Archive for the 'environmental' Category

Fukushima cover-up in UK – Government conspires with nuclear industry to spin disaster

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Guardian Online - front page 30/06/11

A report in the Guardian on the 30th June 2011 has revealed what we all suspected [see previous blogs] with the release of information about the true extent of the disaster in the Japanese nuclear plants following the earthquake and tsunami.

With the hard evidence of leaked emails between Government and the nuclear industry, the Guardian article details just how far the spin has extended to an attempt to cover-up the amount of radioactive leaks and their effects on the surrounding population in Japan, as well as its spread across the globe.

Here are just some of the articles in Counterpunch in recent weeks, which reveals the amount of alarm in the scientific and medical communities not being reported in the general media.

Is the Dramatic Increase in Baby Deaths in the US a Result of Fukushima Fallout?

Same Old Tricks From the Nuclear Gang ; The People Who Brought You Fukushima

Will GE Get Whacked for the Catastrophic Failure of Its Fukushima Reactors? ;The Hubris of Nuclear Engineers

~These articles are interesting as a different perspective on the problems of global warming, and attempts by the nuclear lobby to manipulate the whole debate, using it as a way of persuading desperate environmentalists [eg. George Monbiot ] that nuclear power is the only solution.

In the Midst of Fukushima: Ahoy There, Nuke-Loving Greens, Welcome to the Real World!

How Global Warming Rescued the Atomic Lobby ; The “Green” Nuclear Cabal

Bi-Partisan Atomic Flackery ; Nuclear Power Madness

And also a couple of activist sites with handy updates on the crimes and cover-ups of the nuclear industry around the world . . .

nukefree.org (USA)

Envirovideo

And now a report that a French reactor is in trouble . . .

and in the UK;

Jellyfish shut down nuclear reactors

Both units at Torness power station closed after jellyfish found in seawater filters

Japan, USA reactors at risk as UK Government orders more plants

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

There are continuing and increasing  risks of further major radiation leaks in Japan and the USA , even as the UK Government announces that it will support the building of 8 new reactors and Obama’s corporate administration agrees to help fund a whole new series of nuclear investments in the USA.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant under water

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant under water

As wildfires threaten the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory , and Fort Calhoun struggles with maintaining pumps and power to prevent floodwater, leading to meltdown and contmination, there is a threat of flooding to yet another US nuclear plant ;

A second Nebraska nuke plant declared an “unusual event” as floodwaters approach. At the Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, NE:  “Personnel have been proactive in preparing the station for flood conditions by filling sandbags, constructing barricades, procuring materials and supplies, and reinforcing the access road…”(ncnewspress.com)

The threat of environmental factors to the stability and safety of nuclear plants is becoming more apparent as time moves on and those certainties which allowed the original sites to be seen as ‘safe’ look increasingly fragile. This is even more worrying for the rising populations around plants in the USA and a new study published in Scientific American magazine (the  June 2011 issue ) has demonstrated how many of the plants are built in areas of risk;

Compiling reactor data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and seismic hazard data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the SciAm graphic shows that there is already a handful of U.S. nuclear power plants located in earthquake-prone areas of the country. The threats aren’t just to reactors in California and Washington State; some located in South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri are also along the fringe of seismically active regions.

In Japan, the continuing disaster at Fukushima is now being joined by another accident at a reactor which is threatening the safe maintenance of the site;

The NY Times reports another plutonium reactor in Monju is involved in a “precarious struggle” 300km southwest of Fukushima, and nearer Kyoto. It seems that a “3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor’s inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods.”

Of course the plant operator tried to cover it up, because that’s the modus operandi at nuclear plants: “…the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster.” (NY Times).

An article in the e-magazine Counterpunch describes how;

Tokyo now features “hot spots” of significant radiation. Sewage slag containing “170,000 Bequerels/kilogram” radioactivity has been detected and recycled into building materials! Soil in Koto Ward of Tokyo measured “2,300 Bq/kg.”

A report by Bloomberg tells of soil samples about 25 kilometers to the northwest of the Fukushima plant, “with radiation from Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter.” Other test sites 30km from the plant, “showed radiation exceeding 1.48 million becquerels per square meter.” At greater distance, 75 miles from the plant Professor Iwata Takahiro detected “500,000 becquerels per kg” in the roof drains at Yamagata University.

What is probably more worrying still, in terms of both health and its effect on a tremulous economy, is the report concerning Japanese green tea being exported to France;

Japanese green tea containing “1,000 Bq/kg” radiation was found and seized by customs in Paris, France. The French went from “oui” to “no, no, no…” The tea was shipped from Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, which should raise even more concern, being quite a bit southwest of Tokyo.

There are reports emerging of  excessively high radiation levels in people further and further away from the site of Fukushima;

A group of doctors has found that the estimated level of accumulated internal radiation exposure for people living in Fukushima Prefecture has exceeded 3 millisieverts.
The researchers, including doctors who have provided medical care to A-bomb survivors, conducted analysis on the food and urine of 15 residents in Iitate Village and Kawamata Town in Fukushima Prefecture. These areas are about 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
They estimate that residents have been internally exposed to up to 3.2 millisieverts for about 2 months, measuring from the date of the accident in March until early May.
Three millisieverts is 3 times higher than the long-term annual limit for ordinary people recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

And if you think that you will recieve anything like a true representation of the scientific facts from the World Health Organisation, think again.

An article here puts the dilemna quite succinctly;

WHO, not too incidentally, has a formal arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in place since both were established at the UN in the 1950s, to say nothing about issues involving radiation without clearing it with the IAEA, which was set up to specifically promote atomic energy. On Chernobyl, together in an initiative called the “Chernobyl Forum,” they have claimed that “less than 50 deaths have been directly attributed” to that disaster and “a total of up to 4,000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.” That nuclear Big Lie precedes the new nuclear deception involving the impacts of Fukushima.

Scientists and medical specialists who have carried out a wide-ranging and deep survey of the effects on the population in the Ukraine, as well as neighbouring countries affected by the fallout, are clear that the WHO claim is absolute disinformation.

“They’re lying,” says Dr. Janette Sherman, a toxicologist and contributing editor of the book Chernobyl: The Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009. Using medical data from between 1986 and 2004, its authors, a team of European scientists, determines that 985,000 people died worldwide from the radioactivity discharged from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Joe Giombrone reports at the end of his article ;

This June the president of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Carmelo Iacono spoke in Chicago at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting:

Nuclear radiation is the most carcinogenic thing that exists, and it cannot be kept under control, as the Fukushima tragedy proved.”

The “most carcinogenic thing that exists” says a world-renowned cancer specialist. . . .

For up-to-date news of the current – but sadly predictable – disasters surrounding every dictator’s favourite energy source, check here and here, both good sources.

fukushima

Fukushima nuclear plant - all under control ?!!

Fukushima – meltdown in public support for the nuclear option

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, USA under water

As at least two nuclear plants are threatened with flooding of their containment pools and reactors in the USA;  and in Japan the population is slowly waking up to the fact that they are in the middle of an ongoing disaster as the situation at their stricken nuclear plants proves impossible to control . . .

For an up to the minute overview of these escalating  problems visit Energy News, which is taking information from concerned citizens and whistleblowers, rather than relying on the half-truths and spin of the nuclear lobby and their puppet-politicians .

‘ . . .  next week in Washington, a two-day “Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy” will be held involving major manufacturers of nuclear power plants—including General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima plants—and U.S. government officials.’

It is remarkable how quickly the disaster at Fukishima has been reduced to a couple of paragraphs on the back pages of the broadsheets in the UK, with virtually nothing being said on the public television networks of Britain and probably much of western Europe.

This is certainly not because the destruction of the reactor by the earthquake and tsunami has been brought under control, or because there is no news to report – there has been a steady release of reports from NGO’s alongside  the steady release of radiation from the stricken plant.

Japanese radiation contamination map, June 2011

A “citizens’ map” of radiation levels is being maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers. Levels appear highest near Fukushima and toward its northwest. The vicinity around immediate southwest of the reactors shows elevated radiation, and a large pocket of contamination has settled further south in the outskirts of Tokyo.

Even more disturbingly, some local newspapers in eastern Japan have attributed sickness in children to the meltdowns. Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.

It is more likely that the corporate media has fallen into line behind the Government and their hundreds of unelected advisers; who are falling back on the old argument that nuclear power is the only ‘reliable’ – ‘safe’, even – source of power that can ‘keep the lights on’ when fossil fuels inevitably dwindle away, or become unobtainable for geo-political reasons.

A surprising amount of articles – in such publications as Counterpunch –  who have always been sceptical about sceptics denying ACC  (Anthropogenic Climate Change) – have produced articles commenting on the methods used by the nuclear lobby to promote nuclear power as the only real answer to increases in global warming caused by fossil fuel power generation.

This push to change public perception from nuclear as the most environmentally,  socially and economically unsound, unsafe and unsustainable method of generating electric power, to become the solution for global warming is being done in the face of the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the industry.  It is only now becoming apparent how much radiation is leaking into the atmosphere, the sea and the water table from Fukushima; and how little the company seems to be able to do to solve these problems; along with the revelations of Tepco deceiving both the state and supervisory authorities, as well as the population of that part of Japan.

Meanwhile, the US Corporate Government continues to promote this fatal technology, partly as a way to profitise their armament production, and partly to avoid the provision of energy to be controlled at local level.

This post will be supplemented with links and further information soon . . .



Si Si Si ! – and a big NO to Berlusconi, nuclear power and water privatisation

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

 

Crowds celebrate referendum victory in Italy

As the disaster at Fukishima continues, the fallout has been as heavy in terms of the public perceptions of nuclear safety as it has on the poor people of the Eastern seaboard of Japan. Although its disappearance from the main-source news systems means that people could assume the central problems at the plant are under control; there has been a lot of disturbing news which is hidden in NGO reports which is now surfacing in whistleblowing blogs and online journals.

It is partly for this reason that the groundswell of anti-nuclear opinion has forced the once -impregnable Ms Merkel into a moratorium on any further development in Germany; and the Italians have now voted decisively to reject nuclear power, along with the privatisation of the water supply, and a change in the law which would have allowed Government ministers to avoid justice.

A report from the Guardian describes the effect of these results  and how they will affect the ultimate fate of Berlusconi’s everlasting regime . . .

The result represented an overwhelming setback for the prime minister, who had tried to thwart the outcome by discouraging Italians from taking part. The referendum needed a turnout of at least 50% to be binding. Interior ministry figures projections indicated that more than 57% of the electorate had taken part. Greenpeace called it a historic result. Quorums were also reached in three other referendums held simultaneously – the first time in 16 years that a quorum had been achieved in any referendum in Italy.

Official projections showed more than 95% of voters rejecting water privatisation and a law allowing Berlusconi and other ministers to cite government business as a reason for delaying trials in which they were defendants. The expected majority against nuclear power was 94% . . . . (Berlusconi) first ran into serious trouble on 30 May when his candidate for mayor of Milan lost in a local election runoff. Milan is Berlusconi’s home city and traditionally a weather-vane accurately pointing to Italy’s future political direction.

Italy Referendum flyer

The report continues;

Italy abandoned its nuclear programme following a similar referendum in 1987. The government of the day opted to phase out all the country’s existing plants. The last one shut down in 1990. Berlusconi had planned to generate a quarter of Italy’s electricity with French-built nuclear plants. Construction of the first was due to start between 2013 and 2015.

Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, president of the environmental organisation Legambiente, said: “The era of nuclear [energy] is coming to an end today. Definitively. A new season of development for the country is beginning.”

Let’s hope that democracy prevails, and the ever-wily Berlusconi – a corporate frontman since his early days in the P2 Lodge – doesn’t help facillitate the sort of crisis which allows these results to be reversed . . .

From the article in Wikipedia

P2 was sometimes referred to as a “state within a state”[2] or a “shadow government“.[3] The lodge had among its members prominent journalists, members of parliament, industrialists, and military leaders—including Silvio Berlusconi, who later became Prime Minister of Italy; the Savoy pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel; and the heads of all three Italian intelligence services . . . . When searching Licio Gelli’s villa, the police found a document called the “Plan for Democratic Rebirth”, which called for a consolidation of the media, suppression of trade unions, and the rewriting of the Italian Constitution.

A response to the vote by an Italian activist can be found here