nuclear-news

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

Journalists, bloggers to be scrutinised by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security to Compile Database of Journalists, Bloggershttps://biglawbusiness.com/homeland-security-to-compile-database-of-journalists-bloggers/  By Cary O’Reilly – Bloomberg Government April 5, 2018

  • Seeks contractor that can monitor 290,000 global news sources

• ‘Media influencer’ database to note `sentiment’ of coverage


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to monitor hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top “media influencers.”

It’s seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify “any and all” coverage related to the agency or a particular event, according to a request for information released April 3.

The data to be collected includes a publication’s “sentiment” as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation. No value for the contract was disclosed.

“Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers,” according to the statement. DHS agencies have “a critical need to incorporate these functions into their programs in order to better reach federal, state, local, tribal, and private partners,” it said.

The DHS wants to track more than 290,000 global news sources, including online, print, broadcast, cable, and radio, as well as trade and industry publications, local, national and international outlets, and social media, according to the documents. It also wants the ability to track media coverage in more than 100 languages including Arabic, Chinese, and Russian, with instant translation of articles into English.

The request comes amid heightened concern about accuracy in media and the potential for foreigners to influence U.S. elections and policy through “fake news.” Nineteen lawmakers including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month, asking whether Qatar-based Al Jazeera should register as a foreign agent because it “often directly undermines” U.S. interests with favorable coverage of Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

The DHS request says the selected vendor will set up an online “media influence database” giving users the ability to browse based on location, beat, and type of influence. For each influencer found, “present contact details and any other information that could be relevant, including publications this influencer writes for, and an overview of the previous coverage published by the media influencer.”

A department spokesman didn’t immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment.

Responses are due April 13. Seven companies, mainly minority- or women-owned small businesses, have already expressed interest in becoming a vendor for the contract, according to the FedBizOpps web site.

— With assistance from Daniel Snyder

To contact the reporter on this story: Cary O’Reilly in Washington atcoreilly@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Loren Duggan atlduggan@bgov.com; Robin Meszoly at rmeszoly@bgov.com; Theresa Barry attbarry@bgov.com

Advertisements

April 9, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | 1 Comment

Pressure on assistant professor to downplay dangers of nuclear power

Hokkaido METI bureau requested changes to nuclear energy part of high school lecture https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180407/p2a/00m/0na/017000c  (Mainichi Japan) SAPPORO – High-ranking officials from the local bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) requested that an assistant professor change an October 2017 lecture to high school students pointing out the dangers of nuclear power, it has been learned.

April 9, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | 1 Comment

The world should be outraged at the silencing of Julian Assange

Daniel Ellsberg’s decision to release the Pentagon Papers was an act of valor—his actions saved countless lives. He was a whistleblower who changed the course of history and curtailed an ongoing genocide which ended up preventing the needless dissolution of American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians alike. The publishing of the Pentagon Papers is a prime example of the critical part a free press plays in keeping governments in check and exposing the corrosive nature of consolidated power. This is why the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights enshrines the rights to free speech and of a free press in the United States Constitution. 

Tyrants throughout history have targeted journalists and reporters for a reason.

On Wednesday afternoon, Julian Assange, who has been forced into self-imprisonment at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 to ward off prosecution from the United Kingdom and the United States, had his internet access cut off. Assange is our generation’s Daniel Ellsberg; WikiLeaks—the online publication he started—has been invaluable in letting the public know about the malfeasance of their elected officials and highlighting the duplicity of governments throughout the world. In an era where mainstream journalists have been turned into a corporate-state propagandists, WikiLeaks stands out in their dogged pursuit of truth and exposing deep-seated corruption and graft.

Where Is the Outrage About Julian Assange’s Silencing? https://www.truthdig.com/articles/where-is-the-outrage-about-julian-assanges-silencing/ 3 April 18, Teodrose Fikre / The Ghion Journal 

On October 12, 1969, Daniel Ellsberg copied a secret dossier with the intention of disclosing the truth about the Vietnam War. The Pentagon Papers were a chronicle of events that recorded the scope of operations in Vietnam and beyond—details which were being withheld from the American public. The Vietnam War was built on the foundation of lies; we were rushed into the war using the Gulf of Tonkin as a false flag and defending freedom as a pretext to further the interests of the defense-financial complex. The truth eventually caught up to the lies of politicians and bureaucrats; Defense Secretary Robert McNamara later admitted the Gulf of Tonkin attack never took place.

The Gulf of Tonkin set the stage for a decade of continuous half-truths and outright lies as the US government suppressed information from the citizenry and kept falsifying records. This coordinated campaign of governmental disinformation prolonged a war that led to the deaths of 58,200 Americans and snuffed the lives of over 2 million Vietnamese people. It was this pernicious operation of deceit—intent on keeping the public in the dark—that prodded Ellsberg to act. After presenting the findings of the Pentagon Papers to authorities in government only to be met with a wall of silence, he decided to inform the press. The firestorm of controversy that was created after The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers and the ensuing outcry from the public played a large part in bringing an end to the Vietnam War.

Daniel Ellsberg’s decision to release the Pentagon Papers was an act of valor—his actions saved countless lives. He was a whistleblower who changed the course of history and curtailed an ongoing genocide which ended up preventing the needless dissolution of American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians alike. The publishing of the Pentagon Papers is a prime example of the critical part a free press plays in keeping governments in check and exposing the corrosive nature of consolidated power. This is why the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights enshrines the rights to free speech and of a free press in the United States Constitution.

Tyrants throughout history have targeted journalists and reporters for a reason. Napoleon Bonaparte, a savage dictator, once noted that four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets. He said this because he knew that journalists can awaken a slumbering public from sleep and rally them against repressive regimes. A free press is the last line of defense between liberty and despotism. The founders of our republic, in the hopes of preventing America from traveling down the path of authoritarianism, made the rights of a free press sacrosanct for this exact reason. Sadly, our nation is living proof that all revolutions eventually devolve to the very tyranny that gave birth to them.

Bureaucrats and elected officials in government learned the wrong lessons from the Pentagon Papers. Instead of being transparent and reducing corruption in governance, authorities decided to cloak themselves in darkness, methodically target whistleblowers for prosecution and intimidate journalists in order to prevent them from doing their jobs. All this is taking place in a backdrop where corporations have initiated a hostile takeover of government; by weaponizing their wealth, globalist oligarchs have effectively turned public servants and technocrats into their enforcers and security guards.

In an environment where billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch own more than 90 percent of the media content and the way it is disseminated to the public, reporters and journalists in corporate media have to be mindful of keeping their checks as much as they are fearful of getting a knock on the door from subpoena bearers. This systematic war against free press metastasized after the heinous attacks of 9/11; the US government—yet again using national security as a pretext—made it a priority to silence dissent within government and neutralize aggressive reporting against its excesses. As western powers piously preach about freedom and democracy throughout the globe, they are steadily dismantling both domestically.

On Wednesday afternoon, Julian Assange, who has been forced into self-imprisonment at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 to ward off prosecution from the United Kingdom and the United States, had his internet access cut off. Assange is our generation’s Daniel Ellsberg; WikiLeaks—the online publication he started—has been invaluable in letting the public know about the malfeasance of their elected officials and highlighting the duplicity of governments throughout the world. In an era where mainstream journalists have been turned into a corporate-state propagandists, WikiLeaks stands out in their dogged pursuit of truth and exposing deep-seated corruption and graft.

It is this defiance in seeking truth and bringing light to criminality that has earned WikiLeaks in general, and Julian Assange specifically, scorn and contempt from autocrats in D.C. and throughout European capitals. It is at once amusing and vexing to hear public officials take to the podium to lecture tinpot dictators about good governance and respecting a free press while they target whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and harass reporters like Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald who dare give voice to them. This quest to silence free speech and neuter a free press is a bipartisan campaign and a bilateral initiative. Both sides of the aisle in D.C. and a multitude of supposedly “democratic” governments throughout the world are stepping up efforts to eradicate the rights of journalists and truth-tellers alike.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | Leave a comment

The Cambridge Analytica scandal – a chance to take control of our data 

Large Man Looking At Co-Worker With A Magnifying Glass — Image by © Images.com/Corbis

Don’t waste the Cambridge Analytica scandal: it’s a chance to take control of our data   Guardian  @Scottludlam,  23 Mar 2018 

March 23, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Japanese govt announced that it will accept recommendations of United Nations Human Rights Council on rights of Fukushima evacuees

Greenpeace 8th March 2018, The Japanese government has announced that it had accepted all four
recommendations made at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on
the rights of evacuees from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The decision is a victory for the human rights of tens of thousands of
evacuees, and civil society that have been working at the UNHRC and
demanding that Japan accept and comply with UN principles.

The decision means that the Japanese government must immediately change its unacceptable
policies, said Greenpeace.

The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was made in a formal submission to the UNHRC. Japan is to give its
formal decision on 16 March at the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review session in Geneva to recommendations made by Austria, Portugal and Mexico on the need to respect the rights of Fukushima, particularly women and children,
and from Germany, which called on Japan to protect citizens from harmful
radiation by dramatically reducing permitted radiation exposure.

At an event held in Tokyo today, where two evacuee mothers, a leading lawyer
representing Fukushima citizens, Human Rights Now, and Greenpeace,
explained the crisis facing many survivors and the multiple violations of
their rights by the government of Shinzo Abe and the implications of its
decision to accept all the four UNHRC recommendations.
http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2018/pr20180308/

March 10, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | Leave a comment

Julian Assange still a virtual prisoner in Ecuadorian Embassy in London

Julian Assange ‘has suffered enough’, his lawyers tell British judge, SMH, Nick Miller, 7 Feb 18, London: Julian Assange has suffered enough and shouldn’t face prison for absconding from justice, his lawyers have told a court.

The Wikileaks editor is depressed, in constant pain from an infected tooth, and has been stuck in the Ecuador Embassy in London’s Kensington far longer than the maximum 12-month jail penalty for breaching bail, his barrister said.

On Tuesday Assange lost a legal bid at Westminster Magistrates Court to quash the arrest warrant that has awaited him since he entered the Ecuador embassy in June 2012.

However his lawyers immediately launched a new push to end the UK government’s attempt to bring him to justice – arguing that it is against the public interest to punish him for refusing to leave the embassy.

It is a criminal offence for someone on bail to refuse to surrender to police without “reasonable cause” – and Assange refused to leave the embassy despite a court order for his arrest.

 But Assange’s barrister Mark Summers QC told Judge Emma Arbuthnot that it was not in the interests of “justice and proportionality” to bring an action against Assange.
Assange went into the embassy after he exhausted his line of appeal against a decision to extradite him to Sweden to face rape allegations.  Sweden last year ended its investigation into the allegations, and the European arrest warrant against Assange was cancelled. However the British warrant for his arrest still stood – and judge Arbuthnot said she was not persuaded it should be quashed simply because the underlying investigation had stopped.
Mr Summers said Assange was not “thumbing his nose” at justice and his five and a half years in the embassy were “adequate if not severe punishment for the actions that he took”.

Assange had genuine fears – later proved correct – that the US were keen to prosecute him over his work with Wikileaks, Summers said.

If arrested he would face rendition to the USA, treatment similar to that meted out against Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning – and possible “persecution, indefinite solitary confinement and the death penalty”, Summers said in a written submission……….

Judge Arbuthnot said it was a “very interesting” case.

She will rule on the public interest application on February 13.

Outside court, Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said whether or not the warrant is quashed Assange would not leave the embassy until he had an assurance he wouldn’t be extradited to the US.

“Mr Assange remains willing to answer to British justice in relation to any argument about breaching bail, but not at the expense of facing injustice in America,” she said.

“This case is and always has been about the risk of extradition to the United States and that risk remains real.” http://www.smh.com.au/world/julian-assange-has-suffered-enough-his-lawyers-tell-british-judge-20180206-p4yzjt.html

February 9, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, UK | Leave a comment

How to impose a radioactive trash dump UK style – bribe communities and bypass local authorities

Times 26th Jan 2018, Communities will receive up to £42 million if they agree to consider
hosting an underground nuclear waste dump. They can keep the money even if
they ultimately decide against it, under government plans. The payments,
which will be spread over 20 years, are aimed at persuading communities to
engage in the process of selecting and testing a site that will store
enough radioactive waste to fill the Albert Hall six times.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said more than one community
could receive the funding, with each being given up to £42 million. The
proposals appear to weaken the power of county councils, making it harder
for them to prevent a community from agreeing to host the £19 billion
“geological disposal facility” (GDF).

A consultation document states
the final decision will be subject to a “test of public support”, which
could be a local referendum. The right to vote in the referendum could be
restricted to a small area around the proposed site.

Cumbria is still  viewed as the most suitable location because of the ease of transporting
waste at Sellafield and the willingness of the community. However, other
areas with ageing or decommissioned nuclear plants have been suggested,
including Dungeness, Kent, and Hartlepool, in Co Durham. Doug Parr, of
Greenpeace, said: “Having failed to find a council willing to have
nuclear waste buried under their land, ministers are resorting to the
tactics from the fracking playbook — bribing communities and bypassing
local authorities.”
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/42m-offer-to-communities-that-take-radioactive-waste-svrjj29nb

January 27, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, spinbuster, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Facebook now willing to be censored by U.S. government

FACEBOOK NOW SEEMS to be explicitly admitting that it also intends to follow the censorship orders of the U.S. government.

the Trump administration — has the unilateral and unchecked power to force the removal of anyone it wants from Facebook and Instagram by simply including them on a sanctions list.

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli GovernmentsThe Intercept, Glenn Greenwald, December 31 2017IN SEPTEMBER OF last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.

The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders:

Shortly after news broke earlier this month of the agreement between the Israeli government and Facebook, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Tel Aviv had submitted 158 requests to the social media giant over the previous four months asking it to remove content it deemed “incitement.” She said Facebook had granted 95 percent of the requests.

She’s right. The submission to Israeli dictates is hard to overstate: As the New York Times put it in December of last year, “Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider incitement. Facebook has responded by removing most of them.”

What makes this censorship particularly consequential is that “96 percent of Palestinians said their primary use of Facebook was for following news.” That means that Israeli officials have virtually unfettered control over a key communications forum of Palestinians.

In the weeks following those Facebook-Israel meetings, reported The Independent, “the activist collective Palestinian Information Center reported that at least 10 of their administrators’ accounts for their Arabic and English Facebook pages — followed by more than 2 million people — have been suspended, seven of them permanently, which they say is a result of new measures put in place in the wake of Facebook’s meeting with Israel.” Last March, Facebook briefly shut down the Facebook page of the political party, Fatah, followed by millions, “because of an old photo posted of former leader Yasser Arafat holding a rifle.”

2016 report from the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms detailed how extensive the Facebook censorship was:……….

Though some of the most inflammatory and explicit calls for murder are sometimes removed, Facebook continues to allow the most extremist calls for incitement against Palestinians to flourish. Indeed, Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, has often used social media to post what is clearly incitement to violence against Palestinians generally…….

FACEBOOK NOW SEEMS to be explicitly admitting that it also intends to follow the censorship orders of the U.S. government. Earlier this week, the company deleted the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Ramzan Kadyrov, the repressive, brutal, and authoritarian leader of the Chechen Republic, who had a combined 4 million followers on those accounts. To put it mildly, Kadyrov — who is given free rein to rule the province in exchange for ultimate loyalty to Moscow — is the opposite of a sympathetic figure: He has been credibly accused of a wide range of horrific human rights violations, from the imprisonment and torture of LGBTs to the kidnapping and killing of dissidents.

But none of that dilutes how disturbing and dangerous Facebook’s rationale for its deletion of his accounts is…….

What this means is obvious: that the U.S. government — meaning, at the moment, the Trump administration — has the unilateral and unchecked power to force the removal of anyone it wants from Facebook and Instagram by simply including them on a sanctions list. Does anyone think this is a good outcome? Does anyone trust the Trump administration — or any other government — to compel social media platforms to delete and block anyone it wants to be silenced? ……..

Does Facebook’s policy of blocking people from its platform who are sanctioned apply to all governments? Obviously not. It goes without saying that if, say, Iran decided to impose sanctions on Chuck Schumer for his support of Trump’s policy of recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Facebook would never delete the accounts of the Democratic Party Senate minority leader — just as Facebook would never delete the accounts of Israeli officials who incite violence against Palestinians or who are sanctioned by Palestinian officials. Just last month, Russia announced retaliatory sanctions against various Canadian officials and executives, but needless to say, Facebook took no action to censor them or block their accounts.

Similarly, would Facebook ever dare censor American politicians or journalists who use social media to call for violence against America’s enemies? To ask the question is to answer it. https://theintercept.com/2017/12/30/facebook-says-it-is-deleting-accounts-at-the-direction-of-the-u-s-and-israeli-governments/

January 1, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, media, World | Leave a comment

Russia: no nuclear transparency, and still using Soviet style tactics against anti nuclear activists

CRACKDOWN IN RUSSIA: CRITICS ACCUSE NUCLEAR AUTHORITIES OF SOVIET-STYLE COVER-UPS AND HEAVY-HANDED TACTICS,  Newsweek, BY MARC BENNETTS When Russia’s FSB security service raided Fyodor Maryasov’s apartment in Siberia last year, the authorities seized his computer and a scathing report he had compiled about Rosatom, the Kremlin-owned nuclear corporation. Among other things, the authorities accused him of inciting hatred against nuclear industry employees, an unusual charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years behind bars. “They accused me of revealing state secrets in my report,” the 49-year-old environmental activist says. “But every single thing in it was taken from open sources.”

The raid came as activists are increasingly criticizing Rosatom over a range of issues, including the way it handles nuclear waste. This fall, for instance, critics alleged that one of its facilities was the source of a mysterious cloud of radioactive pollution that drifted across Europe.

Russian authorities have responded to these critics with tough tactics—including raids and smear campaigns—and in recent years, they’ve employed similar measures against other environmental groups.  Rosatom says it was in no way trying to stifle dissent. “We strongly believe that every voice should be heard,” a spokesman for the nuclear agency tells Newsweek, “and we welcome open dialogue with civil society, including with those who are opposed to nuclear power.”

Maryasov says the crackdown is a continuation of the routine cover-ups of nuclear accidents and atomic pollution during the Soviet era and beyond—from the 1957 Kyshtym disaster to the meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986. “Trust in Rosatom and the authorities,” he says, “is at an absolute minimum.”

The activist’s recent troubles began after he spoke out against Rosatom’s plans for a permanent underground nuclear waste repository in his hometown of Zheleznogorsk, in eastern Siberia. If the project goes ahead, Russian authorities would likely begin storing hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive waste at the site. Zheleznogorsk was built in 1950, under the supervision of Stalin’s secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria, for the production of weapons-grade plutonium. Until 1992, plant employees regularly disposed of nuclear waste in the nearby Yenisey River, causing health problems for tens of thousands of people in the area. Russian authorities stopped the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons at the Zheleznogorsk plant in 2010.

But critics say the shadow of nuclear catastrophe still hangs over the region. In the event of a massive natural disaster or terrorist attack, the nuclear waste repository plan poses what Maryasov says is a threat to “every living thing” in the region. Zheleznogorsk is a mere 40 miles downstream from Krasnoyarsk, the regional capital, with a population of just over 1 million. And people in the area are concerned. More than 85,000 so far have signed a petition Maryasov drafted calling for Rosatom to scrap its plans for the repository.

The nuclear agency says it is building an underground lab at the Zheleznogorsk site to study the feasibility of its plans. It says those plans are open to public debate, and it points to similar storage sites currently operated in Finland, Sweden and the United States.

Critics, however, say it’s hard to access reliable information about Rosatom’s plans because many of its nuclear facilities are in so-called closed cities, like Zheleznogorsk. There are around 40 of these towns across Russia, the majority of which are sealed off from the outside world by barbed wire, fences and armed guards. Access is forbidden to foreigners, and even Russians who don’t live there have to receive special permission from the authorities to visit.

Those restrictions mean it’s easier for the authorities to ramp up the pressure against critics. Maryasov says he was the victim of a “vicious psychological campaign,” and he accuses the authorities of distributing fake news claiming he had advocated violence against atomic energy workers. The unrelenting pressure, he says, led to the breakup of his marriage of almost two decades.

“The constitution stipulates freedom of information and forbids censorship, as well as guaranteeing the right to everyone to information about the state of the environment,” Greenpeace said in a statement. “In order to realize those rights, someone has to seek out and make public this information, which is what Maryasov was engaged in doing.”

In recent months, critics have hammered Russia’s nuclear industry over allegations that Mayak, a notorious nuclear plant in Ozyorsk, a closed city in central Russia, was the source of radioactive pollution observed over Western Europe in late September. Mayak, which was built in 1948, produces components for nuclear weapons and stores and converts spent nuclear fuel. France’s Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety said the cloud that passed over Austria, France and other European countries was harmless, but it warned that the estimated level of radiation at the site of the suspected nuclear accident posed a serious threat to human health.

In November, Russian state meteorologists reported that high atmospheric concentrations of the radioactive isotope Ruthenium-106 had been detected around Mayak, triggering accusations that the secretive facility in Ozyorsk was the source of the pollution. However, Rosatom denied an accident had taken place there, said the levels detected by meteorologists were far below the admissible norm and insisted it had not carried out any operations that could have led to the isotope’s release into the atmosphere “for many years.”

Yet on December 13, Yuri Morkov, a senior executive at Mayak, admitted that Ruthenium-106 is routinely released as part of the plant’s processing of spent nuclear fuel. He insisted, however, that levels are so insignificant that there is no cause for concern.

Russian environmentalists are skeptical of his denials, in part because of Mayak’s history. Between 1949 and 1951, the factory dumped radioactive waste from the nuclear facility into the local river, polluting water supplies for tens of thousands of locals. In 1957, a storage tank containing highly radioactive nuclear weapons waste exploded at Mayak, exposing at least 272,000 people to dangerous levels of radiation. The accident was the third most serious nuclear disaster of all time, after far more famous accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima. Eco-activists say the Soviets sent thousands of people, including some 2,000 pregnant women and hundreds of children, to clean up the disaster site with nothing more than rags and mops.

The atomic catastrophe was shrouded in secrecy: It wasn’t until 1989 that the USSR admitted it had taken place. Cancer rates in the worst affected areas around Mayak are between 2.5 and 3.5 times the national average, according to Greenpeace. In 2007, Russia’s constitutional court ruled that the unborn children exposed to radiation during the clean-up were not entitled to government benefits as adults, as they were not officially employed by the state.

This fall’s reports of the alleged nuclear leak at Mayak rekindled memories of the 1957 disaster. But Rosatom denies there have been any major incidents at its plants in recent years…….

There is no evidence suggesting Rosatom is directly responsible for the harassment of regional activists. A source close to the Russian nuclear industry tells Newsweekthat the “appalling and totally unacceptable” pressure is more likely coming from regional FSB officials trying to please their superiors in Moscow in the lead-up to Russia’s presidential election, a time when there’s increasingly less tolerance for dissent. Another possibility: lower-level officials who stand to benefit financially from Rosatom’s activities. “Russia is Russia,” the source says, asking for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. “They play their own game as always.”

As for Maryasov, the Siberian activist faces an uncertain future as he continues his campaign against the nuclear waste repository. Finding a job has been hard because of his legal troubles, but he has no intention of moving.

“Too many people have put their trust in me,” he says, “I can’t let them down.” http://www.newsweek.com/crackdown-russia-critics-accuse-nuclear-authorities-soviet-style-cover-ups-and-755389

December 22, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, environment, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Investigation finds that USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission downplays safety warnings

Nuclear Regulatory Commission downplays safety warnings, investigation finds, CBS News, 20 Dec 17,   The federal agency responsible for safety at the nation’s 61 nuclear power plants routinely downplays warnings from plant workers and its own experts about problems, including some with potential for disaster, a Better Government Association investigation found.

Employees from U.S. nuclear power plants filed nearly 700 complaints with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission in recent years, claiming retaliation for raising safety concerns, records show. The agency found no wrongdoing.

NRC officials also overruled recommendations from their own technical experts on how to protect plants from potential catastrophe spurred by floods, equipment failures, power outages and other problems.

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the nonprofit news outlet Better Government Association.

Interviews with more than 20 current and former NRC and nuclear plant employees reveal a pattern of top officials dismissing safety warnings rather than impose costly fixes on plant operators. Some said careers suffered as potential threats were never fully addressed.

“It’s the NRC’s longstanding practice to consistently declare the plants are safe and to avoid directly answering any questions that might suggest otherwise,” said Lawrence Criscione, an NRC risk analyst.

NRC officials would not consent to an interview. But NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng responded in writing to BGA questions……..

The nuclear industry, through its trade group and individual companies, often downplays the seriousness of problems highlighted by NRC experts. Exelon and others in the industry bat down potential rules and regulations by pleading to NRC’s top managers……….

The problem, say people who conduct government reviews, is that the NRC’s final rulings often don’t reflect warnings from its experts.

“Management tells you where they want the answer to go. If you push, you’re not going to get promoted again – there are other people who are willing to say it’s not a serious issue,” said Richard Perkins, one of Criscione’s NRC colleagues involved in exposing flooding concerns.

One case in point is the emergency safety valve issue at Exelon’s Byron and Braidwood plants……..

Underscoring that frustration is the NRC’s record of handling whistleblower complaints lodged by plant employees. From 2010 through 2016, workers filed 687 complaints. The NRC investigated just 235 and upheld none.

The largest number of complaints, 84, were filed by employees at the two nuclear plants operated in Georgia by Southern Nuclear, records show. Next were the 70 complaints lodged by nuclear workers in South Carolina, 58 by workers in Tennessee and 50 in California. Illinois ranked 12th, with 21 whistleblower cases filed. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nuclear-regulatory-commission-downplays-safety-warnings-investigation-finds/

December 22, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Nadezhda Kutepova and the growing danger for anti nuclear activists in Russia

CRACKDOWN IN RUSSIA: CRITICS ACCUSE NUCLEAR AUTHORITIES OF SOVIET-STYLE COVER-UPS AND HEAVY-HANDED TACTICS, Newsweek, BY MARC BENNETTS One thing that’s clear: The risks are growing for environmental and human rights activists who take on the powerful nuclear agency. Just ask Nadezhda Kutepova, 45, the head of a human rights organization that helped the victims of radiation pollution in and around Ozyorsk. “At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the reports about the radioactive pollution, but as soon as I heard that Rosatom had said everything was OK and that Mayak officials were denying an accident had taken place, I started to monitor the situation,” she tells Newsweek. “These are very cynical people.”

Kutepova was born in Ozyorsk in 1974. Her father worked at Mayak for 35 years and took part in the 1957 clean-up. He died of cancer in 1985, but the Soviet authorities never officially admitted that the illness was linked to his job. In 2007, after a long legal battle, Kutepova forced the government to recognize her father as a victim of occupational radiation sickness. Neither Kutepova nor her mother, however, received compensation.

Kutepova didn’t fight only for her family. She also tried to force Rosatom to pay for medical treatment for locals affected by illnesses related to decades of atomic pollution. In 2013, Kutepova discovered the first known case of third-generation radiation sickness in the region. The case involved a 6-year-old girl named Regina Khasanova who died of cancer. Medical experts said her death was caused by genetic mutations that resulted from the radiation her grandmother was exposed to during the 1957 clean-up at Mayak.

Two years later, Kutepova was forced to flee Russia after state TV accused her of trying to exploit the nuclear issue to foment revolution. Another report said she was attempting to destroy Russia’s nuclear deterrent on behalf of the United States. The purported evidence? Her human rights group received financing from the U.S. government–funded National Endowment for Democracy, which Russian officials have accused of seeking to topple Putin. (The NED says its aim is to promote worldwide democracy.) “We never covered up this funding,” Kutepova says. “We also received funds from organizations in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.”

One of the televised reports even showed the door to Kutepova’s apartment, which caused her to fear for her safety. Kutepova and her four children now live in France, where she has political asylum…….http://www.newsweek.com/crackdown-russia-critics-accuse-nuclear-authorities-soviet-style-cover-ups-and-755389

December 22, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, PERSONAL STORIES, Russia | Leave a comment

Google filters nuclear-news.net website, so much for net neutrality anyway!

what-is-net-neutrality-video-blocked
Published on 15 Dec 2017
Published by Shaun McGee aka arclight2011

It seems fighting against environmental issues, nuclear madness and supporting peace strategies is not wanted on the web April/May 2017 Google algorythm changes. This has been widely reported by Democracy Now and many other websites! This is a quick video showing our blog getting hit as well. Bookmark https://nuclear-news.net/ before its to late! Evidence for the filtering is on this video;

December 16, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, media | 6 Comments

U.N. body calls on Japan to improve protection of press freedoms and Fukushima residents rights

japan-green

A U.N. body has called on Japan to take steps to better protect press freedoms as concerns about the country’s laws aimed at curtailing leaks of state secrets could hinder the work of journalists.

In another of the 218 non-legally binding recommendations on Japan’s human rights record released by the U.N. Human Rights Council’s working group, Tokyo was urged to apologize and pay compensation to “comfort women” forced to work in Japan’s World War II military brothels.

The recommendations reflected the views of some 105 countries. Of the issues raised, the U.N. council will adopt those that have been accepted by the country in question at a plenary session around March 2018.

In relation to freedom of the press in Japan, the recommendation called on the country to amend Article 4 of the broadcasting law that gives the government authority to suspend broadcasting licenses of TV stations not considered “politically fair.”

Japan had already attracted criticism, in particular from David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, over its law called the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, which came into force in 2014.

Under the law, civil servants or others who leak designated secrets could face up to 10 years in prison, and those who instigate leaks, including journalists, could be subject to prison terms of up to five years.

In his report, Kaye noted that the law may be arbitrarily enforced as subcategories under which information may be designated as secret are “overly broad.”

On the issue of “comfort women,” raised at the request of South Korea and China, the recommendation urged Japan to promote fair and accurate historical education, including the women’s stories, and to apologize and compensate victims.

The recommendation also said Japan should abolish or suspend the death penalty, reflecting calls from European Union countries, and continue to provide support to those affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis caused by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In particular, a directive to address health issues faced by pregnant mothers and children was noted.

The U.N. Rights Council is mandated to “undertake a universal periodic review” of whether countries are meeting their human rights obligations and commitments.

The examination is conducted on all 193 members of the United Nations in periodic cycles of a few years. The latest review was the third for Japan.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/u.n.-body-calls-on-japan-to-improve-protection-of-press-freedoms

Nuclear-news.net exclusive report from yesterday on the UN meeting;

https://nuclear-news.net/2017/11/16/most-of-the-un-nearly-forgets-fukushima-residents-ongoing-situation-at-up-to-20-msv-h-japan-review-radiation-version/

November 17, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | 1 Comment

The power of the nuclear lobby to curtail information about radioactive trash and radiation-caused illness

Paul Waldon November 15    Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” (Mark Twain). The egregious runaway nuclear train fueled by 75 years of radioactive waste, reducing a green environment to a worthless parcel of real estate, with government bodies citing fabricated factoids of a industry we know to be plagued with a odious history of death to all life and the environment, and when they can’t control such a industry they try to control the Media.

New York Academy of Science reported that the World Health Organization is not allowed to comment on issues of human health impacted by radioactive events unless granted permission from the NRC.

The Japanese government has refuse to pay doctors who identify the Fukushima accident as the cause of patients diagnosed illness, and Japanese residents live with fear of 10 years incarceration for unauthorized adverse public reports of nuclear issues relating to the Fukushima accident.

While Russia locked up Dr Yury Bandazhevsky and destroyed 5 years of his study into Chernobyl heart. Australia is no orphan with their heavily redacted accidents at Lucas Heights, and around the country in the nuclear industry.

However we are in the hands of a manipulative body of grifters spruiking their desire to “Piss on us”, while some home grown proponents are prepared to give it a shake and embrace the deadly radioactive waste that the DIIS, and ANSTO want to abandon in a community of unwilling people, and to hedge their bets with a ongoing manipulation of changing guidelines and boundaries. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

November 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | Leave a comment

UK’s Ministry of Defence blocks reports on nuclear issues, as £1.3 billion spend-up on Trident begins

Ekklesia 16th Nov 2017, The Ministry of Defence has begun spending £1.3 billion as part of plans
for 14 major new developments at the Trident nuclear bases on the Clyde in
Scotland. Details released under the Freedom of Information act show MoD
plans to complete a ‘nuclear infrastructure’ project at Faslane by 2027,
and at Coulport by 2030.

The total cost of replacing Trident, estimated to
be at least £205 billion including maintenance costs, looks set to rise,
while fears are also growing about the safety of Trident. The body which
monitors nuclear safety – the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator – has
recently been censored by the Ministry of Defence.

For the past 10 years the regulator has published annual reports exploring issues including staff
shortages at nuclear sites and nuclear accidents. However, reports for 2015
and 2016 have been blocked by the MoD. Retired MoD nuclear expert, Fred
Dawson, was quoted in the Sunday Herald saying, “The obvious conclusion
to draw is that there is something to hide.”
http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/24628

November 17, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment