA, emeritus professor of surgery in surgical oncology and endocrine surgery at Carver College of Medicine at University of Iowa, told Healio | HemOnc Today. “Once you get beyond the Earth’s magnetosphere, you get highly energetic particles from the sun. And these are things like the nuclei of iron. You can think of them as like cannon balls going through cells, as opposed to protons, electrons or gamma rays that we think of here on Earth. … If you go to Mars, and let’s say it takes you about 6 months, you’re exposed that whole time to this radiation.”

The committee also recommended NASA provide all its astronauts with individual radiation risk assessment (based on age and sex), communicate a comprehensive picture of an astronaut’s own cancer risk, and continue to discuss changes in radiation risk during routine health briefings.

https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20211222/new-nasa-radiation-exposure-limit-would-bring-equality-to-female-male-astronauts

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December 24, 2021 Posted by | radiation, space travel, USA | Leave a comment

‘Anti-5G’ necklaces are radioactive and dangerous, Dutch nuclear experts say

‘Anti-5G’ necklaces are radioactive and dangerous, Dutch nuclear experts say,  Officials issue product alert and say ‘quantum pendants’ could damage DNA with prolonged use, Guardian, Daniel Boffey in BrusselsSat 18 Dec 2021 People who wear “anti-5G” pendants to “protect” themselves from radio frequencies emitted by phone masts have been told by the Dutch nuclear authority that their necklaces are dangerously radioactive.

Owners of “quantum pendants” and other “negative ion” jewellery have been advised to store them away, as they have been found to continuously emit ionising radiation.

The product alert was issued by the Dutch authority for nuclear safety and radiation protection (ANVS) in relation to 10 products.

“Exposure to ionising radiation can cause adverse health effects,” the safety agency said. “Due to the potential health risk they pose, these consumer products containing radioactive materials are therefore prohibited by law. Ionising radiation can damage tissue and DNA and can cause, for example, a red skin. Only low levels of radiation have been measured on these specific products.

“However, someone who wears a product of this kind for a prolonged period (a year, 24 hours a day) could expose themselves to a level of radiation that exceeds the stringent limit for skin exposure that applies in the Netherlands. To avoid any risk, the ANVS calls on owners of such items not to wear them from now on.”……………… https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/dec/17/anti-5g-necklaces-radioactive-dutch-nuclear-experts-quantum-pendants

December 17, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

 Radionuclides found from Hinkley nuclear mud Bristol Channel Citizens Radiation Survey .

 

 Radionuclides found…! Bristol Channel Citizens Radiation Survey, Tim Deere-Jones, Stop Hinkley C. A new survey has concluded the spread of man-made radioactivity from reactor discharges into the Bristol Channel is far more extensive and widespread than previously reported.

The research has also detected a high concentration of radioactivity in Splott Bay, which could be linked to the controversial dumping of dredged waste off the Cardiff coast in 2018.The survey was undertaken over the summer by groups from both sides of the Bristol Channel after EDF Energy refused to carry
out pre-dumping surveys of the Cardiff Grounds and Portishead sea dump sites where they have disposed of waste from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

The survey found that shoreline concentrations of two radio nuclides (Caesium 137 and Americium 241)
typical of the effluents from the Hinkley reactors and indicators of the presence of Plutonium 239/240 and 241, do not decline significantly with distance from the Hinkley site as Government and Industry surveys had previously reportedOverall, the study found significant concentrations of Hinkley derived radioactivity in samples from all 11 sites, seven along the Somerset coast and four in south Wales and found unexpectedly high concentrations in sediments from Bristol Docks, the tidal River Avon, the
Portishead shoreline, Burnham-on-Sea and Woodspring Bay.

 Public Enquiry 11th Dec 2021

Research finds ‘significant concentrations’ of radioactivity in
samples taken from across the Somerset and south Wales coast. Nation Cymru 9th Dec 2021

December 13, 2021 Posted by | oceans, radiation, Reference, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Scenarios of the release of radioactive ions if high precision missiles were to strike Middle East nuclear reactors.

Report: Missile strike risks to Middle East nuclear reactors,  A new study explores potential radiological fallout and evacuations from a missile strike on commercial nuclear power plants.  Aljazeera,   By Patricia Sabga, 8 Dec 21   ” ………………Scenarios and reactors

To illustrate the potential vulnerability of a nuclear power facility to a high precision missile strike, NPEC analysed four current and planned nuclear power plants in the region for three scenarios involving the radiological release of caesium-137 (Cs-137) into the atmosphere.

“Caesium-137 is one isotope that is particularly concerning for several reasons and it’s one of the most common isotopes looked at when evaluating the danger of a nuclear accident or some kind of radioactive release,” the report’s lead researcher Eva Lisowski told Al Jazeera. “It’s dangerous enough and lasts long enough that it can cause a significant increase in the chances of developing cancer.”

Significant contamination with Cs-137 can result in hundreds of thousands of people being evacuated from their homes, the report warns, and they may not be able to return for decades, given it has a 30-year half-life.

The first scenario Lisowski modelled examined what would happen if a nuclear reactor containment building is breached by an air strike, resulting in the core being released. The second scenario mapped what would happen if a spent fuel pond were hit and a fire broke out. The third scenario assessed what would happen if a spent fuel pond that is densely packed with radioactive rods were targeted and caught fire.

The four facilities chosen for the scenarios include the UAE’s Barakah power plant, Iran’s Bushehr, the plant under construction at Akkuyu in Turkey, and the site of Egypt’s planned commercial nuclear power station at El Dabaa.

The study focused only on select commercial nuclear power reactors. Research reactors, such as the one Israel maintains at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona, Iran’s Tehran Research Reactor, Egypt’s research reactor at Inshas, or Algeria’s research reactor at Es-Salam were not included in the study.

Sokolski also notes that containment buildings and spent fuel ponds are not the only targets for potential sabotage.

“You can go after the electricity lines that go into the plant that are necessary to keep the cooling system operating. You can go after the emergency generators, you can calibrate any number of effects with precision against that kind of sympathetic target,” he said.

The findings

The amounts of Cs-137 released in each scenario, as well as the estimated number of evacuees in each contamination zone, were simulated for four different months of the year based on 2020 weather patterns: March, June, September and December.

The simulations all include neighbouring countries that could be affected by mandatory evacuations.

The report examined scenarios for both a large release of Cs-137 (75 percent) and a smaller release (10 percent or 5 percent) to illustrate the potential differences between a densely-packed spent fuel pool catching fire, versus one that is not full.

The three scenarios involving a missile or drone attack on the Barakah nuclear power plant predicted average population displacements ranging from 800 mandatory and 40,000 voluntary evacuations in a low-radiological release simulation involving a core breach, to 4 million mandatory and 8 million voluntary evacuations if a densely packed spent fuel pond is hit resulting in a high release of Cs-137.

The three scenarios involving a missile or drone attack on the Bushehr nuclear power plant predicted average population displacements ranging from 53,000 mandatory and 120,000 voluntary evacuations in low-radiological release simulation involving a core breach, to 6.7 million mandatory and 4.8 million voluntary evacuations if a densely packed spent fuel pond is hit resulting in a high release of Cs-137.

The three scenarios involving a missile or drone attack on the Akkuyu nuclear power plant predicted average population displacements ranging from 1,000 mandatory and 28,000 voluntary evacuations in low-radiological release simulation involving a reactor core breach, to 4.6 million mandatory and 10 million voluntary evacuations if a densely packed spent fuel pond is hit resulting in a high release of Cs-137. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/12/8/report-missile-strike-risks-to-middle-east-nuclear-reactors

December 9, 2021 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, radiation, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Prisoners and families exposed to undocumented, possibly risky radiation levels

Radiation safety feature of prison x-ray scanner is being overridden

Inmates and families exposed to undocumented, possibly risky radiation levels

NationalPrisonHealthYimes of Malta  Mark Laurence Zammit    Prison officials are being instructed to override a security feature embedded in x-ray scanners that warns them when inmates and visitors are being exposed to excessive levels of radiation.

Several sources told Times of Malta that the high-end scanners in the entrances of prison are equipped with AI that records the amount of radiation each person is exposed to and warns officials when the pre-set limit is reached.

When this happens, officials are instructed to enter a four-digit code (1585) that overrides the security feature, prompting the scanners to perform further x-ray scans without keeping record of each individual’s radiation intake.

On Sunday morning, prisoners’ rights activist Peppi Azzopardi released a video revealing details about the practice.

When the scanner detects that a person has reached the radiation limit, it ceases to perform scans,” he said.

“But they use the code to cheat the software into taking more scans.”

Azzopardi also said officials sometimes input the code straight away.

“Not only should they record radiation from the scanner; they should also have records of any radiation the inmate might have absorbed elsewhere, like in hospital, so they have a clear picture of how risky the scan will be.”

In the video, Azzopardi also demanded an ‘immediate investigation’ into this practice.

“I have more information that I’m ready to present to whoever will do the investigations,” he said.
Inmates are made to go through the scanner, not only when they are first admitted, but almost every time they return to prison from court, hospital or prison leave. Their families and other visitors too, including lawyers, are forced to go through the scanner almost every time they enter prison.
…………………  In regulations published on the use of x-ray body scanners in prison, the UK Justice Ministry strictly prohibits x-ray scans on visitors and family members, and demands that each scan is fully justified, arguing that “the exposure may only occur when the benefit to the individual or society outweighs the health detriment that may be caused to the individual”.UK policy says that for a scan to be justified, there must be “intelligence or reasonable suspicion that the prisoner in internally concealing contraband” and when “there are no other means of determining the suspected contraband, for example by means of a full or rubdown search”…………Times of Malta sent questions to the prison authorities, asking why officials are instructed to override the system, how the prison keeps record of how much radiation each person was exposed to, how the prison justifies the amount of scans it performs, why some people are searched after the scan, and how the prison protects its wardens from radiation……………………… https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/radiation-safety-feature-of-prison-x-ray-scanner-is-being-overridden.917758

November 29, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, radiation | Leave a comment

Low dose radiation has its medical benefits, but has harmful effects on the immune system

Low dose ionizing radiation effects on the immune system, Science Direct, Environment International Volume 149, April 2021, 106212KatalinLumniczkya NathalieImpensb GemmaArmengolc SergeCandéiasd Alexandros G.Georgakilase SabineHornhardtf Olga A.Marting FranzRödelh DörtheSchaue

Abstract

Ionizing radiation interacts with the immune system in many ways with a multiplicity that mirrors the complexity of the immune system itself: namely the need to maintain a delicate balance between different compartments, cells and soluble factors that work collectively to protect, maintain, and restore tissue function in the face of severe challenges including radiation damage. The cytotoxic effects of high dose radiation are less relevant after low dose exposure, where subtle quantitative and functional effects predominate that may go unnoticed until late after exposure or after a second challenge reveals or exacerbates the effects. 

For example, low doses may permanently alter immune fitness and therefore accelerate immune senescence and pave the way for a wide spectrum of possible pathophysiological events, including early-onset of age-related degenerative disorders and cancer. 

 By contrast, the so called low dose radiation therapy displays beneficial, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties in chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases

 In this review, epidemiological, clinical and experimental data regarding the effects of low-dose radiation on the homeostasis and functional integrity of immune cells will be discussed, as will be the role of immune-mediated mechanisms in the systemic manifestation of localized exposures such as inflammatory reactions.

The central conclusion is that ionizing radiation fundamentally and durably reshapes the immune system. Further, the importance of discovery of immunological pathways for modifying radiation resilience amongst other research directions in this field is implied…………..  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016041202032167X

November 16, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

More evidence that space radiation may be harmful to the male brain.

Deep Space Radiation Might Be Dangerous for the Male Brain

New research suggests that prolonged exposure to space is not so great for male mice. InterestingEngineering By  Loukia Papadopoulos, 24 Oct 21,

Back in 2019, a study on mice was released that set out to investigate how deep space travel would impact the nervous system and found radiation exposure hurt cellular signaling in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain leading to learning and memory difficulties. The researchers also saw the mice exhibit behaviors associated with anxiety, implying the radiation can harm the amygdala. 

Now, a new study published in Science Advances is revealing that male mice exposed to radiation similar to that encountered by humans on long space missions experienced problems with spatial learning. The researchers conducted several tests to evaluate the mice’s spatial learning abilities after being exposed to galactic cosmic radiation……. https://interestingengineering.com/deep-space-radiation-might-be-dangerous-for-the-male-brain

October 25, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, space travel | Leave a comment

Countering the nuclear lobby’s deceptive spin about ionising radiation

The video below is several years old. Children in Ukraine and Belarus are still suffering with cancers and other serious health effects of the nuclear disaster. The ABC ‘s ”Foreign Correspondent” recently covered their plight, which is still terrible, but the video of that seems to be unavailable.

Extract from The nuclear industry’s updated songsheet remains outdatedPearls and Irritations, By Mark Diesendorf, 22 Oct 21

”…………. Another misleading pro-nuclear statement revived following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011 is that no excess cancer incidence has been observed around Fukushima, implying that no cancers will be induced. The logical error is to assume that the absence of evidence implies no impact.

For a start, it is still too early for most types of cancer, which have latent periods of 20–60 years, to appear around Fukushima. The only cancers likely to appear within a decade after exposure are thyroid cancer and leukemia. A large increase in thyroid cancers has been observed in the region, but their cause is debated by some on the grounds that the increase could be the result of better screening. Leukemia is an uncommon disease and so even a large percentage increase would be impossible to verify statistically with high confidence. (See UNSCEAR 2020b)

Fortunately for the citizens of Tokyo, the wind was mostly blowing offshore during the meltdowns of three Fukushima reactors, sending about 80 per cent of the emitted radioactive material out over the Pacific. Soon after the disaster an exclusion zone was established around the power station and more than 100,000 people evacuated. For these reasons, Fukushima tells us very little about radiation-induced cancers. 

Most of the evidence that low-level radiation is carcinogenic comes from detailed studies of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, medical professionals who worked with radiation, uranium miners, children living near nuclear power stations, and children who were exposed in utero in the bad old days when pregnant women were routinely x-rayed. This is the basis of the linear-no-threshold model, the scientific understanding that the number of cancers induced by ionising radiation is proportional to the dose received and that there’s no threshold. Therefore, even natural background radiation, to which we are all exposed, and medical x-rays contribute very small fractions of cancer prevalence…………https://johnmenadue.com/the-nuclear-industrys-updated-songsheet-remains-outdated/

October 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Simulated space radiation causes ill effects on central nervous system of male mice

Male mice exposed to simulated deep space radiation experienced impaired spatial learning, Phys Org by Bob Yirka , 22 Oct 21, A team of researchers working at multiple facilities in the San Francisco area has found that male mice exposed to radiation similar to that encountered by humans on long space missions experienced problems with spatial learning several months later……..
If humans are to colonize the moon or travel to Mars, scientists are going to have to find a way to protect them from galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). Some research has shown that it can have a negative impact on the central nervous system……… https://phys.org/news/2021-10-male-mice-exposed-simulated-deep.html

by Bob Yirka , Phys.org

October 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility

Radioactive microparticles related to the Woolsey Fire in Simi Valley, CA  SCience Direct, MarcoKaltofenaMaggieGundersenbArnieGundersenb    Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Dept. of Physics, Fairewinds Energy Education, 8 October 2021. 

Highlights

Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires.

Three hundred sixty samples of soil, dust and ash were collected in the immediate aftermath of the Los Angeles (CA, USA) Woolsey fire in 2018.

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility was found in the fire zone.

A limited number of widely scattered locations had evidence of radioactive microparticles originating at the research facility.

X-ray data showed that ashes from the fire could spread site contaminants to distant, but widely spaced, locations.

Abstract

In November 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned north of Los Angeles, CA, USA, potentially remobilizing radioactive contaminants at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a shuttered nuclear research facility contaminated by chemical and radiochemical releases. Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires. Three weeks after the Woolsey Fire was controlled, sampling of dusts, ashes, and surface soils (n = 360) began and were analyzed by alpha- and beta-radiation counting. Samples were collected up to a 16 km radius from the perimeter of the laboratory. Controls and samples with activities 1σ greater than background were also examined by alpha and/or gamma spectroscopy or Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis. Of the 360 samples collected, 97% showed activities at or close to site-specific background levels. However, offsite samples collected in publicly-accessible areas nearest to the SSFL site perimeter had the highest alpha-emitting radionuclides radium, thorium, and uranium activities, indicating site-related radioactive material has escaped the confines of the laboratory. 

In two geographically-separated locations, one as far away as 15 km, radioactive microparticles containing percent-concentrations of thorium were detected in ashes and dusts that were likely related to deposition from the Woolsey fire. These offsite radioactive microparticles were colocated with alpha and beta activity maxima. Data did not support a finding of widespread deposition of radioactive particles. However, two radioactive deposition hotspots and significant offsite contamination were detected near the site perimeter……………………………

4. Conclusions

A significant majority of samples (97% of 360 samples) collected in the study zone registered radioactivity levels that matched existing area background levels. Nevertheless, some ashes and dusts collected from the Woolsey Fire zone in the fire’s immediate aftermath contained high activities of radioactive isotopes associated with the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). The data show that Woolsey Fire ash did, in fact, spread SSFL-related radioactive microparticles, and the impacts were confined to areas closest to SSFL and at least three other scattered locations in the greater Simi Valley area. Alpha and beta counting, high-resolution alpha and gamma spectroscopy, and X-ray microanalysis using SEM/EDS confirmed the presence of radioactive microparticles in the Woolsey Fire-related ashes and dusts.

Most of the fire-impacted samples found near the SSFL site’s perimeter were on lands accessible to the public. There were, however, scattered localized areas of increased radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive microparticles in ash and recently-settled dusts collected just after the Woolsey fire. These radioactive outliers were found in Thousand Oaks, CA, and Simi Valley, CA, about 15 and 5 km distant from SSFL, respectively. The Thousand Oaks samples had alpha count rates up to 19 times background, and X-ray spectroscopy (SEM) identified alpha-emitting thorium as the source of this excess radioactivity. Excessive alpha radiation in small particles is of particular interest because of the relatively high risk of inhalation-related long-term biological damage from internal alpha emitters compared to external radiation.

The nuclides identified as the sources of excess radioactivity in impacted samples were predominately isotopes of radium, uranium, and thorium. These have naturally-occurring sources, but these isotopes are also contaminants of concern at SSFL and were detected at generally increasing activities as the distance from SSFL decreased. In addition, the number of radioactive microparticles per gram of particulate matter also increased strongly with decreasing distance from SSFL. These data demonstrate that fire and/or other processes have spread SSFL contamination beyond the facility boundary………..

……https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X21002277?dgcid=coauthor

October 18, 2021 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid 

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid   https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14440765

By TSUYOSHI KAWAMURA/ Staff Writer

September 15, 2021  
The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could be forced to reconsider the plant’s decommissioning process after lethal radiation levels equivalent to those of melted nuclear fuel were detected near one of the lids covering a reactor.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sept. 14 that a radiation reading near the surface of the lid of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel was 1.2 sieverts per hour, higher than the level previously assumed.

The discovery came on Sept. 9 during a study by the NRA and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant.

TEPCO plans to insert a robotic arm into the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel from its side in a trial planned for the second half of 2022 to retrieve pieces of melted nuclear fuel.

“We will consider what we can do during the trial on the basis of the detection of the concentration of contamination” in the upper area of the containment vessel, a TEPCO official said.

The round concrete lid, called the shield plug, is 12 meters in diameter and about 60 centimeters thick.

The shield plug consists of three lids placed on top of each other to block extremely high radiation emanating from the reactor core.

Each lid weighs 150 tons.

When operators work on the decommissioning, the shield plug will be removed to allow for the entry into the containment vessel.

The NRA said a huge amount of radioactive cesium that was released during the meltdown of the No. 2 reactor in March 2011 remained between the uppermost lid and middle lid.

In the Sept. 9 study, workers bored two holes measuring 7 cm deep each on the surface of the uppermost lid to measure radiation doses there by deploying remotely controlled robots.

One radiation reading was 1.2 sieverts per hour at a location 4 cm down from the surface in a hole near the center of the lid.Prior to the study, the NRA estimated that the dose from a contamination source that existed beneath the lid was more than 10 sieverts per hour, a level lethal to humans if exposed to it for about an hour.

But the finding suggested that the actual dose would likely be dozens of sieverts per hour, thus far more dangerous.

While it is expected to be a huge challenge to dismantle the lids, TEPCO has yet to decide what to do with them during the decades-long cleanup work.

The NRA also mentioned the possibility that radioactive cesium is also concentrated between the middle lid and the lowermost lid.

But there is no way at the moment to confirm whether that is the case, according to NRA officials

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, radiation | Leave a comment

Radioactive risks of nuclear submarines

The radioactive waste from reactors poses a difficult and expensive problem to manage health and environmental hazards for geological time periods. The governments involved in this proposal have been silent about disposal of the high and intermediate level waste that would be generated. Despite many flawed and failed attempts at interim storage, Australia has no current plan for disposal of the much smaller amount of its existing intermediate level radioactive waste.

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia jeopardise health while escalating an arms race no one can win

Joint statement by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its affiliates in Australia, UK and USA: Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia); Medact (UK); Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA) 10 Oct 21, ”……. Radioactive risk

Nuclear reactors on ships and submarines have been involved in numerous accidents. The risks of accident or attack causing release of radioactive material combined with the targeting by adversaries of such vessels including while they are in port, are why many cities around the world sensibly oppose visits of such vessels to their harbours. Such incidents could cause chaos and panic, the need to evacuate large areas of cities for years, and expose tens or hundreds of thousands of people to harmful radioactive fallout.

Australia’s lack of nuclear scientific, engineering, management and regulatory capacity and experience will inevitably mean that more is likely to go wrong building and operating nuclear submarines. If something does go wrong with one of its nuclear submarines, the likelihood of it being quickly and effectively managed is reduced and the risks of radioactive release in a port city or into the marine or coastal environment is increased.

A total of 8 nuclear-powered submarines have sunk because of accidents at sea between 1963 and 2003 – two because of fires, two by weapon explosions, two by flooding, and one each from storm damage and unknown reasons. These contribute substantially to the already widespread radioactive pollution resulting from naval reactors. The most recently reported fatal accident was a fire in a Russian nuclear submarine in 2019, which killed 14 people.

The radioactive waste from reactors poses a difficult and expensive problem to manage health and environmental hazards for geological time periods. The governments involved in this proposal have been silent about disposal of the high and intermediate level waste that would be generated. Despite many flawed and failed attempts at interim storage, Australia has no current plan for disposal of the much smaller amount of its existing intermediate level radioactive waste. …. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/10/10/nuclear-submarine-deal-needlessly-raises-tensions/

October 12, 2021 Posted by | radiation, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission backs Linear No-Threshold model for radiation safety

NRC backs Linear No-Threshold model for radiation safety, THE HINDUK. S. ParthasarathyOCTOBER 09, 2021

This decision of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was awaited by specialists

Now it is official. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) decisively upheld the Linear No-Threshold model to prescribe radiation safety standards, ending the protracted controversy on the topic. Radiation protection specialists worldwide were eagerly awaiting the NRC’s decision.

Over six years ago, during February 2015, Dr. Carol S. Marcus, Mr. Mark L. Miller, Certified Health Physicist, and Dr. Mohan Doss, and others, through three……….(subscribers only) https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/nrc-backs-linear-no-threshold-model-for-radiation-safety/article36918797.ece

October 12, 2021 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Low dose radiation and cancer – the Linear No Threshold model holds good

The public, legislators, and journalists are often at a loss to deal with the charges and counter charges that surface in the debate over low-level radiation exposures. It does not help to listen to industry leaders, nuclear activists, or individual researchers, who, one after another, propound their competing images of the underlying truth.

It is now reasonably clear that protracted exposure does not protect against radiation-induced cancer. Rather, it is the cumulative radiation exposure from all sources that must be examined. 

There is no longer a convenient excuse to avoid using the LNT to estimate consequences from real or projected releases of radioactive materials, even when the dose of concern is below 0.1 Sv. 

The scientific jigsaw puzzle: Fitting the pieces of the low-level radiation debate http://bos.sagepub.com/content/68/3/13.full Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,  May/June 2012, Jan Beyea   “…..One of the biggest paradoxes in the low-level radiation debate is that an individual risk can be a minor concern, while the societal risk—the total delayed cancers in an exposed population—can be of major concern…..

Deconstructing the debate The debate over radiation risks has many tentacles that extend into the fields of biology, epidemiology, medicine, sociology, and political science. The biggest tentacle penetrates directly into the political sphere, wrapping itself around arguments on energy policy and the consequences of radioactive releases like those at Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station….

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October 12, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment