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Ukraine Steps Up Protection Of Its Nuclear Power Plants, Cites "Grave Russian Threat" | Zero Hedge

Ukraine Steps Up Protection Of Its Nuclear Power Plants, Cites “Grave Russian Threat” | Zero Hedge.

This one should be intuitive: with Ukraine scrambling to load up on natgas ahead of the price surge once Gazprom ends its discount pricing, and unclear what if any access it will have to Russian gas in the future and at what cost, it was only a matter of time before the Ukraine stepped up the protection of its only true energy asset: its 15 nuclear power plant, which supply nearly half of the country’s energy needs. Ukraine told as much to the U.N. atomic watchdog on Tuesday, although it framed it as a result of the “grave threat to the security” of the country posed by the Russian military.

From Reuters:

Ukraine has 15 nuclear power reactors in operation, accounting for nearly 44 percent of its electricity production in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) website.  Ukraine’s envoy to the IAEA said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano: “Illegal actions of the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian territory and the threat of use of force amount to a grave threat to security of Ukraine with its potential consequences for its nuclear power infrastructure.”

 

Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk’s letter, dated March 4, was circulated among delegations attending a week-long meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board in Vienna. It was given to Reuters by a diplomat from another country.

 

Prokopchuk’s letter to Amano, apparently written before Putin’s comments, said: “Under these circumstances, the competent authorities of Ukraine make every effort to ensure physical security, including reinforced physical protection of 15 power units in operation at four sites of Ukrainian NPPs (nuclear power plants).

 

“However, consequences of the use of military force by the Russian federation against Ukraine will be unpredictable.”

 

On Sunday, Ukraine’s parliament called for international monitors to help protect its nuclear power plants, as tension mounted with its neighbor. Prokopchuk urged Amano to “join international efforts in de-escalating the crisis around Ukraine and to urgently raise the issue of nuclear security” with Russia.

 

Amano said on Monday there were 31 nuclear-related facilities in Ukraine that were being monitored by the IAEA to make sure there was no diversion of material for military purposes, as it does in other countries with nuclear plants.

Whether or not the protection surge is a result of Russian fears is irrelevant: one thing that is certain is that it is quite welcome, when one recalls that it was in the Ukraine where 28 years ago Chernobyl exploded in what was unti then the worst nuclear disaster in history.

In fact, perhaps instead of Crimea, Putin should have gone for one of the Japanese isles several years ago. Maybe only then could the great Fukushima disaster, which continues billowing alpha, beta and gamma rays to this day having surpassed Chernobyl in the worst radioactive catastrophes of all time record, would have been avoided.

Ukraine Steps Up Protection Of Its Nuclear Power Plants, Cites “Grave Russian Threat” | Zero Hedge

Ukraine Steps Up Protection Of Its Nuclear Power Plants, Cites “Grave Russian Threat” | Zero Hedge.

This one should be intuitive: with Ukraine scrambling to load up on natgas ahead of the price surge once Gazprom ends its discount pricing, and unclear what if any access it will have to Russian gas in the future and at what cost, it was only a matter of time before the Ukraine stepped up the protection of its only true energy asset: its 15 nuclear power plant, which supply nearly half of the country’s energy needs. Ukraine told as much to the U.N. atomic watchdog on Tuesday, although it framed it as a result of the “grave threat to the security” of the country posed by the Russian military.

From Reuters:

Ukraine has 15 nuclear power reactors in operation, accounting for nearly 44 percent of its electricity production in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) website.  Ukraine’s envoy to the IAEA said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano: “Illegal actions of the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian territory and the threat of use of force amount to a grave threat to security of Ukraine with its potential consequences for its nuclear power infrastructure.”

 

Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk’s letter, dated March 4, was circulated among delegations attending a week-long meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board in Vienna. It was given to Reuters by a diplomat from another country.

 

Prokopchuk’s letter to Amano, apparently written before Putin’s comments, said: “Under these circumstances, the competent authorities of Ukraine make every effort to ensure physical security, including reinforced physical protection of 15 power units in operation at four sites of Ukrainian NPPs (nuclear power plants).

 

“However, consequences of the use of military force by the Russian federation against Ukraine will be unpredictable.”

 

On Sunday, Ukraine’s parliament called for international monitors to help protect its nuclear power plants, as tension mounted with its neighbor. Prokopchuk urged Amano to “join international efforts in de-escalating the crisis around Ukraine and to urgently raise the issue of nuclear security” with Russia.

 

Amano said on Monday there were 31 nuclear-related facilities in Ukraine that were being monitored by the IAEA to make sure there was no diversion of material for military purposes, as it does in other countries with nuclear plants.

Whether or not the protection surge is a result of Russian fears is irrelevant: one thing that is certain is that it is quite welcome, when one recalls that it was in the Ukraine where 28 years ago Chernobyl exploded in what was unti then the worst nuclear disaster in history.

In fact, perhaps instead of Crimea, Putin should have gone for one of the Japanese isles several years ago. Maybe only then could the great Fukushima disaster, which continues billowing alpha, beta and gamma rays to this day having surpassed Chernobyl in the worst radioactive catastrophes of all time record, would have been avoided.

Nuclear Disasters and Displacement – Our World

Nuclear Disasters and Displacement – Our World.

2014•02•26 Silva Meybatyan University of the District of Columbia
Nuclear Disasters and Displacement

Hospital, Chernobyl. Photo: Michael Kötter. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 seem to be the same as those from Chernobyl 25 years earlier, despite the different political settings. Apparently not much had been learned.

The two worst nuclear accidents to date — Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan — occurred as the forces of nature combined with human error to bring about a complicated cluster of human problems that displaced much of the affected populations and left millions more trapped in contaminated areas.

On 26 April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine caused a fire that lasted for ten days and radioactive debris to spread over thousands of square kilometres. At the time of the incident, about 230,000 people in 640 settlements in the European parts of the USSR were thought to be exposed to external gamma radiation and/or internal exposure through the consumption of contaminated water and locally produced or gathered food. In the following 20 years, numerous assessments revealed an increasing number of people affected in the USSR, including people evacuated from the exclusion zone, and residents who remained trapped in radioactive ‘hot spots’.

On 11 March 2011, tsunami floods damaged four of the six power units of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan resulting in contamination of as much as 1,800 km² of land with particular ‘hot spots’.

Managing the crisis

By all accounts, the authoritarian style of governance associated with the Soviet regime and the fact that the immediate area surrounding the plant was not densely populated were beneficial in the early stages of the crisis. The relative success of an immediate response, however, was hindered somewhat by the lack of information disseminated to the public as the weeks, months and years passed.

Prior to the disaster, the USSR had policies in place for measures that should be undertaken in the event of radioactive contamination, which included instructions from medical experts on when local and central government should evacuate affected populations, depending on their level of exposure. Hours after the event, preliminary radiation readings prompted the authorities to draw a 10 km radius around the plant, from which everyone was to be evacuated within a few days. One week later, as more information was uncovered as to the scale of the disaster, a government commission established to deal with the aftermath extended the exclusion zone to 30 km.

The same day as the tsunami occurred the Japanese government instructed residents living within a 2 km radius to evacuate. As with Chernobyl, over the following weeks the zone was extended outwards to 30 km.

Around Chernobyl, roadblocks were established to prevent privately owned cars from leaving without authorisation, and buses were chartered from outside the contaminated zone. This limited the spread of contamination from inside the exclusion zone and facilitated the evacuations which started the next day, beginning with some 50,000 residents of Pripyat where power plant employees lived. Local government officials and Communist party leaders were told that people would be evacuated for only three days. The official announcement was very short, with no information about the dangers of exposure to radiation. The absence of clear instructions on evacuation led to numerous problems about belongings left behind, including personal documents. Close to 5,000 people remained in Pripyat after the evacuation. Some were left there to assist with clean-up activities, while others refused to evacuate without their farm animals, tools and equipment.

In order to reduce panic, the government increased the level of the permissible annual dose of absorbed radiation in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, avoiding mandatory evacuation of millions. However, children between 8 and 15 years old were sent to summer camps, and pregnant women and mothers with young children and infants were sent to hotels, rest houses, sanatoria and tourist facilities, dividing many families with little consideration for the lasting social effects.

In early June 1986, ‘hot spots’ were discovered outside the 30 km zone, leading to the evacuation of a further 20,000 people. By the end of 1986, some 116,000 inhabitants from 188 settlements had been evacuated, as well as 60,000 cattle and other farm animals. Thousands of apartments were made available in urban centres, and 21,000 new buildings were constructed in rural areas to house evacuees, although people were spread throughout the USSR. The upheaval induced by the break-up of the USSR five years after the disaster cannot be underestimated, both in terms of migration implications and the impact on responding to the lingering effects of the crisis.

Following Chernobyl, the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information Network System (SPEEDI) computer system was designed in Japan to predict the spread of radioactive particles in order to effectively assess the situation and guide evacuations. However, most radiation dose-monitoring equipment and meteorological monitors were either damaged by the tsunami or were out of service because of the loss of power. In addition, the models did not incorporate all the variables needed to accurately calculate human external exposure and inhalation so the local authorities were reluctant to rely heavily on them in their decision-making process. There were also reports that initially the authorities did not know about SPEEDI, and later on played down the data to dismiss the severity of the accident for fear of having to significantly expand the evacuation zone, and to avoid compensation payments to still more evacuees.

In Fukushima, on 25 March approximately 62,000 residents were advised to evacuate voluntarily or to stay indoors. Orders to ‘shelter in place’ or to voluntarily evacuate were unclear and long-winded, leading some people to move into areas with high levels of radiation and eventually being evacuated multiple times. According to the Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), the Japanese government was slow in informing the municipal governments and the public about the accident and its severity. Many people were unaware of the crisis and did not take essential items when they were evacuated. For those being evacuated the greatest advantage was their level of connectedness to outside areas such as employment or relatives and friends outside the region. Others were at a disadvantage because their only recourse was to follow government-organised evacuation and be placed in temporary housing.

Radiation is invisible, and at first no obvious factors force people away or hinder migration into these regions. Migration back to contaminated areas of the Ukraine was reported as early as the end of 1986, only eight months later. The demographic composition of the returned population consisted mostly of the elderly who had had difficulty adapting to the new places and wanted to live out their remaining years in their homeland, and those who thought of Chernobyl-related financial benefits as their only means of survival. Poverty caused by resettlement, restrictions on agriculture, lack of rehabilitation and livelihood restoration programmes, and the effects of the collapse of the USSR, led to ever more people claiming such benefits.

Lessons

Although the immediate evacuation after the Chernobyl disaster was carried out swiftly and effectively, there was no clear understanding of the far-reaching consequences, and no structured resettlement plan to deal with these consequences in the medium or long term. Determining obligations and responsibilities for offering protection to those moving is not simple, especially in the context of post-Soviet emigration where it is difficult to distinguish between migrants seeking economic opportunities and those fleeing because of health risks. The disintegration of the USSR and the difficult transition process intensified the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and the complexities around responsibilities for those affected.

Some 25 years later, the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident raised questions over lessons learned and lessons yet to be learned from Chernobyl in terms of preparedness and mitigation of nuclear disasters but also in terms of normative and implementation gaps in dealing with the consequences of these crises. In the context of both crises, tens of thousands were permanently displaced from the immediate vicinities; thousands made the decision to move because of health concerns, environmental degradation and collapsed infrastructure; and millions remained in contaminated areas due to an absence of resources and/or opportunities, financial constraints and special attachment to their home.

In both the Chernobyl and Fukushima cases, strong governments responded with a heavy-handed approach that proved effective, to a certain extent, in evacuating immediate areas in the short term. Interestingly, the governments of Japan and the USSR both adopted top-down governance approaches too in how they communicated to their populations in the context of humanitarian crises triggered by nuclear disasters. However, a lack of information relayed to affected populations exacerbated long-term effects of the crisis on these populations. Indeed, one of the major, and unanticipated, consequences of these disasters has been the psychological effects that have resulted from unreliable and contradictory information, along with the anxiety induced by ill-planned medium- and long-term relocation efforts, the disruption of social ties, and lingering health concerns. An estimated 1,539 stress-related deaths occurred in the context of evacuation from Fukushima, which arguably could have been prevented by more active consultation and communication by the government with affected populations.

Creative Commons License
Nuclear Disasters and Displacement by Silva Meybatyan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at Forced Migration Review.

Uranium mine troubles Native American groups – Features – Al Jazeera English

Uranium mine troubles Native American groups – Features – Al Jazeera English.

The project would be built on a mountain considered sacred by Navajos and Pueblos in New Mexico.

 Last updated: 09 Feb 2014 13:14

Mounds of radioactive waste dot the eastern portion of the Navajo Nation in the US state of New Mexico. The earthen monoliths contain contaminated material from the more than 250 abandoned uranium minesthat once provided the raw materials for the US nuclear complex.

As the Cold War ended, so did the demand for uranium. Yet growing international investment in nuclear energy has led to the prospect of renewed uranium mining in New Mexico, including the controversial newRoca Honda mine located on Mount Taylor, an area considered sacred by the Navajo and Pueblopeoples of the southwestern United States.

“If developed, Roca Honda will be a huge underground mine with tremendous impacts,” said environmental attorney Eric Jantz. “This mine could destroy people’s water, land, their places of worship – all for the purposes of funnelling profits to a Canadian company that is in turn selling it to Korea.”

The Roca Honda project, operated by Energy Fuels, is one of four proposed New Mexico uranium mines in the permitting stage, said Jon J Indall, an attorney representing the four mining companies ready to begin operations in the coming years. “The market is a bit sluggish now, but these operations are poised to catch the next upswing.”

The prospect of renewed uranium development has triggered a contentious debate in New Mexico, a state still reeling from the radioactive contamination caused by uranium mining and the economic decline that followed the exit of the industry from the country’s third-poorest state.

“These four projects have the potential to provide 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue,” Indall told Al Jazeera. “This, all for a state whose economy is not exactly booming.”

Navajo opposition

But many from the Navajo Nation vehemently oppose the return of an industry that left hundreds of abandoned and un-reclaimed mines, mill sites and waste piles on indigenous lands. These continue to contaminate water, soil, livestock and housing, causing heath problems for an impoverished and historically marginalised native community.

Larry King, a former miner and member of the Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM), said: “People still talk about Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Church Rock, where I am from, had the largest radioactive accident in US history, and 19 abandoned mines that remain today, [are] poisoning our community. But no one talks about this, they talk about new mining instead.” 

Oh God yes, this economy needs [uranium mining] bad! Things have changed… I think a lack of education has people still thinking uranium mining is dangerous.

– Jack Farley, miner

Beginning in the 1950s, thousands of Native Americans like King found work in New Mexico’s uranium mines. They were often poorly paid, unprotected and uninformed about the dangers of uranium dust inhalation and chronic radiation exposure.

Nadine Padilla, the director of the MASE coalition, an organisation formed in 2008 by communities affected by mining, spoke to Al Jazeera about what she said were the health effects caused by the mining. “Every day I see people with kidney disease, respiratory problems, and many women fighting various forms of cancer. People still live in houses made with radioactive material from the mills… Baca, where my family is from, has one of the most polluted groundwater systems in the state.”

But others from the region welcome the return of the industry. When asked about his thoughts on new uranium mining projects, Jack Farley, who has worked as a miner for 28 years, exclaimed, “Oh God yes, this economy needs it bad! Things have changed. When I worked there were no laws. I worked 500-1,000 working levels of radiation – that’s 999 times what is allowed now. But I think a lack of education has people still thinking uranium mining is dangerous.”

Health and controversy

The harmful effects of exposure to radon, a radioactive gas often found in uranium mines, are well-known. Yet an absence of health studies or environmental monitoring have led to a poor understanding of the effects of the uranium legacy on the Navajo Nation.

“Part of the reason is that these are marginalised communities, low income, communities of colour, indigenous communities,” said Jantz. “They don’t have the political power or the resources it takes to get the federal government or state government to do the basic science behind the health costs of uranium mining.”

The Church Rock Uranium Monitoring Project (CRUMP) began in 2003 to assess the effects of the 1979 tailings dam failure, which released 1,100 tons of radioactive waste into the Puerco River, and other abandoned mines. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, at the infamous Church Rock mine, “residents graze sheep, cattle and horses, and collect herbs around the area. Due to the proximity of the residents to the mine site, this mine was identified as the highest priority for cleanup by US EPA and Navajo Nation EPA of over 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.”

King said, “Even before the ’79 spill, contamination from untreated mine watering would flow through our community. After the dam break, it only continued. Kids used to play in the wash, in the mine waste – there were no fences, no signs. I used to graze our sheep where the mines were.”

The CRUMP finding showed contamination of numerous wells and springs in the communities in and around Church Rock, as well as dangerous radon levels in homes made with contaminated materials – equivalent to a lifetime cancer risk of smoking one to two packs of cigarettes a day.

A more comprehensive health study, still under way, found that of the 1,300 people surveyed, “those people living closer to waste site were more likely to have hypertension, auto-immune disease, while people who had history of exposure during active mining had an additional likelihood of kidney disease”, as principal investigator Johnnye Lewis told Al Jazeera.

[Marginalised communities] don’t have the political power or the resources it takes to get the federal government or state government to do the basic science behind the health costs of uranium mining.

– Eric Jantz, environmental lawyer

In response to the contamination, the Navajo Nation enacted a moratorium on uranium mining in 2005, as well as a ban on transporting uranium across reservation land.

Now, the prospect of new mining projects has created a rift within the country’s largest Native American reservation, as certain chapters and officials have come out in support of new uranium projects.

A new bill sponsored by Navajo Council Delegate Leonard Tsotsi has allowed Uranium Resources, Inc to construct a “demonstration project” that would extract uranium ore in the Church Rock chapter. The legislation, seemingly at odds with the uranium ban, has been endorsed by chapter president Johnny Henrie as well as a number of other prominent Navajo officials. Henrie was unavailable for comment for this article.

Some, including Navajo activist Leona Morgan, assume foul play. “These are old tactics from the past, divide-and-conquer. Today, companies target families who have rights to lease their land, they target politicians and offer them something. Right now, everyone is wondering what Leonard Tsotsi and these pro-uranium families are getting.”

King, who lives just across the road from the proposed mine, agreed with Morgan’s assessment. “These men are supposed to protect the community. But you show them a little green, and that changes.”

Increased demand?

In the end, the prospect of new uranium mining will likely have less to do with the internal controversy than with global economic factors related to the growth of the nuclear energy industry.

According to a January 3 report by the World Nuclear Association, there are 435 operable reactors in the world right now, 71 reactors under construction, 172 planned, and another 312 have been proposed.

As Curtis Moore, the director of investor and public relations at Energy Fuels, told Al Jazeera, “There is clearly significant growth in the industry. We’re going to have to get the uranium from somewhere. There is certainly a probability some will come from New Mexico.”

The controversy over renewed mining is far from over, but Curtis believes it comes down to economy. “Uranium mining has gotten a bad rap in the past. But the bottom line is that these projects create jobs, they create tax revenues, they provide clean nuclear energy for the world.”

But King remains sceptical. “Clean has not been my experience.”

Activist Post: Why Is Radioactive Snow Falling In Missouri?

Activist Post: Why Is Radioactive Snow Falling In Missouri?.

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

If radioactive snow is falling in Missouri, is it safe to assume that much of the snow that is falling on the rest of the country is also radioactive?

What you are about to see is absolutely shocking.  A highly respected YouTube personality known as DutchSinse has released video of himself measuring radiation levels of the snow falling on St. Louis, Missouri.  What he discovered was that he got a reading that was about twice as high as he did on a sunny day when there is no precipitation.

So what in the world could be causing this?  Could Fukushima be to blame?  Is radioactive water originally from Fukushima being picked up in the Pacific and dumped all across the country?  If so, there would seem to be no way to stop this from happening.  Now that highly radioactive water from Fukushima is spreading throughout the entire Pacific Ocean, it is simply impossible to put the “genie back in the bottle” again.  So could this mean that we might have to deal with radioactive rain and snow storms in North America for many years to come?

The YouTube video posted by DutchSinse is getting so much attention that even the Daily Mail is reporting on it…

According to YouTube user, DutchSinse, who posted a video of him taking the Geiger readings in St Louis, the findings mean that ‘small particles of radioactive material are indeed coming down in the precipitation. Past tests show around 30CPM in the same spot on a nice day with no precipitation’.

You can watch the video for yourself below…

Of course this video is very similar to another YouTube video that I discussed just a few days ago.  In that video, a YouTube user measured levels of radiation on California beaches that werefive times higher than normal.

California officials have confirmed that particular radiation spike and say that they are “befuddled” by it, but they insist that we don’t have anything to worry about

Health officials in California are now telling residents not to worry after a video uploaded to the internet last month seemed to show high levels of radiation at a Pacific Coast beach.

The video, “Fukushima radiation hits San Francisco,” has been viewed nearly half-a-million times since being uploaded to YouTube on Christmas Eve, and its contents have caused concern among residents who fear that nuclear waste from the March 2011 disaster in Japan may be arriving on their side of the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout the course of the seven-minute-long clip, a man tests out his Geiger counter radiation detector while walking through Pacifica State Beach outside of San Francisco. At times, the monitor on the machine seems to show radiation of 150 counts-per-minute, or the equivalent of around five times what is typically found in that type of environment.

So do you believe them?

I don’t.

But authorities in California are sticking to their guns.  The “official story” is that none of this has anything to do with Fukushima

Officials have dismissed the possibility that it could be linked to Fukushima radiation reaching the west coast, despite forecasts by experts last summer that radioactive particles from Fukushima would reach U.S. coastal waters in 2014.

Last week RT reported that new plumes of radioactive steam were emerging from the crippled reactor number 3 at the plant, but TEPCO representatives refused to explain the cause.

The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, but a DHHS official denied that the purchase was connected to the Fukushima crisis.

Meanwhile, more signs are emerging that something very strange is happening to the Pacific Ocean. For example, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that “the biggest sardine crash in generations” is causing havoc for fishermen along the west coast…

The sardine fishing boat Eileen motored slowly through moonlit waters from San Pedro to Santa Catalina Island, its weary-eyed captain growing more desperate as the night wore on. After 12 hours and $1,000 worth of fuel, Corbin Hanson and his crew returned to port without a single fish.

“Tonight’s pretty reflective of how things have been going,” Hanson said. “Not very well.”

To blame is the biggest sardine crash in generations, which has made schools of the small, silvery fish a rarity on the West Coast. The decline has prompted steep cuts in the amount fishermen are allowed to catch, and scientists say the effects are probably radiating throughout the ecosystem, starving brown pelicans, sea lions and other predators that rely on the oily, energy-rich fish for food.

So what in the world could be causing that to happen?

Could Fukushima be to blame?

When you start putting all of the pieces together, a very disturbing picture begins to emerge.  For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “36 Signs The Media Is Lying To You About How Radiation From Fukushima Is Affecting The West Coast“.

Look, the truth is that there has been a pattern of covering up the reality about Fukushima for more than 2 years.  Just a few months ago, the BBC reported that radiation readings at Fukushima were actually 18 times higher than previously reported, and hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water from Fukushima continues to be released into the Pacific Ocean every single day.

That means that the total amount of radioactive material in the Pacific in constantly increasing, and considering the fact that some of these particles have half-lives of about 30 years, that means that we are going to be dealing with it for a very, very long time.

The health toll from this disaster is going to be much larger than most of us could possibly imagine.  The following is a quote from Helen Caldicott about how this radioactive material moves up the food chain…

Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements — called internal emitters — migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer.

Ultimately, millions of people could end up getting cancer and other illnesses as a result of all this, and most of them will never have any idea why they got sick.

It has been estimated that the Chernobyl disaster killed about a million people, and the Fukushima disaster is turning out to be far, far worse.

In the end, what price will humanity pay for the foolishness of a few?

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth.  His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

» Plumes of mysterious steam rise from crippled nuclear reactor at Fukushima Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» Plumes of mysterious steam rise from crippled nuclear reactor at Fukushima Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

AFP Photo / TEPCO

AFP Photo / TEPCO

Fresh plumes of most probably radioactive steam have been detected rising from the reactor 3 building at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said the facility’s operator company.

The steam has been detected by surveillance cameras and appeared to be coming from the fifth floor of the mostly-destroyed building housing crippled reactor 3, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the plant’s operator.

The steam was first spotted on December 19 for a short period of time, then again on December 24, 25, 27, according to a report TEPCO published on its website.

The company, responsible for the cleanup of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, has not explained the source of the steam or the reason it is rising from the reactor building. High levels of radiation have complicated entry into the building and further inspection of the situation.

Three of the plant’s reactors suffered a nuclear meltdown in March 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami hit the region. The plant is comprised of six separate water boiling reactors. At the time of the earthquake, reactor number 4 had been de-fueled and reactors 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for planned maintenance, thereby managing to avoid meltdowns.

Unlike the other five reactors, reactor 3 ran on mixed core containing both uranium fuel and mixed uranium and plutonium oxide, or MOX nuclear fuel. The Reactor 3 fuel storage pond still houses an estimated 89 tons of the plutonium-based MOX nuclear fuel composed of 514 fuel rods.

In a similar incident, small amounts of steam escaped from the reactor 3 building in July 2013, Asahi Shimbun reported. However it was unclear where the steam came from. TEPCO said that radiation levels did not change, adding that the steam could have been caused by rain that found its way to the primary containment of the reactor, and because this vessel was still hot, the water evaporated. On 23 July the steam was seen again coming out of the fifth floor just above the reactor containment, the Japanese newspaper reported.

In November, TEPCO, responsible for the decommissioning of the plant, began the highly risky removal of over 1,500 potentially damaged nuclear fuel rods from reactor 4. The reactor is the most unstable part of the plant as it was offline at the time of the 2011 catastrophe and its core didn’t go into meltdown. Instead, hydrogen explosions blew the roof off the building and severely damaged the structure.One of the most dangerous operations attempted in nuclear history was a success as a total of 22 assemblies containing 50 to 70 fuel rods have been transported to a new storage pool. While the extraction of the fuel rods is a significant challenge for TEPCO, a more complex task of removing the cores of the stricken reactors is yet to come.

This article was posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Wave of Radiation from Fukushima Will Be 10 Times Bigger than All of the Radiation from Nuclear Tests Combined Washington’s Blog

Wave of Radiation from Fukushima Will Be 10 Times Bigger than All of the Radiation from Nuclear Tests Combined Washington’s Blog.

Putting Fukushima In Perspective

There was no background radioactive cesium before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.

Wikipedia provides some details on the distribution of cesium-137 due to human activities:

Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.

***

Caesium-137 is unique in that it is totally anthropogenic. Unlike most other radioisotopes, caesium-137 is not produced from its non-radioactive isotope, but from uranium. It did not occur in nature before nuclear weapons testing began. By observing the characteristic gamma rays emitted by this isotope, it is possible to determine whether the contents of a given sealed container were made before or after the advent of atomic bomb explosions. This procedure has been used by researchers to check the authenticity of certain rare wines, most notably the purported “Jefferson bottles”.

As the EPA notes:

Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity.

What people call “background” radiation is really the amount of radiation deposited into the environment within the last 100 years from nuclear tests and nuclear accidents (and naturally-occurring substances, such as radon).

2,053 nuclear tests occurred between 1945 and 1998:

Above-ground nuclear tests – which caused numerous cancers to the “downwinders” – were covered up by the American, French and other governments for decades. See thisthisthisthisthis and this.

But the amount of radiation pumped out by Fukushima dwarfs the amount released by the nuclear tests.

As nuclear engineer and former nuclear executive Arnie Gundersen notes, the wave of radioactive cesium from Fukushima which is going to hit the West Coast of North America will be 10 times greaterthan from the nuclear tests (starting at 55:00).

This graphic from Woods Hole in Massachusetts – one of the world’s top ocean science institutions – shows how much more cesium was dumped into the sea off Japan from Fukushima as compared to nuclear testing and Chernobyl:

(And Fukushima radiation has arrived on the West Coast years earlier than predicted.)

The Canadian government has confirmed in October that Fukushima radiation will exceed “levelshigher than maximum fallout” from the nuclear tests.

The party line from the Japanese, Canadian and American governments are that these are safe levels of radiation.   Given that those countries have tried to ban investigative journalism and have tried tocover up the scope of the Fukushima disaster, people may want to investigate for ourselves.

For example, Gundersen notes that the U.S. government flew helicopters with special radiation testing equipment 90 days after the Fukushima meltdown happened.  The government said it was just doing a routine “background radiation” check, but that it was really measuring the amount of “hot particles” in the Seattle area (starting at 27:00). Hot particles are inhaled and become very dangerous “internal emitters”. The government then covered up the results on the basis of “national security”.

As the Washington Department of Health noted at the time:

A helicopter flying over some urban areas of King and Pierce counties will gather radiological readings July 11-28, 2011. [Seattle is in King County.] The U.S. Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measurement System will collect baseline levels of radioactive materials.

**

Some of the data may be withheld for national security purposes.

Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security and National Nuclear Security Administration sent low-flying helicopters over the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 to test for radiation. But they have not released the results.

Indeed, residents of Seattle breathed in 5 hot particles each day in April of 2011 … a full 50% of what Tokyo residents were breathing at the time:

(the video is from June 2011.)

After all, the reactors at Fukushima literally exploded … and ejected cladding from the reactors and fuel particles. And see this.

Gundersen says that geiger counters don’t measure hot particles. Unless the government or nuclear scientists measure and share their data, we are in the dark as to what’s really going on.

 

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