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Wednesday
Mar062013

Watch "Eternal Tears" - a Ukrainian artist's moving tribute to the victims of Chernobyl

Worth watching all through.

Tuesday
Mar052013

Truth about Hanford leaks comes too late

Leaks from radioactive waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation could amount to as much as 1,000 gallons a year. The radioactive effluent threatens ground water and the Columbia and Snake Rivers.Hanford has 177 aging tanks that store millions of gallons of radioactive sludge. The federal government built the Hanford facility in south-central Washington at the height of World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. Now the tanks at Hanford hold some 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste.

 Writes Hanford Watch president, Paige Knight, about recent revelations regarding multiple radioactive leaks from the tanks at the Hanford Nuclear facility:

"This latest news of the increase in Hanford Tank leaks is highly disturbing. In my 20 years of working on Hanford cleanup issue this is not the first time that the truth has come out too late. DOE and its contractors have in the past fabricated or downplayed the data about leaks from the tanks to the environment.Their negligence in assessing the data is an ongoing problem through the last 2 + decades of the cleanup program through different leaders in the agency. I believe we really have to look at the lack of intentional and conscientious oversight of the contractors and labs that test the tanks. This issue demands that DOE and  Congress appropriate money for building new tanks to contain the waste while DOE finds its way to get the Waste Treatment Plant back on track, if that is possible. We CANNOT fail to treat millions of gallons of radioactive waste sitting in failing underground tanks, no matter if they sit far from the Columbia River, the life blood of the Pacific Northwest or the five miles from the river as they truly do. The contractors and the DOE have created a cash cow that sucks the taxpayers dry. It is time for this mentality and practice to change and for the government and we, the people, to demand a moral and physical resolution to cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Safe storage and treatment of nuclear waste is tantamount to protecting our waterways, our health, our economy and future generations. This will require an end to the production of nuclear waste. All nuclear reactors no matter how "small" will produce deadly waste. Cleanup is the price we pay and that we are owed by a nuclear weapons and nuclear power industry that has been uncontrolled. "

Tuesday
Mar052013

March 9th human chain in Paris to remember Fukushima

Everyone to Paris, Saturday, March 9th!  For those who can - and for the rest of us who'd like to - the French anti-nuclear network will be assembling in Paris in a human chain to remember Fukushima and call for an end to nuclear power.

Démesurément dangereux et coûteux, le nucléaire soumet les humains et tous les êtres vivants à des pollutions et à une menace inacceptables. Hiroshima, Tchernobyl, Fukushima : aucune autre technologie n’a créé en si peu de temps des catastrophes si « durables ». Avec 58 réacteurs, le parc nucléaire français représente un risque majeur, pour nous et nos voisins européens. Attendrons-nous que la centrale de Nogent-sur-Seine, à 95 km de Paris, devienne le Fukushima français ?

Immeasurably dangerous and expensive, nuclear energy submits humans and all other living things to contamination and an unacceptable threat. Hiroshima, Chernobyl, Fukushima: no other technology can, in such  short time, create such "long-lasting" catastrophes. With 58 reactors, the French nuclear complex represents a major risk, for us and for our European neigbors. Are we going to wait for the Nogent-sur-Seine reactor, 95 kilometers from Paris, to become the French Fukushima?

Tuesday
Mar052013

WHO predictably downplays Fukushima health impacts; Japanese government even more so

Pictured is the former mayor of Futaba, Fukushima Daiichi's host town, now a radioactive ghost town. Before the catastrophe, he was pro-nuclear. Now, he is an outspoken anti-nuclear leader.The conflicted World Health Organization (WHO) - which cannot pronounce on things nuclear without ceding to the nuclear-promoting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - predictably downplayed the likely health impacts resulting from the Fukusima nuclear disaster. The Japanese government went even further, suggesting the WHO over-stated the likely impacts. Fundamentally, the WHO found, after a two-year study, that "the risk for certain types of cancers had increased slightly among children exposed to the highest doses of radioactivity, but that there would most likely be no observable increase in cancer rates in the wider Japanese population." However, the agency was at least forced to admit that "their assessment was based on limited scientific knowledge; much of the scientific data on health effects from radiation is based on acute exposures like those that followed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and not chronic, low-level exposure." Almost all the health effects from Fukushima will result from prolonged exposure to so-called "low levels" of radiation. Read more.

(To understand the limitations imposed on the WHO by the IAEA, read here.)

Tuesday
Mar052013

No shame as NRC schedules new nuke review on March 11

Thumbing its nose and what should be a sombre reminder of the perils of nuclear energy, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a "public" meeting on March 11, 2013 to review the seemingly DOA proposal for a third, redundant reactor at Calvert Cliffs, MD. (And note the NRC's laughable slogan encapsulating precisely what it tries so hard NOT to do - at least at the Commission level where NRC staff safety concerns are routinely over-ridden.)