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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Climate change is swallowing up the Solomon Islands

THE DROWNING ISLES, THE SOLOMON ISLANDS ARE AN ARCHIPELAGO FILLED WITH IDYLLIC BEACHES AND PERFECT WAVES, BUT AS TEMPERATURES AND SEA LEVELS RISE, MUCH OF THEIR PRISTINE COAST IS DISAPPEARINGSurfer ,AUGUST 17, 2017 BY ASHTYN DOUGLAS  “…….A few months prior to our visit, I came in contact with Dr. Simon Albert, a marine scientist at the University of Queensland. He and his colleagues had recently discovered, using time series and satellite imagery, that five Solomon Islands had been swallowed by the sea over the last 70 years, and another six islands had severely eroded. The cause was determined to be accelerated sea-level rise.

“Over the last 20 years, rates of sea-level rise in the Solomon Islands have been three times higher than the global average,” said Albert. “That’s about an 8 or 9 millimeter rise each year.” Half of that number, he explained, is the result of El Niño cycles, which naturally siphon the world’s water into the South Pacific. The other culprit is climate change.

In some parts of the country, this rapid sea-level rise, combined with high wave intensity, has eroded beaches and destroyed people’s properties. Even over the short span of five years, many have watched the ocean come into their villages and carry homes away.

“The changes have been really swift,” said Albert. “People living on those islands are feeling very physically and psychologically insecure because they’re feeling like their entire foundation of life is washing away.”….

This island, [ Beneamina, a small, circular island near Santa Isabel] Albert explained, is now only half the size it was 10 years ago. “When I was there in December, an island nearby had one house on it,” he said. “By the time we returned in February, that house had been washed away.”……

Most people talk about sea-level rise and other consequences of climate change using the future tense — as something our coastal-dwelling grandchildren will have to deal with 100 years from now. But according to Albert, that dystopian future has already arrived in parts of the Solomon Islands. “The rates we’re seeing there are the rates we’re likely to see over the next 50 years around the world as things get worse,” says Albert. “In a way, the Solomon Islands provide a window into the future.” http://www.surfer.com/features/the-drowning-solomon-islands/

August 18, 2017 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Just what is America doing on Guam?

Q&A: What does the US military do on the island of Guam? https://www.apnews.com/2a347e608d2d48fe9f03e545285b2783

By AUDREY McAVOY, 11 Aug 17, HONOLULU (AP) — The small U.S. territory of Guam has become a focal point after North Korea’s army threatened to use ballistic missiles to create an “enveloping fire” around the island. The exclamation came after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Here’s a look at the U.S. military’s role on the island, which became a U.S. territory in 1898.

WHAT INSTALLATIONS ARE ON GUAM AND HOW SIGNIFICANT ARE THEY? There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south. They are both managed under Joint Base Marianas. The tourist district of Tumon, home to many of Guam’s hotels and resorts, is in between.

The naval base dates to 1898, when the U.S. took over Guam from Spain after the Spanish-American War. The air base was built in 1944, when the U.S. was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II.

Today, Naval Base Guam is the home port for four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and two submarine tenders.

Andersen Air Force Base hosts a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the U.S. mainland. It has two 2-mile (3-kilometer) long runways and large fuel and munitions storage facilities.

Altogether, 7,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed on Guam. Most are sailors and airmen. The military plans to move thousands of U.S. Marines to Guam from Okinawa in southern Japan.

Guam’s total population is 160,000.

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WHAT ROLES DO THE BASES PLAY IN THE REGION

Guam is strategically located a short flight from the Korean peninsula and other potential flashpoints in East Asia. Seoul is 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) to the northwest, Tokyo is 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) north and Taipei is 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) west.

Because Guam is a U.S. territory, the U.S. military may launch forces from there without worrying about upsetting a host nation that may object to U.S. actions.

The naval base is an important outpost for U.S. fast-attack submarines that are a key means for gathering intelligence in the region, including the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea where China has been building military bases on man-made islands.

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HOW HAS THE U.S. USED GUAM TO ADDRESS THE THREAT FROM NORTH KOREA?

The U.S. military began rotating bombers — the B-2 stealth bomber as well as the B-1 and B-52 — to Andersen in 2004. It did so to compensate for U.S. forces diverted from other bases in the Asia-Pacific region to fight in the Middle East. The rotations also came as North Korea increasingly upped the ante in the standoff over its development of nuclear weapons.

In 2013, the Army sent a missile defense system to Guam called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD.

It’s designed to destroy ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight. A THAAD battery includes a truck-mounted launcher, tracking radar, interceptor missiles and an integrated fire control system.

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WHAT’S THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. MILITARY ON GUAM?

The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy. The Navy used the island as a coaling base and communications station until Japan seized the island on Dec. 10, 1941. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944.

During the Vietnam War, the Air Force sent 155 B-52 bombers to Andersen to hit targets in Southeast Asia. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for military personnel heading to Southeast Asia. Many refugees fleeing Vietnam were evacuated through Guam.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, OCEANIA, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America neglects Guam atomic test victims – hopes they all die?

July 17 2017 Terry R Scheidt   Seems like Terry is the only responder, is there anyone else, It is July 2017, been writing to Trump to use his EO but he never responds either. Boy is this America?

January 12, 2014 Aloha, It is now 01/2014 (24 years) since RECA was enacted. We are still waiting for justice. Our country denied, deceived, has no integrity or values by denying victims of radiation they caused. The justice system denied and dismissed most litigation cases claiming the Congress had to enact better laws to address radiation.

They claimed radiation does not cause cancer, of course we know better in the PACIFIC, Micronesia, Guam, Johnston
Island and many other location. The unfortunate thing is 70 years have passed and many have already died which is our countries hope.

May 13, 2017  It is now May 2017, yes Terry is still alive and still seeking equity, HA. Our delegates never heard such a word, denial is more like it. I will advocate for loyalty till I die. Hard to believe our nation does things I thought only others did.

I was a range rat, many friends on Midway, Eniwetok, Wake, French Frigate Shoals, Christmas, Johnston, Jarvis, Canton damn so many.

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Way back in 2010, we made a small post about the the plight of residents of Guam, who were suffering from illnesses resulting from radiation exposure. Research presented to the National Academy of Science and National Research Council described the effects on this community, of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.  The Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors, a nonprofit organization, was lobbying U.S. Congress to include Guam in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program, so that they could receive help and compensation for their radiation-induced illnesses.

Well, what happened about this?

Thanks to one reader of this website, we have been kept up to date over the years:

TERRY R SCHEIDT by Terry R Scheidt  January 6, 2011 I WAS A 1962 JOHNSTON ISLAND PARTICIPANT. I WAS AT GROUND ZERO AND EXPOSED TO HIGH LEVELS OF RADIATION FOR WHICH I GOT CANCER. I HAVE NOT BEEN COMPENSATED UNDER THE DOE/EEOICPA ACT BECAUSE I DID NOT WORK FOR DOE. I WAS DENIED. I RECEIVED UNEQUAL COMPENSATION FROM DOJ (RECA) BUT AT A MUCH LESSER AMOUNT THAN DOE (EEOICPA). NO MEDICAL AND LESS THAN HALF THAT OF DOE. PLEASE SUPPORT HR 5119/S3224.

April 23, 2011 Do our representatives really care? Why have both HR5119/S3224 both died in committee. Our government does not live up to responsibility. They cause us harm than ignore us as if we do not exist. Aloha.

April 26, 2011 I am a 1962 ground zero victim of the Johnston Island PPG. Senators Pangelinan, Udalls and Rep Lujan have done nothing. All legislation died in committee. They turned their backs on us again. Shame.

June 25, 2012 Continue reading

July 17, 2017 Posted by | health, Legal, OCEANIA, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | 3 Comments

Long wait by for compensation for Tahiti’s nuclear test veterans

Tahiti test veterans await compensation http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/334455/tahiti-test-veterans-await-compensation The head of French Polynesia’s test veterans organisation Roland Oldham has cautiously welcomed a government letter expressing support for its cause.

Mr Oldham said for years, anti-independence leaders had stayed away from the commemorations for the victims of the French nuclear weapons tests.

To mark the 51st anniversary of the first test, the president Edouard Fritch sent a minister and in a letter advised Mr Oldham that France was broadening its compensation offer.

Mr Oldham said for years there were undertakings from the French state which were barely followed up.

He also said the gravity of the aftermath of the tests was sinking in and politicians from all camps have used the nuclear issue in their recent campaigns.

“We have been here for so long and we know politicians so well that all I’m awaiting from them is some concrete action,” he said. Roland Oldham said he would like to have dates for when previously rejected claims would be reconsidered as well as recognition of the lasting health problems now emerging among the veterans’ children.

July 5, 2017 Posted by | health, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The scandalously unethical 1946 testing of atomic bombs on Bikini Atoll

The Crazy Story of the 1946 Bikini Atoll Nuclear Tests http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/crazy-story-1946-bikini-atoll-nuclear-tests-180963833/ They were the first time that a nuclear weapon had been deployed since the 1945 attacks on Japan By Kat Eschner, smithsonian.com
June 30, 2017 Operation Crossroads, which had its first big event–the dropping of a nuclear bomb–on July 1, 1946, was just the beginning of the nuclear testing that Bikini Atoll would be subjected to. When the first bomb of the tests dropped, it was the first time since the 1945 attacks on Japan that a nuclear weapon had been deployed. Here are three things you might not know about the infamous test.

The test subjects were ghost ships full of animals

The goal of the tests was to see what happened to naval warships when a nuclear weapon went off, writes the Atomic Heritage Foundation. More than 42,000 people–including a crew of Smithsonian Institution scientists, as well as reporters and United Nations representatives, according to Alex Wellerstein for The New Yorker–were involved in observing the nuclear tests, but the humans were, of course, not the test subjects.

Instead, “some of the ships were loaded with live animals, such as pigs and rats, to study the effects of the nuclear blast and radioactive fallout on animals,” writes the foundation. In total, more than 90 vessels, not all carrying live cargo, were placed in the target area of the bomb, which was named Gilda–after Rita Hayworth’s character in the eponymous film.

The gathered scientists included fish scientist Leonard P. Schultz, who was then the curator of ichthyology for the National Museum of Natural History. Although he was given safety goggles, writes the museum, “he was doubtful whether the goggles would protect him.” So, in true scientific fashion, “he covered one eye and observed the explosion with the other.” His eyes were fine, and the effects that he felt included “a slight warmth” on his face and hearing a boom about two minutes after the flash.

Schultz and his colleagues were there to collect species and document the Atoll before and after the tests. They collected numerous specimens including sea and land creatures, writes the museum, which remain in the museum’s collections today. “The Smithsonian’s collections document the extent to which the diversity of marine life was affected by the atomic blasts,” writes the museum, “providing researchers who continue to ­study the health of the ecosystem with a means to compare species extant today with those collected before the tests.”

The first bomb missed its target

That reduced the damage done to the ghost ships. “The weapon exploded almost directly above the Navy’s data-gathering equipment, sinking one of its instrument ships, and a signal that was meant to trigger dozens of cameras was sent ten seconds too late,” Wellerstein writes.

 It started a tradition of nuclear testing in this vulnerable place

“The nuclear arms race between the US and Soviet Union displaced 167 Marshallese as refugees in their own country,” writes Sarah Emerson for Motherboard. After the first 1946 tests, the U.S. government continued to use the area around Bikini Atoll and the Marshall Islands for nuclear testing, writes Erin Blakemore for Smithsonian.com, conducting 67 nuclear tests in total. 23 of those tests were conducted at Bikini Atoll specifically, including one 1954 test of the largest nuclear device the U.S. ever exploded.

The Marshallese displaced by the testing have not been able to go back to their poisoned homes. Today, it’s hard to know when the Atoll will ever be safe to return to, writes Blakemore, although the Marshall Islands overall are becoming less radioactive.

And it all started in 1946.

July 1, 2017 Posted by | history, OCEANIA, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vulnerable to Climate Change – Philippines

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots  Global warming will not affect everyone equally. Here we look at seven key regions to see how each is tackling the consequences of climate change, Guardian, John Vidal, 23 June 17

an emotional powerful speech on climate change

……Manila, Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the city of Tacloban in November 2013, Yeb Sano was the Philippines’ climate commissioner. He was distraught when I met him. He believed that his brother who lived there had been killed along with many thousands of others.

One hour later Sano broke down as he addressed the world’s diplomats. It was the third super typhoon to hit the Philippines in three years, and five of the 10 strongest typhoons had come in the previous eight years. “Climate change is real and now,” he told them in tears.

The Philippines is regularly ranked in lists of the top few countries most affected by climate change. “We are already experiencing climate change impacts, including sea-level rise, hotter temperatures, extreme weather events and changes in precipitation,” says Sano, who has now left government to direct Greenpeace SE Asia.

“These in turn, result in human rights impacts, such as loss of homes and livelihoods, water contamination, food scarcity, displacement of whole communities, disease outbreaks, and even the loss of life.”

Scientists widely agree that the country, along with nearby Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, is a hotspot. Analysis of 70 years’ of government data, published in the International Journal of Climatology last year, shows a small decrease in the number of smaller typhoons that hit the Philippines each year, but more intense ones. It is not conclusive evidence, but previous studies have suggested the increase may be due to rising sea-surface temperatures since the 1970s.

There is no doubt temperatures are rising on land. In Manila and the surrounding metropolitan area, which has a population of more than 12m, the tropical storms are more intense, the floods are more frequent, the nights are hotter and there are fewer cool days, says the state meteorological office, Pagasa.

“There has been a significant increase [in the last 30 years] in the number of hot days and warm nights and a decreasing trend in the number of cold days and cold nights,” Alicia Ilaga, head of climate change in the government’s agriculture department, told me in 2015. “Both maximum and minimum temperatures are getting warmer. Extreme rainfall events are becoming more frequent. In most parts … the intensity of rainfall is increasing.”

It’s not just Manila feeling the heat. In its latest 2014 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it expects life in major Asian and African coastal cities like Manila, Guangzhou, Lagos, Ho Chi Minh City, Kolkata and Shanghai to worsen as temperatures rise.

“Urban climate change–related risks are increasing (including rising sea levels and storm surges, heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, drought, increased aridity, water scarcity, and air pollution) with widespread negative impacts on people (and their health, livelihoods, and assets) and on local and national economies and ecosystems,” it says. “These risks are amplified for those who live in informal settlements and in hazardous areas and either lack essential infrastructure and services or where there is inadequate provision for adaptation.”

Food supplies are also threatened. I visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) outside Manila. This research centre, funded by the world’s richest nations to develop better strains of the crop that feeds nearly half the world, has seen temperatures soar.

A few years ago, IRRI’s deputy director general, Bruce Tolentino, called climate change the greatest global challenge in 50 years. “The challenge now is to rapidly adapt farming to climate change with modern varieties and feed a fast-growing global population, half of which depends on rice as a staple food. One billion people go hungry every day. In the 1990s, rice yields were growing 2% a year; now they are just 1%. Temperatures here have risen 2–4C. Climate change will reduce productivity. Rainfall is unpredictable and rice is grown in areas like deltas that are prone to sea level rises. We have to gear up for more challenging agro-ecological conditions, we need to be able to use swampy areas and develop varieties that can be grown in salty or flooded areas.”

RRI has been working to develop rice varieties that can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, heat and cold, and soil problems such as high salt and iron content. New drought-tolerant varieties that can produce up to 1.2 metric tons more per hectare [0.54 tons per acre] than varieties that perform poorly under drought conditions have been introduced to India, Nepal and elsewhere.

“Every city and every sector of society in the region is at risk,” says Sano. “The IPCC tells us it will probably get 4C warmer. That means everything will be compromised, from food and energy to settlements. We are not ready. The challenge is too huge. We are very vulnerable.”…..

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/23/from-heatwaves-to-hurricanes-floods-to-famine-seven-climate-change-hotspots?CMP=share_btn_tw

June 24, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Philippines government needing to set up a pro nuclear ‘massive information campaign’

Energy dept seeks to calm nuclear power fears, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News Jun 20 2017 MOSCOW – The Department of Energy on Monday stressed the need to calm the public’s fears over nuclear power, as it studied the feasibility of adding it to the country’s energy mix. The department aims to provide President Rodrigo Duterte with a menu of nuclear energy sources, including using the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos told ABS-CBN News.

“The biggest challenge is social acceptability,” said Marcos on the sidelines of a summit hosted by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp.

 “We need to come up with a massive information campaign so that the people will know. They need to be educated on nuclear power,” he said.

The $2-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never used due to worries over its safety……

The energy department last month signed a memorandum of understanding with ROSATOM on nuclear energy cooperation, including winning public support.

Russian companies have also offered nuclear power barges to the Philippines to help meet growing demand in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/19/17/energy-dept-seeks-to-calm-nuclear-power-fears

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Philippines, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia keen to put Philippines into debt as it markets its Rosatom nuclear reactors

Duterte dials Russia for nuclear power future, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News,  Jun 19 2017 “…….President Rodrigo Duterte is bringing the Philippines closer to tapping nuclear power than any of his immediate predecessors by dialing Russia, which is offering its technology to the world. Duterte’s government forged an agreement with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp. (ROSATOM) for the possible development of nuclear infrastructure, personnel training, and courting public support for the technology following his visit to Moscow last month.

Russia also offered to supply the Philippines with nuclear power barges and capsules.

ROSATOM on Monday opened an showcase of Russian nuclear technology, hoping to attract new clients from around the world, including the Philippines.

“We want to cooperate and be partners” said Sergey Kirienko, first deputy chief in the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin……

Project financing is the biggest concern of developing economies that seek to tap nuclear power, said Iliya Rebrov, economic and finance director at ROSATOM.

Rebrov said ROSATOM helps its clients secure funding from various sources, including loans.

“The key competitive factor is the ability of the contractor to arrange financing,” Rebrov said, citing a recent wind-farm project in southern Russia that was financed with Gazprombank.

ROSATOM is “very confident” in the world market as it diversifies its offerings to meet growing demand, said Kirill Komarov, the company’s First Deputy Director general for corporate development and international business. http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/06/19/17/duterte-dials-russia-for-nuclear-power-future

June 21, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Pacific island leaders at UN Oceans Conference push for nuclear clean-up

FSM and Marshalls urge nuclear clean-up, Radio New Zealand 9 June 17 A number of Pacific leaders have used the UN Oceans Conference to bring global attention to nuclear contamination and World War Two wrecks that have become environment hazards.

Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands have led the charge in highlighting what they call ‘real concerns’ confronting their people in the event of nuclear contamination or an oil spill from shipwrecks in their territorial waters.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said since 2005, when its regional strategy on marine pollution from World War 2 wrecks was adopted, not much had been implemented because coastal states preferred to deal with the issue bilaterally with the flag states.

The two flag states for most of the 800 wrecks that litter the territorial waters of five Pacific countries are the United States and Japan.

Most of the wrecks are remnants of World War 2……..

Nuclear Contamination

Also speaking at the Oceans Conference the President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian said nuclear contamination was a serious threat for small island countries in the north Pacific as there were claims the fall-out from the nuclear tests conducted in the Marshall Islands may have reached as far as Palau.

The FSM pointed out a storage dome for radioactive waste on Enewetak Atoll was cracking and leaking and plants around it were dying.

The FSM called for the Pacific Islands Forum to invite countries responsible for the nuclear contamination and Second World War shipwrecks to the Forum leaders’ summit later this year to explain what they intended to do about the waste.

The Samoan Prime Minister and Forum chair Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the issue will be on the agenda at the September meeting. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/332467/fsm-and-marshalls-urge-nuclear-clean-up

June 12, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Auckland commemorates 30 years of nuclear-free New Zealand

Aucklanders celebrate anniversary of nuclear-free New Zealand, 11/06/2017, Newshub staff   It’s been 30 years since New Zealand became the first country in the world to declare itself Nuclear Free.

On Sunday, hundreds formed a human peace symbol at the Auckland Domain, similar to the one made in 1983, in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act. …….

The anniversary comes just days before a United Nations conference involving 132 countries which will negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/06/aucklanders-celebrate-anniversary-of-nuclear-free-new-zealand.html

June 12, 2017 Posted by | New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Polynesia vastly affected by radioactivity from French nuclear bomb testing

French nuclear tests ‘showered vast area of Polynesia with radioactivity’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/03/french-nuclear-tests-polynesia-declassified
Declassified papers show extent of plutonium fall-out from South Pacific tests of 60s and 70s was kept hidden, says French paper,
Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis in Paris, Thursday 4 July 2013, French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents which have angered veterans and civilians’ groups.

The papers, seen by the French paper Le Parisien, reportedly reveal that plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted. Tahiti, above, the most populated island, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact spread as far as the tourist island, Bora Bora.

Thousands of veterans, families and civilians still fighting for compensation over health issues have insisted France now reveals the full truth about the notorious tests whose impact was kept secret for decades.

From 1960 to 1996, France carried out 210 nuclear tests, 17 in the Algerian Sahara and 193 in French Polynesia in the South Pacific, symbolised by the images of a mushroom cloud over the Mururoa atoll. For decades, France argued that the controlled explosions were clean. Jacques Chirac, the French president, controversially resumed nuclear atoll explosions in the South Pacific shortly after being elected in 1995.

Le Parisien said the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army”. It said papers showed that on 17 July 1974, a test exposed Tahiti to 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout.

Bruno Barillot, who has investigated the impacts of the nuclear tests for the Polynesian government, complained of the high levels of thyroid cancers and leukaemia in Polynesia. He said the declassified documents revealed Tahiti had “literally been showered with plutonium for two days” during the Mururoa test; from the outset France knew the impact spread further than it publicly admitted. But of the 2,050 pages declassified, 114 remained blacked out.

Richard Oldham, a member of the Polynesia nuclear workers’ association Mururoa e Tatou, told Radio New Zealand International : “It’s the right for our future generations to know what has happened in this country.”

In 2006 a French medical research body found nuclear testing had caused an increase in cancer on the nearest inhabited islands. The French judiciary began investigating health implications. It was not until 2010 that France acknowledged that there could be a compensation process for veterans and civilians. But that is complex and limited to a small geographical area and certain ailments.

About 150,000 veterans and civilians worked on, or were present during, nuclear tests, including 127,000 in Polynesia. But of 800 dossiers, only 11 people have received compensation.

Troops who worked on the tests have described a staggering lack of precaution for workers. During the Mururoa tests in French Polynesia in the late 1960s, one veteran described how he was stationed in shorts and a T-shirt on a boat only about 15 miles from the explosion before having to sail immediately to the area of the vast mushroom cloud to examine the damage.

Others on different tests wore shorts and had no sunglasses; they were told simply to shield their eyes and turn their backs at the time of the explosion.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines – Nuclear Marketing

Philippines, Russia forge nuclear cooperation deal, ABS-CBN News, May 26 2017 MANILA – The Philippines and Russia have agreed to develop cooperation on nuclear energy under an agreement signed in Moscow, Russia’s state nuclear agency said Friday.

Under the memorandum of cooperation, the two nations will pursue the “development of the nuclear infrastructure” in the Philippines, including personnel training and securing public acceptance of nuclear power, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp said in a statement……Duterte has approved a study on the feasibility of nuclear power to augment the country’s electricity supply.

The Philippines has a nuclear power plant in Bataan, which has never been used.http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/05/26/17/philippines-russia-forge-nuclear-cooperation-deal

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines Military Cooperation Agreement

Russia, Philippines forge Defense Cooperation Agreement, UPDATE PH, May 26, 2017 Caleb Velasquez The defense cooperation will expand exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls…..

Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines and the State Atomic Energy Corporation, otherwise known as ROSATOM on Cooperation on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes was also forged. https://www.update.ph/2017/05/russia-philippines-forge-defense-cooperation-agreement/17735

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Vanishing Pacific island calls on Australia for help

Our country will vanish’: Pacific islanders bring desperate message to Australia, Guardian, 14 May 17,   Kiribati and other low-lying countries are under threat from climate change, and while their people would rather stay behind, they may be left with no choice “……… i-Kiribati man Erietera Aram is in Australia delivering his message about the reality of climate change in his country, and of its immediacy. Each discussion, he says, is like a drop of water, adding to the one before it, slowly building understanding of the existential threat to his people and place.

“Climate change is not something off in the future, it’s not a problem for later. We are living it now,” he says.

The archipelago of Kiribati – 33 tiny coral atolls spanning 3.5m square kilometres of ocean – is the world’s lowest-lying country, with an average height above sea level of just two metres.

Most of the 113,000 i-Kiribati live crammed on to Tarawa, the administrative centre, a chain of islets that curve in a horseshoe shape around a lagoon.

“My place is very small,” Aram says. “If you stand in the middle, you can see water on both sides. We are vulnerable. One tsunami, one tsunami and our whole country will disappear.”

Already, there is less and less of Kiribati for its inhabitants. The coastline is regularly being lost to king tides and to creeping sea levels, and in a very real sense, there is nowhere to go.

The loss of land is causing conflict – Tarawa is growing ever more densely crowded, as families living on the coastline are forced inwards, infringing on another’s claim.

The next round of multinational climate talks in November – COP 23 – will be chaired by Fiji, and is expected to swing particular focus of the global climate debate to the Pacific, where comparatively minuscule amounts of carbon are produced, but the effects of climate change have been felt first, and most acutely.

Assuming the COP presidency, the Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, said he would “bring a particular perspective to these negotiations on behalf of some of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – Pacific Islanders and the residents of other small island developing states and low-lying areas of the world”…….https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/14/our-country-will-vanish-pacific-islanders-bring-desperate-message-to-australia

May 15, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Tiny New Guinea frogs endangered by climate change

Tiny frogs face a troubled future in New Guinea’s tropical mountains, ABC News, The Conversation, 30 Mar 17, By Paul Oliver and Michael Lee At night, the mountain forests of New Guinea come alive with weird buzzing and beeping calls made by tiny frogs, some no bigger than your little fingernail.

These little amphibians — in the genus Choerophryne — would shrivel and dry up in mere minutes in the hot sun, so they are most common in the rainy, cooler mountains.

Yet many isolated peaks, especially along northern New Guinea, have their own local species of these frogs.

So how did localised and distinctive species of these tiny frogs come to be on these isolated peaks, separated from each other by hotter, drier and rather inhospitable lowlands?

Our new study of their DNA, published this week in the open access journal PeerJ, reveals how they achieved this feat. It reveals a dynamic past, and more worryingly it highlights the future vulnerability of tropical mountain forests and their rich biodiversity………

During past phases of global cooling (glacial periods), the colder, wetter, mountainous habitats of New Guinea expanded downhill, a process termed elevational depression.

If depression was extensive enough, the frogs on one mountain might have been able to travel across tracts of cool, wet lowlands to colonise other mountains.

Later, a warming climate would wipe out the lowland populations, leaving two isolated mountain populations, which might eventually become new species………

The little frogs and the future

Why does it matter how the tiny frogs moved to their mountain habitats? Because it could be a warning to their future survival……..

As we’ve shown, the global cooling in past glacial periods allowed the mountain-dwelling frogs to move down across the lowlands to find new mountain peaks.

But today, as global temperatures soar to levels not seen for millions of years, their habitable cool zones are heading in the other direction: shrinking uphill.

We have no idea how quickly these frogs will respond to these changes, but recent research elsewhere in New Guinea has found birds are already shifting upslope rapidly.

We don’t yet know what could happen to these cute little amphibians should temperatures continue to climb, and they in turn run out of mountainside to climb……… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-31/tiny-frogs-face-a-troubled-future-in-new-guineas-mountains/8403936

April 1, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment