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Chelsea Manning – an American hero! Daniel Ellsberg explains

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March 21, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Was this horrific murder done in order to protect the nuclear industry?

Robert isn’t alone. He has documented the harassment and even murder of other whistleblowers who spoke out about contentious nuclear issues, or attempted to supply him with sensitive information.  

March 14, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s culture of cover-up and denial about the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

Trust fails to recover from nuclear disaster, Borneo Bulletin    Simon Denyer  ……….facts and spreadsheets supplied by the government are one thing.

Rebuilding trust among locals may be significantly harder, thanks to a culture of cover-ups and denials that contributed to the nuclear accident and continues to dog Japan’s efforts to restart its nuclear industry, experts say.

…….. at least 24 countries and territories ban some produce from Fukushima. South Korea and China still impose a total food ban. The US prohibits Fukushima produce such as mushrooms, leafy vegetables and broccoli. Fishermen now only ply the seas two days a week: Fish from Fukushima, which once enjoyed a high reputation in Tokyo’s fish market, is no longer the flavour of the day.

The government blames “harmful rumours”, a phrase that dominated the two-day press tour and has been labelled the fourth disaster to hit Fukushima, after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

Yet there is a much deeper trust deficit that remains extremely hard to overcome.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the ill-fated plant, spent two months after the nuclear disaster denying that a meltdown had occurred. TEPCO later apologised for a “cover-up” that remains the source of much bitterness among people here.

Katsunobu Sakurai, former mayor of the nearby town of Minamisoma, said TEPCO gave out very little information about the disaster during a chaotic evacuation that ultimately led to the deaths of 3,700 people, including many elderly people whose medical care was interrupted.

In 2012, TEPCO was forced to admit that it had failed to heed safety warnings before the accident, or even consider the risk of a large tsunami, because it feared doing so would undermine public confidence in the industry.

Experts say TEPCO has still failed to come clean about the problems associated with decommissioning the reactors and

Bags of nuclear waste generated after the meltdown of one of Fukushima’s nuclear power plants in 2011 are now stored in the nearby town of Naraha. MUST CREDIT: photo for The Washington Post by Shiho Fukada.

decontaminating the environment.

“To me, talking about ‘harmful rumours’ sounds like they are making someone else the bad guy or villain, as if they are blaming people for saying negative things because they don’t understand science and radiation,” said Riken Komatsu, a community activist in Onahama.

“But those who have lost our trust do not have the right” to talk about harmful rumours, Komatsu added.

The government and TEPCO say the nuclear power plant itself could take 30 or 40 years to decommission and estimates the cleanup will cost 22 trillion yen (USD200 billion).

But in 2015, the plant’s manager told London’s Times newspaper that the technological challenges involved in removing hundreds of tonnes of molten radioactive fuel from three reactors could mean decommissioning will take 200 years.

The Japan Center for Economic Research, a conservative think tank, estimates the cleanup bill could come to 50 trillion to 70 trillion yen (USD460 billion to 640 billion).

One of the biggest problems involves groundwater that seeps into the reactor buildings, mixes with cooling water and becomes radioactive.

TEPCO has been trying to limit water contamination ever since the accident, creating a mile-long “ice wall” of sunken, frozen soil around the reactors to keep water out, and another concrete wall to prevent it from reaching the ocean.

In 2016, TEPCO admitted that the ice wall was only slowing – but not preventing – water seeping in. Today, around 100 cubic metres of groundwater still become contaminated at Fukushima every day, and one million tonnes of radioactive water is stored in 994 huge tanks around the site.

A new tank fills up every seven to 10 days, and storage space is running out.

TEPCO had initially claimed that 26 out of 27 radioactive nuclides had been removed from that water through an advanced treatment system, living only tritium behind.

But after reports by Kyodo news and local media, and a protest by fishermen, the company acknowledged last September that 80 per cent of the tanks contain water that is still contaminated with dangerous radioactive elements, including strontium-90, a bone-seeking radionuclide that causes cancer.

Launching his successful bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the situation at Fukushima was “under control”. One of his predecessors, Junichiro Koizumi said the water crisis showed that was a lie.

An external committee established by TEPCO to advise the board of directors said it is “very frustrated” at the company’s inability to communicate properly. ……… https://borneobulletin.com.bn/trust-fails-to-recover-from-nuclear-disaster/

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

University of California covers up the truth on Fukushima radiation

The future of all life: Indigenous sovereignty and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Bay View, National Black Newspaper,  by Harun Minhaj, March 4, 2019  “………..As the Caretakers of Mother Earth have warned, the nuclear establishment has been working tirelessly to cover up and downplay the consequences of this nuclear disaster. The University of California has long played an essential role in this establishment, as it designed the core physical package of every single nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal. And now, formerly secret documents show that UC played an indispensable role in the federal response to – and cover-up of – the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The estimates secretly forecasted by the LLNL’s model predicted very high doses to children in California from radioactive iodine, which is known to cause serious thyroid illnesses. Subsequent measurements found that this model’s predictions of radiation exposure in California were far more accurate than lower estimates and actually underestimated the radiation found 30 km off the coast of Japan.

Yet the UC never issued a single health warning to anyone living on the West Coast prior to their exposure to this deadly radiation. Instead, at the very time that the UC’s LLNL was modeling “estimates of possible plume arrival times and dose for U.S. locations,” UC Berkeley scientists were at the forefront of corporate media coverage on outlets such as ABC7 proclaiming brazen falsehoods such as “there is no plume.”

The LLNL’s model was continually being refined and updated “based on meteorological analyses and available field data” to ensure its predictions were maximally accurate, yet UC Berkeley scientists were simultaneously telling the public that “you cannot predict how the weather is going to carry radiation particles over the West Coast, if anything at all.”

Even worse was the initial UC Berkeley claim that the radiation reaching California was “not harmful at all” and posed “no risk to California,” despite the LLNL’s forecast of very high doses to children in California from radioactive iodine.

Meanwhile, the head of UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department secretly admitted that “it is possible that we will find that some people have received doses … that could exceed the levels that current Protective Action Guidelines are designed to prevent.” The Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) are legal limits on radiation exposure set by the EPA designed to minimize the risk of harm, and this professor subsequently suggested that, should they be exceeded, “this could provide a basis for immediate action to change PAGs.”

When UC Berkeley began testing for radioactive iodine from the Fukushima fallout in California, it found levels in rainwater up to 181 times the EPA’s safe drinking water standards. And although rainwater and tap water should not be conflated, radioactive isotopes climb their way up the food chain in increasing concentrations in numerous ways, such as the soil of produce farms and the pastures of milk-giving cattle.

The UC cover-up of West Coast fallout

Far from being incidentally related to the case, the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) was in fact the federal contractor given the responsibility of projecting the damage or “dose” from Fukushima Daiichi’s fallout to Japan, the Pacific Ocean and U.S.-occupied Turtle Island.

And, indeed, radioactive materials from Fukushima were detected across California’s food web, while UC Berkeley’s own measurements showed that food items such as milk were regularly exceeding the EPA’s PAGs in both 2011 and 2012 until they stopped taking these measurements.

The response to these findings was once again denial and distortion. The EPA soon increased its PAG “safe limit” by more than 400 times, to such a high level that all of these findings would retroactively cease to be considered health risks.

In the meantime, UC Berkeley engineers once again asserted there was no cause to worry and falsely minimized these readings by conflating external radiation as received from plane travel with the more dangerous internal radiation received through ingesting radioactive particles, which remain in the body emitting radiation for much longer and have the ability to concentrate in specific vulnerable organs such as the thyroid.

But the initial epidemiological evidence is in, and it already shows a variety of illnesses and deaths across the West Coast significantly correlated with the arrival and presence of Fukushima fallout, such as over 100 additional fetal deaths and birth abnormalities in the state of Washington in 2011 and increased rates of congenital hyperthyroidism in California infants born shortly after the meltdowns – around 1,500 additional borderline and severe cases.

The EPA soon increased its PAG “safe limit” by more than 400 times, to such a high level that all of these findings would retroactively cease to be considered health risks.

The University of California totally failed to make public the initial LLNL projections of “very high doses” to California infants and provide adequate health warnings – such as avoiding contaminated milk or taking natural iodine supplements – despite having this legal responsibility both as a federal contractor and as the operator of California’s Poison Control System, which administers such warnings on behalf of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority for the entire state.

The UC cover-up of Pacific fallout and seafood contamination

As serious as the consequences of the fallout on California were, the radiation California and the West Coast received was only a small fraction (<2 percent) of the total, of which the majority (~80 percent) fell into the Pacific.

From the very beginning, UC scientists were involved in studying the Pacific die-offs. Indeed, it was UC scientists who declared when studying the 2011 marine invertebrate mass die-offs that “[N]o previously documented mortality event has been so severe over such a large region …” Yet these UC scientists who had been studying this epidemic from the very beginning have failed to ever monitor the sick and dead animals for radiation, despite one of the lead scientists admitting that Fukushima could not be ruled out as a cause.

When their major study was published in 2018, it included no consideration of Fukushima or radiation whatsoever. Apparently, it was a moot point – the UC’s website on the die-offs had already been claiming for years there was “no evidence” of Fukushima radiation having an impact, even though they had never looked for any despite having already admitted it couldn’t be ruled out.

To make matters worse, one of the principal UC authors of this study falsely claimed that Fukushima radiation could not have precipitated the die-off, because “many more creatures would be affected.” By this time, the unprecedented and concurrent die-offs of fish, marine mammals and sea birds had already been reported.

In denying the impact of Fukushima on the Pacific, these scientists are hardly alone. Overand over again, UC professors – frequently in leadership positions and with government ties – have minimized the impact by relying on the widely debunked fallacy of “dilution.”

Yet dilution has been known to be a false solution to radiation for over 50 years now. In 1955, a once-secret memo from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) – then headquartered in Berkeley – noted that the “dissipation of radioactive fallout in ocean waters is not a gradual spreading out of the activity from the region with the highest concentration to uncontaminated regions, but that in all probability the process results in scattered pockets and streams of higher radioactive materials in the Pacific.”

This is due to a variety of reasons, including the flow of currents and the role played by sediment and debris in transporting radiation. Furthermore, studies have shown that the bioconcentration of radioactive particles up the food chain increasingly amplifies its prevalence in smaller and larger marine organisms by factors ranging from 3 to 300.

While this memo may have previously been secret, the “no threshold” model of radiation has been well-established for almost as long, and is the accepted foundation of radiation protection for the Environmental Protection AgencyNational Academy of Sciences, and many other institutions.

In the 1960s, UC Berkeley Nuclear Scientist John Gofman established the Biomedical Research Division of the UC’s LLNL, when he was employed by the AEC to discredit findings which showed that “low level” radiation from nuclear weapons tests was exposing infants in surrounding areas to dangerous amounts of radiation.

Instead, Gofman’s research confirmed these dangers, and at the end of the decade he gave a report showing that there is no threshold beneath which radiation exposure is “safe”: lower levels correspond to a lower – b­ut very real – risk of disease. Consequently, dilution does nothing more than spread the impact of radiation amongst a larger population vulnerable to disease, with each individual facing a lower risk but the overall aggregate impact remaining the same.

The AEC disliked these findings and forced Gofman out of the LLNL, illustrating the reprisals nuclear scientists often face for challenging the pro-nuclear establishment.

Numerous projections of the spread of Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean have predicted that, far from becoming increasingly diluted, once the radiation leaves the immediate vicinity of the Fukushima shoreline it would actually become increasingly concentrated as it approaches the West Coast due to the dynamics of ocean currents, with eventual peak concentrations reaching levels up to 10 times higher than off the coast of the rest of Japan.

There is no threshold beneath which radiation exposure is “safe”: lower levels correspond to a lower – b­ut very real – risk of disease.

What measurements are available not only confirm these projections, showing increasing concentrations traveling east across the Pacific Ocean roughly correlating to these models, they also show that the vast quantities of radioactive particles the Nordic PSA Group predicted would kill at least 50-100 million fish were indeed present throughout large areas of the Pacific Ocean.

In other words, a vast array of scientific knowledge, regulatory precedent, expert models, and empirical data directly contradicts the denials of the UC nuclear establishment that Fukushima’s radiation is of no concern in the Pacific due to “dilution.”

Once again, these denials have serious consequences not just in terms of the ecocidal impact of Fukushima Daiichi’s radiation on Pacific sea life. Based on the thoroughly disproven dilution fallacy, several prominent UC scientists have also denied that there are any health impacts from Fukushima radiation in the Pacific, including the risks entailed in eating contaminated seafood.

The Nordic Probabilistic Safety Assessment Group, however, founded by the nuclear utilities of Finland and Sweden and therefore not at all “anti-nuclear,” concluded in its 2011 report that even if seafood radiation levels from Fukushima stay below legal limits, more than 1 million people would die from just one of the elements of concern, cesium-137. They wrote:

“The fish, seafood, whale meat and seaweed consumed may have concentrations below legal limits, but the radioactive content will be increased from normal levels. As noted in Section 3.6.3, the ingestion dose could be substantial even if the legal limits for the foodstuff are preserved. This cycle will last for many generations, because of the food chain of fish and other marine fauna, and the radioactivity will be recycled and in fact the meat content will increase rather than decreasing by decay. Even if only one one-hundredth of the radioactivity (more than 1e15 Bq of CS137) were to enter this recirculation pattern, the collective whole body ingestion dose over many generations would exceed 1e7 Sv, sufficient to kill more than 1,000,000 people.”

As predictions of mass die-offs and increasingly concentrated radiation crossing the Pacific to the West Coast have already come true, ignoring the scientific evidence about the dangers this radiation poses to us too promises to have deadly consequences. With over 1 hundred million sea creatures having already perished as predicted by the nuclear utility-founded Nordic PSA Group, this institution’s estimate that more than 1 million people could also die if human consumption of Pacific seafood continues unabated is supported by a solid track record based on the scientific method, unlike the UC’s ongoing denials and distortions of even the most basic facts of the Fukushima disaster………….https://sfbayview.com/2019/03/the-future-of-all-life-indigenous-sovereignty-and-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

University of California’s role in the cover-up of radiation fallout in Japan from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

The future of all life: Indigenous sovereignty and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Bay View, National Black Newspaper,  by Harun Minhaj, March 4, 2019 “…………The UC cover-up of the fallout in Japan

Further illustrating the international stakes and genocidal consequences of the UC cover-up is the role the university has played in Japan, where approximately 18 percent of the radioactive fallout landed.

Once again, the UC failed to warn the Japanese people of how serious the dangers posed by Fukushima’s fallout were, even as its secret model indicated the need to evacuate Tokyo, the largest metropolitan area in the world.

This recommendation was subsequently given by others such as Dr. Shigeru Mita, a physician who relocated his practice from Tokyo after observing symptoms of radiation sickness since 2011, and advises that inhabitants should leave the city due to the health consequences of the radiation there.

With over 1 hundred million sea creatures having already perished as predicted by the nuclear utility-founded Nordic PSA Group, this institution’s estimate that more than 1 million people could also die if human consumption of Pacific seafood continues unabated is supported by a solid track record based on the scientific method, unlike the UC’s ongoing denials and distortions of even the most basic facts of the Fukushima disaster.

Dr. Mita’s warning is buttressed by the epidemiological evidence, which indicates that the health consequences of Fukushima radiation are already taking a serious toll in Japan – and not just in Fukushima prefecture – including:

  • Thyroid cancer incidence more than doubling in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures
  • A range of heart diseases increasing throughout Japan, with a 50 percent overall increase of heart attacks and 80 percent increase in Tokyo
  • Leukemia incidence more than doubling in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures, with a 42 percent overall increase for Japan.
  • Backing up this epidemiological evidence is extensive radiation measurement, including one study which found that every one of its soil samples taken from a variety of places in Tokyo were so toxic that they would all be legally treated as radioactive waste by the U.S. government.

    And yet once again, the UC is at the forefront of denying that there are any serious health risks for the Japanese population, even for those with the greatest exposure still living in Fukushima.

    Consider the event hosted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Japanese Ministry of the Environment at UC Berkeley in 2017. Together, UC Berkeley and the Japanese government claimed that Fukushima had been 97 percent decontaminated of radiation, and insisted that the real issue to worry about was that “negative perception still persists across Japan and the world, causing economic and psychological damage within the region.”

  • Not mentioned by either party was the epidemic increase of disease or the protests this Japanese Ministry has continuously faced in Fukushima for forcing residents to accept toxic radioactive soil repurposed for developing farmland and constructing roads. Evacuees are now being forced to return to Fukushima, despite radiation levels in their homelands measured at up to 100x the international legal limit.

    One study … found that every one of its soil samples taken from a variety of places in Tokyo were so toxic that they would all be legally treated as radioactive waste by the U.S. government.

  • That the UC’s priority is not the well-being of Japan was tacitly admitted in a press releaseissued by the UC-managed Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), which includes a mere single sentence acknowledging that with the disaster, “At stake are Japan’s reputation, its public health and the health of its environment.” The next three paragraphs then elaborate in great detail the UC’s grave concern about the risk the disaster poses to Japan’s nuclear industry, while highlighting the cleanup’s priority of “rebuild[ing] public acceptance of nuclear power.”

    The report ends with a celebration of “the arc of Los Alamos’s history with Japan” as being “truly awesome,” neglecting entirely to mention the central role this UC lab played in committing genocide against the Japanese people with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed then by UC-designed nuclear weapons.

    Today, the UC is once again playing a central role in denying and covering up the deadly effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which continues today as yet another genocide.

  • Although UC Berkeley was recently ranked the “No. 1 public university” by US News in 2018, corporate media refuses to recognize how it has served as the foremost academic partner of the largest military empire in history. This shameful reality is a manifestation of the twisted vision outlined in Dr. Gray Brechin’s “Imperial San Francisco,” which describes in detail how the white supremacist founders of UC Berkeley envisioned it playing a pivotal role in extending American Empire, with the construction of Berkeley’s nuclear laboratory as the crowning fixture of its “annexation” of the Pacific.

    As the U.S. military occupation of Japan continues to this day – with tens of thousands of soldiers and several bases still stationed in the country – the imperial and colonial dimension of the Fukushima disaster cannot be ignored. Fukushima Daiichi’s fuel was supplied by uranium forcibly extracted from aboriginal peoples’ land by permission of the Australian government.

    Although UC Berkeley was recently ranked the “No. 1 public university” by US News in 2018, corporate media refuses to recognize how it has served as the foremost academic partner of the largest military empire in history.

    And today, pressure from the U.S. government has played an important role in the Japanese government’s involvement in the cover-up, including legislation recently passed in Japan which criminalizes sharing epidemiological data and reporting or whistleblowing on the “state secrets” of the Fukushima disaster…………https://sfbayview.com/2019/03/the-future-of-all-life-indigenous-sovereignty-and-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/

 

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Accusations of scientific misconduct concern city in Japan

Fukushima at 8: Accusations of scientific misconduct concern city in Japan http://www.beyondnuclear.org/radiation-health-whats-new/2019/3/7/fukushima-at-8-accusations-of-scientific-misconduct-concern.html Eight years after the Fukushima nuclear reactors exploded on Japan’s Northern coast, spewing radioactive particles into the air, across the land, and into the Pacific Ocean, the country continues to struggle with decontamination and relocation efforts. Determining the health impacts resulting from the nuclear disaster has been particularly fraught. For Date City, about 60 km from the ruined Fukushima reactors, and still blanketed by radioactive contamination from the ongoing catastrophe, the struggle for protection of health continues amid accusations of scientific misconduct and betrayal.

After the nuclear catastrophe began, Date City residents received glass badges that measured radioactivity. About four and a half years of measurements collected from these glass badges were used by Ryugo Hayano, Professor emeritus from the University of Tokyo and Makoto Miyazaki from Fukushima Medical University (FMU) to initially publish two studies in the Journal of Radiological Protection (JRP). Radiation policy makers in Japan often reference the second of these two studies, indicating they trust the data and conclusions it offers. However, earlier this year, Shin-ichi Kurokawa (Professor Emeritus of The High Energy Accelerator Research Organization) and Akemi Shima (resident of Date City) contended that this research and the studies using it, are compromised by serious ethical violations and scientific misconduct.

Date City officials requested the studies subsequent to their adoption of a 5 mSv annual radiation exposure limit, which represents a huge increase of radiation exposure to residents. Date City has also limited decontamination efforts in certain areas, and the former mayor Shoji Nishida, requested that the International Atomic Energy Agency proclaim 5 mSv per year safe, instead of the current 1mSv. More detailed information is coming to light as a new mayor of Date City has been elected.

Kurokawa first raised concerns about the second study in a peer-reviewed August 2018 letter sent to JRP. The JRP, a U.K. journal, has yet to publish Kurokawa’s critique, so he published it on a Cornell University website in December 2018. Kurokawa also published a timeline and further critique of Hayano’s response to the letter in Harbor Business Online in February 2019, original article in Japanese. This research has also been reported on Retraction Watch, a website that tracks published troubled papers, although there are more serious concerns than those RW highlights.

Hayano has admitted (English translation here) to a miscalculation that underestimated doses to Date City residents by three times. Hayano also admits to destruction of the data on which the studies were based, claiming this “deletion” was in accordance with research protocol of the study. But Kurokawa disputes that, pointing out that data destruction is a violation of Japan’s ethical guidelines on handling human data – guidelines that instruct researchers to keep the data as long as possible. This destruction of data, and failure to publish a promised third study, appear to conceal evidence that found very high internal doses of radioactivity in some residents of Date City.

The Date City glass badge experiment

The research used glass badge data from approximately 59,000 Date City residents. These badges, paid for and distributed by Date City, supposedly measured the external radioactivity that each individual was exposed to beginning about August 2011, approximately 5 months after the nuclear catastrophe began, until the summer of 2015. The mayor’s office of Date City provided both the glass badge data and data on internal exposures for individual residents.

According to research protocols agreed to with FMU, Miyazaki and Hayano planned to publish three studies based on these data. The first, comparing individual external doses to survey results of airborne radiation from the Government of Japan, was published in 2016. The second, a prediction of lifetime dose and an evaluation of the effect of decontamination on doses to individuals, was published in 2017. The third study, examining the relationship between external doses and internal doses, will not be published. Instead it has been replaced by a study on a different topic.

Where things went wrong

Bad glass badge data

Perhaps the experiment was doomed from the start as the Miyazaki-Hayano studies admit some residents of Date City may not have worn the glass badges on their bodies or actually lived at the address registered for the badge. Such improper badge use would immediately compromise any conclusions reached concerning individual doses, but the researchers used the data anyway.

Mishandling and destruction of data

In addition to questionable glass badge measurements, Kurokawa contends the Miyazaki-Hayano research suffers from mishandling and destruction of data that violates ethical guidelines:

  • Residents (research subjects) of Date City were not informed of the content of the research prior to the research commencing, and were not given opportunity to refuse use of their data. Miyazaki, being a municipal advisor on radiation to Date City as well as a study author, should have known how to handle this properly, yet he did not.
  • Miyazaki and Hayano failed to note that some residents had not consented to use of their data, a fact obvious in the data supplied to them by Date City. They further failed to obtain consent from those residents prior to use of their data.
  • Hayano presented data before the research protocol was submitted to, and approved by, an FMU Ethics review committee.
  • Residents were not told of the papers once they were published, nor were they told that the Mayor’s office of Date City had requested the papers be published. This presented a conflict of interest since the Date City Mayor’s office had an agenda (see slides 21 & 26) of encouraging residents to increase “resilience” while living in a contaminated environment. For residents, this means consuming contaminated food and restricting decontamination efforts per Date City’s new 5 mSv annual exposure limit. A few months after Date Mayor Shoji Nishida announced this “resiliency” policy, Miyazaki was hired as radiation advisor to the city.
  • Miyazaki and Hayano violated research protocol by replacing the third studyoriginally agreed to, with a study that said nothing about internal versus external doses.
  • At the conclusion of the research, all of the data were destroyed. According to records obtained by an information request filed by Shima, Kurokawa’s co-author of the Kagaku article, Hayano created an integrated database at the request of Date City, but did not share this database with the city. Therefore, when the database was destroyed, Miyazaki and Hayano knew that Date City could not replicate it or the data it contained.
  • Kurokawa points out that research conducted in Japan must follow the ethical guidelinesbased on the Declaration of Helsinki for proper protocols in handling medical and health research involving human subjects, such as valuing welfare of the research subjects over that of scientific results. FMU approved the Miyazaki-Hayano research papers under these protocols – protocols this research seriously violated by not allowing people to control use of their own data and by destroying the data after publication so that neither researchers nor the research subjects, can access it or replicate the studies.

    Underestimation of dose

    In addition to the mishandling of data, Kurokawa has discovered discrepancies in the values of cumulative doses in paper 2, which appear to underestimate actual doses. Hayano has, by his own admission, underestimated individual doses by three times. Professor Hayano says that he will issue a correction (corrigendum) for this dose underestimation, but has failed to completely answer the additional serious discrepancies, and the ethical violations of mishandling and destruction of data Kurokawa notes.

    Why the “phantom” third study matters

    The missing third study was supposed to investigate correlation between external and internal individual doses – a correlation Miyazaki and Hayano had already hypothesizedwould not exist. However, upon reviewing other data in Date City reports, the opposite was found: “[there was very] clear correlation between the external and internal doses…some cases with very high levels of internal exposure measurements.” Kurokawa offers his own hypothesis as to why Miyazaki and Hayano never published a paper on this third research question:

    The true reason for not publishing Paper 3 could be the discovery of a clear correlation between the external and internal doses with some residents showing internal exposure measurements of several thousand Bq even since 2015. Not publishing inconvenient results despite receiving the internal exposure dose data from Date City would have to be considered a violation of the Ethical Guidelines. (emphasis added)

    This correlation also reveals that Date City’s “resiliency” plan is not protecting its residents. Miyazaki and Hayano’s unwillingness to address internal dose evidence in the Date City data also calls into question Hayano’s other research on internal doses issues such as monitoring of food and whole body scans of children, the last publication of which appears to be in 2015.

    Mistaken assumptions based on faulty studies

    Japan’s Radiation Council (JRC) on setting standards for protecting people from radiation often references this ethically and scientifically compromised research in discussions, particularly the second paper, which was the focus of Kurokawa’s critical letter. Hayano’s work is often mentioned by other scientists and press as indication that doses from Fukushima radiation are low, that decontamination efforts paid for by Date City funds, might not have been necessary, and that living in an environment contaminated by “low” levels of man-made radiation is acceptable.

    Where was the peer-review?

    For its part JRP has now determined at this time that a correction for the dose underestimation is all that is needed, while an investigation into the consent issue is conducted. JRP claims to adhere to the Declaration of Helsinki for proper protocols in handling medical and health research involving human subjects. However, data misuse and destruction should require retraction of the papers, not correction.

    Kurokawa contends that underestimating 70-year lifetime doses by three times is a severe enough miscalculation that a mere correction will not suffice, implying the conclusions of the papers are now in jeopardy. Hayano is claiming, falsely, that JRPwants a rewrite of the paper. Even if JRP did want a rewrite, it is unclear how Hayano intends to accomplish this since the Date City data on which the original papers were based have been destroyed. Kurokawa states:

    There is no way to rewrite a paper when the research has already completed and all the data have been destroyed. Even if Date City were to re-supply the data to FMU, it would be considered new research and a new research proposal would have to be submitted to the Ethics Review Committee at FMU. A resulting paper would no longer be a revised version, but an entirely different paper based on new researchA scientist should never conceal such information, let alone pretend as if what was requested by JRP was a rewritten paper when it was a corrigendum that was actually requested. (emphasis in original English translation)

    To date, neither Miyazaki nor Hayano have responded in the customary fashion, which would be to answer Kurokawa’s original letter criticizing their published research point-by-point. Kurokawa has published an analysis of Miyazaki-Hayano paper 1 in the March issue of Kagaku in Japanese, and will be publishing detailed analysis of paper 2 in April 2019.

    Thanks to Yuri Hiranuma for input and review of this article and for the translations used to write it. See Yuri’s blog.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

JUSTIN TRUDEAU FACES CALLS TO RESIGN RE: SNC-LAVALIN SCANDAL

Centralized Storage, Beyond Nuclear 7 Mar 19 

With the scientifically unsound proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump now canceled, the danger of “interim” storage threatens. This means that radioactive waste could be “temporarily” parked in open air lots, vulnerable to accident and attack, while a new repository site is sought.

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JUSTIN TRUDEAU FACES CALLS TO RESIGN RE: SNC-LAVALIN SCANDAL

As reported by Newsweek.

Liberal Party Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now faces calls from his Conservative Party challenger in this autumn’s election to resign over a scandal involving SNC-Lavalin, a giant engineering firm based in Montreal, Quebec. SNC-Lavalin has been accused of bribery, fraud, and other corruption over its practices in Libya. If convicted of such wrongdoing, SNC-Lavalin could be barred from Canadian federal contracts for a decade. (SNC-Lavalin has been previously barred for a decade from World Bank contracts.)

Holtec International has teamed with SNC-Lavalin to form a nuclear power plant decommissioning consortium. Already, the Holtec/SNC-Lavalin consortium has taken over ownership of the permanently shutdown Oyster Creek atomic reactor in NJ. This includes on-site irradiated nuclear fuel management.

Holtec & SNC-Lavalin are also vying for taking over the ownership of such other soon-to-be decommissioning nuclear power plants as Pilgrim in MA, and Palisades in MI.

Holtec is also the proponent for a national centralized interim storage facility for irradiated nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico.

Its partnership with a corrupt company like SNC-Lavalin calls into question Holtec’s own judgment.

However, Holtec itself has engaged in bribery, at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear power plant; in addition, Holtec CEO Krishna Singh has been accused by whistleblowers Oscar Shirani (Commonwealth Edison/Exelon) and Dr. Ross Landsman (NRC Region 3) of attempting to bribe them into silence, re: QA violations (see below).

And Holtec CEO Krishna Singh has also made racist remarks re: his own African American and Puerto Rican American workers in Camden, NJ.

Holtec is also infamous for QA (Quality Assurance) violations in the manufacture of its irradiated nuclear fuel canisters, brought to light by whistleblowers.

See these previous Beyond Nuclear website posts, for more info. on concerns re: SNC-Lavalin:…….. http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Canada, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 3 Comments

In France, nuclear industry manages to cancel a film showing, about Fukushima nuclear disaster

France TV Info 6th March 2019 A film about the Fukushima disaster censored in a commune that houses a
nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Exit Association planned a projection
eight years after the Fukushima accident in Japan. But the event was
canceled after the nearby nuclear plant contacted the town hall.

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/japon/fukushima/nievre-un-film-sur-la-catastrophe-de-fukushima-censure-dans-une-commune-qui-heberge-une-centrale-nucleaire_3220981.html

March 9, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, France | 1 Comment

Trump’s endeavour to nuclearise Saudi Arabia is driven by family business interests and tacitly approved by Israel. Aljazeera, by Hamid Dabashi, 8 Mar 2019  Like chronic indigestion that refuses to go away, presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner is back causing much discomfort to the general public.

“Kushner meets Saudi’s MBS for the first time since Khashoggi murder,” Al Jazeera recently reported, “The meeting focused on ‘increasing cooperation’ between Washington and Riyadh, as well as the Middle East peace process.”

But there might be more on their plate than just another bogus “peace process”.

Kushner has two paramount concerns while sitting comfortably in the big pocket of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS): pursuing his own personal financial gains and helping Israel steal what is left of Palestine. MBS also has two objectives while playing with Kushner, like a shiny marble in his pocket:  To confront Iran and to establish himself as a ruling tyrant not just in Saudi Arabia but throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

The slaughter of innocent men, women and children in Yemen and the butchery of Jamal Khashoggi are the first flowers of his dream of a Saudi Spring. But in his pursuit of power and glory through murder and destruction, MBS does not seem to be satisfied with using only conventional means. It appears that he is now harbouring a great desire to go nuclear and the Trump administration is more than willing to oblige.

As the New York Times recently revealed, the Trump administration has been pursuing a deal with Saudi Arabia to develop its nuclear energy sector. “By ramming through the sale of as much as $80 billion in nuclear power plants, the Trump administration would provide sensitive know-how and materials to a government whose de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has suggested that he may eventually want a nuclear weapon as a hedge against Iran and has shown little concern for what the rest of the world thinks,” the newspaper claimed.

At the forefront of these efforts, of course, are Kushner and his business interests. It turns out a company that bailed out his family after an ill-conceived real estate deal in New York brought them close to bankruptcy now intends to sell nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.

That, along with other shenanigans, has gotten the US security establishment worried. Their attempts to cancel his security clearance, however, have been repeatedly overridden by his father-in-law.

Hence, Kushner remains undeterred in his pursuit to nuclearise Saudi Arabia.

In exposing this worrying reality, the US media, however, has made two very wrong assumptions: one, that a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia somehow contradicts the interests of the Israeli leadership; two, that it is the result of some kind of a Gulf-money entrapment.

……. Given that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has been the principal driving force behind a “peace plan” that aims to strip Palestinians of all their legitimate rights and legalise the Israeli occupation, it is hard to believe that he is now pursuing a policy that contradicts Israeli interests.  …….

The reason why a Saudi nuclear programme is in the interest of the Israeli settler colony is very simple: It would fuel Saudi-Iranian rivalry, keeping them in a permanent state of war in the shadow of nuclear proliferation, which is good for Zionism, and of course, for the Israeli arms industry. It would keep the populations of both countries preoccupied with the imagined Sunni-Shia conflict and make them increasingly oblivious to the plight of the Palestinian people and the desecration of the holy sites in Jerusalem. …….. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/making-nuclear-mbs-190307135114759.html

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Mining company Glencore’s global campaign to prop up coal, discredit climate change theory

Revealed: Glencore bankrolled covert campaign to prop up coal , Guardian, Christopher Knaus @knausc, 7 Mar 2019

The mining company engaged Sir Lynton Crosby’s firm to push anti-renewables message and counter anti-coal activists The multinational mining giant Glencore spent millions bankrolling a secret, globally coordinated campaign to prop up coal demand by undermining environmental activists, influencing politicians and spreading sophisticated pro-coal messaging on social media.

An investigation by Guardian Australia can reveal the covert campaign, dubbed “Project Caesar”, was orchestrated by world-renowned political operatives at the C|T Group, the firm founded by Sir Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor.

The C|T Group used teams in Sydney and London to further Glencore’s interests across the globe, including in Australia, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the project and documents seen by Guardian Australia. …… https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/07/revealed-glencore-bankrolled-covert-campaign-to-prop-up-coal

March 7, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helping Saudi Crown Prince towards getting nuclear weapons?

Jared and the Saudi Crown Prince Go Nuclear? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-jared-kushner-nuclear.html

There are too many unanswered questions about the White House’s role in advancing Saudi ambitions. By Nicholas Kristof, March 2, 2019

Jared Kushner slipped quietly into Saudi Arabia this week for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so the question I’m trying to get the White House to answer is this: Did they discuss American help for a Saudi nuclear program?

Of all the harebrained and unscrupulous dealings of the Trump administration in the last two years, one of the most shocking is a Trump plan to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Even as President Trump is trying to denuclearize North Korea and Iran, he may be helping to nuclearize Saudi Arabia. This is abominable policy tainted by a gargantuan conflict of interest involving Kushner.

Kushner’s family real estate business had been teetering because of a disastrously overpriced acquisition he made of a particular Manhattan property called 666 Fifth Avenue, but last August a company called Brookfield Asset Management rescued the Kushners by taking a 99-year lease of the troubled property — and paying the whole sum of about $1.1 billion up front.

Alarm bells should go off: Brookfield also owns Westinghouse Electric, the nuclear services business trying to sell reactors to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi swamp, meet American swamp.

It may be conflicts like these, along with even murkier ones, that led American intelligence officials to refuse a top-secret security clearance for Kushner. The Times reported Thursday that Trump overruled them to grant Kushner the clearance.

This nuclear reactor mess began around the time of Trump’s election, when a group of retired U.S. national security officials put together a plan to enrich themselves by selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia. The officials included Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, and they initially developed a “plan for 40 nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia, according to a report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The plan is now to start with just a couple of plants.

As recently as Feb. 12, Trump met in the White House with backers of the project and was supportive, Reuters reported.

These are civilian nuclear power plants, and Saudi Arabia claims it wants them for electricity. But the Saudis insist on producing their own nuclear fuel, rather than buying it more cheaply abroad. Producing fuel is a standard way for rogue countries to divert fuel for secret nuclear weapons programs, and the Saudi resistance to safeguards against proliferation bolsters suspicions that the real goal is warheads.

Trump may be vigilant (destructively so) about Iran’s nuclear plants, but in the Saudi case his response seems to be: There’s money to be made! When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised objections to the transfer last year, Axios reported, “Trump and his advisers told Netanyahu that, if the U.S. does not sell the Saudis nuclear reactors, other countries like Russia or France will.”

Trump seems to believe that the Saudis have us over a barrel: If we don’t help them with nuclear technology, someone else will. That misunderstands the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The Saudis depend on us for their security, and the blunt truth is that we hold all the cards in this relationship, not them.

Why on earth would America put Prince Mohammed on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons? He is already arguably the most destabilizing leader in an unstable region, for he has invaded Yemen, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, started a feud with Qatar, and, according to American intelligence officials, ordered the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The prince has also imprisoned and brutally tortured women’s rights activists, including one who I’m hoping will win the Nobel Peace Prize, Loujain al-Hathloul. As Representative Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, has noted, “A country that can’t be trusted with a bone saw shouldn’t be trusted with nuclear weapons.”

There’s another element of Trump’s Saudi policy that is simply repulsive: the fawning courtship of a foreign prince who has created in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, murdered a journalist and tortured women’s rights activists. The White House genuflections are such that Prince Mohammed had a point when, according to The Intercept, he bragged that he had Kushner in his “pocket.”

No one knows whether Prince Muhammed will manage to succeed his father and become the next king, for there is opposition and the Saudi economic transformation he boasts of is running into difficulties. Trump and Kushner seem to be irresponsibly trying to boost the prince’s prospects, increasing the risk that an unstable hothead will mismanage the kingdom for the next 50 years. Perhaps with nuclear weapons.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

USA officials worried about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear plans

Middle East Monitor 2nd March 2019 , Doubts have been raised about Saudi Arabia’s plans for its nuclear
capabilities, which it maintains are for peaceful purposes, to meet its
population’s energy needs. However a US body charged with looking in to
Saudi’s nuclear plans has warned that “many whistleblowers have warned
against conflicts of interest that could fall within the scope of the
Federal Criminal Law.” The Committee on Oversight and Reform issued the
warning after President Donald Trump announced he intended to sell
“sensitive nuclear technology” to Saudi Arabia to benefit US companies.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190302-us-officials-question-saudis-nuclear-plans/

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

A new moral low – Trump Selling Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Trump Selling Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia Is a New Moral Low,  Inderjeet Parmar, The Wire, 27 Feb 19

In doing so, he has declared the return of great power global rivalries, with China and Russia as the biggest threats to US power.

The Trump administration’s plan to sell nuclear technologies to the Saudi Arabian regime is a case study in the decay of American imperial power, the essential corruption of the Trump White House and the self-serving and reckless character of the military-industrial complex. After two years of this administration, it is shocking, if unsurprising, that President Trump shows flagrant disregard for the law, is hypocritical with regard to his claimed desire to ‘drain the swamp’ of big money lobbying and is enabling the intensified militarisation of great power geopolitical rivalries.

In so doing, Trump has accelerated longer-term trends begun under successive previous presidents since the end of Second World War. He has declared the return of great power global rivalries, with China and Russia as the biggest threats to US power.

But Trump is not alone in this drive to further destabilisation: the Saudis have also shortlisted Russia, China, France and South Korea to bid for nuclear contracts. Russia has already signed nuclear power agreements or understandings with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. And China’s Belt and Road Initiative features plans to build nuclear plants in dozens of countries on the Silk Road; China has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Armenia and the UK.

There have been reports that Russian and Chinese firms would cooperate with other states’ nuclear plans in West Asia, including Trump’s, but that Obama-era US sanctions on Russia stood in the way. If taken seriously by the numerous investigating bodies focused on the Trump White House, this may well prove to be a key driver of Trump’s relatively non-hostile rhetoric towards President Putin.

But this ramped up cooperative competition for markets and contracts, and other pending arms deals, may also explain the immediate reasons why the Republican president ignored CIA intelligence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered and directed the killing and dismemberment of regime critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The gruesome killing of the journalist – a member of Trump’s “enemy of the people” fake media, as opposed to his supporters at Fox News – could hardly be expected to hold up the brutal jockeying for advantage in the world’s most volatile – and tragic – region.

An interim report by the Democrat Elijah Cummings-chaired House Committee on Oversight and Reform, based largely on credible whistleblower accounts – including emails and other documents from within the White House itself – suggests that Trump and his trusted lieutenants, in particular, Jared Kushner, regardless of legal advice to the contrary, are finalising plans that may violate the Atomic Energy Act 1954, which provides powers to Congress to oversee the sale and use of nuclear technologies……..

Conflicts of interest abound in this matter. Trump acolytes are looking to make billions of dollars by winning fees, commissions and contracts in Saudi Arabia. What is sold as an attempt to make Saudi Arabia less reliant on fossil fuels for revenues, and more secure against regional powers like Iran and Syria, appears to be a rather unsubtle money grab. At the centre of the controversy is IP3 International, a firm whose leadership reads like the membership list of the morally and intellectually bankrupt military-industrial complex. Its name, according to its website, is an abbreviation for ‘international peace, power and prosperity’.  

Before digging a little deeper into IP3 International, it’s worth looking at where within the Trump camp this scheme originated and developed. Retired General Michael Flynn’s name is all over this plan. His Flynn Intel Group consultancy is closely linked with IP3 International’s plan to build dozens of nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia and across the Gulf states. Flynn pushed the Saudi plan before and after the 2016 election, once he was named national security adviser and even after he had been dismissed for lying about his discussions with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions; he’s currently awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI, among other things.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, troubleshooter and West Asia peace envoy, has been praising and protecting the Saudi crown prince as some sort of Kemal Ataturk-like visionary set to drag the kingdom and the region into the 21st century. Kushner has links with Westinghouse Electric Company – a nuclear services breakaway from the original Westinghouse Electric Corporation – and its current major shareholder, Brook Asset Management, which is closely linked with IP3 International.

Trump’s inauguration lead and close confidant, Tom Barrack, was reported by the New York Times as having raised investments topping $7 billion since Trump’s nomination, with a quarter of that deriving from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Barrack justified his and the Trump administration’s business dealings with Saudi Arabia by praising the economic vision of the kingdom’s “young, brilliant new leader”. He justified the killing of Khashoggi thus: “Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal or worse than the atrocities in Saudi Arabia.” Skullduggery, falsehood and self-interest justified by a self-serving admission of truth, while Trump’s brutal anti-immigrant policies and defence of police killings continue apace.

IP3 International and Flynn Intel Group are core drivers of the programme, as are ACU Strategic Partners – a nuclear power consultancy led by Alex Copson, who was advised by Michael Flynn; and Colony NorthStar, Tom Barrack’s real estate investment firm.

IP3 International’s leadership team is almost a case study of the military-industrial complex. Of its leadership team of 21, there are five retired US generals and four retired US Navy admirals. Among its three co-founders are General John ‘Jack’ Keane and Robert ‘Bud’ McFarlane. An architect of Reagan’s Star Wars nuclear programme, McFarlane is a convicted felon from the Iran-Contra scandal – found guilty of illegally selling arms to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war to illegally fund the Contras fighting the revolutionary-democratic Sandinista administration in Nicaragua. Congress had banned US aid to the Contras at the time. McFarlane spends some of his time promoting US wars via the Committee on the Present Danger. He is a non-executive director of the British military corporation Aegis Defence Services, which has ‘offices’ across West Asia.

General Keane retired from the military in 2003, became an analyst with Fox News and advised on the US occupation of Iraq. He was an architect, along with Fred Kagan, of the murderous 2007 “surge” in Iraq. Keane is a director of General Dynamics, consultant-advisor for the Erik Prince-founded private military company Blackwater, now called Academi, and executive chair of the Humvee manufacturer AM General.

Finally, ambassador Denis Ross is on IP3 International’s advisory board. Ross, a Democrat, has faithfully served American imperial power for decades – under both Republican and Democratic presidents. IP3 International opens its coffers and serves both parties. Ross is an arch-Zionist, indeed named as such in Walt and Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby as a key supporter of AIPAC. He advised Hillary Clinton on West Asian affairs, and considers the Saudi crown prince a true “revolutionary”……….

Kushner heads off to West Asia in the final days of this month to continue discussions on the nuclear programmes. President Trump is reported to have attended a meeting on February 12 at the White House with private nuclear corporations including Westinghouse, General Electric, and AECOM, “led by General Keane… ,” according to the congressional report.

The military-industrial complex has made the US government and geopolitical interests inseparable from their own personal and corporate interests. A remarkable March 4, 2017 email from McFarlane to the National Security Council’s Derek Harvey, titled “We’re Very Close to Losing Our Position in the Middle East” and reproduced in the House committee’s interim report, makes this all too clear……..https://thewire.in/world/trump-selling-nuclear-technology-to-saudi-arabia-is-a-new-moral-low

February 28, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Banned from covering Trump-Kim dinner are reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters

White House bans four journalists from covering Trump-Kim dinner, SMH, By Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey
February 28, 2019 Hanoi, The White House abruptly banned four US journalists from covering President Donald Trump’s dinner on Wednesday with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after some of them shouted questions at the leaders during their earlier meetings.Reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters were excluded from covering the dinner because of what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said were “sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays”. Among the questions asked of Trump was one about the congressional testimony of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The White House’s move to restrict press access was an extraordinary act of retaliation by the US government, which historically has upheld the rights of journalists while a president travels overseas. It was especially remarkable because it came during Trump’s meeting with the leader of a totalitarian state that does not have a free press.

Trump’s exchanges with Kim were being covered by the standard 13-member travelling White House press pool, but ahead of the dinner Sanders sought to exclude all reporters from the pool and permit only the photographers and television crew, citing “sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays”.

After loud pushback, including from photojournalists who protested, Sanders allowed a single reporter in the pool for the dinner: Vivian Salama of the Wall Street Journal, who was serving as the print pooler and did not ask a question at the dinner. In addition, at least two members of the North Korean media contingent, a photographer and cameraman, were seen covering the dinner.

Reporters for the three wire services, as well as a second print pooler, were excluded. They included two journalists who had asked Trump questions in the earlier appearances: Jonathan Lemire of the AP and Jeff Mason of Reuters. Also excluded were Justin Sink of Bloomberg and Eli Stokols of the Los Angeles Times………..

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for the AP, said in a statement: “The Associated Press decries such efforts by the White House to restrict access to the president. It is critically important that any president uphold American press freedom standards, not only at home but especially while abroad.” .

…… Trump has long complained about reporters asking him questions at photo opportunities, especially when he is in the presence of foreign leaders, which aides have said he views as disrespectful and lacking in decorum. The White House occasionally has punished reporters for their questioning, including CNN’s Jim Acosta and Kaitlan Collins……https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/white-house-bans-four-journalists-from-covering-trump-kim-dinner-20190228-p510qg.html

February 27, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Australia’s Dept of Industry kept terrorist and other dangers secret from communities selected to host nuclear wastes

Risk of terrorism at radioactive waste site kept secret from residents near earmarked sites, Jade Gailberger, Federal Political Reporter, The Advertiser February 24,
The risk of terrorist activity at a radioactive waste site, including the removal of drums for use in a “dirty bomb”, has been kept secret from residents near two sites earmarked for a new national dump.
As the communities of Hawker and Kimba remain divided on the site selection for a new waste site, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reveal the Defence Department identified a potential risk of terrorist activity at a dump at Woomera.
The revelation has cemented the security concerns of residents, who say they have been ignored by Government officials.

The now closed Koolymilka dump, situated on Defence land at Woomera, was licensed for temporary radioactive waste storage but has not taken new material since 2010.

An emergency response plan for the site, which still houses waste that is anticipated to be transferred to a national facility, details scenarios that may affect it including:

    • TERRORISTS removing drums to make a “dirty bomb”.
    • MISSILE and aircraft strikes, fire, flood or a storm in Woomera that could damage the building and cause contamination if drums ruptured.
    • CIVILIAN protest activity.

Defence has said it has no responsibility to inform the public of the risks because the new waste dump is an Industry Department project.

Kimba farmer Peter Woolford, who is opposed to radioactive waste storage on agricultural land, said security, terrorism and fire concerns at a national site had been raised but “fobbed off” by officials who claimed it “would be safe”.
“The (Industry) Department continually says it is going to be open and transparent but you have to obtain FOI documents to get the full story,” he said. “It’s an issue that the department should be … explaining.”

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said communities had been denied information needed to make an informed decision about a dump in their region.
At a Senate estimates hearing last week, Mr Patrick asked if the Industry Department had briefed the communities about potential terrorism. Industry Minister Matt Canavan said: “I have never been provided with any advice that this is at all a risk … this has never been raised as an issue”.
The Industry Department said the new dump would pose “no security or safety risk to the community” and “significant detail” on safety and security had been made public.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation said 14 of 45 jobs at the new dump would be security.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment