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

Forget Nuclear: Energy Efficiency is the best answer – theme for July 2019

As the Northern hemisphere swelters, some people may ponder on old-fashioned, ‘boring’ ways of keeping cool.

But most will resort to (or wish they had) air-conditioning, probably powered by fossil fuels. To cut down greenhouse gases, solar-powered air conditioners are a better answer.

But, overall, energy efficiency is the fastest, most effective, and ultimately cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, renewable energy technologies are needed, too.

Energy conservation has little appeal for the corporate consumer world – less things, less devices, less electricity to sell.

The pro nuclear zealouts continue to preach their religion of endless growth, endless energy use. They would have us trash this planet with radioactive wastes, and then send a few suicidal astronauts , propelled by plutonium, supposedly to colonise Mars.

Energy efficiency involves many intelligent efforts, from large-scale design of buildings, transport and machines, to more appropriate use of human energy, such as cycling and walking, and even use of more hand-operated small clockwork devices.

This all does require brainwork, smart design, rather than mindless obedience to consumerism, and to centralised sources of electricity.

 

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June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, ENERGY | 2 Comments

The world moves to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – theme for July 2019

renewable_energyIt seems impossible for petrol heads coal and gas heads, and especially nuke-heads to get their heads around this – BUT – renewable energy and energy efficiency ARE HAPPENING  – world -wide, in both big ways, and small ways.

It must be tough, when you’re addicted to such a complex , complicated, and expensive technology as nuclear power – as well as addicted to the money you get from being involved in this business –  it must be tough to consider the reality that the fuels for solar and wind energy are FREE, and so is the energy conservation from good design in energy efficiency.

As Dr Helen Caldicott pointed out, long ago, if they could put a blanket around the sun and sell holes, they would.

The out-dated energy systems of the past – nuclear,coal, gas, are looking more
and more like unwieldy and costly dinosaurs, as the world wakes up to the diversity and flexibility of 21st Century clean energy systems.

The nuclear lobby now tries its last ditch promotional pipe-dream – Small Nuclear Reactors – that in fact would rely on the continuation of the old big ones.

 

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | 5 Comments

Birth defects in the Chernobyl region – nuclear health effects – theme for June 19

What about studying consequences rather than causes?  Studying birth abnormalities in places where they occur more often than is normal? The Omni-Net Ukraine Birth Defects Prevention Program, came up with this different approach, reported in July 2012.  http://ibis-birthdefects.org/start/pdf/BaltimoreAbstr.pdf Measuring radiation is difficult, and can produce ambiguous results.  But measuring babies with malformations is a concrete matter. Facts are facts here As Dr Vladimir Wertelecki says “ a baby that has no head is a baby that has no head.”

THE PROGRAM

The program started in 2000, conducting a 10 year study on 5 provinces of the Ukraine – measuring and monitoring all newborn babies. The study, led by Dr  Wertelecki, was done in co-operation with Ukraine health authorities.  This was a descriptive epidemiological study. It could prove only a difference between geographical areas. It cannot  prove the cause of difference.

Within 2-3 years it was obvious that the rates of spina bifida and other defects of the nervous system, were many times greater than expected, particularly in one province.  A few years later an excess of conjoined twins (“Siamese twins”) was found. They found other nervous system problems, mainly microcephaly (tiny head) ..  After 10 years of study they published a report showing an excess of frequency of anomalies of nervous system and of these conjoined twins.

This was found especially in the northern half of the province – an area that is a unique ecology niche – mainly wetlands. And this area also has a unique population, an ethnic group living there since recorded history. They live in small villages, very isolated, and they rely completely on local foods.

These foods are all radioactive. The soil there is such that plants absorb many times more radioactivity. People there are absorbing much higher levels of radiation. – 20 times more than there would be in soil 50 km. away.

Dr Wertelecki reminds us that there are many causes of birth abnormalities. One well recognised cause is foetal alcohol syndrome, due to alcoholism in the mother.   However, the program did in fact research this question.  6 universities joined it in a  very well funded and thorough study of pregnant women. It showed that in this Northern area, alcohol use among pregnant women is statistically less than in the Ukraine in general. . Alcohol does not explain the birth abnormalities. Radiation is the obvious major cause.

ABNORMALITIES IN THE DEVELOPING FOETUS- TERATOGENESIS

Little research has been done on the causes of this in humans. Studies on non human species show that foetuses in first three months are about 1000 times more vulnerable to environmental effects.

Dr Wertelecki’s team focused on teratogenesis – changes caused by environmental interference to a developing foetus, a foetus with with normal genes.  This must be distinguished from gene mutations, inherited from parents and the two processes have different effects.  The genetic, inherited defects are most likely to cause mental disability. But with the teratogenic abnormalities, the baby, if it survives, most often is of normal intelligence.

This process can begin very early, before the ovum has been implanted in the wall of the womb –  before the woman knows that she is pregnant. That very early “line” of the embryo can split. In this case – the result is – twins.  This split can be incomplete – resulting in conjoined twins, (“Siamese twins”).  A  fetiform teratoma is a sort of failed Siamese twin,  a monster like mass, containing a mixture of tissues.

Abnormalities that are started at a little later stage of pregnancy include spina bifida, ( opening in lower back  body wall), opening in front body wall with  heart on the exterior,  anencephaly (absence of head or of most of the skull and brain)

Later effects  –  anophthalmia , (missing eyeball) , microphthalmia (tiny eye)

Full article at http://noelwauchope.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/a-baby-that-has-no-head-is-a-baby-that-has-no-head/

June 16, 2019 Posted by | children, Christina's themes, Reference | 6 Comments

The nuclear toll on workers and communities – theme for June 19

McClatchy reports: 33,480 Americans dead after 70 years of atomic weaponry

“….. The number of deaths has never been disclosed by federal officials. It’s more than four times the number of American casualties in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it looms large as the nation prepares for its second nuclear age, with a $1 trillion plan to modernize its nuclear weapons over the next 30 years…..

A total of 107,394 workers have been diagnosed with cancers and other diseases after building the nation’s nuclear stockpile over the last seven decades. The project includes an interactive database that offers details on all 107,394 workers.

McClatchy’s yearlong investigation, set in 10 states, puts readers in the living rooms of sick workers in South Carolina, on a picket line in Texas and at a cemetery in Tennessee…..

— Federal officials greatly underestimated how sick the U.S. nuclear workforce would become. At first, the government predicted the compensation program would serve only 3,000 people at an annual cost of $120 million. Fourteen years later, taxpayers have spent sevenfold that estimate, $12 billion.

— Even though costs have ballooned, federal records show that fewer than half of those workers who sought help had their claims approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

— Despite the cancers and other illnesses among nuclear works, the government now wants to save money by cutting current employees’ health plans, retirement benefits and sick leave….. … https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article49216310.html (photo: Ralph and Jodi Stanton)

Disastrous health effects of uranium mining, on the people of Jharkhand, India

the financial benefits are meaningless when weighed against what his group says is an alarming rise in stillbirths, birth defects, and adults and children diagnosed with cancer, kidney disease, and tuberculosis.

report showed a far greater incidence of congenital abnormality, sterility, and cancer among people living within 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) of the mines than those living 35 kilometres away. Mothers in villages close to the mine sites were also twice as likely to have a child with congenital deformities, …. us”…http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i1G4YWJkajit3t0xD2ddl4UXwN7g?docId=CNG.5b3137d37ca033f82d1946db0c21911c.951

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, employment | 6 Comments

International politics – a sad story of boys playing with nuclear toys – theme for May 19

World leaders are dimly becoming aware of the global Climate Crisis.  Unfortunately there are few world leaders for whom the penny has dropped – that a global crisis is not just a domestic matter –   that to tackle it is a matter for international co-operation..

There is another crisis, which seems to be below everybody’s radar, and invisible to world leaders,  especially disregarded by the leaders of nuclear nations.  This is the apocalyptic danger of nuclear war – started either by intention, or by accident.  The dangers of the nuclear industry in general are also global –   with the creeping toxicity of ionising radiation accumulating in the ecosphere.

The boys that run the world are pretty much oblivious of those twin global threats – like little schoolkids taunting each other –   they have no concept of working together to defuse the climate and nuclear dangers.  They show no sign of understanding the concept of international co-operation.

And don’t the nuclear industry and weapons companies love it this way!!!

 

 

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, politics international | 3 Comments

Politics and the nuclear industry – theme for May 2019

The species homo sapiens continues to defile its own nest, this beautiful and only known habitable planet. It becomes increasingly clear that world “leaders” have no idea of how to lead us out of the mess.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, threatened water supplies –  these issues are now being widely recognised as global problems –  not just local or national issues.

Strangely, nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear war seem to be a side issue.

And there is no general awareness of the world-wide confidence trick being played on politicians, (and helped by the mindless mainstream media) by the global nuclear industry. Governments are swallowing the deception that nuclear power can fix climate change!

The costs, the danger, the radioactive pollution –  these factors are largely hidden from people in Russia, China – the totalitarian states.  The nuclear lobby has a harder job in USA, UK, Japan and Europe, where there’s some degree of freedom of information.

So – we have USA, UK, Japan, Europe – agonising over the mounting and insoluble problem of radioactive trash,and over the obscenely huge costs of nuclear power.  These are political problems for governments.

So – what do governments do about this?  They listen to, and accept financial contributions from, the nuclear lobby. They swallow the absurd propaganda that nuclear power is “essential to combat climate change”.  They push the politics of fear to their electorates – the “necessity” for nuclear weapons and nuclear power for “security”.

Is there a way to stop the nuclear-powered march towards global pollution and armageddon?

People power seems the only way –  movements such as Extinction Rebellion may provide the spark that’s needed, to make leaders aware, or to replace them with ones who are.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 8 Comments

Don’t fall for the propaganda touting “New Nuclear Reactors”- theme for April 19

The nuclear lobby is desperately pitching its new gimmicks –  to governments  (nobody else would put their money in)  They come up with all sorts of new titles, with appropriate abbeviations  –  Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) , Small and Medium Reactors,  (also SMRs)  Micro Reactors, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors  (LFTRs) ,  Integral molten Salt Reactot (IMSR), Virtual Test Reactor,  (VTR) – to name just a few .

So -new nuclear reactors leave a smaller amount of radioactive trash? But it’s so highly toxic that it requires the same volume of space for its final disposal. The reactors themselves become radioactive trash eventually.

Thorium nuclear reactors produce these radioactive wastes:

  • Technetium-99 has a half life of 220,000 years
  • uranium-232 produces thallium-208 (a nasty wee gamma emitter)
  • Selenium-79 (another gamma emitter with a 327,000 year half-life),
  • even Thorium-232 is a problem with its half life of 14 Billion years (and while the T-232 isn’t a major worry, all the time during this 14 Billion years it will be decaying and producing stuff that is!)

Mixed-oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel reprocessing turns out to be twice as expensive as burial of nuclear wastes. according to an unreleased US Department of Energy report – and the World Nuclear Association knows this!

zombie rising

 

 

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 2 Comments

Diseconomics of Generation IV nuclear reactors -theme for April 19

First of all, dispel the nonsense that these expensive gimmicks will solve climate change. They can’t. And even if they could, they’d be deployed far too late to make any difference.

Generation IV nuclear reactors , Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSRs) , Medium and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (MSRs)   – have only one real use – to support the nuclear weapons industry – providing it with expertise, materials, technology development and media hoohah.

The nuclear salesmen promote other lies,  as well as the climate one.  There’s the lie about solving the waste problem, and the one about safety.

But the most compelling case against Generation IV nuclear reactors is that inevitable one – COST. There’s no market for these nuclear lobby toys – no chance of commercial biability. That’s mainly because , to have any hope, they would have to be ordered en masse. – and who’s going to invest in that risky idea?

Therefore – the only possible customers are governments. Which means YOU – your taxes.

In the meantime, rapid developments in energy efficiency, renewables, and battery storage offer a genuine opportunity for investors – and they are taking it up.

 

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 3 Comments

Anniversary of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown – 11 March

There’s not a lot in the mainstream media, about this important anniversary. But much of what there is – concerns the “recovery” of the area, the Olympic Games,  the robots, the ice wall, the (forced) return of evacuees, the story that tritium contamination doesn’t really matter, does it? ……    etc etc – whitewashing the real situation. And, perhaps more importantly, encouraging the world to forget about the nuclear catastrophe.  And above all, let’s pretend that it does not have global significance.

All sorts of experts, scientists etc propound ways to fix Fukushima’s nuclear problem, get rid of the molten nuclear fuel debris, and the nearly 2 million tons and counting, of radioactive water.

I could believe in their sincerity – IF all this  concern were not linked to the promotion of the global industry. Indeed, if their concern were linked to a plan to stop producing toxic radioactive trash.

The people of Fukushima need help from the world –   but not the kind of help that teaches them, and the global community, that everything is OK really, and the nuclear industry can charge ahead.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 2 Comments

Exploding the lies about nuclear waste – theme for March 19

There’s no limit to nuclear lobby lies about nuclear waste. Here are a few:

1 They say that radioactive trash is not waste – it’s a “resource”.   This lie is tied to the fantasy that nuclear reprocessing will work – using radioactive trash to produce boundless energy.  Bunkum! Apart from all its economic and safety hazards, reprocessing itself produces highly toxic long-lasting radioactive trash.

2. They say that nuclear waste is being “safely managed”.   The Fukushima nuclear wreck continues to release radioactive pollution, with its accumulating tanks of radioactive water and mountains of bags of poisoned soil.  Chernobyl is still a toxic wreck.  USA, Russia, France, UK, and every nuclear country are continually threatened by the pools of spent nuclear fuel, forever awaiting accident, terrorism, or war to release their poison to masses of people.

3. They say “We have the solution”.   They don’t.   The nuclear lobby now turns to a new lucrative industry – “interim” (i.e stranded) nuclear waste canister arrays,  underground waste dumps, both involving bribery campaigns to communities to host them, and all at tax-payers’ expense.

4 They say – “Don’t worry about it “ – we can just pollute the Earth, because the answer is to colonise space.  That too, will rely on the nuclear industry, with nuclear powered space travel and infrastructure, and of course – radioactive trash.

We must not swallow their lies. Those lies come from greed, and extraordinary arrogance.  They are part of the attitude of conquering nature –  having conquered it on Planet Earth (i.e nearly destroyed it) , humans must move on to conquer the universe.  Their ignorance is shocking. They simply do not know that humans are just one quite fragile part of nature, on an extraordinary planet which used to have the right conditions for nature. There is no Planet B.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 4 Comments

The global deception that nuclear waste is ‘manageable’ – theme for March 19

We are being fed a pack of lies about the “OK” management of nuclear wastes.  They don’t really know how long the waste canisters will last, or what’s really going on inside them.

Any sensible  person would not have embarked on the nuclear reactor folly, knowing that it would produce radioactive trash toxic virtually for eternity.  That folly began with developing the atomic bomb, then moved mindlessly into commercial nuclear power.

The worthy authorities treat nuclear waste as a religious faith. Heck the USA even passed laws expressing this belief – The Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule

It is absurd for countries to keep on producing this toxic stuff, permanently poisoning the environment, with no way of getting rid of the poison.

Meanwhile, they continue to reassure us with absurdities on the “safety”of this trash, keep bribing communities to host it, keep promoting new geewhiz reactors that claim (falsely) to solve the problem.

This toxic industry, and its diabolical weapons keep going, because they make money for corporations, for investors,  provide jobs, keep political leaders in power.

But is it worth it?

 

 

 

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, wastes | 1 Comment

Don’t let the nuclear industry do the ‘education’ on nuclear matters: theme for February 19

Would you go to British Tobacco for education on how to have healthy lungs?

Would you trust the Sugar Industry for education on healthy teeth?

So why on earth are we letting the nuclear industry run the education on the most important aspects of nuclear power – the ones that affect humans, all species, and the environment?

The nuclear experts are big on their technical stuff, how to build a new reactor etc, (but very quiet on how to get rid of its radioactive trash)

But don’t let them be the education authorities on ionising radiation – a cause of cancer, birth defects, genetic effects, environmental effects.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on dealing with climate change.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on prevention of war.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on the supposed economic benefits of nuclear power.

Above all, don’t let the nuclear industry control education about HISTORY –  about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, atomic testing, about Urals disaster 1957, Mayak, Three Mile Island, Church Rock, Chernobyl, Fukushima…….

And don’t let them get at our kids with their propaganda.

 

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 8 Comments

Nuclear “education” – theme for February 2019

We’re now in the era of “STEM education” – Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics” – and how the nuclear industry loves this!  Don’t get me wrong. I think that everyone should have a good knowledge especially of maths and science.

BUT – alongside the current fervour for STEM, is a very wrong downgrading of the humanities –   the so-called “soft subjects”.  At this critical time of climate change and nuclear danger, we really need the insights from art, history, culture, sociology – the human studies – to  help us to know what to do.

The nuclear industry thrives on this almost religious belief that technology is the answer. And of course, who is to educate us about nuclear technology, and how much we need it etc?  That’s a no-brainer. On the whole, education about nuclear power relies on information from the nuclear industry. That is either not forthcoming or is a comfortable ‘we know best’ assurance, allied with technical information –  designed to reiterate that only the nuclear experts can really understand it – so don’t bother your pretty little heads about it.

Much of the  media mindlessly regurgitates information from the industry, but fortunately, not all of it.

It’s in academia that the nuclear industry increasingly gets a foothold, and of course, universities like to get the funding grants. Just a few examples:   University of Birmingham (UK) University of Bristol; University of Oxford; Kyoto UniversityUniversity of California. University of Tasmania.

But, of course, the nuclear lobby ‘s “education” is all over the place, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) running courses in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere. And Russia, expanding its nuclear propaganda to Asia, Africa, the Middle East.

Community education is a nuclear lobby speciality – to Boy Scouts, many other organisations, and especially to where the industry wants to dump radioactive trash.

Would we trust tobacco companies to control education about healthy lungs, and lung disease? So why rely on the IAEA etc for education about nuclear power? 

January 25, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 10 Comments

2019 For a clean nuclear-free climate – theme for January

It would be nice to just wish everyone a happy New Year. We can do that. And for the Earth, we can wish that the human species would stop polluting it.  We can say, along with Dr Pangloss  – “Everything for the best, in the best of all possible worlds”.

But, I’m afraid that we’re kidding ourselves, if we think that we can do any more than to slow the onset of climate change. “Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable”. Jem Bendell, A British Professor of Sustainability now says that nothing in our civilization is sustainable.  The emphasis must now also be on adaptation to climate change. Elizabeth May, Leader of Canada’s Green Party, has recently stressed, on Radio Ecoshock,   that not only grandchildren, and later generations will be affected, but today’s children will experience the social, and health disruptions of climate change.

The Power of One Green – Elizabeth May in 2018

As for the nuclear threat – it’s no wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock stays now at 2 minutes to midnight, with aggressive leaders like Trump and Putin, with weapons’ companies and military brass salivating about new, advanced weapons, even space warfare.

Still, nations continue to sign up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. It’s a start.

For the “peaceful” nuclear industry – the good news is that it’s becoming  a failing economic disaster. It would die a faster death, if it were not so valuable to the nuclear weapons industry.   Colossal waste problems in USA, Japan, UK, are stalling plans for new reactors . Russia and China are not publicly divulging information on their wastes, but both are keen to export nuclear technology, rather than develop it at home.

The nuclear industry continues its lies about nuclear solving climate change -lies that are mindlessly regurgitated by the mainstream media. Media also faithfully parrot the promises of “new nukes” – the “Generation IV” nuclear designs that do not yet exist, and would be prohibitively expensive, requiring huge tax-payer subsidies..

Anyway, I promise to include some good news, some positive stories, in 2019, because, after all, good people continue to do good things. And, we just can’t afford to give up hope – as Greta Thunberg tells us “Look for action – then the hope will come”

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 17 Comments

Climate change, global heating, is the greatest threat, and NUCLEAR IS A VERY DANGEROUS DISTRACTION – theme for Jan 19

William Perry, renowned for warning the world of the great threat of nuclear war,– has now convinced me that, in some ways, climate change is an even greater existential threat to the world. He points out that nuclear catastrophe can happen quickly, but that it’s possible to prevent it. But climate change is happening slowly, inexorably, and could be irreversible.

That doesn’t mean that nuclear-news is dropping its focus on working towards a nuclear-free world. It does mean that we will try to follow and publicise current news about global heating, its effects, and action to mitigate it. At the very least, a prominent post each day about climate change.

The nuclear industry is lobbying governments to subsidise nuclear power as “clean” “low carbon” – the solution to climate change. Either the nuclear industry has bribed journalists in the mainstream media, to spout this lie to the public. or journalists are simply too ignorant and lazy to check their facts.

Nuclear power is no use whatsoever against global warming, being in reality, highly carbon emissions intensive, and prohibitively expensive, even if it were any use.  It is also intrinsically connected to nuclear weapons, and produces unfixable radioactive trash.

But, from the climate point of view, what is arguably worse, is that the nuclear industry takes money, human energy, and attention, away from the real solutions –  energy efficiency and renewable energy.  It is, therefore, not only dangerous to life on this planet, but a very dangerous distraction away from what really needs to be done.

December 15, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 8 Comments