A delegation of Japanese activists and a family who experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster first hand will be in New York City to address the public, the press and UN representatives on Thursday, September 22. Please see our flyer for more. The group brings the message of the button at left: Nuclear Power? No Thanks and will call on the UN to renounce its promotion of nuclear energy.
The adverse impact of radioactive contamination in Japan continues to widen hundreds of kilometers away from the site of the worsening nuclear disaster.
Aljazeera reports that dozens of Japanese sewage treatments plants in areas hit by Fukushima's radioactive fallout are stuck with tons of radioactive sludge contaminated by cesium-137. Treated sewage that was processed for cement production and agricultural fertilizer is now accumulating at sewage plants because its too radioactive. Nobody wants it.
Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years (that's recognized as at least 300 years of biological hazard) emitting highly penetrating gamma rays in addition to beta particles. Its "biogeochemical" properties allow it to move readily through the food chain entering the same pathways as the nutrient potassium.
National Public Radio station WAMU at American University in Washington, DC has reported that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has increased inspection levels at Baltimore-based Constellation Energy's Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Lusby, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay due to security related violations of regulations deemed by NRC to be of "moderate" safety significance. Calvert Cliffs is the closest nuclear power plant to the nation's Capitol, about 50 miles or less from the District of Columbia. WAMU also mentioned the shut down of one of Calvert Cliffs' two reactors when Hurricane Irene's winds tore aluminum siding from the turbine building and drove it into a main transformer, as well as an incident last winter in which melting snow leaking through the roof short circuited electrical equipment, forcing both reactors to shut down.
Over a week since the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the North Anna nuclear power plant in Mineral, VA, Dominion Nuclear has let it be known that 25 of 27 vertical casks, each one weighing 115 tons, shifted between one to four inches due to the earthquake. An undisclosed number of 13 fully loaded and 13 empty horizontal dry casks suffered partial damage when concrete came loose. The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and CNN have reported on this story.
Last fall, Energy Secretary Chu pledged to add solar panels onto the White House roof before the start of summer 2011. As summer 2011 draws to an end, McClatchy News asks what happened, while reporting that the presidents of the Maldives and India have already beat the U.S. to the punch. (Beyond Nuclear Launch Partner Steve Strong of Solar Design Associates was in charge of adding solar panels to the National Park Service controlled swimming pool area of the White House during the George W. Bush administration, mentioned in the article.)